Here is this week's critics' choice calendar. The Guide provides an extended listing of events in and around Madison.
NOTEWORTHY: Nearly 100,000 demonstrators protest Vietnam War in front of White House, 1970.
Isthmus a la Carts
Olin Park, 4-8 pm
Isthmus' celebration of Madison's creative street-food scene takes place rain or shine, with music and food from 25-plus local carts. Come by after work to enjoy the gorgeous setting while sampling delicacies from the likes of Banzo, Curd Girl and Bubbles' Doubles.
48-Hour Film Project Awards Party
High Noon Saloon, 5:30 pm
Popcorn and soda are for amateurs. Enjoy pizza and cocktails with your movies at this bash honoring short films created in Madison over the weekend of April 25. The filmmaker who wins the Madison's Best award gets screenwriting software, a trophy and, of course, bragging rights.
Li Chiao-Ping Dance
Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 7 & 9 pm. Also Saturday (1, 3, 7 & 9 pm) & Sunday (1 & 3 pm), May 10 & 11
Li, the master dancer/choreographer from the UW Dance Department, presents Rise Over Run: Off the Wall Dances, a series of site-specific works focusing on themes of community, strength and hope. Audience members will follow the performance around the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery with the help of tour guides. (See Dance.)
Ancora String Quartet
First Unitarian Society Auditorium, 7:30 pm
Guest pianist Myung Hee Chung joins the talented local chamber group for a concert featuring keyboard quartets by Mozart, Frank Bridge and Joaquín Turina.
Bartell Theatre, 8 pm. Also Saturday (8 pm) & Thursday (7:30 pm), May 10 & 15. Through May 31
Strollers Theatre presents Jez Butterworth's play about a guy being followed by all sorts of people who want something, including a bunch of buddies who want his booze and a young son who wants his dad to take him to the county fair.
Bartell Theatre, 8 pm. Also Saturday (8 pm) & Thursday (7:30 pm), May 10 & 15. Through May 24
Theater productions often have set and lighting designers, but this new offering from Mercury Players Theatre also uses a "violence designer." The story centers on a couple who are fiercely physical whether loving or fighting.
Plan B, 8 pm
Here's a different take on Madison's Friday-night fish tradition: Hit the Willy Street LGBT club to catch one of the "fishiest" queens from RuPaul's Drag Race and savor DJ Amos' fresh beats. With the Honey B's.
Willy Street Pub & Grill, 8 pm
Mays set out to explore America in 2007, hitchhiking and riding Greyhound buses with his guitar and songwriting notebook. He'll likely perform tunes from that road trip as part of the Last Honky-Tonk Music Series, an ode to recently murdered Nashville singer-songwriter Wayne Mills.
Bright Red Studios, 8:30 pm
This Milwaukeean was crowned hip-hop artist at a recent edition of the Wisconsin Area Music Industry awards. (See Music for more on the awards.) The bill also includes CrashPrez with DJ Hitmayng, Sean Smart with DJ Moses, Chris Labella and Sofia Snow.
People's Fest Pre-Party featuring Whysowhite
High Noon Saloon, 8:30 pm
This party kicks off an outdoor music festival founded and hosted by Madison's People Brothers Band. Be sure to catch a set by funky hip-hoppers Whysowhite, who opened for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis at South by Southwest 2013. With Electric Spanking.
Frequency, 9 pm
These Milwaukee rockers sat on a Replacements-esque sophomore album, Lost My Mind in Stereo, for two years due to label logistics and other issues, but it was finally released last month. With Haunted Heads, AyOH and the Non Travelin' Band.
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 9 pm
NPR called this Canadian act's new album, Hot Dreams, "seductive, inviting...and deeply creepy." The mesmerizing video for the new single "Beat the Drum Slowly" is a great example of the band's aesthetic.
Youngblood Brass Band
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
Though this act formed near Madison, its musicians are masters of New Orleans-style brass, incorporating elements of funk and hip-hop in crowd-pleasing ways. With the Handphibians and Louka Patenaude.
Mickey's Tavern, 10 pm
This Chicago trio aim for the heart with their melodic two-bass assault, which also includes killer drumming by Scott Picco. (See Tour Stop.) With Self-Evident and Tyranny Is Tyranny.
NOTEWORTHY: Bill Haley & the Comets release Rock Around the Clock, 1954.
Madison Youth Choirs with Samuel Hutchison
Overture Hall, 7:30 pm
Samuel Hutchison, the Madison Symphony Orchestra's organist, joins forces with the Madison Youth Choirs for an evening of heavenly sounds. Expect compositions from the Baroque period to today as Hutchison gives Overture's Klais organ a workout.
