WEST MICHIGAN’S ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE FOR 31 YEARS » NOVEMBER 2019
ALSO INSIDE STOUT TASTE-OFF MAX'S SOUTH SEAS HIDEAWAY BODIES REVEALED THIRD EYE BLIND
CHRIS JANSON WITH SPECIAL GUESTS
15 HUNKS THE SHOW Entertainment Hall | 8PM Tickets start at $20
Entertainment Hall | 8PM Tickets start at $34
PRICE IS 16 THE RIGHT LIVE
22 & 23
Entertainment Hall 4PM & 8PM Tickets start at $25
MURDER MYSTERY DINNER: A DANCE WITH DEATH
Entertainment Hall | 8PM Tickets start at $22
NO 30 STRAIGHT CHASER Entertainment Hall | 8PM Tickets start at $49
Ballrooms | 8PM Tickets start at $50
BRETT YOUNG WITH SPECIAL GUEST
Entertainment Hall | 8PM Tickets start at $58
Get your tickets at Soaring Eagle Casino or Saganing Eagles Landing Casino Box Offices, ETIX.COM or call 1.800.513.ETIX. soaringeaglecasino.com
Mt. Pleasant, MI | 1.888.7.EAGLE.7
Performances held at Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. Entertainment subject to cancellation. Management reserves all rights.
2 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019
WE WILL ROCK YOU THE MUSICAL
MURDER MYSTERY DINNER: MOST WONDERFUL CRIME OF THE YEAR Ballrooms | 8PM Tickets start at $50
Hello Darkness, My Old Friend REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019 | 3TO: TO FIND THIS BEER NEAR YOU, GO HTTP://NEWHOLLANDBREW.COM/BEER-FINDER/
4 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019
* NOVEMBER 1 MICHAEL RAY
w/ Jimmie Allen, Walker County
* NOVEMBER 2
KIDZ BOP WORLD TOUR
NOVEMBER 3 CHELSEA HANDLER
w/ Deep Sea Diver
NOVEMBER 5 JIM BREUER Dec. 4 / LOUIS THE CHILD w/ Duckwrth, John the Blind
Dec. 7 / TOM SEGURA *
NOVEMBER 7 SIMPLE PLAN & STATE CHAMPS w/ We The Kings
Dec. 10 / CHEVELLE
w/ Bear Hands, Verite
w/ Murda Beatz, MadeinTYO
Convey, The Band Royale
Dec. 11 / DAMIEN ESCOBAR * Dec. 17 / JANE LYNCH "A SWINGIN' LITTLE CHRISTMAS" * Dec. 18 / DOUBLE DARE LIVE * Dec. 20 / ULTIMATE 80S PARTY
Dec. 21 / SUM 41
NOVEMBER 11 K. MICHELLE
w/ Evan Giia, Ark Patrol
w/ Magnolia Boulevard
NOVEMBER 14 WORLD OF DANCE LIVE! TOUR
Dec. 28 / YULE BALL Jan. 2 / MORGAN WALLEN Feb. 6 / THE ALLMAN BETTS BAND Feb. 7 / NIKKI GLASER *
Feb. 12 / QUEENSRYCHE w/ John 5, Eve To Adam
Feb. 21 / CHRIS LANE w/ Blanco Brown, Ernest
NOVEMBER 15 RYAN HAMILTON
NOVEMBER 16 YELAWOLF
NOVEMBER 17 JEEZY
NOVEMBER 21 THIRD EYE BLIND w/ Smallpools
Mar. 1 / FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS w/ Twin XL
Mar. 13 / DERMOT KENNEDY Mar. 21 / KATHLEEN MADIGAN *
Get more info and see the full schedule at 20MonroeLive.com
w/ Ben Danaher
w/ Cale Dodds, Hunter Phelps
w/ Pouya, DJ Scheme, Danny Towers
w/ Stitched Up Heart
SKI MASK THE SLUMP GOD
* SEATED SHOW
11 OTTAWA AVE NW • DOWNTOWN GRAND RAPIDS • 20MONROELIVE.COM REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019 |
6 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019
REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019 |
TAPROOM SUN-TUES: 11AM-12AM WED & THURS: 11AM-1AM FRI & SAT: 11AM-2AM
DELI SUN-THURS: 11AM-11PM FRI & SAT: 11AM-12AM
235 GRANDVILLE AVE. SW GRAND RAPIDS, MI 49503
MON-SAT: 11AM-11PM SUN: 11AM-9PM
Family Groove Company
Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra
Remnose wsg Max Lockwood
Marco Benevento wsg The Mattson 2
FREE | 5:30PM | ALL AGES
The Main Squeeze wsg Dizgo
Overdrive Orchestra wsg Slumlord Radio $5 COVER
FREEKBASS w/ Sammi Garrett
Mike Mains and The Branches wsg Motherfolk and Stephie James
Cheap Pitcher Night with $10 class 1 pitchers & Trivia Night (7pm-close)
Cheap Pint Night with $1 off class one and class two pints & Open Mic Night (8pm-close)
Mug Club Day
Taproom Exclusive Beer Special with $1 off of featured TRX beer & Free Live Music
Service Industry Day with $1.50 off pints (11am-close)
Sunday, Monday & Tuesday Late Night Happy Hour (10pm-close): half off all class 1 pints! ALL SHOWS ARE AGES 21+ AND BEGIN AT 9:30 UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED 8 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019
Sunday Brunch Buffet
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
FEATURING BREAKFAST & LUNCH ENTRÃ‰ES
Including custom-made omelettes, oatmeal station, fresh fruit, salad, soup and a dessert bar. Some Gluten-free items are available as well.
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Coupon valid Sunday only 10 a.m. - close. Not valid with any other offers, promotions, or discounts. Expires 11/30/19.
REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019 |
TIME TO RAISE THE CURTAIN
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9
90s HOUSE PARTY
VANILLA ICE MARK MCGRATH COOLIO C & C MUSIC FACTORY
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 12
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 29
GRAMMY AWARD WINNER
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22
GREATEST HITS & HOLIDAY FAVORITES
Tickets available now at the FireKeepers Box Office or FireKeepersCasino.com.
Must be 21 or older. Tickets based on availability. Schedule subject to change.
10FK-34155_Nov.Revue_9.25x10.indd | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER1 2019
10/15/19 3:48 PM
November 2019 | Volume 31, Issue 11
SCENE: 14 What’s Going On 16 Biz Beat 18 Potshots
SOUNDS: 20 Third Eye Blind 22 Listening Room
REVUE ARTS: 1A Visual arts, classical and jazz music, theater, arts event previews and more. (See the center of this issue)
LOCAL HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE 24 26 27 29 31 33 35 37 39 41 43 45
Introduction Aging Hipster Nutrition Nut Fashionista Folk Fanatic Homeowner Overworked Parent Sports Superfan Influencer Gamer Geek Craft Connoisseur Stocking Stuffers
DINING & DRINKING:
46 Beer: Stout Tasting 50 Dining: Max's South Seas Hideaway
REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019 |
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
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
he holidays are a time of many ups and downs. Taking days off? Good. Having less time to do your work? Bad. Enjoying fires, soup and hot coffee? Good. Stepping out into progressively colder weather? Bad. Seeing certain family members? Good. Seeing other family members? Bad.
Getting gifts? Good. Giving gifts? Depends.
That's contingent on who the person is, what their tastes are, and when exactly you start shopping. That’s why we release our Holiday Gift Guide in November: to help you out before you’re in over your head. We take a look at 10 kinds of people we know in our lives — excellently illustrated by local artist Kim Nguyen — and give you gift ideas of all kinds. You'll find local events, restaurants, bars, breweries and much more inside. We also have a small guide for stocking stuffers, just to give you an idea of what’s available at the many amazing little shops around West Michigan. It’s way more fun to browse, buy, and experience gift-shopping in person than just staring at a screen and calculating shipping costs online. Gift-giving doesn’t have to be a chore!
EDITORIAL President/Publisher Kasie Smith Associate Publisher Rich Tupica / firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial Director Amy L Charles Managing Editor Josh Veal / email@example.com DESIGN Art Director Courtney Van Hagen Graphic Designer Kaylee Van Tuinen / firstname.lastname@example.org CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Abi Safago Andy Balaskovitz Dana Casadei Eric Mitts Elma Talundzic Jack Raymond John Kissane
Kayla Sosa Kelly Brown Marla R. Miller Megan Sarnacki Michaela Stock Missy Black
Of course, the holidays don’t have to take over the next two months completely. We hosted a stout taste-off with two local beer lovers, interviewed Third Eye Blind, and visited Grand Rapids’ new tiki showstopper, Max’s South Seas Hideaway.
ADVERTISING / 616.608.6170 Rich Tupica / email@example.com Kelli Belanger / firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t let holiday stress consume your life: Get shopping early and you can spend November and December cooking delicious meals and watching holiday movies by the fire. That’s what I’ll be doing, anyway.
DIGITAL EDITOR Josh Veal MINION Amy McNeel
FIND US ONLINE!
’Til next time,
Josh Veal, Managing Editor
Website: revuewm.com Twitter: twitter.com/revuewm Facebook: facebook.com/revuewm Instagram: instagram.com/revuewm Revue is published monthly by: Serendipity Media LLC 535 Cascade West Parkway SE Grand Rapids, MI 49546 (616) 458-8371
UPCOMING ISSUES DECEMBER Rearview Mirror & Holiday Guide As the year comes to an end, we’ll examine how the restaurant, drinking and arts scenes have changed in the recent past, while also celebrating the holidays.
JANUARY 50 Things to Do in 2020 Revue’s definitive guide to local happenings in the year ahead. We’ll create a West Michigan bucket list of hidden gems, concerts, restaurants, festivals and more.
©2019 Serendipity Media LLC. All rights reserved.
ON THE COVER: Holiday Gift Guide Illustration by Kim Nguyen
See more on page 24
TO ADVERTISE: Call (616) 608-6170 or email email@example.com. Space reservation is the 17th of the month before publication.
12 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019
Gift Cards Available
Home of the original Bell’s Brewery
weekly live music, with a lineup as diverse as our tap list Full concert schedule and tickets available at bellsbeer.com • Located in downtown Kalamazoo, MI
REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019 |
WHAT’S GOING ON THIS MONTH | Compiled by Revue Staff
10/31-11/2 Bassnectar: Day of the Dead Dark Party Van Andel Arena 130 Fulton St W., Grand Rapids Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 7 p.m. vanandelarena.com
For some, the end of October is all about jack-o-lanterns, candy and dress-up. For others, it’s about the celebration of life, death and spiritual journeys. This year, you can celebrate the circle of life with Bassnectar’s Halloween & Day of the Dead Dark Party. Bassnectar is headlining all three nights, with features from varying electronic, house and dubstep artists. Attendees should prepare for a spooky night of visceral and auditory awesomeness, all in the dark.
and Jedi alike. Hosted at DeVos Place, the convention always hosts some amazing special guests, from Marvel Comics’ Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter to The Walking Dead’s Ross Marquand. A whole world of fandom awaits you.
11/10 Jimmy Eat World: Surviving Tour
The Intersection 133 Grandville Ave SW, Grand Rapids Nov. 10, 8 p.m., $35+ sectionlive.com
Hey, don’t write off Jimmy Eat World yet! They’re in the middle of the ride. Less than a month after the release of their 10th studio album, Surviving, the band is coming to The Intersection. Grand Rapids is the band’s ninth stop on this special 17-show tour. They’ll be supported throughout the tour by singer-songwriter Pronoun.
Grand Rapids Comic-Con
DeVos Place 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids Nov. 8-10, $20+ grcomiccon.com It’s time to lay out your favorite cosplay gear and rally the superheroes. ComicCon is coming to Grand Rapids and it’s bound to be full of superheroes, wizards,
Lewis Black: The Joke’s On Us 20 Monroe Live Nov. 10, 6 p.m. 20monroelive.com
We could all use a little catharsis in our lives, and that’s where Lewis Black comes
LEWIS BLACK. COURTESY PHOTO
in. He’s a master of the “rant” — not so much a mean-spirited cynic as he is a passionate optimist, angry that the world isn’t better than it is. He’s able to perfectly capture the cultural moment, even while yelling and waving his arms around. His new show, The Joke’s On Us, centers on the ridiculous, hard-to-parody political times we find ourselves in.
11/13 Tastes of Holland Holland Civic Center 150 W. 8th St., Holland Nov. 13, 5-9 p.m., $35+ hollandsentinel.com/tastes
BASSNECTAR: DAY OF THE DEAD DARK PARTY. PHOTO BY ALIVE COVERAGE
14 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019
The season of tulips and sunshine may be over, but Holland still has much to offer. The Holland Civic Center is teaming up with the Holland Sentinel to host Tastes of Holland. This event highlights West
Michigan’s top culinary talent as well as local wines and brews. A children’s activity area is also featured and 10% of ticket proceeds will go to Community Action House and Harvest Stand Ministries. The night will not only be tasty, but for a good cause — the best of both worlds.
11/15-17 Christmas Through Lowell
Downtown Lowell Nov. 15-17 christmasthroughlowell.org The 28th-annual Christmas Through Lowell is being held the third weekend of November. Surrounded by Lowell’s historic streets and more than 350 artists and crafters, you’ll feel like you’ve walked out of reality and into a Hallmark movie. This shopping extravaganza is the perfect
place to find the special holiday gift for that extra-special someone.
11/15-18 Air Zoo’s 40th Birthday 6151 Portage Rd., Portage Nov. 15-18 airzoo.org
The Air Zoo in Portage is turning 40 this month, offering the perfect opportunity to celebrate with the whole family. Head there on Saturday for special rides, attractions, flight simulators, and entertainment, all included with 40% off admission! Or head in Monday for Air Zoo Day — the City of Portage even declared it official — and you’ll get in completely for free.
11/17 Blake Elliot, Olivia Mainville & Delilah DeWylde Salt of the Earth 114 E. Main St., Fennville Nov. 17, 6 p.m., $20 saltoftheearthfennville.com
Every Sunday, Salt of the Earth hosts some of the best folk, Americana and roots music around. They tend to put together impressive lineups of West Michigan’s favorite artists, such as this show with three amazing women. If you somehow don’t know, Blake Elliot is a local folk-rock singer-songwriter; Olivia Mainville describes her music as inventive, genre-crossing, vintage folk; and Delilah DeWylde is a rockabilly star rocking a huge upright bass.
11/20 Nick Offerman: All Rise Kalamazoo State Theatre 404 S. Burdick St., Kalamazoo Nov. 20, 6 and 9 p.m., $39.75+ kazoostate.com
We have an important announcement: Ron Swanson is back. Four years since the ending of the beloved NBC sitcom Parks and Recreations, comedian Nick Offerman has continued to be hilarious with his live shows. He’s insightful, clever, and incredibly funny, and he’s coming to Kalamazoo for a night of “deliberate talking and light dance.” The show, titled All Rise, is only here one night but there are two starting times. Don’t miss it.
11/21-23 Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival
DeVos Place Convention Center 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids Nov. 21-23 showspan.com/grw The Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival is being held for its 12th year this November. Grand Rapids might be Beer City USA, but this festival includes more than 1,500 wines, ciders and spirits, along with a variety of beer from around the world. Recently listed
in Forbes as a “best fall wine festival in North America,” this event will have a little something for every palate.
11/23 A Very Merry Market Day
psychotherapy services through the organization. This event gives you the chance to give back to the community and earn your turkey dinner, too.
11/29 Holiday in the Park
Downtown Market 435 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Nov. 23, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. downtownmarketgr.com
Dyckman Park 539 Dyckman Ave., South Haven Nov. 29 4-7 p.m. southhaven.org
With just a month until Christmas, it’s shopping crunch time. Luckily, Downtown Market has you covered. At A Very Merry Market Day, more than 45 artisan gift vendors and 20 indoor food vendors will set up shop for the most festive shopping experience of the holidays. Hungry after a day of browsing? Head downstairs to the Market Hall for food and festive fun.
After a successful holiday extravaganza last year, Visit South Haven is again hosting Holiday in the Park. Featuring a Christmas tree lighting, ice skating, holiday treats, and a visit from Santa himself, this family-friendly event is great for kids of all ages. With a Santa Paws Pet Parade downtown, your furry friends might enjoy it, too.
The Diatribe: 2nd Annual Grand Showcase
Fountain Street Church 24 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids Nov. 23, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., $15+ thediatribe.org The Diatribe, a nonprofit organization using the arts to empower young people, is hosting its second-annual Grand Showcase. Last year, the showcase drew more than 700 attendees, making it the largest poetry showcase in West Michigan. This year, nationally renowned poet Rudy Francisco is headlining the show and the rest of the lineup includes tons of amazing local youth and poets from Grand Rapids.
