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WEST MICHIGAN’S ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE FOR 31 YEARS » JUNE 2019

FREE!

THE LIPPIES

The Music Issue ALSO INSIDE: Brut IPA Taste-off, Summer Festival Guide, Friesian Gastro Pub


JUN

OUTDOOR

28 SUGARLAND WITH SPECIAL GUESTS ELI YOUNG BAND

SUMMER C O N C E R T

JUL

3

Outdoor Venue | 8PM Tickets start at $25

S E R I E S

311 & DIRTY HEADS WITH SPECIAL GUESTS

THE INTERRUPTERS, DREAMERS & BIKINI TRILL

JUL DOGG, 11 SNOOP ICE CUBE &

WARREN G

Outdoor Venue | 7:30PM Tickets start at $26

Outdoor Venue | 5:45PM Tickets start at $16

JUL

FIVE FINGER

13 DEATH PUNCH WITH SPECIAL GUESTS

JUL WILSON 19 CHARLIE & THE ISLEY

BROTHERS

IN THIS MOMENT

Outdoor Venue | 8PM Tickets start at $18

Outdoor Venue | 8PM Tickets start at $20

AUG

10

TIM MCGRAW WITH SPECIAL GUESTS

DEVIN DAWSON & LEVI HUMMON

Get your tickets at Soaring Eagle Casino or Saganing Eagles Landing Casino Box Offices, ETIX.COM or call 1.800.513.ETIX. Mt. Pleasant, MI | 1.888.7.EAGLE.7

Performances held at Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. Entertainment subject to cancellation. Management reserves all rights.

2 | REVUEWM.COM | JUNE 2019

BROWN 16 KANE WITH SPECIAL GUEST

JAMESON RODGERS

Outdoor Venue | 7:30PM Tickets start at $35

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AUG

Outdoor Venue | 8PM Tickets start at $26


TO FIND THIS BEER NEAR YOU, GO TO: HTTP://NEWHOLLANDBREW.COM/ REVUEWM.COM | JUNE 2019 | 3 BEER-FINDER/


*

18+

18+

JUNE 7 GR AFTER DARK MASQUERADE BALL

JUNE 1 CELESTE BARBER

feat. The Theatre Bizarre Orchestra

*

21+

JUNE 8 SUPER STAR SATURDAY COMEDY SHOW ft. Sherri Shepherd

* JUNE 14 SOUTHERN ACCENTS

The Ultimate Tom Petty Experience

JUNE 12 DIO RETURNS

w/ Jizzy Pearl's Love/Hate

JULY 12 PATTON OSWALT

august 9 I PREVAIL

AUGUST 20 PAPA ROACH

* JULY 24 JASON BONHAM'S LED ZEPPELIN EVENING

july 20 THE STRUTS

w/ The Glorious Sons

july 30 PRETTYMUCH

w/ Mackenzie Ziegler

september 27 JUDAH & THE LION

OCTOBER 3 STEVE HACKETT

* NOVEMBER 8 X AMBASSADORS

OCTOBER 10 THEO VON

Genesis Revisited

w/ ISSUES, Justin Stone

w/ Asking Alexandria, Bad Wolves

OCTOBER 15 LITTLE STEVEN & THE DISCIPLES OF SOUL

OCTOBER 20 AJR

*

*

* SEPTEMBER 11 THE HEAD AND THE HEART

AUGUST 7 BEACH HOUSE

* NOVEMBER 10 LEWIS BLACK

NOVEMBER 12 BIG WILD

* NOVEMBER 15 RYAN HAMILTON

NOVEMBER 22 AARON LEWIS

Get more info and see the full schedule at 20MonroeLive.com 20 Monroe Live Box Office Hours: Mon-Thurs: 12pm-6pm / Fri: 10am-6pm Weekends: event days only / Box office opens 2 hours prior to doors. (closed on non-show days)

* SEATED SHOW

11 OTTAWA AVE NW • DOWNTOWN GRAND RAPIDS • 20MONROELIVE.COM 4 | REVUEWM.COM | JUNE 2019

DECEMBER 17 JANE LYNCH

"A Swingin' Little Christmas"


REVUEWM.COM | JUNE 2019 |

5


TAPROOM

DELI

STORE

MON-SAT: 11AM-2AM SUN: 11AM-12PM

SUN-WED: 11AM-11PM THU-SAT: 11AM-12AM

MON-SAT: 11AM-11PM SUN: 11AM-9PM

235 GRANDVILLE AVE. SW GRAND RAPIDS, MI 49503 616.776.1195

JUNE SATURDAY

01

Thirsty Perch Blues Band

SUNDAY

Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra

$5 COVER

THURSDAY

13

The All American Funk Parade

02

06

Free Hat wsg After Ours and Les Creatif

FREE | 5:30PM | ALL AGES

SATURDAY

15

Sons of F.U.N.K.

FREE

THURSDAY

$5 COVER

22

12th Annual Founders Fest: A Celebration of Beer and Music

$40 GA | $25 MUG CLUB

$5 COVER

THURSDAY

27

The Brandino Extravaganza w/ an after party by Boulevards

SATURDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

Cheap Pitcher Night with $10 class 1 pitchers & Trivia Night (7pm-close)

Cheap Pint Night with $3 class one and $4 class two pints & Open Mic Night (8pm-close)

Mug Club Day

Taproom Exclusive Beer Special with $1 off of featured TRX beer & Free Live Music

29

Fareed Haque

FREE

MONDAY

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08

Conrad Shock + the Noise wsg Joshua Powell & Red Rio

FREE

SATURDAY

ALL SHOWS ARE AGES 21+ AND BEGIN AT 9:30 UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED

SATURDAY

SATURDAY

$5 COVER

SUNDAY

Service Industry Day with $1.25 off pints starting at 9:30pm (11am-close) Live Music

@FOUNDERSGRANDRAPIDS

@FOUNDERSGRANDRAPIDS


TIME TO TURN

UP THE VOLUME

CLIE

FireK Casin

PRO

6/1 R

BRAD PAISLEY

JOB

FK-3

COLO

4/c

THURSDAY AUGUST 1

SIZE

9.25

BLEE

n/a

JOHN FOGERTY

MY 50 YEAR TRIP SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 21

GEORGE THOROGOOD AND THE DESTROYERS GOOD TO BE BAD TOUR 45 YEARS OF ROCK

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19

BILL ENGVALL

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9

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

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

REVUEWM.COM | JUNE 2019 |

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BEST OF THE WEST WHERE TO GO ON GRAND RAPIDS’ WEST SIDE

Alpine Ave NW

5th St NW

Mc Reynolds Ave NW

ng

cki

Sto W

eN Av

4th St NW

EAT. DRINK. DINE. DANCE. ENJOY THE NIGHT.

654 Stocking Ave NW, Grand Rapids (616) 454-4280 salvatoresgr.com

8 | REVUEWM.COM | JUNE 2019

801 5th St NW, Grand Rapids (616) 456-9058 theholidaybargr.com

646 Stocking Ave NW, Grand Rapids (616) 233-9799 monarchsclubcornerbar.com

638 Stocking Ave NW, Grand Rapids (616) 608-6050 bluedogtaverngr.com


REVUEWM.COM | JUNE 2019 |

9


Home of the original Bell’s Brewery

weekly live music, with a lineup as diverse as our tap list Full concert schedule and tickets available at bellsbeer.com • Located in downtown Kalamazoo, MI

CONFIDENTIAL

Sexual Health Services Call to schedule an appointment

Allegan: 269-673-5411 • Ottawa: 616-396-5266 • Español 616-393-5780

Low/No Cost: Sexual Health Exams•HIV Testing•Birth Control*•STD Testing & Treatment *Birth control is only available in Ottawa County

Find FREE condoms near you or have them mailed to you! Visit miOttawa.org/WearOne

10 | REVUEWM.COM | JUNE 2019


WHAT’S INSIDE

June 2019 | Volume 31, Issue 6

SCENE: 14 18 20 24 28

What’s Going On Biz Beat Potshots LGBTQ+ Homelessness Style Notes: Handmade Tale

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

36

THE MUSIC ISSUE 31 32 35 36 39 42 44 46 48

Introduction 10 Bands to Watch The DAAC The Lippies The Go Rounds Steven Malcolm Michigander Studio C Listening Room West Michigan Festival Guide

DINING & DRINKING: 51 Ice Cream & Summer Treats 57 Friesian Gastro Pub 58 Brut IPA Tasting

48

51 REVUEWM.COM | JUNE 2019 |

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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

S

treaming services have changed the way we interact with music.

Now, instead of spending hours listening to previews of albums at record shops or on iTunes before we decide to buy them, we can access any song at any time, from anywhere. The other day, I asked my phone to identify a song playing from a restaurant’s kitchen, then listened to it on the way home. This shift has had effects both good and bad, but what’s undeniable is that we’re listening to more music and a wider variety of it than ever before. That benefits the artists in some ways, because it’s easier to get someone to listen to your latest single when they can pull it up in five seconds, for free. It also means it can be harder to stand out, but plenty of local musicians still find a way. West Michigan has a booming music scene, from huge arena tours to a small network of house shows. Even after 20 Monroe Live opened a couple years ago and The Intersection expanded to four venues last year, two more venues are opening soon in Grand Rapids. We sat down with the Studio C Listening Room, which is planning to offer a wholly different experience than anything else downtown. The DAAC also is coming back with some big plans after spending years untethered, a prodigal son of local art and music. Of course, the venues wouldn’t exist without the artists, and West Michigan has no shortage of those. We talked with The Lippies, who recently reunited after years apart; The Go Rounds, who just released an innovative LP; Michigander, who has become a mainstay of the local community; and Steven Malcolm, a GR rapper who made it big. We also shine a spotlight on 10 bands who are on the come-up that you should be listening to, from funk to folk, jazz and rock. Plus, summer’s starting, so we taste some champagney beers, head to Grand Rapids’ new restaurant with a rooftop deck, and take a look at the many, many festivals happening across the state over the next few months. It’s gonna get hot, the perfect time to sit back, grab a drink and crank up some tunes.

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

EDITORIAL Publisher Brian Edwards Associate Publisher Rich Tupica / rich@revueholding.com Editor Joe Boomgaard / joe@revuewm.com Managing Editor Josh Veal / josh@revuewm.com Copy Editor Claire Boomgaard DESIGN Kristi Kortman / kristi@revuewm.com Kaylee Van Tuinen / kaylee@revuewm.com Liz Romain CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Andy Balaskovitz Dana Casadei Eric Mitts Jack Raymond Kayla Sosa

Kelly Brown Marla R. Miller Michaela Stock Missy Black

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER Katy Batdorff ADVERTISING / 616.608.6170 Rich Tupica / sales@revuewm.com Kelli Belanger / kelli@revuewm.com Crissy Kline / christina@revuewm.com DIGITAL EDITOR Josh Veal

’Til next time,

FIND US ONLINE! Josh Veal, Managing Editor Website: revuewm.com Twitter: twitter.com/revuewm Facebook: facebook.com/revuewm Instagram: instagram.com/revuewm

UPCOMING ISSUES JULY

AUGUST

We explore the best shops for products to spoil your pets, locally made pet items, and where you and your furry friends can spend time together.

We explore and celebrate the results from our fourth-annual reader poll to crown the best of West Michigan — music venues, restaurants, bars, shops, people and more.

The Pets Issue

©2019, 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.

Best Of The West

TO ADVERTISE: Call (616) 608-6170 or email sales@revuewm.com. Space reservation is the 17th of the month before publication.

12 | REVUEWM.COM | JUNE 2019

REVUE is published monthly by Revue Holding Company. P.O. Box 1629, Grand Rapids, MI 49501-1629 Office: 616.608.6170 / Fax: 616.608.6182

ON THE COVER: The Lippies Photographed by Katy Batdorff See more on page 36


We love a good deck.

Dine al fresco all summer long...

ROSE’S ON REED’S LAKE BLUE WATER BOSTWICK LAKE INN FLAT RIVER GRILL KIRBY HOUSE THE B.O.B. PADDOCK PLACE

HAPPY HOUR ALL THE TIME! FOOD UNDER $10 bar snacks, pizzellas, sliders, salads & more

DRINKS UNDER $8 beer, wine, cocktails

1033 Lake Drive • Grand Rapids 616.742.0600 • thegilmorecollection.com

Sundays are for

Brunching BOSTWICK LAKE INN ROCKFORD

FLAT RIVER GRILL LOWELL

KIRBY HOUSE GRAND HAVEN

BLUE WATER GRAND RAPIDS

ROSE’S EAST GR

REVUEWM.COM | JUNE 2019 |

13


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

6/2 Sunday Funday

Bell’s Eccentric Cafe 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo June 2, 11 a.m., FREE bellsbeer.com This is a rare free event at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, open to all ages. Get outside in Bell’s beautiful beer garden and soak up the sun with yard games, food specials and live music. It’s a great day to kick off summer, a beer in hand and artists like Barn on Fire and DJ House of Boogie providing the soundtrack. There’s really nothing not to like.

6/7 After Dark Masquerade Ball

DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS SCENE

20 Monroe Live 11 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids June 7, 8 p.m., $15+ 20monroelive.com “Masquerade! Paper faces on parade, hide your face so the wooorld will never find you.” If there’s one thing Phantom of the Opera taught us, it’s that the world doesn’t have nearly enough masquerades. 20 Monroe Live is here to fix that, with a mysterious party full of ways to get theatrical. You can make your own mask and get your makeup done there, but make sure to bring your A game because the best mask wins a pair of Electric Forest passes. As for entertainers, there will be strolling pup-

14 | REVUEWM.COM | JUNE 2019

peteers, burlesque performers, daredevil aerialists, and Theatre Bizarre Orchestra, a band rooted in “burlesque, rock & roll, jazz, and vaudeville culture.”

6/8 Summer Wine Up

Hackley Park 350 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon June 8, 2-8 p.m., $15 muskegonsummerwineup.com It’s time to get summer started with some wining and dining. This inaugural event will have more than 100 wines to choose from, made by nine of the best wineries around the country. Admission gets you a souvenir wine glass and four samples. You can just sit back and have a sip in the beautiful Hackley Park or check out the wine seminars, Mystery Wine Contest, food trucks and more.

6/9 Dirty Donut

US 131 Motorsport Park 1249 12th St., Martin June 9, $70 dirtydonutrace.com Doughnuts, dirt and bicycles don’t come together nearly often enough. In this highly unusual race, bikers can go for 18, 40 or 64 miles on dirt roads out in Martin. The twist is that for every doughnut you eat at one of the doughnut stops, you’ll deduct five

PHOTO BY JOSH SMITH

Barn on Fire at Bell's Sunday Funday. COURTESY PHOTO minutes from your final finish time. You’ll have to both eat fast and ride fast. You can also skip the doughnuts altogether to race for the Sprint championship, or go all in and eat the most — while still finishing the race in time — to become the King or Queen of the Donuts.

6/12-26 Garage Block Parties Garage Bar & Grill 819 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids Wednesdays, 6-10 p.m., $3 garagebargr.com

Every Wednesday in the summer, Garage Bar heads out into the street to live it up in the open air. The block parties are all about being outside, having some drinks and making friends, with bands like Innuendo, a local rock n’ roll cover band, providing a show. Once you’re in, the drink specials are

off the hook, with $2 drafts, $3 well drinks and $4 wine.

6/18

6/15

Josh Groban

Yardapalooza V

3311 Rich Rd., Muskegon June 15, 6 p.m.-2 a.m., $10 facebook.com/yardapalooza Yards are the place to be in the summer. There’s really nothing you can’t do there — drink, sunbathe, play games, lay in the grass, have a picnic, grill out, even watch some bands. Yardapalooza understands that, throwing a party with local artists, vendors and musicians every year. This year, the music lineup includes Flexadecibel, Lady Ace Boogie, Elroy Meltzer, Bri Baron and more. Grab your tanktop and get ready to relax.

Van Andel Arena 130 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids June 18, 7:30 p.m., $73+ vanandelarena.com The silky smooth, powerful, lyrical, inspiring, emotional, almost operatic voice of Josh Groban has brought millions of fans around the world to tears. I’ve even seen a car covered in “Groban’s Number One Fan” stickers in a Meijer parking lot. What makes the singer truly special is that despite his almost comically melodramatic music, Groban actually has a great sense of humor about it, appearing on shows like The Office and It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia that poke fun at his character. His live show is sure to be full of laughs and tears, supporting his eighth studio record, Bridges. CONTINUED ON PAGE 16


Newly Engaged? CONSIDER A WEDDING RECEPTION AT THE

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Our Courtyard makes a perfect setting for an outdoor wedding ceremony for up to 125 people Our All-Inclusive Reception packages include food, cocktails, set up and décor Call 616-957-0100 and ask for Karisa.

THERE’S DINNER. AND THEN THERE’S

grandrapidsairport.doubletree.com 4747 28th St SE, Grand Rapids

TO CHALK UP SOME FUN! AUGUST 2-4 DOWNTOWN ST. JOSEPH

DINING. Served 4pm to 6pm Mon-Sat Select 2 salads, 2 entrees, 2 desserts and a bottle of wine.

SALAD

Garden Salad or Michigan Salad

ENTRÉE Parmesan Crusted Chicken, or Atlantic Salmon

DESSERT

Pecan Ball or Panna Cotta

WINE

Bottle of House Wine

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Explore all 4 Seasons!

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alpenroserestaurant.com | 4 East 8th Street, Holland | (616) 393.2111 REVUEWM.COM | JUNE 2019 |

SCENE SOUNDS | SIGHTS | DINING

• Select a non-alcoholic beverage instead of wine • Upgrade your wine selection and apply $7 credit • Premier Seating is not valid with Groupon, Two Plate, coupons, or other discounts.

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 14

Rock, Roar and Pour at John Ball Zoo. COURTESY PHOTO

6/21

nonprofit helping people at various stages of business ownership.

6/27

1969 Tribute Show

6/22

Rock, Roar & Pour

The Pyramid Scheme 68 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids June 21, 8 p.m., $10 pyramidschemebar.com

Eastown Bizarre Bazaar

The final year of any decade is an interesting one, marking the transition from one short era to the next. In 1969, four of the world’s greatest rock groups were just getting started. As a haven for bands on the rise, it only makes sense that the Pyramid Scheme would pay tribute, with Grand Rapids artists covering four albums front to back: The Who’s Tommy, Pink Floyd’s Ummagumma, Led Zeppelin’s II and Joe Cocker’s With A Little Help From My Friends. Proceeds of the show benefit Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women, a

Wealthy Street, Grand Rapids June 22, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. facebook.com/eastowngr It’s always good to get weird. The Bizarre Bazaar brings together all kinds of businesses in Eastown to throw a party celebrating the neighborhood and the people who live there. There are more than 80 local artists and craftspeople selling art of all varieties, backed by local bands and food. The craft beverage tent is returning as well, with local craft beer, ciders and wine for sale.

BEST BET KIA ARTS FAIR

John Ball Zoo 1300 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids June 27, 6-9 p.m. jbzoo.org The zoo isn’t only for children, especially not when you throw adult beverages in the mix. This event is 21 and older only, giving you and the animals a rare chance to spend some time together in the evening and with a drink in hand — well, the animals probably won’t have any drinks. Beer, wine and cider will be for sale, as well as food from the grill and the usual concessions. Plus, the Crane Wives will provide some live music. n

Bronson Park 200 W. South St., Kalamazoo June 7-8, free kiarts.org The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts gets that if we want to be looking at art in the summertime, we’d prefer for it to be outdoors. The annual Arts Fair is Michigan’s first outdoor art fair, according to the institute, and it’s stuck around for a reason. Nearly 190 artists from around the country participate and they’re selected by a jury, so you know they’re the cream of the crop. You’ll find jewelry, photography, sculpture, painting, ceramics, glass, fiber, leather, wood, all for sale beneath the shady boughs of Kalamazoo’s central park. There will be food trucks and family activities to go along with it all. Plus, on Friday evening, the Beer Garden will be open outside of the museum, with food and wine from Bell’s Brewery.

DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS SCENE

The Zoo isn’t just for kids anymore!

16 | REVUEWM.COM | JUNE 2019

Experience the Zoo like never before— at night, with adult beverages, and without any kids! Enjoy beer, wine, and cider for purchase, savory foods from the grill, as well as delicious concession options, live music from local bands, animal encounters, and more! Rock, Roar, + Pour is a 21 and over evening event.

The Crane Wives Jedi Mind Trip

Visit jbzoo.org/rockroarpour for tickets!

Great Scott

The WhatNots

Find more events in The West Michigan Festival Guide on Page 48!


A UNIQUE & ARTFUL EXPERIENCE

FEATURING

Juried Fine Art Handcrafted Goods Artisan Food Market Wine & Beer Garden Children’s Lane Entertainment

Downtown Muskegon

JULY 5 & 6, 2019 | lakeshoreartfestival.org

1001 Monroe NW 49503 | 616-200-4343 | linearrestaurant.com REVUEWM.COM | JUNE 2019 |

SCENE SOUNDS | SIGHTS | DINING

Modern American Dining on the River Front

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/// NEWS

WEST MICHIGAN

YOUR ENTERTAINMENT ESCAPE

BIZ BEAT

A Roundup of Openings, Closings and other Local Business News

STONE TEMPLE PILOTS JUNE 1

TODD RUNDGREN JUNE 7

KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD BAND JUNE 15

SCOTT STAPP JUNE 21

MICHAEL JACKSON TRIBUTE JUNE 22

DAUGHTRY JULY 5

LEONID & FRIENDS JULY 6

PAT BENATAR & NEIL GIRALDO JULY 12

CHRIS D’ELIA JULY 19

DAVE KOZ & FRIENDS JULY 26

THE BEACH BOYS AUGUST 2

HAPPY TOGETHER TOUR 2019 AUGUST 9

BOYZ II MEN AUGUST 16

TERRY FATOR AUGUST 24

THERESA CAPUTO AUGUST 30 & 31

AIR SUPPLY SEPTEMBER 6

THE ULTIMATE QUEEN CELEBRATION SEPTEMBER 7

STEVE MARTIN AND MARTIN SHORT SEPTEMBER 28

ENGELBERT HUMPERDINCK OCTOBER 19

STRAIGHT NO CHASER NOVEMBER 29

DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS SCENE

PLEASE VISIT TICKETMASTER.COM OR CALL 800-745-3000 FOR TICKET INFORMATION.

11111 WILSON ROAD • NEW BUFFALO, MI 49117 1-866-4WINDS1 • fourwindscasino.com Must be 21 years of age or older. The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians invites you to play responsibly. If you think you have a gambling problem, call 1-800-522-4700. ©2019 Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. 3395-4.05.19

18 | REVUEWM.COM | JUNE 2019

OPEN After years of waiting on licensing and certifications, Wise Men Distillery finally was able to open on May 31, with five spirits ready to go. The tasting room at 4717 Broadmoor Ave., Kentwood currently offers vodka, rum, gin, white whiskey and apple pie moonshine. It all started years ago with a successful test batch of moonshine and has grown into a full-fledged distillery with craft cocktails and award-winning spirits. The building is right by Cascade Winery and Jaden James Brewery, so you can experience the libation trifecta in one trip. Bliss and Vinegar has joined the Downtown Market (435 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids). The salad and wrap shop has become well-loved at its original location in Forest Hills, but the new location also offers fresh produce, unique kitchen gadgets and other cooking items. The goal is to fill the affordable, quick-service salad hole in West Michigan (R.I.P. Saladworks). Bliss & Vinegar has more than 60 ingredients and all the dressings are gluten-free housemade vinaigrettes. Even non-vegans love the Vegan Bliss, with baby kale, quinoa, broccoli, corn, chickpeas, avocado, walnuts, dried cherries and honey dijon vinaigrette. The Grand Rapids bar at 741 Leonard St. NW has been through some big changes in the last year, going from the longtime dive bar Kuzzins to a somewhat less divey bar, Local 741, with some appetizers and a focus on punk shows. Now, the bar has rebranded as The Iron Well, with plans to keep upgrading the interior and switch the live shows to “a little bit of country and a little bit of rock n’ roll.” Cakabakery is taking over Holland, opening its third location at 82 W. 8th St., on the same road as hotspots like HopCat, New Holland Brewing and Hops at 84 East. You can stop in to pick up cupcakes, cookies, cake by the slice and more. The flavors are endless, from vanilla chardonnay to maple bacon and triple salted caramel. If you’re looking for something bigger, Cakabakery is all about making amazing desserts for your special event, whether it’s weddings, corporate events, galas or even small parties at home.

Above: Cakabakery. Below: Bliss and Vinegar. COURTESY PHOTOS

CHANGES Sovengard is tweaking its concept with the introduction of HØST, a new “slow-food” dining experience in the upper floor. The menu changes daily and is meant to highlight the local farms and producers Sovengard works with, as well as “the whims of our culinary team.” Meanwhile, the lower level and biergarten are shifting toward a more casual approach, with a slightly smaller (but still not too small) menu that focuses on snacks, boards, sandwiches and salads.

—Compiled by Josh Veal If you have any closings, openings or other business news for REVUE, e-mail josh@revuewm.com.


A NEW FARM-TO-TABLE DINING EXPERIENCE visit sovengard.com for info and reservations

2019 VOTING IS OPEN NOW!

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SCENE SOUNDS | SIGHTS | DINING

STAY AND PLAY

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/// NEWS

JUNE 2019

BLURRED LIMES RELEASE PARTY

A monthly roundup of marijuana news and notes.

T

JUNE 12 AT 7 P.M. FEAT. KATE AND EMILEE OF THE CRANE WIVES NO COVER

GRAND ARMORY BREWING .COM

DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS SCENE

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

20 | REVUEWM.COM | JUNE 2019

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he past month has featured a public showdown between licensed medical marijuana businesses and the unlicensed dispensaries and caregivers that continue to prop up the market. Here’s the gist: Large growers regulated by the state (i.e. companies that have paid tens of thousands of dollars in fees) are pissed at caregivers who continue to supply dispensaries with cheaper pot, also framing it as a safety issue that untested product is hitting the market. Caregivers say they’re providing a necessary service as licensed grow companies get their supply chains in order. Caregivers also say the companies — like Green Peak Innovations and their friends at the Great Lakes Cannabis Chamber of Commerce — are being disingenuous by claiming caregivers’ craft weed is suddenly unsafe, never mind that over the past decade they’ve supplied medical marijuana patients and no injuries have been reported. The Michigan Cannabis Industry Association, the state’s largest weed trade group, says the situation could take six months to a year to sort itself out and that it isn’t taking sides on the issue. However, the group’s executive director and longtime cannabis reform advocate Robin Schneider told Revue sister publication MiBiz last month: “It is really not OK for any company to message that marijuana is unsafe, as far as I’m concerned.”

The standoff comes amid court rulings, proposed legislation and the Whitmer administration’s plan to cut through the regulatory shit and get businesses approved. As of press time, the state Marijuana Regulatory Agency (also created under Whitmer’s orders) had approved four new licenses between May 6-10, upping the total number of licenses statewide to 187. The four new licenses include three dispensaries in Grayling, Nunica and Muskegon. In May, the state also approved the first three licenses for home delivery from dispensaries, including one in Portage. As the state resolves that last of its outstanding license applications, a Michigan State

Police unit says it will begin cracking down on unlicensed activity, the Detroit News reports. Forty detectives and “civilian analysts” will be seeking out illegal activity as well as “gifting” services that have popped up since recreational use was legalized. Consider this a warning the next time you pay $80 for a stack of used books with a quarter ounce of pot on the side. Keeping with the historically illicit nature of marijuana, state and federal policymakers have been rightfully targeting banking barriers. Traditionally a cash-only business, marijuana could become even more mainstream when it’s allowed banking services like any other business, advocates say. A bipartisan group of state lawmakers introduced a resolution supporting the federal Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which would prevent regulators from penalizing banks over marijuana transactions if they’re legal in the state. Attorney General Dana Nessel applauded the lawmakers and recognizes the problem, joining 38 other attorneys general in showing support for allowing marijuana businesses to use the federal banking system. Nessel in May also created a diverse marijuana law work group to analyze medical and recreational pot laws. There should be plenty of grist for the mill. With Memorial Day and the unofficial start of summer in the rearview mirror, nothing says Pure Michigan like kayaking, camping and … cannabis. Bud and Breakfast — a website tracking pot-friendly vacation rentals across the globe — lists a few locations in Michigan, including Manistee Farms CannaVentures in the small village of Luther northeast of Baldwin. It describes itself as a “working organic marijuana farm” where guests apparently stay in “fully equipped campers.” The only house rules? “Always socialize with kindness, empathy and grace.” Ah, the great outdoors. — Compiled by Andy Balaskovitz


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‘THE NEED IS THERE’ West Michigan steps up to combat LGBTQ youth homelessness, but advocates say there’s more work to be done. | By Andy Balaskovitz

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t’s 9 a.m. on a recent Wednesday in May, and Grand Rapids HQ near downtown is quiet. The carpeted open floor plan resembles a preschool but with amenities for adults. Computer and TV screens are blank, bathroom lights are off, the kitchen is clean, and there’s no hum of laundry machines. The scene is much different on afternoons throughout the week when up to dozens of young homeless visitors filter in, officials say. HQ is West Michigan’s first and only drop-in center for runaway and homeless youths. They come in need of a hot meal, internet access or just to catch a few programs on Netflix. The center — on State Street SE in the Heritage Hill Neighborhood — is a place for youths and young adults between the ages of 14 and 24 to go for a few hours while they’re not in shelters, surfing couches or otherwise facing the uncertainty of a roof over their head. HQ opened in December 2014 and has seen demand steadily increase to about 200 visits per week. Drop-in times for people ages 14-19 and 20-24 are on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, while Wednesdays and Fridays are available by appointment. Founded with seed money from Mars Hill Bible Church, Grand Rapids HQ is also an intentionally welcoming environment for those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning (LGBTQ ). Advocates often cite HQ as a critical facility for LGBTQ youths struggling with homelessness who a re most of ten Steininger rejected from stable housing because of how they identify. “We have seen 1,200 youths in four years. When they come here and how they’re treated Goodstal requires intentional advo-

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cacy and relationship building,” said Shandra Steininger, executive director and co-founder of HQ. “That hope has to be reinstituted. We need to change how we help young people.” LGBTQ youth are far more likely to encounter homelessness than their straight and cisgender peers, studies have shown. Local groups say this is largely caused by parents or guardians who reject their child’s identity. As Pride Month 2019 begins, a broad coalition of faith-based, advocacy, community and nonprofit groups are active in addressing the problem. This includes identifying the extent of the need and also offering shelter and resources. “Welcoming,” “inclusive” and “intentional” are not just boilerplate language in mission statements, but rather an active practice for LGBTQ advocacy groups in West Michigan. Even so, generating funding for serving the LGBTQ population in a historically conservative and faith-based community comes with obvious challenges. Most of all, these centers want young LGBTQ residents to know they’re safe in these spaces to identify how they choose. “The biggest hurdle for us was getting the LGBTQ community wanting to access the shelter space to not be concerned,” said Adrienne Goodstal, vice president of programs for Mel Trotter Ministries, a Grand Rapids faith-based group whose mission is to provide food and housing for the homeless. Over the past three years, Mel Trotter has opened a shelter welcoming for young men ages 18-24 who identify as LGBTQ , as well as the state’s first transgender shelter. “We demonstrate the compassion of Jesus Christ through rescue and restoration for anyone experiencing hunger and homelessness. It isn’t about a specific belief system, it’s our mission,” Goodstal added. “We certainly knew going into it there could be a loss of funders. We may have lost some funders, but we’ve also gained some.”

FILLING A NEED Nationally, 4.2 million youths experience homelessness per year, and around 40 percent identify as LGBTQ. However, a 2017 study from the University of Chicago showed LGBTQ youth are 120 percent more likely to become homeless than their straight and cisgender peers (about 7 percent of youth identify as LGBT). Advocates say it’s difficult to quantify the number of homeless LGBTQ youth in Grand Rapids and West Michigan. Between shelters and drop-in centers, local advocates see roughly a couple hundred individuals in a year. But this doesn’t account for those who avoid disclosing their identity out of fear. Grand Rapids Pride Center administrator Larry DeShane says this fear is driving youths and young adults to stay in the closet. “The most common story we hear about is youth who are afraid to come out for fear they will be kicked out,” said DeShane, who helps oversee youth programs and meetings at the Pride Center. “Kids in our programs are hearing things their parents are saying or their church is saying and their fear is, if they come out fully, then they’ll be one of those statistics.” The services available for homeless youth in the Grand Rapids area are interdependent and act as a network, depending on what services they provide. Mel Trotter and The Bridge of Arbor Circle — a non-faith-based nonprofit in Grand Rapids — offer shelter to youths identifying as LGBTQ. Mel Trotter’s nine-bed shelter is for males ages 18-24, while The Bridge is for ages 10-17. The Bridge houses around 250 youths a year, while Mel Trotter’s male youth program served around 150 last year. Mel Trotter also has the first shelter space in Michigan designated for transgender individuals, which opened in 2017. Eight beds are provided on a first-come, first-served basis. So far, the transgender shelter, known

Continued On Page 26

“Kids in our programs are hearing things their parents are saying or their church is saying and their fear is, if they come out fully, then they’ll be one of those statistics.” — Larry DeShane, administrator for Grand Rapids Pride Center


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as the R&R Space, has helped 27 people from across the state totaling more than 1,000 bed nights. Seven of those have found permanent housing. “Certainly the need is there,” Goodstal said. Last year, Covenant House Michigan opened a 28-bed shelter in Grand Rapids that emphasizes education and job training to help young adults ages 18-24 get back on their feet. The Grand Rapids Pride Center also fields calls from people in emergency situations, including in outlying rural areas like Muskegon and Allegan counties. Typically they will direct youths age 10-17 to Arbor Circle. For young adults kicked out of the house, especially between ages 18-20, “that gets really difficult for us,” DeShane said. Mel Trotter is basically the only option at that point. If their youth program beds are full, DeShane said he’s unlikely to refer young adults and those over 24 to their men’s shelter if it’s not an emergency. “It’s not so much Mel Trotter as it is the population. Those are people who are in survival mode,” DeShane said, which likely creates an uncomfortable situation for those unaccustomed to homelessness. “There are some resources out there, but I still don’t feel super confident when I get a 19-year-old kid who finds themselves on the street with no place to go. There’s no great place for them.”

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A PATH FORWARD The Bridge dates back to the 1940s as a shelter for runaway and homeless minors, eventually merging under Arbor Circle by the mid 1990s. The shelter is a component of Arbor Circle’s broader youth development program, which serves about 550 kids a year and includes staff who identify young people on the street and connect them with resources. A 2018 study found 3,471 children ages 0-17 were homeless in Kent County, nearly three-quarters of whom are black or African American. In recent years, Arbor Circle officials recognized that roughly 40 percent of runaway youths nationally identify as LGBTQ. “We found that really interesting,” said Julie Cnossen, Arbor Circle’s Cnossen program manager for

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youth development services. “We compared that with our data, and we were dramatically different — much lower.” Either West Michigan had an unusually low number of LGBTQ young people in the community, or “people aren’t coming to us and aren’t being open about their identity and are concerned.” Arbor Circle assumed the latter. It started reaching out to groups like the Grand Rapids Pride Center and HQ about how services could be improved and how the organization could be more intentional about addressing the problem. Now Arbor Circle’s programs include 26 percent who identify as LGBTQ. “Family conflict is the No. 1 reason” they seek services, Cnossen said. “Either they’re not safe to stay at their home or they have been pushed out or abused in a home environment for who they authentically are.” Eventually, members of the business community, local philanthropists and others grew interested, Cnossen said, leading to a year-long planning process that started in 2017. The project was funded by the Grand Rapids Community Foundation’s Our LGBT Fund and the True Colors Fund, and included dozens of participating members. (In 2017, GRCF also provided $5,000 to start an LGBTQ center in Holland and $20,000 for Well House to open a home for homeless LGBTQ youth.) That planning process, convened by Arbor Circle, led to a report and a set of recommendations in 2018 specifically to address LGBTQ homelessness. These include funding needs and timelines for housing, schools, the faith community and equity and inclusion training. The next stage is research and a “new team dynamic focused on implementation and measurable change,” Cnossen said. “Our hope and intention is that at some point we get to where all young people are welcome and accepted and no young person has to experience homelessness,” she said.

SQUARING WITH FAITH For the past two years, the Hudsonville Congregational United Church of Christ has been open to and aff irming of the LGBTQ community. The position came after an 18-month church-wide discussion and vote on whether to do so following the

“What I took away was one question they were asked: ‘Do you feel safe in Hudsonville?’ All four said, ‘no.’ I think that’s a message people in West Michigan need to hear. It saddens me that churches in West Michigan continue to exclude.” — Rev. Dan Furman, Hudsonville Congregational United Church of Christ 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision recognizing same-sex marriage. Within the first few months, the church displayed a pride flag outside publicly indicating its new position. It lasted about six weeks and was torn down a couple of times, said the church’s senior pastor, the Rev. Dan Furman. Instead, Hudsonville UCC placed a pride f lag decal on its roadside signage as a permanent fixture. The church’s website prominently features the colors of the rainbow and the statement: “Jesus didn’t turn people away. Neither do we.” Furman said the incident led to an outpouring of support in the community. “They couldn’t believe there was a supportive church in Hudsonville and were excited to know that,” he said. The church had a booth at Holland Pride last year, and plans to again this year. It participates in Hudsonville High School’s gay-straight alliance and hosts activities. Hudsonville UCC also is incorporating the nondenominational Ottawa Area Center for Pride nonprofit, modeled off the Grand Rapids Pride Center. Furman said all of these efforts are about providing a safe space in central Ottawa County for LGBTQ youth and adults effectively caught between Holland and Grand Rapids. “Unfortunately, so many youth have been exiled from the church or condemned, which is just disgusting to me,” Furman said. He has interacted with youths who can’t tell their parents about their sexual orientation, and hopes the church may one day be able to provide a drop-in center. While advocates report a growing acceptance to the LGBTQ community in West Michigan and elsewhere, the conservative and religious area still creates fear among youth

who identify as LGBTQ. A lack of acceptance is a major reason why LGBTQ youths remain closeted or find themselves homeless. During Arbor Circle’s community survey — which included input from more than 100 youths and their families — Cnossen reports sustained fears from parents with concerns about their children coming out. “Faith was cited as a huge barrier to a healthy coming out process to both that youth and parent,” Cnossen said. Goodstal added: “As a conservative and certainly religious community, we are turning the corner and doing some work around this issue. There’s still a lot of work to be done.” In May, Hudsonville UCC hosted a panel for the two-year anniversary of its being open and affirming. The panel featured two transgender adult women, one gay woman and another woman who identified as queer. “What I took away was one question they were asked: ‘Do you feel safe in Hudsonville?’ All four said, ‘no,’” Furman said. “I think that’s a message people in West Michigan need to hear. It saddens me that churches in West Michigan continue to exclude. That’s not what I read in the gospels and not in the Jesus I see. I long for the day when we won’t have to do this.”

