Creative Washtenaw Event
Events in December 2022
25December 25, 2022
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December 17, 2022
“A Christmas Story: The Musical”: The Encore Musical Theatre Company.
Every Thurs.–Sun., Nov. 25–Dec. 18. Dan Cooney directs this local professional theater company in the 2007 musical version of the 1983 movie comedy about a boy living in 1940s Indiana who longs for a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. Music and lyrics by the songwriting team of U-M alumni Pasek and Paul (Dear Evan Hansen, La La Land). Book by Joseph Robinette. 7:30 p.m. (Thurs.–Sat.) & 3 p.m. (Sat. & Sun.), Encore Maas Mainstage, 7714 Ann Arbor St., Dexter. Tickets $54 (seniors & youth under 18, $52) in advance at theencoretheatre.org and at the door. $20 student rush tickets (if available) an hour before showtime. 268–6200.
“A Christmas Story: The Musical”: The Encore Musical Theatre Company.
Every Thurs.–Sun., Nov. 25–Dec. 18. Dan Cooney directs this local professional theater company in the 2007 musical version of the 1983 movie comedy about a boy living in 1940s Indiana who longs for a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. Music and lyrics by U-M alumni songwriting team Pasek and Paul (Dear Evan Hansen, La La Land). Book by Joseph Robinette. 7:30 p.m. (Thurs.–Sat.) & 3 p.m. (Sat. & Sun.), Encore Maas Mainstage, 7714 Ann Arbor St., Dexter. Tickets $54 (seniors & youth under 18, $52) in advance at theencoretheatre.org and at the door. $20 student rush tickets (if available) an hour before showtime. 268–6200.
“Anansi the Spider: Re-Spun”: University Musical Society Digital Presentation.
Dec. 5–23 (all day, online). Three members of the Unicorn Theatre (London)—Afia Abusham, Sapphire Joy, and Juliet Okotie—present classic West African and Caribbean tales using story, song, and dance. A long, long time ago, the cleverest of all the animals in the kingdom was Anansi—trickster, mischief maker, and master spinner of yarns. Recommended for kids from 3 to 9. Streaming available with registration at ums.org/performance/anansi-the-spider. Free. email@example.com, 647–4010.
“Christmas at the Mansion”: Dexter Area Historical Society.
Dec. 2–4, 10, 17, & 28. Seasonal events at lavishly decorated Gordon Hall, the 19th-century mansion built by Dexter founder Judge Samuel Dexter. Dec. 2: A fundraiser (6:30 p.m.) for the museum featuring hearty hors d’oeuvres, spirits, and desserts and a look at the Christmas Vintage Collection, Milt Campbell’s huge assemblage of Department 56 collectible holiday houses, buildings, and figures that were once traditionally seen in the windows of Huron Camera in downtown Dexter throughout the holiday season. Dec. 3: Santa (9 a.m.–3 p.m.) is on hand to talk with kids, who also can make their own gingerbread house to take home. Dec. 4: Christmas Tea (1 & 4 p.m.), a light lunch with tea sandwiches and desserts. Also, the museum hosts an open house ($5 per adult) to view the Christmas Vintage Collection, 6–8 p.m. on Dec. 10, 17, & 28. Various, Gordon Hall, 8311 Island Lake Rd., Dexter. $75 on Fri., $5 on Sat., $30 on Sun.; reservations required for Fri. and Sun. by calling 395–4106.
“Pickleball”: Purple Rose Theatre Company.
Every Wed.–Sun., Sept. 30–Dec. 23. Rhiannon Ragland directs the world premiere of actor-playwright (and Purple Rose founder) Jeff Daniels’ comedy about America’s fastest growing sport. Four below-average players try to overcome their own limitations to achieve greatness in a game that has nothing to do with pickles. Cast: Ryan Carlson, Kate Thomsen, Lynch Travis, Jonathan West, and Caitlin Cavannaugh. 3 p.m. (Wed., Thurs., & Sat.), 8 p.m. (Thurs.–Sat.), & 2 p.m. (Sun.). Purple Rose Theatre, 137 Park St., Chelsea. Tickets $34–$52 in advance at PurpleRoseTheatre.org and by phone, and (if available) at the door. Discounts available for students, seniors, teachers, military personnel, and groups. 433–7673.
