Circus Vargas The animal-free circus sets up its big top with feats of human strength, speed, grace and dexterity, plus plenty of old-fashioned clowning around. A free, interactive pre-show welcomes kids into the center ring and gives them a crash-course in circus skills such as juggling, feather balancing and hula-hooping. Irvine Spectrum, Irvine. 6 p.m. See website for complete schedule. $15 to $50. http://www.circusvargas.com.
Dante Vs. Zombies The garage rock band is something of a super-group in Echo Park music circles, featuring members of Swahili Blonde, the Like, the Detroit Cobras and many others. And it's no surprise that they play their demented rock, which culls from sources as rangy as Bo Diddley and No Wave, with the precision of veterans. The Echo, 1822 Sunset Blvd., L.A. 9 p.m. Free. http://www.attheecho.com.
Florence & the Machine Florence Welch knows her assets. The flamenco-goth English singer and namesake of the act titled her 2009 debut album "Lungs" because she's blessed with a powerful pulmonary pair. Wailing songs about coffins and kisses, Welch strides the stage like a mermaid who's just been blessed with Tina Turner's legs or a No. 1 English pop star grasping the reins of her runaway stateside success. Greek Theatre, 2700 N. Vermont Ave., L.A. 8 p.m. Mon.-Tue. $35. http://www.greektheatrela.com.
Ann Patchett The author of "Bel Canto" explores the wilds of the Amazon in her new novel, "State of Wonder," about a doctor who switches careers to biotech after a botched operation, yet gets sucked into a web of intrigue and horror on an assignment in Brazil. She'll discuss it with author Maile Meloy. Track 16, Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica. 8 p.m. $20. bergamotstation.com.