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Hay Fever
Noel Coward's 1925 comedy of manners takes place on the country estate of the Bohemian Bliss family. At center stage is Judith Bliss, the mother and retired actress who takes every opportunity to live life as theatrically as possible. She, her novelist husband and two grown children, each invite a guest to the house for the weekend. Close quarters soon lead to farcical romantic entanglements; the Bliss family dishes out some pitch-perfect saucy banter; and the guests eventually flee the scene, while the Bliss family carries on, too self-absorbed to notice. The high-class high jinks take place at 2 p.m. Wednesdays and at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays at the Hilberry Theatre, 4743 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-577-2972; $10-$30; runs in rotating repertory through Dec. 4.

A Celebration of Books in the Market
The Wayne State University Press presents its annual fall fundraiser, a shindig in Eastern Market that celebrates the literary and local. The event includes a strolling supper, a marketplace featuring the press' fall titles and perennial faves, mini-tours of the market led by Inside Detroit, and a discussion on sustainability and community building in Detroit featuring MT columnist Jack Lessenberry and John Gallagher, author of Reimagining Detroit: Opportunities for Redefining an American City. VIP tickets also include a copy of Gallagher's book and a Champagne reception from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The main event begins at 6:30 p.m. in Eastern Market's Shed 3 in downtown Detroit; tickets are $25; visit

The Missing Project: Pieces of the D
Through poetry, live art and music, The Missing Project explores the lost places of Detroit — from the old Sanders counter to Tiger Stadium — and the consequences of such losses for both the city and its people. Spearheaded by renowned poet and literary activist jessica Care moore, the work will feature moore's poetry accompanied by music and live art by graffiti artist Antonio "Shades" Agee. Not just an exercise in nostalgia, The Missing Project demonstrates how art serves as a repository for cultural memories — and as a way to provide hope for the present while preserving the past. At 7 p.m. at Wayne State University, General Lectures Building, Rm. 150, 5045 Anthony Wayne Dr., Detroit; 313-577-2424.

Paul Taylor Dance Company
Paul Taylor presented his first choreographed dance in 1956, a modest performance featuring only five other dancers that launched the career of a man now hailed as one of the creators of American dance. To celebrate Taylor's 80th birthday, his eponymous ensemble performs three mixed repertory performances showcasing his prodigious body of work — dances which have been praised for their sheer aesthetic beauty, athletic power and fearless representation of controversial issues, from sexuality and spirituality to mortality and morality. The internationally renowned company performs at 8 p.m. each night, with a special one-hour family performance at 1 p.m. Saturday, at the Power Center, 121 Fletcher St., Ann Arbor; contact 734-764-2538 or; tickets start at $18. 

The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance brings its season to an ambitious start with Pentecost, an award-winning and critically acclaimed work by British playwright Dave Edgars. Set in a church in post-Soviet Eastern Europe, an international group of curators and art historians squabble over a recently uncovered fresco on the church wall. But the dispute is interrupted by a band of refugees who invade the church and take the historians hostage. The result is not only suspense — will the hostages be released? will the fresco survive? — but a thought-provoking dissertation on the true value of art, the need for a global community and the barriers to creating such a community. Pentecost takes place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Arthur Miller Theatre, 1226 Murfin Ave., Ann Arbor; 734-764-2538; $25, $10 students; further productions Oct. 14-17. On Friday, a post-performance discussion will take place featuring director Malcolm Tulip and members of the cast.

Free Association
Free Association features assemblages, collages and sculptures by three metro Detroit artists, all of whom use found objects to create their inventive pieces. Included are the odd and richly imagined pop art-inspired collages of Anita Andersons; a series of fantastical and whimsical bird houses created from cans, boxes and assorted objects by Mark Mardirosian; and a number of sculptures and assemblages by Catherine Peet that combine wood elements, found objects and painting, and reference medieval bestiaries, allegories and Hieronymus Bosch. Heavy! Opens with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Paint Creek Center for the Arts, 407 Pine St., Rochester; 248-651-4110; displays through Nov. 6.

Hallowe'en in Greenfield Village
This annual October event provides mildly spooky fun for the whole family. Paths lit by hand-carved jack o' lanterns lead tykes and their adult handlers to 11 treat stations throughout the village, while ghouls, witches and even the headless horseman make appearances. Experience All Hallow's Eve the old-fashioned way weekends through Oct. 24 at the Henry Ford, 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn; 313-982-6001; $12.75-$15; costumes optional. For adults who want to experience vintage frights without kids in tow, a special Hallowe'en dinner, complete with games, music and a nighttime stroll through the village, is offered at the village's Eagle Tavern Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 23.

