REVUE West Michigan - February 2024

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COMEDY for Community





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NEWS 10 What's Going On 11 Biz Beat

CANNABIS 12 Green Gains: Cannabis and Exercise

MUSIC 14 Big Timmy & The Heavy Chevys: Shifting into Next Gear

COMEDY 16 Comedy for Community with Tiny Breakfast 18 Lewis Black: Back for One Last Time

DINING & DRINKING 20 Healthy Yet Heavenly: Tasty Salads & Wraps 21 Drinking Cultured: Kombucha in West Michigan

FITNESS SPOTLIGHT 22 Snow Much Fun: Getting Outdoors in Winter 24 Find Your Fitness Fit


All Ages Sports Music Venues Comedy Nightlife

ARTS 34 Building Toward the Future: GRAM's Winter Exhibitions 36 Get On Your Feet at Frauenthal 38 Arts Calendar O N T H E C OV E R : T H E E N T E R TA I N M E N T G U I D E S TA R T S O N PA G E 2 6 !




JOSH VEAL , Managing Editor |

josh@serendipity-media .com


n 2024, it’s no longer about treading water—it’s about thriving. That doesn’t mean all the difficulties of the past few years have vanished entirely, but that we as a community are pretty well equipped to handle those challenges at this point, and we’re moving into the new year with big goals and a lot of hope. With new eateries like MIZIZI by Street Chef Shaw and The Foolery recently opening up, alongside cocktail bars like Eastern Kille’s beautiful new Rockford location and Mo’s in Mangiamo’s, West Michigan is hitting the ground running. That’s why this issue is all about getting out of the house and getting active, whether it’s entertainment or health and fitness. If you’re looking for hidden gems and unique activities in town with friends or family, you could ask Reddit the same question everyone does once a week (Anything fun to do in GR?), or you could check out Revue’s Entertainment Guide. It’s not a comprehensive list of every single thing you could enjoy on this side of the state, but I’m confident you’ll find multiple great ideas for fun this winter and beyond. We also have ideas for staying active both indoors and out, from snowshoeing to spin classes. For a little health synergy (sorry for using that word), our cannabis story is about whether you should mix THC and exercise; our food story is all about salads, wraps and other healthy meals in town; and our drinking story highlights locally made kombucha, which is on the rise alongside the sober movement. I’m not here to tell you how to live your life, but if there’s one thing I learned from the quarantine years, it’s that getting out and moving around is essential to both mental and physical health. Don’t let cabin fever win! Hopefully, we’ll see you out there. 'Til next time,


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CANNABIS | Spotlight: CBD From provisioning centers to grow operations and head shops, we dive into Michigan's fast-growing cannabis industr y, the people working in it and the event s around it. Space Deadline: 2/14/2024

WHO'S WHO Managing Editor | Josh Veal, Art Director | Courtney Van Hagen Marketing Director | Loren Eisenlohr Marketing Coordinator | Rachel Syrba Distribution | Kelli Belanger

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WHAT’S GOING ON, FEB '24 2/3 2/1 DISNEY ON ICE: MICKEY’S SEARCH PARTY Van Andel Arena 130 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids Feb. 1-4 Embark on a quest with Mickey Mouse and pals as they follow Captain Hooks’ treasure map for clues to find Tinker Bell—on ice! Elsa, Belle, Buzz, Woody, Moana and all your other favorite Disney stars join the fun adventure in this unforgettable show for the whole family.

2/2 GIMME GIMME DISCO The Pyramid Scheme 68 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Feb. 2, 7 p.m. Calling all Dancing Queens! Here we go again! If you can’t get enough ABBA, boy do we have a dance party for you. Gimme Gimme Disco is a DJ-based dance party playing all your favorite ABBA hits, along with plenty of other disco hits from the 70s and 80s like The Bee Gees, Donna Summer, & Cher. So takea-chance and you’ll be dancing all night long. 30TH ANNUAL ICE BREAKER FESTIVAL Downtown South Haven Feb. 2-4 Now in its 30th year, Ice Breaker Festival promises winter fun for the whole family! West Michigan’s predominant and growing winter festival is showcasing dazzling ice sculptures, Chili Cook-off, Cardboard Sled Race, Pub Slide, outdoor ice skating, Disc Golf Tournament, S’mores Roasting, Snowsuit Fashion Competition, Frozen Fish Fling, and many more exciting activities throughout downtown South Haven.

