Revue Magazine, March 2017

Page 1

West Michigan’s Entertainment Guide for 29 Years

March 2017

Free! / Music / Art / Dining

Style Profiles: Aleka C Thrash Alyssa McElheny Ashley Triêu Erick Gerson Rodriguez Jonathan Jelks Kev Couture Rebecca Gohl

Ashley Triêu of Iconoclasp

Also Inside: Revue’s Guide to Love & Vice Grand Rapids' Newest Music Venue Opens

Style Liquid Lunch? Issue

Breweries embrace niche food to broaden their appeal

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Mt. Pleasant, MI • 1.888.7.EAGLE.7 •






Outdoor Concert









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




2/17/17 1:47 PM REVUEWM.COM | March 2017 | 3

COMING SOON Summer 2017

Brought to you by:

Relax at Rosa Free Musical Lunchbreaks. Every Thursday. May 4 – September 14, 2017 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Rosa Parks Circle

Roll’n Out Food Truck Festival May 21, 2017 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM Heartside Park

Movies in the Park The Premier Outdoor Film Series in GR. Returns June 2, 2017 7:00 PM Movie Starts Ah-Nab-Awen Park

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What’s Inside

March 2017 | Volume 29, Issue 3


What’s Going on this Month


Biz Beat


On Tour: Dawes


Local Music: Turkuaz


WYCE Songs We Like



The Style Issue


Indie Film: North By Midwest Micro-Budget Film Festival and Eclipse Awards


Comedy: Funny Girls


Comedy: Tonight Tonight


Style Profiles


Style File


Style Trend Talk


Restaurant Guide


Beer: Q&A with Laura Bell of Bell’s


Table Talk: Madcap Coffee


Last Call: SpeakEZ Lounge


New Madcap Location


Racheal Floyd


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)

Letter from the Editor


tyle is an art, and like any art, you really don’t have to be an expert to appreciate it. Even if your typical workday outfit is a thrifted button-up with a mysterious stain near the bottom that you tuck in some clearance-rack slacks (not that I’ve ever been there), you likely know style when you see it.

Really, it’s not so much about what you wear, but how you wear it. That’s what we learned when

talking to our local fashion experts for this year’s Style Issue. On the cover is Ashley Triêu, owner of Iconoclasp. She said style is all in how you carry yourself. Wear whatever makes you comfortable and wear it with confidence — that’s how you turn heads. If those button-ups and slacks are what make you feel good, own it. If you’re into bright rompers, high heels and wide-brim hats, rock those. Personally, I currently like to wake up and piece together an outfit from the pile of seven black garments on my floor, slip into some five-year-old Doc Martens, and put on a hat for 10 seconds before deciding not to wear it that day. The seven fashionistas we talked to (and took pictures of) this year come from all walks of life and each has their own extremely unique look. They’re the kind of people you’ll recognize from a distance by their signature style alone. Also in this issue, check out our interview with Laura Bell, the new CEO of Bell’s Brewery. Her father founded the Kalamazoo brewery when she was just 2 months old, and now she’s taking the reins of what’s become the largest craft brewery in Michigan. That’s what we call a legacy.

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

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

Contributing Photographers Katy Batdorff, Nicole Rico, Seth Thompson Advertising / 616.608.6170 / Kelli Belanger / Joe Langlois / Digital EditorS Kim Kibby, Josh Veal

’Til next time,

Find us online! Website: Twitter: Facebook: Instagram:

Josh Veal, Managing Editor

Upcoming is s ue s April: The Food Issue

May: Michigan Wine & Spirits Guide

Slowly but surely, West Michigan has eked out a reputation as a burgeoning foodie scene. In this issue, we explore the top locally-owned destinations for brunch, lunch, dinner and everything in between.

In honor of Michigan Wine Month, Revue will explore the industry in West Michigan, including local winemakers, the best places to drink wine and the top restaurants to pair Michigan-made wines with food. We’ll also look into what’s new in the region’s growing cider and mead scene.

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

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W est M ic h ig a n ’ s E nterta inment G uide

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 ©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.

On the cover: Ashley Triêu of Iconoclasp in the Style Issue. Photo by Nicole Rico. See interview on page 30.

REVUEWM.COM | March 2017 |


/// best bets

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



Broadway Grand Rapids DeVos Performance Hall 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids March 14-16, 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $37 A refreshing throwback, RENT reminds all of us of what life is really all about: love. The 1996 rock musical follows a group of young, poor artists in New York City’s East Village at a time when HIV and AIDS were an especially huge issue. The show has won a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award for Best Musical, among others. Surely some older RENT-heads will want to make the show, but the younger generation can relate to the concept of struggling to pay rent and focusing on the real meaning of life, beyond money and paying bills.

3/2-5 Disney On Ice: Dare To Dream

Van Andel Arena 130 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids March 2-5, times vary, $15, (616) 742-6600 Dare To Dream brings the most spectacular moments from all sorts of Disney movies to the rink, featuring the heroes of Tangled, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella and The Princess and the Frog. The princes, princesses and all their companions glide, leap and soar around the arena in this show for children and adults alike, with seven performances across four days.

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene


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Jeezy - The Trap or Die Tour

20 Monroe Live 11 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids March 3, 7 p.m., $30-$40, (844) 678-LIVE Though his original plan was just to be CEO of Corporate Thugz Entertainment, Jeezy soon added rapping to his repertoire. With hits like “Air Forces” and “Church,” along with collabs with everyone from R. Kelly to Rihanna, Gucci Mane and Usher, Jeezy is well-known beyond his native Atlanta. Opening the show is Lil Durk.

Midwest Regional Alternative Dance Festival


JD Eicher

Seven Steps Up 116 S. Jackson St., Spring Lake March 9, 8 p.m., $20-$30, (231) 557-7687 Youngstown, Ohio native JD Eicher returns to Seven Steps Up this March to tour his new album, The Middle Distance. The album takes a moodier tone, adopting a diary-like approach. Opening the show is Ruby Rose Fox.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Pyramid Scheme 68 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids March 9, 8 p.m., $16-$18, (616) 272-3758

Indie-rock band Clap Your Hands Say Yeah headlines the Pyramid Scheme this month. The band’s newest album, The Tourist, hit stores Feb. 24 and, according to NPR, it “shimmers, seethes and twitches in appealing new ways.” Also performing is Steady Holiday.

EverGreen Grass Band

Founders Taproom 235 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids March 9, 9:30 p.m., FREE, (616) 776-1195 The EverGreen Grass Band brings its brand of progressive bluegrass to Founders on March 11. Originally from Eu Claire, Wisc., the band prides itself on spirited shows and creating a “drink ’em down atmosphere.” Barbarossa Brothers, a folk-rock group from Saginaw, opens the show.


Midwest Regional Alternative Dance Festival

Epic Center and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Kalamazoo March 10-12, $25 per day, (269) 342-4354

The Midwest RAD Fest is back for its eighth year in Kalamazoo with some of the best dancers in the country. The weekend festival has more than 260 incredible dancers performing across five shows, each featuring seven to 13 performances. With those evening concerts taking place at the Epic Center, the festival also has a free screendance — dances choreographed and performed specifically for film — series during the day at the Alamo Drafthouse and

Cinema (which you should get to before it closes in April).

3/11 Juicy J – The

Five Michigan-based bands are performing at Shakespeare’s Lower Level this month. American Arson out of Detroit, Grand Rapids-based Jesse Ray & The Carolina Catfish, and Kalamazoo’s own 400 Rabbits, Hybrid State and Lucius Fox represent a variety of rock subgenres while sharing one unique similarity: They’re all two-piece groups.

Find more events in the Revue Arts section and at!

Rubba Band Business Tour

20 Monroe Live 11 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids March 11, 7 p.m., $30-$115, (844) 678-LIVE Juicy J has had a long career as a producer, a member of Three 6 Mafia and a solo recording artist. His hits span over 20 years, with songs like Stay Fly, Sippin On Some Sizzurp and the Academy Award-winning Hard Out Here For A Pimp. Check him out at 20 Monroe Live this month, along with opening acts Project Pat and Belly.

3/18 Electric Six


Currently infatuated with vampires, the Electric Six will stop by Bell’s Eccentric Café with its new batch of ghoulish, party-ready tunes. The Detroit natives will perform songs from their twelfth full-length release, Fresh Blood for Tired Vampyres. Warming up the stage are Residual Kid and Katy Needs a Life.

Shakespeare’s Lower Level 241 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo March 11, 8 p.m., $5, (269) 488-7782

Bell’s Eccentric Café 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo March 18, 8 p.m., $16-$18, (269) 382-2332

3/19 All Them Witches

Founders Taproom 235 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids March 19, 9 p.m., FREE, (616) 776-1195

Stopping in from Nashville, All Them Witches brews a potion comprised of psychedelia, bluesy soul and rock ‘n’ roll. The group’s newest concoction, Sleeping Through The War, came out last month. Fans of Tame Impala, Deep Purple or Pink Floyd might want to check out this free show. Sharing the bill is Irata.

3/29 Norma Jean

The Intersection – The Stache 133 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids March 29, 6 p.m., $18-$20, (616) 451-8232 One of a few bands to carry on without a single original member, Norma Jean has survived many lineup changes since ’97

but still managed to get nominated for a Grammy in 2006. Check out these metalcore mainstays at the Intersection. He Is Legend, Capsize and Comrades also perform.


Founders Film Series

Celebration! Cinema locations Various dates, $2 tickets

From February to April, Founders and Celebration! Cinema are teaming up to pair two of Michigan’s favorite pastimes: beer and movies. Once a week, a different Founders beer is chosen and available for purchase at a screening of a classic film. In March, the timing just so happens to work out that we get five flicks: Beverly Hills Cop with Centennial IPA on March 1; Pan’s Labyrinth with Porter on March 8; Gangs of New York with Dirty Bastard on March 15; Imperial Stout with The Grand Budapest Hotel on March 22; Rubaeus with Bridesmaids on March 29. n

Laughfest Grand Rapids March 9-19

You know what Laughfest is, but you might not know exactly who’s coming to Grand Rapids for this massive comedy festival. Legends like Katt Williams, Pete Holmes, Joel McHale and Iliza all headline this year, while events like the Clean Comedy Showcases provide a more family-friendly experience and local groups like Pop Scholars and River City Improv also take the stage.

Joel McHale

The teachings of Simon Sinek, brought to you by

Start With Why

speaker, Stephen Shedletzky

7 PM, March 15

RSVP 616.331.2770

REVUEWM.COM | March 2017 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

Free & open to the public Grand Valley State University Eberhard Center (2nd floor) 301 Fulton St. W., Grand Rapids, MI 49504


/// news

west Michigan

biz beat

A Roundup of Openings, Closings and other Local Business News


El Barrio Mexican Grill (545 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids) has closed, leaving a gaping hole of Latin cuisine on Michigan Street, which will be filled quickly by Palio Ristorante. Expanding from Ann Arbor, the Italian restaurant is giving the space a $400,000 renovation and makeover. The menu will feature high-end (this is the same restaurant grouop that owns The Chop House, after all) pizza, pasta and wine.


Following the many trials and tribulations of Cult Pizza — or the artist formerly known as The Pizza Experiment — a new dough-and-toppings enterprise is filling the space at 10 Jefferson Ave. SE, Grand Rapids. Good Pizza Co. has shifted the space’s vibe away from alt, punk and leftist to colorful, playful and pun-heavy. Good Pizza also picked up

a BYOB wine and cider license, and will offer by-the-slice options. Brown Butter Creperie and Cafe (1436 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids) has set up shop in the adorable windmill building that once held Cakabakery, which has moved to 919 E. Fulton St. Brown Butter finally is bringing to GR sweet and savory from-scratch crepes like the Blueberry Goat (goat cheese, blueberry compote, honey drizzle) and the Orchard (ham, apple butter, aged white cheddar, caramelized onion). If you’re the Ron Swanson type, Butcher’s Union (438 Bridge St., Grand Rapids) is for you. The West Side restaurant opened in February and specializes in meat and whiskey. Though if you’re more of a leaf-eater, they have plenty of options. The menu wasn’t finalized when we called, so you’ll just have to stop in and enjoy for yourself.

The new Matchbox Diner in Eastown, in the former Brandywine location.

is available all day, so brunch and brinner (that’s not a word yet, but we’ll get there) are always options. That’s not to mention the cocktails, craft beer and hand-dipped shakes.

Auntie Cheetah’s Soup Shop (2434 Eastern Ave. SE, Grand Rapids) is now open, hopefully helping to alleviate the deservedly-long lines at Uncle Cheetah’s Soup Shop, which you could probably guess is Auntie’s sister store (or would it be brother? Or husband?). The shop has nine rotating homemade soups available, with grilled cheeses and salads as well. Get it to-go or hang out inside. The Candied Yam (2305 44th St. SE, Grand Rapids) brings some much-needed soul to the city. With the help of Chef D, the restaurant is all about comforting southern cuisine, from country-fried chicken and pork chops to baked mac-and-cheese, collard greens and cornbread. Oh, also: shrimp and grits for $6.99.

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

As of last month, Matchbox Diner & Drinks (1345 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids) is stepping up the brunch game in Eastown. The new restaurant, which stands where Brandywine once was, offers omelettes, lox and latkes, and build-your-own benedicts, to start. For lunch, salads, soups, burgers and sammies take the stage, with dinner offering its own options as well. That being said, breakfast

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Lee & Birch (39 Courtland St., Rockford) now has a third location, this time in Rockford. The high-end boutique already has developed a following for its top-notch women’s clothes and accessories, and should fit right at home in the city by the dam.


Sadly, you have until April 3 to make it to Kalamazoo’s Alamo Drafthouse and Cinema (180 Portage St., Kalamazoo). The cinema is known for serving excellent food, beer and cocktails directly to your seat, with tables spanning the length of every row. Alamo also offered many specialty films, such as anime, limited-release and classics. On a recent visit to the theater, we overheard employees discussing a boom in business since announcing the closure. Don’t miss out — we still don’t know what comes next. n —Compiled by Josh Veal

If you have any closings, openings or other business news for REVUE, e-mail

honest food, friendly folks & great live music!

114 E. Main St. Fennville, MI | Info & Reservations: 269.561.7258 |

REVUEWM.COM | March 2017 |




great food Fri, Mar 3

$12 adv / $15 Day of

The Accidentals

Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

Jake Allen

Fri, Mar 10

Sat, Mar 11

Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

Free Admission


OUT, Jake Simmons and the Little Ghosts Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

Wed, Mar 15

$15 run only / $40 includes run, tech tee & beer ticket

st patty's day pub run Big Sam’'s Funky Nation

Sat, Mar 18

electric six

turkuaz Organ Freeman

Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene

Fri, Mar 24

$15 adv / $18 Day of

Mon, Mar 27


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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

3/9 David Molinari Duo 3/11 Organissimo 3/17 St. Patrick's Day Party w/ The Willeys 6-11PM

3/18 Electric Tunas 3/23 Deep Greens and Blues


Natchez Trace

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


$16 adv / $18 Day of Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

$15 adv / $18 Day of Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

$14 adv / $17 Day of Doors 7:30 pm — Show 8:30 pm


Free Admission

oberon release party

Thu, Mar 30



3/4 Kevin Jones Band

Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

Dan Andriano & Matt Pryor


Sunday Brunch 11am-4pm

3/2 Brant Satala Trio


Katy Needs a Life, Residual Kid

Sun, Mar 19



$12 adv / $14 day of

Super Happy Funtime Burlesque

Thur, Mar 16

live music

march shows

$20 adv / $25 Day of


Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

125 S. Kalamazoo Mall | 269-384-6756 |

/// on tour

An Evening with Death


Dawes brings new album to Kalamazoo with two-set show spanning discography


|  by Eric Mitts



Dawes appearances from Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard, My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, Wil Oldham and Mandy Moore. In support of the album, Dawes is currently on a 50-city tour, performing a full evening of music with two sets of songs selected from the entirety of the band’s five LP catalog. So far on the tour, the band has explored new arrangements for old songs — some of which haven’t been played live in years — including several new acoustic renditions. “I don’t know if any of us really knew what to expect with the Evening with Dawes shows,” Pardini said. “But I think we’re all in agreement that it’s so much fun to be able to play the hits, and also have the freedom to extend certain songs, and also get into some deep kind of jams, and then play some deeper album cuts. “It’s really a treat, because everyone has an opportunity to shine.” n

MARCH 15 MAD MAX: FURY ROAD Movie Party MARCH 20 & 22 Ann-Margret in TOMMY MARCH 21 THE FIFTH ELEMENT MARCH 26 A PASSAGE TO INDIA MARCH 27 Robert DeNiro in CAPE FEAR (1991) MARCH 28 Gregory Peck in CAPE FEAR (1962) MARCH 30 Olivia Newton-John in XANADU: THE GLOW-ALONG Visit for showtimes and tickets


