Things to do around Ann Arbor this week: see Bruce Hornsby, Mayer Hawthorne, fireworks and more


Neo-soul star and Ann Arbor native Mayer Hawthorne will play at the Power Center as part of the Ann Arbor Summer Festival main stage series. (Photo by Jake Michaels)

There are some great ongoing theater productions the area right now, so before we get into events scheduled this week, I’d also recommend checking out Purple Rose Theatre’s phenomenal production of “Morning’s At Seven” (see my review here); Encore Theatre’s terrific staging of my all-time favorite Sondheim musical, “Assassins” (my review); Theatre Nova’s impressive world premiere drama “Spin” (my review); and Penny Seats Theatre’s outdoor production of “The Canterbury Tales” finishes up its run at West Park this weekend (my review).

Plus, Ann Arbor Summer Festival/Top of the Park rolls along this week, with free outdoor movies at dusk on Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday; and free concerts and retreats and kids’  activities starting at 5 p.m. at U-M’s Ingalls Mall, every night except Monday.

For even more event options for this week, keep reading, and thanks for visiting the site! (Plus, since I’ll be vacationing next week, happy 4th of July to you all!)

Invisible Guy at Kerrytown Concert House. Acclaimed clarinetist Ben Goldberg leads his Bay Area-based jazz trio in radical versions of klezmer music and works that draw on his Jewish roots. Tuesday at 8 p.m. at KCH, 415 N. Fourth Ave. Tickets cost $15-$30 (students, $5), and reservations are recommended; visit

“The MST3K Reunion Show.” Live broadcast in which Mystery Science Theater 3000 stars aim their comic heckling at several goofy educational short films. Also, comic interludes and a “Super Riff-A-Palooza.” With Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Bill Corbett, Joel Hodgson, Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Mary Jo Pehl, Bridget Nelson, and Jonah Ray. Tuesday at 8 p.m. at Quality 16 (3686 Jackson) and Rave (4100 Carpenter). Tickets cost $14 (Quality 16) and $11.50 (Rave), available in advance at

Ann Arbor Civic Band Summer Concert Series. A popular local outdoor summer tradition, the 74-year-old Civic Band is led by director Bob Gourley. Bring a picnic and blanket and relax on the grass. Wednesday’s concert is titled, “Fourth of July Celebration,” a program of patriotic tunes. Wednesday at 8 p.m. at the West Park Band Shell. Free.

Ben Daniels Band plays Sonic Lunch. Americana folk-rock quintet led by Chelsea singer-songwriter and guitarist Daniels, whose influences range from Robert Johnson to Dylan to Jack White. Thursday from noon-1:30 p.m. at Liberty Plaza, at E. Liberty at S. Division. Free.

Ann Arbor Summer Festival main stage shows. On Thursday, locals will get the chance to see Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers. Singer-keyboardist Hornsby (“Walking in Memphis”), who’s played with Ricky Skaggs and the Grateful Dead, draws on a vast array of traditions, including classical, jazz, bluegrass, folk, Motown, gospel, rock, blues, and jam band traditions. His sets with his touring band, the Noisemakers, are known for their spontaneity; the band often doesn’t even have a set list, relying instead on audience requests and songs chosen on the fly. Thursday at 8 p.m. at the Power Center. Tickets cost $20 for students, or $35, $40, $45, $50, and $55, available in advance at, or 734-764-2538.

Mayer Hawthorne, meanwhile, will have a homecoming on Friday. This nationally-known, Ann Arbor-born, net-soul singer/songwriter will perform songs from his new album Man About Town. Friday at 8 p.m. at the Power Center. Tickets cost $20 for students, or $26, $30, $36, and $40, available in advance at, or 734-764-2538.

(Also, because there will be no A2 Arts Addict events highlights list next week, A2SF fans should also take note that musical satirists the Capitol Steps will play two shows on Monday, July 4th, at 4 and 7 p.m. at the Power Center, and tickets cost $20 for students, or $35, $40, and $45.)

Bruce in the USA at The Ark. Check out this Bruce Springsteen tribute band that plays on Thursday at 8 p.m. at The Ark, 316 S. Main in Ann Arbor. Tickets cost $22, available in advance at, and 734-763-TKTS.

Michigan Theater Summer Classic Film Series. A couple of my favorite classic movies are being screened this week, including A Hard Day’s Night (Richard Lester, 1964), the Beatles’ joyously exuberant film debut that’s a visually arresting, slapstick version of two typical days in their life, and features “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “And I Love Her,” and other early Beatles songs. Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Michigan Theater (603 E. Liberty St.), and tickets cost $10, with discounts available.

On Sunday (and the following Tuesday), you can see Stanley Kubrick’s celebrated, absurdist comedy “Dr. Strangelove; Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), starring Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Slim Pickens. Showtimes are Sunday at 1:30 (and Tuesday, July 3 at 1:30 p.m.) at Ann Arbor’s Michigan Theater, and tickets cost $10.

Fireworks show in Manchester. A huge professional fireworks display and an evening of other fun family activities. Lots of carnival treats available. Sunday at sunset (fireworks usually start around 10:15 p.m.; gates open at 6 p.m.), Carr Park, 600 W. Main in Manchester. Free, but donations encouraged.


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