Creative Washtenaw Event
Events in February 2023
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February 4, 2023
“Salt: Dispersed”: University Musical Society Digital Presentation.
Jan. 17–Feb. 13. Online presentation of this very personal monologue by performance artist Selina Thompson which premiered at the 2017 Edinburgh festival. At once dramatic, sad, and comic, it’s about a journey she made by cargo ship to retrace the triangular route of the transatlantic slave trade. Salt is Thompson’s response to being both British and a descendant of a people enslaved by the British. Anytime from Jan. 17 until Feb. 13. For URL, go to ums.org/performance/salt-dispersed, or preregister to be reminded. Free. 764–2538.
“The Plastic Bag Store”: University Musical Society/U-M Museum of Art/U-M Graham Sustainability Institute.
Every Wed.–Sun., Jan. 18–Feb. 5. Film and theater director Robin Frohardt’s public art installation and immersive film screening uses humor and a critical lens to question our culture of consumption and convenience, with a focus on the effects of single-use plastic addiction. Shelves are stocked with thousands of original sculptures of everyday goods—produce and meat, dry goods and toiletries—all made from discarded single-use plastics. Several times a day, the “store” is transformed into a film screen that uses puppetry, shadow play, and handmade sets to tell a darkly comedic story of how what we value least may become our most lasting cultural legacy. The Plastic Bag Store premiered in Times Square in 2020 and has toured across the U.S. 6 & 8 p.m. (Wed.–Fri.); 2, 4, 6, & 8 p.m. (Sat.); & 2, 5, & 7 p.m. (Sun.), 777 Eisenhower Pkwy. Mask required if Washtenaw County is in the CDC’s high-risk category. Tickets $30 (students $12) in advance at tickets.ums.org, at the Michigan League box office, & by phone, and (if available) at the door. 764–2538.
"Science Forum Demos”: U-M Museum of Natural History.
Every Sat. & Sun. (except Feb. 5 & 11). Hands-on 20-minute family-oriented demos for ages 5 & up. “Life: How Do We Find It?” (11 a.m.) features a re-creation of an experiment from the Mars Viking Landers expedition to show how scientists search for life on other planets. A Cow Eye Dissection (3 p.m.) explores how vision works in different animals and how to keep our eyes healthy. 11 a.m. & 3 p.m., MNH, 1105 North University. Free. 764–0478.
Magic: The Gathering: Sylvan Factory.
Every Mon.–Wed., Fri., & Sat. All invited to play various forms of the collectible card game Magic: The Gathering. Wed. 5–8 p.m.: Casual Commander, the most popular form of the game, free. 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. Prizes paid in store credit. Various times. Sylvan Factory, 2459 W. Stadium. firstname.lastname@example.org, 929–5877.
Museum Highlight Tours: U-M Museum of Natural History.
Every Sat. & Sun., except Feb. 5 & 11. 30-minute tour of the museum exhibits and galleries, including Evolution: Life Through Time and artist Jim Cogswell’s Unseen Worlds installation. 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.
U-M Museum of Natural History Planetarium & Dome Theater.
Every Fri.–Sun. & Feb. 20. 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. 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. Also, at 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 11, Did an Asteroid Really Kill the Dinosaurs? looks at cosmic collisions across the solar system including the 6-mile-wide asteroid that hit the earth 66 million years ago. Various times, MNH, 1105 North University. $8. Limited capacity. 764–0478.
“Winter Carnival”: Chelsea American Legion Post 31.
Feb. 3–5. Three days of cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and other winter fun (weather permitting) at Cavanaugh Lake. Also, a euchre tournament (age 18 & older only; $10; prizes) on Fri. 7 p.m., dancing to a live band, BoVine on Sat. 8–11 p.m., the competitive ice fishing derby (weather permitting; adults, $10; kids, $2) on Sat. 7 a.m.–4 p.m. with awards at 5 p.m. Food available. 4–11 p.m. (Fri.), 8 a.m.–11 p.m. (Sat.), & 8 a.m.–noon (Sun.), American Legion Hall, 1700 Ridge Rd., Chelsea. Free admission. 475–1964.
Ann Arbor Group Runs: Fleet Feet.
"Breaking Down Barriers: The Importance of Firsts, the Importance of Representation": Washtenaw County Democratic Party/Ann Arbor Democratic Party
Panel discussion by Michigan House of Representatives speaker Joe Tate, Washtenaw County’s first and only African American sheriff Jerry L. Clayton, the only current Washtenaw County African American Circuit Court judge Arianne Slay, chair of the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners Justin Hodge, the first elected African American woman mayor of Ypsilanti Nicole Brown. 9:30 a.m.–noon. For Zoom link see washtenawdems.org/calendar. Free.