REVUEWM.COM | March 2017 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

n the fleeting world of music, Dawes believes there’s only one guarantee: We’re all gonna die. That might sound awfully dark or even outright bleak, especially for a chilled-out folk-rock record released in these trying times. But for Los Angeles band Dawes, it’s a beautifully communal statement, capable of reassuring us that we’re all the same. That’s why the band titled its latest LP, We’re All Gonna Die. “It’s the one thing that we all know,” said keyboardist Lee Pardini. “Life is short and we’re not here forever, and you’ve got to make the most of it. A lot of songs on the record are stories told through that lens, where you have to make due, make the most of it, and just live your life.” The newest member of Dawes, Pardini is a graduate of the Manhattan School of and set about recording We’re All Gonna Die Music with a degree in jazz. He first crossed less than a year later. paths with Dawes back in 2012 at the Hardly “Even though Griff and Taylor are the Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco. only natural brothers, it does kind of feel They soon found out they had many like we all are,” Pardini said of the band’s other mutual friends back home in L.A. So chemistry. “We get along when longtime former Dawes great, and I think people can keyboardist Tay Strathairn feel that energy onstage. We decided to leave the band An Evening with just really like each other and in late 2015 due to musical Dawes love playing music together.” differences, Pardini quickly Kalamazoo State Theatre K now n for a L aurel received a call to come jam. 404 S. Burdick St., Kalamazoo Canyon sound, reminiscent “There was never any March 18, 7 p.m., $33.50 of Southern Californian sort of awkward transition,”, (269) 345-6500 singer-songwriters of the Pardini said of joining Dawes ’70s, Dawes last appeared four albums in. “They were in K alamazoo at Wings so welcoming and so open to Stadium back in 2013 while supporting the what I was bringing to the table keyboardone-and-only Bob Dylan. The band also has wise and personality-wise. It was such an toured with such other legends as Jackson easy thing for me to fit into.” Browne and The Band’s Robbie Robertson, Adopted into Dawes’ musical family as well as appearing at major festivals across — which also includes vocalist/guitarist/ the country. songwriter Taylor Goldsmith, drummer Released last September, We’re All Gonna Griffin Goldsmith and bassist Wylie Gelber Die was produced by former bandmate and — Pardini dove into the deep end. He played longtime friend Blake Mills. It features guest shows with the band almost immediately



/// on tour


Turkuaz Helps Bring Funk to the Mainstream |  by Dwayne Hoover

sarily know. In terms of your average person, I think a lot of people are learning what funk is for the first time, which is cool.” The band works diligently to bring its “Powerfunk” sound to the masses, not only with seemingly constant touring, but hen one thinks of funk music, it’s also an ability to crank out a significant number of well-arranged easy for the mind to leap to some of the genre’s early tunes. Turkuaz’s last album, Digitonium, boasted 24 tracks, and pioneers like James Brown and George Clinton. the band is continuously writing more, even while touring. And while it certainly never died off after its “On the road we have kind of a mobile demo production peak in the ’70s, funk has been making a significant comeback rig that we bring around,” Brandwein said. “Sometimes we’ll in recent times thanks to a number of modern bands that are be on tour, in a van or on the bus, writing and helping to propel its popularity. demoing stuff.” One such group, Turkuaz, has been a major But the hard work is paying off — Turkuaz player in the genre’s resurgence. This nine-piece Turkuaz has been enjoying some notoriety that’s brought Bell’s Eccentric Cafe ensemble out of Brooklyn enjoys a dedicated 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., the group to the cusp of mainstream success, innational following thanks to its relentless tourKalamazoo cluding a viral Facebook video with more than ing schedule and aggressive, yet accessible songs. March 19, 9 p.m. 2 million views and the New York Knicks using “These last maybe 10 years, (funk) is just grow$15 advance, $18 day of the band’s music at games. ing all the time,” said Dave Brandwein, vocalist show, 21+ Brandwein is excited for the future of not and guitarist. “It’s definitely around, and it’s a, (269) 382-2332 only his band, but the genre as a whole. He word that I think a lot of people don’t even neces-

Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene


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Turkuaz credits a growing number of groups who have been major contributors to this revolution of funk, including Lettuce, The Fritz, The Motet, Dynamo, Space Capone, Juno What?, Dumpstaphunk and Chromeo. “There are just so many emerging in the scene,” Brandwein said. “It just seems like it’s a really prominent thing, especially in the live festival scene.” n





REVUEWM.COM | March 2017 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

FOUNDERS film series


/// playlist

Songs We Like by Adrianna Walker, WYCE

This is a sonic collaboration among Revue, WYCE and AMI Jukeboxes. Play this mix as a playlist on AMI Jukeboxes, read about it here every month and stream it on Each of the bands featured will be performing in West Michigan in March 2017. Here are just a few highlights. Please check out the full streaming tracklist with venues and dates at

J.D. McPherson, “It’s All Over but the Shouting”

(The Pyramid Scheme, March 15) Bluesy piano licks, horns and soulful vocals. This is J.D. McPherson’s slightly modern take on R&B and rock ‘n’ roll, which could easily be confused for a 1950s record and will blow the doors off The Pyramid Scheme.

Jamila Woods, “Lonely Lonely”

(Calvin’s Festival of Faith and Music, March 30) Don’t let the hypnotizing rhythm and Woods’ soothing voice distract you from her empowering lyrics. The word “lonely” has a different connotation in this dreamy track from the up-and-coming Chicago artist.

Pink Martini, “Kaj Kolah Khan”

(DeVos Performance Hall, March 7) It’s OK if you don’t understand the language in this song. Pink Martini and its worldly ensemble return this month to take us on a Middle Eastern journey with this bouncy track.

Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene

Wilco, “Cry All Day”

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(Kalamazoo State Theatre, March 14) Jeff Tweedy sings this catchy, chugging tune completely unphased by the angsty and melancholy lyrics he has chosen, almost negating the fact that the song is literally about crying all day long.

“Magical Mystery Tour.” A lack of percussion emphasizes Belew’s impressive vocal range and the heavy string arrangement.

Slightly Stoopid, “Come Around”

(20 Monroe Live, March 25) Slightly Stoopid has created an eclectic mix of reggae, pop, rock, hip-hop and more. “Come Around” is a perfect embodiment of that genrespanning talent.

All Them Witches, “Don’t Bring Me Coffee”

(Founders Taproom, March 3) A no-nonsense song from a no-nonsense rock band, as you can tell by just a snippet of lyrics: “Don’t bring me no coffee, cause I don’t wanna hear it, and I don’t like the taste.” If you didn’t see the band last time around, catch the show this time. n

Adrian Belew, “Men in Helicopters”

(The Intersection, March 10) Belew’s combination of strings, vocal effects and quirky lyrics telling a silly story (men in helicopters fly, shooting rhinos out of the sky) sound like they could fit on the Beatles’

All Them Witches



FireK Casin


Marc JOB













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-28404_March_RevueMag_9.25x10.indd 1

REVUEWM.COM | March 20174:14| PM 21 2/17/17

Schedule | Dining | Sights Sounds | Scene

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17 20



Take it from Hipster Higgins, he loves beer... Good Beer > Green Beer

(269) 492.0100 (269) 492.3500 359 s. Kalamazoo Mall 3251 w. Centre ave. downtown KALAMAZOO


Revue’s Reviews Revue Arts has kicked off its review program of classical and jazz music, theater and dance performances all over West Michigan. All reviews are posted online at by the next day. Here are some snippets of what we’ve seen so far: “Cho’s combination of sensitivity and bravura is evocative of his predecessors and great Chopin interpreters, such as Artur Rubinstein and Vladamir Horowitz. Perhaps there is room for a tad more abandon in Cho’s playing, but Sunday’s concert indicated that the young pianist is on his way to earning a place among the greats.” —Samara Napolitan on Seong-Jin Cho at the Gilmore Keyboard Festival “The emotional fireworks and thought-provoking themes of To Kill a Mockingbird can tempt some directors to go to ill-advised ex-

tremes, but thankfully Espeland and his team opt for subtlety and tastefulness instead of Great American Novel razzle-dazzle.” —James Sanford on To Kill a Mockingbird at the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre “Although the space was small and noise in the audience could easily be heard, the performers were engaging enough to hold everyone’s attention. The crowded apartment felt more like a big family gathering than a formal play.” —Kayla Tucker on The Vagina Monologues at the Fuse Box

Read them all at!

indie film

by Josh Spanninga

Small Budgets, Big Screen Results


t d o e s n ’ t h av e to cost an arm and a leg to m a k e a mov i e . While big studios continue to pour millions into each of their films, there’s another style of film that has kept a steady presence in the shadow of big blockbusters: micro-budget films. The Public Media Network (PMN) of Kalamazoo hopes to take this uniquely frugal style of filmmaking and put it in the limelight with the third annual North By Midwest Micro-Budget Film Festival. “Well, we are a community access center, so part of our mission is to give a voice to people who don’t normally have a voice in media,” said Nick Eppinga, PMN public coordinations and outreach manager. “So we think that giving micro-budget filmmakers an audience is an important thing to do. It’s not only important for the artist, but for the audience as well, to be able to see movies made with more heart than budget.” The rules for this year’s festival are simple — filmmakers from around North America are invited to submit films to the festival, but only if the budget is less than $10,000. Then audiences get to come see the results (for free) on March 3 and 4. Ashley Morris, PMN marketing and promotions coordinator, assures audiences that they won’t be disappointed.

North By Midwest MicroBudget Film Festival

Epic Center 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo Saturday, March 4, 12–10 p.m. FREE

Special Screening of Buzzard Alamo Drafthouse 180 Portage St., Kalamazoo Friday, March 3, 8 p.m. Q&A with Joel Potrykus after the film $3 advance, $5 day of

Still from the short film Lemon Eyes, a period piece that takes place in 1920s Detroit. “Everyone that comes is just amazed by the content in general, and they really love how the festival is organized,” she said. Aside from a special screening of Buzzard at the Alamo Drafthouse, the entire festival will all take place in various rooms throughout the Epic Center on South Kalamazoo Mall. Those planning to attend are encour-

aged to register online, though organizers also welcome any last-minute additions to their audiences. The mix of short and feature films being shown at this year’s festival run the gamut from drama to comedy, animation and everything in between. One particular entry that’s not to be missed is Lemon Eyes, a period

piece that takes place in 1920s Detroit. With full costumes and set decorations, it’s hard to believe the film cost less than $5,000 to make, but Morris says that’s part of the fun of watching these films. “It’s people who have day jobs, and they love doing this on the side,” Morris said. “And they’ve grown from that and are super talented, because with less of a budget, you have to figure out creative ways to use your story.” n

The 2017 Eclipse Awards Gear Up to Honor Local Talent

Kyle Misak and Jesse Charles accept the award for Best Screenplay at last year’s Eclipse Awards. Photo: Dan irving

the local resources they engage in, the local community that they hire.” In the short time it’s been around, the Eclipse Awards has managed to recognize all kinds of filmmakers throughout Michigan and the number of locals submitting work has steadily increased. “Last (year) was our largest year, with 100 entries, which is significant,” Norton said. “We are on target to match that or do better this year.” This year, Los Angeles’ very own Fairway Film Alliance and Rogue Arts has agreed to offer “first look” rights to the winners in the narrative feature and documentary categories. This, in effect, brings the filmmakers one step closer to enviable industry connections and a

potential distribution deal, which fits in with WKTV’s goal for the awards. “It’s all about getting word out to these content creators that there’s this engine out there to give them recognition for their self-imposed slavery to their ideas,” Norton said. If you’re a filmmaker in Michigan and want to get in on this sweet deal, visit for more info on submission guidelines. Do it soon though; entries can only be submitted until 5 p.m. on March 27. The Eclipse Awards Ceremony City Flats Hotel, 83 Monroe St. NW, Grand Rapids Thursday, May 18, 7 p.m.,

REVUEWM.COM | March 2017 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining | Schedule


ith so many of Michigan’s local, independent filmmakers’ sweat and toil to bring their films to life, they deserve a fancy, red-carpet awards ceremony to celebrate their creations. The Sixth Annual Eclipse Awards do just that, taking place this year on May 18. The awards show was founded by WKTV with the intention of giving recognition to talented local filmmakers, and that remains the focal point to this day. “The Eclipse Awards is really geared toward the local homegrown filmmakers — people who are not necessarily studio-affiliated,” said Tom Norton, general manager for WKTV. “It’s fine if they are, but the purpose of the awards is to focus on the local content creators and


Comedy At The B.O.B. Grand Rapids, MI 616.356.2000

by Eric Mitts

Humor in Numbers

Funny Girls creates comedy by women, for everyone



March 9UGHFEST -19


Schedule | Dining | Sights Sounds | Scene

March 23-25



24 | REVUEWM.COM | March 2017

her e was a t ime , only a few years ago, when the Grand Rapids Improv Festival didn’t have a single all-female group in its lineup. Taking note, a group of women came together in 2015 to fill that void with Funny Girls, a mixed-media collective of femaleidentifying comedians, writers, bloggers, vloggers and more. “We began by reading our old journal entries and using those stories as a basis for long-form improv,” said Funny Girl Kristin Hirsch. “From there we grew into a comedy collective that does improv, sketch and stand-up comedy. We all came for different reasons, but I think the unifying reason was a desire to be a part of something that didn’t exist in Grand Rapids and to use our comedy to empower women.”

Part of the reason for the group’s fast Since then, the open collective — with growth is the strength of support the memaround 15-20 girls actively involved at any bers all give one another. given time — has become a regular part of “There is typically a lot of competition Comedy Outlet Mondays (COM) at the Dog in the entertainment world, even in the Story Theater (7 Jefferson Ave. SE). Grand Rapids comedy scene,” said Funny The group also has set up a home base at Girl Eirann Betka. “Being a collaborative The Fuse Box (120 S. Division Ave.). Every collective has helped us to rise above this third Sunday, Funny Girls invites anyone competition. I think something unique identifying as female to come work on comabout Funny Girls is that we edy or perform at the open mic. encourage each other within “We’ve grown very fast, group projects as much as we and part of that was because LaughFest: encourage individuals in their we’ve brought a new voice to Funny Girls own comedy journey.” the comedy scene that wasn’t Dog Story Theater The community also offers present before,” Hirsch said. 7 Jefferson Ave. SE, Grand Rapids a reprieve from the typical stress “That being said, our comedy is March 17, 7 p.m., FREE of daily life. not just by women, for women., “It is fun to be in a group Anyone and everyone can enjoy (616) 425-9234 of women and not worry about a Funny Girls show and find if your socks match or having something to relate to.” to watch your language or to be pressured into buying essential oils,” said Funny Girl Amy Gascon. “There is not a sense of keeping up with the Joneses that is common when groups of adults get together.” Funny Girls will be featured as part of this year’s LaughFest with a special Friday night performance at the Dog Story Theater on March 17. “Having our name included in the lineup for LaughFest is a huge honor,” said Funny Girl Kaira Williams. “Any time we can be associated with other such powerful women in comedy is a big win. I’m personally a huge comedy fangirl, so this is a dream come true. “We’re performing in the same festival as Iliza Shlesinger. That blows my mind.” Looking forward, Funny Girl Jenna Pope said the group hopes to work more on its organizational structure and create an LLC so it can continue to help young women find their voice, particularly in comedy. “I believe a lot of our impact has been ripples in a pond,” Betka said. “When one woman feels funny and empowered to tell her truth or to fight misogyny, she takes that to the stage, to work, to her home life. Big changes can come from small moments of understanding and support.” n

Funny Girls

Live from Grand Rapids, it’s Tonight Tonight!


rand Rapids finally has its very own live, latenight talk show. Tonight Tonight premiered at The Holiday Bar, back in August 2016, created by local comedians Andy Bledsoe and Stu McCallister. “Stu was running an open-mic at The Holiday Bar and was open to trying different kinds of shows,” Bledsoe said. “He did game shows and a couple of other different types of shows, not just regular stand-up. I had a crazy idea that I’d like to do a late night talk show, so I asked him and he was completely open to it.” Bledsoe, 35, has done stand-up for about four years. Although he’s a lifelong fan of David Letterman, he hadn’t always pictured himself behind a desk, making audiences laugh. “His sarcasm killed me every time,” Bledsoe said of the late night legend. “He’d set someone up and knock them down with a great sarcastic question. There are a lot of influences in the show I get from Letterman.”