11/28 Turkey Trot 5K Fun Run
NICK OFFERMAN COURTESY PHOTO
Trans-Siberian Orchestra: Christmas Eve and Other Stories Van Andel Arena 130 Fulton St W., Grand Rapids Dec. 1, 3 p.m., 7:30 p.m., $47+ vanandelarena.com
Progressive rock group Trans-Siberian Orchestra is returning to Grand Rapids for its 2019 winter tour. This year, the group is performing a new take on its popular Christmas Eve and Other Stories show. The performance follows the story of a young girl reuniting with her father from the help of an angel, all on Christmas Eve. Including new sound effects and staging, the band’s classicrock theater story will be told in an all new way. With Christmas right around the corner, this show is the perfect way to get in the holiday spirit. n
OLIVIA MAINVILLE. PHOTO BY VICTOR VAGUE
Mulligan’s Hollow 600 Y Dr., Grand Haven Nov. 28, 7:30 a.m., free visitgrandhaven.com Sometimes it’s hard to look past the turkey, mashed potatoes and green bean casserole to see that Thanksgiving is about more than just food. While Thanksgiving is full of deliciousness, it’s really about being thankful for what you have and giving back to the community. This Thanksgiving, Out Side In is hosting its seventh-annual Turkey Trot 5K fun run/walk to support those seeking
Find more events in Revue Arts, and at revuewm.com!
JIMMY EAT WORLD. PHOTO BY OLIVER HALFIN
REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019 |
Morning Belle. COURTESY PHOTOS
A Roundup of Openings, Closings and Other Local Business News
OPENED Studio Park is now open in downtown Grand Rapids, bringing a full-on multiplex to the city. With it come new locations for Malamiah Juice Bar and Eatery, Funky Buddha Yoga, Pump House Frozen Yogurt Bar, and Leo’s Coney Island. There’s also a brandnew restaurant, One Twenty Three, named after the whole complex’s address at 123 Ionia Ave. SW. The eatery has an upscale meatloaf alongside other New American dishes and comfort food. Also, just so you know, parking is totally free with the purchase of a movie ticket! Grand Rapids has a new yoga studio in the form of Heights Yoga Project. Located on the West Side at 744 Leonard St. NW, the studio describes itself as “a community for unfinished projects,” putting an emphasis on the idea that we are all works in progress and continually growing. The standard drop-in rate is $12. Morning Belle has arrived, replacing what was once Twisted Rooster with a new concept entirely focused on breakfast, brunch and lunch. The new restaurant is full of pastel colors, flowers and colorful meals. The menu ranges from comfort food to healthy options, such as the Harvest Salad with kale, quinoa, sunflower seeds, red endive, mandarin oranges, apples, goat cheese and grain mustard dressing. If you’re looking for a drink, you can also get a light, refreshing cocktail or a spiked cold brew. Third Nature Brewing finally arrived in Rockford with plenty of beer in hand. The brewery at 7733 Childsdale Ave. NE has a deep love for nature, even growing itsown hops to use. The taproom features a big wooden bar with a live edge, and a huge patio that’s home to multiple fire pits. The building itself is situated right in the woods, surrounded by nature.
16 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019
Ed Dunneback & Girls Farm Market now has its own drinks, with Pink Barrel Cellars offering beer, wine and hard cider, such as the Dunneback Blonde and Pumpkin Spice Coffee Brown. Head to the farm at 3025 6 Mile Rd., Grand Rapids for some apple picking and a corn maze, then go to the cellars for a nice autumn drink. PIND Indian Cuisine opened in downtown Grand Rapids, yet again giving life to the building that once held G.B. Russo’s and Bagger Dave’s before that. The restaurant at 241 W. Fulton St. offers a huge variety of Indian food, fully on display at the lunch buffet that’s served seven days a week. You’ll find more than 18 items to choose from for $10.95. Or head in for dinner and have a fine-dining experience.
—Compiled by Josh Veal If you have any closings, openings or other business news for REVUE, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
MICHIGAN RADIO LAUNCHES NEW PODCAST
LUCY DACUS w/ Liza Anne & Sun June
Wed. 8pm | CFAC Auditorium | $20
‘Same Same Different,’ hosted by Bryce Huffman, explores identity
hen your buddies tell you “we like you because you’re not like most black people,” should you throw down or lay low? How do you support your transgender kid when their own sibling thinks transgender is a misguided choice? What makes someone an “other,” anyway? Michigan Radio, the state’s largest NPR news outlet, tackles these issues and more in its new podcast, Same Same Different. Hosted by Grand Rapids-based reporter and performance poet Bryce Huffman, the podcast explores identity and how to survive “otherness” with our full humanity and sanity intact. As a young black man, Huffman spent years trying to figure out the best strategies for dealing with people and institutions that prioritize white America. “I made the podcast to first process many of the experiences I’ve had feeling like an ‘other,’ and also to connect with people who have felt the same way,” Huffman said. “I wanted to deal with serious feelings and thoughts, but to do it in a humorous and empowering way. The show is really about these people coming from marginalized communities who
really get hit hardest by this: people of color, LGBTQ folks, people with disabilities and religious minorities.” Same Same Different also offers insights on how to be a better, more empathetic friend, family member, and human in the world. The podcast is produced by the same Michigan Radio team that created the Peabody Award-winning podcast Believed, including executive producer Jennifer Guerra and senior editor Sarah Hulett. That podcast, about serial sexual predator Larry Nassar and the team of female survivors, detectives and prosecutors who won justice in the case, has been downloaded more than five million times.
WILD & SCENIC FILM FESTIVAL Sat. 7pm | CFAC Recital Hall | $10
WHERE TO LISTEN TO
SAME SAME DIFFERENT:
Download episodes at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, NPR One, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also listen at michiganradio.org/different.
An evening with OVER THE RHINE 06 Fri. 8pm | Calvin Chapel | $20
Tickets on sale now:
/calvinuniversitysao REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019 |
id Only Hybr Beer Store
BOTTLE SHOP & FULL BAR 20 DRAFTS, PLUS OVER 1,000 BEERS WINE, CIDER, & MEADS GROWLER FILLS
DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS SCENE
DOG FRIENDLY! BEER EDUCATION MUSIC BINGO INUDSTRY NIGHT
18 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019
NOVEMBER 2019 A monthly roundup of marijuana news and notes.
his past month, two steps forward in West Michigan were a giant leap for safe cannabis access. In early October, the region’s two largest cities — Grand Rapids and Muskegon — formally opted to allow recreational marijuana businesses. Muskegon is a bit further ahead, approving ordinances to regulate the approval process, while Grand Rapids will spend roughly the next six months sorting out how exactly that will happen.
Muskegon Township also opted in, allowing up to seven retail stores in commercial districts. (WZZM-TV reports applicants lined up outside township hall after the vote to have first crack at applications.) On Oct. 15, Battle Creek was the latest to opt-in as of press time. Additionally, the state has expanded the number of municipalities in its social equity program that have been disproportionately affected by prohibition. These are positive developments, since more than half of Michigan municipalities have chosen to ban recreational businesses. Come Nov. 1, though, the floodgates will start to open as the state accepts recreational applications. Some businesses hope to open their doors within the month. In early October, the state released specific guidelines for applying, including for consumption facilities and temporary events. As Kelli Hykes, government affairs director at Weedmaps, wrote in a recent op-ed for Bridge Magazine, local governments opting out of recreational marijuana jeopardizes revenue, talent and opportunity: “Local bans drive consumers back to the illicit market. As a result, taxable revenue is lost, and profits that should be going to legal, regulated businesses end up going back into the pockets of illicit players.” In other news, Michigan hemp farmers are starting to see the fruits of their labor. This fall, the first industrial hemp crops are being harvested across thousands of acres in Michigan. With low commodity prices and
One of LivWell's locations in Denver. COURTESY PHOTO
unpredictable trade whims of the unhinged Commander in Chief, the switch to hemp is promising for some farmers. The outlook is even more optimistic for 2020, when the agriculture community and the state can better predict the crop’s potential. Given the recent craze of CBD products that are made with hemp, why wouldn’t farmers be excited? At the Capitol, state lawmakers continue to focus on expungement, or providing residents an opportunity to erase their criminal convictions related to marijuana. While lawmakers proposed an expungement bill package in September, two Detroit-area representatives introduced a bill in October that would be “one of the most comprehensive in the nation,” Detroit Metro Times reports. It would allow expungements for misdemeanors and some low-level felonies but also streamline the “logistical nightmare” of the expungement process, as one advocate says. The bill has 33 co-sponsors and the support of Attorney General Dana Nessel and civil liberties groups. As advocates correctly note, expungement is a crucial step in righting the decades of wrongs in the failed War on Drugs.
On a personal note, I visited a couple of Colorado dispensaries last month while traveling back home on our honeymoon, including one of six LivWell locations in Denver. The company, LivWell Holdings, plans to operate retail, growing and processing facilities in Michigan. The dispensary I visited — rated highly on Weedmaps — in the city’s Park Hill area was tucked into a somewhat industrial setting. After a few minutes in the waiting room, I was directed inside and received one-on-on help from an employee, who guided me through various edibles (I was told the mints are outstanding), wax and a little something for our 11-year-old dog, Charlie, back home. The products were affordable and reliable, of course, but what struck me was the employee’s excitement about Michigan becoming a legal state. Hopefully, we see enough openness among communities to allow many of these businesses to operate here. Let’s not screw it up. — Compiled by Andy Balaskovitz
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/// ON TOUR
‘BOREDOM IS FOR BORING PEOPLE’ Third Eye Blind. PHOTO BY DANNY NOLAN
Third Eye Blind spills on how the band has stayed strong through 11 album cycles | by Michaela Stock
DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE
f you’re just hearing about rock band Third Eye Blind, buckle up — they’ve had quite the ride. Third Eye Blind’s premier release, the single “Semi-Charmed Life,” came out in 1997 and remains the band’s most popular song on Spotify today, reaching nearly 200 million streams. That’s not to say their other 11 albums and EPs have been a wash. In fact, Screamer, the band’s most recent record, was leaked at the Texas music festival Austin City Limits a week before its October 18 release date. “There were people with it at a signing session,” said Kryz Reid, Third Eye Blind’s lead guitarist. “It was the first time that we got to see it.” You’d think that after 10 albums, fans would have enough music to keep busy with while waiting for the official release of Screamer. Third Eye Blind, however, is one of those creative anomalies that has remained front and center in its scene for 22 years straight. “We always steal the crowd,” Reid said. Alongside this release are a European tour, a U.S. tour and another album in the works. “We have — spoiler alert — started writing on our next record,” Reid said. “We just did four tracks in Austin this week.”
20 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019
Reid has been playing with Third Eye Blind for nearly 10 years, since joining the band in 2010. In a creative industry known for a high burnout rate, it’s rare for bands to stay together for a couple of years, let alone a couple of decades. But the secret to Third Eye Blind’s sustainability is not fame, success or even luck. “I think it’s just everybody's desire to kind of give back; it sounds so pretentious to say it, but to give back to the industry that we’ve all grown up in,” Reid said. “We’re compelled to do it. It’s not a hobby for any of us. It’s a compulsion.” Burnout is such a foreign concept for Reid that he’s never experienced writer’s block. “That’s another thing that never happens in my life,” Reid said. “I never get bored. There’s just so much to see and do, I’m just fantastically excited about all of it. Boredom is for boring people. I’ve never had it.” Even Third Eye Blind’s soundchecks are far from a dull routine. The band uses them for rehearsing, songwriting and connecting with each other, as its members are spread out along the West Coast when they’re not on tour together. Third Eye Blind’s soundchecks are so entertaining that fans are occasionally invited in to watch.
Their front of house engineer would love it if the band just showed up for the soundcheck and played their songs, Reid notes, but that doesn’t happen. “Every soundcheck, we just get on the stage as if nobody is here, as if we’re just five mates hanging out with our instruments. Usually, toward the end of the soundcheck, one of us will remember that, you know, we’re not the only people that exist in the world.” These soundchecks are critical for Third Eye Blind, as they don’t use any pre-recorded backing tracks during their live performances. “We make it all up as we go,” Reid said. “We’re just a live band.” Of course, being a live band means plenty of time spent on the road touring, and Third Eye Blind is no stranger to long drives or trans-Atlantic flights. Since 2017, the band has made the choice to tour zero-waste, a decision it hopes other musicians will make as well. “It’s a tough thing to do as a touring band, because there's just a massive amount of singleuse plastic and stuff like that nobody thinks about,” Reid said. “It’s not something that we think about anymore. It’s just something that's done. I would love it if other bands would follow our lead in that respect.”
