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The Arts

Castalian String Quartet
February 2024
Feb. 2–18
WMU Theatre

If you think there’s nothing funny about bowling, you might change your mind after seeing this play at the York Arena Theatre, on Western Michigan University’s campus.

The show reflects on the life of bowling alley owner Jake, who has been unlucky in love (two of his three wives died in bowling-related accidents) despite his daughter’s attempts to fix him up with women hoping to marry for love and free lane time.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Feb. 2, 8–10 and 16–17 and 2 p.m. Feb. 4, 11 and 18. Tickets are $7–$21 and available by calling 387–6222 or online at wmich.edu/theatre.

Feb. 15–25
Queer Theatre Kalamazoo

How the appearance of a white-tailed deer in an individual’s home causes an identity crisis will be explored in this production at the Kalamazoo Nonprofit Advocacy Coalition, 315 W. Michigan Ave.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15–17 and 23–24 and 2 p.m. Feb. 18 and 25. Tickets are on a name-your-price basis and available at queertk.org or by calling 569-6250.

Feb. 16–25
Kalamazoo Civic Theatre

Whether the memories of high school make you feel nostalgic or cringe, you may relate to this production that looks at those pivotal years and their aftermath.

It is presented by the Civic’s Senior Class Reader’s Theatre, a program for adults 50 and older who perform without props or scenery, with the focus on the written word and storytelling of the script. The show will feature songs and monologues capturing high school experiences and how they play out after graduation.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16–17 and 23–24 and 2 p.m. Feb. 18 and 25 at the Civic’s Parish Theatre, 405 W. Lovell St. Tickets are $17–$30 and available by calling 343-1313 or online at kazoocivic.com.

Feb. 29–March 3
Festival Playhouse

This symbolic version of the Adam and Eve story, in which a naive bourgeois Black man is murdered by an insane and calculating white seductress, will be staged at Kalamazoo College’s Balch Playhouse, 129 Thompson St.

The drama, written by Amiri Baraka, deals with race, class and power.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Feb. 29–March 2 and 2 p.m. March 3. Tickets are $5–$25 and can be purchased online at festivalplayhouse.kzoo.edu or by calling 337-7333.

Feb. 17
All Ears Theatre

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, All Ears will present this tale of a lothario and the consequences of his actions at 6 p.m., at the Kalamazoo Nonprofit Advocacy Coalition, 315 W. Michigan.

Adapted by Grey Grooters from the opera by Mozart, this all-audio theater production tells the story of Don Giovanni, a nobleman who manages to abuse, enrage or seduce just about everyone. Admission is free. For more information, visit allearstheatre.org.

Throughout the month
Crawlspace Comedy Theatre

Three local improv troupes and a double bill of Chicago duos will attempt to tickle audiences’ funny bones this month with performances in the Crawlspace Theatre at the Kalamazoo Area Nonprofit Coalition, 315 W. Michigan Ave.
Performing will be:

  • Riddled with English, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 3, $4–$10.
  • Blunder Bus, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 10, $4–$10.
  • Crawlspace Eviction, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16 & 17, $4–$15.
  • Piebinga Plumbing/She’s Boygan, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24, $2–$15.

For more information or to buy tickets, visit crawlspacecomedy.com.

Throughout the month
WMU Department of Dance

The Western Michigan University Department of Dance will present two dance concerts this month.

The Winter Gala Dance Concert, the department’s annual showcase, will be presented Feb. 9–11 in Shaw Theatre. It will feature new works by dance faculty and students and excerpts from Family of Jazz choreographed by Kim Cooper of Decidedly Jazz Danceworks.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Feb. 9 and 10 and 2 p.m. Feb. 10 and 11, and tickets are $7–$21.

Before the Feb. 10 evening performance, Partners in Dance will host a Toast for the Talent Fundraising Soiree at 6 p.m. in the Gilmore Theatre Complex, with hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. Tickets are $50.

Curated works by WMU dance students and a performance by the student organization Ebony Vision Dance Ensemble will be featured in the WMU Student Dance Concert. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Feb. 23 and 24 and 2 p.m. Feb. 24 and 25 in Studio B of the Dalton Center and tickets are $7–$21.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit wmich.edu/dance/events.

