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

FREE!

THE WINNERS ISSUE See page 24 for the results


*ENGLISH SUBTITLES / **SPANISH SUBTITLES ARE FREE. PRE-MOVIE ENTERTAINMENT AT 6:30 PM. FIRST FILM AT 7:30. 2 |FILMS REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018 BRING YOUR CHAIRS, SNACKS, BEER AND WINE. LOCAL VENDORS ON-SITE.

#MoviesOnMonroe DOWNTOWNGR.ORG


JUL

JUL

20

25

Nickelback & Pop Evil

Godsmack & Shinedown

Outdoor Event | 8PM Tickets start at $30

Outdoor Event | 8PM Tickets start at $25 AUG

Aug

25

5

Deep Purple & Judas Priest

Jeff Dunham Outdoor Event | 8PM Tickets start at $20 SEPT 2

Outdoor Event | 7PM Tickets start at $29 SEPT

Lady Antebellum & Darius Rucker Outdoor Event | 7PM Tickets start at $36

14

Amy Schumer No Cell Phones Allowed Outdoor Event | 8PM Tickets start at $33

OCT

27 & 28

Fantasticon Entertainment Hall | Sat 12PM - 7PM & Sun 11AM - 6PM Tickets start at $5 Get your tickets at Soaring Eagle Casino or Saganing Eagles Landing Casino Box Offices, ETIX.COM or call 1.800.514.ETIX. Stay Connected with Soaring Eagle: Performances held at Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

Mt. Pleasant, MI • 1.888.7.EAGLE.7 • SoaringEagleCasino.com

Entertainment subject to cancellation. Management reserves all rights.

REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018 |

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REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018 |

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Brunch Sunday

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FRIDAY & SATURDAYS 9PM / THE B.O.B.

thegilmorecollection.com / thebob.com 6 | REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018

@gilmoreeats


WHAT’S INSIDE

August 2018 | Volume 30, Issue 8

SCENE: 10 12 22

What’s Going Biz Beat Style Notes: Leo Fashion Forecast

SOUNDS: 14 16

Local Music: Pink Sky Local Music: Cowpie Music Festival

SIGHTS:

14

18 20 58

Comedy: Nikki Glaser Comedy: Plant Parenthood Film: The Incantation

BEST OF THE WEST: WINNERS ISSUE 24 27 30 35 41 46 52

Introduction Music Dining Drinking Shopping Nightlife People / Services

REVUE ARTS:

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

DINING & DRINKING: 61 66

24 17A

Dining: Restaurant Week GR Beer: IPA Taste-off

REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018 |

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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

T

here are few battles so fiercely fought as a debate among friends over the best pizza in town. The cheese, the sauce, the crust, the pepperoni radius, the GSI (grease per square inch) — all potential weapons in a fiery contest of taste and fidelity. It can get ugly, but at the end, you get to sit down and make amends over some gooey, saucy slices. Now multiply this by 130 categories, ranging from food to drinks, people, services and music, and you have the spirit of Best of the West, Revue’s annual reader poll. The best way to go over the results is with a group of friends. You can review whether you think the winners are well-deserved or not, and who your picks would’ve been. It’s interesting — well, to me, anyway — to consider why some people and places fare so well year after year. When we look at certain results and say, “Well, that’s not surprising,” why is that? Quality is arguably the most important factor, but that’s pretty subjective. However, the quantifiable common factors seem to be: 1. Longevity. With time comes recognition, greatly increasing your chances of winning just through sheer numbers of voters actually knowing who you are. 2. Location. First off, GR nominees tend to fare better than the Kalamazoo or lakeshore, due to a larger population. But a restaurant surrounded by other cool joints on a busy street also will infiltrate the collective consciousness more than anywhere off the beaten path. 3. Social media. It’s simple — not everyone in West Michigan knows about Best of the West. It’s not a surefire path to victory, but if you’re out there making sure your fans are voting, your chances increase. Actually, now that I think about it, these are pretty good strategies for just succeeding as a business. Maybe I’ll write a book! OK, I’ve imparted my priceless sage wisdom, now it’s time to go forth and read the results. You’ll also find our Restaurant Week preview, a new IPA tasting, the heart-wrenching story of local band Pink Sky, a profile on local comedy troupe Plant Parenthood, and much more.

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

EDITORIAL Publisher Brian Edwards Associate Publisher Rich Tupica / rich@revueholding.com Editor Joe Boomgaard / joe@revuewm.com Managing Editor Josh Veal / josh@revuewm.com Copy Editor Claire Boomgaard DESIGN Kristi Kortman / kristi@revuewm.com Kaylee Van Tuinen / kaylee@revuewm.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Missy Black Kelly Brown Dana Casadei Nick Macksood Marla R. Miller CONTRIBUTING ILLUSTRATOR Kim Nguyen

Eric Mitts Jack Raymond Kayla Sosa Elma Talundzic Jane Simons

ADVERTISING / 616.608.6170 / sales@revuewm.com Kelli Belanger / kelli@revuewm.com DIGITAL EDITOR Josh Veal MINIONS Hanna Price, Michaela Stock, Abigail Rzepka

’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

UP COMING IS SUE S SEPTEMBER:

OCTOBER:

A complete season preview of West Michigan’s cultural arts, events and artist profiles.

Revue's annual look at local craft beer is a thorough guide to the local craft beer scene, with an extensive brewery guide, beer face-offs, trends and more.

Annual West Michigan Arts Guide

REVUE is published monthly by Revue Holding Company. P.O. Box 1629, Grand Rapids, MI 49501-1629 Office: 616.608.6170 / Fax: 616.608.6182 ©2018, Revue Holding Company. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part granted only by written permission of the publisher in accordance with our legal statement, fools.

The Beer Issue

ON THE COVER: 2018 Best of the West See more on page 24.

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

8 | REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018


REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018 |

9


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

8/3-31 Food Truck Fridays

Riverside Park 2001 Monroe Ave. NE, Grand Rapids Aug. 3-31, Fridays, 5-9 p.m. It’s summer. It’s Friday night. You’re hungry but don’t want to wait 30 minutes at that popular restaurant. Skip the wait and get your meal from a food truck in the Riverside Park. Every week, a variety of food trucks will satisfy your ever-changing cravings. Enjoy your food while sitting along the Grand River, all while taking in the fresh air of summer in Grand Rapids. Sounds like the perfect way to recharge after a long work week.

8/4

Discover the Dunes

Rosy Mound Natural Area 13925 Lakeshore Dr., Grand Haven Aug. 4, 10-12 p.m., free, vehicle permit required

DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS SCENE

If you’re from West Michigan, chances are you’ve been out to the beaches at Lake Michigan and have an appreciation for the beauty that surrounds us. Summer is the best time to explore what

Michigan has to offer, and this event will help expand your knowledge on the vastness of the sand dunes along the lakeshore. Learn how the dunes came to be, what animals and vegetation survive there, and what you can do to protect the land we love. At Rosy Mound Natural Area, you’ll walk along boardwalks and hiking trails with scenic lookouts over the dunes and water, and eventually find yourself at the beach.

8/6

Lindsey Stirling

DeVos Performance Hall 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids Aug. 6, 8 p.m., $136+ devosperformancehall.com It can be difficult to stand out as an artist in today’s world when ever y song sounds similar. However, Lindsey Stirling may just be a musical genius. She has figured out how to mesh the rising popularity of electronic music with a twist of her own: the violin. As an electronic violinist, she has produced three critically acclaimed albums and has received two awards for top dance/ electronic music from Billboard. Her music is lively and happy — it makes you want to get up and dance.

Lindsey Stirling at DeVos Performance Hall. COURTESY PHOTO

8/9 After Funk

Founders Brewing Co. 235 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Aug. 9, 9:30 p.m., free, 21+ foundersbrewing.com

After work, After Funk. Grab some friends and jumpstart the weekend fun by getting groovy with this soulful, funky rock band. All the way from Canada, After Funk has been traveling around the U.S. and countries all over the world infecting crowds with unique sounds. Having released two albums in the last few years, the band’s buzz continues as it promises new content on the way for 2018. Come experience the funk for yourself, and maybe catch some new tunes.

After Funk at Founders Brewing Co. COURTESY PHOTO

10 | REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018

8/11 Bags, Brews +

Barbecues Cornhole Tournament Downtown Market 435 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Aug. 11, 12-7 p.m., $50 downtownmarketgr.com

Partnering with Michigan Cornhole, the Grand Rapids Downtown Market is hosting this jam-packed, fun-filled outdoor tournament. Pair up in teams of two with your friends and family for this double-elimination tournament for the chance to win cash prizes. Even if you don’t win any loot, each registered player receives a Downtown Market gift card. In addition to cornhole, visit Slows Bar-B-Q for some delicious meats, Blue Spoon Food Truck for fresh roasted sweet corn, and the craft beer tap truck.

If you ever want to ride a mechanical bull and play giant Jenga or Connect 4, now is your chance, as all these yard games will be available as well.

8/14

Garden Movies: Lady Bird

Bell’s Eccentric Café 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo Aug. 14, 9 p.m., free bellsbeer.com Let’s be honest: Everything’s better in the summer, solely because you can enjoy the outdoors without wearing 14 layers. Walking in the park, sitting on the patio, watching movies outside — the list goes on. To take advantage of this, Bell’s Eccentric Café is hosting a summer movie series in its popular beer garden. Grab the blankets and


lawn chairs and secure your spot for the showing of Lady Bird, a film about a free-willed high school girl whose ideas about her future don’t align with her mother’s. The usual movie concessions, including popcorn and candy — plus beer! — will be available.

LEADING LADIES If you’re looking for some comedic relief this month, check out Leading Ladies at Circle Theatre. This hilarious comedy is about two Shakespearean actors who, in need of some quick cash, head to York, Pa. where an old lady is about to die and leave her fortune to her long lost English nephews. The actors intend to pass themselves off as her relatives, but when they get to York, they find out that the long lost relatives are nieces, instead of nephews. The comedy written by Ken Ludwig is rated PG, so bring the family for a night of laughs.

8/17

Grand Haven Main Street Sales

519 Washington Ave., Grand Haven Aug. 17, 9-8 p.m. + Aug. 18, 9-5 p.m. visitgrandhaven.com Who doesn’t love summer street shopping at small town stores, especially when everything is on sale! The annual Grand Haven street sales are back and stores all over downtown will be participating. Grab your favorite shopping partner to explore a variety of clothing, jewelry, art, sports apparel, gift shops and more. And when you’re exhausted from shopping all day, stop at any of the local restaurants for some good food and even better views.

8/25

Burning Foot Beer Festival

Pere Marquette Beach 3510 Channel Dr., Muskegon Aug. 25, 3 p.m., $45+, 21+ burningfoot.beer

Garden Movies at Bell’s Eccentric Café. COURTESY PHOTO

Donut & Beer Festival

Homer Stryker Field Kalamazoo Aug. 25, 4-8 p.m., $40 donutandbeerfest.com

An event inspired by Homer Simpson probably is one that shouldn’t be missed. Returning for the second year to downtown Kalamazoo, the Donut & Beer Festival features an abundance of beer, cider, one-of-akind doughnuts, live music, games, contests, and more. With the purchase of the $40 beer ticket, you will receive 10 beer or cider tickets, 10 doughnut samples and a sampling mason jar. DDs and teetotalers have the option to purchase a $25 non-alcoholic cider ticket, the only difference being that beer is replaced with a variety of non-alcoholic ciders. Last year’s event sold out, so don’t wait and miss your chance to pair delicious craft beverages and doughnuts.

Made in Michigan Pop-up Marketplace

Downtown Market 435 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Aug. 25, 9-4 p.m., free downtownmarketgr.com

Returning for the third year now, this pop-up marketplace has become a local favorite. With more than 50 vendors, the event offers a wide variety of goods, including clothing, art, jewelry, home décor, plants and even food items. The marketplace occurs on the fourth Saturday of every month through September, and

each month will have new vendors. Current August vendors include Meant to Bie, CITRINE, AvalonBiscuits, Hides and Stitches and more.

8/28 Foxing

wsg. Kississippi

The Pyramid Scheme 68 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Aug. 28, 7-11 p.m., $15 pyramidschemebar.com

Grand Rapids has become a music hub and a great place to hear new music. Whether you’re a committed groupie or a new fan, be sure to check out Foxing, an indie rock band from Missouri. The band produces fluid, atmospheric sounds with rock notes coming through in the vocals and instruments. Their sound is similar to Local Natives and Foals. Since forming in 2011, the band has released an EP and two studio albums. Their newest release is a single titled Slapstick. n

Leading Ladies Circle Theatre 1703 Robinson Rd. SE, Grand Rapids Aug. 9-25, $26 circletheatre.org

90TH MICHIGAN REGIONAL EXHIBITION Featuring the work of up-and-coming Michigan artists to accomplished professionals, Muskegon Museum of Art’s 90th Michigan Regional Exhibition celebrates the juror’s top picks on Aug. 30. The annual exhibition remains one of the largest and longestrunning regional exhibitions in the state. Juror Marc Mitchell evaluated 658 entries by 353 artists and culled the selections into a diverse and visually pleasing exhibit. Featured media include painting, printmaking, drawing, photography, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, jewelry and installation works. The Regional Exhibition is a visitor favorite and continues the MMA’s legacy of showcasing Michigan talent and rewarding the region’s best work. It’s also meant to engage, challenge and inspire conversation, according to MMA Senior Curator Art Martin. “The competitive show presents a contemporary look at the issues, themes, and materials inspiring Michigan’s artists,” he said. The opening reception allows the public to meet some of the artists and celebrate the winners. The 7 p.m. awards program culminates with the announcement of the $1,500 Best of Show Award, with more than $6,000 in cash prizes up for grabs. Refreshments and a cash bar are also available. | by Marla Miller

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

90th Michigan Regional Exhibition Muskegon Museum of Art 296 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon Aug. 30-Nov. 7 Opening reception 5:30-8 p.m., awards at 7 p.m., free muskegonartmuseum.org, (231) 720-2570

REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018 |

SCENE SOUNDS | SIGHTS | DINING

Craft beer lovers will want to grab some sunscreen and leave their shoes behind for the fourth-annual Burning Foot Beer Festival, which also features plenty of music and top-notch local cuisine mixed in for good measure. Situated on Muskegon’s Pere Marquette Beach, the festival features more than 70 breweries located along the shores of Lake Michigan, plus a lineup of bands including Eve 6, The Long Beach Dub Allstars (featuring two members of Sublime), Mustard Plug and Flexadecibel. A new waterfront stage will feature acoustic performances. Soak up all the beer and the sun with food from Muskegon restaurants Hamburger Mikey, Rad Dads’ Taco & Tequila Bar, Bone Ends, and Fatty Lumpkins Sandwich Shack. Festival-goers even have the option to camp at the beach, with the waves lulling them to sleep after what promises to be a can’t-miss party.

| by Kayla Sosa

11


/// NEWS

WEST MICHIGAN SEP

JOHNNYSWIM

w/ special guest | Mon. 8pm | CFAC | $25

03

BIZ BEAT

A Roundup of Openings, Closings and other Local Business News JOHN MARK McMILLAN | BODY + GHOST TOUR w/ special guest | Mon. 8pm | CFAC | $18

PREACHER LAWSON

w/ special guest | Sat. 8pm | CFAC | $15

SEP

15

SYML

SEP

WILD AND SCENIC FILM FESTIVAL

OCT

w/ special guest | Mon. 8pm | CFAC | $15

Sat. 8pm | CFAC | $10

MAD SHAK DANCE COMPANY Mon. 8pm | CFAC | Free

DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS SCENE

SEP

10

24

13

OCT

22

OCT

JOYWAVE & SIR SLY

29

Mon. 8pm | CFAC | $20

Tickets on sale now! @calvinsao

/calvincollegesao

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

12 | REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018

OPENED Three Blondes Brewing (1875 Phoenix St.) opened doors down in South Haven. Launched by three (blonde) sisters and their husbands, the brewery is attached to their parents’ VanDerZee Motorplex. Head Brewer Jake Demski comes from Greenbush Brewing Co. and is brewing up a wide variety of beers, from the Beauregarde Blonde with blueberry and lemon to the Jackmove, a double IPA. On the food menu, you’ll find tacos, pizza, burgers, sandwiches and more. Coppercraft Distillery and Ridge Cider (both owned by the DeVos family’s Windquest Group) opened a joint satellite tasting room and restaurant at 340 Water St., Saugatuck, right on the Kalamazoo River. The two brands are in one segmented tasting room in the same building as Mermaid Bar & Grill, which provides small plates for the space. Escape Allegan (264 Western Ave., Allegan) brought another escape room to West Michigan, launching with two themed rooms: 1920s Speakeasy and Prison Escape. Visitors have an hour to solve a series of intricately interlocked puzzles and riddles, which lead to the ability to escape the room. Escape Allegan expects to build two additional rooms this year.

EXPANDED Railtown Brewing Company (3595 68th St. SE, Dutton) expanded in a huge way to a building next to its original strip mall location. The new space has two floors, an outdoor patio, twice as much seating as the last taproom and an in-house kitchen, for the first time in the brewery’s life. On the menu: loaded tots and fries, tacos, burgers, multiple kinds of mac and cheese, and more.

Harmony Brewing. PHOTO BY STEPH HARDING

OTHER NEWS

Fenn Valley Vineyards (6130 122nd Ave., Fennville) released its Vino Blanco in four-packs of 375-milliliter cans, priced at $14.99. Altogether, that equals two full bottles of wine. Vino Blanco is a white wine that’s dry, crisp, very lightly carbonated and best served chilled.

CLOSED

Closer to Lansing, Gallery Brewery (143 Kent St., Portland) closed its doors in June. In an email to mug club members, the owners said, “The past four years has been an interesting and enlightening journey. … But it’s time to do something different.” The taproom and restaurant, located in a restored building in Portland’s downtown district, featured works from local artists and craftsmen, Harmony Brewing (1551 Lake Dr. SE, Grand as well as hosted music and other events. n Rapids) expanded into the former Subway loca—Compiled by Josh Veal tion next door, providing a second kitchen, more than double the seating and an indoor/outdoor beer garden. The expansion also brought delivery If you have any closings, openings or other business for pizza, merchandise and beer-filled growlers, news for REVUE, e-mail josh@revuewm.com. currently available only on Fridays and Saturdays.


