Summertime fun starts to get overwhelming this weekend, what with Verona Hometown Days, the Brooklyn Bluegrass Festival, the opening of the Bach Dynamite & Dancing Society's "Novel Obsessions" chamber music festival, Juniorpalooza, the Cambridge Pottery Festival & U.S. Pottery Games, Parade of Homes, the Marquette Waterfront Festival, and Mounds Dog Fest. The calendar also includes: productions Queer Shorts 5, Television (The Play), and As You Like It; performances by Jared Stellmacher and the Ancora String Quartet; Interstellar Overdrive and 80s vs. 90s: Prince Birthday Edition; the Launchpad Battle of the Bands 2010 finals; more live music by Wrack, These United States, Frog Eyes, The Handsome Family with Elephant Micah, Colin Gilmore; and, the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets Invitational Poetry Marathon.
NOTEWORTHY: Janis Joplin debuts at San Francisco's Avalon Ballroom, 1966.
BIRTHDAYS: ZZ Top drummer Frank Beard, 1949.
Verona Hometown Days
Hometown Park, Verona, June 10-13
Verona grows and grows, but still it hangs on to small-town traditions. And what's more traditional than a town fest, complete with fireworks, carnival rides and a parade?
Brooklyn Bluegrass Festival
Legion Park, Brooklyn, 7 pm. Also Saturday (10 am) & Sunday (9 am), June 12 & 13
The three-day-long bluegrass bash and campout is jam-packed with entertainment, including the Mecan River Ramblers, the Oak Street Ramblers, the Spare Time Bluegrass Band and more. Also: Hone your skills at a guitar, fiddle or mandolin workshops Saturday morning.
Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society
Stoughton Opera House, 7:30 pm. Also at Overture Center's Playhouse, Saturday, June 12, 7:30 pm; and at Taliesin's Hillside Theater, Spring Green, Sunday, June 13, 2:30 & 6:30 pm
Every summer, the chamber ensemble tries to take the stuffiness out of classical music while maintaining a high standard of excellence. The first of its three-week program features two programs: tonight's The End of the Affair (repeated Sunday afternoon in Spring Green), with music of Andrew Imbrie, Schumann, C.P.E. Bach and Mendelssohn; and Dangerous Liaisons, tomorrow night at Overture (repeated Sunday evening in Spring Green), with music of Telemann, Ravel, Chopin, Vieuxtemps and Fauré.
Queer Shorts 5
Bartell Theatre, 8 pm. Also Thursday (7:30 pm), Saturday (8 pm) & Sunday (2 pm), June 10, 12 & 13
StageQ, the GLBT-themed theater troupe, presents 11 short one-act plays, including "Sacred Vows," "When Oprah Says Goodbye" and "Bonnie & Claudia's Toaster Oven Heist."
Television (The Play)
Broom Street Theater, 8 pm. Also Saturday (8 pm) & Sunday (2 pm), June 12 & 13
The east-side stage provocateurs take on the idiot box.
Project Lodge, 8:30 pm
Bridging the gap between experimental jazz and classical chamber music, this ensemble composed of oboe, bass clarinet, bass and viola players is intelligent, improvisational and intriguing, especially in a live setting.
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
Brace yourself for a techno throwdown. Two of the genre's leading lads, Ian Lehman and Ryan Simatic, are stopping by to bend beats and brainwaves -- and inspire tons of dancing. Also playing: DJs Tinhead, Prognition and Kirk Leinenkugel.
These United States
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 9:30 pm
The D.C.-based garage-meets-folk band will preview a CD, What Lasts, that will hit stores and the Interwebs in mid-July. With Juniper Tar and Strand of Oaks.
Frequency, 10 pm
The arty Canadian indie rockers may come across as a bit manic, fusing falsetto squeals, absurd lyrics and crashing drums with hooks that are about as poppy as they come. However, it's these kinds of unexpected twists that make both their live shows and their albums genuinely exciting. With Pearly Gate Music and Worrier.
