What To Do in June

Thirty-plus festivals, concerts, exhibitions and more to add sizzle to your summer

'War Horse' is coming to the Overture Center June 10–15.

'War Horse' is coming to the Overture Center June 10–15.

PHOTO COURTESY OF OVERTURE CENTER

Art

Two exhibitions at the James Watrous Gallery highlight expressive work by Madison artists. Storm Candy reveals Dianne Soffa’s abstract color field paintings motivated by her memories of childhood summers spent in the Midwest, while Organic Matter presents Donald Friedlich’s innovative glass and gold jewelry with a new body of large-scale cast glass sculpture. Through June 29, wisconsinacademy.org

Art

Drawing inspiration from Ecclesiastes 3, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art’s Turn Turn Turn uses modern and contemporary art as an anthology of the joys and sorrows of life. Works from the museum’s permanent collection are arranged in eight thematic sections corresponding to the beginning verses of the Bible chapter that reference “a season for every activity under the heavens.” Through August 24, mmoca.org

Theater

In Broom Street Theater’s Civil, a “futuristic courtroom drama” written and directed by Madison’s Rob Matsushita, audiences witness two forty-minute trials and vote on the outcomes of both. May 30–June 21, bstonline.org

Art

In A Passion for Photography: The John W. and Carol L.H. Green Collection at the Chazen Museum of Art, famed artists are both the creators and subjects of the photographs on display. Find Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Henri Matisse, Marc Chagall, Marcel Duchamp and Piet Mondrian photographed by the likes of Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Yousuf Karsh and Imogene Cunningham. May 30–August 17, chazen.wisc.edu

Music

Madison Youth Choirs presents their advanced women’s choir, Cantabile, in a special concert held at the Holy Wisdom Monastery in Middleton.
June 1, madisonyouthchoirs.org

Art

This month, Hatch Art House features artist Kamryn Kay of Permanent Baggage. Kay’s work contrasts urban, edgy aesthetics with bohemian elements. Experimenting with the combination of leather, metals, fabrics, gemstones and laces, Kay produces wearable, handmade art that exudes both toughness and femininity. June 130, hatcharthouse.com

Art

Love gets an artistic and philosophical treatment in the hands of Mallory Shotwell. The Madison artists interviewed a hundred people from a variety of ages and backgrounds and held community art workshops all based on the experiences of love. This month, she hosts A Discourse of Love, an interactive exhibition at Absolutely Art. June 6–28, absolutelyartllc.com

Music

Classical violinist Lindsey Stirling can rock. The Arizona native combines electronica with choreographed dance and classical string music. After she was voted off America’s Got Talent in 2010, Stirling took the internet by storm, becoming a YouTube sensation with over four million followers. She released her second studio album, Shatter Me, last month. Catch the dubstep violinist perform live at the Orpheum Theater! June 4, madisonorpheum.com

Music

Sometimes the apple does fall far from the tree. This was the case for Mark Oliver Everett. His father, Dr. Hugh Everett III, Ph.D., is famous for his the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, which suggests all possible alternative outcomes exist as different universes. Mark started an alt-rock band, the Eels. However, it seems as if quantum mechanics does apply to Eels concerts. With a line-up of musicians constantly in flux and an ever-changing sound, it’s tough to predict what the Eels will bring to Madison this month. Many possible outcomes exist, but they’re all at the Barrymore Theatre. June 4, barrymorelive.com   

Music

Every Thursday this summer, hit the High Noon Saloon patio after work for a free concert. This month, the Summer Patio Series showcases Corey Hart, Evan Murdock and the Imperfect Strangers, Canjun Strangers and Earl Foss & the Brown Derby. Thursdays through September, high-noon.com 

Theater

You’re the Flop, an original revue by Music Theatre of Madison, explores notoriously unsuccessful Broadway musicals from the perspectives of the composers, directors, producers and actors who created them. June 6–14, mtmadison.com

Art

You may have played this game before: A group creates a work of writing or art, with each collaborator allowed to see only the contribution that came from the immediately preceding participant. In Exquisite Corpse at Artisan Gallery in Paoli, thirty-one gallery artists have been asked to create one third of a figure, of course without knowing what their peers are making. Also on display are new works in oil by Alicia Czechowski and a group show of prints, watercolors, sculpture and jewelry showcasing traditional and innovative ways of working with paper. June 6–July 20, artisangal.com