BRIDGE STREET MAKERS MARKET & ART HOP One Bourbon, Küsterer Brauhaus and Bridge Street Market Feb. 3, 1-6 p.m. The Bridge Street Makers Market is back for a fun Shop with Heart makers market event, with more great locations and vendors than ever before! Products will be a wide variety of handmade goods such as jewelry, knit goods, home decor, metal working, prints, soap, paintings, candles and so much more. STAVROS HALKIAS: THE FAT RASCAL TOUR GLC Live at 20 Monroe 11 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids Feb. 3, 7 p.m. Oh, what a little rascal! Comedian Stavros Halkias cheerfully skewers tech culture, air travel, sex, breakups and himself in this raunchy and riotously acerbic stand-up tour, so popular that GLC Live had to add a second date.

2/4 VALENTINE’S BAZAAR Broad Leaf Brewery & Spirits 2885 Lake Eastbrook Blvd, Kentwood Feb. 4, 12-7 p.m. Come shop local art at Broad Leaf’s annual Valentine’s Bazaar. Between noon and 7 p.m. on February 4, artist vendors will be displaying their works in the taproom. Grab a beer, peruse hand crafted items, grab a bite from our scratch kitchen and take home some new gifts for you or your special friend!

2/10 BLACKSMITH 101: SMITHING WITH YOUR SWEETIE Blandford Nature Center 1715 Hillburn Ave. NW, Grand Rapids Feb. 10, 12-4 p.m. You and your sweetie (or a buddy!)

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are invited to join Blandford’s experienced blacksmith for a special couples-only Valentine-themed afternoon in the forge! You will learn basic forge safety and metalsmithing skills to create your own heartshaped item from start to finish. No experience required. Now that’s hot.

4TH ANNUAL MARDI GRAS BAR CRAWL The BOB Feb. 10 Celebrate Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras) with this annual bar crawl bringing Bourbon Street to Grand Rapids. Expect an incredible day of green, purple and gold, beads, masquerade masks, color-changing cups, discounted food and drinks, and more fun across 8 bars downtown.

2/13 NAUGHTY GALENTINE’S PARTY Naughty Bettie 706 Curve St. SW, Grand Rapids Feb. 13, 4-8 p.m. Join Naughty Bettie for a day filled with flirty fun, naughty surprises, and a touch of cheeky charm, turning up the heat with tantalizing beverages, fabulous shopping, and an exclusive Shop & Shoot experience that you won’t want to miss. The deal is: Spend $95 in Naughty Bettie, and you’ll earn yourself a sizzling photoshoot! “Strike a pose and capture the magic – you’ll walk away with a gorgeous image and a saucy Valentine’s Day card to set hearts aflutter.”

performing glittering new numbers, as well as some of the unbelievable showstoppers featured in season 32. All with special guest and fan favorite Charity Lawson of The Bachelorette.

2/16 LEWIS BLACK: GOODBYE YELLER BRICK ROAD GLC Live at 20 Monroe 11 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids Feb. 16, 7 p.m. After 35+ years as a touring stand-up, the hilariously outspoken comedian Lewis Black is parking his tour bus for good next year, marking the end of his legendary world touring career. Armed with his trademark rants and razor-sharp wit, Black tackles everything from politics to pop culture as he says goodbye to the road.

2/22 SAM HUNT Van Andel Arena 130 WS. Fulton St., Grand Rapids Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m. Sam Hunt is a multi-talented, five-time GRAMMY-nominated, Diamond-selling, award-winning hitmaker of a country artist. With a distinctive blend of country, pop and R&B, Hunt rose to fame with hits like “Leave the Night On” and “Body Like a Back Road.” His genredefying style and soulful lyrics have earned him widespread acclaim, making him a standout figure in contemporary country music.

2/23 DANCE WITH THE STARS DeVos Performance Hall 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids Feb. 13, 8 p.m. Dancing with the Stars is back on tour to heat up this winter with a dazzling, sexy, high energy, brandnew live production! This year’s all-new stage show will feature your favorite professional dancers from the hit television series

WYCE JAMMIES XXIV The Intersection Feb. 23, 6 p.m. Founded in 1999, the WYCE Jammie Awards is an annual celebration of the year’s best Michigan music. The event is intended to highlight our diverse, high quality music community, strengthening the relationship between artists and listeners, and features over a dozen

bands on three stages! Join the 24th annual Jammies Awards to celebrate and enjoy the best of the best local music.



