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The Arts – March 2023


The Rainbow Fish Musical 

March 3-12
Civic Theatre

The Kalamazoo Civic presents this musical as part of the Penguin Project, in which youth and young adults ages 9 to 26 with special needs join “peer mentors” to perform on stage.

The musical tells the story of the beautiful Rainbow Fish, who refuse to share their vibrant scales with others and learn it is better to be adored for kindness than beauty.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. March 3 & 10, 10 a.m. March 8–9 and 2 p.m. March 4, 5, 11 & 12 at the Civic Auditorium. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at or by calling 343-1313.

On the Town

March 17-26
WMU Theatre

This wartime musical focuses on three sailors on leave for 24 hours in New York City.

The show has a celebrated score by Leonard Bernstein and includes standards such as Come Up to My Place, I Can Cook, Too, Some Other Time and New York, New York.

It will be performed in Western Michigan University’s Williams Theatre at 7:30 p.m. March 17, 18, 23, 24 & 25 and 2 p.m. March 19 & 26. Tickets are $6–$24 and available online at or by calling 387-6222.

Morning’s at Seven

March 17-26
Civic Theatre

The long-standing sibling rivalries of four aging sisters — three of whom have lived next door to each other for most of their lives — are at the center of this production by the Civic’s Senior Class Reader’s Theatre.

This portrait of small-town America in the 1950s features Dara Konewko (Ida), Liz Dykhouse (Esty), Kitty Kachniewicz (Cora) and Mary Redmon (Arry) as the sisters. The Senior Class Readers Theatre is a program for adult performers 50 and older.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. March 17, 18, 24 & 25 and 2 p.m. March 19 & 26 in the Carver Center Studio, 329 S. Park St. Tickets are $15 and are available by calling 343-1313 or online at

Becoming Dr. Ruth

March 10-19
Farmers Alley Theatre

How Dr. Ruth Westheimer went from fleeing the Nazis and being a sniper in Jerusalem to becoming America’s best-known radio and television sex therapist is explored in this production.

Diane Wasnak stars in the title role, and Kathy Mulay directs.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. March 9–11 & 16–18 and 2 p.m. March 12, 18 & 19. Tickets are $35–$39 and available at or by calling 343-2727.

The Incognito Detective Service

March 11
All Ears Theatre

This free, all-audio theater production written and directed by Tim Eschelbach will be performed at 6 p.m. at the Kalamazoo Nonprofit Advocacy Coalition building, 315 W. Michigan Ave.

The show tells the tale of the Incognito Detective Service’s investigation into the disappearance of a wealthy financier, in which the answers to questions are just more questions, everyone is a suspect, and things are not quite what they seem.

For more information, visit


Twelve Dancing Princesses

March 18 & 19
Chenery Auditorium

The Grimm fairy tale of a king with 12 daughters who wore out their dancing shoes every night despite being locked in their room will be presented by Kalamazoo Ballet Arts Ensemble in its spring concert.

This youth ballet troupe will perform at 2 p.m. both days at Chenery, 714 S. Westnedge Ave. Ticket prices and information are available at

Midwest RAD Fest

March 3–5
Epic Center

The best modern, post-modern and contemporary dancers from all over the country will descend upon Kalamazoo for the Midwest Regional Alternative Dance Festival (RAD Fest) at the Epic Center, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall.

This juried event includes live stage performances, site-specific works, a Screendance film series, master classes and workshops. Single-day tickets for the festival are $10–$25 and available online at

Free events include live performances, film screenings and a “movement installation” that will be presented 5–8 p.m. March 3 in the Epic Center, in conjunction with the March Art Hop.


