Revue Magazine, January 2017

Page 1

West Michigan’s Entertainment Guide for 29 Years » January 2017

Free! / Music / Art / Dining

Forever Fresh The Sovengard’s Rick Muschiana & Patrick Conrade

Also Inside:

Fitness focus


2 | REVUEWM.COM | January 2017











Visit for complete details.

42768 SECR January Revue Ad APPROVED.indd 1





Get your tickets at the Soaring Eagle box office,, or call 1.800.514.ETIX




12/16/162017 1:45 PM REVUEWM.COM | January | 3


snow rain or shine The Michigan Brewers Guild 12th Annual Winter Beer Festival is an outdoor celebration of Michigan beer, featuring over 1000 BEERS from more than 120 BREWERIES. Dress for winter weather and let the hearty winter brews warm your soul. Friday tickets are $45 in advance; $50 at gate, if available. Tickets are limited; advanced purchase encouraged. No refunds. Saturday tickets are sold out. ADMISSION:

Tickets are available online only at Includes 15 drink tokens, each good for one 3 oz. sample. Additional tokens available for purchase inside festival. Must be 21 and over. I.D. is required. For tickets, information and updates, visit MIBEER.COM. TICKETS:

MICHIGAN BREWERS GUILD BEER FESTIVALS The original Michigan beer festivals and the best beer festivals anywhere. For the Brewers. By the Brewers. About the Brewers. The Saturday session of the Winter Beer Festival is now sold out but Friday is a great day to experience the fun. We have adjusted the time to be 5 – 9 p.m, making it easier to get there after work. Limited attendance provides a more casual environment to explore and discuss the beer offerings. We invite you to join us as we celebrate Michigan breweries and their beer, and the 20th Anniversary of the Michigan Brewers Guild.




6 | REVUEWM.COM | January 2017

REVUEWM.COM | January 2017 |


SATURDAY, JAN. 28 @ 8 P.M.

(269) 387-2300 • • (800) 228-9858 Welcomed by

Revue Advertisement.indd 1 8 |Postmodern REVUEWM.COM | January 2017

12/8/16 7:55 AM

What’s Inside

January 2017 | Volume 29, Issue 1


What’s Going on this Month


Eclectic Profile: Nick Salamasick


2017 Predictions


Winspear Records


Third Coast Vinyl


Winter Wheat Festival


WYCE Songs We Like: Jammies Edition


The Sovengard



Comedy: Shane Mauss


Style Notes


Lit Life: Rakish Reeds Lake


Fitness Fashion: SheFit


Fitness for All


Workout Playlist


Hiking & Snowshoeing Trails


Fitness & Beer


Restaurant Guide


Dining: The Sovengard


Beer Taste-off: Michigan Porters

sPECIAL SECTION: Revue Arts 1A An exploration of West Michigan’s cultural arts scene and the people who drive it (See the center of this issue, after page 26)

Style Notes


Fitness & Beer


Letter from the Editor


ere’s news you can use: 2017 is the year of the rooster. If you’re the marketing team over at Brewery Vivant in Grand Rapids, you have to be imagining the cash register ringing nonstop because of the brisk business in selling wares adorned with the brewery’s signature red rooster logo. (Their provocatively named red ale is called Big Red Coq for a reason, after all.) In fact, I think we’re all hoping for a successful new year after the nightmare that was 2016. It couldn’t possibly get any worse, right? Well, fingers crossed. We asked food writer extraordinaire Troy Reimink to craft up an artisanal list of prognostications for the local drinking and dining scene in the year ahead. You’ll have to check out page 18 to read all of his cheeky predictions. However, peeling back the satire of his last item, let’s dive into the notion that West Michigan has reached peak brewery. In a recent conversation with David Ringler from Cedar Springs Brewing Co., he said he expects 2017 might be the year some local breweries go out of business. The craft beer industry has become, well, more like a business in recent years as more competition has entered the marketplace. The situation makes him recall the late 1990s when the first wave of the craft beer boom occurred and not everyone survived. The difference: Consumers are even less forgiving now, given all the top-notch options that are available to them. “People are used to good quality beer and good quality beer is available. It is a little less forgiving now where if you screw up a couple of times, it may be tougher to recover,” Ringler said. “The days of just saying ‘I’m local

and I’m here’ and getting attention because of that are kind of over. It’s work now. There’s 58 breweries within 45 minutes of downtown Grand Rapids and that means consumers have a ton of choices.” I may have attended parochial school in my youth, but even the nuns taught us — begrudgingly, perhaps — about evolution, the survival of the fittest. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the craft beer scene in West Michigan will change and evolve over time. It’s a great time to be a craft beer drinker because we have so many great options available to us. But evolution teaches us that not everyone in the industry will survive. As some great philosopher once said, “Life’s too short to drink bad beer,” and craft beer fans will help decide who wins and who fades away. One might argue that it’s our responsibility to the artisans who slave for hours to make the high-quality products we love to patronize them instead of settling for second best or mediocre products. I’ll bet you didn’t think drinking craft beer was such a calling. Now that we all know our charge in the year of the rooster, it’s important to heed the advice of my British friends: “Don’t cock it up.”


W est M i ch i g a n ’ s E n terta i n me n t G u i de

Editorial Publisher Brian Edwards Associate Publisher Rich Tupica / Editor Joe Boomgaard / Managing Editor Josh Veal / Copy Editor Claire Boomgaard Design Creative Director Kim Kibby / Revue Arts Design Rachel Harper Contributing Writers Audria Larsen Missy Black Kelly Brown Justine Burdette Dana Casadei Dwayne Hoover Nick Macksood Marla R. Miller

Eric Mitts Samara Napolitan Troy Reimink Nicole Rico Jane Simons Josh Spanninga Elma Talundzic Kayla Tucker

Contributing Photographers Seth Thompson, Jeff Hage, Katy Batdorff Advertising / 616.608.6170 / Kelli Belanger / Digital Editor Kim Kibby /

Find us online! Joe Boomgaard, Editor Website: Twitter: Facebook: Instagram: Revue is published monthly by Revue Holding Company. 65 Monroe Center, Ste. 5, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 Office: 616.608.6170 / Fax: 616.608.6182

Upcoming issues February: Revue’s Guide to Vice & Love The people of West Michigan have many passions. For February, Revue delves into West Michigan’s loves and guilty pleasures. Don’t worry — there will be just enough lust to balance out the love.

©2017, Revue Holding Company. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part granted only by written permission of the publisher in accordance with our legal statement, fools.

March: The Revue Style Guide

On the cover:

Revue spotlights chic shopping hot spots, must-have items and fashionable locals.

Rick Muschiana & Patrick Conrade of The Sovengard in their outdoor biergarten, which opens soon. (Photo by Seth Thompson)

To AdvertisE: Call (616) 608-6170 or email Space reservation is the 15th of the month before publication.

10 | REVUEWM.COM | January 2017

See story on page 46.

REVUEWM.COM | January 2017 |


/// best bets

what’s Going on this month |  Compiled by Nicole Rico and Revue staff

structure, a style that inspired bands like Deafheaven. Special guests include The Body and Creepers.


Delilah DeWylde & The Lost Boys

Dweezil Zappa

Bell’s Eccentric Café 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo 9 p.m., $5 advance & $8 day of, 21 and up, (269) 382-2332

Kalamazoo State Theatre 404 S. Burdick, Kalamazoo 7 p.m., $25-$75, (269) 345-6500

Merging honky-tonk twang with blues and some attitude, Delilah DeWylde and the Lost Boys play their distinctive brand of rockabilly at Bell’s this month. If you enjoy Buck Owens, Johnny Cash or Wanda Jackson, this is the event for you. Opening the show is The Birdseed Salesmen.

January marks the 50th anniversary of Zappa and the Mothers of Inventions’ debut album, Freak Out. Celebrate this special moment with Dweezil Zappa as he plays his father’s early songs alongside a few of his own. For an added fee, you can learn guitar techniques from Dweezil via his Guitar Masterclass.

Alcest This hip-hop duo from Sacramento, Calif. is one part rapper, Gift of Gab, and one part DJ/producer, Chief Xcel. Blackalicious’s music is known for its classic beats mixed with crazy complex rhymes, as evidenced by the time the internet went crazy over Daniel Radcliffe being able to recite the group’s Alphabet Aerobics on The Tonight Show. Of course, talented as the wizard may be, there’s no substitute for the real thing.

has been compared to Crazy Horse, Pearl Jam and Tom Petty. Morgan Haner is a singer-songwriter who has worked with Big Dudee Roo on his newest album, Transmitter Blues. Also performing are Fiona Dickinson and the Stone Flowers.


Pyramid Scheme 68 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids 7:30 p.m., $18, 21 and up, (616) 272-3758

Plan B: A Benefit For Planned Parenthood

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

Luke Winslow-King

Seven Steps Up 116 S. Jackson St., Spring Lake 8 p.m., $15-$25

The New Orleans-based Luke Winslow-King has been combining elements of delta blues, folk, jazz, roots and rock ‘n’ roll for years now. Originally from Cadillac, Winslow-King returns to Michigan for this series of intimate shows.



Bell’s Eccentric Cafe 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo 9 p.m., $18, (269) 382-2332

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Pyramid Scheme 68 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids 8 p.m., $6 advance, $8 day of, 21 and up, (616) 272-3758 If you want to advance a good cause and party at the same time, The Pyramid Scheme has you covered. Plan B: A Benefit for Planned Parenthood raises funds for the nonprofit organization while simultaneously allowing you to rock out to tunes by Lady Ace Boogie, AOK, Lena Trinket and more.



French band Alcest could easily be considered a black metal legend, influencing the genre since 2000. The duo’s music arguably infuses shoegaze into the typical metal

Dweezil Zappa


The Lumineers wsg. Andrew Bird

Van Andel Arena 130 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids 7 p.m., $29.50-$59.50, (616) 742-6600 Currently in the middle of the Cleopatra World Tour, The Lumineers this month are stopping by Van Andel along with Andrew Bird and Margaret Glaspy. If you enjoy Mumford & Sons, Of Monsters & Men, or any other modern folky-rock bands, you might want to check out this show.



Kalamazoo State Theatre 404 S. Burdick, Kalamazoo 8 p.m., $59.50-$69.50, (269) 345-6500

With singles like Horse With No Name, Muskrat Love and Ventura Highway, one would be hard-pressed not to have heard of America. The band formed in London as sons of U.S. Airforce personnel, but became known in the 1970s for their mellow classic-rock.


Postmodern Jukebox

Miller Auditorium 2200 Auditorium Dr., Kalamazoo 8 p.m., $46-$108, (269) 387-2300

Imagine if today’s top musicians and vocalists came up in the bygone days of doo-wop. That’s Postmodern Jukebox. The show brings you the works of artists like Radiohead, Beyonce and Guns N’ Roses in vintage, ’50s styles, like doo-wop and swing. For a preview, visit


Cooper’s Glen Music Festival

Radisson Plaza Hotel 100 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo $40-$55,

Big Dudee Roo & Morgan Haner

Founders Brewing Co. Taproom 235 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids 9:30 p.m., $5, 21 and up, (616) 776-1195

Fans of good ol’ fashioned acoustic music will want to check out this twoday festival by the Great Lakes Acoustic Music Association. The event includes performances by Joel Mabus, The Ragbirds, Wayne Hancock, Nashon Holloway and Four Wheel Drive, among other songsters. The festival also features workshops in songwriting, storytelling, ukulele and other sonic topics — some of which are instructed by the artists listed above. n

Big Dudee Roo’s bio says the band is proudly “committed to rock and roll” and

Find more events in Revue Arts section.


REVUEWM.COM | January 2017 |


/// Eclectic

Nick Salamasick |  by Audria Larsen

Bonafide brew lover, parkour enthusiast and photography aficionado Nick Salamasick hails from Muskegon, but he can be found in Grand Rapids many nights, cruising the beer and cocktail scene, doing backflips and shooting a sunset or two.

Tell me about your love affair with beer. It all started in college when my roommates and I would bring back all of our light beer cans and use the extra money to buy craft beer at a place called Oliver T’s. This was before craft beer was as huge as it is now. Now that there are so many options, it has been fun to try new and different styles from the growing number of breweries. I’ve settled down a little as of late — at one point my entire refrigerator was filled with beer. There wasn’t any room for food. What do you think about the Michigan beer scene? I’m certainly biased on this one. I love the community and variety we have in West Michigan. I’ve been to Asheville, N.C. and Portland, Ore. and Colorado, and think West Michigan offers better beer. What’s your ultimate beer jam? Founder’s Black Party is hands down my favorite beer event!

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

14 | REVUEWM.COM | January 2017

You’re an active photographer. How long have you been shooting? I’ve been shooting since about 2005, so just over 10 years. Do you consider yourself an amateur, or are you for hire? I still consider myself an amateur since I don’t make a living from photography, but I certainly try to hold myself to a professional level of quality when making images. I’ve done a few shoots where I have been compensated and would definitely consider taking on projects that I find interesting. Photo: VAGUE photography

What are your goals for photography? My only real goal is to always improve. How long have you been doing parkour? Can you explain it for a layperson? I’ve been practicing parkour for a little over two years. Parkour involves moving from place to place by running and jumping around obstacles as efficiently as possible. I typically practice freerunning, which is a type of parkour that involves more acrobatic movements. It’s similar to gymnastics.

“I’ve been to Asheville, N.C. and Portland, Ore. and Colorado, and think West Michigan offers better beer.”

Where are some of your fav local watering holes for fancy cocktails in Muskegon and Grand Rapids? My favorite place to get cocktails is definitely Sidebar in Grand Rapids. There’s a cocktail bar that is supposed to open in downtown Muskegon soon and I’m really looking forward to checking it out once it opens. When I stick around Muskegon, I usually grab a couple of beers at Unruly Brewing Co. or Pigeon Hill Brewing Co.

Nick Salamasick

You have shot live shows, nature and models in a studio. Do you have a favorite subject matter? I love going out and shooting live music, but I like doing the tedious post-work on studio stuff. I like variety when it comes to photography.

What draws you to it? It’s a really good way to stay in shape and it doesn’t get boring. There is always room to get better.

You train with a wide range of ages. What’s it like learning acrobatics as an adult? It’s interesting — I feel like I have to be much more cautious than the young people. The instructors and many of the other students are really talented so it’s cool to be able to learn from people younger than me.

Do you actually practice parkour out in the world? Like, on cement?! (Laughter) Not too often, but sometimes people ask to see some stuff when they find out I do parkour. They usually don’t believe me because I’m not a small guy. What is your day job? I’m a tooling engineer at a steel foundry. How do your eclectic interests and hobbies converge in your life? I like to think that work and photography go together well because they both help me build my creativity and technical skill set in different ways. Going to the gym is a good way to decompress after work and burn off all those calories from the craft beer and cocktails I get after going to the gym. … It’s a vicious circle really. (Laughter) n

great food

live music



january shows 1/5 David Molinari with Michael van Houten

1/7 Organissimo 1/12 Roberta Bradley


1/14 Thirsty Perch Unplugged

1/19 Drew Nelson



T U E - W E D 1 1 AM- 1 0 PM T H U R - F R I 1 1 AM- 1 1 PM S A T 5 PM- 1 1 PM & S U N 1 1 AM- 4 PM

Jan 14-21

kalamazoo beer week


Snow Jog, Bell’s Beer Brunch, Beer Dinner, Second-Ever Bell’s Great American Spell-off, Jortslam Hopslam Release Party

Tue, Jan 10

$18 adv / $20 day of


1/21 Faux Grass

Lushlife, Analog Ancestry Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

1/26 Kathy Lamar

Thu, Jan 19


Sunday Brunch 11am-4pm


1/28 Natchez Trace

136 East Fulton, Grand rapids | 616.235.7669 | onetrick.BIZ


Robbie Fulks

Fri, Jan 20

Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

$10 adv / $12 day of

Ryley Walker

Doors 7:30 pm — Show 8:30 pm

Comfort Food

And Cocktails Free live music

house-infused spiritS

a lot of fun


house smoked ribs (269).384.6756 125 S. Kalamazoo Mall

daily happy hour and more, all in



Sat, Jan 21

$20 adv / $24 day of

Sara Watkins

Fri, Jan 27

Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

$10 adv / $12 day of

Luke Winslow King

Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

Fri, Feb 3

Taylor Hicks Sat, Feb 4

Fri, Feb 10

Doors 7pm — Show 8pm

$15 adv / $17 day of Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

$20 adv / $25 day of

Kyle Hollingsworth & The Nth Power

Tue, Feb 28

doppelbock release party

Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

Free Admission 6pm

REVUEWM.COM | January 2017 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

That 1 Guy

$30 adv / $34 day of


/// Predictions


Revue’s Official 2017 Predictions for the West Michigan Dining & Drinking Scene |  by Troy Reimink / Illustrations by Anthony Carpenter


ast year was a rough one for the credibility of media predictions, but here’s something we can state with absolute confidence: West Michigan’s star will continue to rise as a food destination. Or maybe it won’t! There’s no science to this, really. Still, all signs point to the bull market continuing its upward trajectory. Thirtyseven new breweries are probably going to open. Trends that were hot in Chicago two years ago will be embraced enthusiastically here. An army of food trucks will assemble to dispense sushi burritos and falafel tacos and brisket kabobs and kimchi ice cream. And in my capacity as a dining correspondent, I will write the word “foodie” roughly 900 more times, then stick a fork in my eye. So, in the spirit of quasi-informed speculation, Revue presents its list of Official 2017 Predictions for the eating/drinking scene in West Michigan. We stake our reputation on the inevitability of each of the following things 100 percent happening exactly as described. (Not really.) (It’s made-up.) (All of it.)

• Taking the concept of farm-to-table to its logical extreme, at least one new steakhouse will follow the lead of a classic Simpsons episode and slaughter the cow of your choice in front of you and your family.

16 | REVUEWM.COM | January 2017

• The opening of Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen & Bar on Grand Rapids west side will mean a windfall for local producers of small-batch buffalo sauce. • When local chefs run low on other “working-class” foods to artfully appropriate, Grand Rapids restaurants will become awash in upscale takes on Spam. • The trend of serving meals on unconventional surfaces — cutting boards, shovel heads, upturned Frisbees, skateboards, roof shingles, vinyl records, clipboards, hardcover books, floor tiles, cricket bats, etc. — will continue until the great plate revival of 2018. • Whipped, West Michigan’s new fetish-themed dessert restaurant, will fulfill customers’ long-suppressed fantasies of eating German chocolate cake out of a stiletto-heeled women’s shoe while being struck repeatedly with a riding crop. • The likelihood of a Twitter bio or internet dating profile including the words “craft beer lover” will hold steady at 78 percent. • “Kale” will go from 2016’s most popular leafy green to 2017’s most popular name for a baby boy. For girls: “Flaxseed.”

