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The Arts

November 2023

Theater

Playhouse Creatures

Nov. 2–5
Festival Playhouse

Kalamazoo College’s Festival Playhouse provides a moving and often comic account of a historic time in English history when theater was making a comeback after 17 years of suppression and when the first English actresses appeared on stage.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Nov. 2–4 and 2 p.m. Nov. 5 at Nelda K. Balch Playhouse, 129 Thompson St. Tickets cost $25. For more information or to buy tickets, visit festivalplayhouse.kzoo.edu.

Barbecue
The Sound of Music

Kalamazoo Civic Theatre

The Kalamazoo Civic Theatre will present two very different productions about family this month.

The first, Barbecue, is a dark comedy that delves into the life of the O’Mallery siblings and their barbecue that turns into an intervention for their drug-addicted sister. A show for mature audiences, the play addresses family dynamics, addiction and race.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10–11 and 17–18 and 2 p.m. Nov. 12 and 19 at the Parish Theatre, 426 S. Park St.

The second production is the iconic musical The Sound of Music, which follows the von Trapp family as the forces of Nazism take hold of Austria.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Nov. 24–25 and 2 p.m. Nov 26 at the Civic Auditorium, 329 S. Park St.

Tickets for each production are $30, with discounts for students, children and seniors. For more information or to buy tickets, visit kazoocivic.com.

Matilda Jr.

Nov. 3–5
Center Stage Theatre

The beloved Roald Dahl story of a little girl who discovers she has special powers to deal with the negative adults in her life is being brought to life on stage this month.


Comstock’s Center Stage Theatre will present Matilda Jr., a musical that tells the story of Matilda (played by Norah Wallace), whose life is plagued by her cruel and unloving parents and the evil headmistress of her school.

Show times are 7 p.m. Nov. 3–4 and 2 p.m. Nov. 4–5 at the Comstock Community Auditorium, 2107 N. 26th St. Tickets are $15. For more information or to buy tickets, visit kzoocst.com or call 343-2727.

A Christmas Carol

Nov. 17–Dec. 22
New Vic Theatre

You know the holiday season is just around the corner when the New Vic stages its annual production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

The classic tale, adapted for the stage by the late New Vic co-founder Ted Kistler, will be staged at 8 p.m. Nov. 17, 8, 24 and 30; Dec. 1, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21 and 22; and at 2 p.m. Nov. 25–26 and Dec. 3, 10 and 17. The theater is located at 134 E. Vine St. Tickets are $30. For more information or to buy tickets, call 381-3328 or visit thenewvictheatre.org.

Clue

Nov. 10–19
WMU Theatre

The ever-popular murder-mystery board game Clue is also a play, which WMU Theatre will stage this month.

The whodunit follows six dinner guests as they figure out who murdered the host of the party, where everyone is a suspect, everything a murder weapon, and every room is a crime scene.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10–11 and Nov. 17–18 and 2 p.m. Nov. 12 and 19 at Shaw Theatre. Tickets cost $21. For more information or to buy tickets, visit wmich.edu/theatre.

Zorro and the Treacherous Plot

Nov. 18
All Ears Theatre

Local playwright Daryl McCullough’s take on famous sword-fighting vigilante Zorro will be performed in an all-audio telling by All Ears Theatre at 6 p.m. at the Kalamazoo Nonprofit Advocacy Center, 315 W. Michigan Ave.

Admission is free to watch the performance, which will be recorded for later broadcast.

Ongoing Productions

Whose Life is it Anyway? Nov. 3–5, Kalamazoo Civic Theatre
Addy & Uno, Nov. 4–5, Farmers Alley Theatre
Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, Nov. 2–5, WMU Theatre

LITERATURE

Author Talks

Online or in-person
Various locations
Ebony LaDelle

The Kalamazoo Public Library will host several talks this month by authors of fiction and nonfiction works:

  • Actor John Stamos (Full House) will discuss his memoir, If You Would Have Told Me, in an online talk from 8–9 p.m. Nov. 1.
  • Tiffany Aliche will give an online talk about her book Get Good with Money and Reach Your Financial Goals, from 2–3 p.m. Nov. 9.
  • Ebony LaDelle, author of Love Radio, will give an in-person talk from 6:30–8 p.m. Nov. 9 at the library’s Eastwood Branch, 1112 Gayle Ave.
  • Joy Harjo will give an online talk about her book, Catching the Light, from 4–5 p.m. Nov. 16.
  • Naomi Alderman will present an online talk from 3–4 p.m. Nov. 30 on women in science fiction and writing about dystopian worlds in her new book, The Future.

    In addition, the library is hosting the 46th Annual Mary Calletto Rife Youth Literature Seminar as an online event from 8:30 a.m.–3 p.m. Nov. 10. It will feature authors Kelly Starling Lyons, Ebony LaDelle and Raul the Third.