DRINK OUTSIDE AT WINTER BEER FEST LMCU Ballpark Feb. 24, 1-6 p.m. Winter Beer Fest is one of the defining events of West Michigan. Entering its 18th year, the festival puts beer in the spotlight with hundreds and hundreds of options, alongside local music, impressive performances, and ice sculptures—and it’s all outdoors in the snow. Your ticket includes admission and 15 tokens for beer samples. Bundle up, and cheers!


EXPERIENCE THE MAGICAL WORLD OF WINTER Downtown Grand Rapids Through March 10

Street Chef Shaw opened his brick-and-mortar location, Mizizi, in Creston at 1539 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids—the former site of Rinaldi’s. For years now, chef Kirel Shaw has been serving up a fusion of Latin American and East African street foods out of his traveling food truck (as well as City Built Brewing, for a time). Head to the cozy take-out joint next to Quinn and Tuites for quick service and delicious tacos, burritos, chappatis, pilau and more.

The World of Winter is Grand Rapids’ way of making life not just bearable, but incredibly fun in the heart of winter. Over 100 FREE events, a ton of unique interactive art installations, astonishing performances, more than 50 ice sculptures, activities, programs and more will take over Downtown Grand Rapids. Here are a few highlights this month:

The people behind Social Misfits downtown expanded their kingdom into the ceded lands of Wahlburgers with The Foolery (10 Ionia Ave. NW, Grand Rapids), a “fine dive bar” serving up Detroit-style square pan pizza, nostalgic craft cocktails and cold beer. Head in to try one of their distinctly unique pies like The Short King, with poached shrimp, Spanish chorizo, pickled red onion, Foolery marinara and queso fresco.

WINTER’S A DRAG Calder Plaza | Feb. 3

Mangiamo is back, baby, in the historic mansion at 1033 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids. After seven years away, Mangiamo has returned with elevated Italian entrees like Lobster Tail Risotto and Conchiglie al Pesto, or go for a cut of American Wagyu beef from Snake River Farms. In the basement, you’ll find the new Mo’s Lounge, a retro cocktail lounge with libations ranging from a classic Aperol Spritz to the fresh and herbal Lana del Slay. Salute!

Michigan Drag Brunch is proud to bring you this FREE event in partnership with Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. Watch the Brunchettes/Queens work the stage! Enjoy brunch food from local food trucks. Plus, giant yard games and a crownshaped ice sculpture! SNOWGA 555 Monroe | Feb. 10 Kick off your Saturday with a perfect blend of World of Winter magic, exercise and relaxation. AM Yoga is leading the yoga, paired with a training run and walk—and Field & Fire Café is providing complimentary hot beverages. HUMAN HUNGRY HIPPOS Rosa Parks Circle | Feb. 25 Using laundry hampers, snow tubes attached to ropes, and plastic balls, contestants try to grab and bring back as many balls as they can while a partner sends them out and pulls them back! Join the fun on the ice, where both family and adult divisions can compete in this singleday extravaganza, with prizes on the line.

The Caribbean Bite has joined the ranks of Studio Park (122 Oakes St. SW, Grand Rapids), quickly expanding beyond their first location in February at Rivertown Mall. While both locations serve up Puerto Rican and Dominican cuisine, the mall spot leans toward fried foods versus the healthier options of the new locale. You’ll find variations on rice, plantains, tacos, marinated meats, salad and more. Inside of Amazing Myanmar Asian Cuisine (3740 28th St. SE, Kentwood), you’ll now find Adobo Boy, a Filipino eatery run by local icons Ace and Jackie Marasigan. Stop by to try one of the most popular dishes in the world, a Pork Adobo Bowl, and try out one of the other rotating offerings like Tinolang ​M anok (a warm, healthy, ginger-centric soup) or Pancit Bihon, a rice noodle dish with pork and veggies.

A round-up of the biggest openings, closings and other changes for local businesses. Eastern Kille Distillery was finally able to open its Rockford location at 7755 Childsdale Ave. NE, right down the road from Third Nature Brewing. The new production space, restaurant and cocktail bar is the first time Eastern Kille has a kitchen, and they’re serving up pizza, apps and salad alongside a seasonally revolving menu of cocktails highlighting their own spirits, of course. Head on in for a meal before or after a walk along the White Pine Trail! Russo Ristorante & Mercato has returned, after previously closing its 28th Street and downtown GR locations. Now at Tanger Outlets, the family’s fourth, fifth and sixth generations are keeping the legacy going with a new format, serving authentic Italian cuisine, small plates and excellent wines alongside the signature market filled with carefully curated Italian and Mediterranean grocery products. Up Leaf Café joined the lakeshore dining scene at 12371 James St., Holland. This is no ordinary café—the menu is full of rice bowls, noodle bowls, large spring rools, salads, and plant-based energy drinks. If you’re looking for healthy Asian fusion food in Holland, this is the place to be. ■

