Things to do around Ann Arbor this week: Buffy Sainte-Marie, ‘Hairspray’ and more

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 8.21.02 PM.pngTuesday night’s Moth Ann Arbor GrandSLAM Championship at the Ark may be sold out, but Pioneer Theatre Guild continues its run of the musical “Rock of Ages,” while world premiere theater productions at the Purple Rose Theatre (Matt Letscher’s “Gaps in the Fossil Record”) and Theatre Nova (David Wells’ “Irrational,” with music by R. MacKenzie Lewis) also keep chugging along, as does the acclaimed production of “Always … Patsy Cline” at Dexter’s Encore Theatre. In addition, check out these additional local entertainment options for the week.

Michigan Playwrights Festival at Theatre Nova. On Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, see staged readings of different new plays by Michigan playwrights each night. May 3-4, 8 p.m.: An evening of 10-minute plays by U-M and Oakland University students. May 7: “Clutter” (1 p.m.), Brian Cox’s drama about a middle-age man with a deeply troubled marriage who recalls, relives, and reinterprets his life as he clears his cluttered desk; and “Draw Me Out” (4 p.m.), Laura Uzarski’s drama about a troubled 15-year old boy with bipolar disorder who’s unable to find his own way in the world until he meets a brash, outspoken teen girl. May 8: “Last of Ken” (6 p.m.), Ann Eskridge’s drama about a repressed middle-age man with a dead-end life whose dead relatives come back to hold an intervention to encourage him to live up to his potential. The Yellow Barn, at 416 W. Huron in Ann Arbor. Tickets: $10 suggested donation, or pay what you can afford, available in advance at and 734-635-8450.

Hot Club of Detroit at Kerrytown Concert House. This popular Django Reinhardt-style jazz ensemble, led by fast-fingered Reinhardt disciple Evan Perri, is known for its fresh spin on Gypsy jazz. They often veer from the Reinhardt repertoire with intriguing originals and Gypsy-style covers of big band tunes and other genres. Musicians include accordionist Julien Labro, rhythm guitarist Ivan Peña, and bassist Jordan Schug. Wednesday at 8 p.m. at KCH, 415 N. Fourth Ave. in Ann Arbor. Tickets cost $20-$35 (students, $10), and reservations are recommended at, or by phone at 734-769-2999. Continue reading

Ann Arbor Summer Festival announces Top of the Park lineup


Ann Arbor Summer Festival’s Top of the Park features free outdoor concerts, retreats and activities (alongside several food vendors) and is scheduled to happen between June 10 and July 3, 2016. (Photo by Myra Klarman)

Woo-hoo! The Ann Arbor Summer Festival has just announced its outdoor Top of the Park series music performances for the 2016 season. From folk pop ensembles and a rogue marching bands, to the pioneers of Baltic Brass Band, there is something for everyone at Top of the Park.

Highlights include:

Air Traffic Controller, Annabelle Road, Barbara Payton and The Instigators, Chris Bathgate, Boogat, Dixon’s Violin, Fanfare Ciocarlia, George Bedard and The Kingpins, Jill Jack Band, Madcat Midnight Blues Journey, Misty Lyn and The Big Beautiful, Son Little, The Infatuations, The Outer Vibe, The Record Co, The Sun Messengers and The Third Coast Kings.

The Top of the Park series runs from June 10th through July 3rd, 6 nights each week for nearly 4 weeks, starting at 5 pm. The entire festival features an eclectic mix of over 150 events showcasing the best in music, dance, comedy, film, spoken word, contemporary circus, street arts, and family entertainment with select events through August. Continue reading