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The Arts

Fry Street Quartet
October 2023


Addy & Uno

Oct. 2–Nov. 5
Farmers Alley Theatre

This musical for young audiences uses puppets to explore friendship and highlight how all children have qualities that make them different.

It focuses on how Uno, a child with autism, navigates the challenges of competing in his school’s math competition after being signed up for it by his friend Addy and how his friends, who have varying disabilities, step up to support Uno in his endeavors.

Show times are 11 a.m. Oct. 28 and Nov. 4 and 2 p.m. Oct. 28–29 and Nov. 4–5. The theater is located at 221 Farmers Alley. Tickets are $15. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call 343-2727.

Intimate Apparel

Oct. 6–15
WMU Theatre

A lonely Black seamstress who makes intimate apparel for clients ranging from prostitutes to wealthy socialites but longs for a love of her own is at the heart of this Western Michigan University Theatre production.

Sherri L. Evans has the lead role as Esther, and Beniam A. Johnson plays George, a Caribbean man with whom she is corresponding.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6–7 and Oct. 12–14 and 2 p.m. Oct. 8 and 15 at the York Theatre, in WMU’s Gilmore Theatre Complex. Tickets cost $7–$21. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

All of Us: A Celebration of BIPOC Voices

Oct. 6–15
Kalamazoo Civic Theatre

This Kalamazoo Civic Youth Production features a collection of short plays focusing on characters who are people of color, including Black and indigenous people.

From tales of music being banned to real-life scenarios of dealing with the fallout of a viral video, the play presents 12 stories about issues facing BIPOC teens.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6 and 13 and 2 p.m. Oct. 7–8 and Oct. 14–15 at the Parish Theatre, 426 S. Park St. Tickets cost $15. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Exit Strategy

Oct. 19–22
Face Off Theatre

Overworked teachers at an underfunded high school that has a rodent infestation and is in danger of being closed are at the center of this play.

Exit Strategy, written by American playwright Ike Holter, presents the saga of a small multiracial group of teachers who launch a last-minute effort to save the school. They put their careers, futures and safety in the hands of a fast-talking administrator, raising fear and anxiety among students and others within the community.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Oct. 19–21 and 2 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Judy Jolliffe Theatre, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall. Tickets cost $5. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit


Oct. 20–22
Queer Theatre Kalamazoo

Telling your own story has to be easy, right? But in this play biracial and bisexual writer Bell Linden is finding it harder than she thought.

The play, written by local playwright Brooke Lindley, explores Linden’s experiences as she comes to terms with feeling she is not enough and always wanting more.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20–21 and 2 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Kalamazoo Nonprofit Advocacy Coalition, 315 W. Michigan. For more information, including ticket prices, visit

Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812

Oct. 27–Nov. 5
WMU Theatre

This electro-pop opera based on a section of Leo Tolstoy’s novel War and Peace will be presented at the Williams Theatre, in WMU’s Gilmore Theatre Complex.

In this musical written and composed by celebrated composer Dave Mallow, young, impulsive Natasha Rostova arrives in Moscow and begins a romance with the handsome and cunning Anatole. After her reputation takes a hit, she is helped out by her middle-aged friend Pierre.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27 and Nov. 2–4 and 2 p.m. Oct. 29 and Nov. 5. Tickets cost $7–$24. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Whose Life is it Anyway?

Oct. 27–Nov. 5
Civic Senior Class Readers Theatre

The question in the title of this play is about the fear of losing your autonomy and control of your own life.

The play focuses on a successful artist’s battle for freedom by invoking the writ of habeas corpus (a law against unlawful detainment) after he becomes paralyzed in an accident and stuck in the hospital against his will.

The Senior Class Readers Theatre is a Kalamazoo Civic Theatre program for adult performers 50 and older.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27–28 and Nov. 3–4 and 2 p.m. Oct. 29 and Nov. 5 in the Carver Center Studio, 426 S. Park St. Tickets cost $15. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6 and 13 and 2 p.m. Oct. 7–8 and Oct. 14–15 at the Parish Theatre, 426 S. Park St. Tickets cost $15. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Ongoing Productions

Working: The Musical

Oct. 5–8
Farmers Alley Theatre

Big Fish

Through Oct. 1
Kalamazoo Civic Theatre


Esme Arias Kim

Oct. 1
Miller Auditorium

This silver medalist of the 2023 Stulberg International String Competition will perform with the Western Michigan University Symphony Orchestra at 3 p.m. Oct. 1.

The free performance will feature the young violinist performing a program that includes works by Mikhail Glinka, Tchaikovsky and Dmitri Shostakovich.

