Things to do around Ann Arbor this week (March 8-13, 2016)

Nufonia 4 by AJ Korkidakis.JPG

UMS presents “Nufonia Must Fall” this Friday and Saturday. (Photo by AJ Korkidakis)

“Rupaul Drag Race” Season Premiere/Express YoSelf Party at Lampshade. Attendees are invited to wear costumes and bring nail polish, makeup, friends, and fabulousness. Angel Vanas is donating two fabulously redone-did wigs to raffle along with other fun prizes. Feel free to bring a dish to pass and donate to the space. This is also a fundraiser. Makeovers, live performances, live music, magical dress up time and more, all while streaming the season premiere of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Lampshade, 206 W. Michigan Ave. in Ypsilanti.

Penny Stamps Speaker Series presents Guruduth Banavar: Cognitive Systems. Check out this talk by an IBM Research cognitive computing VP who leads the team responsible for creating the artificial intelligence systems known as Watson. Thursday at 5:10 p.m. at the Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St. Admission is free.

Friends of the Michigan League Dinner Theater production of Neil Simon’s “Rumors.” If the Purple Rose Theatre’s production of “The Odd Couple” has you hankering for more Nail Simon, check out this dessert (March 10) and dinner (March 11-13) theater production of Neil Simon’s quirky farce about a fancy New York dinner party that collapses into confused panic. Invited to a deputy mayor’s 10th anniversary, the first couple finds the food uncooked, the host shot, and the hostess gone. Afraid of scandal, the two try to hide it from the next couple, who in turn hide it from the next, until all four couples are caught up in a fast-paced, hilarious melee of misunderstanding. Cast: Jim Nissen, Lesli Weston, Lindsey Ford Dean, Steve Jones, Norm Richert, Lucy Richert, Jeff Pickell, Deborah Greene, Melissa Soff, and Michigan League director Xavier Wilson. Directed by Nancy Heusel. Thursday at 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 6:30 p.m., and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. at the Michigan League Hussey Room. Dessert & show tickets $35 (students, $17) and dinner & show tickets $65, in advance at or 734-763-TKTS.

Ann Arbor Civic Theatre’s “Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead.” David Widmayer directs local actors in Tom Stoppard’s black comedy inspired by Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” It concerns 2 minor characters from the play, old school chums of the prince of Denmark, and depicts them as hapless pawns, vainly trying to make sense of their existence while impersonal political forces inexorably shape their fate. Cast: Dan Bizer-Cox, Maximilian Bulinski, Suzy Culbertson, Isaac Ellis, Chris Grimm, James Ingagiola, Greg Kovas, Joseph McDonald, Dory Mead, Amanda Photenhauer, Christina Sauer, Mike Schiller, Codi Sharp, Jordan Swope, and Elizabeth Wagner. Thursday at 7:30 p.m, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., & Sunday at 2 p.m., at the U-M Walgreen Drama Center’s Arthur Miller Theatre, at 1226 Murfin in Ann Arbor. Tickets cost $22 (seniors age 60 & over, $20; Thurs., $17; students, $11), available in advance at and 734-971-2228.

Ann Arbor Palestine Film Festival. The Ann Arbor Palestine Film Festival was founded in 2008 by a group of University of Michigan students eager to bring Palestinian film to their campus and community. Since its first debut in spring 2009, two more successful festivals were held in 2010 and 2011, respectively. After a brief hiatus, and a new batch of organizers, the Ann Arbor Palestine Film Festival returned, and this year, there will be screenings at the Michigan Theater, State Theater, Rackham Amphitheatre, and UMMA over the course of 4 days. $10 (students with ID, $7) per show; $35 (students, $23) all-access pass. Sunday’s matinee is free. For a complete schedule and more information, visit

Author N. Scott Momaday. Hear from the celebrated Native American poet, novelist, and scholar who won the 1969 Pulitzer Prize for “House Made of Dawn,” his novel about life at Jemez Pueblo in New Mexico that is widely considered to be the start of the Native American Renaissance. Friday’s talk will be about “Leadership Lessons from Native America.” Reception and signing to follow. Friday from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Michigan League Ballroom. Free.

