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WEST MICHIGAN’S ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE FOR 30 YEARS » NOVEMBER 2018

FREE!

ALSO INSIDE: ADAM DEVINE WING SAMPLER NEIGHBORHOOD BREWERIES


SEASONAL. GLOBAL. PHENOMENAL. Indulge in authentic global classics and hand-crafted cocktails in the kitchen of the world’s first celebrity chef, Wolfgang Puck. Made with the best available, locally-sourced ingredients, The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck promises a relaxed and welcoming dining environment that is sure to make any meal an occasion.

For reservations visit wolfgangpuck.com

For reservations, please visit wolfgangpuck.com


NOV 16

Australia's Thunder from Down Under Entertainment Hall | 8PM Tickets start at $10 NOV 17

truT truTV Impractical Jokers Entertainment Hall 6PM & 8:30PM Tickets start at $64 NOV 25

Donny & Marie

Entertainment Hall | 6PM Tickets start at $79 Get your tickets at Soaring Eagle Casino or Saganing Eagles Landing Casino Box Offices, ETIX.COM or call 1.800.514.ETIX. Stay Connected with Soaring Eagle: Performances held at Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

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Entertainment subject to cancellation. Management reserves all rights.

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018 |

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Saturday,

Ah-Nab-Awen park

# LightUpDowntown downtowngr.org

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REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018 |

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*

*

18+

NOVEMBER 1 DRAKE NIGHT

NOVEMBER 3 GOOD CHARLOTTE

NOVEMBER 2 GOV'T MULE

Scorpion Season

NOVEMBER 17 ELVIS COSTELLO & THE IMPOSTERS

NOVEMBER 16 AMANDA MIGUEL & DIEGO VERDAGUER

NOVEMBER 7 THE FUN SHOW WITH CAT & NAT

w/ Adam Ray

*

* NOVEMBER 10 THIEVERY CORPORATION

NOVEMBER 6 ADAM DEVINE

NOVEMBER 4 SEETHER

w/ Sleeping With Sirens, Knuckle Puck, The Dose

* NOVEMBER 20 GENERATION AXE

NOVEMBER 18 DANITY KANE DK3

Featuring Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde, Yngwie Malmsteen, Nuno Bettencourt and Tosin Abasi

w/ Dawn & Dumblonde

18+

nOVEMBER 23 BATTERY

Metallica Tribute Playing The Black Album on Black Friday w/ Revelations

* NOVEMBER 29 WHO’S BAD The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute

w/ The Steel Woods, Tennessee Jets

december 2 GREG GUTFELD

december 4 EXTREME MIDGET WRESTLING

december 5 MELISSA ETHERIDGE

DECEMBER 15 SCOTTY MCCREERY

december 28 TRIPPIN BILLIES

december 29 POP EVIL

january 11 THE PRINCE EXPERIENCE

DECEMBER 1 CODY JINKS

NOVEMBER 30 STEEL PANTHER w/ Wilson

* The Holiday Show

* DECEMBER 6 EVE 6 w/ Somme, Party Nails

DECEMBER 8 YULE BALL

featuring Harry & The Potters

w/ Jimmie Allen, Heather Morgan

Dave Matthews Tribute Band

w/ Handsome Pete

* january 25 WALK THE MOON

january 26 JESSE MCCARTNEY

FEBRUARY 21 THE WALL LIVE EXTRAVAGANZA

The Greatest Floyd Show on Earth

march 6 NOTHING MORE w/ Of Mice & Men, Badflower, Palisades

march 15 THE PUMP & DUMP SHOW

* SEATED SHOW

11 OTTAWA AVE NW • DOWNTOWN GRAND RAPIDS • 20MONROELIVE.COM 6 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018

* march 20 THE MUSICAL BOX A Genesis Extravaganza


ctured: cassoulet toulousain Pictured: cassoulet toulousain

Never hashas thethe phrase Never phrase

“Bon “BonAppétit” Appétit” been more apropos. been more apropos.

f r e n c fhr ebni sc thr ob i s t r o

Always at theatforefront of inspired dining, six.one.six announces a bolda bold Always the forefront of inspired dining, six.one.six announces leap into cuisine. Introducing Alessandro Guerrazzi-our new leapFrench into French cuisine. Introducing Alessandro Guerrazzi-our new chef de cuisine. Classically trained in Europe and aand native of Italy, chef de cuisine. Classically trained in Europe a native of Chef Italy, Chef Alessandro showcases a masterful, creative command of theoffresh Alessandro showcases a masterful, creative command the fresh ingredients evident in each of his dishes. It is much more than a change ingredients evident in each of his dishes. It is much more than a change of menu. It is aItwhole new philosophy on what is fresh, what what is fabulous, of menu. is a whole new philosophy on what is fresh, is fabulous, as only can make possible. as six.one.six only six.one.six can make possible.

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WHAT’S INSIDE

November 2018 | Volume 30, Issue 11

SCENE: 12 14

What’s Going on Biz Beat

SOUNDS: 16 19

On Tour: Post Animal On Tour: Billy Strings

SIGHTS:

8A

21 22

Comedy: Adam Devine Eclectic: Comic Con

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE 23 25 27 29 31 33 35 36 38

Introduction Bookworm Art Lover Fitness Guru Teen Fossil Musician Foodie Stocking Stuffers

REVUE ARTS:

1A Visual arts, classical and jazz music, theater, arts event previews and more. (See the center of this issue)

DINING & DRINKING: 40 42

8 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018

40

42

Dining: Wings Beer: Your Friendly Neighborhood Brewery


TIME TO RAISE THE CURTAIN

CLIEN

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Nove Revu JOB

FK-32

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FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16

TONY ORLANDO & DAWN

OF HEART FRIDAY DECEMBER 28

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 13

Tickets available now at the FireKeepers Box Office or FireKeepersCasino.com.

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

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10/15/18 10:39 AM REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018 | 9


LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

T

he best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

That same idea goes for gift shopping, a task that can feel insurmountable to some of us. It’s not that we don’t want to shop — I love to watch a friend’s face light up as they realize you actually got them something useful. But it’s just so hard to know where to start. Whenever you’re feeling lost, it’s helpful to turn to a guide. That’s what we’ve provided for you with our Holiday Gift Guide, showcasing gifts for all kinds of different personalities. Even if you don’t see your specific loved one in the pages ahead, we’ve proven it’s possible to find a fitting gift for anyone in West Michigan. Art, music, food, books, clothing — we have it all. Meanwhile, we also have plenty of stories covering November’s local happenings, from an interview with Workaholics’ Adam Devine to Billy Strings, a West Michiganborn musician turned Nashville prodigy. We also tried wings from three different local restaurants, all at different price points, ala Buzzfeed’s Worth It videos — except without the hundreds of dollars of gold leaf and edible diamonds thrown on for no reason. Then, head to Revue Arts for a look at local exhibits, symphonies and theater, including West Michigan’s latest brunch event (hint: it involves drag queens.) It’s clear that even as the weather cools down, our arts scene is only heating up. Just remember: The early bird gets that cool journal/mug/painting your friend would absolutely love.

W E S T M I C H I G A N ’ S E N T E RTA I N M E N T G U I D E

EDITORIAL Publisher Brian Edwards Associate Publisher Rich Tupica / rich@revueholding.com Editor Joe Boomgaard / joe@revuewm.com Managing Editor Josh Veal / josh@revuewm.com Copy Editor Claire Boomgaard DESIGN Kristi Kortman / kristi@revuewm.com Kaylee Van Tuinen / kaylee@revuewm.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Missy Black Jane Simons Kayla Sosa Nick Macksood Eric Mitts

Kelly Brown Dana Casadei Marla R. Miller Michaela Stock

CONTRIBUTING ILLUSTRATORS Shi Briggs ADVERTISING / 616.608.6170 Rich Tupica / sales@revuewm.com Kelli Belanger / kelli@revuewm.com DIGITAL EDITOR Josh Veal

’Til next time,

FIND US ONLINE! Josh Veal, Managing Editor

UP COMING IS SUE S DECEMBER:

JANUARY:

At year’s end, Revue takes a look both back and forward. We’ll examine how the restaurant, drinking and arts scenes have changed in the recent past, then look into our crystal ball for what lies ahead.

We're looking forward to the future, helping you make plans early and fill out your calendar now with dozens of the year’s best events.

Rearview Mirror / Crystal Ball

50 Things to Do in 2019

Website: revuewm.com Twitter: twitter.com/revuewm Facebook: facebook.com/revuewm Instagram: instagram.com/revuewm REVUE is published monthly by Revue Holding Company. P.O. Box 1629, Grand Rapids, MI 49501-1629 Office: 616.608.6170 / Fax: 616.608.6182 ©2018, 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: Holiday Gift Guide Illustration By Shi Briggs See more on page 23

TO ADVERTISE: Call (616) 608-6170 or email sales@revuewm.com. Space reservation is the 15th of the month before publication.

10 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018


REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018 |

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WHAT’S GOING ON THIS MONTH |  Compiled by Revue Staff

11/4

All Stouts Day

11/10 Deafheaven

Bell’s Eccentric Cafe 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo Nov. 4, 11 a.m. bellsbeer.com

The Pyramid Scheme 68 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Nov. 10, 7 p.m., $21 pyramidschemebar.com

As one of the oldest (and largest) craft breweries in Michigan, it’s no surprise that Bell’s Brewery knows its beer inside and out. The Kalamazoo-based brewery has become known for its killer stouts especially, which is why the taproom will fill every one of its taps with the dark, creamy, roasty style for one day this month. Head in for some specialty brews, along with specialty tours all weekend.

Deafheaven may be the first-ever black metal band to find a large following outside of metalheads. In fact, if you hit up a Deafheaven show, you’re more likely to see fans in skinny jeans and flannel than Cattle Decapitation shirts. Thanks to its heavy shoegaze influences, the band frequently tours with dreamy indie bands and garners coverage from publications like Pitchfork. The band is stopping through with grunge/shoegaze outfit DIIV in support of Deafheaven’s latest album, Ordinary Corrupt Human Love.

11/7-18

Cocktail Week

Grand Rapids Nov. 7-18 experiencegr.com

DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS SCENE

Every year, Grand Rapids puts cocktails in the spotlight, celebrating everything from martinis to manhattans, old fashioneds to mojitos. Local distilleries and restaurants offer special cocktail menus that go above and beyond in an effort to remind West Michigan that there’s more to life than beer. The week culminates in the three-day Grand Rapids Wine, Beer & Food Festival, a sprawling exhibition of just about everything consumable in the area.

12 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018

Mitten Turns 6!

The Mitten Brewing Co. 527 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids Nov. 10, 11:30 a.m.-midnight mittenbrewing.com Sometimes, an event’s title just says it all. The Mitten Brewing Co. is turning six, and it’s time to celebrate. That means discounted pizza flights, discounted beer, special tappings, live music, barrel-aged beer, and a new release of six-packs of Triple Crown Brown. The party is spilling out of the taproom and into the back parking lot, meaning this all-day affair is basically a beer fest.

The Lone Bellow at St. Cecilia Music Center. COURTESY PHOTO

Roosevelt Diggs

Founders Brewing Co. 235 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Nov. 10, 9:30 p.m., $5 Roosevelt Diggs has been making music for more than 10 years, playing high-energy bluegrass, folk, blues, rockabilly and more around the state. The group has used that decade-old bond to create its third album, Better Days, lovingly recorded at Third Coast Recording in Grand Haven. This show at Founders is a celebration of that growth, with Adrian + Meredith supporting.

11/14

Australia’s Thunder from Down Under

Kalamazoo State Theatre 404 S. Burdick St., Kalamazoo Nov. 14, 8 p.m., $25-$45 kazoostate.com

You might not be surprised to learn this is decidedly NOT a family-friendly event. Australia’s Thunder From Down Under is riding the coattails of Magic Mike’s success, with an evening of dancing, stripping, flipping and partying. This male revue is full

Cocktail Week GR. COURTESY PHOTO

of chiseled bods and cheeky humor, making it the perfect girls’ (or boys’) night out.

Nov. 17, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. downtownmarketgr.com

11/16

The Downtown Market will be filled to the brim with vendors this month, creating the perfect opportunity to find an incredibly unique gift for your loved one. More than 45 artisan gift vendors are setting up shop, offering jewelry, art, crafts, pottery, engraving, and much more. When you’re done shopping, head downstairs and check out any one of the Market’s many food vendors.

The Tallest Man on Earth

Hope College 277 College Ave., Holland Nov. 16, 8-11 p.m., $30 hope.edu

Kristian Matsson’s solo project is more than just great SEO — it’s an accidental success story, turning the Swedish singer-songwriter’s life around after his debut album blew up in 2008. His raspy voice is eerily similar to Bob Dylan’s, the perfect match for his stripped down, guitar-centric music. Matsson is bringing his soothing crooning to Hope College in support of his ongoing project, When The Bird Sees The Solid Ground.

11/17

A Very Merry Market Day

Downtown Market 435 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids

11/24

A Drag Queen Christmas

DeVos Performance Hall 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids Nov. 24, 8 p.m., $20+ devosperformancehall.com

The RuPaul universe is coming back to West Michigan once again, with all of your favorite contestants in tow. Miz Cracker is hosting a drag dance-off and all-around party with Latrice Royale, Naomi Smalls, Raja Gemini, Farrah Moan and more. It’s by far the most glamorous, sparkly way to kick off the holiday season.


The Secret Ingredient In Our Fresh Dutch Chocolate Milkshake?

PH Balanced 24% Dutch Cacao

11/26 Breaking Benjamin and Five Finger Death Punch

Van Andel Arena 130 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids Nov. 26, 6 p.m., $37+ vanandelarena.com Sometimes you just need to rock out. The double-whammy lineup of Breaking Benjamin and Five Finger Death Punch is a powerful combination, promising a cathartic night of headbanging and moshing. Both bands have been around for some time and helped shape the scene of hard rock and alternative metal.

11/29

The Lone Bellow

St. Cecilia Music Center 24 Ransom Ave. NE, Grand Rapids Nov. 29, 7:30-10:30 p.m., $35 scmc-online.org

The Lone Bellow is touring the country with a special acoustic show perfectly tailored for beautiful, intimate venues like St. Cecilia. The Brooklyn-based trio is known for its harmony-filled folk music and lively performances, filled with jokes, stories and powerful singing. Check out the soulful, heartfelt Then Came the Morning and you’ll be hooked.

11/30 Marcus King Band

The Intersection 133 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Nov. 30, 7-11 p.m., $15 sectionlive.com

BEST BETS

THE LITTLE MERMAID Join Civic Theatre in celebrating the classic, family friendly musical The Little Mermaid, based on the 1989 Disney animated film. Follow the misadventures of mermaid Princess Ariel and her want for a forbidden love of a prince on land. Her father warns her, but still she persists to see the world above. She gives up her beautiful singing voice to the sea witch Ursula in exchange for human legs and a chance to explore the world above the water. When she realizes she got more than she bargained for, Ariel must enlist the help of her sea creature friends to overcome the witch’s evil plans. — Kayla Sosa Grand Rapids Civic Theatre 30 N. Division Ave., Grand Rapids Nov. 16-Dec. 16

grct.org

ARTISAN ICE CREA M

Milkshake Blended-n-Ready to Eat!

