2017 Guide to the Arts

Current helps you plan for the best art and entertainment from now until the end of the year. Here’s what’s happening, on stage, page and screen!


  • Loudon Wainwright III
    LW3, a cherished icon of American folk music, and a darkly witty and touchingly personal songwriter and storyteller with over 20 albums, is known for folk classics like “Dead Skunk” and “The Man Who Couldn’t Cry.”
    11/16 Therark.org
  • The Verve Pipe
    Michigan’s own hugely successful ‘90’s rock band with over three million albums sold. Formed in East Lansing, the band is known for soulful lyrics, innovative arrangements and textured, layered vocals. Featuring work from their latest album “Parachute.”
    12/2 Theark.org
  • Dessa with Monakr
    This rapper, singer and essayist with the Minneapolis hip hop crew Doomtree Collective has been a Billboard Top 200 solo artist, rapped at Lollapalooza, and performed her work with the Minnesota orchestra.
    11/14 Blindpigmusic.com
  • Royce Da 5’9”
    Heralded Detroit rapper and creator of 2000 hit “Boom,” Royce Da 5’ 9” has appeared on tracks with Eminem and worked with legendary producer DJ Premier. Recent releases include his 2016 solo mixtape “Trust the Shooter” and his solo album “Layers.”
    11/17 Blindpigmusic.com
  • Abigail Stauffer
    A folk siren, Stauffer mixes the language of acoustic, pop and neo-soul to create songs which showcase confidence and vulnerability, crafting a balance of pain, hope and joy. 12/18 @ Arbor Brewing Company in Ypsilanti.


  • Anything Goes
    The classic musical with music and lyrics by Cole Porter showcases the madcap antics aboard an ocean liner voyaging from New York to London. Gangsters, night club singers, government agents and a stowaway in love with a high-toned heiress combine to stir up the fun in this musical that introduced the world to songs like “Anything Goes,” “You’re the Top,” and “I Get a Kick Out of You.”
    11/24 – 12/23 Theencoretheatre.org
  • God of Carnage
    Winner of the 2009 Tony Award for Best Play. A playground clash between 11-year old boys throws together two sets of parents for a meeting to resolve the dispute; a civilized get-together that turns swiftly and hilariously into a battle pitting couple against couple, husbands against wives, spouse against spouse. Contains adult language & content.
    9/28 – 12/16 Purplerosetheatre.org
  • Harvey
    Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy by Mary Chase. Good-natured, eccentric Elwood Dowd is well known in his small town for venturing about with his best friend Harvey…who just so happens to be a six-foot tall invisible rabbit. Quirk Theater @ EMU.
    12/1 -12/10. High School matinees 12/5, 12/6. emich.edu/cmta/productions/2017season/harvey.php
  • The Year Without a Panto Claus
    The annual Theatre NOVA holiday tradition continues with the newest, silliest, and most-fun-yet romp from the team that brought you AN ALMOST BRITISH CHRISTMAS and SUGAR PLUM PANTO. Bring the whole family to laugh, boo, hiss, and sing your way through another fun-filled night of heroes and villains, updated popular songs, holiday favorites, and merriment.
    12/1 – 12/31. Theatrennova.org


  • Bassem Youssef:
    The Joke is Mightier Than the Sword
    Dubbed the Jon Stewart of the Arab World, Bassem Youssef created and hosted the wildly popular TV show “Al-Bernameg” — the first political satire show in the Middle East. Originally a five-minute show shot from his laundry room and posted on YouTube after protests in Tahrir Square unseated Egypt’s ruling elite, it became the most-watched program in the region, with 30 million viewers every week.
    11/6 michtheater.org
  • HERsay III @ Pointless Brewery & Theatre:
    Storytellers, performance artists, and public speakers shine the spotlight on women’s health. Half of all proceeds to benefit Ozone House. This lively show often sells out. Tickets $15. Pointlessbrew.com
  • Jimmy Pardo:
    Known as the ultimate “comic’s comic,” Pardo’s show includes frequent interaction with the audience and changes every night. Join him for an evening of rapid-fire quick wit.
    11/10 and 11/11. Aacomedy.com
  • Heywood Banks:
    An annual Thanksgiving tradition, the wacky storyteller, poet, musician and comic returns to Ann Arbor.
    11/24 and 11/25. Aacomedy.com