In 1995, Grand Rapids was jokingly named as the new “home office” of Letterman’s show in one of his Top 10 lists. As such, it was only fitting that one of Tonight Tonight’s first bits be a Top 11 List, namely of rejected Founders beer names. “I’d have to say that I’m kind of a blend of Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon,” Bledsoe said of his hosting humor. “I’m not quite as bubbly as Jimmy Fallon, but I’m not quite as dry as Jimmy Kimmel.” Bledsoe and McCallister worked on writing the show with fellow comedians Jeremy Clymer and Matt Harper, who co-hosts with Bledsoe. Together, the team first brought Tonight Tonight to the Holiday Bar stage in August with featured guests Drew McCarthy from ESPN radio 96.1 and local comedian Dave Dyer. “It’s no discredit to them to say that they were the only ones that we could get, but they were fantastic,” Bledsoe said. “The first show

LaughFest: Tonight Tonight with Andy Bledsoe

The Holiday Bar, 801 5th St. NW, Grand Rapids March 13, 8 p.m., FREE, (616) 456-9058

was kind of a testing of the water and getting our feet under us.” With that first successful night under their belts, they returned in October with Eric Zane from 107.3 WBBL and McCallister as guests, along with a stand-up set from local comedian Ricarlo Winston. However, the show really made its mark in December when Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss was a guest for the third show, with comedians Adam Degi and Gerrit Elzinga. “Crowd-wise, it was our biggest show so far,” Bledsoe said. “It was nice to not only have

the hard work pay off, but to have people actually see it.” The hard work is continuing to pay off, as Tonight Tonight has been selected as one of the official community showcase shows for this month’s LaughFest. As of press time, Bledsoe and company hadn’t finalized the special guests for their LaughFest show, but they have high hopes of possibly getting some surprising names in their seats. For now, he wants the show to just continue to grow the way it has every month at The Holiday Bar and hopefully return as a featured paid show at next year’s LaughFest. “I have several guests that I’d like to get,” Bledsoe said of his future plans for Tonight Tonight. “One thing we’d like to do at some point is have what I’d call a bigger show, where maybe we rent out Wealthy Theatre or some other larger venue and try to get some sort of a fundraiser together.” n







Located at 38 W. Fulton St. (2 blocks East of Van Andel Arena) • 616.774.8272

REVUEWM.COM | March 2017 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining | Schedule


San Chez has been serving meals that people love to share since 1992, and we’re bringing back 24 of the best-of-the-best dishes to enjoy again. Follow us on Facebook to see our two throwback features every month — for a limited time only!


Concerned About “Fake News”? Here’s what we’re doing about it. The World Affairs Council brings in experts who have the real scoop: diplomats; policy makers and practitioners; think tank specialists; and others . . .

Come to a discussion . . . they continue through April 3rd

Monday, Mar. 13th: “Afghanistan: Fight . . . or Run?”

Amb. Ronald E. Neumann, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan (former), Washington, DC

Monday, Mar. 20th: “Is it all Politics? Trade and U.S. Jobs”

Jeremy R. Haft, Georgetown University, Washington, DC

Monday, Mar. 27th: “The EU: An Uncertain Future”

Dr. John McCormick, Professor of European Union Politics, Purdue University

Monday, Apr. 3rd:

“Shifts in the Sand: U.S.-Saudi Relations”

Simon Henderson, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Washington, DC

Monday Evenings 6-7:15pm Aquinas College Performing Arts Center (map: Public invited. No reservations needed. Free parking. Only $10 a discussion. Sign up for free advance notices of events at an event or online.

Watch for our “Give Peace a Chance” Discussion Series with Kent District Library.

Starts Thursday, April 13th. Sign up for advance notices at The World Affairs Council has been educating about American foreign policy and global issues since 1949. We’re non-partisan and non-advocacy. Nothing fake about us.

1700 Fulton East, Grand Rapids 616.776.1721.

MARCH 2017

Finding Direction Racheal Floyd breaks through the 'industry of privilege' SEE PAGE 6A.

Story by Justine burdette & Josh Veal. Photo by Seth Thompson.



HONEY, I BLEW UP THE ART Inflatables fill the Muskegon Museum of Art



PITCH PERFECT The best acoustic spaces in West Michigan



ACTING OUT Everywhere’s a theater for Bare Backstage

Joey Alexander

Wu Han

Marc Cohn

St. Cecilia Music Center



Post-concert dessert and wine reception included in ticket!


In this thrilling program of works by Leclair, Françaix, Ravel, and Chausson, CMS Co-Artistic Director, pianist Wu Han, heads up a cast of six CMS artists who are sure to dazzle and delight with their incomparable virtuosity.

March 16





13-year old piano jazz prodigy! He’s the youngest Grammy nominee in jazz—featured at the White House and on 60 Minutes.

March 23


An all-star ensemble with eight of the finest performers in jazz today celebrating the music of Miles Davis.

May 4



24 Ransom Ave NE Downtown Grand Rapids









Grammy award-winning bluesy rock ’n’ roll mixed with rootsy soul.

March 14


A country music rising star sensation—you will be hooked if you aren’t already!

April 6


Don’t miss one of our generation’s most soulful and compelling singer-songwriters.

April 13

March Music Madness WE HOST GRAMMY® WINNERS. LEGENDS. EMERGING ARTISTS. SINGERSONGWRITERS. FULL BANDS. ROCK. ROOTSAMERICANA. FOLK. BLUEGRASS. Artists and fans say we’re one of the best live music venues in the country. We have a full bar available with craft & domestic beers, fine wines & premium spirits.

Box office 616.930.4755 or visit




3/3 3/5 3/7 3/10 3/11 3/14 3/15 3/17 3/24


4/1 4/2


$20 $25 FREE $18 $20 $35 $35 $22 $20 $18* $25


Scan for info and while you’re at it, sign up for our email newsletter!

Seven Steps Up

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


Live Music & Event Venue

REVUEWM.COM | March 2017 |




w/ Special Guest




Covenant Fine Arts Center| 8:30pm | $15 or FFM Pass

w/ Vegabonds




Covenant Fine Arts Center| 8pm | $20 or FFM Pass

w/ filmmaker Brandon Vedder

Covenant Fine Arts Center| 8:30pm | $20 or FFM Pass


March 31 | 7:30 p.m. | $15 Stax-style southern soul, raw funk band.



w/ Special Guest

Covenant Fine Arts Center| 8pm | $18

12 Tickets available at,

TTC Bookstore




MAY 3 | Overcoats w/ Special Guest MAY 10 | RY X w/ Special Guest

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

w/ Special Guest

616.526.6282 4A | REVUEWM.COM | March 2017

Dave Poster


Covenant Fine Arts Center| 8pm | $38 ALSO COMING UP:



Sharing bills with megastars Erykah Badu, The XX, Goody Mob, Kendrick Lamar, Dumpstaphunk and opening for The Temptations and Aretha Franklin, this powerhouse and her band have made a name for themselves.


Piano Master: András Schiff András Schiff is playing exactly four recitals in the states this year. There’s New York’s Carnegie Hall, Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center, San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall, and then the Chenery Center in Kalamazoo. Needless to say, it’s a big get for Kzoo, and more specifically for the Gilmore Keyboard Festival’s Piano Master series. Schiff has earned himself Grammys, Gramophones and a Knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II. He’s even been described as one of the greatest musicians Hungary ever produced. Schiff recently recorded an all-Schubert album and as such is performing an all-Schubert set at Chenery, bringing along his very own Bösendorfer piano. —Staff pick by Josh Veal


Piano Master: András Schiff Chenery Auditorium 714 S. Westnedge Ave., Kalamazoo March 11, 8 p.m., $30, (269) 342-1166

Postcard Salon Miniature, postcard-size works in a wide array of media return to Muskegon Museum of Art for two weeks, bringing together artists and collectors of all ages to support original art in West Michigan. The Postcard Salon Exhibition and Sale is a true community event that celebrates artists of all skill levels and serves as a fundraiser for the MMA. The exhibit, on display through March 9, culminates with a big party and sale on the final night. Past years have seen more than 1,000 cards on view, and visitors can spend hours hunting for favorites. All cards are sold for $30 and the MMA splits the sale 50/50 with artists. —Staff pick by Marla Miller

Joey Alexander Jazz prodigy Joey Alexander has performed at the White House, the Grammy Awards, Lincoln Center and prestigious jazz festivals around the globe. This month, the 13-year-old arrives in West Michigan with his enthusiastic piano jazz. Alexander is completely self-taught and has captivated critics, fellow musicians and TED-talk viewers alike, since Wynton Marsalis invited him to perform at the 2014 Jazz at Lincoln Center gala. Don’t let his young age fool you — his imaginative interpretations, dynamic sensitivity and emotional depth convey the prowess of a seasoned jazz veteran. —Staff pick by Samara Napolitan


Joey Alexander Royce Auditorium St. Cecilia Music Center 24 Ransom Ave. NE, Grand Rapids March 23, 7:30 p.m., $38 and $43, (616) 459-2224


Postcard Salon Muskegon Museum of Art 296 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon March 9, 5:30 p.m., (231) 720-2570


RACHEAL Back when the state of Michigan had a tax incentive for films, people like Racheal Floyd had it a little easier. Big-screen movies like End of the Tour, with Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Segel, came to Grand Rapids, but now Floyd has to go to them. After working abroad on films like Fast & Furious 8 and All Eyez On Me, and shows like Being Mary Jane, Floyd is returning home (at least, for a moment) to work on her own projects. We talked with Floyd about her aspirations for the future and her take on the film industry at large.

Have you seen any issues with inclusivity in the film industry? It’s definitely a white male-dominated industry. I think it’s because it’s an industry of privilege. How so? In order for you to make a film as an independent filmmaker, for example, you have to have a certain amount of capital to invest in that. Historically, it’s more difficult for minorities to access those resources, and then on top of that, in order for me to pursue film full-time, I had to take a cut in what I was getting paid and let go of a lot of benefits.

Racheal Floyd. photo: Seth Thompson

How has that lack of diversity in the industry affected you personally? With me, I’m a production assistant and I’m slowly rising up the ranks in the production world. Because of that, I have more leadership roles, and even in those, there are men who don’t want to respect me in those positions or feel like they know more than me because I’m a woman or because I’m black.


Production Assistant and Director

How do you handle that? I just always try to be respectful, but firm. I’m always trying to reason with them. I’m very collaborative. I’m not going to sit here and say that I know everything and I’m always right. So I’ll say, ‘Well, what do you think should happen?’ But then, once I put the ball in their court, they’re like, ‘Oh. I guess what you said is OK.’ … Once they see that you know your s***, they’re not going to mess with you anymore. Do you feel like that’s changing? I was just having a conversation with a group of friends that we might be upon a black renaissance in filmmaking. Between Moonlight, the HBO series Insecure and the FX series Atlanta, the writing in all of those is very fresh and very accurate in the portrayal of African Americans. How does that make you feel, as a creator? Those things are exciting. I do feel like that will open the door to more projects like that. And there are some more directors of color that are coming up. I think it’s inching in the right direction, which is exciting for me, especially because I have projects that I want to introduce into the world. Can you talk about any of those projects? I’m working on this independent film called Black Girls Be Like. It’s aimed to portray black girls in a different light. It’s based on my experience, when I worked at Grand Rapids Public Schools. I want it to be shot in GR and use talent in Michigan. Our plan is to shoot this year. What kinds of issues does the movie explore? Basically, the story plays with the idea that who we become is based on who we once were. As children, who we are and how we’re shaped is directly correlated to how we are now. Black kids in general

don’t get a chance to be kids. Too often, they’re stereotyped and labeled and lose their childhood way too soon. Those are some of the things this movie deals with. How do you hope this movie will help with those kids? The students in GRPS, the major thing I’ve seen is a lack of exposure. If you live in a 12-block radius and that’s all you’ve seen your entire life, you don’t know what’s outside. … When I worked there, I taught video production to the students as an afterschool program. They saw a whole new world. … I used to tell the students that every single talent can be used to help make a movie, from cooking to sewing to literally anything. I really want to shoot it there so they can see someone that looks like them and came from the same place making something tangible.

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.

///SELECTIONS////////////////// /////Blind Chance (1981) Thursday, March 2, 2017 7:00 pm

/////Rome, Open City (1945) Thursday, April 6, 2017 7:00 pm

Do you hope to accomplish anything else with your films? All of my stories include strong female leads. It’s what I definitely want my mark to be in film, to give a voice to people who aren’t normally represented. I feel like everyone has a story that needs to be told. If I can tell a couple of those, that’s important. Why is that important? For me, I’m considered African-American or a woman, but I’m an American. … My story is just as American as anyone else’s. It’s so important to include us in the conversation in filmmaking, because it’s such an awesome medium that converges so many artists’ voices into one. We helped shape the fabric of the American story. Leaving out women and minorities makes America unfinished. ■

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

—Interview conducted by Justine Burdette and condensed by Josh Veal.




Lois Dodd, "Dooryard View," oil on Masonite, 2010, 16" x 20". Photo courtesy Alexandre Gallery, New York

Cool, Calm & Collected Collectors Show brings NYC and ArtPrize art together for sale by Marla R. Miller

After watching ArtPrize explode as an international art competition, West Michigan native Tyler Loftis wanted to find a way to connect the art world in New York City, where he now lives and works as a painter, with his Midwestern roots. Loftis and Second Ave Arts out of New York City have partnered with ArtPrize to present a curated show designed to promote collecting artwork in West Michigan, along with forging artist-collector-public

8A | REVUEWM.COM | March 2017

relationships through a three-day showing at the ArtPrize HUB. Loftis organizes and curates the Collectors Show twice a year, once during the preview week of ArtPrize and once in the spring. Besides giving a platform to ArtPrize artists to show and sell their work, Loftis brings along work from worldrenowned artists like Arthur Dove, Philip Pearlstein and Robert De Niro Sr., among others. By carefully selecting and hanging the work, Loftis wants to show, rather than tell, what a unique and forward-thinking platform ArtPrize is for the region. “It’s a visual thing, being able to see it next to each other,” he said. “The whole idea is to bridge the communication between the two different cultures to show how amazing the art is happening in Michigan and how well the New York art shows in Michigan.” The show in March will be the fourth installment, featuring 50 to 60 contemporary artists, including 30 past and present

Spring Collectors Show

ArtPrize HUB 41 Sheldon Blvd. SE March 3, 6-10 p.m. March 4, 12-8 p.m.

ArtPrize artists shown alongside the featured NYC artists. “The diversity of the past three shows has been extraordinary — age, ethnicity, career level,” he said. “I believe we’re doing something very exciting and avant-garde here.” The art is priced from $300 to $50,000, with something there for everyone, he said. All work in the show is for sale, priced at 10- to 20-percent below market prices to encourage collectors in West Michigan to connect with these artists. Plus, 20 percent of sales go to support arts education at ArtPrize 2017. “The results have been super positive financially for the artists and collectors, and the quality of work has really been amazing,” he said. “I take a break from my schedule, my work out here, to fly back

there and do this. It’s a historical, educational thing that gives these artists an incredible platform.” This Collectors Show will include work from Eugene Delacroix — a famous French painter from the 19th century — Alex Katz, Fairfield Porter, Philip Pearlstein, Lois Dodd, Robert De Niro Sr., Paul Resika, and Louisa Matthíasdóttir. A few of the artists are still living, now in their 80s and 90s, Loftis said. Loftis, creator and juror of the Collectors Show, has relationships with artists and dealers in New York, which helps make the show possible. He ran the nonprofit Fire Barn Gallery in Grand Haven for four years with a similar mission to present shows by local and world-renowned artists together. “The reasons for doing it are a lot deeper,” he said. “It’s not about hosting a random show — it’s more about being part of history, part of something that traditionally hasn’t happened there. We have very rich musical traditions in the Midwest. That’s my heart and where I’m from, but visually, we just don’t. “My belief is the Midwest has a lot to give the rest of the world visually, it just needs to have a vehicle to get out. I feel ArtPrize is the next step.” ■

FRIDAY NIGHT MUSIC, MOVIES, AND MORE at the 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 two music light shows are available each month. See detailed information online or pick up flyers at the KVM.

• Friday Art Hop visual experiences open at 5 p.m. FREE • Friday Art Hop live music experiences and other special programs begin at 6 p.m. FREE • Music Light Shows begin at 6:30 and 8 p.m. $3

MARCH 3 Fretboard Festival Kickoff Concert with Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys (Americana, Roots)

FRIDAY, MARCH 3 6 PM - 8:30 PM

APRIL 7 Foodways Symposium Kickoff with Toni Tipton-Martin & Statewide Astronomy Night 6–9 p.m.

Kickoff Concert with Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys

SATURDAY, MARCH 4 2017 kalamazoo 10 AM - 6 PM


The 12th Annual Kalamazoo Fretboard Festival invites visitors to meet instrument designers and learn about their trade, attend workshops for a variety of stringed instruments, and hear live performances from area musicians.


New this year is Coffee and Donuts with the Luthiers from 10 to 11 a.m.