Hopefully you’re still buckled up and ready to crank the music a while longer, because Third Eye Blind isn’t slowing down. After more than two decades of being a band, 11 albums and counting, and winning over a global fanbase, Third Eye Blind is a staple that’s here to stay. Whether you like it or not. But that’s the charm of Third Eye Blind. The band doesn’t hide behind an image, backing tracks or major hits. It doesn’t have to. Fans love Third Eye Blind for what it is: nonstop, authentic rock ‘n’ roll. Even Reid is careful not to become idealized by an image or the media. “If you put me in quotes,” Reid said, “make sure it’s exactly what I said.” n
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REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019 |
UPON CLOSER LISTENING Intimate new music venue Listening Room offers completely new experience | by Eric Mitts FROM LEFT: LISTENING ROOM GENERAL MANAGER AND TALENT BUYER QUINN MATHEWS AND KATIE PILLSBURY OF THE CRANE WIVES ONSTAGE AT LISTENING ROOM. PHOTO BY JILL DEVRIES
DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE
p until now, Grand Rapids’ growing and thriving music scene hasn’t offered music lovers a place where close, careful listening takes center stage. Listening Room changes that. Located in the brand-new Studio Park entertainment district at 123 Ionia Ave. SW, along Oakes Street SW in downtown Grand Rapids, the 200-person-capacity music venue makes sound paramount. Completely seated for every show, the intimate, comfortable concert environment will encourage audience members to sit back, relax and soak in the music. “Listening Room has got a Sinatra vibe to it, with booths along the walls for larger groups of attendees,” said Quinn Mathews, Listening Room General Manager and Talent Buyer. “There’s a bar with servers. Nice bourbon, beer, wine. But when those houselights go down and stage lights go up, you shut up and listen for the next two hours.” The venue plans to be active with live music as often as 20 nights per month. So rather than celebrate with a grand opening event, Mathews wants to launch right into the large slate of shows he has planned for the space. “I didn’t want to just open with one big show as a grand opening,” he said. “I wanted
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to open by announcing 30 shows coming up, which we did.” The already expansive schedule of concerts starts with Mexo-Americana duo David Wax Museum on Nov. 6, followed by singersongwriter Matthew Perryman Jones on Nov. 7, and two nights with Pedro The Lion frontman David Bazan, Nov. 8-9. Last month, Listening Room hosted a handful of soft opening concerts so Mathews and his staff could dial in all the details, from the audio to the stage and seating. Those shows included a benefit for Heartside Ministry featuring Michigan artist and The Voice finalist Joshua Davis, as well as performances from other area artists. “We have such an amazing music scene here in Grand Rapids on many levels,” Mathews said. “For starters, we have incredible musicians that call Grand Rapids home. Some are full-time touring musicians that travel the country and come home to GR, some are musicians that live here and play locally.” He added that he wanted Listening Room to serve as a place where all talent could get the attention it deserves, from rising local bands to internationally acclaimed stars. “We have an incredible community here and I was lucky to be manager at eclectic music
station WYCE 88.1-FM for a couple years, vibe with a wide variety of local and regional and I was around so many music fans that musicians.” Modeling Listening Room’s active schedappreciate so many different styles of music,” Mathews said. “Listening Room is designed to ule of shows after similar venues like The Ark be a place to go to take in the art of music, to in Ann Arbor and City Winery in Chicago, Mathews hopes to have musilet go of your day for a few hours cians in the room at least four and appreciate the work that goes nights a week, if not seven. into creating a song, no matter LISTENING ROOM Most shows at Listening what style of song it is. 123 IONIA AVE. SW, Room will open at 6 or 6:30 “Listening Room doesn’t GRAND RAPIDS p.m., with music starting between mean quiet acoustic music at all LISTENINGROOMGR.COM, 7:30 and 8 p.m. times; it means quiet audience at 616.900.9500 “We did some interviews all times.” with music fans and it seemed The venue already plans to like people were asking for some host several local music events, including the monthly Songtellers Stories & earlier shows for a couple reasons,” Mathews Songs series, originally hosted by GR singer/ said. “One may be they want to be done and songwriter Nicholas James Thomasma at go home. Or, two, they can leave this show and head right over to Founders or The Creston Brewery. “I spent 10 years down in Nashville before Intersection or The Pyramid Scheme to catch moving here,” Mathews said of his days as a a late show. I like both of those ideas.” For a full schedule of Listening Room musician. “Writers’ rounds are in every bar on every events — including a two-evening run from corner, every night. It’s how you get out to GR’s own The Verve Pipe, Nov. 29 – 30, test new material or tell stories about any of and a two-set performance from Michigan your original material. I’m glad Nick started singer-songwriter Laith Al-Saadi, Nov. 6 — visit this series. I’m sure there will be a lot of this listeningroomgr.com. n kind of thing in Listening Room and it’s going to be fun to have a monthly Stories & Song
MICHIGANDERS CREATE UNIQUE TEQUILA AND IT’S COMING TO GRAND RAPIDS
A letter from Teeq Tequila
2019, Teeq Blanco Tequila is no doubt the smoothest Blanco Tequila on the planet. With its hints of sweet agave, this is not the typical Blanco that most people are used to. No salt, no lime needed at all. While Teeq Tequila is a proud Michigan-based company, to be considered 100-percent Blue Weber Agave Tequila, production must be done in Mexico. Teeq Tequila uses only the finest Blue Weber Agave harvested at seven years of maturity, from both the Highlands and Lowlands of Jalisco, which also provides another level of distinction as most brands only use one — not a blend of agaves. “The response for Teeq Tequila in the Metro Detroit area has been incredible, so it’s time to focus on the West side of the state, notably, Grand Rapids,” said Co-CEO Mike Rowoldt. Visit teeqspirits.com to find a store near you stocking Teeq Tequila or ask your local establishment to order Teeq Tequila for you through Imperial Beverage, our distributor. Or, feel free to email us at email@example.com. Thanks, we’ll see you soon! Teeq Tequila teeqspirits.com
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ello Grand Rapids and allow us to introduce you to Teeq Tequila! Teeq Tequila is a premium tequila brand launched in August 2018 by three Michiganders who have a tremendous passion for tequila and furthering the agave movement. “Our enthusiasm for this decadent agave spirit is unparalleled and our hope is to dispel the misconceptions surrounding tequila,” said CoFounder Don Ferguson. “We wanted to create a platform to educate people on how tequila is made, how it should be enjoyed, and the traditions surrounding this wonderful spirit.” Teeq Tequila is available exclusively in the Michigan marketplace and offers the world’s only Coconut Lime Blanco Tequila, which is made from the finest natural ingredient: the Blue Weber Agave plant. With an initial subtle hint of lime, this agave spirit is then followed by a cool and refreshing hint of coconut. Teeq Coconut Lime Blanco is a wonderful sipping tequila on ice, but also blends exceptionally well in many cocktails, including the most popular cocktail in America: the margarita. Teeq’s second expression in our portfolio, which is just as unique and popular, is the Reposado. Typically, tequila is rested in white American Oak Barrels, but Teeq Reposado Tequila is rested in second-generation whiskey barrels from a very well-known brand. This process provides a complexity that takes on subtle tones of a whiskey while staying true to the tequila’s roots. Along with hints of caramel and vanilla, Teeq Reposado also absorbs some charring flavors from the whiskey barrels, making this an ultra-premium drinking experience. Lastly, released in late September
REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019 |
t's never too early to start gathering gifts. You could avoid long store lines and last-minute stress if you stretch shopping out over November and December. Still, it’s not always easy coming up with that perfect gift for your family member, friend or even co-worker. Sure, you know they like sports, but where can you go locally to get them a special gift no one else would think of? That’s where Revue’s Holiday Gift Guide comes in. We’ve got all
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ILLUSTRATIONS FOR THE HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE BY KIM NGUYEN.
the best local gifts for all kinds of personalities, from the Influencer to the Overworked Parent. It’s not just stuff you can buy, but experiences and events too — some of which take place in November, because no one hates receiving an early gift. If you’re just looking for some stocking stuffers, we have a guide for those as well! Turns out, you don’t need Amazon to get your holiday shopping done: West Michigan is chock-full of amazing stores and venues.
Local Gift Ideas for your favorite... 26 27 29 31 33 35
Aging Hipster Nutrition Nut Fashionista Folk Fanatic Homeowner Overworked Parent
37 39 41 43 45
Sports Superfan Influencer Gamer Geek Craft Connoisseur Stocking Stuffers
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REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019 |
Aging Hipster | by Kelly Brown
The Aging Hipster loves to hate the holidays. The chilly weather makes their arthritic hands ache as they type away at their latest op-ed piece. But staying indoors creates the perfect scene for endless cups of coffee while reading a new biography about their favorite late-’80s indie band.
Speaking of coffee, the Aging Hipster could use another one. Don’t ask if that sixth cup of coffee at 7 p.m. keeps them up at night; caffeine doesn’t even affect them at this point. The Aging Hipster fits perfectly with the crowd at the Bitter End — a collection of tortured artists taking advantage of the “Open 24 Hours” policy, perfecting their Master’s thesis on B-movies from the ’90s. Get them a gift card, so they can stay there for all 24 hours.
The Bitter End Coffee House 752 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids thebitterendcoffeehouse.com If it’s old, the Aging Hipster will wear it. Even better if it has a funny political slogan from the Reagan era. The newly opened Elevated Antiques in Grand Rapids is a marketplace featuring booths from an assortment of antique vendors, including Love Charles Vintage, which has been selling vintage clothing online through Etsy for years. Their booth in Elevated makes it even easier to score a new pair of high-waisted Levi’s.
Love Charles Vintage (inside Elevated Grand Rapids) 1750 Clyde Park Ave. SW, Grand Rapids lovecharlesvintage.com Retro arcade games, earsplitting music and pre-millennium TV shows create the perfect atmosphere for the Aging Hipster inside Stella’s Lounge. They can swing for a slightly unhealthy option with one of the best burgers in town or opt for a modern-hipster meal with a vegan or vegetarian dish. The Aging Hipster
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will also appreciate the cheap beers and incredible whiskey selection — the best of both worlds. Stella’s Lounge 53 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids stellasgr.com Every Tuesday at the Wealthy Theatre, the Meanwhile Movie Series presents B-movies from the ’80s and ’90s, making a perfect holiday date or get-together with a friend who pines for the past. Previous films have included Spaceballs, Jawbreaker and Silence of the Lambs. Check the website for event details. You could even buy the Aging Hipster a Community Media Center membership, which allows them to get tickets at a discounted price and buy alcohol in the theater.
Wealthy Theatre 1130 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids grcmc.org For the Aging Hipster, happiness is digging through the new and used bins at record shops. At Satellite Records in Kalamazoo, you’re sure to find a golden indie limited release to give your friend who loves nostalgia. Browse the selection of new and used rock, jazz, indie and show tunes, or at least pick up a gift card if you’re not so musically knowledgeable. Satellite is filled with enough records from every era to keep the Aging Hipster combing for hours.
Satellite Records 808 S. Westnedge Ave., Kalamazoo satelliterecordskzoo.com
NOVEMBER 2019 REVUEWM.COM/ARTS
WEST MICHIGAN'S CULTURAL ARTS GUIDE
FINDING VALJEAN What it’s like to play the lead of Broadway’s ‘Les Misérables’ SEE PAGE 6A. STORY BY DANA CASADEI.
PAGE BACK FROM THE DEAD ‘Bodies Revealed’ returns to Grand Rapids
PAGE LIGHT IT UP SC4A’s ‘Luminescence’ shines bright
CASUAL CLASSICAL Beethoven wears blue jeans to WMS
VISIT WHARTONCENTER.COM CALL 1-800-WHARTON 2A
| REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | NOVEMBER 2019
Life After Death
President/Publisher Kasie Smith Editorial Associate Publisher Rich Tupica Editorial Director Amy L Charles Managing Editor Josh Veal
After 10 years, ‘Bodies Revealed’ comes back to Grand Rapids
BY AMY MCNEEL
After almost a decade, the ever-popular Bodies Revealed exhibit returns to the Grand Rapids Public Museum. The exhibit, opening Nov. 16, gives viewers an inside look at the human body — a look both mesmerizing and uncanny. With 10 full body specimens and hundreds of organs, the display tells the story of each system within the body and provides information usually found only in textbooks. The exhibit came to the GRPM for the first time in 2010, and since then has been in high demand for a return. Though it’s the same exhibit, brought by the same company, GRPM Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations Kate Kocienski said visitors should expect some changes. “Experiential Media Group has different versions of the exhibition that travel, so the specimens that will be coming to the Grand Rapids Public Museum this time are completely different than what was here 10 years ago,” Kocienski said. “The exhibit has been updated a little bit, so it will be a new experience.” Although some variance is expected, the exhibit will carry the same tone and provide the same kind of atmosphere for visitors. If past hype surrounding the exhibit is any indicator, the 2019 Bodies Revealed is certain to be a popular, must-see display. “I think people are just really fascinated with our own bodies,” Kocienski said. “The exhibit itself talks a lot about what you can do to make healthier lifestyle choices, and I think that’s appealing. The exhibit shows a combination of healthy and unhealthy specimens, creating a stark juxtaposition. Kocienski notes some of the specimens show the effects of over-
Art Director Courtney Van Hagen Graphic Designer Kaylee Van Tuinen Contributing Writers Amy McNeel Dana Casadei John Kissane Marla Miller Megan Sarnacki Abi Safago
FIND US ONLINE: Website: revuewm.com/arts Twitter: twitter.com/revuewm Facebook: facebook.com/revuewm Instagram: instagram.com/revuewm Bodies Revealed. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE MUSEUM AND PREMIER EXHIBITIONS
eating or smoking, while other full-body specimens are in athletic poses to convey everyday motion and health. By looking at these specimens in contrast, visitors could see how certain lifestyle choices can affect their bodies. While the exhibit is interesting to look at, it’s ultimately something to learn from. According to Experiential Media Group, the specimens are able to be transported and studied due to the polymer preservation process they endure. The bodies are completely real and are permanently preserved using liquid silicone rubber. At the end of the polymer process, the specimens come out dry, odorless and free of any toxic chemicals. Thanks to this process, they can be used for educational purposes, such as in Bodies Revealed. Along with the specimens, the museum is working with several groups in the community to promote learning. “We are going to be working with several groups within the community to have volunteers within the exhibition at any given point, and those include Grand Valley’s College of Nursing and other volunteers that are interested in being in the exhibition,” Kocienski said. “There will be people in the exhibition at various points to be able to answer questions.”
With the past popularity and demand for the exhibit — along with the growing West Michigan medical community — GRPM encourages people to purchase tickets in advance. These are timed tickets, meaning one must select a specific time to visit. Be sure to see Bodies Revealed before it’s gone, as the next opportunity may not arise for another 10 years. “It is something that if you aren’t going to medical school or nursing school, and aren't in the medical community, you wouldn’t have exposure to,” Kocienski said. “I really think this is the only place that you can come to see these specimens outside of the medical community.” ■
For advertising, subscription and distribution inquiries, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Revue is published monthly by: Serendipity Media LLC 535 Cascade West Parkway SE Grand Rapids, MI 49546 (616) 458-8371 ©2019 Serendipity Media LLC. All rights reserved.
ON THE COVER:
BODIES REVEALED Grand Rapids Public Museum Nov. 16 – May 17 grpm.org
FINDING VALJEAN WHAT IT’S LIKE TO PLAY THE LEAD OF BROADWAY’S ‘LES MISÉRABLES’ SEE PAGE 6A.
REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | NOVEMBER 2019 |
Upper left: Rachel Mills performing in The Magic Flute. PHOTO BY JOEL BISSELL. Upper right: Drake Dantzler performing. COURTESY PHOTO.
Opera Overhaul Bringing ‘The Mikado’ into the 21st century
BY JOHN KISSANE
The Mikado debuted in March of 1885 and never really left the stage. Popular at the time, it remains popular now, as beloved for its smart humor as its beautiful music. Originally, it was set in an exoticized Japan, replete with lavish costumes and sets. As of late, productions have minimized or even eliminated Japanese elements, revealing the satire of Victorian Britain that was only ever at best half-hidden. On Nov. 1 and 2, Opera Grand Rapids will stage the show at St. Cecilia Music Center. James Meena, Opera Grand Rapids’ Artistic Director, calls The Mikado one of the best two pieces Gilbert and Sullivan ever created. “With the creativity of Gilbert, that incredible use of language, and with Sullivan’s music, they created a work that survived beyond their own era,” Meena said. Updating the production for contemporary sensibilities required changes not just to the costumes and décor, but to the script as well. Offensive words were removed, and some text was rewritten. “We don’t live in Victorian England,” Meena said. “It speaks well to our society in general that we are thinking about these
things. And we have a responsibility as a locally based regional company to build bridges, not tear them down. If we’re not sensitive to that, then shame on us.” The original choice of setting may have been a cheerful embrace of, or concession to, Western, Victorian-era obsessions with the East; there is no shortage, after all, of Victorian pulp featuring Asian mysticism and exoticism. Additionally, setting the show there allowed Gilbert and Sullivan to poke ruthless fun at British figures without fear of offending them. But times have changed. And, besides, they’re all dead. Still, the intentions of the creators very much guide the production. Drake Dantzler, who plays Nanki-Poo, the son of the titular Mikado (aka Emperor), points out the duo often knew who they were writing a role for and pitched the role to that person’s strengths. Dantzler, who has played this particular role several times, admires the diversity of characters. “Ask five people who their favorite people in the show were, and you’d get five different answers,” he said, adding that he finds the music to be catchy and charming, and the dialogue to be witty, lively, and adaptable. “It has an orchestra and these grand melodies, but it’s almost closer to music theater than to opera.” To prepare for it, he is eating right and exercising regularly. He tries to get enough sleep and he maintains an awareness of how often he speaks — as a professor, it isn’t rarely. He sees an obligation to keep his vocal instrument in good shape.
| REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | NOVEMBER 2019
Rachel Mills, who plays his love interest, Yum-Yum, agreed. A mother of a 3-yearold son, she arms herself against germs with matcha tea and staying well hydrated. To spare her voice strain, she sometimes sings by breathing through a straw in water, a technique called straw phonation. In her role, Yum-Yum comes across as flighty. That’s by design. “Sometimes, it’s easier to come across as less intelligent than you are,” Mills said. “That’s still relevant today. A lot of women still feel like we have to edit ourselves for other people’s comfort, particularly around men. I think that’s improved, but I still see it, sometimes in myself. Yum-Yum is so charming, so sweet and beautiful. But as she says in her aria, ‘I mean to rule the earth as the sun does the sky.’” “It still resonates,” Dantzler added. “The banter and repartee and the charm of the music — all of those things still resonate.”
MIKADO Opera Grand Rapids St. Cecilia Music Center 24 Ransom Ave. NE, Grand Rapids Nov. 1 and 2, $57+ operagr.org
Drake Dantzler. HEADSHOT BY RJ LEWIS PHOTOGRAPHY. Rachel Mills. HEADSHOT BY SIMPLEE PHOTOGRAPHY.
It will be a relatively small production: Between principal artists, chorus, orchestra and technicians, Meena estimates that around 110 people will contribute to the show. A show like Aida, by contrast, requires 250. “One of the reasons the show will work so well is that we’re performing at St. Cecilia Music Center,” Meena said. “There’s fewer than 500 seats. There’s such a level of intimacy and immediacy.” The venue remains something of a hidden gem; Wu Han, a renowned pianist and co-artistic director of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, recently called St. Cecilia “perfect, like a smaller Carnegie Hall.” Mills recommends the show to anyone, whether you’ve had years of experience with opera and musical theater or none whatsoever. The show is an accessible story for all. “It’s going to be hilarious and entertaining and thought-provoking,” Mills said. “Come see it.” ■
EXPERIENCE IT ALL! The Frauenthal Center and the West Michigan Youth Ballet present
Celebratingof 35 years theatre magic!
