Top of the Park Kicks off June 18

Top of the ParkTop of the Park

The Ann Arbor Summer Festival is back! Top of the Park will kick off on Friday June 18, with Mucca Pazza playing the opening night celebration at Ingalls Mall. This awesome festival will run through July 11. All events, except those at the Power Center, are completely free. While at Top of the Park you can enjoy food from local vendors, watch live music, see a movie under the starry sky, get your face painted, take a free yoga class, and even learn how to salsa! I know I'll be there and I hope you will be too.

Visit Top of the Park's website for a complete list of musical acts and activities.

Summer Flicks @ the Michigan Theater

Summer is the time to relax at the Michigan Theater with the cool A/C and some cool movies after a long day of enjoying the sun.

Check out the 2010 Summer Documentary Film Series, which features a hand-picked selection of some of the best from the past few year. Documentaries such as Food, Inc., The Beaches of Agnes, Good Hair, The Cove, and more, will be shown on Mondays at 7pm. See here for full list of movies and dates for the Documentary Series.

Not into documentaries? Then check out the Summer Classic Film Series, showing on Sundays and Tuesdays all summer. View films such as Gimme Shelter, Animal Crackers, The Graduate, and a sing-a-long Wizard of Oz, all on the big screen. See here for full list of movies and dates for the Classics Series.

Both series start this weekend at the Michigan Theater!

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Great Lakes, Great Times Reading Series 5/22

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Great Lakes, Great Times is a monthly reading series that, according to the host, “showcases the best established and up-and-coming writers working today.” The May reading will take place at 826Michigan, and will feature readings from authors Ander Monson, Kathryn Regina, Robert Lopez, Matt Bell, and Andrea Kneeland.

Check here to see which authors are up next in the series. This is the last event until September! So many authors are visiting, and these events have been filling the house!

The monthly event is geared towards adults, admission is FREE, and anyone is welcome. It's all happening Saturday, May 22, 7pm at 826michgan / The Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair Shop at 115 East Liberty.

Little Shop of Horrors Extended to May 30

Good news -- Performance Network will continue staging its production of Little Shop of Horrors until May 30. This horror-comedy-musical is definitely worth seeing -- and now you have more chances to see it. Book and lyrics are by Howard Ashman and music is by Alan Menken. You can read a 2008 scholarly analysis of a film version of the story in Cinema Journal, just by going to our Literature Resource Center. Or just go enjoy the play!

Droonkher Tashi Delek, Siddhartha Gautama!

It's birthday time for The Buddha this weekend, and Ann Arbor's Zen Buddhist Temple on Packard is one place to participate in the celebration. The two day event begins on Saturday, May 22 from 2:30pm - 8:30pm with an open poetry reading, vegetarian buffet (for a fee), and storytelling program with music. On Sunday, May 23, from 9:30am - 8:30pm, the Buddha festivities roll out with the story of Buddha's life followed by the Peace and Happiness Street Parade, which youngsters are invited to join in on foot or on bike. The evening keeps going with a meditation, a lighting of the lotus lanterns, and readings from area Buddhist groups.

For AADL materials and information on Buddha and Buddhism, try a subject search for Buddha or for Buddhism, or check out the online database, Biography Resource Center, and their articles on The Buddha.

Master the Art of Juggling

Perhaps one of the more important questions to ponder on a rainy day: How long has mankind been perpetually throwing objects into the air for a sustained length of time (a.k.a. juggling)? A hundred years? Two hundred? Try 4,000 years. We're talking about Ancient Egyptians here, not only known for their early embalming techniques, but also for their master juggling skills.

If you'd like to become a part of this esteemed legacy, then the 2010 Ann Arbor Juggling Arts Festival this Saturday, May 15, from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. at the Wide World Sports Center is the event for you. Replete with workshops, games, and open juggling, the Festival is open to jugglers of any ability.

Concerned that your handling techniques aren't up to snuff? Across the road from the Sports Center is the AADL Pittsfield Branch, where you can pick up some juggling learning materials, like the DVD, How to Juggle and Other Cheap Tricks, or the book, Pathways in Juggling, or any of the other juggling materials in the library's collection. Place your requests today by logging into My Account, or giving us a call at (734) 327-4219, or coming in to any of our five locations.

Teen Stuff: It’s time for Breakin’ Curfew!

The Neutral Zone and UMS present Breakin' Curfew. The event is created, produced, marketed, and performed by local teens. The performances at Breakin' Curfew feature everything from dance, spoken word, jazz, classical music, rock, to hip hop, and much more. The electricity of a teen-centric audience watching a show of teens, produced by teens, is amazing. It is quite the unique showcase of talent. All this fun takes place at the Power Center on Saturday, May 15 at 8pm. See here for ticket info and more. Yes, adults are of course welcome to attend and support these great minds! Breakin CurfewBreakin Curfew

Purple Rose in the Spotlight

Thorton Wilder’s acclaimed play Our Town is being staged by Purple Rose Theater Company through May 29. Don’t miss this critically praised production. On Tuesday (today), come see Purple Rose Playwrights Discuss The Playwriting Process And Read From Their New Plays from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Downtown Library.

Author Louis Sachar @ Nicola’s Books

The much loved author Louis Sachar will be in Ann Arbor on Friday, May 14 promoting his new young adult novel, The Cardturner. Sachar has written many youth books, including the Newbery Award winning Holes, the Marvin Redpost series, and the Wayside School series. He will be doing a discussion, Q & A, and book signing. There are “rules” to the signing, check here for details before you head out. The event takes place at Nicola’s Books at 7pm.
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Dig these historical gardens

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Over the years local historian Grace Shackman has written about the history of gardens and gardening in Ann Arbor. In May 2001, she covered the history of UM's botanical gardens. She also wrote about the history of garden shows in Ann Arbor from 1926-1941; antique plant specialist, Scott Kunst; and Carl Weinberg's famous Peony Garden.

This weekend Matthaei Botanical Gardens holds their 30th Annual Spring Plant Sale and Fundraiser and next weekend, the Dexter Garden Club will offer plants for sale at the gazebo in Dexter's Monument Park.

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