• If you were expecting to get through the year without paying $8 for a slice of artisanal goddamn avocado toast, think again, friend. • Foodie meme nirvana will be achieved when a genius pastry chef tops a decadent artisan breakfast donut with locally-sourced maple bacon, which… wait, what? That’s a thing already? Jesus Christ. • Restaurants will begin to embrace the trendy aesthetics of the post-chair movement by seating customers on wooden crates, upside-down buckets and bales of hay. • Local McDonald’s franchises will attract a highbrow demographic following the introduction of grass-fed Cornish game hen nuggets. • President Donald Trump will visit one of Grand Rapids’ top sushi restaurants and consume nigiri off at least one naked torso. • A hot new restaurant will offer a radically deconstructed dining experience, wherein a meal is presented as a series of raw, separate ingredients, which you prepare and eat after purchasing them yourself. • A struggling restaurant will revive its fortunes after the owners add “Gastropub” to the name and do nothing else.

• Foie gras smoothies. • The microbrewery down the street will promote a seasonal beer made with dandelions handforaged from a nearby park where neighborhood dogs regularly relieve themselves.

Experience Where it all started

• Failure to come up with a playfully suggestive name for your sausage and meatball food truck will stall your entrepreneurial ambitions. • No longer content with merely Instagramming their meals, diners will begin to stream entire restaurant trips — parking, putting a name in, being seated, drink order, meal order, waiting, eating, dull conversation, bathroom visit, check-splitting, argument, breakup, tearful reconciliation, leaving — via Facebook Live. • Still with the mason jars. • A new slider restaurant will delight customers who crave tiny hamburgers named for how they leave your digestive system. • I will continue to mispronounce the word “artisanal” out of spite.

• The collision of peak brewery, peak winery, peak cidery, peak meadery, peak ironic dive bar, peak cocktail lounge and peak distillery fever will continue to provide fleeting distraction from the horrific realities and unrelenting pain of modern life. n


– general store & homebrew supplies

Sun - Wed: 11AM - 12AM

Th - Sat: 11AM - 2AM

355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 49007 269.382.2332 REVUEWM.COM | January 2017 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

• An ambitious restaurant will somehow fail despite having a single-word name in allcaps sans-serif font, a slick template-driven website, a vaguely adhered-to culinary concept, a chef with big-city credentials, a menu with overly verbose explanations of simple dishes, prices listed without dollar signs and specials written on a sidewalk chalkboard in front of its location in a “gritty neighborhood primed for revitalization.”

– 30+ Beers On Tap – Full-Service Restaurant – Live Music & Special Events – free Tours DOWNTOWN


With special guest

Saturday, Jan. 21 @ 8 p.m. • (269) 387-2300 • (800) 228-9858

18 | REVUEWM.COM | January 2017

14- 21 2017

(269) 492.3500 3251 w. Centre ave. PORTAGE


e str tr



(269) 492.0100 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall downtown KALAMAZOO



t ee

Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene








/// Local Music


Winspear Records showcases bands from Grand Rapids and Indiana together |  by Eric Mitts


ollege is the perfect place for many people to discov e r n ew m usic, expand their horizons and explore new sounds. But for the more entrepreneurial, like Winspear Records co-founders Ben Wittkugel and Jared Jones, college is the place to be the ones spreading that music to everyone else. In 2014, during Wittkugel’s freshman year at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., Winspear started as a way of booking shows at friends’ houses in the area. “Winspear first existed only to put on shows,” Wittkugel said of the label’s beginnings. “We didn’t start with too many goals. Jared and I were just happy to be doing something.” Jones and Wittkugel first met at a student organization meeting for the Music Industry Networking Club, where one of the founders

of independent label Secretly Canadian was giving a talk. Also based in Bloomington, the label was founded in the ’90s by IU students. Wittkugel spent his freshman and sophomore year interning at Secretly Canadian, starting out in the distribution office and warehouse before working on the label side. “The idea that stuck with me the most was seeing the result of a label started by two college students,” Wittkugel said of his intern experience. “I thought if they could do it, I could at least give it a go.” By fall 2015, Winspear had begun expanding, with Wittkugel regularly hosting shows at his own off-campus house, known in the scene as “The Big House.” “Our initial goal on the label side was to put out local bands we were friends with, whose music we really liked,” Jones said. “Through promoting shows around town, we started to meet more bands. Then it felt natural to take a few steps out of Bloomington and Indiana. We found we liked doing it in a large part thanks to our Grand Rapids friends.”

The label’s first connection to GR came together. One of these artists will surely blow through indie artist Justin Majetich and his you away, I promise.” project CARE. Winspear released CARE’s Before teaming with Winspear, Weible four-song EP, Unenjoy, in 2015, and soon after self-released his debut EP, Prints of the Past, booked the band to play in Bloomington. last January. Within a few hours of posting it Since then, the label has issued several releases online, he was contacted by Wittkugel, who from Grand Rapids artists, including dreamoffered to do a tape run. pop trio Major Murphy, electronic artist “(Winspear) keeps me motivated to write Darkly and synth duo PARTS. more music, because I know that someone out A l l t h r ee GR ba nd s , a long w it h there cares for what I’m creating,” Weible said. Bloomington bands HOOPS and Spissy, will “It can start to feel dry if you’re just playing take part in a showcase for the label on Jan. 13 around the same city with all the same ears at the Pyramid Scheme. listening, so with Winspear helping us with “There was never an intentional decision getting our names out in other places in the to start working with a lot of U.S., and even globally, it’s really bands from Michigan,” Jones nice for us.” said. “We kept f inding one Darkly plans to finish and Winspear Records band after another and it all release a full-length album later Review feat. Darkly, happened to be coming from this year. HOOPS, Major Murphy, Grand Rapids.” Now that he is in his final PARTS, Spissy Major Mu r phy ’s Jacob year of college, Wittkugel said he The Pyramid Scheme Bullard finds that working with is looking ahead with Winspear. 68 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Winspear helps keep him on his The label is currently working on Jan. 13, 7 p.m. toes, he said, as “it is exciting to several follow-up releases from $8 advance, $10 day of show think about where something artists it has worked with in the, goes once I hand it over.” This past, including its first-ever vinyl (616) 272-3758 excitement spilled over into the release from Indiana songwriter creation of the upcoming show. Kevin Krauter (of HOOPS), as “Jacob suggested the idea to well as Major Murphy’s upcomme a few months ago,” Wittkugel said. “We’ve ing new album, and CARE’s two-part release been thinking about having a Winspear show LUV IN THE RUINS (due out Jan. 6). in Bloomington for a little while, but somehow “Recently our goal as an entity, beyond Grand Rapids happened first!” the label, is focused a lot on helping artists “Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever been establish a solid foundation,” Jones said of more excited for a show that I’ve been able to Winspear’s future. “We want our bands to play,” said Darkly, aka Joshua Quinn Weible. grow so they’re able to take the next steps in “It’s a wide range of genres that all work so well their careers.” n

Scene | Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

Uniting States

Major Murphy

REVUEWM.COM | January 2017 |


/// Music

What sort of collection are you trying to curate for your customers? I wanted to make sure, no matter what you like, you would find a gem. So I’m all over the map right now. I didn’t want to commit to one direction until I had a better idea of who is coming in and buying stuff. Muskegon has a long history of metal and punk. I knew I would have that and it would do well. Other than that, I wanted to see what people wanted. There are lots of people from a younger generation coming in and asking for things I listened to: The Cure, Siouxsie and The Banshees, etc. I pride myself on knowing that you can come in and find a great obscure funk jam or a punk piece.

Fresh Spins

Third Coast Vinyl opens in Muskegon

Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene

|  by Kelly Brown


he revival of the Third Street corridor in Muskegon is well underway with the opening of Third Coast Vinyl in October 2016. Owned by Pete Pretzer, best known for his work in the ’80s as a musician in the band Jim Jones and the Kool-Ade Kids, the store brings new and used records, as well as refurbished stereo equipment, to residents of West Michigan. Pretzer, once a teacher of Fruitport Communit y Schools a nd Muskegon Community College, hopes that avid collectors and beginners alike will feel welcome in his new location. One can anticipate a collection of classic rock, soul, funk, newer indie releases and hidden gems galore.

20 | REVUEWM.COM | January 2017

Pretzer spoke with Revue on Muskegon’s rebranding, opening Third Coast Vinyl and changes in the vinyl industry.

Why take on this project, and why in Muskegon? I’ve always been involved in music my whole life. I was a working musician for 28 years and I used to work at a record store, Believe in Music, and I’ve always wanted to do that. But when you’re in a band, you don’t start a business. I went back and finished my teaching degree instead. I reached a point where I wanted to do something for myself. I feel like Muskegon is going through a lot of the renovations that Grand Rapids has gone through in the past couple of years, specif ically in the Cherry and Wealthy street district. I wanted to be a part of building something here. One of the things

the area is trying to do right now with the Neighborhood Association is to rebrand the neighborhood. Who are your customers? I tend to think people who are hardcore collectors don’t need me as much. They know how to find the thing they are looking for online. I’m looking for the person that isn’t just coming in for business. When I was younger, the record store was somewhere I went to hang out — look through the bins, listen to people talk about music. It’s kind of where I learned about a lot of that. I wanted to create a music community, not just a record store. The best quote I’ve heard was when I opened. A girl was in for an hour, she was working her way through the bins, and she turned and looked at me and said, “I forgot how therapeutic this is.”

In the past five years, there has obviously been a resurgence in the vinyl industry. Why do you think this is? You know, younger people didn’t miss (record shopping) because they didn’t have it — that being the tangible feeling of having something in your hand. I know people that are buying records that don’t have players yet because so many of them come with the download cards. But, they like to feel like they’re buying a product. There’s still something about going in and looking, the process of discovery, that can’t be found online or with digital streaming. Do you believe this “vinyl renaissance” is putting pressure on musicians and designers to create something more than just music but perhaps a piece of art as well? Now, the packaging is beautiful, far more than when I was young and records were the main thing. Somewhere in the mid ’70s to ’80s, they just went cheap on everything. You can take a record from the ’80s and make it wobble — it was too expensive to create good product. Now, 180 gram vinyl is almost standard, when it was a specialty before. If someone is dropping $24 for a record, they expect it to be something special. Just for fun, what are your favorite releases within the past five years? My favorite, and you could pick any one of their three albums, is Phantogram. I love how they’ve grown over their three albums. I love Shovels and Rope. The last two albums by Two Door Cinema Club were great too. n Third Coast Vinyl, 1115 3rd St., Muskegon (231) 288-1871



FireK Casin














Tickets available now at the FireKeepers Box Office, or 877.FKC.8777.




Must be 21 or older. Tickets based on availability. Schedule subject to change.

FK-27995_Jan_RevueMag_9.25x10.indd 1

12/14/16 PM REVUEWM.COM | January 20172:01 | 21

/// Music At The B.O.B. Grand Rapids, MI 616.356.2000

No Hibernation

Winter Wheat keeps the festival scene alive year-round |  by Dwayne Hoover




January TON 12-14

JOHN HEFFRON Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene

January 19-21


January 25


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few years back, music ian s B ru c e Li n g o f Hawk s an d Owls and Mark Stoltz of Benzie Playboys were lamenting the sort of lull that winter typically brings to the music scene. While venues may keep their stages warm with the shows they can, festivals seem to disappear altogether. So Ling and Stoltz reached out to longtime member of the Wheatland Music Organization, Marilyn Hummel, to see what could be done about bringing a little slice of Wheatland to the winter months. The first year was an event dubbed Hair of the Dog, due to it being held the day after New Year’s Eve. It featured a variety of West Michigan-based bands at Founders Brewing Co. What they quickly found, however, is that they had drastically underestimated the demand for this type of show. “It was freezing cold, sub-zero temps Grand Rapids bluegrass quartet Fauxgrass performs at the Winter Wheat 2017 festival, which is with the windchill, and people stood in presented by Wheatland Music Organization. line for an hour or two to get in,” Hummel said. “Founders’ capacity was around 300 or 400, and it was full since we opened the two distinct areas, lends itself nicely to the doors. They couldn’t let new people in until festival feeling, albeit on a much smaller scale. somebody left.” “(The Stache) is a real good place for The very next year, the organizers moved people,” said Hummel. “As they’re wanderthe party to The Intersection, a facility whose ing through, they’ll see somebody and then multiple stages and larger size better fit their they’ll hang out and talk. That’s most familvision of a mini-festival. The additional space iar to being at Wheatland — the wandering also allowed them to add another element to around between venues gives you a chance to the event, one that is a large part of what see everybody that’s there, renew friendships makes Wheatland popular to many: Dance. and hang out.” n “It started really as a music thing, but we’re Madcat Midnight Blues Journey all such supporters of the dance community and that’s a big part of Wheatland as well,” that are playing with the Palooka Brothers,” Winter Wheat 2017 Hummel said. “We get a portable dance floor from Central Michigan University every year, Hummel said. “And Cabildo is a salsa group, The Intersection, 133 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids so it’s got a good dance floor. … It’s a com- and we’re trying to bring in a salsa instructor. Jan. 14, 12:30 p.m. All ages, $25, $20 adv. posite material, so it’s got a little bit of give to … The front stage is a smaller area, and people, (616) 451-8232 dance there too. it versus dancing on cement.” “There’s just tunes that get to you and And much like Wheatland’s summer Lineup: people dance wherever they are.” events, attendees can learn a new style of K. Jones and the Benzie Playboys, Madcat’s Blues Hummel said Winter Wheat is also dance from many of the performers. Journey, Mark Lavengood’s Bluegrass Bonanza, Cabildo, Fauxgrass, The Costabella Cloggers with The Palooka an opportunity for some to get a taste for “Fauxgrass is kind of an upbeat bluegrass Wheatland without committing to a big fes- Brothers and more and people will clog to that, because they’re tival. Even the layout of the venue itself, with going to learn with The Costabella Cloggers

/// playlist

Songs We Like: The Jammies Edition by Yong Los, WYCE intern

This is a sonic collaboration among Revue, WYCE and AMI Jukeboxes. Play this mix as a playlist on AMI Jukeboxes or stream it on


ver the years, Grand Rapids has developed into a diverse musical community that specializes in cultivating the city’s own unique sound. With venues of all sizes and sounds of all volumes, the Grand Rapids music scene has provided many musicians with a platform to express themselves. Despite the differences between the musicians, the scene carries a universal respect for everyone and their art. Throughout 2016, many new musicians were proudly welcomed into the community, adopted into Grand Rapids’ extensive musical history. Meanwhile, veterans of the music scene ventured outside of the Midwest, performing in bars, venues and basements across the country. But time and again, they returned home to Beer City to share their stories and reunite with old friends. The Jammies is an annual awards event hosted by WYCE that celebrates that local music, charity and community. Nominees come from a multitude of genres and backgrounds, with a dozen different categories and a wide variety of live music from across the state. Winners will be announced Feb. 10 during the Jammies XVIII at The Intersection. More than 80 songs have been nominated for WYCE’s annual Song of the Year award. The Listeners Choice ballot is now live at, where you can weigh in on your favorites. This month, we bring you a streaming playlist highlighting 25 of the best songs released from Grand Rapids in 2016.

Track List: Joe Shields — Sinkin’ Too Big Dudee Roo — Nothing Good Today Heaters — Centennial Alexander Lynch — Missing Me Trash Hounds — Images Rick Chyme & Nixon — Praise Unworthy Coffin Problem — Ghosts of Ourselves The Crane Wives — I Talk in My Sleep Kari Lynch — Sweetheart Public Access — Niala Boodhoo Bermudas — Chew Sligh — Sligh Boulevard The SEVENth — On the Table


The B.O.B. / 20 Monroe Ave NW / Downtown GR 616.356.2000 / / #BOBsBrewery




17 S. 2ND ST. GRAND HAVEN, MI 616.414.7822

W W W. G R A N D A R M O RY B R E W I N G . C O M REVUEWM.COM | January 2017 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

Strawberry Heritage — Bound to Separate Conrad Shock & the Noise — Murphy’s Law Hi-Ker — #10 Empty Houses — Rope Jesse Ray & the Carolina Catfish — Two Face Talkin’ The Bootstrap Boys — Poverty Line I Believe in Julio — Home Flushed — Only One Norty — Swimming The Great Ones — Do it For the Love Dante Cope — Brewing Bitches Channing & Quinn — Up North



the eighth annual traverse city winter

MICROBREW & MUSIC FESTIVAL saturday febRuary 11 2017

downtown traverse city mich.

Kyle Hollingsworth Band · Nth Power

THE MAINSTAYS • the lucas paul band • The Change with Peter Madcat Ruth • roosevelt diggs • charlie millard band Brotha James • jack pine • Deep Blue Water Samba silent disco with dj dominate and others 50+ breweries • 200+ flavors of beer wine cider & mead Giant Bonfires • Marching Bands • 4 Stages • Rare brew Tour Homebrewers challenge • Food Trucks • Vintage snowmobile show Fire twirlers • Old school arcade • and Much more

Martin Sexton with very special guests

the accidentals y february 21

city opera house / traverse city, michigan


WYCE JAMMIE Awards XVIII Friday, February 10

The Intersection

Doors 5pm / Music 5:30 to 11pm

Schedule | Dining | Sights Sounds | Scene

2 stages! More than 20 Michigan bands! including

The Accidentals The Go Rounds The Great Ones Kari Lynch I Believe in Julio Coffin Problem Alexander Lynch Public Access Flushed Bermudas Norty Channing & Quinn

And many more to be announced!

Suggested $5 donation Bring your donation of cash or non-perishable food items for Feeding America West Michigan!

