6 events worth going to this August

Kick off the month with The Dead South.

The Dead South at Live on King Street
Aug. 2
Take one listen to the finger-snapping musical goodness that makes up The Dead South’s “In Hell I’ll Be in Good Company” and it’s easy to understand why the video for the song has garnered millions of views on YouTube. The Canadian folk-bluegrass quartet, based in Regina, Saskatchewan, will perform a free concert on the outdoor stage at Live on King Street. Dead South, which took home awards for breakout artist and best roots duo/group at the 2018 Western Canadian Music Awards, has played many sold-out shows this year. Its most recent album, 2018’s “Illusion & Doubt,” won a Juno Award – Canada’s equivalent of a Grammy – for best traditional roots album.

“A Doll’s House”
Various dates Aug. 14-31, Sept. 1-29 and Oct. 1-6
American Players Theatre Artistic Director Brenda DeVita says the caliber of actors the company has on hand makes it possible to undertake Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House” this summer – the first time in 20 years an Ibsen play will be staged at APT. “A Doll’s House,” performed at the indoor Touchstone Theatre, revolves around Nora (played by APT veteran Kelsey Brennan) as she figures out her place in her family, marriage and society. “We have to strike when the iron is hot, and Kelsey Brennan is, right now, perfectly suited to play Nora,” DeVita says. “We knew we needed to pack this play with great actors” – among them Nate Burger, Marcus Truschinski and Juan Rivera Lebron.

Aug. 22-236 events worth going to this August

Setting up for the Cycropia aerial dance performances at the Orton Park Festival is a five-day process. The group consults with an arborist to install equipment in the enormous 200-year-old bur oak tree, reinforcing branches to handle the weight of the swinging and spinning entertainers. Cycropia has entertained audiences at the near east side festival for 26 years, and Luv Seamon has been artistic director for more than 15 years. She says the troupe creates works that are big enough and high enough so that crowds of more than 2,000 spectators can witness the high-flying acrobatics. “It’s incredibly magical performing at Orton Park, to be in the trees, hanging upside down and spinning,” says Seamon. Cycropia shows are set for Aug. 22-23 during the four-day event, which marks its 54th anniversary this year. The final two days of the fest are Aug. 24-25.

“GLEAM: Art in a New Light”
Wednesdays through Saturdays, Aug. 28 to Oct. 266 events worth going to this August

“GLEAM: Art in a New Light” will include installations in Olbrich Botanical Gardens’ Event Garden and a 90-foot interactive installation on the Great Lawn. Melissa Jeanne, special projects manager for Olbrich, says this year’s exhibit includes two unique video mapping installations and a neon installation. “Olbrich’s GLEAM exhibit grows bigger and glows brighter every year,” Jeanne says. Eight large-scale light installations make up the exhibition, including one by Wisconsin Community Burners. The event’s opening reception is Aug. 24.

Hall & Oates
Aug. 25
After Daryl Hall and John Oates were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2014, Hall told Rolling Stone, “We’re probably the only duo in history that’s still friends. Even The Everly Brothers didn’t like each other.” Hall and Oates, who are scheduled to perform a concert at Breese Stevens Field, have been friends for more than 50 years. The duo met as students at Temple University in 1967 and released their first album five years later. Hall & Oates attained six No. 1 singles and seven platinum albums, and the band was a staple on MTV during the 1980s with music videos that elevated their popularity. It won’t be a surprise if “Private Eyes” and “Kiss on My List” appear on the set list.

Taste of Madison
Aug. 31-Sept. 1
If attendees at Taste of Madison on Capitol Square want to find out what bands are playing or what food and beverages are available, they need only check those details on their smartphones. The 37th edition of the event goes digital with an app chock-full of menus, maps, band line-ups and parking information, according to Madison Festivals President Sara Klemme. More than 110 food and beverage stands will be set up around the Square and patrons will be able to sit and listen to live music at stages on Wisconsin Avenue, East Washington Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Feel justified in indulging knowing that Taste of Madison has raised $1.2 million for local nonprofits and charities.