KALAMASHOEGAZER 12 Now in its 12th year, the Kalamashoegazer Festival continues to celebrate all things shoegaze, dream-pop and twee with an absolutely stellar showcase of the music subgenre. The Austin-based band Ringo Deathstarr is headlining this year’s event, which also includes Brief Candles, Seashine, Tears Run Rings, Airiel, Soft Science, Springhouse and Tambourina — the latest project from Kalamashoegazer founder/ organizer April Zimont. — Eric Mitts Bell’s Eccentric Café 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo Nov. 10, 4:30 p.m. $15-18 bellsbeer.com

AVAILABLE AT: FOREST HILLS FOODS i D&W FRESH MARKET i SPARTAN STORES i THE CRUSHED GRAPE i MARTHA’S VINEYARD i AND MANY FINE RESTAURANTS PGI of Saugatuck, Inc 1-800-4gelato (443-5286) 413 3rd Street Fennville, MI 49408-8671 PALAZZOLOSDAIRY.COM

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SCENE SOUNDS | SIGHTS | DINING

At just 21 years old, Marcus King already is dazzling crowds across the nation with a gorgeous, slightly rough voice beyond his years and incredible guitar-shredding Americana — or as he puts it, “soulinfluenced psychedelic Southern rock.” That’s not to discount his band, who brings the groove with funky horns, organ, piano and percussion. Opening the show is the talented Ida Mae, a British Americana duo, which is not exactly a combination you see often.

13


/// NEWS At The B.O.B. Grand Rapids, MI 616.356.2000 thebob.com

WEST MICHIGAN

BIZ BEAT

A Roundup of Openings, Closings and other Local Business News

SAM MORRIL

November 1-3

KEVIN BOZ

November EMAN 8-10

DAN CUMMINS

DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS SCENE

November 15-17

14 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018

DAVE

NovemberDY2E3R-2 4 #drgrins

ANNOUNCED: Squibb Coffee is planning a new location at 1220 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids, right by John Ball Zoo. The second location will be a partnership with Rise Bakery, creating a combination bakery and cafe. No opening date has been announced. The City of Muskegon is building a convention center, attached to the downtown LC Walker Arena (470 W. Western Ave., Muskegon). The 45,000-square-foot convention center also will be connected to the 201-room Holiday Inn Muskegon Harbor, which will soon become a Delta by Marriott. The goal is to accelerate the city’s growth and bring visitors from across the state to Muskegon.

OPENING: Danzon Cubano (1 Carlton Ave. SE, Grand Rapids) has joined the ranks of Eastown, presenting “a tribute to the Cuban people, their history, their culture.” The menu features authentic Cuban food like Spicy Oxtail Stew and Pargo Entero Al Horno, an entire roasted snapper. The restaurant is strongly inspired by Ernest Hemingway, including its Hemingway Daiquiri, a drink “without the sugar ... and double the rum.” Speciation Artisan Ales (3721 Laramie Dr. NE, Comstock Park) was finally able to open up its taproom for good, after a long battle with some dumb permits. The brewery will be open Thursday through Sunday, offering up its unique tap list of complex sour and wild ales, such as the Magic Trait, a barrel-aged sour with blackberries, blackcurrants and blueberries. Go Java (442 Bridge St., Grand Rapids) rose from the proverbial ashes of The Sparrows’ westside location, setting up a second location in the former cafe. The new shop offers sandwiches for breakfast and lunch, as well as all kinds of coffee and milkshakes. Go Java also regularly displays local art. Meanwhile, Waverly Stone Gastropub (20 W. 8th St., Holland) took over 8th Street Grille’s spot in

Waverly Stone Gastropub. COURTESY PHOTO

downtown Holland. The restaurant has a “chefprepared, globally-inspired menu,” 28 taps for beer and a wine/cocktail list. The menu features sandwiches, salads, pasta and diverse offerings like the Shrimp Bacon Okonomiyaki, a kind of savory Japanese pancake. Schaendorf Brewing Co. (412 Water St., Allegan) arrived last month with full dinner service and beer from various Michigan breweries. Eventually, Schaendorf plans to brew its own beer, but for now, the tap list is mainly coming from Tapistry Brewing, where co-owner Kyle Heslip is the head brewer. The food menu includes burgers, steaks and other entrees.

CLOSED: Artesian Distillers’ Hemingway Lounge (15 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids) closed suddenly, moving from downtown Grand Rapids to Whitehall. The lounge offered dozens of cocktails made with Artesian’s spirits, as well as a few shared plates. Artesian did not supply a reason for closing the location, but suggested in a Facebook post that the space be used by another distillery or cocktail lounge. n —Compiled by Josh Veal If you have any closings, openings or other business news for REVUE, e-mail josh@revuewm.com.


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/// ON TOUR

STRANGER AND STRANGER STILL Post Animal turns bizarre Netflix connection into new musical evolution | by Eric Mitts

DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

T

HERE ARE MANY STR ANGE encounters ensued, with bandmates waking STORIES ABOUT HOW BANDS up alone to the presence of someone lurkcatch a break, but it doesn’t get strang- ing in the room, and end-tables toppling er than the story of Post Animal. over in the dead of night. With an already odd band name “It was a very eerie and ethereal time,” and an indefinable eclectic sound, the psy- guitarist Matt Williams told Revue. “We love chedelic group has it all in its short history. to write music that — I don’t want to say Sweaty DIY basement shows? Check. Strong has a paranormal element, but we like to musical friendships with local Chicago have some roomy, reverby sounds. There’s icons? Check. A ghost haunting the record- actually a couple moments on the recording ing session at a Michigan lake house? Check. of the album where there’s some backwards It would almost feel scripted if the band reverse drum cymbals that we did not do didn’t also have a bizarre connection to a ourselves. So we like to attribute that to the certain hit Netf lix series that spread Post ghost of Paw Paw Lake.” Animal’s name online unlike anything they Perhaps an omen of what was to come, could’ve imagined. the band’s brush with the supernatural Let’s flash back to 2014. Two longtime wouldn’t be its last. In 2015, guitarist Joe friends, guitarist Matt Williams and bass- Keery got offered what would become ist Dalton Allison, escape the the role of a lifetime, as Steve small town of Danville, Ill. Ha r r ing ton on t he Net f li x in hopes of forming a band original series Stranger Things. HOPE COLLEGE in Chicago. There, they meet When the show exploded during CONCERT SERIES ke y b oa rd i st /g u it a r i st Ja ke the summer of 2016, he left the PRESENTS: Hirshland and Post Animal is group, but not without creating born. Beginning to write songs, POST ANIMAL an internet frenzy where fans Park Theatre the group made more friends in eagerly wanted to discover more 248 S. River Ave., Holland Chicago’s extensive DIY rock about the underground band. Dec. 1, 8 p.m., $15 scene, adding drummer Wesley “I think initially it was great hope.edu Toledo and guitarists Javi Reyes because it helped put us on the and Joe Keery. map in a way,” Williams said. Sharing lead vocal duties, “But there were def initely difthe band explored everything from ’70s- ficult times too, because there were people stylized guitar riffs to power-pop melodies who were seeing us as like the Stranger Things on its early self-recorded releases. With buzz band, and we were really trying to keep our building around its legendary live shows, the identity. band set about recording its first proper full“In the end, it was one of the reasons why length LP, When I Think of You In a Castle, we were able to get on the road and bring secluding themselves at a friend’s lake house our music out to people.” near Paw Paw Lake in Watervliet. Scratching their heads over the sudden Hearing that the spirit of a past owner confusion, the band just kept playing as haunted the property, Post Animal began a five-piece, hitting the road in 2017 for a its epic 18-hour recording sessions. Odd steady string of shows that included its first

16 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018

Post Animal. PHOTO BY POONEH GHANA

big run outside its home state with Chicago garage rock juggernauts Twin Peaks. “We were all star-struck, because we were all really big fans of their music at the time and still are,” Williams said. “From the first time we met, our friendship just kind of persisted. They were the first ones to really show us how to do it. They were patient with us because we were completely new at the time, and they’ve been nothing but great.” The short tour included Post Animal’s opening slot for Twin Peaks’ show at the Park Theatre in Holland, back in the winter of 2017. Since then, the band has signed with indie label Polyvinyl Records, released When I Think of You In a Castle, and played at several major music festivals all across the country, including this year’s Lollapalooza in its hometown of Chicago. “I went (to Lollapalooza) in 2014 for one day, and I was just daydreaming while I was there,” Williams said. “As a 21 year old, I

was just thinking, ‘What would it be like to play this place?’ So to be able to actually do that this year, it’s kind of outlandish. I wouldn’t believe myself if I told myself that I’d be playing it right now.” The band’s stranger-than-fiction rise so far has the members ready to record again next year and see where their music will take them next. “I know it’s probably the broadest thing that can be said, but we have no restrictions,” Williams said of Post Animal’s evolving sound. “We might get more extreme. We might f ind more progressive elements. Maybe we’ll find poppier elements. Maybe we’ll find heavier elements. But I think we’ll always be a band that likes to do everything, all of it, rather than just one exact sound.” n


Parties For Hosting

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Live Music

from the best local & regional acts

FRI & SAT NIGHTS | 9PM -1AM Visit thebob.com for this month’s lineup 20 Monroe Ave NW • Downtown GR REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018 |

17


Locally made Dutch "windmill" cookies are added to the mash to give this very unique Brown Ale spice and sweetness.

A V A I L A B L E

T H I S

M O N T H !

TAPROOM & PACKAGE RELEASE Saturday, Nov. 10!

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HOURS

Monday-Saturday: Noon-Midnight Sunday: Noon-10 p.m.


/// ON TOUR

TALENT & TOIL Breakout bluegrass star Billy Strings returns home for two-night ‘Thanksgiving Run’ | by Eric Mitts

I

friends who I grew up with around there. Now that we’ve got two nights, I know I’m Strings is thankful for only one thing this staying for at least one night.” Thanksgiving, it’s that he’ll finally get to Strings packed The Intersection for a spend at least one night back home. single show last year hot on the heels of his Born William Apostol in Muir, about 40 album release, and he’s excited to return miles east of Grand Rapids, Strings discov- ahead of recording sessions for his upcomered his love for music and his raw natural ing follow-up, which he’s set to record back talent at just four years old when his father in Nashville in January. — amateur bluegrass picker Terry Barber — put “I would like to play Michigan a lot Strings’ first six-string in his hands. more,” Strings said. “Those folks up there, Earning his nickname from his aunt the people that live up there and used to when he quickly developed a knack for come out and see me play at the coffee several traditional bluegrass instruments, house or downstairs at the bookstore, those he studied the legends of the genre while are the people that shoved me off. I got keeping a keen eye on the changing world in this little rickety boat and they shoved around him. me off to sea, and said, ‘Go Billy! You can Growing up in Ionia, he spent time do it!’” playing in metal bands during his school Honored to represent the Michigan days. The scene caught up with roots music community on the him and many of his friends, national scene, Strings runs plunging him into the dark into West Michigan road warBILLY STRINGS world of dr ugs and despera- The Intersection riors and close friends Greensky tion, and leading him to drop Bluegrass all the time. In fact, 133 Grandville Ave. SW, out of high school twice before he was just announced as an Grand Rapids Nov. 23-24, 7 p.m., graduating. opener for their winter 2019 So he returned to his roots. $11.25-25 tour. sectionlive.com He relocated to Traverse City When he’s in Nashville, and teamed up with his bluegrass his house is across the street mentor Don Julin, and together from fellow Michigan music they recorded two collaborative LPs. transplant Lindsay Lou. Recently, the two The fire to perform continued to burn collaborated together, and when he’s not on within him, so he took his head-banging the road, Strings has been co-writing with acoustic style to Nashville a little over two many other musicians in Nashville. Besides years ago. About a year later, he released his top-shelf backing band — made up of his 2017 debut LP, Tinfoil & Turmoil, to tre- mandolinist Drew Matulich, banjoist Billy mendous critical acclaim. It’s been nonstop Failing and bassist Brad Tucker — he’s been touring ever since. working with his friend and former Jewel He and his band logged more than co-songwriter Steve Poltz. 200 shows last year and are on pace to pass Showcasing the speed and skill of his 200 gigs again this year. So for him to slow musicianship, Strings’ songs soar into the down for a holiday in his hometown is a psychedelic, drawing comparisons to evreal gift. eryone from The Dead to Sturgill Simpson. “Part of my lifestyle is that I’m always They also don’t shy away from the tough on the move,” Strings said of his life as a times he’s seen. Losing friends at a young touring musician. “If I do see somebody, it’s age to drug addiction, he hopes to continue only for a few minutes and then I’m back to channel those troubled times into music in the van. So it’s good to get back home that can help others. and spend a little time and see some of my F WEST MICHIGAN NATIVE AND RISING NASHVILLE PRODIGY BILLY

Billy Strings. COURTESY PHOTO

“I get messages f rom good f riends of mine who say, ‘You know, successful musicians don’t talk about politics in their music,’” Strings said of addressing politics in his songs. “And I just start listing people off, like Pete Seeger, Willie Nelson, Neil Young, Bob Dylan. You want to talk about Bruce Springsteen, David Byrne. I can name off a hundred amazing artists and that’s all they did was talk about the shit that was happening in our country, and I think it’s complete bullshit for somebody to say, ‘shut up and just play music and don’t talk about that stuff,’ because music, that’s what it’s for. That’s what music is for.” n

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018 |

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“(I’m grateful) that I never got wrapped up in that stuff too bad, and I can use it as inspiration for art,” he said. “This opioid crisis is still very much tearing families apart in America and in Michigan. I’ve lost a couple friends this year to heroin. … I have a really happy life, and I sometimes feel like I don’t deserve that.” But Strings isn’t taking his opportunities for granted. Fiercely independent, he’s passed on record label interest thus far in his career. He’s had to hustle as he’s built his team around him. Staying true to himself remains his top priority, while he matures as a songwriter in today’s tumultuous political climate.

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www.sovengard.com


COMEDY

ONE WEIRD WORKAHOLIC Actor/comedian Adam Devine turns tragedy into triumph

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by Eric Mitts

“I ALWAYS LIKE TO KEEP A LOT ON MY PLATE, BECAUSE COMING FROM THE MIDWEST I ALSO HAVE THAT FEELING LIKE, ‘IT’S ALL GOING TO STOP ANY SECOND.’”

