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First Things

April 2023

Something Funny
Bevy of comedians coming to Kalamazoo

Left: Chelsea Handler; Right: Nate Bargazte

If you like laughing until your stomach hurts, four comedy acts this month will bring you an opportunity to cackle like no one’s watching:

Bored Teachers, a viral TikTok sensation that brings much-needed relief and a sense of community to educators worldwide, is coming to the State Theatre at 7 p.m. April 13. This group of teachers talks about the daily struggles of managing a classroom and the hilarious stuff they hear every day. Tickets are $35–$55 and, as with other State Theatre shows, are available at or the box office.

Chelsea Handler, author of the best-selling book Life Will Be the Death of Me and star of comedy specials, will provide a retrospective look at her career as a comedian in two shows at the State Theatre, at 7:30 p.m. April 15 and 7 p.m. April 16. Tickets are $49.50–$99.50.

Joe Gatto, the improvisational comedian best known for his TV shows Impractical Jokers and The Misery Index, will perform at 7 p.m. April 21 at Miller Auditorium. Tickets are $39.75–$159.75 and available at or the box office.

Nate Bargazte, whose comedy tackles meaningless issues from day-to-day life, will perform two shows at the State Theatre on April 28. The 7 p.m. show is sold out, but tickets were still available for the 9:30 p.m. show at press time. Tickets are $39.75–$69.75

Something Jazzy
Snarky Puppy to perform

Four-time Grammy winner Snarky Puppy, a Texas-bred, New York-based jazz collective, will perform at 8 p.m. April 2 at the State Theatre.

Snarky Puppy offers a convergence of Black and white American music with hints of Japan, Argentina, Canada and the United Kingdom. The group has as many as 25 members in regular rotation. They will be joined by the opening act C4 Trio.

Tickets are $37.50–$57.50 and available at or the box office.

Something Delicious
Symposium looks at food and media

The annual Kalamazoo Foodways Symposium — aligning with the Kalamazoo Valley Museum’s media literacy exhibit, Wonder Media: Ask the Questions! — will explore how food and media intersect.

The events will include a presentation by food media expert Emily Contois at 6 p.m. April 10 at Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Food Innovation Center, 224 E. Crosstown Parkway, and an outdoor Foodways Festival from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. April 15 outside the center. The festival will feature lectures, workshops, demonstrations and food tastings.

The events are free. For information, visit

Something Superpowered
GR Comic Con lands in Kalamazoo

With celebrities, comic creators, cosplay and more, the Grand Rapids Comic Con Spring Fling is hitting the road and coming to the Kalamazoo County Expo Center April 14–15.

This comic book and popular arts convention will include appearances by stars from Star Trek DS9 and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, voice actors, and YouTube personalities. In addition, comic artists and creators such as Jim Steranko (Strange Tales, Nick Fury, Captain America, X-Men) and Scott Rosema (Space Ghost, Batman: The Animated Series) and Godzilla artist Yuji Kaida will be on hand.

The hours for the show are noon–7 p.m. April 14, 10 a.m.–7 p.m. April 15 and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. April 16. Daily tickets are $22–$29, or $5 for children ages 5–12. A three-day pass is $55. For more information, visit

Something Beautiful
Our Planet: Live in Concert at Miller

The Emmy Award-winning series Our Planet is now a live concert event set for 7 p.m. April 5 at Miller Auditorium.

New orchestration by Oscar-winning composer Steven Price will be performed live on stage while footage from the documentary series is shown, showcasing species, natural wonders and wildlife spectacles.

Tickets are $35–$40 and are available at or the box office.

Encore Magazine

Encore Magazine is Southwest Michigan’s Magazine, bringing readers intriguing images and stories of the good things, good works and great people of our corner of the mitten. Published 12 times a year, Encore in its fifth decade of serving Southwest Michigan, carrying on a historic tradition of being the premier lifestyle publication of the greater Kalamazoo area.

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