Feb. 29–March 3
Epic Center

Dancers from across the country will descend upon downtown Kalamazoo this month for the Midwest Regional Alternative Dance Festival (RAD Fest).

With live stage performances, site-specific works, a Screendance film series, master classes and workshops, this juried event is a multi-day showcase of cutting-edge contemporary dance.

The festival kicks off at 7 p.m. Feb. 29 with a Michigan Made performance featuring dance troupes from across the state. The festival concludes on March 3 with a Youth Performance featuring works choreographed and/or performed by artists younger than 18.

Ticket prices are $10–$25, depending on the event. For a complete schedule, visit midwestradfest.org.

Through April 14
Through May 12

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

American Realism: Visions of America, 1900-1950 looks at how the American experience during this period was captured in paintings, drawings and prints. The exhibition draws from the collections of the KIA, the Flint Institute of Arts and the Muskegon Museum of Art and features artists such as Robert Henri, George Bellows, Guy Pene du Bois, Edward Hopper and Peggy Bacon.

For the exhibition Kyungmi Shin: A Story to Finding Us, Shin selected pieces from the KIA’s Chinese ceramics collection and contrasts them with her collaged paintings and other works, challenging prevailing stories about identity, immigration and colonization and celebrating stories of the Asian diaspora.

The KIA is open 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Wednesday–Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for students and free to members. For more information, visit kiarts.org.

Feb. 2–March 15
Kalamazoo Book Arts Center

Books created in the accordion style by emerging and established artists will be featured in this annual exhibition, with receptions for the artists set for 5–8 p.m. Feb. 2 and March 1.

Accordion books are composed of a continuous folded sheet of paper that can be stood up to view all the pages at once. They had their origins throughout Asia.

The KBAC is at 326 W. Kalamazoo Ave., Suite 103A. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday–Friday or by appointment. For more information, call 373-4938 or visit kalbookarts.org.

through Feb. 24, Albertine Monroe-Brown Gallery, Richmond Center for Visual Arts, WMU
through Feb. 24, Netzorg & Kerr Gallery, Richmond Center for Visual Arts, WMU
Feb. 2 & 3
Feb. 24
Miller Auditorium

The KSO offers two very different programs this month.

On Feb. 2 and 3, it will play John Williams’ score for Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone during a screening of the film. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Feb. 2 and 2 p.m. Feb. 3, and tickets are $45–$125.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Requiem and Thea Musgrave’s The Seasons will be on the program when Western Michigan University’s Grand Chorus joins the KSO at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24. Soprano Jessica Faselt, mezzo-soprano Amanda Crider, tenor Nathan Grammer and bass-baritone Donovan Singletary will perform. Tickets are $5–$68.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit kalamazoosymphony.com.

Feb. 11
Wellspring Theater & online

This rescheduled performance of a trio led by pianist and composer Sean Mason will be at 4 p.m. as part of The Gilmore’s Rising Stars Series. The trio was to perform in December but had to reschedule due to an injury.

Mason, who began teaching himself piano at 13, studies at The Juilliard School and has played at Lincoln Center, the Rochester Jazz Festival and the Montana Folk Festival. His debut album of original compositions, The Southern Suite, was produced by Branford Marsalis.

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.

Throughout the month
Various venues
Lori Sims

With guest artists, faculty recitals and student music group performances, February is shaping up to be a musical month at Western Michigan University. Unless noted, performances will be in the university’s Dalton Center Recital Hall and are free. Scheduled this month are:

  • University Jazz Orchestra & University Jazz Lab Band, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 1, $5–$15.
  • Dennis Parker & Greg Sioles, cello and piano, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 2.
  • Student Composers II, recital, 2 p.m. Feb. 9.
  • University Symphony Orchestra, 3 p.m. Feb. 11, Miller Auditorium.
  • Lori Sims, piano, 4 p.m. Feb. 11.
  • Western Winds, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14, $5–$15.
  • Phyllis Rappeport Piano Competition, for students 12–18 years of age, 10 a.m. Feb. 17.
  • University Bands Spectacular, featuring University Wind Symphony, University Symphonic Band and University Concert Band, 2 p.m. Feb. 18, Miller Auditorium.
  • Yu-Lien The and Lori Sims Piano Duo, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21, $5–$15.

