Revue Magazine, March 2018

Page 1

West Michigan’s Entertainment Guide for 30 Years

Âť March 2018



Beer Issue

Exploring Our Local Beer Scene

th e cook i n i s su e g Recipe s , kitchen classes, go and mo ods re

Also Inside: The Canning Diva, Brewery 4 Two 4, Best Barbecue Spots, Happy Hours




Visit our Other Stores


3125 28TH ST GRANDVILLE MI 616.532.3473





REVUEWM.COM | March 2018 |


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april 14th noon release / party 1-4pm

REVUEWM.COM | March 2018 |








The Ultimate Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Tribute

The Exclusive Re-creation of Genesis


w/ Every Time I Die, Chelsea Grin, Ice Nine Kills






w/ Emo Philips

w/ Gira del Adios

MARCH 29 SYLVAN ESSO w/ Suzi Analogue

w/ Beach Slang






el Show con Adrian Uribe y Omar Chaparro


Krizz Kaliko, Just Juice, Joey Cool, King Iso


w/ Dan Mangan


w/ Reed and Caroline



w/ Chelsea Wolfe, The God Bombs



w/ Darenots










What’s Inside

March 2018 | Volume 30, Issue 3


What’s Going On


Biz Beat

SoundS 15

On Tour: Creed Bratton


On Tour: Elohim

The cooking Issue



Cooking Classes


The Kitchen’s Comeback




Where to Stock Your Kitchen


Q&A: The Canning Diva

Revue Arts: 1A

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

SightS: 28

Style Notes


Comedy: Maria Bamford


40 32


Restaurant Guide


Barbecue Roundup


Beer: Brewery 4 Two 4


Last Call: Zoko 822

Letter from the Editor


here’s no such thing as “too many cooks.” As ingredients, recipes and gadgets all become easier to get your hands on, kitchens across America are filled with more home cooks than ever before. It’s easy to find inspiration and guidance thanks to meal delivery services like Blue Apron, video recipe guides like Tasty and an unimaginable number of cooking blogs. You can learn how to make any dish your stomach desires — just type it into Google, click through, scroll past the author’s 5,000-word essay complaining about their spouse and kids, and start cooking! Here in West Michigan, however, the internet is hardly your only resource. Grand Rapids’ Downtown Market is practically dedicated to making you a better chef, offering some of the best meat, spices, oils and other ingredients around, along with myriad cooking classes. Of course, the same could be said for Local Epicurean, Art of the Table and so many others in the region. Flip ahead and you’ll find advice from local experts, recipes from West Michigan chefs, and our suggestions on where to shop. If you end up all cooked out, we also have a guide to local barbecue, an interview with the hilarious Maria Bamford, a chat with the completely unpredictable Creed Bratton, and much more. Learning to cook is easier than it seems, and more rewarding than you might realize. You’ll feel healthier, more in control and more responsible. It can be a relaxing, therapeutic solo activity or a bonding experience between two loved ones. And with so many resources available, why not start now?

W est M i c h i g a n ’ s E nterta i nment G u i de

Editorial Publisher Brian Edwards Associate Publisher Rich Tupica / Editor Joe Boomgaard / Managing Editor Josh Veal / Copy Editor Claire Boomgaard Design Creative Director Kim Kibby / Contributing Writers Missy Black Eric Mitts Kelly Brown Samara Napolitan Dana Casadei Troy Reimink Dwayne Hoover Jane Simons Nick Macksood Elma Talundzic Marla R. Miller Kayla Tucker Contributing Photographers Katy Batdorff, Jeff Hage, Seth Thompson Advertising / 616.608.6170 / Kelli Belanger / Digital EditorS Kim Kibby, Josh Veal

’Til next time,

MinionS Dominique Tomlin, Jack Raymond

Find us online! Josh Veal, Managing Editor Website: Twitter: Facebook: Instagram:

Up coming is sue s April: The Food Issue

May: Wine & Spirits Issue

Slowly but surely, West Michigan has eked out a reputation as a burgeoning foodie scene. In this issue, we explore the latest food trends, the most unique dishes out there and the chefs who bring it to your plate.

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

Revue is published monthly by Revue Holding Company. 65 Monroe Center, Ste. 5, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 Office: 616.608.6170 / Fax: 616.608.6182 ©2018, Revue Holding Company. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part granted only by written permission of the publisher in accordance with our legal statement, fools.

On the cover: Cooking classes at The Local Epicurean. See more on page 18.

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

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REVUEWM.COM | March 2018 |


/// best bets

what’s Going on this month |  Compiled by Revue Staff

3/1 Butterflies Are Blooming

Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park 1000 E. Beltline Ave. NE, Grand Rapids March 1, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., free with admission Butterflies fly freely at the annual Fred and Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming exhibition, which opens at the Meijer Gardens this month and continues all the way through the end of August. Join 7,000 tropical butterflies across 50 different species in their “home away from home” at the conservatory. If you’re lucky, some of the butterflies may even land on you! Plus, the room is heated to a balmy 85 degrees, if you’re looking for an escape from winter.

3/8-11 88th Annual Saladin Shrine Circus

DeltaPlex Arena 2500 Turner Ave., Grand Rapids March 8-11, $8-40

Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

Bring your children along, or just channel your inner child as the circus comes to town. From exotic animals to death defying stunts and aerial displays, there are acts full of excitement for everyone. The circus will only be here for four days, so grab your tickets and be ready for a show full of thrills.

3/8-18 Gilda’s LaughFest 2018

Grand Rapids March 8-18

What’s so funny? Just about everything at LaughFest! The 10-day festival features a variety of funny events, from stand-up to improv and even a FUNderwear run. It

10 | REVUEWM.COM | March 2018

all supports Gilda’s Club, a group that provides emotional support to those dealing with cancer and their families. Celebrate laughter “for the health of it” with massive comedy acts like Trevor Noah, Tiffany Haddish, John Mulaney and many others all over Grand Rapids.


’90s Bar Crawl

Downtown Grand Rapids March 10, 2-10 p.m., $15-30

Nineties kids who are ready to party, this is the event for you. Join an amazing crowd full of other ’90s kids and celebrate the best the decade had to offer. Participating establishments throughout the town will have ’90s music and impressive drink specials. Registration gets you a signature bar crawl cup and a welcome drink upon arrival. Dust off your plaid, hair scrunchies and Doc Martens and drink the night away at bars across Grand Rapids.

“Weird Al” Yankovic 20 Monroe Live 11 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids March 10, 8 p.m.

“Weird Al” Yankovic is a legendary performer known for musical satire and high-octane, big-production shows, but this time, he’s foregoing the usual show and focusing on his original, non-parody songs in an intimate evening of music. With his “Ill Advised Vanity Tour,” he’s performing tunes that haven’t been heard live in decades but are still just as guaranteed to make you laugh as his famous parodies. The venue is smaller than many he’s performed in, which makes for a rare opportunity to get up close and personal with the one and only Weird Al.

3/14 Neil Hilborn

The Pyramid Scheme 68 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids

“Weird Al” Yankovic at 20 Monroe Live March 14, 8 p.m., $15-17 If you know anything about slam poetry, you’ve probably heard of Neil Hilborn. Most well-known for his poem “OCD,” which has garnered more than 75 million views, Hilborn is the most-watched poet on YouTube. He writes and performs poetry that discusses his personal experiences and his battle with mental illness and other disorders, topics many can relate to. Neil Hilborn makes a stop in Grand Rapids on The Future Tour to read selections from his best-selling books.

3/15 Masters of Illusion

Firekeepers Casino 11177 E. Michigan Ave., Battle Creek March 15, 8 p.m., $19+ A night full of modern illusion, deception and comedy magic awaits at the

Firekeepers Casino. This live tour was born from the TV series Masters of Illusion on CW, a show that makes you laugh and question your eyes at the same time. But seeing the show in-person, you can be sure there’s no editing magic giving these expert illusionists a hand.

3/17 Irish On Ionia Festival Ionia Ave., Grand Rapids March 17, all day, $20+

Irish On Ionia is coming back for the 8th year, and it’s bigger and better than ever (which is really saying something). Events take place throughout the day on the Guinness Main Stage, as well as at the Irish Jig Tent and the Waldron Public House. Whether you’re there to wear green and drink beer, to listen to Irish music or to play in the ShamROCK, Paper, Scissors Tournament, there’s more than enough to

do at this street-long blowout that starts at 7 a.m. and rages all day long.

3/18 P!NK Beautiful

Trauma World Tour

Van Andel Arena 130 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids March 18, 7:30 p.m., $47+

International pop icon P!NK is coming to the Van Andel Arena on her Beautiful Trauma World Tour. P!NK has released seven albums and secured herself three Grammys, and she shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Not only can she sing, but she’s also a huge supporter of charities, including Autism Speaks, Make A Wish Foundation and Save The Children. She’s even received the honor of being named Billboard’s Woman of the Year.

all want to make a difference in their own way. Mountainfilm on Tour aims to do the same, bringing 12 award-winning short documentaries to local theaters. An afterparty will feature live music by Mark Lavengood, Colorado craft beer and a latenight food menu.

3/24 6th Annual Chilly Blues and Brews

The B.O.B. 20 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids March 24, 12-5 p.m., free

Butterflies Are Blooming at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park

3/23 Mountainfilm on Tour

Saugatuck Center for the Arts 400 Culver St., Saugatuck March 23, 7 p.m., $20

Every year in Telluride, Colo., the town is taken over by Mountainfilm, a film festival showcasing documentaries covering environmental, cultural, political, social justice and climbing issues around the world. The festival brings together worldclass athletes and visionary artists who

If you’re feeling chilly, this event is sure to get you heated. The day’s events include live blues music, Michigan craft beer, a chili cook-off and a hot pepper eating contest. There’s only one catch to the chili cook-off: each entry must include Michigan craft beer as an ingredient. Winners from several different categories, including spiciest chili, best veggie chili, and best-dressed team, will take home prizes ranging from cash to Gilmore Collection gift

cards. The team with the best overall chili will take home $1,000 in prizes and the 2018 Golden Ladle trophy.


Jake Kershaw Peter Wege Auditorium March 30, 6 p.m., $15

It’s not often that a 17-year-old takes the local music scene by storm, but Jake Kershaw’s powerful guitar slinging and blues singing talent has elevated him to a local celebrity of sorts. Kershaw plays with a trio, performing original blues rock and “juiced up” classics given a modern rock edge. In 2016, he won Grand Haven’s Walk the Beat contest, giving him the money and studio time put together his debut album.

Haters Roast - The Shady Tour

DeVos Performance Hall 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids March 30, 8 p.m., $22.50+ If you love drag queens and all of the sass and comedy that comes with them, you’ll love the Haters Roast. For anyone who has watched RuPaul’s Drag Race, names like Trinity Taylor, Thorgy Thor and Jinkx Monsoon won’t be new to you. The roast is hosted by Ginger Minj and includes reads, jabs and slams from some of the best comedy queens out there. If you score yourself VIP tickets, you can even meet and get your picture taken with the legendary drag icons. n

Find more events in Revue Arts, and at revuewm. com!

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining

Stacked line-up. Stacked tap list. A perfect combination. For our full event schedule and further venue details, visit



/// news

west Michigan

biz beat

A Roundup of Openings, Closings and other Local Business News

OPENING: DeHop’s Brewing Co. (363 Cummings Ave. NW, Walker) opened doors in Standale, bringing more craft beer and food to the area, along with a couple pool tables. The tap list has more than 10 beers, along with a few ciders from Farmhaus and a handful of wines. The brews span a variety of styles, including the Roasted Leghorn, a brown ale with coffee; the Cluck Norris, a malty dark beer; and multiple IPAs. The food menu features burgers, salads and more. Order it all at the bar and servers will bring it to your table. Westside Social Tavern (2802 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, Grand Rapids) is bringing a whole new food experience to Standale after opening doors last month. Westside’s goal is to celebrate the community of the “best side” with beer,

craft cocktails, food and a warm atmosphere. The menu features unique appetizers like Pork Chorizo & Artichoke Dip, along with all the American classics: burgers, steak, chicken, fish tacos, short ribs, and so on, but taken to another level. Dickey’s Barbecue Pit (380 E. Division St. NE, Rockford) is bringing the savory, slow-cooked meats to Rockford after opening last month. After 13 years of franchising Little Caesars, Joan and Karl Dahl decided to venture into new territory, becoming close to the Rockford community with meat, beans, cornbread and coleslaw. Forty Pearl (40 Pearl St., Grand Rapids) is now open, bringing northern Michigan wine and spirits to Grand Rapids with a tasting room and food lounge. The new spot downtown is owned by the Brengman Brothers, who

The 17-year-old guitar-slinging, blues-rock singing teenager out of Southern Michigan everyone is talking about… JAKE KERSHAW wsg ERIN COBURN



Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

Wealthy Theatre

1130 Wealthy St. SE Grand Rapids

Showtime: 7 p.m. Doors: 6 p.m. Arrive early for the best seats in the house All Ages - $20, $15 advance

Box Office (616) 459-4788 x131 - Or visit

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NOW OPEN: DeHop’s Brewing Co. in Standale

own Crain Hill Vineyard, a winery in Leelanau Peninsula with dozens of wines in every style. Forty Pearl has 36 wines to choose from, and will soon offer food in the form of small plates, such as charcuterie, oysters, shellfish and sandwiches. Fowling Warehouse (6797 Cascade Rd. SE, Grand Rapids) is bringing one very unique sport to Grand Rapids. Fowling is a combination of football and bowling, and it’s simple as can be. Just grab a football and throw it however you want, aiming to knock over all 10 of your opponents’ pins before they knock over yours. Of course, it wouldn’t be a sport without beer, and Fowling Warehouse has plenty of it from craft breweries all over.