Registration is required for all online events. To register or for more information, visit kpl.gov.

Viola Shipman a.k.a. Wade Rouse

Nov. 1
First Presbyterian Church, Richland

Wade Rouse, the internationally bestselling author of 13 books who also writes under the pen name Viola Shipman, will talk about his craft and the inspiration for his pen name from 6–7 p.m.

Rouse has written four memoirs and nine novels. His books have been selected multiple times as must-reads by NBC’s Today Show, featured in the Washington Post and USA Today, and chosen three times as Indie Next Picks by the nation’s independent booksellers. He currently splits his time between Saugatuck and California.

Sponsored by the Richland Community Library, his talk will be held at the local church, 8047 Church St., Richland. For more information, visit the library’s website, richlandlibrary.org.

Dennis Hinrichsen
Khaled Mattawa

Nov. 11
Kalamazoo Book Arts Center
Hinrichsen

These two poets will read from their works at 7 p.m. as part of the KBAC’s Poets in Print series.

Hinrichsen is the author of 10 books of poetry, including Flesh-Plastique. He has received the Third Coast Poetry Prize and a Best of the Net Award. He lives in Lansing, where he was the Poet Laureate of the Greater Lansing Area from 2017–2019.

Mattawa

Mattawa teaches in the graduate creative writing program at the University of Michigan and is the author of five books of poetry and a critical study of the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. He has co-edited two anthologies of Arab American literature and translated several volumes of contemporary Arabic poetry. His awards include an Academy of American Poets Fellowship, a PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, and a MacArthur Fellowship.

For more information, visit kalbookarts.org.

DANCE

Throughline: Fall Concert of Dance

Nov. 17–19
Wellspring/Cori Terry & Dancers

The premiere of a solo dance choreographed by Wellspring’s associate artist director, Marisa Bianan, will launch the modern dance company’s 2023–24 season.

The program will also include a variety of past choreographic works created by Cori Terry and Bianan. Show times are 8 p.m. Nov. 17 and 18 and 2 p.m. Nov. 19 at Wellspring Theater, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Suite 204. Tickets are $12–$30. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit wellspringdance.org.

Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker

Nov. 18
Miller Auditorium

Ballet Arts Ensemble joins forces with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra and Kalamazoo Children’s Chorus to present this beloved holiday tale of sugar-plum fairies and nutcracker princes.

The full orchestra and choir will join the youth dancers and guest dancers to stage the production. Tickets are $5–$50 and available at online at kalamazoosymphony.com.

MUSIC

WMU School of Music Performances
Throughout the month
Various venues

Unless noted, Western Michigan University’s School of Music performances will be in the university’s Dalton Center Recital Hall and are free. Scheduled this month are:

  • Western Winds — 7:30 p.m. Nov. 1, $5–$15.
  • Gold Company Sneak Preview — 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3, $5–$15.
  • Chuck Owens Ensemble — Featuring the renowned jazz composer, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 4,
    $5–$15.
  • Rebecca Johnson & Magie Beck — Perform on flute and clarinet, respectively, 5 p.m., Dalton Center Lecture Hall.
  • L’Elisir d’Amore by Gaetano Donizetti — Presented by WMU Opera, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10 and 11, $5–$15.
  • University Symphony Orchestra — 3 p.m. Nov. 12.
  • Wesley Ferreira — Clarinetist, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 13.
  • 9th Annual Midfest — University Concert Band performs with Middle School Honor Band, 7 p.m. Nov. 14, Miller Auditorium.
  • Best of MAT — Works by WMU’s multimedia arts technology students, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14.
  • Nick Zoulek — Saxophonist, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16.
  • Big Band Swing Tribute — University Jazz Orchestra and University Jazz Lab Band perform, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 17, $5–$15.
  • University Percussion Ensemble — 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18.
  • University Wind Symphony & Symphonic Band — 3 p.m. Nov. 19, Miller Auditorium.
  • Multimedia Concert — Performed by WMU faculty and guest artists, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 21.
  • Jazz Combo Showcase — 5 p.m. Nov. 27.
  • Birds on a Wire — New music ensemble, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 28.
  • WMU String Day Artists — Featuring MingHuan Xu, violin; Roger Chase, viola; Paul York, cello; Dale Anderson, double bass; and Winston Choi, piano, 7:30 Nov. 29, $5–$15.
  • David Holland — Bassist, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 30, $5–$15.
    To purchase tickets for ticketed events, go to wmich.edu/music/events.

Ben Gulley & Peter Dugan

Nov. 5
Fontana Chamber Arts

Tenor Ben Gulley and pianist Peter Dugan, host of NPR’s From the Top, will present a musical journey across genres, in this 3 p.m. concert at WMU’s Dalton Center Recital Hall.