  • Valley of the Dolls
    Before there was Sex in the City, there was Valley of the Dolls. In New York City, bright but naive New Englander Anne Welles (BARBARA PARKINS) falls in love with attorney Lyon Burke (PAUL BURKE). Anne befriends up-and-coming singer Neely O’Hara (PATTY DUKE), whose dynamic talent threatens aging star Helen Lawson (JOEY BISHOP) and beautiful but talentless actress Jennifer North (SHARON TATE). The women experience success and failure in love and work, leading to heartbreak, addiction and tragedy.
    11/9 Michtheater.org
  • Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
    In this classic take on race in America, when Joanna Drayton Katharine Houghton), a free-thinking white woman, and black doctor John Prentice (Sidney Poitier) become engaged, they travel to San Francisco to meet her parents. Matt Drayton (Spencer Tracy) and his wife Christina (Katharine Hepburn) are wealthy liberals who must confront the latent racism the coming marriage arouses. Also attending the Draytons’ dinner are Prentice’s parents (Roy E. Glenn Sr., Beah Richards), who vehemently disapprove of the relationship.
    11/13 Michtheater.org
  • Sins Invalid and Discussion with Petra Kuppers
    This 33-minute documentary explores Sins Invalid, a performance project that incubates and celebrates artists with disabilities, centralizing artists of color and queer and gender-variant artists as communities who have been historically marginalized. The performance work explores the themes of sexuality, embodiment and the disabled body. Petra Kuppers–U-M professor of English language and literature, women’s studies, art, and theater and drama–is a community performance artist and a disability culture activist.
    11/14 Events.umich.edu


  • Nathan Englander @ Zingerman’s Greyline
    Literati Bookstore and the JCC’s annual Jewish Book Fest team up to present NY Times Best-selling Author and Pulitzer Prize Finalist Nathan Englander as he reads from his new novel Dinner at the Center of the Earth.
    11/13 Literatibookstore.com
  • Poets Kaveh Akbar & Hanif Abdurraquib @ The Neutral Zone
    Literati Bookstore and The NZ combine to present two dynamic poets. Award-winning poet Kaveh Akbar, born in Tehran, Iran, has poems recently appearing in The New Yorker and on PBS Newshour. Hanif Abdurraquib, a columnist for MTV News, will read from his much-anticipated second collection They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us.
    11/20 Literatibookstore.com
  • Maureen Jennings @ Aunt Agatha’s Bookstore
    Highly regarded Canadian crime novelist Maureen Jennings returns with her first Inspector Murdoch novel since 2010.
    11/18 Auntagathas.com


  • Date Night Screen-Printing
    Spend a fun night out with your special someone and try your hand at some awesome screen printing techniques. Absolutely no experience is necessary and each participant will create their own unique set of screen prints.
    11/10 annarborartcenter.org
  • In Conversation: In Vogue: Constructing Notions of Female Beauty in Gloss: Modeling Beauty
    Gloss: Modeling Beauty explores ideals of female beauty in European and American photography from the 1920s to the present—from glamorous studio photographs of Edward Steichen and Philippe Halsman, to candid photographs of fashionable women by Andy Warhol and Guy Bourdin. Accompany Jennifer Friess, UMMA’s Assistant Curator of Photography for a conversation about photography’s role in shaping and challenging expectations of female beauty. 11/5 This program is free and open to the public, but space is limited. Please register to secure your place by emailing umma-program-registration@umich.edu. Please include date and title of program in the subject line of your email. For info on more events @ UMMA, visit umma.umich.edu.


  • Handel’s Messiah
    A U-M tradition dating back over 130 years, the UMS Choral Union and the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra kick off the holiday season at Hill Auditorium
    12/2 and 12/3 Ums.org
  • Ebird and Friends 10th Anniversary Holiday Show
    A family-friendly tradition presented by the Ragbirds and spearheaded by Ebird (Erin Zindle), the band’s lead singer and songwriter and a multi-instrumentalist. Expect to be entertained, surprised, warmed and holiday-cheered by this collaborative artistic performance of new and old songs.
    12/7 – 12/9 (two shows on 12/9) Therark.org
  • Big Little Holiday Party Featuring Your Generation In Concert
    Celebrate the season at the Ann Arbor Marriot Ypislanti at Eagle Crest. Enjoy the concert and a gourmet buffet dinner and five-hour open bar for $125, or just the concert for $50.
    12/14 Tickets @ eventbrite.com

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