Eastern Kille Distillery, Up Leaf Café. COURTESY PHOTOS




GREEN GAINS: Cannabis and Exercise

| by Josh Veal


any of us use cannabis primarily for mental health, but THC and CBD might just have a place in your physical care too. As is often the case with cannabis, any health claims still require a whole lot more research, thanks to the diff iculties posed by its status as a Schedule I drug under federal law. But what we do have our some initial studies looking at how it seems to affect athletes during and after exercise. That said, let’s take a look at some pros and cons of cannabis use in relation to exercise.



» THC hasn’t been shown to boost performance, strength or aerobic ability— which likely isn’t a surprise to regular users. W hat it can do, however, is help you stay focused and motivated. Personally speaking, popping an edible before a long walk helps the time pass without notice, along with enhancing the natural beauty around me, and making whatever I’m listening to (music, podcasts, audiobooks) more interesting.

» There is potential danger in mixing cannabis and exercise, of course. Getting too high can make you dizzy and reduce balance, while also slowing reaction times. This can present a real issue with certain activities, such as heav y lifting or running at a fast pace. The danger isn’t just in big accidents like falling off a treadmill, but in small injuries as your thoughts blissfully slip away from proper form and posture.

» Long distance runners have said that both CBD and THC help them reach the runner’s high sooner, so it doesn’t take so long to f inally break through the wall. It can also amplif y the effects of that natural runner’s high.

» Cannabis increases your heart rate, as does exercise, which can be a worrisome combination. Be especially careful if you have any sort of heart conditions!

» Both THC and CBD have been shown to help decrease pain for most people, and one of the biggest obstacles in exercise is overcoming the pain. Of course, it’s also important to listen to your body and know when pain is a warning sign of something wrong, rather than pushing through it.

» Get too high and you may f ind yourself at the g ym hiding in a changing room until it all blows over, which isn’t the best experience to have in a place you’re already struggling to convince yourself to visit.

» Similarly, where cannabis has really been shown to help is in recovery. One study with 111 participants showed 93% of participants felt CBD assisted their recovery from exercise, and 87% said THC did the same. W hile we don’t know much about how this works scientif ically, the anecdotal evidence is strong that cannabis helps reduce soreness and inf lammation. » In essence: Cannabis won’t help you “perform” at a higher level, but it can make exercise feel better, which in turn makes it easier to start doing and keep doing.

» Food is fuel, and it’s important to remain properly fueled when exercising. However, you probably don’t want to overdo it, and we all know cannabis increases appetite, so keep that in mind as you head out for your post-g ym dinner. » To sum it up: Don’t get too high, and don’t get high at all if you plan on really pushing your limits. ■

Keep an eye out for in-depth local cannabis coverage in March’s annual Cannabis Issue. ■

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Big Timmy & The Heavy Chevys. COURTESY PHOTOS

BIG TIMMY & THE HEAVY CHEVYS: Shifting into Next Gear


n just sheer size and scale, there’s no denying the growth of Grand Rapids band Big Timmy & the Heav y Chev ys. Since f irst forming in 2019 as just a three-piece, the group­ — fronted by lead vocalist Tim Pierzchala—has expanded into an eight-piece ensemble complete with a horn section. With a modern, working class take on classic Motown, blues, soul, and funk, and inspired by the post-millennial renaissance of New York indie record label Daptone Records (home to the works of Charles Bradley, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, and many others), the Heav y Chev ys had fuel in their musical tank that ran deep. The group recorded their first five-song EP, The Big Time, at Amber Lit Audio in Grand Rapids back in 2020, just two weeks before the pandemic lockdown. That massive setback created a roadblock that stopped them in their tracks, and forced them to take a hard look at life and making music. “The whole world pretty much shut down,” Pierzchala said. “So we didn’t know where we were going to go from there. (And)

I’m impressed how we have come such a long ways because we’ve been through, I think, a lot more than a lot of groups have.” Dealing with the day jobs and other difficulties of managing such a large band, Pierzchala and company could have crumbled. But instead the band grew bigger and stronger, adding members, and taking those troubles head-on with the upcoming release of their first full-length album, Feel The Weight. Now made of Pierzchala, vocalist/ trombonist Tre Brooks, bassist Nahum Amaya, guitarist Tom Carr, drummer Ben Wolter, tenor saxophonist Chris Carr, and trumpeter John A kers, once again recorded at Amber Lit Audio. The new, 11-track album has songs that go back throughout the band’s whole history, and f inally came to completion thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign. “A lot of the songs are about living to work,” Pierzchala said. “I think a lot of the songs have a very heav y feel to them. So Feel The Weight we thought was pretty appropriate because there’s a lot of feeling that goes into it.”