“Science Forum Demos”: U-M Museum of Natural History.
Every Sat. & Sun. (except Dec. 3) through Dec. 17. Hands-on 20-minute family-oriented demos for age 5+. “Cow Eye Dissection” (11 a.m.) explores the parts of the eye and how they work together. “Out of the Water and Back Again: A Whale’s Tale” (3 p.m.) explores the amazing evolutionary histories of whales and other creatures. Various times, MNH, 1105 North University. Free. 764–0478.
Magic: The Gathering: Sylvan Factory.
Every Fri., Sat., & Mon.–Wed. All invited to play various forms of the collectible card game Magic: The Gathering. Fri. 6:30–10 p.m.: Magic rotating draft, cost varies. Sat. noon–3 p.m.: Intro to Magic: The Gathering, free. Sat. 6–10 p.m.: Commander Pods, casual groups of 4 players, free. Mon. 6:30–10 p.m.: Power Cards, $10. Tues. 6–9 p.m.: MTG Pauper, a fun and fast format for all skill levels, $5. Wed. 5–8 p.m.: Casual Commander, the most popular form of the game, free. Prizes paid in store credit. Various times. Sylvan Factory, 2459 W. Stadium. firstname.lastname@example.org, 929–5877.
Meet & Greet: Ann Arbor for Public Power
Meet & Greet coalition members of Ann Arbor for Public Power. Get an update on the case for Public Power. Join us!Journey of Faith Christian Church, 1900 Manchester Rd, ,Ann Arbor, MI 48104. Free. email@example.com annarborpublicpower.org 734-272-5194.
Santa: Briarwood Mall.
Daily Nov. 23–Dec. 24 (Mon.–Sat. noon–8 p.m. & Sun. noon–6 p.m.). All kids invited to sit with Santa; photos available for purchase. Dec. 11 is “Pet Photo Night” (6–8 p.m.) for 4-legged, leashed, friendly pets that weigh less than 60 lbs. A session for kids with special needs is held before the mall opens on Dec. 4, 9–10:30 a.m. Note: Santa takes breaks 3–4 p.m. Briarwood Von Maur court. Appointments encouraged at simon.com/santa. 769–9610.
U-M Museum of Natural History Planetarium & Dome Theater.
Daily, except Dec. 5, 12, 19, 23–26, 31, Jan. 1. Three different audiovisual planetarium shows suitable for all ages. Sea Monsters (11:30 a.m.) follows a curious dolichorhynchops (an extinct species of marine reptile) as she travels through the most dangerous oceans in history, meeting long-necked plesiosaurs, giant turtles and fish, sharks, and the most dangerous sea monster of all, the mosasaur. The Sky Tonight (12:30 & 2:30 p.m.) is an exploration of the current night sky, with tips on how to find the cardinal directions, constellations, and planets on your own. Mars: One Thousand One (1:30 p.m.) tells the story of what humans might face with the first manned journey to Mars. Various times, MNH, 1105 North University. $8. Limited capacity. 764–0478.
“Winter Birding”: Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission.
Ann Arbor Group Runs: Fleet Feet.
Annual Holiday Sale: Kiwanis Center.
Ypsilanti Artisans Holiday Market.
Nov. 26 & 27, Dec. 4, 11, 17, & 18. Sale of works in various media and styles by over 40 Ypsilanti-based artisans. Featuring jewelry, ceramics, prints, fiber art, wood crafts, and more. Food available for purchase. 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Ypsilanti Freighthouse, 100 Market Pl., Ypsilanti. Free admission & parking.
Ypsilanti Artisans Holiday Market.
Nov. 26 & 27, Dec. 4, 11, 17, & 18. Sale of works in various media and styles by over 40 Ypsilanti-based artisans. Featuring jewelry, ceramics, prints, fiber art, wood crafts, and more. Food from Casablanca Moroccan Restaurant available for purchase. 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Ypsilanti Freighthouse, 100 Market Pl., Ypsilanti. Free admission & parking.