TIME TO RAISE THE CURTAIN

CLIEN

FireK Casin

PROJ

Augu

VINCE NEIL

JOB

FK-31

OF MÖTLEY CRÜE

COLO

PERFORMING ALL THE MÖTLEY CRÜE HITS

4/c

SIZE

9.25”

SATURDAY, AUGUST 18

BLEE

n/a

DANE COOK

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

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

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

FK-31770_Aug_RevueMag_9.25x10.indd 1

7/12/18 11:54 AM REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018 | 13


/// LOCAL MUSIC

Pink Sky. PHOTO: HWA-JEEN NA

SYNTHESIZERS & SILVER LININGS Local electronic duo Pink Sky turns trauma into art on debut LP

DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

L

| by Eric Mitts OOKING OUT OVER THE MUSICAL HORIZON OF A BEAUTIFUL,

fully realized full-length album, it’s hard to hear the harrowing journey husband and wife duo Ryan and Angelica Hay had endured over the last half decade to get there. But when listening to their tragic story, one undeniable fact emerges: Nothing heals quite like art. Flashback to 2007. Ryan Hay is playing piano and touring the country with popular Michigan indie-folk outfit Frontier Ruckus. While in East Lansing, he meets his future wife Angelica through her friend, Detroit indie-pop musician Anna Burch, who also happened to play with Frontier Ruckus at the time. The couple began dating, and less than three years later were married. Deciding to become “real” adults, they buckled to the pressure of mid-20-something melancholy and left music and art behind. Angelica had already jumped right from college into a career as a microbiologist — despite long wanting to become a figurative painter — while Ryan shed his touring musi-

14 | REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018

cian lifestyle for the noble pursuits of grad school and teaching. The couple relocated to Colorado, and were relatively content for a few years living their more conventional form of “adulthood.” Yet something just felt missing. “We wanted to go back to our artistic pursuits, and we missed our families, so we quit our careers and moved back to Michigan to be artists,” Ryan Hay told Revue. Then the unthinkable happened. “A couple weeks after we arrived in Michigan, I was stopped in traffic on I-69 when I was struck by a semi-truck going about 70 mph,” Hay said. “I had severe and life-threatening internal injuries, my left pinky was almost totally ripped off, and I had significant damage to my neck and shoulders. My surgeons were uncertain I was going to survive.” Only 27-years-old at the time, he felt like his life had shattered in that instant. “Thankfully, Angelica pulled me out of my spiral by introducing me to painting in late 2014,” Hay said. “She encouraged me to use her old supplies — no judgment, no

expectations — just as something constructive and fun to do together.” By then, the couple had relocated to Grand Rapids, where Hay spent much of that year continuing his recovery, with art as a healing tool. Finally starting to become himself again, he received the most joyous news of his life when he and Angelica found out she was pregnant. The couple had always wanted to have children, and the moment came as much-needed relief from the existential crisis they had dealt with for more than two years. But it was not to be. “When we went in to hear our baby’s heartbeat for the first time, we were coldly informed that our baby wasn’t viable and that the reason was not only rare but also potentially life-threatening to Angelica,” Hay said. “That was the worst moment of both of our lives.” Enduring even more medical visits to rule out a range of possible cancers, the couple could not even grieve their loss. Reliving this new trauma over and over again, they felt isolated, alone and completely overwhelmed at the prospect of moving on with their lives.

“Despite how difficult these years were, we began finding that the more we shared, the more we felt connected, and there was hope of healing in that way,” Hay said. “This discovery, combined with a sense of having nothing left to lose, allowed us to gradually abandon our fears about being vulnerable, about failing, and about being public people again.” Renewing her passion for art, Angelica Hay then decided to apply to the graduate school at Kendall College of Art and Design, where she’s now completing her final year, earning both an MFA in painting and an MA in visual critical studies. Ryan Hay also had his first group exhibition as a visual artist in February 2016. While

PINK SKY FORMS ALBUM RELEASE SHOW

Wsg. Wing Vilma, Bronze Wolf, Darkly The Pyramid Scheme 68 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Aug. 25, 8 p.m., $7 advance, $10 day of pyramidschemebar.com, (616) 272-3758


at the event, he started talking with one of he focuses more on how the duo works the other artists, Matt Loeks, and mentioned than any set genre. “We actually have more in common he played piano. “(Matt) said he couldn’t play piano but with rock bands than electronic musicians. played synths and made music, which I had There are practical similarities, like that we a hard time understanding,” Hay said. “We gig with heavy, mostly analog gear, and that hung out a couple months later and that we are limited — tonally, and physically — by that gear, even in the studio,” Hay said. night was life-changing. He showed me some of his synths and some other artists us- “People aren’t going to hear wild tonal shifts ing pianos and synths. I had thought synths or production tricks in our music, because we aren’t creating in a computer. We only were synonymous with keyboards. It turns record what we can actually play live.” out I had no idea what synths were or could Pink Sky recorded its 12-song full-length do. It was like I’d been in the dark for years debut, FORMS, at their house, beginning and then all the lights just went on.” last fall and finishing this past spring. “At the time that we were searching for a band name, Angelica completed her most ambitious and beautiful painting to date — a 4-foot by 4-foot painting of herself walking away from the viewer, amongst wildflowers and a pink sky,” Hay said. “We were scratching our heads for days in our hunt for the perfect band name, and the answer was sitting right there in front of us. None of us remember if it was me, Angelica or Matt that suggested the name, but it was an immediate and unanimous approval.” Following the album’s release this month, Hay plans to continue to add to the visual elements of Pink Sky in the next year. After this epiphany, Ryan and Angelica formed Pink Sky. Together, they run mul- The group also has additional shows lined up in Detroit and Chicago, and plans to tiple synths, mixers and drum machines simultaneously, along with occasional vo- complete its second LP for a release somecals from Angelica. Describing the project time next spring. n as an indie electronica art band, Hay said

TA S T E T H E C I T Y A U G U S T 8 - 19 SABORES DE LA CIUDAD

“DESPITE HOW DIFFICULT THESE YEARS WERE, WE BEGAN FINDING THAT THE MORE WE SHARED, THE MORE WE FELT CONNECTED, AND THERE WAS HOPE OF HEALING IN THAT WAY." - RYAN HAY

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Newborn Skies by Angelica Hay, which inspired the band's name. REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018 |

SCENE | SOUNDS | SIGHTS | DINING

BLACK STAR FARMS

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

FARM FRESH MUSIC

QUINN Dt A2H-L4E Augus

Cowpie Music Festival. COURTESY PHOTO

MICHAEL P

AugustA9LASCAK -11

KEITH ALBERSTADT August 16-18

NIKKI GL

DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

August 2A3S-2E5R

AJ FI0N-NSEeYpt. 1

Aug. 3

16 | REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018

Cowpie Music Festival set to bring bands and crowds to working cattle farm

F

| by Eric Mitts OR THE PAST 15 YEARS, LOCAL MUSIC SUPPORTER AND

Shagbark Farm owner “Farmer” John Crissman has transformed his work ing cattle farm into a blissful weekend getaway for avid music lovers like himself. The annual Cowpie Music Festival has drawn in thousands over the years, with past performances from artists like the legendary Junior Brown, Sunny Landrith, Carolyn Wonderland, Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers, Ekoostik Hookah and Ultraviolet Hippopotamus. Just one word of advice for anyone going for the first time: leave your fancy dancing shoes at home. The festival has its name for a reason, and although organizers do their absolute best to clean up every cowpie in the field, this is an actual farm. So expect to get a little messy — in the best way possible. “When you step onto the farm, you can’t help but be taken in by its natural allure,” Executive Producer Travis Compton told Revue. “Cowpie is a unique festival because we do an amazing job at cohesively connecting a family-friendly atmosphere with gripping, electric performances. We have such an eclectic mix that is not easily rivaled, featuring artists ranging from bluegrass to hip-hop. One artist may serenade you into serenity, while another will take you on a musical thrill ride.” Headlined this year by one-man jam-band sensation Keller Williams, the three-day festival

will feature more than two dozen acts, includ- both knowledge and entertainment. From ing West Michigan favorites May Erlewine, beer-making tips with the folks at One Well Desmond Jones, Jake Kershaw, Fauxgrass, Brewery to a shadow puppet performance Bigfoot Buffalo, Olivia Mainville & the Aquatic with puppeteer Patrick Elkins, or recycling Troupe and others. Local act The Zannies will awareness with the Boy and Girl Scouts of perform at the fest for the first time, following America, there’s a new experience awaiting the group’s win at this year’s first-ever Pathway everyone at this year’s event. Last year, Cowpie hosted approximately to the Pasture contest, where area bands com1,500 people over the course of the weekend, peted for a slot on the farm’s famed stage. “This year, we plan on introducing several and this year, organizers anticipate breaking new aspects to Cowpie,” Compton said. “For the 2,000-person mark. More than 30 food the last two years, we have involved a theme, and artisan vendors also will set up shop in and this year’s theme is Motown. We are ask- the pasture market this year, selling a variety of festival crafts and fast eats ing each band to play some for the crowd. Motown music and we are “The large open cattle also going to have MotownCOWPIE MUSIC FESTIVAL pastures are great for parkinspired art scattered around Shagbark Farm the festival site.” ing, partying and camping,” 7525 Alaska Ave. SE, Caledonia The festival also will Compton said of the Aug. 9-11, $70-85, all ages welcome ballet to the farm uniqueness of the site. “We cowpiemusicfestival.com for the first time ever this year. h ave a l so cont i nued to Grand Rapids’ CARE Ballet develop the proper t y by is presenting its Little Bit of building roads, adding a Country show on Friday, while Balletmore well, and installing permanent electricity Dance Studio will collaborate with GR at the main stage.” alt-country duo Winnow, in addition to In addition to sharing his farm with performing on its own on Saturday. his fellow music fans, Farmer John also will “We are excited because we have the honor auction off his famous color-changing beard of sharing more than just music,” Compton said. during this year’s event. “We feel that there are many different artistic “The lucky winner will get to shave it off mediums that deserve praise and we feel that onstage and all proceeds will benefit the Barn we can benefit artists and guests by bringing of Equine Learning,” Compton said. them together at Cowpie.” For more on the Cowpie Music Festival, A weekend-long experience complete with including ticket and camping information, onsite camping and interactive workshops, check out cowpiemusicfestival.com. n Cowpie aims to enrich people’s lives through


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Uprizin Steel Band May 3

Jesse Ray & the Carolina Catfish May 10

Molly May 17

Matt Gabriel May 24

Asamu Johnson & the Associates of the Blues May 31

Kevin Michael Jones June 7

May Erlewine (ft. Max Lockwood and Michael Shimmin) June 14

Conrad Shock & the Noise June 21

The Crane Wives June 28

Phillip- Michael Scales July 5

Watching for Foxes July 12

Avalon Cutts-Jones July 19

Desmond Jones July 26

Turbo Pup August 2

Cabildo August 9

Melophobix August 16

Last Gasp Collective August 23

Afro Zuma August 30

The Appleseed Collective September 6

Flexadecibel September 13

More info at DOWNTOWNGR.ORG

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by Eric Mitts

COMEDY

GIRL ON FIRE

DINING |SIGHTS SOUNDS | SCENE

Roast-ess with the most-est Nikki Glaser ready to bring the heat IF COMEDIAN NIKKI GLASER COULD HOST A ROAST for anyone, she’d pick Taylor Swift. And not because she thinks the pop-country megastar needs to be taken down from the top of the charts. Because she identifies with her. “I truly love her and I would make jokes about everything except the fact that she writes about dudes she’s dated,” Glaser told Revue. “I hate that she gets flack for that. I love how honest and vulnerable and angry she is in her music. I feel things when I listen to it. “And that’s why I often call myself ‘the Taylor Swift of NIKKI GLASER Comedy.’ I also call myself that Dr. Grins at The B.O.B. because no one else will.” 20 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids Nikki Glaser. COURTESY PHOTO Hot on the heels of her latAug. 23-25, $15-25 est spot on Comedy Central’s thebob.com/drgrinscomedy Currently single after breaking up with her ex-boyfriend “I got off the stage after my first show and called my dad Roast of Bruce Willis late last month, Glaser has proven crying and told him I knew what I wanted to be,” Glaser said. “seven times in the last five years,” Glaser also frequently talks about her sex life and dating troubles in her stand-up. herself, once again, as one of stand-up’s top-tier performers. “It’s a really cheesy story, but 100-percent true.” “Dating is hard because you have to sort through a lot of Raised in the ’90s on Saturday Night Live, Late Night with Currently the host of Comedy Central Radio’s You Up? riff-raff and I don’t really have the time,” she said. “But I’m with Nikki Glaser on Sirius XM, she has a long history with Conan O’Brien and Seinfeld, Glaser soon discovered comics sure when I end up in another relationlike Sarah Silverman, Mitch Hedberg, the network, including her boundary-pushing series Not Safe ship, I’ll get a ton of material from that, Wendy Liebman, Dave Attell and others, with Nikki Glaser, and her legendary runs on popular panel too. So it’s not like I’m staying single so who influenced her joke writing. game show @midnight. that I have something to talk about onA semifinalist on NBC’s Last Comic “Radio is a breeze compared to TV,” Glaser said of her curstage. I’ll always find a way to talk about rent gig. “I just get to come in and talk. No hair and makeup, Standing early on in her career, Glaser sex and relationships, whether I’m having looks back on that experience as a turnno writing, no rehearsal, no editing. It’s night and day. And them or not.” ing point in her career, where she gained I get to be myself fully.” Proud to support the #MeToo movethe confidence she needed to continue Setting out to be as honest as possible, she said she wanted ment and help change the dialogue about the daily morning radio show — which premiered in February pursuing “this insane career,” even when sex in this country, Glaser said she takes she wasn’t making any money. — to be her own version of what Howard Stern does. being a popular comedian seriously. “I think I have done so much stand-up “The hardest part about it is the hosting aspect, but it’s a “I love when I hear that I am inspiring skill I want to hone since I plan on hosting TV shows the rest in the beginning of my career that was to a young girl, whether she’s a comic or unpaid, that I still feel like I have to do of my career,” she said. “Keeping conversation flowing and just a teacher in the Midwest,” she said. interviewing guests has been the most challenging part, but stand-up at night just for the hobby of it,” Glaser said, adding that hitting the road to play comedy clubs “I am trying to be a female voice that I myself could have it’s nice to learn a new skill 14 years into your career.” Glaser started doing stand-up when she was 18. is a sort of vacation from her New York-to-L.A. working life. benefitted from as a young woman with low self-esteem. I “The benefit of the road is that I feel more off the grid,” want to lessen the burden of being a woman in this world by Directionless during her freshman year at the University of sharing my experience.” n she said. “It’s probably the depressed introvert in me that likes Kansas, friends kept telling her that she should try comedy. So any reason to eat in bed. I only let myself do that in hotel one night she took their advice and got up onstage. rooms and it feels great.” She was hooked immediately.

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“It’s probably the depressed introvert in me that likes any reason to eat in bed. I only let myself do that in hotel rooms and it feels great.”


SPONSORED CONTENT

Burning Foot Beer Festival. Photo courtesy of Riversedge

This years Burning Foot Beer Festival headliner, EVE6. Courtesy photo

BURNING FOOT BEER FESTIVAL RETURNS TO MUSKEGON Muskegon’s Pere Marquette Beach ignites Aug. 25, 2018, as the Lakeshore Brewers Guild proudly presents the 4th Annual Burning Foot Beer Festival.

S

erving as Michigan’s only barefoot beer festival on the beach, festival goers can enjoy some of the finest craft beer found in the Great Lakes region, revel in local art and food, groove to local and national music acts—all while taking in the beautiful  shoreline of Lake Michigan.  This year, Burning Foot will feature more than 70 breweries from Michigan,  Illinois and Wisconsin. Entertainment-wise, a stellar lineup of music acts will grace the main stage, including Eve 6, this year’s headliner. Eve 6 first made their mark in the late ’90s with hit singles such as “Inside Out” and “Here’s to the Night” and, more recently, “Victoria” from their 2012 album Speak in Code. The previous two years, Burning Foot showcased the Sublime tribute band Badfish on the main stage. This year, the festival features two of Sublime’s contributing members, Michael “Miguel” Happoldt and  Marshall Goodman “Ras MG,” performing with the The Long Beach Dub Allstars. Local bands Mustard Plug

and Flexadecibel return to the festival located in, and in addition to working Michigan Brewers Guild, the Lakeshore this year, having both previously shared with  these local restaurants, they are Brewers Guild is focused on states the Burning Foot stage in 2016. Over on also involved with some wonderful that touch Lake Michigan—including: the new waterfront stage, set to be un- non-profit organizations. Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconveiled this year, Brett Dame and Brotha Our Bike Valet will have a new sin. Throughout these areas, the guild James will both perform acoustic sets. (yet to be announced) sponsor this year, works with its members to build the Another new aspect to the festival while Noah’s Project will “Lakeshore Ale Trail,” a for 2018 is the festival’s approach to its operate the Shoe Check-In. region rich in craft brewfood. In years past, the fest has curated (Note: No Shirt, No Shoes, eries, natural beauty, and 4TH ANNUAL some delicious custom menus, but this No Problem!) The latest the economic  benefits time around, four local restaurants addition, Kid’s Food Basthat flow from successBURNING FOOT have taken the reins. The official food ket, will handle the newly ful locally-owned and BEER FESTIVAL vendors are: Hamburger Mikey, Rad added Pretzel Necklace oriented businesses. Joint Saturday, Dads’ Taco  & Tequila Bar, Bone Ends, area of the festival. advertising and cooperaAugust 25, 2018 and Fatty Lumpkins Sandwich Shack. For all ticket informative support allows guild Pere Marquette Beach, Although  Burning  Foot is first and tion, including Sandbox members to grow while Muskegon foremost a celebration of local craft “VIP,” details on camping also establishing the reburningfoot.beer beer, the festival also highlights the info and more, head over gion as a “beer tourism” lakeshore’s stunning natural beauty to  burningfoot.beer. Get hotspot. Through these (and hot summer sand!). Bordered by ready to  kick back, enjoy collaborative efforts, the sand dunes to the east and Lake Michi- some tunes, have a craft beer and sink Lakeshore Brewers Guild is becoming gan to the west, Pere Marquette Park your feet in the sand! a driving force in supporting both its provides world-class natural surroundBeyond Burning Foot, the Lake- members and local economies. Learn ings from every vantage point. shore Brewers Guild promotes the local more at lakeshoreguild.beer. Beyond that, the Burning Foot Beer craft beer industry and the lakeshore’s Festival team loves the community it’s natural beauty. As a supplement to the

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by Kayla Sosa

COMEDY

UNPLANNED How a local comedy troupe is planting roots in Grand Rapids

DINING |SIGHTS SOUNDS | SCENE

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N 2015, DOG STORY THEATER’S COMEDY Outlet Monday brought together a group of four funny guys who might not have crossed paths otherwise. Today, they are local improv group Plant Parenthood. Whether you’ve seen them perform at Dog Story or laughed at one of their many Grand Rapids-related memes on Facebook or Instagram, you know they’re making their way into the local comedy scene. Andy Cach, Sean Maginity, Josh Heller and Thom Hunt make up Plant Parenthood. In any conversation, they bounce off each other with their dry humor, making almost anything a comedy bit. Cach started his comedy career at Detroit’s Go Comedy! Improv Theater. “Growing up, I was always the funny kid in school,” Cach said. “My brother’s the one who kind of pushed me to start doing improv and shaping that goofiness and random energy, give it a direction. And improv really helped to do that for me.” Besides being naturally funny, Cach said he continued to do comedy because of the community. “It’s a really good space,” he said. “You can be super different but everyone is just really supportive.” Similarly, Maginity grew up in a funny family and even moved to Los Angeles in 2010 to pursue anything comedyrelated. In a job as a dog walker for a magician, he got hired to write jokes and become a personal assistant to said magician, then at the famous Magic Castle club. He even starred as an extra in an episode of Mad Men. “When I moved back here in 2014 or so, I joined a hard rock band,” Maginity said. “That band broke up, then my relationship ended, and I one day was getting some food from the restaurant on the corner of Jefferson and Fulton … it was a summer night, I was bummed out. I get (the food), I’m walking to go home and eat my feelings, and there’s a sign outside of Dog Story Theater that says ‘improv, jam session afterwards’ and I’m like, ‘Never going to that.’” But in truth, he went the next week and was linked up with the other members of Plant Parenthood. Hunt had a little bit of a different journey before joining the improv troupe, but his passion for comedy is no less. With a goofy dad, sarcastic mom and having to move a lot as a kid, he found he had to be funny to fit in. As an adult, Hunt and his girlfriend moved to China to teach English at a private school, and there he found that his sense of humor could help him communicate to kids who didn’t speak the same language as he did.

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“Making them laugh was awesome to me — I’ve never had more fun,” Hunt said. “You have to adapt, to making a preschooler laugh, to making a middle schooler laugh … a lot of physical comedy.” When Hunt returned to the States after a year of teaching, he got in touch with Heller and joined Plant Parenthood. Now, one of his many talents is making the music for the group’s online comedy videos. Meanwhile, Heller said he always loved comedy growing up. He used to play guitar in a band that opened for Shaggy and won a Jammie Award. When that dissolved, the opportunity to do comedy fell into place. “I like having creative things to do, and this scratches that itch,” Heller said. Comedy means something to each of the guys, but they all appreciate it for its power to bring happiness when there isn’t always something to smile about. “Comedy is escapism,” Heller said. “Comedy is a way of maintaining order, of having control. If you’re laughing, you’re not crying. And no one can deny that.”