26 | REVUEWM.COM | January 2017


LOCAL KICK-OFF W/LIVE MUSIC - PAIR O’ JACKS Great American Chili Cook-Off • High School Bands • Silent Disco Kids Game Zone Classic Arcade • Miss NASF Pageant • Karaoke Contest

FRIDAY - FEB. 3, 2017


SNOWMOBILER’S BALL WITH WAYLAND, TWICE SHY & MORE Silent Disco • Snowmobile Drag Racing in Boon • Gopherwood Concert • Glowbowling at Parkview Lanes • Fun Run

SATURDAY - FEB. 4, 2017


$25 & $40 GA & VIP


MORE! Drone Demos • Aerial Art on Lake • Hot Air Balloon Rides • Arm Wrestle Competition • Chainsaw Carving • Dogsled Rides • Frozen Outdoor Movie • Yeti 5K Run • Snowmobile Drag Races • Ice Fishing Tournament • Antique Snowmobile Show



Not Your Grandpa’s Museum

The Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives (GRAAMA) hopes to preserve and celebrate African American culture with all of Grand Rapids, while supporting the community's businesses. SEE PAGE 4A. Story by Justine burdette. Photo of George Bayard by jeff hage.



STEPPING UP MMA's new curator



IN THE REAR-VIEW Peter Kjome reflects on GRS career



BETTER THAN ONE Side Show tells tale of conjoined twins

425 W. Western Ave., Muskegon, MI 49440

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Prague Philharmonia with Sarah Chang A superstar violinist. Music from two beloved Czech composers. The most requested recording orchestra in Europe. The Prague Philharmonia concert this month featuring Sarah Chang will offer all three. Chang, who launched her stellar career at age eight, joins the Prague Philharmonia for an evening of three Slavic-inspired (and one German) favorites. Under the baton of Emmanuel Villaume, Chang is performing Dvořák’s fiercely dramatic Violin Concerto. Fans of Chef’s Table will recognize Smetana’s sinuous The Moldau. Dvořák’s Eighth Symphony will add to the musical journey through the Czech countryside. Pianist Andrew Von Oeyen will also take the Wharton Center stage to perform Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the orchestra. —Reported by Samara Napolitan


Prague Philharmonia with Sarah Chang Wharton Center Cobb Great Hall 750 E. Shaw Lane, East Lansing Jan. 18, 7:30 p.m., $22+, (517) 432-2000

Cinderella, the World’s Favorite Fairy Tale

The Drawer Boy One of the most-produced plays in the country, The Drawer Boy will come to life on the Frauenthal Theater’s stage in an intimate black-box format. The story begins when a young city slicker actor knocks on the door of an isolated farmhouse. He wants to move in with two middle-aged bachelor farmers — one a no-nonsense farm boy and the other an artistic “drawer boy” suffering from memory loss — for a few weeks to pen a play about their country lives. But their visitor’s questions gradually unravel their story, and the powerful and gripping truth comes out. The humorous, yet poignant drama will unfold as audience members surround the three actors on three sides, making for a very intimate experience, said Kirk Wahamaki, Muskegon Civic Theatre’s artistic director. “Nobody is more than 20 feet from the stage,” he said. “The show becomes very personal. It’s a surprising and tender play. It’s just one of those shows that once you see it, you go, ‘Wow, that’s really good.’”

This month, the Master Arts Theatre will perform a whole new take on Cinderella, with five different versions of the story from around the world. “Cinderella is everybody’s favorite fairy tale,” said Director Walter Williams. “We forget that there are other versions of the story. Each country has their own little twist.” The show’s cast consists of 31 kids, ranging from nine to 18 years old. All of the kids play multiple roles in the show, which will tell the story of Cinderella from the perspectives of Russia, Native Americans, Egypt, Africa and China. “It shows us a little bit of history behind the story itself,” Williams said. —Reported by Kayla Tucker

—Reported by Marla Miller


The Drawer Boy Muskegon Civic Theatre Frauenthal Theater 425 W. Western Ave. #200, Muskegon Jan. 20-22 and 26-28, $22-$24, (800) 585-3737


Cinderella, the World’s Favorite Fairy Tale Master Arts Theatre 75 77th St. SW, Grand Rapids Jan. 13-14, $7, (616) 455-1001

REVUEWM.COM | January 2017 |



George Bayard helped create the GRAAMA in large part to share stories and heirlooms from Grand Rapids' African American community. photo: Jeff Hage

Not Your Grandpa’s Museum

Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives opens downtown by Justine Burdette

Just months after the National Museum of African American History finally opened in Washington, D.C., Grand Rapids got its own African American museum in the heart of downtown. George Bayard, owner of Bayard Art Consulting and Frameshop, led the charge on the Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives (GRAAMA), which has now set up shop in a pop-up gallery space downtown. Bayard’s own gallery has been involved in Grand Rapids’ African American community for more than 30 years. Over time, more and more people came to Bayard asking for appraisals and knowledge about family heirlooms. “(It) came to a point where we said, ‘All this stuff that is coming out of people’s attics and lockboxes and things are quite valuable and maybe we need a place to store them,’” Bayard said. “So we started going down the slow road to put things in place to do a museum.”

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To start, one of the board members, Roy Robinson — co-founder of the James Jackson Museum Of African American History in Muskegon — brought in Margaret Burrows, founder of the DuSable Museum in Chicago. Bayard said that she left a blueprint for the GRAAMA team to follow. A committed group of volunteers and board members have since charted slow but steady steps to becoming an official museum. After its nonprofit status was acquired earlier in 2016, GRAAMA was able to seek grants from the Dyer Ives Foundation. This supported the efforts to secure a contract with the city of Grand Rapids for the space at 87 Monroe Center NW, as well as funding some small salaries and initial programming. Then, the acronym GRAAMA was purposefully chosen. In African American culture, as in many others, grandmas often are the keepers of history and traditions across communities, neighborhoods and sometimes even countries, Bayard said. This inspired GRAAMA’s first program, the Grandma’s Voices project, an oral history. “As we were going through these oral histories, we found that everyday people made impacts all around the country,” Bayard said. “Those common, or uncommon, stories that people have are from everyday people. (That’s) what drives us. We know

they are out there.” He cited as an example a local woman who moved to Grand Rapids after unknowingly helping to build the atomic bomb in Tennessee. The project now includes men as well as women, many of them more than 90 years old. “Our museum is going to be devoted to people who came from Grand Rapids,” Bayard said. “We are going to concentrate on local history. … Even the national gallery can’t tell all the history, even though they have most of it there.” Even with all the excitement surrounding the opening of the pop-up gallery, the board continues to look toward the future. GRAAMA plans to use the Monroe Center space to build momentum while a capital campaign secures funds for a permanent home to be built on South Division Street. All the while, GRAAMA continues to expand its programming and partnerships. A full docket of events in the pop-up space (including the debut of the Grandma’s Voices project), as well as collaborations with Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts and the Grand Rapids Symphony are underway. Aside from putting the exhibits together, Bayard said GRAAMA has several strategic priorities to achieve, including bringing jobs and careers to the community. He said GRAAMA firmly believes in supporting the

economic growth of African American businesses by using its services whenever possible. Another priority is teaching the community the importance of saving historical documents, photos and memorabilia, as well as offering classes or lectures on the basics of research and archival processes. GRAAMA also hopes to engage visitors of all ages with interactive and technology-based exhibits. As the museum adds programing, it plans to work in cooperation with other museums to bring in traveling exhibits as well as work with its local partners like Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids Public Library, Grand Rapids Public Museum, Grand Rapids Art Museum, and West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology. Bayard said that while GRAAMA is focused on telling the Grand Rapids African American story, it will be a museum for everybody. “We see it as telling our part of the story,” he said. “We want people from all places, all nations, all races, to see what we have to offer. I think a lot of the stories from people from this area are more universal. “The people we will be talking about are everyday people who went on to greater heights. We think these can be inspirational to anybody.” ■




Covenant Fine Arts Center| 8pm | $20

February 17 7:30 p.m. Classic folk and country music.




w/ Special Guest

Covenant Fine Arts Center| 8pm | $20

March 31, 7:30 p.m. Deep, raw funk. Stax-style southern soul band.

Paid for in part by the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation and the Harold and Grace Upjohn Foundation.




Covenant Fine Arts Center| 8pm | $30


/calvincollegesao @calvinsao REVUEWM.COM | January 2017 |



West Michigan Native Educates Next Generation of Storytellers by Justine Burdette

After feeling like a misfit her entire life, a film set was the first place Liz Merriman felt like she belonged. Merriman feels the industry is filled with other beautiful misfits — beautiful people who truly work hard together. “I felt called to film,” she said. Merriman has spent the last 13 years working in the industry as a producer and assistant director on a great variety of mediums: from shorts to commercials to music videos to feature films. Her repertoire includes the children’s show Come on Over with Jars of Clay, the Hank Danger series, Vanishing Act; the award-winning docuseries Ed’s Story, and End of the Tour (with Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg). In a four-year period, Merriman worked on more than 30 commercials and eight feature films. Merriman hails from Muskegon, the “Phoenix of West Michigan,” as she calls it. Her family was heavily involved in the theater scene there — her father and sister acted, her grandparents did scenic work, and her mother did costumes and prop Liz Merriman with a young film fan at Movies in Park for Mosaic Film Experience. courtesy photo work. Merriman herself dabbled in theater as stage manager, stage hand, painter, constructor and sewer, eventual husband through a Deciding to get her formal education, a job,” she said. “I went there for training. I then as an actor in her twenties. classmate, who then introduced Merriman enrolled at Compass College did not see it as how a lot of young people As a young adult, Merriman Merriman to his best friend, Joshof Cinematic Arts, completing all of her see college, but as training for my career.” trained as a professional welder, ua Courtade. school work and a short film each semesMerriman also worked as the alumni but found she thrived behind the A We s t M i c h i g a n n a t i ve ter and continuing to work on any film relations specialist, in-house producer, film camera. Beginning in 2004, and award-winning filmmaker, productions she found. film festival liaison and faculty member at Merriman did pro-bono and pasCourtade is most well-known When asked if she saw any advantages Compass College for two years. After lossion work with various filmmakers for his feature films Black Pepper, to going to film school after working in the ing her father to cancer, she rethought how and friends to learn the craft and Twenty Years Later and Alone in industry, Merriman said, “I think the biggest she wanted to move forward professionmerriman get acquainted with how filmthe Universe. Over the past deadvantage, honestly, was that I was older ally. She teaches now at the adjunct level making really worked. She cited cade of working with Courtade, when I went back to school (for film). I had and continues to work behind the camera, her liberal, blue-collar working parents for Merriman has had the opportunity to work gone through my quarter life crisis. … I decurrently with another Grand Rapidian filminstilling in her that a job pays the bills, but and grow through multiple roles. cided one day that this is something I really maker, Racheal Floyd, on her first feature having a creative outlet brings joy to one’s “My experience with (Courtade) helped want to do.” film and with Peninsula Entertainment as self and purpose in service of others. me to form a big passion for not only the “I attribute life experience and my age a producer. One of her first breaks in the industry art of film but for the people that are in this to being able to see (film) school as not just Like many of the people Revue features came in a roundabout way: She met her industry,” she said. a way to explore and express myself, but as for this series, Merriman is not only mak-

6A | REVUEWM.COM | January 2017

Mosaic Film Experience

“Mosaic brings the power of digital experiences and content creation to youth. By challenging the conventions of storytelling, we are developing creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration skills.” —Liz Merriman

ing her living in film, she is also living out her personal mantra: “Lift as you climb.” She has served in many positions for local arts organizations, such as West Michigan Film and Video Alliance, Dog Story The-

Mosaic Film Experience’s mission is to provide conversational space, media literacy resources, and opportunities for diverse youth to tell their own unique stories. MFE began in 2012 in Grand Rapids as a film festival for commercial and jury-selected works focusing on under-told stories, particularly those of social outsiders. In 2015, the festival format expanded to a full-day event with both large group and workshop programming as well as adding a screening of student-produced, two-minute mobile videos.

ater, West Michigan Film Office, Eclipse Awards, Grand Rapids Film Festival, and the Chiaroscuro International Film Series. Merriman also shares as much of her time as possible as head programmer for Mosaic Film Experience, showing films and running workshops for more than 600 students who normally would not have access to them. “Mosaic brings the power of digital experiences and content creation to youth,” Merriman said. “By challenging the conventions of storytelling, we are developing

Requiring the use of only mobile devices to shoot, edit and produce videos attempts to minimize, as much as possible, any economic barriers to filmmaking, and to encourage students who may never consider picking up a movie camera to tell their story with the resources at hand. The festival was specifically designed to be replicated in any city. MFE takes place in November. Stay tuned to for 2017 dates.

creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration skills.” It’s a pleasure for Merriman, expanding the kids’ minds about what is possible and how they can turn their creative passions into a sustaining career that happens right here in West Michigan. When asked where she thought the film industry could improve, Merriman cited the competitiveness of the business and feels that many do not ask enough questions or do not offer advice, thus missing out on valuable opportunities to learn

something or meet someone new. She believes that there are enough film industry jobs to go around, and taking a mentorship and collaborative approach to finding work yields positive results. All in all, Merriman’s approach to life and film can be summed up with her own personal axiom: “It’s not finding yourself — it’s creating yourself.” ■

"««««" —MLive Patricia Barker, Artistic Director




SWAN LAKE February 10-12 @ Peter Martin Wege Theatre | 616.454.4771 |

REVUEWM.COM | January 2017 |



Seamless Transition Art Martin enjoys evolving roles and responsibilities at Muskegon Museum of Art

Art Martin in the Muskegon Museum of Art galleries. photo: Jeff Hage

by Marla R. Miller

Art Martin never minded pounding nails into the wall, but for now, he’ll put down the hammer and settle into a more scholarly and public role at Muskegon Museum of Art. From computerizing records to hanging art and planning and curating exhibitions, Martin has been hands-on as an integral part of the museum’s small curatorial team over the last 15 years. He has worked mostly behind the scenes and will hold on to some of those responsibilities, such as research, writing and offering his opinion on exhibition design. But Martin’s focus as the new senior curator and director of collections and exhibitions will be to conceptualize, plan and direct exhibitions, work with the collections committee on new acquisitions, and speak at openings and other events. The museum’s major winter exhibition, Expressions of Faith, is his debut of sorts as lead curator. “In the role of curator, you have the opportunity to teach, to work in the museum, to bring new art and new perspectives to people,” he said. “It’s a great way to combine that lifelong exposure to the arts and new information.” Judith Hayner, executive director of the museum, said that it seemed fitting to pass the reins to him with the retirement of E. Jane Connell in late September. “He worked with Jane very closely on creating many of the exhibitions over the last 10 years,” she said. “He’s one of our senior staff members and his experience with the

8A | REVUEWM.COM | January 2017

collection is the deepest of any of the staff.” Martin, who trained and was educated as a fine art painter, didn’t plan for a career in collections management and arts administration. Instead, he learned on the job. He holds a bachelor’s degree in painting and drawing from Drake University and a master of fine arts degree in painting from Wichita State University. Although he has less time for making art between his day job and dad duties for a four-year-old, Martin still thinks of himself as an artist. He grew up in the Great Plains states and was ready for a change when he moved from Kansas to Muskegon in August 2001. “The climate, the landscape was very appealing,” he said. “And the scope and quality of the permanent collection was just really outstanding.” As registrar, he computerized the records of the museum’s approximately 6,000 objects. Promoted to collections manager in 2006, he then added the title of associate curator and worked in partnership with Connell on several projects. Martin said he quickly had a lot of freedom with the job, and it evolved to include exhibition design and installation, and helping to define new projects, meet new challenges, and move the institution in new directions. “Every year, (the MMA’s) presence in the community was bigger and bigger and we could see that we were really making a contribution,” he said. “All of that is really rewarding. It keeps you challenged and it keeps you engaged.” Martin has organized many smaller exhibitions over the years on studio glass and contemporary artists, along with several recent international fiber exhibitions. He often could be found in the galleries helping preparator Lee Brown place and hang the work.

“It’s a little more logistics, the actually physical tracking and movement of the artwork, knowing where it is, having good records, making sure that you have good images and all the loans are taken care of,” he said of his former role. “Now, when I am designing and developing an exhibition, I’m also not the same person trying to figure out how to get (that exhibition) into the building.” Martin’s replacement, Brent Williams, started in November as collections manager and associate preparator. Williams, a native of California, previously worked as an adjunct professor, studio associate and gallery manager at Wheaton College near Chicago. He toured the galleries for the first time during his interview and was impressed by what he saw. Williams is also excited to be part of a small team where he can do a lot of different things. “It felt like just a fantastic spot to be,” he said. “It’s rare to find such a well-curated collection.” Martin looks forward to continuing the museum’s momentum as a leader in the local and regional arts scene and finding ways to bring in new audiences while engaging existing patrons. “It’s fun to watch kids come in and not want to leave,” he said. “We also really want to start looking at what our presence is in the community and where are we underserving. Where are those opportunities for young families, younger professionals — people who don’t normally think of the museum as a resource? That’s my biggest aim, to work with the really great staff here, not necessarily to reposition, but aggressively position the museum as one of the hearts of the downtown. “We love what we do, but it’s no fun if nobody’s looking at it.” ■


PREVIEW While a handful of shows are closing this month (this is a gentle reminder to go check them out before that happens), there are still plenty opening up, including works by Ai Weiwei, who is making his upper Midwest debut, and Chicago-based artist Jan Tichy, who worked with nearly 80 high-school students for his project. by Dana Casadei Broad Art Museum 547 E. Circle Dr., East Lansing, (517) 884-4800 Fire Within Through Feb. 12, 2017 Girl power is on high display in Fire Within: A New Generation of Chinese Woman Artists, which focuses a critical lens on the artistic production of a group of emerging women artists from China. Their pieces, done in traditional mediums, take a look at a variety of themes, including the status of women in China, and cultural and gender identity. 2116: Forecast for the Next Century Through April 2, 2017 The Broad Museum is partnering with the Lewis Glucksman Gallery at the University College Cork, Ireland for this exhibit. Sixteen Irish artists have pieces on display, each looking at The Emerald Isle’s changing society and imagined future. The show marks the centennial of the Easter Rising, one of Ireland’s most important political events, and showcases a variety of mediums. The Wearing of the Green Through April 2, 2017 For many people in the U.S., St. Patrick’s Day means wearing green, drinking (probably a little too much) and claiming to be Irish, no matter how distant the connection. The pieces in The Wearing of the Green show that our attitudes toward the Irish weren’t always as friendly as they are today. Paired with 2116: Forecast for the Next Century, this exhibit serves as a reminder that stereotyping others is still a problem around the world. Kate Terry: Suspended Space Through April 2, 2017 This site-specific installation has Kate Terry taking over the space with ordinary thread and pins, transforming the room and manipulating the viewer’s perception of space. Terry’s installations draw on the basic principles of symmography, a string art craft popularized in the 1970s, and the calculated geometry of Minimalism (which is design at its most basic).

