The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

It is almost summer and we were hoping to get some swimming in, but alas, we cannot go in the pool when it is 50 degrees out. So we are walking and running and going to pilates. A good stretch routine can make a difference in preventing injury. Andrew Phelka is a personal trainer and will demonstrate techniques for gaining flexibility and rehabilitating muscle injuries. Malletts Creek Branch, Thursday, June 11, 7:00pm.

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

Even The Play Ground has to get outside for some fresh air now and then. We are headed to the Downtown library to hear Nancy Findlayson, aka The Lighthouse Lady, talk about the marvelous lighthouse attractions in the state. Touring Michigan is an economical way for us to vacation this summer. Downtown Multi Purpose Room, 7pm.

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

Bruce Springsteen famously sings: "The times are tough now, just getting tougher..." Rumor has it that times are tough for some of our local theater companies. There is an excellent play at Performance Network and if you have never seen August Wilson's Pulitzer and Tony winning play, FENCES, this is as good a time as any. This American classic follows one African-American family as they struggle through the 1950s. FENCES explores the complicated relationships that hold families together-- and tear them apart. Performance Network, through May 24th, 663-0681.

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

Our solution to everything is "let's eat." It has worked pretty well so far. So we are ecstatic about the National Library Week program at the Downtown Library: "Just Desserts" with Chef Isabella from Paesano's Restaurant. The chef will demonstrate how to make three desserts. She will be making a chocolate mousse, a semifreddo and zaletti cookies. To heck with fitting into bathing suits, we are still in our winter coats. Chef Isabella, Downtown, April 15, 7:00pm.

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

Gosh, one piece of good news is that this weekend we can head to Canton [not so far] for a great nostalgic piece of humor and music. The Comic Opera Guild is presenting ORANGE BLOSSOMS, a musical by VICTOR HERBERT that was first produced in 1922. This year marks the 150th birday of Victor Herbert who was the first major composer of operettas and musicals in the United States. He was also famous for his marches. The plot contains no operatic absurdities, but tells the story of Kitty Savery, a young American of no means, who ventures to Paris where she finds herself marrying a man to save his inheritance. Much hilarity and fur flying ensues. April 3 and 4, 7:30 pm. The Village Theater in Canton.

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

Did you know that The Detroit Observatory may have been responsible for "launching the U-M on the path to greatness?" Henry Tappan, the first president of the university, thought that an astronomical observatory would help "change the wilderness into fruitful fields." It was finished in 1854 on a site that was then considered "way out in the country." On Sunday, Karen Wight, Project Coordinator of The Detroit Observatory, will bring us back to 19th Century Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan. March 29, Pittsfield Branch, 2pm.

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

Stella! Stella! Any follower of popular culture knows that familiar refrain from Tennessee Williams' 1948 play, A Streetcar Named Desire. There have been many revivals over the years and now it is playing at The Purple Rose Theatre in Chelsea. Set in steamy New Orleans following World War II, this Pulitzer Prize-winning play tells the story of Blanche DuBois, her sister and Stella's volatile husband Stanley. The conflict between these three provides a thrilling emotional climax. Until March 21.

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

Around the beginning of February we always take time from plays and concerts and sit in front of the TV and watch the Westminster Dog Show. It will be broadcast on two different channels: Monday, February 9, 8-9 p.m. on USA Network and 9-11 p.m. CNBC. On Tuesday, February 10 it will run from 8-11 on USA Network. A little confusing, but dog people can figure it out. Hey, most dogs can probably figure it out! As is our custom, we are rooting for the Highland Terrier to win.

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

Did you know that the Bathsheva Dance Company was founded in 1964 by Martha Graham and the Baroness Batsheva de Rothschild? This is a cutting edge modern dance company that is now led by Ohad Naharin. They are presenting two different full length programs. So you can go on both nights! February 14 @ 8PM and February 15 @ 4PM.

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

Drive carefully but don't let the snow keep you home--there are so many wonderful programs in town these days. Coming up on Saturday, February 7 at Hill is Lawrence Brownlee, an up-and-coming tenor who specializes in bel canto. He was recently named the Seattle Opera’s 2008 Artist of the Year and was the winner of both the 2006 Marian Anderson and Richard Tucker Awards, a feat never before achieved by any artist in the same year. He was born in Ohio and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Anderson University and a Master of Music degree from Indiana University. To further enhance your listening pleasure, the library is hosting music specialist Richard LeSueur who will discuss Mr. Brownlee's recital.

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