CLOSING: After more than a decade of being open, Firehouse Guitars (1032 E. Sternberg Rd., Muskegon) is closing doors on March 31 at its Muskegon location. As a result, the store is offering close-out deals, meaning far cheaper instruments, pedals and whatever other musical needs you may have. The location will continue to offer instrument repairs and lessons until the last week of March. Firehouse’s Grandville location will remain open. —Compiled by Josh Veal If you have any closings, openings or other business news for REVUE, e-mail

REVUEWM.COM | March 2018 |


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/// On Tour

Comedy Sniper

Creed Bratton talks The Office, brothels and new music |  by Dwayne Hoover

Photo: Andrew Hreha

REVUEWM.COM | March 2018 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights | Dining

Creed Bratton


erhaps best recwould come into this club, and they would ognized as the walk through while we were performing. fictional version of Then they’d go to the back. That’s where himself in the wildly popular the brothel was. We got paid pretty well.” television series T he Off ice, But en route to becoming a performer, Creed Bratton is known for Bratton had a bit of an identity crisis. Born his zany, off-the-wall and sometimes William Charles Schneider, his mother ridiculously insane comments and antics eventually married a man with the surname throughout the show’s nine seasons. Ertmoed. After adopting the last name and Based on the UK series by the same expressing to his friends that he wanted to name, the US version of The Office was not become a performer, they were quick to originally slated to have a Bratton-esque point out the issue. type character. But after befriending “I told them my name was William director Ken Kwapis and being cast into Charles Schneider, but my stepdad had a background role, it didn’t take long for given me this name Ertmoed,” Bratton Creed to take shape. Not content with said. “My friends, of course, would put sitting in the shadows, Bratton eventually their finger down their throat and say, recorded his own interview tape, which he ‘Hey, Ertmoed.’ They said it was a horrible showed to the higher-ups, convincing them name.” that this persona demanded attention. Bratton told them he wanted to be an And in short bursts, he did precisely entertainer. His friends asked if he meant that, taking full advantage of the moments actor or musician, and he said, “Both.” he was given. “Well, you can’t be Chuck Ertmoed,” “He was a sniper,” Bratton said. “That they said. Bratton agreed. was the way it was written and that was the “Next thing I know, we got a bottle of way they approached those scenes. You’ve ouzo. It’s a horrible licorice-tasting thing,” got to get noticed — you Bratton said. “I’m crawling only have a short period of out of bed in the morning time. Creed, you know, he and my tongue is like an Creed Bratton didn’t have a lot (of time), angora sweater. There’s The Stache except for when he was the my liver drinking a cup of 133 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids off ice manager for that coffee, and it’s like, ‘Can I March 28, 7 p.m., $20-$25 one episode, which was so get back in the body now?, (616) 451-8232 much fun. When I came Jesus.’” in, I would just keep my When he woke up, he energy up. I would amp found a tablecloth with a my energy up far more than you would bunch of names written and crossed out see me normally. Creed is like a cracked on it. Yet one remained, circled: Creed tuning fork, fibrillating, just ready to go off Bratton. in different areas.” Now Bratton, after the success of The What’s maybe less k nown about Office, is continuing his musical legacy with Bratton is his musical career, specifically as a new album, While the Young Punks Dance, a member of the Grass Roots, an American due out next month. It not only includes rock band known for its hit single, Let’s Live his original song All the Faces, from the For Today. Prior to that success, he traveled season finale of The Office, but also what and hitchhiked throughout Europe, Africa he and others who have listened consider and the Middle East, playing wherever the to be some of his best work. music took him and his traveling companOn his upcoming tour, he will treat ions. Sometimes, that road lead down some fans to a night of music and comedy. rather unconventional paths. Unfortunately for fans of The Office, rumors “(We played this brothel in Beirut, of a reunion show are just that: rumors. and) we would sit there on this stage playing “So far, it’s hot air,” Bratton said. “I’ve American folk songs in the front,” Bratton talked to all the other cast members and said. “We were like the beard, the musical no one has been approached. I believe it’s beard. It was called the Kit Kat Cabaret, just … I don’t know why. Maybe keeping and literally we would see this white Rolls the trademark going? Maybe money is due Royce come up, and these sheikhs from on the trademark. I wouldn’t know — I’m Kuwait, from Jordan, people with big bucks Creed. I wouldn’t know this stuff.” n


/// On tour At The B.O.B. Grand Rapids, MI 616.356.2000

Don’t Panic

Enigmatic electronic artist Elohim brings multimedia show to The Stache



March U8-GHFEST 18


Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene

March 22-24


March 29E-L3L 1 #drgrins

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|  by Eric Mitts


f there was ever a physical and aur al personification of anxiety, it would likely be experiential electronic music artist Elohim. Ever-elusive and often draped in an oversized jacket emblazoned with the word XANAX in block letters, Elohim presents herself as something intangible, yet relatable. Her real identity held secret, she chooses to let her music speak for her, only occasionally conversing with her audience or press via an eerily calm digitized speech program. The emotional dimensions and pointed personal content of her music reveal so much about her, however, that her growing fan base feels like they already know her — even if they’ve never fully seen her face. “I like the idea of the music coming before anything,” Elohim said of her mysterious identity. “I love building a world and experience people can go into to escape. That was really important to me. I really felt I wanted to prove myself as a musician before it became about what my face looks like or what my middle name is.” Since officially starting out three years ago, the Los Angelesbased artist/producer has become more comfortable revealing herself over time. She may even one day disclose who she is, but for now the Elohim Photo: Chase O Black one-woman singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer prefers the support she gets from connecting through music. to mastering traditional techniques, while away from the piano she “All I can hope for is that when someone hears the music, it explored the divergent sounds of alternative artists like Radiohead brings something, whether that be peace, solace, happiness, gratitude and Animal Collective. Eventually, she ventured into the world of or inspiration to smile and live another day with love surrounding synthesizers and sequencers herself, crafting a one-woman multimethem,” Elohim said. “I have a very strong relationship with most dia show that now includes mind-bending visuals accompanying her of the people that listen to my music. There may be a slight deever-anthemic electronic music. tachment when it comes to putting my physical self Last year she broke out, with singles like Skinny or appearance out there, but I am always in constant Legs, collaborations with rising artists like Louis The communication with people online and in person at Elohim Child and Whethan, and performances at massive mushows, and give my true self, my inner self. There is no The Stache sic festivals like Lollapalooza all taking her in front of greater connection than a personal one.” 133 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids more and more fans. This year, she already has an even On her 2016 self-titled release, she describes her March 30, 8 p.m. $15 busier schedule that includes festival gigs at Coachella, struggles with anxiety, detailing her most personal, Electric Forest and Bonnaroo, in addition to the recent ic attacks, fears and insecurities over shifting rhythms (616) 451-8232 release of her latest single, F*ck Your Money, and the and beats. forthcoming release of her debut LP. “It is interesting, in moments where I think abso“From the first listen, I hope everyone has an exlutely nothing can get me out of my panic or anxiety, perience,” she said of her music. “I want to take people on a journey I’ll touch a piano and immediately feel comfort,” she said. “I think they haven’t been on before. I love introducing people to interesting it is because I can go into my own world and almost snap myself out new sounds and visual context that might inspire them and bring of that debilitating panic.” something to them they’ve never felt before.” n Elohim grew up studying classical piano and still finds comfort behind the keys. From a young age, she spent hours dedicating herself





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

Must be 21 or older. Tickets based on availability. Schedule subject to change. REVUEWM.COM | March 2018 | FK-30681_March_RevueMag_9.25x10.indd 1


2/15/18 12:28 PM

Cooking class at The Local Epicurean

special feature

The Cooking Issue


hile our restaurant scene in West Michigan is growing

could ever need, along with dishware worthy of your impressive

every day, the region also offers more resources than

cooking skills. And we have experts eager to offer sage advice to

ever for becoming a master chef yourself.

prospective home cooks, which is what this issue is really all about.

We have cooking classes that teach you every-

Ahead, you’ll find all kinds of wisdom, recipes from local chefs,

thing from making your own cheese and pasta to whipping up

and guides on where to up your cooking game. Put your mind to it

incredible, high-end dinners to using chocolate as a canvas. We

and you can revolutionize dinnertime, impress at parties and maybe

have stores that sell all the gadgets, utensils and ingredients you

even become the next great local restaurateur.

Back to School Cooking classes around West Michigan

If you’re stuck in a cooking rut or looking to build your culinary skills, cooking classes are the way to go. You’ll add a little variety to your recipe book, learn some trade secrets and have something to eat at the end of it all. by Elma Talundzic

Downtown Market 435 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids, (616) 805-530 The Downtown Market hosts a wide variety of cooking classes every month for beginners, couples and pros alike. Gnocchi Like a Pro Mar. 6, 6-8:30 p.m., $75 This hands-on event will teach you how to create two delicious gnocchi dishes, the first in a traditional tomato sauce and the other in a basil pesto sauce. Pair these entrees with a wine from the market’s wine list and add a side-salad of shaved root veggies.

Slow Your Roll: Beginner Sushi Mar. 20, 6-8:30 p.m., $75 An expert sushi chef will teach you the basics of rolling, cutting and preparing three classic sushi rolls: California roll, Philadelphia roll and coconut shrimp roll. Impress guests with your new Japanese knife skills, proper sushi plating and garnishing tech-

Thai Roll Workshop Mar. 27, 6-8:30 p.m., $65 This class teaches the art of Thai rolls. This workshop features pork egg rolls and turkey springs rolls along with handmade dipping sauces. These pair perfectly with a Thai peanut salad.

The Local Epicurean 1440 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids, (616) 206-5175 The Local Epicurean offers an abundance of classes for beginner cooks and experienced chefs alike, many of which focus on making homemade pasta. Here’s just a few of the other classes available: Urbrian Steak Dinner and Cooking Class Rotating weekend dates, $79 The Umbrian region of Italy is known for beef and red wine. This class brings the two together. Make black olive pesto caesar salad, seared garlic sirloin and handmade linguini in a mushroom and artichoke sauce. Dessert will be a chocolate tiramisu. Dinner in Venice Cooking Class for Two Rotating weekend dates, $79 Bring a date to this cooking class. Learn to make prosciutto salad and homemade tortellini in a beef

bolognese sauce, then finish off dinner with an Italian cherry cream cake.

Chocolates by Grimaldi 219 N. 7th St., Grand Haven, (616) 935-7740 Creative Chocolate Class Call to reserve, $35 Indulge your sweet tooth and get creative at Chocolates by Grimaldi. This 90-minute class offers a chance to create, design and make your own customized chocolate bar after learning how to paint with colored chocolate.

Amore Trattoria Italiana 5080 Alpine Ave. NW, Comstock Park, (616) 785-5344 Risotto/Arancini Mar. 10, 2-3 p.m., FREE Learn how to cook like a true Italian chef from owner and Chef Jenna Arcidiacono. Amore Trattoria Italiana features a free cooking class on the second Saturday of every month. This month, learn how to make Arancini, an Amore favorite. These risotto fritters are stuffed with fontina cheese, placed on top of tomato sauce and drizzled with spinach aioli. n

REVUEWM.COM | March 2018 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining

Warm Up the Irish Way Mar. 16, 6-8:30 p.m., $75 Beer cheese, brown butter soda rolls and Irish sausage are on the agenda for this traditional Irish cooking class. You’ll also make an Irish colcannon, a mix of softened cabbage, leeks and potatoes. Then finish the meal off with a warm cup of Irish coffee (meaning whiskey).

niques. Japanese beer and sake will be available to purchase.


Cooking issue

The Kitchen’s Comeback

Easy access to fresh, local ingredients and trendy gourmet recipes has got us all cooking by Kelly Brown

Dining | sights | Sounds Scene


hether the words “home cooking” make you cringe or recall your favorite Steak Au Poivre recipe, we all have strong feelings about it. Some claim to be ramen noodle experts, while others use every square inch of their counter space to store the latest kitchen gadgets. With a rise in one-pot meals and BuzzFeed Tasty videos over the past year, it’s never been easier to call yourself a home chef.

20 | REVUEWM.COM | March 2018

Art of the Table owner Amy Ruis attributes the rise in cooking at home to the 2008 financial crisis. “The recession is fresh in my mind still as the turning point of home cooking’s resurgence,” Ruis said. “While people still go out a lot, the turning point of the economy then put people in a place where they needed to watch their dollars — food dollars, especially. People started having more dinner parties at home again — saving money on the food, wine and cocktails — while still enjoying life.” To add fuel to this fire for home food prep, a rise in Instagram fitness influencers and nutritionist experts continues to motivate the average American to get off the couch. It may seem like everyone in your social media circle has tried Whole30 or the 21-Day Fix. That kid from college who gained the “Freshman 50” has gone fullon Paleo and shows off mouth-watering dishes on his Snapchat story. In 2018, it’s cool to cook.

Bob Schultz, professor at the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education, owner of Son-in-Law Products (a gourmet condiment line) and former chef at Steelcase Corporation, cites health as one of the main reasons for more home cooking. “Not many people have a deep fat fryer to cook French fries, for example. So the better option would be a baked or mashed potato,” Schultz said. “The biggest trend in cooking right now is more people are cooking at home. People choose more vegetarian and healthier options, especially with vegetables (like cauliflower) as low-carb substitutes. Diabetes, obesity and many other health problems contribute to what we eat.” Subscription services like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh bring high-quality ingredients and gourmet recipes to your doorstep — perfect for those of us who don’t want to spend our free time in line at the grocery store. And if

that’s not easy enough for you, programs like Shipt allow customers to order their groceries online and have them shipped right to their house, all of which makes it that much easier to cook at home. Karen Bryan of Making Thyme Kitchen claims that knowing what ingredients go into your food is one of the perks of cooking. The mission of her business is to create “on-the-go” food that tastes as good as a home-cooked meal. “I think home-cooked food does taste better,” Bryan said. “It’s not reheated, not dried out, and compared to restaurant food it doesn’t contain as much salt or fat. You have control over what you are putting in your body. You know if your ingredients are fresh. It’s a creative process, and it’s relaxing.” If you’re intimidated by home cooking and don’t know where to start, begin with the basics: fresh ingredients and a good knife. Go easy on collecting all the newest gadgets, because they’re not necessarily worth it. “The basics will get used more and make cooking easier and thus more enjoyable,” Bryan said. However, the Instant Pot your friend won’t stop bragging about does serve a purpose. “Admittedly, I do like the instant pot for some occasions, especially roasts, braised items and convenience. Huge benefits with the sous-vide too — food retains the nutrients and vitamins that can be lost in other methods of cooking,” Bryan said. While the internet has made access to gourmet recipes easier than ever, cookbooks are still on the rise. “Cookbooks are worth every penny,” Ruis said. “While I love having the internet at my fingertips, I love perusing a cookbook for inspiration.”

Pinning a recipe to your “Try Later” Pinterest board just doesn’t have the same feeling as flipping the page of a well-worn cookbook and finding oil splatters and crumbs from the last time you tried making something. “I’ve made my own 3-ring binder ‘cookbooks’ that are still my favorite resources,” Ruis said. “My favorite cookbook is Quick and Easy Thai by Nancie McDermott.” With a solid cookbook in one hand and a precise, sharpened blade in the other, it’s time to get cooking. The fantastic benefit of making a meal at home is that there are no expectations (unless, of course, you’re cooking for a party of eight). All it takes to achieve home cooking success is the bravery to throw yourself into the mess of it, knowing that it won’t always turn out as pictureperfect as the recipe. “Try new things, start out easy, use that Betty Crocker cookbook your mom gave you, then branch out,” Ruis said. “French, Italian, Greek — it’s not that hard, you just have to pick the recipe that looks manageable and then push yourself now and then.” Most importantly, start with fresh, quality ingredients. It’s hard to mess those up. For the home chefs ready to take their cooking skills to the next level (with the possibility of owning a restaurant or working in the restaurant industry), consider a degree from the Secchia Institute. The Culinary Education program grants students an Associate Degree of Applied Arts and Sciences, which can lead to an exciting career in baking, catering, banquet organization or restaurant operations. n

Must-Have Items for Home Chefs A good knife, a meat thermometer and a non-stick saute pan. ­—Karen Bryan of Making Thyme Ample lighting, high-quality sharp knives (like Wusthof) and quality ingredients — olive oil, balsamic vinegar, harissa sauce, great cheeses, superior meats and fish — don’t skimp on the good stuff. ­—Amy Ruis of Art of the Table For the real home chefs that want to go to the next level, a sous-vide machine. The other important element is the setting, which creates the mood. Food creates a perfect enhancer to enjoy the simple things in life. Time is the last thing I would say is important. ­—Bob Schultz of Secchia Institute

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining REVUEWM.COM | March 2018 |





Spr ing

with Asian Tea


Revue’s Reviews

great food

live music


Dining |Sights Sounds | Scene


Sunday Brunch 11am-4pm



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

march SHOWS 3/1 Steve Hilger Band 3/3 Kevin Jones Band 3/8 The Bridge Street Band 3/10 Deep Greens & Blues 3/15 Kathy Lamar 3/17 St. Patrick's Day Party with The Willeys 3/22 Robin Connell Trio 3/24 Jeff Haas & Don Julin Frontet with Randy Marsh

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

22 | REVUEWM.COM | March 2018

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

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

Read them all at!

March 2018

Making and Remaking HIS Dance’s Toymaker finds a new, contemporary take on Easter SEE PAGE 8A. Story by Jane Simons. Photo by Seth Thompson.



GROUP GRIEF SCA explores shared loss and recovery



ON POINTE GR Ballet’s new artistic director



ORGAN OWNER Lonnie Smith comes to Holland


| REVUEWM.COM | March 2018

[BEST BETS] Classical Music for Everyone: Romantic Nationalism Take a romantic trip around the world with classical music from the Romantic era and a Russian cellist as West Michigan Symphony continues its Classical Music for Everyone series. The concert, described as “the most colorful, exotic and romantic” of the season, explores classical music’s Romantic period as it developed in Scandinavia, Spain, France, America and Russia. Led by Music Director Scott Speck, the program includes Sibelius’ Finlandia, a virtual national anthem in Finland; Gliére’s Russian Sailors’ Dance, a well-known excerpt from the ballet The Red Poppy; Copland’s Hoedown, the Rodeo cowboy ballet’s energetic finale; and more. An international virtuoso and rising star, 27-year-old Alexey Stadler joins the symphony for one of the most important concertos ever written, Dvorak’s Cello Concerto. Performing on a 1715 Tecchler cello, Stadler won the 2012 TONALi Grand Prix in Hamburg and opened this season with concerts across Europe. —by Marla Miller

1 Alexey Stadler Photo: Marie Staggat

Second City: A Guide to the Symphony Second City, the revered improvisational comedy company from Chicago, and the Grand Rapids Pops orchestra are teaming up right on time for LaughFest. This light-hearted program blends sketch comedy, satire and classical music for a self-aware and hilarious night of music making. Everyone is fair game as the Second City comedy troupe pokes fun at classical music culture — from the maestro and eccentric musicians to hall ushers and audience members themselves. —by Samara Napolitan


Second City: A Guide to the Symphony DeVos Performance Hall 300 Ottawa Ave. NW, Suite 100, Grand Rapids March 16-18, 8 p.m., $18+, (616) 454-9451 x 4

Classical Music for Everyone: Romantic Nationalism West Michigan Symphony Frauenthal Theater, 425 W. Western Ave., Muskegon March 2, 7:30 p.m. Tickets $22-$54, students $10, (231) 726-3231

Kurt Elling Kurt Elling is a vocal powerhouse, a star in the wide world of jazz, and an impressive get for St. Cecilia Music Center’s Encore Jazz series. Elling shifts effortlessly — joyfully, in fact — from soulful singing to soaring scat to spoken word. He ebbs and flows with improvised jazz solos, masterfully laying down his own words over drums, saxophones and more. His style encapsulates the best jazz has to offer, being dynamic, vocally innovative and lyrically inspired. Elling has been nominated for 10 Grammy Awards, winning Best Vocal jazz Album in 2009 for Dedicated to You. His show at St. Cecilia comes just one day before the official release of his new album, The Questions, which will be available for sale at the post-concert party. —by Josh Veal


Kurt Elling St. Cecilia Music Center 24 Ransom Ave. NE, Grand Rapids March 22, 7:30 p.m., $40 REVUEWM.COM | March 2018 |



Group Therapy

Moving Through the Unimaginable examines the community in suffering by Marla R. Miller

The personal stories of trauma, illness and loss behind the seven portraits that Donna F. St. John painted for Moving Through the Unimaginable encompass a more painful past than the seemingly jovial faces let on. Although a small part of the exhibition, the portraits put a face to the collective human experience of moving through adversity and coming out stronger, wiser and more resilient. This special spring exhibition at Saugatuck Center for the Arts celebrates the strength of the human spirit and triumph over tribulation through storytelling and a variety of artistic outlets. Organizers invited community members to anonymously submit stories of their hardship and pain, and how they overcame life’s adversities to find hope, peace and wholeness. “That’s the first part of healing, being able to reflect on what happened and putting it on paper,” St. John said. “That act alone has been a really beautiful piece of healing for several of people who have submitted. They’ve actually said, ‘Thank you for listening to my story.’” The stories were incorporated into a sandbag installation, along with being assembled into a book and auditory pieces that play in the gallery. Visitors can continue to submit their stories throughout the run of the exhibit. The installation features sandbags suspended from the ceiling, with a selection of stories silkscreened onto burlap fabric and the word “release” hand-stitched over them. Every few days, SCA staff will cut a small slit in some of the bags so the sand can slowly pour out on the silver floor below — symbolic of letting go of the pain and moving forward. “They should all be emptied, and part of the installation process will be to sweep all of that sand together so all the stories are


| REVUEWM.COM | March 2018

Donna F. St. John's portraits for Moving Through the Unimaginable. courtesy photos intersecting,” said Whitney Valentine, SCA’s education and exhibitions manager. “The sand is symbolic of our life story.” “At the end, all of these stories will be released to represent the healing process,” St. John added. St. John, a professor at Kendall College of Art and Design, also made several assemblage sculptures, based on her interviews and the submissions, that represent what helped people come through the adversity. A mix of stories all typed in different fonts were printed, laser cut, framed and hung up throughout the gallery. The stories speak of healing from losing a loved one and divorce, surviving cancer and infertility, depression and mental illness, sexual abuse and incarceration, addiction and eating disorders, bullying and LGBTQ issues. “The beauty of that — you can immediately see that there is an intersection, there is an overlap of so many of these stories,” St. John said. “As dark as things were, so many of them had a sense of hope that things would get better.” St. John worked with Valentine to plan and organize the exhibition. They began soliciting the stories last summer and offering art classes and workshops with community program partners.

“We really do have high hopes that it can transform lives,” Valentine said. “We’ve been shocked, and really hopeful, that we’ve gotten so many responses. We know that writing these is not easy. It’s really tough, and people have taken the time to selfreflect and release those emotions.” They led four-week art therapy classes that included reflective writing and drawing instruction, working with female inmates at Allegan County Corrections Center and teens at Children’s Advocacy Center. The exhibition includes their framed charcoal drawings of songbirds and some written stories. Through the interviews for the portraits and other outreach classes, St. John was moved by the resilience, courage and optimism they expressed despite life’s challenges. Several people talked about what helped them through, from talk therapy to movement, art, faith and looking at family history and seeing patterns. The individuals selected for the portraits are a diverse mix of community members with inspiring stories, and they will receive their portraits after the exhibition ends. St. John’s biggest takeaway: Whatever people go through, the emotions behind the adversity are the same. With compas-

sion and kindness, people from seemingly different walks of life can unite in the shared human experience of suffering and ultimately healing. “The greatest beauty of the exhibition is not only the collection of these stories, but allowing the viewer to slow down the trajectory of these stories and recognize the overlap, and that’s where I think we find empathy and wisdom,” St. John said. “We all feel sadness, we all feel fear. It takes away the us-them mentality.” Valentine hopes visiting the exhibit inspires more people to submit their stories, and that the SCA will have hundreds of more stories to compile into a traveling exhibition or book when the exhibition closes in May. ■

Moving Through the Unimaginable

Saugatuck Center for the Arts 400 Culver St., Saugatuck March 16-May 26, (269) 857-2399

REVUEWM.COM | March 2018 |



PREVIEW We have some really powerful exhibitions beginning this month, covering everything from humanity’s relationship with nature to celebrating the strength of the human spirit. If you like your art exhibitions a little less intense, there are also some pretty butterflies to look at. by Dana Casadei

Calvin College Center Art Gallery 1745 Knollcrest Circle, Grand Rapids,, (616) 526-6271

Remembrances March 1-April 27 Jennifer L. Hand — a Calvin College alumna — is showcasing works created over the last six years in her exhibition, Remembrances. Her mixed-media pieces are inspired by her time settling into a new home on seven acres in the woods, which increased her interest in the relationship between human beings and the natural world. Since living in her new home, she has been using nature in a more tactile, direct way by allowing what was once subject to become the actual material.

Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming, March 1-April 30 The annual exhibition is back! Tropical butterflies from around the world fly freely in the Tropical Conservatory at the largest temporary tropical butterfly exhibition in the nation. Guests will not only be able to look at beautiful butterflies (and think of spring and sunshine) but also take part in special educational programming and activities.

Grand Rapids Art Museum 101 Monroe Center, Grand Rapids, (616) 831-1000

Alexis Rockman: The Great Lakes Cycle, Through April 29

Mere Objects, March 26-April 27

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

Drawn Into Form: Sixty Years of Drawings and Prints by Beverly Pepper, Through April 29

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

Round & Round: The Circle at Center Stage, Through March 4 Rhythmic Vitality: Six Principles of Chinese Painting, Through March 25

Dawoud Bey: Harlem, USA, and Harlem Redux, Through April 11

Sarah Wagner: Vegetable Lamb of America, Through March 18

My Hero: Contemporary Art & Superhero Action, Through May 13

Thunder Boy, Jr.: Illustrations by Yuyi Morales, Through May 20

Passion on Paper: Masterly Prints from the KIA Collection, March 17-July 15

Expressions, March 27-April 29

Assembled by guest curator Nancy Sojka — who retired from the Detroit Institute of Arts as curator of prints and drawings — Passion on Paper includes images from the KIA collection. Pieces include groundbreaking, innovative works by Toulouse-Lautrec and Mary Cassatt; colorful prints by Howard Hodgkin and Richard Anuszkiewicz; and emotionally expressive images by Luis Jimenez and Vija Celmins.

LaFontsee Galleries 833 Lake Drive SE, Grand Rapids, (616) 451-9820

Another art competition! Expressions is the 36th annual Muskegon County Student Art Exhibition and showcases the artistic talents of Muskegon County K-12 students in the visual arts. Artworks in a variety of mediums will be shown, and were selected by art specialists from each of the public, charter and private schools in the county. Go kids, go!

Saugatuck Center for the Arts 400 Culver St., Saugatuck, (269) 857-2399

Surface Tension: Beauty & Fragility in Lake Michigan, Through March 8

Collective, Through April 6

Corridor Series: CANVAS, Through March 8

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

West Michigan Art Competition, March 10-April 14 Back for the 32nd year, this competition highlights outstanding work by West Michigan artists who reside in a 25-county region. This year’s juror is Ryan Kaltenbach, who currently serves as exhibits director at the Northville Art House. Artwork in any medium could be submitted by those 18 and older, and cash prizes are awarded to those who place in the top five.

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

Southern Roots: The Art of Winfred Rembert, Through March 18

Moving Through the Unimaginable, March 16-May 26

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

CAMPUS: 2018 Annual Faculty and Staff Exhibition, March 1-May 6 Fresh Pick: Bohan Li, March 1-May 18 Look Behind Design, March 16-May 13 The specially curated exhibit — which is part of West Michigan Design Week from March 17-24 — will do just what the title says, give guests a look behind design. The exhibition dispels some of the mystery of design with a behind-the-curtain view of how it all happens at a group of companies with Michigan roots.

Create art. Design a career. Spark your world. Common Ground: KCAD Fashion Studies Capstone Show April 25, 7:30pm at DeVos Place Convention Center 800.676.2787


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Spring Events at the KIA Friday, March 2, 5-8 pm Make It at the KIA

Art School Hands-On Event Free admission; materials fees of $2-$15 per project. Printmaking will be free to make & take.

Thursday, March 8 6:30 pm, $5 Screening & Talk

Midwest Regional Alternative Dance Festival with Rachel Miller

Thursday, March 22 6:30 pm, $5 Artist’s Talk

with Dawoud Bey Award-winning photographer on view now, and this year’s Area Show Juror

Coming up in the Art School Full- and half-day Spring Art Camp (grades 1-6): April 2-6 Spring Classes begin the week of April 9-14 Spring is our shortest term, and offers our lowest tuition of the year!

KALAMAZOO INSTITUTE OF ARTS 435 W. South Street 269/349-7775 Open Tuesday-Sunday $5 admission Free parking

Newly Engaged?

CONSIDER A WEDDING RECEPTION AT THE DOUBLETREE Our All-Inclusive Reception packages include food, cocktails, set up and décor Call 616-957-0100 and ask for Karisa. | 4747 28th St SE, Grand Rapids REVUEWM.COM | March 2018 |



Making and Remaking HIS Dance’s Toymaker finds a new, contemporary take on Easter by Jane Simons

It’s no accident that HIS Dance Ensemble’s production of The Toymaker: An Easter Story bears little resemblance to the traditional Easter fables.

photo: seth Thompson

“It’s the common story of Easter based on the Christian faith and we’re telling it allegorically through the eyes of toys in a toy shop,” said Hannah Sullivan, co-artistic director for HIS Dance Ensemble. That doesn’t mean the production is just for Christians, however. The goal was to create a ballet that conveys the themes of Easter — love, grace and redemption — while also being fun and accessible. The production involves 85 performers and more than 100 volunteers, making it the biggest endeavor by far for the dance ensemble. With the exception of a few guest artists, the majority of the performers are children and teenagers who range in age from five to 18. As the dancers rehearse, they learn from each other and work to create and recreate the story, said Tassia Johnson, the dance ensemble’s other co-artistic director.

“It’s recreation in another sense, because we try to improve everything. We are learning about what’s been working and what’s not working,” Johnson said. “Teamwork is advocated and we’re allowing people to grow with different ideas.” The dancers are encouraged to banter among themselves and offer their opinions, which results in a better way of telling the story, Johnson said. “We end up surprising our audience every single time. Our goal is not to make a typical dance experience,” she said. “We want to create an experience that is memorable, inspiring and interesting. We want to keep people engaged in a story that’s told almost without words.” “How do we ask a group of nearly 100 students to share a story through movement — that’s the very heart of the challenge and we love being able to embrace that challenge with our students,” Sullivan said. The students tell a story focusing on a toymaker and the toys he goes to great lengths to create in unique and special ways. Tourists who happen upon the toy shop gravitate to the more sparkly toys, like a music box, while giving scant attention to the more ordinary toys like the ragdolls. As the story goes along, the toymaker introduces a mystical serpent doll who seizes upon the opportunity to lure the overlooked toys away.

Rehearsal for The Toymaker. Courtesy Photos


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Leotard Laboratory Artistic directors Tassia Johnson & Hannah Sullivan. photo: Jon Clay “They realize that the serpent isn’t good for them and the toymaker sends his son to rescue them,” Sullivan said. The two artistic directors developed the storyline for the ballet at the request of their bosses at HIS Dance Ensemble. They have been working together since 2007. The original home for the dance ensemble was in the basement of one of the student’s homes. Johnson said she met with parents who shared their vision. Sullivan developed a five-year plan and ballets were developed. “We have a student ballet company housed within our studio and once they’ve reached a certain level of training, they can be in the dance ensemble,” Sullivan said. “We’ve got the freedom, if writing new works, to create stories that we hope have social relevance. We train them to be classical ballet dancers and prepare them for contemporary works.” The Toymaker story was created after. “Our bosses wanted us to come up with an Easter ballet that would be acceptable to people of different faiths,” Johnson said. The challenge was creating a story that would connect with their students while building a relevant ballet for everyone. As part of that, the choreography in the Toymaker is contemporary and includes hip-hop. “This is an eclectic view of dance and we worked with our students to figure out how that dance tells the story and moves the audience from one emotion to another emotion,” Johnson said. “This is a tremendous opportunity for our students. Each dancer involved in this production is making their own life sacrifices for this one moment.” ■

The Toymaker: An Easter Story

HIS Dance Ensemble The Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Arts and Worship 2300 Plymouth Ave. SE, Grand Rapids March 3-4, $15,

RAD Fest brings the most experimental dances to West Michigan

Aaron McGloin Dance photo: Benjamin Mobley

by Kayla Tucker

More than 1,000 attendees are expected to show up at this year’s Midwest Regional Alternative Dance Festival at The Epic Center in Kalamazoo. Rachel Miller, the curator of the nineyear-old festival, said this is the most alternative and “experimental” dance festival in Michigan. Some performances even contain nudity and adult content. “In terms of modern, contemporary and postmodern, it would be on the edge of that. It’s unique in that way,” Miller said. The festival hosts multiple live performances, a film screening and workshops taught by professional dancers. Attendees can range from professionals to people with no experience — anyone is invited. “It’s an opportunity for dancers to take workshops from people they wouldn’t normally be exposed to,” Miller said. “A lot of the artists who are teaching the workshops are from different cities and have different experiences. Some of them are coming internationally.” About 250 total dancers — 170 of them professionals — are expected to perform at the festival, working with 40 choreographers. “RAD Fest has been a welcoming artistic community,” said Gierre Godley, artistic director of Project 44 Dance and an annual attendee. “I’ve been able to make new connections as well as reconnect with dance friends from undergraduate school. Ultimately for me, RAD Fest has been an

amazing experience and something that I’d recommend for every artist.” Master classes are given from visiting artists, and attendees can connect through networking events for all dancers. Big name dancers are on the list, including Godley, Marta Renzi, Stephen Featherstone, Lisa Kusanagi and Julius Brewster-Cotton. “We discuss current topics that are relevant to the dance world … centered around funding for the arts, sustainability,” Miller said. “We’ve gotten into conversations about gender and performance, politics and performance, things like that.” Miller said she’s sure politics will be a hot topic at this year’s festival. “I’m guessing we’re going to be discussing a lot this year about the current political administration and where we fit into that as artists, and I’m sure we’re going to end up talking about how it’s our job to express resistance to it,” Miller said. Last year, Miller noted, the election was very recent and “fresh,” so the topic was more or less avoided. More than 200 submissions came in last fall, and 49 were chosen to be part of the festival. It’s Miller’s job to comb through the submissions, along with planning concerts, promotions and marketing and production. There will be five live performances throughout the weekend — two on Friday, two on Saturday, and one youth performance on Sunday. In total, 40 original works will span those five performances. The shows and master classes require a payment, but the film screening, coffee hour discussion and networking events are free. Nine films were also chosen to play in the Screendance Series on Saturday at the Kalamazoo Institute for the Arts. Miller said this type of performance is a “fun, new medium” for dancers.

RAD Fest

Wellspring Theater in Epic Center, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo March 9-11, (269) 342-4354

“About five years ago, I pushed to include screendance as part of the festival because it’s a genre that a lot of choreographers are experimenting in right now,” Miller said. “Screendance allows a choreographer to show detail; for example, a close-up on a hand. It allows the choreographer to change settings really quickly and it’s pretty popular now among contemporary choreographers. … It’s just a natural progression for them. Choreographers already have this aesthetic palette and ideas, narratives, cohesion and how that works.” Big name festivals around the world, like Cannes and Sundance, are now including screendance as a category. Miller is a contemporary dancer, with an MFA in dance from Hollins University. She’s an adjunct dance professor at Grand Valley State University, a screen dance producer, and a company dancer and choreographer at Wellspring Dance Company in Kalamazoo, in addition to being the curator for RAD Fest. For her, dance is a feeling like no other. “Moving is very healing and it makes me feel the most honest about who I am,” Miller said. “It doesn’t lie. That fleeting moment when you feel alive when you’re dancing is an incredible feeling. And I think that’s why I’ve made it my passion, my career.” ■

REVUEWM.COM | March 2018 |



Fluent in Movement A conversation with the Grand Rapids Ballet’s new artistic director by Samara Napolitan

To James Sofranko, dance is a language within itself. “You can express ideas through dance that you can’t through other forms. It’s a beautiful thing,” he said. A longtime soloist at the San Francisco Ballet, Sofranko topped a competitive list of applicants to become the fifth artistic director of the Grand Rapids Ballet. This July, Sofranko will officially succeed current Artistic Director Patricia Barker, who is moving to the other side of the world to lead the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Originally from Cincinnati, he received his dance training at The Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, Fla. and The Juilliard School in New York City. Upon graduating with a bachelor’s degree in dance, he joined San Francisco Ballet and was promoted to soloist in 2007, dancing in the role ever since. “It’s been a really wonderful experience,” he says of his time with the San Francisco Ballet. “Dancing here, you always feel like you’re part of something new and that you’re at the forefront of the art form, as well as part of the past with this long tradition of classical dance.” Sofranko has danced in myriad works and world premieres by choreographers like Helgi Tomasson, William Forsythe, Paul Taylor and many others. In the Bay Area, Sofranko is known for his work with Dance For A Reason (DanceFAR), a benefit for the Cancer Prevention Institute of California, and also as the founder and artistic director of SFDanceworks, a contemporary repertory company he began in 2014. Among numerous career highlights, including dancing the role of Eddie in the national tour of Twyla Tharp and Billy Joel’s Broadway musical Movin’ Out, Sofranko notes working one-on-one with Forsythe as particularly influential to his art.


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“(Forsythe) is an icon and a legend. You could see how he valued his dancers, and that he wanted to get a certain kind of connection out of each of his dancers,” Sofranko said. “He got the best out of us that way, and that really inspired me moving forward as a choreographer. He made me realize there are always new ways to explore your own artistry.” In his new role at the Grand Rapids Ballet, Sofranko will be responsible for all artistic direction and planning, including hiring dancers and choreographers, production staff, touring and outreach efforts.

“I like to think that ballet can transcend into our thought process, and we can carry some piece of it out of the theater and into the real world.”

Sofranko is eager to continue the Grand Rapids Ballet’s reputation of presenting new and established works in both classical and contemporary styles. He plans to premiere innovative new works each season, along with a classical full-length in addition to The Nutcracker. His background as a Juilliard-trained dancer who performed with a classical ballet company for nearly two decades equips him with the knowledge to fulfill this vision. “I think dancers benefit from being versatile,” Sofranko said. “When you learn to unfurl your torso in a contemporary way, you have a better understanding of how to stabilize your body in a classical way, and vice versa. You can pull from each style to hone your artistry.”

James Sofranko, Grand Rapids Ballet’s new artistic director. photo: Erik Tomasson

Out of his various new tasks, Sofranko is particularly excited about growing as a choreographer. He has created many original works, and is now working on his third piece for the San Francisco Ballet School Trainee program. He also plans to build upon his relationship with Penny Saunders, the Grand Rapids Ballet choreographer-in-residence who has created

pieces for SFDanceworks. “I haven’t really been able to focus on choreography until now,” Sofranko said. “I really like pieces that relate to society and comment on the world we live in. I like to think that ballet can transcend into our thought process, and we can carry some piece of it out of the theater and into the real world.” ■

Off With The Set

by Jane Simons

This month, the Grand Rapids Ballet will pirouette, leap and float across Miller Auditorium’s stage against an all-white backdrop with scenes projected onto it, displaying some of the most iconic moments from Alice in Wonderland.

Grand Rapids Ballet takes Alice to a whole new Wonderland

While not necessarily a new technique, choreographer Brian Enos said the use of multimedia is not as widely used in the United States as other countries. “Typically, it’s not done with ballet companies,” said Enos, who also is the artistic director for The Big Muddy Dance Company in St. Louis. “The use of multimedia skews towards more contemporary companies. I have been influenced by contemporary work done over the years.” With the exception of a very few hard set pieces that come in and out of view, most scenes in the production are brought to life by 360-degree images projected on the white floor, cyclorama and curtains. Alice’s fall down the rabbit hole, the Mad Hatter’s tea party, the hookah-smoking caterpillar, and the Queen of Hearts croquet party are all brought to life onstage through the use of multimedia elements. This concept is a collaboration between Enos and visual artist and designer Luis Grane, a renaissance visual artist best-known for his work in Hollywood with Dreamworks, Pixar and Disney on animated films. “Luis is a visual artist and animator and he designed all of the costumes and set elements for the work,” Enos said. “My role is to orchestrate the dancing and movement

photo: Eric Bouwens

Alice in Wonderland

Grand Rapids Ballet Miller Auditorium 1341 Theatre Dr., Kalamazoo

and his style is very whimsical and kind of avant garde, so it’s a really cool collaboration working with him on the look of the piece.” The production was originally created for the Grand Rapids Ballet to be performed at the Peter Martin Wege Theatre. It had its premiere in April and received glowing

reviews. Enos said everything for the production was designed specifically for the Wege Theatre. Still, Michael Erickson, marketing director for the ballet company, said he thinks the production will translate fairly seamlessly to the Miller Auditorium stage. “It’s a challenging production in terms of the level of mixed media in the show,” Erickson said. “Projections take place constantly on the stage, surrounding walls and floors. A lot of that ‘wow’ factor comes from these projections.” “With all of the technical elements translating to a different theater, that is going to be an interesting element,” Enos said. “The dancing can exist pretty much anywhere.” Erickson said dancers from throughout the world audition for an opportunity to become resident members with the Grand Rapids Ballet Company. Japan and the Do-

minican Republic are among the countries and sovereign states represented. “It’s very important for us to take what we do here at the ballet beyond the borders of Grand Rapids and expand our audience to important markets in Kalamazoo and the lakeshore,” Erickson said. “As communities get larger and space gets smaller, Kalamazoo is a viable market for us. We are 100-percent committed to taking more shows on the road.” Because the world premier of Alice in Grand Rapids was such a success, Enos said the ballet company is excited to share its work with a broader audience. “The only thing people should know is to expect the unexpected,” he said. “It’s a fun, whimsical, avant-garde production and it’s entertaining for people of all ages.” ■

: Frances Luke Accord

Robin Connell & Paul Brewer Jazz & The American Songbook

“Indie folk at its finest

Saturday, April 14, 7:30 pm

Milk Crater

Doors open at 7pm

Friday, March 23, 7:30 pm

Doors open at 7pm

Multi-instrumentalists and meticulous songwriters, this Chicago-based duo features gorgeous, buttery harmonies and modern folk music that interweaves Americana, jazz, soul and rock. $20-$30 • Student tickets $10

360 W. Western Ave 2nd Floor, Muskegon, MI 231.726.3231

Robin Connell is equally versatile as a jazz pianist and vocalist, and Paul Brewer is “first call trombonist” throughout the area with tour shows and regional jazz musicians. They will be joined by the celebrated Tim Froncek on drums and Chris Kjorness on bass for music by Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, Rodgers & Hart, The Beatles, and Joni Mitchell. $25-$35 • Student tickets $10 REVUEWM.COM | March 2018 |



The Shoreline Symphony performing its Water Music program in 2017. Courtesy Photo

Classical Coast

The Shoreline Symphony gives the community a chance to perform by Marla R. Miller

few others to get the word out and coordinate the logistics of practices and performances. Jurcevic also serves as director of Celebrating its sixth season, music at Samuel Lutheran Church in Muskegon, maintains a private teaching studio, Muskegon’s Shoreline and performs as a pianist, organist and Symphony marked another singer. While living in Texas, she conducted the Austin Philharmonic Orchestra, the milestone last fall when it St. Edward’s University Orchestra, and the performed in its new home, Austin Summer Pops Orchestra. She’s trained on piano, cello, flute and Frauenthal Theater. plays 10 different woodwind, brass and percussion instruments, attempting to The community orchestra brings tolearn a new musical instrument every year. gether players of all ages, skill levels “If you have the experience of playing and backgrounds from throughout the an instrument, then you know what you lakeshore area to play a few can ask of your players,” she concerts per year. said. “I have found it helpful on The 2017-18 season, Magic countless occasions because I and Mystery, continues March know what it feels like to play a 18 with What Dreams May Come, certain way.” a family-friendly concert featurEstablished as its own noning a variety of music from The profit organization, Shoreline Secret of NIMH to Shakespeare’s Symphony includes profesA Midsummer Night’s Dream to sional and amateur musicians, Annette operas like Hansel and Gretel. typically out of high school, who Jurcevic Director Annette Jurcevic play alongside students and facphoto: Ashley helped found the symphony ulty from several area colleges Sietsema in 2012 after moving to West and universities. It’s the only Michigan and seeking out opall-volunteer orchestra in the portunities to conduct. She contacted Muskegon area to include woodwinds, Dan Meyers, music director at Muskegon brass, percussion and strings, averaging Community College, and worked with a about 40 players.


| REVUEWM.COM | March 2018

Most players live in Whitehall, Muskegon, Twin Lake, Spring Lake and the Grand Haven areas, but the symphony is open to newcomers throughout the region, along with community members to serve on the board and support local players. And while there is no formal audition process, Jurcevic asks potential players to sit in on a few rehearsals to make sure they are comfortable. She also meets with them one-on-one to see where they will fit and that they can handle the caliber of music typical of a professional orchestra. The season includes concerts typically in November, March and June and a summer concert in August. Players can join at any time and play one concert or all of them. “That’s one of the great things — we have flexibility,” she said. “It helps make it friendlier for the community players because you don’t have to make a commitment for the entire year.” Concertmaster Courtney Hutson, who is also first chair violin, played with the Mona Shores High School orchestra and at Hope College. She joined Shoreline Symphony during its first season and said it’s been nice having the opportunity to perform with a symphony. Now 25 years old, she also started Uneven Ground, a Muskegon-based Celtic band, around the same time. “I just think it’s nice to be able to con-

tinue playing classical music, because that’s the foundation for every other kind of music,” she said. It’s a win-win for players and audiences, because it’s a good way to expose new people to classical music at a more affordable price, Hutson said. Prior to moving to the Frauenthal, where the community college’s music ensembles now perform, the orchestra performed at churches and other venues. Last summer, the group gave a concert aboard Port City Princess while cruising Muskegon Lake. “We’re going to continue to do unique things. That’s one of the hallmarks of our orchestra,” Jurcevic said. “I think it’s important, even for student ensembles, to be out in the community. We’re all very, very thrilled to be playing at the Frauenthal.” Before every concert, Jurcevic hosts a discussion about the music, its historical and cultural context, and interesting tidbits about the composers “so people can really grab ahold of what they’re about to hear.” The March concert includes a variety of music: operas, tone poems or music that paints a picture or tells a story, incidental music, a waltz, and film music, including the theme from Requiem for a Dream and “Flying Dreams” from The Secret of NIMH. “These are both somewhat obscure films, but the music is great, and I’ll explain how they relate to the concert theme during my pre-concert discussion,” Jurcevic said. “The music itself is more diverse than you would ever think, because everyone has a different idea about what dreams are.” ■

What Dreams May Come

Shoreline Symphony Community Orchestra Frauenthal Center 425 W. Western Ave., Muskegon March 18, 3:30 p.m., $8 adults, free for students/ children,, (231) 727-8001

Photos courtesy: Grand Lubell Photography for Toledo Opera

May 4 & 5

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Getting Organ-ized Lonnie Smith discusses his new record and the beauty of live music by Samara Napolitan For his 75th birthday, Hammond B3 organ guru Dr. Lonnie Smith celebrated doing what he loves most. He performed at the Jazz Standard nightclub in New York with his musical “brothers,” guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg and drummer Johnathan Blake. The live set of covers and Smith’s original compositions are featured on All in My Mind, Smith’s newest album and his second after returning to Blue Note Records in 2015. Smith first broke into the New York soul jazz scene alongside George Benson in the 1960s. He has worked with big names — from Dizzy Gillespie to Santana — ever since, and has recorded everything from covers of the Beatles and the Eurythmics to tribute albums of Jimi Hendrix, John Coltrane and Beck. In 2017, he was awarded the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) Jazz Masters Award, one of the highest honors in jazz. Revue talked with Smith about creating All in My Mind ahead of his performance in Holland this month. You reworked your original song All in My Mind for your new record that shares the same title. Why did you return to this song? I first recorded the song All in My Mind with George Benson in the 1970s. The new recording does sound different, but I think the lyrics I wrote at the time still work for today’s times. It’s the same thing over and over again, really. Some people won’t let it be. You also sing on the new recording… Uh-oh. It’s great! I have to tell you, it was recorded live, right? When I sung in that moment, I wanted to do it differently, a little bit better. But the way people do recordings today, they make changes over and over in the studio. They spend so much time making a Frankenstein, trying to make it sound perfect. But life isn’t like that. You adjust to life. So for the recording, I thought, ‘That’s what it was.’ Can you talk about working with Blue Note producer Don Was on this record and on Evolution? In the promotional materials for this record, you said he puts trust in your creativity. I never really left Blue Note. Blue Note is in my heart. I really like the way (Don) does things because he knows music itself. He is fully engaged in what’s happening in the


| REVUEWM.COM | March 2018

Left: Dr. Lonnie Smith in current day. Photo by Mark Sheldon. Right: Smith poses outside a venue circa 1970. photo: Michael Ochs studio, and he knows what he’s doing. And he really wants you to be you. That really works for me. You often bring young people into your performances, like your current trio members and Alicia Olatuja, who sings on All in My Mind. The babies? (Laughs) Yeah! But you also work with people of all ages and backgrounds. Do you think the type of music you play brings people together in this way? In the moment, it’s beautiful. When you get young people to play your music, it makes you feel good because they get it. They don’t lose a beat, and they infuse their sense of playing into the music, too. That works for me, because I want them to be themselves. Sometimes, a young person might want to sound the same as somebody else, but music doesn’t work that way. If you make a mistake, I want that mistake. It’s about feeling in the moment more so than anything. If they bring their feeling in with mine, then it works. Right. Everyone has something to say. Yep! Nothing hurts you more than sticking to all the rules. Your style of playing is very deliberate, almost understated, with lots of space. Why take that approach?