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| by Eric Mitts

The album title also alludes to the oversized importance music plays in their lives, artistically, emotionally, and spiritually. “I can’t speak for everybody else, but I think I need (music) to survive,” Pierzchala said. “It’s been a part of my existence for a long time. I always thought it was miraculous that a sad ballad song could make somebody feel good or an upbeat song could make somebody feel sad. And for me personally it’s almost easier to exist in that realm (of music) than life itself sometimes. So I think we all have a sense of that.” Diligently working on songs, during, and after the pandemic, the band ended up with more than enough material for a fulllength album. With the goal of releasing the record on vinyl, they actually had to cut a few tracks, and even shorten one of their longer jams, in order to f it into the beloved format that was important to them. “I grew up listening to records and I’m a collector myself,” Pierzchala said. “I love it and I think with our style, having it on a record, there’s something more tangible and meaningful for me. With a record, when I

pull out the sleeve, and I have the artwork in front of me, I feel like albums were meant to be listened to like that, in its entirety.” To celebrate such a massive release, Big Timmy & the Heav y Chev ys will bring in their friends in another large GR soul group Nathan Walton & the Remedy, as well as other friends from Detroit, and a full burlesque show, hoping to make the event unlike anything local music fans have experienced before. Living up to their automotive name, the band also hopes to hit the road later this year, and share how much the band has grown with as many people as possible. ■

BIG TIMMY & THE HEAVY CHEVYS Feel The Weight Album Release Party Wsg. Nathan Walton & the Remedy, Lana Steel Hymn & Burlesque, Virginia Violet The Pyramid Scheme, 68 Commerce Dr. SW, Grand Rapids Feb. 23 , 7 p.m., $15 , 18 and older,


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COMEDY FOR COMMUNITY with Tiny Breakfast

| by Zachary Avery


o matter the form they might take, a story that’s shared with an audience will have three central beats—beginning, middle and end. Now, imagine a team of storytellers who accept spontaneous one-word prompts to perform a new story’s beginning, but have no idea of where it might lead to. With a variety of comedy clubs and event venues at its disposal, Grand Rapids is no stranger to the fascinating world of improvisational acting, or improv. Well-established organizations such as The Comedy Project and R iver City Improv have entertained crowds for years, and now a new group can be added to that roster: Tiny Breakfast. After putting on shows at popular spots like the DA AC, Tip Top Deluxe Bar and The Stray, Tiny Breakfast’s f ive-year anniversary has seemingly snuck up on them. “You start it off as just a thought, as a hobby and something fun to do,” said Jake Mate, member of Tiny Breakfast. “You get a rehearsal in, a few rehearsals in. Then, it becomes about getting in front of people.” Mate and fellow member, Ezra Sprik, participated in theatre together during their time studying at Hope College and were even on the same campus improv team: VanderProv. W hile in school, the two developed their improvisational comedy fundamentals, from embodying a conf ident stage presence to handling off-the-wall audience suggestions. It soon became clear to Mate and Sprik that the unique connection between performer and audience that improv inspires is unlike anything else in theatre. Mutual friends Evan Clark, Nina Mulder and Sal Yaqo would later join the team, and the group’s immediate comedic chemistry and shared love for the craft would pave the way toward Tiny Breakfast’s future. “You can do improv with almost anyone, but it makes it easier if you have a history with them,” Clark said. “You know them as an individual, so it’s easier to make the conversation f low.” Inviting the audience to take part in the fun is simple when you can clearly see how much the improvisers themselves are enjoying the show, too. Tiny Breakfast’s friendly nature feels reminiscent of joking around with old friends from high school, and watching them perform is like crashing the cool kids’ party next door. That said, while the energy is certainly high at one of their shows, the performances never push the line into vulgarity. Sprik and his team take pride in catering toward all ages so that Grand Rapids comedy enthusiasts can look forward to seeing them with their kids and family members. “After all the crap we’d been through during the pandemic, we had audience members come up to us and say, ‘Thank you, I needed a laugh.’ That’s always been our goal; to build spirits, to build community through our performances,” Sprik said. “To laugh with one another in a room where you don’t know anyone is a cathartic experience.” Fans of popular T V shows like “W hose Line Is It Any way?” may recognize some of the games that Tiny Breakfast features in each of their performances, ranging from short-form scenes to long-form stories with connected characters. W hile many of these sorts of exercises are mainstays in any typical comedy troupe, Tiny Breakfast challenges themselves with combining multiple forms. For example, they’ve begun to include musical improv into their repertoire. “We have someone play the keyboard since that instrument is so versatile, and then we’ll go on into a long-form improv with multiple scenes and we’ll make up songs on the spot,” Clark said.