“Voices of the Middle West” Kick-Off and Festival. The local literary journal Midwestern Gothic kicks off its 3rd annual festival on Friday night with readings by several acclaimed Midwestern fiction writers and poets, including Fred Arroyo, Peter Geye, Emily Schultz, and Amber Sparks. The evening is highlighted by a reading by the festival keynote speaker, Indiana University creative writing professor Ross Gay, an acclaimed poet whose collection, “Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude,” was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award for Poetry. He also edits 2 chapbook presses and founded the online sports magazine Some Call It Ballin’. Friday at 7 p.m. at Literati, 124 E. Washington in Ann Arbor. Free.

Saturday’s main event, meanwhile, is a book fair and festival featuring writers, journals, and presses from all over the Midwest. Keynote address (5 p.m., Keene Theater) by Ross Gay, followed by a reception. Also, an open mike (3:45-4:45 p.m.) and panel discussions with U-M faculty writers on “Storytelling as Community” (10-11 a.m.), with writers on “Where Memoir and Fiction Meet” (11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.) and “Is There a Midwestern Character?” (2:30-3:30 p.m.), and with publishers on “Unheard Voices in Publishing” (1:15-2:15 p.m.). The day concludes with a reception and book signing with refreshments. Saturday from 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. at U-M’s East Quad, at 701 East University in Ann Arbor. Free.

UMS’ presentation of “Nufonia Must Fall.” Montreal-based scratch DJ and music producer Kid Koala presents his multidisciplinary theatrical adaptation of his graphic novel, the charming story of a headphones-sporting robot on the verge of obsolescence who falls in love with a lonely office girl. The action unfolds via real-time filming of more than a dozen miniature stages and a cast of puppets, with live music on piano, strings, and turntables by Kid Koala and the Cecilia Quartet. Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Power Center in Ann Arbor. Tickets $24-$54, available in advance at and 734-764-2538.

Chris Buhalis CD release party at The Ark. Popular local singer-songwriter who sings folk-country originals, often with an acerbic topical edge. Buhalis will be celebrating the release of his first CD in 18 years, “Big Car Town,” a collection of songs exploring and celebrating his working-class heritage. Friday at 8 p.m. at The Ark, 316 S. Main. Tickets cost $15 in advance, available at,, or 734-763-TKTS.

Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra’s Harp Magic, and a Disney concert. On Saturday night, Arie Lipsky conducts the orchestra in a program highlighted by Ginastera’s Harp Concerto, noted for its dance-like rhythmic and percussive intensity. (With Belgian harpist Primor Sluchin.) The program also includes the Overture and Ballo from Handel’s Ariodante and Brahms’ Symphony no. 2 in D major. Preceded at 10:20 a.m. by a free open dress rehearsal (reservations recommended). Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St. in Ann Arbor. Tickets cost $15-$65, available in advance 734-994-4801.

On Sunday, A2SO presents The Magical Music of Disney. Lipsky will conduct the orchestra in a family-friendly performance of selections from Disney favorites. Costumes encouraged. Preceded 2:30-3:30 p.m. by an instrument petting zoo and other activities in the lobby.

Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St. in Ann Arbor. Tickets $12 (kids, $8), available in advance at the AASO office (220 E. Huron, suite 470), at, and at the door. 734-994-4801.

Shamrocks and Shenanigans 5K. Race and walk that starts and finishes at Conor O’Neill’s on Main Street. Also, a 1K run and a 200-m dash for kids. Awards to male and female winners in each age division. Inside Conor O’Neill’s following the race, there will be face painting, bagpipers, Irish music and dancing, and more. Proceeds benefit Mott Children’s Hospital Congenital Heart Center. Sunday at 9 a.m. (kids dash), 9:15 a.m. (kids 1-km), & 9:45 a.m. (5-km race & walk), at Conor O’Neill’s, 318 S. Main in Ann Arbor. 5K registration costs $45. Kids races: $25 (1K) & $20 (dash). For more information, or to register in advance, visit


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