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First Things – March 2023

Something Harmonious

Indigo Girls coming to State Theatre

The Indigo Girls, the Grammy-winning folk-rock duo of Emily Saliers and Amy Ray, will perform at 7:30 p.m. March 24 at the State Theatre.

The duo, known for such hits as “Closer to Fine,” “Galileo” and “Shame on You,” have been performing together since 1980, when they were college students. They are touring to promote their 16th album, Long Look.

Tickets are $35–$55 and are available at

Something Real

May Erlewine to perform at Bell’s

Prolific and passionate Michigan singer/songwriter May Erlewine will perform at 7 p.m. March 11 in the Backroom at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave.

Erlewine is touring to support her latest album, The Real Thing, a collection of songs performed live in a room deep in the Manistee National Forest. Erlewine will perform with Theo Katzman on drums, Packy Lundholm on guitars, Joel Gottschalk on bass and Dave Mackay on keys.

Tickets are $23 and available at and Bell’s General Store next to the cafe.

Something Magical

Lake, Zabin to make magic this month

Rob Lake, named “The World’s Greatest Illusionist” by NBC, will perform at 7:30 p.m. March 4 at Miller Auditorium. When Lake received The Merlin Award in 2008, he was the youngest magician in history to receive the industry’s highest honor. Tickets for Lake’s show are $28–$48 and available at

If you like illusions and sleight of hand, two magic performances this month will give you a chance to suspend your disbelief.

Ben Zabin

The marijuana-themed show Smokus Pocus: A 420 Magic Show, is what magician Ben Zabin has in store for his 7 p.m. March 17 performance at Dormouse Theatre, 1030 Portage Road. Zabin has performed more than 1,000 shows across the globe, is a consultant for magic productions and is the author of two books about magic.

Tickets are $30 and can be purchased at

Something Domestic

Expo to highlight home and garden

All things home and garden, from new building and landscaping trends to products and ideas, will be featured March 10–12 at the Kalamazoo County Expo Center, 2900 Lake St.

The Kalamazoo Home & Garden Expo, sponsored by the Homebuilders Association of West Michigan, will include exhibits by nearly 300 vendors.

The expo runs from noon–8 p.m. March 10, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. March 11, and 11 a.m.–4 p.m. March 12. Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door. Children ages 12 and younger are admitted for free.

For information on where to purchase tickets or for more about the expo, visit

Something Musical

Fretboard Festival returns

The 18th annual celebration of Kalamazoo’s stringed-instrument legacy and musical heritage will be held March 3–4 in downtown Kalamazoo.

The free Fretboard Festival, at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum and Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Anna Whitten Hall, will feature instrument designers, workshops for a variety of stringed instruments, and live musical performances.

The festival runs from 5:30–9 p.m. March 3 and 9:30 a.m.–7 p.m. March 4.

The first day will feature a performance of Middle Eastern music by the Bahar Ensemble and a presentation titled “The History of the Oud” by Beau Bothwell. The oud is a Persian short-necked stringed instrument.

The second day of the festival will feature workshops, vendors, and performances by Joel Mabus, Dave Johnson, the Crossroads Blues Band and others.

Both in-person and virtual attendance are options. For more information, visit

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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