With themes that are still topical and relevant, this William Shakespeare play of passion, jealousy and race will be staged at Kalamazoo College’s Nelda K. Balch Playhouse, 129 Thompson St.
Othello tells the story of a heroic black general who is brought to ruin by his trusted advisor Iago. The Festival Playhouse production is directed by Kalamazoo College Professor Ren Pruis, a founding member of Queen’s Company, an all-female company in New York City devoted to producing classical texts.
Show times are 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3–5 and 2 p.m. Nov. 6, and tickets are $15–$25. For tickets or more information, visit festivalplayhouse.kzoo.edu.
Disney’s Frozen Jr.
Center Stage Theatre
You can find Elsa, Anna, Olaf and all the characters of the magical land of Arendelle in this production based on the 2018 Broadway musical Frozen, which will be staged at the Comstock Community Auditorium, 2107 N. 26th St.
This show about the bonds of sisterhood, directed by Jenny Trout and Jeremy Riddle, features a large ensemble cast.
Show times are 7 p.m. Nov. 4 and 5 and 2 p.m. Nov. 5 and 6. Tickets are $10, or $7 for students and seniors, $5 for children and $35 for families. They are available online at kzoocst.com.
Puffs, or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic
Civic Youth Theatre
If you know the story of Harry Potter, then you’ll want to meet the other orphan who attended a certain school of magic — Wayne from New Mexico — in this funny and inventive takeoff on that popular wizarding series.
Seven years are summed up in this fast-paced play told from the perspective of three “Puffs” (Landen Birchmier as Wayne, Etta Bradford Poer as Megan, and Isaac DeLuca as Oliver) who are just trying to make it through a magic school that proves to be very dangerous for children.
Show times are 7:30 p.m. Nov. 11 and 18, 1 p.m. Nov. 12 and 19, 4 p.m. Nov. 12 and 19, and 2 p.m. Nov. 13 and 20 at the Parish Theatre, 405 W. Lovell St. Tickets are $15 and available by calling the Civic box office at 343-1313 or by visiting kazoocivic.com.
This circus-inspired version of the story of a prince who learns the true meaning of glory, love and war will be staged at Western Michigan University’s Shaw Theatre, in the Gilmore Theatre Complex .
The guest director and choreographer team of Robert Clater and Lesia Kaye are overseeing the production, which features a score by Grammy- and Oscar-winning composer Stephen Schwartz. WMU musical theater senior Adam Nyhoff will star in the title role.
Show times are 7:30 p.m. Nov. 11, 12, 17 and 19 and 2 p.m. Nov. 13 and 20. Tickets are $24 and available by calling 387-6222 or visiting wmich.edu/theatre.
Our Voices Project
Face Off Theatre Company
Plays written by students and brought to life by professional actors will be presented in a collaboration between the local Face Off Theatre Company and the Detroit-based Black and Brown Theatre at Dormouse Theatre, 1030 Portage St.
Developed by award-winning playwright and educator Emilio Rodriguez, Our Voices empowers students to tell the stories of their neighborhoods and aspirations and the issues important to their lives. The plays will be presented in Kalamazoo and Detroit.
Show times are 7:30 Nov. 11 and 12 and 2 p.m. Nov. 13. Tickets are on a pay-what-you-can basis and available online at faceofftheatre.com.
A Christmas Carol
Nov. 11–Dec. 22
New Vic Theatre
You know it’s holiday time in Kalamazoo when the New Vic gives its annual presentations of the Charles Dickens classic.
The classic tale, adapted for the stage by the late New Vic co-founder Ted Kistler, will be staged at 8 p.m. Nov. 18, 19 and 25, Dec. 2, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 21 and 22 and at 2 p.m. Nov. 26 and Dec. 3, 4, 11 and 18. The theater is located at 134 E. Vine St. For tickets or more information, call 381-3328 or visit thenewvictheatre.org.
A Swinging Christmas
Nov. 18–Dec. 11
Farmers Alley Theatre
The holiday music of Tony Bennett, the crooner best known for “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” and more recently for his collaborations with Lady Gaga, will be in the spotlight at Farmers Alley.
