January 25, 2017: Your Arts and Culture Adventure Picks
It is high time for some extremely immersive art! The world is complicated. It’s cold outside. The holidays are over, and that means no more presents. Thoughtfully choose your distractions from reality, and support the expression of diverse voices by attending one (or all) of these events!
Slipstream Theatre | Now – Sunday
The Bard isn’t all about ruffled collars and the use of the words “stock-fish” as an insult. The stories and
characters remain truthful. Slipstream Theatre in Ferndale places the Capulets and Montagues in the middle of a contentious election. A billionaire business man is running against a former First Lady and Secretary of State. When their daughters fall in love, the drama of politics and romance heighten to a tragic end (or comedic, depending on how you categorize R+J). This show is closes Sunday, so move festinately!
In the Heights with music & lyrics by Lin Manuel-Miranda is…Oh. Do I have to keep going? Long before the days of Hamilton, this Broadway musical was the latest sensation and won the Tony for Best Musical in 2008. This bi-lingual masterpiece follows a tight-knit community in Washington Heights when someone wins the lottery. Watch what happens near home with local artists. The Latin hip-hop music is unforgettable and is being performed in Royal Oak by Stagecrafters.
Detroit Repertory Theatre | Now – March 12
Founded in 1957, the Detroit Repertory Theatre is the cornerstone for theater in Detroit, Michigan. If you have yet to see one of their productions, you are missing out a major part of Michigan’s culture. Firepower by Kermit Frazier follows a City Councilman’s complex family that harbors one big secret. The Detroit Free Press says, “Ultimately it delivers an empowering message[…] Figure out your skill, your firepower, and use it to make yourself, your family and your community better.” Watch the story unfold with this historic Detroit theater now through March.
RV Mendoza | February 4
Everyone could use a little fun and spend the night at the “disco pop performance and DANCE PARTY” with RV Mendoza at The Old Miami in Detroit. I messaged RV on his (highly entertaining). He told me, “Winter is really hard on me. I imagine it gets tough for other people too. I wanted to create a night where we can escape the bitterness and thrive rather than survive! LGBTQ+ are very welcome.” This show is one night only on February 4th!
An interview-based play blurs the lines between the stage and reality. Some of my most formative theater memories are reading The Laramie Project for the first time and seeing You Better Sit Down at the Williamston Theatre Festival. I am incredibly excited to see Beyond Sacred: Voices of Muslim Identity. This performance captures amazing stories of coming-of-age Muslim Americans post 9/11. I often find the medium in which it will be delivered to be highly effective for gaining understanding of a complex narrative. Don’t miss out on this one! UMS brings this production to Ann Arbor on (and only on) February 18.
I’m a “theater kid” at heart forever, so it is the primary focus (but I threw in a dance party to keep it fresh). Go out there! Enjoy the experience of art! What events are making you excited in Southeast Michigan? Let UMS know by leaving a comment, or send me a link on
Photos courtesy of artists and performance spaces.
Marissa Conniff is a UMS Blogging Fellow. Learn more about the blogging fellows program.