FUNDING THE SOLUTION The community survey has been valuable in identifying youth homelessness needs in West Michigan. The next step is sustaining funding to support the programs. However, relying on grant funding can leave groups like Arbor Circle in a precarious situation. “The last thing you want is to promise things to youth and young adults and then funders pull back,” Cnossen said. “It’s not

Continued On Page 28

40% of the 4.2 million youths annually who experience homelessness identify as LGBTQ


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uncommon for funders to change areas of impact or focus.” Steininger of Grand Rapids HQ said more direct funding from local government could provide reliability. Some municipalities have dedicated millages to support youth homelessness. Kalamazoo County voters, for example, passed a millage in 2015 that provides roughly $800,000 a year for six years for a Local Assistance Housing Fund. In May 2018, leaders from local housing groups including HQ and Mel Trotter penned an open letter to KConnect — which coordinates community programs in Kent County — describing the area’s “homelessness crisis” and lack of a “comprehensive community-wide plan” to address the needs of special populations, including the LGBTQ community. “Our community is at a tipping point,” according to the letter. “Our agencies, funders and community members can no longer be content with the unacceptable outcomes we have, resulting in the racialized disparities in housing and increased trauma to children.” Cnossen said based on the community survey, some potential funders are in a “watchful waiting mode” to see whether tangible projects materialize. “I don’t want to pre-judge that,” she said. T he G r a nd R a pi d s C o m mu n it y Foundation’s Our LGBT Fund has also provided grants for Out on the Lakeshore to do outreach in Ottawa County, including working with Holland Public Schools on a needs assessment for students and families, Cnossen said. The Arbor Circle report recommended schools do these types of education trainings and surveys to understand the competency required for students and teachers, Cnossen added. However, some districts in the area have pushed back, similar to disputes over the type of sex education taught in schools. “A lot of those got stalled out because superintendents and school boards were uncomfortable asking questions of that sort,” Cnossen said. Ultimately, solutions in this years-long process will need to include more facilities or rental or leasing assistance. “For young people experiencing homelessness, the solution to that is housing,” Cnossen said. DeShane of the Pride Center said the existing shelters in Grand Rapids aren’t funded well enough as it is.

“It feels like a bit of an ongoing sales pitch about making people understand why this issue matters. We’re talking about a sector of the population who is incredibly gifted and talented not starting out on a level playing field. LGBTQ people are getting left behind because of who they authentically are. When we communicate that West Michigan is not a safe environment for them, we lose the diversity we need in the community to thrive.” — Julie Cnossen, program manager for youth development services at Arbor Circle “We need to have specif ic housing and specific programs targeting (LGBTQ ) youths,” he said, given they are more likely to be driven to homelessness. Federal surveys also have shown youth who identify as LGBTQ are more likely to be victims of sexual assault and engage in risky behavior. “All of these things put you in a more precarious spot when you are then homeless,” DeShane said. Cnossen added that it will be “real interesting” to see where the process leads, and whether funding materializes. The uncertainty around grant funding and whether groups get on board appears to be a struggle, for now. “It feels like a bit of an ongoing sales pitch about making people understand why this issue matters,” Cnossen said. “We’re talking about a sector of the population who is incredibly gifted and talented not starting out on a level playing field. LGBTQ people are getting left behind because of who they authentically are. When we communicate that West Michigan is not a safe environment for them, we lose the diversity we need in the community to thrive.” n


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STYLE NOTES

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elieve it or not, an earring business can be born out of fabric wall hangings. It happened to Sandra Bro, the creator at Sandy Bro House. “I had started making fiber and yarn wall hangings and I had some friends that liked the shape and color and wanted earrings,” said Bro, who then decided to take up polymer clay (not to be confused with ceramic clay), which is similar to a plastic and bakes in the oven. While experimenting with shapes, styles and varying techniques, her impromptu earring business started to snowball. “I laugh when I think back to how we used to hold the wall hangings up to our ears, saying they’d look great as earrings,” Bro said. The artist has dabbled in necklaces but her main offerings are earrings. She’s created custom sets for special occasions, even crafting pieces to match dress colors. Because of the composition of polymer clay, when you simply bake it, it hardens and becomes lightweight. “People are always surprised they are not heavy — even the brass components are very light,” Bro said. Bro’s joy comes from the creative process. “It’s kind of like you are solving problems,” she said. “I really like that part of it, taking something that’s raw and not having an idea of what I’m doing. The best plans may not turn out like you had in your head, but I’m doing it for the pure pleasure. The whole process makes me happy, even baking and sanding them.” When it comes to styling tips, you might consider wearing your hair up so the jewelry can be the main event, or pairing earrings with more neutral and basic pieces to let the earrings shine. Bro thinks there’s “no age to art and no age to design,” so while the younger generation prefers larger styles, it’s really up to the wearer. They can be dressed up for a wedding but also worn with jeans and a T-shirt. If you ask the artist, the best part of the whole process is just being creative. “If you are making things, you are thinking and alive and out there, and everyone needs a creative outlet,” Bro said. For more information on Sandy Bro House jewelry, you can find her work at Light Gallery + Studio in Grand Rapids and LA Miller in Rockford. Check out the online shop at sandykbrohouse1.etsy.com. n


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[THEATER]

Flying High

Mason Street takes summer theater to another level with ‘In The Heights’ BY MARLA R. MILLER

When Kurt Stamm first saw In The Heights on Broadway, he knew it was a show he wanted to present as part of Mason Street Warehouse’s summer lineup in Saugatuck. Stamm, founder and artistic director of Mason Street Warehouse, likes to select shows that did well on Broadway and have originality, heart and great writing. The Tony-award winning musical from the creator of Hamilton runs June 21-July 14 at Saugatuck Center for the Arts. “The show is so inspiring, uplifting, entertaining,” he said. “You cannot walk away from this musical without feeling all the feels; it’s so inspirational.” Originally conceived by Lin-Manuel Miranda while in college, In The Heights won 2008 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Score, Best Choreography and Best Orchestrations. Set in New York City’s Washington Heights neighborhood, the story is about family and community and “the things

IN THE HEIGHTS Mason Street Warehouse at Saugatuck Center for the Arts 400 Culver St., Saugatuck June 21-July 14 Tickets: $54 Friday and Saturday; $49 weekdays and Sundays sc4a.org, (269) 857-2399

we discover about ourselves when we are faced with change,” Stamm said. Stamm, serving as the musical’s director and co-choreographer with Jay Gamboa, said In The Heights has a great score with Latin rhythms and lively dancing. Miranda’s first musical, he wrote an early draft as a sophomore in college, which led to a book by Quiara Alegría Hudes. The stage version took several revisions and almost a decade to debut on Broadway, but Miranda received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical for his lead role. The action takes place on the street, where Latin culture comes to life through the corner bodega, hair salon and taxi cab company. With a score of hip-hop, rhythmic salsa, merengue and soul music, the storyline mixes in hopes and dreams, budding romance, and advice from the neighborhood’s matriarch. “The dancing in this show is just incredible,” Stamm said, noting it’s the first time he has worked with a choreographer in his 17 years at Mason Street. “The score of the show is just beautiful; it’s really, really fantastic music.” The cast of 19 is one of the largest ever for a Mason Street production, and Stamm held auditions in New York City, Chicago and at three Michigan universities. Many of the performers have worked on Broadway or done national tours, including other In the Heights productions. In the show, the tight-knit neighborhood in northern Manhattan — heavily Dominican, Cuban and Puerto Rican — is on the brink of change. The cast of characters is too, deciding whether to stay or leave, whether to chase their dreams or cling to their roots. On a grander scale, the message is about cultivating home, family and community, Stamm said, as well as very personal awakenings that occur in the face of change and building community. “Your home is whatever you make your home. Sometimes you have to move or change it,” he said. “It’s a beautiful depiction of how people care for each other and nurture each other and foster a family that’s not necessarily blood relatives.” After In The Heights, the summer season continues with the comedy Unnecessary

Publisher Brian Edwards Associate Publisher Rich Tupica Editor Joe Boomgaard / joe@revuewm.com Managing Editor Josh Veal / josh@revuewm.com Copy Editor Claire Boomgaard Design Kristi Kortman / kristi@revuewm.com Kaylee Van Tuinen / kaylee@revuewm.com Contributing Writers Kayla Sosa Dana Casadei Marla Miller Michaela Stock  

FIND US ONLINE:

Website: revuewm.com/arts Twitter: twitter.com/revuewm  Facebook: facebook.com/revuewm Instagram: instagram.com/revuewm

For advertising, subscription, and distribution inquiries, e-mail: Rich Tupica sales@revuewm.com REVUE is published monthly by Revue Holding Company. P.O. Box 1629, Grand Rapids, MI 49501-1629 Office: 616.608.6170 / Fax: 616.608.6182 Development of In The Heights was supported by the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center during a residency at the Music theater Conference of 2005. Initially developed by Black House Productions. COURTESY PHOTO

Farce, July 26-Aug. 10, and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Aug. 16-Sept. 1. When planning a season, Stamm tries to expose West Michigan audiences to the newest and freshest things coming out of New York, even if the title may not always be well-recognized. For instance, the musical comedy A Gentleman’s Guide received 10 Tony nominations and four awards in 2014. “I want to bring stuff that our audience has never seen before, that’s new and fresh and something that makes you think,” Stamm said. ■

©2019 Revue Holding Company. All rights reserved.

ON THE COVER:

Turning Up the Heat NATASHA PAREMSKI IS BRINGING TWO NIGHTS OF RUSSIAN FLAME TO MUSKEGON SEE PAGE 17A.

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[THEATER] 2660 28th Street NE Grand Rapids SUMMER READING KICKOFF JUNE 1 • 11AM-2PM Join us for big fun as we kick off this year’s “Explore the World Around You” summer reading club. Pick up your summer reading packet, check out our activity stations and don’t miss story time with Mayor Bliss! LADIES NIGHT OUT JUNE 7 • 7PM You bring your best girls for a night out with NYT bestselling author Susan Jane Gilman presenting her new novel Donna has left the Building. We’ll bring mocktails and prizes! CHAPBOOK PRESS AUTHORS JUNE 12 • 7PM Celebrate some of the selfpublished authors that utilize our Chapbook Press! A LITTLE TASTE OF MICHIGAN JUNE 20 • 7PM Mandy McGovern joins us to share her debut cookbook, My Little Michigan Kitchen and sample classic Michigan recipes and the stories behind them. DEAN KUIPERS AUTHOR TALK JUNE 27 • 7PM Join author Dean Kuipers for a heartwarming discussion of his newest title, The Deer Camp. EAT PLAY GROW THURSDAYS IN JUNE • 11AM JUNE 6,13, 20, 27 A special series of story times with partner Cherry Health to promote a healthy start! CHILDREN’S STORY TIME SATURDAYS + MONDAYS • 11AM Miss Margaret reads a story and guides your preschooler in a small art project. Don’t miss the PoutPout Fish character visit on June 5!

SchulerBooks.com 4A

| REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | JUNE 2019

Unseparated Church and State aims to bring both sides together

BY KAYLA SOSA

A Republican running for re-election in Virginia is about to face a uniquely tough decision in this month’s Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids production. Church and State centers on serious issues our society is struggling with today: Should everyone have a right to own a gun? Should teachers carry guns? How should guns be regulated? Should religion play a part in political beliefs? After a school shooting takes place just days before a senator’s re-election, his political and religious views come into question as he grapples with his political and personal beliefs. Director Sammy Publes said the themes of the show speak to the current sociopolitical state. “Right now, we’re so polarized in our society that there’s no middle ground anymore,” Publes said. “You’re either right or left and the people in the middle are the ‘crazies.’ I think most of the country is in the middle; I just think the loudest voices are the conservatives or the extreme left.” In Church and State, a fictional politician is seeking just that: a middle ground on the polarizing issue of gun rights. “As weird as it sounds, he’s trying to bring it back to the middle ground by saying, ‘Hey, we can still have guns, but we can have responsible legislation,’” Publes said. “It’s not just a free-for-all.” Publes said he has done a lot of research on politicians who have been criticized for “going against” their party's beliefs, such as a Republican supporting gun control. Publes is from Cuba and works hard to support black and brown artists in the community, and he has his opinions and love for politics and history. He said he’s honored and excited to be trusted with such a political and emotionally charged show. “I think my politics infuse that, because I’m also able to step back and say, ‘Let’s have the conversation from the Right side too,’” Publes said.

Above: Patrick Hendren in Church and State at Jewish Theatre. Below: Rehearsals for Church and State. PHOTOS BY DAVE KAGAN.

One of the actors, Patrick Hendren, is a self-described “constitutional conservative, pro-Second Amendment, National Rifle Association member and Navy veteran.” He said while his personal politics might not completely align with the themes of the show, he believes that it’s a growing opportunity for him as an actor. “I believe in order to grow as an actor and as a human being, we must be willing to play outside our own sandbox, tread uneasy paths, learn from characters unlike any we’ve known,” Hendren said. “Jason Odell Williams has written a beautiful story, utilizing the tragic events of recent years as a framework to showcase characters struggling with universal themes: humor, heartbreak, death, faith in both God and institutions.” As for his audience, Publes just hopes they appreciate the play as a work of art. “My art is presenting both sides of this ar-

gument and letting you make the decision,” he said. “Let’s have a real conversation about that, not clouded with our own personal feelings or our upbringing or religion.” ■

CHURCH AND STATE Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids 160 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids June 13-23 jtgr.org


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[THEATER]

Open Auditions

How the theater and LGBTQ+ communities overlap and shape each other BY KAYLA SOSA

For anyone who's ever felt different, cast out or judged by society, they’ve always been able to find a home and comfort in the theater. There’s something unique and special about the camaraderie and the feeling that it doesn’t matter who you are, what you look like or who you love. Fred Sebulske is the founder of Actors’ Theatre Grand Rapids and a gay man. He said that the feeling of acceptance branches beyond theater and into the arts in general. Of Masquerade & Rhymes at Queer Theatre Kalamazoo. PHOTO BY FRED WESTERN.

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“Nobody cares anything about your orientation, among many other things,” he said. “They just care whether you produce the art or not.” From an early age, children have a place in theater to be themselves and experiment with different ideas of self without fear of judgment, which might explain why so many LGBTQ+ people stay in — and even shape — the arts down the line. “In any college, you wouldn’t have a theater program without gay kids,” Sebulske said. “Besides the acceptance, there’s the ability to express yourself. And you don’t get that in chemistry.” While society at large has never been supportive of all people, the theater has consistently stayed a place of openness and acceptance for all. Sebulske remembers being a full-time theater professor at Grand Rapids Community College, and being someone to talk to, and sometimes a mentor, to many of these students. “That was part of the joy of doing that, was recognizing that there were a lot of kids who didn’t fit in anywhere else, but here they fit,” Sebulske said. “And that’s what I think is crucial about arts in general and theater in particular. There were kids that managed to get through college because (theater) was there, even if they weren’t going to major in theater.” Kyle Los, executive director of Actors' Theatre Grand rapids, remembers being in college and every movie and pop culture reference he saw with a gay person in it was always about bad relationships, AIDS and death. “The problem with only those stories being told is that we, as gay individuals, then might assume this is what our future will be,” Los said. “One of the beauties of theater is being able to explore a new potential future and so, at some point, we need those stories to change.” The mission of Actors’ Theatre is to do just that. The theater serves to push boundaries and create more diversity in what

Above: Jude Libner in the production of Wilderness at Grand Rapids Community College. Below: Seven Passages: The Stories of Gay Christians at Actors Theatre in 2007. COURTESY PHOTOS

stories are told. As society evolves and many people are more accepting of diverse people, opinions and lifestyles, the theater is also growing to expand upon the wide variety of narratives that can be told. For instance, Jude Libner, a 21-yearold trans man, was recently in a show at Grand Rapids Community College called Wilderness. “It felt so good to be trans and go up there and not be ‘the trans character,’” he said. Los said while theater may tell the same types of stories, the individuals telling the stories are changing. “It was powerful to watch two individuals who identify as trans perform onstage as themselves,” Los said. “It’s so nice to have new shows that are more mindful about gender pronouns in pieces, so that we can have more flexibility with who’s being cast in a show.” Libner has been in theater since second grade and said it’s always been a place he’s felt safe, especially going through his transition for the past couple of years. “It’s going to suck sometimes and it’s going to be hard and you’re just not going to want to wake up all the time, but you do,” Libner said. “And if you have rehearsal at the end of the day, I know for me, that was the

one thing I would look forward to. If I could just get through this day, I get to let everything go with people I love.” At Queer Theatre Kalamazoo, space is being created for even more representation. Laura Kay Henderson started the organization after seeing a need for more LGBTQ+ representation and a safe space for new and emerging artists. “It’s to normalize the idea of LGBTQ+ individuals and relationships, so we can start really focusing on the humanity behind them versus the identity label,” Kay Henderson said. “But I still think the labels are now getting more traction of their own as something to be proud of, versus something that you might try to hide.” Even though there are members of the LGBTQ+ community in all theaters, groups like Queer Theatre Kalamazoo and Actors Theatre are working especially hard and intentionally to have an impact on culture and the way people of all identities think about those who are different from them. “We tell stories to create more empathy as a community,” Los said. “We like to push the envelope. We’re in a situation where we can and it’s important to. Otherwise, there’s no gradual change if someone’s not making more significant change.” ■


CASCADE OPTICAL 10 Books, 26 Events

W W W . C AS C A D E - O P T I C A L . C O M

616.942.9886

NEW LOCATION OPEN IN THE ADA VILLAGE

June Events Adult Beginner Ballet Monday, June 17, 2019, 7:00 pm Main Library – 111 Library St NE

Broadway Karaoke at the Last Chance Tavern

THIS MONTH AT THE KIA Orna Ben-Ami: Entire Life in a Package opening June 8

The Israeli sculptor’s welded iron and photographic works spotlight global refugees, exploring the physical and emotional weight of a journey far away from home, Ben-Ami sculpts the precious, ordinary things people choose to carry. Meet the artist Thursday, June 20, 6:30 pm Orna Ben-Ami, She Remembers, 2016, welded iron on photo. Original photo: REUTERS / Corinne Dufka

L’esprit: Exploring Wit and Beauty in French Prints

Saturday, June 22, 2019, 9:30 pm The Last Chance Tavern – 1132 Burton SE

Changing the Narrative Monday, June 24, 2019, 7:00 pm Muse GR – 727 Leonard St NW

GR Reads: The Movies – Flash Gordon Tuesday, June 25, 2019, 8:00 pm Wealthy Theatre – 1130 Wealthy St SE

A Day in the Life of a Zoo Veterinarian Friday, June 28, 2019, 2:00 pm John Ball Zoo Ballroom – 1300 W Fulton For full list of events and details, visit www.grpl.org/GRReads.

opening June 15

Celebrate the joys and foibles of French society and culture between 1830-1930, when Paris was the world capital of artistic creativity and innovation. The daily life of people from the city and country, rich and poor, famous and anonymous grew to become a popular subject. Meet the curator Tuesday, July 2, 12 noon Georges Rouault, Bittersweet, 1935, aquatint. Collection of the KIA, Director’s Fund Purchase

KALAMAZOO INSTITUTE OF ARTS 435 W. South Street

269/349-7775

WWW.GRPL.ORG/GRREADS 616.988.5400 SPONSOR:

MEDIA SPONSOR:

kiarts.org

REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | JUNE 2019 |

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[THEATER]

Summer Stages

A handy guide to this sunny season’s shows BY JOSH VEAL

There’s something different about summer theater. Maybe it’s the sunlight washing over us on the way to the performance. Maybe it’s the professional actors who travel here from around the country to act their hearts out. Maybe it’s the shortened season that makes each show feel that much more special. In any case, it’s here. Summer is a busy time, however, so it’s best to plan out your days in advance. Here’s a short guide to help you mark your calendar with the season’s best shows.