The local theater is premiering this new show, created and directed by David Grapes. It will feature holiday tunes performed in Bennett’s style by a cast of four singers and dancers.
Show times are 7:30 p.m. Nov. 17–19, 25 and 26 and Dec. 1–3 and 8–10 and 2 p.m. Nov. 20 and 27 and Dec. 4 and 11. Tickets are $45 and available by calling 343–2727 or visiting farmersalleytheatre.com.
Other Theater Events
Pride and Prejudice
through Nov. 6
The Thanksgiving Play
Fall Concert of Dance
Wellspring/Cori Terry & Dancers
Kalamazoo’s modern dance company kicks off its season, “Little Worlds,” by featuring a new work by Cori Terry.
This fall dance concert will also feature works by troupe member and choreographer Marisa Bianan as well as selected works from the Wellspring repertoire.
The performances are at 8 p.m. in the Wellspring Theater, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall.
Tickets are available online at wellspringdance.org, in person at the Community Box Office in the Epic Center, or by calling 250-6984.
Ballet Arts Ensemble
The ensemble will kick off its 40th season with this fall dance concert at Chenery Auditorium, 714 S. Westnedge Ave.
Ballet Arts Ensemble is Kalamazoo’s largest youth ballet company, with dancers 12 years of age and older. The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra will accompany the dancers.
The performances are set for 2 and 7 p.m. For ticket prices or more information, visit balletartsensemble.org.
Other Dance Events
WMU Department of Dance
Throughout the month
WMU School of Music
November is a busy month at WMU’s School of Music, with a full slate of concerts and guest recitals on the schedule. Unless noted, performances will be in the Dalton Center Recital Hall and are free. The performers scheduled are:
• Western Winds, conducted by Scott Boerma, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 1.
• Keith Hall Jazz Trio, featuring Robert Hurst III on bass, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 2, with a pre-concert talk at 7 p.m.; tickets are $5–$15.
• Cory Mixdorf, on trombone, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3.
• Tony Romano, on guitar, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3.
• Gold Company Sneak Preview, featuring the student vocal jazz groups Gold Company and Gold Company II, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 4; tickets are $5–$10.
• Susanna’s Secret and Doctor Miracle, presented by WMU Opera, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 11–12; tickets are $5–$15.
• University Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Bruce Uchimura, 3 p.m. Nov. 13.
• David Zerkel, on tuba, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 13.
• Annual Big Band Swing Concert, performed by the University Jazz Orchestra and University Jazz Lab Band, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18; tickets are $5–$10.
• University Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band, 3 p.m. Nov. 20, Miller Auditorium.
• Brian KM, on horn and electronics, 6 p.m. Nov. 21.
• Peter Steiner, on trombone, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 21.
• University Percussion Ensemble, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 22.
• Meridian Arts Ensemble, a brass ensemble, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 30, with pre-concert talk at 7 p.m.; tickets are $5–$15.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit wmich.edu/music/events.
Connecting Chords Music Festival
The Connecting Chords Music Festival wraps up its current festival this month with three concerts:
• Tapestry, a vocal ensemble featuring medieval and traditional music, will perform at 4 p.m. Nov. 13 at Portage Chapel Hill United Methodist Church, 7028 Oakland Drive. The group’s program, “Web of Lace” for voices, piano and viola, celebrates extraordinary women composers, including Modesta Bor, Lili Boulanger, Rebecca Clarke, Florence Price and Germaine Tailleferre.
• American Patchwork Quartet, a group of four U.S. citizens, each with a unique cultural background, will present a repertoire of centuries-old American folk songs that highlight America’s immigrant roots at 7 p.m. Nov. 16 at Kalamazoo College’s Stetson Chapel
• Alla Boara, a six-person ensemble, will perform modern arrangements of traditional Italian folk music at 4 p.m. Nov. 20 at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 1747 W. Milham Ave.
Tickets for each concert are $20, or $15 for seniors and $5 for ages 25 and under, and are available online at mfsm.us.
