Priority list includes State Fair concerts, spoken word at Madame Walker, more

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Indiana State Fair

It begins. And in addition to everything you’d expect, attractions new to the Fair include “Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture,” an exhibit organized by the American Museum of Natural History. A new Skyride takes visitors over the heads of fellow fairgoers. DockDogs combines water shows with an animal act. And virtual reality glasses allow you to take an almost-trip to a pig farm. Concerts this week—free with admission—include George Thorogood & the Destroyers (Aug. 4) and Chicas Roland and Carmen Jara leading the Hispanic Music Festival (Aug. 6).  Aug. 4-20 Indiana State Fairgrounds  Details

“The Wake”

The wake has a triple meaning here as a place and time of mourning, the trail left behind in the water, and a call to awaken. Spoken word artists Tony Styxx, Mariah Ivey, Tatjana Rebelle, Januarie York and many more team up for a program that also includes a theater performance by Chandara Lynch, dance from Uzuri Asad, and music by Allison Victoria, Yadin Kol and Bashira Asad for an evening of art and activism. Aug. 4 Madame Walker Theater  Details

IDADA First Friday

You could explore the world of Indianapolis hip-hop through photographs at the Athenaeum Artspace, consider Heeseop Yoon’s masking-tape mural at City Way Gallery, see the metal landscape sculptures of Joanie Drizin at Five Seasons Studio & Gallery, or level up to art inspired by gaming culture at Cat Head Press. Those are just some of the stops offered by IDADA for its monthly confluence of art openings. Aug. 4 Various location Details

“Piaf Plus”

When I saw Dance Kaleidoscope’s show pairing the music of Edith Piaf and Jacques Brel back in 2013, I noted the “goosebump-inducing ‘Non, Je Ne Regret Rien,” and the “aching ‘Desperate Ones.’” While some of the same DK team is in place, it will be interesting to see pieces from that program set on some of the newer dancers in our town’s leading contemporary dance company. Aug. 5-6  Tarkington  Details

Also this week

Buck Creek Players’ annual Play-a-Part Fundraiser allowed the highest bidders to be cast in a production of “Peter Pan.” See the results Aug. 4-6.

Cole Porter’s “You Never Know” gets a rare hearing Aug. 3 at The Cat in Carmel Aug. 3-13.

Howard Jones, The English Beat, Paul Young, and Men Without Hats are on the bill for the Retro Future Tour, Aug. 2 at the Lawn at White River State Park. Maddie & Tae follow on Aug. 4.

Idina Menzel plays the Murat Aug. 4. May J. Blige takes over on Aug. 5.

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