Here’s the thing. You don’t want to fill up every second. It’s like when you overdo it when you’re cooking — putting in too much salt or sugar. Making music is the same thing. You gotta let the music breathe, because music plays itself. How did it feel to be named a NEA Jazz Master in 2017? That was incredible, a big one. I was shocked myself, and very pleased to be recognized with all the other greats. It makes you feel good that someone listened. I play for the passion — it’s not for the money or for fame. I just love to play music, and when you’re touching people, there’s nothing like it. It feels like electricity, and it takes you different places in that moment. When you’re a musician, people work hard so they can come to your concert and feel happy, and you want to create that moment for them. That’s what it’s all about. ■

Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio

Jack Miller Theater Concert Hall 221 Columbia Ave., Holland March 9, 7:30 p.m., $22, (616) 395-7890

April 13-14

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[classical MUSIC]

Peter and the Wolf, March 17, 3

PREVIEW This March, the classical music scene will have two legendary jazz musicians (and we do mean legendary) and multiple performances for the wee ones, including a classic Dr. Seuss tale about some weird colored food and another about a boy named Peter who meets a wolf in the woods. Fun! by Dana Casadei

p.m., $5+

A Hero’s Life, March 23-24, 8 p.m., $18+ The 20th Century Coffee Concert, March 30, 10 a.m., $16 The 20th Century Concert,

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

Prokofiev Violin Concerto, March 2-3, 8 p.m., $18+

Green Eggs and Ham, March 3, 10:30 a.m., $5

Grand Rapids Youth Symphony & Classical

March 4, 3 p.m.

Second City: A Guide to the Symphony, March 16-18, $18+ The Grand Rapids Pops will add some comedy to its performance and team up with the legendary Second City comedy theater. The show will be filled with comedy, satire, songs, improvisation and, duh, incredible classical music. It will also take on all things related to the orchestra, from colorful musicians to the mighty Maestro.

96 W. 15th St., Suite 201, Holland, (616) 796-6780

St. Cecilia PRESENTS

Dr. Lonnie Smith, March 9, 7:30 p.m.,

March 22, 2018

Grammy winner Kurt Elling is one of the world’s foremost jazz vocalists. He’s won every DownBeat Critics Poll for 14 years running and been named Male Singer of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association eight times. This is one performance not to be missed. And, you’ll have the chance to purchase his brand new CD scheduled for release the next day!


| REVUEWM.COM | March 2018





p.m., $5+ This year’s HSO Family Concert will feature the 1936 Prokofiev musical. The story is about a kid named Peter dealing with a wolf that enters from the forest by Peter’s grandfather’s house and seems intent on eating anything in its path. Yikes. Considered one of the most popular children’s work in the classical orchestral repertoire to this day, Peter and the Wolf features a chamber orchestra in which various solo instruments represent the story’s human and animal characters.

Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts, 221 Columbia Ave., Holland, (616) 395-7222


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

St. & Cecilia Music Center Haydn Beethoven Holland Symphony Orchestra

Hope College Great Performance Series

Music Center

Leonard Bernstein’s 100th,

March 30, 8 p.m., $26+

Peter and the Wolf, March 25, 3:30 Orchestra Spring Concert,

tribute band formed in 1995 and has some original members, making it the most authentic ABBA show ever. The group joins the KSO this month for a night of ABBA classics. This is a great opportunity to bring out your dancing shoes.

$22 Saying Dr. Lonnie Smith is a legendary jazz organist would be a vast understatement. Smith — who has played the Hammond B-3 organ for more than five decades — has been featured on more than 70 albums, playing with some of greatest jazz, blues and R&B giants of all time. Not only was he named Top Organist of the Year by Downbeat Magazine in 1969, but this past June he received the nation’s highest honor in jazz — the NEA Jazz Masters Award. This month, he will perform with his trio, which includes guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg and drummer Johnathan Blake.

Feb. 24 24,Ransom 8 p.m., $12+ Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, (616) 459-2224

Kurt Elling, March 22, 7:30 p.m., $40+ The American jazz vocalist, composer, lyricist, and vocalese (writing and performing of words over recorded improvised jazz solos) performer will be at St. Cecilia’s this month. Elling is not only a Grammy winner whose rich baritone spans four octaves but he has won the DownBeat Critics Poll for 14 consecutive years. Fun fact: The Obama Administration’s first state dinner featured Elling in a command performance.

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

Elias Quartet, March 11, 4 p.m., $24+ Tenebrae: Path of Miracles, March 13, 7:30 p.m., $35+

Piedmont Blues: A Search for Salvation, March 14, 7:30 p.m., $26+ Steve Lehman & Sélébéyone, March 17, 9 p.m., $25

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Chick Corea, March 31, 8 p.m., $20+ Jazz pianist Chick Corea will make his UMS return in March. Corea’s career spans more than 50 years and his last UMS appearance — a duet concert with Herbie Hancock — was a sellout. He’s received lots of accolades during his career, including in 2006 when he was named an NEA Jazz Master, much like someone else on this list.

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

360 W. Western Ave. #200, Muskegon, (231) 726-3231

Classical Music for Everyone: Romantic Nationalism, March 2, 7:30 p.m., $22+

Arrival From Sweden, March 3, 8 p.m., $12+ You’ll dance. You’ll jive. You’ll probably have the time of your life at this show. The Swedish



Chenery Auditorium, Kalamazoo The Gilmore proudly celebrates the 90th birthday of one of the world’s greatest pianists — Leon Fleisher. Fleisher himself performs in this all-Mozart program, along with two of his prominent students, Alon Goldstein and Yury Shadrin. The Gilmore Festival Chamber Orchestra is conducted by Grand Rapids Symphony Music Director Marcelo Lehninger.




APRIL 20, 8:00 p m w h ar to nce nte m 1-80 0 -WHARTO N

Photo by Ines Kaiser.

Sponsored by Auto-Owners Insurance; Brogan, Reed, Van Gorder & Associates/Ohio National Financial Services; and Jackson National Life Insurance Company. The Jazz Series is sponsored by MSU Federal Credit Union. Media Sponsor WKAR.

Did you know? Revue Arts critics regularly review classical and jazz music, theater and dance performances all over West Michigan. All reviews are posted online the next day.

Read them at REVUEWM.COM | March 2018 |



preview March has everything from a one-woman play to a musical about writing the first musical. There’s also some family drama, a William Shakespeare classic, and a play written by the guy from Curb Your Enthusiasm. Check it out! by Dana Casadei

Broadway Grand Rapids

Dog Story Theatre

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

7 Jefferson Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, (616) 425-9234

The Bodyguard, March 6-11, $38+ If Whitney Houston songs are your jam, you should definitely see The Bodyguard, based on the Houston/Kevin Costner film of the same name. Filled with Houston hits like I Will Always Love You and I Wanna Dance With Somebody, the musical follows Rachel Marron, a superstar who suddenly finds herself with a stalker, and Frank Farmer, the guy who becomes her bodyguard.

Warm Cheese, March 9-10, $20 One morning, Teresa Thome woke up and decided she no longer wanted to hate her dead mother. Her one-woman show, Warm Cheese, recounts her personal struggle with this decision. Yes, this will probably make you feel deep feels, but it should also make you laugh. Warm Cheese is part of this year’s Gilda’s LaughFest.

Broadway Grand Rapids presents The Bodyguard, March 6-11. photo: Joan Marcus

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

It’s Only a Play, March 9-25, $25+ It’s opening night of Peter Austin’s new play and he is nothing but nervous. So is his director. And his producer. And his star. The Terrence McNally comedy — which has a touch of farce and slapstick — takes on modern show business and lets viewers go backstage as everyone tries to make it through opening night and make the show a success.

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

erly, With a Little Bit of Luck and I Could Have Danced All Night.

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

Red, March 2-17, $25 Winner of six Tony Awards in 2010, the John Logan drama follows 20th century abstract expressionist Mark Rothko in 1958. Rothko has just been offered the biggest commission in the history of modern art: a series of murals for New York’s famed Four Seasons Restaurant. As he sets to work, he is challenged by his new assistant, Ken, and Rothko finds himself struggling to cope with his growing riches and fame. Seussical JR., March 16-23, $10 New Vic Theatre

Fish in the Dark, March 16-25, $20

A Tony Award winning play by Harvey Fierstein A Drag singer struggles to cope with the loss of his life partner, while he tries to be an effective parent to his adopted teenage son and deal with his mother’s intolerance and disrespect.

o be Jewish ’t have itsh Theatre n o d u Yo njoy Jew to e


GRCC’s Spectrum Theater - 160 Fountain NE March 1, 3, 8 & 10 @ 8 p.m. March 4 & 11 @ 3 p.m. Tickets: 616-234-3946 or Online:

| REVUEWM.COM | March 2018

Larry David (yes, the guy from Curb Your Enthusiasm) wrote Fish in the Dark after being inspired by the death of a friend’s father. The comedy centers around Norman Drexel and his family while they cope with a death in the family. As assorted family members come to pay their respects to the dying family patriarch, arguments ensue, ranging from who will have to take care of Mom to who gets Dad’s Rolex and all those other unsettled arguments everyone has been holding deep, deep down resurface. Families are something else sometimes.

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

My Fair Lady, Through March 18, $18+ It’s a classic story: An English professor who teaches phonetics makes a bet that he can transform a Cockney flower girl into a lady. That’s the gist of this Broadway musical, which includes songs like Wouldn’t It Be Lov-

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

Romeo & Juliet, Through March 17, $25 The Queen of Bingo, March 30-April 21, $25

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

Something Rotten!, March 13-18, $43+ Two brothers, Nick and Nigel Bottom, are a little desperate to write a hit play, but keep coming in second to this guy known as the Bard, a.k.a. William Shakespeare. Then a local soothsayer informs the brothers that shows with singing, dancing and acting at the same time are the future of the theater. Soon after, they decide to go and write the world’s very first musical.

REVUEWM.COM | March 2018 |


TWO WEEKS ONLY! APRIL 4 – 15 MILLER AUDITORIUM | 269-387-2300 (10+):

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Cooking issue

Dining DIY Local chefs dish out their go-to home recipes by Missy Black

Chicken Tinga Tacos

Chicken Tinga by Artisan’s Hillary Kraak Chef Hillary Kraak is the owner of Artisan in Grand Haven. At 13 years old, she found her passion for food working at a pizza joint but went off to college for mechanical design. Kraak worked in the automotive industry for a few years before the love of cooking lured her back to earn two culinary degrees. Her Chicken Tinga recipe is super versatile and healthy. “I’m trying to be healthy and lose weight and it’s hard with my training and background to not just use butter and bacon all the time,” Kraak said. “You can use it in tacos, quesadillas, on salads or make sandwiches out of them. You can do anything with that chicken!” Ingredients 2 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast or thigh 1 large onion, diced 5 garlic cloves, minced

One 28-oz. can diced tomatoes, not drained 3 chipotle peppers in adobo, coarsely chopped 1 cup chicken stock or water 1 tsp. oregano 1 tsp. cumin 1 tsp. chili powder Salt and pepper to taste Directions Place all items in a crock-pot set to low and cook for 2-3 hours. When chicken is soft enough, pull apart using two forks. Chicken can be served in tacos with diced onion, cilantro, avocado and hot sauce. It can also be used on salads, soups and nachos or eaten with just refried beans and Mexican rice.

Mac & Cheese by Brewery Vivant’s Chris Vander Meer Brewery Vivant’s Executive Chef Chris Vander Meer graduated from Grand Rapids Community College’s culinary school and he wants you to feel at home in the kitchen. “Use recipes as guidelines and take risks,” said Vander Meer, who loves the flavors of France and Spain. He has recently added artist Tunde Olaniran to his cooking playlist and thinks everything tastes better with salt — “even my doctor agreed with me on that one!” His simple mac and cheese recipe can be made in a big batch for the week and one can easily get creative with it, building off the sauce base. “The Mornay recipe is the cheese sauce that you can toss any cooked pasta in, whether you make the pasta from scratch or buy it dried,” Vander Meer said. Ingredients 2 oz. unsalted butter (measure by weight) 2 oz. flour (measure by weight) 2 cups cold whole milk 4 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded (don’t buy pre-shredded) Salt and black pepper to taste

24 | REVUEWM.COM | March 2018

Directions In a two-quart sauce pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. With a whisk, stir in the flour to make a roux. Cook the roux on low heat, while stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes to make sure the flour flavor is cooked out. Add cold milk. Increase heat to medium-high and stir rapidly to avoid scorching the roux. Stir until the milk thickens. It will need to reach a boil. Once fully thickened, remove the pot from the heat and sprinkle in the shredded cheddar while whisking until the sauce is smooth and velvety. Whisk in salt and pepper to taste. There are tons of variations you can put on this classic, rich and creamy version to make it more grown-up. I like to first sauté some julienned onion, andouille or chorizo sausage and lately some hearty winter greens. Then add the mornay, followed by the pasta. Toss it all together and top with some grated parmesan in the bowl. So damn good! To save leftovers, store mornay in an airtight container for up to seven days. To reheat, throw a couple hearty spoonfuls in a nonstick pan over low heat until it’s softened. Then add your cooked pasta to it and fold together until hot.

Detroit Style Pizza by Wheelhouse’s Andrew Alcid Wheelhouse’s Executive Chef Andrew Alcid believes pizza shouldn’t be intimidating. He shares his love for Detroit-style pizza in this easy-to-follow recipe with a deeply caramelized, rectangular crust. “Making pizza at home with my kids, we use store-bought marinara and it’s always on-hand in our house,” said Alcid, who sets the tone in the kitchen by listening to jazz and hip-hop music, podcasts from Joe Rogan and Howard Stern, and NPR, “for the soothing voices.” His favorite dish on Wheelhouse’s menu right now is the French Onion Dip sandwich, and if we’re talking about his last meal on this earth, he’s all about “Spam — thinly sliced and fried crispy — served with fried rice and three sunny-side eggs. It’s a Filipino thing.” Ingredients For the dough 4 cups flour 3/4 oz. instant yeast 1/2 tbsp. kosher salt 16 oz. water For the rest 1-2 lbs. mozzarella or brick cheese 2 oz. pecorino or parmesan cheese, finely grated 8 oz. store-bought marinara 1 lb. pepperoni 4 oz. extra virgin olive oil Directions For the dough, combine flour, yeast and salt together and mix. Slowly add water until a dough forms — dough should be wet. Knead for about 10 minutes and let rest for 15 to 30 minutes.

Fulton Street Farmers Market

Where to Stock Your Kitchen by Elma Talundzic To Assemble On a 12-inch by 9-inch sheet tray or cake pan, place extra virgin olive oil on the bottom and spread dough on top and evenly to the sides. If the dough does not want to stretch all the way to the sides, let it rest in the pan for 10 minutes before trying again. Let the dough sit in the pan for at least two hours (overnight is better). To build the pizza, start by spreading the cheese all the way to the sides of the pan to get the burnt crust. Add toppings — anything you want, but we’re using pepperoni here. Spoon marinara sauce on the top as little or heavy as preferred and top with grated pecorino or parmesan. Bake pizza in a preheated oven at 450 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, making sure a burnt ring of cheese is on the outside. Cut pizza into eight to 12 square pieces and serve. n

It’s a sad sight to open your fridge or pantry and see a whole lot of nothing. Equally sad is finding the perfect recipe and then realizing you’re missing one key utensil. A full kitchen is a happy kitchen — keep it fully stocked with help from some of the best local spots to get produce, meat, cheese, health food and kitchen accessories.

