2015 Season’s Guide to the Arts

. November 16, 2015.

There’s something about the colder months that calls us indoors to theaters, galleries and concert halls. We’ve rounded up some great things to do for the season in A2, from opera to holiday shows. Enjoy! 




Mendelssohn’s “Italian” Symphony

Symphony no. 4 in A Major, Op. 90 by Felix Mendelssohn will be performed by the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra along with the Karelia Suite, Op. 11 by Sibelius and Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major, Op. 26 by Prokofive at the Michigan State Theater. 

8pm. Saturday, November 7 
Michigan State Theater, 600 E. Liberty St.
734-668-8463 | michtheater.org


A Christmas Carol

Ever since Charles Dickens first penned A Christmas Carol in 1843, it has seen myriad stage adaptations. Meadowbrook Theatre is one of the masters of this classic and beloved holiday story, presenting the show for its 34th year. This show is not suitable for children under the age of 5.

Opens Friday,  November 13 and plays through December 24
Tickets start at $35
Meadowbrook Theatre, 207 N. Wilson St., Rochester
734-305-4873 | mbtheatre.org


Holiday Art Fair

Find completely unique gifts to give this year at this first-ever event featuring 100 jury-selected artists, representing many different mediums, from painting to glassworks to jewelry. While you are shopping your kids can visit a gift-making station and create things such as an original snow globe. 

10am-6pm Saturday November 15 & 11am-5pm Sunday November 16
Admission $5, children 12 & under are admitted free
Eastern Michigan Convocation Center, 799 N. Hewitt Rd., Ypsilanti
734-662-3382 | HolidayArtFair.com


How to Deceive Your Family: A Ravel/Puccini Double-Bill

In these two delightful one-act operas, The Spanish Hour by Maurice Ravel and Gianni Schicchi by Giacomo Puccini, deception and trickery are laced with humor as a philandering wife and a money-hungry family strive to get their way.

7:30pm, Thursday, November 12. 8pm, Friday, November 13 & Saturday, November 14. 2pm, Sunday, November 15
Power Center for the Performing Arts, 121 Fletcher St.
734-764-2538 | music.umich.edu


Ann Arbor Women Artists Speaker Program: Graceann Warn

Although Graceann Warn’s academic background is in urban design and classical archaeology, she decided to take a leap of faith in 1985 to become a full time artist. Throughout the 1990s became best known for her assemblages, and a 16-month-long commission to design sets for a major opera production, “Orfeo ed Euridice,” led to a shift. Since that time she has primarily been painting on wood panels using oils and encaustic. Socializing and light refreshments will follow the program.

7pm. Monday, November 16
Jackson Square Plaza, 4844 Jackson Rd., Suite 100




Henry IV, Part 1

Directed by Priscilla Lindsay and Robert Najarian and presented by the Department of Theatre and Drama at University of Michigan, Shakespeare’s classic tale of a slacker prince and his father’s threatened reign includes one of the funniest and most memorable characters of all-time; the drunken and gluttonous Falstaff, who steals scene after scene. With the Bard’s trademark wit, this historical play vacillates between comedy, political thriller, battlefield drama, and a tense look at family without missing a beat. Student discounts available.

December 10-13
Power Center, 121 Fletcher St.
734-763-3333 | music.umich.edu


The Light in the Piazza

Winner of six Tony-awards, this highly regarded love tale now comes to Ann Arbor courtesy of the University of Michigan’s Department of Musical Theatre. When two Americans decide to vacation in Florence, Italy in 1953, a intense love is sparked between Clara and Fabrizio. When Clara’s mother, Margaret, tries to keep them apart, a secret is revealed about Clara that powers the rest of the drama. Based on the novella by Elizabeth Spencer. 

8:00 PM Friday, December 11 
$11/students, $18/general admission
Arthur Miller Theatre, 1226 Murfin Ave.
734-763-3333 | music.umich.edu


Holiday Pops

Get into the holiday spirit by attending this concert performed by the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, featuring your favorite songs of the season. Specials guests at this extravaganza include the Ann Arbor Youth Chorale, Boychoir of Ann Arbor, Measure for Measure, and more.