HOPE SUMMER REPERTORY THEATRE DeWitt Student Cultural Center 141 E. 12th St., Holland hope.edu

WEST SIDE STORY, June 21-August 8 Romeo and Juliet. Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim. The Jets and the Sharks. West Side Story is all about the push and pull of the world’s great duos. Love, rivalries, race and class all clash in this classic musical. SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, July 19-August 6 A young Will Shakespeare has writer’s block and nothing can shake him out of it — except for a hard-hitting crush, of course. One aspiring actress becomes his muse as she tries desperately to land a role. You’d think their goals would work together perfectly, but of course it’s never that easy, not even in this period comedy drama. TRUTH: THE TESTIMONIAL OF SOJOURNER TRUTH, June 28-July 29 Sojourner Truth’s journey from slave to freed woman to abolitionist and beyond is incred-

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ibly powerful and won’t leave your mind anytime soon. Movement, music and drumming also take this story to another level. THE OLD MAN AND THE OLD MOON, July 6-August 9

Music, magic and the moon have made this new off-Broadway play a hit across the country. The old man in charge of filling up the moon with liquid light must set off in search of his wife in this incredibly imaginative tale. MURDER FOR TWO, June 7-15 Who says you need a huge ensemble cast to stage an amazing show? In Murder For Two, one actor investigates a crime while the other actor plays all the suspects. They both play piano too, which makes this one of the more efficient comedy musical murder mysteries ever made. ELEPHANT AND PIGGIE’S “WE ARE IN A PLAY,” June 12-August 7 We won’t tell you how to live your life, but you probably want to bring your kids along to this one. Elephant and Piggie love to sing and dance their way through adventure while facing deeply existential questions like, “Should you share your ice cream?” Good luck figuring that one out.

BARN THEATRE 13351 West M-96, Augusta barntheatreschool.org

DISASTER!, June 4-9 The show so nice, they staged it twice. Whether you’re a fan of classic disaster movies, top hits from the ’70s or great jukebox musicals, Disaster! was made for you. It’s hilarious, fun and incredibly chaotic. LOVE, LIES AND THE DOCTOR’S DILEMMA, June 11-16

How much damage can one little white lie cause? Well, depends on how many more

Jonnie Carpathios and Samantha Rickard in Disaster! at Barn Theater. COURTESY PHOTO

lies it leads to. This farce brings together a former movie star, mobster hitman, walking-accident neighbor and a gardener masquerading as a psychiatrist. THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE, June 18-30 Here’s all you need to know: adults playing the part of kids in a middle school spelling bee. Plus, it’s a musical. SWEENEY TODD, July 2-14 Meat ain’t cheap, but if you can turn haircut clients into pie filling, your overhead is going to be real low. The Demon Barber of Fleet Street has a sharp business acumen and a strong appetite for revenge, which all dovetails nicely in this dark, witty Victorian-era musical about love and murder. BIG THE MUSICAL, July 16-28 When we’re kids, we all want to grow up overnight. Well, in this musical based on the 1987 Tom Hanks film, one kid learns to be careful what you wish for. STEEL MAGNOLIAS, July 30-August 11 This play is universally loved for its touching blend of comedy, drama and the power of female friendship. MAMMA MIA!, August 13-25 This jukebox musical based on the songs of ABBA will never get old. It’s the ultimate summer romp. EVIL DEAD: THE MUSICAL, August 27-Sept. 1 It’s always nice when horror doesn’t take itself too seriously. Evil Dead: The Musical is a cult classic sendup of scary movies, complete with zombies, dismembered limbs and demons with a sense of humor.

MASON STREET WAREHOUSE

Saugatuck Center for the Arts 400 Culver St., Saugatuck masonstreetwarehouse.org IN THE HEIGHTS, June 21-July 14 Before Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda showed his talent with In the Heights, an innovative musical about life as a Hispanic American in New York City. UNNECESSARY FARCE, July 26-Aug. 11 I’m not sure any farce is truly necessary, but they sure are fun. Embezzling mayors, undercover cops, paid hitmen, sordid trysts and lots of misunderstandings make this comedy a nonstop ride of laughs and twists.

A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER, Aug. 16-Sept. 1 A distant heir to a family fortune has to knock a few contenders out of the way if he’s going to get any payout. All it takes is a lot of charm and a little murder in this hilarious musical comedy.

CIRCLE THEATRE

1703 Robinson Rd. SE, Grand Rapids circletheatre.org HANDS ON A HARDBODY, July 11-27 No one could’ve seen a musical with music by the lead singer of Phish coming, but it exists and it’s won multiple awards. In this show, 10 contestants compete for a truck in a contest where they have to be the last person with their hand on the truck. Of course, every contestant has a story. SUPERIOR DONUTS, Aug. 8-24 If you’re a sucker for nostalgia, you’ll relate to Arthur, who owns a failing donut shop and doesn’t want to have to change with the times. An energetic new employee, Franco, wants to help by updating the shop and keeping it alive in this sitcom-esque play. JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, Sept. 5-21 Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber sure know how to pen a classic and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is no exception. The biblical story of Joseph has persevered for millennia and this show seems to have the same longevity thanks to its iconic songs and colorful costumes.

FARMERS ALLEY THEATRE

221 Farmers Alley, Kalamazoo farmersalleytheatre.com FUN HOME, June 7-23 Home isn’t always so fun, especially when you’re dealing with the loss of a loved one and issues of hidden desires and identity. This musical, based on Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel memoir of the same name, is sure to move you. AVENUE Q, July 19-Aug. 11 Puppets aren’t just for kids! In fact, the ones in Avenue Q are explicitly not for kids. This hilarious musical shows the difference between childlike innocence and the harsh truth of adulthood reality, directly parodying Sesame Street and The Muppets. ■


Journey to the past.

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Grand Rapids engagement is sponsored by BISSELL, Inc; Harvey Automotive; Herman Miller; Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital; National Heritage Academies; and Wolverine Worldwide.

REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | JUNE 2019 |

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by Jason Odell Williams If you’re a Republican running for re-election in Virginia, the Bible and the 2nd Amendment are sacrosanct. Or not.

June 13 - 23, 2019 Performances are at GRCC’s Spectrum Theater, 160 Fountain NE Thurs. & Sat. at 8 p.m. Sun. at 3 p.m. Tickets:

616-234-3946 or jtgr.org

to be Jeweish n’t have atr You doove Jewish The to L

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BRONSON PARK

Michigan’s FIRST Outdoor Arts Fair 185+ juried fine artists Food, friends & music Art-making and sunshine!

FRIDAY, June 7

Art Sales 3-8 pm Beer Garden 4-10 pm

Outside the KIA at Park & South

SATURDAY, June 8 Art Sales 9 am-5 pm Kids Activities 12-4 pm Do-Dah Parade @11 am

ART CAMPS & CLASSES START IN JUNE CALL 269/349-7775 BROWSE & REGISTER ONLINE AT KIARTS.ORG


[theater]

preview Summer theater is back in full swing this month ladies and gentlemen. There’s Tony Award winners for Best Musical, musicals that will make you want to hug your dad, and a few that are just really, really funny. Try to figure out which is which in the list below. BY DANA CASADEI

BROADWAY GRAND RAPIDS

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

ANASTASIA, June 25-30, $38+ Audiences will be taken back to the 1920s as a young woman sets out to discover her past with an ex-aristocrat and super cute conman. The trio travel from the super depressing Russian Empire to Paris during its peak in the Tony Award-nominated musical. Yes, this is inspired by the beloved films you watched as a kid.

CIRCLE THEATRE

1703 Robinson Road SE, Grand Rapids circletheatre.org, (616) 456-6656

Award Winner for Best Musical grapples with Alison’s unanswered questions about her dad, who had lots of secrets. Heads up: This musical will make you cry.

HOPE SUMMER REPERTORY THEATRE

141 E. 12th St., Holland, hope.edu, (616) 395-7600

MURDER FOR TWO, June 7-15 Dun dun dunnnnnn. Two actors play all the roles in this murder mystery musical. While one investigates the crime, the other is all of the suspects — the latter clearly got the short end of the stick. While both play the piano, find out who in fact did commit the murder in Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair’s musical comedy filled with mystery.

UNNECESSARY FARCE, Through June 1, $26+

ELEPHANT AND PIGGIE’S “WE ARE IN A PLAY!,” June 12-27, July 2-31, Aug. 2-7

RAPUNZEL, June 26-29, $12

WEST SIDE STORY,

Karen Boettcher-Tate’s adaptation of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale sounds far less dark than the original. This Magic Circle Family Show focuses on Rene Shwartzbuckle, who has a totally insatiable appetite for rapunzel, a turnip-like vegetable. Lucky for her, the nearby Witch Izwitch has a big patch of it in her garden, so Rene gets her husband, Walt, to go and “borrow” some. Naturally, the witch doesn’t love that, and after being caught by her henchman, Walt promises to give up their first-born child in exchange for his freedom. Will Walt and Rene be able to rescue their kid? Or will Rene get too distracted by her beloved vegetable?

June 21-29, July 9-31, Aug. 3-8

FARMERS ALLEY THEATRE KALAMAZOO 221 Farmers Alley, Kalamazoo farmersalleytheatre.com, (269) 343-2727

FUN HOME, June 7-23, $37 The title of this musical may have “fun” in it, but Alison Bechdel will be the first to tell you her home wasn’t always that. Based on her graphic novel, Fun Home does a deep dive into Alison’s past after her father unexpectedly dies. Going between the past and the present, this 2015 Tony

TRUTH: THE TESTIMONIAL OF SOJOURNER TRUTH, June 28-July 29

MASON STREET WAREHOUSE 400 Culver St., Saugatuck, sc4a.org, (269) 857-2399

IN THE HEIGHTS, June 21-July 14, $49+

NEW VIC THEATRE

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

SHIRLEY VALENTINE, June 14-29, $25 Willy Russell’s play is a tour-de-force for the actress playing Shirley Valentine, who is the only actor in the whole show and delivers the entire production in the form of a long monologue. She’s your average middle-aged, working-class English housewife. Her monologue begins while she’s cooking dinner, discussing everything from her husband and kids, her life before them, and an invitation she’s recently received from a girlfriend about a holiday to Greece.

Lila Coogan (Anya) and Stephen Brower (Dmitry) in the national tour of ANASTASIA. PHOTO BY MATTHEW MURPHY, MURPHYMADE

OPERA GRAND RAPIDS 1320 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids operagr.org, (616) 451-2741

LA TRAVIATA, June 14-15, $55+ Drawing the opera’s 51st season to a close is Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata, which has become the most frequently performed opera of our time. Fun fact: This opera inspired films like Camille, Pretty Woman and Moulin Rouge. It’s based on Alexandre Dumas’ The Lady with the Camellias, and tells the heartbreaking story of a Parisian courtesan, Violetta Valéry. It follows her struggles with illness, love and social gatherings.

LOVE, LIES AND THE DOCTOR’S DILEMMA, June 11-16, $39+ In Michael Parker and Susan Parker’s farce — a genre with all kinds of misunderstandings and ridiculous situations — there are a lot of people lying. More specifically, a former movie star, a mobster hitman, a walking-accident neighbor, and a gardener, who ends up pretending to be a psychiatrist. Find out when everyone discovers the truth and see just how mad they get.

THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE, June 18-30, $39+

PYRUS CALLERYANA, June 20, $8

Several super awkward youngsters enter, but only one will come away with the spelling bee title in this Tony Award-winning musical. William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin have taken one of the most awkward times of most people’s lives and showcased it, with each song revealing a bit more about the kids competing. The real twist: The kids are all played by full-grown adults.

WHARTON CENTER FOR PERFORMING ARTS

JEWISH THEATRE GRAND RAPIDS

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

750 E. Shaw Ln., East Lansing whartoncenter.com, (517) 353-1982

2727 Michigan NE, Grand Rapids jtgr.org, (616) 234-3595

HAMILTON, Through June 2, $98+

CHURCH & STATE, June 13-23, $25

THE BARN THEATRE

GRAND RAPIDS CIVIC THEATRE

13351 M-96, Augusta barntheatreschool.org, (269) 731-4121

OUR ANNUAL GALA: A CELEBRATION IN SONG, June 1, $50

30 N. Division Ave., Grand Rapids grct.org, (616) 222-6650

NEWSIES, Through June 23, $22+

DISASTER!, June 4-9, $39+ REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | JUNE 2019 |

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FIFTH THIRD BANK SUMMER CONCERTS AT MEIJER GARDENS

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Tickets available at StarTickets.com or by calling 1-800-585-3737.

1000 East Beltline Avenue NE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49525 • MeijerGardens.org 12A

| REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | JUNE 2019


Arms Wide Open

[VISUAL ARTS]

Century-old art school welcomes public for open studio nights and workshops BY MARLA R. MILLER

A natural oasis for summer art students, Ox-Bow School of Art’s secluded campus on the shores of Lake Michigan has drawn artists for a century. The 115-acre campus is tucked away in the woods, across the Kalamazoo River from Saugatuck, making it a little hard to find. But that’s part of the appeal, especially for Chicago art students and faculty looking to escape the city hustle for solitude and limited Wi-Fi. On special open studio nights, the public is invited to see what the art school is all about. Ox-Bow also offers Art on the Meadow workshops for children, teens and adults in a variety of media and diverse subjects. This summer, the schedule includes cooking classes and family workshops to engage the whole family in artmaking for one price. Many local and regional residents don’t realize Ox-Bow’s diverse offerings or that classes are open to the public. The art school hosts and houses about 300 students and faculty over the course of the summer, said Campus Director Claire Arctander. “Oxbow feels really strongly about engaging the community, even though we do have a closed campus,” she said. “It’s a way to let everyone know what kind of amazing art is being made here on campus.” Since its founding in 1910, Ox-Bow’s mission has been to serve as a refuge where

creative inspiration can flourish through instruction, creation and collaboration. The campus provides a place to focus on quiet and uninterrupted artmaking in a peaceful and natural setting. Ox-Bow’s affiliation with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago allows students to take courses for credit, but it also welcomes art students and practicing artists from across the country. Students and even members of the public can enroll in one- and two-week courses for credit and non-credit for beginning, intermediate and advanced levels. Ox-Bow also offers summer fellowships and residency programs for faculty and MFA students. The school hosts visiting artists and five-week residencies for working artists and writers in the fall. Open studio nights are fun and casual evenings, with food and drink for purchase, that allow visitors to see the actual work students and faculty have made throughout the week, Arctander said. Visitors can meet students, fellows and faculty artists in residence and take a look into their studios. It’s a chance to see live metal casting, paper making and glassblowing demonstrations, while mingling with fellow art admirers and exploring the grounds. “We also have an auction and people can buy work from students, faculty and staff members,” Arctander said. “That’s a nice thing, everyone here at Oxbow is an artist. All of our staff members are practicing artists.” The live auction begins at 8 p.m. and supports maintaining the studios and scholarships. Plus, people can take home an original work of art with unique ties to the region. In the Inn, the Ox-Bow Gallery features a current show by the Ox-Bow staff and fellows.

Ox-Bow School of Art. COURTESY PHOTOS

Art on the Meadow workshops are another offering that give children, teens and adults the chance to work in a variety of media and experience the campus firsthand. They don’t include overnight accommodations and are geared toward West Michigan residents, seasonal visitors and even vacationers. Most workshops are held on one evening or over one to three days. “For people living locally, Art on the Meadow is a bit less intensive, not as long, more affordable, but still really fun,” Arctander said. “It’s really lovely here.” A few course samplings this summer include: basket weaving, cooking fresh seafood, landscape painting, Kimchi and Korean food, a cyanotype workshop for families, glass beadmaking, and brewing beer the all-grain way. On Aug. 3, an Ox-Bow Walkabout workshop gives participants a guided sketching tour of the campus, and a Still-Life Scavenger Hunt encourages families to explore and collect natural and found objects on campus to create 2D artwork. For a complete listing, visit ox-bow.org. ■

FRIDAY NIGHT OPEN STUDIOS Ox-Bow School of Art 3435 Rupprecht Way, Saugatuck June 14 and 28, July 26, Aug. 9 7:30-10 p.m. Parking at Ox-Bow is limited. Guests can carpool or ride the free shuttle to campus from St. Peter’s Church, 100 St Peter’s Drive, Douglas. Runs continuously from 7:15-10:15 p.m. ox-bow.org, (269) 857-5811

REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | JUNE 2019 |

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VOTE TODAY FOR YOUR FAVORITE LOCAL PEOPLE, PLACES, BUSINESSES AND MORE

MONDAY, APRIL 1 FRIDAY, JUNE 14 THURSDAY, AUGUST 1

MUSIC | DINING | DRINKS | NIGHTLIFE & ACTIVITIES SERVICES & PEOPLE | SHOPPING | CULTURAL ARTS

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VOTING ENDS FRIDAY, JUNE 14 WINNERS ANNOUNCED THURSDAY, AUGUST 1

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| REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | JUNE 2019


[VISUAL ARTS]

PREVIEW

Is it nice outside? Hopefully. Does that mean you should stop going to galleries to check out new exhibitions and artists debuting interesting artwork? Absolutely not. Get on out and stop by one of the many shows opening this month. Most of them be will there for at least a month, so you have time, but not too much time. BY DANA CASADEI

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

A NATIONAL TREASURE: FRED MEIJER, HIS COLLECTION AND LEGACY, Through Aug. 25 IRIS SHOW, June 1-2 AMAZING HONEY BEES, June 8-9 The bees will be a-buzzing at this weekend-long event. Guests can take a closer look into the tiny insects’ world and discover different aspects of bees and beekeeping. View an observation hive. Talk with local experts (hopefully in bee suits). MAKE A BEESWAX CANDLE. Or, if none of that is your jam, learn how to communicate like a bee by participating in a “bee dance,” which is how bees chat with one another. If you just like honey, there will plenty of that to sample too.

ROSE SHOW, June 15-16

CALVIN COLLEGE CENTER ART GALLERY 106 S. Division, Grand Rapids calvin.edu/centerartgallery/studio, (616) 526-6271

HAGUE SCHOOL PAINTINGS, Through July 31

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

THE FEELING IS MUTUAL: NEW WORK BY MAYA FREELON, Through June 2 REWARDS OF WISDOM: CONTEMPORARY CHINESE INK PAINTING, Through June 16 WEST MICHIGAN AREA SHOW, Through Aug. 25

ORNA BEN-AMI: ENTIRE LIFE IN A PACKAGE, June 8-Aug. 18 L'ESPRIT: EXPLORING WIT AND BEAUTY IN FRENCH PRINTS, June 15-Aug. 25

If you’re into French society and culture between 1830 and 1930, when Paris was the world capital of artistic creativity, innovation and opportunity, you’ll love L'esprit: Exploring Wit and Beauty in French Prints. Throughout the 19th century, French artists and art lovers became enamored with the daily life of all French people, from the city to the country, rich and poor. The show is organized into several different sections throughout the museum with a wide variety of subjects, such as landscapes of the big cities, portraits of farm life, odes to beautiful women and more. Half of the museum's collections of French prints will be displayed, as will a small number of French photographs. Artists in the exhibition include Théodore Géricault, Honoré Daumier, Charles Méryon, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Georges Rouault, and James Tissot.

