Preview: POP·X

PREVIEW VISUAL ART


POP•X pavilions have popped up in Liberty Plaza / Photo by Tom Smith (CC-by-NC)

Art is popping up at Liberty Plaza that aims to expand the reach of creativity in our community. The 2015 inaugural POP•X Festival, organized by the Ann Arbor Art Center, will run from Thursday, October 15 through Saturday, October 24, 2015. This 10 day visual arts festival will include nine 10’ x 10’ structures or “pavilions,” which will each house a collection of works focused around various central themes. The work in each pavilion is created by one artist or a collaboration of artists. Artists will be on site throughout the event and many will be facilitating interactive activities.

Here are the artists and clues to what you’ll find inside their pavilions:

This event is packed full of art opportunities for the whole family. Stop by anytime on Thursday, October 15 to paint a butterfly with artist Chazz Miller. Then watch for these butterflies to appear around town. Other events throughout the 10 day festival will include Pop-Up Theater, Art for Innovators (a lunchtime discussion series at AADL), Back to the Future Day, Nerd Nite artist talks, live music (daily from 5–7pm), Family Drop-In: Cardboard Challenge, and special activities geared particularly towards kids. And, sign up to participate in one of the Pop-Up Picnics on Sunday, October 18 with local “celebrity” mystery guests and conversation cues provided by CivCity.You can see the whole lineup on the POP•X calendar.


Anne Drozd is a Production Librarian at the Ann Arbor District Library.


POP·X runs Thursday, October 15 – Saturday October 24, 2015 from 10am to 8pm at Liberty Plaza Park, 255 East Liberty St., Ann Arbor. To learn more visit popxannarbor.com or the POP•X Facebook event page. POP•X is free and open to the public.

Preview: John Luther Adams and Become Ocean

PREVIEW MUSIC


Composer John Luther Adams

Composer John Luther Adams visits Ann Arbor this week. Born in Mississippi and living in Alaska, Adams' compositions are heavily rooted in the natural world and unusually evocative of environmental sounds. His orchestral work Become Ocean, commissioned by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, was awarded the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for music and won a Grammy in 2015.

Adams will give the Penny Stamps Lecture this Thursday at 5 pm at the Michigan Theatre, and will then attend the University Symphony's 8 pm concert, including a performance of Become Ocean at Hill Auditorium. Both events are free and open to the public. YouTube commenters describe Become Ocean as "Simply Beautiful," "Basically a giant pentatonic scale," and "way to long" (sic). But you don't have to take it from them! Make time for this enveloping, critically-acclaimed, and unparalleled work that is best experienced in a great hall with a great orchestra.


Eli Neiburger is Deputy Director of the Ann Arbor District Library.


John Luther Adams delivers his Penny Stamps Lecture at the Michigan Theatre on Thursday, October 15 at 5 pm. The University Sympony's performance follows this event at 8 pm at Hill Auditorium. Admission is free to both events.

Preview: American Idiot, U-M Department of Musical Theater

PREVIEW THEATER & DANCE MUSIC


Nora Schell as Whatshername, Barrett Riggins as St. Jimmy, and James Kilmeade as Johhny in American Idiot at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre

The University of Michigan’s Department of Musical Theater presents Green Day's American Idiot with lyrics by Green Day member Billie Joe Armstrong based on a book by Armstrong and film director Michael Mayer.

Directed by U-M Associate Professor of Musical Theater Linda Goodrich, with music direction by Assistant Professor of Music, Jason DeBord, this 2010 Tony Award-winning sung-through stage adaptation of the band’s 2004 multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning punk rock opera of the same name is a searing concept album-cum-stage musical indictment of post 9/11 American political culture as witnessed by three lifelong friends - Johnny, Will, and Tunny - grappling with meaningless war and disaffected social malaise before each embarks on a roller-coaster ride of self-discovery.