Sunday, December 15, 2019 3:00pm Frauenthal Theater $23 Adults
A musical adaptation for the stage of the story by
CHARLES DICKENS SHELDON HARNICK Music by MICHEL LEGRAND Incidental Music by STEVEN MARGOSHES Vocal Arrangements by STEVEN MARGOSHES and BOB GOLDSTONE Book and Lyrics by
$12 Children 12 & under
November 15â€“December 1 2019 Beardsley Theater
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OFFICE LEASING REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | NOVEMBER 2019 |
Finding Valjean What it’s like to play the lead of Broadway’s ‘Les Misérables’
BY DANA CASADEI
If Nick Cartell could let audiences know anything about the upcoming production of Les Misérables, it’s this: Fully read the details in your program. “Really do yourself a favor if you aren’t familiar with the show: Read that synopsis, so you know what’s going on, you know who the characters are,” said Cartell, who plays Jean Valjean, one of the show’s leads. “This show moves very quickly.” During its nearly three-hour run, Les Misérables — coming to the Wharton Center, Nov. 12 – 17 — begins in 1815, before two time-jumps ending in 1832. Based on Victor Hugo’s novel of the same name, the musical follows Cartell’s character, an escaped convict, over multiple decades as policeman Javert continues to pursue him. Needless to say, many other things happen throughout the show, but you’ll have to see it to find out those details. This version of the national touring production, which began in 2017, will look similar to those who saw the 2014 Broadway revival. Cartell said the turntable from the original production is gone, but the touring show now has projections that show artwork done by Hugo and other pieces based on his work. “It really helps to bring our audience in to a time and place. You’re going to feel like you’re going on the actual journey.” The journey of Les Misérables as a musical began when Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg adapted the
1862 novel. The show first premiered in Paris in 1980, before producer Cameron Mackintosh brought an English version to London’s West End, where it would become the longest-running musical there before recently closing. In 1987, the show came to Broadway and won eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Book, and Best Original Score. While the musical obviously has been a huge success, how does a show set in 19th-century France still connect with audiences — even in 2019? Cartell has some ideas. “At the end of the day, this is a story about people fighting to be heard,” he said. “And there is something about this story — something about these characters that audiences connect with because they see themselves in them. They see a group of people who are begging for a better life.” Like many, Cartell saw himself in the characters after seeing Les Misérables for the first time. Originally, he thought of himself more as the young student, Marius, primarily because Cartell was a student himself when he saw a regional production in Arizona. But when he auditioned for the touring production, he found himself identifying much more with Prisoner 24601, aka Jean Valjean. “That’s the exciting thing about this show: It grows with you,” said Cartell, who has wanted to work in musicals since a middle school field trip to see Cinderella. With growth also comes constant discovery. Cartell is still finding new aspects of the role, which he acquired after five callbacks. He’s also highly aware of the pressure of taking on a role like this, one that’s been played by greats such as Colm Wilkinson,
| REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | NOVEMBER 2019
Top: Nick Cartell as Jean Valjean. Bottom: Matt Shingledecker as Enjolras. COURTESY PHOTOS
who was in the original London and Broadway casts, and Hugh Jackman, who was in the 2012 film. Not comparing himself to those who have played Jean Valjean before him was essential. Instead, by being in this show, he’s becoming the Jean Valjean for a new generation of viewers. Cartell tries to bring as much of himself to the role as possible and find the inner fight he admires most about the character. He’s also had to find the element of forgiveness that one has for not only others, but for themselves. The cherry on top is getting to share his favorite song, Act II’s “Bring Him Home,” with the audience. While standing on the barricade and singing about the sacrifices his character has made, Cartell thinks about his parents, who did the same for him. Cartell’s dad called him the week of his final callback to tell him his mom didn’t have much longer — she had been battling cancer for the past six years. Cartell said he was going to come home, but both parents told him to stay and see this opportunity through. “They said, ‘This could be a life-changing, career-changing opportunity for you.’ And it truly has been.” For Cartell, though, like all good things
even this role must come to an end. He has plans to leave the tour soon and go back to New York. But when that does happen, he’s now part of the legacy for a musical that is standing the test of time. “It’s truly something that’s exciting and thrilling,” he said. “When you first hear the downbeat of the music right at the top of the show, you get this rush of energy that I’m sure the audience feels too. This rush of, ‘OK, here we go.’ “I think it’s been a life-changing experience for the entire company.” ■
LES MISÉRABLES Wharton Center for Performing Arts 750 E. Shaw Lane, East Lansing Nov. 12 – 17 whartoncenter.com
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Dec. 4, 2019 @ 7:30 p.m. For more information visit us online at millerauditorium.com or call (269) 387-2300 â€¢ (800) 228-9858 REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | NOVEMBER 2019 |
On Air, Onstage Farmers Alley Theatre brings you into the studio
BY ABI SAFAGO
BEHIND THE MAGIC
If you want to travel back in time, it’s hard to think of a better way than listening to a radio show of a movie set in the 1940s, especially if it’s as iconic a film as It’s a Wonderful Life.
Today, when you go to see shows, you’re always listening to what’s going on in the background: the music, the other characters having conversations, and even the sound of a phone ringing on stage are all significant. They’re fairly easy to produce with modern technology and artists, but that wasn’t always the case. That old-school way of creating sound by hand is what Bremer wants to replicate. “I think the most challenging part of this is that we are really trying to emphasize and stay in the time period,” Bremer said. “I don’t want us to pull out of the time period. We could do it easy and change things, but I don’t want to do that; I want to do it how they would have done it back then.” That means the artists were going to extremes to achieve authentic and natural sounds. “If it’s a car door closing, they actually would have taken a door and put it on a frame so that it would sound realistic and natural. It’s hilarious what they used to do,” Bremer said. “Some of it we will try to re-create and stay as true as we possibly can to that time.” The actors are a huge part of creating those background audio effects as well, even if only with their voices. “You’ll see them moving up to the microphone to speak and then moving away and maybe creating a sound effect or someone singing in the background underneath what’s being played,” Bremer said. “Each actor will be adding onto what others are doing or playing, like saying out loud what a different character is thinking. There’s going to be a lot going on.” Farmers Alley put in a lot of work to make this sound authentic, and Bremer suggests taking a moment to appreciate it. “If you close your eyes, you’ll hear all kinds of sounds you would hear when you watch the movie.”
Although really, at Farmers Alley Theatre, you won’t just be listening to the show but watching it as well. This isn’t your usual musical by any means: Farmers Alley goes old-school with an onstage radio play. Back in the day, radio shows were recorded versions of a play that were later broadcast on the radio. “Of course, there’s been other stage productions and musicals of It’s a Wonderful Life that have graced the stage, but this one is a little different because it is in the old-fashioned 1940s radio genre,” said Director Sandra Bremer. “So you get to see It’s a Wonderful Life, but also you get to see the behind the scenes." In modern shows, you typically see about 20 actors and actresses, all playing separate parts, along with many musicians and sound-effects artists who work behind the curtains to create an entire visual setting for you to get lost in. A radio show, however, typically has only a few actors and a foley artist, who creates and designs the sound effects onstage — that’s it. In Farmers Alley’s production, you’ll see seven performers portraying more than 16 characters. “There’s only six or seven of us on stage, and they play all of the characters and are also the ones who will perform and produce all the sound effects for the show,” Bremer said.
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LOOK FORWARD TO LOOKING BACK If you worry about a stage production somehow “ruining” the classic, have no fear. “This is an iconic film. Some people love this movie but we will handle it with care, to make sure you walk out with the warm feeling you get from watching it,” Bremer said. “It’s always a risk to take something so beloved and re-create it, but we are going to be gentle with it.” Farmers Alley is going all out for this show, with the goal of helping you forget the outside world by traveling back in time to the ’40s, sitting around a radio with the family to listen to a thrilling story. “There’s going to be some harmonies in there, and we’ll have some commercials written in, like ones for hair tonic or other products that were big back in the day,” Bremer said. You’ll also hear old songs and carols from the era this movie was set in, adding an extra dash of holiday flair. Of course, the acting should be incred-
ible too. With each performer having to embody different characters throughout the show, you won't want to look away. Luckily, these actors don’t have to memorize several characters lines and actions — they’ll keep a script with them, so the show runs smoothly. “I call it a ‘show within a show,’ because you get to see these actors play a main character and then turn into another character. It’s really fun to see and be a part of,” Bremer said. ■
IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A LIVE RADIO PLAY Farmers Alley Theatre 221 Farmers Alley, Kalamazoo Nov. 22-Dec. 22 farmersalleytheatre.com
preview There are so many plays and musicals coming this month, good luck deciding on just one! We’ve got multiple holiday plays like Elf the Musical, It’s A Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol, a returning 10-minute play festival, some opera, a little Shakespeare, and a few incredibly popular musicals. BY DANA CASADEI
ACTORS’ THEATRE, GRAND RAPIDS
160 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids actorstheatregrandrapids.org, (616) 234-3946
L.O.T.E. 17: WORLD IN THE BALANCE, Nov. 23, $20
CALVIN THEATRE COMPANY
Trying to adjust to her life out in the real world, she finds herself with a new job as waitress at the Spitfire Grill in this James Valcq and Frank Alley musical, based on the 1996 movie of the same name.
KALAMAZOO CIVIC THEATRE
329 S. Park St., Kalamazoo kazoocivic.com, (269) 343-1313
Philip Huffman as The Grinch and the 2016 Touring Company of Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical. COURTESY PHOTO
KAREN MASON SIMPLE BROADWAY, Nov. 1, $50
ELLE: KALAMAZOO, Nov. 7-17
A WRINKLE IN TIME, Nov. 8-18, $16+
THE THREE MUSKETEERS, Nov. 8-16, $10
GRAND RAPIDS CIVIC THEATRE
DOG STORY THEATRE 7 Jefferson Ave., Grand Rapids dogstorytheater.com, (616) 425-9234
TWELFTH NIGHT, Nov. 8-17, $10+ DEAR MOM, I'M GAY!, Nov. 12, Free This original musical by David Dilsizian tells you exactly what to expect with its title. The story follows a young man coming out to his religious mother, told through a concert of 13 songs throughout the show.
FARMERS ALLEY THEATRE KALAMAZOO 221 Farmers Alley, Kalamazoo farmersalleytheatre.com, (269) 343-2727
CAROLE'S KINGS, Nov. 8-9, $40 IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A LIVE RADIO PLAY, Nov. 22-Dec. 22, $39
FESTIVAL PLAYHOUSE, KALAMAZOO COLLEGE 1200 Academy St., Kalamazoo reason.kzoo.edu/theatre, (269) 337-7333
THE SPITFIRE GRILL, Nov. 7-10, $15 Percy Talbott has just been released from jail and finds herself in Gilead, Wisconsin, where people are not super kind to her, to put it lightly.
GILMORE THEATRE/ WMU THEATRE
315 W. Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo qtkalamazoo.com, (269) 929-6781
3201 Burton SE, Grand Rapids calvin.edu/academic/cas/ctc, (616) 526-6282
Presented by the Civic Youth Theatre is Ken Ludwig’s The Three Musketeers. Set in 1625, our story begins with D'Artagnan, who sets off for Paris in search of adventure, as one does. His tomboy sister, Sabine, is sent with him as they go to a convent school in Paris, where she poses as D'Artagnan's young male servant. Together, they end up in opposition to the most dangerous people in Europe in this refreshed version of a classic tale.
Disney film, with music by the Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice.
QUEER THEATRE KALAMAZOO
1903 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo wmich.edu/theatre, (269) 387-3227
URINETOWN: THE MUSICAL, Through Nov. 3, $23
30 N. Division Ave., Grand Rapids grct.org, (616) 222-6650
GEM OF THE OCEAN, Nov. 15-24, $20 This play set in 1904 begins on the eve of Aunt Esther’s 287th birthday. On that night, fugitive Citizen Barlow comes to the former slave’s home seeking asylum. She ends up sending him on a mythical journey to the City of Bones via the slave ship Gem of the Ocean. This August Wilson play is the ninth work in his 10-play cycle on African American life.
ELF THE MUSICAL, Nov. 22-Dec. 22
290 Lake Superior Hall gvsu.edu/theatre, (616) 331-2300
ELF THE MUSICAL, Nov. 22-Dec. 8, $25
WHAT WE'RE UP AGAINST, Nov. 15-24, $16
MUSKEGON CIVIC THEATRE
HOLLAND CIVIC THEATER
425 W. Western Ave., Muskegon muskegoncivictheatre.org, (231) 722-3852
A CHRISTMAS CAROL, Nov. 15-Dec. 1, $26.50
2200 Auditorium Dr., Kalamazoo millerauditorium.com, (269) 387-2300
50 W. 9th St., Holland hollandcivictheatre.org, (616) 396-2021
DR. SEUSS' HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS! THE MUSICAL, Nov. 15-17, $33+ You’ve seen it as an animated movie and as a live-action movie, and maybe again as a 3D animated movie, but there’s nothing like seeing the Grinch in person. This monstrously fun show brings Whoville to you, with festive music, hilarious all-ages fun and sets heavily inspired by Seuss’ original art.
IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, Nov. 29-Dec.14, $12
NEW VIC THEATRE
134 E. Vine St., Kalamazoo, thenewvictheatre.org, (269) 381-3328
DR. JEKYLL & MR. HYDE, Through Nov. 2, $25 A CHRISTMAS CAROL, Nov. 22-Dec. 28, $28
OPERA GRAND RAPIDS 1320 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids operagr.org, (616) 451-2741
THE MIKADO, Nov. 1-2, $57+
BROADWAY GRAND RAPIDS
122 Lyon St. NW, Grand Rapids broadwaygrandrapids.com, (616) 235-6285
THE LION KING, Nov. 20-Dec. 1, $56+ Join the nearly 100 million people who have seen the Tony Award-winning phenomena with incredible costumes and music. The Lion King is still running on Broadway after its 1997 debut, making it Broadway’s third-longestrunning show. It’s based on the beloved animated
WHARTON CENTER FOR PERFORMING ARTS 750 E. Shaw Ln., East Lansing whartoncenter.com, (517) 353-1982
LES MISÉRABLES, Nov. 12-17, $47
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Wed DEC 18 7:30 PM
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Head Toward the Light
Saugatuck for the Arts welcomes viewer participation with ‘Luminescence’ BY MEGAN SARNACKI
Most exhibitions enforce a strict NO TOUCHING policy. Saugatuck Center for the Arts is challenging the idea with Luminescence, an interactive installation that encourages viewers to become active participants.
MEET THE ARTISTS
“We wanted to incorporate the idea of play and how we interact with artwork,” said Whitney Valentine, exhibition and education manager for Saugatuck Center for the Arts. “Instead of keeping your hands in your pockets and just looking at art, we really wanted to expand the typical viewing experience and push those art-viewing boundaries away.” Luminescence, the SCA’s first light-infused exhibit, is built around the work of artists Simon Alexander-Adams, Patrick Ethen, Annica Cuppetelli and Cristobal Mendoza. With at least two works from each on display, this technology-based art installation expands our definitions of how people view and play with art.
Alexander-Adams’ “Umbra” is one example of how participants’ presence activates the artwork on display. With this piece, viewers can construct the virtual projection by moving objects onto illuminated surfaces. “You can pick up different items and then your emotions are relayed on the large projector,” Valentine said. “Even with multiple viewers at once, we can both be manipulating the artwork, but the visual installation will be projected (as one piece).” Luminescence isn’t only featured indoors. Outside of the arts center, the entire garden area has been transformed into a massive installation of painted lumber, built to resemble one continuous and active line. Constructed by Jeremy Barnett and Jason Maracani, “Playful Spaces” will stick around through March, traveling throughout the SCA’s indoor and outdoor spaces. “Imagine it crashing down into the ground and coming back up and resurfacing,” Valentine said. “They’re really creating a playful energy, so it will look like its moving or alive.” “Playful Spaces” also has a control panel where viewers can manipulate the light showcased. Valentine recommends seeing this outdoor exhibition at night, when the contrast of light and dark will be most vivid. Saugatuck Center for the Arts’ motivation for playing with art comes from wanting to
Annica Cuppetelli and Cristobal Mendoza started collaborating as the Detroit-based Cuppetelli and Mendoza in 2010. Their work explores the elements of physicality and digital technology. Their installations aim to create sensual, immersive and dynamic experiences.
