Things to do around Ann Arbor this week: see A2CT’s ‘The Wedding Singer,’ Sonic Lunch, Cinetopia, Taste of Ann Arbor and more

13313394_10154924582902222_906112323_o.jpg

Chip Mezo stars in Ann Arbor Civic Theatre’s production of “The Wedding Singer.” (Photo by Lisa Gavan)

Friday’s Judy Collins show at the Ark may be sold out, but if you look at both sides now (see what I did there?), you’ll see there are lots of other great choices for leisure activities this week. Check out some of your options below.

Aoife O’Donovan at The Ark. The former vocalist of a Boston neo-bluegrass outfit called Crooked Still, O’Donovan is a honey-voiced pop-folk singer-songwriter who’s regularly featured on “A Prairie Home Companion.” Her new CD, “In the Magic Hour,” is a collection of introspective explorations of memory and mortality written in the wake of her grandfather’s death. Tuesday at 8 p.m. at The Ark, 316 S. Main in Ann Arbor. Tickets cost $15 (members, free), available in advance at mutotix.com, theark.org, or by phone at 734-763-TKTS.

The Leastaways’ “West of Elsewhere.” This traveling theater troupe, founded by Ann Arborites, performs its multidisciplinary show that follows the intersecting lives of illegal train-hoppers during the panic of 1893, when a depression drove hundreds of thousands of people to leave their homes in search of a better life. Interwoven with music, the story concerns American idealism, hardship, living in uncertainty, and the pursuit of belonging. Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Pointless Brewery & Theatre, 3014 Packard in Ann Arbor. Tickets cost $10 at the door.

Sonic Lunch kicks off Thursday. One of the best things about being around downtown Ann Arbor in the summer is walking to Liberty Plaza on Thursdays at noon to see a free Sonic Lunch show. (In case of rain, the shows are held in the Ark on Main Street.) Performers in Sonic Lunch’s lineup range from local and regional favorites to nationally known acts, and this year’s series kicks off Thursday with Wild Belle. Enjoy seductive, musically sophisticated retro-pop with a reggae groove by this critically acclaimed band, led by the sibling singer-songwriter duo of vocalist Natalie Bergman and saxophonist/keyboardist Eliot Bergman, who founded the popular Afrobeat band Nomo when he was a U-M student. Thursday from noon-1:30 p.m. at Liberty Plaza, located on E. Liberty St. at S. Division. Free. Continue reading

2016 Sonic Lunch lineup announced

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 9.01.35 AM.png

Ann Arbor’s Laith Al-Saadi, who’s been killing it on this season of “The Voice,” will play a Sonic Lunch show. (Photo courtesy of NBC)

If you’re as ready for summer as I am, you’ll be excited to learn what’s in store at Sonic Lunch, the free live music series that happens each Thursday at noon, starting June 2nd at Liberty Plaza, at the intersection of Liberty and Division in Ann Arbor.

Here’s this year’s schedule:

6/2 Wild Belle

6/9 Laith Al-Saadi

6/16 Frontier Ruckus

6/23 JR w/ Joe Hawley of Tally Hall

6/30 Ben Daniels Band

7/7 The Outer Vibe

7/14 The Suffers

7/28 Brett Dennen w/ The Accidentals

8/4 Joshua Davis

8/11 The Ragbirds

8/18 Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers

8/25 Serena Ryder