Jason Max Ferdinand Singers
First Congregational Church
The Kalamazoo Bach Festival presents this 28-member vocal ensemble, led by the award-winning Jason Max Ferdinand, at 7:30 p.m.
The Cincinnati-based group comprises vocalists from across the nation. Ferdinand, a native of Trinidad and Tobago, is director of choral activities at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is also the former director of choral activities at Oakwood University, in Huntsville, Alabama, where he conducted the Aeolians, recipients of multiple national and international choir awards.
First Congregational is at 345 W. Michigan Ave. Tickets for the concert are $5–$39 for the in-person event and $19 to view it virtually. They are available online at kalamazoobachfestival.org.
This 31-year-old German-Greek pianist, described as a “piano poet” by the German newspaper Die Welt, will perform at 4 p.m. as part of the Gilmore Rising Stars Series.
Dörken’s performance, titled Odyssey, will include works by Debussy, Schubert, Mendelssohn and Schumann. She began her piano training at age 5 at the music school Subito in Düsseldorf, Germany, and has won numerous prizes at national and international piano competitions.
Tickets are $25 for the in-person concert and on a name-your-price basis for virtual viewing. For tickets or more information, visit thegilmore.org.
Angeline Kiang with KJSO
Cellist Angeline Kiang, the bronze medalist in the 2022 Stulberg International String Competition, will return to Kalamazoo to perform with the Kalamazoo Junior Symphony Orchestra at 4 p.m. at Chenery, 714 S. Westnedge Ave.
Kiang, who began study at the Juilliard School this fall, is also the winner of the 2022 National YoungArts Competition and the Colburn Music Academy’s 2022 Concerto Competition. She will perform Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto. The program, led by guest conductor Daniel Brier, will also include pieces by Brahms and Florence Price. Tickets are $5–$15 and available online at kjso.org.
Bruckner: An Epic Symphony
With a promise on its website that “there’s no symphony like a Bruckner Symphony,” the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra will perform Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4 in E-Flat Major, “Romantic.”
The 7:30 p.m. concert will begin with Florence Price’s Ethiopia’s Shadow in America.
Tickets are $6–$68 and available online at kalamazoosymphony.com.
First Congregational Church
Whether you want to just listen or sing along, you can take in the annual Messiah Sing, a collaboration of the Michigan Festival of Sacred Music, First Congregational United Church of Christ and the Kalamazoo Bach Festival.
This event will feature a chamber orchestra of local musicians and soloists who will perform Handel’s Messiah at 4 p.m. at the church, located at 345 W. Michigan Ave.
The free event is also available for virtual viewing. For more information, visit kalamazoobachfestival.org.
The Next Generation of Artistic Talent will be the theme of the November Art Hop, running from 5–8 p.m.
This free event organized by the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo 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 kalamazooarts.org.
Kalamazoo Book Arts Center
An opportunity to take home a work by trailblazing handmade papermaker and artist Paul Robbert is part of an exhibit and fundraising event at the KBAC.
Robbert served on the faculty of Western Michigan University for more than 40 years, setting up the university’s printmaking program and establishing a papermaking curriculum. A cofounder of the KBAC,
Robbert was known for creating new processes to form paper sheets. He died in 2008.
The exhibit will highlight Robbert’s work and art, while a reception from 5:30–7 p.m. Nov. 11 will be a fundraiser for the KBAC. Those who make a donation to the center can take home one of Robbert’s works.
For more information, visit kalbookarts.org.
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts:
Captive Beauties: Depictions of Women in Late Imperial China
Through Jan. 15
Unmasking Masculinity for the 21st Century
Through Dec. 29
Unveiling American Genius
What Is Going on in This Picture?
Through April 1
We’ve Only Just Begun: Celebrating a Century of Collecting Art at Western Michigan University
Through Nov. 19
Richmond Center for Visual Arts
Ben Blount: Present Perfect
Through Nov. 23
Kalamazoo Book Arts Center
Lauren Camp and Su Cho
Poets Lauren Camp and Su Cho will read from their works at 7 p.m. in this online presentation of the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center’s Poets in Print series.
