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The Arts

Ben Miller’s Stand Up Science
September 2023

THEATER

Clue
The Gift

Barn Theatre

The Barn will stage two productions this month, each running for one weekend only.

The first, Clue, is a comedic whodunit based on the classic board game Clue follows six eccentric guests at a dinner party, who find themselves embroiled in a murder mystery that has many possible endings.

Show times are 8 p.m. Sept. 7-9 and 5 p.m. Sept. 9 and 10.

The second production is The Gift, a drama about a woman who can see the future with a mere touch of a hand and her efforts to protect her daughter. Show times are 8 p.m. Sept. 14–16 and 5 p.m. Sept. 16 and 17.

Tickets are $43–$51. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 731-4121 or visit barntheatreschool.org.

Big Fish

Sept. 15-Oct. 1
Kalamazoo Civic Theatre

A musical about a son seeking the truth behind his father’s larger-than-life tales will be staged by the Civic Theatre this month.

From meeting witches to stealing important documents during a war, traveling salesman Edward Bloom (played by Dustin Morton) has seemingly done it all. On his deathbed, he repeats these stories to his son, Will (played by Jordan Bruner), who gets suspicious and dives into the life and times of his father. This play is adapted from the Tim Burton film and based on the novel with the same name by Daniel Wallace.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Sept. 15, 16, 22, 23, 29 and 30 and 2 p.m. Sept. 17, 24 and Oct. 1. Tickets are $17–$30. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit kazoocivic.com.

Working: The Musical

Sept. 21-Oct. 8
Farmers Alley Theatre

This Farmers Alley production will share the experiences of those living and working in Kalamazoo.

The musical is based on the Studs Terkel book Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do (1974), which has interviews with people from different regions and occupations. The musical celebrates the search for the meaning, dignity and satisfaction of earning a living, and the local production includes original stories of people in our community.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21–23, 28–30 and Oct. 5–7 and 2 p.m. Sept. 24, 30 and Oct. 8. Tickets are $44–$48, or $15 for students. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 343-2727 or visit farmersalleytheatre.com.

LITERATURE

Author Talks

Online or In-person
Various Locations
Cindy Semark

Authors of fiction and nonfiction works will discuss their writing in talks this month.

The Kalamazoo Public Library will host three online talks:

  • Lidia Bastianich, Emmy Award-winning host of PBS’s Lidia’s Kitchen, will talk about her memoir, My American Dream: Life, Love, Family and Food, and give a preview of her new cookbook, Lidia’s From Our Family Table to Yours: More Than 100 Recipes Made With Love For All Occasions, at 7 p.m. Sept. 7.
  • Adam Alter will talk about his book Anatomy of a Breakthrough: How to Get Unstuck When It Matters the Most, at 2 p.m. Sept. 20.
  • Award-winning author Amor Towles will talk about his three bestsellers, Rules of Civility, A Gentleman in Moscow and The Lincoln Highway, at 8 p.m. Sept. 27.

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

Two other authors, both from the area, will give in-person talks:

Tom Springer, author of Looking for Hickories and The Star in the Sycamore, will give a talk on turning personal experiences into stories. This event runs from 1–3 p.m. Sept. 14 at the Kalamazoo Nature Center. The cost is $7 for KNC members and $10 for others. For more information, visit naturecenter.org.

Parchment Community Library will feature a presentation by Cindy Semark, who will discuss her book, They All Grow Up: Parenting Adult Children with Special Needs, at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 25. For more information, visit parchmentlibrary.org.

Scott Bade and Dustin Pearson

Sept. 23
Kalamazoo Book Arts Center

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

Scott Bade

Bade teaches at Kalamazoo College and the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts and is the coordinator of Western Michigan University’s Center for the Humanities. His chapbook, My Favorite Thing About Desire, was a co-winner of the 2018 Celery City Chapbook Contest. His poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and appeared in publications including Fugue, Shadowgraph, Reed Magazine and Foothill.

Dustin Pearson

Pearson is an assistant professor at the University of Toledo and the author of A Season in Hell with Rimbaud, Millennial Roost, and A Family is a House. He was awarded a 2021 Pushcart Prize, Best Collaboration at the 2020 Cadence Video Poetry Festival for a film adaptation of his poem “The Flame in Mother’s Mouth,” the 2019 John MacKay Shaw Award, and the 2015 Katharine C. Turner Prize from the Academy of American Poets.

For more information, visit kalbookarts.org.

MUSIC

Janice Carissa

Sept. 10
Wellspring Theater

The Gilmore will start its 2023–2024 Rising Stars season with a performance by Carissa, a 2022 Gilmore Young Artist. She will perform the world premiere of a commissioned piece by Carl Vine.

Carissa debuted with the Philadelphia Orchestra at 16 and is pursuing a master’s degree at The Juilliard School. In addition to Vine’s Gothic Fantasy, her program will include works by Busoni, Liszt and Scriabin.

The concert starts at 4 p.m. Tickets are $28, or pay-what-you-can for livestream tickets. For more information or to buy tickets, visit thegilmore.com.

A Night on Swan Lake

Sept. 23
Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra

Pianist Awadagin Pratt will be a guest artist when the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra opens its season at Miller Auditorium with a program of romantic and classical pieces.

