Night and Day 

Ann Arbor Film Festival Screening

The Ann Arbor Film Festival takes its 47th annual show on the road, conducting screenings at universities, galleries and art house cinemas across the country, including this stop in Detroit's Midtown. AAFF director Donald Harrison will be in attendance at the screening, which features seven short films by both local and international filmmakers, including the winner of the Best Michigan Film award, A City to Yourself, which examines the positives of living in postindustrial Detroit, and the winner of the Funniest Film award, Video Terraform Dance Party (we'll let the title speak for itself). The festival visit is held in conjunction with the exhibit Time, which explores works delivered in time (such as films, see the connection?) and includes pieces by artists such as Frank Pahl, Elona Van Gent and Jim Nawara, as well as the Mindstream Animation Station, which allows visitors to create their own stop-motion animation. Groovy! From 7 to 9 p.m. at Work • Detroit, 3663 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-593-0940. Another screening event takes place on Nov. 17, featuring films from and about Palestine; see for info.

Sones de México

This Chicago-based musical ensemble preserves the tradition of Mexican folk music known as son, a term that encompasses a wide array of regional songs and dances. The group performs original arrangements of traditional tunes, but also invigorates and experiments with the form, producing son-inspired versions of everything from Led Zeppelin songs to Bach concertos. Their energetic live shows re-create the atmosphere of a Mexican fandango, an all-night son party, and features music of more than 25 instruments including such traditional implements as the lower jawbone of a donkey. (Who knew?) At their Detroit performance, Sones de México performs with the Michigan State University's Graduate Brass Quintet in a folk-meets-classical mash-up. At 7 p.m. at St. Gabriel Church, 8118 W. Vernor Hwy., Detroit. The $10 entry fee benefits Compás Center of Music and Performing Arts and St. Gabriel. The group is also hosting a free educational workshop at 4 p.m. at Compás, 8701 W. Vernor Hwy., Detroit. Info on both at 313-554-0791.

Figures and Spaces

Figures and Spaces showcases two contrasting series of figure paintings by locally based artist Nora Venturelli. In Vice Versa, Venturelli transformed a series of charcoal drawings into acrylic paintings, each depicting multiple figures whose limbs and bodies intertwine and overlap. The rapid composition of the paintings imbues them with an immediacy and vibrancy, as though the bodies are about to leap into motion. In contrast, the Spaces series highlights a more subdued version of Venturelli's process. The paintings, while still of figures, are less energetic and more contemplative, less chaotic and more pre-meditated. Figures and Spaces opens with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Washington Street Gallery, 306 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-761-2287; on display through Dec. 6.

A Midsummer Night's Dream

One of Shakespeare's most popular and oft-performed plays, A Midsummer Night's Dream is a lighthearted romantic comedy that blurs the line between fantasy and reality. In an Athenian forest, forbidden lovers, quarreling fairies and a group of slow-witted laborers all become the foils of the mischievous imp Puck and his magical love potion. Before the night's over, a laborer is given the head of a donkey, the fairy queen falls in love with him, and the humans' love triangle becomes a giant knot. But by morning, everyone is blessed with a happy ending, and the lovers are allowed to marry. Huzzah! Performances at 8 p.m. Friday and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday at the Hilberry Theatre, 4743 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-577-2972; the play continues in rotation through Jan. 29; visit for show dates.

Lac La Belle

The trio formerly known as Jennie & the Sure Shots celebrates the release of its eponymous debut with two shows — one for "city chickens" and one for "country bumpkins." The contrasting shows are appropriate for a band with urban roots whose tunes draw on the Americana tradition — from trad folk to western swing and honky-tonk. Composed of three of the area's most versatile and accomplished musicians — vocalist Jennie Knaggs, guitar and banjo player Nick Schillace and bassist Joel Peterson — Lac La Belle seamlessly melds instrumental traditionals with originals that run the gamut from serene ballads to thigh-slapping, boot-tapping numbers. The party kicks off Friday at 8 p.m. at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, 4454 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-6622; all ages; with the Sugarcoats; continues Saturday with two sets beginning at 10 p.m. at the Yes Farm, 3410 Farnsworth St., Detroit.

