Michigan Impossible: All Laid Off and No Place to Go
Take that economic turmoil and turn it into fodder for hilarity that's what those wacky cats over at Second City are doing. Comedians Brett Guennel, Quintin Hicks, Tara Nida, Tim Robinson and Megan Wilkins call it Michigan Impossible: All Laid Off and No Place to Go. Take the buyout, collect your unemployment ... do what you gotta do to get there. Sometimes we really do need to laugh to keep from crying. Opens Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 42705 Grand River Ave., Novi; 248-348-4448. Ongoing.
Les Liaisons Dangereuses
Sex. Revenge. Betrayal. Moral ambiguity. Comeuppance: It's everything a theatergoer could want. Based on the 18th century French novel, Les Liaisons Dangereuses is a real nail-biter and a tale to bring out the voyeur in us all. (How can you get enough of aristocratic libertines in pre-revolutionary France?) It's had multiple movie treatments over the years, plus TV specials and the Christopher Hampton stage version that opens at the Riverside Arts Center, 76 N. Huron St., Ypsilanti; 734-214-6600. Runs Thursday-Sunday until March 11.
Now in its 75th year, Detroit Artists Market welcomes Detroit Next, a multimedia exhibition of new works by nine talented young artists. Mira Burack, Taurus Burns, Laith Karmo, Narine Kchikian, Kathy Leisen, Brian Pitman, Stephen William Schudlich, Ian Swanson (artwork pictured) and Gregory Tom, have studied at area colleges and universities including College for Creative Studies and Cranbrook Academy of Art. Opening reception is Friday, March 2, from 6-10 p.m. at 4719 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-8540.
Just in time for America's most abject excuse to get outlandishly pissed St. Patrick's Day Flogging Molly brings their devil-may-care ditties to the throngs of the "Irish by proxy" kids. Be you a fan of hooch, music from the Emerald Isle or good old-fashioned punk, the seven-piece Flogging Molly is your cup of spiked tea. At the State Theatre, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-961-5450.
Don Byron's Ivey Divey
There've been some great one-off studio meetings in the history of jazz: Duke meets Trane, Duke meets Max and Mingus, Trane meets Rollins, etc. But the 1956 trio of saxophonist Lester Young, pianist Nat King Cole and drummer Buddy Rich has an eerie second life with reedman Don Byron's Ivey Divey. It's a "tribute" in quotes because you can expect that the group like the Byron CD of the same name will be more abstractly referential than reverential. George Colligan and Billy Hart are on piano and drums. And since Byron has recorded everything from Puccini to Junior Walker as well as originals, be ready for anything. The Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit, 313-833-7900.
Detroit Kennel Club Dog Show
FUN FOR ALL
It's somehow appropriate that the same folks who starred in the parodic rock 'n' roll mock-u-mentary Spinal Tap lifted a leg on the slightly kooky world of dog shows with 2000's Best in Show. While the actors might have taken some license in the portrayal of the niche crowd, it certainly brought to the forefront how some people love animals more than humans. And rightfully so. Watch pedigreed pups and the scene from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Cobo Conference Exhibition Center, 1 Washington Blvd., Detroit; 313-471-6611. $12 adults and $8 for children.
Curling for Smiles
Did you know you don't have to cross the Canadian border to participate in curling? Did you care? If you're one of the couch potatoes who only sees the sport because you're too lazy to change that cable-less TV from Channel 9, well, it's time to take a closer look at a sport that requires strategy and athleticism. Here is the perfect time to check out the misunderstood pastime: Curling for Smiles is a benefit for Operation Smile, an organization that provides reconstructive surgery and dental care to indigent children throughout the world. From 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Detroit Curling Club, 1615 Lewiston Ave., Ferndale; 248-544-0635. Space is limited.
When jazz went from swinging to rocking fusion-style in the '70s, some electric bassists went from holding the bottom of the music to wailing on the top; as much as anyone else onstage, they now commanded attention as soloists. Stanley Clarke was one of the new-style string-slappers, first with Return to Forever and then (and to this day) as a headliner, reputedly the first bassist to headline worldwide tours. His concert in the DTE Energy Smooth Jazz Series begins at 8 p.m. and is broadcast on WVMV-FM (98.7) as it unfolds on the Music Hall stage, at 350 Madison Ave., Detroit; 313-887-8501; $39.50-$62.
Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka
The musical version of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factor also known as Willy Wonka hits the east side this week. This version of the play features the tunes everyone knows ("The Candy Man," "I Want it Now!" and "Pure Imagination" not those "updated" tunes from the Johnny Depp film remake) as well as prizes and treats from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for the kids. Performances are 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts, 44575 Garfield Rd., Clinton Twp.; 586-286-2222.
Saturday and Sunday 3 and 4
33rd Annual Maple Breakfast and Festival
FUN FOR ALL
You don't have to hail from Nowheresville, Vt., or own the latest from the North Face winter collection to appreciate a good maple syrup tapping. The folks over at the Cranbrook Institute of Science see their annual Maple Breakfast and Festival not only as a fun activity for the whole family, but also as a way to teach kids about dendrology (the study of trees). That's the ticket: Manipulate those taste buds to spark an interest in the natural world! Breakfast seatings are at 9, 10 and 11 a.m., and festival activities commence at 1 p.m. At 39221 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Hills; 248-645-3200; science.cranbrook.edu.
The seasoned rock 'n' roll wonk might equate "Aqualung" with the doom-y Jethro Tull jam about the homeless, but today's music fan knows Aqualung as the baby-faced Brit with a flair for personal hygiene and melody. More akin to Chris Martin after a mani-pedi than to Ian Anderson in a broom skirt, Aqualung is adult contemporary in mod's clothing. His latest, Memory Man, takes direction from OK Computer, and though detractors call it stuffy, self-congratulatory, wanker rock there's something to be said for the guilty pleasure of British piano pop. At the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-544-3030.
Lisa McCall may not have experienced the heyday of Detroit’s Black Bottom neighborhood, but she’s researched it to the point of inviting old timers in to peek at her re-creation and help her shape it. McCall — who studied with the Alvin Ailey troupe and handles choreography for Aretha Franklin — has created her Blues Rhythm as an homage to Detroit’s black dance and music scenes of yore. The world knows about Harlem’s Cotton Club. McCall is giving some play to the kind of jumping jazz and R&B that was the mainstay for Detroit clubs like the Flame Showbar. Built around fresh arrangements of jazz standards, the revue features tap dancers, chorus lines, singers and a multi-star band led by Vaughn Klugh and including the likes of Marcus Belgrave, Dwight Adams and James Carter. A special dinner-preview Thursday, March 1, benefits B.A. Karmanos Breast Cancer Institute, the center treating McCall, herself a cancer survivor. Friday-Saturday-Sunday performances follow through April 8; doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. Call 313-587-2300 for more information. At Bert’s Warehouse Theatre, 2727 Russell, Detroit. See Metro Times’ cover story on McCall and her Musical.Eve Doster is the listings editor of Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected]