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The Arts

July 2023


Exception to the Rule

July 13–16
Face Off Theatre Company

What is really keeping six Black students stuck in detention in the worst school in their inner city is the focus of this play directed by Arizsia Staton.
While five of the students are detention regulars, the sixth — a newcomer named Erika — shocks everyone with her arrival, since she’s one of the best students at the school, with college and a bright future ahead of her. They soon find out they all have one thing in common: They are in an institution that wasn’t built for them, and more than classroom walls keep them trapped in detention.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. July 13–15 and 2 p.m. July 16 at the Jolliffe Theatre, in the Epic Center, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall. Tickets are on a pay-what-you-can basis and available at

Million Dollar Quartet
Anything Goes
Baskerville, A Sherlock Holmes Mystery

Barn Theatre

If you like mystery, music and madcap antics, then the Barn Theatre has a slate of shows for you this month.

First up is Million Dollar Quartet, which depicts a legendary jam session that featured Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash. Show times are 8 p.m. June 27–July 1 and 5 p.m. July 2.

Shortly on its heels is Anything Goes, which follows the madcap adventures of the oceanliner S.S. American’s crossing to Europe. Show times are 8 p.m. July 5–8 and 11–15 and 5 p.m. July 9 and 16.

Finally, the Barn presents Baskerville, A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, a whodunit featuring five actors playing more than 40 characters. Show times are 8 p.m. July 18–22 and 25–29 and 5 p.m. July 23 and 30.

The Barn Theatre is located at 13351 West M-96, Augusta. Tickets are $45–$53. For more information or to purchase tickets, call731-4121 or visit

The Music Man

July 7–16
Center Stage Theatre

This feel-good musical about a con man, a kids’ band and the savvy librarian who’s on to him will be staged at Comstock Community Auditorium, 2107 N. 26th St.

Steve Brubaker plays the lead role of Harold Hill, who targets the naïve residents of a 1910s Midwestern town by posing as a boys’ band leader to raise money and then skip town. Kristine Schomisch plays librarian Marian Paroo, who sees through him and falls in love with him anyway.

Show times are 7 p.m. July 7, 8, 14 and 15 and 2 p.m. July 9, 15 and 16. Tickets are $12–$15 and available online at

She Persisted, The Musical

Farmers Alley Theatre

The creative folks at Farmers Alley wrap up one classic musical and begin another this month.

Rent, a rock musical about falling in love, finding your voice and living for today, concludes a run that began June 22. Show times are 7:30 p.m. June 29–July 1, July 6–8, and July 13–15 and 2 p.m. July 2, 9 and 16.

A time-travel adventure featuring inspirational women from U.S. history, She Persisted, The Musical, will open July 29. Based on the best-selling children’s book written by Chelsea Clinton and directed by Marissa Harrington, the family-friendly production follows fourth-grader Naomi’s field trip to a women’s history museum, where she meets female activists, athletes, artists and more. Show times are 7:30 p.m. July 29 and Aug. 3–5 and 2 p.m. July 30 and Aug. 6.

Both shows will be staged at Farmers Alley Theatre, 221 Farmers Alley. Tickets are $25–$49.
For more information or to purchase tickets call 343-2727 or visit


Black Arts Festival

July 7 & 8
Bronson Park

This annual celebration of Black culture and arts in Kalamazoo, presented by the Black Arts & Cultural Center, features music, art, dance and a Youth Day.

The free celebration kicks off with a Youth Day from noon–4 p.m. July 7 at the Douglass Community Association, 1000 W. Paterson St. The event will include African art and dance, information booths, games and crafts, and food.

The festival’s community celebration will be held 11 a.m.–8 p.m. July 8 at Bronson Park and will include retail vendors, information booths by area organizations, entertainment, art displays and food vendors.
For more information, visit

Kindleberger Summer Festival of the Performing Arts

July 12–17
Kindleberger Park

What began more than four decades ago as a play in the park has become a week-long performing arts celebration in the heart of Parchment.

The festival begins July 12 with a performance of the youth theater production The Very UnMerry Adventures of Robin Hood at 5:30 p.m., followed by a production of Grease at 7 p.m. on The Stage at Kindleberger. Robin Hood will also be performed at 5:30 p.m. July 13 and 14 and 3:30 p.m. July 15 and 16, and Grease will be performed again at 7 p.m. July 13 and 14 and 5 p.m. July 15 and 16.

July 15 is the busiest day of the festival, with activities including a 5K walk and run at 7:30 a.m.; an arts and craft show, pop-up museum, book sale and plant sale, all happening from 9 a.m.–3 p.m.; a parade through downtown Parchment at 10 a.m.; and a classic car cruise-in from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. There will also be children’s activities and a cornhole tournament.

For a complete schedule of the festival, which runs through July 17, visit


Summertime Live Concerts

Various times
Various venues

The Iconix

July is a very musical month across the region, with a full slate of Summertime Live concerts. The concerts are free, and attendees are encouraged to bring their own blankets or chairs to the venues. The groups and individuals performing in July and the concert locations are:

  • Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, 7:30 p.m. July 1, Bronson Park
  • Payton and Annabelle, 3 p.m. July 5, Richland Area Community Center, 9400 East CD Ave., Richland
  • Chris Karl, 5 p.m. July 5, Gilmore Car Museum, 6865 W. Hickory Road, Hickory Corners
  • DJ the DJ and Rae of Light, 5:30 p.m. July 5, Bates Alley (between Pitcher and Portage streets), downtown Kalamazoo
  • Allie Garland and Sean Gibson, 11:30 a.m. July 7, Bronson Park
  • Bronk Brothers, 6 p.m. July 9, Flesher Field, 3664 Ninth St., Oshtemo Township
  • LaSoulfulRock, 3 p.m. July 12, Richland Area Community Center
  • The Iconix, 5 p.m. July 12, Gilmore Car Museum
  • Out of Favor Boys and Michael and Sophia Mcintosh, 5:15 p.m. July 12, 126 N. Kalamazoo Ave., downtown Vicksburg
  • The Skeletones and DJ Conscious, 5:30 p.m. July 12, Bates Alley
  • Departure: A Journey Tribute Band, 7 p.m. July 13, Overlander Bandshell, 7810 Shaver Road, Portage
  • Jake Kershaw, 5:30 p.m. July 14, State Theatre, 404 S. Burdick St.
  • Serita’s Black Rose, 11:30 a.m. July 14, Bronson Park
  • Grace Theisen and band, 7:30 p.m. July 14, Haymarket Plaza, 139 N. Edwards St. downtown Kalamazoo
  • Kalamazoo Concert Band with Megan Dooley, 6:30 p.m. July 17, Kindleberger Park, 122 N. Riverview Drive, Parchment
  • Mama’s Hot Sauce, 5 p.m. July 19, Gilmore Car Museum
  • Special Guest and Pinter Whitnek, 5:15 p.m. July 19, downtown Vicksburg
  • Acana, 5:30 p.m. July 19, Bates Alley
  • Sophia Mcintosh, 11:30 a.m. July 21, Bronson Park
  • The Iconix, 4 p.m. July 23, Texas Drive Park, 6603 Texas Drive,
    Texas Corners
  • Crossroads Resurrection, 6:30 p.m. July 23, Kindleberger Park
  • Crescendo Fiddlers, 3 p.m. July 26, Richland Area Community Center
  • Glad All Over, 5 p.m. July 26, Gilmore Car Museum
  • The Mickeys and Ada LeAnn, 5:15 p.m. July 26, downtown Vicksburg
  • Yolonda Lavender and DJ Chuck, 5:30 p.m. July 26, Bates Alley
  • The Incantations, 11:30 a.m. July 28, Bronson Park
  • Dana Scott, 4:30 p.m.; The Iconix, 6:30 p.m. July 28 Celery Flats, 7328 Garden Lane, Portage
  • The Michigan Nightingales, 4 p.m. July 30, Bronson Park
  • Blue Leaf’s Band, 6:30 p.m. July 30, Kindleberger Park

For a full summer concert schedule, visit

Live Music Performances

Throughout the month
Dormouse Theatre

Bell Book and Canto

Artists with new albums and a local indie band will grace the stage at the Dormouse Theatre,1030 Portage St., this month. Set to perform are:

  • Faux Beamage, Kalamazoo musicians playing indie and ambient music, 8–9 p.m. July 1. Tickets are $10.
  • Kyle James, a country music singer/songwriter and Western Michigan University graduate playing music from his latest album, Climbing, with Headband Henny opening the show, 8–9:30 p.m. July 6. Tickets are $10.
  • Bell Book and Canto, an eclectic quartet playing music from their new album, Take Back the Night, 8 p.m. July 28. Tickets are $15.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Jim Gill

July 13
Merrill Park

This children’s musician and author will present a concert celebrating active play at 10:30 a.m. at Merrill Park, 5845 Comstock Ave.
This free concert is presented by the Comstock Library, and those attending are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets, and hats.


Art Hop

July 14
Downtown Kalamazoo

This month’s Art Hop will have a focus on mental health and art therapy.

This free event, organized by the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo, runs from 5–8 p.m. and will feature artists working in the field of mental health. Interactive workshops with the artists will be held throughout the evening.

The Arts Council has an app that provides a guide and map of Art Hop sites, information about participating artists, and walking directions. For more information or to access the app, visit

Sugoi! 200 Years of Japanese Art

Through Sept. 3
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

The KIA will have a variety of events this month to support this exhibition, which highlights artists and art practices from East Asia.
With works on loan and others from the KIA’s permanent collection, the exhibition explores day-to-day city happenings, the importance of Japanese theater for historical narratives, and the joys, trials and innovations of Japanese culture.

Among the events at the KIA that will supplement the exhibition are:

  • Curators’ talk by KIA Chief Curator Rehema Barber and Associate Curator Katherine Ransbottom, noon–1 p.m. July 11; reserve tickets online.
  • A guided tour of the exhibition, 1:30–2:30 p.m. July 16 & 30.
  • Michigan Hiryu Daiko performing the ancient art of taiko drumming, noon–1 p.m. July 18; reserve tickets online.
  • Book discussion on The Cat Who Saved Books, the international bestseller by Japanese writer Sosuke Natsukawa, 2–3 p.m. July 19.
  • Exploring Traditional and Modern Japan, a discussion of Japanese lifestyles and customs and a demonstration on wearing a summer kimono by Western Michigan University Soga Japan Center Program Director Michiko Yoshimoto, 6–7 p.m. July 20; reserve tickets online.

The KIA is located at 314 S. Park St. For more information or to reserve tickets, visit


Author Talks

In person and online
Various venues

Maria Dong

Authors of both fiction and nonfiction works will discuss their writing in talks this month.
The Portage District Library will feature two in-person presentations:

  • Susan Teague reads from her book Goddesses Galore: You and Me, Sister, at 5:30 p.m. July 13.
  • Writer Maria Dong will read from her first book, Liar, Dreamer, Thief, at 2 p.m. July 15.
    The Kalamazoo Public Library will host three online talks this month:
  • Charles Soule, author of She-Hulk, will talk about his new book, The Endless Vessel, at 2 p.m. July 15.
  • Renowned psychologist Ethan Kross will talk about his book, Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It, at 1 p.m. July 20.
  • Poet and bestselling author Erika Sánchez will talk about her memoir-in-essays, Crying in the Bathroom, 4 p.m. July 25.

To register for these talks, visit

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