The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

Brilliant is what comes to mind when you put Stephen Sondheim, Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart together to create a Broadway hit. Burlesque is what comes to mind when you put Zero Mostel, Phil Silvers, Jack Gilford, Buster Keaton and Michael Crawford together on the screen. This community seems to enjoy watching and hearing the music to A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum about the laziest slave in Rome, so how clever it is that the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre is presenting this very funny play from June 5-8? Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre, 911 North University. 971-2228

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

It's been 25 years since Mr. B, Steve Nardella, and George Bedard played together as members of the Steve Nardella Band. Since then, each has gone on to make his own mark. They get back together Saturday night for a show that no fan of American jazz should miss. The past six annual concerts have been standing room only so get there early. 8 p.m., Firefly Club, 207 S. Ashley. Saturday, May 31, 2008, Tickets $20 at the door only. 665-9090.

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

Even The Play Ground has to get out now and then. As soon as spring arrives (though lately we are somewhat dubious that it has) we head to Barton Pond or Gallup Park with our binoculars to see what is flying about and passing through.

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

Springtime is a good time to mosey over to Chelsea, take a walk around, check out the art galleries and shops, maybe have a meal at The Common Grill and see a play at The Purple Rose Theatre. "Growing Pretty" by Carey Crim and directed by Michelle Mountain is the world premiere of this coming-of-age tale about a girl who dreams of becoming a supermodel. When her mom steals the love of her life, the girl has to navigate, alone, the difficult path of becoming an artist. Purple Rose Theatre, 137 Park St., Chelsea. Tickets in advance and at the door-through May 31. 433-7673.

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

“Jimmy had soul way back when people weren't using the word,” observed Ray Charles. Legendary 84-year-old jazz vocalist Jimmy Scott is a male soprano who has influenced Stevie Wonder, Frankie Valli and Lou Reed, to name a few. Scott's singing has a high piercing quality that's the result of a hereditary hormonal deficiency that kept his voice from developing beyond boyhood. "He sings with the melodic concept of an instrument," says Quincy Jones, who was a trumpeter with Lionel Hampton's band when Scott made his debut as a vocalist with Hampton in 1949. "He'd put me on my knees, give me goose bumps." Go get goose bumps yourself. Friday, May 9, 8pm. The Ark, 316 S. Main. Tickets $15.

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

"Well look a-yonder comin', Comin' on down the track. Well look a-yonder comin', Comin' on down the track. It's the Orange Blossom Special, Bringin' my baby back." Classic depression era rail & fiddle music written by Ervin T Rouse and Chubby Wise. This weekend you can hum the song as you stroll around the Midwest's largest model railroad flea market at the 38th Annual Show, Ann Arbor Model Railroad Club. Also, display of model train operating layouts. Proceeds used to restore and maintain Dexter's railroad depot. Feb. 16 & 17, Saline Middle School gymnasium, 426-0829. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

Super Bowl, Schmooper Bowl. For those of us who skipped football for the Puppy Bowl, the most important contest on the tube is the 132nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 11 & 12. For a behind the scene look at this dogworld, check out Going for the blue: inside the world of show dogs and dog shows by Roger A. Caras, famed animal-rights activist who served as president of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for eight years. USA Network and CNBC will be airing coverage of the dog show from Madison Square Garden. Woof.

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

Did you know that the Guarneri String Quartet is retiring at the completion of the 2008-09 season after a remarkable 45 years? So, it is quite exciting that Ann Arbor is on their schedule as they collaborate for the first time with the Johannes Quartet, an ensemble comprised of top-notch orchestra musicians who carve out time from their busy careers for chamber music. Both the Guarneri and Johannes String Quartets have roots in Vermont's legendary Marlboro Music Festival. The program includes a performance of Mendelssohn’s beloved String Octet, as well as a UMS co-commission by U-M composer William Bolcom. February 9, Rackham Auditorium, 8 pm

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

You know, the best bakeries are ethnic in nature. Mmmm, Italian, Middle Eastern, Indian, Jewish and so on. Sunday afternoon you can partake of some of the best that the Jewish bakeries have to offer. Hadassah Bakes: Challah, Kugel and Mandel Bread. To celebrate the addition of digital versions of beloved cookbooks "Like Mama Used to Make" and "Like Mama Used to Make ... And More" on the new Ann Arbor Cooks website, Hadassah of Ann Arbor bakers will demonstrate the techniques of these traditional recipes. The audience will have the added pleasure of tasting the results! Cosponsored by Hadassah of Ann Arbor. Sunday January 27, 2008: 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm -- Malletts Creek Branch:

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

Lately, we have been watching that wacky show on BBC America, BARGAIN HUNT, and dreaming about spring and a return to the Ann Arbor Antiques Market so that we can do our own bargain hunting and up popped the Saline Area Historical Society's one day show this Saturday. This is the 21st annual show and it draws at least 50 juried dealers from throughout the Midwest who offer a wide variety of quality antiques. You might want to read up before you go: Passion For Antiques by Barbara Milo Ohrbach. Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds, 5055 Ann Arbor-Saline Rd. Admission $3. 429-3164, 944-0713 Saturday, January 19, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

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