Work and Tumble

It seems every month a new art show takes over Hamtramck's Design 99, and November's no exception. The new exhibit, Work and Tumble, features work from 12 local artists, among them a clutch of pretty well-known people in the local art scene, including Scott Hocking, Kristin Beaver, Scott Northrup and Ben Hernandez. Curated by Nina Bianchi and zinester Steve Hughes, it's no surprise the show's centerpiece is a photocopier. Sure, they'll have your typical "art that hangs" for sale, but copier jockeys Bianchi and Hughes will happily photocopy the art for you for a measly dollar. What a scheme! (It's like printing money.) The opening (free beer!) goes from 7 to 10 p.m. at Design 99, 3309 Caniff, Hamtramck; 313-576-6941; The show will be up through Nov. 28, open for viewing 1-5 p.m. Saturdays.

Night of 1,000 Lurches

That Oct. 31 has come and gone doesn't mean the Halloween madness must stop. And leave it to the folks at Small's to devise one more kitschy celebration — a rock 'n' roll costume party honoring the lumbering and taciturn Addam's family butler, Lurch. The 3-D Invisibles will perform their signature brand of monster movie-inspired surf punk, while the devilish dames of Hell's Belle's Burlesque will shimmy and sashay their way into the hearts of even the most sluggish Lurches present. By 2 a.m., everybody should be doing the Lurch! At 8 p.m. at Small's, 10339 Conant, Hamtramck; 313-873-1117; $8, $5 if you come dressed as Lurch.

CD Release Party: Duet at Kerrytown

The musical conversation between saxophonist Donald Walden and pianist Kenn Cox lasted more than 40 years before their voices were stilled in 2008. It was a conversation "full of understanding, recollection, nuance, blues, fire and life," their latter-day collaborator Marion Hayden writes in the liner notes to Duet at Kerrytown, an amazing snippet of that conversation captured on tape in 1994 and now being released. Proceeds from the disc and Sunday's record release event go to a scholarship for deserving young musicians named for Walden and Cox. And while the disc is heavy on Monk and other jazz standards, Hayden's seven-piece Detroit Legacy Ensemble will play more music by Walden and Cox proper. The $25 admission includes a copy of the record; other sponsorship and scholarship support packages are available (call 734-845-1143). From 4 to 7 p.m. at Cliff Bell's, 2030 Park Ave.; 313-961-2543.

Numero's Eccentric Soul Revue

Funk Night disciples may not recognize the names, but the deep soul cuts they've been grooving to come from the likes of the acts featured in Numero's Eccentric Soul Revue. A revival of the '60s and '70s soul revues hosted by labels such as Motown and Stax, the show features soul legend and one-time Al Green label mate Syl Johnson, along with the Notations, Renaldo Domino and special appearances by locals Bobby Cook and Velma Perkins. All acts are backed by JC Brooks & the Uptown Sounds, a soul-stirring Chicago outfit. The whole shebang is happening thanks to the Numero Group, an incredible but undersung archival label specializing in shedding light on deserving musical obscurities. Trip back to the heyday of earth-shaking, heart-quaking soul and R&B at the Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac; 248-858-9333; tickets are $20 general admission and $30 reserved seating.

Shaolin Warriors

China's renowned Kung Fu experts demonstrate the 1,500-year-old marital art in a choreographed show featuring all the high-flying kicks, midair spins and sword fights we Westerners would expect of a Kung Fu show. But the Shaolin Warriors do more than demonstrate the deadly fighting moves that many view as the entirety of Kung Fu. Instead, by re-creating a typical "day-in-the-life" of the warriors, the show depicts the dedication, discipline and devotion that practicing Kung Fu requires, as well as the philosophy that underpins this lethal (and totally badass) art form. The Shaolin Warriors perform at 4 p.m. at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts, 44575 Garfield Rd. Clinton Twp., 586-286-2222; $17-$52.

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More by Megan O'Neil

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