Jan Tichy Jan. 21-April 23 Chicago-based artist Jan Tichy was invited by the Broad Museum to participate in this year’s MSU Federal Credit Union Artist Studio Series. Tichy worked closely with nearly 80 high-school students from Carman-Ainsworth High School in Flint and Everett High School in Lansing for this project, which addresses the Flint Water Crisis. Tichy has become known for his community-based, large-scale initiatives.

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park 1000 E. Beltline Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, (888) 957-1580 Ai Weiwei: Natural State Jan. 27-Aug. 20 Ai Weiwei makes his upper Midwest debut this month at the Meijer Gardens. The exhibit will also be the first of its kind for Weiwei at a botanical garden. Weiwei, an internationally renowned artist and activist, is considered one of the definitive cultural voices of the 21st century. His Iron Tree, which stands at 22 feet tall and is made of 99 unique iron pieces cast from individual tree elements from southern China, was acquired and installed in 2015 in celebration of Meijer Garden’s 20th anniversary.

Grand Rapids Art Museum 101 Monroe Center, Grand Rapids, (616) 831-1000 Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion Through Jan. 15, 2017 Transforming Fashion features 45 haute couture (aka high fashion) outfits from the Dutch designer Iris van Herpen. The pieces selected are from her 2008-2015 collections, her most recent line and her solo exhibition at the Groninger Museum, Netherlands. Her designs often feature unusual materials, like umbrella ribs, and she was one of the first designers to produce 3-D printed fashion. Even if you don’t care about runway shows, you have to admit that’s pretty cool.

Prints and Processes Jan. 24-April 30 Prints and Processes reveals the depth and quality of the museum’s print collection. The prints, which are organized by printmaking method, span from the 16th century to present and come from artists like Albrecht Dürer and Mary Cassatt. Information about different methods, tools and materials that go into the production of the most common print forms will be available at each section of the exhibit. Go learn some stuff.

Muskegon Museum of Art 296 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon, (231) 720-2570

The Preacher and His Congregation Through March 5, 2017 James Perry Walker’s exhibit showcases a sixyear project on Reverend Louis Cole and his congregation. A decade before starting this photographic essay, Walker spent the summer of 1967 working as a teacher at Gatewood Baptist Church, where Reverend Cole was the pastor. While there, Walker experienced a service unlike anything he had ever seen, inspiring him to capture the preacher’s (and his congregation’s) story. Expressions of Faith Through Feb. 12, 2017 Expressions of Faith continues the museum’s season of faith-related art. The exhibit will showcase some of the best religious artwork in the Muskegon Museum of Art’s collection, including prints by Rembrandt (!!!), paintings by Joos van Cleve, and hand-illuminated manuscripts from Christian, Judaic and Islamic texts. There will also be rare manuscripts from the Van Kampen Collection on display.

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 314 S. Park St., Kalamazoo, (269) 349-7775

Luminescence: From Salvage to Seascape, Sculpture by Sayaka Ganz Through March 19, 2017 Sayaka Ganz has created an underwater installation, transforming the gallery into a sea (yes, pun totally intended) of fish, jellies and coral. Ganz looks at our relationship with the environment using repurposed items, such as plastic utensils and household items, as the material for her sculptures. Out of the Fire Jan. 14-March 12 Featuring the works of some of the finest ceramic artists in the U.S., Out of the Fire takes a look at ceramic’s transition from traditional craft form to a material used to create unique sculptural works of art. In other words, ceramics are now much more than just bowls for your fruit. Artists include Peter Voulkos, Ruth Duckworth, Rudy Autio, Paul Soldner, Don Reitz, and Vivica Heino, among others. These artists marked the emergence of the American Studio Ceramics Movement during the mid-20th century.

Saugatuck Center for the Arts 400 Culver St., Saugatuck, (269) 857-2399 Tributes of Authentic Heroism Through Jan. 14, 2017 Artist and art educator Donna F. St. John explores the idea of what defines a hero, and investigates the duality of authentic versus simulated honor and heroism. Nine men and women from around the world who have all been called heroes will be highlighted.

Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts 2 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids, (616) 454-7000

Wadada Leo Smith: Ankhrasmation, The Language Scores, 1967-2015 Through March 5, 2017 A musical score will be rewritten, remixed and showcased as visual art in Wadada Leo Smith: Ankhrasmation, The Language Scores, 1967-2015, making this one of the most unique exhibits on this list. Smith, a pioneer in the fields of contemporary jazz and creative music, is a trumpeter, composer, educator and visual artist.

US IS THEM Jan. 27-May 14 Opening late this month, US IS THEM will showcase the works of 42 international artists whose pieces take a look at politics, religion and racism. Organized geographically, the exhibit will have more than 50 pieces in mediums as varied as the artists themselves, ranging from painting and sculpture to photography and video. The exhibit focuses on what connects these artists, rather than what separates them.

Poetry of Content Through Feb. 19, 2017 Curated by Jerome Witkin, painter and art professor at Syracuse University, Poetry of Content is Witkin’s examination and celebration of artists who share his interest of representation. The five painters featured in the exhibit have pieces that contradict the idea that representational imagery has gone out of vogue.

Here + Now Jan. 27-March 31 Here + Now is an extension of US IS THEM, featuring emerging and mid-career African American visual artists, spoken word artists, curators and performers. The exhibit will include newly created solo shows and a guest-curated group exhibition, as well as community events and educational programs.

REVUEWM.COM | January 2017 |




Violinist Tim Fain Brings Multi-Sensory Projects to West Michigan by Samara Napolitan

Tim Fain’s violin is going to turn 300 next year, but he doesn’t let that hinder his innovative spirit.

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Recomposed

Frauenthal Theater 425 W. Western Ave., Muskegon Jan. 13, 7:30 p.m., $20+ westmichigansymphony. org, (231) 726-3231

Tim Fain, Violin

The Block 360 W. Western Ave., Muskegon Jan. 14, 7:30 p.m., $25+ theblockwestmichigan. org, (231) 726-3231

Whether he’s collaborating with Google on a virtual reality music video or performing in Academy Award-winning films, Fain exhibits a trademark mix of talent, charisma and inventiveness. A Juilliard- and Curtis-trained musician, Fain is a regular collaborator with American composer Philip Glass — protagonist of the minimalist movement — and is otherwise best known for his cameo/performance in Black Swan. The many dimensions of Fain’s artistry are on full display this month in Muskegon when he partners with the West Michigan Symphony (WMS) for two unique concerts: a new adaption of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and a multimedia experience at The Block. Fain last visited Muskegon in 2012 when he performed Glass’ Violin Concerto with the WMS. That same year, he traveled to Kalamazoo to perform Portals, his multimedia solo concert about human connection in the digital age. His return to the Frauenthal Theater stage alongside the WMS will feature a familiar piece reimagined for contemporary audiences by British composer Max Richter. “I’ve known (WMS Music Director) Scott Speck for a while now, and when he asked me if I’d like to do Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Recomposed (by Richter), I was very excited to work with him again and

come back to West Michigan,” Fain said. When Fain recently performed the piece with the National Orchestra of Spain, “Richter superfans” in the audience gave Fain the single longest standing ovation he’s ever received. “Max really excels at short song form where the piece gets more and more intense until it just ends in a way that’s so effective,” said Fain. “Vivaldi provides a certain jumping off point for him to explore his own sound world.” Although Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Recomposed samples a portion of its source material, fragments of Richter’s own style are interwoven in a way that’s entirely original. Richter phases and loops his favorite parts of the original piece to create repeating motifs and circular effects. “It has a very meditative quality,” Fain said of the piece’s postmodern style. “I know for me, I get a lot of enjoyment playing music by Philip Glass, Max Richter and Terry Riley. At its best, these works can bring about a hypnotic state of mind.” The day after performing the Four Seasons adaptation, Fain will head to The Block to present “Beirut is a House of Many Rooms,” a multimedia work for solo

violin created by Randall Woolf and filmmakers Mary Harron and John C. Walsh. The piece was commissioned by the West Michigan Symphony. “When Tim Fain and Randall Woolf asked us to partner with them on a commission for The Block, we jumped at the chance,” said Carla Hill, president and CEO of West Michigan Symphony and The Block. “Our space is perfect for intimate performances and film — this commission includes both.” “Beirut is a House of Many Rooms” follows Hadi Eldebek, a Beirut native and oud (an instrument similar to a lute) player in Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. The music and the visuals both explore the textures of everyday life in a city at the crossroads of various cultures and marked by civil war. “The music captures the unique sound world of traditional Lebanese music,” Fain said. “Randy uses the violin in very different ways throughout the piece. It’s percussive at points. Then other times, it’s very lyrical over a texture that’s much more idiomatic of the Lebanese folk music styles. Then there’s a thread of sampling and repetition from that world.” Growing up in Los Angeles, Fain was surrounded by the film industry and music of all kinds — a huge influence on his genre jumping. Later this month, he will perform the score of Moonlight at a full screening of the acclaimed film in Los Angeles. More creative musical endeavors are sure to follow. “There’s so much interest in bringing all senses into virtual or concert experiences,” he said. ■

Tim Fain photo: Michael Weintrob


St. Cecilia Music Center



MARY JANE STRYKER THEATER The Kalamazoo Valley Museum is open until 9 p.m. on Art Hop Fridays year-round. A variety of live entertainment, visual art, and music light shows are available each month. See detailed information online or pick up flyers at the KVM.



January 26, 2017

Come lose yourself in the rich musical pairing of these two incredible cultures!







February 9, 2017

2010 & 2011 Independent Music Award winner for Best Americana Album—a celebratory live show!

Incredible performances in an intimate, newly renovated historic hall. Meet the artists after each concert! 616-459-2224

Franke Center For The Arts Affinity Series

Irish Pub Night

Celtic Mayhem Friday, January 6 7:30 PM $14 Advance $16 At Door

Students ½ Price Beer/Wine Bar Opens at 7:00 PM

Downtown Marshall

Americana Roots Festival Don Julin’s Mr. Natural Project & True FalseLos

Special Guest: The Wilson Brothers &The Springtails

Saturday Jan. 14 7:00 PM $23 Advance $25 At Door Students ½ Price

Preshow/Beer & Wine Bar opens at 7:00 PM

7th Annual Winter Blues Fest

Friday, Feb. 3 Opener: Out of Favor Boys Ice Carving Saturday, Feb. 4 7:00 PM Wine & Beer TasVng 6-10PM $26 Advance $28 At The Door Saturday, Feb. 4 Students ½ Price Ice Carving Preshow/Dinner Music 5 to 7 PM Shopping Specials 214 East Mansion Street * Marshall, MI * 269-781-0001

• Friday Art Hop Visual Experience at 5 p.m. - FREE • Friday Art Hop Live Music Experience at 6 p.m. - FREE • Music Light Shows Art Hop Nights 6:30 & 8 p.m. - $3 each JANUARY 6, 2017 FRETBOARD FESTIVAL PLAY-IN CONTEST West Michigan’s best acoustic and electric stringed instrument players audition for the top spot in this year’s Fretboard Festival. FEBRUARY 3, 2017 STORYTELLING FESTIVAL: SEARCHING FOR PEACE A two-day festival with Art Hop Friday night, poet Terry Wooten and visual artist Martina Hahn joining Joe Reilly on stage painting live at 7 p.m. MARCH 3, 2017 FRETBOARD FESTIVAL LINDSAY LOU & THE FLATBELLYS A homegrown string band with an altbluegrass sound utilizing vocal harmonies part jazz, blues and folk, along with eclectic instruments and a passion for songcraft. PLANETARIUM LASER LIGHT SHOWS These state-of-the-art laser animation graphics are set to the playlists of amazing musical geniuses.


Monday-Saturday 9 am - 5 pm Art Hop Fridays 9 am - 9 pm Sunday + Holidays 1 pm–5 pm Closed, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Easter

230 North Rose Street Kalamazoo, MI 49007 269.373.7990 | 800.772.3370 /KalamazooValleyMuseum @kalamazoomuseum

The Kalamazoo Valley Museum is operated by Kalamazoo Valley Community College and is governed by its Board of Trustees

REVUEWM.COM | January 2017 |


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Connections Across Centuries Spektral Quartet Preview New Concert Series at the GRAM by Samara Napolitan

When the members of the Spektral Quartet say they have a broad appetite for different styles of music, they mean it. presented by GLAMA the great lakes acoustic music association ticket & event info at:

Take the ensemble’s most recent record, Serious Business, which has been nominated for the 2017 Grammy Awards’ Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance category. It pairs what is arguably the corniest joke in the classical repertoire, Haydn’s String Quartet Op. 33 No. 2, with absurdist contemporary pieces that

mimic the speech patterns of stand-up comedians and require singing while playing. This approach is all in tune with Spektral’s mission to find playful connections between traditional and brand new works in order to create a highly-interactive, accessible and inquisitive concert experience. “The people who show up to our shows come from all walks of life and different experiences with classical music,” said Doyle Armbrust, violist of the ensemble. “It’s our job to make sure everyone feels welcome.” Spektral is bringing its unique concert framework to West Michigan audiences at the Grand Rapids Art Museum on Jan. 22 as part of the Sunday Classical Concert series. The concert acts as a preview of a series called Finger on the Pulse,

Spektral Quartet Courtesy photo

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“The people who show up to our shows come from all walks of life and different experiences with classical music. It’s our job to make sure everyone feels welcome.” —Doyle Armbrust, violist

Spektral Quartet’s Finger on the Pulse Grand Rapids Art Museum 101 Monroe Center St. NW, Grand Rapids Jan. 22, 2 p.m., Free with museum admission, (616) 831-1000

Tenenbaums. Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 10, Op. 74 follows, in which the first movement’s abundance of pizzicato actually gives the piece its nickname of the “Harp.” “Even though we play a lot of new music, playing Beethoven quartets is something that we always look forward to,” Armbrust said. “One of the reasons we play in a quartet at all is the opportunity to play pieces like this.” The program closer, String Quartet No. 1 “Another Place,” was written by Japaneseborn composer Dai Fujikura. Spektral first performed the piece at Bowling Green State University’s 2016 New Music Festival. It begins with a virtuosic use of pizzicato among solo instruments and evolves into vivid counterpoint, a musical technique that interweaves multiple lines of notes simultaneously. This show will also be one of Spektral’s first formal appearances with the quartet’s new violinist, Maeve Feinberg, which makes for a unique listening opportunity. Hailing from New York City, Feinberg has performed in a number of chamber music ensembles. She will take the place of Austin Wulliman, a founding member of Spektral now pursuing a career in contemporary music with the JACK Quartet. “When our violinist Clara Lyon came on board, the quartet changed in a really dynamic and positive way,” Armbrust said. “That’s what we’re anticipating with this transition and we’re excited to see how the group grows.” ■

productions with ty theatricaliversal in appeal. ing quali n present themes that are u Jewish


Photo: Joan Marcus

to be performed later at Fermilab, a particle collider in Chicago, and the University of Chicago where Spektral is the ensemble-in-residence. “The dynamic foursome always delivers an exceptional performance for our concertgoers, and we can’t wait to showcase this premier talent center-stage at the Museum,” said Elizabeth Payne, senior communications coordinator at the GRAM. The show, free with museum admission, is the group’s third pilgrimage to the GRAM from a Chicago home base. An established rapport with the GRAM concertgoers is expected to produce a high-energy and entertaining affair where any kind of response to the music is the right one, according to Armbrust. “It’s all a part of enjoying live performance,” he said. “Part of the reason we do this is that anything can happen.” Finger on the Pulse’s concept is built on pizzicato — the technique of plucking a string instrument. Three pieces in the concert lineup use pizzicato in bold and distinct ways. The first is Ravel’s String Quartet in F major, the second movement of which is heard during the Cast of Characters sequence in The Royal

JANUARY 10-15 | MSU’s Wharton Center


East Lansing engagement welcomed by Auto-Owners Insurance; Delta Dental of Michigan; Farm Bureau Insurance Company; Honigman Miller Swartz & Cohn; and Retailers Insurance Company.

You don’t have to be Jewish to Love Jewish Theatre

Were: GRCC Spectrum Theater 160 Fountain, Grand Rapids When: Thurs. and Sat. at 8:00 Sundays at 3:00

Tickets: 616-234-3946 or on-line at: REVUEWM.COM | January 2017 |



Looking Back, Moving On Peter Kjome reflects on time with Grand Rapids Symphony as president, CEO and performer

by Jane Simons

Peter Kjome’s history with the Grand Rapids Symphony goes back to 1990, when he first joined the organization as a musician. But it’s his time as president and CEO that Kjome will be remembered for when he steps down in January to embark on a similar role with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO). During a visit in June to Baltimore to attend the League of American Orchestras Conference, Kjome said he had an opportunity to hear the BSO perform, which included a performance by children. “After hearing the orchestra perform and hearing and seeing the impact the BSO was having on children, it caused me to reflect that this might be the right time for new leadership at the Grand Rapids Symphony and (that) an opportunity to work with the BSO was something I should consider,” Kjome said. He will be going into his new role as president and CEO of the BSO with a mindset of being a thoughtful and careful listener, he said. Earlier this month, the GRS appointed Peter Perez, a longtime symphony supporter and immediate past board chairperson, as interim president and CEO. Perez, owner and chairman of Carter Products Company in Grand Rapids, will oversee the day-to-day operations of the

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Grand Rapids Symphony’s administrative staff while its board of directors begins the search for a permanent leader of the orchestra. Kjome said that it will not be easy to leave an orchestra and city that has given him opportunities he never thought he’d have. “I’m going to miss my many, many friends in Grand Rapids and West Michigan,” Kjome said. “This is an incredibly supportive and close-knit community with a tremendous vision for the future.” A number of the friends he will be leaving behind are his fellow musicians in the GRS, he said. “Some of us have known each other for more than 25 years,” he said. “ I will miss being with people who I know so well.” Kjome’s relationship with the GRS began in 1990 when he auditioned for second oboe and ended up being hired as first oboe when the position opened. He grew up hearing his mother play the organ and the flute. At age 11, he began playing the oboe, the same instrument his father played in high school. “All of the children in our family were encouraged to play,” said Kjome, a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music. Eight years after landing his dream job with the GRS, he was forced to give up playing full-time as air pressure from playing the instrument began to cause health issues. “For many years, I had dreamed of being an oboist with a great orchestra. Giving that up was not easy,” Kjome said. While thinking about a transition into another role and the difficulty of giving up on a dream he’d taken since childhood, he also started to think about other non-performing roles he’d had with the symphony. One of those was serving as a musician representative on the symphony’s board, which got

Peter Kjome. COURTESY PHOTO him interested in the management end. He enrolled at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management where he earned an MBA and went to work at 3M in his native Minnesota. He remained there for eight years in a variety of positions. In September of 2008, Kjome came back to GRS as its president and CEO. “It was a very interesting time for many organizations, as the financial crisis was deepening,” he said. “But all of our key stakeholders pulled together during that challenging time. Not only did we sustain, but we advanced the quality of our program.” He takes pride in knowing that his efforts contributed to top-quality concerts put on by superb musicians. Among his favorite memories: “Live Arts”, a collaboration involving the symphony, Grand Rapids Ballet, Broadway Grand Rapids, Opera Grand Rapids and youth arts organizations that all came together for one night in April to perform on the Van Andel Arena stage. The extravaganza involved 1,564 performers, including 1,000 schoolchildren. Kjome said the successful completion in April of the $40 million Legacy of Excel-

lence endowment campaign and hiring Marcelo Lehninger as music director in July are both among his most important achievements. He said he also is very proud of the work being done to engage the next generation of symphony-goers. For example, “My Symphony 360” offers highly discounted tickets for the best seats in the house to individuals between 21-35 years of age. There also are programs for families where children get in for free when a parent purchases an adult ticket. “We want to reduce economic barriers and work on ways to excite the next generation with our young professionals program,” Kjome said. “Young people like to come and hear classical music.” In January, the symphony will be presenting a concert incorporating visuals and video games, followed by a concert featuring a full score with a Harry Potter movie. Kjome said the GRS is fortunate to have so much support from so many areas of the community. “We have an extraordinary board, strong management team, and a community that continues to be incredibly supportive of the symphony,” Kjome said. “The future is very bright.” ■

[classical MUSIC]


If you’re a Brahms fan, you’re going to be head-overheels for this month’s classical music lineup. And if you’re not, don’t fret — it’s not exactly a slow month for symphonies. Take a look. by Dana Casadei Fontana Chamber Arts 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall Ste. 200, Kalamazoo, (269) 382-0812

Inon Barnatan, Anthony McGill and Alisa Weilerstein Jan. 27, 7:30 p.m., $25+ Long-time recital partners Inon Barnatan, pianist, and Alisa Weilerstein, cellist, will join Anthony McGill on clarinet. The trio has been brought together to perform a new commission from composer Joseph Hallman. In addition, Beethoven’s Trio in B-flat Major, Op. 11 and Brahms’ Trio A minor, Op. 114 will also be performed during the evening of exciting clarinet trios.

