Here is this week's critics' choice calendar. The Guide provides an extended listing of events in and around Madison.
NOTEWORTHY: The New York Times begins publishing Pentagon Papers during Vietnam War, 1971.
Verona Hometown Days
Hometown Park, Verona, 5 pm-1 am. Also Thursday (5 pm-1l:30 pm), Saturday (noon-1 am) & Sunday (noon-6 pm), June 12 & 14-15
Celebrate summer's arrival at this outdoor extravaganza featuring fireworks (Friday, 9:30 pm), a parade (Sunday, noon) and music by the likes of Madison County (Friday, 8 pm).
Cottage Grove Firemen's Festival
Firemen's Park, Cottage Grove, 5:30 pm-12:30 am. Also Thursday (5-10 pm), Saturday (8:30 am-12:30 am) & Sunday (7:30 am-6:30 pm), June 12 & 14-15
This fundraiser and carnival has something for nearly everyone, including a brewing event (Saturday, 1-5pm), a barbecue contest (Saturday, 8 am-4 pm), a rodeo (Saturday, 2 pm) and music.
Jason Isbell, James McMurtry
Majestic Theatre, 7 pm
This benefit for Middleton Outreach Ministry's food pantry is headlined by two big names from the alt-country tradition: Isbell, formerly of Drive-By Truckers, and singer-songwriter McMurtry. With Cannonball.
Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society
Overture Center's Playhouse, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday (7:30 pm), Overture Center's Playhouse, & Sunday (2:30 & 6:30 pm), Taliesin's Hillside Theater, Spring Green, June 14-15
Flutist Stephanie Jutt, pianist Jeffrey Sykes and several talented guests present their first two classical programs of the summer. Soprano Dìsella Làrusdóttir and harpist Heidi Krutzen appear in Friday's program, whose selections range from Ravel's Greek folk songs to a sonata by Arnold Bax. They return on Saturday for a performance that includes Aaron Jay Kernis' L'arte della danssar. Both programs will be repeated in Spring Green on Sunday.
Queer Shorts 9
Bartell Theatre, 8 pm. Also Saturday (8 pm), Sunday (2 pm) and Thursday (7:30 pm), June 14-16 & 19
Year after year, StageQ brings together experienced directors, actors and stagehands with newbies to produce the theater magic and mayhem that is Queer Shorts. This year's lineup of 11 plays is no exception, promising bats, zombies and lesbians in space.
Overture Hall, 8 pm. Also Saturday (2 & 8 pm) & Sunday (1 & 6:30 pm), June 14 & 15
Overture Center closes its 2013-14 season with this moving play about a horse that helps the English troops in the trenches of World War I. The stars of the show are life-size horse puppets that come alive onstage (see Theater).
Plan B, 9 pm
A contestant on Season 6 of RuPaul's Drag Race, Estranja has performed with Christina Aguilera and other stars. With DJ Shawna and host Tina She.
High Noon Saloon, 10 pm
This Madison-based psychedelic garage-punk duo have fans around the world thanks to international touring and love from national media outlets like SPIN and Pitchfork. They'll unveil a split EP recorded with Digital Leather. With the Blind Shake, Trin Tran, Disembodied Monks, and DJs the Real Jaguar and 45 Freakout.
Cambridge Pottery Festival & U.S. Pottery Games
Lake Ripley Park, Cambridge, 9 am-5 pm. Also Sunday, 10 am-4 pm
Throwing pottery becomes a sport of sorts at this free event, which includes juried exhibitions, a hands-on learning area and a competition for the title of Ceramics King or Queen.
900 block of Williamson Street, 10 am-9 pm
With Judge Barbara Crabb's ruling on the same-sex marriage ban, the fifth annual LGBTQI block party has plenty to celebrate this year. So don your gay apparel and head to Willy Street for food, art, drag queens, the Fruit Loop fundraiser 5K run/walk (10 am), and the musical stylings of Debbie Gibson, God-Des & She, Irene Keenan Jr. and Sandy Hill. More revelry is in store at an after-party at Plan B featuring DEV.
Madison Children's Museum & Capitol Square, 10 am-3 pm
Families can rejoice about the end of the school year at this festive Rotary Club of Madison event. There'll be a parade at noon, plus performances by local favorites like Mama Digdown's Brass Band, Blackstar Drumline, Ken Lonnquist and James the Magician.
Parade of Homes
Saturday & Sunday (11 am-5 pm), and Monday-Friday (4-8 pm), through June 29
The Madison Area Builders Association showcases its best and brightest at this annual paean to granite countertops, brushed steel finishes and three-sided fireplaces. Check out homes at Bristol Gardens (town of Bristol), the Legend at Bergamont (Oregon), Rivers Turn at Conservancy Place (DeForest), Savannah Parks (Deerfield), Kilkenny Farms (Waunakee) and Westbridge (Waunakee).