"Umbra" by Simon Alexander-Adams at Saugatuck Center for the Arts' Luminescence. COURTESY PHOTO
develop strong relationships throughout the community. “Art is a vehicle for all kinds of things; for change, for learning and for building community,” Valentine said. “Art is a means for connection. A 2-year-old and an 80-year-old can enjoy a piece of artwork in here and talk about it without any barriers.” Though exhibitions often focus on artists based on the west side of the state, Valentine felt it was time to showcase what east side artists such as Alexander-Adams, Ethen, Cuppetelli, and Mendoza can offer West Michigan schools and communities. “You can create a lot of beautiful analogies with light and luminosity,” Valentine said. “These artists have such an influence in Detroit right now that we wanted to give them the spotlight and get them in front of young students.” Free tours and STEAM programs are available for all local schools, clubs, a n d n o n p rof i t g ro u p s . A l exa n d e rAdams and Ethen will be in town at the exhibit for a week in December for a sort of mini-residency, working on special school
Patrick Ethen is a light artist and designer, currently on a residency with Texture Detroit. His work explores the intersection of technology and humanity, how analog and digital systems connect, and the process of mesmerization. Ethen uses physical objects and light in his work to display true visceral experiences that impact viewers on an emotional level.
programming including classroom visits and exhibit tours. “It’s a good way to really give students exposure to working creatively,” Valentine said. “There are not many opportunities to meet creatives like that. So that’s the role that the arts center is playing, where we can be a connector that places working creatives into classrooms.” ■
Simon Alexander-Adams is a multimedia artist and designer in Detroit, specializing in the areas of music, visual arts, and technology. Inspired by nature and organic textures, his work includes real-time generative art, interactive installations, and audiovisual performances.
LUMINESCENCE Oct. 18 – Dec. 20 Saugatuck Center for the Arts 400 Culver St., Saugatuck sc4a.org
Jeremy Barnett and Jason Maracani both are educators and set designers. They’ve designed numerous sets for the nonprofit theater company Mason Street Warehouse at Saugatuck Center for the Art. They aim to collaborate on large-scale installations of organic forms created from unexpected materials.
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Richard and Helen DeVos Classical Series
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THENUTCRACKER presented by
Dec. 13-15 & 20-22, 2019 | DeVos Performance Hall | 616.454.4771 x10 | grballet.com/nutcracker Val Caniparoli’s The Nutcracker; photo by Tim Motley
| REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | NOVEMBER 2019
PREVIEW With the holiday season quickly approaching, it only seems appropriate that the majority of exhibitions opening this month are holiday themed. There are a few community traditions coming back and multiple occasions to mark people off your gift list. If you aren’t quite ready to get into the holiday spirit, we also have loads of other exhibits to check out before they close. BY DANA CASADEI Railway Garden at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. PHOTO BY DEANVANDIS
BROAD ART MUSEUM 547 E. Circle Dr., East Lansing broadmuseum.msu.edu, (517) 884-4800
A BRIEF HISTORY OF ART IN SPACE, Through Dec. 8
THE EDGE OF THINGS: DISSIDENT ART UNDER REPRESSIVE REGIMES, Through Jan. 5
FIELD STATION: BEATRIZ SANTIAGO MUÑOZ, Through Jan. 26 THE SCHOLAR’S GARDEN, Through Feb. 9
opening of the Metro Health Christmas & Holiday Traditions exhibition. Bringing together more than 300,000 lights, strolling carolers, rooftop reindeer, and 46 international trees and displays, this annual exhibit will put you in the holiday spirit unless you’re actually the Grinch. Over the course of the exhibit, there will be many activities to participate in, including a holiday gift show, carolers and a visit with the guy in the red suit himself. This year, Meijer Gardens will screen Joy, the award-winning film highlighting local traditions from centuries ago that are still relevant today. And as in previous years, the companion Railway Garden exhibition showcases a horticultural display with miniature buildings made from natural materials, as well as model trolleys and trains.
KATRÍN SIGURÐARDÓTTIR, Through March 1
CALVIN UNIVERSITY CENTER ART GALLERY 106 S. Division, Grand Rapids calvin.edu/centerartgallery/studio, (616) 526-6271
JOHN JAMES AUDUBON: SELECTIONS FROM THE PERMANENT COLLECTION, Through Jan. 28
DWELLING: OUR WATERSHED IN IMAGE AND WORD, Through Nov. 29 DAVID WALLACE HASKINS, Through Dec. 14 FACULTY EXHIBITION: CHRIS FOX, Through Dec. 14
FREDERIK MEIJER GARDENS & SCULPTURE PARK
1000 East Beltline Ave. NE, Grand Rapids meijergardens.org, (888) 957-1580
REBECCA LOUISE LAW: THE WOMB, Through March 1
METRO HEALTH CHRISTMAS & HOLIDAY TRADITIONS, Nov. 26-Jan. 5 It wouldn’t truly be the holidays without the
GRAND RAPIDS ART MUSEUM 101 Monroe Center, Grand Rapids artmuseumgr.org, (616) 831-1000
WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS: STORYTELLING WITH GRAM’S COLLECTION, Through Jan. 12 RELEVANT: ABSTRACTION FROM GRAM’S COLLECTION, Through Jan. 5 DAVID WIESNER & THE ART OF WORDLESS STORYTELLING, Through Jan. 12 BILLY MAYER: THE SHAPE OF THINGS, Through Feb. 2
KALAMAZOO INSTITUTE OF ARTS 314 South Park St., Kalamazoo kiarts.org, (269) 349-7775
BLACK REFRACTIONS: HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE STUDIO MUSEUM IN HARLEM,
NATURAL FORMS: CONTEMPORARY ART BY JAPANESE WOMEN, Through March 22 Examining the rich history of Japanese ceramic making, Natural Forms has works from the KIA collection, the Carol and Jeffrey Horvitz Collection, and other private lenders. With pieces by artists like Fukumoto Fuku, Ono Hakuko, Toko Shinoda, Suhama Tomoko ,and Tokuda Yasokich IV, this exhibit demonstrates the technical and aesthetic innovations these women have made over the years. It showcases their wide array of techniques within the medium — as diverse as the women themselves, who continue to break the mold by expanding upon traditional ceramic techniques and forging their own paths.
LAFONTSEE GALLERIES 833 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids, 410 W. Center St., Douglas lafontsee.us, (616) 451-9820
UNDYING TRADITIONS: MEMENTO MORI, Through Jan. 5
THE LAND: THE ART OF BILL HOSTERMAN AND ED WONG-LIGDA, Through Dec. 15
FESTIVAL OF TREES, Nov. 20-Dec. 1 Returning for its 15th year is the annual Festival of Trees. The community holiday tradition will have, well, trees — but not just any trees: These are professionally designed and themed. Over the 11 days of the festival, said trees and décor will be up for purchase through a silent auction. Also during the duration of the festival will be raffles, music, holiday shopping, and special events, which include Teddy Bear Breakfast, Family Day, Senior Day, and a Deck Your Halls home décor event.
SAUGATUCK CENTER FOR THE ARTS
MIX IT UP, Through Nov. 22
400 Culver St., Saugatuck sc4a.org, (269) 857-2399
223 W. Main St., Lowell lowellartsmi.org, (616) 897-8545
FLOW, Through Dec. 20
HOLIDAY ARTISTS MARKET, Nov. 14-Dec. 22 Finish some of your holiday shopping early at this annual event. With artwork and handmade items by more than 50 Michigan artists, the market has pottery, paintings, photography, jewelry, textiles, glasswork, handbags, woodwork, metalwork, wreaths, basketry, ornaments, candles, soaps, and more.
LUMINESCENCE, Through Dec. 20
URBAN INSTITUTE FOR CONTEMPORARY ARTS 2 Fulton W., Grand Rapids uica.org, (616) 454-7000
SPECTRA, Through Dec. 20
MUSKEGON MUSEUM OF ART
LARRY COOK: ON THE SCENE, Through Jan. 26
Through Dec. 8
296 W. Webster. Ave., Muskegon Muskegonartmuseum.org, (231) 720-2570
WHERE WE STAND: BLACK ARTISTS IN SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN, Through Dec. 8
91ST MICHIGAN CONTEMPORARY ART EXHIBITION, Through Nov. 13
RESILIENCE: AFRICAN AMERICAN ARTISTS AS AGENTS OF CHANGE, Through Dec. 8
WEST MICHIGAN ARTIST SERIES,
MARK RUMSEY: MEMORY MAP: ROOF LINE - STATE STREET, Through Jan. 26 KENNEDY YANKO: BEFORE WORDS, Through Jan. 26
Through May 10
REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | NOVEMBER 2019 |
November 8, 9, 15, and 16 at 8 p.m. November 10 and 17 at 3 p.m. Dog Story Theater 7 Jefferson SE Grand Rapids
Live Shakespeare. Made in Michigan.
Michigan Ballet Academy Presents
THE MUSICAL PHENOMENON
MSU’s Wharton Center
WHARTONCENTER.COM • 1-800-WHARTON
Featuring Dance Theatre of Harlem soloists Crystal Serrano and Francis Lawrence
| REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | NOVEMBER 2019
December 6, 7:00 pm • December 7, 1:00 pm & 4:30 pm • December 8, 2:30 pm Jenison Center for the Arts, 8375 20th Ave., Jenison, MI 49428 Purchase tickets at www.michiganballet.com or Box Office Ph: 616-667-3602 Nutcracker Tea - Sunday, Dec. 8th at 1:00 pm • Jenison Center for the Arts
This activity is supported by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.
Musical Oasis PHOTO COURTESY OF ST. CECILIA MUSIC CENTER
Why New York musicians love St. Cecilia Music Center BY JOHN KISSANE
“Chicken wings and beer,” Wu Han said. “I remember it vividly.” The renowned pianist was reminiscing about a night in 2012. She was at dinner with her husband, cellist David Finckel, and St. Cecilia Music Center’s executive director, Cathy Holbrook. “The wings were amazing, and the beer delicious,” Han said. Earlier, Han and Finckel had played in St. Cecilia Music Center. “We walked into that room and I thought, ‘My God, what a beautiful room.’ The acoustics, the old-world charm ... It was perfect for chamber music. When Cathy told me they only had two chamber music concerts per year, I nearly cried.” Later, over dinner, Han pressed her case for more shows. As co-artistic director of the storied Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, she was and is dedicated to facilitating performances of ageless music by world-class performers, and she knew a good venue when she found one. “I’ve played everywhere. A few places stand out: London, Vienna, St. Cecilia,” Han said. “It’s like a smaller Carnegie Hall. That high ceiling, the arch, the floors — it has everything you would want for chamber music. Grand Rapids doesn’t realize what it has.”
The partnership developed between Lincoln Center and St. Cecilia with a handshake that evening remains in place today. Han took the idea back to New York City and began telling people there about what she had experienced. Chamber music features a small group of instruments, each playing their own part. Writer Catherine Drinker Bowen described it as “a conversation between friends,” which is what makes it perfect for an intimate venue with stunning acoustics like St. Cecilia. The first installment of this year’s series, Great Innovators, takes place Nov. 21. One of the innovators is Stravinsky, whose The Rite of Spring is said to have caused a riot at its premiere. That particular piece won’t be played, and audience members are cautioned not to riot, but it’s a testament to the Russian composer’s bold innovation. Works by Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Smetana will round out the program. “Smetana wrote his piece after losing his 5-year-old daughter,” Han said. “It’s gorgeous, filled with emotion.” French Enchantment will arrive next year, Jan. 23. Pieces by Saint-Saens and Faure bookend the evening, with Ravel’s Sonata for Violin and Cello taking the center stage. With typical Gallic economy, the piece wrings 20 minutes of beauty from only two stringed instruments. On April 30, Han and Finckel, with two other musicians, will perform in From Prague to Vienna. The evening will feature Brahms,
Dvorak and Suk. The latter, a student of Dvorak, not only learned from the master but married his daughter. And Brahms and Dvorak had a lifelong relationship. Careful listeners may hear evidence of the closeness in the three pieces. Han expects to see familiar faces. St. Cecilia is an intimate venue, and the group of local classical music devotees is not a swollen one. Han knows she’ll be greeted warmly. “It’s like family.” She values the community that she has come to know: a community that embraces the music she has helped to bring. Prior to every show, there is a pre-concert talk meant to help the audience understand the music they’re about to hear. Han compares it to a primer on baseball, if you were to show up at a baseball game not knowing how the sport worked; you might enjoy it, but you’d likely be pretty lost as to the game itself. In a way, the talk is meant to explain the rules. After the performances, audience members have an opportunity to meet the musicians. Attending, Han notes, is “like two hours of an uninterrupted oasis.” Listeners will be free from the anxieties of breaking news, social media and the hectic pace of modern life. They will be able to lose themselves in gorgeous music in a room with top-shelf acoustics. “Trust me, there’s a difference,” Han said. “You can hear it.”■
Left: David Finckel. Right: Wu Han. PHOTOS BY LISAMARIE MAZZUCCO
CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER Great Innovators, Nov. 21, 2019 French Enchantment, Jan. 23, 2020 From Prague to Vienna, April 30, 2020
ST. CECILIA MUSIC CENTER 24 Ransom Ave. NE, Grand Rapids scmc-online.org
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Charlie Albright. COURTESY OF TC ELOFSON PHOTO
Casual Classical West Michigan Symphony’s Beethoven & Blue Jeans is as accessible as it gets BY MARLA R. MILLER
When pianist Charlie Albright isn’t on a stage performing, his go-to attire is blue jeans. He also enjoys taking the stuffiness out of classical music, so signing on for West Michigan Symphony’s Beethoven & Blue Jeans concert was a perfect fit. 16A
Local fans may even catch him walking to the hall from his hotel room, down the street to The Block or grabbing a coffee in his jeans while he is in town. “I am really excited for the ‘blue jeans’ aspect of this performance,” Albright said. “I am all for making concerts fun and accessible to everyone and for making music for everyone.” Albright, billed as one of classical music’s brightest stars and a maverick on the piano, returns to Muskegon for the symphony’s Masterworks 2 concert. The program showcases the best of Beethoven, who turns 250 in 2020. Albright performs the stormy Piano Concerto No. 3, which is paired with two oth-
| REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | NOVEMBER 2019
er beloved works, including opener Coriolan Overture and the famous Symphony No. 5. “Beethoven is perennially fresh,” said Music Director Scott Speck. “That’s one of the reasons that musicians and audiences love him so much. His emotions are powerful and direct. It’s like talking to a particularly volatile friend!” The audience is encouraged to wear blue jeans for Beethoven & Blue Jeans, a special concert the symphony used to do yearly for several seasons. Speck doesn’t typically conduct in overly formal attire and will don blue jeans along with symphony members. The show promotes the symphony’s central premise: Classical music is for everyone to enjoy. Speck enjoys the concerts, because “they bring new people into our family.” “Beethoven’s music is both fun and serious,” Speck said. “But the atmosphere of the concert is lighthearted. We believe in stripping away, one by one, all the obstacles that are keeping people out of the concert hall in the 21st century.” The audience is in for a treat, as well as some surprises, at the Nov. 8 evening concert and Albright’s Nov. 9 piano recital at The Block. The New York Times raves over his “jaw-dropping technique” and Albright is a skilled improviser who can compose a piece on the spot, based on suggestions from the audience. During Beethoven’s Concerto No. 3, he'll improvise a bespoke cadenza — the piano solo at the end of the first movement of the piece — live onstage. “It’s always a blast, because you really never know how it’s going to come out,” he said, “and there are no do-overs.” Albright has performed the concerto many times with various orchestras, including the Seattle Symphony and the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. “It is a phenomenal piece that is not only exciting, but very deep with emotion,” Albright said. Fans can see Albright’s skill up close and personal during his solo recital at The Block, where he will pick which pieces to play right at the piano. “Even I won’t know exactly what I end up performing.” He’s also planning an in-depth improvisation, “maybe even a full-length, three-movement, 30-minute-or-so sonata that I’ll base on notes I ask from the audience … “Talk about not knowing what you’re going to get beforehand!” His goal is to make it a fun time of sharing a wide variety of music, from classical favorites like Chopin to brand-new music that comes together with audience participation.