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The result is an incredibly varied series of scenes that leave the audience guessing as to what could happen next, only to be left satisf ied by the long-form improv’s seemingly miraculous conclusion. The truly amazing thing about improv, however, is the fact that anyone can do this, too. Clark and Mate have both volunteered with Camp Blodgett together for nearly a decade now, and, as Tiny Breakfast, the two improvisers lead summer workshops teaching young students how to create spontaneous stories and scenes through listening skills and imagination. Mulder, who teaches a classroom of young adults with various disabilities, has made it a weekly practice to incorporate improvisational activities and games into her normal curriculum to great success. A ll it takes is a simple adaptation to the group you’re working with, and soon it becomes clear that improv can be and should be for everyone. “It’s not enough to just perform,” Sprik said. “Improv can be so beneficial for communication, realizing things in yourself, confidence and even just getting rid of a bad feeling. You just go do it for a bit and feel positive.” Entering the new year, Tiny Breakfast looks forward to hopefully returning to some of their favorite venues around town for future performances, including the DA AC and recently relaunched Dog Story Theater, the latter being the home for some of Tiny Breakfast’s earliest performances. “[Dog Story Theater] reached out to us again recently, so if we have a show there in 2024, that’d be great,” Mulder said. “It f its in our community aspect, since we want to do more local shows.” ■ Look out for more news from Tiny Breakfast across social media at @tinybreakfastimprov!



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Roy Wood Jr. and Jordan Klepper. PHOTO BY NAVIER GRIMES


Back for One Last Time | by Eric Mitts


efore ultimately deciding to retire from the road after his current, and f inal, tour, Grammywinning comedian Lewis Black had little respect for so-called “f ive-year plans.” Then the pandemic hit. “That proved to me what I’ve always thought, which is: There’s nothing dumber than a f ive-year plan,” Black told Revue via phone, while battling what he called “the cold that never dies.” Recording what became his 2020 standup special “Thanks For R isking Your Life,” at the Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo, Michigan, in March 2020, the day before COV ID-19 lockdowns cancelled all live entertainment, Black added that he has always had a special connection to our state, even before that terrif yingly unprecedented event. “W hen I f irst made the transition from writing plays and theatre to standup, I spent a month doing standup with my friend John Bowman, who was, and hopefully still is, a very well-known Michigan comedian,” Black said. “So it was in Michigan where I actually made the decision, ‘I could do this. This is fun.’” Having something of a full-circle moment, Black plans to return to writing once he retires from touring. Working professionally as a play wright until he turned 40, Black is eager to get back to the craft, and has a modern version of the classic “Our Town” in mind, as well as other projects. The longest-running contributor to Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” with his regular rant-fueled “Back In Black” segments going all the way back to the show’s first season in 1996, Black was slated to guest host the show for a week last year, but had that opportunity shelved due to the WGA Strike. But he said he plans to continue his own beloved “Rantcast” after he stops touring, where he’ll continue to share his fans’ own rants online. “The problem was I was really doing two full shows when I was doing the Rantcast live,” Black said about including the live podcast at the end of his hundreds of tour dates year after year. “Now what I want to do is maybe at each show read a rant, and that will go on the Rantcast… And then maybe I’ll get a couple of colleagues to join me, and we’ll regroup.” Not only giving voice to his fans’ ubiquitous rage, Black has become perhaps best known to some as the voice of Anger in the 2015 Disney Pixar movie “Inside Out,” and the upcoming sequel, “Inside Out 2,” due out in June of this year. “W hen they f irst approached me (about voicing Anger) it was like a form of recognition for the work that I had done,” Black said. “Pixar is like the Hall of Fame of animation, so working with them was phenomenal, and working with them again, I never thought they would do a sequel. So watching what was involved and the story they have… the whole thing blossomed into something I never, ever would have imagined.”