The New York Times’ Charles Isherwood called American Idiot a “thrillingly raucous and gorgeously wrought Broadway musical …. [jolting] you back to [a] dizzying roller coaster of young adulthood; that turbulent time when ecstasy and misery almost seem interchangeable states, flip sides of the coin of exaltation.”


Amy Cantú is a Production Librarian at the Ann Arbor District Library.


Performances will be at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre, October 15-25. For tickets and additional information visit the School of Music, Theater, and Dance website.

Preview: Bonnie & Clyde, Encore Musical Theatre Company

PREVIEW THEATER & DANCE


Mahalia Greenway and Adam Woolsey are Bonnie & Clyde at the Encore Musical Theatre Company / Michele Anliker Photography

Bonnie & Clyde opened the Dexter-based Encore Musical Theatre Company’s eighth season on Friday, October 2, and will continue through October 25.

The musical follows star-crossed lovers, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, as they fall in love, rob banks, and kill a few people on their way to notoriety in Depression-era Texas. Frank Wildhorn’s compelling score - a mix of rollicking gospel, blues, and ballads - accompanies the outlaws’ reckless thrill-ride.

The musical Bonnie & Clyde has a special connection to Encore’s co-founder, Dan Cooney, one of the original cast members of the Broadway production. Director Ron Baumanis, and music director Tyler Driskill, reprise their work following Ann Arbor Civic Theater’s excellent Bonnie & Clyde production last year. This time around they’re accompanied by Wilde Award Winner Mahalia Greenway (Bonnie) and American Idol contestant Adam Woolsey (Clyde), with Peter Crist (Buck Barrow) and Elizabeth Jaffe (Blanche Barrow).


Amy Cantú is a Production Librarian at the Ann Arbor District Library.


Bonnie & Clyde runs through Sunday, October 25. For tickets, call The Encore Theatre Box Office at 734.268.6200 or visit the website.

Preview: Casting Session, Purple Rose Theatre

PREVIEW THEATER & DANCE


David Daoust and Tom Whalen star in Casting Session at the Purple Rose Theatre Company / Sean Carter Photography

It is hard to believe, but true. Purple Rose Theatre Company in Chelsea is 25 years old.

The Theatre began in 1991 and its inaugural season included a play called Shoe Man by a new playwright: Purple Rose’s famous founder Jeff Daniels. The play won The Detroit News’ Best New Play Award; Purple Rose went on to become a leader in American regional theater and Jeff Daniels continued to write many more plays that premiered at the Chelsea theatre.

Local audiences should be excited! To celebrate its silver anniversary, Purple Rose kicks off its season with a brand new Jeff Daniels world-premiere comedy. Casting Session takes place in the world of professional theatre, as middle-aged rival actors Frank (Tom Whalen) and Ron (David Daoust) hilariously compete for the same New York City roles.

The play, directed by Guy Sanville, explores the humorous lengths actors will go to to get a part. Erika Matchie Thiede, a past Purple Rose apprentice who is making her professional debut in this production, rounds out the talented cast.


Tim Grimes is manager of Community Relations & Marketing at the Ann Arbor District Library and co-founder of Redbud Productions.


Casting Session performances run Wednesday - ­Sunday, through December 19. For information, visit www.purplerosetheatre.org or call 734-433-7673. Purple Rose Theatre Company is located at 137 Park Street in Chelsea.

Preview: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Performance Network

PREVIEW THEATER & DANCE


John Seibert and Sandra Birch star in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at the Performance Network

George and Martha, the battle-weary duo made famous by Richard Burton and Liz Taylor in Mike Nichol’s classic Oscar-winning film, pay a month-long visit to Ann Arbor as Performance Network Theatre opens its season with Edward Albee’s Tony-winning play Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? This fascinatingly intelligent play, which also won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, will be directed by Suzi Regan.

Reviewing the 1962 premiere, the New York Times stated "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is possessed by raging demons. It is punctuated by comedy, and its laughter is shot through with savage irony.” Performance Network Executive Director John Manfredi states, “It’s a perfect start to our season. The dialogue, the games, the wit­ it’s writing at its best.”