The Kalamazoo Valley Museum is operated by Kalamazoo Valley Community College and is governed by its Board of Trustees 269.373.7990 230 North Rose Street Kalamazoo, MI 49007

Visual Experience: Kristina Lechner’s “Food Not Food” Art Exhibition (Mixed Media) MAY 5 Live Music Experience: Off the Ledge (Alternative Rock, Blues, Grunge, Folk, Funk, Jam Band, Jazz Rock) Visual Experience: Brooke Beaverhausen’s Steadfast Stitching Art Exhibition (Quilts/Mixed Media) JUNE 2 AniMotion Festival Kickoff Event: Aubrey Rodgers’ “The Art of Animation” Presentation

FREE GENERAL ADMISSION Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Art Hop Fridays 9 a.m.–9 p.m. Sunday + Holidays 1 p.m.–5 p.m. Closed Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas

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 | March 2017 |




Adapted for the stage by


Based on the children’s book by


Momoyo Torimitsu "Somehow I Don't Feel Comfortable." Photo: Keizo Kioku

MARCH 10 – 19

Big, Squishy Art

For tickets call: 269-387-6222

Inflatable art exhibition takes over Muskegon Museum of Art Cathleen Huling, Artistic Director by Marla R. Miller

Spring Concert 2017

Celebrating This Ballet Arts Ensemble performance is co-presented with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra

A mixed-repertory concert featuring Rodeo (excerpts) It’s All About . . . (based on Kirk Newman sculptures) The Dinner Party

Saturday, March 18, 2017 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm

Chenery Auditorium 714 S. Westnedge Avenue, Kalamazoo

Tickets on sale at Miller Auditorium Fresh flower bouquets by Schafer’s Flowers available at the door while suplies last.

10A | REVUEWM.COM | March 2017

box office (269.387.2300) or online at <>.

Special ticket rates for groups of 20 or more are available.

Pink bunnies, a life-size Trans Am, reclining Buddha — they have more in common than you think. They’re all large, inflatable and considered works of art, at least at the Muskegon Museum of Art. Whimsical and fun inflatable installations have taken over MMA’s Walker A and B galleries as part of the traveling Blow Up: Inflatable Contemporary Art exhibit. “It just looked immediately appealing in that it was very contemporary and very different than anything we’ve done here,” said Art Martin, senior curator and director of collections and exhibitions. The exhibit explores the imaginative ways that artists use air and unique, flexible materials to create large-scale sculptures that are accessible, yet rich with meaning. The works also help open a dialogue about pop culture and social norms. They have an all-ages appeal, which is fairly unusual for art being made in the region. “I think that makes it a unique oppor-

tunity for our guests to see this without having to go to a bigger city,” Martin said. The exhibit arrived in a relatively small box and came with a 70-page installation manual. Then, MMA staff had to use fans and pumps to inflate 12 large-scale sculptures and a group of smaller works. Many of them are made of the same vinyl material used for bounce houses and rely on continually-blowing fans. “The first impression for our guests is just how much the size of these things and

Guy Overfelt's life-size replica of the Trans Am from Smokey and the Bandit. courtesy photo

[VISUAL ARTS] the sound of the fans are going to be completely alien within our space,” Martin said. “They’re big, especially for kids. They’re going to be dwarfed by the work.” The exhibit, funded through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, was organized by the Bedford Gallery at the Lesher Center for the Arts. It's currently on a national tour. One piece was commissioned for the exhibit, while others were acquired from artists who create inflatables and were invited to contribute to the show. For instance, the 14-foot-tall pink bunnies debuted in Japan and served as a commentary on the small spaces that Japanese people have to live in, as well as the popularity of the Hello Kitty phenomenon among children and adults. “The bunnies were made exclusively for another space,” Martin said. “They’re meant to feel crammed into a room. They’re meant to feel too big. This cute thing suddenly towers over you and overwhelms your feeling of the space in the gallery.” Some pieces will be familiar to viewers, while others bring the wow factor, like the Trans Am. Martin noted that the car typically embodies masculinity, power and speed, and yet it’s a big, squishy sculpture. It’s a unique and interesting exhibit that’s intended to play with the visitor’s sense of scale, along with color, sound, texture and the very idea of what art is. Other large-scale sculptures include the reclining Buddha figure, two superhero robot figures and an elephant. “There is a strong sense of play to it that I think gives it a very welcoming nature, and then once you’ve made that introduction, there are those other themes to explore,” Martin said. “It’s the big gorilla in the car lot. It’s the waving guy outside the furniture store. They are trying to do more than get your attention — they’re trying to communicate ideas to you.” ■

PREVIEW This month, we have two annual competitions, two shows all about presents, and a bi-annual exhibit happening for one weekend at the end of the month. Get yourself to a gallery, especially since this month is your last chance to see some of these shows. by Dana Casadei

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park 1000 E. Beltline Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, (888) 957-1580

Ai Weiwei: Natural State Through 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 Prints and Processes Through June 25 Finders Keepers: West Michigan Collects Through April 30 Black Waves: The Tattoo Art of Leo Zulueta Through Aug. 27

Blow Up: Inflatable Contemporary Art

Art in Bloom March 24-26

The bi-annual exhibit will take place this month for one weekend only. Combining the beauty of art and floral design, Art in Bloom showcases floral arrangements created by some of the region’s top floral designers. Each floral design was inspired by pieces from the museum’s collection and builds upon concepts from the original artwork. Maybe pop an Allegra before you go.

LowellArts 223 W. Main St., Lowell, (616) 897-8545

LowellArts West Michigan Art Competition March 4-April 15 The KIA isn’t the only gallery with a competition this month. The 31st annual LowellArts West Michigan Art Competition will showcase pieces by lower West Michigan artists from more than 20 counties in the new location. This year’s guest juror is Nichole Maury, an associate professor in the Printmedia Area and curator of the University Print Collection of the Gwen Frostic School of Art at Western Michigan University (not sure how she fits that on a business card).

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 314 S. Park St., Kalamazoo, (269) 349-7775 Wadada Leo Smith: Ankhrasmation, The Language Scores, 1967-2015 Through March 5 Luminescence: From Salvage to Seascape, Sculpture by Sayaka Ganz Through March 19

Muskegon Museum of Art 296 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon Through April 23 muskegonartmuseum. org, (231) 720-2570

Out of the Fire: Masterworks of Ceramics Through March 12

Black Waves: The Tattoo Art of Leo Zulueta

West Michigan Area Show 2017 March 4-May 28 The annual juried show, which has taken place since the 1960s, displays pieces

created by West Michigan artists in every medium imaginable. This year’s experienced juror with the job of selecting artists from more than 500 submissions (quite a few for one person) is Fiona Ragheb, a Detroit-based curator with more than 20 years experience. Pressed for Time: History of Printmaking March 18-July 2 This exhibit takes viewers through centuries of printmaking, beginning with a 15th-century woodcut by Michael Wolgemut and continuing through to the 21st century, with a silkscreen print by Shepard Fairey. Pressed for Time examines each of the four main processes of printmaking in the Western world: relief (woodcut), intaglio (etching, engraving), planographic (lithography) and stencil (screen-printing), as well as a brief look at the medium of digital printing.

Muskegon Museum of Art 296 W. Webster. Ave., Muskegon, (231) 720-2570 The Preacher and His Congregation Through March 5 David (Shannon) Goes to the Museum Through April 16 David Shannon, children’s book author and illustrator, is displaying 75 original illustrations, including sketches and final illustrations for his book No, David!. Shannon’s work has appeared in magazines and newspapers such as Rolling Stone and the New York Times. His first book, How Georgie Radbourn Saved Baseball, was named a New York Times best-illustrated book and No, David! received a Caldecott Honor (a huge deal in the illustrator world).

Saugatuck Center for the Arts 400 Culver St., Saugatuck, (269) 857-2399 TEXTILE PLAY: The Magnificent Eye of Alexander Girard Through March 24 Corridor Series - Reactions: Works by Audrey Ferris Through March 24

Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts 2 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids, (616) 454-7000 US IS THEM Through May 14 Here + Now Through March 31

REVUEWM.COM | March 2017 |



Left: Jack H. Miller Center for Performing Arts, Right: The Royce Auditorium at St. Cecilia Music Center . COURTESY PHOTOs

GOOD VIBRATIONS Stellar acoustic spaces in West Michigan and what makes them great by Samara Napolitan

Whether it be a performance hall, cathedral or taproom, the most divine acoustic experiences occur in spaces where the very inner workings of a human ear are taken into account. But that’s not exactly a simple science, according to West Michigan audio engineers. “There is very complex math behind acoustics,” said Jean-Yves Munch, a professional sound recordist with a studio home-base in Saugatuck. “There are different formulas to compute sound, but a great acoustic space is not only connected to formulas or brick and mortar — it’s connected to how we hear as human beings.”

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Munch travels around the world, recording sounds for the film, video and music industries. His recent work with Felix & Paul Studios brought him to the White House, where he recorded the sounds that can be heard in a VR tour narrated by former-President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. He is also the principal recording engineer for the Grand Rapids Symphony. “There have been studies of classical music recordings for a long time, and there is still a lot we don’t know about creating the perfect acoustic environment,” Munch said. “Some spaces are more complex than others, but there are always adjustments that can be made.” Some of the adjustments Munch mentions involve adding materials to dampen reverberation (the length of time it takes for a sound to disappear in a space). Carpeting and drapery, for example, can prevent sound waves from amplified performances from bouncing off the walls and creating a muddled sound. However, a reverberant sound that envelops the audience can be more desirable for classical and choral performances that don’t use technology to boost volume.

That’s why King’s College Chapel in Cambridge has a long reverb, while a room filled with cushy furniture will have almost none. It may seem contradictory, but Munch said achieving a good silence within a space is also important, especially in spaces where concerts are recorded. “It’s quite the challenge these days, as technology is always improving,” he said. “There are many sounds that can distract from music — traffic, humming lights, sounds traveling through HVAC systems. Microphones can pick up all of these sounds.” Some newer concert halls sacrifice sound quality for flashy architectural design, impressive size and comfort for patrons. “One of the problems with really nice spaces in America is that they’re too big, such that the sound gets lost or is not the same kind of immersive feeling that you get in a smaller space,” said Drew Elliot, director of recording arts at Hope College. Elliot oversees all the audio recordings of faculty, students and guest performers at the college, and teaches its audio engineering classes.

“When a space is the right size, a large ensemble can fill the space with a rich, lush sound,” Elliot said. Fortunately for West Michigan musicians, the region offers plenty of acoustic spaces — just a few of which we will highlight here — with the flexibility and sonic control needed to produce variable and dramatic music experiences.

Jack H. Miller Center for Performing Arts Now in its second year of operation, the Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts at Hope College includes two performance venues: an 800-seat concert hall and a 150-seat recital hall for more intimate performances. The center also holds classrooms, practice rooms, a recording studio, faculty studios and office space for the Department of Music. The concert hall features a Casavant Brothers concert pipe organ and several rooms are equipped with Steinway pianos. Essentially, the building is a onestop shop for any kind of musical need. “It’s pretty remarkable to have a facility like this in West Michigan,” Elliot said.

“It’s an extremely versatile space that can be changed based on the music being played.” The building is carefully soundproofed with triple-pane glass and thick concrete walls, an important factor given the bustling campus and a railroad line about 100 feet away. The building employs several strategies to ensure that unwanted sounds are dampened. All air vents are situated directly above suspended sound panels so that sounds can be absorbed and dispersed. Mechanized curtains are a theme throughout the building, and can be retracted or exposed to control reverb with the push of a few buttons. “All of the architects and acoustics engineers were all extremely happy with how it turned out,” Elliot said. “As the music wafts out over the audience, you can hear a really nice, clean balance of sounds and all the different parts of a piece.”

The Royce Auditorium at St. Cecilia Music Center When St. Cecilia Music Center launched its Music Lives Here campaign to renovate its building, the leadership knew the acoustics of its main performance space needed to be considered. “(Royce Auditorium) has always been revered as a phenomenal acoustic space,” said Catherine Holbrook, executive director at St. Cecilia. “The building needed a facelift, and part of that would include new seats in Royce. First, we needed to make sure we wouldn’t affect the acoustics in the hall.” Seating can be an important factor when developing acoustic spaces — seats do need to be comfortable, but they also must absorb sounds that would otherwise be stopped by curtains, carpeting and human bodies. The St. Cecilia team contacted Acoustics By Design, a leading consulting firm based out of Grand Rapids and Portland, Ore., to see if the seats they had selected from Irwin Seating Company would have a negative effect. After receiving the green light from the consulting firm, they proceeded with installing the seating. The historic facility also was upgraded with a new sound system that’s ideal for its jazz and folk series concerts. Speakers are hung from the ceiling and are calibrated to reach every seat in the hall. “It provides a better coverage of sound, but also more control and balance,” Holbrook said.

The Frauenthal Center for Performing Arts The trained ear can detect a sharp distinction between new concert halls and those constructed in the 19th century. It remains a mystery as to why the architecture of

acoustic gems like the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Grosser Musikvereinsaal in Vienna and Symphony Hall in Boston provides a more transformative listening experience — especially since their had little knowledge of the science of acoustics. The Frauenthal Theater in Muskegon, home to the West Michigan Symphony, has much in common with renowned 19th-century music halls. Built in 1927, the 1,700-seat theater allows the sound to fill the space and envelope audience members. The features of its Spanish Renaissance architectural styling — ornate carvings, intricate plasterwork, and velour carpeting and seat coverings — scatter and diffuse sound within the space. If the Frauenthal had also been designed in a rectangular, shoebox configuration as were many old halls, West Michigan would be home to quite the sonic wonder.

Sacred Spaces Western music history traces back to the Gregorian chants performed in churches and chapels, so it only makes sense that churches would be fitting for classical music performances today. Two West Michigan favorites for choral groups are the Basilica of Saint Adalbert and the Cathedral of Saint Andrew in Grand Rapids, though they may not work as well for other shows. “In some ways, modern concert halls can be more versatile than churches and offer better sightlines for the audience,” Elliot said. “Although churches aren’t specifically designed to be acoustic spaces, the way they are constructed allows them to be because they are highly reverberant.” According to Munch, European churches are quite different than American churches in this respect. Newer churches in the United States are designed for clear verbal communication and contemporary musical styles. “Many churches built here have no intention to deal with an ambient acoustic signature, like HVAC systems and noises from the outside,” he said. “At the same time, the big reverb in traditional churches doesn’t work for every kind of music.” In the end, when it comes to constructing new acoustic spaces, Munch said experience is paramount. At this point, the art is so old that acoustic engineers have nearly perfected the craft and are now “hitting a ceiling,” he said. In spaces like this, it’s up to the show itself to provide the best possible experience. On the flip side, acoustic spaces that aren’t up-to-snuff clearly limit how great the show can be. “The quality of the show is ultimately reflected by the space,” Munch said. ■

SIR ANDRÁS SCHIFF One of the world’s legendary pianists presents an all-Schubert concert SATURDAY, MARCH 11, 8 PM CHENERY AUDITORIUM, KALAMAZOO SPONSORED BY ROBERT AND MARIANNE DENES

REVUEWM.COM | March 2017 |



Music for the Masses

West Michigan Symphony caters to all with “Classical Music For Everyone” by Marla R. Miller

Defined by specific time periods, with distinct styles and notable composers, classical music’s progression over the last 500 years has been more revolutionary than evolutionary. That’s according to Scott Speck, music director of the West Michigan Symphony. With its March 11 masterworks concert, the symphony will examine the history of classical music, ranging from medieval music to a third world premiere by composer-inresidence Austin Wintory. Speck’s love of the genre prompted him to co-author the now-20-year-old book, “Classical Music For Dummies,” which provides a solid introduction to classical music that’s both humorous and easy to understand. WMS will present concerts inspired by the book over the next few seasons. “Seriously, it is my life’s work,” he said. “It’s become my life’s work to spread the good word that classical music is for everyone.” The upcoming “Classical Music For Everyone” show is designed to increase the audience’s understanding of classical music and in turn enhance enjoyment of it for many seasons to come. The program


covers pieces by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and more, and is loosely based on the book’s chapter, “The Entire History of Music in 80 Pages.” Classical music often is divided into the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and 20th Century periods, based on when the works were created. The concert will take the audience on a journey through these different periods using many of the same examples in the book. Next season’s concert will concentrate on the Romantic era, a time when every country “sort of came into its own and asserted its national pride” and developed music with a distinct sound. That was true in Russia, the Czech Republic, Finland and more, Speck said. The “Classical Music For Everyone” program features short pieces, most ranging

Masterworks “Classical Music For Everyone”

Frauenthal Center 425 W. Western Ave. #200, Muskegon March 10, 7:30 p.m., $18.75-$49.75, (231) 726-3231