“I’m a huge proponent of improvising live, of speaking to the audience and breaking down that invisible glass wall between the stage and the hall, and trying to make it an event where all of us — performer and audience — are spending time sharing music together,” Albright said. Albright performed with the West Michigan Symphony a few seasons ago and said it was a fantastic experience. Speck and the musicians at WMS were “simply phenomenal,” the audiences were extremely welcoming, and it was the start of a great friendship with Speck. Speck praised Albright’s style, professionalism and unpretentious attitude, which makes him a perfect guest artist for a laidback evening of classical music’s most beloved composer. “His powerful and virtuosic style works beautifully in Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto,” Speck said. “But Charlie also is wonderfully friendly, open to all. He is the opposite of a ‘diva.’ That’s exactly what we wanted for Beethoven and Blue Jeans. He has a style that connects with all audiences.” Speck believes the great composers were spinning in their graves for about two centuries, to think that their awesome, life-changing music had been presented in a forum that was highly uncomfortable to all but a privileged few. As anti-elitist as they come, Speck said he feels it is the West Michigan Symphony’s duty to strip away the barriers to entry and expose everyone to the genre. “You can wear whatever you want, and you can clap when the spirit moves you,” he said. “That’s the least we can do, and there’s much more where that came from. Beethoven & Blue Jeans is just one way we express that.” ■
BEETHOVEN & BLUE JEANS West Michigan Symphony Frauenthal Theater, 425 W. Western Ave., Muskegon Nov. 8, 7:30 p.m., $25+
SOLO RECITAL The Block 360 W. Western Ave., Muskegon Nov. 9, 7:30 p.m., $25+ westmichigansymphony.org, (231) 727-8001
Make your Home for the Holidays books · toys · games puzzles · café · events 2660 28th St. NE Grand Rapids SchulerBooks.com 616.942.2561
550 settlers drive
W W W . C A S C A D E - O P T I C A L . C O M
LIVE MUSIC FALL FOLK FESTIVAL NOVEMBER 23RD
@ 7:30 PM
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DECEMBER 28TH @ 8:00 PM
LAITH ALSAADI IRISH PUB NIGHT
JANUARY 12TH @ 7:30 PM
KENNEDY’S KITCHEN FRANKECENTERFORTHEARTS.ORG BOX OFFICE 269.781.0001
214 E. MANSION STREET MARSHALL, MICHIGAN
KALAMAZOO INSTITUTE OF ARTS
NEW DATES for 2019 Friday, November 22, 5-8 pm Saturday, November 23, 9 am-3 pm
Wearable fiber art & jewelry; prints, photos and paintings; functional and decorative home goods; cards and stationery; decorative glass, sculpture, and ceramics. Just in time for the gift-giving season.
To benefit the Kirk Newman Art School. Saturday coffee provided by
KALAMAZOO INSTITUTE OF ARTS 435 W. South Street kiarts.org 269/349-7775 Free parking lots & entrances on South & Lovell streets
REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | NOVEMBER 2019 |
HOPE COLLEGE GREAT PERFORMANCE SERIES Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts, 221 Columbia Ave., Holland, hope.edu/arts/great-performance-series, (616) 395-7222
NOBUNTU, Nov. 1, $23
There’s a whole lot of classical music coming at you in November, performed by those young, old and in-between. There are also soloists, quartets and even a female a cappella quintet, all the way from Zimbabwe. BY DANA CASADEI
Hailing all the way from Zimbabwe, this female a cappella quintet combines traditional Zimbabwean songs with genres from Afro jazz to gospel. They’ve performed live and on television and radio, throughout Africa, Europe, and the United States. Their name comes from an African concept that values humbleness, love, purpose, unity and family, all from a woman’s perspective.
FONTANA CHAMBER ARTS
KALAMAZOO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Suite 200, Kalamazoo, fontanachamberarts.org, (269) 382-7774
JACK QUARTET WITH COLIN CURRIE, Nov. 22, $30+ Founded in 2005, the JACK Quartet consists of violinists Christopher Otto, Austin Wulliman, and John Pickford Richards, and cellist Jay Campbell. The group has been dubbed the “nation’s most important quartet” by the New York Times and "superheroes of the new music world" by the Boston Globe. They will be joined by Scottish solo percussionist Colin Currie as they play an evening of 20th- and 21st-century composers.
THE GILMORE Wellspring Theater, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, thegilmore.org, (269) 342-1166
CHARLES RICHARD-HAMELIN, Nov. 10, $25 As part of The Gilmore’s Rising Stars Series, the Canadian pianist will tickle the ivories at his upcoming performance featuring works by three composers and including four Chopin pieces. Charles Richard-Hamelin, who has performed with more than 50 ensembles across North America, Europe, and Asia, was the silver medalist and winner of the Krystian Zimerman Prize at the 2015 International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw.
GRAND RAPIDS SYMPHONY 300 Ottawa NW Ste. 100, Grand Rapids, grsymphony.org, (616) 454-9451
GRAND RAPIDS SYMPHONY YOUTH CHORUS: FALL CONCERT, Nov. 2, $8+ SYMPHONIE FANTASTIQUE WITH ITZHAK PERLMAN, Nov. 7, $36+ BROADWAY SHOWSTOPPERS: WEST SIDE STORY TO WICKED, Nov. 8-10, $18+ Sisters Ann Hampton Callaway and Liz Callaway — both critically acclaimed in their own right — will come together for a night of showstoppers from Broadway’s greatest musicals. The evening’s music ranges from Anything Goes to West Side Story and Wicked. Those who attend will probably recognize the sisters, or at least their voices. Ann wrote and sang the theme to TV’s The Nanny and was Tony-nominated for her performance in Swing! Liz has provided voices for many princesses, including Princess Jasmine in two Disney films and Anastasia. She also starred as Grizabella in Cats and originated the role of Ellen in the Broadway production of Miss Saigon.
HOME ALONE IN CONCERT, Nov. 12, $18+ PROKOFIEV TRIUMPHANT, Nov. 15-16, $8+ LA SINFONÍA NAVIDEÑA, Nov. 23, Free
| REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | NOVEMBER 2019
359 Kalamazoo Mall Ste. 100, Kalamazoo, kalamazoosymphony.com, (269) 349-7759
CLASSICS UNCORKED: FALL FRIDAY, Nov. 8, $45
CLASSICS UNCORKED: FALL SATURDAY, Nov. 9, $45
BEETHOVEN: SYMPHONY NO. 3, "EROICA," Nov. 23, $24+ Featuring the KSO’s concertmaster, violinist JunChing Lin, and principal cellist Igor Cetkovic as soloists, the evening’s performance showcases one of Beethoven’s most famous works, Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 55 “Eroica.” The rest of the evening features works by Knussen and Brahms’ "Double" Concerto for Violin and Cello, which is perfect for soloists
MILLER AUDITORIUM 2200 Auditorium Dr., Kalamazoo, millerauditorium.com, (269) 387-2300
THE PIANO GUYS, Nov. 20, $45+ Started in 2011 in a Southern Utah piano shop, the Piano Guys have combined their love for music and film into an incredible act. There’s Jon Schmidt, pianist and songwriter; Steven Sharp Nelson, cellist and songwriter; Paul Anderson, producer and videographer; and Al van der Beek, music producer and songwriter. The
Nobuntu. COURTESY PHOTO
quartet hopes to make a positive impact in the lives of people all over the world through their music videos, which deliver bold compositions that transcend boundaries of style and genre.
HOLIDAY DREAMS, Nov. 27, $32+
ST. CECILIA MUSIC CENTER 24 Ransom Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, scmc-online.org, (616) 459-2224
CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER, Nov. 21, $40+
WEST MICHIGAN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA 360 W. Western Ave. #200, Muskegon, westmichigansymphony.org, (231) 726-3231
BEETHOVEN & BLUE JEANS, Nov. 8, $25+
NEW YEAR’S EVE
GRAB YOUR FRIENDS AND GET READY TO KISS 2020 HELLO. Grand Rapids’ most lavish New Year’s Eve party is right around the corner! Spend the night at the Amway Grand Plaza, JW Marriott Grand Rapids, or Downtown Courtyard by Marriott and entry to an epic, multi-ballroom party for the ages is included with your room. There’s no better way to say goodbye to 2019, let loose, and ring in a new decade! Rooms are going fast. Reserve your experience soon!
To learn more, visit: bit.ly/2lU9lOy
Or search “The Ballroom Bashes New Year’s Eve Celebration” in Facebook events!
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Nutrition Nut | by Kelly Brown
While you’re bingeing away over the holidays, the Nutrition Nut will sit at their end of the table, eating from their pre-cooked, pre-measured, perfectly portioned meals, straight out of their own reusable containers. They might have some good advice, but they also might tell you 10 reasons you shouldn’t use vegetable oil in your cooking anymore. Get them something healthy as a distraction.
The Nutrition Nut is all about trying every new açai bowl, clean juice and kombucha bar in town. Instead of buying them 100 different gift cards, save your money and sign them up for SweatNet instead. Their monthly membership will have them scoring discounts all across West Michigan, from spas to salons, juice bars, fitness studios, and even activewear boutiques.
SweatNet Membership sweatnetgrandrapids.com Skip the Athleta and Lululemon and support your local womanowned business at To & Fro Activewear in Ada. To & Fro features both men’s and women’s activewear, swimwear and footwear options. Sometimes, it takes a new pair of leggings to level up your gym game.
To & Fro 452 Ada Dr. SE, Ada tofroshop.com Nothing makes the Nutrition Nut happier than trying new things. Throw on some comfortable clothes, fill a mug with coffee and head over to Terra Firma to try your hand, er, feet at bouldering. First, the Terra Firma crew provides a helpful walkthrough of the gym. Then, once you’re strapped into your shoes and your hands are chalked, all that’s left to do is grab hold of the wall and start climbing — no ropes required. You can get
your nutty friend a monthly membership, which includes the occasional guest pass so you can join in. Climb at Terra Firma 1555 Marshall Ave., Grand Rapids climbterrafirma.com The best kind of food is the food that’s inseason and grown locally — at least that’s what the Nutrition Nut firmly believes. You’ll find them with jute basket in hand, browsing farmers market stalls well into the winter. A blustery day won’t stop them from getting fresh and local produce! Join them and foot the bill for their groceries, or maybe visit alone and put together a big ol’ gift basket for them.
Holland Farmers Market 150 W. 8th St., Holland Screw happy hour: Fizzy, sweet cocktails equal empty calories! Instead, grab a pint of the bubbly, goodfor-you deliciousness that’s Sacred Springs Kombucha. Their tasting room features 12 taps and functions similar to a brewery. Trade in the extra carbs for healthy cultures that help balance your gut bacteria. Can your beer do that?
Sacred Springs Kombucha 1059 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids sacredkombucha.com
REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019 |
Holiday Artists Market Open November 14 to December 23, 2019 Hours Sunday & Monday 12–5pm Tuesday thru Saturday, 10am–6pm LowellArts Gallery
223 W Main St, Lowell 616.897.8545
Fine Art • Fine Crafts • 50+ Artists Pottery • Painting • Photos • Jewelry • Textiles • Fiber Glass • Wood • Metal • Ornaments • Baskets • Soap
lowellartsmi.org | Holiday Shopping. | Awesome Gifts!
Celebrate the Air Zoo’s 40th birthday with us! MEMBERSHIP DEAL!
40% OFF ADMISSION
L E A R N M O R E airzoo.org/birthday-bash
28 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019
Fashionista | by Missy Black
Tax advice? Nah. The best Italian restaurant in town? Nope. You come to the Fashionista for advice on denim, booties and this season’s hot color.
The Fashionista is a tastemaker for sure. She’s the girl to watch and she’s gathering style inspiration everywhere. Hitting up this vintage and artisan marketplace in Grand Rapids is her new favorite thing. She’ll find home décor here and two vintage clothing shops, including Lived and Love Charles Vintage. This is where you can pick up rare pieces that no one else will be wearing.
Elevated Grand Rapids 1750 Clyde Park Ave. SW, Grand Rapids elevatedgr.com Every Fashionista wants to attend a fun, interactive Do fashion and styling event. This show at Mod Bettie features Michelle Krick Style, a Grand Rapids-based fashion expert. Treat your fashion-loving friend to this event, featuring a holiday looks fashion show, styling techniques — such as how to include lingerie in everyday fashion — a photo booth, and more. Naughty Bettie and Iconoclasp will also be on hand. Michelle Krick Style Show Mod Bettie 1111 Godfrey Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Dec. 4, 6 pm eventbrite.com (search Michelle Krick Style) Our stylish girl often can’t decide — the blue sweater or the yellow? Luckily, when she steps into this shop, she doesn’t have to decide between the energizing tea or proteinpacked shake: You get both for your day. Still, she craves a good choice, and not just in beauty and fashion. But it might be hard to choose from the over-the-top list of flavors including No Bake Cookie, Lemon Pound Cake and Tootsie Roll.
Rockford Nutrition 8450 Algoma Ave. NE, Rockford facebook.com/rockfordnutrition
The Fashionista follows the latest trends religiously. Leopard print is in, but the buzz around town has to do with Irie Kitchen. Everyone’s talking about their organic Caribbean street food — and she’s noticed. She wants to be there in this hot spot at the center of it all, noshing on jerk chicken and plantains, while taking pictures for the ’gram.
Irie Kitchen 6630 Kalamazoo Ave. SE, Grand Rapids irie.kitchencom, (616) 512-4163 Black is slimming. Black is chic. Wearing black on black See is the Fashionista’s thing lately and you can find a lot of it in the dark images in this exhibit focusing on Medieval Latin Christian philosophy. Black is a mood and she feels it by viewing themes on death and earthly pleasure, from intricate paintings to photography and sculpture. Undying Traditions: Memento Mori Muskegon Museum of Art 296 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon Thru Jan. 5 muskegonartmuseum.org, (231) 720-2570 Having the right soundtrack Listen for getting ready is key to looking good. Whether it’s a first date or a night on the town with friends, your primping soundtrack helps the ensemble along. The Fashionista tends to blast modern folk-rock legends The Lumineers while dressing for the evening. Now that the musicians will be in the area, it’s the perfect gift for the girl who has the band on her Primp Playlist. The Lumineers Van Andel Arena 130 W. Fulton Ave., Grand Rapids Feb. 11, 7 p.m. vanandelarena.com
REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019 |
Holiday Cheesecake NOW
Weddings • Corporate Events • Fundraisers • Special Occasions
MADE LOCAL • WALK-INS WELCOME 2255 Alpine Ave NW, Grand Rapids | 616-447-9045 4060 Chicago Dr. SW, Grandville | 616-531-1483 grcheesecake.com
SKIP THE HOLIDAY HAM, GIFT A PIG IN A PAN! 2 lb & 5 Lb options available
DATE NIGHT? 45-day DRY AGED prime rib! $2 perch tacos every monday, 4 - 9 pm! beechwoodgrill.com • 380 douglas ave. holland, mi • (616) 396-2355 30 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019
Folk Fanatic | by Kelly Brown
The Folk Fanatic loves Americana, folk, roots — just about any music that features an acoustic guitar and songs about the wilderness. They're here to throw on a record, sip some beer, and munch on classic American comfort food.
Here’s a perfect place to stock up on favorite Americana and indie folk albums. The shop is filled wall to wall with used vinyl albums, CDs, cassette tapes and vintage audio gear. You can never add enough music to the Folk Fanatic’s killer collection.
Corner Record Shop 3562 Chicago Dr. SW, Grandville thecornerrecordshop.com, (616) 531-6578 Pick up a new outfit matching the folksy vibe at Flashback on Leonard. The store houses a large selection of vintage clothes at a great price. You can easily spend hours looking through great finds that’ll have you and the Folk Fanatic feeling your best.
Flashback on Leonard 1136 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids (616) 821-9487 The Folk Fanatic will feel right at home at Craft Beer Cellar. Housed in the historic Klingman Furniture building, the space feels cozy with its exposed brick and warm, inviting atmosphere. With more than 800 craft beer bottle options and a full bar with 20 taps, the Folk Fanatic is sure to find the perfect drink to wet their whistle while having a chat with friends. Or you can just head here to pick up some rare bottles as a gift.
Craft Beer Cellar 404 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids craftbeercellargr.com, (616) 350-9170
The Folk Fanatic doesn’t just want to listen to music; they want to
make it! Pick up a new or used acoustic guitar so they can learn the sounds of their favorite Americana or indie folk musicians. Rainbow Music will help you out every step of the way, from choosing the right guitar to repairs and lessons. Rainbow Music 1148 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids rainbowmusic.us, (616) 774-0565 Local musician Mark Lavengood has been called the Prince of Roots, Bluegrass and Americana. His skills on the dobro guitar will have you toe-tapping for the whole evening. Lavengood picked up the instrument in the mid-2000s and has since played on local, regional, national and international levels. Send the Americana lover to his Listening Room show for some intimate inspiration.
Mark Lavengood The Listening Room at Studio Park 123 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Nov. 22, $15 listeningroomgr.com, (616) 900-9500 The Electric Cheetah offers a variety of homestyle American comfort food with a unique twist. As you glance at the menu, you’ll see familiar dishes with an Electric Cheetah flair, like the I’m Not My Brother’s Mac. The plate is more than your classic mac and cheese: It’s a seven-cheese blend with tomatoes, thick-cut bacon, provolone, pickle-brined fried chicken, dill buttermilk dressing and chives. Along with the delicious food, the restaurant is well-known for its extensive craft root beer selection.