N'Namdi Center Grand Opening
Nine years ago, MT profiled gallery visionary George N'Namdi under the headline "N'Namdi's biggest gamble: Turning the marketing of art into crazy wisdom." The article went on to describe "the new odds-defying project he's proposing for Detroit's Cultural Center," with multiple gallery spaces, eateries, bookstores and more. At long last, the N'Namdi Center for Contemporary Art has its grand opening this weekend, with theatrical performances, music, artist panels, lectures and book signings. Exhibits of the N'Namdi collection and painter Najjar Abdul-Musawwir are on display. Saturday's all-night party features performances by bands, DJs, tenor George Shirley, short films and spoken word artist jessica Care moore. At 52 E. Forest Ave., Detroit; 313-831-8700;

Billy Cobham
We can confess to once having cringed listening to Billy Cobham, not because there was anything wrong with his playing — far from it — but we feared that his poor bandmates would crumple rather than match his energy level when they rejoined him after a thundering break. They, in fact, rose to the occasion — he knows how to hire and inspire the best — rather than punk out next to one of the inventors of high-voltage fusion, a guy who worked with Miles Davis (the shoulda-set-the-world-on-fire disc Jack Johnson) and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, and who's kept his finger in the electric socket ever since. Shows at 7 and 10 p.m. at the Jazz Café at Music Hall, 350 Madison Ave., Detroit; 313-887-8500; $30 in advance or $40 door.

Zombie Walk Detroit
Zombie Walk Detroit commemorates the third annual World Zombie Day, satisfying people's perverse desire to playact as the living dead while supporting Gleaners Community Food Bank. The rank undead should collect pledges prior to the walk; Gleaners will also be on-hand at the event to collect canned good donations. Zombies are expected to stay in character throughout the walk — you know, shuffle, grunt and moan about brains — and a designated bleeding area will be provided for those looking to get extra gory (spectators, aka fresh brains, are asked to keep theirs living asses to the sidelines). Registration begins at 3 p.m. at the corner of Beaubien and E. Lafayette in downtown Detroit; info at Food donations can also be made prior to the event at Adornment Deluxe in Berkley and City Club in Detroit.

Cotton Jones
As Cotton Jones, Michael Nau and Whitney McGraw abandon the bubbly folk-pop of their former outfit Page France for a sound that combines contemporary lo-fi dreaminess with a hodgepodge of retro influences — Johnny Cash country, '60s pop, psychedelic folk. The result is songs that are richly textured despite their stripped down quality, with lovely melodies, evocative imagery and the voices of Jones and Nau creating mesmerizing harmonies. The group performs in support of its sophomore LP, Tall Hours in the Glowstream, at 9 p.m. at the Majestic Café, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700; $8 advance, $10 day of; with Pepper Rabbit.

Terror Tease
The Detroit Dizzy Dames' latest show mixes terror with titillation, but it isn't (just) about scantily clad costumes — it's about spine-tingling Halloween-themed burlesque and a variety of chill-inducing entertainments, from comedy and singing to dancing and fire acts. The show will also feature special performances by frightfully foxy burlesque out-of-towners Sweet Lilly Bee and Bella Sin. The chills and thrills commence at 9 p.m. at Cliff Bell's, 2030 Park Ave., Detroit; 313-961-2543; $10; costumes encouraged. Immediately preceding the show, a Dr. Sketchy's session featuring the guest performers will take place from 5-9 p.m. The cost is $5 and doodlers get into the Dames' show for half-off.

Two Man Gentlemen Band
Dressed in impeccable suits and top hats, the Two Man Gentleman Band creates an updated vaudevillian spectacle, performing foot-stomping sing-alongs with the showmanship of traveling salesmen hawking cure-all tonics. The duo of Andy Bean and Fuller Condon spent two years as street performers in New York City, crafting their anachronistic personas and clever old-timey odes to everything from William Taft to the Hindenburg disaster. The duo's on tour in support of its sixth and self-proclaimed finest disc, ¡Dos Amigos Una Fiesta!, a 19th century-style party album which includes everything from raucous tunes about boy-girl parties and wine to a cautionary gospel-stomp about President Franklin Pierce. The duo performs two sets Tuesday at the Painted Lady, 2930 Jacob St., Hamtramck; 313-871-2991; and Wednesday at Live and Gracie's, 102 S. First St., Ann Arbor; 734-623-1443.

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