Festival

Take the weekend off and celebrate summer at the Marquette Waterfront Festival! This two-day fest at Yahara Place Park features a diverse selection of music, including Yiddish folk, Latin, rock, blues and rap groups. The weekend kicks off with the Dandelion Dash 5K. Festivities continue with a coed volleyball tournament, hayrides, kids’ games, and food and drinks from neighborhood restaurants. On Sunday, the official canoe race is preceded by the River Alliance’s annual eclectic parade of canoes, known as The Fools Flotilla. June 7–8, marquette-neighborhood.org

Theater

Enjoy theater classics beneath a summer sky. Located in Spring Green, American Players Theatre features one of the country’s largest outdoor amphitheaters, in addition to the more intimate indoor Touchstone Theater. This month, the outdoor Up-the-Hill Theater stages Oscar Wilde’s hilariously witty The Importance of Being Earnest, a messy case of mistaken identity and young love (June 7-September 27), Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, the comedic story of two pairs of lovers, one happily engaged in constant verbal dueling and the other sweetly, and speechlessly, in love (June 13-October 5) and Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the classic tragedy in which love and familial warfare end in heartbreak (June 20-October 4). And inside at the Touchstone Theater, enjoy David Mamet’s The American Buffalo, a drama of “profane poetry” that explores poverty, friendship,and trust through the schemes of three men who attempt to rob a pawnshop (June 7November 8) and The Year of Magical Thinking, a touching play based on the book by Joan Didion about grief in the year following her husband’s death and her daughter’s hospitalization (June 24October 4). americanplayers.org 

Theater

When Albert’s beloved horse Joey is sold to the cavalry to help fight in World War I, the boy can’t forget about their special friendship. Too young to enlist, Albert embarks on a quest to find him and bring him home. Based on a 1982 children’s novel, which Steven Spielberg made into a film in 2011, War Horse utilizes innovative life-size puppets to bring the horses to life as this Tony Award-winning show charges into Overture Hall. June 10–15, overturecenter.com

Music

Dig out your Birkenstocks and join Madison’s most ‘deadicated’ fans for Bob Weir & Ratdog at the Orpheum Theater. After the death of Jerry Garcia, Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir and bassist Rob Wasserman teamed up to form Bob Weir & Ratdog. The group plays original rock songs, old Grateful Dead favorites and a variety of sixties rock covers. June 12, madisonorpheum.com

Music

The Monona Terrace always offers beautiful twilight views of the city. Now enjoy them with free local music! Bring a blanket and a picnic for Monona Terrace’s Concerts on the Rooftop. This month brings country band Madison County, alt-rockers SuperTuesday and the Milwaukee pop-rock group LoveMonkeys.  June 12, 19 and 26, mononaterrace.com

Music

Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society presents their annual 23 Skiddoo summer concert series: three weeks of chamber music, with a clever twist. This year, the twist is ‘expressions of departure.’ The first concert is a collection of works from the end of various composers’ careers. Aptly named Exit Strategy, the performance includes last works from Ravel, Bach, Debussy, Bax and Lutoslawski. The second show, Getta Move On, promises to be a spirited performance, featuring works inspired by dance. June 13–15, bachdancinganddynamite.org

Theater

StageQ’s annual playfest mixes veteran and newbie directors, actors and stagehands for a theatrical romp. Queer Shorts 9 features ten brief plays and a musical short that range from funny to poignant, covering zombies, penguins and much more. June 13–21, stageq.com

Festival

Commemorate the anniversary of the end of slavery and celebrate Madison’s African American culture and heritage at the twenty-fifth annual Juneteenth Day Celebration! Held in Penn Park, the festival features music, storytelling, dance, lectures, a fashion show, poetry, food and more. June 14, cityofmadison.com

Music

On the summer solstice, Madison will transform into a giant music hall. Join in the citywide celebration of the longest day of the year with Make Music Madison. Professional and amateur musicians alike pick up their instruments and ready their voices in an effort to create continuous music in public spots around town. June 21, makemusicmadison.org

Music

The Madison Symphony Orchestra takes it outside for the annual Concert on the Green at Bishops Bay Country Club. Under the canopy of a lakeside tent, music director John DeMain and the Madison Symphony Orchestra welcome a guest soloist from the winners of the 2014 Bolz Young Artist Competition. June 16, madisonsymphony.org/cog