Gulley is a versatile vocal artist whose recent work has included featured roles in opera, solo engagements, concerts, film work, touring and appearances abroad. Dugan, in addition to hosting his weekly show on NPR, has played piano as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician across North America and Europe.

Tickets are $15–$30 and available online at fontanamusic.org or by calling 250-6984.

Connecting Chords Music Festival

Throughout the month
Various venues

The festival, which began in October, continues this month with these performances:

  • Tres Souls, featuring songs stylized during the golden era of Mexican cinema,
    4 p.m. Nov. 5, Dormouse Theatre, 1030 Portage St.
  • The String Queens, with a repertoire spanning from baroque to pop, 7 p.m.
    Nov. 7, Comstock Auditorium, 2107 N. 26th St.
  • Messiah Sing, with professional orchestra and soloists, 4 p.m. Nov. 26, First Congregational United Church of Christ, 345 W. Michigan Ave.
    Tickets for the first two events are $5–$20 and can be purchased online at ccmusicfest.com or at the door.

New Beginnings

Nov. 5
Kalamazoo Junior Symphony Orchestra

This youth orchestra will give a concert at 4 p.m. Nov. 5 at Chenery Auditorium, 714 S. Westnedge Ave. The program will include pieces by Aaron Copland, Claude Debussy, Franz List, Ethel Smyth and Stanislaw Moniuszko.

Tickets are $5–$15 and available at kjso.org or by calling 349-7557.

Remembering Tony Bennett

Nov. 30
Blendings Vocal Ensemble

The late Tony Bennett’s illustrious singing career will be memorialized by this choir, accompanied by a live jazz trio.

The concert will include Bennett standards such as “The Shadow of Your Smile” and “My Romance” and holiday favorites including “Sleigh Ride,” “Snowfall” and “Santa Baby.”

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at KNAC/First Baptist Church, 315 W. Michigan Ave. Admission is $15. For more information, visit facebook.com/BlendingsEnsemble.kalamazoosymphony.com.

COMEDY

Kalamazoo Improv Festival

Nov. 2–4
Crawlspace Comedy Theatre

The funniest festival in Kalamazoo returns this month to Crawlspace Comedy Theatre, 315 W. Michigan Ave.

More than 10 teams are expected to perform during the three-day event. Find the performance schedule and purchase tickets at crawlspacecomedy.com.

More Improv Performances

Throughout the month
Various venues

A number of improv acts are performing around town this month.

Crawlspace Comedy Theatre, at 315 W. Michigan Ave., will host three of them:

  • Riddled With English, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 17, $10.
  • Blunder Bus, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18, $10.
  • Crawlspace Eviction, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 24 and 25, $15.
    For more information on the three shows, visit crawlspacecomedy.com

The improv troupe Canned Champagne will perform at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18 at Dormouse Theatre, 1030 Portage St. Tickets are $15. For more information, visit dormousetheatre.com.

VISUAL ARTS

Intertwined

Nov. 3–29
Black Arts & Cultural Center

Works created by artists Arielle Simmons, Jennifer Hodges and Gee’s Bend Quilters using textiles and fabrics will be on display at the center’s gallery, at 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Suite 202.

An opening reception will begin at 5 p.m. Nov. 3. The exhibition can also be seen during regular BACC hours of 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Tuesdays–Fridays. For more information, visit blackartskalamazoo.org.

Art Hop

Nov. 3
Downtown Kalamazoo

With a theme of “The Future Looks Bright,” this month’s Art Hop has a focus on educators and students.

This free event, organized by the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo, runs from 5–8 p.m. The Arts Council has an app that provides a guide and maps of Art Hop sites, information about participating artists, and walking directions. For more information or to access the app, visit kalamazooarts.org.

Erica Spitzer Rasmussen: Books Abound

Nov. 3–Jan. 12
Kalamazoo Book Arts Center

One-of-a-kind hand-bound books created with unconventional materials by artist and educator Erica Spitzer Rasmussen will be on display at the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center, 326 W. Kalamazoo Ave, Suite 103A.

In addition, Rasmussen will speak about her work at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 2 at Western Michigan University’s Richmond Center for Visual Arts.

The exhibition will open Nov. 3 with a reception from 5–8 p.m. It can also be viewed during regular KBAC gallery hours of 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday–Friday. For more information, visit kalbookarts.org.

Ongoing Exhibitions

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

A Bridge Between Two Worlds: Works by Wu Jian’an, through Dec. 31
Unveiling American Genius, through Dec. 31
C.C. Wang: Lines of Abstraction, through Dec. 31
Celebrate! through Jan. 14
Kirk Newman Art School Faculty Review, through Jan. 28

Richmond Center for Visual Arts, WMU

Photosynthesis II, through Nov. 18, Albertine Monroe-Brown Gallery
In Its Place, through Nov. 18, Netzorg & Kerr Gallery

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