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The Daily
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The Week[end]: May 18-20, 2007
Isthmus writers highlight the week's events around Madison
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Credit:The Cummies

Friday 5.18

Fitchburg Days
McKee Farms Park, through May 20
Fitchburg goes green for the annual Irish-themed festival, featuring a carnival, fireworks, Irish dance, kids' activities, and music by Rising Gael, Greenfyre, Glengarry Bhoys and Green Tea.

Syttende Mai Celebration
Stoughton, through May 20
No one will ever forget the signing of Norway's constitution -- not in Stoughton, anyway. The annual celebration features dancing, music, the Syttende Mai Run and enough Norwegian meatballs to fill you up till June.

Bike to Work Week
Vilas Park Shelter, 4-7 pm
A week's worth of communal pedaling winds down with a Final Fiesta featuring food, music and (boy do we need it) massage.

Paoli House Gallery
6891 Paoli Rd. in Paoli, through July 13. Artists' reception: 5-9 pm
Paoli's new contemporary-art gallery has gathered impressive names for its opening exhibition: Warrington Colescott, Frances Myers, Sally Hutchison and Christian Andrew Grooms.

Alexis y Fido
Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall, 6 pm
If his live show is anything like his YouTube videos, expect plenty of scantily clad women to seductively escort Alexis y Fido around the stage while he flails his arms and raps in Spanish. It's all part of a reggaeton showcase that will reveal the genre's unique blend of American, Latin and Jamaican influences, from hip-hop to bomba to dancehall.

To Kill a Mockingbird
Overture Center Playhouse, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday (2 & 7:30 pm) & Sunday (2 pm), May 19 & 20
CTM Madison Family Theatre offers an adaptation of Harper Lee's coming-of-age novel, set in a 1930s Alabama town rife with bigotry. The young narrator's father defends a black man accused of raping a white woman.

Con Vivo
First Congregational United Church of Christ, 7:30 pm
The local chamber ensemble concludes its season with a "Brahms Festival," including "Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano" and "Songs for Voice, Viola and Piano," Op. 91. But wait, there's more. Pieces by two of the composer's contemporaries will also be performed: Sigfrid Karg-Elert and Brahms love object Clara Schumann.

Enchanted April
Bartell Theatre, 8 pm. Also Saturday (4 & 8 pm) & Thursday (7:30 pm), May 19 & 24
Strollers Theatre closes its season with Matthew Barber's romantic tale of four markedly different Englishwomen who flee their disappointments in dreary London for a month in a rented Italian castle. It's a witty comedy that celebrates the virtues of escapism.

Dr. Faustus
Broom Street Theater, 8 pm. Also Saturday (8 pm) & Sunday (2 pm), April 21 & 22
Greg Johnson directs Christopher Marlowe's Elizabethan play about a greedy scholar who sells his soul to the devil. His adaptation leaves the blank-verse text intact but toys with Marlowe's framework, adding overlays of German burlesque and gothic camp. The dialogue doesn't always work, but the production compensates with clever asides, bawdy humor and Three Stooges-style anachronisms.

Kevin Gordon
Brink Lounge, 8 pm
Gordon's gritty Americana blues-rock has a sultry side. Maybe that's why the Nashville troubadour wrote a song that's now being used in a national ad campaign for DeWar's White Label Scotch Whiskey.

Captured! By Robots
The Annex, 8 pm
It's like any touring combo that performs a mix of metal and funk, except that most of the players are automatons who purportedly force frontman Jay Vance to do their musical bidding. Weird fun, but out at the House on the Rock they've been doing this sort of thing for years.

Lizzie West
Cafe Montmartre, 8:30 pm
West's earthy folk-pop blends a wide range of influences, chief among them Leonard Cohen. She's quirky, but not so much so that her music sounded out of place in movies like Secretary and TV shows like Dawson's Creek.

The Cummies
King Club, 9 pm Since they formed in Madison in 2003, the Cummies have gone from being loud and intense punk rockers to being loud, intense and melodic rockers. Brothers Stevie Queen and Joe Toyko moved the band to Brooklyn last year. This Madison homecoming is in support of their new EP. Houndrunner opens.

Califone
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
The new wave of indie folk isn't all about guys with guitars. Witness Califone. The Chicago band can do the reflective acoustic thing -- when they're not invoking a humming swarm of violins, tribal percussion or fuzzy riffs. In fact, Califone's knack for deconstructing and reconstructing folk is reminiscent of another Chicago band, Wilco. Decibully and the Selfish Gene open.


Saturday 5.19

Urban Spoken Word Poetry
Inn on the Park's Capitol Room, 7 pm
It's the last round in the local collective's poetry-slam season. The eloquent finalists vie for a slot on Madison's National Poetry Slam Team, which will compete in Austin this August.

Dave Beck
7th Floor Gallery in the UW Humanities Bldg., through May 24. Reception: 7-9 pm
The UW MFA student attracted attention awhile back by making an 11-foot missile out of "Support Our Troops" magnets, driving it around town on top of his car, and selling it on eBay. Before heading off to a professor's job in New York, Beck offers a show featuring 3D digital prints and video/sound pieces, including a computer reading the spam he's collected over the past year.

Wisconsin Chamber Choir
Trinity Lutheran Church, 8 pm
The 30-voice choir indulges in "A Little Nonsense" -- a concert devoted to the bizarre and the absurd. It features pieces by Norman Luboff, Liza Lehman and that incorrigible cutup, Franz Joseph Haydn.

Doc Watson
Overture Center's Overture Hall, 8 pm
The 84-year-old North Carolinian's flatpicking skills are legendary. But even more memorable than his guitar playing is his sonorous baritone, which sounds like all of Appalachian history, whether he's singing mountain murder ballads or sweet country gospel. Joining him on guitar is grandson Richard Watson, son of the master's longtime sideman, the late, lamented Merle Watson. David Holt opens.

Stephanie Miller
Barrymore Theatre, 8 pm
The sassy, sarcastic Air America host is one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary radio. With her quick wit and firm command of the issues, she can take down the Bush administration with one hand tied behind her back. Her appearance is preceded by a film chronicling the attempt to keep Air America on Madison's 92.1 FM. (See themic921.com or call 274-5450 for ticket info.)


Sunday 5.20

WORT Block Party
600 block West Doty Street, 11 am-7 pm
The people's radio station takes it to the streets in the annual block party. First visit the "No Crap on Tap" beer garden, featuring award-winning micro-brews, then check out the bargain-priced albums on sale. Live music comes courtesy of Subvocal, Atimevu, Bobby Bryan & the Original Downtown Players, the Motorz, the Tony Castaneda Latin Jazz Sextet and Scag 48.

Java
High Noon Saloon, 7 pm
Old-timers will remember this local dance band from the '80s and early '90s. They reunite to help pay medical bills for Lynnea Godfriaux, their original lead singer. With Clyde Stubblefield, Danny Feral & the Last Bar Band and the Crashers.


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