“Family Nature Adventures: Winter Scavenger Hunt”: Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission.
All age 2 & up invited to join WCPARC naturalist Elle Bogle in a scavenger hunt to search for various signs of winter. 10–11 a.m., Park Lyndon South, 18801 North Territorial Rd., Chelsea. Free. Preregistration required at parksonline.ewashtenaw.org (activity #821002). For info, email email@example.com. 971–6337.
Chime Concert: Kerrytown Market & Shops.
Lunar New Year Planetarium Show: U-M Museum of Natural History/U-M Center for Chinese Studies.
Planetarium show exploring the Chinese lunisolar calendar, Chinese star mythology, and the achievements of the Chinese government’s Chang’e missions to the moon to set up a semi-permanent robotic research facility. 10:30 a.m., U-M MNH, 1105 North University. Tickets $8. Limited capacity. Masks required. 764–0478.
Lunar New Year Planetarium Shows: U-M Museum of Natural History/U-M Center for Chinese Studies.
Jan. 21 & 28 and Feb. 4. Presentation on the Chinese lunisolar calendar, Chinese star mythology, and the achievements of the Chinese government’s Chang’e missions to the moon to set up a semi-permanent robotic research facility. 10:30 a.m., U-M MNH, 1105 North University. Tickets $8. Limited capacity. Masks required. 764–0478.
“Investigate Labs”: U-M Natural History Museum.
“Hunt for the Yeti”: Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission.
All invited to join WCPARC staff and volunteers in a massive creature hunt in search of the elusive Eddie the Yeti, with clues, riddles, and prizes, followed by hot cocoa and a snack. Last year, over 900 people joined in. Noon–1 p.m., 12:30–1:30 p.m., and 1–2 p.m., Rolling Hills County Park, 7660 Stony Creek Road. $5, plus $6 (nonresidents, $10) vehicle entry fee. Preregistration required at parksonline.ewashtenaw.org (activity #RH731308).
“Creature Encounters”: The Creature Conservancy.
Every Sat. & Sun. Conservancy staffers show off some animals native to North America, including the black vulture, beaded lizard, and alligator snapping turtle (2 & 4 p.m.). Also, a zookeeper display of Cooper the coyote (3 p.m.) and a chance to see the conservancy’s other animals, including a reindeer, bald eagle, macaws, 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.
“Lyndon’s Winter Loveliness”: Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission.
All invited to join WCPARC naturalist Elle Bogle for an exploration of the winter beauty, and the wooded ridges and wetlands, of one of the county’s loveliest natural areas. 1–3 p.m., Park Lyndon South, 18801 North Territorial Rd., Chelsea. Free. Preregistration required by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. 971–6337.
“Science Poetry”: WCC Super STEAM Saturday.
WCC English and writing professors Tom Zimmerman, Maryam Barrie, and Ernesto Querijero lead an interactive session, via Zoom, that explores poems written about science in all its complexity and beauty. Geared towards middle school students, but everyone welcome. 1–2 p.m., for URL, preregister at bit.ly/wccsteam. Free.
“Soft Art and Sensory Scapes”: Ann Arbor District Library.
Sparkle Dragons: AADL Malletts Creek.
“Our Carnal Hearts”: University Musical Society.
Feb. 1–4. U.K.-based performance artist Rachel Mars is joined by 4 female singers in her gleefully wicked ode to the humblebrag and the other forms of envy engendered by the competitive spirit of capitalism. “Not just honest... very funny, too, and streaked with regret,” according to The Guardian reviewer. Structured like a church service, this Edinburgh Fringe Festival hit features audience participation and music by Louise Mothersole. 7:30 p.m. (Wed. & Thurs.), 8 p.m. (Fri.), & 2 p.m. (Sat.), Arthur Miller Theatre, 1226 Murfin Ave. Mask required if Washtenaw County is in the CDC’s high-risk category. Tickets $25 (students, $12), in advance at tickets.ums.org, the Michigan League box office, & by phone, and (if available) at the door. 764–2538.
“Read and Look”: U-M Kelsey Museum of Archaeology.
Open Hours: All Hands Active.
“Get SCRAPpy!”: AADL Traverwood.
“Human Error”: Purple Rose Theatre Company.