Paddywack on display at Rising Voices: The Bennett Prize for Women Figurative Realist Painters. ART BY CARRIE PEARCE

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: THE MUSIC PHOTOGRAPHY OF PAUL JENDRASIAK, Through Sept. 1 RISING VOICES: THE BENNETT PRIZE FOR WOMEN FIGURATIVE REALIST PAINTERS, Through Sept. 8

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

OR DOES IT EXPLODE?, Through June 16

MOMENTS OF PEACE: WATERCOLORS BY SUNGHYUN MOON, June 29-Sept. 22

GUITAR WITH WINGS: THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF LAURENCE JUBER, May 16-Sept. 1

BREACHING THE MARGINS, Through Aug. 18

LAFONTSEE GALLERIES

SAUGATUCK CENTER FOR THE ARTS

GRAND RAPIDS ART MUSEUM

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

OPEN ENDED: A CONTINUATION…, June 7-July 3

LOWELLARTS!

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

LIVIN' IS EASY, June 1-August 17 As said in the George Gershwin song from Porgy and Bess, it’s summertime and the livin’ is easy. Six Michigan artists — Justin Bernhardt, Lisa Mull, Kerry Rolewicz, Craig Cossey, Mariel Versluis and Olivia Timmons — have made the pieces on display here. Each artist created a colorful painting (it is summer after all) focusing on everything from Michigan waterways, animals and aquatic life forms, to more weathered objects and whimsical figurative work.

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

REPLAY: THE EXHIBITION, Through Aug. 18

400 Culver St., Saugatuck sc4a.org, (269) 857-2399

101 Monroe Center, Grand Rapids artmuseumgr.org, (616) 831-1000

STORIED DRAWING, June 7-Sept. 9

SELF, SYMBOL, SURROGATE: ARTIST PORTRAITS FROM GRAM’S COLLECTION,

Four extremely talented women artists — all visual storytellers as well — are letting guests get a peak behind the curtain. Each artist is letting people in to see their creative process (if you know an artist then they’ll tell you how rare this is), as well as their cross-disciplinary applications that include children’s books, advertising, textiles and fabrics. The quartet — Rebecca Green, Ginnie Hsu, Hillery Sproatt and Libby Vander Ploeg — create drawing-based works across various media, including interactive illustration, GIFs, animations, painting and ceramics.

FRAIL DEEDS, June 7-Sept. 16 Mandy Cano Villalobos, 2019 Artist in Residence, will showcase two- and three-dimensional works in Frail Deeds, focusing on history, the passage of time and the nature of memories. She’s known for using rather unconventional items in her pieces, like tea bags, hair, fabric and ashes. The exhibit’s title was taken from Dylan Thomas’ poem, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, which is about the author’s struggles to deal with the oncoming death of his father. Villalobos’ exhibition will debut during SC4A’s Jump Into Summer kickoff event.

Through Aug. 11

NICHOLAS KRUSHENICK: IRON BUTTERFLY, Through June 2

MAYA LIN: FLOW, Through Sept. 8 MELANIE DANIEL: ONLY FOUR DEGREES, Through Sept. 8

YT GALLERIA

966 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids facebook.com/yourstrulygalleria (616) 451-8817

REYNOLD WEIDENAAR: LIMITED RELEASE, June 20 Nationally esteemed artist Reynold Weidenaar was a Grand Rapids native who taught life drawing at Kendall College of Art and Design for more than 20 years. He was widely celebrated for his watercolors, printmaking and pioneering in the world of mezzotint. This one-time event is a rare opportunity to purchase some of the late Weidenaar’s rare and limited pieces from his private collection.

REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | JUNE 2019 |

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FREE Outdoor Concerts Thursdays at 7pm on the Riverwalk Plaza by the Flat River in downtown Lowell 113 Riverwalk, Lowell, MI 49331

Presented by LowellArts and the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce

EDGE OF THE MILLENNIUM TOP HITS OF 1999

JUNE 13–AUGUST 22 Lead Sponsors

JUNE 3 | AUGUST 12

Concerts are family-friendly and wheelchair accessible. Bleacher seating is available, or bring your own chair. Free parking. Concessions, beer & wine available for purchase.

LowellArtsMi.org DiscoverLowell.org

IMAGINE ALL THE PEOPLE SONGS THAT INSPIRE JUNE 10 | AUGUST 19

RUN THE WORLD

DDA

80 YEARS OF GIRL GROUPS JULY 15 | SEPTEMBER 9

21ST CENTURY BROADWAY MODERN MUSICALS JULY 22 | SEPTEMBER 16

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

PLAYING THIS MONTH: DISASTER! June 4 - June 9

STEP THREE June 6 - June 9

FUN HOME

June 7 - June 23

CIRCLETHEATRE.ORG 616 456 6656 16A

| REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | JUNE 2019

SHIRLEY VALENTINE June 7 - June 22

THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE June 18 - June 30

QTK SHORTS PLAY FESTIVAL June 20 - June 23

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

www.theatrekalamazoo.com


Turning Up the Heat

[Music]

Natasha Paremski. COURTESY PHOTOS

Natasha Paremski is bringing two nights of Russian flame to Muskegon BY DANA CASADEI

Even though Natasha Paremski has played Chopin’s Piano Concerto no.2 around 100 times in concert, that doesn’t mean it’s gotten any easier. In fact, quite the opposite. “It gets harder because you set a precedent with every performance,” said Paremski, who is performing the piece

with the West Michigan Symphony Orchestra this month. “Then it just becomes more and more of a challenge for yourself to sort of carry onstage your history and make it better.” On the other hand, she also gets to discover more each time she plays the piece, which was actually the first concerto Chopin wrote, even though it was published second. It may have taken her only a few days to memorize the concerto, but to learn it and really absorb it has taken years, and she’s not done yet. “With a piece like that, it’s so improvisatory that you find different perspectives with every performance,” she said. Plus, audiences consistently react well to it.

“The beauty of it is just so colossal in a way that people are really drawn to it,” she said. “I love having that feeling onstage where I know the audience is loving the music so much, and I love just being a part of that performing experience.” It’s a piece full of romanticism, written when Chopin was just 20. Paremski described it as being like a youthful crush. It’s innocent, but also full of breathtaking melodies, leaving audiences enraptured by the music. Paremski knows that feeling well. When she first heard the Chopin piece as a child, she was blown away by it and couldn’t wait to learn it. She always has been an eager learner though. Paremski remembers being about two — living with her parents in Moscow — the first time she “played” the beat-up old upright they had. “I crawled up to it and started banging on it,” Paremski said. “By age three, my mom had enough of that and she took me to proper piano lessons.” From there it has been a bit of a whirlwind. At four, she studied piano with Nina Malikova at Moscow's Andreyev School of Music before going to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music to continue her studies. That was followed by studying with Pavlina Dokovska at Mannes College of Music in New York. She’s won countless awards during her career, including the Gilmore Young Artist prize, the Prix Montblanc in 2007, the Orpheum Stiftung Prize in Switzerland, and in 2010 the Classical Recording Foundation’s Young Artist of the Year. Since making her professional debut at nine with the El Camino Youth Symphony in California — and her debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at 15 — Paremski has played all over North America and Europe. In between all of that, she’s managed to record a handful of albums, including two with

the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra. Speaking of albums, Paremski released her most recent this year, spanning Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition and Fred Hersch’s Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky, the latter of which was written specifically for her by the jazz pianist. Paremski said she’ll be performing Pictures at an Exhibition at her solo recital on June 8 at the Block, a small venue attached to the back of the West Michigan Symphony’s office. The evening will have a program full of very visual and programmatic pieces, such as Bach’s Chaconne in d minor and Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit. Meanwhile, Slavic Fire, WMS’s closing concert for the season that features Chopin’s concerto, will include two other pieces as well. Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances are incredibly lively Russian pieces from the composer’s opera, Prince Igor. Then, Shostakovich’s Symphony no.5 is a staggering 45-minute masterpiece when played in its entirety. It’s a work of triumph, rebellion, sorrow and anger, which reportedly received a half-hour ovation when first performed in 1937 in Leningrad. “I’m very excited to be in Michigan and present my album,” said Paremski, who noted these concerts will be her first time performing with the WMS. When asked about how she’s evolved as a performer since that first professional performance, she chuckled. “How long do you have?” she said. “I think in every single way. I’ve grown up as a person, as a musician, and am still, hopefully, growing and evolving.” ■

SLAVIC FIRE West Michigan Symphony Orchestra 425 W. Western Ave. #200, Muskegon June 7, 7:30 p.m., $22+ westmichigansymphony.org

NATASHA PAREMSKI SOLO The Block 360 W. Western Ave., Muskegon June 8, 7:30 p.m., $25+ theblockwestmichigan.org

REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | JUNE 2019 |

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Celebrate In Style. Seize The Day. Say I Do. EXPERIENCE IT ALL!

e l u d e h c s o t y a d o t l l ! t a n e C v e your WEDDINGS & SPECIAL OCCASIONS

Make memories at the Frauenthal Center. Our historic building and its beautiful facilities are the perfect backdrop to your special occasion. Whether celebrating commitment and love at your wedding or hosting an intimate gathering, we will help you and your guests enjoy a unique experience no one will soon forget. Accommodating groups of all sizes, our event managers will assist with everything from rentals and entertainment to catering and beverage service.

MEETINGS & CONFERENCES

TAK Photography

Kristyn LaPres

The Frauenthal Center is the ideal location for your next business meeting or conference. Our convenient, professional meeting spaces accommodate groups of all sizes—from small gatherings to large conference assemblies. Modern A/V technology and WIFI access is available.

CONCERTS & PERFORMANCES

VENUES & RENTALS

The rich history of the Frauenthal Center is one to be honored and shared. Our venues and facilities are available for rental for public and private events of all sizes. We have professional event managers to help you coordinate your catering, beverage service and other rental needs, ensuring a smooth planning process and a warm welcome for your guests. Frauenthal Theater — On-stage events, Full-theater bookings, Conferences, Weddings, Receptions. Capacity: 150 seated on-stage, 1,708 theater seating. Beardsley Theater — Full-theater bookings, Conferences, Weddings. Capacity: 169 theater seating. The Ballroom — Weddings, Receptions, Trade Shows, Corporate Conferences, Parties. Capacity: 275, Half Ballroom 150. Reception Gallery — Weddings, Receptions, Trade Shows, Corporate Conferences, Parties. Capacity: 225, Rooms can be divided.

Whether a grand concert in the historic Frauenthal Theater or an intimate performance in the Beardsley Theater, we have the facilities for you to put on a show that wows. We welcome promoters and presenters from across the country and offer ideal performance spaces for all types of productions.

The Boardroom — Business Meetings, Presentations, Conferences. Capacity: 25. Conference Rooms — Conferences, Presentations, Breakout Sessions.

Brenda Hoffman Photography

425 West Western Ave., Muskegon, MI 49440 PH 231.722.9750 | FRAUENTHAL.ORG

1

VISIT US ON SOCIAL MEDIA

ENTERTAINMENT . SPECIAL EVENTS . EVENT HOSTING . OFFICE LEASING


[MUSIC]

PREVIEW While many orchestras and symphonies are taking a welldeserved break this month, a few are still plugging along, and many of them are having outdoor shows. So go see some live music — there’s plenty for the jazz lovers in your life — in between all the beach going and vacation planning. Check out the list below. BY DANA CASADEI

alongside featured jazz vocalist Ramona Collins. She’s been described as “a strong, satiny voice with a lot of blues and soul seasoning and a very hip sense of time.”

BLUEMONK JAZZ, June 24 Led by Susan Booker Morris, the band consists of Matt Moresi, piano; Carlos Melendez, guitar; Rob Smith, trumpet and saxes; and Paul B. Smith, drums. Since its inception in 2009, the ensemble is committed to preserving and exploring jazz subgenres, which they do through playing in different configurations: trios, quartets and the full band. With all these different arrangements, they play across the wide world of jazz, with fusion, swing, eclectic, world music and more all thrown in. You’re pretty much guaranteed to hear something you love.

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

HOLLAND SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA 96 W. 15th St., Suite 201, Holland hollandsymphony.org, (616) 796-6780

POPS AT THE PIER: FIRST LADIES OF SONG WITH HELEN WELCH, June 20, $25 The HSO will host an evening of not only amazing music — which we’ll get to in a minute — but food and drinks to enjoy right off the shore of Lake Macatawa. There will be a variety of gourmet food trucks, and wine and beer for purchase. Come rain or shine as the HSO performs with Helen Welch, an internationally acclaimed vocalist, entertainer, producer and band-leader. The England native has headlined shows with organizations like BBC Big Band, Glenn Miller Europe and Opus O, and has starred in musicals on London’s West End, such as Hello Dolly, Carousel and Oliver Twist. On the U.S. side, Welch has been a featured vocalist for the Cleveland Orchestra, the Florida Symphony and the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, among many others. Throughout the evening, the HSO League will host the “Our Favorite Things” auction.

WEST MICHIGAN JAZZ SOCIETY Millennium Park, 1415 Maynard Ave., Walker wmichjazz.org, (616) 490-9506

SCOTT VEENSTRA BAND FEATURING RAMONA COLLINS, June 17

SLAVIC FIRE, June 7, $24+

Grand Rapids native Scott Veenstra has returned home after nearly two decades in New York City. The drummer plays in a variety of genres, including blues, rock, soul, R&B and jazz. This performance, Veenstra — who has worked with the likes of Quincy Jones, Ashford & Simpson, and Odetta — and his band will be playing

Closing out the WMS’s season is Slavic Fire, with featured artist Moscow-born pianist Natasha Paremski. During the performance, conductor Scott Speck will lead the orchestra through three pieces: Borodin’s “Polovtsian Dances” from Prince Igor, Chopin’s “Piano Concerto no.2” and Shostakovich’s “Symphony no.5.”

Interested in a real Barn find? Ditch the typical “dinner and a movie” and have an experience you can’t wait to tell your friends about.

Join us for our 73rd Season

$50/person

Benefit

ance

Perform

June 1, 2019

Helen Welch. COURTESY PHOTO

June 4-9

June 11-16

EAST KENTWOOD HIGH SCHOOL JAZZ ENSEMBLE 1, June 10 Kicking off their 19th season of the Monday Night Jazz series, guests are in for a venue change. Since there’s upcoming construction to Ah-Nab-Awen Park, the annual summer series will take place at Millennium Park this year. (FYI: They will use the Grant Pavilion on the park’s east end for the show.) Vendors will be nearby, but guests also are encouraged to bring their own picnic and drinks. First up for the annual series is the East Kentwood High School Jazz Ensemble 1, led by Jim Ross. Go cheer on some high school students willingly doing something related to school in the middle of their summer vacation.

June 18-30

Tickets & Season Details at barntheatreschool.org or call 269-731-4121 13351 M-96 AUGUSTA, MI 49012

REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | JUNE 2019 |

19A


The Music Issue breaking up — but they’re back now and ready to party. The Go Rounds, Michigander, and Steven Malcolm are three other artists that have made a name for themselves across West Michigan over the years. And we have 10 bands of all genres to keep an eye (and ear) on as they enter the spotlight. Finally, summer is primetime for festivals, from music to beer, food, culture and niche hobbies. Check out our festival guide for all the best celebrations to add to your calendar in the months ahead. REVUEWM.COM | JUNE 2019 | Common Ground Music Festival. Courtesy Photo

SCENE | SOUNDS | SIGHTS | DINING

A

s the region grows, so does West Michigan’s music scene. We have more venues than ever before, and we’re still adding new ones. This month, we take a behind-the-scenes look at two Grand Rapids venues opening this year: the downtown Studio C Listening Room and the DAAC, which is finally returning with Gaia Cafe. We also always want to feature the local musicians who make our scene what it is. They include The Lippies, a feminist punk band who made a big splash before

31


The Music Issue

10 Bands BandsTo ToWatch Watch(and (and Listen To) To) 10

Flexadecibel Flexadecibel

KAR POW Kar Pow. Photo: Creative Layne

Flexadecibel. Photo: Adam Berta

Rising DJ/producer Karlie Powell, a.k.a. KAR POW, describes her sound as “in your face party music with a bad bitch mentality.” Her live sets hit hard, heavy on bass, but never constricted to any one genre. She drops everything from deep, dark, warehouse-ready techno to angsty SoundCloud rap, and has already blown up on stages like The Intersection and last summer’s Breakaway Music Festival. This summer she’s set to return to Breakaway, as well as Chicago’s massive Spring Awakening Festival alongside some of the top DJs in the world.

Helping to reinvigorate the Muskegon music scene, high-volume seven-piece funk band Flexadecibel has grooved its way into the hearts of music fans of all ages. The group has hosted rowdy dance parties at Unruly Brewing, jammed out by the lakeshore for the Burning Foot Beer Festival, and even helped bring live music back to Muskegon’s L.C. Walker Arena earlier this year when it opened for electronic duo Pegboard Nerds. With a summer already packed with festivals all around Michigan, the future looks bright for this good-vibe band.

Hometown: Grand Rapids Genre: House/Trap

kar-pow.com For Fans of: Alison Wonderland, Whipped Cream

Hometown: Muskegon Genre: Funk/Rock/Soul

flexadecibel.com For Fans of: Lettuce, Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers

Parlor Voice

The Quirk DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

The Quirk. Courtesy Photo

It’s no coincidence that The Quirk has emerged as one of the most exciting acts in GR’s resilient punk scene. Led by frontwoman Bek Graham, the band has a healthy dose of light-hearted ska sensibilities balanced by the bludgeoning beauty of ’90s era girl-grunge. The band has torn it up on stages like The Pyramid Scheme and 741, and looks to be hitting its stride now, following spots on the Pouzza Fest in Montreal and the final Bled Fest in Howell earlier this summer.

Hometown: Grand Rapids Genre: Alternative/punk

32 | REVUEWM.COM | JUNE 2019

thequirk.bandcamp.com For Fans of: The Distillers, War on Women

Parlor Voice. Photo: Kendra Kamp

With a chill yet somber sound that feels like eavesdropping on an intimate conversation even in the largest of concert spaces, indie outfit Parlor Voice recalls the genre’s origins in the early ’90s. Currently gearing up for a 10-day summer tour – while also beginning work on a forthcoming full-length album – the band’s blend of crisp guitar lines with careful, nuanced vocals creates a captivating experience that more should definitely discover for themselves.

Hometown: Grand Rapids Genre: Indie-Rock/post-punk

parlorvoice.bandcamp.com For Fans of: American Football, The World Is a Beautiful Place and I am No Longer Afraid To Die


Every day, the West Michigan music scene grows and changes, adding new faces and developing strong talents. So with our annual Music Issue, we here at R ​ evue​strive to highlight just a few of those bands and artists who showcase the shifting landscape and ceaseless creative wellspring we have right here in our community. Here’s our guide to who’s heating up this summer. | by Eric Mitts

If Only, If Only

Callab Callab. Photo: Terpstra Photo

If Only If Only. Photo: Jake Weber

The come-up for singer/rapper Eric Carter, a.k.a. Singa Callab, is real. Long in the making, Callab’s moment has arrived, with his recent return to Grand Rapids after a 17-month stretch on the road that saw him doing more than 200 shows all around the world with the legendary Def Jam Recordings. Sharing tours with everyone from Lil Baby to Dru Hill, Callab’s sound has connected with a wide range of audiences and artists alike, including GR’s own Great Ones — Lady Ace Boogie and JRob — whom he’s frequently collaborated with, including on his definitive new single, S ​ tance​.