BIRTHDAYS: Cheap Trick drummer Bun E. Carlos, 1951.
Cambridge Pottery Festival & U.S. Pottery Games
Lake Ripley Park, Cambridge, 9 am-5 pm. Also Sunday, June 13, 10 am-4 pm
The annual clay-a-palooza features work by 50 professional potters from around the country, along with demonstrations, competitions, auctions and hands-on activities.
Madison Children's Museum, 10 am
This free outdoor festival is in the parking lot at the new Madison Children's Museum, 100 N. Hamilton St. There's entertainment by the Gomers and the Madgadders, plus games, face painting and a preview of that 1838 log cabin.
Overture Hall, 11 am
The Yale-trained organist plays music of Bach, Barber and Joseph Jongen on Overture's mighty instrument. The event kicks off the Madison Symphony Orchestra's Free Farmers' Market Concerts series.
Parade of Homes
11 am-5 pm. Also Sundays (11 am-5 pm) & Mondays-Fridays (3-7 pm), through June 27
The Madison Area Builders Association opens up its latest showplaces for folks with big wads of cash and those of us who just like to dream. You can check out homes at Scenic Ridge (Verona), Misty Valley (Middleton), and the Southbridge Kilkenny Addition (Waunakee).
Marquette Waterfront Festival
Yahara Place Park, 11:30 am. Also Sunday, June 13, 11:45 am It's officially summer on the east side when this fest gets under way. There's music of Kikeh Mato, Yid Vicious, Grupo Fantasma, Great Lake Swimmers and much more.
Launchpad Battle of the Bands Finals
Wisconsin Union Theater, 4 pm
The statewide rock-band showdown for high schoolers will crown its 2010 winner as more than a dozen groups show off their best songs and their wildest stage antics.
Ancora String Quartet
First Unitarian Society, 7:30 pm
The ensemble, whose history dates back to 2000, plays its first recital of the year. On the docket: Mendelssohn's Quartet No. 1 in E-Flat Major, Op. 12 and Antonin Dvorak's Quartet No. 13 in G Major, Op. 106.
As You Like It
American Players Theatre, Spring Green, 8 pm
APT's debut production of the season is crammed with some of Shakespeare's favorite comic tropes, including a mind-altering magic forest, a cross-dressing heroine who's loved by just about everyone, and a troublemaking nobleman who ultimately comes to know himself (see Theater).
80s vs. 90s: Prince Birthday Edition
Majestic Theater, 9 pm
It doesn't matter if you're sporting orchid, heliotrope or puce; just be sure your duds are violet-hued when you head downtown to celebrate The Artist's birthday. You'll get in for free if you're wearing the color and old enough to drink; plus, there will be purple potions on the libations menu and plenty of Prince tunes on the playlists of DJs Mike Carlson and Nick Nice.
The Handsome Family, Elephant Micah
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
No one writes a murder ballad quite like alt-country legends the Handsome Family, who will revisit their 2009 album Honey Moon and some of their older favorites at this visit to Madison. Lo-fi folkster Elephant Micah will set the mood with some literate lyrics and melancholy melodies. Learn more about his multi-instrumental approach in Tour Stop.
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 9:30 pm
With influences ranging from Lucinda Williams to They Might Be Giants, the son of celebrated country singer-songwriter Jimmie Dale Gilmore transforms his eclectic tastes into strong melodies and clever observations of his own. With Kevin Flynn & the Avondale Ramblers and Flame Shark.
NOTEWORTHY: U.S. Supreme Court hands down Miranda Decision mandating criminal suspects must be read their rights, 1966.
BIRTHDAYS: Bulgarian wrapper Christo, 1935; quirky actress Ally Sheedy, 1962.
Mounds Dog Fest
Angell Park Speedway, Sun Prairie, 10 am
The free event features contests, demonstrations and almost too much cuteness to bear.
Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets Invitational Poetry Marathon
Olbrich Gardens, 1 pm
Fifteen poets from around the state read in Olbrich Gardens, with words to match the beauteous setting.