Opera Grand Rapids 1320 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids, (616) 451-2741

Travel Through the Romantic Lieder Jan. 19, 7:30 p.m., $30 advance, $35 day of The 2017 season of the Opera Grand Rapids Vocal Arts Series kicks off with the Polydora Ensemble. This New York ensemble specializes in 19th-21st century chamber repertoire for vocal quartet and piano, and is in no way your typical singing group. The group’s project-based modulations (that’s when you change from one key to another) have ranged from tuned water bottles to smartphones, balloons and piano for four hands.

Grand Rapids Symphony 300 Ottawa Ave. NW Ste. 100, Grand Rapids, (616) 454-9451

The Romantic Concert: Schumann & Brahms Jan. 6, 8 p.m., $26+ If Schumann and Brahms are your jam, then you’re in luck! This show features the works of the two men, who were friends

until Schumann’s death in 1856. Conductor Marcelo Lehninger and featured pianist Daniel Hsu will perform Brahms’ Tragic Overture and Variations on a Theme by Haydn, as well as Schumann’s Piano Concerto In A minor.

Video Games Live Jan. 7, 8 p.m., $32+ If your teen is a gamer and you love the symphony, here’s a great chance to bond. If you love games yourself and appreciate the majestic soundtracks, this is for you as well. The critically-acclaimed, multimedia show is exactly what the title implies: an orchestra performing the music from some of the world’s favorite videogames as clips play on the screen with synchronized lighting effects. The immersive concert features music from games like Mario, Zelda, Halo, Final Fantasy and many more.

Sibelius Symphony No. 5 Jan. 13-14, 8 p.m., $18+ Teddy Abrams, music director of The Louisville Orchestra, will conduct this show in his dynamic style. The program features violinist Benjamin Beilman and 20th century masterpieces from three countries, including: Sibelius’ Symphony No. 5, considered a tour de force for orchestra, Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1, Barber’s Medea’s Meditation and Dance of Vengeance, and Copland’s Our Town, which is from the film version of Thornton Wilder’s play of the same name.

Barbra Streisand Hits starring Ann Hampton Callaway Jan. 20-22, times vary, $18+ Ann Hampton Callaway, who wrote and sang the theme song to TV’s "The Nanny," will be channeling her inner Barbra Streisand as she sings some of Babs’ biggest hits. The jazz-singer, who was named’s 2014 Performer of the Year, is performing an array of Streisand hits, including The Way We Were, People and Don’t Rain On My Parade.

Peter and the Wolf Jan. 21, 10:15 a.m. & 11:30 a.m., $5+ The 1936 Sergei Prokofiev classic tells the story of, well, a kid named Peter, and a wolf.

The wild canine enters from the forest by Peter’s grandfather’s house, seemingly intent on eating anything in its path. Considered one of the most-loved musicals of all time, it will be performed by the Grand Rapids Symphony and members of the Grand Rapids Ballet together. Each character is played by a different instrument, with a narrator reading the story.

Harry Potter in Concert Jan. 27-28, times vary, $18+ In 2001, this little film called Harry Potter and Sorcerer’s Stone popped up on the big screen and a movie franchise took off. Now you can relive every moment of the first film while the Grand Rapids Symphony plays along to John Williams’ iconic score. The entire 160-minute film will be shown, so be sure to grab some snacks at the counter.

St. Cecilia Music Center 24 Ransom Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, (616) 459-2224

Fauré and Brahms Jan. 26, 7:30 p.m., $38+ Featuring pianist Alessio Bax, violinists Ani Kavafian and Yura Lee, and cellist Paul Watkins, the concert showcases works by Fauré and Brahms. The pieces include Fauré’s Quartet No. 2 in G minor for Piano, Violin, Viola and Cello, Op 45 and Brahms’ Quartet No. 2 in A Major for Piano, Violin, Viola and Cello, Op. 26, as well as “WoO 2,” from F-A-E Sonata for Violin and Piano by Schumann, Brahms and Dietrich.

The Gilmore 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall Ste. 101, Kalamazoo, (269) 342-1166

Roman Rabinovich Jan. 22, 4 p.m., $25 Israeli pianist Roman Rabinovich, winner of the 2008 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition, will perform at The Gilmore this month, continuing the organization’s season of top-notch performances. Rabinovich has performed all over the U.S., Europe and Israel, making his Israel Philharmonic debut when he was only 10 years old. The evening’s program will include works from Haydn, Rabinovich, Beethoven, Janáček and Schumann.

Kalamazoo SymphonyOrchestra 359 Kalamazoo Mall Ste. 100, Kalamazoo, (269) 349-7759

The World Of Smetana Jan. 15, 3 p.m., $15-$30 Music Director Raymond Harvey will take guests through the world of Czech composer Bedrich Smetana, one of history’s most influ-

ential composers. The evening’s program is made up only of works by Smetana, including the overture and three dances from The Bartered Bride, along with his String Quartet No. 2 in D minor.

Classics Uncorked Jan. 27, 8 p.m., $15-$30 Take in some classical music with a nice wine buzz at Classics Uncorked. KSO sommelier Ronald Merlino will host a Wine Prelude and tasting where guests will try a variety of national and international wines. Desserts and coffee follow the performance, which features the Burdick-Thorne String Quartet, Jean Watson, Georgiy Borisov and Michael Wood.

Classics On Tap Jan. 28, 8 p.m., $15-$30 If beer is your drink of choice, then you should head to Classics On Tap, back by popular demand. The classic chambers program takes place at Bell’s Eccentric Café, where guests can enjoy music, a private bar, snacks and original brews. Featured artists for the evening include the Burdick-Thorne String Quartet, Jean Watson, Georgiy Borisov and Michael Wood.

University Musical Society 881 N. University Ave., Ann Arbor, (734) 764-2538

Beethoven Quartet Cycle Takács Quartet Jan. 21, 8 p.m. & Jan. 22, 4 p.m., $28+ They’re back! The quartet returns this month for the third and fourth installments of this six-concert cycle, where the group continues to make its way through Beethoven’s string quartet cycle. There will also be a pre-performance talk exploring Beethoven’s string quartets with Steven Whiting on Jan. 21.

Inon Barnatan, Anthony McGill, and Alisa Weilerstein Jan. 29, 4 p.m., $26+ Hey, they’re back too! The trio, which two days prior is performing at Fontana Chamber Arts, will continue its trek around Michigan. This performance includes the same series of clarinet trios.

Wharton Center 750 E. Shaw LN, East Lansing, (517) 432-2000

LSO: Dvorak Cello Concerto Jan. 7, 8 p.m., $20-$50 Tanya Ell, originally from Okemos, Mich., returns briefly from her position with the Cleveland Orchestra to perform Antonin Dvorak’s Cello Concerto, the last (and supposedly greatest) solo concerto from the Czech composer. This is paired with the neoclassical Symphony in C from Stravinsky.

REVUEWM.COM | January 2017 |




Kalamazoo Civic Theatre presents musical about famous conjoined twins by Jane Simons

Nobody could accuse the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre of opting for safe, reliable productions after its decision to stage Side Show — a musical based on the true story of conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton who became famous in the 1920s for performances that highlighted their unique lives.

The director of the Civic’s production, Jay Berkow, said he first saw Side Show about 20 years ago when he was living in New York City. He was also friends with several of the original cast members who performed the musical on Broadway. Despite glowing reviews, the show never garnered major national attention and the Hilton sisters remain largely unknown. Side Show has instead become a cult classic. “A lot of theaters are reluctant to stage this because it’s not a name show,” said Berkow, director of music theater performance at Western Michigan University. “There are certain shows I’ve always wanted to do and this is one of them.” The story of the sisters has been an ongoing fascination for Berkow, who hopes to immerse audiences in the duo’s life. “The biggest challenge is to engage the audience completely in the story, which will be done as a series of Berkow Vaudeville vignettes and flashbacks to real-time sequences,” Berkow said. Drawing viewers in will be physically challenging for the majority of the cast, especially Lindsay Powers, who plays the role of Daisy, and Allie Ruppert, who plays the role of Violet. To prepare, Powers and Ruppert have been rehearsing in a pair of shorts that they share to mimic being conjoined at the pelvis as their characters were. They also are spending non-rehearsal time practicing movements like sitting, dancing, climbing up and down stairs, and walking as one person. “Not only do we have to be on stage for almost two hours singing and dancing, we also have to do all of our costume changes backstage together and that’s going to

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be physically taxing as well,” Powers said. “Allie and I are going to spend a lot of time with each other, and will spend some weekends moving around each other’s houses as one. We’ll be trying to live as they lived.” In casting the roles, Berkow was tasked with finding two women who looked enough alike to convince the audience that they are twins, while also having the ability to express their individual needs and desires. They also had to be able to sing and dance together. Members of the ensemble cast likely will be challenged by the physicality of their roles as well, with other characters including a female snakeholder, a “Dog Boy”, To prepare, actors Lindsay Powers a woman with no arms, and a man and Allie Ruppert have been with three legs. Each of the characrehearsing both onstage and off in ters is based on a real person who a pair of shorts intended to simulate performed in circus sideshows or in the experience of being conjoined at Vaudeville. the hip. Courtesy Photo “The actors have to create their characters purely through body Impoverished and desperate, the work,” Berkow said. aging sisters implored the owner of the There will be little room for erPark ‘N’ Shop in Charlotte to take them ror in conveying the story to the on full-time, incentivizing the prospect audience because of the intimate by stating that he would only have to nature of the Civic’s Parish Theatre. pay for one person. And so the grocery The venue is a theatre-in-thestore’s break room became their stage. round, which means audiences are Supported by the local church and the able to see the actors from a variety surrounding community, the twins enof different vantage points. joyed the simplicity and solace of life To prepare for the role of conThe Hilton Sisters. Courtesy Photo out of the spotlight for the remainder joined twins prior to the start of of their days. rehearsals, the lead actresses “Daisy got some sort of Hong Kong flu and she died watched a documentary about the Hilton sisters called first,” Powers said. “Four to seven days later, Violet died Bound by Flesh. The film included some surprising choicafter drinking herself to death because she was still ates the sisters made, such as staying conjoined even after tached to Daisy.” learning that they could undergo surgery to be physically The Civic production ends about the time that a movie separated. produced about the sisters by MGM Studios was to be reSide Show explores the consequences of this choice leased. The movie was pulled from release after studio with a scene that shows Violet receiving a marriage proofficials decided that audiences would not want to watch posal and the impact that has on Daisy, who also wants to characters with disabilities on the big screen. be in a relationship. “We often think of marginalization in terms of race or “They decided to live as one person because they didn’t sexuality. One of the unaddressed issues is people who know how to live any other way,” Powers said. are truly different,” Berkow said. “Although Daisy and Violet As their fame began to fade and their fortune began were combined in life with each other, they also have this to dwindle, the sisters tried their luck within the burlesque incredible support for each other. community. After a fairly unsuccessful run in promoting their “The way the show is constructed in this circus-like atfilms and various performances, the sisters landed a small mosphere, it’s very engaging and you can’t take your eyes ad campaign for Phillip Morris promoting Twin Pack Potato off of it.” ■ Chips at a Park ‘N’ Shop grocery store in Charlotte, N.C.

(Left) Kirsten Bagin designed this set for a production of M*A*S*H. (Right) The Bagin family often auditions for and performs in the same plays. Courtesy photos

The Family That Plays Together, Stays Together by Kayla Tucker

Most teenagers spend their high school years as far away from their parents as possible. Not so for the Bagin family. Eight years ago, John and Kirsten Bagin enrolled their children Jack and Anna in a summer art camp. Both of the children took to performing, and soon the whole family was reeled in. Jack, 16, joined the community theater — the White Pine Players in Rockford — and his dad, John, would sit through the practices. After a couple weeks of the director asking for more adult males to be in the production, John gave in. “I didn’t really have a desire to be in the theater at that point, but I was more just going to be helping out because I was going to be there,” John said. “However, once I started doing it, I realized this is a lot of fun.” Soon, Anna was auditioning for shows. And then the next spring, so was Kirsten.

“With the theater, all four of us could be together,” John said. “There were even scenes that we would be in together.” John said he loves being able to have such a close relationship with his family, kept alive through theater. He and Kirsten will celebrate 25 years of marriage in April. “It’s fantastic,” John said. “My kids and my wife and I are very involved together and so we’re a very close-knit family.” One of his favorite memories, John said, is playing a nerdy father and son in “A House Divided” with his son, Jack. “We were father and son in real life and father and son in the play together,” John said. “And we were both playing nerds, which wasn’t much of a stretch for us.” A close friendship with Jack is what brought Anna into theater initially. “My brother’s always been my best friend,” Anna said. “So I kind of wanted to do everything he was doing.” Anna said she ended up enjoying it so much herself, that she continued on. She said although she has friends who also do theater, there’s something special about having your family there. “If I forget a line and I’m feeling bad, they’ll cheer me up backstage and help me regain my confidence,” Anna said. For Jack, acting has forced him out of

“We were father and son in real life and father and son in the play together. And we were both playing nerds, which wasn’t much of a stretch for us.” —John Bagin

his comfort zone, he said, and he’s more than OK with that. “Learning how to adapt to different situations and think from somebody else’s perspective is nice,” he said. John said he and Kirsten both have a sense of adventure as well, which led them to build a log cabin — their home — together in 2006. “We jump in with both feet,” John said, adding that when they joined theater, not only did they act but they helped with

props, sets and volunteering. Kirsten said that while she enjoys acting, she really likes to express her creative side in designing sets and creating props for shows. Her favorite sets to design were for Tiny Tim and MASH. “I actually prefer the artwork and the craftiness and the cleverness that you have to have to put a theater set together,” she said. Today, John is on the board for the White Pine Players. The whole family continues to do shows, some even outside of their community theater. Jack is also in the marching band at Rockford High School, while Anna is in crew rowing. Both siblings participate in a gaming club. At the end of this month, Jack and Anna will perform in Cats, the musical, with the Sparta Community Theater. John and Kirsten plan to be involved with the White Pine Players’ production of Death by Chocolate, either cast in the show or helping with stage crew. John encourages families with an interest in theater to get involved, especially if they want to not just bond, but have fun doing it. “It’s one of those rare things where families as a whole can all do it together,” John said. ■

REVUEWM.COM | January 2017 |



FISHING FOR CRITICISM Theatre Kalamazoo’s New Play Festival helps local playwrights revise by Jane Simons

Aspiring playwrights will find themselves face-to-face with audience feedback once again during Theatre Kalamazoo’s 7th Annual New Play Festival.

While the plays offer entertainment value for audience members, the real intention of the festival is to provide constructive criticism for the playwrights about their work. Each of the plays, either one-act or 10 minutes in length, are presented as staged readings, meaning the actors are reading on stage from scripts they hold in their hands. Held at the Judy K. Jolliffe Theatre (formerly Epic Theatre), the New Play Festival runs for two days, Feb. 3-4. Kevin Dodd, managing producer for Theatre Kalamazoo, said the ability to have a play critiqued before it’s fully developed enables the writer to know what works and what doesn’t before getting too far in. Dodd said audience members are invited and encouraged to provide feedback at the conclusion of each performance. “The focus of the festival is really on the work of the writer and the rest of us are there to help with the process,” Dodd said. “This is really helping to create a more fertile environment for writers in the area.” Critiques also are offered up by established playwrights who participate in workshops during the festival. For the past two years, festival organizers have been able to work with playwrights who are brought in as part of Western Michigan University’s Frostic Reading Series. Dodd said Theatre Kalamazoo has tied that speaker series to its festival, so a reading from a nationally-known playwright can serve as the kickoff for the New Play Festival. This year’s guest playwright is Emilio Rodriguez, a young, up-and-coming voice from Detroit who will read from his play Blood Moon Baby. The eight plays that will debut during this year’s festival were selected by a panel of local theater experts led by Dodd and Steve Pfeffer, professor of playwriting at Western Michigan University. The number of plays submitted has ranged from 20 to 50 since the start of the festival.

