Celebrated Actress, Writer, and Producer Cindy Williams Discusses Her Career And Her New Autobiography: “Shirley, I Jest!: A Storied Life”

Sunday August 9, 2015: 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Actress, writer, and producer Cindy Williams is one of the most recognizable names and faces of 1970s & 1980s television.

Best known for her starring role in the hit TV show "Laverne and Shirley," she also had lead roles in such iconic films such as "American Graffiti" and Francis Ford Coppola's "The Conversation."

While millions have been entertained by her good-natured personality and comedy antics, she has rarely spoken about her life in entertainment, and how she came to star in one of the most popular shows of all time.

Join us for this truly special event at the Downtown Library as Cindy sits with local radio personality Lucy Ann Lance to discuss her life, career and new book Shirley, I Jest!: A Storied Life. In this hilarious and heartfelt book, she shares some of her most memorable stories including her role as Shirley Feeney in the iconic TV show "Laverne & Shirley." She shares stories of her experiences in her personal life (growing up in a blue-collar family) and show business as well as her encounters with entertainment giants such as Gene Kelly, Lucille Ball, Little Richard, Cary Grant, Jim Morrison, Ron Howard, and many more. Of course, she also talks about her professional partnership and personal relationship with her co-star and friend Penny Marshall.

This event includes a book signing and books will be for sale by Literati Bookstore.

Michigan Activity Pass - Check Out Free Passes to Michigan Attractions


Looking for adventure this summer? The Michigan Activity Pass (MAP) is newly expanded, offering free or discounted entry to more than 360 attractions across the state. Library card holders can log in to the MAP site to explore opportunities close to home or farther afield. Use the Advanced Search option to narrow your results by area of interest, such as art, historical sites, maritime, children's activities, campgrounds, and many more.

Use MAP to get free or discounted entry to some of the historic lighthouses dotting Michigan's coast, to art museums such as the Detroit Institute of Arts or the Detroit Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, to history museums like the Yankee Air Museum, the Michigan Firehouse Museum, and the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, as well as to state parks and campgrounds throughout Michigan,

Find MAP on the library's website under Unusual Stuff and explore your options for making this summer a non-stop Michigan adventure!

Check out the program brochure for a complete listing of participating locations.

"Why Shakespeare?" With Janice L Blixt, Producing Artistic Director of the Michigan Shakespeare Festival

Monday July 6, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Join Jan for a delightful evening as she answers that frequent question in a format combining history, literary criticism, and pop culture. She will also discuss the 21st Anniversary Season of the Michigan Shakespeare Festival, featuring productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Henry IV, and Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s The Rivals.

Jan Blixt has been a professional director and classical actor in Chicago and Michigan for nearly 20 years, having played most of the great female roles from Lady Macbeth to Twelfth Night’s Olivia. Entering her fifth year as the MSF's Artistic Director, Blixt will direct A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Henry IV.

In 2014, she directed the acclaimed Hamlet, Prince of Denmark and the Wilde Award for Best Comedy, winning for The Importance of Being Earnest. In 2013 she directed Twelfth Night, and in 2012, she directed both Richard III & George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion. She has also directed Romeo & Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing and won the Wilde-Award for her Production of The Winter's Tale. She also adapted and directs the ongoing MSF touring productions of Romeo & Juliet and Macbeth.

As the Official Shakespeare Festival of the State of Michigan, the Michigan Shakespeare Festival is a professional Equity theatre company (LOA/LORT) dedicated to producing world-class classical plays. Now in preparation for their 21st year, the Festival performs in Jackson's lovely Baughman Theatre, and for the first time this year, they are expanding to Canton's beautiful Village Theatre of Cherry Hill. The Michigan Shakespeare Festival inspires and entertains a diverse audience while further developing an appreciation for professional performances of Shakespeare's works and other classical plays.

Ann Arbor Civic Theatre Archive Launched on Old News

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The Ann Arbor Civic Theatre is celebrating 85 years and AADL has launched a new website detailing the history of this award-winning local theater company.

View hundreds photos from the rehearsals, backstages and performances of the plays including never before seen shots from noted photographer Fred Beutler as well as the staff photographers at the Ann Arbor News. The Archive also includes hundreds of posters and programs from plays and over a thousand articles from the Ann Arbor News.

