Arts & Entertainment Events to Level Up Your Month

By Jessica Steinhoff | Photo by Focal Flame Photography

FESTIVALS

LA FÊTE DE MARQUETTE

July 14-17, McPike Park

Celebrate Bastille Day with music, crafts and cuisine from many parts of the French-speaking world, especially Louisiana’s Cajun corners. Don’t miss house-music trailblazer Kenny Dope (July15), the accordion-fueled fun of Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers (July 15), slide-guitar sensation Sonny Landreth (July 16) and the Jimmys with special guest Marcia Ball, queen of blues piano (July 17). wil-mar.org/fete

AFRICA FEST

Aug. 20, McPike Park

African food and culture take center stage at this festival, which kicks off with a run/walk to raise funds for clean-water projects. Explore the continent’s many musical traditions at performances by Tani Diakite & the Afrofunkstars, Atimevu, Limanya, the Nigerian Masquerade and Sista Sensi & the Buds. africanassociationofmadison.org

FUN MARKETS

MADISON NIGHT MARKET

Aug. 11, State Street

Enjoy live music performances, shopping, food carts and pop-up restaurant experiences in downtown Madison. Held on the entirety of State Street, there’s a lot to see! visitdowntownmadison.com

AGORA ART FAIR

Aug. 20, 5500 E. Cheryl Parkway, Fitchburg

Yearning for another Art Fair on the Square (July 9-10, Capitol Square)? Head to Fitchburg for paintings, jewelry, ceramics and more by 100-plus local exhibitors. Also find food-cart fare and live samba music by Grupo Balança. agoraartfair.com

THEATER

“A RAISIN IN THE SUN”

Aug. 5-Oct. 7, American Players Theatre, Spring Green

This exquisite play by Lorraine Hansberry debuted on Broadway less than a decade after she traded UW-Madison for New York City. The story follows the Younger family through a series of struggles on Chicago’s South Side, where they grapple with racism and thorny questions about assimilating
into white culture. It should be a standout in American Players Theatre’s 2022 season, which also includes “Hamlet” (through Oct. 8), “Love’s Labours Lost” (Aug. 12-Oct. 2) and “Sense and Sensibility” (through Oct. 9). americanplayers.org

OPERA AT OLBRICH

Aug. 10, Olbrich Botanical Gardens

Opera isn’t contained to a stage at this Fresco Opera Theatre event, where
singers roam through the roses and rhododendrons in Olbrich’s award-winning gardens. A presentation of Bizet’s “Pearl Fishers’ Duet” by tenor George Abbott and baritone Anthony Cao should be one of the evening’s gems. frescoopera.com

LIVE MUSIC

CHRIS ISAAK

July 19, Overture Center

Elevate your Tuesday night. and get goosebumps at this performance by the singer of “Wicked Game,” an unforgettably haunting hit from the David Lynch film “Wild at Heart.” overture.org

CONCERTS ON THE SQUARE: THE PLANETS & HO-CHUNK

July 20, Capitol Square

Cosmic and cultural wonders converge at this free outdoor event featuring Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Ojibwe flutist Darren Thompson and the Wisconsin Dells Singers & Dancer Troupe. The program includes selections from Holst’s mighty “Planets” suite, Thompson’s take on “Amazing Grace” and several selections by Elliott Funmaker, a Ho-Chunk performer who has helmed the Wisconsin Dells Singers for more than 20 years. wcoconcerts.org/cos

THE PSYCHEDELIC FURS WITH X

July 27, The Sylvee

Time-travel back to the ’80s with two bands that shaped the decade’s sound. X will bring punk to the party, wrapped up in Exene Cervenka’s poetic lyrics, while the Psychedelic Furs will make you feel like you’re on the set of “Pretty in Pink” with their signature brand of post-punk and New Wave. If the Furs perform that movie’s title song, the concert might just morph into a retro prom. thesylvee.com

STEVE EARLE & THE DUKES

Aug. 6, Barrymore Theatre

Earle’s masterful blends of country, folk and rock help him tell stories that cut straight to the heart. Hear selections from his new album, “Jerry Jeff,” at this show. barrymorelive.com

LIVE ON KING STREET

Select Fridays, Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

The Majestic Theatre’s free outdoor concert series returns from its pandemic hiatus bigger and bolder than ever. The stage has moved from King Street to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, where you can glimpse Lake Monona while reveling in tunes that celebrate music’s power to unite, inspire and entertain. Highlights include New Orleans trendsetters Tank and the Bangas (July 15), whose blend of jazz, hip-hop, soul and funk won NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest in 2017, and Austin-based psych-rockers White Denim (July 29), who an enthusiastic Time Out reviewer dubbed “one of the best live bands you will ever see if you live to be a million.”

Make a day of it by exploring the Capitol Square’s arts and culinary scene. Indulge in Colectivo’s creamy cold-brew shake while admiring the new Art on the Rooftop sculptures at Monona Terrace, browse modern home accents and gifts at Madison Modern Market, and then visit Lucille for a Weekender pizza and craft cocktails. Want more culture-centric itineraries? See page 65. majesticmadison.com

TAYLOR TOMLINSON: NEW IDEAS SUMMER TOUR

Aug. 18-21, Comedy Club on State

Though Tomlinson is just 28 years old, her mordant wit reflects wisdom that takes most of us decades to develop. This is both a blessing and a curse, a topic she explores in “Quarter-Life Crisis,” the 2020 Netflix special that helped catapult her onto the Forbes “30 Under 30” list last year. Prepare to crack up as she unveils her latest material. madisoncomedy.com

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