June 2012 Event Highlights

The summer arts scene kicks off with annual favorites, from outdoor concerts and plays to beloved festivals

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The summer arts scene kicks off with annual favorites, from outdoor concerts and plays to beloved festivals.

Wild Things

They’re our companions, work partners, inspirations and more—and it’s not just contemporary society that’s lived closely with animals. Throughout history, humans have enjoyed diverse relationships with animals, depicting them in all manners of art. The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art explores the role of animals in human life through one must know the animals (June 2–August 19, mmoca.org). Drawing from its permanent collection, MMoCA presents prints, paintings, photography and more by contemporary artists to illustrate how animals represent social and personal values.

Time For Jazz

It’s a winning combination: more than a dozen jazz performances held for free at the Memorial Union Terrace. The Isthmus Jazz Festival (June 1–2, uniontheater.wisc.edu) features such local standouts as Ladies Must Swing, Gerri DiMaggio, the Dave Stoler Quartet and the New Breed, plus headliner Mary Stallings. The singer has graced stages alongside Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and other stars and performs at the Wisconsin Union Theater in its final concert before closing for renovations.


Classically Speaking

With Greg Hettmansberger
In a year or two of big-number anniversaries, you might have overlooked the tenth anniversary season of Con Vivo!, the fluid chamber group headed by Robert and Kathryn Taylor. They close their year’s activities with a concert that runs the gamut from organ to string bass, with piano, clarinet and a string quartet thrown in for good measure. The fascinatingly eclectic program features music of Gershwin, Gould, Glinka and Gigout (June 9, convivomusicwithlife.org).

Few Madison settings are as striking as Bishops Bay Country Club, and you can enjoy a day of golf and an evening of cocktails, dinner—and the Madison Symphony Orchestra—at Concert on the Green (June 18, madisonsymphony.org). Even if golf isn’t your game, you can still benefit the MSO’s educational and community engagement programs by joining them for the evening activities. Maestro John DeMain leads the orchestra and features one of the 2011 “Final Forte” finalists, violinist Valerie Clare Sanders.

Then again, we can renew one of our favorite summertime habits of hearing great music right in the shadow of the Capitol dome. That, of course, comes courtesy of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra’s Concerts on the Square, which open on June 27 and continue for six weeks (wcoconcerts.org). The opening event spotlights the Young Artist Concerto Competition winner, cellist Kartik Papatia, and the Trinity Irish Dancers. Oh, and don’t forget the optional competitive picnicking … and even if you do, the Square is full of wonderful vendors. See you there.


Love of the Land

Fanny Garver Gallery celebrates the great outdoors with new works by Carl Homstad and Tim Klunder (June 1–28, fannygarvergallery.com). Landscape painter Klunder works in acrylics, and his influences range from seventeenth-century Dutch artists to nineteenth-century English painters to the French Barbizon School. His works typically feature a combination of rural subjects and manmade elements. Homstad creates both paintings and woodblock prints that reveal a love of the landscape near his northeast Iowa home and in areas further flung.


Quick Fire Theater

On the night of Friday, June 22, eight local playwrights will write original short plays. A mere twenty-four hours later, those plays will be performed on a Bartell Theatre stage in front of a live audience for a single show. Will the scripts come together in time? Will the actors connect with their characters? No one knows. And that’s part of the magic of Blitz (June 23, mercuryplayerstheatre.com), a Mercury Players Theatre tradition.


Local Music's Big Night

Want to hear the best of local music all in one night? Then don’t miss the Madison Area Music Awards (June 2, themamas.org). Held at Overture Center’s Capitol Theater, the Madison Area Music Association’s annual ceremony highlights the best in local, independent music with an evening of awards, exciting performances and the chance for audiences to walk away with a new band or two to check out in the coming year.


On the Water

Each year in early summer, the Marquette Neighborhood Association brings together near-east-siders and the broader Madison community for a weekend of celebration. Now in its twenty-third year, the Marquette Waterfront Festival (June 9–10, marquette-neighborhood.org) features multicultural food, live music, booths highlighting local projects and more. And it’s all held right along the shore of Lake Monona, at Yahara Place Park.




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