Scott Speck, Music Director of the West Michigan Symphony. Courtesy Photo

“It’s become my life’s work to spread the good word that classical music is for everyone.” —Scott Speck, Music Director of the West Michigan Symphony

from two to 10 minutes and highlighting the first movement of longer pieces. It’s music that has withstood the test of time and been vetted — true masterpieces from each period, Speck said. The concert opens with a Medieval Gregorian chant mysteriously heard through the hall. “Then we segue into live pieces of music and one of the earliest orchestral pieces by Monterverdi,” Speck said. Following Monteverdi’s “L’Orfeo Overture,” the symphony will cover the Baroque period with Bach’s “Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, Mvt. 1,” then the Classical era with Mozart’s “Eine kleine Nachtmusik, Mvt. 1.” The piece by Mozart is one of his most famous. It’s tuneful and easy to recognize, yet very lighthearted and less passionate, he said. The Romantic period is captured t h ro u g h s e ve r a l wo r k s , i n c l u d i n g Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 3, Mvt. 1,” Brahms’ “Symphony No. 4, Mvt. 3,” and Tchaikovsky’s “Marche slave.” “A lot of times … the evolution of music was more like a revolution. There was a pendulum swing,” Speck said. “Classical (period) music was very polite. Mozart

and Haydn were full of emotion, but it’s all very restrained, the way that it’s expressed, whereas Romantic music is hard on your sleeve, hard on your emotions. Beethoven said, ‘Enough with just being polite. I am going to tell the world how I feel.’” After intermission, the symphony returns with more romanticism from Richard Wagner’s “Siegfried’s Rhine Journey,” then moves into the early 20th Century, featuring Igor Stravinsky/Jonathan McPhee’s “Rite of Spring” and Neoclassical Stravinsky’s “Pulcinella.” The 20th Century period did not express as much feeling and had a more cool and detached approach. “The main thing is, some of these shifts in style were actually violent shifts,” Speck said. “For example, the ‘Rite of Spring’ is not the least bit romantic. It follows the romantic period but suddenly it sounds very brutal.” Closing out the program, the symphony will move into more modern-day music: Aaron Copland’s “Saturday Night Waltz from Rodeo,” John Adams’ “Short Ride in a Fast Machine,” and John Williams, one of the great composers of the 21st century. Wintory’s “Balaenoptera musculus” from ABZÛ, an underwater adventure video game similar to Journey (which Wintory also scored), will bring the show full circle with music of today. “Balaenoptera musculus,” the simple genus/species name for the Blue Whale, is from a moment in the game where the player finds herself swimming alongside a pod of these magnificent and gigantic creatures in a sort of dance, Wintory said. “It’s a visually spectacular moment, and the hope was always that the music be extricable for live performance,” he said. “I’m immensely grateful for Scott Speck’s interest in performing it and making that dream a reality!” ■

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REVUEWM.COM | March 2017 |


[CLASSICAL MUSIC] presents a

Family Concert Sunday, March 19 3:30pm Zeeland East High School

featuring Natalie Bloss, violin Winner of the 2017 Norbert Mueller Concerto Competition For tickets, visit or call 616-796-6780

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Two West Michigan Bach festivals celebrate composer’s life, influence by Samara Napolitan

Music always is evolving as an art form. All composers, no matter how original or innovative, were at some point influenced by their predecessors. However, no classical composer has been more pioneering than Johann Sebastian Bach. Two West Michigan organizations, the Grand Rapids Bach Festival and the Kalamazoo Bach Festival, are revealing the human dimensions of the 18th-century composer with a variety of events this spring. From biography to biography, Bach is described as a cantankerous fellow with a grudge against authority, a disciplined man with deep religious convictions, and a devoted husband and father. He also is recognized for his sublime genius as a composer, improviser and organist. Bach was quite the artist, but he viewed himself more as a scientist, setting out to discover the laws of the musical universe. “With the Grand Rapids Bach Festival, we’re not dusting off the cobwebs of Bach,” said David Lockington, music director of the Grand Rapids Bach Festival. “We’re presenting him as a passionate, living human being.” An affiliate of the Grand Rapids Symphony, the biennial Grand Rapids Bach Festival returns for its 11th season from March 5-11. The Kalamazoo Bach Festival, entering its 70th season, is drawing connections to Bach’s music across genres with an expanded week of programming from May 5-14. “Simply taking the genius of Bach’s composition at face value is a reason for celebrating Bach,” said James Turner, music director of the Kalamazoo Bach Festival. “Whether it's keyboard, instrumental, vocal or choral, Bach’s outstanding compositional writing is just unbelievable.” Grand Rapids Bach Festival events will span the breadth of Bach’s expression, starting with a free concert at the Grand Rapids Art Museum and a recital featuring organist Isabella Demers on

The Grand Rapids Bach Festival returns for its 11th season this year. Photo: Terry Johnston

March 5. This year, the festival also will act as a tribute to its founder, mezzo-soprano Linn Maxwell Keller, who passed away last June. On March 7, the winner of the Creative Young Keyboard Artists Competition will perform alongside various professional keyboardists. A March 9 concert then focuses on themes of love in Bach’s cantatas — narrative vocal compositions with instrumental accompaniment. The festival closes with Joyful Bach, a concert featuring the Grand Rapids Symphony and Youth Choruses. This season, the Kalamazoo Bach Festival incorporates the talent of local artists and organizations, including musicians from the Stulberg International String Competition and the Southwest Michigan chapter of the American Guild of Organists. Collaborative events with world roots music group Red Sea Pedestrians and two folk duos will display the similarities and differences between Bach and contemporary genres. “Many classical music organizations can’t survive on one type of music,” said Cori Somers, executive director of the Kalamazoo Bach Festival. “Bringing different styles together helps audiences understand that all composers and performers have something to communicate — that we all have a universal voice in sharing our art.” In addition to making the experience more affordable with several free events and student ticket prices, the festival is

launching on May 9 a new family initiative with the Kalamazoo Public Library that pairs Bach’s music with bedtime stories. Festivalgoers on May 10 will have the opportunity to explore the inside of the organ and chat over beer. The event also is partnering with Kalamazoo College and Western Michigan University to provide educational opportunities throughout the week. For the finale on May 14, 90 singers, four guest soloists and a full orchestra will convene onstage to perform Bach’s Mass in B Minor — one of his most beloved works. ■

Grand Rapids Bach Festival

March 5-11 Various Grand Rapids locations $25 all access pass, (616) 454-9451

Kalamazoo Bach Festival

May 5-14 Various Kalamazoo locations $59 week pass, single tickets available kalamazoobachfestival. org, (269) 337-7407

[classical MUSIC]

PREVIEW We’ve got a child prodigy performing this month, a quartet about to accomplish a feat that hasn’t been done in 40 years, and so much more. Here’s your chance to check out some very unique jazz groups, a couple really amazing pianists, and a St. Patrick’s performance that won’t include green beer — all in the same month. by Dana Casadei

Fontana Chamber Arts 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall Ste. 200, Kalamazoo, (269) 382-0812

Cameron Carpenter March 25, 7:30 p.m., $35 The Hot Sardines March 31, 7:30 p.m., $35 The Hot Sardines are bringing their sound from another era to Kalamazoo this month. Called “one of the best jazz bands in New York today” by Forbes, the group combines a brass line-up and rhythm section led by a stride piano, with lead singer Miz Elizabeth’s booming voice taking guests back to an era of speakeasies and jazz halls.

Holland Symphony Orchestra 96 W. 15th St., Suite 201, Holland, (616) 796-6780 Family Concert: Discovering New Worlds March 19, 3:30 p.m., $5-$20 Take a trip to worlds both imaginary and real with the symphony and featured musician, violinist Natalie Bloss — the 2017 Norbert Mueller Concerto Competition Winner. Music for the evening includes the Star Wars theme, the finale from Firebird and more.

Hope College Great Performance Series 221 Columbia Ave., Holland, (616) 395-7222 Barrage 8 March 30, 7:30 p.m., $20 Barrage 8 brings the string octet — combining violins, viola, cello and double bass — into the

modern era. The group has toured in more than 27 countries, blending together contemporary string arrangements with high-energy choreography. Local star alert: The group now includes 2015 Hope College graduate Eve Panning.

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

CMS of Lincoln Center French Virtuosity March 16, 7:30 p.m., $38+ Joey Alexander March 23, 7:30 p.m., $38+

University Musical Society 881 N. University Ave., Ann Arbor, (734) 764-2538 Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis March 4, 8 p.m., $12+

Classical Music for Everyone March 10, 7:30 p.m., $20+

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

Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis March 11, 8 p.m., $12+

Pictures at an Exhibition March 3-4, 8 p.m., $18+

Steve Reich @ 80 Music for 18 Musicians March 18, 8 p.m., $12+

Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto March 24-25, 8 p.m., $18+

Mitsuko Uchida March 24, 8 p.m., $12+

The Emperor’s New Clothes March 25, 3 p.m., $5+

Beethoven Quartet Cycle Takács Quartet March 25-26, times vary, $28+ The Takács Quartet will complete its seasonlong journey this month, performing the final two concerts of Beethoven’s string quartet cycle. This will be the first time in 40 years that UMS has presented the full cycle in one season.

The Reformation Concert March 29, 7 p.m.

Disney and Pixar’s Ratatouille in Concert March 11, 3 p.m., $10 For the first time ever, Ratatouille — the Disney/ Pixar film about the rat who just wants to be a chef — will be played in high-definition on the big screen while the KSO performs Michael Giacchino’s score. The 2007 film won the Academy Award for Best Animated Film and will heighten your kitchen ambitions while putting you in the mood for some French food.

Sacred Dimensions March 31, 7 p.m.

The Encounter

Complicite/Simon Mcburney Directed and performed by Simon McBurney Inspired by the book Amazon Beaming by Petru Popescu Thursday, March 30 // 7:30 pm Friday, March 31 // 8 pm Saturday, April 1 // 8 pm Power Center | Ann Arbor In 1969, Loren McIntyre, a National Geographic photographer, found himself lost among the people of the remote Javari Valley in Brazil. In this solo performance, Simon McBurney traces McIntyre’s journey into the depths of the Amazon rainforest, using binaural technology (3D audio) to build an intimate and shifting world of sound. Headphones will be provided and must be worn throughout the performance.

Opera Grand Rapids 1320 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids, (616) 451-2741 Il Duo Lirico’s Debut Album Release March 19, 7:30 p.m., $30 Cellist Nancy Steltmann and pianist Robert Byrens, both seasoned musicians in their own right, will perform their debut album in its entirety. The album combines orchestra reductions on the piano with cello compositions in their original operatic keys and range.

West Michigan Symphony Orchestra 360 W. Western Ave., Muskegon, (231) 726-3231


Photo by Guy Coletta

Renegade Ventures Fund, established by Maxine and Stuart Frankel SUPPORTING SPONSORS

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


Building Audiences for Sustainability initiative of The Wallace Foundation M E D I A PA R T N E R S 734.764.2538

Metro Times WDET 101.9 FM Carl and Charlene Herstein David and Phyllis Herzig

Los Lonely Boys March 14, 7:30 p.m., $35+

REVUEWM.COM | March 2017 |



Left: Fifty Shades of Shakespeare production photo. Right: Fifty Shades of Shakespeare in action at Louie’s Trophy House. Courtesy photos

ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE Bare Backstage Productions can perform anywhere by Jane Simons

Laura Henderson’s theater company tends to take the stage in spaces better known for beers, bar food and bands. It may be unusual, but it’s a gamble worth taking for the Otsego native and founder of both Bare Backstage Productions and Queer Theatre Kalamazoo (QTK). “In researching words for the name (of QTK), I learned that the one people have the most backlash to is ‘queer,’” Henderson said. “But I found in my research that by reclaiming these negative terms and empowering the people behind it, you can take away a lot of the negative impact by normalizing the word.” QTK has been performing at the Fire Historical and Cultural Arts Collaborative, but plans are in the works to stage future QTK productions at venues that won’t necessarily be in established performing arts spaces. Meanwhile, Bare Backstage has already used alternative venues to stage its first production: Fifty Shades of Shakespeare, which premiered in February at the Kalamazoo State Theatre, followed by shows at the

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Acorn Theatre in Three Oaks and Louie’s Trophy House Grill in Kalamazoo. “Our mission is to bring theater to people with a minimal number of actors and sets, so we can adapt productions to any stage,” Henderson said. “These shows are easily travelled, so we can bring theater to people but also take it out of that prestige context. We can get lot more people coming out to see shows.” Henderson will be taking the travelling theater concept to the extreme by doing it in larger spaces with more original material, said Shannon Fleckenstein, a local actor, musician and cast member in Henderson’s productions. Fleckenstein, who also acts in Fancy Pants Theatre productions, said when the theater company lost its space on the Kalamazoo Mall, it performed at other venues. “It does present some challenges, because you never know how it’s going to work in a particular space,” Fleckenstein said. In venues such as Louie’s or the State Theatre, audience members are able to eat and drink while watching a performance, which makes live theater much more accessible and engaging. Henderson said this brings in a new audience base for the venues while giving Bare Backstage and QTK performance space. “We always produce shows that are inclusive with edgier work, and with the Bare Backstage productions, the audience has the opportunity to interact,” she said.

Henderson’s establishment of herself in Kalamazoo’s theater community began when she was a student at Western Michigan University, where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. During that time, she also taught school in South Korea twice. She traveled extensively and was exposed to people of different ethnicities and sexual orientations. “I grew up in Otsego and there was no representation of diversity or the LGBTQ community in Otsego,” Henderson said. “We had one male in my high school who identified as gay.” Although she performed in theater productions at Otsego High School, her desire to immerse herself in acting happened after moving back to Kalamazoo to work on her graduate degree. She got back into acting with the eLLe Theater Group, which since 2010 has annually performed a play with a continuing storyline that builds upon itself in subsequent years. “Being a part of this group was the first time I was around strong allies who weren’t lesbian, but were strong and empowered and happened to be in relationships with women,” Henderson said. “Being a part of eLLe allowed me to be myself.” Since becoming a part of eLLe, she witnessed two people who came out and transitioned and one who left a relationship for a woman. She said the theater group provides a welcoming and safe environment where the community can come to

meet open-minded people and gain a better understanding of the LGBTQ community. “As part of my studies, I started researching LGBTQ issues and I knew I wanted to do something with media and performance in the community,” Henderson said. As part of her master’s thesis, she wrote a play titled Queering Quintero. The play focuses on bullying, small-mindedness and an environment that creates a higher risk for LGBTQ teens to commit suicide. The play became QTK’s first touring production, and was performed at various spots around Kalamazoo and Battle Creek. Following those performances, the audience had an opportunity to meet and talk with the actors. At a Cranbrook Academy for the Arts event, Henderson said about 30 students stayed behind to talk. Long term, Henderson said she would like to reach more people by opening other branches of Bare Backstage and QTK throughout Michigan and other areas of the United States. In the meantime, keep an eye out for new shows throughout the year in Kalamazoo. “We want to normalize through exposure,” Henderson said. “We want to provide representation on stage, but for all of our shows, we have a safe, welcoming, friendly, supportive environment and a place to let yourself be happy while enjoying high-quality entertainment.” ■

No Strings Attached

Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher tells a magical tale with puppets, people and projections Although he’s been teaching puppetry since 2008, Potgieter said he feels like he’s just recently nailed it down. He is no longer with Handspring and is now his own boss, which presents him with new challenges and opportunities.

by Jane Simons

Jason Potgieter’s passion for puppeteering will come in handy for Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher. The play uses a blend of traditional actors and puppetry to tell the story of Jeremy, who takes a wrong turn while running from bullies and ends up at a magic show featuring all sorts of contraptions. During his travels, he enters a shop and the owner sells him a dragon egg for 25 cents. This is when the real magic starts to happen. “Jeremy has to raise this dragon and figure out how to feed and hide him and take care of him,” Potgieter said. “It’s all about how the world in a way has been inhospitable to magic and to things of mystery and fantasy. It’s also a metaphor for how we get stuck in a pedestrian life and don’t see the magic.” The show, adapted by local playwright Tucker Rafferty from the award-winning children’s book by Bruce Coville, will take the stage from March 10-19 at the Gilmore Theatre Complex of Western Michigan University. In addition to the dragon, the show includes a dog, cat and monkey, all manipulated by students with WMU’s Theatre Department. While most are solo puppets, the fully-grown dragon requires seven student puppeteers. Potgieter, who is from Capetown, South Africa, said the majority of the students are experiencing puppeteering for the first time. As such, the production requires the expertise that he brings, according to Joan

Herrington, chair of the school’s theatre department and director of the show. Potgieter has taught puppetry workshops and worked with the Handspring Theatre Company, developing the stage production of War Horse, which went on to win a Tony Award in 2011. But he was once a student himself, becoming interested in puppetry while working toward a degree in acting from the University of Capetown. “Someone was doing a puppetry show as a master's project and they conned me into working with puppets, which is something I’d never done before,” he said. “Partway into the first rehearsal, I knew I’d found my thing.”