What brings this group together is their chemistry as a troupe, and a real friendship that’s developed through a passion for comedy. “With a group of four, we’ve got this tight connection and we each have an equal voice in (deciding) what we should do for our next video (or performance),” Hunt said. For the future, the members just want to keep doing what they’re doing. “We want to be a thing in Grand Rapids that makes a certain type of person feel good about living in Grand Rapids,” Heller said. Plant Parenthood will be performing this month from 7-8 p.m. on Aug. 6 and 27 at Dog Story Theater for Comedy Outlet Mondays. The group also will be in Detroit on Aug. 8 for the Detroit Improv Festival. n Find Plant Parenthood on YouTube as PlantParenthood and Instagram as @plantparenthoodimprov.


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STYLE NOTES

by Missy Black

WHAT’S YOUR SIGN? LEO FASHION FORECAST

DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS SCENE

LEO TIP: Mix patterns. Pull from different prints, moods and textures for a self-assured, strong style that turns heads.

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YOU CAN LOOK TO THE STARS OR OVER IN HUDSONVILLE AT LOU + MARIE FOR FIERCE fashions to fit your wild side. The Leo sun sign rules from July 23 to August 22. Leos are natural-born leaders and trailblazers — they have an air of royalty about them. If you’re wondering what’s in the Leo’s closet, it’s no secret: think big and bold, exquisite patterns, extravagant colors and statement pieces that scream, “all eyes on me.” Lou + Marie is known for its one-of-a-kind tops and dresses, and the shop carries plenty of striking accessories to boost tame outfits. The shop has recently moved into a new brick and mortar store after selling online, a recognition of the big impact a physical presence makes. “We love meeting people and making relationships,” said co-owner Kirsten Warners. “You feel the friendship with customers that come back every week,” said co-owner Cassie Beel. “It makes for a personal shopping experience. Some guests come in and are hard on themselves. We like to build them up. We all have our insecurities.” A trip to the store means seeing courageous and independent fashions tailor-made for the Leo lifestyle. From high-waisted, tropical print shorts with a built-in ribbon belt to floral print maxi dresses with open backs, you’ll find the makings of a confident Leo wardrobe — the kind that dominates the scene. Consider lace shirts and dresses in soft, summer hues (that can double as beach cover ups) or a classic strong cut-off, Buffalo checker print top. It’s complete with ruffles and fringe on the bottom for a can’t-ignore-me look. Sift through Boho jewelry, bamboo-crochet necklaces and Leoapproved Sashka Co. beaded bracelets made by women in Nepal in enchanting colors. “We like the fun stuff,” Warners said. “We like to have the unique add-on pieces. When it comes to accessories, the bigger, the better. Big statement earrings are in right now and we have a bunch in leather, fringe or beaded varieties. We’ve also got those popular, circular bamboo purses.” Check out Lou + Marie at 3410 Chicago Dr. in Hudsonville. Keep tabs on the boutique’s summer events at Lou and Marie Boutique on Facebook and lou.and.marie on Instagram. n


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TO THE VICTOR GO THE SPOILS.

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n Best of the West, there are plenty of victors to go around. Revue’s annual reader poll asks anyone and everyone in West Michigan to vote for their favorite local people, places, events, food and drinks. We spend all year telling you about the best entertainment around, so this is your chance to teach us a thing or two. As always, we’ve learned quite a bit in our third year of running Best of the West. After two months of voting, it’s time to reflect, recap and rest. Here are a few lessons, fun facts and stray observations we’ve gathered this time around.

Mike Stevens and Dave Engber home with a pile of bronze, silver and gold medals. We get it, the Grand Rapids brewery exemplifies pretty much everything people love about West Michigan — a laid-back, welcoming atmosphere, a beautiful patio with heaters, killer food at an affordable price, friendly service, great concerts throughout the year, and of course, solid beer that’s easy to find and easy to drink.

IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL VOTE

That all being said, we have 130 categories and award at least the top three, so there are hundreds of chances to find your way onto the following pages. Sometimes, it’s not always who you’d expect. For instance, Kale’s Korner — a cheapas-hell, cash-only bar surrounded by fancy new restaurants, bourbon bars and apartments — could be considered a bit of a Cinderella story. And where the heck did King’s Room Barbershop come from? This local “chain” (three locations) with a .net website bills itself as the official stylist of Pop Evil and launched into first place for the barbershop category. Take notice of the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony winning for symphony too — that’s either a testament to the youth’s talent or a sign of Grand Rapids voters never travelling far (maybe both). There are plenty more stories buried in the long list of winners this year, but we’ll let you take it from here.

When we first launched Best of the West as an experiment in 2016, we had no idea if people would vote — but boy, did they ever. Now, three years later, voter turnout has increased each year. In fact, we now have more than double the voters of year one. Of course, we’ve tried to make voting as easy as possible. You don’t have to register a month ahead of time or wait two hours in line at your local elementary school, standing awkwardly next to your neighbors trying not to talk about who you’re voting for. Plus, every vote counts equally. There’s no electoral college or gerrymandering. And it takes about 10 minutes, unless you’re particularly pensive. Why wouldn’t you vote? Well, don’t worry, if you didn’t make it out this year, there’s always next.

YOU GUYS REALLY LIKE FOUNDERS

No, we don’t mean the founding fathers — we’re talking about Founders Brewing Co., the undisputed champions of Best of the West. From ambience to chili, service, stout and much more, Founders places in the top three 21 times. If we could afford it, we’d be sending founders (pun unavoidable)

EVERYONE HAS A CHANCE

PEOPLE DON’T KNOW WHAT “LOCAL” MEANS

OK, so … this one may or may not be our fault, but we’re not that modest, so I’m going to pass the blame around as much as I can. There’s pretty much one rule for Best of the West: It has to be local. When we say “local,” we mean it’s founded and based in West Michigan. At most, we’re willing to stretch that to businesses that began in another Michigan city, only have a couple locations and have made a strong impact locally, like Slows Bar BBQ or Jolly Pumpkin. But Wendy’s? Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse? On The Border? Those ain’t gonna cut it. After spending dozens of hours sorting through thousands of nominations, I think it’s safe to say that it might be in our voters’ best interest to branch out a bit more. In fact, that’s kind of why we do this! Thanks to thousands of fellow citizens who live all around you, we have some pretty good suggestions for the best chili, steak and Mexican food in the pages ahead. Just once, take a night to try something new. If you still end up preferring the national chain stuff, that’s fine … just keep it to yourself.

WE STILL LOVE DOING THIS

For us, Best of the West isn’t just interesting, it’s exciting — in fact, it’s fun. And now we come to our favorite part: getting to tell the world, including you, dear reader, who the winners are. It brings us genuine joy to see people get so excited about their win, because that’s what we want this to be all about. Best of the West should make people happy, bring people together and encourage people to try new things. And that’s only possible because of all of you. Thank you.

| by Josh Veal

ILLUSTRATION BY KIM NGUYEN

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LIVE ENTERTAINMENT

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Left: May Erlewine. PHOTO BY JOHN HANSON Top Right: Crane Wives. PHOTO BY LOREN JOHNSON Bottom Right: Electric Forest. COURTESY PHOTO

BEST OF MUSIC by Eric Mitts

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hey say once is chance. Twice is coincidence. But the third time — that’s a pattern. Tallying our votes for the third year of Best of the West here at Revue, several favorites in the music category achieved what has eluded many in any given field: the illustrious three-peat. Five of this year’s winners dominated their categories for the third year in a row, with the Grand Rapids Symphony, 88.1 WYCE and Vertigo Music cementing their long-established titles as iconic institutions within the West Michigan music community. Supported by loyal listeners, vinyl lovers and classical enthusiasts who share their avid appreciation via social media and word of mouth daily, it’s no surprise this triad of greatness has become the gold-standard for West Michigan’s musical legacy. Meanwhile, Grand Rapids cover band Brena and GR DJ AB (a.k.a. Adrian Butler) both continued their reigns as they work hard to rock the local scene. As for venues, the massive size and widereaching appeal of 20 Monroe Live drove the now one-year-old venue to the top of

our Best Music Venue list after bringing in dozens of bands that didn’t have quite the proper venue before. The Intersection also changed the game earlier this year, adding two new venues under its roof — The Mint and Elevation — earning it a solid third-place finish behind last year’s winner and strongly-beloved indie-rock club The Pyramid Scheme. Two third-place finishers from last year also soared into first place this year, as GR rockabilly duo Jesse Ray & the Carolina Catfish jumped up to the top of the Best Original Band Category, and GR rapper Lady Ace Boogie took home top honors as Best Solo Music Artist. That latter category emerged as the year’s most interesting, as all three top slots went to female artists for the first time, with Earthwork Music pioneer May Erlewine and Kalamazoo music ambassador Megan Dooley joining Lady Ace in celebrating the depth and diversity of talent right here in West Michigan. Check out the rest of this year’s results to see if your favorites made it onto the list!

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Left: Die Antwoord perfoming at 20 Monroe. PHOTO BY ANTHONY NORKUS Right: The Go Rounds. COURTESY PHOTO

MUSIC WINNERS

staff picks

COVER BAND

RADIO STATION

ORIGINAL BAND

1. Brena

1. 88.1 FM - WYCE

The Go Rounds

2. Hairmania 3. Project 90

2. 97.9 - WGRD 3. 93.7 - B93

brenaband.com

DJ 1. AB

everythingab.com

2. Todd Ernst 3. DJ Kane

MUSIC FESTIVAL 1. Founders Fest

235 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids

2. Electric Forest 3. Festival of the Arts

MUSIC VENUE 1. 20 Monroe Live

11 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids

2. The Pyramid Scheme 3. The Intersection

ORIGINAL BAND 1. Jesse Ray and the Carolina Catfish jesserayandthecarolinacatfish.com

2. The Crane Wives 3. Trixy Tang

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grcmc.org/wyce

SOLO MUSICAL ARTIST 1. Lady Ace Boogie ladyaceboogie.com

2. May Erlewine 3. Megan Dooley

SYMPHONY 1. Grand Rapids Symphony www.grsymphony.org

2. Grand Rapids Youth Symphony 3. Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra

VINYL RECORD STORE 1. Vertigo Music

129 S. Division Ave., Grand Rapids

2. Corner Record Shop 3. Dodds Record Shop

Logging long hours on the road for years now, including helping to found the truly unique Farm Block Fest in the Upper Peninsula, Kalamazoo psych-rock band The Go Rounds hasn’t earned as much hometown love on this list as it deserves. But that should change. Still touring steadily all around the Midwest and elsewhere in support of its brand-new EP, the group has a new full-length album on the way and continues to evolve a mind-blowing sound. — Eric Mitts

MUSIC VENUE Park Theater

248 S. River Ave., Holland, MI

The Park Theater, a nonprofit music venue huddled in the heart of Holland’s downtown, is one of the lakeshore town’s greatest hidden gems. Bustling every Tuesday evening for the open-mic night, people of all ages and performance styles sign up for 15-minute slots. The Park cultivates community alongside its great open mics and shows too, so if you show up to the theater regularly (which you’ll want to do), you’re basically guaranteed a crowd of cool new friends. — Michaela Stock

MUSIC FESTIVAL Audiotree Music Festival Each year, this growing music festival just continues to branch out, expanding its lineup, its scope and its scale of what a city-based music festival can do in West Michigan. Returning for two days (Sept. 22 & 23) at Downtown Kalamazoo’s Arcadia Creek Festival Site, Audiotree extends to another level with high-profile names like Father John Misty and Local Natives topping the bill, alongside a collaboration with Western Michigan University’s own student-run radio station 89.1 WIDR-FM for the creation of a locally focused second stage. — Eric Mitts


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BEST OF DINING by Jack Raymond

A

Above: Anna's House. Below: Donkey Taqueria. COURTESY PHOTOS

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lot like summer love, some restaurants are here for a season while others are here for a reason. You know the drill — there are murmurings of a new spot that promises to reshape the culinary landscape as we know it. The hype cycle that engulfs social media weeks before the ribbon cutting. The lines, lines, lines out the door. The accolades, the three cheers for sweet victory, and then … poof. The honeymoon phase pitters out and it’s time to see whether a place will sink or swim beyond those first oohs and ahhs. This year’s list suggests that it’s not so easy to make a huge splash in the face of Grand Rapids’ institutional goliaths — at least not in a region-wide readers’ poll. As Founders continues to expand and swallow city blocks like a hungry amoeba, it’s going to need to build a bigger awards closet. Scooping up seven nominations this year in the dining category alone, you might start to wonder what kind of mind control agent they’re slipping into All Day IPA. Jokes aside, the patio rules, I drool at the thought of a Devil Dancer sandwich, and the beer-tenders are the friendliest in town. It’s no secret how Founders has secured its seat on the podium. And yet...

Call me contrarian, but I’m a little disheartened to see the underdogs buried under the heel of the big guys again. Slows beats Two Scotts. Anna’s House bests Westsider. Donkey over El Cuñado. But I really shouldn’t complain. What a privilege to be bittered by the abundance of quality eateries our city has. In the end, some hidden gems are bound to fly under the radar. If I could make one suggestion, circle the places on the list you haven’t been to and seek them out first. The Southerner, Schnitz Deli and Jaku Sushi have evaded my tastebuds for too long and I can’t wait to pay them a visit, pronto. That said, it’s also fun to watch a new guard (or gård) take potshots at the throne. Taking home a few awards apiece, the Søvengård and Butcher’s Union have proven they’re no fluke, anchoring a thriving corridor that continues to sprout great places to eat. But how long can the West Side renaissance last? With Zoko 822 popping up on the best new restaurant list, my money’s on the North Monroe district as the next zone to watch. Who knows though. Maybe the Grandville castle will open some dungeon diner that only serves mutton and grog. Maybe the people will swarm to it in droves. Maybe.


Left: Maru Sushi. COURTESY OF MARU SUSHI Right: Levain out of the oven. COURTESY OF FIELD & FIRE

DINING WINNERS

BRUNCH

FRIED CHICKEN

1. Terra

1. Cousins Tasty Chicken

1429 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids

1209 Leonard St. NE, Grand Rapids

2. San Chez 3. SpeakEZ Lounge

2. The Southerner 3. (Tie) Cedar Springs Brewing Co. 3. (Tie) New York Fried Chicken

AMBIENCE

BBQ

1. Butcher’s Union

1. Slows Bar BQ

BURGERS

438 Bridge St. NW, Grand Rapids

435 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids

1. Stella’s Lounge

2. Founders Brewing Co.

2. Two Scotts Barbecue 3. Pit Stop

3. Brewery Vivant

BREAKFAST

BAKERY 1. Nantucket Baking Co. 615 Lyon St. NE, Grand Rapids

2. Wealthy Street Bakery 3. Field & Fire Honorable mention: Cakabakery

1. Anna’s House Multiple locations - annashouseus.com

2. Wolfgang’s 3. Real Food Cafe Honorable mention: Westsider Cafe

53 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids

2. Brewery Vivant 3. (Tie) Bridge Street Burger Shack 3. (Tie) Cottage Bar

CHILI 1. Founders Brewing Co. 235 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids

2. Cottage Bar 3. Rockford Brewing Co.

CHINESE

staff pick

1. First Wok

ICE CREAM/FROZEN TREATS 1. Furniture City Creamery 958 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids

2. Love’s Ice Cream 3. Spoonlickers

DESSERTS (FROM A RESTAURANT) 1. Brewery Vivant 925 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids

2. Marie Catrib’s 3. San Chez A Tapas Bistro

DINER (GREASY SPOON)

Multiple locations - firstwokgr.com

1. Grand Coney

2. Ming Ten 3. Beijing Kitchen

Multiple locations - thegrandconey.com

COFFEE

2. Matchbox Diner & Drinks 3. Real Food Cafe

FARM TO TABLE

BRUNCH

1. Madcap Coffee Co.

Little Bird

Multiple locations, Grand Rapids

1. Terra

2. Biggby Coffee 3. Rowster Coffee

1429 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids

95 Monroe Center St. NW, Grand Rapids

This year, the team behind That Early Bird welcomed another member to the flock. With Little Bird, all signs point to another feather in the cap. The espressos reanimate, the ambience stimulates, but it was the French-style omelette I had that truly inspired. Simple, custardy and unmistakably eggy, I’ve spent hours watching YouTube videos trying to understand how I can recreate something in its image. I give up. I’d rather enjoy this perfect brunch as it’s meant to be, hassle-free with good company and a bitching cortado to boot. — Jack Raymond

FOOD TRUCK 1. What the Truck

2. Grove 3. The Green Well Gastro Pub

INDIAN

facebook.com/whatthetruckgr

1. Bombay Cuisine

2. Patty Matters 3. Two Scotts Barbecue

1420 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids

2. Curry Kitchen 3. Palace of India Continued on Page 32

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of the

DINING WINNERS CONTINUED ITALIAN

MEXICAN

NEW RESTAURANT

SANDWICH/DELI

1. Amore Trattoria Italiana

1. Donkey Taqueria

1. Georgina’s

1. Schnitz Deli

5080 Alpine Ave. NW, Comstock Park

665 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapid

724 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids

1315 Fulton St. E, Grand Rapids

2. Osteria Rossa 3. Vitale’s Pizza

2. Tacos El Cuñado 3. Lindo Mexico Restaurante Mexican

2.(Tie) New Hotel Mertens 2. (Tie) Zoko 822 3. Westside Social

2. Two Beards Deli 3. Cherry Deli & Catering

LUNCH

MIDDLE EASTERN CUISINE

1. Founders Brewing Co.

1. Sheshco Mediterranean Grill

235 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids

2121 Celebration Dr. NE #700, Grand Rapids

1. Founders Brewing Co.

2. Marie Catrib’s 3. Rockford Brewing Co.

2. Shiraz Grille 3. Le Kabob

235 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids

MEDITERRANEAN CUISINE 1. Sheshco Mediterranean Grill 2121 Celebration Dr. NE #700, Grand Rapids

2. Gita Pita 3. Le Kabob

MOST INNOVATIVE CUISINE 1. The Sovengard

SEAFOOD

PATIO 2. Rockwell Republic 3. The Sovengard

1. Leo’s Restaurant 60 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids

2. Fish Lads 3. Maru Sushi & Grill

SERVICE

PIZZA

443 Bridge St. NW Suite 1, Grand Rapids

1. Harmony Brewing Co. (Eastown)

2. Grove 3. Rockford Brewing Co.

1551 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids

2. The Mitten Brewing Co. 3. Brick Road Pizza Co.

1. Founders Brewing Co. 235 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids

2. Brewery Vivant 3. Cedar Springs Brewing Co. Continued on Page 34

Try our new menu!

Cinnamon Orange Shrimp

At Ganders, we’re passionate about Michigan.

MICHIGAN GROWN MICHIGAN MADE MICHIGAN BREWED

616-957-1111

28th Street SE at Patterson Ave. facebook.com/GandersGR

32 | REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018

Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner


Thank you for voting us

BEST BREAKFAST

three years in a row!

REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018 |

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DINING WINNERS CONTINUED

SOUP

C I T Y F L A T S H O T E L . C O M

VEGAN MENU

1. Uncle Cheetah’s Soup Shop

1. Marie Catrib’s

1133 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids

1001-1003 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids

2. The Electric Cheetah 3. Founders Brewing Co.

2. Brick Road Pizza Co. 3. Stella’s Lounge

STEAK

VEGETARIAN MENU

1. The Chop House Grand Rapids

1. Marie Catrib’s

190 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids

1001-1003 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids

2. Butcher’s Union 3. Judson’s Steakhouse

2. Brick Road Pizza Co. 3. SpeakEZ Lounge

SUSHI

WINE LIST

1. Maru Sushi & Grill

1. Reserve Wine & Food

927 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids

201 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids

2. Jaku Sushi & Grill 3. Ju Sushi & Lounge

2. Bistro Bella Vita 3. Divani

THAI

WINGS

1. Bangkok Taste Cuisine

1. Wing Doozy

15 Jefferson Ave. SE, Grand Rapids

3916 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids

2. Erb Thai 3. Thai Fusion

2. Rockford Brewing Co. 3. Founders Brewing Co.

staff picks PIZZA Jolly Pumpkin Pizzeria & Brewery

428 Bridge St. NW, Grand Rapids

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

Grand Rapids has finally been blessed with a Jolly Pumpkin, the O.G. of sour beer and pizza haven. Offering eight different pizzas in its fast-casual environment, Jolly Pumpkin’s pizzas come out of the kitchen on a conveyor belt. Made with locally sourced ingredients, these pizzas are sure to win over your heart. Everyone from meat lovers to vegans are destined to find something that makes the taste buds scream in delight. My choice? Two words: truffle oil. Usually only on the Truffled Mushroom, adding it to any pizza takes the pie from “Level 10: Amazing” to “Out of This World, Can’t Fit It On a Scale” good. Trust me on this one. — Hanna Price

COFFEE The Sparrows Coffee & Tea & Newsstand 1035 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids

Best Tattoo/ Piercing Shop Best Tattoo Artist: Amy Lee

616-534-8288

7813 Cottonwood Dr. | Jenison, MI gremlinhouse.com

34 | REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018

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

With big windows that jut out onto Cherry Street and a unique variety of drinks, The Sparrows Coffee & Tea & Newsstand is an Eastown favorite. Stocked with loose-leaf tea, excellent coffee and tons of reading material, you’ll stay well-caffeinated while catching up on all of the latest indie publications and zines. Sparrows is a perfect spot to meet with a friend, get some work done, or learn something new. — Michaela Stock


AUGUST 2018

MEMORIES OF MAYER

Hope College honors a beloved professor’s life SEE PAGE 10A. STORY BY MARLA MILLER.

PAGE

6A

EXTREME ARTS MAKEOVER Constructing new art spaces

PAGE

8A

NEW ARRIVAL Meeting KSO’s musical director

PAGE

17A

BARNBURNER Barn Theatre’s summer success


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“ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER HAS BROADWAY ROCKING!” – REUTERS

10 Books & 28 Events AUGUST EVENTS Falcons and Chimney Swifts: An Urban Birdwalk Thursday, August 2, 2018, 7:00 pm Main Library – 111 Library St NE (meet on the front steps)

GR Reads: The Movies – Total Recall Tuesday, August 7, 2018, 8:00 pm Wealthy Theatre – 1130 Wealthy St SE

Science on Tap: Exploring the Ecology of the Great Lakes Thursday, August 9, 2018, 8:00 pm SpeakEZ Lounge – 600 Monroe NW

Lawn Party Extravaganza Saturday, August 11, 2018, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Riverside Park – 3060 Monroe Ave NE (bandshell area)

Introduction to Zentangle Monday, August 13, 2018, 6:30 pm Thursday, August 16, 2018, 6:30 pm Main Library – 111 Library St NE

Beyond Her Grave Bicycle Tour: The Legacies of Women Buried in Fulton Street and Oakhill Cemeteries Tuesday, August 14, 2018, 6:00 pm Saturday, August 18, 2018, 11:00 am Main Library – 111 Library St NE (meet outside)

Resiliency and Perseverance: An Evening with Pastor Troy Evans Wednesday, August 15, 2018, 6:30 pm Main Library – 111 Library St NE

Protecting and Restoring the Great Lakes Wednesday, August 22, 2018, 7:00 pm Main Library – 111 Library St NE To see the ten book selections and event details, visit www.grpl.org/GRReads.

SEPTEMBER 18-23 | MSU’s Wharton Center TICKETS ON SALE NOW!

WHARTONCENTER.COM ∙ 1-800-WHARTON

WWW.GRPL.ORG/GRREADS 616.988.5400 East Lansing engagement welcomed by The Christman Company; Delta Dental of Michigan; Foster, Swift, Collins, & Smith, P.C.; McLaren Greater Lansing; and Rick’s American Cafe/Harrison Roadhouse/Beggar’s Banquet.

SPONSOR:

MEDIA SPONSORS:

REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018 |

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Design Kaylee Van Tuinen / kaylee@revuewm.com Kristi Kortman / kristi@revuewm.com Contributing Writers:  Jane Simons Kayla Sosa Dana Casadei Marla Miller

Publisher Brian Edwards Associate Publisher Rich Tupica Editor Joe Boomgaard / joe@revuewm.com Managing Editor Josh Veal / josh@revuewm.com

See more on page 10A

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

r 29 Novembe

ON THE COVER: Memories of Mayer Hope College honors a beloved professor's life

FIND US ONLINE:

ber Octo

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For advertising and distribution inquiries, email: 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 ©2018 Revue Holding Company. All rights reserved.

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Purchase all 4

MOVIES with LIVE MUSIC with the Popcorn Package!

PACKAGES AS LOW AS

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[VARIETY]

Grand Rapids Community College's new Albert P. Smith Music Center. COURTESY PHOTO

Renovation Renaissance Grand Rapids arts centers’ major upgrades offer the latest in acoustics, technology BY MARLA R. MILLER

A hub for social enterprise, creative pursuits and arts and job training, West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology helps teens explore creative careers and adults build sustainable futures. Looking to the future, the nonprofit education and training facility celebrates a major milestone this month as staff moves into a new home on Grand Rapids’ west side. WMCAT raised $8.5 million for its new headquarters at 614 First St. NW, on the third floor of a new Rockford Construction development near First Street and Seward Avenue. Programming for teens and adults starts Sept. 10, and a variety of events “are in the works” to share the building with donors and the public, said Jenny Griffin, development and communications manager.

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The new office nearly doubles the organization’s footprint, allowing for expanded programming and studio, classroom and collaborative spaces. Each studio features state-of-the-art equipment with dedicated studios for illustration, ceramics, game design, photography, audio production, fashion design and video production. President and CEO Daniel Williams believes the new space will advance WMCAT’s role as a community connector and further its mission around equity issues and economic and social progress. “A huge part of what we are about is engaging community in various ways,” he said. “Our teen students do community-driven projects. These updated and really intentionally designed studio spaces will really further those connections.” The organization offers tuition-free teen arts and technology studios and classes for Grand Rapids Public Schools students; a daytime residency program for area schools; and summer programs and camps open to all area teens. Adult programming includes tuition-free career training in the medical billing, medical coding and pharmacy

technician fields to underemployed and unemployed adults. The new space features a full pharmacy lab and classrooms for all three programs. It’s also home to WMCAT’s two social enterprises, which provide services to the public to help support WMCAT: Public Agency, a design thinking consultancy, and Ambrose, a screen-printing business. WMCAT does not have a public venue or gallery space, but it does allow facility rentals and works with a variety of community partners who often visit the office. The new space also has room to show students’ work and host community events, Williams said. As WMCAT began looking for new locations, it was important to find a space with room to grow as well as remain accessible to students and adults enrolled in programs, Williams said. Now in its 13th year, WMCAT has run out of room at its existing office space at 98 Fulton St. E. The new site offers easy access to the bus line and ample parking, and it sits in the heart of a west side revival. “We feel really lucky that we were able to find this location,” he said. “This west side location was really a perfect fit for

exactly what we were looking at as far as accessibility, parking, bus lines, walkable spaces. …We also wanted to be in a community that had history.” WMCAT is an anchor tenant in the new building and decided to buy the 22,000-square-foot space, ensuring the organization’s sustainability, stability and growth into the future. With input from students, staff and community partners,

“We’re really excited now to be able to take what we’ve learned and design a space very intentionally for our specific work." - DANIEL WILLIAMS, WMCAT PRESIDENT AND CEO


Digital renderings of the new WMCAT headquarters. COURTESY PHOTOS it also allowed architects to design and furnish the office to fit the needs of the organization. The teen arts and technology studios and adult job training programs each have a dedicated wing, plus there is a community gathering space where everyone can come together. The students use industry-level equipment, and it’s important the space mirrors any work environment they might move into, Williams said. WMCAT also has plans to expand arts programming for senior adults and offer evening classes, he said. “We’re really excited now to be able to take what we’ve learned and design a space very intentionally for our specific work, but that is also as flexible as possible so we can continue to grow and change,” he said. For more information, visit wmcat.org or leaveyourmarkgr.org.

Grand Rapids Community College Albert P. Smith Music Center After years of dealing with inadequate acoustics, outdated lighting and decor and an awkward setup where late concert attendees entered onstage, Grand Rapids Community College opened its renovated music building and a new recital hall last fall. The updated facility has been a boon for the music department’s recruitment efforts, along with bringing performances back to campus from St. Cecilia Music

Center, said professor Kevin Dobreff, the music department’s program director. “The entire innovation has really validated the music program for the faculty and our students as well as the community,” he said. “Our music program has always been very strong and our faculty is world class.” Renamed Albert P. Smith Music Center, the building at 142 Ransom St. NE was totally gutted on the inside and reconfigured to include a new recital hall, classrooms and music laboratories, a recording technology suite, soundproof practice rooms, informal gathering and study spaces, private teaching studios, and instrument and music storage. Along with a new HVAC and fire suppression system, the building features state-ofthe-art acoustic and sound-reduction measures for teaching, rehearsal and practice areas. Built in 1922 as the gymnasium for Strong Junior High School, it was then used as Grand Rapids Junior College’s field house. The brick and masonry structure has been home to GRCC’s music department since 1980, when it was first renovated for music education purposes. However, the layout and acoustics were always inadequate, Dobreff said. The updated acoustic modifications and sound transfer mitigation provide practice rooms, teachings spaces and a performance venue that all meet the demands of professional musicians, Dobreff said. “Now we can proudly show off our facility and it makes recruiting much easier,” he said. The Linn Maxwell Keller Recital Hall,

named for the opera singer who moved to Grand Rapids and supported GRCC’s program, features deployable theater seats that retract into the wall when not in use, as well as tunable acoustics. “The building and the recital hall really functions as a beautiful space,” Dobreff said. “They installed acoustic banners that are deployable at different lengths, and you can change the acoustics to meet the needs of whatever type of music is being performed.” The recital hall seats up to 120 and serves as both a rehearsal and perfo r m a n ce s p a ce fo r a l l of G RCC ’s instrumental groups, including wind, orchestra, jazz, guitar and small chamber

ensembles and piano trios. The venue hosts about 30 performances during the school year, plus concerts by alumni and guest artists. “We have a new national guitar series where we bring in renowned classical guitarists,” he said. “Now we have a really fine place for them to perform.” GRCC is the only community college in Michigan accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. NASM accredits about 750 four-year institutions and only about 26 community colleges in the United States. ■ For more information, visit grcc.edu/music.

Grand Rapids Community College's new choir room. COURTESY PHOTO

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[Music]

Trust, Passion and Relevance

Kalamazoo Symphony’s new music director discusses his philosophy BY JANE SIMONS

“We are addicted to our devices, we are glued to screens for work, for entertainment and for our social lives — at some point we need to find something that can provide a break. And for many, this is music,” said Julian Kuerti, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra’s new musical director. Kuerti, who was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, said he thinks there is a real attraction to music that can teach people about themselves while demonstrating that instant gratification is not always the best form of gratification. These core beliefs were among the qualities and characteristics that set him apart from four other candidates who also were under consideration for the job, which opened up after Maestro Raymond Harvey announced his decision last year to end his 18-year tenure with the KSO. Harvey is now the symphony’s first music director emeritus. Steven Kreider, who chairs the KSO’s board of directors, said Kuerti rose to the top because he was very engaging as he interacted with key stakeholders, showed a great deal of interest in the Kalamazoo community, and came prepared with a thoughtful review of the symphony’s

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strategic plan and what the community is all about. “It was evident that he was serious about this and that he had the credentials to take the KSO to another level,” Kreider said. The next steps will undoubtedly include a focus on centenary celebration plans for the KSO, which was founded in 1921, as well as even greater efforts to attract younger and more diverse audiences. Kuerti said the question of how to bring in the younger audience is often spoken of like the “Holy Grail” of classical music. He said the masterpieces of Western Classical music are some of the greatest works of art that our culture has produced, and he feels they will remain attractive to people for a very long time. “What we need to do is try to make ourselves as a symphony more relevant to the daily lives of the people that we want to reach — and I don’t focus only on younger concertgoers,” Kuerti said. “We need to find ways to present the art in a way that doesn’t reduce its importance — or dumb it down. But there are definitely barriers to be shattered, social, economic, cultural — and these are things I constantly think about. In the programming of the symphony season, I will be trying very hard to reach new listeners of all types.” This is music to the ears of Kreider, who said there is a broad recognition that concert-goers in general are aging and that the symphony needs to continue to develop a more diverse audience base. Kuerti said he recognized the importance and value the KSO has to the community when board members and musicians traveled to Sweden to watch him conduct a concert. “I was really taken by how passionate they were about the orchestra and the

Julian Kuerti, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra’s Musical Director. COURTESY PHOTO

community,” he said. “When I conducted the (KSO) in May, that was when we discovered that there was a great chemistry between us, and from that point on, I knew this is what I wanted.” Kuerti likens the importance of trust between a conductor and his/her musicians to that of a professional sports team or acrobatic troupe where there is a complete dependence on split-second timing. “So naturally, we need to develop a deep trust early on, or else we can’t get very far,” he said. “The first phase for an orchestra is they will get to know what I like, what I want, and how my hands move — and I will get to know them, how they play, how they like to be directed. Once we feel comfortable with each other — and this could take a few concerts — then we will start building on ideas of style, balance, direction — and our relationship will deepen with every new experience.” Even though Kuerti grew up in a musical family — his father, Anton Kuerti, is a pianist and his mother is cellist Kris-

tine Bogyo — he did not decide to make conducting his life’s work until he graduated with honors from the University of Toronto, where he studied physics and engineering. “I was performing on the violin by the age of eight, and I played chamber music, orchestral music and even solo with orchestra growing up in Toronto,” he said. “I was 24 years old when I made this choice (to be a conductor) and I have been doing it ever since.” His goal with the KSO is to develop programming that is so captivating and so interesting, the entire community will get behind it. “As music director, I will work hard to connect with the public and find out what resonates,” Kuerti said. “I believe that music is totally essential to living a happy life. What I do, what we do as an orchestra is try to bring symphonic music to our listeners to enrich them, and to enrich the entire community. But this only works if people are coming to listen.” ■


[MUSIC]

PREVIEW This month is full of outdoor concerts, perfect for August’s sunny days. Grab your picnic blanket or lawn chair and get outside for some strings, horns and more. BY DANA CASADEI

GRAND RAPIDS SYMPHONY

local arts groups. Donations will be accepted, if you’d like to support your local artists.

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

UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY

TITO PUENTE JR., Aug. 2, $20+ Talk about filling some big shoes — Tito Puente Jr. is the son of Tito Puente, the 10-time Grammy award winner, bandleader, percussionist, and legendary Goodwill Ambassador of Latin music. Luckily, the heir of “El Rey” can hold his own. His performances deliver music that will have not only your feet moving, but also your soul and spirit as well, all done through his high-voltage jazz music and Latin beats with salsa, merengue and mambo. Puente Jr. has performed more than 300 times in the last five years. Prior to the show, there will be pre-concert entertainment featuring Juan Daniel Castro.

BEN FOLDS, Aug. 3, $40+ Ben Folds is back for an evening of making music with the Grand Rapids Pops. Guests will enjoy the multi-platinum singer/songwriter’s hits with a live orchestra, plus a movement from his piano concerto, which soared to number one on the Billboard classical charts. Folds’ genre-bending music includes pop albums with the Ben Folds Five (the guys with hits like Kate, Brick and Army), alongside collaborative albums with the likes of Sara Bareilles, Regina Spektor and William Shatner. Yes, Shatner. He’s performed with symphonies for more than a decade, and is the first ever artistic adviser to the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center.

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

COMMUNITY POPS, Aug. 11, Free Grab some lawn chairs, a few snacks (preferably nothing that smells too bad), and take in live music and a glorious sunset. At this free concert, the Holland Symphony Orchestra will be playing light classics and symphonic pops that are sure to get your toes tapping in between bites of food and drink. This concert — which, again, is free — also will have tables full of information about the fall programs for other

881 N. University Ave., Ann Arbor ums.org, (734) 764-2538

SUMMER SINGS: BACH MAGNIFICAT,

Tito Puente Jr. with the Grand Rapids Symphony.

Aug. 6, $5

WEST MICHIGAN JAZZ SOCIETY

220 Front Ave. NW, Grand Rapids wmichjazz.org, (616) 490-9506

MARY RADEMACHER REED & FRIENDS, Aug. 6, Free A trained actress, dancer and vocalist, Mary Rademacher Reed weaves humor, charm and dance into every performance. The Grand Rapids-based musician has performed all around the world, especially during her stint performing with the USO/DOD, where she traveled to the South Pacific. During her career, she has also headlined at the five-star Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, performed with the Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra, been a member of the national award-winning jazz group Shades of Blue, and currently fronts the The Rad Pack.

ORGANISSIMO, Aug. 13, Free Formed in 2001 by guitarist Joe Gloss and organist Jim Alfredson — who at the time had a growing number of original songs — the duo went on the search for a drummer to complete their sound. Enter Randy Marsh, and the band Organissimo was formed. The group has had some turnover since its inception, with Larry Barris taking over on guitar in 2012, but its sound is one audiences come back to again and again. The classic organ-based trio infuses elements of funk, gospel, blues, progressive rock and Latin rhythms into their jams.

BOB NIXON WITH THE GRAND RAPIDS JAZZ ORCHESTRA, Aug. 20 Saxophonist and 2018’s West Michigan Jazz Society’s Musician of the Year Bob Nixon will join the group he co-founded for a night of live music. Nixon’s decades-long career has led to him performing with legends like The Temptations, Bob Hope, The Bee Gees and Jerry

Lewis, while also teaching music in various schools for more than 30 years.

KATHY LAMAR & FRIENDS, Aug. 27, Free She’s back! Grand Rapids native Kathy Lamar will make her second appearance at this year’s Monday Jazz in the Park, closing out the

COURTESY PHOTO

group’s season. The vocalist brings a diverse blend of jazz, R&B, soul and pop hits from many decades to the evening’s performance. Her song collection ranges from Sting and Bob Marley to Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday.

Richard and Helen DeVos CLASSICAL SERIES

October 5-6 | DeVos Performance Hall

Drink in the Arabian Nights with one of the best pianists in the world,

Jean-Yves Thibaudet Guest Artist Sponsor: Edith I. Blodgett Guest Artist Fund

RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Scheherazade KHACHATURIAN Concerto for Piano WEBER Overture to Abu Hassan STUDENT TICKETS

TICKETS AS LOW AS

$5 $18

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW

GRSymphony.org

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[VISUAL ARTS]

Memories of Mayer Hope College honors a beloved professor’s life BY MARLA R. MILLER

Bargaining Table detail.

Wall of Sound.

Great Battle. ART OF BILLY MAYER, COURTESY OF HOPE COLLEGE.

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Popeye, boxing gloves, skulls, speaker cones, even UFOs — references to events and symbols from 20th century popular culture permeate the work of the late Billy Mayer, a well-known and well-liked Hope College art professor. Mayer, inspired by memories of his childhood and personal interest s, also tackled progressive and political themes, ranging from guns and violence to the decline of the manufacturing economy to issues of environmental degradation and consumerism. A contemporary and visionary in a socially conservative community, Mayer left a lasting mark through his artwork and his impact on students. The professor of sculpture and ceramics died suddenly in November 2017 at age 64, and it sent shockwaves throughout the campus and community. A special exhibit at Hope College’s Kruizenga Art Museum, In Memory: The Art of Billy Mayer, offers a retrospective look at his artistic career. “This is a rare opportunity to see a fairly comprehensive sweep of it,” said Charles Mason, curator and director of Kruizenga Art Museum. “Most of his artwork is in private collections. There won’t be another chance to see a group of his artwork like this for a long time.” Culled from Mayer’s private collection, the exhibit includes a broad range of his work on loan from his estate. The show features metal and mixed-media sculptures, collages, photographs and more. All of the works are for sale and can be bid on through silent auction, which runs in conjunction with the exhibition and concludes on Sept. 8. Proceeds support an endowed scholarship in Mayer’s name to benefit future generations of Hope College art students.