Author Talks

Throughout the Month
Various Venues

Several local authors will be discussing their books at events across the area this month:

Anne Dueweke

Anne Dueweke will discuss her 2022 book, A Conversation & Reckoning: K College Uncovers Its Racial & Colonial Past, at 7 p.m. March 7 at the Portage District Library, 300 Library Lane. The book examines the history of racism and oppression at the college. Dueweke will be joined by Donna Odom, the former executive director of the Society for History and Racial Equity (SHARE). For more information, visit

Katherine Joslin and Thomas Bailey

Katherine Joslin and Thomas Bailey will talk about their 2018 book, Theodore Roosevelt: A Literary Life, at 6 p.m. March 8 at the Richland Community Library, 8951 Park St. Their book traces Roosevelt’s lifelong engagement with books and discusses his writings, from childhood journals to his final editorial, finished just hours before his death. For more information, visit

Samantha Moran will launch Dealings in the Dark and Bound and Betrayed, the first two books of her new horror novella series, The Cursed Souls Series, at 11 a.m. March 25 at the Portage District Library. For more information, visit

Benjamin Naka-Hasebe Kingsley and Alen Hamza

March 25
Kalamazoo Book Arts Center

These two poets will read from their works at 7 p.m. as part of the Poets in Print series at the KBAC, 326 W. Kalamazoo Ave., Suite 103A.

Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley

Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley is an Affrilachian author of the collections Demos: An American Multitude (2021), Colonize Me (2019) and Not Your Mama’s Melting Pot (2018). (The term Affrilachian refers to an African American who is a native or resident of the Appalachian region of the U.S.) He is an assistant professor of English at Kalamazoo College and a member of the Onondaga Nation of Indigenous Americans. His recent work has been published in The BreakBeat Poets: LatiNEXT, Native Voices: Honoring Indigenous Poetry, The Georgia Review, Kenyon Review, Oxford American, Poetry and Tin House.

Alen Hamza

Alen Hamza is the author of Twice There Was a Country (2020), and his work has appeared in AGNI, Fence and The Southern Review. Hamza immigrated to the U.S. at 15 as a refugee from Bosnia-Herzegovina. He has received fellowships from the Michener Center for Writers, Fine Arts Work Center and University of Utah and teaches at Western Michigan University.

For more information, visit


An All-American Celebration

March 18
Miller Auditorium

Violinist Jun-Ching Lin and the local drumming group Djembe Yaru will perform with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. in this concert featuring American composers.

Lin’s achievements include playing chamber music with Alan Gilbert, Robert Spano and Yo-Yo Ma. He is first violinist of the Franklin Pond String Quartet and a founding member of the Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta.

Djembe Yaru has been teaching and performing West African music for over 15 years in the Kalamazoo area, including collaborating with Rootead, WMU and the KSO.

The pieces to be featured are Louis Moreau Gottschalk’s Creole-influenced Symphony No. 1, Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto and William Grant Still’s Africa, with influences of blues, jazz and spirituals.

Tickets are $57–$68, with lower prices available for teachers, veterans, students and low-income individuals. Tickets are available at

WMU School of Music Performances

Throughout the month
Various venues
Trombonist Andrew Mitchell

From a vocal festival to jazz ensembles, WMU’s School of Music has a full slate of concerts this month. Performances will be in the university’s Dalton Center Recital Hall and, unless otherwise noted, are free.

The performances scheduled are:

• A guest and student recital featuring works from the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra/WMU Composers Workshop, 7:30 p.m. March 1.

The Western Invitational Jazz Festival closing concert, featuring the University Jazz Orchestra, 7:30 p.m. March 5. Tickets are $5–$10.

• An alumni recital by trombonist Andrew Mitchell, 6 p.m. March 13.

WMU’s vocal jazz ensembles Gold Company and Gold Company II, 7:30 p.m. March 17 & 18, 2 p.m. March 19. Tickets are $20–$25.

The Burdick/Thorne String Quartet, a KSO ensemble, 7:30 p.m. March 21.

A New Faculty Showcase, featuring vocalists Jacob Berglin and Emanuel Caraman, oboist Geoffrey Johnson, percussionist Marja Kerney and violinist Sophie Tang, 7:30 p.m. March 22. Tickets are $5–$15.

The Southwestern Michigan Vocal Festival, with the University Chorale and Anima, 7 p.m. March 23, Miller Auditorium.

The WMU Drum Choir, 5 p.m.March 27.

Pianist Donna Lee in a guest artist recital, 7:30 p.m. March 27.

A Jazz Combo Student Showcase, 7:30 p.m. March 28.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Maria Schneider Orchestra

March 12
Chenery Auditorium

Eighteen of today’s best jazz musicians will join composer and bandleader Maria Schneider in this performance presented by the Gilmore International Piano Festival.

