Buy gones

Nov 23, 2005 at 12:00 am

It’s time to do something on the day after Thanksgiving besides trek to the malls for the usual commercial orgy. One idea: Treat your out of town relatives — the same ones who are always making thinly veiled cracks about the Motor City — to the best Detroit has to offer with an afternoon at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The museum is offering a feast of holiday weekend activities for people of all ages. “Thanksgiving is classically one of our busiest seasons, so we try to offer programs that appeal to all ages and all visitors,” says Peter Van Dyke, DIA communications coordinator. “There are not many places in the metro area where you can find such a variety of events to take advantage of.”

Nov. 25, also known as “Family Friday,” will feature performances by Michigan storyteller-artist Jenifer Strauss, who will present “A Bounty of Tales.” Strauss will share stories of giving thanks from a variety of cultures around the world.

Family Friday also will include a special presentation of the Crabgrass Puppet Theatre’s newest production, The Last Dragon on Earth. Founded in 1982 in California, Crabgrass is a nationally recognized puppet troupe. This year, for its production of The Bremen Town Musicians, it received the highest honor in American puppetry, the UNIMA-USA Citation of Excellence.

The Last Dragon provides a contemporary take on the traditional fairy-tale premise that, in order to win the love of a princess, a prince must first slay a ferocious dragon. This time around, the prince and princess cooperate to save the last dragon on earth, whose habitat has been destroyed by the spread of “McCastles.” Described by Van Dyke as a “guaranteed crowd pleaser,” Crabgrass will also perform on Saturday, Nov. 26, and Sunday, Nov. 27.

The DIA also offers interactive drop-in workshops, where families can socialize while crafting. In “Games People Play,” participants create board games from felt, paper, markers and other materials. On Saturday and Sunday, aspiring puppeteers can also learn how to make their own marionettes.

Finally, those looking for a taste of the DIA’s collections can whet their appetites on the museum’s “Greatest Hits Tours,” at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday.

So this year, savor Cézanne instead of Somerset. Your inner art aficionado (and your wallet) will thank you.


5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7900. Visit for schedule information.

Monica Price is a Metro Times editorial intern. Send comments to [email protected]