With the help of Mayer’s widow and friends, Mason had access to his house and studio and works that were packed away. The show is meant to be a survey and includes work from the 1980s through 2017. Though Mayer taught ceramics and worked heavily with functional pottery, Mason wants to show a different side of the artist. Mason said he was surprised to uncover Mayer’s photography and gathered work that examines the theme of memory, as well as reflects who he was as a person and artist. “For me, I had lots of conversations with him over the last five years, and what strikes me is how much his personality comes out in his artwork,” he

IN MEMORY: THE ART OF BILLY MAYER Kruizenga Art Museum, Hope College 271 Columbia Ave., Holland Through Sept. 8 hope.edu/arts/kam (616) 395-6400

said. “He had a very dry sense of humor. His artwork truly is a manifestation of his personality.” Some pieces are overtly humorous, while others have a darker edge. There are certain themes that come up again and again related to the environment, social identity, cultural values, and the American consumer culture, which he found problematic, Mason said. Th e a r t work s have a p e rsonal connection to Mayer’s life, but he also “intended for his work to evoke memories in others, encouraging all to find their own meanings in his art” and inspire contemplation and social consciousness. “He hated the word ‘whimsical,’ but his works are playful for sure,” Mason said.

“At first glance, they seem quite cheerful and charming and playful, but … he’s really dealing with pretty serious issues. It’s that multilayered nature of his work that I think is really fascinating.” A native of Minnesota, Mayer began young by making his own sculptures working at his father’s workbench in the basement, which ignited a passion and drive that kept him up at night and led him to study art in college. He graduated with a bachelor of fine arts from the University of Minnesota and a master of fine arts from Pennsylvania State University in 1978, then moved to Holland to join the faculty of Hope College where he worked for nearly 40 years. Along with teaching, inspiring and mentoring countless students, Mayer continued to show his artwork in both solo and group exhibitions at museums and galleries throughout the Midwest. Mayer was very involved in planning for the Kruizenga Museum, which opened in 2015, and was good friends with lead donors and Hope alumni Richard and Margaret Kruizenga, Mason said. In Holland, Mayer’s legacy lives on through several public sculptures, including Sun Dog II outside Phelps Hall on the Hope College campus, Perro del Sol V outside the Herrick District Library in Holland, Midwinter Horn in the Nyenhuis Sculpture Garden on the Hope College campus, and Smokestack Lightning at the Midtown Center in Holland. Those public sculptures sparked conversation and criticism in the larger community and gave him a bit of notoriety. Good or bad, he liked the idea that people were talking about his art, Mason said. “The one in front of the Herrick District Library generated a lot of discussion,” Mason said. “Some people really liked it, some people really didn’t like it.” Installed in 1982, the library sculpture is geometric, painted with bright colors, and its form and color appear to change as you move by it depending on the angle, Mason said. Much like Mayer himself, it was “just so totally not like anything else that existed in Holland.” ■


35 years as your local, independent bookstore! Thursday, August 30 @ 7pm Talk and Signing with #1 NYT bestselling Urban Fantasy Duo Ilona Andrews Urban Fantasy fans will be excited to meet “Ilona Andrews” – that is, the husband-and-wife writing team composed of Ilona and Gordon, the authors behind the #1 NYT bestselling Kate Daniels series! They are touring for the release of Magic Triumphs, book 10 in the uber-popular series. The author talk will be open to the public. Guests can obtain a signing line ticket by purchasing a copy of Magic Triumphs at the event.

Schuler Gift Cards!

AVAILABLE NOW, IN-STORE OR ONLINE. Use Schuler Books gift cards in our store, café, or at www.schulerbooks.com

Visit www.SchulerBooks.com for a complete list of events. All events are subject to change.

2660 28th Street SE | 616.942.2561 REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018 |

11A


COMING SOON 12A

| REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018


[VISUAL ARTS]

PREVIEW

With ArtPrize 10 just around the corner, it seems most galleries are gearing up for the annual festival. The number of shows opening this month is slim, but there are still plenty of exhibits to check out before they leave at the end of the month. Go get some culture! BY DANA CASADEI

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

MASAYUKI KOORIDA: BEYOND EXISTENCE, Through Aug. 19 DAHLIA SHOW, Aug. 25-26 The national flower of Mexico — declared in 1963 — will be in full bloom this weekend. With 42 species of the flower, including hybrids commonly grown as garden plants, there will be lots to view, like one that forms a perfect sphere, aka the pompon dahlia. Dahlias vary in size from as small as two inches in diameter to almost one-foot, about the size of a dinner plate. Since they don’t attract pollinating insects through scent, they come in all sorts of bright, majestic colors — except blue. For those looking to perfect growing their own dahlias, members of the Dahlia Society will be on hand to provide tips. Good luck!

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

INDUSTRIAL NATURE, Through Sept. 7 FIBER NATION, Through Sept. 22

GRAND RAPIDS ART MUSEUM

OSWALDO VIGAS: TRANSFORMATIONS,

314 S. Park St., Kalamazoo kiarts.org, (269) 349-7775

MUSKEGON MUSEUM OF ART

VIBRANT BOUNTY: CHINESE FOLK ART FROM THE SHAANXI REGION,

296 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon muskegonartmuseum.org, (231) 720-2570

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL: THE ULTRA-REALISTIC SCULPTURE OF MARC SIJAN, Through Aug. 12 PICTURES OF THE BEST KIND: TREASURES FROM THE PERMANENT COLLECTION, Through Aug. 12 AMERICAN ICON & WHISKEY RIDGE, Through Aug. 12

SHOW AND TELL: GRAM STAFF SELECTIONS FROM THE PERMANENT COLLECTION, Through Aug. 26

Through Sept. 2

GLOBAL GLASS: A SURVEY OF FORM AND FUNCTION, Through Oct. 14 THE WAY FORWARD: NEW ACQUISITIONS AT THE KIA, Through Dec. 2 Works acquired over the last four years will be displayed at the KIA’s latest exhibit. There will be more than 80 pieces — in mediums like paint-

ings, photography, collage and mixed media, drawings, prints and multiples, and ceramics — revealing the KIA’s eagerness to enrich one of the community's most treasured assets, its art collection. Hoping to bring the visual arts to every walk of life, the KIA seeks to expand guests’ understanding and appreciation of the culture of the American experience, along with perspectives of life from around the world, through this exhibit. The first phase of the exhibit opened in the Gross and Markin galleries in late July, and will be followed by an international group of artists featured in the Joy Light East Asian Gallery beginning Aug. 25.

SEPT. 14-15 DeVos Hall Concert Sponsor

PERCHANCE TO DREAM: THE ART OF MICHAEL PEOPLES, Through Sept. 16 PICASSO IN PRINT: 20TH CENTURY EUROPEAN MASTERS, Through Aug. 12

BEETHOVEN’S Richard and Helen DeVos CLASSICAL SERIES

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

CAPTURED: A PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION AT LOWELLARTS, Through Sept. 1

2 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids uica.org, (616) 454-7000

Through Aug. 26

BEIBEI CHEN AND LEILEI CHEN

WEST MICHIGAN AREA SHOW,

Through Sept. 9

AMERICAN SPECTACLE: PAINTINGS FROM THE MANOOGIAN COLLECTION,

MIRROR VARIATIONS: THE ART OF MONIR SHAHROUDY FARMANFARMAIAN,

Gaia I, on display at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts' West Michigan Area Show.

Through Aug. 12

THE 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF EDWARD CURTIS: 150 MASTERPIECES FROM THE NORTH AMERICAN INDIAN,

URBAN INSTITUTE FOR CONTEMPORARY ARTS

ANILA QUAYYUM AGHA: INTERSECTIONS, Through Aug. 26

KALAMAZOO INSTITUTE OF ARTS

Through Sept. 2

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

Through Aug. 5

academic institutions, this show is a chance to get their work out of the classroom. There are two jurors this year, Matthew Eaton and Shelley Stevens. Eaton, who hails from London, is an abstract painter and a founding partner in Detroit art galleries Library Street Collective and Contra Projects. Stevens has a more personal connection to the exhibition as an alumna of KCAD, where she graduated as valedictorian with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2000 before returning to earn her Masters in Fine Arts with highest honors in 2004. Since then, she’s done numerous solo exhibitions, earning her fair share of awards along the way.

BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 7 BARBER Concerto for Violin BERNSTEIN Divertimento

FEATURING

KAREN GOMYO Violin

TRANSITIONS: NEW PHOTOGRAPHY FROM BANGLADESH, Through Aug. 26 MICHIGAN EMERGING GRADUATE ARTISTS 2018, Aug. 17-Dec. 2 Organized by the Kendall College of Art and Design graduate student association, this annual juried exhibition is launching this month. For artists who are currently enrolled in graduate level study or are current-year graduates of an undergraduate program at one of Michigan’s

7

TH

Guest Artist Sponsor: Edith I. Blodgett Guest Artist Fund

STUDENT TICKETS

TICKETS AS LOW AS

$5 $18

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW

GRSymphony.org

REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018 |

13A


[THEATER]

Killing Time

Assassins takes a look back at history’s most famous murders

BY KAYLA SOSA

Heritage Theatre is taking a dark turn with Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins, diving into the minds of famous assassins across history. “ It is definitely a dark comedy, very dark,” said Director and Choreographer Krista Pennington. “The show uses the premise of a carnival to tell the story, where all of the assassins are together and receive their guns as part of a game.” Each assassin sings an autobiographical song in the style that would have been popular for the time period the assassination or murderous attempt actually took place. Some of the perpetrators represented include Lee Harvey Oswald, Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme and Giuseppe Zangara, to name a few. Although the show does include some fiction, the parts that are historically accurate are right on point, according to Pennington. “The detail in the script and score is tremendous,” she said. “Obviously, these people didn't know each other in real life, but the way it's written is really interesting. In the show, Charles J. Guiteu teaches Sara Jane Moore how to shoot and Squeaky

ASSASSINS Heritage Theatre at Spectrum Theater 160 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids Aug. 9-18, $12-$22 heritagetheatregr.org

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Fromme spends time in John Hinkley's parent's basement with him going through tapes. There is a lot of space for the characters to discuss motivations, their past and encourage each other.” Incredible, detailed music supports the script. Composed by the legendary Stephen Sondheim, the score proves to be tricky, but in a good way. “Each show is unique, no matter what. They're never the same, which is a wonderful thing,” Pennington said. “Every actor brings something different to a role.” Another challenge Pennington has faced with this show is the use of guns, which is currently a very politically charged topic in our society. “There are 11 guns total, which is a lot, and they are very important to the show,” Pennington said. “This show is going to start a conversation, without a doubt. In our current climate, the guns make a big statement all on their own. I imagine people will leave this show thinking, which is good.” On that note, Pennington rates the show an “R” for language, as well as the portrayal of murders and executions. “I wanted to do this musical because of how timely a show such as this is, in our political climate with our current gun violence issues,” Pennington said. “A lot of what is discussed in the show is very relevant to problems we are facing today.” Pennington said the guns are almost their own character. “The gun is a means to getting what each of the assassins wants, and that varies greatly, from Jodie Foster, to a desire to be ambassador to France, to an upset stomach,” she said. “We hope that the use of guns in the show will elicit a reaction in the audience and start a dialogue.” Actor Rod Zamarron plays both roles of President Garfield and President Ford. He said he doesn’t think the show presents an “anti-gun stance,” but the audience could really take it any way they want. “People are going to view this through their own filters,” Zamarron said. “Some will see Assassins as a 90-minute advertisement for the NRA, and some will see it as

Assassins rehearsal. COURTESY PHOTO an elegy to banning guns. To me, guns in this show are a metaphor for the precarious nature of life and of history.” However, guns are far from being the only issue addressed in the show. “One of the themes in this show is that martyrdom enhances one’s legacy,” Zamarron said. “There are references to the mediocrity of some of our fallen Presidents, and, in the case of Lincoln, a postmortem apotheosis.” Yet another theme was brought up by actor Ricardo Tavarez, who plays the role of presidential assassin Giuseppe Zangara, an Italian immigrant who has had a very hard life. “He is plagued by a stomach illness that is unable to be identified by medicine during his time in history,” Tavarez said. “There is a running joke during the musical that Zangara attempts to assassinate President Franklin Roosevelt because his stomach hurts. I like playing Zangara because he represents a failed immigrant dream. It gives some reality to who can

and cannot make it in this country.” That idea of the “American Dream” is a huge part of the musical, as it has been across history. “There is an overarching perception (that) if you make it to the U.S., or are born in this country, and work hard, then climbing the social stratosphere is a guarantee,” Tavarez said. “It didn't work for Zangara in Italy and it surely did not work for him in the United States. There is no American Dream for him, just a plague and a nightmare. When no one listens to the cry of these hurting, marginalized and mentally ill individuals, their dream becomes a desire just to be heard. “If no person will hear them, then history will hear them and remember their names through their violence. We can pretend that our system and culture are perfect, but when these shots ring out, the perceived worldview of many is shattered, and the rest are reminded that the world has always been broken.” ■


JULY 12 - 29, 2018 • POTTER CENTER • JACKSON AUGUST 3 - 19, 2018 • VILLAGE THEATER • CANTON

MichiganShakespeareFestival.com OP otors P Fox M

Dog Story Theater 7 Jefferson SE

August 10, 11, 17 and 18 at 8 p.m. August 12 and 19 at 3 p.m. Tickets at www.dogstorytheater.com Visit www.pcshakespeare.com for More Information About the Company.

S SERIES

September 21-23

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eFaturinitgarist u

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15A


[THEATER]

Love Song

Mason Street Warehouse’s Once is a special kind of musical BY KAYLA SOSA

A classic love story driven by the power of music is sure to win the hearts of many in Saugatuck. Presented by Mason Street Warehouse, Once follows a Dublin street musician down on his luck who becomes inspired to keep going when a young woman is enchanted by his “haunting love songs.”

ONCE Mason Street Warehouse 400 Culver St., Saugatuck Aug. 17-Sept. 2, $44+ masonstreetwarehouse.org

Their chemistry crescendos as the story goes on. “What’s unique about the piece is they designed it in such a way that all the actors who are telling you the story also make up the band,” said Kurt Stamm, director and choreographer. “All of the actors in the show also play all of the instruments that are needed.” That means most of the actors are onstage for the entire show, making it a very one-of-a-kind narrative and storytelling style. “Almost every single actor plays multiple instruments,” Stamm explained. “One actor has to play guitar, banjo, ukulele, mandolin, drums. It was a very interesting casting process because I’m looking for people with a very specific skill set.” The story within this distinct musical, based on the film by John Carney, is one of sadness and happiness.

16A

| REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018

“When you talk about having another human being in your life basically change your direction and inspire you because of how you make them feel, that’s the essence of the story,” Stamm said. Two unlikely, broken people — a musician and a beautiful woman — end up finding each other and falling in love. “It makes it sound like this very serious love story,” Stamm said. “While that is the undercurrent, all the other people in the show provide so much levity and humor and heart to this story. That’s what I think is so real about it. In real life, oftentimes when we’re in difficult situations, we break out the humor. And I find that this show is so well-rounded and beautifully constructed in that department, because here you have this love story that you’re not sure where it’s going to go but circling around it are all the crazy things that life presents you while that’s happening.” Stamm said that lovers of musicals, theater and simply entertainment will enjoy this show because of its extremely unique qualities. In 2012, Once won eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Direction of a Musical and Best Orchestrations. In 2013, it won a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. Besides being the director and choreographer of this show, Stamm is also the artistic director at Saugatuck Center for the Arts. He got his degrees in music and theater at the University of Utah, and spent time doing regional broadway and theater. After studying under a famous director, he realized directing was the path he wanted to follow. In 2002, Stamm started the Mason Street Warehouse theater company and worked with the Saugatuck Center for the Arts. “For years, we were two separate nonprofits,” he said. “And then in 2010, we merged them together as one entity. We’re much bigger, we’re much stronger as one unit.” Sixteen years ago, Stamm walked into an abandoned pie factory, the building that is now Mason Street Warehouse. That factory was closed in 1996 and sat for a few years before Stamm and his colleagues checked it out. For a year, they raised awareness and money for

COURTESY PHOTO

the space and in 2003, they were able to launch their first season — but without some basic necessities. “In a building that had no running water or electricity, we mounted our first season,with generators and construction trailers that had dressing rooms and bathrooms,” Stamm said. “It was really something.” Before the second season, the theater was able to install plumbing and electricity. Since then, Mason Street has made

18 renovations to the space and still has more planned. To see the unique space, be sure to grab your tickets to Once this month. Welcoming in newcomers — whether they’re from Saugatuck, Grand Rapids or anywhere else in the world — is exactly Stamm’s goal as a director. “(My aim is) to always get people out of their own lives and let them share and experience a story live on stage,” Stamm said. ■


[THEATER]

At World’s End How Barn Theatre finds success in variety and disaster BY JANE SIMONS

Typically in theater, when something goes wrong, it’s not the end of the world. Disaster! is one huge exception. The musical focuses on a group of New Yorkers attending the opening of a floating casino and discotheque that quickly succumbs to multiple disasters. These calamities correlate with plots of various disaster films of the 1970s such as earthquakes or killer bee incidents echoing situations from the films Earthquake, The Poseidon Adventure, Towering Inferno and The Swarm. Also a jukebox musical, Disaster! is full of songs from the same era those movies were released, including Knock On Wood,

Scene from Disaster! COURTESY PHOTO

Hooked On A Feeling, Sky High, I Am Woman, Hot Stuff and I Will Survive. This fun, out-there musical garnered praise when it premiered in 2012 and fits right in with Barn Theatre’s summer season, according to Penelope Alex Ragotzy and her husband, Brendan, co-owners of the Barn. “It’s so campy and fun and I think it will be a lot of fun for our audiences,” Penelope Ragotzy said. “We like to do these campy musicals.” While older audience members will remember hearing these songs — many of which were played ad nauseum by radio DJs — it’s a safe bet that they are not on the playlists of millennials. But Penelope Ragotzy said the couple’s four children, who are millennials, and others in this age group recognize the songs even though they may not have seen the disaster movies that served as the inspiration for the musical. Brendan Ragotzy said he thinks those who may not have been alive when this

movie genre hit the big screen will likely have had some exposure because of the sequels and remakes of these movies. Plenty of songs from the ’70s have found their way into TV commercials. The musical features a cast of 11 in their 20s, including a young boy who will play the roles of a twin brother and sister. The idea to feature the musical in the Barn’s 2018 lineup came while the Ragotzys were perusing offerings from leasing houses. “What we found was so up our alley,” Penelope Ragotzy said. “I saw the disco ball and I was hooked — line and sinker. The company is very excited about it.” Variety is one of the key elements when the couple is making decisions about what to include in their annual schedule. “I really think you have to have variety and do quality work. You can’t strictly do family shows and adult shows per se,” Brendan Ragotzy said. The core storylines of their adaptations stay true to the originals, which

DISASTER! Barn Theatre 13351 W. M-96, Augusta Aug. 28-Sept. 2 barntheatreschool.org

Brendan Ragotzy said is sometimes not what audience members were expecting. “Nowadays, it’s buyer beware,” he said. “If you don’t know the product, you’ve got to do your research.” As an example, he said some audience members who attended their production of Grease were expecting to see a version based on the movie with John Travolta and Olivia Newton John. “Grease was a lot different than that when it first came out,” Brendan Ragotzy said. The couple also said they don’t pick shows for their company of actors. “The nature of summerstock is playing all of these different roles,” Brendan Ragotzy said. “That’s the beauty of being an actor here, because you’re stretched in so many different directions.” “They don’t know what roles they’ll be playing in until they get here,” Penelope Ragotzy said. This year’s theater company is made up of about 50 actors from as far away as Arizona and California and as close as Kalamazoo. When not part of a cast in a production, they can be found doing any number of tasks such as staffing the Barn’s box office, maintaining the grounds or working the Rehearsal Shed. The couple’s off-season is spent looking over resumes of actors who want to spend a summer at the Barn perfecting their craft. They also travel to see these applicants in live theater productions. This year, they received more than 100 resumes and Penelope Ragotzy said the decision-making was a challenge. “They are wonderful, especially this season,” she said of the theater company. “They come in blind and with a lot of faith that we’re going to use them.” ■ REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018 |

17A


[theater]

preview This month, we have one of Shakespeare’s tragic romances, two comedies about the importance of not being greedy, and a musical with songs and poems by American cowboys. BY DANA CASADEI

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

LEADING LADIES, Aug. 9-25, $26+ This play — written by Ken Ludwig, king of the farce — follows two Shakespearean actors, Leo Clark and Jack Gable, who are both down on their luck. While reading the newspaper, they discover an old lady in York, Pa. who is about to die and leave her fortune to her two longlost English nephews. Leo and Jack decide to put on the performance of a lifetime and pass themselves off as her nephews to receive all the money. Naturally, nothing goes quite as planned. For one, it turns out her two long-lost relatives are actually nieces, not nephews. Find out if they can pull it off in this 2018 Circle Audience Choice winner for play.