Chime Concert: Kerrytown Market & Shops.
“Investigate Labs”: U-M Natural History Museum.
Holiday Artist Market: The Guild of Artists & Artisans.
Every Tues.–Sat., Nov. 25–Dec. 22. Juried show & sale of works in various media and styles by over 50 area artists. Featuring jewelry, functional and decorative ceramics, small and large paintings, prints, fiber art, wood carvings, and more. Also, every Fri. & Sat., artist trunk shows. 11 a.m.–5 p.m., The Gutman Gallery, 118 N. Fourth Ave. Free admission. 662–3382.
Museum Highlight Tours: U-M Museum of Natural History.
Every Sat. & Sun. through Dec. 18, except Dec. 3. 30-minute tour of the museum’s exhibits and galleries, including Evolution: Life Through Time and the Unseen Worlds installation by artist Jim Cogsell. Also, an introduction to some current U-M Biological Sciences research projects. Noon & 2 p.m., MNH, 1105 North University. Free. Limited capacity. Sign up at the welcome desk. 764–0478.
77th Annual Christmas Bird Count: Washtenaw Audubon Society.
Everyone from novice to experienced birder is invited to take part in the nation’s longest-running ornithological database by volunteering for all or part of the day, either as a field observer or (if you have a bird feeder) as a feeder watcher. The count area is a 15-mile-diameter circle centered on Ann Arbor; its 8 regions must be counted in a single day. This makeshift census may be off by thousands, but much useful information is gained by comparing the results from year to year. Some count regions also conduct predawn searches for owls. The results are tallied at a potluck dinner at U-M Matthaei Botanical Gardens this evening at 5:30 p.m. 12:01 a.m., various locations. Preregistration required at washtenawaudubon.org/christmas-bird-count. Free.
“Creature Encounters”: The Creature Conservancy.
Every Sat. & Sun. Conservancy staffers show off some animals native to Eurasia, including a reindeer, a wolf hybrid, and a shire horse. Also, a zookeeper talk with a Burmese python (3 p.m.) and a chance to see the conservancy’s other animals, including sloths, muntjacs, and more. 1–5 p.m., Creature Conservancy, 4950 Ann Arbor–Saline Rd. $13 (kids ages 2–12, $11; under age 2, free) at the door; $1 discount for advance purchase at thecreatureconservancy.org. 929–9324.
“Creature Encounters”: The Creature Conservancy.
Every Sat. & Sun. through Dec. 18. Conservancy staffers show off some animals native to Eurasia, including a reindeer, a wolf hybrid, and a shire horse (2 & 4 p.m.). Also, a zookeeper talk with a Burmese python (3 p.m.) and a chance to see the conservancy’s other animals. 1–5 p.m., Creature Conservancy, 4950 Ann Arbor–Saline Rd. $13 (kids ages 2–12, $11; under age 2, free) at the door; $1 discount for advance purchase at thecreatureconservancy.org. 929–9324.
“Santa’s Candy Cane Trail”: Hudson Mills Metropark.
Quarter-mile 45-minute walks along a trail lined with a variety of winter holiday characters, ending with a chance to see Santa Claus, drop a letter in his mailbox, and take a ride on a Holiday Carol Wagon. 1 p.m. (a new group leaves every 15 minutes through 2:45 p.m.), Hudson Mills Activity Center, 8801 North Territorial Rd., Dexter. $5 per person (kids under 2, free). Preregistration required by 4 p.m. seven days before the program. 426–8211.
“Winter Wander”: Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission.
Neighborhood Nature Day: Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission.
“Almost Solstice Mindfulness Hike”: Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission.
All invited to join WCPARC naturalist Elle Bogle and mindfulness instructor Julie Woodward for a quiet meditative walk through the woods to celebrate the returning sun of solstice and transition into winter. Sturdy boots and layers recommended. 2–3:30 p.m. Fox Science Preserve, 2240 Peters Rd. Free. Limited to 15 people. Preregistration required (activity #821006) at parksonline.ewashtenaw.org.
High School Robotics Competition: Washtenaw Area Pickup Robotics/Ann Arbor District Library.
