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Body of Work: Lin-Manuel Miranda

Mon, 11/04/2019 - 10:15am

We laughed, we cried, we swooned which is no surprise when you dive into Lin Manuel Miranda's body of work. There also may have been a very strange confession involving George Washington....

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Actor/Writer Jon Glaser Discusses Comedy And His Career

Thu, 11/30/2017 - 8:23am

Actor and writer Jon Glaser sits down with us to discuss his television and comedy career.

Jon Glaser created, starred in, and co-wrote the TV shows Neon Joe Werewolf Hunter, Jon Glaser Loves Gear, and Delocated. He is well-known as Councilman Jamm on Parks and Recreation, and Laird on HBO's Girls. Other TV credits include Inside Amy Schumer, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Wonder Showzen.

Film credits include Trainwreck, Be Kind Rewind, and Pootie Tang. Cartoon voice work includes Bob's Burgers, Archer, Lucy: Daughter of the Devil, TV Funhouse, and Aqua Teen Hunger Force. He appeared as Video Cowboy in the ESPN web series Mayne Street, and he created, wrote, directed and starred in a series of web shorts for Comedy Central called Tiny Hands.

As a writer and consultant, Jon's credits include Inside Amy Schumer, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Dana Carvey Show, Human Giant, and Cheap Seats. He has written several stories for The New York Times Magazine, and his writing has also appeared in ESPN The Magazine, The Onion A.V. Club, and online for New York Magazine.

His first book, My Dead Dad Was In ZZ Top, was published by Harper Perennial, and he wrote and directed the music video for Bob Mould’s Star Machine.

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Dining with Shakespeare

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 10:36am

Travel back into the culinary past and discover how Shakespeare and his contemporaries dined in the 16th century. Author and historian Susan L. Nenadic discusses 16th-century attitudes towards food, how food was obtained, and the many laws regulating food at that time. She considers foods eaten by people at the time that we do not, and foods that are still part of our 21st-century diet. Quotations from Shakespeare and recipes are included.

This event was cosponsored by The Culinary Historians of Ann Arbor (CHAA), which was founded in 1983 by Jan Longone and friends and is an organization of scholars, cooks, food writers, nutritionists, collectors, students, and others interested in the study of culinary history and gastronomy.

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"Spring Awakening:" How a 19th-Century German Play Rocks with Relevance Today

Wed, 07/05/2017 - 11:34am

Originally written as a 19th century German play, Spring Awakening is an eight-time Tony Award-winning rock musical that uses alternative rock and a folk-infused score to explore topics of adolescence, consent, sexuality, suicide, and the stress of school.

In anticipation of Ann Arbor in Concert's upcoming Spring Awakening performance, Craig VanKempen will discuss a history of the play and how the social issues it portrays continue to be important to the youth of today.

Craig VanKempen holds a Bachelor’s Degree in German and Theatre from the University of Michigan’s Residential College and a Masters in Social Work and Public Health from the U-M. He is a Social Worker and Health Educator at the Corner Health Center of Ypsilanti and works with adolescents in individual psychotherapy as well as in the Teen Peer Education Theatre Troupe.

This program is presented in partnership with Ann Arbor in Concert.

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Broadway Star and Ann Arbor Native Ashley Park Discusses Her Experiences On Broadway As Tuptim In The Recent Tony-Winning Musical "The King And I"

Tue, 10/18/2016 - 8:36am

Ashley Park is a Grammy-nominated Broadway performer most recently seen playing Tuptim in Lincoln Center’s Tony-Award-Winning Revival of "The King And I" (Original Broadway Cast Recording), and also appeared on Broadway in "Mamma Mia!"

Ashley, a Pioneer High School graduate, discusses her year with "The King And I," her acclaimed portrayal of Tuptim, the Tony and Grammy Awards, and life on Broadway. She also discusses her high school battle with cancer, how the Make-A-Wish foundation granted her dream to see her first Broadway Show ("The Lion King"), and how her career led her from Ann Arbor to New York City and a Tony-winning production.

Ashley’s credits include a national tour as Gabrielle in "Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella," concerts and musical performances at Alice Tully Hall, Feinstein’s/54 Below and other venues. She is a proud graduate of The University of Michigan (BFA Musical Theatre), where she co-founded the Michigan Performance Outreach Workshop (MPOW) and worked as a member of the Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP).