HOLLAND CIVIC THEATER

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

THE CURIOUS SAVAGE, Aug. 9-18, $10 John Patrick’s comedy focuses on Mrs. Savage, a recent widow who was just left $10 million by her husband. While she wants to do good with the money, her stepchildren are not so keen on this idea. Since they can’t get ahold of “their” money, they do what anyone would do: commit her to a sanatorium. (Dramatic, much?) Once

inside, Mrs. Savage finds herself meeting people she could actually help with her money, and is quite content. Of course, the story doesn’t end there — you’ll have to buy a seat to discover the rest.

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

THE PRODUCERS, Through Aug. 5, $32+

to be one of the men holding power in Rome) meets a woman named Cleopatra. Man falls in love with said woman, who is Egypt’s super powerful queen, and then leaves his duties and his home to live with her in Egypt. This, unfortunately, puts him at odds with Octavius Caesar, a former ally, in Shakespeare’s tragic romance.

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

SCHOOL OF ROCK, Through Aug. 4, $10+ LITTLE WOMEN, Through Aug. 5, $10+

HOPE SUMMER REPERTORY THEATRE

THE BARN THEATRE

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

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

THE WIZ, Aug. 3-10; $35+

Little Women at GR Civic Theatre. COURTESY PHOTO

Aug. 12, $39+

DRAGON PACK SNACK ATTACK – THE MUSICAL, Aug. 3-8; $15

BULLETS OVER BROADWAY, Aug. 14-26,

AN ILIAD, Aug 2-7; $30

DISNEY’S BEAUTY & THE BEAST, Through

$39+

DISASTER, Aug. 28-Sept. 2, $39+

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

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

GODSPELL, Aug. 1-8; $35+ COWBOYS: SONGS, STORIES & POEMS,

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

ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA, Aug. 10-19, $14

DIXIE’S NEVER WEAR A TUBE TOP,

Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company presents Antony and Cleopatra, a tale of love and war. A man named Mark Antony (who just so happens

Through Aug. 5, $44+

ONCE, Aug. 17-Sept. 2, $44+

Aug. 10-Sept. 15, $25+ Get taken back to a time before we became attached to our phones and the first question asked when entering a home is, “What’s your Wi-Fi password?” Cowboys: Songs, Stories & Poems by James Furney shares some of the old, and not-so-old, songs and poetry from American cowboys, whose iconic lifestyle has been glamorized in countless books, movies and television shows.

Create art. Design a career. Spark your world. 800.676.2787 kcad.edu Celebrating 90 Years

18A

| REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018


COMING UP AT THE KIA Friday, August 3 EVERYONE’S A MEMBER DAY Thursday, August 9 FILM AT THE KIA Thursday, August 16 EXHIBITION RECEPTION & TALK Thursday, August 30 FREE TEACHER NIGHT Friday, September 7 FREE BACK TO SCHOOL ART PARTY

Partnering with area groups like Rootead, Read and Write Kalamazoo, Peace Jam, and Girl Scouts, we invite you for art activities and fun for all ages. 5-8 pm.

Starting in September ART CLASSES FOR YOU OR THE KIDS Adult classes start September 5-11 Youth classes start September 8 Scholarship applications welcome by August 21

KALAMAZOO INSTITUTE OF ARTS 435 W. South Street 269/349-7775 kiarts.org

FRIDAY NIGHT ART HOPS RAIN GARDEN RIBBON-CUTTING

SEPTEMBER 7 | 5PM Celebrate with KVM, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, and other community partners for the inaugural Rain Garden growing season. Special planetarium music light show 7PM | $3

Rotating Faculty Spotlight: Mark DeYoung OCTOBER 5 | 5:30PM Exhibiting the works of faculty members. This year’s spotlight is Mark DeYoung.

Connecting Cords Music Festival

NOVEMBER 2 | 5PM Join the Michigan Festival of Sacred Music by local Native American storyteller and artist Larry Plamondon as he performs with a musical guest.

Elizabeth Ivy Hawkins, MFA, #safespacepainting project

NOVEMBER 2 | STUDENT TIME 5:30PM “In my experience, paintings are really grace poems. Longing wrapped in texture, color, and form. I am not certain about many things, but I do know that we are the perfect mix of dust, and mind, and spirit. And grace, just like surrender, is found in a small, still, red room,” she said.

Frank Lloyd Wright: Architecture of the Interior

SEPTEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 9 Featuring designs of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The 28 drawings and photographs displayed show Wright’s distinct and “organic” style and why he is considered the greatest of American architects. This exhibition was organized by the International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC, incooperation with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, AZ.

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

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

269.373.7990 | 800.772.3370 kalamazoomuseum.org

REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018 |

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2018–19 SEASON

Nov. 9–11

Sept. 29 @ 8 p.m.

Dec. 21–23

Feb. 6–17

March 19–24

Sept. 30 @ 3 p.m.

Oct. 17 @ 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 20 @ 2 p.m.

Nov.30 28@ @37:30 Sept. p.m.p.m.

Dec. 5 @ 7 p.m.

Jan. 16 @ 7:30 p.m.

The Concert Featuring Peter Yarrow

Oct. 21 @ 3 p.m. Russian National Ballet

Sleeping Beauty Jan. 20 @ 3 p.m.

with Paddy Moloney

DATE ∙ VENUE mannheimsteamroller.com

Feb. 27 @ 7:30 p.m.

March 1 @ 8 p.m.

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For more information visit us online at millerauditorium.com or call (269) 387-2300 | (800) 228-9858 July Revue Ad.indd 1

6/15/18 11:30 AM


of the

We’ve got the WEST MICHIGAN arts scene COVERED.

Above: Long Road Distillers craft cocktails. Below: Rockford Brewing Co. COURTESY PHOTOS

BEST OF DRINKING by Josh Veal

P

er usual, we decided to shake it up a bit this year and made the Drinking section all about the liquid itself. You can find categories like Best Brewery and Best Distillery in Nightlife & Activities, but here, we’re focusing on the distinct drinks that make West Michigan a shining beacon of craft bevs. We’d be remiss not to point out the obvious: y’all still really love Founders, which managed to snag a spot in every single beerrelated category. And take a quick look at the stouts — there are other breweries that make stouts in West Michigan, in case you were wondering. It’s just that none of them have the legendary status of CBS, the pervasiveness of Breakfast Stout, or the yearround hype machine of KBS. Plus, they’re damn good beers! Meanwhile, Long Road Distillers seems to have a lock on liquor for now, taking first in vodka, gin, bourbon and craft cocktails, with Gray Skies Distillery close behind. We can’t blame you — both distilleries are creating some of the best spirits, well, anywhere.

Similarly, Vander Mill remains at the top of the cider game. Considering the Grand Rapids-based cidery is one of the largest — if not the largest — cider makers in the Midwest, we expect it to claim the throne for a while now. That being said, The Peoples Cider Co. is gaining much-deserved recognition for its top-notch, Europeanstyle cider after moving to Leonard Street, next to Long Road and Mitten Brewing. Speaking of shaking it up, we also added a few categories. As one might expect, Cedar Springs Brewing Co. took home the prize for German beer and had a strong showing in craft lager. The new-ish brewery just north of Grand Rapids has become known for its excellent, authentic Bavarian-style beers. Likewise, the sour beer category gave newcomers Speciation Artisan Ales and Jolly Pumpkin a chance to shine. If these names sound unfamiliar to you, let the results act as your liquid bucket list. After all, you don’t get voted best mead in the region for no reason.

In an era of dwindling local arts coverage, we are expanding. From hard news and inspiring feature stories, to critical online reviews and our culture calendars, REVUE Arts covers what’s going on at the region’s symphonies, theaters, ballets, museums, galleries, dance ensembles and more.

You can find REVUE Arts each month in the center of REVUE magazine, but did you know it’s also distributed as a stand-alone magazine at 180 locations across West Michigan? Pick up a copy or read it online at revuewm.com

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Left: Cedar Springs Brewing Co. COURTESY PHOTO Right: Gray Skies Distillery - Straight Bourbon. COURTESY PHOTO

DRINKING WINNERS BLOODY MARYS

FRUIT BEER

1. Rockwell Republic

1. Founders Brewing Co. - Rubaeus

45 S. Division Ave., Grand Rapids 2. The Winchester 3. Stella’s Lounge

BOURBON 1. Long Road Distillers - Bourbon 537 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids 2. Gray Skies Distillery - Straight Bourbon 3. New Holland Brewing Co. - Beer Barrel Bourbon

CIDER 1. Vander Mill - Totally Roasted 505 Ball Ave. NE, Grand Rapids 2. Vander Mill - Ginger Peach 3. The Peoples Cider - Mrs. Sally Brown

CRAFT COCKTAILS 1. Long Road Distillers 537 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids 2. Sidebar 3. Gray Skies Distillery

CRAFT LAGER 1. Founders Brewing Co. - Solid Gold

235 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids

2. Brewery Vivant - Strawberry Rhubarb Sour 3. Perrin Brewing Co. - Grapefruit IPA

staff picks

GERMAN BEER 1. Cedar Springs Brewing Co. - Kusterer Original Weissbier 95 N. Main St. NE, Cedar Springs 2. Harmony Brewing Co.- Erste Lager 3. Founders Brewing Co. - Whiney Stephanie

GIN 1. Long Road Distillers - Michigin 537 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids 2. Gray Skies Distillers - Barrel Finished Hopped Gin 3. Long Road Distillery - Gin

IPA 1. Founders Brewing Co. - All Day IPA 235 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids

2. Bell’s Brewery - Two Hearted Ale 3. Rockford Brewing Co. - Hoplust

235 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids 2. Cedar Springs Brewing Co. - Kusterer Marzen 3. Founders Brewing Co. - PC Pils Continued on Page 38

36 | REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018

Sietsema Cider. COURTESY PHOTO

CIDER Sietsema Cider - Orange Label How do you improve upon one of the best ciders in the Midwest? Toss it in a bourbon barrel. At least, that’s what Sietsema did with its classic Yellow Label, a dry, tart, bubbly, slightly funky cider with a focus on the apples. Giving it some time in the bourbon barrel doesn’t subtract any of those flavors — it just adds more layers, developing a smoother mouthfeel and richer taste without going overboard. It’s the first bourbon barrel-aged cider I ever had and it remains one of the best, easily. — Josh Veal

IPA Grand Armory Brewing Co. - Cloudy With a Chance of Hops The New England IPA craze has faded a bit, but that’s no reason for us to bury the style. Personally, I prefer some juice with my hops — a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. Few other beers find the balance as well as Cloudy With a Chance of Hops, a name that serves as an accurate flavor forecast. This brew uses oats and wheat as the backbone for a big, refreshing, fruity, juicy explosion with only a touch of bitterness in the background. And at 9 percent ABV, it’s a real bang for your buck. — Josh Veal


THANKS FOR VOTING US BEST GIFT SHOP! THANKS FOR VOTING US

THE #1 BEST WINGS IN WEST MICHIGAN!

LOCATIONS

YOUR ULTIMATE WING DESTINATION WYOMING 2359 Health Dr. Suite 120 Grand Rapids, MI 49519 (616) 228-8855

PLAINFIELD 3916 Plainfield Ave. NE Grand Rapids, MI 49525 (616) 608-3067

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We offer small batch, hand-crafted natural products made by vendors from across the U.S.A., even talented local vendors!”

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DRINKING WINNERS CONTINUED MARGARITA 1. Donkey Taqueria 665 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids 2. Luna 3. Beltline Bar

MEAD 1. Arktos Meadery - Queen Bee 1251 Century Ave. SW, Grand Rapids 2. Hideout Brewery Co. - Cranberry Mead 3. City Built Brewing Co. - Blackberry Mead

SOUR 1. Founders Brewing Co. - Green Zebra

staff pick

235 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids 2. Speciation Artisan Ales - Incipient 3. Jolly Pumpkin Pizzeria & Brewery - Bam Biere

Brewery Vivant.

COURTESY PHOTO

SOUR

STOUT

Brewery Vivant - Angelina

1. Founders Brewing Co. - CBS 235 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids 2. Founders Brewing Co. - Breakfast Stout 3. Founders Brewing Co. - KBS

VODKA 1. Long Road Distillers - Vodka 537 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids 2. Gray Skies Distillery - Utility Vodka 3. New Holland Brewing Co. - Dutchess

It’s no secret that I love Vivant. Anyone who knows me knows three things that I love — Chickens, Eggs and Vivant Beers. Vivant is the reason I was introduced to sour beers. I remember when they first started producing them and were labeling them all kinds of things – wild, funky, tart, sour — but whatever it was, I was down for it. One year, on my birthday, Vivant released a special tart Undertaker (one of my favorite beers) and I could’ve cried tears of joy. I begged the staff to put it on their tap list for good. They didn’t. BUT shortly after, they released their first line of sours and with it came the oh-so-sour, BETTER than that tart Undertaker, sinfully easy to drink, Angelina. My mouth waters at the sound of her name. This wonderfully sour beer is the perfect caramel color with a light foamy head. One sip and I’m home. I’ve converted many sour haters into sour lovers with a drink of Angelina. She’s THAT good. — Kelly Brown

THANK YOU, WEST MICHIGAN!

PETE BRUINSMA

Realtor/Broker/Owner at Grand River Realty

As a licensed broker and 14-year agent, Pete brings a high level of experience and education to each transaction. He handles everything personally from start to finish, which gives his clients an unmatched level of service.

grandriverrealty.com | (616)-389-0881 38 | REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018

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REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018 |

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A.K. Rikk’s. COURTESY PHOTOS

BEST OF SHOPPING

by Missy Black

F

rom a self-diagnosed “stuff person,” I know the strong urge to buy all the things. In the quest to live our best lives, it takes some books, flowers, massages, health food goodies, the right footwear and clothes — lots of clothes. A look at the winner’s circle shows you the shops and people that are dominating the scene, providing great customer service and quality merchandise. Let’s face it: We’re all just eating and purchasing our feelings. Romance, intellectualism, wholesomeness, strength, sex appeal and straight-up attitude — we are buying what we want to have and feel and devour and become. So, if you want to know who’s serving it up best, you’re in the right place. It’s thrilling to see Books & Mortar crush the Bookstore category with a first-place win. From author signings to community activism, this little (but mighty) bookstore means business. The Cherry Street shop really knows how to rock a front window and has welcomed a local book club to celebrate with champagne toasts, as well as hosted a Drag Queen Storytime. Pick up your next book at this proudly progressive, consciously curated and fiercely independent bookstore. If you’re looking to save money and go the Thrift/Consignment route, you must know that Rock Paper Scissors made it to the top with its discerning brand-name clothing and accessories and the addition of local

artists to its inventory. My last visit had me contemplating a Lilly Pulitzer dress over a zillion J. Crew pieces. If you’re over on East Fulton, the second place runner-up is Urban Exchange, where you’ll find uber-exclusive picks that’ll drive your fashionable friends crazy jealous. When it comes to downtown shopping venues, the Downtown Market came in first in the Downtown Shopping District category. We’re not surprised with all the cool eats, sweet treats and events, this place is a veritable date night, hang out, brunch spot, and foodie gem all rolled into one. Mad props to Downtown Rockford for nabbing second place. As a resident of the area, I’m floored daily with all the boutique shopping and new businesses. The city of Rockford heads toward the front again by winning second place in the Farmers Market category. First place goes to the Fulton Street Farmers Market — Grand Rapids’ favorite place to browse fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, beverages, flowers, plants and artisans. It’s all about connecting farmers and food creators to the West Michigan community. Oh, and Captain Obvious here … Rebel once again wins for the best gifts. With their new expanded space, they’re probably planning world domination, and we’re here for it.

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Left: Grand Rapids Downtown Market. COURTESY PHOTO Right: Vault of Midnight. COURTESY PHOTO

SHOPPING WINNERS ANTIQUE SHOP

BUTCHER

1. Eastown Antiques

1. Sobie Meats

1515 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids

2. Lost and Found Treasures of Old and New 3. Archive Antiques and Repurposed Goods

141 Diamond Ave. SE, Grand Rapids This place is dripping in hippie vibes and I dig it. If you love the outdoors, you must visit this little corner of Grand Rapids where nature sweeps you up into her welcoming and soothing arms and tells you it’s all going to be OK. Where else can you find moth fabric art to display on your walls, or attend a felted cactus workshop? The owner’s jewelry line, Sugar Vibe, is stunning and worth the stop alone. Gifts range from mugs to prints to wood creations, soap, macramé goods, journals, embroidery hoop art and handmade dolls. — Missy Black

COMIC BOOK STORE

1. Gazelle Sports

2. Argos Book Shop 3. The Comic Signal

95 Monroe Center St. NW

BEER/WINE/LIQUOR STORE

DOWNTOWN SHOPPING DISTRICT

1. Martha’s Vineyard

1. Downtown Market

200 Union Ave NE, Grand Rapids

435 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids

2. Rishi’s International Beverage 3. Smitty’s Specialty Beverage

2. Downtown Rockford 3. Monroe Center

BOOK STORE

FARMERS MARKET

1. Books & Mortar

1. Fulton Street Farmers Market

955 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids

1145 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids

2. Schuler Books & Music 3. Argos Book Shop

2. Rockford Farmers Market 3. Muskegon Farmers Market

BRIDAL BOUTIQUE

FLORIST

1. Renee Austin Wedding

1. Eastern Floral

1555 Plainfield Ave., Grand Rapids

2. Bridal Elegance 3. BIANKA Bridal

2836 Broadmoor Ave. SE, Grand Rapids

2. Posh Petals 3. Stems Market Continued on Page 44

42 | REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018

Nestology Shop + Studio

2. Louise Earl Butcher 3. E.A. Brady’s

1. Vault of Midnight

2. Bill & Paul’s Sporthaus 3. Striders

GIFT SHOP

3450 Remembrance Rd. NW, Walker

ATHLETIC GOODS STORE 3930 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids

staff picks

MEN’S CLOTHING Mercy Supply Co.