He says he’s not sure if a new generation of fans who grew up with his Anger character have started discovering his standup on their own, but added that he has gotten recognized by younger fans for his appearance on “The Big Bang Theory,” back in 2009. Now 75, and having done comedy for going on half his life, Black said the art form has changed massively during the many years he’s done it, with a major shift occurring now for comedians on social media. “I couldn’t imagine doing f ive nights in a theatre before,” Black said. “There was maybe one comic who could do f ive nights every so often, and now there’s a whole group of them.” In his act, Black has discussed the longevity of his own parents, who both lived to over 100 years old, and when asked if he might return to comedy when he crosses that milestone himself, there’s only one way he’d consider it. “Maybe I will do a special, on my 100th birthday, lying on a gurney,” Black said. “That’s the only way I would a special on my 100th.” He said that he was lucky to have a relationship with his parents for so long as they did not suffer from A lzheimer’s or dementia in their old age, and he’s grateful for the care they both got for their physical health as they got older, and he saw some of their struggles. “But then there’s a part of my brain going, ‘Do I really want to go this long? It becomes tough to think about because it’s real. Yes there’s a joy to it, but I better start exercising a lot more is all I can tell you.” As for what he’ll miss most from touring once he retires, Black didn’t hesitate to say it’s the audience. “I’ll miss being able to talk to them,” he said. “Standing on that stage, they helped me f igure out what was going on in the outside world, and I owe it all to them.” ■

LEWIS BLACK: GOODBYE YELLER BRICK ROAD, THE FINAL TOUR GLC Live at 20 Monroe, 11 Ottawa Ave., Grand Rapids Feb. 16, 7 p.m., $53+,

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Field & Fire Café, Low Carb Grill, O'Briens Deli & Burgers, Bliss & Vinegar. COURTESY PHOTOS

HEALTHY YET HEAVENLY: Tasty Salads & Wraps | by Josh Veal


hen you’re looking to fuel your day without loading up on carbs and fried food, salads and wraps are the way to go. W hile West Michigan isn’t L A or even Portland, there are still some great options for getting your greens and veggies around town. If you’re craving a healthy lunch or dinner, you can f ind tasty, nutritious, yet fulf illing meals at select spots in the area. Here are a few of our suggestions for getting your salad (or wrap) f ix:

FIELD & FIRE CAFÉ 820 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids

Field & Fire began as a wood-fired oven bakery and has since grown into a café and bagel-ry as well. The café on Monroe is popular for not just its baked goods, coffee and espresso drinks, but its delicious, healthy food, such as the Resolution Bowl—organic quinoa and kale, topped with grilled tempeh, pickled onion, tomato, pistachios, avocado and verde sauce. Or go for the Buddha Bowl, with radicchio, spinach, carrot, red pepper, poppyseed, avocado, quinoa & chickpea salad, all topped with a sriracha tahini sauce. BLISS & VINEGAR 888 Forest Hill Ave. SE, Grand Rapids

At Bliss & Vinegar, it’s all about health, and you’re fully in charge. Create your own salad, quinoa bowl or wrap from f ive different greens, nearly 20 veggies, multiple cheeses and proteins, plus 18 vinegar dressings. Or, trust their tried and true creations that regulars keep coming back for, like the Tokyo Spa Salad, with spring mix, tofu, red pepper, carrots, broccoli, garbanzos, sliced almonds and red wine vinaigrette. GAIA CAFÉ 1553 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids

This legendary vegetarian/vegan restaurant rose from the grave just a few years ago, bringing back favorite dishes like the Mean Green Burrito. W hile they have multiple nutritious options, my personal favorite is the Veggie Stash, a heaping pile of steamed broccoli, caulif lower, carrots

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and red cabbage, prepared with garlic, ginger and tamari, served on your choice of brown rice and/or potatoes, all topped with cheese, scallions and sour cream. I’m no doctor but I’m pretty sure the dish has healing properties—at the very least, it’s delicious and full of nutrients. MUDPENNY 570 Cesar E. Chavez Ave. SW, Grand Rapids 496 Ada Dr. SE, Ada

Mudpenny began as a coffee cart called Grace Coffee before rebranding and moving into their f irst storefront location downtown. Now with an additional location in Ada, the café and eatery has many fans of its aesthetically pleasing, fresh, healthy and tasty food and drinks. One option is the Mash Up, with avocado, maple sweet potato mash, bell pepper, tomato, spinach and goat cheese on naan. Or try the Arugula Salad, with avocado, butterball potato, dried cranberry, toasted cashes, maple vinaigrette and shaved parmesan.