Art of the Table

606 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids, (616) 301-1885 Art of the Table understands the importance of time spent around the table with good company. Something that important calls for a space that makes you want to sit down and enjoy a meal. With cutting boards, cheese trays, wine glasses, napkins, aprons, baking dishes, ramekins and more, Art of the Table has what you need for cooking at home or hosting a dinner.

The Cheese Lady

Multiple locations, (616) 242-9880 Some people might argue that gourmet and specialty cheese isn’t a kitchen necessity — those people are wrong. The Cheese Lady has 150 artisan cheeses from all over the world waiting to be discovered by the cheese connoisseur in us all.

Fulton Street Farmers Market

Sat urdays spent strolling t hrough the farmers market are hard to beat. Celebrating its 95th season, the Fulton Street Farmers Market has been offering locally grown fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, plants and homemade items for quite some time. Support local vendors and Michigan farmers year-round while keeping your kitchen replenished.

Detroit Style Pizza

750 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids, (616) 454-2706 Keep your kitchen freezer stocked with quality meats from Frank’s Market. The shop opened its doors in 1933 and has been providing the area with fresh steaks, roasts, kielbasa, brats, italian sausage, jerky and more for nearly 80 years.

Nantucket Baking Company

615 Lyon St. NE, Grand Rapids, (616) 350-9292 Nantucket Baking Company specializes in artisan bread and pastries. The bakery uses only high-quality ingredients combined with old-world and modern techniques. Hop on the website to check out the bread schedule, because there’s far more available than just the classic loaf.

Harvest Health

6807 Cascade Road, Grand Rapids 1944 Eastern Ave., Grand Rapids Harvest Health carries a large selection of organic produce, bulk items, herbs and spices, allergen-free foods, Michigan products and more. The health-conscious store with a passion for bringing wholesome and nutritious foods to customers has been around for more than 65 years.

REVUEWM.COM | March 2018 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining

1147 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids, (616) 454-4118

Frank’s Market


Cooking issue

(Self) Preservation

The Canning Diva explains how to save your food, and maybe yourself by Troy Reimink / Photos by Jeff Hage

When author Diane Devereaux of Grand Rapids branded herself as the Canning Diva, it wasn’t for the Instagram likes or the TV appearances — it was to spread the word about the urgency of food preservation, which can literally be the difference between life and death in a disaster situation. Devereaux has become a prominent public face of the canning movement, which aligns with trends in home food growth and preparation, but has the benefit of preparing your family for the apocalypse … or just having some easily accessible meals year-round. She’s recently published a book, Canning Full Circle, that walks readers through every step of the process, from the garden, to storage, to the plate. She spoke with Revue about the benefits of canning, its misconceptions and what aspiring canners should be doing in March to prepare for the growing season. How did you become the Canning Diva? Canning is something that I’ve always done, but what propelled me into creating the Canning Diva was spending two-and-a-half years in disaster management and witnessing firsthand what people experienced in Haiti (the 2010 earthquake) or Louisiana (the BP oil spill). I saw what disaster — whether it’s natural or not — does to us as humans. I don’t think people realize how important it is to have food and water on hand. A disaster could be something as simple as losing your job or a loved one getting sick. Those are the times when having food preserved and on the ready is just a blessing. Is the culture ready for canning? People are going back to growing their own foods and getting away from processed food in stores. They’re getting away from commercially canned food and starting to care about where their food comes from. Those who are doing it as something fun or because they have an excess of garden don’t realize until they get into canning the costsaving, the preparedness aspect. I’m opening a whole new world from that standpoint. Is there a general lack of information on canning that you were trying to address in Canning Full Circle? Yes. Most books will give you recipes of how to put the food in a jar, but they don’t tell you what to do with it once it’s in the jar. People would say to me, ‘I love this recipe but what can I do with it?’ Or, ‘I love

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this but what am I going to do with 18 jars of it?’ I take them from the garden to the jar to the table, and there’s no other book that does that. If someone is curious about canning, but also clueless, how would you advise them to get into it? The first thing I do is try to remove the fear and squash the misnomers. When people hear about home canning, they equate it to botulism. I explain that botulism is not a byproduct of home canning. I educate individuals and explain that we have advancements in technology and spend time understanding food acidity and temperature and processing times. How does canning work? There are two forms of preserving. One is water bathing and the other is pressure canning. If you can follow a recipe, you’re not going to mess it up. The only way you can create harmful food is if you deviate from the recipe. So it’s pretty accessible then. You do not need to be a veteran canner to use my book. It makes it simple — it gives you instructions and I have an image for every recipe so you can see what the food is supposed to look like. I used a local photographer, Jeff Hage. If you’ve never canned before in your life, my book is a good place to start. Since a lot of the canning process depends on the time of year, what would you advise people to do in March, as we’re looking ahead to spring? Canning is tricky when it comes to our Michigan food availability. We grow a lot here in our state, but we do have a short growing season. So what I tell people in March is, as you’re planning your garden, you can start planning, so you know that in May, berries will become available. Asparagus pops up if you want to put in water or pressure-can that. The winter months though, this is a perfect time, because of how icky it’s been, to put up a batch of chicken soup. You use the tagline “Food is art.” What do you mean by that? Food is a combination of science and math and colors. Canning is an age-old craft. Look at all of the people that have degrees in preserving art and restoring it and bringing back its original beauty. So we’re preserving that original harvest, that original beauty, by putting it into a jar. We’re stopping time. n

Sneak peak at our new




PGI of Saugatuck, Inc

1-800-4gelato (443-5286)

413 3rd Street Fennville, MI 49408-8671 PALAZZOLOSDAIRY.COM

REVUEWM.COM | March 2018 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining



by Missy Black

Style Notes

Millennial Pink We talk the color of the moment with Curate & Co. out of Kalamazoo. From cotton candy to bunny noses to rose petals — pale, blush pink has us feeling a certain way.


Dining |Sights Sounds | Scene

ew to the scene and selling rare and offbeat items for her, the home and babies and kids, is Curate & Co. If the shop were a college student, it’s obvious they would be majoring in Pink. “I’ve always loved pink and it’s an accent color in the store,” said Christina Oropeza, co-founder along with her husband, Marco. You’ll see the shade all over inside the modern gift shop, on the walls, countertops and beckoning to you from a large neon sign that says, “You Go Girl.” Pink is the trending, happy color right now (ask any woman). “For us, it ties very well into the empowerment theme we have going on in the store,” Oropeza said. A perfect example is the “Strong is the New Pretty” tee from the brand The Bee and the Fox. Also check out the pink and cheeky packaging from the Boy Smells candle line. “The scents are amazing and it’s a line created by men with a fun play on visuals and words with great unisex scents,” said Oropeza, who favors the Petal scent, the ultimate floral pick-me-up for spring. Dreamy pale pink bath salts are offered as well and make great gifts for others or “self-gifting,” as Oropeza says (I’m stealing that phrase). “This year, one of our initiatives is to grow our apothecary collection,” Oropeza said. You’ll be seeing more organic or green-based personal care products, as well as the launch of an indie beauty bar concept. The shop also hosts monthly creative workshops for guests to learn a new skill that’s empowering and exciting. Learn more about Curate & Co. by visiting

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When PINK is the name of the game… Luxuriate with French Girl Rose | Ylang Sea Soak, $18 at Curate & Co. in Kalamazoo. This eyelash trinket tray wants to hold your rings, $11 at Pink & Frillos in Gowen. Add a Kate Spade tumbler to your day, $18 at Pink Lemonade Boutique in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo.

by Eric Mitts


Explosive Laughter

Following her Lady Dynamite success, comedian Maria Bamford continues to push boundaries


No stranger to scouring the past and speculating on the future, Bamford is the star of the Netf lix series Lady Dynamite. Semi-autobiographical, the show centers around her comedy career, her developing relationship with now husband Scott Marvel Cassidy, and her tumultuous time working an ad campaign for Target. Jumping from her adolescence to a surreal future, each episode encapsulates the erratic tendencies of Bamford’s comic style while exploring the harsh truths that came from her own series of nervous breakdowns back in 2012-13. “The show was a once-in-a-lifetime boon and a chance to work with extremely talented and hardworking people,” Bamford said of Lady Dynamite. “It was cathartic, in that it was a real dream come true.” Last year, she followed Lady Dynamite with her latest stand-up special, Old Baby (also available on Netflix), where she defied convention again by staging her show at a series of venues, including her yard and a bowling alley. “I wanted to employ more people and I also wanted to show how the perception of jokes changes when the amount of people watching it changes,” she said. “Is it funny if you are in a forest and no one is there to laugh? I would argue, yes.” Currently, Bamford is following up Old Baby by writing a blog ( where she hopes to develop a new hour of stand-up material in an even more direct and interactive way. “It takes me five years to write a new hour,” she said. “I’m enjoying blogging

Maria Bamford

Wealthy Theatre, 1130 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids March 10, $32.50, (616) 735-4242

Maria Bamford Photo: Natalie Brasington

because it feels like I have a little show going on that’s just about process and I can share those frustrations and victories with other artists. Even though I have a lot of comedian friends, it can feel lonely to write and develop new material.” Long pushing the boundaries on comedy and comedic presentation, Bamford has made her own way for nearly 30 years. Since breaking through in the 2000s as part of The Comedians of Comedy — a group of alternative-comedians that also included Patton Oswalt, Zach Galifinakis and Brian Posehn — she has built a solid cult following, both online and onstage. Yet it’s been her honesty and vulnerability about her mental health that has

really endeared her to many and put her in the unlikely place of having to face her own mental frailty as part of her comedy “brand.” “Fortunately, it’s a brand I can sort of live up to, but I guess there is the danger of people always expecting material that’s about mental illness and I don’t have as much that I’m writing about now,” she said. “I write what I know and that is usually what is happening in my brain. And in my comedy anyways, it’s the emotional truth as I remember it, but I’m definitely exaggerating for the purposes of laughs. I wouldn’t take my act as a courtroom transcript of events as they happened.” n

REVUEWM.COM | March 2018 |

Scene | Sounds |Sights Dining

f there’s one thing M a r i a Ba m f or d i s be s t k now n f or , i t ’ s h e r t r u ly u n i q u e v o i c e . And not just her distinct speaking tone, which she often seamlessly flips onstage to an array of character impressions, ranging from her own Minnesotan mother to celebrity chef Paula Deen. Or her numerous voice-over roles on hit animated series like Adventure Time, BoJack Horseman and Word Girl. What she’s really known and revered for is giving a voice to people living with mental health issues by candidly confronting her own struggles with anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder, all while finding the hard-wrought humor deep within it. So it’s somewhat surprising to hear that at this point in her career, she’s grown tired of her own voice. “Well, I hope I’ve worked my way out of a job,” Bamford said when asked if she thinks of herself as a trailblazing comedian. “I am a 47-year-old white lady with a mental illness and my voice has been heard and I’m grateful. I’m bored with my own voice now and I can’t wait to hear the voices of others, of which there are so many coming up that are so bright and strong and speaking to experiences that need representation in our country and the world.” Bamford named several rising comedians, including Michelle Buteau, Subhah Agarwal, Danielle Perez, Janine Brito, Melissa Villasenor, Aparna Nancherla, Nicole Byer and Rhea Butcher, many of whom would likely cite Bamford as a strong inf luence. She eagerly embraces the future of comedy, especially if the future is female. “There are women in your community doing stand-up who are great and need your support,” Bamford said. “I am the past and they are the future!”





Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene


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Visit our Wyoming location with tons of Big Screen TVs, $2 Domestics and other Beer Specials the entire month of March!

2 Locations: Pickup or Dine In

2359 Health Dr. Suite 120 Wyoming, MI 49519 (616) 228-8855

3916 Plainfield Avenue NE Grand Rapids, MI 49525 (616) 608-3067

Restaurant listings arranged by region

Grand Rapids Angel’s Thai Café 136 Monroe Center NW. 616-454-9801 THAI. This downtown restaurant makes your order fresh, fast, and hot. You can order your entree with your choice of meat and spice level, or create your own. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Thai Steak and Yum Talay. Anna’s House Multiple locations BREAKFAST/LUNCH. Anna’s House recently went through a dramatic makeover, going from an already-beloved breakfast hot spot and neighborhood staple to an ever-growing concept with five locations across West Michigan. Why all the success? The menu is unique, but accessible. The interior design is refreshing, and the service is great. » SERVING: Breakfast, Lunch OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Inventive breakfast specials. Bistro Bella Vita 44 Grandville Ave. SW. 616-222-4600 ITALIAN. One of Grand Rapids’ best dining experiences, featuring Mediterranean-inspired country cuisine, a swanky yet comfortable downtown atmopshere and personable service. BBV’s culinary team creates authentic, housemade recipes made with locally grown produce, fresh seafood and rotisserie roasted meats. Specialty gluten-free menu, and can prepare custom dishes for lactose intolerant, vegetarian, and vegan diets. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Mediterranean Country Cuisine and Martinis.

Butcher’s Union 438 Bridge St. NW 616-551-1323 AMERICAN. Butcher’s has its fortes — meat and whiskey — but it’s not exactly niche. Expertly-crafted cocktails (made with every kind of spirit) are here at a refreshingly affordable price, along

Brewery Vivant 925 Cherry St. SE. 616-719-1604 FRENCH/BELGIAN. Housed in a refurbished funeral chapel, this brewery won Best Ambiance in Revue’s Best of the West with its stained glass windows and European beer hall setup. Along with farmhouse style beers, the LEED-certified BV is known for its French-Belgian cuisine, from duck nachos to roasted bone marrow. » SERVING: Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: The Burger (2nd place Best of the West). CitySen Lounge 83 Monroe Center St. NW. 616-608-1720 AMERICAN. CitySen Lounge, located in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, is a bar with a big-city feel, offering exciting options for lunch, dinner and breakfast on the weekends. The focus is on fresh ingredients and a full bar with local brews, wine and creative cocktails. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner (Breakfast on weekends). OPEN: Open 7 days GO THERE FOR: Daily happy hour The Cottage Bar 18 Lagrave Ave. SE. 616-454-9088 AMERICAN. The Cottage Bar is the oldest operating restaurant and bar in downtown Grand Rapids. Come in for the Cottage Burger, smothered with green olives, bacon, lettuce, tomato, hickory mayonnaise and Swiss and American cheeses. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Closed Sundays GO THERE FOR: The Cottage Burger. Erb Thai 950 Wealthy St. SE #1A. (616) 356-2573. Additional locations at 4160 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, Suite B, and 820 Michigan St. NE. THAI. Food rooted in traditional Thai cuisine, but also made to accommodate health conscious and special diets. Not too strong, not too weak, like harmony and melody. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Peanut Curry Noodles. Founders Brewing Company 235 Grandville SW. 616-776-1195 BREWPUB. A beerlover’s paradise with a national reputation for flavorful, award-winning beers. Likewise, the brewpub’s menu consists mainly of flavorful handcrafted deli sandwiches that can stand up and complement the beers (or vice versa). »

SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Award-winning beer, handcrafted sandwiches. G.R.P.D. (Grand Rapids Pizza and Delivery) 340 State St. SE. 616-454-9204 ITALIAN. The current location opened in 2004 as the first established pizzeria in Heritage Hill A common meeting spot for local folks, business professionals and college students, a place where one could gather for a quick meal or a reflective lunch. It offers both hand-tossed pizza and Chicago-style stuffed pizza, as well as pasta, sandwiches, salads, and wings. Online ordering, too. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Pizza. Garage Bar & Grill 819 Ottawa Ave. NW. 616-454-0321 AMERICAN. This bar and grill serves up real food with fresh ingredients. Known for its all day happy hour with a $2 draft, $3 well drink and $4 glass of wine. Also look for the freshly-ground 7 oz. Garage Burger, served with hand-cut fries. The casual bar’s diverse menu ranges from soups and wedge salads to brisket sandwiches and hand-battered onion rings. A long list of ice-cold craft beers tops off the experience, with block parties on Wednesday throughout the summer. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Burgers, Chicken Tenders, Live Music. Grand Woods Lounge 77 Grandville Ave. SW. 616-451-4300 AMERICAN. The restaurant’s interior exudes a warm, casual ambiance reminiscent of the great eateries of the Pacific Northwest; the outdoor porch features two outdoor bars and a fireplace. Menu stocked with affordable appetizers great for sharing, plus salads, sandwiches, and entrées. Lots of domestics and microbrews, plus an array of martinis including the “Woodstini,” a tasty mix of Stoli Orange Vodka, mandarin oranges and raspberries. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Cocktails. Graydon’s Crossing 1223 Plainfield NE. 616-726-8260 TAVERN. An authentic take on the English Pub, with a huge selection of beers on tap and a menu that includes classic English dishes like Fish & Chips, Shepherd’s Pie and Irish Stew, as well as Indian specialties like Tandoori Chicken and Tikka Masala. A great casual atmosphere for drinking and dining. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Beer and authentic pub food.