Every Wed.–Sun., Feb. 3–Mar. 18. Lynch Travis directs the Michigan premiere of Ohio-based playwright Eric Pfeffinger’s political comedy about a liberal couple trying to start a family whose fertilized embryo is accidentally implanted in the uterus of a small-government-supporting NRA cardholder. Cast: Henrí Franklin, Alex Leydenfrost, Kristin Shields, Kevin Theis, and Meghan VanArsdalen. 3 p.m. (Wed., Thurs., & Sat.), 8 p.m. (Thurs.–Sat., except Feb. 9), & 2 p.m. (Sun.), Purple Rose Theatre, 137 Park St., Chelsea. Tickets $21–$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.
“The Language Archive”: Theatre Nova.
Every Fri.–Sun., Feb. 3–26. Carla Milarch directs this Michigan premiere of Julia Cho’s whimsical 2010 romantic comedy about a man obsessed with documenting the dying languages of far-flung cultures even as his own capacity to communicate, along with his marriage, is deteriorating. 2 p.m. (Sun.), 7:30 p.m. (Fri. & Sat.), & 3 p.m. (Sat.), Theatre Nova, 410 W. Huron St. Mask & proof of vaccination required. Tickets $22 ($10 for kids under 17) in advance at theatre-nova.ticketleap.com and (if available) at the door. 635–8450.
Pittsfield Open Band: Ann Arbor Community for Traditional Music and Dance.
Feb. 4 & 18. 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. All instruments welcome. Bring the Ruffwater Fakebook, the Portland Collection, and The Waltz Books if you have them. 3–5 p.m., Pittsfield Union Grange, 3337 Ann Arbor–Saline Rd. Mask required; check latest Covid policy at aactmad.org. Free. 709–8748.
Annual Luminary Walk: The Farm at Trinity Health Ann Arbor (formerly St. Joe’s).
All invited to walk along 2 miles of trails lit by luminaries. Also, live music, kids activities, local food vendors, and more. Wheelchair- and stroller-friendly routes available. 4–7 p.m., The Farm at Trinity Health Ann Arbor, 5557 McAuley Drive, Ypsilanti. Free. facebook.com/TheFarmAtTrinityHealthAnnArbor.
Gayelynn McKinney & The McKinney Zone: Blue LLama Jazz Club
GRAMMY-nominated musician GAYELYNN MCKINNEY is one of the most accomplished drummers in Detroit. The daughter of the legendary jazz pianist and composer, Harold McKinney, Gayelynn McKinney has played for renowned international music artists like Aretha Franklin, Freda Payne, Chaka Khan, Benny Golson, Roy Hargrave, Larry Coryell, Marcus Belgrave, Ralphe Armstrong, Roy Ayers, and Geri Allen.314 S. Main St ,Ann Arbor. Pre-Pay Light Fare+Libations or Dinner+Show at opentable.com $35–85. email@example.com bluellamaclub.com 734-372-3200.
Murder Mystery Dinner Show: The Dinner Detective Ann Arbor.
Feb. 4 & 18. Dinner while actors masquerading as fellow diners enact a hilarious murder mystery in which actual audience members may find themselves a prime suspect. 6:30–9 p.m., Ann Arbor Marriott, 1275 S. Huron, Ypsilanti. $65 includes gratuity; preregistration required at TheDinnerDetective.com. (866) 496–0535.
“Chicago: Teen Edition”: Huron High School Players.
Jan. 27–29 & Feb. 3–5. Huron students perform a stage adaptation of this 1975 musical, a satire on corruption in the criminal justice system and the “celebrity criminal” set in 1920s Chicago. Music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and book by Ebb and Bob Fosse, whose style is strongly identified with the show. 7 p.m. (Fri. & Sat.) & 2 p.m. (Sun.), HHS Ingram Theater, 2727 Fuller. Tickets $15 (students, staff, & seniors, $10) in advance at huronplayers.weebly.com & at the door. 994–2097.
“Romance Trope Bingo”: Booksweet Bookshop Local Author’s Night.
“You Can’t Take It with You”: Michigan Theater.
Feb. 4 & 6: (Frank Capra, 1938). Delightful screwball comedy adaptation of Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman’s 1937 Pulitzer Prize-winning play. When a young woman brings home her fiancé—the son of a Wall Street tycoon—to introduce him to her family, a collection of good-hearted eccentrics, a conflict between respectability and self-reliance is kindled. James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Lionel Barrymore. 7 p.m. (Sat.) & 7:30 p.m. (Mon., $10.50 unless otherwise noted (children under 12, students, seniors age 65 & older & U.S. veterans, $8:50; MTF members, $8) in advance online (recommended) & at the door. For updated schedule, see MichTheater.org.
Ian Lara: Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase.
