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Highlighting History: "Harold Neal and Detroit African American Artists: 1945 through the Black Arts Movement"

Mon, 10/11/2021 - 1:00pm by christopherporter

Harold Neal, title unknown, before 1958, oil on board. Neal family collection, Detroit.

Harold Neal, title unknown, before 1958, oil on board. Neal family collection, Detroit.

Though Detroit is synonymous with musical innovation, the Michigan cultural center is not frequently framed as an epicenter of fine art. In a new exhibit, curators suggest that this is not because Detroit lacks—now or in the past—a vibrant art scene but because of historical oversight on the parts of art historians.

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U-M production updates the Roaring Twenties-set musical "The Wild Party" for the Cell Phone Age

Mon, 10/11/2021 - 10:00am by christopherporter

UMSTMD's production of The Wild Party

Director and University of Michigan grad Andrew Lippa sets The Wild Party in modern-day Manhattan. Photo courtesy UMSTMD.

Joseph Moncore March’s 1928 book-length poem The Wild Party was a scandal at the time. March portrayed in rhythmic language the shifting landscape of sexual relations and raw desires in the Roaring ’20s as captured in a Hollywood party run amok. The book was banned in Boston and beyond.

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This Woman's Work: UMSTMD's "Nora" explores Ibsen's "A Doll's House" through three different eras

Thu, 10/07/2021 - 3:00pm by christopherporter

Alyssa Melani, Ruby Sevcik, Ruby Pérez star in UMSMTD's Nora

Alyssa Melani, Ruby Sevcik, Ruby Pérez star as three generations of Nora in U-M's interpretation of Hendrik Ibsen's A Doll's House. Photo courtesy of UMSTMD.

I felt guilty for stealing away, by myself, for a few hours on Sunday to see U-M’s Department of Theatre and Drama production of Stef Smith’s Nora: A Doll’s House, leaving my kids and spouse to fend for themselves.

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Systemic Pigeonholing: "Never Free to Rest" by Rashaun Rucker at U-M's LSA Gallery

Mon, 09/27/2021 - 10:00am by christopherporter

Rashaun Ruckers' Left at First Light and The Ascent

Left: Left at First Light by Rashaun Rucker is part of Never Free to Rest, a new exhibition on view until Oct. 15 at the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities Gallery.
Right: The Ascent by Rashaun Rucker is part of Never Free to Rest, a new exhibition on view until Oct. 15 at the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities Gallery.

Rashaun Rucker begins his artist statement for Never Free to Rest at U-M's Institute for the Humanities Gallery with a simple definition:

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Encore Musical Theatre Company opens its new home and 13th season with "Smokey Joe’s Cafe"

Fri, 09/24/2021 - 1:00pm by christopherporter

Bryana Hall in Encore Theatre's Smokey Joe's Cafe

Bryana Hall is one of the singing stars of Encore Theatre's Smokey Joe's Cafe.

Live theater is back and the Encore Musical Theatre Company is celebrating the opening of its 13th season in its spectacular new space in Dexter and in the always rocking Smokey Joe’s Cafe.

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The Future Is NOW: "Stephanie Dinkins: On Love & Data" at U-M Stamps Gallery

Wed, 09/22/2021 - 12:00pm by christopherporter

Stephanie Dinkins, Secret Garden (Detail)

Stephanie Dinkins, Secret Garden (detail). Image courtesy Stamps Gallery.

“Binary calculations are inadequate to assess us,” states transmedia artist Stephanie Dinkins, and she approaches AI and technology with this premise in mind.

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Theatre Nova's "The Lifespan of a Fact" is a compelling issue play built on a lopsided debate

Tue, 09/21/2021 - 2:00pm by christopherporter

Theatre Nova's The Lifespan of a Fact

Left to right: Diane Hill as Emily Penrose, Justin Montgomery as Jim Fingal, and Andrew Huff as John D'Agata in The Lifespan of a Fact by Jeremy Kareken & David Murrell and Gordon Murrell, directed by Carla Milarch at Theatre NOVA. Photography by Sean Carter Photography.

During a set change in Theatre Nova’s first live, in-person production in front of an audience since March 2020, a stage crew duo flipped and turned an office desk to reveal a fluffy couch.

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Review: Ann Arbor Summer Festival’s “A Thousand Ways (Part One): A Phone Call”

Fri, 07/16/2021 - 7:30am by christopherporter

Ann Arbor Summer Festival’s A Thousand Ways (Part One): A Phone Call

By sheer coincidence, I experienced the Ann Arbor Summer Festival’s theatrical presentation of A Thousand Ways (Part One): A Phone Call at a time when I’d also revisited Mandy Len Catron’s viral essay, “To Fall in Love with Anyone, Do This,” which references 36 questions purported to accelerate intimacy between two strangers.

What’s the connection, you ask?

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Helicon Haus' "Into the Abyss" explores the bottomless chasm of multidisciplinary art

Tue, 06/29/2021 - 11:00am by christopherporter

Helicon Haus's Into the Abyss

Helicon Haus is a student-run organization associated with the History of Art Undergraduate Society at the University of Michigan. The group hosts annual pop-up art exhibits, publishes writings, and creates arts-related world travel opportunities for its members. But for Helicon Haus' annual art exhibition, anyone may enter.

This year’s call took place in April 2021 and resulted in the online exhibition Into the Abyss, which is the second year in which the submissions were presented a virtual format.

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Face to Interface: A2SF’s "Temping" is an uncanny, moving performance for one

Wed, 06/16/2021 - 10:30am by christopherporter

Ann Arbor Summer Fest's Temping

I double-checked that I was at the correct address, but the unmarked doors to the office building were locked.