Network veterans John Seibert and Sandra Birch play the disenchanted college professor and his unhappy wife who plan an intimate evening of cocktails, fun, and games with a naïve new couple on campus (Nick Yocum and Victoria Walters Gilbert). What begins with witty wordplay ends with a climax that still shocks modern audiences.


Tim Grimes is manager of Community Relations & Marketing at the Ann Arbor District Library and co-founder of Redbud Productions.


Performances of ​Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? ​run Thursday - ­Sunday, October 1­ - November 1, with previews October 1­-8 and Opening Night on Friday, October 9. For information, visit www.pntheatre.org ​ or call 734-­663-­0681. Performance Network Theatre is located at 120 E Huron St in Ann Arbor.

Preview: Antigone, University Musical Society

PREVIEW THEATER & DANCE


Juliette Binoche in Anne Carson's new translation of Antigone at the Power Center / Jan Versweyveld

This upcoming weekend, the University Musical Society (UMS) presents Antigone, starring Academy Award-winning actress Juliette Binoche in a contemporary version of Sophokles’ timeless tragedy of familial love caught in conflict with political obligation.

Directed by Ivo van Hove and translated by Canadian poet Anne Carson--a former U-M professor of classics and comparative literature (as well as MacArthur “Genius” grant winner)--this modern adaptation tells the story of a young woman, Antigone, who defies her uncle Creon, head of state in Thebes, when he refuses her brother burial on the grounds that he is a traitor.

In his review in the New York Times, theater reviewer Ben Brantley notes, “Ms. Binoche glows with the fever of fanatical, fixed purpose. She brings to mind the great Maria Falconetti in Carl Dreyer’s silent Passion of Joan of Arc, a film Ms. Binoche has cited as a major influence on her acting.” Check out a copy of Antigone.


Amy Cantú is a Production Librarian at the Ann Arbor District Library.


Antigone runs Wednesday, October 14 - Saturday October 17, 2015 at The Power Center, 121 Fletcher St., Ann Arbor. Learn more and purchase tickets online.

Preview: All My Sons, U-M Department of Theatre & Drama

PREVIEW THEATER & DANCE


All My Sons at the University of Michigan Department of Theatre & Drama

In honor of Arthur Miller’s centenary and the University of Michigan Department of Theatre & Drama’s 100th Anniversary, director Wendy C. Goldberg and other alumni of the Department of Theatre & Drama will present All My Sons, Miller’s first major success after graduating from U-M, a Tony Award-winner for Best Author, and winner of the 1947 Drama Critics Award for Best Play.

The New York Times called it “the most talented work by a new author in some time….To judge by the intellectual content and the dramatic workmanship of “All My Sons," Mr. Miller is here to stay….”

Like Death of a Salesman written two years later, the story follows a flawed everyman wrestling with the American Dream: Joe Keller is a successful businessman who may have knowingly sold faulty cylinder heads for aircraft engines in World War II that caused the deaths of 21 pilots. The play takes place over the course of a weekend three and a half years later when his youngest son, Chris, hopes to marry his deceased older brother's fiancee, Ann, the daughter of Keller's best friend Steve (his partner who was jailed for the crime).

The University of Michigan Department of Theatre & Drama will also present the Arthur Miller Symposium, a series of free talks and panel discussions occurring October 14-16. They include: “Miller into the Future” (7pm, October 14, Stamps Auditorium); “Miller as Touchstone” (4:30pm, October 15, Arthur Miller Theater); and “Miller in Production” (6:30pm, October 16, Stamps Auditorium).


Amy Cantú is a Production Librarian at the Ann Arbor District Library.


Performances of All My Sons run October 10-11, and 15-18, in the Arthur Miller Theatre on U-M’s North Campus. For tickets call (734) 764-2538 or purchase online.