Harmony Brewing Company 1551 Lake Dr. SE (616) 233-0063 BREWPUB. Harmony features 12 craft-brewed beers in addition to signature root beer for the kiddos. Named one of the top-five brewpub menus in West Michigan by yours truly, Harmony offers 10” rustic wood-fired pizzas and great soups and sandwiches. Check out their new location, Harmony Hall, at 401 Stocking Ave. NW. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Pizza and brews. Lindo Mexico Restaurante Mexicano 1742 28th St. SW. 616-261-2280 MEXICAN. One of the less-discussed Mexican eateries is also one of the most popular, especially on the weekends. The atmosphere? Very communal, occasionally with excellent live music. The food? Full of flavor on the cheap. The service? Always friendly, always helpful. » SERVING: Lunch, Dinner OPEN: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Unique margaritas made fresh. Marie Catrib’s 1001 Lake Dr. 616-454-4020 ECLECTIC. The East Hills eatery makes everything from scratch with local ingredients, and there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. Get there early for lunch, as there is almost always a wait. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Salads, soups and sandwiches. One Trick Pony 136 E. Fulton. 616-235-7669 AMERICAN. One Trick Pony unveiled a new menu last April with the tagline “Fresh, Local Fare with a Beat.” The restaurant is a part of FarmLink and supports local growers and remains focused on sustainability. Connected to the Cottage Bar, the menu spans pizza, salads, homemade soups, smoked prime rib and more. Pair the food with live music, which OTP features weekly. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Eclectic pizzas. The Pita House 1450 Wealthy SE, 3730 28th Street, 4533 Ivanrest SW (Grandville). 616-454-1171 MEDITERRANEAN. Gyros so big you can club someone with them, the smoothest hummus in town and other Mediterranean fare, including kibbe, kafta and falafel. Additional locations on 28th Street and Kalamazoo SE. Sandwiches are made to order with fresh vegetables and ingredients. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Fresh pita wraps.

REVUEWM.COM | March 2018 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining

The B.O.B. 20 Monroe Ave. NW. (616) 356-2000 ECLECTIC. If you’re not sure what kind of dining you want, you can just head into The B.O.B., where you can choose from one of its several venues. Go into Gilly’s, where you can dine on seafood or B.O.B.’s Brewery, the restaurant’s in-house brewery. You can dress down for some pizza at Bobarino’s or dress it up for a steak at Judson’s Steakhouse. For after dinner, take in a show at Dr. Grins or enjoy live music at H.O.M.E. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Beer and numerous dining options.

with a high-end food menu for carnivores and vegheads alike. The historic building sets the mood, giving off an “old fancy-bar in London” vibe. » SERVING: Lunch, Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Meat, whiskey, cocktails.

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


by Jack Raymond


Smoky, Sticky, Savory West Michigan’s finest barbecue

When suckling the last globs of sauce from a rib, gnawing at the thing for remaining bits of meat, circling a good clean bone, it becomes hard to imagine any cuisine quite as savage as barbecue. It wears no disguise. Order up a joint’s three-meat platter and look at your dish. What you’ll find is a plate of animal parts torn asunder, plus a square of cornbread as distraction. Meat. It’s so obviously central to barbecue that you’re not wrong to wonder why anyone bothers with baked beans at all. We at Revue don’t intend to destroy any positive associations you may have with barbecue, however. On the contrary, West Michigan restaurants are honoring the traditions of yore with such skill, they’re helping to soften the image of an American slobbering over a drumstick. In talking to some of our region’s pitmasters, there’s consensus regarding the cornerstones of good barbecue: passion, patience and a pinch of magic. Here are a few places carrying the torch for barbecue in our area.

Two Scotts Barbecue

Daddy Pete’s BBQ, Pitmaster Meal

Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene

536 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids, Opening to a wave of hype back in 2015, Two Scotts was heralded as the second coming of barbecue in a scene desperate for some smoky fare. Since then, Scotts has earned its reputation as Grand Rapids’ go-to barbecue spot by delivering an unparalleled lineup of meats. Catch the crew after a busy lunch rush and chances are the brisket is all gone, a testament to how fresh and irresistable the stuff is. I stopped by at 2 p.m. and ordered half a pound of burnt ends. I’d never heard of them, but learned the fatty nuggets of brisket are a Kansas City staple. The collision of textures — at one moment sinewy, the next like melted butter — was enough to force an audible coo. More baffling yet were the complex smoky flavors. Scott Luecht, one of the two Scotts, stressed the importance of sourcing applewood and hickory locally. “While our state doesn’t have a history with any particular meat, what we do have here in Michigan is great wood,” Luecht said. He humbly described Two Scotts as “a hole in the wall where you don’t stick to your seat.” True, but you might want to stick around for seconds.

Daddy Pete’s BBQ

2921 Eastern Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, For Chef Cory Davis, family has always been at the heart of his barbecue. Raised on a diet of slow-smoked goodness, Davis inherited a passion from his father, the

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ultra ooey-gooey, savory parfait, one spoonful displays a stratification of the barbecue essentials: pulled pork, mac and cheese, baked beans at the base, and a coleslaw garnish. Each bite felt like a full-body hug.

coming aura of your Opa. I’d imagine he and Guy Fieri would get along, and Guy, if you’re reading, American Char absolutely deserves a spot in the Flavortown pantheon. Check out the summer kickoff event on May 5 for a smoker extravaganza, or look for the food truck in rotation at Rosa Parks circle. n

American Char

6394 Adams St., Drenthe,

American Char namesake Daddy Pete, who was well-known throughout the neighborhood for busting out endless racks of ribs on Superbowl Sunday. Translating his legacy to the nth degree, Daddy Pete’s has grown into a big league business, catering hundreds of weddings and remaining a food truck presence in the greater Grand Rapids area. The business now has a takeout location too, and you can smell the smoker from blocks away. Me being a first-timer, Davis recommended a food truck specialty called The Mess. Presented as an

An oasis in the labyrinth of rural Zeeland, American Char is drawing clientele from counties over to experience Chef Len’s take on Texas-style barbecue. I went full monty and sampled nearly every meat the menu. The brisket was an unctuous delight, the pulled pork and chicken fantastic too, but the dry rub on the wings truly impressed. Hints of cajun spice balanced by heat and sweet unlocked the wings’ spring-loaded juiciness. To slather the thing in sauce would be blasphemy. That said, the homemade sauces aren’t to be missed: the Memphis Sweet is a fan favorite, and Len pointed out a batch aging in a New Holland rum barrel that promises to be a knockout. Despite establishing American Char as a tourist destination, the community still comes first. On any given evening, Len is likely moseying about the dining hall, chatting with his stable of regulars, gathering updates about their families, divulging ideas for new recipes. He has the frame of a firefighter and the wel-

Even More Barbecue Hog Wild, 154 W. Lakewood Blvd., Holland Slows BBQ Grand Rapids, 435 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids, The Grilling Company, 6231 West River Dr. NE, Belmont,

The Pit Stop, 6479 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids,

Arcadia Brewing Company, 701 E. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo,


Reserve Wine & Food 201 Monroe Ave. NW (616) 855-9463 ECLECTIC. With 102 wines available by the glass and more than 300 by the bottle, paired with an ever-changing food menu influenced by West Michigan grown foods, Reserve promises diners a unique experience. Cocktails and craft beers add depth to the primarily wine-centered menu. » SERVING: Lunch, Dinner OPEN ON: Closed on Sunday GO THERE FOR: Wine and food pairings, charcuterie, happy hour. Rockwell-Republic 45 S. Division Ave. 616-551-3563 ECLECTIC. Menu offerings range from sushi to burgers and everything in between. The craft cocktail menu runs the gamut from classics like the Manhattan to more modern concoctions and the beer and wine menus are nicely curated. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Specialty cocktails, broad menu, lively atmosphere. The Sovengard 443 Bridge St. NW 616-214-7207 NEW NORDIC. There’s really nothing like The Sovengard. The menu changes with the seasons, but the quality doesn’t. Expect innovative, beautiful dishes in the Scandinavian tradition. It’s not cheap, but you get what you pay for. The West Side restaurant also boasts an excellent taplist, perfect for sipping in the biergarten. » SERVING: Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Something special. Wolfgang’s Restaurant 1530 Wealthy St. SE. 616-454-5776 BREAKFAST. The bustling Eastown breakfast spot is home to some of the heartiest breakfast dishes and funniest menu descriptions. Courteous staff never fails to offer a cup of coffee to go after we’ve finished breakfast. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Breakfast all day.

the FSG chips, a combination of potato, beet and sweet potato chips. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Blue Burger, Almond Crusted Walleye, FSG Chips. Food Dance 401 E. Michigan Ave. 269-382-1888 AMERICAN. Food Dance is committed to building a thriving and sustainable local food system, supporting artisans who practice craft food processes. It’s about the connection with people and places the food comes from. Offering private dining space, catering and delivery, while an on-site market offers humanely raised meats, artisan cheeses, fresh bread and pastries. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Fresh Local Foods.

Olde Peninsula 200 E. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo 269-343-2739 BREWPUB. Downtown brewpub serves up the expected (e.g., steaks, ribs), the authentic (e.g., London Broil) and some pleasant surprises (e.g., extensive vegetarian offerings, Italian food). Offers a range of beers brewed on the premises and served on tap, plus a full bar. Check out the seasonal porters on tap right now, including the Vanilla Porter (5.5% ABV) and Stout Chocula (5.25% ABV). » SERVING: Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Beer-B-Que Ribs, London Broil.

Union Cabaret & Grille 125 S. Burdick St., Kalamazoo. 269-384-6756 AMERICAN. A partnership with WMU, Union features eclectic food and cocktails, plus live jazz music performed by WMU faculty and students. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Closed Sunday. GO THERE FOR: Portabella Fries, Bloody Maries with infused vodkas.

Fricano’s Pizza Tavern 1400 Fulton Ave., Grand Haven. 616-842-8640 ITALIAN. Claims to be the first pizzeria in Michigan, but customers care less about its longevity than the amazingly crispy thin crust and simple ingredients atop its much-lauded pies. Four other locations around West MI, including Comstock Park, Muskegon, Holland and Kalamazoo. » SERVING: Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Pizza.

Phil’s Bar & Grille 215 Butler St., Saugatuck. 269-857-1555 AMERICAN. This cozy (some would say “small”) bar and grille in downtown Saugatuck is one of those unassuming spots you might easily overlook, though locals in Saugatuck will tell you about their love affair with Phil’s. Eclectic menu is all over the place, but in a good way, and the staff is super-friendly. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Portabella Mushroom Fries.

Kirby House 2 Washington, Grand Haven. 616-846-3299 AMERICAN. Formerly a historic hotel, The Kirby House retains its oldworld charm while providing all the pleasantries of new world fare, with a diverse but primarily American-influenced menu. Check out the new island bar with 5 HDTVs and walk to Lake Michigan right after. The Kirby House also hosts The Grill Room and a pizzeria (complete with pool tables) called K2. The lower level has also been renovated to include a wine cellar and a premier nightclub, Dark. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Nightlife.

Salt of the Earth 114 East Main St., Fennville. 269-561-7258 AMERICAN. Salt of the Earth is a farm-to-table-inspired restaurant, bar, and bakery located in the heart of SW Michigan farm country in Fennville. Focuses on fresh, seasonal, and local ingredients whenever possible. Also serves up live music on weekends. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: House made rustic cuisine.

New Holland Brewing Company 66 E. 8th St., Holland. 616-355-6422 BREWPUB. One of West MI’s premier microbreweries serves up better than average pub grub, including savory sandwiches chock full of Michigan ingredients, plus a seasonal entree menu. Also try their artisan spirits. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Mad Hatter IPA, Dragon’s Milk.

Saugatuck Brewing Company 2948 Blue Star Highway. 269-857-7222 BREWPUB. Enjoy a traditional Irish-style pub that features quality beer, wine, food and service. Try one of 12 unique brews that are served in the pub and bottled and distributed throughout the Midwest. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Beer in a family friendly pub environment.

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Lakeshore Kalamazoo/Battle Creek Arcadia Brewing Co. 701 E. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo. 269-276-0458 BREWPUB. You’ll find some of the usual suspects on the brewpub’s menu, including some of the best barbecue in the region. But you’ll also find some delightful surprises on the menu, including vegetarian and gluten-free options. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Handcrafted ales and barbecue.

Fieldstone Grille 3970 W. Centre St., Portage. 269-321-8480 AMERICAN. Lodge-retreat atmosphere overlooking the Moors Golf Club natural wetlands. The “field-to-plate” menu features burgers, pizzas, steaks and some eclectic items like quail. Try

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

Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining

Central City Taphouse 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall. (269) 492-0100 TAPHOUSE. If Central City doesn’t have the kind of beer you want on tap, you’ll probably find it with the 75+ bottles. OH, you say you’re not a beer drinker? Well, Central City offers 20 wine ‘taps’ and a full bar. If you’re not the drinking type, that’s cool too. There are a number of food options to pick from, including a raw menu, a pizza menu and the all-day menu, which features burgers, soups and entrees. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Diverse beverage selection.

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

Everyday People Cafe 11 Center St., Douglas. 269-857-4240 AMERICAN. REVUE Publisher Brian Edwards calls Everyday People Café his favorite restaurant along the lakeshore. The atmosphere is casual and upbeat, the staff knows its stuff about wine and food, and the seasonal menu is filled with meticulously prepared, eclectic comfort food like Butternut Squash Risotto, Braised Lamb Shank and Ahi Tuna. A great wine list and tremendous desserts. » SERVING: Brunch (Weekends) Lunch Dinner OPEN: Thurs.–Sun. thru March 15. GO THERE FOR: Gorgonzola Pork Chop, Greek Salad.

REVUEWM.COM | March 2018 |


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CHECK OUT OUR MID-WEEK SPECIALS @ ONEBOURbongr.COM 608 Bridge St. NW, Grand Rapids |616-608-5766

S p ec i a l a dv e rti s i n g s ec ti o n

Happy Hours

Left: Principle Food & Drink, Right: Salt of the Earth

Happy Days

A Shortlist of West Michigan’s Must-Visit Happy Hours The English language is chockfull of misleading terms. For instance, hitting your funny bone isn’t remotely funny. But we can think of one straightforward term that will never lead you astray — Happy Hour. Honestly, who wouldn’t be happy about partaking in affordable, quality libations? With the growing number of happy hours popping back up across GR and beyond, maybe soon West Michigan will parallel the likes of Portland and Seattle, cities known for stellar happy-hours. In the meantime, Revue has compiled a list of the must-visits from the Beer City to the Lakeshore.

7 Monks Taproom

740 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids (616) 265-5417 If a bar has a happy hour that includes $2 off Trappist ales, you know they’re serious about beer. Patrons can choose from $3 select drafts, $5 Rose pours, and $5 well drinks Monday-Friday from 3-6 p.m. It’s no wonder this Traverse City-based establishment decided to expand to Beer City USA.

