18 ways to entertain yourself in metro Detroit this week

Mar 15, 2017 at 1:00 am
Thursday, 3/16
Keller Williams
@ The Blind Pig
Active since the early 1990s, Keller Williams is a champion of what he calls “ADM (Acoustic Dance Music). It’s true, all of Williams songs are very dance-worthy, but in order to understand just how great it is, he needs to be seen live. In addition to guitars, Williams plays the piano and theremin, and uses a drum machine, MacBook, and Boomwhackers in his stage show. He’s released 23 albums, with 2017’s Raw being the most recent. The album is definitely impressive, and you’re not going to want to miss the chance to see him.
Doors open at 8 p.m.; 208 S. 1st St., Ann Arbor; blindpigmusic.com; Tickets are $20.
click to enlarge Taj Express @ Music Hall. Courtesy photo.
Taj Express @ Music Hall. Courtesy photo.
Thursday, 3/16
Taj Express: Bollywood Musical Review
@ Music Hall
A fusion of music, film, and dance, this energetic and extremely colorful performance tells the tale of a young Indian journalist assigned to cover the Bollywood film industry and “the greatest love story of all time.” Filled with traditional dance and costumes and tempered with modern flair, the show brings to life the infectious energy of Bollywood. The show was created by sisters Vaibhavi and Shruti Merchant who were behind Bollywood hits like the Oscar-nominated Lagaan and the popular Dhoom 3.
Starts at 8 p.m.; 350 Madison St., Detroit; 313-887-8500; musichall.org; tickets are $30-$50.

Thursday, 3/16
After Dark: Time Travel
@ Michigan Science Center
OK, so this might be one of the coolest happy hours happening in metro Detroit. Every third Thursday, the museum opens for an adults-only night of science-themed, alcohol-fueled fun. This month it’s all about time travel (think: Back to the Future). The Michigan Science Center beckons you to grab your sonic screwdriver and hop into the Delorean — you’re going to be learning all about the science of sci-fi. Don’t forget your ID, they’ll be carding at the door.
Starts at 6 p.m.; 5020 John R St., Detroit; 313-577-8400; mi-sci.org; tickets are $16; 21 and older only.

Friday, 3/17
Twisted Storytellers: School Days
@ Charles H. Wright Museum African American
The Secret Society of Twisted Storytellers is a celebration of humanity. Real people come to tell true, personal stories that all reflect a chosen topic. This time around speakers will ruminate on their “School Days.” This time around Chastity Pratt Dawsey, Erin Einhorn, Brittany Rogers, and Asenath Andrews will be the featured storytellers. Deblon Jackson and the Renaissance Dance Department will provide additional entertainment at this installment of the respected storytelling series.
Starts at 8 p.m.; 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit; 313-744-6037; twistedtellers.org; tickets are $20.
click to enlarge The English Beat. Courtesy photo.
The English Beat. Courtesy photo.
Friday, 3/17
The English Beat
@ The Magic Bag
The English Beat was one of the first pop bands since all the way back to Booker T. & the MG’s to unabashedly challenge pop music’s unspoken racial divide. Their punk-ska-reggae sound was among the best music to come out of the early ’80s, and their songs are as listenable today as they were the day they first came out. Experience the English Beat (featuring Dave Wakeling) for a rare metro Detroit show.
Doors at 8 p.m.; 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; themagicbag.com; Tickets are sold out.
click to enlarge Big Daddy Kane will perform at Back 2 the 80s.
Big Daddy Kane will perform at Back 2 the 80s.
Friday, 3/17
Back 2 the 80s
@ The Fox Theatre
The 1980s are a decade that all classic hip-hop fans remember fondly, since it’s when the nascent sound began to sprout wings and fly. Had it not been for revolutionaries like Big Daddy Kane (who is part of this show!) and others, today’s top hip-hop artists would never exist. At this show, those looking for a nostalgia trip will not be disappointed. The concert will feature Jalil and Ecstasy from Whodini, Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick, Al B. Sure, Force MD’s, Hi-Five, Cherelle, and Doug E. Fresh. This isn’t the first time this great lineup has graced Detroit with its presence, and it hopefully won’t be the last. This show is definitely a must-see for any hip-hop fans looking for a trip back in time.
Doors open at 8 p.m.; 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit; olympiaentertainment.com; Tickets are $55.50 - $102.50.
click to enlarge Neil Berg's Pianoman @ City Theatre. Courtesy photo.
Neil Berg's Pianoman @ City Theatre. Courtesy photo.
Fri, 3/17-Sun, 3/19
Neil Berg’s Pianomen
@ City Theatre
This tribute show is everything you wished your local golden oldies radio station would be. Neil Berg created it in homage to two of the most well-known and beloved pianists and songwriters of our time — Billy Joel and Elton John. This show promises to deliver high energy performances of classics like “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” “Piano Man,” “Your Song,” and “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant” by Berg as well as a number of other pianists and Broadway “rock vocalists.”
Shows start at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday; 313-471-3200; olympiaentertainment.com; tickets are $35.

