Performance Network Theatre: Jerry's Girls

Ann Arbor's Performance Network Theatre is showing Jerry's Girls, with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, through Jan. 5. Herman worked on the concept with Larry Alford and Wayne Cilento. From the theatre's webpage: "Fabulous, flamboyant and fun for the whole family, 'Jerry's Girls' is the larger than life musical revue of Jerry Herman. Winner of four Tony Awards, including the Lifetime Achievement of Theatre, Jerry Herman and his music are synonymous with some of Broadway’s biggest hits – Hello Dolly!, La Cage Aux Folles, Mame, Mack and Mabel, Dear World, and more. Complete with large scale production numbers, tap dancing, and a little bit of drag – this is the perfect holiday excursion . . . " Ticket information is here.

Call for Community Presenters

North Quad Programming is seeking presentations by individuals or groups from the greater Ann Arbor-Detroit vicinity whose work explores the idea of supporting, sustaining, or establishing community. The Exposure Series is an ongoing Powered by PechaKucha event in Space 2435, organized by North Quad Programming. Presenters are invited to prepare a powerpoint presentation under the following guidelines: 20 slides, presented for 20 seconds per slide, for a total of 6 minutes and 40 seconds. The presentations will take place on December 18 from 6 to 8 pm. Email umnorthquad@umich.edu to reserve your presenter slot. Videos of past Exposure Series presentations can be viewed on the North Quad Vimeo.

Madeline and the Bad Hat

On Sunday, November 10, 2013, the Michigan Theatre is going to be presenting the musical version of the classic children's book Madeline and the Bad Hat by Ludwig Bemelmans. This title was originally published in 1956, and deals with bullying, a timely topic even today. The term "bad hat" is not used to describe a head covering, it is a term for a person who deliberately causes trouble.

Before you take the kids to see this show, take them to the Malletts Creek Branch
on Sunday, November 3, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. We'll read the original book and then
do some special crafts. You'll be able to make Madeline's famous yellow and blue hat or construct the Eiffel Tower out of craft sticks. Parents must stay with their children as we will be using hot glue for these projects.

This is for kids in grades kindergarten and up.

"Don't Call Me Inspirational: A Disabled Feminist Talks Back"

Harilyn Rousso, author of "Don't Call Me Inspirational: A Disabled Feminist Talks Back," will read from her book Nov. 13 at 1 p.m. in Palmer Commons, Great Lakes Room South, at the University of Michigan. Her appearance is sponsored by a number of groups including Services for Students with Disabilities, Council for Disability Concerns, Women's Studies, Center for Education of Women, the LSA Disability Culture class, and Nicola's Books. Refreshments and Screenline CART services will be provided. Later the same day, the author will participate in a reading and panel discussion at 6:30 p.m. at the U-M School of Social Work. Refreshments and CART services will be provided. People planning to attend the later event should RSVP by emailing Carolyn Grawi at cgrawi@umich.edu.

"Don't Call Me Inspirational" is a collection of essays, poems, and personal memories by the author, who was born with cerebral palsy and now is a psychotherapist, disabilities activist and artist. Her book, published earlier this year, was widely and favorably reviewed. Rosemarie Garland-Thomson wrote in Ms. magazine that it is "less a memoir of endurance than a fine model for feminist development."

Wild Swan Theater: The Firebird

Wild Swan Theater presents The Firebird Nov. 21-24 in Towsley Auditorium in the Morris Lawerence Buildong at Washtenaw Community College. The performance is for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. From the Wild Swan web page: "Young Ivan, Prince of Russia, must outwit one evil character after another in his quest to find the Firebird who has been stealing the Czar’s golden apples. A thrilling version of the classic Russian folktale, Wild Swan’s production features a host of fantastical creatures including the witch Baba Yaga, Nurl the Gnome, and Sistchik the Snake King as well as swirling Russian folk dancing set to a lively balalaika score." Ticket information is here.

NPR in Town and at the Library

Did you know that you can access some of your favorite NPR shows and their related materials through the library? The AADL has full episodes of This American Life and A Prairie Home Companion as well as excerpts from some of the more famous segments of the shows all on CD. These are great to listen to at home or in the car, and most are appropriate for all ages. The library also has a collection of CDs called I Heard It on NPR, which showcase some of the more popular singers and musicians that have appeared over the years on the radio station.

Garrison Keiller, the host of A Prairie Home Companion, has also written several novels about the fictional town of Lake Wobegon, which he often references in the show. These include Pontoon: A Lake Wobegon Novel, Pilgrims: A Wobegon Romance, and Lake Wobegon, Summer 1956, among others, all of which you can find at the AADL.