Formerly known as Backpacks, this young four-piece is looking to leave any of its old baggage behind and start anew. Already amassing a strong following, the band released its debut EP early this year, with an accompanying tour that took them all the way down to SXSW in Austin. Heartfelt and melodic to its core, the band’s sincere sound should set the stage for even more exciting opportunities in the months to come.

Hometown: Grand Rapids Genre: R&B/Hip-hop

soundcloud.com/callab For Fans of: Trey Songz, Tee Grizzley

Kaitlin Rose

Hometown: Grand Rapids Genre: Emo revival/post-rock

ifonlyifonly.bandcamp.com For Fans of: Title Fight, The Wonder Years

Twinz Twinz. Courtesy Photo

A storyteller in the purest sense of the term, Rose bares her buoyant soul with songs of personal struggle and strife, set aloft by her powerful voice. A gem and a fixture in Kalamazoo’s music community, she adds another great chapter to the city’s already rich roots music history. Look for her to shine this summer when she returns to her hometown of Delton for the Buttermilk Jamboree on June 14.

From childhood friends to party DJs, then aspiring EDM producers, the duo of Austin Rios and Caymen Riley has blown up in just three years. Voted by fans onto last year’s Breakaway lineup, the pair slayed the stage, earning their way back to the fest this summer after an explosive year of high-profile opening gigs. Get ready for more bone-rattling bass drops and game-changing moves from this innovative partnership.

Hometown: Kalamazoo Genre: Folk/Roots

Continued on Page 34

kaitlinrosemusic.com For Fans of: ​Brandi Carlile, Joy Williams

Hometown: Caledonia Genre: Dub-step

IG: @_twinzofficial_ For Fans of: ​Excision, Space Jesus

REVUEWM.COM | JUNE 2019 |

SCENE | SOUNDS | SIGHTS | DINING

Kaitlin Rose. Courtesy Photo

33


The Music Issue

Kentwood City Hall Lawn | 4900 Breton SE

10 Bands To Watch (and Listen To) Continued from Page 33

Concerts on Thursdays at 7:00pm

JUNE 20

JULY 25

JUNE 27

AUGUST 1

JULY 18

AUGUST 8

That Beatles Thing

Blue Soul Express

Hannah Rose and the GravesTones

The Crane Wives

Brena

Melophobix

Featuring a variety of food trucks each week. Bring a blanket or chair and join us on the lawn for summer evening fun! kentwoodfarmersmarket.com facebook.com/CityofKentwoodFarmersMarket For more information visitor www.kentwood.us/summerconcertseries

Secret Forte Secret Forte. Courtesy Photo

Fresh off celebrating the release of its debut EP, W ​ e Say Go​, late last month, indie trio Secret Forte has made getting out its mission this summer. Already slated for Festival of the Arts, the group aims to gain lots more exposure soon, with shows around GR and outside the area. Originally formed as the duo of vocalist Juan Rincones and guitarist Eric Grundy, the band recently expanded to a trio with the addition of drummer Elyssa Snow, and plans to record a follow-up this fall. Hometown: Grand Rapids Genre: Indie-rock/Indie-pop

IG:​ @secretforte For Fans of: Young The Giant, Hippo Campus

Free Hat DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

Free Hat. Courtesy Photo

34 | REVUEWM.COM | JUNE 2019

Nearly indefinable, the otherworldly sound of GR’s Free Hat swirls together everything from jazz and psychedelia to industrial and punk. Somehow the five-piece manages to make a vibraphone and a saxophone work as natural co-stars, while simultaneously containing its cosmic creations to surprisingly conventional song structures. It’s a work of staggering curiosity that will surely only get weirder and wilder when the band releases its debut album​ Bovine Beauty​ on June 6 at Founders, so keep your ears – and mind – open.

Hometown: Grand Rapids Genre: Jam/Experimental jazz

officialfreehat.com For Fans of: Lotus, Moon Hooch


The DAAC Comes Back

The Music Issue

Beloved all-ages art and music venue is set to return with new Creston location | by Eric Mitts

I

“What the DAAC does is provide a space where all the smaller pockets of incredible musicians in the city can come together in a space free of bars and businesses. It is a space by artists, for artists, and is truly a space that works to bring the whole city’s music community together.” sic Director Pete Bruinsma of Grand River Realty for help. They hoped to find a location similar in size to the original Division Avenue space, while also taking into consideration numerous building code, zoning and accessibility concerns. The group also wanted to keep costs low, while still remaining close to other businesses and public transportation. “We sent out a survey to our patrons about what they wanted in a new spot and some of these things surfaced as well,” DAAC Board Member Charity Lytle said. “So finding a building with street level space and these features is a little hard in this real estate climate. We were so close on a few spots in town and spent many months pursuing them, but we feel that the Creston area will be a great fit after talking with their neighborhood and business associations.” Last month, Lytle and fellow board member Lizzie Grathwol, along with Gaia Café owner Andrea Bumstead, closed on the group’s new home at 1553 Plainfield Ave. Together, they will privately own

The DAAC board members from left to right: Sal Moreno, Charity Lytle, Schyler Perkins, Cait Halloran. Courtesy Photo

the building, with Gaia Café operating out of the front of the building and The DAAC in the back. “We have a collective mindset about the use of the building and want to host many collaborative events with the restaurant and the DAAC in the future,” Lytle said. “But the primary goal through the years is to keep costs affordable to both businesses — and any others that might sub-let our spaces — so they can operate with the Creston community in mind.” Currently, The DAAC has about four to six months of renovations ahead before it can look at opening to the public later this year. “In Grand Rapids, we have gotten a couple new venues and a couple have expanded but the local, underground scene has always been active and often operating outside of those spaces,” DAAC Board Member Schyler Perkins said. “This causes underground venues and groups of musicians to become fractured and isolated. What the DAAC does is provide a space where all the smaller pockets of incredible

musicians in the city can come together in a space free of bars and businesses. It is a space by artists, for artists, and is truly a space that works to bring the whole city’s music community together.” The DAAC tentatively has plans to begin scheduling events for as early as this fall, when it would like to have a grand building opening for the return of both Gaia Café and The DAAC. “People want to experience something now more than ever,” Lytle added. “I’ve heard so many inspiring stories over the years from people who grew up in (The DAAC). They met their best friends, partners, bandmates, fellow artists and even famous artists at the 115 Division location and want to give that back to others. “We invite everyone to use the space as their own; whether it’s getting their bearings in the GR scene, touring through town or having their 10th album release. We hope that as we open and in years to come, people will continue to feel welcomed here and that what they contribute matters.” n

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t’s been nearly six years since The Division Avenue Arts Collective (DAAC) has had a permanent home. Founded back in 2003 as a way for the artistic community to work together in a collaborative and inclusive way, the DAAC operated out of its small — but now legendary — original location at 115 S. Division Ave. for nearly a decade. A volunteer-run creative hub, the space served as an all-ages music venue, art gallery and DIY project incubator for many young artists. It developed a strong reputation for sweaty, yet intimate concerts and pure, unadulterated expression. In 2013, the building’s owner ousted the group in order to take the property in a different direction. Essentially homeless for the next three years, the group reassessed its goals and aspirations moving forward. Following a successful fundraising campaign, the DAAC reemerged in the summer of 2016 when it temporarily teamed up with SiTe:LAB and Habitat for Humanity of Kent County. The groups shared a property on Rumsey Street in Grand Rapids’ Roosevelt Park Neighborhood for two summers before that location ultimately became part of a larger revitalization effort by Habitat in 2017. “I feel that having the two summers at the space really emphasized that there was a need for a permanent home,” DAAC Board Member Sal Moreno said. “Navigating a space that wasn’t permanent meant really having to think about what was needed. It set the tone for everyone being open to input and the desires of what the community needed and what the neighbors also desired. Having that relationship with two well-known and respected community organizations was also a boost into what it could look like to have a more meaningful relationship with organizations that are in a physical location.” Looking to purchase its own building, several of the DAAC’s board members began looking for real estate that would work well for what they wanted to bring to the community, turning to former WYCE Mu-

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False Starts & Mended Hearts

Following a triumphant return, The Lippies talk about the past and future

36 | REVUEWM.COM | JUNE 2019

| by Eric Mitts


The Lippies. Photos by Katy Batdorff

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he strange, short life of The Lippies feels a lot like a classic coming-ofage movie. The Grand Rapids feminist punk rock band’s rise, fall and recent return — all in just a half decade’s time — whirled by like a montage set to a killer soundtrack. Formed in the fall of 2014, The Lippies’ word-of-mouth ascent quickly became the stuff of legend. In less than a year, the band had released a self-titled EP, working with GR punk icon Rick Johnson of Mustard Plug fame at his Cold War Studios. The group quickly earned a reputation for lead singer Tonia Broucek’s bold lyrics and the band’s high-energy live shows. “It was pretty crazy,” Lippies bassist Lawrence Kole told Revue. “It’s not often that a new band gets that successful that quickly. I look back at it very fondly. Thanks to the crazy amount of support around us at the time, we were able to experience a lot of things most bands never get to.” Armed with a ukulele and Broucek’s penchant for taking down the patriarchy and disposable consumerist culture — alongside the band’s high-octane punk riffs — The Lippies hit the scene swinging. The band played everything from basements to dive bars to roller skating parties. Soon it attracted the attention of Chicago record label Red Scare Industries (originally home to bands like The Menzingers, Teenage Bottlerocket and The Sidekicks), and released its full-length debut in 2016. “In the early days, I learned a lot,” said Lippies guitarist Taylor Shupe. “We were playing with punk legends and I had no idea who they were. We got signed to a label I had never heard of. It was all exciting and new. To see the punk scene still alive outside of GR was shocking.” As the band’s calendar began to pile up with more and more tour dates, the pressure started mounting. Reality of life as a rising rock star set in, forcing the band to confront whether what they were doing felt right or not. And it just didn’t. So in late 2016, Broucek turned to social media, sharing how the band had started as an outlet for her feelings, and how it had grown into something far bigger and wilder than any of them had imagined. Bruised and battered from giving their all every night — going so far as to institute a “no jumping off the stage” rule after Broucek injured her knee during a show — The Lippies took time to rest, recover and reassess what they all wanted as individuals. At that point, none of them thought they’d play together as The Lippies ever again. So like any good coming-of-age flick, the band’s second act ended on a down note. But it wasn’t over yet. Although separated, all of the band’s members stayed active in the local music scene. Broucek performed solo and had a short-lived

project with local artist Rayne Klar. Kole and Shupe played together in anywhere between three and 12 different bands, while drummer David Sparks joined up with Kalamazoo outfit Jake Simmons and the Little Ghosts. Fast-forward to 2018, the band began realizing it was time to try again. “There was a Lippies-shaped hole in our hearts and we all knew it,” Sparks said. Around that time, Broucek kept running into reminders of how great it was to be in The Lippies when one day she accidentally opened an email from Red Scare Industries founder/owner Toby Jeg. He was organizing the annual War on Christmas event hosted by punk stalwarts The Lawrence Arms at Chicago’s Bottom Lounge and wanted to know if The Lippies would play. “After some thought, I trusted my gut and went for it,” Broucek said. “I reached out to each of the guys, we made our amends, caught up and jumped back into practicing. It was actually pretty painless!” Realizing how much they missed being a band, and not satisfied to leave the show as a one-off reunion, The Lippies slated a hometown show at The Pyramid Scheme this past January. The event sold out the popular indie club, bringing together longtime fans eager to see the band again after more than two years and new fans happy to sing along for the first time. “The first time we gathered for practice was magical,” Kole said. “We had to knock the dust off the old songs, so that was pretty funny to kind of stumble through things like it was the first time we had ever played these songs, but once we locked in, we all felt that energy again. It was like the last few years never happened.” “We slipped right back into it. Kinda like Fuller House,” Sparks quipped. The band has already started lining up highprofile festival appearances, including Midwest Punkfest in Bloomington, Ill. June 13-16, and The Fest in Gainesville, Fla., this November. Learning from the last two and a half years, the band feels stronger and healthier, physically and emotionally, with closer friendships and a greater understanding for one another pushing for a brighter future. They’ve even started work on a new album, returning to Cold War Studios for a demo session earlier this year, with plans to write more songs and record a full-length later in the year. “We’re trying to stay fun and practical,” Broucek said. “I learned from the first time around not to agree to tours when you’re drunk and trying to run away from life. I also learned to take better care of myself so the guys wouldn’t have to worry about me, oh I don’t know, having a meltdown and delivering them all break-up letters. Now, I take my meds and we talk about our problems.” Listen to The Lippies at thelippies.bandcamp.com. n

The Music Issue


THURSDAY

6.27

BRANDI CARLILE

CITY AND COLOUR

ROBERT RANDOLPH FAMILY BAND ARLO MCKINLEY LONESOME SOUND MIKE MAINS BRANCHES · MOTHERFOLK FRIDAY

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CHRIS JANSON · TRACY LAWRENCE CLARE DUNN · ERIC CHESSER · RACHEL CURTIS · THE SWIFT BROTHERS

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2019

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The Music Issue

Full Revolution

The Go Rounds move forward by letting go on new LP Whatever You May Be | by Eric Mitts

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The Go Rounds. Photo by Zac Clark

billy sound early on, but with its 2014 LP, Purple Mountain Travesty, began exploring more drum programming, sampling and utilizing the studio as its own space. “The evolution of our sound has been gradual and organic,” Parsons said. “We’re continuously reaching for  the  textures and colors we want to hear and see. Each new song presents us not with  the  task of making something that sounds new and feels exciting to us, but rather with another opportunity to stretch, to experiment, to create something coherent and harmonious from nothing.  “We’ve never sat down together and said, ‘OK, now we’re going to  go  in a more ambient/electronic direction ’cause that’s a recognizable trend’,” he added. “Never once have I thought or uttered, ‘OK, now let’s go for a Tame Impala vibe on this one.’ Nah. We’ve never been accused of being ‘indie darlings.’ We’ve got no one to please or seek approval from. Our ‘brand’ is our music. “Our fans are our family and essential counterpart. We know they’re in it for the story, for the long view, not for some alternating hi-hat-snare fake-ass disco groove or four-on-the-floor vapid chant-folk-nightmare.” Long in the making, The Go Rounds issued its latest album, Whatever You May Be, earlier this year. Rhythm tracking for the record first took place in late 2016 at High Bias Studio in Detroit with Chris Koltay, who

has worked with bands like The War on Drugs, Deerhunter, Kurt Vile and more. After playing more than 100 shows in 2017, the band eventually finished recording at Dream Louder Studios in Toledo with Ben Cohen, dubbed “the fifth Go Round” for his essential part in the band’s last three releases. Parsons struggled with the new album’s title for a while, unable to encapsulate the essence or define the body of work. Having written some of the songs nearly four years ago, he felt removed from the project, and couldn’t quantify what he had experienced while creating the album in a succinct or snappy phrase. “My epiphany moment with the  title came after I allowed myself to let it  go, to just be what it was without trying to impress too much of my current emotional state upon it,” he said. “The  record had morphed and changed meaning since its inception and I realized that was OK. I knew the songs held power. I knew we had taken great care in capturing the sounds and feelings we wanted. I had to let it be what it was, regardless of whether or not I recognized it as I thought I would.  “Same goes for this strange and trying path as a human,” he added. “It feels a lot easier to  go  on living if we trust that we will end up exactly who and where we should be, whatever or wherever that is.” n

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hen talking with frontman/singer/songwriter Graham Parsons, it’s easy to get lost in road stories. From the time his band played four shows in 24 hours across the Upper Peninsula while hungover on moonshine, to the time they drove 16 hours from a gig in Denver to make a taping of the popular online series Jam in the Van in Los Angeles, to the time the band discovered the “infinitesimal life, love thread that connects all things” with a medicine man in Taos, N.M., The Go Rounds’ adventures are as endlessly engaging as they are wildly wondrous. In the decade since its inception, the Kalamazoo psychedelic-rock outfit really has seen it all. But before the bandmates belted out the Celine Dion classic My Heart Will Go On in Toronto alongside rising indie star Caroline Rose on the final day of their joint tour together last year — or before they trekked down to Mexico, stayed up all night listening to Mariachi, drinking Mezcal and climbing the sacred pyramids at dawn — The Go Rounds got its start like so many other bands: playing basements and bars. Parsons grew up on a farm in the UP’s Keweenaw Peninsula. He now hosts the annual Farm Block Music Festival there in honor of his departed friend Dan Schmidtt, who died in a car accident a day before he was set to move to Kalamazoo with Parsons. The loss served as inspiration for the young singer/songwriter, who enlivened Kalamazoo’s music scene upon his arrival in 2007. Helping foster both the city’s now-legendary defunct venue The Strutt and the expansively collaborative Double Phelix Collective — as well as founding the Dan Schmidtt Gift of Music and Education Fund — Parsons soon began building up a community of like-minded musicians and artists in the area. “I’ve become who I am today by working to emulate and reflect the  energetic wonderment and altruistic behaviors of my peers, bandmates and greater music support network,” Parsons said. Citing West Michigan music luminaries like Seth Bernard, May Erlewine, Andy Catlin, Sam Cooper, Mark “Huggy Bear” Lavengood and many others, he explained that those relationships through music mean everything. “I wouldn’t be alive without these people and so many more that have had an equally profound effect on me,” he said. “I can't take credit for much.” Modesty aside, Parsons can take credit for the continuing triumph of The Go Rounds. He formed the band in 2009 alongside drummer Adam Danis. Bassist Drew Tyner joined up in 2013, while lead guitarist Mike Savina solidified the lineup in 2014. “I used to only write songs on acoustic guitar or piano,” Parsons said of his songwriting origins. “I cut my teeth learning a ton of folk and old country tunes, singing around the blue-gold fires of Michigan summers.” The band had a decidedly more Americana and rocka-

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The Music Issue

Second Chances

GR Christian rapper Steven Malcolm draws on his Jamaican roots for innovative, inspirational sound DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

| by Eric Mitts

42 | REVUEWM.COM | JUNE 2019 Steven Malcolm. Courtesy Photo


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“That’s what it’s all about. That second chance, that new identity, that new calling, that purpose that’s found.” and BET Jams to NBA on ESPN, crossing audiences and changing minds about hiphop and worship. “This journey has literally been a course that I’ve just been walking and hearing from God and just going there,” Malcolm said of his success. Early this year, he released his sophomore album The Second City. Dedicated to his late father and named after a nickname for Montego Bay in Jamaica, the 15-song set finds Malcolm challenging himself to explore his Jamaican roots by incorporating reggae music into his unique sound. “I just feel like I have no limits when it comes to me really wanting to tap what I’ve been doing, and musically what I want to create,” Malcolm said. “I’m a fan of the culture, and it’s in my DNA when it comes to the reggae.” The album’s lead single, Fuego, has kept Malcolm’s career hot. Mixing reggae, trap, hip-hop and more, the song has ignited the next stage of his career, while the album also reaches deep into his personal history. Ending with a cover of Bob Marley’s Redemption Song, The Second City allows Malcolm to share how faith and music have given him a second chance on life. “That’s what it’s all about,” he said. “That second chance, that new identity, that new calling, that purpose that’s found.” Gearing up for his first-ever headlining tour this August, Malcolm plans to share more about his recent excursion down to Montego Bay later this month. Always busy on the road, he still calls Grand Rapids home. And although he doesn’t feel as connected to the local music scene as he’d like to be yet — he does feel blessed to be at a place in his career where he’s able to return here as often as he’d like. “It takes me out of this chaos,” he said about coming back to Grand Rapids. “I’m such an introvert and I love my peaceful moments, so Grand Rapids is my escape from the craziness of the music industry. That’s what I appreciate about home now.” n

