Search
Close this search box.

The Arts

December 2023

THEATER

Every Brilliant Thing

Nov. 30–Dec. 17
Farmers Alley Theatre

Steve McDonagh is the sole performer in this coming-of-age tale about a young boy’s list of things to cheer up his despondent mother and the importance of paying attention to life’s smallest joys and one another.

McDonagh, a Chicago-based actor, has appeared in regional theater and on television shows including Chicago Med and Twisted Little Lies. He was the winner of the first season of Next Food Network Star and co-host of Party Line with the Hearty Boys on the Food Network and of the podcast But I Digest.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Nov. 30–Dec. 2, 7–9 and 14–16 and 2 p.m. Dec. 3, 10 and 17. Tickets are $25–$44 and available by calling 343–2727 or visiting farmersalleytheatre.com.

Next Stop, Broadway

Nov. 30–Dec. 2
WMU Department of Theatre

Award-winning actor and singer Lauren Worsham will join seniors in the Western Michigan University theater department for this annual cabaret performance in the Williams Theatre, in WMU’s Gilmore Theater Complex.

Worsham originated the role of Phoebe in Broadway’s A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, for which she won a Drama Desk Award and Theatre World Award and received a Tony Award nomination. She is also the lead singer for the rock band Sky-Pony and co-founder and executive director of the New York City opera company The Coterie.

Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. performances are $7–$24 and available by calling 387-6222 or visiting wmich.edu/theatre.

Christmas Cabaret

Dec. 8–21
Barn Theatre

Offering favorite carols and holiday songs, the Barn Theatre’s Christmas Cabaret promises to make audiences feel merry and bright.

The show will be staged in the Barn’s Rehearsal Shed and feature family-friendly holiday fare as well as complimentary dessert, coffee and hot chocolate.

The Barn is located at 13351 W. M-96, in Augusta. Show times are 7 p.m. Dec. 8–10 and 15–21 and 2 p.m. Dec. 9, 10, 16, and 17. Tickets are $37 for adults and $29 for children and are available by calling 731-4121 or visiting barntheatreschool.org.

Three Little Pigs

Dec. 16
All Ears Theatre

The classic tale of The Three Little Pigs gets reimagined by local playwrights Deborah Ann Percy and Arnie Johnston.

In this all-audio production, siblings J.R., Piganini and sister Porksia leave their parents to open a gourmet vegetarian restaurant featuring their mother’s renowned cuisine only to be foiled by Anthony Lupo, a wolf with a consuming taste for pork and his own culinary plans for the little pigs.

The free show, which will be ASL interpreted, will begin at 6 p.m. at Kalamazoo Nonprofit Advocacy Center, 315 W. Michigan Ave.

Ongoing Productions

A Christmas Carol

Dec. 1–22, New Vic Theatre

The Sound of Music

Dec. 1–17, Kalamazoo Civic Theatre

MUSIC

WMU School of Music Performances

Throughout the month
Various venues

As it wraps up the semester, Western Michigan University’s School of Music has multiple performances planned for December. Unless noted, performances will be in the university’s Dalton Center Recital Hall and are free. The performances scheduled are:

  • A Choral Christmas, featuring WMU’s Amphion, Anima and University Chorale,
    4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2, First Presbyterian Church, 321 W. South St. Tickets are $5–$15.
  • Bronco Marching Band, 3 p.m. Dec. 3, Miller Auditorium. Tickets are $5–$15.University Concert Band, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5.
  • Live Music at the DCA, performance by the WMU School of Music presented by Fontana Chamber Arts and the Kalamazoo Public Library, 6:30–7:30 p.m. Dec. 6, Douglass Community Association, 1000 W. Paterson St.
  • Western Horn Choir, 2:30 p.m. Dec. 8.
  • Jazz for the Holidays, 3 p.m. Dec. 10. Tickets are $5–$15.
  • Brass for the Holidays, featuring the Western Brass Quintet, 3 p.m. Dec. 17. Tickets are $5–$15.

For ticketed events, go to wmich.edu/music/events.

Kalamazoo Mandolin and Guitar Orchestra

Dec. 1 & 15
Multiple locations

The Kalamazoo Mandolin and Guitar Orchestra will perform twice this month in different locations.
The orchestra will play a variety of holiday music in a free show from 6–8 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum, 230 N. Rose St.

On Dec. 15, it will perform in a Michigan Mandolin Orchestra concert at 7 p.m. at The Lucky Wolf Theatre, 404 E. Michigan Ave., Paw Paw. Tickets are $20. To purchase tickets, visit theluckywolfpawpaw.com.

The orchestra is a plucked string ensemble of mandolins, mandolas, mandocellos, guitars and bass. Both concerts are put on by the Crescendo Academy of Music.

World Peace

Dec. 1
Miller Auditorium

The War and Treaty will join the Kalamazoo Concert Band for its holiday concert at Miller Auditorium.

The War and Treaty, the Albion-based husband-and-wife duo of Michael Trotter Jr. and Tanya Trotter, fuses soul, blues, country and rock. The duo was named the Duo/Group of the Year in 2022 by the Americana Music Association and has opened for acts including John Legend, Van Morrison and Lauren Daigle.