“The biggest challenge for the students in this show at Western is to take the leap from stage acting to puppeteering, because in regular acting, it’s all about embodying the character,” he said. “In this show, you embody the character and then transfer the energy into the puppets who become the stars. You have to surrender a lot of your instincts for stage acting and hand that over to the puppet so you become almost invisible.” Herrington said the actors’ inexperience with puppetry has presented a unique challenge for her as director, as the show has a mix of puppets and traditional actors. “What they’re interacting with onstage is not an actor — it’s a puppet being manipulated by another actor,” Herrington said. “We’re bringing to our traditional actor a new skillset in performing with puppets.” Challenges aside, the show should prove to be a magical experience, especially with the use of projections. More than 4,000 area students are expected to see the show, Herrington said, though the show will be enchanting for grownups as well. “We wanted something special and highly theatrical,” she said. “We thought puppets would be a great thing for them.” ■


FRIDAYS AT NOON Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher


Shaw Theatre 1903 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo March 10-19, various times, $20, (269) 387-2300

REVUEWM.COM | March 2017 |




This month has a full lineup of amazing musicals, including two about Disney princesses and one that 20 years ago was a bit of a trailblazer in the theater world. A few new plays are coming to town too, one of which has dragons! (Trying to get those "Game of Thrones" fans to the theater.) by Dana Casadei

theater.) by Dana Casadei

Broadway Grand Rapids 122 Lyon St. NW, Grand Rapids, (616) 235-6285

RENT: 20th Anniversary Tour March 14-16, 7:30 p.m., $37+ In 1996, Jonathan Larson’s RENT affected the theater world the way Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton did in 2016. Now, 20 years later, the rock musical’s themes still speak true to audiences. The Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Awardwinning musical follows the lives of seven artist

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


NYT-Bestselling Author Will Schwalbe presents Books for Living FRI 03/10 7PM

THURS 03/16 7PM

SAT 03/18 10AM

Meet Will Schwalbe, author of the runaway bestseller The End of Your Life Book Club, as he presents his highly praised newest release, Books for Living! Books for Living is a wonderfully engaging new book: both a celebration of reading in general and an impassioned recommendation of specific books that can help guide us through our daily lives. This is truly an event for booklovers, and the book group that brings the most members to the event will win a set of 5 copies of The End of Your Life Book Club for its next meeting!

Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Association Presents Space Debris: When Good Satellites Go Bad Featuring University of Michigan astronomer Patrick Seitzer, a population of dead satellites, rockets, and debris from collided satellites pose a real concern for future spaceflight. Dr. Seitzer explain optical studies of space debris he carries out using University of Michigan telescopes in Chile.

Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Association Presents Astronomy As A Hobby Series The Great Solar Eclipse, with Jack McCarthy and Friends. Where to go and what to do on August 21st to witness a spectacular natural event rarely seen in the United States, a total eclipse of the sun.

friends living in AIDS-era East Village, New York over the course of 525,600 minutes.

Dog Story Theater 7 Jefferson Ave. SE, Grand Rapids

Lake Effect Fringe Festival Through March 4, times and costs vary Events during this festival range from Dog Story’s popular Comedy Outlet Mondays to classic plays, like the Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company’s production of Titus Andronicus, his bloodiest tragedy done with an all-female cast. The festival will also have new plays like Love & Semiotics, written by Kimberly Snyder and directed by Alex Michael Cook, and Grand Rapids playwright Christopher van Der Ark is presenting a staged reading of his newest play. All performances will take place in the black box performance space at the Dog Story Theater.

Farmers Alley Theatre 221 Farmers Alley, Kalamazoo, (269) 343-2727

Buyer & Cellar March 10-19, times vary, $25+ Considered a one-man tour-de-force, Buyer & Cellar tells the story of a man named Alex More. Alex is an underemployed actor living in Los Angeles and working odd jobs, when he gets a job much more odd than the others: working in the basement of Barbra Striesand’s Malibu home. While there, he forms a funny and heartfelt bond with Babs, which triggers some jealousy in Alex’s boyfriend, Barry — all played by the same actor.

Grand Rapids Ballet 341 Ellsworth Ave. SW, Grand Rapids, (616) 454-4771

MOVEMEDIA: World Premieres

Talk & Signing for Middle Grade Fantasy Author H.M. Bouwen MON 03/20 7PM

THURS 03/23 7PM

Michigan native, H.M. Bouwen has been earning incredible praise for the release of her middlegrade novel A Crack in the Sea, an enchanting historical fantasy adventure perfect for fans of Thanhha Lai’s Newbery Honor-winning Inside Out and Back Again. Publishers Weekly gave A Crack in the Sea a starred review, while School Library Journal called it a “wholly original book” and Kirkus dubbed it “a provocative, immersive read.”

Michigan Author Thomas C. Foster presents Reading the Silver Screen Thomas, a former professor of English at UofM-Flint, is the author of How to Read Literature Like a Professor and more. His most recent release is Reading the Silver Screen: A Film Lover’s Guide to Decoding the Art Form that Moves, named one of the season’s “best books on Hollywood” by the New York Times Book Review!

Visit for a complete list of events. All events are subject to change. 2660 28th Street SE 616.942.2561 20A | REVUEWM.COM | March 2017

March 10-12, $44

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

Ragtime the Musical Through March 19, times vary, $18- $37 After a sold-out and well-reviewed 2004 production, the Civic Theatre is bringing back Ragtime this month. Based on the novel by E.L. Doctorow, Ragtime tells the story of three families — an African-American family, a Jewish immigrant family and a wealthy suburban WASP family — at the turn of the 20th century. Suggestion: Grab some tissues before you go to this show. The music might be gorgeous, but it also packs one heck of a gut-punch.








Annie Jr.

October 14 & 15, 2017

in the Frauenthal Theater

AUGUST 10 - 26








The Penguin Project was conceived by Dr. Andrew Morgan to give children with special needs an opportunity to participate in the performing arts. Dr. Andy recognized that theatre provides children with not only an opportunity to display their creative talents, it also enhances social interaction, communication skills, assertiveness, and self-esteem. The Penguin Project strives to give this opportunity to people with special needs who are fully capable of participating with the same dedication and enthusiasm as others, if given the opportunity and support. Like our young artists, penguins have a “disability” that distinguishes them from other birds—they can’t fly! Penguins waddle, slide and swim, adapting to the challenges of their environment, not allowing their unique differences to interfere with their lives. The Penguin Project gives young artists a way to overcome the challenges present in their lives. It is open to anyone with a developmental disability who is between the ages of 10 and 21. There are no restrictions based on cognitive ability, mobility or communication skills, unless behavior might endanger the artist or others. The Penguin Project links each young artist with an age-level peer who does not have a disability. The peer mentors assist their partners throughout the entire rehearsal process and on stage. Many of the parents of these performers have, for the first time, experienced the joy of sitting in an audience and watching their children perform and succeed in ways they never thought possible.



MARCH 31 - APRIL 2 MSU’s WHARTON CENTER ON SALE NOW! WHARTONCENTER.COM • 1-800-WHARTON Generously sponsored by Demmer Corporation; Jackson National Life Insurance Company; and Palmer, Bush & Jensen Family Funeral Homes.

Variety Series Sponsor

Media Sponsor

REVUEWM.COM | March 2017 |


Revue’s Reviews Revue Arts has kicked off its review program of classical and jazz music, theater and dance performances all over West Michigan. All reviews are posted online at by the next day. Here are some snippets of what we’ve seen so far: “Cho’s combination of sensitivity and bravura is evocative of his predecessors and great Chopin interpreters, such as Artur Rubinstein and Vladamir Horowitz. Perhaps there is room for a tad more abandon in Cho’s playing, but Sunday’s concert indicated that the young pianist is on his way to earning a place among the greats.” —Samara Napolitan on Seong-Jin Cho at the Gilmore Keyboard Festival “The emotional fireworks and thought-provoking themes of To Kill a Mockingbird can tempt some directors to go to ill-advised ex-

tremes, but thankfully Espeland and his team opt for subtlety and tastefulness instead of Great American Novel razzle-dazzle.” —James Sanford on To Kill a Mockingbird at the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre “Although the space was small and noise in the audience could easily be heard, the performers were engaging enough to hold everyone’s attention. The crowded apartment felt more like a big family gathering than a formal play.” —Kayla Tucker on The Vagina Monologues at the Fuse Box

Read them all at!

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

To Kill a Mockingbird Through March 4, times vary, $25 The Harper Lee classic novel comes to the stage this month in the Christopher Sergel adaptation. Anyone who’s taken English likely knows the plot, but we’ll lay it out for those who slept through class: It’s the summer of 1935 in Maycomb, Ala., where six-year-old Jean Louise Finch, a.k.a. “Scout,” is living a rather carefree life. Then her dad, Atticus, decides to defend an innocent black man, Tom Robinson, against a potential death sentence in a town where racial tensions are high. Like, really high.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Jr. March 24-31, times vary, $10 The tale as old as time will be told by the Civic Youth Theatre, which is designed to introduce young patrons to theater as an art form. The adaptation follows Belle, a bookworm no one in her lame town seems to really understand, and the Beast, a young prince who was put under a spell for being a jerk. Will Belle fall in love with him and end the curse? There’s only one way to find out.

Photos: Amy Guip

MARCH 14-16

Devos Performance Hall visit BROADWAYGRANDRAPIDS.COM or 1-800-745-3000 . TICKETMASTER.COM Grand Rapids engagement sponsored by Extend Your Reach; Northpointe Bank; Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge; and United Commercial Services.

22A | REVUEWM.COM | March 2017

Miller Auditorium 2200 Auditorium Drive, Kalamazoo, (269) 387-2300

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella March 24-26, times vary, $47+ Hey look, the story of another princess from your childhood! This Tony Award-winning musical, which gives a contemporary twist to the classic tale, has everything from evil stepmoms to fairy godmothers and handsome princes. Plus, it proves that one really great pair of shoes can change a girl’s life.

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

Jeremy Thatcher Dragon Hatcher March 10-19, times vary, $20 Sixth grade isn’t proving to be the easiest year for Jeremy. We all feel ya, buddy. He’s dealing with bullies, crushes and trying to get through art class, until he finds a unique egg, which turns out to be a dragon. Things get a lot more interesting after that as Jeremy’s world comes alive through puppetry and digital effects.

MAY 2-7, 2017




MAY 9-14, 2017

at DeVos Performance Hall

at Miller Auditorium

Grand Rapids engagement is welcomed by: BISSELL Inc., Calder Investment Advisors, Crowe Horwath LLP, Harvey Automotive, Lacks Enterprises, Inc., Miller Johnson, Steelcase Inc. | (800) 745-3000 Miller Motown Full Page Ad.indd 1

® | (800) 228-9858


PM REVUEWM.COM | March2/8/17 2017 3:44 | 23A

Save on a 2017-2018 Season Package!

For tickets and show times, or complete season information visit or call 616.235.6285

Hype r O p t i k 1134 Wealthy Street 6 1 6 . 3 0 1 . 1 9 1 1


special feature

Style Issue Revue

The Style Issue is back for round two. This year, Revue talked to seven of West Michigan’s fashion experts, asking what inspires them, what’s in right now and what they’re passionate about in life. There’s some big personalities on the pages ahead, including in our Style File, where we talked shop with five more local trendsetters. You’ll also find Trend Talk, our roundup of the hottest items from West Michigan clothing and accessory stores. We have celebrity stylists, clothing designers, makeup artists, entrepreneurs — in short: Prepare to be inspired.


Style | profile

“I would love to see glamourous nightwear become popular again — fuzzy satin boudoir slippers, nightgowns and lounging robes. I love watching old movies where it seems style and glamour was an all-day thing.”


by Missy Black and Audria Larsen / photo by Nicole Rico

ASHLEY TRIÊU . Clothing Designer Ashley Triêu is the mastermind behind Iconoclasp, a collection of hand-picked vintage and handmade original clothing and accessories for the rebellious and bold. It’s a one-woman shop “inspired by the spirit of past eras” with a big-city vibe that transcends its small-town origins both in style and reach. Triêu’s a self-made woman, sewing one-of-a-kind garments for one-of-a-kind gals. Describe your personal style. Very eclectic. I love vintage fashion, especially the 1940s through the 1970s. However, I also have an appreciation for current fashion as well. I tend to be drawn to neutral earth tones or loud prints. I guess I like extremes and mixing up my looks. Any fashion trend you’d love to see come back? I would love to see glamourous nightwear become popular again — fuzzy satin boudoir slippers, nightgowns and lounging robes. I love watching old movies where it seems style and glamour was an all-day thing. I like that it’s something intimate that is made for you to enjoy and feel dramatic in, inside your home, not necessarily meant to be seen by the outside world.

What excites you about fashion? It’s a fun mode of self-expression. I like the creativity involved with choosing your look. I enjoy the way it can make you feel to put on a new garment or perhaps your favorite dress that you are always looking for another opportunity to wear. I have seen people get really excited about how they look when they put something on, and self-love is absolutely essential.

And how did you get started sewing? I have been sewing for three to four years now with no formal training. … There have been many frustrating nights and I have sometimes felt limited while designing by not having all the skills needed to execute my ideas. However, that was just motivation to learn the skills needed to create the designs in my head. It’s all been a wonderful learning and growth process. When designing, where do you derive inspiration from? I try to stay away from fashion for getting inspiration because I want to avoid the temptation of replicating design elements that I see and admire. I try to create without having to see it first. I draw a lot of inspiration from other art forms like music, performance and visual art. Whenever I see anyone doing something well or innovative, it inspires me to do the same in a different creative form. Is there anything outside of art that inspires you? I’m also very inspired by the drag world. I’ve had some magical moments at drag shows and love the embodiment of confidence, strength and true embrace of individuality that I see in that community. What are customers saying about your creations? I think my favorite thing to hear is that my clothing fits well, from women who say they’ve been frustrated finding clothes that fit them in stores. I like hearing that, because it’s really important to me to accommodate all body types — that’s a huge reason why I offer by measurement fit. I want my clothing to make women feel excited about themselves. This is your full-time job. What can you say about the life of an independent business person? It is honestly very difficult working at home and keeping motivated and organized, managing your time well. It’s hard not to want to retreat to your bed when your sewing machine jams or you have an overwhelming workload. However, I love it — I love that I can create my own schedule and have control over my work environment. I can work all day in my undergarments watching Golden Girls and no one can fire me. Still curious? Head to and iconoclasp on Instagram.

When did fashion and style become important to you? Since the age of five, my mother and grandmother inspired me. Both had very classic and chic aesthetics. They dressed simply, but well, and that seemed very strong and glamorous to me. I also watched Vietnamese music videos and got excited by the fashion,

REVUEWM.COM | March 2017 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

​What are the telltale signs that someone has exquisite style? Style is all in the way people carry themselves. For both men and women, confidence catches my eye more than anything. When people think too much about fashion rules and trends, it can actually veer them away from having style and experiencing the fun elements in dressing.

hair, makeup and attitude. I wore adult costume jewelry as a child. I would style my hair before bed and wore all black and a leopard-print scarf to my ballet class. These weren’t acts of rebellion — it was just something innate I was acting on.


Style | profile

“I loved the way [Prince] would take a risk with his fashion and just had fun with it. He revolutionized style but was always himself with his signature purple and cut-out pants.�


by Missy Black / photo by Nicole Rico

KEV COUTURE Celebrity Stylist

You will never see Kev Couture in ripped jeans. He attended the International Academy of Design and Technology with an emphasis in fashion merchandising and now styles celebrities for events like the Grammys, Oscars, Screen Actors Guild Awards and Golden Globes. His personal style is classic and simple, which translates to how he dresses clients like Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards, entertainment host Alina Vission, professional skateboarder Nyjah Huston, and Nakeah Fuller of Nakeah Cosmetics.

Right now, it’s menswear. It’s almost going back in time with Dobbs hats, wool blazers and velvet loafers. It’s a nod to the ’50s, when being a well-dressed male or female was taken very seriously.

You must have a style icon, right? It’s Prince. I loved the way he would take a risk with his fashion and just had fun with it. He revolutionized style but was always himself with his signature purple and cut-out pants.

Styling Jordan Carson for the Oscars had to be my proudest moment so far. I picked a long black gown that made her stand out because she’s tall.

Who are you currently working with? NBA player Tristan Thompson from the Cleveland Cavaliers. I’m making sure he looks his best for his remaining games. I’m pulling a mix of jeans to furs and suits. The walkway from the bus to the locker room is like their runway. The cameras are right there shooting. I style him for the games and playoffs, too.

What will we be seeing for spring fashion? Spring will bring lots of pink and purple hues for men, as well as wide strips in sweaters and square patterns for shirts. You’ll be seeing the punk theme again with leather jackets and ripped jeans, that grunge look.

What’s on your style wishlist right now? I really want a pair of Saint Laurent Wyatt Chelsea boots. I’m just in love with them. I’m eyeing them, but they are expensive. They look really good after you wear them for a while.