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Celebrated Actress, Writer, and Producer Cindy Williams Discusses Her Career And Her New Autobiography: “Shirley, I Jest!: A Storied Life”

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 10:02am

Actress, writer, and producer Cindy Williams is one of the most recognizable names and faces of 1970s & 1980s television.

Best known for her starring role in the hit TV show "Laverne and Shirley," she also had lead roles in such iconic films such as "American Graffiti" and Francis Ford Coppola's "The Conversation."

While millions have been entertained by her good-natured personality and comic antics, she has rarely spoken about her life in entertainment, and how she came to star in one of the most popular shows of all time.

In this special event at the Downtown Library, Cindy was joined by local radio personality Lucy Ann Lance to discuss her life, career and new book Shirley, I Jest!: A Storied Life. In this hilarious and heartfelt book, she shares some of her most memorable stories including her role as Shirley Feeney in the iconic TV show "Laverne & Shirley." She shares stories of her experiences in her personal life (growing up in a blue-collar family) and show business as well as her encounters with entertainment legends such as Gene Kelly, Lucille Ball, Little Richard, Cary Grant, Jim Morrison, Ron Howard, and many more. Of course, she also talks about her professional partnership and personal relationship with her co-star and friend Penny Marshall.

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Staging Ground: An American Theater and Its Ghosts

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 3:30pm

Interweaving past and present, private anecdote and public record, Ann Arbor author Leslie Stainton's new book Staging Ground: An American Theater and Its Ghosts captures the history of one of America’s oldest and most ghosted theaters—the Fulton Theatre in Lancaster, Pennsylvania—and recounts the story of a nation’s tumultuous struggle to invent itself.

Built in 1852 and in use ever since, the Fulton Theatre is uniquely ghosted. Its foundations were once the walls of a colonial jail that in 1763 witnessed the massacre of the last surviving Conestoga Indians. Those same walls later served to incarcerate fugitive slaves.

Staging Ground explores these tragic events and their enduring resonance in a building that later became a town hall, theater, and movie house--the site of minstrel shows, productions of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," oratory by the likes of Thaddeus Stevens and Mark Twain, performances by Buffalo Bill and his troupe of "Wild Indians," Hollywood Westerns, and twenty-first-century musicals. Stainton unfolds the story of this emblematic space, where for more than 250 years Americans scripted and re-scripted their history.

This event features a short reading from the book by Stainton followed by a conversation with Jim Leija (UMS), Martin Walsh (actor and U-M instructor) and Leigh Woods (actor and U-M theater professor).

This event was co-sponsored by the U-M Institute for the Humanities, and the Ann Arbor Book Festival, and the U-M Library in collaboration with UMS and AADL

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I Remember When: Playbill Part 2

Tue, 02/18/2014 - 2:05pm

In this episode, Gerald H. Hoag, former manager of both the Majestic Theatre and the Michigan Theatre, talks about the early theaters in Ann Arbor and some of the early stars and most popular films to come to town. Host Ted Trost mentions the Ann Arbor Film Festival and the Ann Arbor Art Fairs. Footage includes a street performer at the Art Fair and the University of Michigan Marching Band.

Directed by Dale Throneberry
Created by Jeff Werner
Executive producer: Catherine Anderson
Graphic artist Eric Anderson
Sponsored by the Ann Arbor Public Library, with help from the Ann Arbor Sesquicentennial Commission and the University of Michigan Speech Department.

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I Remember When: Playbill Part 1

Tue, 02/18/2014 - 2:02pm

In this episode, Alva Joanna Sink, wife of former University Musical Society (UMS) president, Charles A. Sink, talks about music in Ann Arbor and her husband's work with both UMS and the University of Michigan's School of Music; and Burnette Staebler, former president of Ann Arbor Civic Theatre, talks about the Theatre's earliest performances and other theatrical venues in town.

Directed by Ronald Snow
Created by Jeff Werner
Exec producer: Catherine Anderson
Graphic Artist: Eric Andersen
Sponsored by the Ann Arbor Public Library, with help from the Ann Arbor Sesquicentennial Commission and the University of Michigan Speech Department.