8:00 PM Friday, December 11
Hill Auditorium, 825 N. University Ave.
734-994-4801 | a2SO.com


The Nutcracker

Join Clara on her magical journey through the enchanting Land of Snow to the Kingdom of the Sweets. Staged as a Russian production, the Nutcracker is performed by the Academy of Russian Classical Ballet along with professional ballet stars.

7:00 PM Saturday, December 5
Michigan Theater, 600 E. Liberty St.
734-668-8463 | michtheater.org


Cirque Dreams: Holidaze

Circus might not be the first thing you think of when looking for a holiday show, but this breathtaking version offers a great alternative to the more traditional holiday event offerings. Marvel at gingerbread men flipping through the air, toy soldiers skillfully marching on thin wires, snowmen daringly balancing, icemen sculpting powerfully, penguins spinning, puppets caroling and reindeer soaring high above a landscape
of holiday wonderment. 

December 22-27
Tickets start at $37
Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit
855-305-4873 | fox.theaterdetroit.com




After five days of dancing to over 60 bands performing live, you won’t have any problems staying warm. Since 2006, Mittenfest has been a five-day annual music festival in support of 826michigan, with upwards of 1,500 people attending each year. Bands are still being recruited. 826michigan is a non-profit dedicated to helping students ages 6-18 with their creative and expository writing skills.Brave the cold weather and rock out to help
students and teachers.

December 29-January 2
$10/per night
Various locations across Washtenaw County and Detroit




Mozart Birthday Bash

Celebrate the master’s birthday by attending a semi-staged version of his concert opera, Abduction from the Seraglio. Special guests include Jeanette Vecchione, Suzanne Rigden and many more performers.

8pm. Saturday, January 16
Michigan Theater, 600 E. Liberty St.
734-668-8463 | michtheater.org



Written by Nick Payne and directed by Suzi Regan, Constellations, fresh off a successful Broadway run, is about the infinite possibilities present in every human interaction. Focusing on two people, Marianne and Roland, this performance focuses on free will and friendship, quantum and string theory, and most importantly, love. 

8pm/Thursday-Saturday, 2pm/Sundays 
January 14-February 14
Performance Network Theatre, 120 E. Huron St.
734-663-0681 | pntheatre.org


38th Annual Ann Arbor Folk Festival

The Folk Festival will celebrate its 38th year with a selection of the world’s finest traditions and contemporary performers. Each night includes a blend of well-known and new artists, providing you with an opportunity to hear artists you know and love while discovering new talent. This event is a fundraiser for The Ark.

6:30pm. Saturday, January 30 & Sunday, January 31 
Hill Auditorium, 825 N. University Ave. 7
34-761-1818 | theark.org


Ann Arbor Women Artists Speaker Program: Denise Willing-Booher

The shapes and colors of nature fascinate watercolorist Denise Willing-Booher. Her subjects include landscapes, florals, portraits, and images from nature. She is the current president of the Michigan Watercolor Society. Socializing and light refreshments will follow the program.

7pm. Monday, January 18
Jackson Square Plaza, 4844 Jackson Rd., Suite 100


Estar Cohen Lives Fully in All The Moments of Music

“can’t hold on // I can feel time as it bends…” Just some lyrics from a composition called “Endings” by award-winning jazz vocalist Estar Cohen; and this propulsive image aptly fits for her music career, as each year since her 2015 graduation from the University of Toledo has gotten busier, faster, more exciting. You can

Monticello Van Odom – ‘In My Mind’

An essential way to craft a resonant piece of music is to unpack the existential pondering, the fleeting but insistent anxieties, the hard truths and easy reminders, that are swimming around up inside the head of the songwriter. The sublimity of Saline-based folk/Americana artist Monticello Van Odom‘s album is in how its spilling out all

Heavy Color’s River Passage

Toledo’s future beat/psy-jazz/hybrid electro duo Heavy Color recently premiered a new music video that commemorates an inspiring musical odyssey charted by one of its songwriters back in 2015. The group formed several years ago around the collaborations of Ben Cohen and Sam Woldenberg. Their Toledo’s answer to cerebral ambient electronica acts like Four Tet, Caribou,

Green Book is Worth the Trip

An elite black pianist tours the segregated south with a white roughneck chauffeur. Green Book combines two crowd-pleasing formulas—the road movie and the true story—with two stellar lead actors, Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali. Mortensen plays Tony Lip, a white, working class second-generation Italian-American from the Bronx who works as a nightclub bouncer. Ali plays