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ith more than 15 million streams of his songs, it’s easy to understand why Steven Malcolm feels like making music is his calling. Connecting with people all over the country and currently touring with some of the biggest names in Christian music, the 28-year-old rapper has definitely found his path. But it wasn’t always that way. Flashback to 2010 — Malcolm was attending Grand Rapids Community College where he played basketball and began studying criminal justice. Intent on becoming a basketball player or police officer but struggling with his grades, the 18-year-old had no real musical aspirations, nor any connection to church. “It was a crazy time in my life,” Malcolm said. “A lot of crazy stuff was going on, and everybody was trying to invite me to this hip-hop church. Like, ‘Yo, check this hiphop church out. It’s called The Edge.’ And I was like, ‘Hip-hop and Jesus? How does that even make sense?’” Finally agreeing to attend The Edge Urban Fellowship, he had a transformational experience at the church, where he began to develop his voice. Growing up, Malcolm had moved a lot before graduating from Wyoming Park High School. But it was the school of hard knocks that raised him. His father got deported back to Jamaica when Malcolm was only 10. He passed away there before the two could ever reconnect. Meanwhile, his mother struggled with alcoholism, before moving away while Malcolm attended GRCC. Alone, he found a community and family at The Edge that he never experienced before. It inspired him to make music and share his story. “Growing up without a dad, I was in search of a father figure, and God was there,” he said. “I found that male embrace and that identity that I had been looking for. Being at that age, 18-19, being a freshman in college, looking at myself in the mirror, asking myself, ‘What is my purpose?’ And I found my purpose in my creator. And that’s how it all came to be.” Establishing a buzz online, Malcolm attracted major label attention and became the first rapper signed to powerhouse Christian music label Word Entertainment (home to Skillet, Switchfoot, for KING and COUNTRY). He released his self-titled debut album in 2017, and his single, Party In The Hills (featuring Andy Mineo and Hollyn), took off, getting more than a million views on YouTube. He’s since toured with the likes of Lecrae and has been nominated for three Dove Awards — Christian music’s version of the Grammys. His music has been featured everywhere from Spotify’s New Music Fridays

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DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

The Music Issue

Michigander is a Band

44 | REVUEWM.COM | JUNE 2019

Michigander. Courtesy Photo


How a solo project has become a mainstay in West Michigan’s music scene | by Michaela Stock

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nthemic songwriting, impressive musicality and dynamic performances have turned the spotlight onto Michigander, a musical solo project by Jason Singer from Kalamazoo. The band got started in December of 2014 when Singer met other musicians in the Kalamazoo community who were willing to help out by playing his music with him for cheap at local bars. Since its small beginnings, Michigander has grown into a well-known and respected name both locally and regionally, with features on NPR and bill slots alongside artists like Ra Ra Riot, Foster the People and Two Door Cinema Club. Now, Michigander is set to release a new EP with his best songs yet this upcoming fall, alongside a couple of tours. We talked with Singer about how it all started and what’s to come. What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve had to learn while pursuing a project like Michigander? There's a fine line between the business side of things and the creative side of things, so you have to be very intentional about every move you make. When you try to take things seriously and want people to notice you, you have to be intentional about where you're playing, who you're playing with and choosing a team. Everything has to be thought out, because the minute you start lowering your standards or you start settling for less than what you actually want, I think it creates a snowball effect that changes the trajectory of what you really want for your project, and that can really screw you up later on and make you maybe not want to do it at all. I think being intentional is probably the most important thing I’ve learned.

What's been one of the most memorable or best moments of Michigander that makes it all worth it? We’ve gotten to play some pretty cool shows. Whenever I’m somewhere where I don’t expect people to actually know the music and I hear someone singing it back to us is always really cool. It’s cool to be recognized when you’re not playing a show and someone will come up to you and just say, ‘Hey, I really like your music.’ That’s been very rewarding to me. The interactions that happen outside the shows are definitely the most rewarding. What influences your creative process the most? It’s always changing, so you can ask me in a year and it will probably be different, but for a while I was really relying on my computer to make songs and beats. I felt like the songs I was writing were maybe good, but listening back to them a couple months later, I wasn’t really excited about any of them. I watched an interview with Marcus Mumford, and he said that they always campfire test their songs, which basically means they play them on acoustic guitar for somebody, and if they’re good enough to be played in that environment, then they’re good enough to be recorded with full-blown production. So I’ve been trying to be a guitar band because that’s what I always wanted to be. I’m trying to make 15-year-old Jason proud of the songs that I’m writing today by just using a guitar and going back to the way I used to do it, because I feel like the best songs I ever wrote were written on a guitar. What’s the best part about being a band in West Michigan overall? West Michigan is cool because it’s kind of its own little thing, separate from the rest of the state. There are a lot of places to play and a lot of different genres of bands. West Michigan offers a lot of variety, and there are people in West Michigan outside of just the bands. We have a lot of radio people and publications and fans and venues who are very carefully curated to help bands play in front of different people. There are a lot of cheerleaders for musicians that are not just musicians, which is honestly very rare. There are people who have created outlets to specifically promote the art and culture in the area, which is really, really cool, and it has definitely benefited me. n

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What makes you keep going with Michigander? There are a couple reasons. I feel like I can look back to a year ago and see that every aspect of the band and myself as a person has been bettered from continuing Michigander. Also, I have no idea what I would be if I wasn’t doing this. I’d like to say that I think I would know, but I really have no clue. That’s scary because I don’t really have a back up plan at all. If my hand got chopped off or I just lost the ability to sing, I don’t know what I would do. That is the only thing that kept me going. There really have been times where I’ve thought about ending the band, and I’ve made the poster for the last show and designed those things — even though no one would even care that much — but it

just kept me going. I guess fear is probably the only thing that it boils down to. I think that’s what kind of drives a lot of people to do a lot of things we do. It’s a healthy fear.

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The Music Issue

All Ears, All The Time Studio Park’s Listening Room will be a new kind of venue | by Eric Mitts

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46 | REVUEWM.COM | JUNE 2019

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n the digital age, every diehard music fan has attended at least one concert where the whole vibe got ruined by one person. Whether it’s a fan holding up an iPad to record the entire show or a drunk who won’t shut up once the music starts, crowds can completely remove you from that magical moment where artist and listener become one. Enter the new Studio C Listening Room. The new 200-person capacity music venue currently plans to open in November as part of the recent multi-million-dollar Studio Park project along Oakes Street SW in downtown Grand Rapids. In the works for more than five years, the area also will house restaurants, retail space, apartments, a hotel and a nine-screen movie theater. Nestled right in the middle of all this exciting new development will be the new Listening Room. A concert-going experience unlike any other currently available in GR, the Listening Room will be seated for every show and the focus will be entirely on the music. The project is headed up by former WYCE Station Manager Quinn Mathews, who teamed up with JD Loeks, president of Studio C. “While I was at WYCE, being a community radio station, we all worked very closely with the community to promote music in West Michigan,” Mathews said. “I had met with JD Loeks while at the station about teaming up for some events and sponsorships for movies and film. He informed me of his desire to open a music venue that has a listening room environment more than just a bar or rock club, where you really go to experience the art of music.” Seeing the potential in the Grand Rapids community, Mathews — now music operations manager and talent buyer for the Listening Room — developed the venue, drawing on his years of experience in the music business. “I’m oddly enough not even from here,” Mathews said. “I grew up in North Carolina and spent 10 years in Nashville (as a touring musician) before coming here.  I’ve been in and out of every club, bar, coffee shop — you name it — playing music, so I feel like I’ve seen it all.” Mathews came onto the project last August and has been going nonstop, work-

Quinn Mathews, General Manager and Talent Buyer at Listening Room. Courtesy Photo

ing out everything from acoustics and audio to interior design and more. “This place was a parking lot and we needed to build a music venue, and we needed to get info to the builders fast,” he said. “What I can tell you is that this room will just plain feel really good. It’s got a Sinatra vibe to it even, with booths along the walls for larger groups of attendees. There’s a bar with servers. Nice bourbon, beer, wine. But when those house lights go down and stage lights go up, you shut up and listen for the next two hours.” With construction on schedule, Mathews said he plans to host a soft opening featuring local music for friends and community mem-

bers in October, with the Listening Room’s official opening slated for November. “I’m booking and planning programming now and I can tell you it’s going to be some amazing shows,” Mathews said. “We are hoping to be active with music as much as 20 nights a month. You can plan on shows here four or five, if not six or seven nights a week. (And we’ll have) a little bit of everything. Tickets could be as low as $5 and as high as $75. National talent in an environment like you have never seen them.  Regional touring artists, local artists, community events … it’s going to be an active place, and I can’t wait to see you all this fall.” n


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The Music Issue

West Michigan Summer Festivals Art

Reeds Lake Arts Fest

Art on the Riverfront

Kalamazoo | June 7-8 kalamazooarts.org/page/ artonthemall Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Fair Kalamazoo | June 7-8 kiarts.org

Grand Haven Art Festival

Project 1

Lakeshore Art Festival

This year, ArtPrize is changing it up, forgoing the usual art competition to instead create a series of multi-site public art exhibitions. Five artists will bring sculptures, installations, performances and more to the community. In 2020, the usual ArtPrize will be back.

Art on the Mall

This annual start to summer in Kalamazoo is back for its 68th year, featuring the work of nearly 190 jury-selected artists, music and a beer garden filling Bronson Park.

Festival of the Arts Grand Rapids | June 7-9 festivalgr.org

Grand Rapids’ biggest celebration of local art, music and food is one of the longest-running festivals in the state. Completely free to the public, it features six music stages, plus theater, poetry, dance and much more. This is the festivals’ 50th year, so you know it’s going to be one for the books.

West Michigan Chalk Art Festival Byron Center | June 14-15 wmcaf.com

Grand Rapids | June 15 grandvalleyartists.com/reedslake

Grand Haven | June 29-30 grandhavenchamber.org/ grand-haven-art-festival

Muskegon | July 5-6 lakeshoreartfestival.org

South Haven Art Fair

South Haven | June 29-30 southhavenarts.org

West Shore Art Fair Ludington | July 6-7 visitludington.com

Sand Sculpture Contest Grand Haven | August 10 grandhavenchamber.org/ sand-sculpture-contest

Grand Haven | August 17 galleryuptown.net

Grand Rapids | Sept. 7-Oct. 27 artprize.org

Beer & Wine Hatter Days Street Party Holland | June 7-9 newhollandbrew.com

New Holland Brewing is celebrating with yet another street party in downtown Holland. Expect music, food, a silent disco, and of course kegs and kegs of beer, including some special versions of Mad Hatter. Admission is free!

DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

Founders Fest

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Grand Rapids | June 22 foundersbrewing.com

Founders Fest is back with some killer bands like Gov’t Mule, Macy Gray, The War & Treaty and Lady Ace Boogie. Of course, the real star here is all the amazing beer, from beloved classics to rare specialty brews busted out just for this event.

Wheatland. PHOTO BY PEGGY BRISBANE

Lake Michigan Shore Wine

Big Gigantic at Breakaway Music Festival. COURTESY PHOTO

Sawyer | June 15 lakemichiganwinefest.com

Music

Suds on the Shore

Buttermilk Jamboree

Festival

Ludington | August 17 sudsontheshore.com

Paw Paw Wine and Harvest Festival Paw Paw | Sept. 6-8 wineandharvestfestival.com

This three-day wine fest has something for everyone, from grape stomping to fireworks, classic cars to carnival rides, and so much more.

Burning Foot Beer Festival Muskegon | Aug. 24 burningfoot.beer

20th Lemon Creek Winery Harvest Fest Berrien Springs | Sept. 7-12 lemoncreekwinery.com

Delton | June 14-16 buttermilkjamboree.org A three-day showcase of regional musicians, Buttermilk benefits the Circle Pines Center, a nonprofit working toward peace, social justice and environmental cooperation. This year’s lineup includes favorites like Las Cafeteras, May Erlewine, Nikki Hill and more, all performing across four stages, with food and libations to boot.

B-93 Birthday Bash Lowell | June 8 b93.com

Electric Forest Rothbury | June 27-30 electricforestfestival.com

Common Ground

Music Festival

Lansing | June 27-30 commongroundfest.com

Striving for diversity, Lansing’s Common Ground brings several major-label acts to the stage over four days. This year’s lineup includes City & Colour, Playboi Carti, YG, Big Boi, Brandi Carlile and more.

JuneGrass Festival Comstock Park l June 28-29 wmbma.org

Hoodilidoo

Bangor | June 14-15 hoodilidoo.com

Ludrock

Ludington | July 6-7 ludrock.com

Lansing Jazzfest Lansing | August 2-3 jazzlansing.com

Michigan Bluesfest Lansing | Sept. 20-21 michiganbluesfest.com


Kalamazoo Blues Fest

Kalamazoo | July 12-13 kvba.org

D&W Fresh Market Picnic Pops Belmont | July 11-August 2 grsymphony.org

Held at Cannonsburg Ski Area on Thursdays and Fridays, this concert series by the Grand Rapids Symphony features its popular classical fireworks show, as well as “50 Years of the Beatles’ White Album,” The Music of Motown and a tribute to Nashville.

Mo Pop

Detroit | July 27-28 mopopfestival.com Set in Detroit’s West Riverfront Park, directly across the river from Windsor, Canada, this festival brings some of the biggest names in indie, alternative and hip-hop to Michigan. This year, Tame Impala, Vampire Weekend, Lizzo, King Princess and Snail Mail are playing (among many others). There’s also plenty of food trucks, restaurants, drinks and free arcade games, as well as handmade goods and a dance party.

Unity Christian Music Festival Muskegon | August 7-10 unitymusicfestival.com

Hoxeyville Music Festival Wellston | August 16-18 hoxeyville.com

Sprawling across 150 acres of farmland surrounded by Manistee National Forest, this naturally tranquil fest in Northern Michigan boasts some of the best roots music around, including Railroad Earth, Billy Strings, Dave Bruzza, Lindsay Lou and more.

Cowpie Music Fest

GRand Jazz Fest Grand Rapids | August 17-18 grandjazzfest.org

The only free weekend-long jazz fest in West Michigan, GRand fills downtown Grand Rapids with big band, Latin and contemporary jazz from its centralized location at Rosa Parks Circle.

Grand Rapids | Aug. 23-24 breakawayfestival.com

Wiz Khalifa, Big Gigantic, Kaskade and Louis the Child are headlining this two-day festival of hip-hop and electronic music in Grand Rapids' Belknap Park.

Prime Music Festival

Lansing | Sept. 20-21 michigan.primefestival.com

Shoreline Jazz Festival Muskegon | August 22-25 shorelinejazzfestival.com

Wheatland Music Festival Remus | Sept. 6-8 wheatlandmusic.org

Wheatland is more than a music festival, it’s a nonprofit and a community organization. Every fall, the main event comes around, bringing folk artists from all over to West Michigan. This year, The Special Consensus, Quebe Sisters, K. Jones & the Benzie Playboys, and many more artists join the lineup.

Walk The Beat Grand Haven | Aug. 10 walkthebeat.org

Cultural Asian-Pacific Festival

Grand Rapids | June 14-16 grasianfestival.com The Asian-Pacific Festival celebrates as much Asian and Pacific-Islander culture as it possibly can in one weekend. You’ll find traditional attires, martial arts demonstrations, fashion shows, Luau and much more, including (of course) all kinds of Asian-Pacific food.

Irish Festival Kalamazoo | June 21-22 kalamazooirish.org

Danish Festival Greenville | August 15-18 danishfestival.org

Black Arts Festival Kalamazoo | July 9-13 blackartskalamazoo.org

Suppor t black ar t, literature, businesses and people with this celebration full of music, dancing, food and much more.

Caribbean Festival Battle Creek | July 20 battlecreeklive.com

Yassou! Greek Cultural Festival Grand Rapids | August 16-18 grgreekfest.com

Michigan Irish Music Festival Muskegon | Sept. 12-15 michiganirish.org

Ever yone and ever y thing is a little bit Irish here. Indulge in Irish cuisine, shop Irish goods and learn about the culture. Performers this year include: Gaelic Storm, One For the Foxes, Aofie Scott and more.

Food National Asparagus Festival Hart | June 7-9 nationalasparagusfestival.org

Cereal Festival Battle Creek | June 9-10 bcfestivals.com

Taste of Muskegon

Asian-Pacific Festival. COURTESY PHOTO

National Blueberry Festival South Haven | August 8-11 blueberryfestival.com

Kalamazoo Ribfest Kalamazoo | August 1-3 kalamazooribfest.com

Grand Haven Salmon Festival

Muskegon | June 14-15 tasteofmuskegon.org

Grand Haven | September 13-14 ghsalmonfest.com

All the best food and family fun fills Muskegon’s Hackley Park, including beer, powerboats, music, bounce houses and more.

Film

Restaurant Week GR Grand Rapids | August 7-18 experiencegr.com

Try a new taste with special deals at area restaurants during this week-long celebration of the art of fine dining.

National Cherry Festival

Movies on Monroe Grand Rapids | June 7-August 23 downtowngr.org

Japanese Animation Film and Art Expo Grand Rapids | June 7-9 jafax.org

Traverse City | June 29-July 6 cherryfestival.org

JAFAX is back this year with cosplaying, board games, guest artists from the fantastical worlds of anime and manga, and more.

National Baby Food Festival

Traverse City Film Festival

Fremont | July 17-20 fremontcommerce.com

Traverse City | July 30-August 4 traversecityfilmfest.org

Eclectic GRIDLIFE Midwest South Haven | May 30-June 2 grid.life/midwest-tickets

Kalamazoo Pride Kalamazoo | June 7-8 pride.outfrontkzoo.org

Greater Grand Rapids Pride Festival Grand Rapids | June 15 grpride.org

Celebrating the LGBTQ community, this year’s Pride Festival will have all the music, performers, rainbows and other fun of years prior, with bands like Sissy Rocket and Mya performing.

Harborfest

South Haven | June 14-15 southhavenharborfest.com

Field of Flight Air Show and Balloon Festival Battle Creek | July 3-7 bcballoons.com

Dozens of hot air balloons from around the world join forces with hypersonic jets, food, fair rides and other family fun.

Riverwalk Fest Lowell | July 11-13 riverwalkfestival.org

Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival Grand Haven | July 26-August 4 coastguardfest.org

Honoring the men and women of the United States Coast Guard, this festival celebrates with ship tours, live music, food, a carnival and street dancing throughout Grand Haven.

Red Barns Spectacular

Hickory Corners | August 3 gilmorecarmuseum.org

Michigan Fiber Festival Allegan | August 14-18 michiganfiberfestival.info

Arts and Drafts Festival

Norton Shores | August 16-17 shoresartsanddrafts.com

Hastings Summerfest

Hastings | August 23-25 hastingssummerfest.com

REVUEWM.COM | JUNE 2019 |

SCENE | SOUNDS | SIGHTS | DINING

Caledonia | August 8-10 cowpiemusicfestival.com

Breakaway Music Festival

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d e t f a r c d han ICE CREAM Saunders Family Bakery exists to provide quality baked goods and pastries to our entire community. We do this by providing gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan options along with serving Three Avocados coffee and Sacred Springs kombucha. We have a large vegan and keto friendly selection and salads and smoothies available as well.