The Electric Cheetah 1015 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids electriccheetah.com, (616) 451-4779
REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019 |
32 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019
Homeowner | by Elma Talundzic
The Homeowner is always on the search for what makes a house feel more like home. They know it’s where you’ll spend the majority of your time. It’s important to make it a place worthy of dinners, entertainment and staying in when you cancel plans.
Behind the signature blue door of this antique shop waits a treasure trove of incredible finds for your home. It’s essential to make your space feel uniquely yours — that’s why we call it home — and Bluedoor’s reclaimed furnishings can do just that. Fill every room with furniture that can’t be duplicated. There’s plenty of décor to look through too, like chandeliers, art, frames and old hardware.
Enjoy live music at H.O.M.E. (House of Music & Entertainment) when you need to get out a little. The stage hosts a variety of music, so you’re sure to hear something that makes you glad to leave the house for a time. Live music genres include rock, blues, indie, jazz, folk, country, EDM and more. The casual atmosphere, bourbon bar and vintage décor will make you feel ... at home.
Bluedoor: A Home Collective 946 Fulton St. E., Grand Rapids bluedoorgr.com, (616) 456-7888
H.O.M.E. 20 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids Thebob.com, (616) 356-2000
If it’s your turn to host Thanksgiving this year, Do or maybe help with dessert, Downtown Market has you covered. Learn how to master two unique pies that’ll have your guests begging you to host the holiday every year. This class has you make a ginger-chai pumpkin pie and a pear-date sesame pie. Don’t worry: You’ll go home with both pies and their recipes.
Along with a massive Drink variety of fun kitchen gadgets and accessories, Art of the Table has all your libation needs. The store boasts more than 300 wine options, more than 200 beers and ciders, and rare spirits. Once you have all your bottles picked out, find all your glass, bar, and cocktail accessories on-site.
Pie Crust to be Thankful For The Downtown Market 435 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Nov. 26-27, $75 downtownmarketgr.com, (616) 805-5308
Art of the Table 606 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids artofthetable.com, (616) 301-1885
Rebel is the one-stop shop for all your final home décor touches. With cute dishes, green plants, dinner candles and other hip knick-knacks, the shop will make you feel like you’re finding the cherry on top for every room.
Home cooking is hard to beat — and even harder to find outside of home. Hancock serves locally sourced Nashville hot chicken with a whole lot of hospitality. The made-from-scratch sides are the definition of comfort food, including mashed potatoes, mac ‘n’ cheese, jalapeño cheddar cornbread, and much more. Oh, and don’t forget to try the boozy slushies.
Rebel 1555 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids rebelgr.com, (616) 218-9257
Hancock 1157 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids hancockgr.com, (616) 805-4232
REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019 |
Homestyle Cooking with an Artisan Flair The
Red Bird Bistro & Grill Mussel Mondays
2lbs of Mussels & a Bucket of 6 domestic bottles of beer or a bottle of house wine $20.00
T-Shirt Tuesdays Wear your Red Bird T-Shirt on Tuesdays and get 20% off your food bill and all day happy hour drink prices.
Why Not Wednesdays
Why not join us for our signature cheeseburger & domestic draft beer $8
Monday - Friday 2pm - 6pm
• Whole Food Ingredients • Seasonal Craft Cocktails Hours:Farm Fresh Happy Hour: Craft Beer • Fine Wine • Vegetarian & Vegan • Gluten-Free M - Th 11am - 10pm M F Premium Meats • Fresh Seafood F - Sat 11am - 11pm 2pm - 6pm Sunday 11am - 9pm HOURS: M-Th: 11am - 10pm | F - Sat: 11am - 11pm | Sun: 11am - 9pm
22 N. Main22Street • Cedar Springs N. Main Street, Cedar Springs | 616.263.9784 | www.redbirdbg.com 616.263.9784 www.redbirdbg.com 34 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019
Overworked Parent | by Amy McNeel
There are only so many hours in the day, and the Overworked Parent uses every last one. Feeding the kids, keeping them entertained, trying to put them to bed, going to work, cleaning the house, answering emails — it adds up fast. The ultimate gift for the Overworked Parent is an hour to themselves, when they can completely unload. When you spend your entire life bombarded with multisensory experiences, sometimes you just want to climb into a tank and pretend you don’t exist for an hour. Loaded up with salt, phlōt’s tanks let you float effortlessly in a soundproof environment, free from whatever gives you a headache. The Overworked Parent will leave feeling totally blissed out, having had plenty of time to let their brain dump out all its worries.
Parenting is hard. It’s stressful. Sometimes, it’s all too much. The Overworked Parent needs a community that understands this; luckily, this show is just the ticket. Cat and Nat dive into the truth of motherhood with witty stories that look at all the “stress, guilt, joy, and laundry” of being a mom. The stuff we see on social media hardly shows the reality of parenting — and that can make moms feel lonely, hence Cat and Nat’s fight for #MOMTRUTHS.
phlōt 1555 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids phlotgr.com
#MOMTRUTHS Live Kalamazoo State Theatre 404 S. Burdick St., Kalamazoo Nov. 6, 7 p.m. kazoostate.com
Even with a top-of-the-line home theater, the Overworked Parent has too many distractions to comfortably watch a film there — not to mention the fact having kids severely limits your appropriate viewing options. Hire the babysitter and send your fav workaholic to Sperry’s, where the seats not only recline, they’re heated and they have a massage setting. You could also grab a drink and have food brought right to your seat, making this a phenomenally low-effort escapist experience.
After spending the day with people under the age of 10, a night with a more mature audience is more than welcome. This intimate, historic bar is a cozy getaway from life's chaos. Take the Overworked Parent out for a night of classy cocktails, beers and whiskeys. While there, you might also want to check out the menu from Rendezvous, for a perfect dinner-drink combo.
Sperry’s Moviehouse 84 W. 8th St., Holland sperrysmoviehouse.com
Lumber Baron Bar at Amway Grand 187 Monroe Ave. NW., Grand Rapids amwaygrand.com
The Overworked Parent doesn’t have much free time, making it difficult to get away. But sometimes, the best getaways don’t make you go anywhere at all. Treat this parent to some relaxing, local, natural body care goodies. With simple ingredients and a cruelty-free philosophy, Fox Naturals provides products that are sure to make the at-home spa day feel like the real deal, including muscle rub, sugar scrubs, body butter, and more.
Taking care of the kids, going to work, cooking dinner, cleaning dishes; the Overworked Parent sure has a lot on their plate. Take a little off their to-do list by giving them a meal they don’t have to cook or clean up. This high-class restaurant and bar is both relaxing and moody — a real gem of downtown Grand Rapids. It’s the ideal place for the Overworked Parent to unwind.
Fox Naturals 619 Wealthy St SE. Suite A, Grand Rapids fox-naturals.com
Divani 15 Ionia Ave. SW., Grand Rapids divanigr.com
REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019 |
Fall features are
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available for a limited time!
Grace Harbor Church 811 Gorham Lane, Kalamazoo Sunday, December 15 at 4:00pm www.kalamazooringers.org
Breathe in the aroma of our house made chai while exploring the selection of over 300 bulk herbs, spices and loose leaf teas. Always ethically sourced and responsibly grown, our handmade wares and goods for life are curated with care. Celebrating 15 years of community this year! 143 Diamond SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506 616-776-9720 www.welovechai.com
36 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019
Sports Superfan | by Amy McNeel
On any given day, the Sports Superfan’s mood can be directly traced back to how well their team did the day before. They’re not just a fan: They’re deeply invested in all things sports, which actually makes your job as a gift-giver quite easy. West Michigan has plenty of places to watch the big games, rep your teams and even play some sports yourself. Between the yelling, cheering, face paint and heartbreak, the Sports Superfan needs to refuel. Help your college football fan eat up all the sports they can with a basket of gooey nachos and a hearty O-Live in Michigan Burger. This joint is relatively new to Monroe Avenue, with a second-floor balcony, a Michigancentric atmosphere and endless screens for watching the big game.
Big E’s Sports Grill 710 Monroe Ave. NW., Grand Rapids bigessportsgrill.com Nothing goes better Drink with sports than beer. While Big Ten fans in our state are pretty divided, this brewery has two newly released IPAs that give both MSU and U of M fans something to get behind. The new brews — Haze & Blue and Sparti Parti — are now available on tap and in cans. Get your superfan a gift card or a six pack, so they can rep their team to the fullest. Big Lake Brewing 13 W. 7th St., Holland biglakebrewing.com Signed Detroit Lions football? Check! Autographed University of Michigan poster? Easy! Your sport memorabilia needs could all be met at this local shop. With a wide variety of pro and college sports collectables and trading cards, there’s something for every Sports Superfan here. While the shop is filled with Michigan-centric gifts, it also has memorabilia from all around the states.
Legends Sports & Games 3645 28th St. SE., Grand Rapids legendsfanshop.com
Some Sports Superfans' bodies don’t take to tackling the way they used to. And that’s OK, because now they can throw a football and compete in a competitive game without the threat of getting sacked. Take your fan here for a game of Fowling, a combination of football and bowling, all while drinking a cold one (or two) from Beer City USA.
Fowling Warehouse 6797 Cascade Rd. SE., Grand Rapids fowlingwarehouse.com Concerts are nice and all — but when Van Andel switches the stage for ice, that’s when the Sports Superfan really shines. A full-season membership will give your fan seats to all 38 regular season games as well as discounts to Detroit Red Wings games, shorter member-only concession lines, and much more. With a plethora of benefits and flexible payment plans, this gift is a must for your die-hard Griffins fan.
GR Griffins Full Season Membership Van Andel Arena 130 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids griffinshockey.com All right, Tigers fans: Let’s talk baseball! Your Sports Superfan may not be MLB material, but they are fully serious about their office/church league softball team. Hook them up with practice time at Game On’s top-of-the-line batting cages and pitching tunnels, so they can perfect their game. You could even add in-depth analytics for a few extra bucks, if they really want to go pro.
Game On Indoor Sports 4396 Airwest Dr. SE., Kentwood gameonindoorsports.com
REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019 |
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NOVEMBER 11-1 11-2 11-3 11-7 11-8 11-9 11-10 11-14 11-15 11-16 11-17 11-21 11-22 11-23 11-24 11-29 11-30
Invasion Shelby Lentz (Special Event) Dem Guys Open Mic w/ Dan Agne Funkle Jesse Saddest Factory Teddy Brewer Ethan MacDonald Karaoke Kev Nichols & Blue Tuesday Dane Waswick Open Mic w/ Dan Agne Hip Hop Showcase Trapped on Mars Double Strung Comedy w/ Bill Bushart DJ Jeff Shildroth
DECEMBER 12-1 12-5 12-6 12-7 12-8 12-12 12-13 12-14 12-15 12-19 12-20 12-21 12-27 12-31
Steve Pesch Open Mic w/ Dan Agne Kaitlin Rose Band Night Moves Tim. Just Tim. Schlitz Creek DC90 The Distractions Shelby O Open Mic w/ Dan Agne Karaoke Koz and the Effects The Marsupials New Year’s Eve Party! Comedian Marty DeRosa See our Facebook page for more information
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Influencer | by Josh Veal
“Do it for the ’gram.” That’s the Influencer’s guiding principle. They’re not snobby, but you need to keep the aesthetic in mind when searching for a gift. You’re best off sending them somewhere that will make their followers think, “Oooh, I want to go there.” With that, we can help! If you think a café run out of a truck can’t be photogenic, think again. Shrubs, string lights, hammocks, plants — Outside Coffee is one of the cutest and coolest spots in West Michigan. The thoughtfully curated space right outside Woosah Outfitters is perfect for a surprisingly large menu of picture-perfect coffee, tea, ice cream and toasts. Don’t fear the cold: Outside Coffee’s heated geodomes will keep you warm amidst the wind and snow.
Outside Coffee 734 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids outsidecoffeeco.com When I first exited the elevator leading to this rooftop lounge, I saw a couch that I immediately had to take a photo on before being seated. The host then said, “That’s probably the most Instagrammed couch in Grand Rapids,” which tells you everything you need to know. Step outside and you have an unbeatable open-air view of the city, with fantastic drinks and snacks to boot. Send the Influencer here with a gift card and they’ll have content for days.
Haute New Hotel Mertens 35 Oakes St. SW, Grand Rapids newhotelmertens.com Sovengard was designed in a lab by the world’s leading social media engineers to be the top space for photo ops in West Michigan. The biergarten is practically famous in Grand Rapids — but with the winter weather heading in, you should really get the Influencer a reservation for upstairs at HOST. It’s the Scandinavian restaurant’s new seasonal farm-to-table dining experience, featuring a constantly rotating menu of gorgeous food that explodes with color and artistry. #eatlocal
The Sovengard 443 Bridge St. NW, Grand Rapids sovengard.com
The UICA’s building itself is practically its own form of art, only enhanced by the cutting-edge works inside. Head there now and you'll find On the Scene, a solo exhibition exploring the cultural aesthetic of “club” photography and painted backdrops. Visitors are encouraged to take pictures with a vintage backdrop themselves and then spend some time pondering the value of status and materialism in our lives. It’s a photo op and a learning opportunity in one!
Larry Cook: On the Scene Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts 2 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids uica.org Walking into The Plant Parlor is a breath of fresh air, in more ways than one. The shop is absolutely packed with plants of all shapes, sizes and species. All Influencers are required by law to have at least one hanging plant and five succulents, so this is the perfect place to beef up their home backdrop. After they open your floral gift, tell them to head to the shop for an oasis of Kodak moments.
The Plant Parlor 1059 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids theplantparlor.com The Bachelor is a reality show first and a breeding ground for influencers second. These people make a living off their Instagrams — and your Influencer friend would kill to meet them. Get them a seat at this new live experience, which brings the show’s premise onstage with an eligible hometown Bachelor looking for love among hopeful West Michigan women from the audience. Who knows, the Influencer could even end up onstage!
The Bachelor Live on Stage DeVos Performance Hall 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids April 5, 2020 devosperformancehall.com
REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019 |
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Gamer Geek | by Josh Veal
There are all forms of geeks and nerds out there in the world, but the Gamer may be the most common of all, especially thanks to the rise of culture-shifting games like Fortnight and Minecraft. The true Gamer Geek goes deeper, though, playing whatever they can, wherever they go. Still, they might need a little help remembering to socialize — that’s where you come in. As far as breweries go, One Well is the Gamer’s dream. If you pull up and see a window drawing of a wizard riding a unicorn, you know you’re in the right place. It’s a brewery that takes its food and drink seriously, but not much else. One room has a massive collection of board and card games, both casual and advanced. Step into the other room — with delicious drink in-hand, of course — for a wall of pinball and arcade cabinets. Throw in darts and trivia nights and you’ll never run out of games to play.
One Well Brewing 4213 Portage St., Kalamazoo onewellbrewing.com Anamanaguchi creates Listen some of the greatest videogame-inspired music of all time, not to mention scoring multiple professional games. They create powerful, inspiring music that absolutely rips by combining traditional instruments like guitars and drums with videogame hardware like an NES and Game Boy. It’s pop music filtered through the lens of classic games and nostalgia, perfect for the true Gamer. Anamanaguchi The Pyramid Scheme 68 Commerce Dr. SW, Grand Rapids Nov. 12, 7 p.m., $23.50 pyramidschemebar.com
Reality is lame — who needs it! Every gamer knows the real escape is in virtual reality, especially with the technology we have today. But having your own VR rig is incredibly expensive, which is why you should send the Gamer to a local proprietor for some fully immersive gaming. Nova and Amped both offer dozens of the best titles to choose from, and you can even play the same game with your friends.
Virtual Reality Nova VR 806 S. Westnedge Ave., Kalamazoo novavr.net Amped Reality 2923 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids ampedrealityvr.com In GRBC’s excellent game room, the Gamer will find plenty of retro games to play — but they might even be inspired to branch out to the foosball, darts, ping-pong, basketball game, shuffleboard and more. It’s a social place, perfect for hanging out before or after enjoying a Bacon BBQ Burger. Plus, GRBC hosts Geeks Who Drink every Monday night, for all you trivia masters!