Friday-Saturday, 3/17-18
Downriver Indie Craft Fair
@ Downriver Council for the Arts
Looking for an excuse to travel down the river and enjoy the waterside downtown of Wyandotte? Well, the Downriver Indie Craft Fair is pretty much the perfect reason. Inside an old, converted Masonic Temple located just off the stretch of West Jefferson — which the city renamed Biddle Avenue — the Downriver Indie Craft fair will feature over 50 local crafters and artists selling one-of-a-kind handmade goods. The first evening of the craft fair takes place during the city’s Third Friday celebration, which means shops, bars, and restaurants will be offering special deals to patrons.
Runs from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday; 81 Chestnut St., Wyandotte; 734-720-0671; downriverarts.org; admission is $2.
click to enlarge Steve Reich. - JeffreyHerman
Steve Reich.
Saturday, 3/18
Steve Reich
@ Hill Auditorium
Here is real reason to celebrate: Not only has one of our greatest living composers hung around for 80 revolutions around the sun, but two exceptional Chicago-based ensembles, Eighth Blackbird and Third Coast Percussion, are here to play some of his best works. It’s the 40th anniversary for the groundbreaking, hypnotic “Music for 18 Musicians,” which will be followed by “Sextet.” Highly rhythmic and subtly changing, Reich’s music is slyly challenging but always well worth your time, and in the end it’s really accessible stuff, especially to modern ears. Reich has had an illustrious 50-year career in which he has totally revolutionized contemporary classical music.
The show starts at 8 p.m.; 825 North University Ave., Ann Arbor; ums.org; Tickets are $12-$60.

Saturday, 3/18
A Celebration for Rabeah Lteif
@ Ant Hall
In honor of Rabeah Lteif, former guitarist and vocalist of Beset by Creatures of the Deep, friends of the local performer will gather in Hamtramck to celebrate his life. Bands that have joined onto the show include Altesleben-e, Amino Acids, Blue Black Hours, Caveman & Bam Bam, Disinformants, Duende!, Frank & Burns, Friends of Dennis Wilson, Isles of ESP, Pewter Cub, Members of Electric Lions, Oblisk, and Sros Lords. Proceeds for the event will go to the MusiCares charity, which helps musicians in times of financial, medical, and personal need.
The show starts at 8 p.m.; 2320 Caniff Ave., Hamtramck; search for “A Celebration for Rabeah Lteif” on facebook.com; the show is free with suggested donations.

Sat, 3/18 - Sun, 3/19
We Banjo 3
@ The Ark
Irish music will be forever entwined with American folk, but We Banjo 3 is a little different. The young trio from Galway, Ireland, has won their fair share of awards over the years thanks to their penchant for blending Irish and American folk music, while incorporating modern rhythms. It’s music that will make you feel good, and it will definitely get you wanting to clap along. You can also opt for the dinner-show option, with one entree from Conor O’Neill’s Irish Fayre. The best part is that fans have not one, but two chances to see the group at the fantastic Ark.
Doors open at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and at 7 p.m. on Sunday; theark.org; Tickets are $25-$42.
click to enlarge A Cinderella Story @ Detroit Opera House. Courtesy photo.
A Cinderella Story @ Detroit Opera House. Courtesy photo.
Saturday-Sunday, 3/18-19
A Cinderella Story
@ Detroit Opera House
This all-new stage show promises to be the antithesis of a traditional ballet performance. Actually, it’s not really a ballet at all. Dancers will take on ballroom, showbiz, jazz, and African moves in this production created by Val Caniparoli. The show will have a retro look, featuring ’50s-style costumes and music. The Royal Winnipeg Ballet will perform the show, which promises the elegance and exuberance of a Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie. The show is only in town for these two performances.
Starts at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday; 1526 Broadway St., Detroit; 313-237-7464; michiganopera.org; tickets start at $25.
click to enlarge Cuisine & Confessions @ Music Hall. Courtesy photo.
Cuisine & Confessions @ Music Hall. Courtesy photo.
Sunday, 3/19
Cuisine & Confessions
@ Music Hall
If you think mixing storytelling, food, and circus hijinks sounds like a recipe for one hairbrained performance, you’re not alone. But, a Montreal-based circus company is making it work, and to spectacular effect. This colorful show explores how life happens in the kitchen and through food and is punctuated by “visceral senses, high-flying, eye-popping acrobatics, elaborate choreography, and pulsating music coupled with visuals of mixing batter, baking cookies, and sprinkling oregano,” which explore and celebrate the kitchen as an iconic meeting point for generations across cultures. And its adorable tag line is “each individual is composed of a unique set of ingredients.”
Starts at 3 p.m.; 350 Madison St., Detroit; 313-887-8501; musichall.org; tickets are $35 to $55.