EST KNOWN AS THE STAR AND CO-CREATOR

Adam Devine. PHOTO BY MATT SAYLES That sense of humor allowed him to still feel like part Currently making his way through the Midwest on the of the group at school, despite not being able to play sports final leg of his Weird Life Tour, Devine plans to tape his or do what other kids his age did. first hour-long Netflix comedy special back home in Omaha “Not that I would’ve been any good,” Devine said of his at the end of this run. athletic prowess. “But that was my great excuse. Now I can “Stand-up is my home base,” Devine said. “It’s where I always say I could’ve been a professional baseball player — started in comedy when I was 18 years old, and I’ve never but the accident.” fully let go of it even when things got really busy with doing By 13, he had started calling into a local Omaha radio Workaholics and then all the movies and all the things I’ve station during its drive-time, doing differbeen doing. Stand-up was always there for ent voices over the phone and developing me and was a place that I could always go characters. But when the station invited and find my voice again if I ever felt like I ADAM DEVINE him to come down and start getting paid as was losing it.” WEIRD LIFE TOUR part of the on-air comedy team, they were Devine’s Netflix comedy special will 20 Monroe Live shocked to see he was a boy in a wheelchair. 11 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids likely arrive sometime in 2019. Until then, Nov. 6, 7 p.m., $39.50 and up The experience essentially started his fans can see him live on the road, or in next 20monroelive.com, (844) 678-5483 career in comedy, even if he only got paid year’s family film Magic Camp for Disney’s in free CDs and concert tickets. new streaming service, and The Righteous “It wasn’t just other little kids (that I Gemstones, alongside Danny McBride and could make laugh),” he said. “It was adults, professional John Goodman on HBO. radio people, and they thought I was funny, so I guess that “I feel like every comic secretly wants to be a rock star,” kind of gave me an extra boost of confidence that I needed Devine said. “So this is as close as I’m gonna get. As the at that time to keep going.” world has seen with my singing and dancing in the Pitch Starting out in the world of stand-up comedy, Devine Perfect movies, true rock stardom isn’t in the cards for me, relocated to Los Angeles after high school and not much but comedic rock stardom may be.” n later met his Workaholics collaborators while in college.

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018 |

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of the hit Comedy Central series Workaholics, actor/ comedian Adam Devine has personally embodied the show’s title with his busy career since the slacker cult classic ended its run last year after seven seasons. Besides appearing regularly on the award-winning ABC series Modern Family as “Andy the Manny,” he’s lit up the box office with hilarious performances in hit movies like The Intern, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates and Pitch Perfect 1 & 2. But life wasn’t always all Hollywood premieres and A-list parties for the 34-year-old star. Born in Waterloo, Iowa and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, Devine still holds his Midwest roots close to his heart, and credits his upbringing in the heartland for making him the prolific performer he is today. “I come from a family of very blue-collar, Midwestern workers where it wasn’t an issue for my dad to go to work for 12 hours a day, because that’s just what he did in order to put food on the table for us working for the railroad,” Devine told Revue. “So you’ll never catch me complaining about how much I’m working. I always like to keep a lot on my plate, because coming from the Midwest I also have that feeling like, ‘It’s all going to stop any second.’” Devine’s seize-the-day approach to life and comedy goes all the way back to his childhood, when he had a terrifying accident. At just 11 years old, a cement truck struck him while he was walking his bicycle and left him with injuries that put him in a wheelchair for two years. The simple fact that he didn’t die made his parents so grateful, they’ve supported him in anything he’s wanted to do ever since. His time spent in a wheelchair also gave him the sort of unique perspective that helped launch his pathway into comedy. “It happened to me in that weird part of life when kids are the absolute meanest humans on the face of the Earth, and that is like between 11 and 14, before they start having a little bit of humanity inside of them,” Devine said. “So I was getting bullied a little bit at school, and I’m in a wheelchair, and I just wasn’t having it. I found that if you can disarm the bullies with humor, and you can get people around them laughing, then they won’t make fun of you. “It’s like having a little superpower when I felt powerless being in the wheelchair.”

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by Eric Mitts

ECLECTIC

SUPERSIZED FANDEMONIUM Grand Rapids Comic-Con continues to grow in its fourth year at DeVos Place

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good about encouraging them in their work and watching them grow in their field.” exploded on a huge scale. No longer the fringe For the uninitiated, cosplay is the most noticeable domain of the uncool, “nerd” culture has gone element of any comic book convention. It’s where you’ll completely mainstream with the colossal success see Darth Vader waiting in line alongside Rick and Morty, of blockbuster movies like The Avengers and award- or Wonder Woman sharing a laugh with Super Mario. winning TV series like The Walking Dead. Often fan-created, costumes run the gamut of geek With that has come a massive wave of new fandom, culture, from movie favorites to video game avatars to which frequently gathers to build collections, make new anime icons. All it takes is a little ingenuity and some connections and show off self-made creations at Comic- crafty skills and you could be the talk of this year’s con. Cons all across the country. “If you plan on going and you have not attended “The field has obviously exploded, mostly due to an event like this before, my advice would be to wear the popularity of nerd-based films and television,” said comfortable shoes and empty the memory on your Mark Hodges, Grand Rapids Comic-Con co-owner and camera,” Hodges said. “You will walk a lot and you will event director. “Netflix and other streaming services shoot a lot of pictures. Read the program and make sure have been building their brand around genre-based to check out some panels and presentations at the show. productions like Daredevil and Stranger Things, and a There is a ton going on. These shows are a lot more than simple reading of the top 10 films of any year in the past the vending hall. Also, drag out the Halloween costume 10 years will show there is a huge interest in and have some fun.” genre-based entertainment.” This year’s Grand Rapids Comic-Con Reflecting that rise in interest in what will feature more than 20 celebrity guests, GRAND RAPIDS they do, the organizers behind the Grand more than two dozen comic book artists COMIC-CON Rapids Comic-Con have quickly scaled up and authors, an art show, a film festival, a DeVos Place the event, going from a wildly successful ex- 303 Monroe Ave. NW, gaming area, an anime room and more than periment inside the Home School Building 100 hours of programming. The show is also Grand Rapids in Wyoming during its first year back in hosting several rising YouTube stars for the Nov. 9-11, $15-55 2013 to selling out the Deltaplex in 2014. grcomicon.com, first time. (800) 745-3500 Last year had more than 28,000 attendees “I think what makes us stand out is at DeVos Place. the more family-friendly vibe, and the “The first show was started with $7,500 show is completely inclusive,” Hodges said. in credit cards and another $1,500 from one of our “Moms and dads can bring their little kids to a very relatives, and we walked into that show with $50 to our family-friendly environment, and more marginalized names,” Hodges said of the huge personal and financial communities feel that our event is safe and fun to atrisk he and his wife/co-owner Jennifer Hodges took tend and be themselves, which is something I strive for.” when starting Grand Rapids Comic-Con in 2013. “We That open inclusivity has Grand Rapids Comichad lines out the door literally over a mile long, and Con on pace to officially become a national event in we knew that our lives officially were never going to its industry, as Hodges anticipates breaking the 30,000 be the same.” mark for attendance this year. Every year since, Hodges has seen an increase in “I think the biggest impact (we’ve had is) on the attendance and enthusiasm, adding that Grand Rapids teen and young college market,” Hodges said. “For a has quickly become a major hub for talented cosplayers. lot of people in that age group, we have become a key “Two different cosplayers from West Michigan have event similar to prom and homecoming, which to me placed or won divisions of the annual contest at C2E2, is pretty amazing. A lot of kids see our event as a place which I would consider the premiere cosplay contest in that is for them and that they can release some tensions the Midwest,” he said. “There is also some tremendous and be themselves. Unfortunately, a lot of kids feel like artistic and writing talent in the area, and we feel very they have to wear a mask throughout life, and with our event, they can release that and just be themselves.” n T’S AN UNDENIABLE FACT THAT OVER THE PAST DECADE, COMIC BOOK CULTURE HAS

22 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018

Grand Rapids Comic-Con. PHOTOS BY TRUONG LAM.


NOVEMBER 2018 REVUEWM.COM/ARTS

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FANTASY & LEGACY Muskegon Museum of Art’s fall exhibits honor local artists SEE PAGE 12A. STORY BY MARLA MILLER.

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[THEATER]

Publisher Brian Edwards Associate Publisher Rich Tupica Editor Joe Boomgaard / joe@revuewm.com Managing Editor Josh Veal / josh@revuewm.com Design Kristi Kortman / kristi@revuewm.com Kaylee Van Tuinen / kaylee@revuewm.com

Contributing Writers: Jane Simons Kayla Sosa Dana Casadei Marla Miller Becky's New Car Rehearsal. COURTESY PHOTOS

Cruisin’ Through Life She wants a new car. And in getting a new car, she finds a new life. That’s how director Martha Kallenbach describes Becky’s New Car, the latest production from Muskegon Civic Theatre. The story goes like this: Becky is middle-aged and questioning her happiness. When a series of events leads her to a new car and a chance at a new life, the audience is along for the ride. “It’s not like anything I’ve ever worked on or seen before,” said Robin Willi, who plays the lead role of Becky. “Everyone thinks about taking a vacation from their life and I think, in this show, Becky really takes the audience on a ride through hers. She kind of allows you to see how she gets to this point in her life and the justifications that she makes in her mind

on how she gets there.” The show addresses young love, marriage, loss, infidelity, different family dynamics, feeling stuck in life and taking chances. Willi said everyone in the audience will find a way to relate to this show. “It’s really charming,” Willi said. “It’s something that everyone’s going to have an opinion about, one way or the other. You’re going to find somebody in the show to root for. There are really heartfelt moments and uncomfortable moments. (But) at the end of the day, it’s a comedy.” All of these qualities made directing this show all the more fun for Kallenbach. “I love to tell stories,” Kallenbach said. “And this story is so interesting because the characters are so rich and they’re fun to watch unfold on stage … because everyone has some underlying premise, so they each have a different story that you don’t expect.”

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Muskegon Civic Theatre takes us for a ride BY KAYLA SOSA

Willi said the cast is doing great in rehearsals and all working very well together. “The cast is super, super supportive,” she said. “I’ve worked with the actor who plays my son before so we have a good relationship to play off of.” ■

BECKY’S NEW CAR Muskegon Civic Theatre 425 W. Western Ave., Muskegon Nov. 16-Dec. 2 muskegoncivictheatre.or

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ON THE COVER: Fantasy & Legacy Muskegon Museum of Art’s fall exhibits honor local artists

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REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018 |

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[THEATER]

Finding the answer Western Michigan University brings New York star to the stage

BY JANE SIMONS

Prescott Seymour’s life as an actor is a drag, but he isn’t complaining. Seymour, known to theater audiences as “The Robin Williams of Drag,” is bringing his alter ego, Sutton Lee Seymour, to the Shaw Theater stage for six performances of a play titled The Lady in Question. A 2007 graduate of Western Michigan University’s Musical Theatre program, Seymour started performing as Sutton Lee six years ago in New York City, where he makes his home. “I got out of a long-term relationship that just destroyed me,” Seymour said. “A drag friend said I should do a number, so I did my number, which was a medley of Eartha Kitt, Patti LuPone and Carol Channing. After my number was done, there was just this raucous applause, which pulled me out of my rut.” All the while, Seymour had been performing and acting, touring and doing regional theater and entertaining on cruise ships, and waiting tables to make ends meet. “Sutton became an opportunity not to have to do that anymore,” Seymour said. “Ten or 11 years ago, drag did not have the respect that it has today, but drag is theater and I just want to do theater. I have to do it.” The star’s latest role puts him on center stage in a free-wheeling satire of 1940s thrillers, which tells the suspenseful tale of Gertrude Garnet, the most glamorous concert pianist on the international stage. On tour in 1940 Bavaria, her colossal self-absorption is challenged when a handsome American professor requires her aid in rescuing his mother from a Nazi prison. The biggest challenge, Seymour said, is finding truth within the style. “It’s a roller coaster of tones and it moves quickly between being uproariously funny

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| REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018

and terrifying moments of pure human shock and awe,” he said. The play represents playwright Charles Busch’s political statement about the courage of a drag queen who stood up for her rights and the rights of others in the LGBTQ community during the Stonewall riots in 1969 in New York City. While the leading lady role is traditionally played by a drag queen, Mark Lierman, who directs the show, said it’s a play, not a drag show. He said Busch loved all movies and this play is his way of showing his appreciation for movies of the 1930s and ’40s that promoted America getting into the war, such as Casablanca.

THE LADY IN QUESTION Western Michigan University 1903 Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo Nov. 9-18 wmich.edu/theatre

“Notorious was the film that really inspired him,” Lierman said. “The beauty of it is that Seymour and I spent a lot of time talking about the drag aspect of the show. It’s a wink towards that, but the intention is to never draw attention to the fact that it’s a man playing a woman.” Seymour said he had a misconception that the play had to be a big drag farce, which caused him to struggle with the script. “It’s one of those shows that the more I work on it, the more I appreciate it and enjoy it on all the levels it presents,” he said. “The audience will see how funny and poignant it is. It will leave them with some thoughts

and questions.” Seymour was tapped to bring the production to life by Joan Harrington, director of WMU’s Theater department. He will be surrounded by a cast of 11 theater students. “We really wanted to do something that could reach out to the LGBTQ community in a way that was exciting and we always look for ways to bring back one of our successful alums,” Lierman said. The play’s themes speak to contemporary issues and the warning signs inherent in current events of the times. Much like the drag queen embroiled in the Stonewall riots, Seymour’s character stands up for what’s right and stands up for humanity and willingly puts herself in harm’s way for the betterment of people. In Act One, the leading lady says she must love herself first and foremost, but in the second act, she starts to fight for others. “You have to move beyond the spoof aspect, because it is a good story,” Lierman said. “The drag has to be the punctuation mark, where the play and story is the full sentence. “It’s a fun, dark comedy and you’re dealing with heavy situations, but it is OK to laugh at the subject matter.” “I think we still live in society that’s defined by norms — what we’re supposed to do and what we’re not supposed to do — and a drag queen flips that,” Seymour said. “You’re making a statement that you’re not supposed to make.” He said he’s been told that actors should be entertaining people and not bringing in politics. “I think an artist’s job and duty is to make political statements, because we have the ear of communities out there. Through our art, we can make political choices,” he said. ■

Sutton Lee Seymour. COURTESY PHOTO


”AN ENTIRELY FRESH, FUNNY & GORGEOUS NEW PRODUCTION.

A REASON FOR CELEBRATION!” –NEW YORK MAGAZINE

DECEMBER 4-9 MSU’s Wharton Center

WHARTONCENTER.COM • 1-800-WHARTON East Lansing engagement is welcomed by Clark Trombley Randers Consulting Engineers; Farm Bureau Insurance; Jackson National Life Insurance Company; Mayberry Homes; and Palmer, Bush & Jensen Family Funeral Homes.

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018 |

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[THEATER]

Finding Your Grail Spamalot brings musical amusement to Miller Auditorium Cast of Spamalot. PHOTO BY SCOTT SUCHMAN

BY DANA CASADEI

As a sophomore in high school, Joey Fontana saw Monty Python's Spamalot at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts, on the east side of the state. Now he’s part of the national tour, performing at Miller Auditorium this month. “I remembered how much I loved it and how perfect I thought it would be for me … so I was dying to go and audition for it,” said Fontana, who auditioned during an open call in New York. As an ensemble member, he’s in many of the show’s musical numbers, including his personal favorite, Act 1’s Laker Girls. In that number, he gets to briefly play a frog mascot, a full-circle moment for the Oakland University graduate who played a frog in his very first musical, Seussical the Musical, when he was eight.