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“We’re pretty good at determining what works or what could work if it had a little bit of development,” Dodd said. “Sometimes you don’t know until the actors read it, which enables you to see what the weaker parts are or what might be improved.” Once the plays are selected, directors are assigned, actors audition and each play is rehearsed at one of Theatre Kalamazoo’s 11 member theaters. “This is a really great opportunity for actors who are thinking about trying out their acting talents but don’t have a lot of time or experience, because they don’t have to memorize the lines,” Dodd said. Emily Duguay, director of Theatre Arts Management at WMU, said the local acting community looks forward to participating in the festival. “For a community like Kalamazoo to celebrate new play development is extraordinary,” Duguay said. “It’s very unique to have an annual opportunity to submit work for consideration in this way. It speaks again to the enthusiasm in this community for the arts.” Plays that have debuted at the local festival have gone on to be included in other festivals, including a play written by Tucker Rafferty, which took top honors in the Michigan Playwrights Festival. Dodd, a graduate of WMU’s Theatre program, said he worked extensively with playwrights on new plays and festivals during the few years he spent in New York. “This kind of festival is something you see happening a lot in larger cities,” Dodd said. “It’s important to have those opportunities here.” Prior to the creation of the New Play Festival, theaters in Kalamazoo would hold new play readings at their own venues. Duguay said operating the festival as part of Theatre Kalamazoo enabled organizers to make it bigger and better. The festival is underwritten by the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, which also provides financial support to Theatre Kalamazoo. Duguay said the idea for Theatre Kalamazoo came about more than 10 years ago as a way to make sure that area theaters weren’t stepping on each others’ toes. “Our season planning happens at about the same time every year,” Duguay said. “It made sense to sit around and discuss shows so we don’t all do the same shows.” When two venues have the same show in their season lineup, Duguay said negotiations take place to reach a compromise. She said this happens each year.

The Judy K. Jolliffe Theatre. Courtesy Photos In addition to meeting to discuss show lineups, representatives meet monthly to discuss ways to pool their resources and cover the cost of necessities, such as advertising or administrative work. Duguay said the larger organizations provide mentoring and other assistance to Theatre Kalamazoo’s smaller members, such as Fancy Pants and Queer Theatre Kalamazoo, who don’t have full-time staff or any administrative support. Each of the theaters brings different experiences to its audiences and they don’t view each other as competition, Duguay said, adding that Kalamazoo has created a culture that allows these performance venues to all thrive together. “Our philosophy is that if we raise awareness about the art form and celebrate all of the many ways in which it’s done, it only brings everyone up,” she said. “Everyone has found a place for themselves in this community.” ■

Theatre Kalamazoo is a nonprofit collaboration between the live theatre organizations in Kalamazoo, Michigan. We take great pride in promoting the diversity and richness of theatre in Kalamazoo and foster a spirit of cooperation and support among this strong and talented community.


January 20–28, 2017









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A RAISIN IN THE SUN Feb 23 - Feb 26


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preview For those of you who are into history, three of this month’s shows are based on real people and real events. For those of you who have been forced to

choose between your pet and your significant other, there’s a show for that too. For those of you who just like plays, these are all for you. by Dana Casadei

Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids 160 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids, (616) 234-3946

Irena’s Vow Jan. 12-22, $22 Irena Gut was a real Polish nurse who, after being captured in a German roundup, was forced to work as the housekeeper to a Nazi officer. She then risked her life to save 12 Jews during World War II, hiding them in the officer’s basement. This production, which hit Broadway in 2009, tells Irena’s story.

SchulerBooks&Music 34 years as your local, independent bookstore! JANUARY 2017


MONDAYS & Pre-school Story Time SATURDAYS A member of the Schuler Books Children’s bookselling staff will read a variety of new, favorite and 11AM best picture books. WEDS 01/11 7PM

THURS 01/19 7PM

Activist Meditation with Author Jan Bidwell Join us for presentation by Social Worker, psychotherapist, mindfulness and meditation teacher, and political activist Jan Bidwell, author of Sitting Still: Meditation as the Secret Weapon of Activism.

Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Association Presents Spaceport Michigan: When Rockets Flew from the Great Lakes State Presented by GVSU Professor Glenn Swanson, who is an avid space exploration enthusiast and historian. Michigan had an active rocket range during the early days of the NASA space program through a cooperative research program with the University of Michigan.

Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Association Presents Astronomy As A Hobby Series: The Ever Changing Sky SAT 01/21 10AM

Join Dave DeBruyn - What to look for and when; sky motions and seasonal attractions during 2017 for naked eye and telescope. Includes an introduction to the Great Total Solar Eclipse of August 21st. 11:30-NOON: Telescope Tune-up Clinic follows each session and can be attended separately. Bring in your telescope for personalized inspection, alignment and expert advice for effective use.

Grand Rapids Civic Theatre 30 N. Division Ave., Grand Rapids, (616) 222-6650

The Philadelphia Story Jan. 13-29, 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., $16-$30 Tracy Lord is a wealthy Philadelphia heiress who is simply getting ready for her second marriage, minding her own business and planning her special day. But nothing can ever be that easy. Her ex-husband soon shows up, followed by a tabloid reporter who is a little too nosey. Then Tracy must decide which love matters most: her present, her past or her possible future. This classic romantic comedy debuted on Broadway in 1939 and rose to fame thanks to the 1940 movie of the same name, which won two Oscars.

Kalamazoo’s Civic Theatre 329 S. Park St., Kalamazoo, (269) 343-1313

Sylvia Jan. 13-28, $15-25 Dog is man’s best friend, right? Or is it his wife? That conundrum is one Greg must solve in this A. R. Gurney play. Greg and his wife Kate are recent empty nesters who decide to move back to Manhattan after living in the suburbs for 22 years. Greg then befriends a dog in Central Park. He brings her home, which turns the lives of the middle-aged couple upside down. Yes, the dog is played by a human, for those of you who were wondering.

Side Show Jan. 27-Feb. 12, $25 See story on page 18A.

WMU Theatre 1903 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo, (269) 387-3227

Women of Lockerbie

Local Author Night THURS 01/26 7PM

Join us for a panel presentation by accomplished authors from the state of Michigan. Featured authors are Amy L. Johnson, author of Letters Lost Then Found, an engaging collection of letters which forms a unique record and memoir of World War II; Josh MacIvor-Anderson, author of On Heights and Hunger, a fascinating memoir two professional and competitive tree-climbing brothers; Fable the Poet, also known as Marcel Price, author of the powerful poetry collection Adrift in a Sea of M&Ms; and Nicole Zaagman, author of Bee BADASS and Brilliant: A Holistic Guide to Create Success on Your Terms with Inner Peace and Confidence.

Visit for a complete list of events. All events are subject to change. 2660 28th Street SE 616.942.2561 22A | REVUEWM.COM | January 2017

Jan. 27-Feb. 12, $20 On Dec. 21, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 took off like any other flight, headed from Frankfurt to Detroit, but it never arrived. In what’s now known as the Lockerbie bombing, the plane was sabotaged, killing every passenger and crew member. Large sections of the plane crashed onto residential areas of Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 11 more people on the ground. This poetic drama was inspired by that event, following a mother whose son was killed in the bombings. She discovers a group of women collecting the victims’ clothing who hope to convert an act of hatred into an act of love that has no borders.


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LET’S TALK FILM. Watch a selected film


at home using Kanopy—our free film streaming service—then attend an engaging discussion and analysis of the film at the Main Library (111 Library Street NE). To start streaming on Kanopy, visit or check out the DVD at the library.




Thursday, January 19, 2017 7:00 pm Main Library 111 Library St NE Share your passion for reading and great discussions with the #ReadSoHard book club. Book discussions take place at Harmony Hall (401 Stocking NW). For more details, visit

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson Monday, January 9, 2017 7:00 pm

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander Monday, February 13, 2017 7:00 pm


Thursday, February 23, 2017 7:00 pm Main Library 111 Library St NE

Modern Romance

/////In the Mood for Love (2000) Thursday, February 2, 2017 7:00 pm /////Blind Chance (1981) Thursday, March 2, 2017 7:00 pm /////Rome, Open City (1945) Thursday, April 6, 2017 7:00 pm

by Aziz Ansari Monday, March 13, 2017 7:00 pm

/////Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974) Thursday, May 4, 2017 7:00 pm

Reader’s Choice Monday, April 10, 2017 7:00 pm EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC 111 LIBRARY ST NE 616.988.5400 WWW.GRPL.ORG Many of our programs are funded by the Grand Rapids Public Library Foundation.

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Lee DeWyze



Luke Winslow-King


Artists and fans say we’re one of the best live music venues in the country.


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We have a full bar available with craft & domestic beers, fine wines & premium spirits.


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Box office 616.930.4755 or visit



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Seven Steps Up

Live Music & Event Venue 116 S. Jackson Street Spring Lake, MI 49456

Live Music & Event Venue







616-356-2573 ERBTHAIGR


New Season. New Vision.

JANUARY 6 Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in CASABLANCA JANUARY 9 PULP FICTION Movie Party JANUARY 13 FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER JANUARY 15 Humphrey Bogart & Katharine Hepburn in THE AFRICAN QUEEN JANUARY 18 CLUELESS Movie Party





Visit for showtimes and tickets



REVUEWM.COM | January 2017 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining | Schedule

See the Fall colors the way you should,




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Schedule | Dining | Sights Sounds | Scene

by Eric Mitts


Psychedelic Stand-up

Shaun Mauss talks life and science on new comedy tour


“Most of what a comedian is doing is just figuring out a new way of looking at life. … And science does that as well. So far (this show has) just been about tricking people into listening to me talk about science.”

structure. And so if you’re writing a lot of new material, I think there’s just a natural push for a comedian to do something a little more challenging and unique.” It’s not just about doing something new though, Mauss said — it’s about standing out. “It’s really hard to distinguish yourself in comedy,” he said. “There really are just too many straight white male comics out there trying to get some yuks, and there’s not enough diversity, not just in comedians, but in material.” Originally from Wisconsin, Mauss has been a comedian for 12 years. He broke out nine years ago when he won the award for Best Standup at the HBO US Comedy Festival and began touring the country. He’s since appeared on Conan five times, as well as making appearances on Comedy Central, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Bob and Tom Show. In 2013, Mauss released his first special, Mating Season, on Netflix. There he began exploring the edges of comedy’s clichés with higher ideas, while framing them in the context of men and women, dating and sex. After breaking both his feet while hiking, he released his second comedy album, My Big Break, in 2014. Mauss has also since began work on his podcast, Here We Are, where he regularly interviews scientists and other academics about consciousness, perception and the meaning of life. It was after a podcast where he happened to do DMT — the

world’s most powerful hallucinogen — that other people began calling him to talk more about psychedelics and A Good Trip was born. “I didn’t know what the crowd was going to be like,” Mauss said of his adventure. “I didn’t realize how much of a separation there is between the psychedelic community and the stoner community. I mean, there’s certainly overlap, but my shows don’t get nearly as many dreadlocks as you would think. Those are my people as well, but I draw a lot of really highly-educated people out.” An advocate for psychedelic studies himself, Mauss takes a hard stance against the war on drugs during the show, while calling for more research, not recreational use. Heading into 2017, Mauss plans to bring A Good Trip to more than 100 cities, into Canada, Australia and beyond. He’d also like to put together a show entirely about science, where he pushes himself and conventional comedy outside of its typical comfort zone. “Most of what a comedian is doing is just figuring out a new way of looking at life. … And science does that as well,” Mauss said. “So far (this show has) just been about tricking people into listening to me talk about science. (It’s) kind of surprising people went with it, and I want to see if I can push it a little more.” n

REVUEWM.COM | January 2017 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining | Schedule

t’s safe to say that rising stand-up comedian Shane Mauss has been on the best trip of his life over the last year. For the first time in his career, Mauss has sold out cities coast-to-coast, and he’s done it with his innovative new show A Good Trip, which blurs the lines between stand-up, storytelling, and TED Talk. Based on his personal experiences with psychedelics, A Good Trip finds Mauss taking audiences on a comical journey through the stigma, history, laws and science behind misunderstood hallucinogenic drugs like mushrooms, LSD and DMT. The 90-minute show eschews stand-up’s usual short set-up and punchline delivery. Instead Mauss aims to destigmatize and demystify psychedelics with his own personal narratives and experiences studying them. “The difference between doing a show in front of people who know that you’re going to be doing a show about psychedelics and people that are unaware is the difference between a standing ovation and people walking out,” Mauss said. “So, I definitely go out of my way to make sure people know exactly what the show is about. “It’s just a different kind of comedy show for sure. It’s a little more informative and a little bit more like a one-man show.” Although he’s been a selfdescribed “psychonaut” for almost 20 years, Mauss, 36, doesn’t suggest that anyone try psychedelics. He knows they’re def initely not for everyone, and his show does not require any experience or familiarity with them. The drug topic is simply a launch pad for him to talk about gaining a deeper understandShane Mauss’s ing of the mind through new A Good Trip experiences. Dr. Grins Comedy Club “I just followed my own 20 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids natural interests and curiosiJan. 25, 8 p.m. doors, 9 p.m. show $15,, (616) 356-2000 ties,” Mauss said of creating A Good Trip. “What comedians Shakespeare’s Lower Level laugh at and what your aver241 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo age audience member laughs Jan. 27, 8:30 p.m. doors at are usually two different $10 advance, $15 at door things, because we see so, (269) 488-7782 much comedy that we get very bored with the same old


Style Notes

by Missy Black

Distinct, Dapper & Dashing


Schedule | Dining | Sights Sounds | Scene

en, the time to complete your outfits is long overdue. Welcome to our humble guide of haberdashery and accessories for the discerning gentlemen. Treat yourselves to all the accoutrements you’ve ever wanted at Stately & Company, 10 E. Bridge St., in Rockford for local products and international brands all committed to sustainability and dapper. We’re talking about unique men’s accessories, self-care and casual clothing. It’s a place dedicated solely to men shopping for fine leather products, bottle openers, the Wilder Beard Company grooming line, and any other classic, durable goods that stand the test of time. One favorite is a line of slim neckties and bowties designed by a New York artisan in neutral colors and fun patterns, $45. Another highlight is the set of wood accessories made by Woodchuck USA (where a tree is planted with every product sold): journal, $20; flask, $40; cufflinks, $60. There’s more to learn at

The party starts with the Happy Socks brand. This pattern gives the illusion of tiny multi-colored diamonds in a sea of purple for wardrobes everywhere, $12. DENYM, 443 Bridge St. NW in Grand Rapids.

30 | REVUEWM.COM | January 2017

Around the waist of every amazing man is an amazing belt. This style is fashionable, durable and available in four different colors from Brothers Leather Supply Co., $65. DENYM.

No guy can ever own too many hats. The Glendale cap in a soft fleece fabric features a low profile and includes a Herschel Supply ID label for that vintage look, $30. Frances Jaye, 50 E. 8th St. in Holland.

Ladies look for nice shoes. The Postman Oxford is crafted with Charcoal Rough & Tough leather for a classic, yet modern look that’s super versatile, $260. Frances Jaye.


REVUEWM.COM | January 2017 |


Lit Life

by Josh Veal

Raking Up the Past


Schedule | Dining | Sights Sounds | Scene

ne lake. Twoh u ndr ed a nd si x t y-f i v e acr e s of open wat er . Fifty-two feet down, at its deepest point. And centuries of history. This is Reeds Lake. Local author Gail Marie Snow has recounted a century of that history in her new book, Rakish Reeds Lake. The book follows 2013’s Remarkable Ramona Park, and together they comprise more than 700 pages of stories, newspaper clippings, photographs and firsthand accounts of the lake East Grand Rapids is built around. Snow said the project began as just a 15-minute talk for a group of local ladies

32 | REVUEWM.COM | January 2017

interested in antiques and history. Instead, it grew into an eight-year project, with Snow spending countless hours searching the archives of local libraries, newspapers and more. In doing so, she uncovered what she describes as a “Surprising History of a Favorite Place” in the book’s subtitle. “There’s virtually nothing left that indicates what went on,” Snow said. The differences are astounding between the town of old and modern day East Grand Rapids, with its mansions, quaint storefronts and rainbow-lit fountain. For one thing, Snow said that nearly every establishment in the area sold liquor, which is a large part of how the lake and adjacent park became so rakish (a.k.a. bawdy, saucy, licentious).

All the booze, park attractions and various watercraft led to a consistently colorful place on the outskirts of Grand Rapids. At one point, in the 1890s, the rivalries between passenger vessels on the lake led to what became known as the Reeds Lake Naval Wars. There weren’t any cannonballs fired or anything, but ships did purposefully crash into each other while vying for use of the same docks, at times knocking passengers into the water. In fact, one captain’s 135-foot boat sank another captain’s 40-foot boat by smashing it into the dock. Even more extraordinary is the list of accidents in Ramona Park and Reeds Lake that led people to the Reeds Lake Sanitarium, including a man whose artery was severed by an exploding bottle of pop and another man who had his bones replaced by a metal rod after his leg was mangled while harvesting ice. Similarly, fires seemed to be almost a common occurrence at the time, with most resorts and a home for retired freemasons all meeting their demise in flames.

And yet, as exciting as many of the tales are, what most people remember about Reeds Lake and Ramona Park are the fond memories. Families and couples visited just to take in the lake, whether it be on a steamboat or rowing themselves around. They’d then ride the Jack Rabbit Derby Racer, a wooden rollercoaster that once stood over what is now a large parking lot and several stores.

Rakish Reeds Lake author Gail Marie Snow, who also penned Remarkable Ramona Park.

Much of the book covers the history of various clubs and sports. Babe Ruth played with the Yankees in the ballpark by Reeds Lake, for instance, because the downtown city’s parks didn’t allow people to play baseball on Sunday. Tales of rowing clubs, ice harvesting, saloons and much more all lie within Rakish Reeds Lake. It’s for history fanatics, lovers of East Grand Rapids and those who appreciate a good, true story. Snow is all of those things. After all this time and all this work, she said she plans to take a break while continuing to work as a volunteer at the Grand Rapids Public Library and appreciating vintage cars and other antiques with her husband and friends. “Just about everything we do has something to do with old things,” she said, laughing. n Rakish Reeds Lake is available for purchase at Schuler Books & Music, Papers Plus and Redux.

Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining | Schedule


REVUEWM.COM | January 2017 |

Fitness & Health

Fitness Miss Fix-It by Missy Black


ith a successful Shark Tank endorsement, Shefit owner and founder Sara Moylan continues the hustle with new products and a call to action. “I never had intentions of starting a business. I was trying to solve my own problem,” Moylan said, detailing her fromscratch efforts at creating her sports bra that is now the darling of Entrepreneur, Forbes, Runner’s World, and a little show from ABC called Shark Tank. Seeing people struggling with lack of support and resorting to doubling up, even tripling the number of sports bras they wore at once, Moylan decided to cut and hot-glue her way to success. She then saw her efforts snowball into legit testing, focus groups and a Kickstarter campaign to empower women everywhere, providing them with apparel they could trust. “Women and girls, we are so much more techy and savvy and we’re demanding customization in every aspect of apparel,” Moylan said. “We are not one size fits all. We are women who do not want things to not fit and live with it.”

Shefit Founder Sara Moylan

Jenison-based Shefit offers women their own bra, their way, by eliminating excessive bounce or back-and-shoulder strain with custom comfort features to adjust both their bust band and shoulder straps. Reviews on the company’s website are in the thousands, with the product receiving an average 4.6 star rating (out of five). But even with all the glowing testimonials and popularity, there was always room to grow. “At Shefit, we never make excuses — we make improvements,” Moylan said. The company continues to expand with two new products, including a 50-percent lighter version of the sturdy sports bra with additional cup coverage at $62. The second item, a new lounge bra, is similar to popular bralette styles but can be worn under a tank or even to sleep in, to promote good breast health. While not for high-impact sports, this item is comfortable and seamless, featuring shorter straps to offset sag issues for $26. The Shefit train keeps moving with four new colors and the unveiling of a third sports bra in the summer that specifically breaks down customization for the many cup sizes.

Shefit bras feature a customizable bust band and versatile shoulder straps for an optimal fit for every woman. Courtesy Photos

Moylan doesn’t buy into the theory that you need to hit the gym for hours a day, numerous times a week. She works with a trainer and a small group of women for a routine that includes a unique daily combination of cardio, weights, plyometrics, CrossFit, and HIIT training. “For me, it’s not a weight on the scale — it’s how my clothes fit,” she said. Regardless of how you choose to exercise, Moylan believes staying motivated is key and you have to keep yourself accountable. “Maybe it’s a group fitness class, a partner, a Facebook page — accountability is huge,” she said, adding that the key is “goals on the counter, goals on the fridge, goals on the mirror” as reminders everywhere to stay in the game. Meeting goals, measuring goals — it’s all part of the fitness lifestyle, which went into creating the sports bra that led to this boss babe’s empire. n

Author’s note: I own a Shefit sports bra. The only time I don’t use it in my workout is when it’s in the wash. Truth.

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“Our plan is to be the go-to sports bra company with a plethora of different options,” Moylan said. Her goal is to create a sports bra that doesn’t compromise. If you give 100 percent in the gym, your apparel and accessories should as well. “So many women don’t do the things they want to do because they are hindered by their lack of support,” said Moylan, giving the example of a volleyball coach that gets to play with her team now instead of instructing from the side. Even high-end athletes experience frustration because their chests are out of control. “Women struggle with the ability to be physical because their chest doesn’t allow them to be,” she said, “Shefit allows them to do the things they know they are capable of doing.” With her own invention, Moylan is able to exercise however she wants — her personal approach isn’t traditional, but it works for her. “I’m busy. I get in and get out within 45 minutes and need to be as effective as possible,” she said. “I love doing it first thing in the morning. It helps me to make better food choices throughout the day.”


Fitness & Health

Fitness For All (Even You) by Audria Larsen

Most people enter the New Year with vows to transform their booty in one way or another. Often, those same folks forgo their fitness ideals pretty quickly because most people just don’t want to go hard in the weight room. The thing is, there’s an exercise for everyone. Behold, our handy inspo list of workout ideas based on your personality that just may keep you embracing those sweat rivulets.

Ann Arbor Aviary. Photo: Spilt Sugar Photography

Tree Hugger

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Nature was humanity’s first fitness implement, and if you happen to enjoy a little fresh air and befriending chipmunks, a healthy body is an added bonus. Michigan is brimming with endless opportunities to explore various landscapes, from marshes to waterfalls, where you can hike, bike or ski. Whether you want to stick close to home or road trip to the Upper Peninsula, there’s just one book you need to inspire your adventures. According to the publisher,“The Trail Atlas of Michigan is the only comprehensive guide of non-motorized trails for Michigan.” This exhaustive tome offers detailed maps and much more to inform your next hike. Trail Atlas of Michigan by Dennis R. Hansen, Hansen Publishing Company, $12.42.

Diva For the fancy folk who would rather strut their stuff than hit the gym, pole fitness is the perfect option. And, let’s be serious, what other type of exercise allows you to work out in five-inch stilettos? While you may just be looking to sashay in your new booty shorts, pole can seriously whip you into shape. Try Flirt Fitness, 5366 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids., (616) 552-3572.

Gamer Everyone knows the stereotype of the gamer glued to a screen for hours on end, but Nintendo’s Wii literally changed the game years ago by creating virtual experiences that integrate real world body movement. The popular Wii Fit offers you tried-and-true workout options

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and some fun elements, like hula hooping. And the variety of video games available has only grown over the years, with everything from dance competitions to virtual white water rafting right into your living room. Pick up games like the Just Dance series or Kinect Adventures at Vidiots, 1304 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids., (616) 235-4263.

Eclectic Even weirdos need a little fitness in their lives. Luckily, circus arts not only offer a wide range of fun and challenging disciplines that will impress your friends, but they can also help you sculpt and tone. Think partner acrobatics, high flying aerial apparatuses like silks, lyra and trapeze, tight rope slack lining, hand balancing, and even flow arts like poi. Try the Ann Arbor Aviary, 2875 Boardwalk Dr., Ann Arbor., (734) 707-1074.

Party Animal If you’re inclined to burn that midnight oil and rage into the night, you need both stamina and some killer dance moves. Class up your dance floor repertoire with social dancing that has stood the test of time and will fire up your muscles in new ways. Think of the sensual sashaying of salsa or the intensity of the tango, or make like Dirty Dancing and rock the cha cha with your own proverbial Patrick Swayze. Learn all those dance styles, including the Night Club Two Step, at Kalamazoo DanceSport, 1522 Gull Rd., Kalamazoo., (269) 760-5355.

Gym Rat Gym rats don’t necessarily need added motivation to hit the gym, but the same old routine can get boring fast. For the muscle-bound hardbodies who want to switch up their regular workouts, Spartan SGX at Allegro Coaching is the perfect way to mix it up. According to Spartan’s official training program, “the body weight-focused workouts are varied, novel and typically conducted in a group. In an SGX class, you bend, crawl, carry, climb, hang, jump, lift, lunge, pull, push, run, sprint, squat, and twist — exactly what your body has been designed to do for over millions of years.” Try Spartan SGX, 1422 Robinson Rd., Grand Rapids., (616) 558-6600.

Mermaid If high-impact movement is a little much for your joints, or you’re just a beach bum, take to the water for full body fitness without the stress. There’s a wide range of watersports out there for all ages, and when you take to the pool, you can get your swim on any time of the year. Water programs are no longer just for tiny tots or your active grandma — now there’s Aqua Zumba, a take on the hugely popular dance-oriented fitness program. Described as “one pool party you shouldn’t miss,” Aqua Zumba allows you to get your groove on while incorporating the natural resistance of the water. Try it out at MCC Lakeshore Fitness Center, 900 W. Western Ave. Muskegon., (231)722-9322. n



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Fitness & Health

Jammin’ at the Gym by Shelby Reno, owner of Grand Rapids’ CKO Kickboxing

If you’ve found yourself stumped by The Clash’s deeply philosophical question — should you stay or should you go? — now is definitely the time to go, go, go. But first, you’ll need the perfect soundtrack to keep you motivated and moving. The playlist below is taken straight from the library of strike-worthy sounds our members at CKO hear when they’re beating the hell out of their heavy bag. Wrap your hands, people. Let’s get busy!

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“Baby Baby” by Tropkillaz A typical warm-up engages the major muscle groups. A good start should include dynamic movement and stretching, which will mirror some of the deeper range of motion moves that the high-intensity interval portion of class will deliver. Brazilian Trap group Tropkillaz knows how to set the bar high with club banger hits. The duo has collaborated with big names in music, like Diplo, DJ Snake, Snoop and Major Lazer. Enough said. “Chelsea Dagger” by Fratellis Scottish indie rock band Fratellis provides a positive and fun energy, perfect for the warm-up segment’s second track. Heart rates are continuing to rise, muscles are solidly fired up and now ready for intervals which are designed to bring the heart rate beyond the cardio zone into anaerobic territory, then back into the aerobic levels, over and over. This efficient format is called “high-intensity interval training (HIIT)” and results in a high-caloric burn throughout class that continues up to 48 hours after the workout. For busy people, HIIT is the way to go. “Punks” by Freestylers If you like a breakbeat sound, Londonbased Freestylers delivers the best of it. This fight club anthem is perfect for integrating increasingly faster and more powerful punches into the drills and combos. Studies show that the harder and higher the intervals are earlier in the

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workout, the more calories you’ll burn over the course of the session. “Should I Stay Or Should Go?” by The Clash Classic rock, pop and new wave sounds pepper our playlists. Kickboxing is about harnessing your total core, engaging all muscle groups through heavy resistance training and bodyweight conditioning. It’s made easier (mentally, at least) by good music like The Clash. There is categorically no substitute to getting people to push through intervals and ramp up intensity. “Bass Shaker (Original Mix)” by Defkline If you don’t feel like getting lost in a sweet Public Enemy sample wrapped around a breakbeat sound, there’s something wrong with you! The beat is so rocksteady, it offers the perfect foundation for focusing on your punches and kicks. It’s fascinating to see what songs produce the most collective energy in a group fitness class. Over two decades of searching, I would put this song at the top of my list. Check. It. Out. “Get It Get It” by DMX feat. Snoop Dogg Snoop lovers, rally! This song takes some very different lyrical voices and turns on the blender. Bringing a mixed tempo track into a playlist is risky, but not if the trainer knows

how to use movement at the right time. This track empties out two-thirds of the way through, then picks back up out of nowhere. It’s a great time to throw in some military-style push-ups and isometricinspired moves like running planks and rocking hovers. The rest of the track cranks top-speed beats perfect for fastpaced bodyweight drills. “Stayin’ Out All Night (Boys of Zummer Remix)” by Wiz Khalifa Gloves off — hit the water. Let’s decrease heart rate and shift down from total body high-impact conditioning to muscle group targeting and static stretching, generally departing from the big mood-boosting HIIT portion. A proper cooldown is non-

negotiable if you want to stave off the soreness that can occur when you don’t flush out the lactic acid from the previous high-intensity workouts. Let Wiz take you there with a killer song. All that talk about partying is especially the perfect track if you’re heading out later with friends. “Cold Water (Lost Frequencies Remix)” by Major Lazer feat. Justin Bieber & MO Remixes are essential in any workout playlist — people like to hear music they know when they’re working out. For some, they work harder because they get lost in the lyrics of the familiar, which is ideal when you’re smoking your abs in a series of exercises targeted at your core. While the heart rate is falling, the intense burn from firing muscle groups like the obliques and transversus abdominis keeps you within the lower half of the cardio zone. “West Coast” by Junior Empire Game over! Wipe your bag down and any visible sweat on the floor and enjoy the caloric afterburn HIIT provides. West Coast brings the chill vibe most necessary for a quality cooldown. n


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Fitness & Health

Over the Snow and Through the Woods by Kelly Brown

When the snow piles up and the temperature drops, you can either don winter garb and head into the wilderness or curl up next to a fire with a hot toddy in hand. Both will keep you warm, but only one burns calories and breathes new life into the season. Turns out, anyone can learn to love Michigan winters if they’re willing to take an adventure. It’s time to pack a thermos, dress smart and head for the trails.

Skiers at Pigeon Creek Park trailhead.

Pigeon Creek Park 12524 Stanton St., West Olive, (616) 738-4810 Pigeon Creek Park is your go-to destination for all things winter related. This park in West Olive — between Grand Haven and Holland — offers trails for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, a small sledding hill, a heated bathroom and a lodge stocked with snacks to refuel after a scenic snowshoe around the park. You can rent snowshoes and skis on the property or bring your own and head out on the 10-plus miles of open trails. Want to try cross-country or skate skiing for the very first time? No problem. Pigeon Creek offers lessons for beginners and intermediates for only $8.

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6800 Cannonsburg Rd. NE, Belmont, (616) 874-6711 Everyone knows Cannonsburg has skiing and snowboarding, but this lodge has more to offer — Cannonsburg loves winter and all things that come with it. If you’re not looking to race down the slopes with friends, consider taking to the beautiful trails, open for fat biking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and more. All-day access tickets will run you $5, with an additional $40 for an all-day fat bike rental, so consider bringing your own (with helmet, of course).

Indian Trails Golf Course 2776 Kalamazoo Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, (616) 245-2021 Save golf for the warmer season and head to the course for some intense fat biking in the city. Every year, Indian Trails Golf Course closes for the season and in January opens

Courtesy Photo

its doors on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays to the fat biking community of Grand Rapids. With more than four miles of groomed trails, this course is a thrill for the newb or novice. Dates, times and prices change each season, but free demo bikes are available on Tuesday and Thursday evenings for those wanting to test out the fat biking trend.

Palmer Park 1275 52nd St. SW, Wyoming A go-to for avid cross country skiers, Palmer Park is known for its groomed trails with flatter areas that draw in skiers from around the area. Don’t own a pair but still want to try out the trails? No issue here. Those without gear can rent from the clubhouse for $8 per adult. Pro tip: Pack a sack with a lunch, or pick up some food from the clubhouse, and enjoy a scenic picnic out in the park. If that sounds too chilly for your tastes, instead warm up by the fireplace inside.

White Pine Trail From Grand Rapids to Cadillac Own snowmobiles and don’t want to lug them all the way to the bridge? No problem. Pack up your trailer, tow your snowmobiles out to the White Pine Trail north of the Russell Staging Area (4141 Russell Rd. NE, Cedar Springs) and get going. Here, it’s best to wait until a little later in the season, as trail regulations require more than six inches of snow for all snowmobiling activities. Be sure to observe speed limits and community regulations, as the trail is also open to skiers and hikers year-round. n












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Fitness & Health

Cold Brews, Hot Workouts by Kelly Brown


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ith all of West Michigan’s bountiful breweries and brewpubs comes the need for a solid workout to burn off those carbs. Local fitness, yoga and barre studios are beginning to catch beer fever, partnering with local breweries to forge a relationship between a satisfying cold brew and a hot and sweaty workout. All that hubbub you’ve heard about beer being the new recovery drink? Well, it’s sort of true. According to the Wall Street Journal and Men’s Fitness Magazine, beer isn’t an ideal lone source of carbohydrates after exercise, BUT if consumed along with additional carbohydrates and water, beer can be beneficial to your fitness routine. But who said we’re downing pints post-workout for the gains anyway? In beer city, it’s more about socializing and connecting with fellow beer and fitness enthusiasts than anything else.

83 Monroe Center St NW / Downtown GR / 616.608.1720 61 E 7th Street / Downtown Holland / 616.796.2100

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Bend & Brew at Twisted Hot Yoga. Courtesy Photo

Stretch and Sip Twisted Hot Yoga, located on the East Beltline in Grand Rapids, has partnered with Perrin Brewing Co. to bring an event called Bend & Brew to local West Michigan residents. On Bend & Brew nights, the large brewery becomes home to a clan of legging-sporting yoga junkies looking to twist out their spines and top it off with something refreshing. For just $10, anyone can participate in this community night. The fee includes an hour-long yoga class and a pint afterward, but be sure to bring your own yoga mat as no mat rentals are available. You can check Facebook for upcoming event details. Down Dog Yoga in Kalamazoo continues to seek beer-centric opportunities as well. The studio’s Yoga on Tap event is a “lighthearted yoga class” with “barrels of fun.” The class starts and ends in one of the local breweries and participants are encouraged to stay afterward to enjoy a pint with other students. For $20, you’ll be registered for an hour workout and a pint of beer at the end as your prize.

Pounding Pints and Pavement If you’re looking to strap on those running shoes, then consider the Wednesday night Hills and Stairs running group located in Grand Rapids. Believe it or not, runners absolutely love beer — there are plenty

of apps that let you know just how many beers you’ve earned (calorically speaking) on your trip that day. Founded in 2012, the Hills and Stairs group meets every Wednesday at Founders Brewing Co. The group threads its way through downtown Grand Rapids, passing landmarks like the Van Andel Arena and heading through the historic homes and hills on Fulton Street. At the end, the group circles back to Founders and enjoys a beer to rejuvenate after the lengthy run. Aside from a Facebook group (easily searchable) this group has no other internet presence. Try to spot them on your next Wednesday evening trip to Founders.

Drinks at the Barre Beer City Barre in Grand Rapids doesn’t yet offer beer to its participants, but the downtown studio is still playing off the city’s infamous nickname until then. You can step into the studio for an hour-long class featuring Pilates, yoga and strength training-infused movements and sweat out the beer you enjoyed at one of your favorite breweries the night before. Owner Cori Williams was inspired by the strong local beer culture when she opened her studio in September of 2016, and she hopes to bring beer and barre events to the studio in the beginning of 2017. Bonus points: The forthcoming City Built Brewery is located just a few doors down. Check the website — — for updates. n

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Newly Engaged? Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule | 4747 28th St SE, Grand Rapids

REVUEWM.COM | January 2017 |


New Holland Brewing’s new brewpub and distillery, The Knickerbocker, has arrived. Strategically placed at the gateway to Grand Rapids’ historic Westside, The Knickerbocker is a taste of many world traditions, rediscovered and presented with a fresh perspective. The Knickerbocker features a farm-fresh menu that celebrates the best of Michigan and Midwestern agriculture, craft beer, and craft cocktails, all handcrafted onsite, under one roof.