634 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids

Clothing racks lined with waxed canvas jackets and vests hang pristinely alongside a perfectly curated selection of jeans, leather boots and bags at Mercy Supply Co. Aside from clothing, the high-end men’s store offers a variety of apothecary goods from camping incense to backcountry body wash. Mercy Supply Co. mixes the lumberjack and urban aesthetic into a dreamy and timeless combination of quality goods that last a lifetime. — Michaela Stock

WOMEN’S CLOTHING: LA Miller

65 E. Bridge St., Rockford

I was there the day the owner got possession of the building and threw an impromptu sidewalk sale outside the store. It was day one and I knew this place gave me the style shivers. Fast-forward and I own a dress, duster, ragged-hem jeans and a sequined boss babe blazer and I’m nowhere near quitting. The Instagram account is my drug and the owner is too cute for words. This is special occasion stuff — like revenge-wear, when you know you’re going to run into your ex, or for the times when you want to feel like the next big thing. These are the clothes that create conversations. Every piece — be it a dress, jumpsuit, sandals or earrings — feels like it’s one part of a big moment in the making. Can clothing rescue us from our mundane lives? The answer is, “Yes.” The answer is LA Miller. — Missy Black


BEST TATTOO ARTIST GARETH HAWKINS

BEST TATTOO SHOP

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SHOPPING WINNERS CONTINUED

Since 1952

Best Health Food Store

Thank You West Michigan Grand Rapids Cascade Hudsonville HarvestHealthFoods.com

FOOTWEAR STORE

MUSICAL INSTRUMENT STORE

1. Gazelle Sports

1. Meyer Music

3930 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids

2855 Lake Eastbrook Blvd. SE, Grand Rapids

2. Mieras Family Shoes 3. Rockford Footwear Depot

2. R.I.T. Music 3. Rainbow Music

GIFT SHOP

PET STORE

1. Rebel Reclaimed

1. Fido & Stitch

1555 Wealthy St. SE, Suite 101, Grand Rapids

820 Monroe Ave. NW #140, Grand Rapids

2. Art of the Table 3. (Tie) Apothecary Off Main 3. (Tie) Pink Lemonade

2. V.I. Pets 3. Barking Boutique

GROCERY STORE 1. Meijer

1. Rock Paper Scissors Consignment Boutique

Multiple locations, meijer.com

145 Diamond Ave. SE, Grand Rapids

2. Kingma’s Market 3. Ken’s Fruit Market

2. Urban Exchange 3. Rosa’s Closet

HEALTH FOOD STORE

TOBACCO/CIGAR SHOP

1. Harvest Health Foods

1. Buffalo Tobacco Traders

1944 Eastern Ave. SE, Grand Rapids

950 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids

2. Fresh Thyme Farmers Market 3. Health Hutt

2. Grand River Cigar Lounge 3. Tuttle’s Select Cigars & Tobaccos

HIKING/OUTDOOR GEAR

VINTAGE CLOTHING STORE

1. Bill & Paul’s Sporthaus

1. Lost & Found - Treasures of Old and New

1200 E. Paris Ave. SE, Grand Rapids

2. Switchback Gear Exchange 3. Gazelle Sports

JEWELRY STORE 1. DeVries Jewelers 411 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids

2. Almassian Jewelers 3. Dime & Regal

MENS CLOTHING 1. A.K. Rikk’s

ire

6303 28th St., Grand Rapids

2. Slate 3. Fitzgerald’s Mens Store

f

44 | REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018

THRIFT/CONSIGNMENT SHOP

445 Century Ave. SW, Grand Rapids

2. Captain Bizarro's Treasure World 3. Flashback on Leonard/GRvintage Thrift

WOMEN'S CLOTHING

1. A.K. Rikk’s

6303 28th St., Grand Rapids

2. Lee & Birch 3. Leigh’s


BEST BBQ

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BEST OF NIGHTLIFE & ACTIVITIES by Josh Veal

A

Above: AB DJing at Buffalo Traders Lounge. Below: City Built Brewing Co. COURTESY PHOTOS

46 | REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018

h yes, “Nightlife & Activities,” a good example of how hard it can be to divvy up life into neat little boxes. We’ll freely admit that with 130 categories on our hands, it can be difficult to sort and divide. Still, looking through this relatively small list, you can see the commonalities — bowling, karaoke, movie theater, cocktail lounges, etc. When we’re texting our friends, trying to plan something fun to do on a Friday night, we tend to turn to these categories. As for the winners, well, you’ll see some commonalities there as well. Founders once again grabs more than a few medals, just as an all-around brewery but also thanks to its killer open-mic night and the much-beloved Founders Fest. Long Road Distillers retains the gold for distillery, which goes hand-in-hand with an award for cocktail lounge. All in all, the winners here are the established and esteemed luminaries, including Festival of the Arts, Robinette’s, Clique Lanes and more. For something inher-

ently new, we turn to the new breweries, where we see City Built Brewing Co. sitting on the throne. This Grand Rapids brewery feels like it’s been around much longer than a year, having quickly established itself as a leader in creative beer and unique Puerto Rican food. The North Monroe district is blowing up, and one could argue City Built has a hand in that. Coming in second, Brass Ring Brewing has caused quite the scene in Grand Rapids’ Alger Heights neighborhood with a focus on community, good food and straightforward, true-to-style beer. It’s a noticeable foil to City Built’s more experimental brewing, which shows there’s room for both on the scene. And in third place, we have Jolly Pumpkin, which made a name for itself across Michigan long before arriving in Grand Rapids, but the burgeoning Bridge Street makes a natural fit for this brewery focused on sour beer and topnotch pizza.


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Left: 7 Monks Taproom. COURTESY PHOTO Right: Founders Fest. COURTESY OF FOUNDERS

NIGHTLIFE & ACTIVITIES WINNERS ANNUAL FESTIVAL

CASINO

KARAOKE

MOVIE THEATER

1. Festival of the Arts

1. Gun Lake Casino

1. Kale’s Korner Bar

festivalgr.org

1123 129th Ave., Wayland

511 Bridge St. NW, Grand Rapids

1. Celebration! Cinema North

2. ArtPrize 3. Founders Fest

2. Firekeepers Casino Hotel 3. Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort

2. Fulton Street Pub & Grill 3. Z’s Bar & Restaurant

BAR/PUB/TAVERN

CIDERY

MEADERY

NEW BREWERY

1. The Meanwhile Bar

1. Vander Mill

1. Arktos Meadery

1005 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids

505 Ball Ave. NE, Grand Rapids

251 Century Ave. SW, Grand Rapids

1. City Built Brewing Co.

2. Apartment Lounge 3. Logan’s Alley

2. The Peoples Cider Co. 3. Farmhaus Cider Co.

2. Hideout Brewing Co. 3. Bardic Wells Meadery

BEER BAR

COCKTAIL LOUNGE

1. HopCat

1. Buffalo Traders Lounge

25 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids

950 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids

2. Logan’s Alley 3. 7 Monks Taproom

2. Sidebar 3. Long Road Distillers

BOWLING

DISTILLERY

1. Clique Lanes

1. Long Road Distillers

533 Stocking Ave. NW, Grand Rapids

537 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids

2. Wengers Bowling Center 3. Westgate Bowl

2. Gray Skies Distillery 3. New Holland Brewing Co.

BREWERY

HAPPY HOUR

1. Founders Brewing Co.

1. Rockwell Republic

235 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids

2. Brewery Vivant 3. Perrin Brewing Co.

45 S.Division Ave., Grand Rapids

2. Terra 3. Billy's Lounge

2121 Celebration Dr. NE, Grand Rapids

2. AMC Grand Rapids 18 3. Celebration! Cinema South

820 Monroe Ave. NW #155, Grand Rapids

2. Brass Ring Brewing Co. 3. Jolly Pumpkin Pizzeria & Brewery

staff picks CIDERY Virtue Cider

2170 62nd St., Fennville

Virtue Cider, tucked away in Fennville, is one of my favorite secret spots. Their traditional style ciders are the equivalent of drinking fine wine. The tasting room, tucked between rows of barrels, features one bar and cozy seating. On a hot day, you can feel the breeze rolling in off the surrounding fields and nearby Lake Michigan. My first sip of Virtue was a surprise. I expected dry, bubbly, rather “sweet” flavors. Instead, each cider tasted like its own varietal mixed with the atmosphere that surrounds the farmhouse. The bourbon barrel-aged Mitten has sweet notes of vanilla and caramel, while Percheron, my personal favorite, features flavors of both the barn and the barrel. The farm’s adorable outdoor seating overlooks the surrounding grounds, which are home to a handful of barn animals. A stop at Virtue Cider during the fall is an absolute West Michigan must. — Kelly Brown

Continued on Page 50

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staff picks

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HAPPY HOUR J. Gardella’s Tavern

11 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids

At J. Gardella’s happy hour is all day, every day. Seriously. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. until close. Not only are the drinks cheap ($3 wells, craft pints and more), but the whole menu is under $10. Because of the excellent prices, my friends and I usually order a variety of items to munch on while we drink. I have not yet been disappointed. The portions might be snack-sized, but nothing I have tried so far has lacked in quality or presentation. — Abigail Rzepka

NIGHTLIFE & ACTIVITIES WINNERS CONTINUED

BREWERY

NIGHT CLUB

SPORTS BAR

One Well Brewing

1. Rumors Nightclub

1. Peppino’s Pizza

69 S. Division Ave., Grand Rapids

Multiple locations peppinospizzeria.homestead.com

Picking just one brewery in West Michigan to highlight is no simple task. The beer is crucial, obviously — without a certain level of quality, I refuse to step in the door. But beer that’s just OK can be redeemed with a cool taproom, excellent food and killer service. Luckily, One Well in Kalamazoo has it all. The beer is adventurous without overdoing it, walking a tightrope of flavor with brews like Sweet Water Street, brewed with actual donut holes and coffee, or the Root Beer Float Stout, featuring sassafras and sarsaparilla. The food is equally interesting and delicious, with a wide variety of wild paninis, quesadillas, pizza and more. Then there’s the taproom, which is large but cozy and chock-full of board games, arcade games, trivia nights and even a space just for kids. It’s the kind of place you just don’t want to leave. — Josh Veal

2. Billy’s Lounge 3. Eve Nightclub

2. Uccello’s Ristorante 3. The Score Restaurant & Sports Bar

OPEN-MIC NIGHT 1. Founders Brewing Co.

WINERY

235 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids

1. Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery

2. Rockford Brewing Co. 3. Creston Brewery

3142 4 Mile Rd. NE, Grand Rapids

2. Hudsonville Winery 3. Fenn Valley Vineyards

THANK YOU GRAND RAPIDS

For Voting Us Best Pet Store & Mallory Best Dog Groomer

MALLORY KNIGHT

(616) 288-7992 Ι www.fidoandstitch.com

50 | REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018

4213 Portage St., Kalamazoo


linearrestaurant.com

@linearrestaurant

NOW OPEN River Front Patio Available Tues-Sat 11:30am - 11pm Sun 11:30am - 9pm

616-200-4343

1001 Monroe NW | 49503 REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018 |

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Left: Funky Buddha Yoga Hothouse. Right: Lindsey Rae, Cheeky Strut. COURTESY PHOTOS

BEST OF PEOPLE & SERVICES by Josh Veal

I

n a way, all of Best of the West is about the people. We don’t have any categories for Best Automated Factory Robot — although, even if we did, it takes a human to design that robot. But in this section, we narrow our focus to the specific people who shine bright in our community, as well as the businesses who work hard to make our lives better. We place a lot of trust in our hair stylists, our wedding photographers, our car mechanics — even our bartenders. When someone repeatedly earns that trust, and with some charisma to boot, word gets around. For instance, tattoo artists Gareth Hawkins and Tony Putt both retained spots in the top three, having become well-known for their versatility, creativity and precision. Amy Lee of Gremlin House joined the pack as well. We all make mistakes, but Lee helps you fix them, with a focus on cover-up tattoos and realism. We also added a few categories, such as piercing artist, realtor, dog groomer and attorney — even more people we put our trust in. One less conventional new category is “advocate/activist,” designed to honor those who work to make our community better in both their work and personal lives. Tami VandenBerg tops the list, thanks to her work with Well House, a nonprofit providing affordable housing to the home-

52 | REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018

less in Grand Rapids, as well as her work to legalize weed in Michigan, among other causes. After years and years of tireless activism, VandenBerg has become a prominent name, face and hairstyle in Grand Rapids. Next up on the list is EatGR , a Facebook group and Instagram page that posts pictures of food and does paid advertising for local restaurants. Then, we have Carol’s Ferals, an all-volunteer organization that works to reduce the number of stray cats, both through adoption and the TNR method (trap, neuter and return). Carol’s Ferals works with the community to give a home to cats, having spayed/neutered more than 11,000 felines since opening in 2006. The nonprofit also supplies Happy Cat Cafe with cats for adoption. Tied for third is Tommy Allen, the publisher of Rapid Growth Media and volunteer/ board member with multiple local nonprofits, including UICA, West Michigan Center for Arts and Technologies, West Michigan Environmental Action Council and more. He’s an artist, an activist and just a general man-about-town. We’ll let the rest of the results speak for themselves.


18+

*

18+

AUGUST 4 PRISM PRIDE PARTY Ft. Derrick Barry from Ru Paul's Drag Racey

august 7 PUSHA T

w/ Sheck Wes, Valee 18+

* AUGUST 23 ROB BELL

Holy Shift Tour w/ Peter Rollins

21+

* AUGUST 24 ROB BELL

Holy Shift Tour w/ Peter Rollins

AUGUST 16 AFTERWERQ

AUGUST 14 DAUGHTRY

august 10 JONNY LANG

AUGUST 18 FUEGO SATURDAY

dance.fitness.party

Latin Dance Night

* SEPTEMBER 5 THE MAGPIE SALUTE w/ Wayland

SEPTEMBER 9 CHUPONCITO

SEPTEMBER 15 MASTODON

SEPTEMBER 10 GARY CLARK JR.

w/ Dinosaur Jr., Netherlands

* SEPTEMBER 16

QUEEN EXTRAVAGANZA Performing Queen's Greatest Hits

SEPTEMBER 18 MATT & KIM

SEPTEMBER 20 DR. JORDAN PETERSON 12 Rules For Life Tour

OCTOBER 6 LIL XAN

w/ Quinn Sullivan

w/ The Band Camino

OCTOBER 10 4U

A Symphonic Celebration of Prince

OCTOBER 19 CLUTCH

OCTOBER 13 SOCIAL DISTORTION

w/ Lights

NOVEMBER 3 GOOD CHARLOTTE

NOVEMBER 16 AMANDA MIGUEL & DIEGO VERDAGUER

w/ Gabriel Garzon-Montano

*

* OCTOBER 25 YOUNG THE GIANT

OCTOBER 20 KALI UCHIS

w/ Sevendust, Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown

w/ Will Hoge, Pony Bradshaw

* OCTOBER 24 GOO GOO DOLLS

w/ We Came As Romans, Bad Omens

**

* OCTOBER 5 BUDDY GUY

SEPTEMBER 22 MC50 KICK OUT THE JAMS

SEPTEMBER 21 BEN RECTOR

SEPTEMBER 30 BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE

NOVEMBER 17 ELVIS COSTELLO & THE IMPOSTERS

* NOVEMBER 20 GENERATION AXE

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

* SEATED SHOW

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

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of the

Left: Capelli Salon. COURTESY PHOTO Right: Sovereign Arms Tattoo Co. COURTESY PHOTO

SERVICES & PEOPLE WINNERS ADVOCATE/ACTIVIST

BARBER SHOP

BICYCLE SHOP

HAIR STYLIST

1. Tami Vandenberg

1. King’s Room Barbershop

1. Freewheeler Bike Shop

1. Hailey Ullrey, Meraki Salon

2. EatGR 3. (Tie) Carol’s Ferals 3. (Tie) Tommy Allen

Multiple locations - kingsroom.net

915 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids

17 Squires St. Square NE, Rockford

2. Foremost Barbershop 3. Jude’s Barbershop

2. Grand Rapids Bicycle Company 3. The Spoke Folks

2. Cassandra Didaskalou, Cheeky Strut 3. Kathy Kang, Capelli Salon

BARISTA

CAR WASH/DETAILING

INTERIOR DESIGNER

1. Mallory Root, Roots Brew Shop

1. Breton Auto Wash

600 7th St. NW, Grand Rapids

1970 Breton Rd SE, Grand Rapids

2. Yoshi Saka - Field & Fire Cafe 3. Kelley Sommers - Go Java

2. Cascade Car Wash 3. Crystal Clean Auto Detailing

1. Kathryn Chaplow, Kathryn Chaplow Design

BARTENDER

CHEF

1. Dan Dixon - Founders Brewing Co.

1. Jenna Arcidiacono - Amore

MASSAGE

5080 Alpine Ave. NW, Comstock Park

1. Urban Massage

Honorable mentions: Johannah Jelks Treetops Collective

ATTORNEY 1. James Scozzari, Tanis Schultz 2659, 85 Campau Ave. NW R305, Grand Rapids

2. Michele Giordano, Giordano Law 3. (Tie) Martin Mead, Mead Law, 3. (Tie) Raquel Salas-Guzman, Avanti Law 3. (Tie) Stacy VanDyken, Stacy VanDyken Law

AUTO REPAIR 1. Westside Garage 856 7th St. NW, Grand Rapids

2. Community Automotive Repair 3. Butch’s Complete Car Care

BANK/CREDIT UNION 1. Lake Michigan Credit Union Multiple locations - lmcu.org

2. Huntington Bank 3. Chase Bank

54 | REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018

235 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids

2. Josh Atkinson - Cedar Springs Brewing Co. 3. Brian Denboer - Harmony Brewing (Eastown)

2. Ryan Bolhuis - Rockford Brewing Co. 3. Shaun Wooden - Cedar Springs Brewing Co.

DOG GROOMER

BED & BREAKFAST

1. Mallory Knight, Fido & Stitch

1. The Lafayette House Bed & Breakfast

820 Monroe Ave. NW #140, Grand Rapids

135 Lafayette Ave. NE, Grand Rapids

2. The Leonard at Logan House 3. Peaches Bed & Breakfast

2. Leah Bell, Eastown Veterinary 3. Wendy Petersen, the Fairy Dog Groomer

kathrynchaplow.com

2. Peter Jacob, Peter Jacob Kind Creative 3. Rock Kauffman, Rock Kauffman Design

1507 Painfield Ave NE, Grand Rapids

2. Chasing Vanity Salon and Spa 3. Design 1 Salon Spa

NAIL SALON 1. Chasing Vanity Salon and Spa 150 Wealthy St. SE Grand Rapids

2. Posh Nails & Spa 3. Capelli Salon

OPTICAL

FITNESS CLUB/GYM

1. Grand Rapids Ophthalmology

1. MVP

Multiple locations - seeitclear.com

Multiple locations, mvpsportsclubs.com

2. Allegro Coaching 3. Grit Life

2. Rx Optical 3. Rockford Family Eyecare


PERSONAL TRAINER

PIERCING ARTIST

1. Christian Roberts, Street Fit Coaching

1. George Egy, Honest to Goodness htgtattoo.com/george

2, Kendra Bylsma, Allegro Coaching 3. Sam Parker, CrossFit Grand Rapids

2. Nicole Ashley, Honest to Goodness 3. Valerie Nelson, Lightning Revival Tattoo

PHOTOGRAPHER

REALTOR

1. Devin Hendrick

1. Santiago Gomez, Santiago Properties

streetfitcoaching.com

devinhendrickphoto.com

2. Heather Dixon 3. Katy Batdorff

santiagoproperties.us

2. Pete Bruinsma, Grand River Realty 3. Chris Freeman, Clarity Realty

staff picks PHOTOGRAPHER Spencer Penfield Photography spencerpenfield.com When you only have one shot at capturing one of life’s biggest moments, you need someone who is able to nail it every time. That’s exactly what Spencer Penfield does as a wedding and couples photographer. His portfolio is warm, candid and natural, and though based out of Grand Rapids, Penfield has flown all over the United States and beyond to capture lovebirds’ special days. He has the ability to put even the most intense nerves at ease, guaranteeing gorgeous shots no matter the circumstances. Yes, he’s your wedding photographer, but he’s also someone you’ll want to call for coffee the next week. — Michaela Stock

WEST MICHIGAN

WE

YOU TOO!