MONTY PYTHON'S SPAMALOT Nov. 9-11 Miller Auditorium, 1341 Theatre Dr., Kalamazoo (269) 387-2300 millerauditorium.com

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Just as the frog in Spamalot harkens back to Knights of the Round Table go on a quest to find the Holy Fontana’s first show, there are plenty of references Grail, during which time they cross killer rabbits, The throughout the two-hour production for musical theKnights Who Say “Ni” and flying cows. Add some music ater lovers to catch. and you have the musical. “There are so many,” Fontana said. “The first one that For those who have seen the film and think a musical comes to my head is Act 2’s You Won’t Succeed on Broadisn’t their thing, Fontana still encourages them to come way. We do a whole Fiddler on the Roof number. It’s just see it. so fun.” “It is a lot like the movie, and it’s also just a very specific Fontana also enjoys the tap number Always Look On type of humor that the people who enjoy the movie will The Bright Side of Life, which might as well enjoy here,” he said. be an homage to Singin’ in the Rain. But Getting to make people laugh is one his absolute favorite number of the entire of the many reasons Fontana enjoys the musical is the Lady of the Lake’s The Song show so much. It’s all he’s ever really wantThat Goes Like This. ed to do. “It’s basically a song that’s making fun Underneath all the layers of humor, of pop divas, pop culture, belt actresses sarcasm and flesh wounds, there’s also and musical theater; it’s so funny,” he said. a pretty important message throughout “Our Lady of the Lake is phenomenal and the 2005 Tony Award-winning musical, she does such a good job.” which can be found in one of its songs, Even though the show makes fun of Find Your Grail. those types of power ballads and Andrew For Fontana, that number is the most Lloyd Webber-style musicals, Spamalot is important one in the show because it gives just as much a big, showy musical theater the audience hope. It tells everyone to go production as one of Webber’s shows. out and find what makes them happy, Joey Fontana. “It combines a very medieval, kind of whether that be a person or something PHOTO BY KAYLA SOSA chivalrous tone with a very modern, conelse, and to ultimately be themselves. temporary, funny, outrageous side to it, “I love singing that number because of which makes it so funny because of the contrast between how it makes me feel and I know how the audience will this seriousness and this playfulness,” he said. feel, especially because I remember listening to that and The musical is also just plain funny. But it’s what you’d how special it was to me,” he said. expect from a book and lyrics by Eric Idle, who also The musical also encourages guests to look on the wrote the music with John Du Prez. Idle is well-known bright side of life, even when it doesn’t seem like it's posas the co-creator of Monty Python for TV, stage and five sible. Fontana said that’s a message everyone could use films, including Monty Python and the Holy Grail, on which right about now, and the show will help. Spamalot is based. “You can’t leave the show and not be happy,” he said. ■ If you’ve never seen the 1975 cult classic, here’s the rundown of its musical adaptation: King Arthur and his


FRIDAY NIGHT ART HOPS Connecting Cords Music Festival

NOVEMBER 2 | 5PM

Join the Michigan Festival of Sacred Music by local Native American storyteller and artist Larry Plamondon as he performs with a musical guest.

Elizabeth Ivy Hawkins, MFA, #safespacepainting project

NOVEMBER 2 | STUDENT TIME 5:30PM

“In my experience, paintings are really grace poems. Longing wrapped in texture, color, and form. I am not certain about many things, but I do know that we are the perfect mix of dust, and mind, and spirit. And grace, just like surrender, is found in a small, still, red room,” she said.

Kalamazoo Mandolin and Guitar Orchestra

DECEMBER 7 | 5PM

This local group presents holiday music old and new.

Fretboard Festival Play-In Contest

JANUARY 4 | 5PM

Talented musicians compete for a chance to perform in the March Fretboard Festival!

Frank Lloyd Wright: Architecture of the Interior THRU DECEMBER 9

Featuring designs of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The 28 drawings and photographs displayed show Wright’s distinct and “organic” style and why he is considered the greatest of American architects. This exhibition was organized by the International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC, incooperation with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, AZ.

FREE GENERAL ADMISSION Monday-Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Art Hop Fridays 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Sunday + Holidays 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Closed: Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day

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

269.373.7990 | 800.772.3370 kalamazoomuseum.org

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018 |

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[THEATER]

Drag Brunch. PHOTOS BY ASHLEE BROWN

Morning with the Queens Grand Rapids’ new show is a tableside performance BY KAYLA SOSA

The newest morning fad is a show while you eat: Drag Brunch. Sit back with a boozy beverage and a delicious plated breakfast (or lunch) and see some of the most talented queens performing in West Michigan. Trevor Straub is the show director and producer for Drag Brunch Grand Rapids by DT Promotions, LLC. After getting his musical theater degree in 2014 from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City, he wanted to make use of his skills somehow in his hometown of Grand Rapids. “I really work hard to keep the quality of the show at its highest standard with the professionalism of the drag and what people want to see, and what our audiences are hungry for,” Straub said. “I think it’s important, also, to have variety in your show and diversity of the performers. Just different styles and different types of drag.” The audience can expect a two-hour performance, with some games to partic-

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| REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018

ipate in, a plated meal and brunch-style beverages. Each drag queen performs two numbers and gets to interact with the audience. “We have sold out all except two shows that we have ever done,” Straub said. The first show was July 1 of this year at Linear Restaurant. “It has been so amazing from the community. It has been so well-received. You can read our Facebook reviews; everyone just thoroughly enjoys it.” A typical show will feature six “Brunchettes,” with five permanent queens and one rotating. “Our emcee is always Batty Davis and the cohost is always Dia Elektra,” Straub said. “Then, our performers are Gabriella Stratton Galore, DonaTella and Gemma Stone. And with those five, we rotate in a feature queen each event. We bring in queens from Chicago. We’ve brought them from Detroit. We also feature other local, professional drag queens.” Each performance is two hours, with typical showtimes being 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Doors open at 10 a.m. “Your ticket includes a plated meal … of your choice,” Straub said. “We typically have three to five menu options and we kind of let the chef create the menus. I like to leave it up to the different restaurant styles and what the chef is passionate and talented about.”

Admission also includes one drink ticket for a bloody mary or mimosa. And guests can expect to sit at a community-style table. “We just want people to mingle, have fun, socialize, get to know each other, meet new friends,” Straub said. “The atmosphere’s really outgoing, fun and interactive.” As for the performers, he said it takes true talent and dedication to do drag. “There are so many different aspects that go into it,” he said. “Letting go of yourself to perform, memorize the words, memorize your movements on what you want to do at what point. Most of the girls I have in my cast are making their own outfits as well, so it’s just so inspiring to see the ‘normal’ broken.” Straub hopes people see past stereotypes and really appreciate drag for what it is: an art. “Everyone is very individual,” Straub said. “You’re going to have a beauty girl, you’ll have an edgier girl, you’ll have a dancing girl. They all find their own personality and performance style.” Brunchette Galore said her favorite part of the performance is being able to engage with the audience in a unique way. “There’s something so fun about pulling people into this fantasy you’ve created and sharing your creativity,” she said. “It’s

truly something that is truly one of a kind. It’s a way to see a long-standing art form in a modern setting.” Drag Brunch has shows booked through December. “Drag is for everyone,” Galore said. “It’s insanely glamorous, unapologetically sassy and incredibly entertaining.” Straub said he is excited to have had so much success right off the bat, and can’t wait to see how the company grows. “Our goal is to be Michigan’s only recurring brunch show,” he said. “We’re really passionate and excited about what we’re doing at this moment. Look for us in a city near you, because we have full ambition to hit the road!” ■

UPCOMING DRAG BRUNCHES: Nov. 4 - MeXo GR Nov. 11 - Linear Nov. 18 - Zoko 822 Tickets are $35 grbrunch.com


[theater]

preview

THE LADY IN QUESTION, Nov. 9-18, $20 NEXT STOP, BROADWAY, Nov. 29-Dec. 1

GRAND RAPIDS While you prepare for family and friends to invade your home be- CIVIC THEATRE 30 N. Division Ave., Grand Rapids cause of Thanksgiving, remember to give yourself some “me time” and check out one of the many, MANY shows coming to Grand Rapids this month. You can work on your dinner menu later. BY DANA CASADEI

grct.org, (616) 222-6650

THE LITTLE MERMAID, Nov. 16-Dec. 16, $18+

MILLER AUDITORIUM ACTORS’ THEATRE, GRAND RAPIDS

160 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids actorstheatregrandrapids.org, (616) 234-3946

Award-winning author Kate DiCamillo — follows an expensive toy rabbit made of china named Edward, and he’s a bit of a selfish jerk. After being accidentally thrown overboard, the rabbit goes on an adventure and learns how to be better.

AT THE TABLE, Nov. 8-17, $24+ When six friends go on their annual retreat for the weekend — with no cell service or Wi-Fi— they have to put their phones down and actually talk to one another. It’s every millennial’s worst nightmare come true. In Michael Perlman’s comedy, once the booze starts pouring, no conversation is off-limits between the group as they question who is allowed at the discussion table and who isn’t.

BROADWAY GRAND RAPIDS

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

JERSEY BOYS, Nov. 30-Dec. 2, $42+ You won’t be able to take your eyes off Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons during the Tony Award-winning musical. Jersey Boys follows the famous foursome as they go from just four dudes in New Jersey who liked to sing to one of the most famous rock n’ roll bands ever. While they were very compatible onstage — and brought the four-part harmonies to match — life off-stage wasn’t exactly all sunshine and rainbows for the group.

HOLLAND CIVIC THEATRE

50 W. 9th St., Holland hollandcivictheatre.org, (616) 396-2021

A CHRISTMAS STORY, Nov. 23-Dec. 8

KALAMAZOO CIVIC THEATRE

329 S. Park St., Kalamazoo kazoocivic.com, (269) 343-1313

THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE, Nov. 9-17, $10 Making its Southwest Michigan premiere is The Miraculous Journey Of Edward Tulane. This modern Velveteen Rabbit — written by Newberry

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, Nov. 23-Dec. 9, $25

DOG STORY THEATRE 7 Jefferson Ave., Grand Rapids dogstorytheater.com, (616) 425-9234

AS YOU LIKE IT, Nov. 9-18, $14 Presented by the Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company, As You Like It is the Bard’s classic pastoral comedy. After being banished from her uncle’s dukedom, Rosalind decides to run away with her cousin Celia to the Forest of Arden. There, Rosalind meets the dreamy Orlando. Tiny quirk though: Rosalind is disguised as a boy and can’t reveal her identity so that’s going to make things complicated in this hilarious romp.

FARMERS ALLEY THEATRE KALAMAZOO

2200 Auditorium Dr., Kalamazoo millerauditorium.com, (269) 387-2300

MONTY PYTHON'S SPAMALOT, Nov. 9-11, $38+

QUEER THEATRE KALAMAZOO

315 W. Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo qtkalamazoo.com, (269) 929-6781

eLLe, Nov. 8-11 An episodic play series by Detroit playwright Shawntai Brown, eLLe centers on a group of friends going through transitions in their work and personal lives, while also questioning their identities. All the women must navigate self love, community, career and identity.

CALVIN THEATRE COMPANY

3201 Burton SE, Grand Rapids calvin.edu/academic/cas/ctc, (616) 526-6282

PRECIOUS BANE, Nov. 2-10, $15+ Mary Webb’s play will make you very grateful for your sibling. Precious Bane is set in 18th century Shropshire, where Prudence Sarn has been marked as a witch. Her awesome brother (and by awesome, I mean the total worst) convinces her that as a social outcast, no one will ever marry her, so she should live on his property. But then it all starts to turn around for Prudence after the appearance of a traveling weaver. Get it, girl.

MUSKEGON CIVIC THEATRE

425 W. Western Ave., Muskegon muskegoncivictheatre.org, (231) 722-3852

BECKY’S NEW CAR, Nov. 16-Dec. 2, $22

NEW VIC THEATRE

134 E. Vine St., Kalamazoo thenewvictheatre.org, (269) 381-3328

A CHRISTMAS CAROL, Nov. 16-Dec. 28, $25 ■

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

221 Farmers Alley, Kalamazoo farmersalleytheatre.com, (269) 343-2727

A DOLL'S HOUSE, PART 2, Nov. 12-18, $27+ After quite the dramatic exit in Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 masterwork, A Doll’s House, Nora Helmer decides to return home in the sequel. While technically a sequel, playwright Lucas Hnath’s A Doll’s House, Part 2 stands perfectly well on its own, so don’t worry if you didn’t see the first one.

FESTIVAL PLAYHOUSE Kalamazoo College, 1200 Academy St., Kalamazoo reason.kzoo.edu/theatre, (269) 337-7333

IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE, Nov. 1-4, $15

GILMORE THEATRE/ WMU THEATRE 1903 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo wmich.edu/theatre, (269) 387-3227

WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN, Through Nov. 4, $23

P L AY ING TH I S M ON TH :

WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN

THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE

HONK! JR.

THE LADY IN QUESTION

thru November 4

November 2 - November 4

A DOLL’S HOUSE, PART 2 November 2 - November 18

November 9 - November 17 November 9 - November 18

A CHRISTMAS CAROL

November 16 - December 28

eLLe

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG

MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMELOT

NEXT STOP, BROADWAY!

November 8 - November 11 November 9 - November 11

November 23 - December 9 November 29 - December 1

Check out what’s happening on the many stages of Kalamazoo!

www.theatrekalamazoo.com

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018 |

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THE

presented by

NUTCRACKER December 14-16 & 21-23 | DeVos Performance Hall | grballet.com/nutcracker2018 | 616.454.4771 x10

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| REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018


[VISUAL ARTS]

It Takes Two to Tangle

Tanglefoot welcomes the community to connect and explore Tanglefoot Group Photo. PHOTO BY TOMMY ALLEN.

BY DANA CASADEI

Every year, Tanglefoot creates a homecoming for the local artist community by opening its doors and welcoming everyone into its studios. “It’s like a family get-together, only your crazy uncle wasn’t invited,” said artist Holly Bechiri. The event first began when three Tanglefoot artists — Elaine Dalcher, Michael Pfleghaar and Nikki Wall — decided to open up their studios and let the public in to see their work. This was a chance for them to have complete control over the works they showed and really connect with the community. It was also a chance for guests to buy something right before the holiday season kicked off. That first year got about 300 people. “It was really nice and a lot more successful than we thought it would be,” Dalcher said. “The community really liked it." As more artists came to Tanglefoot, the event got bigger, and now they’ve really grown a following for the annual event. “It’s kind of amazing,” said Pfleghaar, who works primarily in painting and drawing. “Now, people know about it. They know it's an annual event, and stop in the store to ask when it is.” Each year, as guests go through the building, they are met with a fresh perspective in every studio, ranging from Alynn Guerra’s printmaking to sculptures by Carlos Aceves and Jason Villareal.

Other residential artists this year include Jeff Condon, Nikki Wall and Tommy Allen. The event also has snacks, if that’s a bonus for you. “There is always something (special) about getting to peek behind the curtain and see the creative space of someone whose work you admire,” Bechiri said. This year, guests will get an inside look at not only eight residential artists but three guest artists: Bechiri, Deborah Rockman and Sung Yi. Dalcher said this is the first time they’ve included guest artists in nearly 20 years, but the goal is to add something new and different for visitors to check out. Like years before, visitors will be able to get up close and personal with the pieces and talk to artists — Dalcher’s favorite part of the event and a reason Pfleghaar has returned over the years. If they feel moved, they also have the chance to purchase some work. Paintings, prints, sculptures, greeting cards, and photo-based art are all for sale. For Bechiri, this year marks her first time as a participating artist instead of a visitor. She works in graphite, wax pastels and oils to create drawings and paintings.