For more information, visit

Connecting Chords Music Festival

Oct. 2–Nov. 7
Various venues

The festival returns to Kalamazoo this month with an abundance of live performances of music from around the world. Unless otherwise noted, tickets for all performances are $5–$20. They can be purchased at or at the door. The lineup includes:

  • David Briggs “Double Feature” – The renowned organist will perform a solo recital at 7 p.m. Oct. 2 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 247 W. Lovell St. Briggs also will improvise a live score for the silent film classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920) at 7 p.m. Oct. 4 at First United Methodist Church of Kalamazoo, 212 S. Park St.
  • Friends of the Gamelan – This free event will feature the predominantly percussive traditional music of central Java. It starts at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 7 at the Kalamazoo Public Library, 315 S. Rose St.
  • Kommuna Lux – This Ukrainian group playing klezmer music and folk songs will perform at 7 p.m. Oct. 11 at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave.
  • Trail Walk with Slow Bell Trio – A 15-minute trail walk through Kleinstuck Preserve will end with a performance by this ambient jazz ensemble on Oct. 14. The walk begins at 6 p.m. at the tennis courts behind Maple Street YMCA, 1001 W. Maple St., and patrons are encouraged to bring a portable chair.
  • Rahim Alhaj Trio – The Iraqi oud master will be joined by musicians playing santour and percussion at 4 p.m. Oct. 15 at Kalamazoo College’s Stetson Chapel.
  • Pedro Giraudo Tango Quartet – This Grammy-winning ensemble will play a program celebrating the tango at 7 p.m. Oct. 24 at Wellspring Theater, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Suite 204.
  • Edmar Castañeda Quartet – An eclectic mix of jazz artists led by the Latin Grammy-nominated harpist will perform at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25 at Western Michigan University’s Dalton Center Recital Hall.
  • Tres Souls – The trio will perform songs stylized during the golden era of Mexican cinema, the 1940s. The concert starts at 4 p.m. Nov. 5 at the Dormouse Theatre, 1030 Portage St.
  • The String Queens – This string trio with repertoire spanning from baroque to pop will perform at 7 p.m. Nov. 7 at Comstock Auditorium, 2107 N. 26th St., Comstock Township.

WMU School of Music Performances

Throughout the month
Various venues

Western Michigan University’s School of Music has a full slate of performances planned this month. Unless otherwise noted, performances will be in the university’s Dalton Center Recital Hall and are free.

The performances scheduled are:

  • University Jazz Lab Band — 7:30 p.m. Oct. 3.
  • University Jazz Orchestra — 7:30 p.m. Oct. 5. Tickets are $5–$15.
  • Nois Saxophone Quartet — Performing as part of WMU’s Guest Artist Recital Series, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6.
  • University Symphonic Band and University Wind Symphony — 3 p.m. Oct. 8, Miller Auditorium,
  • Marja Kerney and Friends — The percussionist performs with other musicians as part of WMU’s Guest Artist Recital Series, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 10.
  • Deirdre D.S. Sense — The hip-hop artist performs as part of WMU’s Bullock Series, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 11, with a pre-concert talk at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5–$15.
  • John Mayrose — The guitarist and composer performs as part of WMU’s Guest Artist Recital Series, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12.
  • Choral Showcase — Featuring Amphion, Anima and University Chorale, 3 p.m. Oct. 15.
  • The President’s Own United States Marine Band — The band gives a free concert at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at WMU’s Miller Auditorium, but tickets are required. They are available at

For ticketed events, go to

Fry Street Quartet

Oct. 13
Fontana Chamber Arts

This multi-faceted ensemble, which has been hailed as “a triumph of ensemble playing” by The New York Times, will perform at 7:30 p.m. at WMU’s Dalton Center Recital Hall.

The quartet won the 2000 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and has played worldwide, including at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

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

Gilmore Rising Stars

Oct. 8 & 29
Wellspring Theater
Esteban Castro

Two talented young pianists will grace the stage this month at the Wellspring Theater, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, as part of The Gilmore’s Rising Stars Series.

Pianist and composer Esteban Castro, who, when he was 13, became the youngest-ever first-prize winner of the Montreux Jazz Solo Piano Competition, will give two performances. He will perform as part of the Esteban Castro Trio at 4 p.m. Oct. 8 at the Wellspring Theater. He will also give a free family concert at noon Oct. 7 at Willard Library, at 7 W. Van Buren, in Battle Creek.

Illia Ovcharenko

The award- and competition-winning Ukrainian pianist Illia Ovcharenko will perform at 4 p.m. Oct. 29 at Wellspring. In 2022, Ovcharenko won the Honens International Piano Competition and the New York International Piano Competition, and in 2021 he was named Laureate of the Busoni International Piano Competition and won the Michelangeli Prize at the Eppan International Piano Academy.

Tickets for both performances at Wellspring are $28 for in-person viewing and on a name-your-price basis for virtual viewing. They are available at

A Magical World

Oct. 21
Kalamazoo Concert Band

The Kalamazoo Concert Band will explore the magical, musical world of Disney in this free concert at 7:30 p.m. at Chenery Auditorium, 714 S. Westnedge Ave.

The band honors the 100-year anniversary of the entertainment giant by playing music from favorite Disney movies, including The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Mary Poppins and The Incredibles.