“Sugar Plum Panto”: Theatre Nova.
Every Fri.–Sun., Dec. 9–Jan. 1, except Dec. 25. Carla Milarch directs this seasonal holiday Panto comedy that she co-wrote with R. MacKenzie Lewis. Panto is a British pantomime that blends familiar children’s stories with a bit of vaudeville to create a raucous family entertainment. This popular show, an annual tradition, usually sells out. 7:30 p.m. (Fri. & Sat.), 3 p.m. (Sat.) & 2 p.m. (Sun.), Theatre Nova, 410 W. Huron St. Mask & proof of vaccination required. Tickets $25 ($10 for kids under 17) in advance at theatre-nova.ticketleap.com and (if available) at the door. 635–8450.
“The Nutcracker with a Twist”: Randazzo Dance Company.
Dec. 16–18. 53rd annual production of Tchaikovsky’s Christmas ballet by this local company of nearly 100 local dancers of all ages. Directed and choreographed by Sara Randazzo, Roya Panahi, and Christine Sampier. 7:30 p.m. (Fri.) & 3 p.m. (Sat. & Sun.), Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre. Tickets $15–$25 in advance at the Michigan Union Ticket Office (muto.umich.edu) & at the door. 477–9350.
Pittsfield Open Band: Ann Arbor Community for Traditional Music and Dance.
Dec. 3 & 17. Jam sessions open to all interested musicians to work on jigs, reels, and waltzes to have fun, learn tunes, and develop contra dance musician skills. Bring the Ruffwater Fakebook, the Portland Collection, and waltz books if you have them. 3–5:30 p.m., Pittsfield Union Grange, 3337 Ann Arbor–Saline Rd. Mask and proof of vaccination required. Free. 709–8748, aactmad.org.
“Improv Jam Short & Long Form”: Ann Arbor Civic Theatre Civic Improv.
Dec. 3 & 17. All invited to perform short & long form improv (sign up on arrival), or just to watch. No experience necessary. Followed (8–9:30 p.m.) by “An Evening of Improv” ($15 at the door only) featuring local and regional guest troupes. 6–7:30 p.m. Civic Theatre, 322 W. Ann. Free. CivicImprov@gmail.com, CivicImprov.org.
Sean Dobbins & The Modern Jazz Messengers: Blue LLama Jazz Club
A regular at the Blue LLama, SEAN DOBBINS is a highly sought-after jazz sideman and educator whose sound can best be described as hard-driving, solid rhythm with refreshing melodic sensibility. Being the focus of countless news articles, jazz radio programs, and documentaries, Dobbins has performed/toured/recorded with artists, such as Johnny Basset, Joey DeFrancesco, Marcus Belgrave, and David Baker.314 S. Main St ,Ann Arbor. Pre-Pay Cover or Dinner+Show at opentable.com $15–75. firstname.lastname@example.org bluellamaclub.com 734-372-3200.
“Art & Animals”: The Creature Conservancy.
Conservancy staffers show off a panther chameleon, followed by a hands-on painting session led by local artist Mary Lewison using the chameleon as the model. Art supplies provided. BYOB & snacks. For age 21 & up only. 7–10 p.m., Creature Conservancy, 4950 Ann Arbor–Saline Rd. $35. Preregistration required at thecreatureconservancy.org, 929–9324.
Kat Steih and Milan & the Ellipsis: Argus Farm Stop.
Laith Al-Saadi: North Star Lounge
In 2016, Laith Al-Saadi won America’s hearts and a spot in the Season 10 finale of NBC’s “The Voice.” Don’t miss the most intimate concert he has done in Ann Arbor in years.
Ticketed Show | 7:00 PM Seating | 9:30 PM Seating
Mike Stanley: Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase.
Dec. 16 & 17. Chicago-based observational comic, originally from the Detroit area, who is known for delivering coarse, but warm, anecdotes with a snappy energy, and a sharp wit that’s alternately impudent and poetically suggestive. Preceded by 2 opening acts TBA. Alcohol is served. 7:15 p.m. (Fri. & Sat.) & 9:45 p.m. (Sat.), 212 S. Fourth Ave. $16 reserved seating in advance at etix.com and $18 general admission at the door. 996–9080.