TANGLEFOOT ARTISTS OPEN STUDIO EVENT 2018 314 Straight Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Nov. 16, 5-9 p.m. Nov. 18, 12-5 p.m. tanglefootstudio.com

“I’m hoping it will reverse my trend of buying art and turn it into selling art,” she said, laughing. Bechiri, who has attended the event since the late ’90s, is hugely flattered that she was asked to join because she’s always been in awe of the Tanglefoot artists and the works they produce. She doesn’t seem to be the only one, considering this anniversary makes it the longest-running open studio event in the greater Grand Rapids area. Dalcher said in the beginning they weren’t really thinking about how many years they would be doing this event. Now, they can’t imagine going a year without. “It’s quite a bit of work, but we enjoy the process of putting on a show and inviting the community in,” said Dalcher, who creates oil paintings and has new work focused on landscapes. It has become a vital event for the artist community, the planners said. Pfleghaar said their event has even inspired a few others to put on something similar. He doesn’t consider it competition, but something that helps everyone. “I think that’s a good thing,” he said. “It creates more opportunities for artists in the end.” The event has created a legacy, a concept that Dalcher really wanted to embrace for this year’s event since it may be the last in its current environment. The building was recently bought by new owners who may move the artists into different, smaller spaces in the building. Dalcher said nothing is for sure in regard to what the new owners plan to do, but they do seem to value what the artists have created. Even if they do move, the likelihood of the community continuing to show up seems high.

“This event brings together the idea of the power of art and community,” Dalcher said. “If we didn’t have the community response that we have had to our event, then we wouldn’t be partners in it. They can’t do it without us, we can’t do it without them.” ■

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018 |

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[VISUAL ARTS]

Fantasy & Legacy

Muskegon Museum of Art’s fall exhibits honor local artists BY MARLA R. MILLER

Once one of the elder statesmen of Grand Rapids’ art scene, Armand Merizon continued to paint as his vision failed him, calling on instinct and experience as he put brush to canvas.

FROM TOP TO BOTTOM: Armand Merizon: Good Neighbors. Armand Merizon: Rushing Train. Fantasmenagerie: The Sculptures of Nat Rosales. COURTESY PHOTOS.

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| REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018

The ongoing exhibition Armand Merizon: His Life and Art at Muskegon Museum of Art takes a retrospective look at the prolific painter’s work and highlights the evolution of the late Merizon’s techniques and subject matter. The exhibit features more than 20 paintings from various collectors, including Calvin College and his long-time friend Muriel Zandstra, who recently released both a biography and documentary about Merizon’s life. The paintings range from early landscapes from his late teens to more intuitive and abstract works in his final years, especially as he battled rheumatoid arthritis and lost his vision due to macular degeneration. “People remark on the beauty of the paintings,” said Art Martin, MMA’s senior curator and director of collections and exhibitions. “They are accessible and they’re beautiful and that’s the core of what he was trying to achieve. He wanted you to feel like you were in these places, and he really succeeded at that.” Merizon, a Dutch Calvinist, grew up in Grand Rapids and made his living as a painter. He had limited formal training and didn’t fit in very well in school, eventually hopping the train to Chicago. A neighbor gave him some art lessons, but generally, he had an innate artistic talent and a skill for observation and technique. “Part of the appeal of the show, he really is a master technician and so he worked through a wide variety of styles,” Martin said.

ARMAND MERIZON: HIS LIFE AND ART Through Jan. 6

FANTASMENAGERIE: THE SCULPTURES OF NAT ROSALES Through Jan. 13 Muskegon Museum of Art 296 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon muskegonartmuseum.org, (231) 720-2570

Some of the paintings have a lot of drawing elements added to them, a meandering script of marks across the surface to imply a lot of energy in motion, Martin said. His early works are “very full of detail, highly realistic,” but he moved to more simplified shapes and forms as his vision deteriorated. He primarily worked with oil and acrylic, and while he experimented with different social and environmental themes, he is best known for his landscapes. The exhibit also provides some comparisons, including two paintings of a Coast Guard station done about 10 years apart: one is more American impressionism and the other more abstract. Jon McDonald, a painter, illustrator and professor at Kendall College of Art and Design, noted at the opening that Merizon was truly interested in the pursuit of the beautiful. “I think that reflects in all of the work in the gallery,” Martin said. “It really becomes about color and light and space, and the landscape was the best way for him to translate all of that.” Martin called Merizon a “beloved figure” among West Michigan collectors and his peers. He was a prolific painter celebrated


for his style and skill as much as his supportive and encouraging presence. He influenced countless artists as a mentor and founding member of the Grand Valley Artists organization. “He was constantly looking and constantly thinking about what he was making and how he was doing it,” he said. “He was very humble and incredibly passionate.” The MMA previously exhibited his work as part of the West Michigan Eight exhibit several years ago and organized this exhibition in conjunction with Zandstra’s book. It’s also a way to continue the museum’s legacy of showcasing and supporting Michigan artists. The exhibition will travel to the Dennos Museum Center in Traverse City in 2019.

FANTASMENAGERIE Highlighting another Michigan artist, Nat Rosales’ FantasMenagerie runs through Jan. 13 and showcases his whimsical sculptures made from scrap metal, repurposed mechanical parts and found objects. The exhibit features flying elephants and horses pulling carts, made of all kinds of strange gears and clockwork. His work is described as “an amalgam of whimsy, fantasy and mechanics.” The result is a blend of Alice in Wonderland and H.G. Wells, Martin said. Rosales creates cast bronze and brass animal sculptures, vehicles and other tabletop contraptions from a hodgepodge of materials: door and drawer knobs, dec-

orative lamp bodies, gears and drives, and other pieces and parts found at scrap yards and flea markets. MMA staff first met Rosales through the Regional Exhibition in 2005 and have watched his work evolve and mature. Martin and others have followed and encouraged him over the last decade, and the MMA acquired two of his works “It’s fun for us,” Martin said. “We loved Nat’s work from the beginning, but because we’ve had this close relationship, we’ve been able to see him improve technically and aesthetically.” Rosales grew up in Texas and moved with his family to Manistee, where his family bought an asparagus farm and he eventually found a job at the paper mill. He has been drawn to sculpture since childhood, often taking objects apart and trying to reconfigure the pieces into something new. “He had a lifelong interest in modern sculpture, especially those guys he felt looked like him; laborers and machinists versus guys in ties and overcoats,” Martin said. After retiring, he started focusing more seriously on his art. Influenced by his Mexican and Catholic heritage, Rosales’ personal interest in Cubist and Modern sculpture also informs his work. The exhibit appeals to families, tinkerers or anyone interested in mechanics and how things work. “It’s whimsical and it just speaks to a joy of disassembling and reassembling parts into something new,” Martin said. ■

NOV

30

LOW LUMENS Fri. 8pm | Recital Hall | Free

DEC

05

RYLEY WALKER w/ a special guest | Thr. 8pm | Recital Hall | $10

Looking Ahead MMA opens two new exhibits in December DEC. 13–MARCH 10

SONS: SEEING THE MODERN AFRICAN AMERICAN MALE Presented by the MMA in collaboration with photographer Jerry Taliaferro, this exhibition of photography features African American men from the greater Muskegon community.

JOSH GARRELS

DEC. 13–MARCH 10

The Light Came Down Tour | Fri. 8pm | Calvin Chapel | $25

AD MAN: JOSEPH GREY II Joseph E. Grey II is an artist, designer, art director and writer. The exhibit features numerous examples of his work as a professional illustrator and creative director, highlighting his pioneering presence as one of the earliest African Americans to work in the New York advertising world. It also explores Grey’s painting through his earliest abstract to his latest watercolor work.

DEC

07

Tickets on sale now! calvinsao

/calvincollegesao

calvin.edu/sao | calvin.edu/boxoffice | 616.526.6282

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018 |

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[VISUAL ARTS]

PREVIEW

It seems West Michigan is in the holiday spirit this month. There are multiple holiday gift shows beginning, so between all of them, you should be able to make a dent in your shopping list. There are also two annual exhibits that feature different trees, which is more artistic than you might think. BY DANA CASADEI

FREDERIK MEIJER GARDENS & SCULPTURE PARK 1000 East Beltline Ave. NE, Grand Rapids meijergardens.org, (888) 957-1580

PROCESS AND PRESENCE: CONTEMPORARY DISABILITY SCULPTURE, Through Jan. 6 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT SHOW, Nov. 3 If you feel the urge to get way ahead on your holiday shopping, stop by the Holiday Gift Show. While members receive a 10-percent discount on their purchases, the event is open to anyone and everyone. Bonus, if you buy something at

this annual event, they’ll wrap it for free. Score!

CHRISTMAS AND HOLIDAY TRADITIONS AROUND THE WORLD, Nov. 20-Jan. 6 Bringing together the glow of nearly 400,000 lights, strolling carolers, visits from Santa, rooftop reindeer, and more than 40 international trees and displays, this annual holiday event is one of the garden’s most anticipated each year. Not only will this probably get you in the holiday spirit, but you’ll learn some stuff about holiday traditions across the world. Some examples are the Eid ul-Fitr display, which celebrates the end of Ramadan, and the Germany tree, which has handmade glass ornaments and homemade springerle cookies. To learn about the other trees, you’ll have to go see it yourself. The hor-

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park: Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World. PHOTO BY DEAN VANDIS

ticultural Railway Garden also will be on display.

SAUGATUCK CENTER FOR THE ARTS 400 Culver St., Saugatuck sc4a.org, (269) 857-2399

tions, even for your friends who are impossible to buy for. Handmade items and art for sale include pottery, paintings, photography, jewelry, textiles, glasswork, handbags, woodwork, metalwork, wreaths, basketry, ornaments, soaps, and so much more.

EL SUEÑO AMERICANO: THE AMERICAN DREAM, Through Dec. 22

CALVIN COLLEGE CENTER ART GALLERY

CITY OF LOST THINGS, Through Dec. 22

106 S. Division, Grand Rapids calvin.edu/centerartgallery/studio, (616) 526-6271

URBAN INSTITUTE FOR CONTEMPORARY ARTS 2 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids uica.org, (616) 454-7000

MICHIGAN EMERGING GRADUATE ARTISTS 2018, Through Dec. 2 COMING HOME, Through Jan. 25

MUSKEGON MUSEUM OF ART 296 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon muskegonartmuseum.org, (231) 720-2570

90TH MICHIGAN REGIONAL EXHIBITION, Through Nov. 7

PRINTS FROM THE PERMANENT COLLECTION, Through Jan. 23 TIA WIERENGA AND ELIZABETH BRANDT, Through Dec.15.

KALAMAZOO INSTITUTE OF ARTS 314 S. Park St., Kalamazoo kiarts.org, (269) 349-7775

THE WAY FORWARD: NEW ACQUISITIONS AT THE KIA, Through Dec. 2 INKA ESSENHIGH: A FINE LINE, Through Jan. 6

DO IT, Through March 3

ARMAND MERIZON: HIS LIFE AND ART, Through Jan. 6

Dog Story Theater 7 Jefferson SE

November 9, 10, 16, and 17 at 8 p.m. November 11 and 18 at 3 p.m. Tickets available at www.dogstorytheater.com Visit www.pcshakespeare.com for more information about the company.

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| REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018

FANTASMENAGERIE: THE SCULPTURE OF NAT ROSALES, Through Jan. 13 FESTIVAL OF TREES, Nov. 21-Dec. 2 Marking its 14th year this month is the annual Festival of Trees. The community holiday tradition showcases professionally designed themed trees and décor, which are available for purchase through silent auction over the festival’s 11 days. Other happenings at the festival include raffles, music, seasonal and holiday shopping, and a few special events.

LOWELLARTS!

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

HOLIDAY ARTISTS MARKET, Nov. 6-Dec. 23 The annual market will feature work from more than 50 Michigan artists. Need to get some gifts? The Holiday Artists Market will have plenty of op-

GRAND RAPIDS ART MUSEUM 101 Monroe Center, Grand Rapids artmuseumgr.org, (616) 831-1000

WHO SHOT SPORTS: A PHOTOGRAPHIC HISTORY, 1843 TO THE PRESENT, Through Jan. 13

DYLAN MINER: WATER IS SACRED // TREES ARE RELATIVES, Through March 3

LAFONTSEE GALLERIES

833 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids, 410 W. Center St., Douglas, Lafontsee.us

COALESCE, Nov. 30-Dec. 29 More than 70 artists came together for LaFontee’s fall group show. “Coalesce” means to arise from the combination of distinct elements, so you should expect to see some variety from piece to piece. ■


THE NAUGHTY TOUR Hosted By

MIZ CRACKER

NOV 24 • 8PM • DEVOS HALL REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018 |

15A


[Music]

Swans and Solos Kalamazoo Symphony show finds inspiration in nature

NINA KOTOVA. COURTESY PHOTO

BY JANE SIMONS

With every Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra performance he conducts, Daniel Brier attempts to transport the audience to another realm. Often, this means creating a program that takes listeners out of their comfort zone. That’s exactly what Brier had in mind when he selected Sibelius’ Symphony No. 5 and Dvorak’s Cello Concerto for the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra. The Nov. 17 performance also will feature artist Nina Kotova playing cello. “She’s a wonderful cellist and will bring a lot of great musicianship, flair and passion to the stage,” Brier said. Normally, he said, the Sibelius piece is played during the second half of a concert because the ending features several large chords that are spaced out, so the audience never knows what that last chord will be. “The ending is very enigmatic and thrilling, but it leaves you with more questions than answers,” Brier said. The Dvorak concerto with Kotova on cello is a very strong work that anchors the entire program on its own because of the drama and action it brings to the stage. This piece will feature the musicians playing together and individual musicians playing across the stage from one another. “What makes the Dvorak concerto so unique is that it’s really a symphony with a soloist there,” Brier said. “Everyone on that stage is treated very equally and nearly

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| REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018

every instrument section of the symphony has a solo at some point. “The strength of Dvorak leaves you with a magical feeling at the end. With Sibelius, it is magical, but it also leaves you perplexed.” Much of the inspiration for Sibelius’ music drew heavily from the natural beauty, culture and legendary tales of his native Finland. The heroic tales of adventure and magical creatures are a huge part of the cultural fabric of the northern Scandinavian countries, which really comes through in his music. Brier said prior to Sibelius, there had never been a Finnish composer who had achieved fame outside of the country. He became known for the way he treated musical themes, which differed greatly from Germanic composers, such as Beethoven and Brahms. “The Germanic composers would present a theme and play around it,” Brier said. “What Sibelius did was take a small, little idea and everything about that idea would come in, so that by the end, you would hear that theme. Those first few notes became that theme. It evolves right before you.” Sibelius’ Fifth Symphony includes one of his most memorable ideas: a bell-like tolling of chords among the four horns that is said to have come to him after he watched a flock of swans pass overhead. This “swan theme,” which emerges from the giddy rush of the tremolo strings, is the soul of the movement, and it’s accompanied by a poignant, singing subject given out in octaves by the woodwinds and cellos. Brier said Sibelius frequently retreated to the outdoors armed with a glass of brandy and a cigar. Looking up at the sky one day, he saw a flock of 16 swans taking off and noted in his diary that this

was the inspiration for the grand theme in his Fifth Symphony. They took off and it was so majestic, it became the ending of his symphony. The diary entry reads: “Today I saw 16 swans. God, what beauty! They circled over me for a long time. Disappeared into the solar haze like a silver ribbon.” Brier said the Greek composers loved to be outdoors, and Beethoven and Brahms were famous for their daily walks, but it is Sibelius who really adopted the natural world into evolutionary forms of music. He thinks the combination of Sibelius and Dvorak will provide compelling moments for the audience. “A program like this, where you have two great pieces that will hold people’s attention from minute one, is a great way to bring new audiences and younger au-

diences into the concert hall,” Brier said. “It’s music that holds your attention and doesn’t let you daydream.” ■

SIBELIUS & DVORAK Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra Miller Auditorium 2200 Auditorium Dr., Kalamazoo Nov. 17, 8 p.m. kalamazoosymphony.com

Other Shows PAUL SHAFFER | NOV. 3, 8 P.M. Enjoy an evening with Paul Shaffer, longtime sidekick and bandleader to David Letterman. He performs symphonic renditions of pop, R&B and jazz, interspersed with fascinating stories and memories from his eventful life.

