McKee Farms Park in Fitchburg, 5 pm-12:30 am. Also Saturday & Sunday, June 2 & 3
The annual celebration of Italian culture features music, dancing and meatballs as big as your head.
Doug Fath and Marsha McDonald
Watrous Gallery in the Overture Center, through July 8. Reception and artist talks: 5-7 pm
Madison's Doug Fath shows black-and-white paintings chronicling a 2003 road trip, including the fast-food restaurants and motels. Milwaukee's Marsha McDonald shows luminous landscape paintings inspired by John Muir and 19th-century spirit photography.
A new visual-arts event sponsored by FoRCE (Foundation of Retaining Creative Energy) will occur on the first Friday of every month. This month, art lovers can check out work at the participating venues: Absolutely Art, Cafe Montmartre's Side Car, Escape Java Joint & Art Gallery, Fanny Garver Gallery, Lakeside Studio Gallery, Mother Fool's Coffeehouse, State Street Gallery and Studio Paran. An after-hours event follows at Brink Lounge.
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, through July 15. First Fridays event: 5:30-8 pm
The 2007 Triennial makes the most of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art's expansive new space with a strong and varied exhibition, featuring almost 50 artists. It's a testament to the health of Wisconsin's visual art community. The First Fridays event features klezmer music by Yid Vicious, a workshop, cocktails and a gallery talk by sculptor Beth Lipman.
Art of Note
Fourth Floor Atrium, US Bank Building, 1 S. Pinckney St., 6-9 pm
Gronk, S.V. Medaris, Tom Loeser and other visual artists have transformed 11 unplayable violins into works of art. The one-of-a-kind objects will be raffled off at a benefit for the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras.
Brooklyn Bluegrass Festival
Legion Park in Brooklyn, 7 pm. Also Saturday, June 2, 10 am-10 pm
For one day, the small town south of Madison becomes bluegrass central. Bands include Jefferson Country, Art Stevenson & High Water and the Chapmans.
Overture Center Rotunda, 7 pm
Madison's cable-access station honors locally produced TV programming with an Oscar-style ceremony, complete with a Joan Rivers impersonator on the red carpet. Celebrity participants include Katy Sai, Jonathan Zarov and Aaron Yonda and Matt Sloan of Chad Vader fame.
Loft in the Lussier Teen Center, 7 pm
The contemporary jazz ensemble is in town for youth workshops through the JazzReach program. This is the public's chance to check them out.
The Duck Pond at Warner Park, 7:05 pm.
The local baseball franchise -- part of the collegiate Northwoods League -- kicks off a new season with games against the Eau Claire Express. We predict the Express will be downgraded to the Local after the Mallards get through with them.
Bartell Theatre, 8 pm. Also Saturday (8 pm) & Sunday (2 pm), June 2 & 3
Mercury Players Theatre presents Caryl Churchill's terse, harrowing story of a man who clones his son. It makes use of well-drawn characters and inventive theatricality.
Brink Lounge, 9 pm
The singer-songwriter's folk-rock compositions have plenty of substance, and he's become one of the most popular troubadours in the local club scene. He'll celebrate the release of Permanent Ink with the Lucas Cates Band and Clear Blue Betty. He also hosts an open mike at Brocach: Wednesday, June 6, 9 pm.
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
The British indie-poppers make lush, '60s style recordings reminiscent of the Monkees and Burt Bacharach. Their new album, God Save the Clientele, is full of the happiest, bounciest songs they've ever done. Beach House and Pale Young Gentlemen open.
Cows on the Concourse
Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard at Main Street, 8 am-1 pm
Cows and calves perfume the air around the Capitol in honor of Dairy Month. Yogurt, ice cream, cream puffs and $1 cheese sandwiches will be available for sampling, if you're in the MOOd.
Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure
Alliant Energy Center's Willow Island, 8:30 am onward
The race helps raise funds for local and national breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment programs. There are 5K runs and walks, as well as a one-mile course safe for wobbly strollers.
Folk on State
Peter Leidy, Lou & Peter Berryman
Frances Street park, 500 block of State, 1 pm
The concert series kicks off the season with a double dose of musical satire. Peter Leidy needles the pols with tunes like "Love Song for the Wisconsin Legislature," while Lou & Peter Berryman combine droll lyrics and bouncy accordion riffs to make deceptively sophisticated music.
Madison Made Music Project
State Street, 1 pm
Musicians will play on every corner of State Street in an attempt to raise awareness of Madison homelessness. The money you drop into the hat will help support local organizations addressing the problem.
Rennebohm Park, 3 pm
The Madison Center for Creative and Cultural Arts hits the road in its Culture Coach, a mobile stage that will roll into 13 local parks throughout the summer for a community drum circle (3 pm), a musical performance (4 pm) and a dance (5 pm). This week's music group is the Hunt Quartet.
Ancora String Quartet
First Unitarian Society, 7:30 pm
The local ensemble concludes a successful first season as the First Unitarian Society's String Quartet in Residence. The program includes works by Beethoven, Joaquin Turina and George Whitefield Chadwick.
Annex, 8:30 pm
Madison's Box Social make great rock songs that are high on melody and extremely danceable. Expect blasts of energy to mark this CD-release party, which kicks off a summer full of touring to just about every corner of the U.S. Apparently Nothing, the Readiness and Mike Droho also appear.
King Club, 9 pm
The local rock trio cites King Crimson and Frank Zappa as influences, and you can hear both in Czarbles' dense, frenetic, tightly arranged instrumentals. Their new, self-titled CD is on Madison's Sector Five label.
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
The alt-country avatar lives just down the pike, near Chicago, which means that Madison fans regularly get treated to his energetic blend of masterful songwriting, hot flat-picking and uproarious stage banter. He's here to promote Revenge!, a new live set. With Eleni Mandell.
Alternate Parade of Homes
Vilas neighborhood, 1-4 pm
Historic Madison Inc. counters the Parade of Homes' emphasis on the new and shiny with an architectural tour that emphasizes the old and solid. This year's Alternate Parade explores the Vilas neighborhood; pick up tickets at 1618 Madison St. and call 221-2454 for information.
Sequoya Library, 2 pm
The local children's author was just called a genius by The New York Times. Hey, we could have told them that. Henkes will read and discuss his books, the latest of which is the instant classic A Good Day.
Coliseum Bar, 3 pm
La Crosse's string-oriented traditional-jazz band headlines the year-end party for the Madison Jazz Society. If you ever wondered what Miles Davis sounds like on banjo, this is the place to be.