For more information, visit

KSO Performances

Throughout the month
Various venues

Audiences will have three chances to catch a performance by members of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra this month:

  • Craft Music: Classics on Tap — KSO musicians will perform classical music and melodies at 7 p.m. Oct. 4 at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe. Tickets are $5–$25.
  • KSO Bachtoberfest — Principal players of the KSO will pay homage to Johann Sebastian Bach in a concert featuring the composer’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 and Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 as well as works by Béla Bartók and Sami Seif at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21 at Miller Auditorium. Tickets are $5–$68.
  • El Armor Brujo: Love Bewitched — The KSO performs Manuel de Falla’s masterpiece about ghosts, enchantments and cursed love at 3 p.m. Oct. 29 in WMU’s Dalton Center Recital Hall. Tickets are $5–$35.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit


Kirk Newman Art School Faculty Review

Oct. 14–Jan. 28
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

The works of more than 40 professional artist-educators on the faculty at the KIA School will be featured in this exhibition, along with works by some of the school’s former faculty members.

Works in media such as ceramics, sculpture, painting, jewelry, photography and fiber will be featured.

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

Black Man

Oct. 6–27
Black Arts & Cultural Center
Disappearing Man, Comtemplating Deviled Eggs, Rufus Snoddy

Works by painter and sculptor Rufus Snoddy and award-winning illustrator Kenjii Jumanne-Marshall will be featured in this exhibition at the center.

Snoddy, a native Californian who relocated to northern Michigan a decade ago, combines sculpture, painting, construction and other media in his work.

Jumanne-Marshall, whose illustrations have appeared in Detroit Metro Times, the Orlando Weekly, Wired magazine, The Detroit News and The New York Times, is a Kalamazoo-based artist. He is known for his caricature drawings of celebrities and his graphic novel Witchdoctor.

An opening-night reception with the artists will be held at 5 p.m. Oct. 6. The BACC, at 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Suite 202, is open from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Tuesdays–Fridays. For more information, visit

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


through Jan. 14

Richmond Center for Visual Arts, WMU

Photosynthesis II,

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


Improv Performances

Throughout the month
Crawlspace Theatre

Four different but fun comedic acts will be on stage this month at the Crawlspace Theatre, 315 W. Michigan Ave.

Unless noted, tickets for the shows will be $10. They are available at The acts per-forming will be:

  • Riddled with English — A Kalamazoo improv troupe, at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 7.
  • Oh Hey! — The comedy duo of Tanja Rowland and Sara Fish, at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 14.
  • Blunder Bus —An improv troupe formed last year from the Crawlspace Comedy Improv School, at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21.
  • Crawlspace Eviction — Longtime local improv team with short-form, long-form and sketch comedy, at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27 and 28. Tickets are $15.


Author Talks

Throughout the month
Various venues and online

From Michigan writers to international bestselling novelists, authors of fiction and nonfiction works will present talks online or in person this month.

The Kalamazoo Public Library will offer three online author talks this month:

Kathy Conder
  • European travel writer Rick Steves will provide tips and tools for traveling in Europe, from 4–5 p.m. Oct. 10.
  • Bestselling author Ruth Ware will talk about her new book, Zero Days, from 2–3 p.m. Oct. 18.
  • International bestselling author John Irving will discuss his most recent novel, The Last Chairlift, from 7–8 p.m. Oct. 26.

Registration is required for all three talks and can be done at

In addition, Michigan authors will speak in Comstock and Richland:

Ron Rademacher

Kathy Conder, author of the book Hauntings, Spirits, and Eats Michigan, shares her experiences with what she calls the ghosts of the Civil War battle site Gettysburg, from 6–7 p.m. Oct. 18 at the Comstock Township Library, 6130 King Highway. Registration is required. To register, call 345-0136 or visit

Ron Rademacher will discuss his book Oddities and Rarities: Michigan Back Roads, from 7–8 p.m. Oct. 18 at Richland Community Library, 8951 Park St. For more information, call 629-9085 or visit

Tom Montgomery Fate

Oct. 6
KVCC Visiting Writers Series

Creative nonfiction author Tom Montgomery Fate will discuss his latest book and the craft of writing when he visits Kalamazoo Valley Community College this month.

Fate, whose new book, The Long Way Home: Detours and Discoveries, is a travel memoir, will present a craft talk at 10 a.m., followed by a reading at 2:15 p.m. in the KVCC Student Commons Theater, Room 4240, on the college’s Texas Township campus.
Fate is the author of five other books of creative nonfiction, including Cabin Fever (2022) and Steady and Trembling: Art, Faith, & Family in an Uncertain World (2005). A regular contributor to the Chicago Tribune, his essays have also appeared in The Boston Globe, The Baltimore Sun, Orion, The Iowa Review, Christian Century, Fourth Genre and River Teeth.

For more information, visit


WMU Student Dance Concert

Oct. 27–29
Dalton Center

This annual showcase is produced, performed and choreographed by students in Western Michigan University’s Department of Dance and features dance choreography in many genres as well as the repertoire of performance-based student organizations at WMU.

Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27 and 28 and 2 p.m. Oct. 28 and 29 in Studio B of WMU’s Dalton Center. Tickets will be available through

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