Old News will be adding more programs, photos and documents from the extensive collection at the Civic Theatre in the coming months but we need your help . . . can you identify any of the people in the photos where we don't have names? Everyone knows someone in Ann Arbor who worked in or for a Civic Theatre play, so browse the photos and add your knowledge in the Add New Comment feature. We have identified the lady at your left, that's Gilda Radner.

National Library Week Event: Let's Put On A Play! Celebrating 85 Years of the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre

Monday April 13, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Did you know that Gilda Radner got her start on the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre stage? Or that Brynn O’Malley, the star of Broadway’s new musical Honeymoon In Vegas, won local awards for her Ann Arbor Civic Theatre performances as Maria in The Sound Of Music and Anne Egerman in A Little Night Music?

Take a musical step back in local theater history as AADL unveils its digital archive of Ann Arbor Civic Theatre with an evening of music, memories and performances by the beloved local theater company.

The evening includes reminisces from local Ann Arbor Civic Theatre celebrities: musical performances from Follies, Chicago, and Guys and Dolls; previews from upcoming productions of Rent and 101 Dalmatians; a digital look at past productions, and the official announcement of A2CT’s 2015-2016 season. Refreshments will be served.

Musical performers include Anne Bauman, Glenn Bugala, Amanda Burch, Jennifer Goltz, Caitlin Rowe, Kathy Waugh, the cast of Civic Theatre’s upcoming production of Rent and the young actors from the A2CT’s Junior Theater production of 101 Dalmatians. Laurie Atwood, Nancy Heusel and Chris Tabaczka-Hover will also offer poignant and amusing memories of Ann Arbor Civic Theatre’s past.

AADL will unveil their new website detailing the history of this award-winning local theater company, including over 1,000 reviews and photographs from the Ann Arbor News, a chronology of past programs, and hundreds of photos and posters from the Civic Theatre's archive.

Wild Swan's 'Coming to America'

Tuesday January 27, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event is intended for grades 3 - 8

Wild Swan Theater presents a stirring musical play about immigration, following the journeys of four children from different parts of the world who make their way to a new life in America.

'Coming to America' is an original production based on the lives of children who came to the U.S. from around the world. This multicultural production interweaves the adventures, songs, humor, hardships, and triumphs of the people who built our country.

With music by Laz Slomovits of Gemini, the play follows the adventures of children from four countries: Russia, the Dominican Republic, Vietnam and Lebanon as they leave their homelands and journey to America. Their stories are filled with the courage, hope, dreams and laughter of our collective immigrant histories as they overcome huge obstacles in their quest for a better life.

Penny Seats Theatre Company Presents Elektra

The Penny Seats Theatre Company presents the Greek Tragedy Elektra at 7 pm July 11 – 12, 17 – 19 and 24 – 26 in Ann Arbor's West Park, 215 Chapin St. between Miller and Huron, Chapin and Seventh. The show, recommended for ages 16 and up, was written by Sophocles and translated by Anne Carson. A description of the play from Wikipedia: "Set in the city of Argos a few years after the Trojan war, it is based around the character of Electra, and the vengeance that she and her brother Orestes take on their mother Clytemnestra and step father Aegisthus for the murder of their father, Agamemnon." Tickets are $10 and picnic dinners are available. More information is here.

Young Actors Guild: Macbeth

The Ann Arbor Young Actors Guild is gearing up for its presentation of Macbeth May 16-18 at the U-M Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre. In this classic play by William Shakespeare, an 11th century Scottish nobleman is led by an evil prophecy and his ruthless wife to the treasonous act that makes him king Ticket information is here.

Young People's Theater: The Wizard of Oz

Young People's Theater will present the classic story of The Wizard of Oz from May 16-18 at the University of Michigan Power Center. For ticket information, click here. Meanwhile, YPT also is organizing summer camps which you can learn about here.

Ann Arbor Civic Theater: Noises Off

Ann Arbor Civic Theater will present Noises Off May 8-11. From the synopsis on the A2ct web page: "Noises Off finds a dysfunctional theater troupe mounting a classic farce entitled Nothing On. This comedy-within-a-comedy offers the audience a glimpse behind the scenes during dress rehearsal, the opening performance, and a performance toward the end of the run." Ticket information is here.

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