Big Top Chautauqua
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 8 pm
Michael Perry, the Wisconsin-based author of Population: 485, hosts a taping of the nationally broadcast Tent Show Radio variety show. Blue Canvas Orchestra will provide tunes teeming with northwoods flair.
Barrymore Theatre, 8 pm
The comedian and actor presents "The Angry Pursuit of Happiness," a standup show that finds opportunities for laughter in unlikely places, such as his own funeral. He'll be joined by Rachel Bradley, a model turned comedian who helps produce his podcast.
The Dan Band
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
This tuneful comedy group have been featured in movies such as The Hangover and Old School, and their cover of "Total Eclipse of the Heart" may be the most profanity-laden version ever recorded. With Tigernite.
Inferno, 9 pm
Organized by Steam Century, this variety show is all about steampunk culture, with music by Water Street Bridge and DJ Steam Release, old-fashioned carnival games and a dance performance by Rana Regina. Expect the costumers at RavenWorks to be busy on Friday, since wearing a cloak, monocle or other steampunk gear will earn you cool points and an admission discount.
Harmony Bar, 9:45 pm
In from Eau Claire, this grunge-inspired band will play songs from a new EP, The Negative Space, and share the stage with two fun, pop-powered Madison groups: rock band the Periodicals and punk band Dirty Nigel & the Strap-Ons.
The Yolks, Uh Bones
Mickey's Tavern, 10 pm
The Yolks are known for their joyful take on garage rock, while psych-rock act Uh Bones have quietly built a following with their lo-fi shows. With Waterworld and Mad Max Elliott.
Listen to Your Mother
Barrymore Theatre, 3 pm
In the local version of a national event, more than a dozen female writers offer readings on motherhood. Moms will be glad to know that part of the proceeds benefits the Safe Harbor Child Advocacy Center.
Majestic Theatre, 7:30 pm
This Atlanta alt-rock band must have a lot of TV producers in their fan base. Their songs have been featured on everything from Gossip Girl to a pay-per-view wrestling event. With Balance & Compusure and Kevin Devine & the Goddamn Band.
Frequency, 8:30 pm
Krist Krueger, leader of this project from Portland, Ore., calls concerts "performance case studies," like a character on the TV show Portlandia would. Pseudo-sociological babble aside, he and his collaborators are a joy to listen to, with breathtaking melodies and lush sonic textures.
NOTEWORTHY: United States declares war on Mexico, 1846.
New West Guitar Group
Brink Lounge, 7 pm
This jazz and Americana ensemble formed when the members were students in the University of Southern California's guitar program. They perform original music as well as covers of artists ranging from the Police to Joni Mitchell.
Million Dollar Quartet
Overture Hall, 7:30 pm. Also Wednesday & Thursday, May 14 & 15, 7:30 pm. Through May 18
The touring Broadway musical evokes that legendary day in 1956 when rock 'n' roll pioneers Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins turned up at Memphis' Sun Studios to joke and jam. We saw this one in New York City and can vouch for its off-the-charts entertainment value.
Majestic Theatre, 8 pm
"Tell the World," a sunny single off the singer-songwriter's Pure Fiction, is as catchy as can be. The record is doubly impressive considering that Hutchinson taught himself both piano and guitar. With Saints of Valory.
Project M Finale
High Noon Saloon, 7 pm
The songwriting competition hosted by 105.5 Triple M comes to a close as finalists Katie Scullin, From the Moon and Derek Pritzl each perform a half-hour set of original music. Local rockers WheelHouse will stop by to rev up the crowd.
Orpheum Theatre, 7:30 pm
The indie queen unveiled one of the longest album titles of 2013 with the Grammy-nominated The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You. Her voice is as sterling as ever in this collection of folk and power-pop tunes, especially when backed by the pipes of Wisconsin's own Kelly Hogan. (See Music.) With the Dodos.
NOTEWORTHY: McDonald's opens its first fast-food restaurant, 1940.
The Steepwater Band
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
Paying tribute to early blues history from the U.K. while incorporating elements of American psych-rock and roots music, this band have become a fixture at classic rock and country festivals all over the world. With Mojo Radio.
Majestic Theatre, 8 pm
Though this rock band are often identified with wailing guitars rather than deep emotions, expect to be moved by "Torn to Pieces," a new single singer Leigh Kataky wrote following the death of his father. With Escape the Fate, Avatar and Glamour of the Kill.
Edited by the Jump Rope King