Weekender: Aug. 4-5

•Squallis Puppeteers’ ‘Elephant’s Child’

Saturday, Aug. 4

770 Eastern Pkwy. • 636-1974
$5; 1 p.m.

Masters of imagination Squallis Puppeteers are going back to basics with their take on Rudyard Kipling’s classic “The Elephant’s Child,” the story of a baby elephant whose insatiable curiosity leads to a run-in with a crocodile (and, ultimately, an extra-long trunk). Rather than use the elaborate, extra-large puppets Squallis is known for, puppeteer Robin Schotter-Davis uses simple shadow puppets to tell this children’s tale, which is set to an original soundtrack by local musician Justin Schotter-Davis. For an extra $5, audience members can participate in a puppet-making class after the performance, part of Squallis’ First Saturdays Puppet Show and Workshop Series at its new permanent home, School of Sharks Theater, at Our Mother of Sorrows School. —Sarah Kelley


•Rufus Wainwright

Sunday, Aug. 5

Iroquois Amphitheater
1080 Amphitheater Road
$29; 7:30 p.m.

Just in case you ever got off the Rufus Wainwright bandwagon, this is a most excellent time to get back on. After several years where his recordings were dominated by their themes or selected extremes in arrangement (yet he pulled most of ’em off with style; no “Neil Young in the ’80s” here), Wainwright has made a determined step forward into the past. Recent release Out of the Game is a return to the style of his first few discs, with a singer-songwriter’s band giving luxuriant support, but the accompaniment isn’t full-on orchestration. Perhaps now he’s realized his songs’ ironic twists and dramatic arcs don’t need a lot of baggage in tow — but his slightly-thin-yet-emotionally-rich vocal performances definitely benefit by bouncing off more than a single instrument (with occasional exceptions). —T.E. Lyons

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