6 can’t-miss Madison arts events in August
Kick off August with Live on King Street
Barry Roal Carlsen and Eric Thomas Wolever
A pair of graphic artists share exhibit space in Paoli’s Abel Contemporary Gallery. Eric Thomas Wolever, who earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2016, does mixed media collage pieces with acrylics and printmaking techniques. Barry Roal Carlsen, who teaches printmaking at UW-Madison, is a veteran in that medium. “Their work has great sense of place and it seems Midwestern and very grounded,” says gallery owner and artistic director Theresa Abel. Through Sept. 9
King Street becomes an outdoor honky-tonk when Margo Price appears on stage for Live on King Street. Price’s musical style has been called gritty and gifted. Not only did she perform live on the spot to earn a record deal with Jack White’s Nashville-based label, Third Man Records, music legend Willie Nelson is also a fan. Price, an Illinois native, pulls from a multitude of genres – R&B, folk and country – when writing lyrics and arranging songs. “I always feel like a chameleon, and that’s why I love David Bowie so much,” Price told The New York Times last year. “He never stayed the same. He reinvented himself.” Aug. 3
“Measure for Measure”
Shakespeare performed outdoors in the summer is the stock-in-trade of American Players Theatre. “Measure for Measure,” staged in the Hill Theatre, is one of the Bard of Avon’s “problem plays,” in that the story incorporates both tragedy and comedy. Set in Vienna, the plot pits antagonists Claudio and Isabella against each other and presents a captivating moral dilemma: Isabella, an aspiring nun, must decide whether to give up her virtue to keep her brother alive. Longtime APT actors Marcus Truschinski and Melisa Pereyra take on the lead roles. Aug. 10, 18, 22, 26, 28, 31, Sept. 6, 9, 15, 22, 28, 30 and Oct. 6
Orton Park Festival
A summer staple for 53 years, the Orton Park Festival on the near east side has become one of the longest-running outdoor music events in the state. This year, the music lineup features Milwaukee folk band Dead Horses, Madison soul group The People Brothers Band and California noir rocker Chuck Prophet. Each year Cycropia attracts a huge crowd to the base of one of the park’s large oak trees, the branches of which the troupe’s costumed aerial dancers use in their performance. Don’t miss the Sunday jazz brunch or the food and craft vendors set up on Spaight Street during the event, which is organized by the Marquette Neighborhood Association. Aug. 23-26
“GLEAM: Art in a New Light”
For the first time in its four-year history, the popular Olbrich Botanical Gardens exhibition “GLEAM: Art in a New Light” will include an installation in the Thai Pavilion and Garden. Olbrich spokesman Tim Fullmer says Michigan artist Mike Gould will incorporate laser lights and sprinkle in elements of Thai culture and shadow puppetry. His art will be displayed with seven other illuminated showpieces, created by professional lighting designers and artists. The event’s opening reception, which sold out last year, is Aug. 25. Wednesdays through Saturdays, Aug. 25 to Oct. 27
After serving as lead singer of The Moody Blues for 50 years, English songwriter and guitarist Justin Hayward was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with his bandmates in April. Hayward performs at Barrymore Theatre with musician Mike Dawes, an up-and-coming guitarist. Hayward, who wrote The Moody Blues’ smash hit “Nights in White Satin,” has recorded seven solo albums. Aug. 30
Tamira Madsen is a Fitchburg-based writer.
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