Camp is the author of five books, most recently Took House (Tupelo Press). Her poems have been published in many journals and anthologies and translated into Mandarin, Turkish, Spanish and Arabic. Her work has won the Dorset Prize and finalist citations for the Arab American Book Award and New Mexico-Arizona Book Award.
Cho is a poet and essayist born in South Korea and raised in Indiana. She has an M.F.A. in poetry from Indiana University and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her work has been featured in Poetry, New England Review, Gulf Coast, Orion, the 2021 Best American Poetry and Best New Poets anthologies, and elsewhere. She has been a finalist for the 2020 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Poetry Fellowship, recipient of a National Society of Arts and Letters Award, and a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee. She is an assistant professor at Clemson University.
To view the readings or for more information, visit kalbookarts.org.
Whether you’re interested in poetry, fictional thrillers or World War II, there are several opportunities to hear talks by Michigan authors this month.
Poet Nancy Eimers will give a craft talk at 10 a.m. and do a reading at 2:15 p.m. in the Student Commons Theatre at Kalamazoo Valley Community College as part of the college’s Visiting Writers series. Eimers, whose new chapbook, Human Figures, was released in March, is the author of four previous poetry collections: Oz, A Grammar to Waking, No Moon, and Destroying Angel.
Poets Elizabeth Kerlikowske and Jennifer Clark will jointly give a presentation on “Memoir: Poetry & Prose” at 7 p.m. Nov. 3 at the Richland Community Library, 8951 Park St.
Kerlikowske, whose chapbook The Vaudeville Horse was just released, has been publishing poetry and fiction for more than 50 years and is the author of two full-length books, five chapbooks and a children’s book. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize six times.
Clark is the author of three full-length poetry collections: A Beginner’s Guide to Heaven, Necessary Clearings, and Johnny Appleseed: The Slice & Times of John Chapman. She is also the author of the children’s book What Do You See in Room 21C? and co-editor of the anthology Immigration & Justice for Our Neighbors. Her newest collection, Kissing the World Goodbye (March 2022), ventures into the world of memoir, braiding family tales with recipes.
Ryan Steck, author of the Matthew Redd thriller series, will speak at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 15 at the Parchment Community Library, 401 S. Riverview Drive. Steck is a freelance editor and author and the founder and editor-in-chief of The Real Book Spy, a website dedicated to news and reviews of the thriller genre of literature.
George D. Jepson, author of Crash Boat: Rescue and Peril in the Pacific During World War II, will talk at 7 p.m. Nov. 16 at the Portage District Library, 300 Library Lane. Jepson, editorial director for McBooks Press and a resident of Kalamazoo, worked with Earl A. McCandlish, commander of the 63-foot crash boat P-399, to detail the boat’s rescue operations during World War II.
45th Annual Mary Calletto Rife Youth Literature Seminar
Activism, advocacy and history through youth literature is the focus of this daylong online seminar presented by the Kalamazoo Public Library. It runs from 8:30 a.m.–3 p.m.
Historical fiction author Ruta Sepetys will give the morning keynote address at 9 a.m.; Kyle Lukoff, author of When Aidan Became a Brother and Call Me Max, will give the midday address at 11:15 p.m.; and poet Ruth Forman (Young Cornrows Calling Out the Moon) will give the closing keynote address at 1:45 p.m. Breakout sessions cover topics such as early learning, diversity, trauma, and LGBTQ history.
The event is free, but registration is required. To register or for more information, visit kpl.gov.
One in Three
Nov. 4 & 5
Dormouse Theatre Troupe
Themes of reproductive and women’s rights will be viewed through a sketch-comedy lens by the Dormouse Theatre Troupe at the Dormouse Theatre, 1030 Portage Road.
The show begins at 7 p.m. both days, and tickets are $20. For tickets or more information, visit dormousetheatre.com.
Kalamazoo Improv Festival
Improvisational comedy at its best will be featured as 10 teams from across the Midwest compete in two days of comedy at the Crawlspace Theatre, 315 W. Michigan Ave.
This annual competition began in 2008 and had to take an unfortunate hiatus due to the Covid pandemic.
For more information, visit crawlspacecomedy.com.