741 Leonard NW (formerly Kuzzins Lounge)

741 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids (616) 454-8028 Looking for a legit punk-rock dive bar? Look no further than the recently rebranded 741 Leonard. Now under new ownership, the West Side space formerly known as Kuzzins, is hosting many local bands every Friday and Saturday, including the Bloody Lips, Cloud Rat, and other underground favorites. Plus, Tuesday-Saturday its happy hour runs from 3-7 p.m. and includes $2.50 wells and domestics, $1-off drafts and 20-percent off all

food. Free pool too. Better yet, these deals are available all-day Sunday and Monday.

Blue Dog Tavern

638 Stocking Ave. NW, Grand Rapids (616) 608-6050 Blue Dog Tavern, located on Grand Rapids’ West Side, prides itself on history. Inside the tavern, you’ll find remnants of the city’s past including the vault door from the building’s stint as the City Trust and Savings Bank during the Great Depression. Happy Hour specials run 4-7 p.m. and include a $3 craft can series and $4 vodka bombs, among others. Don’t miss out on Sunday Funday with $4 Bloody Marys and $3 mimosas.


20 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids (616) 356-2627 It’s difficult to imagine Grand Rapids without the B.O.B, and for good reason. The Gilmore Collection has kept that big old building fresh for years with some of the best venues,


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Happy Hours, continued foods and drinks Grand Rapids has to offer. Plus, they have incredible happy hours, whether it’s the $2.99 beverage list at Gilly’s Smokehouse (including $2.99 beers, well liquor, wines and more from 5-6 p.m.) or Bobarino’s select $3 and $4 beer selections from 2-6 p.m. (and half-priced appetizers). Both deals are available Monday-Friday.

Buffalo Traders Lounge

950 Fulton St. E, Grand Rapids Buffalo Traders Lounge takes its cocktail history seriously, from the selection of classic recipes to its comfy Art Deco-inspired atmosphere. It’s like going back in time. Stop by Monday-Thursday Buffalo Traders’ signature “beat-the-clock” happy hour—all menu cocktails are $6 at 4 p.m., $7 at 5 p.m. and $8 at 6 p.m.

CitySen Lounge

61 E. 7th St., Holland and 83 Monroe Center St. NW, Grand Rapids (616) 451-1892 You don’t have to be travelling in from out of town to experience refreshing happy hours at CitySen Lounge—located inside CityFlats

Hotels in both Holland and Grand Rapids. The Holland location offers $5 pizzas and CityBites, domestic bottled beer for $2.50, select wines and well drinks for $4.50, and draft-beer specials (14 oz. for $4 or 23 oz. for $6). The Grand Rapids location offers the same specials with slight modifications (bottles are $3, and 14-oz. pours are $3.50), as well as a wide option of appetizers for $6.

Cottage Bar

18 La Grave Ave. SE, Grand Rapids (616) 454-9088 Locals may come to the Cottage Bar for its famous burgers and award-winning chili but stay for the happy hour specials (from 3-6 p.m.). After all, what goes better with a burger than drafts and well drinks for $1 off? It’s deals like this that’s kept the Cottage Bar open since 1927.

Pyramid Scheme

Craft Beer Cellar

404 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids (616) 350-9170 As can probably be deduced from their name, the happy hour at Craft Beer Cellar is all about the beer. Monday-Friday, from noon- 6 p.m., it’s all about what’s on tap, with $1 off all 12 oz. and 16 oz. pours. Better yet just bring in your growler and get $2 off a growler fill. If nothing on tap strikes your

fancy and you’re willing to pay full price, don’t worry—C.B.C. has hundreds of other options in bottled form, so there’s sure to be something to please every possible kind of beer aficionado.

Garage Bar & Grill

819 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids (616) 454-0321 OK, so the Garage Bar & Grill loves happy hours so much, they have it available all day every day. Still, we must hand it to them, these prices are ridiculously low. $2 drafts, $3 well drinks and $4 glasses of wine grace their menu, as well the standard pub fare. Hungry? Stop in on Fridays for the Garage’s in-house Smoked Brisket Dinner or all-youcan-eat Fried Cod.









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Bottle Shop & Bar

The Meanwhile

Grand Woods Lounge

77 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids (616) 451-4300 If you’re aching for a weekend getaway to the cabin but don’t have the time (or a cabin), just head to the Grand Woods Lounge. They bring the refreshing atmosphere of a lakeside lodge to downtown GR, and then some. Weekdays, between 2-6 p.m., patrons are treated to select drafts and well drinks for a measly $3, as well as $4 Woodstinis and house wines.

Meanwhile Bar

1005 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids (616) 233-1679 At this point in time The Meanwhile has safely solidified itself as a Grand Rapids staple, known for affordable, strong drinks. But in addition to rotating daily specials and already inexpensive prices, they also offer $1 off all Michigan products until 8 p.m. Bell’s, Short’s, Founders, Vander Mill — it’s all fair game.

One Trick Pony

136 Fulton St. E, Grand Rapids (616) 235-7669 Located in what used to be an old general store in downtown GR, One Trick Pony serves an enticing variety of all-American dishes in a relaxed atmosphere. Show up between 3-6 p.m., Tuesday-Friday, and a mere $3 gets you Founders draft beer, house wines, well drinks, sangrias, and margaritas on-the-rocks. For those feeling a bit peckish, pizzas and appetizers are 25-percent off.

Osteria Rossa

16 Monroe Center St. NE, Grand Rapids

(616) 988-9350 Osteria Rossa is adept at marrying classiness with comfort, offering delicious Italian fare in a snazzy atmosphere without diners having to worry about a dress code or whether they can afford a hefty bill. Its happy hour makes them all the more enticing, with $5 specials on the bar side, including an assortment of Negroni cocktails and wines, as well as various wood-fired pizzas and appetizers. Bon appétit!

Peppino’s Sports Grille

130 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids (616) 456-8444 Peppino’s in downtown Grand Rapids launched its new “four hours of $4 items” happy hour. It runs Monday-Friday (2-6 p.m.) and Sunday-Thursday (10 p.m.-close). The $4 menu offers a 10-inch one-item pizza, cheesy breadsticks, loaded tots, fried pickles, six-piece wings and much more— including $2-off draft beers, $3 wells, $4 calls and $3 house wine.

one-year annIverSary party! Saturday, March 17 noon–11 p.m.

Special keg tappings, including CBS & KBS (4 p.m.), $2 hot dogs, and an on-site tasting with Grand amory. Follow our Facebook event for more details.

Now serving hot dogs! Downtown GR’s largest beer selection Over 800 beers and 20 drafts Growler fills Weekly events Free tastings

Principle Food & Drink

230 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo (269) 743-6563 For those looking for class, look no further than Principle Food & Drink. With a lengthy list of locally-sourced food and meticulously crafted cocktails, its menu was made to be savored slowly. From French Meats to Tofu Pot Pie, it truly caters to all. For those looking for a bargain, visit Principle’s Victorian Cocktail Hour, which offers six cocktails for $6 each until 6 p.m.

Pyramid Scheme

68 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids (616) 272-3758


Happy HOuR: M-F, 12-6 p.m. 404 IonIa ave. SW

Free 30-minute parking across the street (616) 350.9170 |

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Happy Hours, continued We know you already go to the Pyramid Scheme for pinball and concerts, but did you know they also have a daily happy hour from 4-8 p.m.? $1 off all Michigan products, including beers, ciders, liquors and more. Now that’s an economical way to fuel yourself while chasing that next high score.

Salt of the Earth

14 E. Main St., Fennville (269) 561-7258 Salt of the Earth serves up elegant, locally sourced meals with an equally elegant happy hour to pair them with. Wednesday-Sunday from 5-7 p.m., it serves $7 pours of a rotating selection of white, red and sparkling wines— all hand-picked by their on-site sommelier.

Sidebar GR

80 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids (616) 551-9195 When you go to SideBar it’s hard not to feel at home. Not only does this cozy, 18-seat bar have a warm atmosphere, the staff is also adept at mixing up a delicious cocktail to please all types of patrons, including customizing special drinks. And if you visit

between 4-6 p.m., all menu cocktails are $4 off.


443 Bridge St. NW, Suite 1, Grand Rapids (616) 214-7207 The Sovengard is all about fresh, local foods with a Scandinavian twist. Its rotating, seasonal menu is sourced almost entirely from local suppliers, and it offers a smorgasbord of smorrebrod (a Scandinavian open-faced sandwich of sorts). Better yet, it has not one, but two happy hours: from 4-6 p.m., and from 9 p.m.-midnight. Stop by for $1-off select wines, Michigan beers and snacks.

Tavern on the Square

100 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids (616) 456-7673 Ionia is well established as downtown Grand Rapids’ party central. But with so many bars to choose from, it’s easy to experience a bit of option paralysis. Well, Monday-Friday, from 3-6 p.m., Tavern on the Square makes that decision a little easier. The Tavern offers $1-off craft drafts, $3 domestic drafts, $3 wells and $3 for its signature Tavern Punch. On top of that: halfoff all appetizers. It’s hard to say no to that.

CitySen Lounge

-LAST CALLThe Intersection

133 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids (616) 451-8232

If you weren’t aware of the Intersection’s amazing happy hour deals, you better scramble there to take advantage of it. At the end of March, the bar says goodbye to its daily happy hours, though it’s understandable why. From 2-6 p.m., everything at the bar is 50-percent off. Yup, it’s that simple (and cheap). Act quick, after March this deal is gone. n


Happy Hour Every Monday-Friday 3pm-6pm




600 Monroe Avenue NW | Grand Rapids, Michigan | Phone 616.458.3125

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by Joe Boomgaard


Small-batch experimentation pushes Brewery 4 Two 4 to innovate

Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene


uck ed away in a non de scr ip t st r ip mall in Holland’s Beechwood neighborhood, Brewery 4 Two 4 takes experimentation to the max. That’s somewhat out of necessity, since the brewery produces its beer on a tiny half-barrel system at its 321 Douglas Ave. taproom. But for owners David and Erin Miller, the opportunity to experiment in small batches — and fill 19 taps — hit at the heart of what they loved about the craft brewing industry. “With a really small system we can’t do a lot of anything, but we can do a lot of different things — we do so many different batches,” said David Miller, noting how the small batch sizes allow the brewery to rotate different ingredients to see what people like best. Brewery 4 Two 4’s small production runs also provide motivation for area drinkers who suffer from FOMO, or the “fear of missing out,” to make regular stops into the taproom because the tap list changes so frequently. The tap list typically runs the gamut of blondes, IPAs, Belgians, saisons, stouts, fruit beers and underappreciated styles like the ESB. Brewery 4 Two 4, which opened June 30 last year, also serves ciders and hopes to add wines in the near future. “People always ask, ‘What’s your niche? What are you guys trying to do?’ It’s something for everybody,” Miller said. “We like to think that if you can’t find something on our boards that you want to drink, you probably just don’t really like alcohol.” Some of the most popular beers have been Brewery 4 Two 4’s hazy New England IPAs like Juice Weasel and Problematic Reasoning, as well as its “Breakfast” series of imperial coffee stouts, which include Breakfast in Istanbul (hazelnut), Breakfast in Maui (coconut) and Breakfast in Mexico (spiced with nutmeg, vanilla beans, cocoa nibs and pasilla peppers). Another beer in heavy rotation is the aptly named Crazy Putin, a Russian imperial stout brewed with lactose. In the spirit of making something for everyone, Brewery 4 Two 4 also offers a solid take on the American light lager, Let’s Play 2, which clocks in at 5.2 percent ABV. While it’s intended for the people who ask for “the closest thing you have to Miller Lite,” Let’s Play 2 also serves as a solid session beer. “It’s light, it’s easy, it’s crushable. If I’m hanging out here and I’m drinking 9-percent (ABV) stouts, I’m not going to be super functional, but I can have two or three of these during the day and everything is cool,” Miller said. The brewery’s simple space features what Miller describes as a “coffee house feel” that fits the company’s understated nature. There’s no loud music or live bands — just a chill atmosphere for patrons or a place for family and friends to kick back and talk.

40 | REVUEWM.COM | March 2018

Editor’s Picks: ■■ Juice Weasel: Brewery 4 Two 4’s take on the NEIPA craze does it as well, if not better than some of the more hyped Michigan breweries. (The double NEIPA Problematic Reasoning even would compare favorably to national standouts.) ■■ Cryo-Belgian IPA: A soft mouthfeel typical of the style, which features a balanced hit of citrus from the cryomosaic hops and hints of bubblegum befitting a Belgian. Definitely unique. ■■ Very Berry Pie: A fruit beer that succeeds in the mixture of sweet/ tart flavors without being cloying. It’s very jammy because they use “a ridiculous amount” of real berries — no extract allowed! ■■ Let’s Play 2: A solid “drinking beer” with the crispness of a light lager that also features enough maltiness and grain notes to keep it interesting.

Brewery 4 Two 4 owners Erin and David Miller. Photo: Steph Harding

Brewery 4 Two 4 — named for the last three numbers of its ZIP code — will also package any of its beers in 16-ounce cans for the ultimate take-home mixed pack. As the company continues on its quest for experimentation — Miller mentioned an upcoming gin barrel-aged saison and bourbon barrel-aged version of Crazy Putin — it aims to keep trying new twists and innovate on its small system. “If we go more than two weeks and don’t brew a new recipe, that’s pretty rare,” he said. “We definitely have limitations due to our size, but that’s the one big advantage due to our size that we can try different stuff. We try to take advantage of that as much as we can. “There’s not many advantages to brewing on a half-barrel system, but one of them is that you can do whatever the hell you want.” n
















VENTURE UP NORTH E xplore Northern Michigan’s Winter Wonderland. Then Explore Our Extensive Tap List & Kitchen Menu! Whether Hitting The Slopes, The Trails, Snowmobiling, Or Pounding The Sidewalks Shopping For Holiday Sales, Beards Brewery Is The Perfect End To Any Winter Day! Beards Brewery / 215 E. Lake St. / Petoskey, MI /


Dessert is Served...



Brauhaus, Restaurant, Biergarten Look for Kusterer Bier on Tap in West Michigan!

Winner at Best of Craft Awards, Great American Beer Festival®, London World Beer Awards, L.A. International Beer Competition! Named "Best Brewery in West Michigan" - Revue Magazine, 2017 / WZZM13, 2016.


Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining



Last Call by Nick Macksood photo by Katy Batdorff

Zoko 822 East Garden

There are parts of Spain that disagree over whether or not to hoist la Rojigualda up the flagpole, asserting regional sovereignty over mother country. Gin, however, is one thing many Spaniards will happily agree upon. It’s one of the country’s national obsessions. Zoko 822, one of Grand Rapids’ newest restaurants, shares that obsession. The gin-centric bar hosts the most diverse collection of the stuff around. And the Basque food Zoko has curated just pairs quite nicely with all of it. This month’s Last Call, the East Garden, is nicely balanced: grapefruit forward, yet floral and herbaceous. Cardamom on the nose and just a zip of heat lent by the black pepper tincture. Aclamaciones!

Ingredients: 1 1/2 oz. Bombay Sapphire 3/4 oz. lemon juice 1/2 oz. grapefruit juice 1/2 oz. red pepper syrup 2 dashes Bolivar bitters 2 dashes cardamom bitters 1 drop black pepper tincture Pour gin, citrus juices, syrup and bitters into an iced mixer. Shake thoroughly, then strain into glass rimmed with black pepper tincture.

 See how it's made: Check out for an exclusive video tutorial.

42 | REVUEWM.COM | March 2018





grooves MARCH 2nd

Bare Naked 90’s MARCH 9TH



Three’s a Crowd MARCH 23rd

Borrowed Time

$2 Tequila Shots $3 Well Drinks $15 Woody Buckets $5 1/2 lb WINGS & FRIES

DJs Entertain 9pm




BOOK YOUR WATCH PARTY!! CALL CALL TODAY TODAY 616-451-4300 616-451-4300 REVUEWM.COM | March 2018 |


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