A RE AL ESTATE FIRM

INTERIOR DESIGNER Abby Manchesky, Abby Manchesky Interiors abbymanchesky.com Maybe it’s just me, but when someone has the vision to style a room, it seems like absolute sorcery. Yet the talented Abby Manchesky does it on the daily, speaking the language of furniture placement, color, texture, fabrics, mirrors, wallpaper and that wink of something unexpected that magically wraps everything up into one big, impactful and stylish bow. She keeps it simple yet personal, and homegirl finds the best artwork. My eyes thank her for the clean, modern and fresh design, rooted in sophistication. I guess you could call her a maker of happy places. Oh, and her decorating tips are spot on, but now I’m just gushing. — Missy Black

THANK YOU FOR YOUR VOTES. WE ARE HONORED AND HUMBLED.

W W W. SANTIAGOPROPERTIES .US

REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018 |

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of the

WASH YOUR HANDS! GET VACCINATED! Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver disease caused by a virus found in the poop of infected people. It easily spreads from person-to-person. How Hepatitis A spreads: • Not washing hands after using the toilet then touching surfaces or food. • Having sex with infected partner(s). • Using or sharing drugs, cigarettes, food, drinks, utensils or toothbrushes contaminated with hepatitis A.

Call your doctor or the health department for vaccination. (616) 396-5266 • miOttawa.org/Immunize

SERVICES & PEOPLE WINNERS CONTINUED SALON

VET/ANIMAL CLINIC

1. Cheeky Strut

1. Eastown Veterinary Clinic

216 Grandville Ave SW, Grand Rapids

1350 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids

2. Capelli Salon 3. Meraki Salon

2. Family Friends Veterinary Hospital 3. (Tie) Cascade Hospital for Animals 3. (Tie) Plymouth Road Animal Clinic

STAND-UP COMEDIAN 1. Stu McCallister stumccallister.com

1. Lindsey Rae, Cheeky Strut

2. Kaira Williams 3. Catye Palomino

cheekystrut.com/lindsey-rae

TATTOO ARTIST 1. Gareth Hawkins, Sovereign Arms Tattoo Co.

1. Funky Buddha Yoga Hothouse 1331 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids,

2. AM Yoga 3. Twisted Hot Yoga

333 Grandville Ave. SW #300, Grand Rapids

2. Sovereign Arms Tattoo Co. 3. The Gremlin House

56 | REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018

YOGA STUDIO

2. Tony Putt, Love Tattoo 3. Amy Lee, The Gremlin House

1. Honest to Goodness Tattoo & Piercing

135 Lafayette Ave NE thelafayettehousebb.com

2. Morgan Goulish, CityFlatsHotel 3. Elyse Riemersma, Posh Petals

sovereignarmstattoogr.com/gareth-hawkins

TATTOO/PIERCING SHOP

Thank You For Staying With Us!

WEDDING PLANNER


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REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018 |

57


by Kara Toay

FILM

Scenes from The Incantation. PHOTOS COURTESY OF HOUSE OF ROSE LLC

CONJURING CINEMA

Local filmmakers release first feature film, The Incantation

DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS SCENE

S

58 | REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018

i n c e l au n c h i n g B lu e F a l c o n P r o duc t ion s i n 2 012 , D a n Campbell and Jude Walko have spent much of their time helping others produce movies and web series. But last month on July 31, Blue Falcon released its f irst feature f ilm to iTunes, Amazon, Family Video and more. The Incantation stars a young American girl who receives the chance to venture to France and visit her ancestors’ castle, which has been plagued with witchcraft and occult folklore for centuries. While there, the young girl discovers nothing is as it seems and begins to question her place in the family as she learns more about their past. “It’s kind of a throwback to classic horror films in terms of the mechanics of story and plot,”Campbell said. The fair ytale-esque stor y explores some classic tropes, with a fish-out-of-water heroine discovering her roots as paranormal activity surrounds her. It’s a tense film, full of twists and turns. “It’s different than a lot of your mainstream found footage-type films in terms of the genre,” Campbell said.

The idea for The Incantation came to Walko after he met a couple people who own a gothic-style chateau in France. “We started talking more and decided this would be a great opportunity to base a f ilm around a location, like a classic camera film,” Campbell said. From there, the two went into production mode and started filming in France in 2016, where they shot for 25 days on location. Filming in France came with a few cha llenges as t he f ilm crew t raveled from Great Britain, the U.S., France and Thailand. Campbell added that any time a film is produced outside of the United States, there are challenges between culture and communication. “Just working in a foreign land was a challenge, but we were fortunate we had f ilm professionals from France and England,” he said. “This is what we do for other people, help produce films, so when it came to our own f ilm, it was a good (experience) to have.” Blue Falcon Productions received a few awards for the film, including at the Calcutta International Cult Film Festival, where it won Best Narrative Feature Film

and was nominated for the Golden Fox Award. Campbell said it felt great to receive the awards and recognize everyone involved in the film. “It’s nice to have your peers in the industry praise your work. Even if we didn’t win anything, just to get a selection at a film festival is pretty cool, especially with our first film out of the gate,” Campbell said. He has been in the film business for almost a decade and Walko has been in the business about 25 years. Campbell and Walko don’t focus on filming one genre. “ Fi l m m a k i ng i s my pa s sion , a nd whether it’s a horror f ilm, action f ilm, comedy, drama, I’m all about getting it on the screen,” Campbell said. Campbell and Walko have other films in development and are currently working on their film The Uncollared Horseman, a contemporary reimagining of Washington Irving’s Sleepy Hollow. “We’re excited to share our next film, for sure,” Campbell said. T he Incantation will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray, and is available on iTunes and Amazon. n


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Dawes Leftover Salmon THe Infamous Stringdusters One Night Stand Band feat. phoffman + Dave Bruzza

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by Revue Staff

DINING

SIP, SAVOR, SAMPLE A firsthand preview of Restaurant Week 2018

N

ow in its ninth year, Restaurant Week Grand Rapids has more than 60 restaurants participating in the 12-day event. Each eatery creates a menu specifically intended to branch out and create something new while staying true to its core concept. It’s a chance for newcomers to try new restaurants and regulars to try new dishes, and it’s happening at nearly every restaurant in the Greater Grand Rapids area.

BISTRO BELLA VITA by Josh Veal

The olive caramel was as rich and thick as they come, almost reminiscent to me of a mole sauce without the heat. It tasted deep, solid and earthy, acting as the perfect background for the star of the dish. If the mild, unpretentious tuna is the viola of the dish, this sauce is the cello, providing a fuller sound and worthy accompaniment. Meanwhile, the caper-herb salad would be the violin, lifting the dish with an herbal lightness and a tangy orange sauce that provided the proper acidity to cut through the rest and cleanse your palate with every bite. Then we moved on to the Sockeye Salmon, which features a very different fish in a very different way. This Restaurant Week menu is highly seasonal, so the kohlrabi-cabbage salad and spicy potato was sadly unavailable. However, the salmon was served on a bed of expertly roasted broccoli instead, along with a light, creamy sauce that I was not sad at all to have binding my dish together. The salmon itself, of course, was cooked without fault. Its scales glistened in the afternoon sun and crunched in my afternoon mouth, providing the perfect crispiness to the moist, tender meat. It was rich and buttery but no means overpowering, as salmon can so often be. And then there’s the sea fennel aioli, a beautiful verdant sauce that is beyond belief. When paired with the fish, you get an ocean explosion in every bite. By the time my two plates were empty — and I mean empty — I only had one wish, to cap off the meal with a Honey Savarin, a cake with poached peach, goat cheese ice cream, almond and basil. But alas, it was not meant to be. I guess I’ll just have to return for Restaurant Week. Continued on Page 63

Bistro Bella Vita's Tuna Carpaccio and Sockeye Salmon. COURTESY

PHOTOS

REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018 |

SCENE | SOUNDS | SIGHTS DINING

Bistro Bella Vita is now old enough to drink from its own bar, entering its 21st year in Grand Rapids with no signs of slowing down. Despite food culture changing wildly in recent years (Do y’all remember the restaurant scene here 10 years ago? No? Me neither), the modern French and Italian restaurant has stayed relevant by keeping it fresh, flexible and creative. The restaurant industry is notorious for its turnover, yet Head Chef Aaron Van Timmeren has been in the kitchen since 2001, a true testament to Bistro’s staying power. He said staff tends to stick around because of the autonomy they're afforded, as well as the restaurant’s high expectations, which create a culture of community, creativity and evolution. As for the food, it’s all as fresh as humanly possible, with fish f lown straight from Hawaii and local short ribs cut to order. This naturally extends to the Restaurant Week menu, which Van Timmeren sees as a chance to show off Bistro’s capabilities without trying to overdress or put people off. For dinner, Bistro is going with a three-course menu for $35, and I was lucky enough to try two of the many options. Chef Van Timmeren started me off with a Tuna Carpaccio, the titular fish served raw and thin over a cuquillo olive caramel and topped by a caper-herb salad. Being a bit basic myself, I’m used to my raw fish wrapped up in rice with cream cheese and cucumber — so to enter the world of Italian hor d’oeuvres was exciting.

We decided to do a little “investigative journalism” and hit the streets to see what this year’s week has to offer, even if it meant getting our fingers, mouths and bibs a little dirty. We know, we know; we’re brave. But we do it all for you. Just don’t let our hard work be in vain — get on out and try something new yourself.

61


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Continued from Page 61

DINING

MEXO

by Nick Macksood

Divani’s Classic Shrimp Bisque, Deconstructed Beef Wellington, and Thai Curry Stir Fry. COURTESY PHOTOS

DIVANI

by Kelly Brown

Continued on Page 64

MeXo’s Puebla Pork Chalupas and Gelatina Con Rompope. COURTESY

PHOTOS

REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018 |

SCENE | SOUNDS | SIGHTS DINING

If your answer to “Have you ever been to Divani” is something like “Oh, that wine bar next to HopCat?” or just straight up “No,” then you’re missing out on one of the coolest establishments in West Michigan. A classic-style restaurant with comfortable lounge seating (and music), Divani is a favorite among local chefs and restaurateurs. Restaurant Week is the perfect time to check out this beloved, sometimes “secret,” place in Grand Rapids. Owner Molly Kopen purchased Divani and set about to transform the wine bar into an actual restaurant with a fully developed menu and kitchen. “I wanted to create a new atmosphere that was sexy and lounge-like without being intimidating,” Kopen said. “Divani is a place where you can have an actual conversation over your meal. And we’re serving food that you recognize.” Consider the Deconstructed Beef Wellington on the Restaurant Week menu. Swimming in a beautiful bed of red wine demi-glace, the Beef Wellington is perfectly

paired with a light, earthy mushroom pastry and fresh, snappy green beans. If you have your choice of table, the window seats are a great spot to people-watch while you enjoy a dinner over romantic candlelight. “We have a lot of first dates here,” Kopen said. “It’s our service that sets us apart from other restaurants in the area. We are a staff of 11 and every server is cross-trained as a bartender.” The cocktail menu is a collection of drinks crafted by the entire team. If you’re looking to try something different, the Thai Curry Stir Fry on the Restaurant Week menu is a solid option. Wonderfully crisp and tender vegetables are paired in a slightly sweet (and equally spicy) coconut sauce. Gluten-free rice noodles make this dish great for anyone with food allergies. Divani has the feel of a restaurant any chef would love. When you enter, the staff greets you like they’ve known you for years. They get to know and understand your tastes and curate your dining experience based on your preferences. Divani offers a special kind of service, and they’ll serve it up with a perfect cocktail and delicious meal too.

MeXo is one of the latest additions to downtown Grand Rapids’ dining scene, Chef Oscar Morena bringing with him not merely the diverse tastes of Mesoamerican cuisine, but its history, tradition and memories in a refined space that, honestly, GR has been lacking. MeXo’s focus is the regional ingredients of Mexico, as they were before Spanish colonization and influence. It takes intense care and a lot of work to prepare ingredients in the traditional way that Chef Oscar grew up with in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It’s a more impressive process than we have room to describe here, but rest assured, MeXo’s Restaurant Week menu will be no less ambitious than what you would find any other day of the week. The lunch special: the Empanadas Mexicana and Traditional Tamales. At $15, this packs as much creativity as you could possibly muster into corn, pork, peppers and salsa. The empanadas, featuring MeXo’s own chorizo verde blend and corn pastry, are dynamic — the dough nearly sweet and light enough to steal the show from the chorizo. The tamales, both chicken and poblano rajas, are a sweet and smoky revelation of the senses, while the cilantro rice and nopal salad are a cool complement to what is a sensational lunch. But truly, it is the imagination of Chef Oscar’s dinner offering that deserves your reservation. A four-course symphony of sea

and land starts with the Yucatan ceviche. Red snapper is mixed with a manzano chile purée not as bracingly acidic as a citrusbased ceviche. The snapper is beautifully light and spooned onto a blue corn tostada dressed with finely diced sweet potato and yucca for a very earthy, humble version of a fine dish. Next came the Puebla pork chalupas: amazing ancho-braised pork atop tiny chalupas, light and airy, with salsa cruda and salsa morita. These are simple, in the style of street food. The surprise here is how each salsa takes a different smoky, spicy, herbaceous turn. But the Tampiquena is, for lack of a better phrase, a banger. A tender marinated strip of sirloin grilled and served alongside a red chile and cheese enchilada, poblano rajas con crema and a delicate little flower of guac and chips, honestly stunned me as to how I should approach it. “The best way is to mix the f lavors together: the corn and the rajas, the enchiladas and the steak ... or wrap everything into a tortilla,” Chef Oscar said. It’s all very good no matter what way you split it up. And as if you couldn’t be surprised any more at what some very familiar ingredients are able to taste like, the Chef ’s dessert course features coconut and prickly pear Mexican gels, each dotted with a splash of eggnog. It’s a graciously light way to end the dinner, after the tight-wire balance of smoke and spice, of cream and crunch; your previous ideas of Mexican food slashed to rajas.

63


Continued from Page 63

DINING

LINEAR

course tasting menu at a bargain-bin $35 with optional $15 beverage pairing — the Long Road Aquavit Negroni worth by Jack Raymond the price of admission alone. Chef Weimer and I parsed through In its current state, the Grand River the courses a little out of sequence, but is pretty much just window dressing. that didn’t distract from the tastiness. You can wade in to try to catch a fish Starting at course four, I ate the wagyu but you’ll probably end up with a sea flank steak. A drippy medium-rare, the lamprey attached to your calf instead. morsels seemed fit for a tiger’s last meal That said, plans are underway to on death row. And yet it was a humble restore the city’s namesake river into carrot that truly wowed me. Lightly something more, well, “Grand,” and grilled and seasoned with a pinch of Linear was one of the first with the S&P, it tasted like the first vegetable foresight to scoop up a spot with a view. ever pulled from the earth. This carrot, Chef and co-owner Chris Weimer Crayola orange with marvelous crunch, spent years collecting awards at Vivant reinforces Weimer’s ideology: a chef for his take on Belgian cuisine, but should let his best ingredients speak for now he’s decided to pare back, shifting themselves. toward smaller, healthier choices — a Rewind and we have course two, reasonable rubber-banding after busting the beet salad. To those who grew up out piles of duck nachos en masse. For in fear of beets, a fresh one tastes and restaurant week, Linear will offer a five- looks nothing like those crinkle-cut

Linear's Wagyu Flank Steak, Beet Salad, and Beet Gnocchi. COURTESY PHOTOS

pucks you’d see vacuum-sealed in jars. Presented in three forms — red, golden and candied — the dish highlights the vegetable’s versatility. The golden are bright and tangy while the red are more neutral and earthy. Elsewhere on the plate, cubes of ashed goat cheese provided a rich counterpoint to the focal beet. Next, the beet gnocchi. Yes, more beets. Get used to it. They grow all over the place and they’re good for you. Hidden beneath a squid-ink tuile, these little bites had a Tempurpedic (in a good way) squish. If Weimer hadn’t revealed the secret ingredient, I wouldn’t have guessed that what I tried was a bunch of beets in disguise. Other selections I missed include Steelhead Salmon, Farro R isotto, Chocolate Mousse and yeah, I’m salivating too, take me back already. Linear is clearly set up for success. n

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65


by Joe Boomgaard

BEER

IPAS FOR DAYS

D

ESPITE CONSUMERS’ SHIFT IN RECENT YEARS TO LIGHTER BEER styles, most drinkers continue to vote with their dollars for hoppy IPAs, which remain the growth engine for the craft beer industry. In fact, industry research shows the IPA’s position as the king of craft beer appears safe for now. Standard IPAs made up 20.3 percent of all craft beer sales last year and accounted for more than 40 percent of the industry’s sales growth measured in dollars, according to data from IRI Group presented by the Brewers Association at this year’s Craft Brewers Conference in Nashville. As well, all hoppy styles combined drove more than three-quarters of the $26 billion craft beer industry’s sales growth in 2017. With that in mind, Revue decided to gather a handful of new or newly distributed IPAs from Michigan-based craft breweries for a blind tasting. Perhaps indicative of the times, all of them were packaged in either 12- or 16-ounce cans. The beers were rated based on appearance (10 points), aroma (20 points), flavor/finish (30 points), body (20 points) and overall impressions (20 points). The scores listed here are an average of the five tasters’ ratings. Here’s what we found:

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED ANGRY MAYOR

Lansing Brewing Co., Lansing 6.8% ABV

Pours a slightly hazy golden color, with decent head and lacing. Aroma leans toward juicy citrus fruits. Flavor is capped by balanced hop notes that are part juicy, part piney bitterness. Nice carbonation and body. Solid, drinkable IPA. Score: 86

OBLIGATORY

Transient Brewing Co., Bridgman 6.5% ABV

DINING SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

Definitely looks the part of a New England IPA, with a hazy orange juice-like appearance. A sniff of the glass explodes with fruity citrus, which carries over to the taste. The flavor also features a hint of malty sweetness before a slightly dry finish. Makes for a very pleasant drinking experience. Score: 81.6

WHILED AWAY

Stormcloud Brewing Co., Frankfort 6.7% ABV

Pours clear, with good head retention and lacing. The aroma balances citrusy hops and some yeasty notes. The flavor reveals this beer’s Belgian inspiration, which features mild hop bitterness and an overall well-balanced character that doesn’t destroy the palate. Score: 80.4

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RECOMMENDED COUNTRY STRONG

Mitten Brewing Co., Grand Rapids 7.2% ABV This beer would have ranked second overall in the tasting were it not for a low score from one taster, who had a visceral reaction to the hop profile. (In fact, two of the five tasters chose this as their top beer in the tasting.) It’s a clear, traditionally hop-forward IPA that features aggressive, resinous hops. Score: 79.6

ALEISTER

Haymarket Brewery, Bridgman 6.5% ABV Looks and tastes the part of a traditional old-school IPA, albeit with an über dry finish packed full of lingering notes of orange peel. Balanced, except for the dryness. Score: 76.8

LUPULUNATIC

White Flame Brewing Co., Hudsonville 7.5% ABV An IPA recipe that seemingly was stuck in a time machine from 10 years ago, complete with a coppery color, chewy hop bitterness, and a strong malt backbone. Score: 71.4

ALSO TASTED ZENYATTA ROAK Brewing Co., Royal Oak 4.7% ABV

MICHIGANDER Big Lake Brewing Co., Holland 4.2% ABV

NORM’S SIMCOENICITY Griffin Claw Brewing Co., Birmingham 7.2% ABV

MO’PEEZ White Flame Brewing Co., Hudsonville 5.8% ABV


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68 | REVUEWM.COM | AUGUST 2018

Profile for Revue Magazine

Revue Magazine, August 2018  

REVUE is West Michigan's monthly arts & entertainment guide covering events, music, cultural arts, dining & drinking and more. Visit us at r...

Revue Magazine, August 2018  

REVUE is West Michigan's monthly arts & entertainment guide covering events, music, cultural arts, dining & drinking and more. Visit us at r...

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