The Play Ground

"I got the horse right here..." You bet (get it?). This is one of The Play Ground's favorites and we got it right here. This weekend the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre is presenting Guys and Dolls at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre at the Michigan League. Classic book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows and music by Frank Loesser. Get your foot ready to tap. Too short a run? So,"Sue Me."

Lost and Found

The disappearance of Caravaggio’s The Taking of Christ, baffled art historians for two centuries. Jonathan Harr turns his considerable skills to this mystery in his highly acclaimed The Lost Painting: The Search for a Caravaggio Masterpiece. A starred review in Booklist calls it an “effortlessly educating and marvelously entertaining mix of art history and scholarly sleuthing.” Listen and decide who should star in the film adaptation.

Teddy’s Last Adventure

Was Theodore Roosevelt the 2nd greatest president of the 20th century after FDR? He was certainly the most adventurous. His final expedition, the first descent of an unmapped, rapids-choked tributary of the Amazon, nearly cost him his life. Candice Millard’s retelling of the trip, River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey , is more spellbinding than fiction and worthy of the man himself.

The Play Ground

Take 6, an award winning contemporary Christian sextet broke new ground in a cappella music. They have a signature sound that draws from gospel, jazz, doo-wop, R&B, 1960s soul and hip-hop. This is the final event of this season's Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day activities on the UofM campus. The performance also feature the UofM Gospel Chorale. Bring down the house. Monday, January 16, 7:30pm, Hill Auditorium

Lou Rawls: 1933-2006

No less a singer than Frank Sinatra cited him as having "the classiest singing and silkiest chops in the singing game." Lou Rawls, whose velvet baritone inspired 75 albums and three Grammys over the course of a four-decade career, died yesterday of lung and brain cancer. Rawls had been battling cancer since 2004. The Library owns several Rawls albums, including the 1977's When You Hear Lou, You've Heard it All

Read the CNN obituary.

Records of the Year?

Another year-end list! This time it's the top three records of the year according to Entertainment Weekly's David Browne. 1) Extraordinary Machine, by Fiona Apple; 2) Guero, by Beck; 3) Late Registration, by Kayne West.

Read more about EW's choices...or tell us your own.

The Play Ground

American works for Balinese gamelan orchestra

Often lauded as the pinnacle of aesthetic achievement in Indonesia, Javanese shadow puppet theater is one of the world’s great classical theatrical forms. The mythological stories feature ancient kings, humorous antics of clowns, fierce battles and deep philosophical questions. This concert stars puppeteer Sigit Adji Sabdoprijono and Javanese dancer Yulisa Mastati, artists-in-residence at the Residential College. Susan Pratt Walton directs the gamelan, which is part of the Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments.
Rackham Auditorium, January 14, 2006 at 8pm, No tickets required

The Big Apple

Transit strikes come, transit strikes go. The City endures. Pete Hamill knows, as only an old newspaper reporter can, the streets, the people, the stories that make New York City so captivating and so confounding . Listen to Downtown: My Manhattan and you’ll want to visit even if you have to walk from the airport.

Once Hamill has you hooked on the Big Apple, you’ll want to know how it all started. The Island at the Center of the World takes you back to the founding of New Netherland, describing the array of cultures and peoples that created one of the most diverse cities in the world.

De-stress while listening to classical piano

With the holidays upon us, smart music lovers are stocking up on relaxing CDs. The library recently bought the popular title The Most Relaxing Classical Piano Music in the Universe, with selections by Bach, Schumann, Mozart, Beethoven (Moonlight Sonata and Fur Elise), and other composers. Right now there are 27 people on the waiting list for this CD, but if you reserve it now, you, too, can look forward to being among the most relaxed listeners in the universe.

Holiday CD is music for tired ears

If your ears are jangling from too much holiday noise, switch to the uplifting sounds of this CD, Carreras, Domingo, Pavarotti: Christmas Favorites from the World's Favorite Tenors. Not only are their voices glorious, but the selections - including I'll be Home for Christmas and Joy to the World - hit just the right note, too. Happy holiday listening!

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