Oct. 23-29, 2002

23 WED • MUSIC Michael Daugherty An Ann Arbor’s composer on the verge of a breakthrough, Michael Daugherty brings the scintillating University of Michigan Contemporary Directions Ensemble to the DIA tonight for the opening of the 2002-2003 Pro Musica of Detroit season. The program ("American Icons: The Chamber Music of Michael Daugherty") includes not only the compositions of this irrepressibly populist musician, but also the composer’s own running commentary on the works, further illustrated by a slide show — not your everyday concert, to be sure. A highlight of the evening is "Jackie’s Song," Daugherty’s devastating tone poem to JFK’s widow, featuring the excellent and soulful Christopher Wild on cello. The ensemble, conducted by Jonathan Shames, also spotlights oboe soloist Nancy Ambrose King and soprano Phyllis Major. Tickets are $35 for the 8 p.m. performance in the Detroit Institute of Arts auditorium, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Call the DIA box office at 313-833-4005 for more information.

24 THU • MUSIC Saturday Looks Good to Me Fred Thomas deserves some sort of award. As songwriter for Saturday Looks Good to Me, he creates heartbreakingly gorgeous pop songs that gently recall everything from classic Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys to modern Belle and Sebastian. Thomas is worthy of accolades not only for his music, but also because he so successfully rebels against the seemingly ubiquitous modern trend of ruining everything lovely and nostalgic with gobs of clumsy, heavy-handed irony. His songs, whether jangly and joyous or wistful and dreamily romantic, are suffused with a rare and refreshing sincerity. Recruiting talented pals from bands such as Godzuki, His Name Is Alive, and his own Flashpapr to assist in the delivery, their live shows are the stuff of indie-rock legend. At St. Andrew's Hall 431 E. Congress, Detroit; call 313-961-MELT for further lowdown.

25 FRI • PERFORMANCE Night of the Living SPAGPasties, glitter and gore — join the infamous Detroit burlesque troupe SPAG for its annual Halloween show, featuring the lovely tassel-twirling SPAGettes and the musical stylings of DJ SPAG. (Full editorial disclosure: Metro Times staff writer Sarah Klein is a member of the outfit). One of the nation's only punk-rock burlesque troupes, SPAG puts a modern, edgy spin on the classic burlesque routines of the 1950s. Get $2 off admission if you’re dressed in costume. At Alvin's, 5756 Cass Ave., Detroit; call 313-831-4577

25 FRI • THEATER No Place to Be Somebody This Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Charles Gordone is a finger on the pulse of 1970’s black America. As an expose of the African-American quest to find his or her place in society, this so-called "dark, dark comedy" is guileless in its reconciliation of civil rights and racial fears. Though written more than 30 years ago, the theme is timeless. Experience the power at the Bonstelle Theater (3424 Woodward Avenue) on the campus of Wayne State University. Show dates are Oct. 25-27 and Nov. 1-3; call 313-577-2960 for information.

25-26 FRI-SAT • MUSIC Richard Davis with the Spencer Barefield QuartetDavis’ jazz work in the rather obscure Booker Ervin quartet alone would be grist for a couple thousand words’ exploration. Not to mention gigs with big names from Goodman to Dolphy, Morrison to Springsteen, and Stravinsky to Bernstein. The sublime bassist’s collaborations with innovative Detroit guitarist Spencer Barefield go back two decades and continue this weekend at the Harlequin, 8047 Agnes, just east of Van Dyke, Detroit. Call 313-331-0922. To attend a free student workshop from 3-5 p.m. Saturday, pre-register at 313-891-2514.

26 SAT • FUN FOR ALL The Haunted Tube One part haunted house, one part performance art, this annual event has wormed its way back to Detroit. The dark and ominous maze, erected so that participants must crawl through to enjoy its contents, has taken audience participation to a new level. Complete with the "unqualified zombie nurse surgery" and the "werewolf who thought he was G.G. Allin" this unique tradition has been shown all over the world, including a mainstay at the Hieronymus Bosch exhibition in Rotterdam, Holland. Test the punk rock-waters with special performances from the Piranhas, Heart & Hand and Maersk. At CPOP Gallery 4160 Woodward, Detroit; call 313-833-9901 for further details.

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