REVOLUTION: THE BEATLES | DEC. 1, 8 P.M Join the world premiere of a symphonic Beatles experience, featuring never-before-seen photos from the official Beatles Book Photo Library in London, alongside stunning new video and animation created by award-winning creative video designer Charles Yurick.


THE FRANKE CENTER 29 12/ M 8P

17 11/ M 8P

Voces8 i

Concert

Park Church UCC

12 01/ M P 0 7:3

OPENER:

KEITH SCOTT

BLUES SERIES - SAVOY BROWN

IRISH PUB NIGHT - BLACKTHORN

FRANKECENTERFORTHEARTS.ORG BOX OFFICE 269.781.0001

214 E. MANSION STREET MARSHALL, MICHIGAN

Sunday, November 4

Merry&bright WEEKEND OF FESTIVE HOLIDAY CHEER

DECEMBER 7 AND 8 FRIDAY

“LIVE FROM DOWNTOWN!” LIGHT UP THE BLUFF 6pm

Holiday Window Decorating Competition 7-8:30pm

SATURDAY

REINDOG PARADE 4-5pm

SANTA’S HOUSE Dec. 8-23

7:30pm $5 Students $25 General Admission

HOLIDAY SHOPPING all Weekend Long!

stjoetoday.com/merryandbright

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[Music]

Moving Forward

West Michigan Symphony brings the back row to the front

BY MARLA R. MILLER

A showcase of solos, marimba and tuba concertos put the spotlight on a host of West Michigan Symphony musicians during this season’s second masterworks concert. Scheherazade Showcase features a unique program that gives two musical instruments — marimba and tuba — and their players a chance to shine on the Frauenthal Theater stage. The symphony’s principal percussionist Matt Beck and principal tuba Clinton McCanless will move to the front as they show off their instruments. Ve r y few c o n c e r to s h ave b e e n composed for marimba and tuba, and Conductor Scott Speck considers them masterpieces of the symphony repertoire. “I am thrilled to show our audience up close the mastery and artistry that they can regularly hear from the back of the stage,” he said. Meanwhile, Kevin Put s’ Marimba Concerto was written in 1997 when the composer was 25 years old. Puts grew up in Alma, studied at Yale University and the Eastman School of Music, and teaches composition. He has written concertos for instruments that are featured less often in front of the orchestra: oboe, clarinet, percussion and marimba. “The marimba itself is more of a solo instrument and less of an orchestral instrument,” Beck said. “It’s hard to believe he was that young to produce such a

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| REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018

mature work. It really demonstrates his understanding of the expressive qualities of the instrument.” Puts’ Marimba Concerto reflects his love of Mozart’s piano concertos and features the marimba in both melodic and ornamental roles as it continually interacts with the instruments of the orchestra. Comprised of three movements — fast, slow, fast — the piece’s overriding message is “one of optimism and exuberance,” according to the program notes. Comprised of a set of wooden bars struck with mallets, like a xylophone, the marimba’s bars are arranged like keys on the piano. Marimbists stand behind the instrument and manipulate four mallets at a time. Resonators, pipes suspended underneath the bars, help create a lower sound that reverberates after the initial strike.

SCHEHERAZADE SHOWCASE West Michigan Symphony Frauenthal Center, 425 W. Western Ave., Muskegon Nov. 2, 7:30 p.m., $24-$60 westmichigansymphony.org

The instrument produces a sound that is quite mellow and very warm. Yet, people can expect an instrument every bit as expressive as a violin or piano, Beck said. The marimba is one of many instruments Beck uses as principal percussionist, but it’s his first time playing this particular concerto. He lives in Grand Rapids, owns a business selling and repairing instruments and also performs

Above: Clinton McCanless. Below: Matt Beck COURTESY PHOTOS

as principal percussionist with Lansing Symphony, Battle Creek Symphony and Canton Symphony. This is his 14th year with West Michigan Symphony. It’s nearly unheard of to have a tuba soloist featured on a symphony program, and Vaughan Williams’ Tuba Concerto marked a milestone for the youngest instrument of the orchestra. The first major concerto written for tuba, Williams’ concerto “was initially viewed as an eccentric piece from an aging composer” but became one of his most popular works, according to the program notes. The British composer wrote his Tuba Concerto in 1954 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the London Symphony Orchestra. The tuba was introduced in the 1830s but didn’t become a standard symphony instrument until the second half of the 19th century. The concerto displays the instrument’s wide range, from its lowest notes to its lyrical vocal quality featured in the Romanza second movement. “Fast passages, wide leaps and quick trills” characterize the showy cadenzas that conclude the first and last movements. Tuba Concerto shows off some of the technical capabilities of the tuba as an instrument, and takes a few years for tuba students to master, said McCanless, also an assistant professor of tuba and euphonium at the University of Louisville. McCanless first joined the WMS in 2010 while doing doctoral work at Mich-

igan State University. He drives from Louisville to perform with the symphony and is a former first-place winner at the International Tuba Euphonium Association solo competition and the Leonard Falcone International Euphonium and Tuba competition. “It’s a very good regional orchestra,” he said. “I’m definitely looking forward to it. I enjoy solo playing.” Rounding out the program, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade is a “sparkling, beloved” tone poem with solo parts for violin, clarinet, oboe and horn, to name a few. The piece by Russian composer Rimsky-Korsakov tells a story through music that is pictorial and descriptive and became his most popular orchestral work. Based on the Middle Eastern folk tale, One Thousand and One Nights, the piece features different instruments and melodic themes assigned to specific characters in the story, according to the program notes. The basses and other low instruments represent the evil Sultan’s aggressive, domineering nature. Concertmaster Jennifer Walvoord depicts the role of Scheherazade with tender and soft violin solos throughout the work. As the story continues, various instruments and groups take the lead in the different “tales” of One Thousand and One Nights, giving many symphony musicians the chance to shine in solo and symbiotic roles. ■


[MUSIC]

His program will feature four pieces, including Schumann’s “Waldszenen, Op. 82” and Schubert’s “Sonata in G Major, D. 894.”​ The passionate chamber musician has appeared in recitals throughout the U.S. and Europe, and won the 2017 Concours Musical International de Montréal for piano and was a recipient of a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship.

PREVIEW

GABRIELA MONTERO, Nov. 15, $35

If acclaimed jazz pianists tickling the ivories is your jam, you’re in for a treat this month, because there are plenty coming to the Great Rapids area. There’s also a classic holiday show, a slightly depressing but soulful trio, and one concert that is letting the percussionists take center stage for once. BY DANA CASADEI

ST. CECILIA MUSIC CENTER

24 Ransom Ave. NE, Grand Rapids Scmc-online.org, (616) 459-2224

KENNY BARRON QUINTET, Nov. 1, $40+ Zoltan Fejérvári at Gilmore. COURTESY PHOTO

HOPE COLLEGE GREAT PERFORMANCE SERIES

with some Ol’ Blue Eyes classics like Come Fly With Me, Luck Be a Lady, and Witchcraft, along with additional tunes from the Great American Songbook. DeSare has three top-10 Billboard jazz albums and has been featured on the CBS Early Show and NPR.

from Fresh Aire, Davis’ series that introduced people to the Mannheim sound. The group is celebrating its recent 30th anniversary since its first Christmas album on this tour. Of course, the show will include Mannheim’s well-known multimedia effects.

TURTLE ISLAND QUARTET WITH CYRUS CHESTNUT, Nov. 9, $23

MOZART MASS IN C MINOR,

THE GILMORE, WELLSPRING THEATER

Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts, 221 Columbia Ave., Holland, hope.edu/arts/ great-performance-series, (616) 395-7222

Acclaimed jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut will join the Turtle Island Quartet with a return to Hope College. Guests are in for an evening of Duke Ellington, Bill Monroe, Bill Withers, John Coltrane and more as the five musicians — all accomplished in their own right — come together for a collaboration that infuses the global reach of gospel and sacred music. Unfortunately, there is no actual turtle coming with them.

WEST MICHIGAN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA 360 W. Western Ave. #200, Muskegon, westmichigansymphony.org, (231) 726-3231

SCHEHERAZADE SHOWCASE, Nov. 2, $24+ Percussionists are usually stuck way, way in the back, but this concert is bringing them up front. In the spotlight will be tuba player Clinton McCanless, during Vaughan Williams “Tuba Concerto,” and Matt Beck on marimba while playing Kevin Puts’ “Marimba Concerto.” FYI, a marimba is a set of wooden bars struck with yarn or rubber mallets. The evening’s last show, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, will feature solos from just about everyone else in the symphony.

GRAND RAPIDS SYMPHONY 300 Ottawa NW Ste. 100, Grand Rapids grsymphony.org, (616) 454-9451 ext. 4

BERNSTEIN'S 100TH, Nov. 2-3, $18+ GATEWAY TO MUSIC LUNCHEON, Nov. 7 SINATRA AND BEYOND, Nov. 9-11, $18+ Guest artist Tony DeSare — star of the Off-Broadway show, Our Sinatra — will perform a bunch of hits by Frank Sinatra. (Bet you never would’ve guessed that.) The singer and pianist will mark his return to the GRS stage

Nov. 16-17, $18+

THE SNOWMAN, Nov. 17, Free HOME ALONE IN CONCERT, Nov. 29, $18+

KALAMAZOO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

359 S. Kalamazoo Mall Ste. 101, Kalamazoo thegilmore.org, (269) 342-1166

THE TROUT QUINTET, Nov. 15, $40+ THE LONE BELLOW, Nov. 29, $30+ As part of the band’s Acoustic Triiio Tour, The Lone Bellow is stopping in Grand Rapids. The trio — who are originally from Brooklyn but now call Nashville home — have appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Conan O’Brien and CBS This Morning in support of the album that really kicked off their careers, Then Came The Morning. Combining epic harmonies and soulful lyrics, they also recently released a new album, Walk Into A Storm. ■

ZOLTÁN FEJÉRVÁRI, Nov. 4, $25 As part of the Gilmore’s Rising Stars series, the Hungarian Fejérvári performs this month.

359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Suite 100, Kalamazoo kalamazoosymphony.com, (269) 349-7759

PAUL SHAFFER IN SYMPHONY, Nov. 3, $12+

SIBELIUS & DVOŘÁK, Nov. 17, $12+

FONTANA CHAMBER ARTS

359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Suite 200, Kalamazoo fontanachamberarts.org, (269) 382-7774

KATE LINDSEY AND BAPTISTE TROTIGNON, Nov. 3, $30 Mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey and award-winning jazz pianist Baptiste Trotignon will take your ears on a journey through Thousands of Miles, which just so happens to be the title of the duo’s recent album. It’s a varied collection of songs primarily from Kurt Weill, taking guests back to the very beginning of jazz, while also featuring new arrangements by Trotignon. The show’s program will be announced from the stage.

MILLER AUDITORIUM

www.stulberg.org 269.343.2776

2018-19 SEASON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7, 3 PM 2018 Finalist Nathan Le, cello WMU Symphony Orchestra, Miller Auditorium SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 4 PM 2018 Bronze Medalist Maya Anjali Buchanan, violin Kalamazoo Junior Symphony, Chenery Auditorium SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 3 PM 2017 Gold Medalist William McGregor, double bass Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Goucher College, Kraushaar Auditorium SATURDAY, JANUARY 26, 8 PM 2018 Gold Medalist Charlotte Marckx, violin Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Miller Auditorium

2200 Auditorium Dr., Kalamazoo millerauditorium.com, (269) 387-2300

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 10 AM AND 8 PM 2017 Gold Medalist William McGregor, double bass Grand Rapids Symphony, St. Cecilia Music Center

MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER CHRISTMAS, Nov. 28, $30+

THURSDAY, MARCH 14, 7 PM BRAVO! Jolliffe Theatre, Epic Center

A classic holiday tradition for the last 30 years, the Mannheim Steamroller Christmas was created by Grammy Award winner Chip Davis. The show features Mannheim Steamroller Christmas classics and a collection of pieces

SATURDAY & SUNDAY, MAY 18 – 19 44th Stulberg Competition & Master Classes Judges Paul Coletti, Emilio Colón, Jennifer Frautschi, Dalton Center, WMU

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GIFT GUIDE

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE It’s always good to get a head start on shopping, but the task can be a bit overwhelming. Since West Michigan is full of so many amazing stores, venues and restaurants, we’re here to help make it easy to pick the perfect present. We all know a diverse array of people with vastly different hobbies and interests. In this guide, we help you pick the right gift for the right person. ILLUSTRATED BY SHI BRIGGS

a gift for you

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Books . Toys . Gifts . Cards . Café

There’s no place like Schuler Books for the Holidays

at the DoubleTree & Ganders Restaurant Small Business Saturday Specials Holiday Promotions l Gift Cards

Something for everyone on your list Shop, Refuel, Relax!

We make holiday shopping fun! 2660 28th Street NE l 616.942.2561 l schulerbooks.com

24 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018

Celebrate the Holidays

IN STYLE at the DoubleTree & Ganders Restaurant

We handle the details of your festive celebration while you enjoy a truly magical experience

Event Locations Grand Ballroom

Festively decorated, our Grand Ballroom can host parties of up to 300 people

Wolverine Room

An intimate private room with windows facing the Courtyard. Dinner seating is available for up to 70 guests.

Ganders Restaurant Private and semi-private space for 8 people up to 150 people, in a casual, relaxed atmosphere.

To view our holiday menus visit grandrapidsairport.doubletree.com or call 616-957-0100 to speak with the Sales Department

Take the “Elevator Home” by staying the night in one of our elegantly appointed guestrooms 616-957-1111 | 28th Street SE at Patterson Ave. | facebook.com/GandersGR


GIFT GUIDE

BOOKWORM | by Missy Black

Book lovers never go to bed alone — they fall asleep with heroes from another time and creatures from other worlds. Here’s to always having a companion at the ready.

This independent bookstore carries new books and locally sourced gifts — from the artwork on the walls to mugs, journals and greeting cards. This is where you can find all the must-read selections, books from local authors and plenty of regional, Michigan-themed books on hiking, camping and critters. There’s an adorable kids’ area featuring storytime dates. Bonus: the bookstore is dog-friendly.