DINING SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

102 S River Ave., Holland • 616-848-7677 • saundersfamilybakery.com

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958 CHERRY ST. SE GRAND RAPIDS, MI


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION DESSERTS & COOL SUMMER TREATS

Sunny With a Chance of Sweets REVUE'S GUIDE TO SINFULLY DELICIOUS SUMMER TREATS

Nothing completes a summer night in The Mitten like a fresh, local, frozen treat sourced from the best Midwest cows and dairy farms. But moo-ove over, ice cream! In West Michigan, there’s plenty more to explore when it comes to sweet summer treats. “Weird” Al Yankovic might love rocky road — as do we — but us natives are also here to explore our share of Parisian treats, cupcakes, chocolates, danishes and more. Summer is here and with it comes more hours in the day to walk, bike or drive on down to some of our favorite go-to local dessert destinations.

Le Bon Macaron

ilovemacarons.com 951 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids (616) 706-0183

in 2015, Le Bon Macaron started as a side business run by owner Kelly Toland’s father. Today, it's expanded into three locations (Grand Rapids, East Lansing and Ann Arbor), each owned and managed by members of the family.

Sugar Momma's Bakery & Cafe sugarmommaspastries.com 6504 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids (616) 957-2122

Deliciously delicate macarons await within the displays of Le Bon Macaron. Salted Caramel is a classic go-to. However, the interesting and fun flavors like Marie Antoinette Cake Batter, which features a bright aqua shell and rainbow colored sprinkles, are a fan favorite. From the authentic atmosphere to the delicious variety of flavors, Le Bon Macaron is unlike any other sweet treat in West Michigan. Hours: Monday-Wednesday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Thursday-Saturday 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Sunday 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Furniture City Creamery Furniturecitycreamery.com 958 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids (616) 920-0752

Le Bon Macaron. COURTESY PHOTO

Le Bon Macaron is a breath of fresh Parisian air and a star among the many storefronts along Cherry Street. The shop has a warm and welcoming space, one that makes you want to spend time with family while sipping on delicious lavender lattes, instead of typing away at your computer. And, for Le Bon Macaron, family plays an important role in the opening and maintenance of the shop. Before opening in Grand Rapids

At Furniture City Creamery, you may need more than one summer to taste all of their delicious flavors. But one you definitely don't want to miss out on is the Creme Brûlée ice cream. The flavor is released about once a month and takes more than three days to prepare. Crafted from homemade mascarpone and burnt sugar toppings, it's the real Creme Brûlée experience.

Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. Saturday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Hours: Monday-Sunday, Noon-10 p.m.

REVUEWM.COM | JUNE 2019 |

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Ice cream — it’s the best summer treat around! Whether you’re nine or 90 years old, everyone enjoys an ice cream cone on a hot summer day. Named after the industry that made Grand Rapids “Grand,” Furniture City Creamery has been scooping handcrafted ice cream for almost five years. Here, you can expect flavors ranging from traditional vanilla to their high-demand, ultrapopular Peanut Butter Oreo.

Certified pastry chef Haley McNeil-Chapman has been the creative mind behind Sugar Momma’s Bakery and Cafe for more than seven years. The cafe, which prides itself on everything being made from scratch, specializes in croissants, pastries, authentic bagels, cakes, cookies and much more. A fan favorite is the indulgent peanut butter bar, a chocolate chip cookie bottom with peanut butter mousse filling and chopped peanut butter cups on top. If you’re not drooling yet, how about the key lime cheesecake, which features a creamy yet tart cheesecake batter with fresh, summer-filled lime zest on top of graham cracker crust. The latest addition is traditional “boiled” bagels with cherry-vanilla awesome cream cheese on top.

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SPECIALS Monday - College Day Students with a valid I.D. get 40% off

Flat Rate Wednesdays Fill your cup for $3.50

DINING SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

Free 8 uorz on yo birthday!

Over 40 Toppings to Choose From! Ask Us About Our Fundraisers! Your organization can receive up to 25% of the proceeds.

5021 W MAIN ST, KALAMAZOO, MI 49009 • (269) 903-2662 CHECK US OUT ON SOCIAL MEDIA FOR MORE SPECIALS! facebook.com/letsswirlkzoo

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@letsswirlkzoo

9 5 1 C H E R RY S T R E E T S O U T H E A S T G R A N D R A P I D S @lebonmacaron | lebonmacaron.com


Patricia's Chocolates

patriciaschocolate.com 1355 126 Washington Ave., Grand Haven (616) 842-5999 Skip the flight to Paris and visit Grand Haven’s own Atelier du Chocolat, Patricia’s Chocolates. The family-owned chocolate shop is known for its artisan confections, all handmade in the French tradition, as well as pastries, macarons and shortbread cookies. Many of the sweets within the shop make excellent gifts, like the collections of ganache and caramel palets with truffle-like filings. They’re an indulgent treat that anyone can appreciate.

cream cheese frosting in between. This Spring, Saunders Bakery will add gluten-free salads and smoothies to its menu, expanding its niche offering for those with food allergies. Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Let's Swirl

letsswirlkzoo.com 5021 West Main St., Kalamazoo (269) 903-2622

Feeling extra fancy? Try the Fortunato No.4. This delicacy is made from the rarest cacao bean in the world and is the genetic mother of all others. It’s also the first cacao bean on earth! It’s remarkable for its complete lack of bitterness and cocoa butter that lingers on the palate. Patricia’s is one of the only chocolatiers in the world entrusted with this precious chocolate. It’s truly an experience you can’t get anywhere else in West Michigan! Hours: Monday, 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, Noon-5 p.m.

616 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids (616) 591-2890 1971 E. Beltline Ave. NE, Grand Rapids (616) 570-0117 With three locations right here in West Michigan, Spoonlickers is the real deal when it comes to fresh, local, frozen treats. And, if three locations isn’t enough, you can have their delicious delights delivered via Uber Eats or GrubHub. Their fro-yo is produced with local fruits and real milk from local dairies, and contains live active cultures. The popular flavors include Tahitian Vanilla, Sea Salt Caramel, Chocolate Custard and Cookies & Cream. All of their flavors are all natural with no mixers, fillers or powders.

When it comes to summer sweets, frozen yogurt is your best bet for a healthy alternative that won’t stray from your diet. Perks of frozen yogurt include live active cultures, high calcium and protein, and lower cholesterol. But, Let’s Swirl is known for much more than being a healthy alternative to traditional ice cream. The shop features more than 50 toppings which include two varieties of eggless cookie dough — peanut butter with mini Reese’s Pieces and double chocolate with mini Hershey’s Kisses.

Summer Hours: Eastown Sunday-Wednesday, 12:00-10 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 12:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m. Downtown Monday-Sunday, 1:00-10:00 p.m. Knapp’s Corner Monday-Sunday, 1:00-10:00 p.m.

With more than seven years of business under their belt, Let’s Swirl continues to scoop up some of the best deals in town. Their “No Weigh Wednesday” offers a flat rate of just $3.50 per cup, out the door. Students can take advantage of a 40-percent discount with valid I.D on Mondays. Head in on your birthday for a free 8-oz. cup or have it delivered to your house via Uber Eats. Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 12-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 12-11 p.m. Spoonlickers. COURTESY PHOTOS

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Long gone are the days of limited sweet options for those with dietary restrictions. Saunders Family Bakery in Holland is known for its gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan treats. Owned by Kristine and Courtney Saunders, the business celebrated its first anniversary in March. Their top items include a gluten-free cinnamon roll hot and fresh from the oven and the “Down the Rabbit Hole” cookiewich, which features two carrot cake cookies with spiced

spoonlickersgr.com 1551 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids (616) 805-5502

The hardest part about a trip to Spoonlickers is deciding which of their 80-plus toppings and flavors you’ll enjoy. How about starting your mix with decadent homemade ganache or caramel and finish it off with chocolate chip cookie dough and whipped cream.

Saunders Family Bakery saundersfamilybakery.com 102 S. River Ave., Holland (616) 848-7677

Spoonlickers

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Guaranteed Fresh and Delicious! Our Locations 6450 28th Ave, Hudsonville | 616.797.4320 8467 Algoma Ave NE, Rockford | 616.951.7333 5135 Lake Michigan Dr, Allendale | 616.986.1413 452 Ada Dr SE, Ada | 616.682.5417

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Order Today

Call or stop in to place your order


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION DESSERTS & COOL SUMMER TREATS

Sprinkles Donut Shop sprinklesdonutshop.com 452 Ada Dr. SE, Ada (616) 682-5417 5135 Lake Michigan Dr., Allendale (616) 986-1413 6450 28th Ave., Hudsonville (616) 797-4320 8467 Algoma Ave. NE, Rockford (616) 951-7333

Nothing will start your day better than a doughnut with a cup of fresh-brewed coffee. Visit one of the four Sprinkles Donuts locations to enjoy yeast and cake doughnuts, cupcakes and muffins in a variety of flavors. Their doughnuts cover the basics like apple fritters and classic round glaze to newer flavors like Peanut Butter or Chocolate Nut Cinnamon Fry. Sprinkles Donut shop, a family owned business, started in 2014. Owner Gary Vander-

stelt's father has been baking and owning his own bakeries for more than 50 years. Their mission? To create doughnuts that are more than just flour, sugar and water. To the owners, a doughnut means family, community and love. Each doughnut is made with time and attention, using locally sourced and premium ingredients. Hours: Monday-Friday, 6 a.m.–6 p.m. Saturday, 6 a.m.–1 p.m. Sunday, 6 a.m.–1 p.m.

6504 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546 • 616.957.2122

sugarmommaspastries.com

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WE MAKE EVERYTHING IN-HOUSE, FROM Scratch!

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Ice Cream Sandwiches with Sponge cake imported from France!

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

Old school burger joint located in downtown Rockford. Great for dining in or taking to go!

CARME0N-LYJuNnCeH1 May 3

Wide selection of Artisan Gelato, Sorbetto, Malts and Shakes ALL AVAILABLE AT

PETE LEE

June 6-8

MIKE PARAMORE June 13-15

(616) 884-3166 51 E. Bridge Street, Rockford, MI 49341

COMING NEXT MONTH:

THE PETS ISSUE PAUL STRICKLAND June 20-22

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

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E VINCE CA7R-O2N9 June 2

We explore the best shops for products to spoil your pets, locally made pet items, and where you and your furry friends can spend time together.

TO ADVERTISE: Call (616) 608-6170 or email sales@revuewm.com.


By Josh Veal

DINING

Left: The Friesian Gastro Pub's interior. Right: Co-owners Phil Reinstra, Zan Lamkin and Craig Jones. COURTESY PHOTOS

FRESH & FRIENDLY The Friesian Gastro Pub dishes out novel meals in a welcoming space

I

to talk with the owners, I was given a bite of Pork Belly Burnt Ends, served in a cream-leek sauce with brussels sprouts. That one bite — with a perfect mixture of textures, creaminess, acidity and umami — filled me with hope for a better world. I only stopped eating to leave room for the rest of the meal. On a separate trip, I tried the lamb chops, which were equally transcendent thanks to a stellar red pepper cream sauce that perfectly complemented the juicy lamb chops and tender candied lardon. I didn’t leave a drop behind. Probably the best example of Friesian’s philosophy is the rotating meatball skillet, with wildly inventive features like a pork meatball with ancho blueberry barbecue sauce. Line cooks typically aren’t part of the creative process in restaurants, but here they’re encouraged to invent these rotating specials and are even rewarded for it, making extra money for every dish sold. For my meal with the owners, the charcuterie board kicked things off with an unusual selection. There was elk salami made with blueberries, goat cheese with vegetable ash, pickled leeks, and “milk jam,” alongside some other approachable meats and cheeses. After that, I was feeling excited but trepidatious, only because they’d brought me something I don’t typically like: dates. I’m always open to being converted though, and it turns out stuffing dates with roasted garlic, wrapping them in housesmoked bacon, covering them with hot honey and sprinkling them with feta is one easy way to make me a believer. If you can expand my culinary horizons in any way, I’m on your team. Then came the main dish, the Harissa Hot, a Southernstyle fried chicken breast with harissa hot sauce, sweet and sour pickles, black pepper aioli and a sesame bun. It’s not at all your typical chicken sandwich — the chef said harissa is an ancient sauce, made with hot chili pepper paste and a wide variety of spices. The pickles are housemade, which means they don’t taste quite like any pickle you’ve ever had before. “Things are better if you do it yourself,” said Chef Seekford. He’s right. Combine that with some spot-on fried chicken and an affordable price tag of $10 and this could be your new go-to lunch.

Stuffed Dates and Charcuterie Board.

The Friesian notably also goes big on the dessert menu, created by a pastry chef. In fact, it’s the largest part of the menu, but for good reason. “We’ve gotten that comment from multiple people, but then they eat the dessert and they’re like, ‘We understand,’” Lamkin said. I understand now too. The Friesian isn’t showy about it, but the menu is full of thoughtful, innovative, unique food that only makes you want more. As Michigan Street continues to fill up its apartments and storefronts, Friesian is part of the growth, providing a place to relax any time of the day with a drink in hand and some delicious food on the table. Everyone’s welcome. “It’s great coming in here and seeing people you know and they’re having a great time,” said Lamkin, who himself loves to just hang out at the restaurant. “We really wanted to cultivate great food and a great environment.” n

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f you’re going to open a new restaurant in West Michigan, you better stand out. The Friesian Gastro Pub understood that from the start. Opened by three Grand Rapidians in April of this year, Friesian is already making a name for itself as a local hangout spot and destination eatery. It’s all about innovative food, welcome vibes and outdoor seating. In fact, the new restaurant’s biggest claim to fame might just be its rooftop deck, despite it not even being open at the time I write this. “That’s something we get calls on daily,” said Zan Lamkin, co-owner of The Friesian. The 50-person rooftop deck will look over Michigan Street in Grand Rapids, with a view stretching up to the Medical Mile. On the ground level, a 20-person patio in the back offers a nice outdoor compromise for the height-averse. Lamkin said they hope to have both spaces open by the end of May, but you’ll have to see for yourself. Of course, it takes more than open-air dining to make a lasting impression around here. The Friesian’s true appeal starts with the inside, from the moment you walk in the door and see the welcoming bar in the center of the room, surrounded by original exposed walls and ceilings. From the beginning, Friesian’s owners wanted to be part of the community, listening closely to the Midtown neighborhood’s input on exactly what the area needed. In the end, Lamkin said it’s meant to feel like a “hangout spot,” not a stuffy restaurant, but also not another late-night bar, of which the area has plenty. Lamkin, who has worked in the financial industry, opened the restaurant with friends Phil Reinstra, who has worked as an I.T. consultant, and Craig Jones, a local industry veteran. Jones cut his teeth at various restaurants and bars around town, such as Rocky’s Bar & Grill, J. Gardella’s Tavern and Monarchs Club, which helped him smoothly manage Friesian’s kitchen and taproom right off the bat. More importantly, Jones created a strong groundwork for the menu, which Chef John Seekford built upon. And the food is really what stands out at the Friesian. The moment I sat down

REVUEWM.COM | JUNE 2019 |

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By Jack Raymond

BEER

HIGH AND DRY Revue’s Brut IPA taste-off

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ike a mouse trying to out-squeak a hamster with a megaphone, the Brut IPA has had trouble fully making a name for itself under the New England IPA’s tutelage. This comes as no surprise. By design, Bruts are built sugarless, subtle and dry — not exactly qualities the masses clamor for in a beer. Rather, Brut IPA feels engineered for a cult following. They pair well with food, they don’t wreck your palate, and they showcase an unpronounceable enzyme (amyloglucosidase). Consider it more of a pivot than an evolution on the IPA timeline, a course correction that opts for balance in place of excess. And yet, since Brut’s inception at Social Kitchen and Brewery in San

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Moral Panic

DINING SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

Ska Brewing Co., Durango, Colo. 5.75% ABV Score: 88.4 Rough hang that the one Colorado beer took top honors, but this was adored across the board. Pours a goldenrod, shimmers like a doubloon, and flaunts a hop-rub aroma that’s worth a thousand sniffs. The flavor oscillates between tropical fruits while the signature dry finish kept us drinkers returning to glass. A benchmark for this fledgling style.

Electro Brut

Brew Detroit, Detroit 7.4% ABV Score: 77.2 This stood out as the most “brutish.” Finishes super dry and that

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Francisco, the beer community has taken every measure to laud Brut IPAs as “the next big thing.” Even the haze masters at Old Nation, famous for their turbid M-43, have canned a Brut to demonstrate their talent at an opposite extreme. Time will tell whether the average consumer embraces the champagney style with equal fervor. While the haze craze continues to last longer than any crystal ball could’ve predicted, some already wonder if Brut’s 15 minutes of fame have expired. Are Brut IPAs destined for the doom of the dodo, remembered as just another goofy blip in beer history? Well, it seems to depend on which Brut you try. Revue gathered a panel of tasters to test the style’s staying power.

dryness lingers as it should. Whiffs of tangerine and grapefruit are mellow but lovely. Oddly, a haze disguises this as a New England, but thanks to a quadruple dry hop, this boy’s mega bitter, not juicy. If it came caged and corked, I’d pop these in lieu of bubbles on NYE.

Juicy Brut

Short’s Brewing Co., Bellaire 4.2% ABV Score: 74.8 Soft and spritzy, a low ABV suits this crushable Brut. After deliberation, papaya is the flavor we agreed on. Sort of tastes like meeting a New England in the middle (hence the “juicy”). It’s clean, minimally bitter, maybe not the most memorable, but I could see myself erasing a cooler full of these in the summer. A welcome addition to Short’s flagships.

RECOMMENDED Good & Proper

Arbor Brewing Company, Ypsilanti 6.2% ABV Score: 74 Looks-wise, this is eye-popping — yellow as a stop light. Dry, but not to the bone. Citrusy, but not to the point of puckering. The subtlety created a rift among tasters. Some found its restraint enchanting and crushable, others knocked it as the LaCroix of Brut.

Brut2

Odd Side Ales, Grand Haven 8.2% ABV Score: 68.6 The only thing better than one Brut is two. This double has sticky lacing that clings. Quite dry, effervescent too, but something about the malt bill has this tasting more

like a traditional IPA. That said, the alcohol is concealed nicely. One voter docked points, citing a petrol aroma. Suddenly, that’s all the group could smell, but the taste doesn’t follow suit.

Brut-y Traps

Pigeon Hill Brewing Co., Muskegon 6.75% ABV Score: 67.4 Crystalline as can be. It smells like honeydew and tastes like melon too. I could see it pairing well with a soft brie. Unfortunately, a couple panelists felt this beer offered diminishing returns. Pleasing for a few sips, then poof! — an old flower flavor appears.

ALSO TASTED Caged Wisdom

Odd Side Ales, Grand Haven 6.8% ABV

Brut-Hero

Revolution Brewing Co., Chicago, Ill. 7% ABV

Brut Extra Dry

Anderson Valley Brewing Company, Boonville, Calif. 6.8% ABV

Brut IPA

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Chico, Calif. 6.2% ABV


FOOD - ART

MUSIC - PERFORMANCE

SAUGATUCK EXPO 30 DAYS ON THE ART COAST JUNE 1-8 THE CULINARY ARTS JUNE 7-14 THE FINE ARTS JUNE 14-20 THE ART OF MUSIC JUNE 21-27 THE PERFORMING ARTS JUNE 28-30 THE ART OF SHAKESPEARE

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE EVENTS AND EXPERIENCES VISIT

SAUGATUCK.COM/EXPO

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