Things to do around Ann Arbor this week: see The Decemberists, Rita Coolidge, the Suffers, ‘Xanadu’ and more

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The Decemberists, presented by The Ark, play at the Michigan Theater on Tuesday, July 12.

The Decemberists at the Michigan Theater. Veteran Portland (OR) indie folk-rock quintet whose densely textured, rhythmically supple music draws freely on a wide range of idioms, from klezmer and Celtic music to prog rock and ’80s pop. Presented by The Ark. Tuesday at 8 p.m. at the Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St. in Ann Arbor. Tickets cost $35-$55, available in advance at, and 734-763-TKTS.

The Suffers at Sonic Lunch. Houston-based 10-piece R&B, soul, and rock ‘n’ soul band, featured on “The Late Show with David Letterman.” Thursday at noon-1:30 p.m. (except as noted) at Liberty Plaza, E. Liberty at S. Division in Ann Arbor. Free.

Spinning Dot Theatre’s “A Mouth with Flame” at Carriage House Theatre. July 14-17. Korean artist Tae Hoon Yoo, aka Big Fire, presents his one-man multimedia that includes puppetry, music, and digital media. It weaves together dragon folklore, cultural and historical events, and personal stories. Geared toward families with kids ages 7-12. Thursday at 6 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 10 a.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m., at Carriage House Theater, 541 Third St. in Ann Arbor. $10 (kids, $5) suggested donation.

Maximum Verbosity’s “Descendant of Dragons” at Pointless Brewery & Theatre. Internationally touring storyteller Phillip Low performs his one-man show, a bestselling show at the 2007 Minnesota Fringe Festival, that tells the story of his quest to find his Chinese ancestors. As a cranky libertarian amateur detective, Low sets off on a globetrotting adventure that takes him everywhere from the Fiji islands to Buddhist temples in Vancouver to Amsterdam’s red light district to the heart of China, where he struggles against the massive Communist bureaucracy. Note: Contains copious bilingual profanity. Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Pointless Brewery & Theatre, 3014 Packard in Ann Arbor. Tickets $10. Visit, or call 989-455-4484.

The Penny Seats Theatre Company’s “Xanadu.” Check out this 2007 musical, adapted from the 1980 cult film, that’s a giddily kitchsy satire about a Greek Muse who descends from Mt. Olympus to Venice Beach to inspire a struggling sidewalk chalk artist to create his masterpiece: a roller disco, naturally. Cast: Paige Martin, Matthew Pecek, Roy Sexton, Kasey Donnelly, Allison Simmons, Sebastian Gerstner, Logan Balcom, Jenna Pittman, and Kristin McSweeney. Runs July 14-30. Thursday-Saturday at 7 p.m. at the West Park Band Shell in Ann Arbor. Tickets c0st $10 (kids 12 & under, $7), available in advance at

Rita Coolidge at The Ark. Veteran pop-country singer-songwriter best known for her mid-70s duet albums with her former husband Kris Kristofferson, as well as her string of late-70s solo hits that included covers of Jackie Wilson’s “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher” and the Temptations’ “The Way You Do the Things You Do.” Thursday at 8 p.m. at The Ark, 316 S. Main in Ann Arbor. Tickets cost $35, available in advance at, and 734-763-TKTS.

“Mary’s Wedding” by Stephen Massicotte at the Yellow Barn. Presented by AM Productions. Thunder, lightning, and explosions shake Mary’s dreams on the night before her wedding in 1920. She relives events of six years earlier, beginning with meeting Charlie (and his horse) in a barn. But Mary and Charlie’s young charming love quickly crackles as the world collapses into a brutal war. Memories overlap and cross-Atlantic letters string their love through muddy and tumultuous times. Together, their hearts gallop to the beat of running horses as they navigate through fear, regret, and survival. Karen Sheridan directs Anna Marck as Mary and Joshua Steckelberg as Charlie in a brand new edition by the playwright. Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 4 p.m. The Yellow Barn, 416 W. Huron St. in Ann Arbor. $15.

38th Annual Festival at St. Joseph Church. This festival (Friday-Sunday) that features games, kids activities, a cakewalk, bingo, a raffle, inflatables, food, beer & wine, and live music kicks off July 15 with a concert by the 100-voice local men’s chorus Measure for Measure (7 p.m.) and a Teen Night (6-10 p.m., $7). July 16: a classic car show, a jazzercise demo session (12:30-1:30 p.m.), a kids tent with balloon art and a petting zoo by Colors the Clown (1:30-3:30 p.m.), Guinness World Record in juggling holder Eric the Juggler (4-6 p.m.), and live music by acoustic guitarist and singer-songwriter Ian Stewart (2-3:30 p.m.), the local Beatles tribute band Toppermost (4-6 p.m.), and the Ann Arbor R&B dance band Men in Black (7-10 p.m.). July 17: a kids’ tent with performances by Michigan Academy of Dance & Music dancers (12:30-1:15 p.m.) and a Wildlife Safari wild animal show (1:30-4:30 p.m.). Also, live music by area jazz-inflected Christian pop-folk ensemble From Grace (12:30-1:30 p.m.), the Encore Cabaret Singers (2-3 p.m.), and the Howell-based Paradise Band (4-6 p.m.) that plays oldies, classic rock, Motown, and country. Friday 6-10 p.m. (July 15), Saturday 11 a.m.-10 p.m. (July 16), & Sunday noon-6 p.m. (July 17), St. Joseph Catholic Church grounds, at Mast and Territorial in Dexter. Free admission. Visit for more information.

Dexter Community Players’ “Disney’s The Little Mermaid.” July 8-10 & 15-17. Local actors perform Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, and Glenn Slater’s musical based on the classic animated film about a mermaid who falls in love with a human. Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m., through July 17th. Copeland Auditorium, 7714 Ann Arbor St., Dexter. Tickets $20 (students & seniors, $15), available in advance at

May Erlewine at The Ark. Big-voiced singer-songwriter from Big Rapids who writes thoughtful, richly emotional country-flavored songs. She’ll be accompanied by an ensemble that includes guitarist Phil Barry, bassist Max Lockwood, fiddler and banjoist Laurel Premo, and percussionist Michael Shimmin, and she’ll be celebrating the release of the 6-song EP Lean into the Wind. Opening act is Thunderbolt 7 Lightfoot, the indie Kalamazoo pop-folk singer-songwriter duo of vocalist Sarah Fuerst and singer-guitarist Phil Barry. Friday at 8 p.m. at The Ark, 316 S. Main in Ann Arbor. Tickets cost $20, available at,; and 734-763-TKTS.

Dexter Community Orchestra. Anthony Elliott directs this volunteer ensemble through a concert featuring light classics and popular favorites. Sunday at 7 p.m. at Monument Park gazebo, in downtown Dexter. Free. 

Michigan Shakespeare Festival Fundraiser, “An Evening at Gettysburg.” Four-course dinner inspired by Civil War-era dishes. In celebration of the Michigan Shakespeare Festival’s production of The Killer Angels, Karen Tarjan’s drama based on Michael Shaara’s Civil War novel. Tarjan and MSF artistic director Janice Blixt will be on hand to discuss the play. Sunday at 6:30 p.m. at Zingerman’s Roadhouse, Westgate shopping center. Tickets cost $130, available in advance only at


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