Restaurant listings arranged by region

Grand Rapids Bistro Bella Vita 44 Grandville Ave. SW. 616-222-4600 ITALIAN. One of Grand Rapids’ best dining experiences, featuring Mediterraneaninspired country cuisine, a swanky yet comfortable downtown atmopshere and personable service. BBV’s culinary team creates authentic, housemade recipes made with locally grown produce, fresh seafood and rotisserie roasted meats. Specialty gluten-free menu, and can prepare custom dishes for lactose intolerant, vegetarian, and vegan diets. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Mediterranean Country Cuisine and Martinis. CitySen Lounge 83 Monroe Center St. NW. 616-608-1720 AMERICAN. CitySen Lounge, located in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, is a bar with a big-city feel, offering exciting options for lunch, dinner and breakfast on the weekends. The focus is on fresh ingredients and a full bar with local brews, wine and creative cocktails. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner (Breakfast on weekends). OPEN: Open 7 days GO THERE FOR: Daily happy hour Divani 15 Ionia Ave. SW. 616-774-WINE. ECLECTIC. Divani offers a sophisticated environment, with chefs using Michigan-made ingredients in their creations, such as Dancing Goat Creamery, Otto’s Chicken, S&S Lamb, Ingraberg Farms, Mrs. Dog’s and Madcap. For the thirsty, the bar serves more than 300 types of liquor, 300 wines and 50 beers to complement each handcrafted meal. » SERVING: Dinner after 4 p.m. OPEN ON: Everyday but Sunday. GO THERE FOR: Wine and Local Cuisine.

Graydon’s Crossing 1223 Plainfield NE. 616-726-8260 TAVERN. An authentic take on the English Pub, with a huge selection of beers on tap and a menu that includes classic English dishes like Fish & Chips, Shepherd’s Pie and Irish Stew, as well as Indian specialties like

Marie Catrib’s 1001 Lake Dr. 616-454-4020 ECLECTIC. The East Hills eatery makes everything from scratch with local ingredients, and there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. Get there early for lunch, as there is almost always a wait. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Salads, soups and sandwiches. Rockwell-Republic 45 S. Division Ave. 616-551-3563 ECLECTIC. Menu offerings range from sushi to burgers and everything in between. The craft cocktail menu runs the gamut from classics like the Manhattan to more modern concoctions and the beer and wine menus are nicely curated. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Specialty cocktails, broad menu, lively atmosphere. San Chez Bistro 38 West Fulton St. 616-774-8272 SPANISH/ECLECTIC. San Chez is both a café and a Tapas Bistro, now both housed in the same room. This is a social setting where people can remember the one rule of kindergarten: sharing. Featuring small, delicious dishes, San Chez can satiate your desire for variety. It’s also a hidden secret for breakfast in downtown Grand Rapids, offering a great start to any day. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 Days. GO THERE FOR: Tapas, Breakfast, Sandwiches Terra GR 1429 Lake Dr. 616-301-0998 AMERICAN. Terra boasts fresh, healthy ingredients in every dish. The restaurant doesn’t feature one menu, either. It offers a Saturday and Sunday brunch menu, as well as menus for lunch, dinner, dessert, beverages, wine, happy hour and kids. The food is inspired by the seasons and ingredients come straight from one of Michigan’s many farms. » SERVING: Brunch Lunch Dinner. OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Fresh foods with ingredients from regional growers.

Wheelhouse Kitchen & Cocktails 67 Ottawa Ave. SW, Grand Rapids. 616-226-3319 AMERICAN. Nestled into the ground floor of Grand Rapids’ new Arena Place tower, this casual/fine dining bistro is all about refined, locally-sourced versions of classic dishes in a modern, yet intimate, atmosphere. With an 85-seat porch, Wheelhouse wants to provide a true community experience. » SERVING: Lunch, Dinner. OPEN ON: 7 days (Sat.–Sun. dinner only). GO THERE FOR: Tartines, outdoor dining.

The Winchester 648 Wealthy St. SE. 616-451-4969 ECLECTIC. This upscale bar and restaurant feels like it was plucked from Chicago’s Bucktown or Logan Square neighborhoods. A comfortable spot to drink or dine, with an always evolving menu featuring shared plates, salads and inventive sandwiches and specials. When available, some produce items are harvested from their garden across the street. » SERVING: Brunch Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: DIY Bloody Mary Bar Special, Yucca Fries.

Kalamazoo/Battle Creek Central City Taphouse 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall. (269) 492-0100 TAPHOUSE. If Central City doesn’t have the kind of beer you want on tap, you’ll probably find it with the 75+ bottles. OH, you say you’re not a beer drinker? Well, Central City offers 20 wine ‘taps’ and a full bar. If you’re not the drinking type, that’s cool too. There are a number of food options to pick from, including a raw menu, a pizza menu and the all-day menu, which features burgers, soups and entrees. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Diverse beverage selection. Fieldstone Grille 3970 W. Centre St., Portage. 269-321-8480 AMERICAN. Lodge-retreat atmosphere overlooking the Moors Golf Club natural wetlands. The “field-to-plate” menu features burgers, pizzas, steaks and some eclectic items like quail. Try the FSG chips, a combination of potato, beet and sweet potato chips. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Blue Burger, Almond Crusted Walleye, FSG Chips.

Lakeshore 8th Street Grille 20 W. 8th St., Holland. 616-392-5888 AMERICAN. This eclectic grille offers a mix of draft and bottled craft beers and a variety of pub classics and new, American beer-inspired dishes. Happy hour includes half-off appetizers and $1 off drafts. » SERVING: Lunch, Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: 28 taps of craft beer.

CityVu Bistro 61 E 7th Street, Holland. 616-796-2114 AMERICAN. A distinctive rooftop dining experience in downtown Holland with fresh gourmet flatbreads and an array of seasonal entrees. The contemporary-yet-casual atmosphere, full bar and unique menus make it the ideal spot for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days GO THERE FOR: flatbreads

Everyday People Cafe 11 Center St., Douglas. 269-857-4240 AMERICAN. REVUE Publisher Brian Edwards calls Everyday People Café his favorite restaurant along the lakeshore. The atmosphere is casual and upbeat, the staff knows its stuff about wine and food, and the seasonal menu is filled with meticulously prepared, eclectic comfort food like Butternut Squash Risotto, Braised Lamb Shank and Ahi Tuna. A great wine list and tremendous desserts. » SERVING: Brunch (Weekends) Lunch Dinner OPEN: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Gorgonzola Pork Chop, Greek Salad with Grandma Gigi’s Dressing (Edwards). Kirby House 2 Washington, Grand Haven. 616-846-3299 AMERICAN. The Grill Room doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it is — a chop house and grill. Atmosphere is warm with Tuscan tones, atmospheric lighting, classically cool music and leather booths. The menu focuses on steaks and chops and makes no apologies. The steaks are prime USDA choice, the seafood selection immaculate, and the wine and beverage list is top shelf. Relaxed and unpretentious atmosphere. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Nightlife. Salt of the Earth 114 East Main St., Fennville. 269-561-7258 AMERICAN. Salt of the Earth is a farm-to-table-inspired restaurant, bar, and bakery located in the heart of SW Michigan farm country in Fennville. Focuses on fresh, seasonal, and local ingredients whenever possible. Also serves up live music on weekends. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: House made rustic cuisine.

To submit or to correct information in a dining listing, e-mail

REVUEWM.COM | January 2017 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule

Erb Thai 950 Wealthy St. SE #1A. (616) 356-2573. Additional locations at 4160 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, Suite B, and 820 Michigan St. NE. THAI. Food rooted in traditional Thai cuisine, but also made to accommodate health conscious and special diets. Not too strong, not too weak, like harmony and melody. Marketing representative Molly Rizor was a Thai virgin when she went and is now glad Erb Thai was her first experience. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Peanut Curry Noodles.

Tandoori Chicken and Tikka Masala. A great casual atmosphere for drinking and dining. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Beer and authentic pub food.

REVUE’s dining listings are compiled by staff and minions. This is not intended to be a comprehensive list of restaurants in the region. For an expanded list, be on the lookout for new and improved dining changes on our website, The listings are not intended to be reviews of West Michigan restaurants, although we will inject some opinions into the listings based on staff experiences and personal preferences. To submit or to correct information in a dining listing, e-mail editor@


Table Talk

Forever Fresh The Sovengard’s Rick Muschiana & Patrick Conrade discuss their ever-changing menu

by Nick MackSood photos by Seth Thompson & Jeff Hage

The New Nordic movement, led by chefs like René Redzepi and his Danish restaurant Noma, has accomplished the seemingly impossible and spearheaded a local, “hyper-seasonal” movement in countries covered in snow for half the year. Now, one of Grand Rapids’ latest restaurants, The Sovengard, is looking to do the same here with a Scandinavian-influenced, Midwestern restaurant and biergarten with a focus on Michigan products. Revue sat down with Chef Patrick Conrade and founder Rick Muschiana to see how the grand experiment is faring. The Sovengard has an expertly curated beer list, with a refreshing number of beers from out of state. Was that intentional? muschiana: I think it was. Of course, we always want to support Michigan first, especially in our culinary program that Patrick has led. But it’s also a nod to those companies outside the state that are doing the right things and have been, if you’re talking certain wine or spirits, for hundreds of years. We have some tremendous breweries in Michigan — and on our beer list, too — but we also like to support those who are making some fantastic beer and share what else is happening outside our boundaries. And the food too? conrade : Yeah, kind of in spirit. But our climate (in Michigan) is very similar to some Scandinavian countries — you’d be surprised to see the similarities in cuisines. Plus, Michigan’s agricultural biodiversity contains such a large variety, and that allows us to pull items from across Michigan year-round. How does this play into your menu? muschiana : I think our secret mission is to define a Midwestern culinary tradition — or join that process — because it certainly exists in certain spots around the region. But when you think about it, it’s less recognizable (than), say, Southern food or a Pacific Northwest cuisine.

Smoked duck and country ham smorrebrod (Scandinavian open-faced sandwiches), paired with Brewery Vivant’s Farm Hand.

Right: A new dish, Chicken and the Egg (a miso bone broth, shaved winter vegetables, sous vide chicken, herbed biscuit, and fried egg), paired with the Aragosta Vermentino, Sicily.

Patrick, is a rapidly changing menu a hindrance to you or just the opposite? conrade: No, I don’t think so. We get in products that are at the peak of their freshness, and so our team will get together and see what we can do to pair flavors and textures with what we’ve got, or let the ingredients stand alone if need be. And it’s being conscious of what’s available, what’s in season, because working with the freshest ingredients is ultimately what makes it easiest. Rumor is, you guys are interested in being at the forefront of the fermentation and preservation movement in GR. conrade: Within reason, yes, we’d like to introduce those concepts. Some things, obviously, aren’t viable for restaurants because of health department rules and regulations. But on an individual level I think it is pretty important to return to older food storage processes in order to showcase these ultra-fresh ingredients for a longer shelf life. How important is that to a sustainable culinary tradition? Imagine living in Michigan a hundred years ago. Where would you get asparagus in the middle of wintertime? Your pantry! We always go back to the asparagus example because it tastes terrible out of season. Nowadays, you can get it “fresh” this time of

year up from Mexico, but it’s not the same as fresh, Michigan, springtime asparagus. And proper preservation techniques like fermentation or pickling are an old but efficient way to preserve those bright spring and summertime flavors in the dead of winter. And has everyone been receptive to the concept so far? Honestly, we’ve yet to hear a bad word about The Sovengard. muschiana: We’ve had a lot of encouragement from our guests, which is validating. I don’t know that we would have been able to open a restaurant like this even five years ago, but the amount of public curiosity to try new things — and the producers’ and farmers’ interest in growing new varieties — has all been very encouraging. What else makes The Sovengard’s experience unique? muschiana: A lot of times, guests will come in and ask their

servers to choose three plates for the table to split, and I believe that’s a culture that might not exist as frequently in other restaurants downtown. n


< Muschiana and Conrade in The Sovengard’s biergarten, slated to open this winter for (sheltered) outdoor dining.

The Sovengard, 443 Bridge St. NW, Grand Rapids; (616) 214-7207, HOURS: Mon.-Thurs.: 3-11 p.m., Fri.: 3-midnight, Sat.: 3-midnight, Sun.: 3-10 p.m.

REVUEWM.COM | January 2017 |

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You guys are committing to a seasonal menu too, right? muschiana: Yeah, the menu has already changed three since we opened (in August). For us, there’s no demarcation in when it will change, it’s literally a matter of what our farmers and sources can offer us on a week-to-week basis.



by Joe Boomgaard, Revue Beer Czar


Fish On

Thirsty Trout laps up top porter honors


all us traditionalists at Revue, but if you’re dosing your beers with a bunch of flavors, we become very suspicious that you’re trying to cover up mistakes. Perhaps that’s why the top three porters we rated in our recent taste-off — Dark Horse’s Thirsty Trout, Peck’s Porter from Tapistry and Latitude 42’s Powerline Porter — all fell into the traditional American or English style with no artificial flavoring. According to the Beer Judge Certification Program style guidelines, porters typically exhibit flavorful malty and roasty characteristics, often with a “significant” presence of caramel, nutty or toffee flavors for English styles, and chocolate and coffee for the Yankee examples. They’re not as thick as stouts, meaning they feature a medium body with a creamy texture and some astringency from the many roasted malts. Hoppy bitterness is more prevalent in American porters, where it helps to highlight the malt characteristics. Porters are a great beer when you want to drink something rich and robust, with their alcohol warmth providing some good vibes to complement a cold day. While there’s a right way and a wrong way to innovate and add flavors to beers, we’ve found yet again that traditional interpretations tend to suit us best. Said another way: We typically like to taste the ingredients that form the building blocks of each beer. Coconut, vanilla and other ingredients have their place, but are best when used sparingly. So interpret these rankings with that in mind. (Note: We would have liked to include Founders Brewing Co.’s Porter, but the bottle shops we frequent were all out at the time of this tasting.)

Highly recommended Thirsty Trout

Dark Horse Brewing Co., Marshall Score: 87.5 Brewer’s description: A rich, robust American Porter. Dark brown in color with medium to heavy body and hints of light roast. The aromas of chocolate cupcake lead the way to a sweet caramel and toffee body that finishes beautifully with hops.

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Revue: This porter lets the ingredients do the talking. One reviewer accurately described the aroma as being akin to sticking your head in a grain bin. It’s all about the malts, rich and roasty with notes of chocolate and a slight sweetness. Simple and brewed to style, yet somehow more interesting than most of the others we tasted.

48 | REVUEWM.COM | January 2017

Peck’s Porter

Tapistry Brewing Co., Bridgman Score: 85.25 Brewer’s description: English Robust Porter with entirely British malts and hops creating a dark, rich and flavorful porter with a hint of sweetness. (Winner of the bronze medal in the robust porter category at the 2014 Great American Beer Fest.)

Beer taste testers Nick Manes and John Wiegand

Revue: While this porter lacked in body, it made up for it in nearly every other category. It’s the consummate porter, with a dark color, sharp aromas from the malts, a somewhat creamy mouthfeel, and a pleasant mix of flavors that highlight roasty chocolate and a slight hop bitterness.

Powerline Porter

Latitude 42 Brewing Co., Portage Score: 74.75 Brewer’s description: The smooth robust style porter ale features symmetry between the complex malts and centennial and Perle hops. A perfect blend of caramel, coffee and chocolate, with subtle yet crisp roasted malt flavors, finishing clean and slightly dry. Revue: We liked the flavor of this porter to the point where we could overlook the unusual and somewhat artificial aroma. It pours with a much stronger head than the others here, and the flavors were spot-on, with a coffee-like roast and hop-fueled finish.

Recommended n n n

Porter Rico, Arcadia Brewing Co., Kalamazoo. Score: 72.5 Fifth Voyage, Cranker’s Brewery, Big Rapids. Score: 70.5 Serendipity, Beards Brewing Co., Petoskey. Score: 65.5

Also tasted Chestnut Head, ROAK Brewing, Royal Oak Porter, Bell’s Brewery, Comstock Vanilla Java Porter, Atwater Brewery, Detroit Vanilla Porter, Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewing, Kalamazoo Coconut Porter, Paw Paw Brewing n

Featuring Collaborative brews with:

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Lake Charlevoix rtist Brewing ing A Starv g in Brew

Tap is Brew try ing


Brew ission

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Barrel-Aged Collaborations with Grand Traverse Distillery & Two Lads Winery


German Menu Küsterer Original Weissbier: Winner at Great American Beer Festival!


February 11, 2017, at Right Brain Brewery 11 AM - Close Collaborative Brews , Live Music , Great Food , Local Art Right Brain Brewery * 225 E. 16th Street, Traverse City, MI 49684

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Last Call

Recipe by Maureen Di Virgilio / photos by Katy Batdorff

Bitter Apple With the return of Last Call, our goal is to highlight the craft of thoughtful, innovative cocktails created by local bartenders and mixologists. Our first drink, the Bitter Apple, comes from Long Road Distillers’ first-ever “Taking the Long Road Cocktail Competition,” which challenged local bartenders to create a premium libation with Long Road spirits. Maureen Di Virgilio from The Green Well in Grand Rapids walked us through her winning recipe. Based on a traditional Polish concoction which combines bison grass vodka with apple juice and lots of ice, this cocktail comprises certain tasting notes from the original — resiny, grassy, floral and tart — but makes use of local ingredients to provide a fresh and contemporary twist. For the Long Road Distillers competition, I found myself wanting to showcase the distillery’s vodka. I set to work on an infusion with floral, grassy Fuggle hops. My intent was to keep Long Road’s vodka with all of its remarkable texture and character as the base spirit, and then accent the drink with a small amount of the hop-struck version. I chose to add fresh apple juice, as it was by far more fragrant than store-bought. Fee Bros. Rhubarb Bitters enhanced the tartness of the fresh apple juice, and large, rough diamonds of dense, hand-carved ice provided the proper amount of chill and dilution. While the recipe might be simple, the flavor profile is meant to be deceptively complex.

How to Make a Bitter Apple 2 oz. Long Road vodka .25 oz. hop-infused Long Road vodka 4 oz. fresh apple juice 4 dashes Fee Bros. Rhubarb Bitters In a chilled collins glass, place 1 or 2 large, dense ice cubes. Add vodka, hop vodka, apple juice and bitters; stir gently for a few rotations. No garnish.

Hop-Infused Vodka 2 cups Long Road Vodka One 1-oz. package Fuggle hop pellets In a small sauce pot, heat vodka for 10 minutes over low heat (don’t boil). Add hop pellets and allow to infuse for 30 minutes. Remove and fine strain.

Fresh Apple Juice 3 Pink Lady apples 1 Honeycrisp apple Try to use as much of the apple as possible to retain the maximum amount of flavor. Leave the skin on and try cutting it in half and scooping the seeds out with a tomato corer. Cut the apples into pieces that are manageable for your juicer and juice away. Skim the foamy residue from the top. Strain. Yields about 16 ounces. n For more detailed instructions, visit




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