Feb. 2–4. NYC-based comic Lara is a Queens native with natural timing and a wealth of clever insights. His fresh takes on sex 2.0, Groupon travelers, dressing for protests, and more fuel his new HBO special, appearances on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and many other TV appearances. Preceded by 2 opening acts. Alcohol is served. 7:15 p.m. (Thurs.–Sat.) & 9:45 p.m. (Sat.), 212 S. Fourth Ave. $20 ($15 Thurs.) reserved seating in advance at aacomedy.com before 5 p.m. the night of the show; $22 ($20 Thurs.) general admission at the door. 996–9080.
“A Modern Exploration of the American Songbook”: Ethnic Heritage Ensemble (The Encore Musical Theatre Company).
Feb. 3 & 4. This ensemble led by Chicago-based percussionist Kahil El’Zabar draws on African rhythms, hip-hop, and R&B to perform avant-garde arrangements of material from the American Songbook, the mythical canon of mostly early 20th-century jazz standards, show tunes, and popular songs. With trumpeter Corey Wilkes, saxophonist Alex Harding, and 2 guest musicians, jazz singer Tammy McCann and keyboardist Justin Dillard. 7:30 p.m., Encore, 7714 Ann Arbor St., Dexter. Tickets $50 (+$3.80 fee) in advance at theEncoreTheatre.org & at the door. 268–6200.
1st Saturday Contra: Ann Arbor Community of Traditional Music and Dance.
Peter Baker and Martha Vander Kolk call international dances and contras to live music by Judi Morningstar, Brad Battey, and Josh Burdick. All dances taught; no partner needed. Bring clean shoes. Preceded at 7 p.m. by a beginner’s introduction. 7:30–10:30 p.m., Pittsfield Grange, 3337 Ann Arbor-Saline Rd. Mask required. Pay what you can ($10–$12 suggested). aactmad.org, 274–0773.
Latin Night with Pete Siers & Los Gatos: Kerrytown Concert House Dance Hall Nights Series.
Drummer Pete Siers leads this popular local Latin jazz dance band that specializes in the old-school music of Cal Tjader, Mongo Santamaría, Tito Puente, and Joe Cuba. The band has amassed a large following among both jazz aficionados and salsa dancers. Attendees may listen in their seats in the main hall or dance in the cleared side hall. 7:30 p.m., KCH, 415 N. Fourth Ave. Livestream also available. Tickets $35–$50 (students $19) in advance at kerrytownconcerthouse.com and (if available) at the door. Reservations recommended. 769–2999.
Sophie Shao and Amy Cheng: Stone Chalet Enchanted Music Series.
Award-winning NYC cellist Shao joins U-M piano professor Cheng, on the Chalet’s new Schimmel Konzert grand piano, in a performance of 20th-century French composer Nadia Boulanger’s Three Pieces for Cello and Piano, Argentinian tango master Astor Piazzolla’s Le Grand Tango, one of Mozart’s Viennese sonatas, and Rachmaninoff’s Cello Sonata, one of the most timeless, and technically difficult, works in the repertoire. 7:30 p.m., Stone Chalet, 1917 Washtenaw. Tickets $50–$75 (students, $35; VIP tickets $125–$150 includes post-concert reception & dessert) in advance at stonechalet.com and (if available) at the door.
“Sleek Disturbances”: U-M Dance Department.
Feb. 2–5. Amy Chavasse directs dance majors in this annual contemporary dance showcase concert featuring choreography by U-M dance professors Fangfei Miao and Jillian Hopper, with guest choreography by NYC Dance Company directors Sidra Bell and Bryn Cohn. The program explores the idea of place, with the dancers inhabiting spaces that fluctuate between the real and imaginary, conjuring an idea of future realms through a range of movement ideas from the nuanced to the explosive. 7:30 p.m. (Thurs.), 8 p.m. (Fri. & Sat), & 2 p.m. (Sun), Power Center. Tickets $27–$33 in advance at smtd.umich.edu/events and at the door. 764–9537.
“Your Sexts Are Shit: Older Better Letters”: University Musical Society.
Feb. 4 & 5. U.K.-based performance artist Rachel Mars celebrates erotic missives in her new solo piece. Inspired by a serendipitous encounter with James Joyce’s raunchy letters to Nora Barnacle, Mars compares salacious letters from the past to modern sexts, serving up meditations on topics ranging from the body and the love letter to the lost art of letter writing. The end result is a filthy, funny, and intimate show that balances “humor with bittersweet fierce intelligence,” Fringe Review. 8 p.m. (Sat.) & 2 p.m. (Sun.), Arthur Miller Theatre, 1226 Murfin Ave. Mask required if Washtenaw County is in the CDC’s high-risk category. Tickets $25 (students, $12), in advance at tickets.ums.org, the Michigan League box office, & by phone, and (if available) at the door. 764–2538.