Schneider’s 2020 Grammy-winning double album, Data Lord, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and named Jazz Album of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association and NPR.

The concert begins at 4 p.m. Tickets are $35–$55, or $7 for students, and are available at

Jean-Yves Thibaudet

March 30
Chenery Auditorium

This pianist who has recorded more than 50 albums and performed all over the world will perform as part of The Gilmore’s Classical Piano Masters series.

Thibaudet, whose recordings have received Grammy nominations, will play the Debussy Préludes program that he has performed this season in Switzerland, the Netherlands and Carnegie Hall.

The concert starts at 7:30 p.m., and a free concert preview will be led by Beau Bothwell at 6:30. Concert tickets are $35–$55, or $7 for students, and are available at

The 9th

March 4
Dalton Theatre

The Kalamazoo Philharmonia and Kalamazoo Bach Festival Chorus will team up to perform Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at 7:30 p.m. in Kalamazoo College’s Dalton Theatre, located in the Light Fine Arts Building, 1200 Academy St.

The concert will feature vocal soloists Madelaine Lane, Carrie Ledet, Jonathon Lovegrove and Trent Broussard. Tickets are $2–$5 and will be available at the door.

Immanuel Wilkins Quartet

March 24
Dalton Center Recital Hall

An artist the Wall Street Journal has heralded as a “fast-rising star among jazz’s ranks” will perform a 7:30 p.m. concert with his quartet at Western Michigan University’s Dalton Center.

Wilkins is a saxophonist and composer whose debut album, Omega, was named the No. 1 Jazz Album of 2020 by The New York Times.

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


New Exhibitions

March 28-April 21
WMU’s Richmond Center for Visual Arts

Two exhibitions will open this month at the Richmond Center, on Western Michigan University’s campus.
Prints, objects and a series of short films by award-winning South African hybrid-media artist Naomi van Niekerk will be featured in an exhibition titled Interval in the center’s Netzorg and Kerr Gallery. Niekerk, who is currently teaching a course at WMU’s Frostic School of Art, will present a lecture about her work at 5:30 p.m. March 23 in Room 2008 of the Richmond Center.

In addition, works by WMU art students will be featured in the Annual Frostic School of Art Student Exhibition in the Albertine Monroe-Brown Gallery.

Gallery hours are noon–5 p.m. Wednesday–Friday and noon–4 p.m. Saturday. For more information, visit

Viestarts Aistars Retrospective

March 9-April 2
Prairie Ronde Gallery

A retrospective of the artwork of Latvian artist Viestarts Aistars will be on exhibit at the Prairie Ronde Gallery, 101 East Prairie, in downtown Vicksburg. The exhibit is organized by the Vicksburg Cultural Arts Center and will feature Aistars’ watercolors, oils, and charcoal pencil drawings that often reflect the home he lost when his family was forced to leave Latvia during the Soviet occupation of WWII.

An opening reception will be held 5:30–8 p.m. March 9. The gallery will be open during the adjoining Mackenzie’s Bakery hours, 7 a.m.–6 p.m. Tuesday–Friday and 8 a.m.–2 p.m. Saturday, through April 2. For more information, visit

New Exhibitions

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

Two exhibits will open this month at the KIA:

Lines That…, an installation of abstract works from the KIA’s collection that explores all that a line can do, will open March 11 and run through June 11.

Young Artists of Kalamazoo County, featuring works by youth in grades K–8 from Kalamazoo County schools, will be showcased March 18–April 16.

For hours and admission prices, visit

Art Hop

March 3
Downtown Kalamazoo

In conjunction with this month’s Midwest Regional Alternative Dance Festival (RAD Fest), the March Art Hop will have the theme Art on the Move.

This free event, organized by the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo, runs from 5–8 p.m. and features a variety of artists’ works as well as live music and the chance to visit downtown businesses.

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


Kalamazoo Institute of Arts:
• Unmasking Masculinity for the 21st Century, through March 12
• What Is Going On in This Picture?, through April 1
• Art, Music and Feminism in the 1950s, through May 7
Expressions in Paper and Clay, through May 14

Kalamazoo Book Arts Center:
• The Illustrated Accordion, through March 24

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