SHOP

Epilogue Books 10 E. Bridge St., Rockford facebook.com/epiloguebooks, (616) 884-0933 Leaving the library can be hard. Grab your books but stay for the Taste of Soul Sunday event. This annual celebration of African American history and culture includes live music, topical discussions, children’s activities and food from local restaurants.

DO

Taste of Soul Sunday Grand Rapids Public Library 111 Library St. NE, Grand Rapids Feb. 17, 1 p.m. grpl.org, (616) 988-5400 Harry and The Potters are an American rock band known for spawning the “wizard rock” genre. Guys, the band plays songs about books! They perform at the Yule Ball, a school dance from Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire, where students come together for “well-mannered frivolity.” Local band Desmond Jones will be there, and the event hosts a V.I.P. dinner and tons of book-related entertainment.

LISTEN

ILLUSTRATED BY SHI BRIGGS

Yule Ball featuring Harry and The Potters 20 Monroe Live Dec. 8, 8:30 p.m. 20monroelive.com

What’s your favorite book from childhood? If you liked Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a Snozzberry Tea from Lake Michigan Nutrition is in order. Ingredients include orange liftoff, peach tea and strawberry syrup. We’re not sure if the smoothie and juice bar have the book’s lickable wallpaper — you’ll have to stop in and investigate.

DRINK

Lake Michigan Nutrition 3868 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, Grand Rapids facebook.com/lakemichigannutrition Book lovers are known to stay up all night to finish a book and can be ravenous in the morning. Something hearty and heavy gives our reader plenty of fuel to hit the books again. The Ring of Fire Pancake ($8.99) at Lucy’s Café is the size of a full plate, and is fried in bacon fat, then covered in peanut butter, syrup and peanuts.

EAT

Lucy’s Café 1747 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids lucyscafegr.com When your favorite book comes to life onstage, you get tickets. Based on the best-selling novel and winner of the 2015 Tony Award for Best Play, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time invites you into the life of Christopher, a 15-year-old boy with an extraordinary brain who tries to uncover a fascinating mystery.

WATCH

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Farmers Alley Theatre 221 Farmers Alley, Kalamazoo March 15-31, $32-$27 farmersalleytheatre.com

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018 |

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MONDAY-FRIDAY 3PM-12AM // SAT 11AM-12AM // SUN 11AM-10PM 26 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018


GIFT GUIDE

ART ENTHUSIAST | by Michaela Stock

Galleries, sketchbooks, indie films — the Art Enthusiast loves to create and consume alike. You can help them do both with a workshop, gallery visit or movie ticket.

Every artist’s practical and aesthetic needs can be met at Rebel Reclaimed, a gift boutique in Grand Rapids. You’ll stay in style with colored pens, fancy pencils and leather notebooks (unlined for sketching, of course), alongside tapestries, plants, books and more. Show off your smarts, looks and humor by picking up your next set of art supplies and whimsical housewares at Rebel Reclaimed.

SHOP

Rebel Reclaimed 1555 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids rebelgr.com If you’re an artist and are looking to upgrade your look from thrift-store sweaters, make yourself over with a wardrobe from Leather & Cotton. From rustic to luxurious, Leather & Cotton is an online Grand Rapids-based high-end clothing store with approachable prices that won’t break your starving-artist bank. With its arsenal of gorgeous leather jackets, printed tees and boho-chic pieces, you’ll be wearing your artist cred on your sleeve — quite literally.

WEAR

Leather & Cotton leatherandcotton.com Grand Rapids’ newest art hotspot, Light Gallery, is perfect for both art enthusiasts and art makers. With workshops ranging from portrait and product photography to ceramic spoons and pinch-bowls, you’re sure to find a class to release all of the creative energy inside you while supporting a local business. Not to mention, the studio’s gallery space features handmade paintings, knits, fabrics, ceramics and more created by Grand Rapids residents.

DO

Light Gallery + Studio 317 S. Division Ave., Grand Rapids lightgallerygr.com ILLUSTRATED BY SHI BRIGGS

Tucked inside the beloved Frederik Meijer Gardens is the Balk Café. It boasts colorful hand-blown glass sculptures that drape from the ceiling, illuminated by walls of windows that wrap around the Balk Café’s entire exterior. Meanwhile, plants sprout from the shop’s stone walls and are on every table. Bright, airy and artsy, you can grab a light bite to eat or sip on tasty teas, coffee, wines, beers and soft drinks while discussing the latest drama in the art world.

DRINK

Frederik Meijer Gardens 1000 E. Beltline Ave. NE, Grand Rapids meijergardens.org As an artist, you work hard to curate beauty into your surroundings, and Bridge Street Market does too. Inside the Market’s airy interiors are wooden crates filled with fresh fruits and veggies, shelves stocked to the brim with organic eats and a specialty flower shop. If that’s not beautiful enough, there’s a coffee bar with a generous pastry case (including gluten-free and vegan options) and hand-prepared meals.

EAT

Bridge Street Market 405 Seward Ave. NW, Grand Rapids bridgestreetmarket.com Take a break from the art project you’ve been working on nonstop and go get inspired by a film at the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art. The UICA screens independent and international movies as well as documentaries Tuesday through Saturday all year round, so you can cozy up and sit back for an artistic motion-picture experience in the gallery’s state-of-the-art theater for less than $10.

WATCH

Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts 2 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids uica.org

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TWO GREAT DINING DESTINATIONS. TWO GREAT GIFT IDEAS.

B L OND E GIVE US A RING TO ORDER, OR DISCUSS HOSTING YOUR HOLIDAY GATHERINGS! SALT OF THE EARTH 269.561.7258 • PRINCIPLE 269.743.6563

NOW AVAILABLE IN CANS AND ON DRAFT! 17 S. 2ND ST., GRAND HAVEN, MI | 616.414.7822

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Effective for 3, 5 or 10 years Safe and simple insertion Hormone-free option

Call (616) 396-5266 for low/no cost sexual health services. Find free condoms near you or have them mailed to you! miOttawa.org/WearOne Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives do not protect against sexually transmitted infections. To protect yourself against sexually transmitted infections, also use a condom during intercourse. Intrauterine Device (pictured left). Implant (pictured right).

28 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018


GIFT GUIDE

FITNESS GURU | by Kelly Brown

To the friends and family who never slow down, can’t stand the idea of skipping leg day, and eat raw vegetables like candy — we salute you. Even with packed schedules, especially around the holiday, they still find time to hit the gym, strap on their cycling shoes, lift weights and meal prep. Time to give them something to do other than posting gym selfies on Instagram.

If there’s one thing fitness freaks know to be true, it’s that constant variation is key to not plateauing in your goals and #gainz. Time for a new challenge with CrossFit 616’s “elements” classes. You get one free trial day, and then for $130 per month, you’ll learn the basics of Olympic lifting while working through tough metcons (metabolic conditioning) within an hour. Then, you can level up to the CrossFit classes and torture yourself with some Navy SEAL level workouts.

DO

CrossFit 616 2430 Turner Ave. NW, Grand Rapids crossfit616.com

Ohh dang! That acai bowl is hella Instagram worthy. At Fruition Life, you can get your entire serving of fruit in one beautiful (and delicious) meal. Try the smoothies, juices and avocado bowls too. It’s perfect preor post-workout grub.

EAT

Fruition Life 1405 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids thefruitionlife.com

Nothing will set back your workout routine like a winter cold. The Fitness Guru will go to extreme lengths to prevent the first sign of the sniffles. Bodhi Tree Juice is packed to the gills with essential nutrients that will keep your immune system rocking through your next back squat PR.

DRINK

The Fitness Guru knows that bad shoes and bad gear are an absolute no-no when it comes to working out seven days per week. When it’s time to clear their mind, they lace up their shoes and log a few miles. And the team at Gazelle Sports have your back — and feet — covered.

SHOP

Gazelle Sports 3930 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids gazellesports.com

A relaxing evening for the Fitness Guru usually involves watching some other form of fitness. While they might not take advantage of the cheap hot dogs and beer, your favorite fitness freak is sure to be glued to the rink at any Griffins game.

WATCH

Grand Rapids Griffins Van Andel Arena 130 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids vanandelarena.com

Scroll through any meathead’s playlist and you’re sure to find the Spotify Top 5 for Coheed and Cambria on there. The progressive rock band has been inspiring sweat sessions since the mid-’90s. Plus, head banging counts as a workout, right?

LISTEN

The Intersection 133 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Nov. 12, 6:30 p.m., $35 sectionlive.com

Bodhi Tree Juice Bar 1115 Washington Ave., Grand Haven bodhitreejuiceco.com ILLUSTRATED BY SHI BRIGGS

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018 |

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GIFT GUIDE

TEEN | by Missy Black

Perfecting the not-so-subtle eye roll and casual disdain since, like, forever. Teens love gifts, whether they show it or not. Anything that enhances their cool factor is the way to go.

Teen girls can shop for mugs, journals, books and accessories, all with major girl power messaging. The store is as bright and bubbly as a cheerleader on game day. Visit the three happy locations in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and a new store in Grand Haven.

Hormones, am I right? If you’re all in your feelings because it’s a certain special holiday, you know you can count on Kelly’s tunes to uplift and get you feeling good again. I mean, it’s her Meaning of Life tour, how appropriate is that?

Pink Lemonade 7039 West Q. Ave., Kalamazoo pinklemonadegr.com, (269) 447-2168

Kelly Clarkson: Meaning of Life Tour Van Andel Arena 130 W. Fulton, Grand Rapids Feb. 14, 7 p.m., $37+ vanandelarena.com, (800) 745-3000

SHOP

Redefine quality time. Mom and dad can grab a brew and teens can happily doodle at this all-ages event created to bring people together in a fun environment. This doodle event is meant for everyone to enjoy and is a tolerable way to be in the company of adults.

DO

Kalamadoodle Drink & Draw at Bell’s Eccentric Café 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo Dec. 19, free admission bellsbeer.com, (269) 382-2332 Coffee shops are the best place to be moody and brooding, but that’s not going to be the scene here. Your moment of Zen awaits, and cool kid status is guaranteed with a visit to this little camper doling out coffee drinks and treats in the woods of Wealthy. Meet friends for a Grasshopper Matcha Latte or allow your parents to escort you while sitting far away. As the weather gets colder, there will be three igloos with heaters and blankets inside for maximum coziness. Outside Coffee Co. 734 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids outsidecoffeeco.com

DRINK

LISTEN

A taco date with a rad dad? That’s a no brainer. Hanging with the rare and elusive cool dad or uncle can be a fun time. For $5, teens will identify with The Dictator (we’re thinking of you mom and dad), featuring Korean-marinated Bulgogi steak, cabbage, pickled carrots, scallions and sriracha aioli served on a corn shell.

EAT

Rad Dads’ Tacos & Tequila Bar 470 W. Western Ave., Muskegon facebook.com/raddadstacos, (231) 766-7669 School is lame until you add fist-pumping rock music! Based on the hit film, this hilarious musical follows a wannabe rock star posing as a substitute teacher who turns a class of straight-A students into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band. This show could prove to be one epic night out for the family.

WATCH

School of Rock - DeVos Performance Hall 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids Jan. 8-13, student tickets starting at $27.50 broadwaygrandrapids.com, (616) 235-6285

ILLUSTRATED BY SHI BRIGGS

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018 |

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32 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018


GIFT GUIDE

FOSSIL | by Kelly Brown

The Fossil is resolute: They still use a VHS player, their 1980s Tom Petty shirt is thin enough to be used as cheesecloth, and they love to whine about the rise of technology. While we might sigh and roll our eyes at their archaic ways, we also find the Fossil charming. They’re our own mini time capsule and a constant reminder of the past.

Nick Fink’s is filled to the brim with history (and probably ghosts) going all the way back to 1888. Fink’s legacy began as a hotel, becoming a bar, barber shop, post office and more before becoming a bar and restaurant again. The Fossil will find cheap drinks, delicious food and 130 years of stories at this Gilmore Collection spot — a veritable feast for the venerable senses.

DRINK

Nick Fink’s 3965 West River Dr. NE, Comstock Park thegilmorecollection.com/nickfinks No surprise here, the Fossil LOVES looking at old crap — er, we mean, important artifacts of the past. The Grand Rapids Public Museum features an incredible collection of the local furniture industries’ history, among many other exciting exhibits. Next time you see the Fossil at a party, they’ll be using all the facts they learn as conversation starters.

DO

Grand Rapids Public Museum 272 Pearl St. NW, Grand Rapids grpm.org New music? Autotune? 808s? It’s all garbage to the Fossil. The only acceptable music is anything created before 2000, preferably older. Bob Seger fits the bill perfectly, and the gravel-voiced singer is sure to play old classics like Night Moves, Old Time Rock and Roll, and Hollywood Nights on this farewell tour.

LISTEN

Bob Seger Van Andel Arena 130 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids Nov. 21 & Jan. 5 vanandelarena.com ILLUSTRATED BY SHI BRIGGS

Mid-Century is in and the Fossil has always known that. For years, they’ve had an Eames chair in their house, which they bought on Craigslist for $30 in the mid-’90s. But that doesn’t stop them from appreciating high-quality, curated collectibles. Everything falls apart these days except for antiques. Plus, the vintage clothing selection in the back of Lost & Found is basically the only place the Fossil buys their clothes.

SHOP

Lost & Found Treasures of Old and New 445 Century Ave. SW, Grand Rapids treasuresoflostandfound.com The Fossil loves old-timey traditions, like getting dressed up in your finest and going to the ballet at Christmas (not that the ballet is only for seniors). The beautiful performances of the Nutcracker by the Grand Rapids Ballet are a great gift for anyone who enjoys going to the theater, or as the Fossil would say, “the theatre.” Stop by any of the bars in the area for an Old Fashioned or Whiskey Sour before you make your entrance.

WATCH

The Nutcracker Grand Rapids Ballet 341 Ellsworth Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Dec. 1-10 grballet.com Nothing says Fossil like the year 1927. Known for casual charm and down-toearth atmosphere, the Cottage Bar is one of Grand Rapids’ oldest. You won’t need a reservation to enjoy the best burger in Michigan while washing it down with one of your favorite suds. . The Cottage Bar 18 La Grave Ave. SE, Grand Rapids cottagebar.biz

EAT

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Holiday Gift Card Special

GIFT GIVING FROM THE KIA HOLIDAY ART SALE

Buy $100 in Gift Cards and Get $20 For Yourself

Friday, November 30, 5-8p Saturday, December 1, 9a-5p

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Registration opens November 19 Apply for scholarships by December 5

ADMISSION: $5 / Students $2 / children through age 12 free HOURS: Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday 11a-5p / Thursday-Friday 11a-8p / Sunday 12-5p

linearrestaurant.com 1001 Monroe NW

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GIFT GUIDE

MUSICIAN | by Michaela Stock

The Musician’s fingers are always twiddling, subconsciously practicing chords or drum fills even while talking about that amazing chorus on the new LP from their favorite band. They’re always thinking about the next show — you can’t go wrong with a concert ticket (or two). Taproom, restaurant and casual music venue, Hops at 84 East in Holland hosts live, local musicians weekly alongside its yummy selection of food and drink. The eatery features brick-oven pizza, the dreamiest hand-cut fries and half-off apps after 10 p.m., so you can munch on the best of fall comfort foods while enjoying West Michigan talent. If the night is warm, the restaurant’s garagedoor style façade swings open and welcomes the crisp, laketown breeze inside to accompany the live tunes and good food.