“Cats and Kids”: Humane Society of Huron Valley.
Dec. 17 (7:15–8:45 p.m.). All kids ages 6-11 invited to spend time making crafts, playing games, and engaging in other fun activities while interacting with adoptable cats. Popcorn, juice, and craft supplies provided. No adults. Tiny Lions Center, 5245 Jackson Rd. (ste. A1). $15. Preregistration recommended at bit.ly/catsandkids2022. 661–3575.
“Generations to Generations”: Vocal Arts Ensemble.
Benjamin Cohen directs this 24-voice local chamber choir in a program of music ranging from Baroque to contemporary, including Heinrich Schütz’s 8-part Magnificat, Isabella Leonarda’s sparkling Magnificat, Alice Parker’s An American Kedushah (an arrangement of the Jewish prayer), settings of the Jewish “L'Dor Vador,” and Christmas carols. An artisan’s fair offering handmade ceramics, jewelry, and paintings is open before and after the concert. 7:30 p.m., Genesis of Ann Arbor, 2309 Packard. Tickets $25 ($20, students & seniors; kids 12 & under, free) in advance at a2tix.com. email@example.com, 904–8372.
December Comedy Night at Bløm: Bløm Meadworks
Comedy night is back at Bløm Meadworks! We're hosting another stand up session from Andrew Yang and his crew. Seats usually sell out, so reserve a seat in advance!100 S 4th Ave Suite 110 ,Ann Arbor. https://www.drinkblom.com/events/comedy-dec22 Free; $10 for reserved seats (includes 12oz pour). firstname.lastname@example.org https://www.drinkblom.com/ 734-548-9729.
Grange Contra Dance: Ann Arbor Community for Traditional Music and Dance.
Maeve Devlin and a caller TBA call to music by Michael Bean, V. Cieri, Louis Henschen, and Bubba Wilson. No experience or partner needed. Wear loose-fitting clothing and clean, flat, non-slip shoes. Preceded at 7 p.m. by a lesson. 7:30–10:30 p.m., Pittsfield Grange, 3337 Ann Arbor–Saline Rd. Mask and proof of vaccination required. Pay what you can; $10 suggested. 274–0773.
“Winter Solstice Bash”: The Regenerate Orchestra.
U-M music school composition grad Clay Gonzalez directs this 45-member community orchestra he founded in an “immersive” concert of nature-inspired “experimental-ambient-folk-noise” music. The musicians are dispersed around the performance space while audience members are invited to move through Planet Rock’s main climbing chamber to hear different soundscapes. 8–11 p.m., Planet Rock, 82 Aprill Drive #C. Tickets are “pay what you want” at $5, $10, $20, or $40. Limited number of each ticket price available to encourage early registration. Preregistration recommended at bit.ly/regenerate-solstice.
Ashley Pyle: Robin Hills Farm.
Steel City Rovers: Acoustic Routes.
Performance by this Hamilton, Ontario, quintet whose Celtic-based original music also includes elements of French Canadian and Cape Breton fiddle styles, as well as bluegrass, Appalachian, and country blues. In addition to the usual guitar, fiddle, accordion, and percussion, the band also features Scottish small pipes, tenor mandola, horse jaw, and other unusual instruments. 8 p.m., Stony Lake Brewing, 447 E. Michigan Ave., Saline. $20 in advance at stonylakebrewing.com & at the door. 316–7919.
Latin Late Night: Nick Collins Trio: Blue LLama Jazz Club
NICK COLLINS performs regularly around the Detroit area with musicians such as Daniel Bennett, Andrew Bishop, Jeff Pedraz, Randy Napoleon, Rick Roe, Jimmy Smith, James Hughes, and Corey Kendrick. While you listen to Nick Collins Trio play jazzy tunes, you can enjoy the Latin cuisine of our Latin Late Night by ordering empanadas from the Jibarito menu!314 S. Main St ,Ann Arbor. FREE. email@example.com bluellamaclub.com 734-372-3200.