In addition, the NPR show Radiolab, hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, is on live tour this fall, and is stopping next week at the Michigan Theater here in Ann Arbor! You can listen to recordings of previous Radiolab shows on their website, and there are plenty of tickets still available through their site for the live show on October 7, 2013.

September 19: Talk Like a Pirate Day

Ahoy there! Well shiver me timbers once again Talk Like a Pirate Day is upon us and it will be a glorious one. If you are curious as to how this international event started, you can check out the story posted here on the original website. You can also view the countdown and see a map of events happening around the world that are related to Talk Like a Pirate Day. If you really want to embrace the pirate speak, you can even change your language settings on Facebook to English(Pirate). Now for a friendly disclaimer, pirates in reality were nothing to laugh about and the creators of Talk Like a Pirate Day will be the first to admit it. Pirates were and are for the most part pretty despicable people so the promotion of speaking like a pirate is not a general endorsement for the pirate lifestyle.

If you want to skip talking like a pirate and would rather read about or watch them instead, make sure to check out the materials that AADL has featuring these terrifying tormentors of the sea.

Fair winds me hearties!

Performance Network: "An Iliad"

Performance Network Theatre in downtown Ann Arbor presents "An Iliad" adapted by Denis O’Hare and Lisa Peterson from September 26 through October 27. The Performance Network webpage offers this description of the play: "In this present-day retelling of Homer’s classic, a lone figure appears on an unadorned stage and shares the tragic narrative he is fated to tell for eternity. This epic narrative brings humor, pathos, and excitement to the ancient tale of the Trojan War, colliding it with the contemporary world and creating a wholly captivating theatrical experience." Performance Network is located at 120 East Huron St. and ticket information is here.

Join Jane Austen and J.D. Salinger at the Michigan Theater next Friday!

Next Friday, September 13th, will be a big literary day at the Michigan Theater with the opening of both Austenland and Salinger.

Austenland, simply put, is a film about a woman who is obsessed with Jane Austen. Keri Russel plays Jane Hayes, a “seemingly normal” 30-something woman who risks “her life savings on a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-crazed women.” Along the way, she finds out that her own Mr. Darcy romance fantasies might not be so far-fetched… This romantic comedy also stars Jennifer Collidge, Jane Seymour and Bret McKenzie, and raises questions such as, "Who doesn't love men in tight breeches?"

Based upon the popular novel of the same title, Jane Austen enthusiasts everywhere will find themselves pulled into the fantasy land along with the characters in the film.

***

Salinger is the long-awaited documentary about one of the world’s most popular and adored authors, J.D. Salinger. The documentary “features interviews with 150 subjects, including J.D. Salinger‘s friends, colleagues and members of his inner circle who have never spoken on the record before, as well as film footage, photographs and other material that has never been seen.

The film is the first work to get beyond the Catcher in the Rye author’s meticulously built-up wall: his childhood, painstaking work methods, marriages, private world and the secrets he left behind after his death in 2010.”

Visit the Michigan Theater's website for more information about the films & showtimes!

Preserving Family Treasures

My mother has a favorite doll. It is grungy, old, and faded but it is her favorite because of the memories that are attached to it. The story is that when she was about 6 years old she went with my grandpa to the local dump. Now I have no idea why they were there, but in the distance, my mom’s eye caught sight of the most beautiful doll she had ever seen. She asked my grandpa if he would go get it for her. As he looked at the mound of waste between him and the object of his daughter’s desires, he did what any father would do. He tried to talk her out of it. But my mother would not be dissuaded and her timid asking quickly became more of a frantic pleading. Finally my grandpa ventured out on a mission to retrieve the doll and waded through quite a bit of trash before he reached the it. The doll was smelly and dirty, but out of all of the toys my mom had growing up, this doll is the one that she has treasured, not because of the doll itself, but because of what the doll signifies. It is a representation of her dad’s love for her and is a reminder of her happy childhood.

Maybe you have a similar story, some memento from a grandparent, parent, or favorite aunt that is sitting in a box in the attic. Protecting and preserving these items is incredibly important and can sometimes be neglected. Ultimately they are not just objects, but connections to our past and collective history. On September 9 at 6:00 P.M. the Delta Township District Library is hosting a presentation given by internationally renowned preservationist and ALA 2012 Ken Haycock Award winner Jeanne Drewes. Not feeling up to a road trip to Lansing? No problem! The presentation will be streamed live and should be accessible through this link. Learn how to protect those family treasures and preserve the memories attached to them.

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