To purchase tickets, go to wmich.edu/music/events.

Feb. 11
Kalamazoo Junior Symphony Orchestra

The KJSO will be joined by cellist Starla Breshears, who was the 2023 Stulberg International String Competition bronze medalist, when it performs at 4 p.m. in Chenery Auditorium, 714 S. Westnedge Ave.

Breshears will perform two songs with the youth orchestra: Tchaikovsky’s “Variation on a Rococo Theme” and Shevchenco’s “My Ye (We Are).” Tickets are $5–$15 and available at kjso.org or stulberg.org.

This award-winning resident ensemble at England’s Oxford University will perform at 7:30 p.m.

The quartet, which formed in 2011, was awarded first prize at the 2015 Lyon International Chamber Music Competition, received the Merito String Quartet Award and Valentin Erben Prize and a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship in 2018, and was named Young Artist of the Year at the 2019 Royal Philharmonic Society Awards.

The concert is presented by Fontana Chamber Arts. Tickets are $15–$30 and available at fontanamusic.org.

Feb. 24
Kalamazoo Concert Band

In a program inspired by literature, readings will be woven in between music selections in this concert at 7:30 p.m. at Chenery Auditorium.

The free concert is the third of four in the KCB’s season that focus on a theme of unlocking imagination.

For more information, visit kalamazooconcertband.org.

Feb. 17
Kalamazoo Book Arts Center

Two award-winning poets will read from their works in this virtual 7 p.m. event that’s part of the KBAC’s Poets in Print series.

Marianne Chan

Marianne Chan is the author of All Heathens, which was the winner of the 2021 Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award. Her second collection, Leaving Biddle City, will be published in 2024. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry, Best American Poetry, New England Review, Kenyon Review and Michigan Quarterly Review.

Carmen Gimenez

Carmen Giménez is the author of numerous poetry collections, including Milk and Filth, a finalist for the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award, and 2019’s Be Recorder, a finalist for the National Book Award, the PEN Open Book Award, the Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She has been awarded the Academy of American Poets Fellowship Prize and a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship.

A link to this online event is available at kalbookarts.org.

Through the month
Various venues
Left to Right: Aiden Thomas, Tom Springer, Naomi Shihab Nye and Irene Miller

A number of authors of fiction and nonfiction works are scheduled to give talks in person or online this month:

  • Award-winning local novelist Bonnie Jo Campbell, whose latest novel is The Waters, will give a reading at 2 p.m. Feb. 2 in the Student Commons Lounge at Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Texas Township campus. She will also appear at 5 p.m. that day in KVCC’s Dale B. Lake Auditorium to converse with filmmaker Haroula Rose, who turned Campbell’s novel Once Upon a River into a feature film. The film will be screened after the talk, and a book signing will follow. These events are free, but tickets are required. For tickets visit kalamazoomuseum.org.
  • Sonya Bernard-Hollins will present Merze Tate: Her Life, Her Legacy and discuss her own children’s book about Tate from 6–7 p.m. Feb. 12 at the Kalamazoo Public Library’s Eastwood Branch, 1112 Gayle Ave.
  • Aiden Thomas, the young adult fantasy novelist of Cemetery Boys, Lost in the Never Wood and Sunbearer Trials, will discuss the intersection of Latinx & LGBTQ+ identities from 6:30–7:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Kalamazoo Public Library’s Oshtemo Branch, 7265 W. Main St.
  • Tom Springer, author of The Star in the Sycamore and Looking for Hickories, will discuss his work from 6–7 p.m. Feb. 27 at the Richland Community Library, 8951 Park St., Richland.
  • Award-winning Palestinian-American poet Naomi Shihab Nye will discuss her poetry book Everything Comes Next in an online presentation at 7 p.m. Feb. 27. Register in advance for this webinar at zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_EGg0p-kyTFyQSN0wCF_t4A.
  • Irene Miller, a Holocaust survivor, will discuss her memoir Into No Man’s Island from 6–8 p.m. Feb. 29 at the Portage District Library, 300 Library Lane. Registration is required; visit portagelibrary.info.

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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