Where might we bump into you next? I was thinking I’d like to host an event for men. Men often get overlooked. I’ll be hosting a Sip and Shop event at Slate Clothing (44 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids) on March 24. I’ll be giving some fashion tips, as well as helping people select the right items. Link up with Kev on Facebook or on Instagram at kevcouture.

REVUEWM.COM | March 2017 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

What are some looks you’re digging?

Do you have a proud styling moment from the past?


Style | profile

“When I get a weird look on the street or a second glance, I aim for that. “


by Missy Black / photo by Nicole Rico


Lamb Bride Shopkeeper & Wedding Photographer Alyssa McElheny loves an eclectically, boldly dressed woman. That’s probably because she is one. She started wedding photography six years ago and now outfits the betrothed, because she likes “to push brides outside of that normal idea of what a wedding should be.” Tell us what happens at your shop.

What’s cool in bridal right now? I really like the idea of wedding dresses that aren’t just white. I’ve seen blush, pale pink and pale blue colors. I’m into antique lace and long-sleeved dresses.

Have you fallen madly in love with anything in the shop? I’ve got this heavily fully embroidered, icy white, flowy skirt by Needle and Thread London. That’s the skirt right now for any season.

The Michigan Elopement Collective. We’re looking for brides willing to elope. Our group of photographers, makeup and hair artists will offer discounted services to the couples.

How would you describe your personal style? When I get a weird look on the street or a second glance, I aim for that. I wear things that aren’t quite the norm yet. I like kimonos and dusters right now. I love flowing Free People dresses.

When it comes to jewelry… I have a pair of solid gold necklaces that I never take off. The same goes for my two nose piercings, nine constellation ear piercings and set of tiny gold rings. I’ve gotten all my jewelry from Kitten Flower Boutique and Honest to Goodness in Grand Rapids. I love what I’ve got in but I never switch anything out.

Last super-stylish thing you bought? I just snagged a super simple, black silk shift dress from The Reformation. I’ll wear it to almost every wedding I photograph this spring.

Have any favorite local style hot spots? The stretch of Wealthy (Street) I’m in. I love my neighbors Mercy Supply for beautiful leather goods and backpacks. I also love the stuff at Iconoclasp — the owner made me high-waisted bell bottoms that fit like a glove. Get your fill on Instagram at lambbride and alyssamcelheny, or see McElheny’s work at

REVUEWM.COM | March 2017 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

I have open hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The rest is by appointment only. I’m excited about the curation of our space. We’ve been renting it out to various wedding planners, artists, musicians, designers and photographers, and for pop-up shops and photo shoots. … Bridal salons can be intimidating. You feel weird looking (around) without a ring on your finger. I want people to come in the door without feeling pressure.

Any projects you’re excited about?


Style | profile

ALEKA C. THRASH Lifestyle & Beauty Blogger It’s always a good hair day for Aleka C. Thrash. The 33-year-old Grand Rapids native went to Cornerstone University and is a natural hair enthusiast. She hosts hair care workshops and uses the platform to help others overcome insecurities and find confidence. What hairstyle is most inspiring to you right now? A classic twist-out! A two-strand twist is the most commonly-used technique for naturals to style their hair. After washing the hair and using a styling product like Doesn’t Get Much “Butter” Than This by The Mane Choice, grab a small section of hair and twist the two strands together. Be sure to twirl the ends into a curl with your finger. Once the hair is dry, untwist and style. Any style icons when it comes to hair? Tracee Ellis Ross — her hair is absolutely amazing. Naptural85 is also a natural hair vlogger and blogger that inspires me. When it comes to hair goals, I’m inspired by Janaé of nae2curly and Ebony Bomani. Let’s talk hobbies… I am a lifestyle and portrait photographer with my company ACTPhotoMedia. I’m really passionate about being a support system to the foster and adoptive community, especially interracial foster and adoptive families. My blog allows me the opportunity to educate parents on how to care for their child’s hair and create a bonding experience. Some of my favorite childhood conversations with my mom happened while she was doing my hair. What does West Michigan have to offer to those in the style industry? West Michigan offers some dope local clothing designers and tailors. I love Confident Wear by Veverly Austin for bling and graphic tees. Delasie is my go-to for custom clothing offering bold prints and vibrate colors, and Connie-Fig-Leaf-Shop for alterations and custom embroidery. Favorite local fashion/style event? Rock the Runway in October is an amazing event using fashion to bring awareness to breast cancer and the importance of mammograms and early detection. You’re a co-founder of the Kinky Hair Connection. What’s that all about? It’s an annual event created to connect, support and encourage naturals as well as those considering and transitioning. The 3rd Annual Kinky Hair Connection takes place on Nov. 11. What’s coming up for you? Preparing for my next event: “Let’s Mix,” a DIY workshop on March 25th. It’s a hands-on workshop that includes all the tools necessary to make your own hair and body products. For everything Aleka, check into and naturallyACT. com (which includes information on her Instagram and Pinterest boards).


by Missy Black / photos by Nicole Rico


Makeup Artist

When your day job is to “make people feel and look beautiful” for weddings, commercials, television and theater, your style game has to be strong. With more than 10 years of experience, Erick Gerson Rodriguez has mad professional makeup chops. He’s from Carmen City, Mexico, he owns E.G. Makeup, and he’s making a name for himself in Grand Rapids. When did you first start paying attention to style? It was in my teens. My mom used to make beautiful dresses for my sisters and styled them and I loved seeing all the hard work she put into it and seeing my sisters looking so pretty and happy. I loved creating my own clothing and accessories. I still do it when I get a chance, whether for a concert or going out to parties. What is a style trend you’d like to see come back? I love the ’70s. I wish I could have lived back then. Something about the ’70s look feels sexy. Think Charlie’s Angels. It’s fun, sun-kissed and sometimes hippie, minus the blue eye shadow. Describe a typical day for you. My schedule is very unpredictable. On my days off, I’ll get last-minute calls to do makeup for a commercial shoot or special event. Most of the time, I work on my business — emails, bookings and scheduling — making sure my clients get the attention they need. I meet clients and brides for their engagement pictures, boudoir sessions and makeup trials for their weddings. What are you working on right now? My focus is on education. I’ve been teaching makeup for five years now. I teach private lessons to the everyday woman that wants to improve her style, along with group classes and professional makeup workshops for beauty schools, salon owners or stylists. Current makeup product obsession? The new Patentpolish Lip Pencil by MAC in the shade Clever. It’s in my makeup bag right now and adds just the right amount of color to my lips. Let’s talk about giving back to the community. I’ve teamed up with The Women’s Resource Center creating a class to help women who are in need — who have been abused, are homeless or are single mothers — to help them get back on track and find a job, by teaching them how to look at a job interview (and) helping them with makeup, hair and fashion tips. I’ve also worked with the executive director of Dégagé Ministries, providing makeovers and styling services to homeless women. More at and on Instagram at erickmakeup.

REVUEWM.COM | March 2017 |


Style | profile

by Missy Black / photos by Nicole Rico


Flip the coin that is Jonathan Jelks and you find on one side a businessman, fiercely committed to improving his city, and on the other a man who loves to talk brand crushes like Ralph Lauren, Moschino, Versace and Gucci. He’s constantly trying to figure out what kind of suit and tie Sean Connery’s James Bond might wear. This comes out in his style: part-street, part-suit, all dashing.

When did style start to mean something to you?

As a kid, I watched hip-hop music evolve from being the hottest new national musical genre to a global phenomenon that influenced how young people talked, walked and communicated. Late ’80s LL Cool J and Eric B. & Rakim album covers come to mind as early style influences. How did growing in Grand Rapids impact that?

Being stylish and original was a big thing in the Eastown/Baxter neighborhood in the 1990s. There was both prosperity and poverty in my neighborhood growing up, but people always found a way to look spectacular. Name two style icons.

First, it’s one of the greatest hip-hop musicians of all time: Nas. He has an effortless style. Regardless if he’s at the Met Gala or the MTV awards, his cool remains intact. He can be ostentatious in full-length furs and gaudy gold chains or keep it classic in a tuxedo and a traditional watch with no diamonds. His style will always be definitive and is the epitome of the grown-up version of the hip-hop generation. A very close second is Frank Sinatra. Frank is Frank … always classic, always himself, always his way! Your personal style is…

Neighborhood Opulence — a blend between streetwear and high fashion that boasts a sense of millennial optimism/entitlement and Generation X’s rebelliousness. Where are you shopping locally?

My two favorite local fashion spots are All City Kicks on Wealthy Street and A.K. Rikk’s. DENYM on Bridge Street is a great place for jeans and I’m looking forward to checking out the new men’s boutique, Slate, in downtown Grand Rapids. What’s your day job?

I co-own a few different companies, including GR USA, an apparel company based on hometown spirit, celebrating the culture and history of Grand Rapids. I’m the cofounder and CEO of the Midwest Tech Project, a nonprofit entity developed to create awareness and training and increase diversity within West Michigan’s technology industry. I also co-own Empower Michigan, an urban initiative that focuses on improving inner city neighborhoods and business districts. Follow the man on Instagram at jonathanjelks. While there, check out his hometown apparel at gr_usa or


REBECCA GOHL Hair & Makeup Artist

Having attended Chic University of Cosmetology and GRCC, Rebecca Gohl has about 30 seconds to decide what to do with a face before “I’m standing and staring like a crazy person.” She works in the corporate, print, fashion, weddings, television and film arenas, specializing in pinup, ’60s style and film noir. She collects vintage hair nets and tikis and is a brow pencil junkie, “because no one told me at 14 if you plucked them too much, they wouldn’t come back.”

What have you worked on in the past that you’re proud of?

I put myself into every project, but some of my favorites are My Grandmother’s Ravioli with Mo Rocca for the Food Network and a 15-year anniversary 9/11 special with Dick Cheney on The History Channel. It’s peeking into someone’s life — that’s why I enjoy it so much. Break down your personal style…

Modern 1950s casual. I wear things that make me happy. I have tattoos. I would rather wear a dress than pants any day. I love wearing vintage dresses. My most comfy shoes are my black low-top Converse. I’m not a huge fan of real jewelry, but I do have some great vintage kitty necklaces and pins I wear. I like to monogram my coats with Rs. And I have a collection of Lucite purses. Products you can’t live without?

The face cream, eye cream and face wash from KPS Essentials. They’re made locally in Grand Rapids. Also, witch hazel, hot rollers, MAC Lady Danger lipstick, LUSH bath bombs, Burt’s Bees face wipes, and lip scrub that I make from olive oil and sugar. You’re inspired by old movies and quirky people. Want to name-drop any?

Marie Antoinette (Queen of France), although her story is amazing, her hair is beyond anything. Her coiffeur, Léonard Autié, started the pouf in 1774, but Marie Antoinette made it popular. The actual ship in her hair is the most notable — I also have this tattooed on my forearm. Also, Lux Interior and Poison Ivy from the band The Cramps. Once you see them, it will burn into your soul forever with their visually-erotic psychobilly style and amazing music. Bare-bones style advice?

My grandmother told me to find one thing you love about yourself and build around that. There is only one you. Love yourself. This girl is worth getting to know at


West Michigan

Style File

by Missy Black

fashionable people, places and things


Wardrobe & Set Stylist


Ever heard the term “farm-to-fashion?” It certainly describes Natasha Peterman, who styles shoots for film, television, fashion and big clients like Amway and Wolverine Worldwide. Styling means working with creative directors and photographers while juggling wardrobe for models and props for the set. Growing up, Peterman was at home in her parents’ photo lab, which resulted in an early love for photography that led to modeling and styling. Now, Peterman has her own alpaca farm — Woollydaisyfarm — which has been incorporated into some shoots, bringing her two passions together. Her new business endeavor, no.672, takes alpaca fiber beyond mittens and hats, adding an elegant and funky flavor. Look up natashaohlmanstyling on Instagram.

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Furniture Designer

For Joseph Jeup, seating is a “very romantic thing. You sit and feel it — it feels you. Seating is mood altering.” Jeup grew up with a keen eye in an artistic family and learned how to build products at the age of 16. His favorite piece might be the Blaire Writing Desk, for its historically recognizable shape reimagined in today’s finishes. His pieces blend comfort and timeless design to help shape our lives. While his brand mostly handles casegoods, he has designed many luxury dining tables and beds as well. His clients aren’t just looking for any old desk — they’re collectors. His latest project is the RAISE THE CALIBER Lighting Collection (with Jessica Mindich) that takes illegal guns off the streets and imbeds the serial numbers in light fixtures. The purpose isn’t to glorify violence, but to remind us of the importance of keeping our children safe. Part of the proceeds go back into amnesty programs to take guns off the streets. “We’re taking design and putting it to good work to contribute to something bigger in the community.” Another project, SHREDS (with Doug Schwartz), features sculptures showcasing confiscated and dismantled guns in clear acrylic. The guns are destroyed, never to destroy again. Visit

40 | REVUEWM.COM | March 2017


Marketing Specialist at CAT Footwear

When it comes to fashion mashups, Kelsey Dunneback is going to make copycats of us all. Her fashion merchandising degree has her working on photoshoots and packaging products for an edgy and urban footwear company. “My personal style is grungy glam with boho elements mixed in — think Cali grunge with some vintage finds,” Dunneback said. “I also tend to lean toward tomboy styles without looking too masculine.” Style icons include Alexa Chung and Leandra Medine, from the blog Man Repeller. Dunneback is still waiting for the 1920s flapper look to come back with all its glitz and fun, mainly because she wants the world to get fancy again. “I’d love to see people getting more dressed up to go out to dinner,” she said. Instagram: kelseydunneback and ladyinmenswear.


Creative Director & Fashion Designer Visit RC Caylan’s website and the first image is a heavily-bejeweled woman lounging in a gown, exuding loads of sophistication and excitement. It’s from his first collection (made only from red fabric) shown at the San Francisco Fashion Festival. “That plunging red evening gown embellished with red cat’s-eye gem beads and furry, small pom-poms was my take for an avant-garde evening gown,” said Caylan, who owns his own atelier in downtown Grand Rapids. The Filipino French-lace-lover is inspired by modern and classic aesthetics blended with functionality. His creations range from couture bridal, eveningwear and long gowns, cocktail dresses and chic men’s street styles. Drool over that dress at or get acquainted at rc_caylan on Instagram.


Joey Ruiter is an artist and a futurist. He creates objects that push and lead us out into something new and make us wonder what’s next. “I translate that into products for the automotive industry, furniture and boating and consumer products.” He started as a child, rethinking toys, building things and later customizing. “It’s that blend between art and physical products.” Ruiter started restoring and building cars before stumbling across industrial design at college, where he sold the patent for his first office chair before he’d even graduated. He’s worked on a black, rectangular car that was the epitome of style, being “an accessory you take out on the weekend for dinner — a car not used everyday but for fun like a fancy coat or a clutch.” He jokes that the next, newest project always feels like the best thing he’s done and gives kudos to the community he lives in. “West Michigan is filled with genius makers and builders and fabricators. The knowledge around here is really cool.” Next up for Ruiter? A shoe design and drone transportation. and on Instagram at joeyruiter.

Hundreds of Intensely, Wicked Cool Eyeglass Frames

50-70% OF F

Sale April 15 – May 6, 2017 Join us for an open house featuring Dutch Eyewear Designer Roger Hoppenbrouwers. You’ll love the soft shapes and wonderful colors of the newest styles from Roger Eye Design!

Friday, April 7, 2017 l 12:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Globe Design & Vision

Did you know? You can get a free listing on our online event calendar.

Just visit our calendar, click “submit event” and enter the details. calendar

REVUEWM.COM | March 2017 |

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Come meet the man himself, straight from Holland!

send us your events


Style | profile

by Missy Black

Trend Talk This season’s hottest local clothes and accessories

When it comes to style, you need to be ahead of the curve. You need to know what’s hitting this season and the local boutiques that carry it. We asked stores all over West Michigan what their hottest pieces are and they obliged. We also threw in some style tips so you know how to wear it all, because we’re cool like that.

This large brass adjustable ring is plated with 18K gold, rose gold or sterling silver and features an impressive green stone and cubic zirconia accents. Wear it with an all-black top so the color pop can’t be ignored. $45,

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A practical purchase, this wallet/clutch combo holds your credit cards and ID, along with most phones. It’s from Kalio Chic, featuring the super popular Rifle Paper fabric. I think every purse deserves a fetching wallet in a contrasting print. $36, Pink Lemonade, Grand Rapids.

You can’t go wrong with a maxi skirt. This one from En Crème has a boho, prairie vibe. It’s the right amount of flowy and comfortable, and just a little bit sexy with those buttons and front slit. Do tanks or a chambray shirt with this number. $56, Spring Sweet, Holland.

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We dig the major day-to-night versatility in these vegan booties from Coconuts by Matisse, available in charcoal and natural colors. You can pair with cuffed skinny jeans, but don’t be shy — long dresses and skirts work too. $79, Lemongrass Life + Style, Grand Haven.