Pratt, professor of piano at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and artistic director of that school’s Art of the Piano Festival, will perform Rounds, a piano concerto written for Pratt by Jesse Montgomery. In addition, the KSO will perform Richard Strauss’s Don Juan and Tchaikovsky’s Suite from Swan Lake.

The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25–$68. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit kalamazoosymphony.com.

Summertime Live Concerts

Various times
Various venues
Delilah DeWylde

September offers a few last chances to enjoy live, outdoor concerts. Unless stated otherwise, the concerts are free. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own blankets or chairs. The groups performing and the concert locations are:

  • Grace Theisen, 11:30 a.m. Sept. 1, Bronson Park
  • Out of Favor Boys, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 1, Haymarket Plaza, 139 N. Edwards St.
  • The Skeletones, 5 p.m. Sept. 6, Gilmore Car Museum, 6865 W. Hickory Road, Hickory Corners
  • His Boy Elroy, 5 p.m. Sept. 13, Gilmore Car Museum
  • The Family Tradition Band, 7 p.m. Sept. 14, Overlander Bandshell, 7810 Shaver Road, Portage
  • Delilah DeWylde, 5:30 p.m. Sept. 15, State Theatre, 404 S. Burdick St.
  • Rockslide, 5 p.m. Sept. 20, Gilmore Car Museum
  • Chris Karl, 5 p.m. Sept. 27, Gilmore Car Museum

For more information, visit kalamazooarts.org/summertime-live.

VISUAL ARTS

Mary Whalen and Colleen Woolpert

Sept. 1–29
Kalamazoo Book Arts Center

This unique joint exhibition by two local artists will combine history and photography with papermaking.

Whalen, a photographer and chair of the photography and digital media program at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, works in both digital image making and traditional darkroom and historical photo processes.

Woolpert will be showing works from her project Echo Location, which explores the former Lee Paper Co. Mill in Vicksburg and includes historic images of the mill and workers as well as actual sheets of paper produced before the mill closed.

The exhibition will open Sept. 1 with a reception from 5–8 p.m. The KBAC gallery is open 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday–Friday. For more information, visit kalbookarts.org.

Art Hop

Sept. 1
Downtown Kalamazoo

This month’s Art Hop has a focus on storytelling as a means of education, entertainment and/or cultural preservation.

This free event, organized by the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo, runs from 5–8 p.m. and will feature the social and cultural activity of sharing stories.

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.

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

Sept. 16–Dec. 31
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

This is the first major U.S. exhibition to feature this contemporary Chinese artist’s meticulous work.

Wu Jian’an’s primary medium is cut paper, but he also works in painting and sculpture. His compositions often include thousands of elements referencing contemporary, mythological and obscure folklore. The exhibition features works showing his creative evolution over two decades.

Wu Jian’an’s work can be found at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University.

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

C. C. Wang: Lines of Abstraction

Sept. 16–Dec. 31
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

This exhibition, which spans seven decades, focuses on Wang’s distinctive synthesis of Chinese ink painting and American postwar abstraction.

Wang was born in China in 1907 at the twilight of the Qing dynasty. He mastered traditional ink and brush techniques and immigrated to New York City in 1949. He drew inspiration from past masters of Chinese painting as well as from New York’s artistic climate following World War II. Wang died in 2003.

This exhibition was organized by Hunter College Art Galleries, in New York City.

Photosynthesis II

Through Nov. 18
Richmond Center of the Arts

Works in a variety of media by 17 Southwest Michigan artists are part of this exhibition in the center’s Albertine Monroe-Brown Gallery.

Linda Rzoska, the exhibition’s curator, says the show provides “compelling reminders that we are all elementally tied to the world around us.” The artists participating are Lorrie Grainger Abdo, Melody Allen, Susan Badger, Justin Bernhardt, Maryellen Hains, Anna Z ILL, Alexa Karabin, Elizabeth Kerlikowske, Helen Kleczynski, Honore Lee, Dave Middleton, Lynn Pattison, Linda Rzoska, Nichole Riley, Joe Smigiel, Vicki Van Ameyden and Randy Walker.

A reception for the artists will be at the gallery from 5–8 p.m. Sept. 22 and will include an auction of works by local artists from the personal collection of James and Lois Richmond.
Gallery hours are noon–6 p.m. Tuesday–Friday and 8 a.m.–noon Saturday.

Ongoing Exhibitions

Sugoi! 200 Years of Japanese Art

through Sept. 3, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

Unveiling American Genius

through Dec. 31, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

COMEDY

Ben Miller’s Stand-Up Science

Sept. 23
Crawlspace Comedy Theatre

Is there anything funny about science? New York City scientist and comedian Ben Miller thinks so, and he’ll tell audiences about it this month.

Miller has a degree in materials science and engineering from Columbia University and has worked with electron microscopes. He uses photos, videos and graphs in his show Stand-Up Science, which started as a web series and turned into a live show that sold out at the 2022 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Miller also made history by being the first stand-up comedian selected by the National Parks Arts Foundation to be an artist-in-residence at a national park. He served in February at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.

Show time is 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $20. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit crawlspacecomedy.com.

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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