American Players Theatre, Spring Green, 3 pm. Through Nov. 8
APT presents David Mamet's award-winning tragicomedy about a trio contemplating a robbery. The characters' profane dialogue has a poetic quality, and their story should feel especially powerful in the Touchstone Theatre's intimate confines.
Allen Centennial Gardens, 5-8:30 pm
Tiptoe through the tulips at this 25th anniversary fundraiser featuring a fashionable "runway show" of unusual plants and garden accessories, plus art and food. It's a perfect date night for the green at heart.
Haiti Allies Benefit with Lucy Kaplansky
Art in the Barn, Fitchburg, 7:30 pm
Kaplansky, a New York City folk musician, performs at this fundraiser for a local organization that helps create jobs and promote literacy in Haiti. The event is also a chance to purchase works by visual artists from the tragedy-stricken country.
Crescendo Espresso Bar, 8 pm
Cheer on the WAMI-winning vocalist and violinist as she releases her latest album, The Current. With Jack Selmer.
The Importance of Being Earnest
American Players Theatre, Spring Green, 8 pm. Also Thursday, June 12, 7:30 pm. Through Sept. 27
American Players Theatre kicks off its 35th outdoor season with Oscar Wilde's hilarious tale of love, extravagance and mistaken identity, in which two English ladies have their hearts set on marrying a man named Ernest.
F.Stokes & DJ Radish
Frequency, 9 pm
Former Madisonian F.Stokes teams up with a hometown buddy for this small-venue performance. The set list is likely to include material from his 2013 album, Fearless Beauty, as well as his 2012 track "Madison West High School." With Man Mantis and Dense City.
Kiki's House of Righteous Music, 9 pm
Though Clem Snide's frontman is best known for his stellar songwriting, he may perform his rendition of the Bee Gees' "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart," which appeared on a recent fundraiser album for New Jersey radio station WFMU. With Trapper Schoepp.
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
The local five-piece will release their first EP, a self-titled effort featuring a blend of northern soul and alternative rock. With Oh My Love and Dietrich Gosser.
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 9:30 pm
The local country chanteuse has opened for greats like Willie Nelson, whose manager called her "the best-kept secret in Wisconsin." With the Whiskey Farm.
NOTEWORTHY: Allied troops begin evacuating France after Nazi takeover, 1940.
Brink Lounge, 5 pm
Wisconsin Public Radio's Norman Gilliland, Tandem Press' Paula Panczenko and other notables present staged readings from James Joyce's Ulysses at this benefit for the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired. With Katy & Miles Mrokri and Alan Ng & Josh Perkins.
Majestic Theatre, 8 pm
Formed in 1976, these hardcore punk legends now have two reunion bands that sometimes find themselves at odds: FLAG, which includes former vocalist Keith Morris, and Black Flag, featuring founder Greg Ginn and former band manager Mike Vallely. The latter perform at this show, which may feature material from their forthcoming album. With Royal We, Cinema Cinema and Zebras.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
The western-themed High Noon is the right venue for this outlaw country singer, who just released her second album, All or Nothin', produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. With Max Gomez.
NOTEWORTHY: Statue of Liberty arrives in New York Harbor, 1885.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
Powered by four guitars, this brazen Nashville act flirts with rock 'n' roll excess in captivating ways. (See Tour Stop.) With Fire Retarded and Midnight Reruns.
NOTEWORTHY: Susan B. Anthony fined $100 for attempting to vote in 1872 presidential election, 1873.
Catfish & the Bottlemen
Frequency, 8 pm
This melodious rock band from North Wales should appeal to fans of the Killers and Arctic Monkeys. With the Traveling Suitcase.
Jeff Shepherd & the Jailhouse Poets
Willy Street Pub & Grill, 10 pm
Punk and country battle for dominance in this Chicago sextet's rollicking songs. With Matt Woods and Miles Fitz.
Clips Beer & Film Tour
Olin Park, 7:30 pm
Madison is the fifth city on New Belgium Brewing's summer tour, which visits 21 communities to raise money for local nonprofit organizations. Highlights include pours of more than a dozen beers and screenings of fan-made mini-films, including one about a banana with an attitude.
Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
Overture Hall, 7:30 pm
This live edition of the wildly popular NPR quiz show brings host Peter Segal and his rollicking crew of humorists, journalists and celebrity guests to town. Witty repartee event of the week.
High Noon Saloon, 8:30 pm
This popular folk-metal band from Portland, Ore., take their name from the Latin name of the agarwood tree. Their catalog is also filled with intriguing woodland metaphors. With Obsidian Tongue and Bereft.
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 9:30 pm
This gifted singer got her start opening for Low after the band's frontman discovered her at an open mike. Her country-leaning music incorporates guitar and organ.
Edited by Lord Flashheart