Madison will enjoy the last big hurrah of its spring art season this weekend. The calendar includes: Gallery Night; productions of Side By Side By Sondheim and Sleeping Beauty; Cars on State and the Mad Rollin' Dolls 2010 semifinals; the MAMAs; more live music by 30db, Cosmo Baker, Kaki King, the Oakwood Chamber Players, Butch Walker & the Black Widows, and Truth & Salvage Co.; and, the Listen to Your Mother book reading and another by Michael Perry.
NOTEWORTHY: Germans sign unconditional surrender at Rheims, France, 1945.
BIRTHDAYS: Filmmaker Amy Heckerling, 1954; underage porn starlet turned serious actress Traci Lords, 1968.
The semiannual showcase for Madison's visual-arts scene includes special events at 65 galleries, museums and businesses, including demonstrations and artist receptions. Highlights include Lee Kimball's pastel drawings at Fanny Garver Gallery, abstract acrylics by Tom Sergeant at Grace Chosy, and a site-specific installation by Kyle Pfister at Project Lodge.
Side By Side By Sondheim
Bartell Theatre, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday, May 8, 7:30 pm
Madison Theatre Guild and Four Seasons Theatre team up for this evening of songs by the Broadway master, including selections from famous musicals like A Little Night Music, Follies and Company, as well as some rarities. Where are the clowns?
Overture Center's Promenade Hall, 7:30 pm
The local PlayTime Productions company presents this all-youth staging of the classic Grimm Brothers tale.
Barrymore Theatre, 8 pm
Umphrey's McGee's guitarist has teamed with Yonder Mountain String Band's mandolin player to form a "improg" supergroup and release a buzzed-about new album, One Man Show. Catch the group -- and be wowed by their improvisational talents -- four days before the album drops. With Cornmeal, Family Groove Company and Steez.
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 9:30 pm
The New York-based turntablist and member of the Rub is no stranger to the club scene, having spent his teen years spinning records at well-known spots like Sugarcube and Revival before taking up a weekly residency at Baby's Nightclub at Las Vegas' Hard Rock Hotel. But can he turn the beer drinkers at the Terrace into beat-seeking, dance-crazy party people? Find out this Friday.
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
The 30-year-old guitar star is known for her percussive treatment of the instrument, rich layers of sound and lots of melody-looping. She shows off her brand-new album, Junior, which Spin described as "just the thing for still-mourning Sleater-Kinney fans or anyone who likes their licks righteous and their indignation more so." With An Horse.
NOTEWORTHY: Beatles release Let It Be, 1970. BIRTHDAYS: Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz, 1951; Van Halen drummer Alex Van Halen, 1953.
Cars on State
State Street, 10 am-3 pm
The car show lines the downtown thoroughfare with classic automobiles, some of them belonging to downtown business owners. Marvel at what life was like before cup holders.
Mad Rollin' Dolls
Alliant Energy Center's Coliseum, 6 pm
The tough ladies of roller derby enter the semifinal round as the Quad Squad take on the Vaudeville Vixens, and the Reservoir Dolls skate against the Unholy Rollers.
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 7 pm
The performer list at the local music-awards show and fundraiser has grown to almost a dozen. This year's event will feature sets by Aaron Williams & the Hoodoo, Whitney Mann, Madison County, Sunspot, the Lucas Cates band, dumate, VO5 and the MAMAs All-Star Fusion Band, which includes Hanah Jon Taylor, Clyde Stubblefield, Biff Blumfumgagnge, Gary Chin and Louka Patenaude. Find out more about the show -- and the awards -- in this week's music column.
Oakwood Chamber Players
Oakwood Village-West Auditorium, 7 pm. Also Sunday, May 9, 2 pm
The local ensemble wraps up its season with Mozart's trio for clarinet, viola and piano in E minor; Barber's "Summer Music" for woodwind quintet; and Schumann's "Piano Quartet" in E-flat major, Op. 44.
Butch Walker & the Black Widows
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
In his solo work, the veteran producer and songwriter has winningly employed half-drawled vocals and glam-style swaggering custom-made for a whiskey-soaked barroom revel. His 2010 release, I Liked It Better When You Had No Heart, has all that, and some winning balladry. With Locksley.
Truth & Salvage Co.
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 9:30 pm
The band met the Black Crowes' Chris Robinson through Los Angeles' Hotel Cafe singer-songwriter scene, and he soon volunteered to sign the freewheelin' folk-rockers to his label and produce their first album. They'll release it May 25, after several weeks of touring with the Avett Brothers.
NOTEWORTHY: House Judiciary Committee begins hearings on whether to recommend Nixon impeachment, 1974.
BIRTHDAYS: Emmy-winning actress Candice Bergen, 1946; Cheap Trick singer/bassist Tom Peterson, 1950.
Listen to Your Mother
Barrymore Theatre, 3 pm
Take Mom to this presentation of readings on motherhood by Madison writers, among them Maggie Ginsberg-Schutz, Becky Sewell and Amy Recob.
Barnes & Noble West, 7 pm
The humorist, memoirist and rural Wisconsinite discusses his book Coop: A Family, A Farm & the Pursuit of One Good Egg. Ask nicely, and maybe he'll sing something from his latest album, Tiny Pilot. (He's a rock star, too.)