The concert, which has the theme of world peace, begins at 8 p.m. It is free, but tickets are required. For ticket information, visit kalamazooconcertband.org.

Christmas Gifts

Dec. 17
Kalamazoo Ringers

The peals of handbells will be heard at First United Methodist Church when the Kalamazoo Ringers perform their annual holiday concert at 4 p.m. The 17-member group will play tunes on seven octaves of bells and six octaves of choir chimes.

Admission to the concert is free, but an offering will be taken during intermission. In addition, the group will take donations of winter hats, scarves, mittens and gloves to give to area schools and shelters.
For more information, visit kalamazooringers.org.

Sean Mason Trio

Dec. 3
Wellspring Theater & online

This trio led by pianist and composer Sean Mason will perform at 4 p.m. as part of The Gilmore’s Rising Stars Series.

Mason, who began teaching himself piano at 13, studies at The Juilliard School and has played at Lincoln Center.

He was featured on National Public Radio’s Jazz Night in America and his debut album of original compositions, The Southern Suite, was produced by Branford Marsalis.

Mason will be joined by Malcolm Charles on drums and Butler Knowles on bass.

Wellspring Theater is in downtown Kalamazoo’s Epic Center. Tickets for the in-person performance are $7–$28. Online viewing is on a name-your-price basis. Tickets can be purchased at thegilmore.org or by calling 250-6984.

Choral Concerts

Throughout the month
Various venues

Nothing says holidays like the sound of a choir, and you will have several chances this month to see and hear some local choral ensembles:

  • Fa-La-La: A Jazz Christmas will be performed by the Kalamazoo Community Chorale at 3 p.m. Dec. 3 at First United Methodist Church, 212 S. Park St. For more information, visit
    kalamazoocommunitychorale.com.
  • Holidays with the Kalamazoo Choral Arts will feature holiday music from around
    the world at 4 p.m. Dec. 3 at Kalamazoo College’s Stetson Chapel. Tickets are $5–$29 for in-person viewing and $19 for virtual viewing. For more information, visit kalamazoochoralarts.org.
  • Christmas in Kalamazoo, a concert by the Kalamazoo Male Chorus, is set for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5 at Centerpoint Church, 2345 N. 10th St., in Oshtemo Township. For more information, visit kalamazoomalechorus.org.

DANCE

The Nutcracker Kalamazoo

Dec. 9-10
Ballet Kalamazoo

Ballet Kalamazoo students will be joined by two professional dancers for the group’s presentation of this beloved holiday ballet at the Comstock Community Auditorium, 2107 N. 26th St.

Matthew Rusk, a dancer with the St. Louis Ballet, will perform as The Nutcracker Prince, and Joseph VanHarn, a company dancer with Ballet RI (Rhode Island,) will dance the role of Drosselmeyer.

Show times are 6 p.m. Dec. 9 and 2 p.m. Dec. 10. Tickets are $15–$25 and available online at balletkalamazoo.com.

VISUAL ARTS

Vicki Nelson & Jeanne Fields

Nov. 3–Jan. 12
Richland Community Library
Cousins…Cold Play Day, Jeanne Fields
Abuela, Vicki Nelson

Works by two local artists — Vicki Nelson and Jeanne Fields — will be displayed at the library.

Fields does figurative landscape painting with a focus on social justice, and Nelson paints and draws figures in graphite, charcoal and Prismacolor pencils. A reception for the artists will be held from 5–7 p.m. Dec. 5 at the library, 8952 Park St., Richland.

The library is open 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Thursdays, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Fridays and 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Saturdays.

Art Hop

Dec. 1
Downtown Kalamazoo

“The Art of Giving” is the theme of this month’s Art Hop, set for 5–8 p.m.
This free event, organized by the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo, features displays of art at various locations. 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.

I Saw a Turtle on the Catwalk

Dec. 1–21
Black Arts & Cultural Center

Paintings by Tyree Broadway, a Grand Rapids artist known for his bright, multi-layered and textured works, will be featured this month at the BACC’s Gail Sydnor Gallery.
The gallery, located at 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Suite 202, is open 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Tuesdays–Fridays.

Ongoing Exhibitions

Erica Spitzer Rasmussen: Books Abound,

through Jan. 12, Kalamazoo Book Arts Center

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts:

A Bridge Between Two Worlds: Works by Wu Jian’an,

through Dec. 31

C.C. Wang: Lines of Abstraction,

through Dec. 31

Unveiling American Genius,

through Dec. 31 

Celebrate!

through Jan. 14

Kirk Newman Art School Faculty Review,

through Jan. 28

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.

Leave a Reply

Support local journalism by subscribing to Encore

By becoming a subscriber, you can help secure the future of Encore’s local reporting.

One year for
$36
Just $3 a month!

Sign up for our Newsletter

Never miss an issue by getting Encore delivered to your Inbox every month.

The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by those interviewed and featured in our articles do not reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of Encore Magazine or the official policies, owners or employees of Encore Publications.

Encore Magazine is published 12 times a year. © 2024 Encore Publications. All Rights Reserved.
117 W. Cedar St., Suite A, Kalamazoo, MI 49007 (269) 383-4433