Music

Join the Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society for week two of their 23 Skiddoo concert series. The first concert of the week, Take a Hike, offers music inspired by the countryside. The program features works from Astor Piazzolla, Johannes Brahm, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Antonio Vivaldi and Amy Beach. The second performance, Hasta la Vista, Baby, showcases Latin chamber music from an array of Argentine composers: Alberto Ginastera, Carlos Guastavino, Astor Piazzolla and Osvaldo Golijov. June 20–22, bachdancinganddynamite.org

Theater

Con man Harold Hill plots to dupe the town of River City, Iowa, by convincing them to buy instruments and uniforms for a band he promises he’ll organize. In reality, Harold doesn’t know a thing about music and secretly plans to disappear with the money—until he starts to fall for Marian the librarian. Verona Area Community Theater stages the award-winning Broadway musical The Music ManJune 20–28, vact.org

Music

The twenty-sixth annual Isthmus Jazz Festival is a two-day testament to traditional American music. The fest offers Dixieland, big-band swing, bebop, Latin jazz and free jazz on the Memorial Union Terrace. However, the fest isn’t completely tethered to tradition—it adds modern, jazz-inspired music to the mix, like funk and hip-hop. June 21–22, thedailypage.com/isthmusJazzFestival

Music

Madison’s own Grammy awards, the Madison Area Music Awards, comes complete with a red carpet. Held by the Madison Area Music Association, the event honors accomplished musicians dedicated to local music in Dane County. The awards show includes performances from alt-rockers Modern Mod, violinist Wanida Patheuangsinh, rock-blues musician Kyle Henderson, hip-hop artist Rip, country bluegrass quintet the Dang-Its and Latin collective Son Contrabando. Musician and educator Leotha Stanley will receive the Lifetime Achievement award. Enjoy a sampling of Madison’s expansive music scene in the Capitol Theater. June 22, overturecenter.com

Music

Neon Trees came into their own on the ultra-modern Pop Psychology, their third studio album. The band combines synth-y pop and alt-rock for a ‘new wave’ sound that is complete with lyrics about finding love in the digital age. Check them out at the Majestic. June 24, majesticmadison.com

Music

On Tuesday nights this summer, relax on the Great Lawn at Olbrich Gardens’ Summer Concert Series. The series showcases an expansive variety of musical genres. This month, get into the summer state of mind with local bluegrass band, The Dang-Its. Come early for a special performance from Traditional Thai Dancers from the Kingdom of Thailand’s Ministry of Culture. June 24–July 29, olbrich.org

Music

Crowd the Square for the first of Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra’s Concerts on the Square this season! The June performance, Midsommer Stars, features guest pianist Isabella Wu. Concert highlights include Soderman’s Swedish Festival Music, Rachmaninov’s Symphony No. 2 in D, Buck’s Festival Overture on the American National Air and Alfven’s Midsommervak. June 25, wcoconcerts.org

Music

The third and last installment of the Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society’s clever summer concert series, 23 Skiddoo, features two concerts. Cut and Run highlights music from composers who made well-timed exits—Nino Rota, Dmitri Shostakovich, Darius Milhaud and Philippe Gaubert. Hightail It highlights the coda, or the final section of a musical work. The featured codas from Angel LaSala, Maurice Ravel, William Hirtz, and Antonín Dvorák don’t waste time—they’re quick to the finish. June 27–29, bachdancinganddynamite.org

Theater

It’s an ageless story about love, identity and living in the moment. It’s a year in the life of a group of starving artists and musicians living and surviving in New York’s Lower East Side with HIV/AIDS. It’s the award-winning rock musical Rent, and it’s coming to the stage at the Middleton Performing Arts Center! June 27–July 5, middletonplayers.com

Art

A fresh summer cycle of art opens at Overture Galleries in June with three new exhibitions. Artists S.V. Medaris and Alicia Rheal take viewers through a farm cycle in their exhibition From Farm to Fork. The show examines our relationship with the animals we raise for both consumption and companionship. In Plain Nature, Playful Nature, artists Richard Ely and Stephen Enriquez interpret the natural world in distinct ways. Ely’s whimsical, tissue paper landscapes compliment Enriquez’s oil landscapes. And The Printed World: Artists as Visual Ecologists is an exhibition curated by Anders Zanichkowsky in which a compilation of prints produce a narrative about the dynamics of power within nature. June 30–September 21, overturecenter.com

Emily Rappleye is an editorial intern at Madison Magazine.

Find more arts and entertainment coverage in our visual arts blog, classical music blog, popular music blog and theater blog.

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