EAT

Hops at 84 East 84 E. 8th St., Holland hops84east.com

North Coast Guitar Company 188 Wealthy St. SW, Grand Rapids northcoastguitars.com

You can’t make great music LISTEN without listening to it, and Satellite Records in Kalamazoo is stocked full of the latest artists and the greatest hits. The locally owned record shop sells and buys vinyls, cassettes, CDs and more. Specializing in everything from punk to electronica, the store focuses less on classical records and showtunes and more on what’s rockin’ and rollin’ in the indie and jazz worlds.

Sipping a hand-crafted, personalized cocktail at Buffalo Traders Lounge in Grand Rapids feels like puffing a fancy cigar in 1920s Nashville. Take a break from practicing your music and put on your favorite pair of boots — yeah, the ones you played that sold-out show in — and relax at one of the Vinyl Nights. The bar spins records brought by AB and whips up exclusive cocktails. Vintage, ritzy and artdeco in style, it’ll make you feel like the classic rockstar that you are.

Satellite Records 808 S. Westnedge Ave., Kalamazoo satelliterecordskzoo.com

Buffalo Traders Lounge 950 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids buffalotraderslounge.com

Say hello to The Oh Hellos, your new favorite indie folk band. The Oh Hellos have a knack for creating concise lyrics that cut the crap and sing about life in its most raw form. Couple contemplative poetry with powerful harmonies that feel as familiar as your best friend, and you have the perfect show for musicians and music lovers alike.

A reliable pair of blue jeans is a must for every musician. Denym, a premium clothing boutique in Grand Rapids, curates a wide selection of jeans crafted with intentionality and creativity — just like your music. When you’re on tour, your perfectly cut, worn-in denim hosts the familiarity of sleeping in your own bed, and when you’re off tour, your jeans are still there for you, cheering you on while you workshop your next songs.

WATCH

ILLUSTRATED BY SHI BRIGGS

Every musician’s dream is to own a custom instrument, and North Coast Guitars specializes in professional, detail-oriented and handmade six-strings. Craftsman Russell Olmsted can make even the most specialized requests a reality when designing your gear. Your musician friend has spent years honing their chops, so ask them what they’re looking for in a guitar and order one up — they’ll be shredding on their one-of-a-kind instrument in no time.

SHOP

The Stache 133 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Nov. 10, $15 sectionlive.com

DRINK

WEAR

Denym 910 Cherry St., Grand Rapids denym.com

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GIFT GUIDE

FOODIE | by Josh Veal

The Foodie is always planning their next meal, going through mental Yelp reviews to find the perfect dining experience. The ingredients must be premium, the service superb, the menu enticing. You can win the Foodie’s affection with gourmet fare and top-of-the-line kitchen tools.

The best way to surprise the Foodie is with a gift card, or at least a recommendation to a restaurant they’ve never heard of (good luck with that). Despite its prominent location across from DeVos Performance Hall, ROAM is still a bit of a hidden gem. This offshoot of San Chez has amazing food from dozens of countries around the world, from China’s jian bing to Italy’s tramezzino, making it a global smorgasbord perfect for the Foodie.

EAT

ROAM by San Chez 250 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids roambysanchez.com

SpeakEZ Lounge makes “dinner and a show” easy by putting the two together with Randissimo’s Jazz Jam every Sunday night. Enjoy some brie capri and paella romesco while being serenaded by some of the best jazz talent the Midwest has to offer. There’s no cover, so to make this a true gift, you might want to pick up the tab.

LISTEN

Randissimo’s Jazz Jam - SpeakEZ Lounge 600 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids speakezlounge.com

If your Foodie never quite learned how to master the home kitchen, no worries Principle Food & Drink lays — there are plenty of places to learn in West DRINK it all out there in the name — Michigan. For one, the Downtown Market ofthe Kalamazoo eatery focus- fers a wide variety of hands-on classes, such es equally on thoughtful, fresh fare and com- as An Evening In Italy, which guides you plex, innovative cocktails. Both food and drink through butternut squash ravioli, a traditionalike elevate, build on and twist classic staples, al Italian compote and emulsifying balsamic. while respecting what makes time-honored If sushi, pie, Thai or craft beer are more your dishes work. If you want a restaurant that Foodie’s style, the market’s got you covered. takes every aspect of the restaurant experience into account, bring the Foodie to Principle. Downtown Market Cooking Classes 435 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Principle Food & Drink Various dates 230 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo downtownmarketgr.com principlekzoo.com The table is the single most Cooking at home is the only WATCH important piece of furniway to satisfy certain hunture for the Foodie, the SHOP gers, and that’s where Art of central hub their life revolves around. In Acthe Table comes in. This Wealthy Street staple tors’ Theatre’s At the Table, six friends get tooffers just about everything you could ever gether for an annual retreat outside the city need for a gourmet home cooking experience, to catch up and dive deep on what matters including various utensils, dishes, cheese, oils, in life, conversing around a table with drinks drinks and so much more. You can treat the in hand. It’s thoughtful, moving and timely, Foodie to a pre-made basket or hand-select and perfect for the Foodie, who appreciates the perfect kitchen gift box. the true point of food: bringing people together and sharing culture. Art of the Table 606 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids At the Table - Actors’ Theatre artofthetable.com 160 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids Nov. 8-17 actorstheatregrandrapids.org

36 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018

DO

ILLUSTRATED BY SHI BRIGGS


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REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018 |

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GIFT GUIDE

GOT STUFF Who can forget digging deep into their stocking to paw at a collection of little items hand-picked just for you? Our gathering of small-scale gifts from local stores hopefully shows friends and family you care enough to buy them the best and most space-saving presents.

Genius hostess gift of Teaspressa Cocktail Cubes, $18 at Pink & Frillos in Gowen.

The Dutch Classic almond-scented candle, $14 from Gezellig in Holland.

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Sophisticated Eton Pocket Square, $80 from A.K. Rikk’s in Grand Rapids.

Travel size Rosewater Facial Set, $30 from About Face in Grand Rapids.

Stunning tortoise-shell acetate earrings, $44 from Curate & Co. in Kalamazoo.

How to Play like a Pro golf kit, $12 from Slate Clothing in Grand Rapids.

Fun Great Lakes pencil set, $5.95 from Pulp & Stem in Grand Rapids.

TINY TRINKETS Feminist buttons, pop culture enamel pins and Roy Orbison and Golden Girls stickers from Arthur’s Plaid Pants mean one-stop shopping for the most miniature goodies, arthursplaidpants.com.


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HARMONY HALL: (616) 233-9186 NO DELIVERY 401 STOCKING AVE NW ∙ GRAND RAPIDS

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018 |

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by Eric Mitts

DINING

TAKING FLIGHT Revue samples wings across the spectrum

Restaurants today aren’t afraid to “elevate” a classic food staple. In Grand Rapids, you can find a fresh, local burger with fries for $5 at your favorite takeout joint or a gourmet burger with cheese for $16 at your

neighborhood brewery. With such a wide gamut before us, we decided to investigate the difference between chicken wings that are $1 apiece versus twice that price.

DINING SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

PHOTO BY KATY BATDORFF

COURTESY PHOTO

COURTESY PHOTO

$ Wing Doozy

$$ Long Road Distillers

$$$ The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck

3916 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids 2359 Health Dr. SW, Wyoming

537 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids

187 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids

Wing Doozy reigns supreme in Revue’s Best of the West readers poll. As the top dawgs of the 2018 wing category, they had to be here on this hunt. I took mine home in the standard operating procedure of many takeout wing joints: Styrofoam container in a thin plastic shopping bag. Now, there’s a lot of steam in there — more than enough to ruin some wings even on the shortest of drives home. But once home, upon opening the box, voila: the wings are wrapped in aluminum foil, keeping them seriously hot, and more importantly, crispy! It’s innovation at its finest. By far the sauciest of all the wings I tried, and certainly the most classic of presentations, these puppies were messy and the medium sauce had some zip to it — clearly these were not just tossed in a little Frank’s. Wing Doozy’s sauce had a little tanginess to it, and the texture was crispy, the insides molten hot. Doozy’s wings are satisfying, and to me, the balance of a classic wing and the ability to take them home for the game means these are a GR staple for a reason.

40 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018

Long Road’s wings were above average in size & served as whole wings rather than the drums and flats you find most often. They’re tossed in a house bourbon hot sauce, which is very light and more sweet than spicy. Three of them come served up with a garnish of celery shavings, bleu cheese crumbles and bacon ends, and a little glide of bleu cheese dressing underneath it all. Quality-wise, these were the best of the bunch. The chicken skin was shatteringly crisp — a sign of fresh over frozen — and the sheer size of them was satisfying as well. And while I like a traditional hot sauce, Long Road’s bourbon blend was an excellent substitute. It is, to this day, the only plate of wings ever to convince me to eat the celery. Give the bacon bits and bleu cheese credit as the perfect conduits for what is typically a net-zero calorie afterthought. At Long Road, we have clearly stepped into elevated bar food territory. This is how you start a food fight. These wings were placed onto the plate, their crispy little ends sticking up like a praying mantis, not dumped from mixing bowl into a wax paper-lined basket. I mean, these were great to eat, but you could argue that they were equally meant to be photographed. You choose which you like more. Personally, I like Long Road’s commitment to quality ingredients in the coupe and on the plate, even if you have to sacrifice a Monday Night Football game to enjoy them in their natural habitat, with an elegant craft cocktail in hand.

At $12, the six wings Wolfgang Puck has engineered for you are by far the most expensive. That’s $2 a wing, which is what Wing Doozy wishes it could charge you, and it’s $5 more than what Long Road will charge you for wings during happy hour. Puck’s wings were also the smallest of the bunch, and suspiciously uniform in appearance. Here, we’ve returned to the drums and flats presentation, and they are meticulously prepared. But here’s where it gets interesting and where you just knew your boy Wolfgang would come through: Each one was perfect and exactly alike. Maybe they were frozen, maybe they weren’t, but they were rubbed in a light spice to blacken them before hitting the fryer. The unsauced wings themselves had a little smoke to them and all six were uniformly juicy on the inside. No duds here. Between the three comparisons, the chili-garlic sauce these were served with was the best. I would have happily devoured them at the swanky hotel bar if they were smothered in the stuff and it was running down my face. But, because it was on the side, there was the added bonus of putting a dab of it on the tender middle of the wing. Puck just thinks of the little things. Nota Bene: The Kitchen is also the only bar I know of in town where you can have a glug of Louis XIII cognac with your chicken wings. What a world we live in. n


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NOT YOUR AVERAGE BAR FOOD. $2.50 DOMESTICS | $3 CRAFT PINTS | $3 WELL DRINKS KARAOKE ON THE WEEKENDS | MUSIC BINGO - THURSDAYS AT 8 PM! SUNDAY BRUNCH $2 MIMOSAS UNTIL 2 P.M. Visit Us During Happy Hour: Monday - Thursday: 11 am - 12 am, Friday 11 am - 6 pm, Saturday: 12 pm - 6 pm, Sunday: 12 pm - 8 pm 616-459-8824 • jgardellastavern.com • 11 Ionia Ave SW, Grand Rapids

Sunday Brunch 11am-4pm

HOURS:

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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

136 East Fulton, Grand rapids | 616.235.7669 | onetrick.BIZ REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018 |

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By Joe Boomgaard, Editor

DINING

YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD BREWERY New GR-area breweries prioritize community

B

REWERY TAPROOMS INHERENTLY SERVE AS

gathering spots for their surrounding communities. They’re the places craft beer fans and neighbors alike go to unwind after a long day, enjoy conversation and ruminate over their plans for the future. With pint in hand, they solve the world’s problems while making new friends and catching up with old buds. But a couple of new-on-the-scene breweries in the greater Grand Rapids area take their community interaction a few steps further.

TwoGuys Brewing Co.

DINING SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

2356 Porter St. SW, Wyoming twoguysbrewing.beer, (616) 552-9690

Above: Brass Ring. Below: TwoGuys Brewing Co. COURTESY PHOTOS

42 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018

Tom and Amy Payne fit in as the owners of TwoGuys Brewing, likely because they decided to open a brewery a few doors away from where they live. “This is our neighborhood. We wanted to open the kind of place where we’d go to drink if we didn’t own it,” Amy Payne said. For the Paynes, getting into the brewery business was a 12-year journey of ups and downs. Tom Payne, who started homebrewing in 1996, cut his chops professionally by brewing at Osgood Brewing in Jenison and 57 Brew Pub & Bistro in Greenville, but always had his sights on opening a place of his own. The Paynes started writing their initial business plan in 2006, later attempting to open a brewery in Wyoming in 2014 before running into challenges at the local level. However, the stars finally aligned in late 2016 and put the wheels in motion for the couple to open TwoGuys Brewing in March of this year. The goal, the Paynes said, is to offer “downtown Grand Rapids quality at a Wyoming Park price.” The couple describes TwoGuys as a “hyper-local, community-minded” concept that focuses on bringing people together over traditional-style beers, as well as responsibly sourced, made-from-scratch food. The beer menu leans toward hoppy varieties, including IPAs and pale ales made to showcase different hop varieties, especially in partnership with local hop growers. “We don’t do glitter, we don’t do sours. We have no New England IPA, no haze. We just brew clean, old-school styles,” Tom Payne said.

That said, TwoGuys did brew one of the first craft hard seltzers locally. The brewery serves the base seltzer over ice in a tulip glass, then adds a range of flavors from there to create a variety of “cocktails” with the drink. “We love to play with it,” Amy Payne said.

Brass Ring Brewing Co. 2404 Eastern Ave. SE, Grand Rapids brassringbrewing.com, (616) 460-1587 When Brass Ring Brewing opened in Alger Heights in January of this year, owner Chris Gibbons wanted to reach out to the surrounding neighborhoods to introduce himself and the business. That effort eventually morphed into handing out “Golden Tickets” to a different block each week. The company distributes printed yellow flyers inviting neighbors to stop by the taproom on Wednesday nights for a conversation with others in the community, along with a free brewery tour. “It’s been a nice way to introduce ourselves to the neighborhood,” Gibbons said. “It gives us a chance to introduce them to what we do.” The brewery focuses on locally sourcing as many brewing ingredients as possible, while also offering all-natural beers made without any chemicals in the brewing process. The chemical-free brewing technique is a nod to Gibbons’ days as a homebrewer, and he thinks the resulting beers are “easier on you” if you have a couple, or more. “We don’t aim to reinvent beers. We like to offer our take on classic ales and make it the best possible example of recognized, historic styles,” he said. By offering 11 simple and traditional styles, Gibbons thinks the brewery can stand out amid the “cacophony of noise” in the current craft beer sector. He remarked how the industry is coming full circle to embrace traditional styles, while also allowing room for experimentation. Brass Ring serves as one of the many creative outlets for Gibbons, a writer, poet and musician who works as a lawyer in his day job. “The business has taken on a life of its own,” he said of the brewery. “I love people, and this is still a people business.”


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Wednesday Before Thanksgiving REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2018 |

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