It’s time you gave shampoo bars a try. Indulge in the fantastic aroma of sweet cherry and rich creamy almond, blended with bentonite clay and organic aloe to give you clean, healthy hair. Use it on nights when you know someone will be snuggling close. $7,

There’s a tomboy-tough vibe here, a direct contrast to the feminine silhouette of this tied camo dress from Z Supply. The style begs for a fitted denim jacket and biker chic booties. $49, Sparrow Boutique, Muskegon.


w w w. h aw t h o r n e co l l e c t i o n . co m

Offering a fun mix of clothing, shoes, jewelry, accessories, and more. Our boutiques get new merchandise often so there’s always something new to see when you visit! 5751 Byron Center Ave SW - Wyoming 6450 28th Ave - Hudsonville clothing | shoes | jewelry | accessories | gifts

1409 Robinson Road SE, Grand Rapids 616-218-9257

Find Your Style

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Rest. Relax. Revive. Hair, make-up, nails and more, The Parlour has you covered!

77 Monroe Center St NW, Grand Rapids 49503 / / 616.608.1731

REVUEWM.COM | March 2017 |




866.672.6627 • ANNASHOUSEUS.COM







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44 | REVUEWM.COM | March 2017


616-356-2573 ERBTHAIGR


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 Mediterranean-inspired 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. Brewery Vivant 925 Cherry St. SE. 616-719-1604 FRENCH/BELGIAN. Housed in a refurbished funeral chapel, this brewery won Best Ambiance in Revue’s Best of the West with its stained glass windows and European beer hall setup. Along with farmhouse style beers, the LEED-certified BV is known for its French-Belgian cuisine, from duck nachos to roasted bone marrow. » SERVING: Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: The Burger (2nd place Best of the West). Founders Brewing Company 235 Grandville SW. 616-776-1195 BREWPUB. A beer-lover’s paradise with a national reputation for flavorful, awardwinning beers. Likewise, the brewpub’s menu consists mainly of flavorful handcrafted deli sandwiches that can stand up and complement the beers (or vice versa). » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Award-winning beer, handcrafted sandwiches.

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

Harmony Brewing Company 1551 Lake Dr. SE (616) 233-0063 BREWPUB. Harmony features 12 craft-brewed beers in addition to signature root beer for the kiddos. Named one of the top-five brewpub menus in West Michigan by yours truly, Harmony offers 10” rustic wood-fired pizzas and great soups and sandwiches. Check out their new location, Harmony Hall, at 401 Stocking Ave. NW. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Pizza and brews. 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. One Trick Pony 136 E. Fulton. 616-235-7669 AMERICAN. One Trick Pony unveiled a new menu last April with the tagline “Fresh, Local Fare with a Beat.” The restaurant is a part of FarmLink and supports local growers and remains focused on sustainability. Connected to the Cottage Bar, the menu spans pizza, salads, homemade soups, smoked prime rib and more. Pair the food with live music, which OTP features weekly. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Eclectic pizzas. The Pita House 1450 Wealthy SE, 3730 28th Street, 4533 Ivanrest SW (Grandville). 616-454-1171 MEDITERRANEAN. Gyros so big you can club someone with them, the smoothest hummus in town and other Mediterranean fare, including kibbe, kafta and falafel. Additional locations on 28th Street and Kalamazoo SE. Sandwiches are made to order with fresh vegetables and ingredients. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Fresh pita wraps. Reserve Wine & Food 201 Monroe Ave. NW (616) 855-9463 ECLECTIC. With 102 wines available by the glass and more than 300 by the bottle, paired with an ever-changing food menu influenced by West Michigan grown foods, Reserve promises diners a unique experience. Cocktails and craft beers add depth to the primarily wine-centered menu. » SERVING: Lunch, Dinner

OPEN ON: Closed on Sunday GO THERE FOR: Wine and food pairings, charcuterie, happy hour. Wolfgang’s Restaurant 1530 Wealthy St. SE. 616-454-5776 BREAKFAST. The bustling Eastown breakfast spot is home to some of the heartiest breakfast dishes and funniest menu descriptions. Courteous staff never fails to offer a cup of coffee to go after we’ve finished breakfast. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Breakfast all day.

Kalamazoo/Battle Creek Bell’s Eccentric Cafe 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave. 269-382-2332 BREWPUB. The Eccentric Café features eclectic fare sourced from sustainable local ingredients, inspired by and designed to complement Bell’s award-winning beers. On tap, you’ll find 30-40 different beers, many exclusive to the Café and brewed right next door at the original brewery. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: The Beer 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.

Old Dog Tavern 402 East Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo. 269-381-5677 AMERICAN. The food at Old Dog Tavern is just about as eclectic as the entertainment offered. The menu has so much on it that it might even bring some harmony between picky and adventurous eaters. » SERVING: Brunch Lunch Dinner. OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: The eclectic menu options. Olde Peninsula 200 E. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo 269-343-2739 BREWPUB. Downtown brewpub serves up the expected (e.g., steaks, ribs), the authentic (e.g., London Broil) and

some pleasant surprises (e.g., extensive vegetarian offerings, Italian food). Offers a range of beers brewed on the premises and served on tap, plus a full bar. Check out the seasonal porters on tap right now, including the Vanilla Porter (5.5% ABV) and Stout Chocula (5.25% ABV). » SERVING: Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: BeerB-Que Ribs, London Broil. Union Cabaret & Grille 125 S. Burdick St., Kalamazoo. 269-384-6756 AMERICAN. A partnership with WMU, Union features eclectic food and cocktails, plus live jazz music performed by WMU faculty and students. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Closed Sunday. GO THERE FOR: Portabella Fries, Bloody Maries with infused vodkas.

Lakeshore Hops at 84 East 84 East 8th St., Holland. 616-396-8484 TAVERN. A beautiful taproom sporting reclaimed wood and copper. With 60 beer taps, two English beer machines, eight wine taps and an extensive spirits menu, Hops has a special beverage for everyone. The menu includes brick-oven pizza, burgers and sandwiches, wings and a rotating special of the day. There are also gluten-free options, including their famous pizza. Several large-screen TVs adorn the restaurant if you’re in the mood to watch the big game. » SERVING: Lunch, Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days GO THERE FOR: Craft beer and brick-oven pizza. New Holland Brewing Company 66 E. 8th St., Holland. 616-355-6422 BREWPUB. One of West MI’s premier microbreweries serves up better than average pub grub, including savory sandwiches chock full of Michigan ingredients, plus a seasonal entree menu. Also try their artisan spirits. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Mad Hatter IPA, Dragon’s Milk. 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.

REVUEWM.COM | March 2017 |

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Garage Bar & Grill 819 Ottawa Ave. NW. 616-454-0321 AMERICAN. This bar and grill serves up real food with fresh ingredients. Known for its all day happy hour with a $2 draft, $3 well drink and $4 glass of wine. Also look for the freshly-ground 7 oz. Garage Burger, served with hand-cut fries. The casual bar’s diverse menu ranges from soups and wedge salads to brisket sandwiches and hand-battered onion rings. A long list of ice-cold craft beers tops off the experience, with block parties on Wednesday throughout the summer. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Burgers, Chicken Tenders, Live Music.

& Chips, Shepherd’s Pie and Irish Stew, as well as Indian specialties like 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@



Passing the Torch:

Laura Bell takes over as CEO of Bell’s Brewery When Laura Bell was 2 months old, her dad founded what would go on to become the largest brewery in Michigan and the seventh largest craft beer maker in the country. While she’s held a number of roles in her decade working at Bell’s Brewery, Bell just took on a great deal more responsibility after being named CEO of the company last month. While her father, Larry Bell, remains involved in the brewery, Laura Bell will take over the day-to-day operations and planning for the family-owned company and its satellite Upper Hand Brewery in Escanaba, Mich. Bell spoke with Revue about what it’s like to follow in the footsteps of an industry legend as well as her plan to make craft beer more inclusive. Transferring a business from generation to generation is hard enough, but it’s another thing when the founder is a legend in the industry like Larry Bell. How much pressure does that put on you?

norm or that challenged the status quo. As we move into our current market, things are a little bit different. Craft is different than its original intention because it’s seemingly no longer about ownership or size — or quality, even. We’ve got all kinds of different businesses that are falling under this one word. It’s definitely bringing up a lot of conversations about who we are, what is craft beer, what is independent beer. … There’s not a great answer to it.

My dad’s management style for me has been trial by fire. He gives me a lot of opportunity to make my own decisions. And what I do is not always right, but then it’s how do you fix the problems. I’ve learned through the process that you’ve got to be OK with making mistakes. It’s really how you fix them, how you learn from them and not do them again. The best “While making valiant thing is that he does not hold my hand. attempts and efforts to … There’s no expectation that you’ll be perfect. be inclusive and not just

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What’s the vision for Bell’s given its history as a fiercely independent brewery?

a boys club anymore, we still have a long ways to go with regards to how we talk about diversity in the beer industry, how we talk about how we treat people in the beer industry.”

Shifting gears, how do you assess Bell’s portfolio of brands? We’ve always been pretty winter seasonal focused. We love to make stouts. We put out a lot of stouts, and that’s really fun.

I’m sure many people would flip if Black Note Stout became part of the year-round lineup.

I don’t have a crystal ball, but I’d like to think in 40 years that it remains that way. We’ve worked very hard to have Bell’s be family-owned with my dad and my brother David involved. We want it to reflect our values and personalities without having to (pay attention to investors). We have to make business decisions, but we get to think about best possible outcomes and how we want to take care of our people. It’s part of the DNA that Larry (instilled in the company).

You have to assess what each brand is doing for you. A lot of them we’ve been making for 30 years, and there’s an emotional attachment to them. It’s hard to sit down and think what to do with this brand and that brand. … Our expectation is not every seasonal or specialty brand is going to be an Oberon.

What’s your take on how the craft beer industry is changing?

Craft beer has a bit of a reputation as an old boys club. How can it become more inclusive?

For a long time, being a craft brewery has been about being independently-owned, making quality beer that’s not the

I think one of the biggest things is just to talk about it, to understand that not everyone experiences the beer industry

46 | REVUEWM.COM | March 2017

(Laughs.) We don’t talk about Black Note.

Fair enough. So do you expect to change things up anytime soon?

Laura Bell or beer in the same way. While making valiant attempts and efforts to be inclusive and not just a boys club anymore, we still have a long ways to go with regards to how we talk about diversity in the beer industry, how we talk about how we treat people in the beer industry. A lot of times it’s, ‘Well, it’s beer, it’s fun, it’s OK — don’t take it too seriously.’

Isn’t that exacerbating the problem? I think that really creates an environment that is not inclusive. We need to be able to say that because it’s beer, it should be the most inclusive. It’s a social beverage. We should be able to respect that women want to be a part of that like men want to be a part of it. We should be open to all opportunities to bring all people into beer, instead of suggesting that a sexist or potentially racist package or name is OK because it’s beer and we shouldn’t take it so seriously.

What’s your go-to Bell’s beer? For me, it’s Oarsman.

You said your mission is that Bell’s will remain independent. Say Anheuser Busch/InBev comes knocking: As a business owner and executive, what’s your number to sell out? There is no number. There’s not even a conversation. n Interview conducted and condensed by Joe Boomgaard. Courtesy photo.




gacu l a



Blue Magic is an easy drinking ale brewed with organic lavender from Light of Day Organics. Prepare for an intriguing floral aroma and light body, followed by a strong lavender finish.

Now On Tap!


REVUEWM.COM | March 2017 |

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Scotch Ale


Dining Q&A

by Nick Macksood

Table Talk:

Trevor Corlett, Madcap Coffee

Trevor Corlett

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PHOTO: Katy Batdorff

Madcap’s Trevor Corlett likes to say he got into coffee “for the wrong reasons.” That’s not the whole story, but what he really means is his love for cafés started with the culture, not the drink itself. It all began with helping his musician roommate setup in cafés, which led to Corlett helping to open a café in Indianapolis, and then some not-so-fruitful attempts to launch his own shop in Illinois. Instead of giving up, Corlett returned to Grand Rapids in 2008 with all his newfound knowledge and experience. He became Madcap’s CEO and cofounder alongside Ryan Knapp. Now, Madcap has a second location in the Downtown Market and a third on the way on Fulton Street. Revue sat down with Corlett to talk about Madcap’s laser focus and why the company’s coffee is far more than the sum of its parts.

What’s different about Madcap compared to your previous attempts? It’s hard to point at any one thing in particular. I think mostly my previous ventures failed because there was a lack of definition as far as what I was going to do to differentiate our business from others.

What do you think has led to Madcap’s success, then? I always equate Madcap’s success to having such a great team right from the get-go. Plenty of great people from the last shop I worked for followed me up here, including my business partner Ryan, who sources all of our coffee. What’s crucial is that both of us had a commitment to developing close relationships with producers and being as involved in the process of sourcing and roasting these coffees as we could.

Let’s go back to café cultures, because Madcap’s is very unique. How do you describe it? The intention in our first space was to be very minimal, because we wanted the coffee to be the focus. And at that time, maybe it was

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Madcap’s new space at the Downtown Market

a little too minimal for what our customer base was comfortable with. We intended it to be a place where customers could come in and ask questions about the coffee, share excitement about it and interact with our staff more.

What about the new space? In that sense, the new location at the market is a better execution of that vision. We wanted to have a warmer atmosphere and the shape of the (circular) bar denotes that. At any point at the bar here, you’re connected with our staff. You can see the product in front of you and how it’s all done.

What’s it been like to introduce such serious coffee to a Midwestern market? I think we all tend to fall prey to these stereotypes about the Midwest community not being interested in products like this, and of course we’ve found that not to be true. … It didn’t take much effort to persuade our customers that paying more for a

specialty product — one created in a sustainable way that supports our producers and the people around them — is worth it.

We’re talking a lot about coffee as experience. Does any one café stand out in your mind? Well, one that sticks out in particular was this café in Shanghai. The shop was called Punk Coffee. … Literally everything was done so well. They had an amazing food menu and bar seats, and they brewed their own beer there. They roasted their own coffee onsite. I can’t say anything bad about it. The service was impeccable — everything had an intention to it.

So the experience elevates the product? We all want something that tastes good, but your perception of how that thing tastes is partially dictated by the atmosphere around you and the experience you’re having. So when you’re in a place that has exceptional service and you enjoy the atmosphere, you’re going to taste and perceive something as more enjoyable.

That’s probably why diner coffee tastes so good. That’s exactly it, the idea that everything has its place. The environment you’re in plays as much of a role in enjoying a coffee as the coffee.

Last question: I’ve heard you have to work here for a year before you can pull an espresso shot. True or false? (Laughs.) That’s actually true. The average time is probably about a year. But that happens for a lot of reasons. Coffee shops are just like any other in the service industry with a reputation for high turnover. So it’s about setting a goal in mind, knowing that you have to learn how to talk about the coffee you’re selling, how to engage customers, and then to learn all the variables that go into making the coffee. … But with the growth we’re having now, we might have to speed that process up a little bit. n

Newly Engaged? reach for the sun


CONSIDER A WEDDING RECEPTION AT THE DOUBLETREE Our All-Inclusive Reception packages include food, drinks, set up and décor Call 616-957-0100 and ask for Alyssa.

Sun - Wed: 11AM - 12AM | Th - Sat: 11AM - 2AM 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 49007 269.382.2332 | 4747 28th St SE, Grand Rapids

REVUEWM.COM | March 2017 |

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oberon release 3.27.17


Last Call by Nick Macksood / photo by Katy Batdorff

The Doom of Valyria

SpeakEZ Lounge, Grand Rapids Variables abound in SpeakEZ’s George R.R. Martininspired cocktail. The distinct applewood-smoke flavor imparted with a special smoke gun can be altered by how much you inject into the snifter, as well as the amount of time you let it mingle with the ice cube and sage leaf. Vanilla and caramel notes of the Maker’s Mark add a delicate touch to the smoke flavor, along with the floral St. Germain and sweetness of the plum bitters.

50 | REVUEWM.COM | March 2017

Ingredients: Makes one drink 2 oz. Maker’s Mark Bourbon 2 oz. St. Germain Liqueur 2 dashes plum bitters 1 sage leaf Applewood chips Cocktail smoke gun Rub sage leaf around the rim of a cocktail snifter with one large ice cube inside. Following the instructions on the box of your brand new smoke gun, inject the snifter with your desired amount of applewood smoke. Then cover the top of the glass and let smoke and sage leaf rest. Pour Maker’s Mark, St. Germain and plum bitters into a resealable carafe. Inject smoke into the carafe and stir liquors. When finished, pour the smoke-infused liquors into snifter.



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BOOK YOUR WATCH PARTY!! CALL CALL TODAY TODAY 616-451-4300 616-451-4300 REVUEWM.COM | March 2017 |


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