Grand Rapids Brewing Co. 1 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids grbrewingcompany.com
Arriving on the scene earlier this year, Blue Bridge Games quickly became a mainstay of the community. The shop is welcoming, clean and full of games. No matter who you are, the staff will help you find that perfect gift from their huge selection of games big and small. You can even bring the Gamer here to sit down and play whatever games they have, for just $5 per person.
When you’re a Gamer, there’s really nothing like finally getting your hands on a rare game you’ve been eyeing for years. Despite being a tiny little shop on Leonard Street, Vidiots is overflowing with games you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. Take a snapshot of the Gamers’ vintage collection, then head to Vidiots and ask what they think is missing.
Blue Bridge Games 954 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids bluebridgegames.com
Vidiots 1304 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids facebook.com/likevidiots
REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019 |
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Craft Connoisseur | by Jack Raymond
To the Craft Connoisseur, sensory experience is more than just physical sensation: It’s a lifestyle. They have the word “bougie” tattooed above their tattoo of French chef Paul Bocuse. Their vintage wine collection is rivaled only by their Fabergé egg collection. Entertaining their palate will cost you — but who ever said the best things in life were cheap? The only thing the Craft Connoisseur loves more than a fine cheese is five fine cheeses snuggled on a board, with some jamón and gherkins to boot. But it only takes one avant-garde bite of bleu cheese plus anchovy to dissuade the Craft Connoisseur from trying things at home. A lesson from the pros at Aperitivo should help. This crash course guides newbies through constructing heavenly platters to satisfy and impress.
While some view the cup of joe as a means for caffeine, the Craft Connoisseur sees things differently. If it’s not shade-grown, traded fairly and rich with complexity, it ain’t up to snuff. This month, Ferris Coffee hosts an event dissecting the flavor profiles of single-origin brands. It gives the Craft Connoisseur a chance to prove their smarts, finally solving the mysteries of tasting notes on the back of coffee bags.
Make Cheese Boards Like a Pro Aperitivo 435 Ionia Ave. SE, Grand Rapids Nov. 14, $66 aperitivogr.com
Coffee: Taste + Origin Ferris Coffee & Nut 839 Seward Ave. NW, Grand Rapids Nov. 16, $8-$10 facebook.com/ferris1924
Ah yes! The vintage 2013 Ulysses cab sauv from Napa: lush, violet, lilac. The Craft Connoisseur will share if you’ll listen to their pontifications on terroir for an hour. When the bottle runs dry, restock at Leon & Son Wine and Spirits, a wine shop specializing in independent, inspired producers. They keep a cutting-edge selection of forward-thinking styles, filling a natural wine and pét-nat gap the city’s been missing. Here, the Craft Connoisseur could find a wine for every occasion.
Grand Rapids electronic duo Pink Sky makes music best suited for a pair of audiophile headphones. Layers of synth and drum patterns organically emerge and envelop — the auditory equivalent of a five-course tasting menu. The Craft Connoisseur can get down with that. Pink Sky’s new album, Meditations, is tasteful yet alien, with enough bump to get the body shaking. It would make the perfect companion to a dinner party on Pluto.
Leon & Son Wine and Spirits 972 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids leonandsonwine.com
Pink Sky’s Meditations pinkskymusic.com
Rise Authentic Baking Co. bakes experiments disguised as pastry. By some force of nature, they’ve figured out how to make a doughnut without gluten taste good. This scratches the Craft Connoisseur’s conceptual itch while indulging their sweet tooth. All that could improve the situation is a nice place to sit and cup of java for dunking — oh wait! Rise has both in spades at their location on Fulton Street.
Skip the theater and marvel at the physical display that is a bartender rattling a Boston shaker until he’s blue in the face. Like the alchemy of diamond from coal, there’s beauty in watching liquors transform into something elegant in front of you. Sidebar’s cocktails are art the Craft Connoisseur can admire and consume. Which isn’t even to mention the ambiance: low-lit, cozy, often with some burning herb swinging — the whole thing is a neural assault of pleasure. Drinks and a show.
Rise Authentic Baking Co. 1220 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids riseauthenticbaking.com
Sidebar 80 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids sidebargr.com
REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019 |
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44 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019
Stuff It A guide to small, yet excellent gifts | by Missy Black
The holidays are about big, grand feelings, large light displays and over-the-top food spreads. Why not do something on a small scale to balance it out? We’ve gathered some tiny treasures and a few items that will fit in a stocking — meaning they won’t have to be strapped to the roof of your car.
Have fun shopping small and local!
Expressive earrings inspired by original paintings from artist Mary-Catheryn will be a major hit. | Copper Corners in Grand Rapids, $49 – $59.
No more cold hands, but lots of beverages, right? The Tired as A Mother Koozie is funny, but it’s also true. | Bailey & James in Ada, $5.
The stylish foodie in your life needs a baguette and camembert cheese pin set for their denim jacket, backpack, or beret. | A.K. Rikk’s in Grand Rapids, $58.
Men, hide bad hair days under these merino wool beanies in assorted colors. | Tenden in Holland, $25.
Treat the man in your life with Stance Butter Blend underwear that’s antimicrobial and silky smooth. | To & Fro Activewear in Ada, $35.
This solid cologne fits perfectly in a man’s pocket and smells a little woody, a little musky, and supremely fantastic. | theninesman.com, $60.
Give vintage and you give the gift of something rare with this mod, colorful, floral ’70s scarf. | Shop Lived in Grand Rapids, $16.
Rings and small things rest stylishly in this ceramic trinket dish. | Blackbird East in East Grand Rapids, $20.
Be proud of where you're from by repping this black unisex Midwest sweatshirt, which could be tightly rolled and stuffed into a stocking. | Frances Jaye in Holland, $48.
REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019 |
by Josh Veal
BOLD AND BOOZY Revue’s stout taste-off
hen the autumn winds blow in, there are two ways to warm oneself: from the outside and from within. For the former, we have coats and blankets. For the latter, we have stouts. Maybe more than any other beer style, stouts have the ability to be big, bold, brash and boozy. It’s not unusual to see a stout clock in at 10% ABV or higher, and brewers aren’t afraid to get wild with the adjuncts, either. Coffee, chocolate, vanilla, marshmallow, cream — even hot peppers — are all common. Of course when you swing for the fences, it’s easy to strike out, so Revue decided to put together a blind taste test of 12 stouts on a grey afternoon. With beers this strong, though, we knew we needed help. We decided to recruit the taste buds of two local beer lovers and friends who’ve gathered a following on Instagram for their drinking adventures, Adam Young (westmichigan_beerdguy) and Ryan W.
(bantam_beer_guy). They’re knowledgeable, fun and friendly. Young even brought us the best brew of the day, though it wasn’t local: Fundamental Observation by Anaheim’s Bottle Logic Brewing. He also graced us with a taste of PBR Hard Coffee. No comment. That being said, the team we put together ended up being some pretty harsh graders. At the end, even we looked at the final scores and thought they should be higher. I considered grading on a curve to more accurately represent our experience, but I’m sticking with the numbers out of journalistic integrity — and maybe a dash of laziness. Similarly, the interesting part of a blind taste test is that you end up liking beers you thought you hated, and vice versa. Some of the low performers here, we’ve had and enjoyed plenty of times. So just know: Your mileage may vary. Let’s get to the results.
DINING SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED KBS
Don’t Harsh My Mellow
Founders Brewing Co., Grand Rapids 12.2% ABV Score: 82
Odd Side Ales, Grand Haven 10% ABV Score: 78.6
Brewery Vivant, Grand Rapids 12.4% ABV Score: 78.3
New Holland Brewing, Holland 11% ABV Score: 77.6
OK. Yes. We agree: This is almost disappointingly obvious. It’s not that we have anything against Founders, but everyone likes an underdog, right? And KBS is definitely not that. Yet we found it to be pretty much the definitive stout. It looks how a stout should look, feels how a stout should feel, and tastes how a stout should taste. It’s boozy with a nice balance of bitter and sweet coming from the coffee and chocolate respectively. As one taster said, “It warms your soul. You wanna put a blanket on and cozy up with it.”
An imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels with chocolate and vanilla added: Mark this one down as biggest surprise of the day — a few tasters even considered it their favorite. It starts out great and gets better as it warms up, but the biggest flavor you’ll notice with every sip is BOOZE. If you’re a fan of bourbon and/ or dark chocolate, this is the winter warmer for you.
Vivant’s bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout stands out from the rest in a great way. It’s not cloyingly boozy, but rather pleasantly woody, with a nice amount of smoky malt flavor as well. It’s well-balanced while being packed full of flavor, and yet a bit sneaky on the ABV. Editor Amy L Charles just told me she went and picked up more of this favorite at the store after our tasting.
Here’s another beer with a reputation as one of the heavy hitters in the stout world. Dragon’s Milk is arguably at the forefront of New Holland’s brand, down to the giant metal dragon in their Grand Rapids location. We noticed some cherry flavors with a touch of booze, but our main observation is just how dangerously drinkable it is. Nothing about the beer is overwhelming — and you wouldn’t know the ABV was that high from the flavor alone. Careful!
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Continued on Page 48
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Continued from Page 46
B.B.A. Nutter Your Business
Neapolitan Milk Stout
Grand Armory Brewing, Grand Haven 10% ABV Score: 72.5
Saugatuck Brewing Co., Saugatuck 6% ABV
Now here’s a divisive beer. Some of us loved it, some not so much. It was also a bit confusing, as nearly everyone was convinced this was actually a hazelnut beer. In fact, one of our tasters specifically said that she likes this beer because it’s hazelnut (which it’s not) but she never likes peanut butter beers (which this is). Life comes at you fast. That said, some tasters liked the boozy and nutty flavor, while others found it to be unbalanced and overly flavored. You'll have to see for yourself.
New Holland Brewing Co., Holland 5.2% ABV
S’more Stout Perrin Brewing Co., Comstock Park 7% ABV
Special Double Cream Stout Bell’s Brewery 6.1% ABV
Founders Brewing Co., Grand Rapids 8.3% ABV Score: 56
When you’re tasting 12 beers, the drinking order makes a huge difference. Founders’ classic Breakfast Stout may have suffered a bit from being the second beer we had; alas, we had mixed feelings on it. If you’re a black coffee lover, this is the beer for you. It’s all roast, with the same bitterness you’d get from a cup of joe in the aftertaste.
Bell’s Brewery 6% ABV
Ellison Brewery 8% ABV
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DINING SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE
DECEMBER 3 & 4 • Wings Event Center
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48 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019
Celebrate the Holidays
at the DoubleTree & Ganders Restaurant
We’ll handle the details of your festive celebration while you enjoy a truly magical experience! GRAND BALLROOM
Festively decorated, our Grand Ballroom can host parties of up to 300 people.
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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.
Take the “Elevator Home” by staying the night in one of our elegantly appointed guestrooms. 4747 28TH STREET SE AT PATTERSON AVE | 616.957.1111 | FACEBOOK.COM/GANDERSGR
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6797 CASCADE RD SE, GRAND RAPIDS, MI 49546 REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019 |
by Josh Veal
THE GREAT GETAWAY Max’s South Seas Hideaway is an immersive escapist experience
MAX'S SOUTH SEAS HIDEAWAY. PHOTOS BY ALEX PAOLELLA
POLYNESIAN PORK "WING". COURTESY PHOTO
50 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019
n today’s world, perhaps the greatest gift anyone can offer is an escape — from technology, from the stresses of life, from the world at large. On every level, Max’s South Seas Hideaway is that escape. The new tiki bar and restaurant in Grand Rapids is a sort of alternate reality, an immersive experience rivaled — in my travels — only by the bars and eateries in Disneyland. I mean that as the highest compliment: Max’s has an attention to detail you’d typically only get from the Imagineers. Those details are what suck you in. It starts the moment you walk through the door and your eyes begin to adjust to the darkness, looking over hand-carved tikis, with calming luau and exotica music setting the mood. There are no windows and no TVs, so you find yourself lost in time. It’s a “perpetual twilight,” as co-founder Martin Cate told me. “It’s always cocktail hour on the island,” Cate said. You turn the corner and see a 14foot, illuminated tiki waterfall looking over the ground floor. Yes, there are two floors. Head upstairs and you might sit next to a 500-gallon saltwater aquarium — or have a drink at the huge central bar, shaped like a boat. Every nook and cranny is filled with some piece of art that has a story. Co-founder Mark Sellers’ colossal tiki mug collection joins forces with cofounder and artist Gecko’s Polynesian carvings, alongside vintage art from bygone tiki bars all over the world. Nothing in the building is a cheap factory-made replica. The hanging lanterns and bars are all custom-made. Even the platters and bowls are made by an in-house ceramicist. That authenticity elevates the experience beyond the
kitschy gimmick it could be if the owners didn’t care.
That same level of thoughtfulness extends to the cocktail menu, which comes as no surprise given Cate’s reputation as a rum and tiki cocktail expert. Max’s has more than 150 rums on hand. The cocktail menu boasts an impressive 44 cocktails, all illustrated on the menu by local artist Anthony Carpenter. On one visit with my lovely girlfriend, I dove into Max’s Barrel-ORum: a blend of rums, some lime and pineapple, “and a few secrets.” It’s refreshing, tropical, balanced; a classic tiki experience. Then we absolutely had to split the Boo Loo, a shareable drink served straight out of a fresh pineapple with two giant straws. Like much at Max’s, it’s both head-turning and delicious. Sadly, I couldn't try all 44 cocktails in one visit — my doctor forbade it — but I can guarantee you’ll find at least one drink matchmade for you.
The food is largely unique as well. Chef Joseph Peebles wanted the menu to have a “seaside, island feel,” approaching Pan-Asian cuisine with a New American technique and a touch of gastropub. You’ll find plenty of seafood appetizers and entrees, not to mention the raw bar, as well as burgers, steaks, smoked pork, and much more. The entire back of the menu is vegan, and Peebles noted much of the staff was surprised to learn they loved the vegan dishes even more than the meaty entrees. Many dishes on the menu promise an experience. The Tableside Campfire literally brings a fire to your table, so
you can cook s’mores in your seat. On one visit, I happily ate the entirety of the Seafood Platter, a sharable dish with oysters, ceviche, poisson cru, seared tuna and poke. I do have to say: Much like Disneyland, if there’s one thing that might jerk you back into the real world, it’s the food prices. The cheapest nonvegan entrée is the burger, coming in at $18. That being said, you get what you pay for. I ordered the Polynesian Pork “Wing” for $32 and received a massive portion that I ended up needing to share. If all the dishes are that size, you could easily split an appetizer and an entrée between two people and end up paying no more than any other decent restaurant in the city. Of course, the meal was fantastic, too. You cut into crispy, slightly fatty skin with a tangy mustard glace to find a juicy, tender pork shank, served with a gravy-like sauce I simply couldn’t get enough of — all alongside a refreshing tropical slaw. It was beyond satisfying.
ALL GOOD THINGS ...
In the end, even after racking up a decent bill, drinking two cocktails each and eating 'til stuffed, we realized we really did not want to leave. Be warned: Max’s is such an escape that to walk back outside, where the sun is up, the wind is blowing and deadlines are approaching — it’s like leaving the warmth and safety of your bed in the morning. I guess I’ll just have to go back. Personally, I’m now looking forward to winter, when I can escape the ice and snow for a couple hours by escaping into Max’s, traveling in just a few steps from a frigid peninsula to a warm island where the sun is always setting. n
DECEMBER 5th 6:00 - 9:00 Pizza on Earth
Can it beer?
PARTY IN THE PARKING LOT
BEER TENT HOT COCOA KID FRIENDLY
harmony hall has hamburgers
11-3 dollar dogs and football all day 11-3 river rogues jazz 2-4pm 11-5 trivia factory 7pm 11-6 Michigan radio issues and ale 6:30pm 11-7 music/movie Trivia 7:30pm 11-8 music by Jordan Hamilton 9pm
1551 Lake DR SE TREE LIGHTING AT 7:30
HARMONY HALL EVENTS 401 Stocking Avenue NW
11-10 dollar dogs and football all day 11-10 trivia night with Eric Reid 6-8pm 11-12 trivia factory 7pm 11-13 brushes with benefits 11-14 game night with vault of midnight 11-16 drag show benefit for safe haven misitries
harmony hall has hamburgers
11-17 dollar dogs and football all day 11-17 river rogues jazz 2-4pm 11--19 trivia factory 7pm 11-21 musicmovie trivia 11-24 dollar dogs and football all day 11-26 trivia factory 7pm REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2019 |
OPEN FOR LUNCH DAILY
$7.50 DAILY LUNCH SPECIAL
$2 Bud Light Drafts
@ THE WOODS