Sunday, 3/19
Women Who Inspire Us
@ Grace in Action
Grace in Action is a Christian organization operating in Southwest Detroit and their work toward creating an inclusive community is important now more than ever. This Sunday they’re inviting locals to a book-making event that will focus on celebrating not only Mary, the mother of Jesus, but all women who inspire with leadership and bravery. Attendees will have the opportunity to offer stories, stories, and photos to the book before joining in a service to celebrate the Blessed Virgin.
Starts at 3:30 p.m.; 1725 Lawndale St., Detroit; 313-910-5625; graceinactiondetroit.org; free.
click to enlarge Cirque Ziva @ Fox Theatre. Courtesy photo.
Cirque Ziva @ Fox Theatre. Courtesy photo.
Sunday, 3/19
Cirque Ziva
@ Fox Theatre
You’re dying to see someone bend their neck in ways that seem not only unnatural but also potentially very dangerous, we know it. Cirque Ziva is a presentation dedicated to the ancient Chinese art of acrobatics and the whole thing is basically just people sitting on their own heads. OK, not really. But, I mean really close. There are colorful costumes and lighted hula hoops and all sorts of visually interesting things going on in this high energy show. There’s only one stop in Detroit, and it’s this one, so if you’re really into seeing people bend in uncomfortable ways, this is your only chance.
Starts at 3 p.m.; 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-471-3200; olympiaentertainment.com; tickets are $24.50-$44.50.

Wednesday, 3/22
Alina Baraz
@ El Club
Alina Baraz is an up-and-coming electronica performer from Cleveland, but based out of Los Angeles. Her debut EP, Urban Flora, has garnered critical acclaim from outlets like Fader, Harper’s BAZAAR, NPR, and The Huffington Post. She’s also gained a lot of success on YouTube, and has worked with Danish musician Galimatias. Her newest song, “Electric,” which features Khalid, is a teaser of what is to come, and definitely is an incentive to see her on her brief Let’s Get Lost Tour.
Doors open at 8 p.m.; 4114 W. Vernor Hwy, Detroit; elclubdetroit.com; Tickets are $12.

Wednesday, 3/22
Eli Young Band
@ The Fillmore
To benefit Team Joseph, a charity dedicated to researching and finding a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the incredible Eli Young Band, who experienced the height of their success in 2011, will be joined by special guest William Michael Morgan in an all-ages show presented by WYCD. The Eli Young Band is famous for popular country songs like “Crazy Girl,” “Drunk Last Night,” “Even If It Breaks Your Heart,” and the popular 2014 duet with Andy Grammar, “Honey, I’m Good.”
Doors open at 5:30 p.m.; 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit; thefillmoredetroit.com; Tickets are $25-$35.
click to enlarge RENT @ Fisher Theatre. Courtesy photo.
RENT @ Fisher Theatre. Courtesy photo.
Tue, 3/21-Wed, 3/22
@ Fisher Theatre
There’s a trophy case somewhere with the sole purpose of holding all the awards this iconic musical has accrued. Created by Jonathan Larson in the early ’90s, Rent tells the story of a group of impoverished artists living in New York City and in the shadow of the AIDS/HIV epidemic. Even if you’ve never seen this stage performance (or the 2005 motion picture adaptation starring Rosario Dawson, Taye Diggs, and Idina Menzel, among others) you’ll likely be able to hum along to well-known tunes like “Seasons of Love,” “Light My Candle,” and “Out Tonight.”
Shows start at 8 p.m.; 3011 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit; 313-872-1000; broadwayindetroit.com; tickets start at $58.