TWO BEARDS DELI 38 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids

With nearly 100 sandwiches on the menu, all named after a different famous bearded person (real and fictional), you might think that’s all Two Beards has to offer, but they’ve gone ahead and put together a stellar salad menu as well. If your focus is on the veggies, try out The Joaquin Phoenix, with vegan curry tofu salad, broccoli, cherry tomato, green onion, red cabbage and carrot on spring mix, with orange ginger vinaigrette. O’BRIENS DELI & BURGERS 1200 E. Paris Ave. SE, Grand Rapids


O’Briens doesn’t do anything half way. Their menu is massive, with notoriously tasty burgers and fries, but they also offer 16 different wraps and 11 salads. They have unique wrap options like the Jalapeno Reuben Bacon Wrap, or if you’re looking to get your green f ix, try the Sauteed Veggie Wrap, with lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, mushrooms, peppers, avocado, feta cheese and balsamic dressing in a spinach tortilla.

850 Forest Hill Ave. SE, Grand Rapids 1133 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids


W hile Uncle Cheetah’s is mainly known as a soup shop, with both locations serving up a dozen different soups every day (many of which are quite healthy), they also have fantastic salads, which can be made into wraps. The Forest Hills location has four salads to choose from, including one of my favorite Caesars in town, as well as the Corn On A Stick But A Salad, featuring local greens, charred corn relish, cherry tomatoes, queso fresco, cilantro, espice, garlic aioli and jalapeno vinaigrette.

1180 Washington Ave., Holland

Gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free, Low Carb Grill is all about delivering big f lavor without the bad stuff. Each dish has full nutrition facts available, including the net carbs. Try the Moroccan Chicken Cauli-rice Bowl, a Mediterranean dish of chicken breast marinated in Greek yogurt and seasonings, loaded with peppers, onions, in-house riced caulif lower, cucumber, tomato, feta cheese, cilantro and tzatziki sauce. ■

Bailey's Farms, Sacred Springs, Lively Up Kombucha, Cultured Kombucha, Boochie Bar. COURTESY PHOTOS

DRINKING T CULTURED: Kombucha in West Michigan | by Josh Veal

ang y, effervescent, slightly sour, and packed full of probiotics—kombucha has a lot going for it. This fermented beverage has developed a real cult following over the decades, as people realize it’s not just tasty but has some health benef its. Just like with beer, mead and cider (all also fermented), creating kombucha involves yeast and bacteria breaking down sugars into various benef icial compounds, including alcohol. For beer, the sugars come from malt. For mead, it’s honey, and cider obviously comes from apples. In kombucha’s case, it’s made from sweetened tea, with the help of a Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast, a.k.a. a SCOBY! The result is a f izzy, sweet and sour drink, with tons of probiotics and just a bit of alcohol, though it’s typically under 0.5% ABV, and many brands nowadays get the ABV low enough to where you don’t even need to be 21 to buy it. W hich is great, because people of all ages deserve to enjoy this refreshing treat that seems to aid digestion and immune systems, thanks to the probiotics and other enzymes. We’re lucky in West Michigan to have a buffet of booch made right here and available at stores all over. Here are a few of our favorite kombucha makers in town. SACRED SPRINGS

1059 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids

Sacred Springs doesn’t just make kombucha, they have a whole taproom right on Wealthy, serving up kombucha, mead, kombucha beer and more. The duo running the joint craft their beverages along with singing bowls and didgeridoos, “infusing” every drop of liquid with sound and intention. Head here for 15 kombuchas, with f lavors like Trop Hopics featuring pineapple and Simcoe hops. LIVELY UP KOMBUCHA

A hobby became a passion for the couple who started Lively Up, discovering kombucha culture while in Hawaii. You’ll now see their colorful bottles out and about at stores like Martha’s Vineyard and Kingma’s, in a variety of f lavors including Lavender Bliss, Jammin’ Ginger and more. A lso check out their JUN varieties—a cousin to kombucha made with raw local honey. BOOCHIE BAR 8450 Algoma Ave., Rockford

After seeing great success with kombucha when f ighting autoimmune diseases, the owner of Boochie Bar fell in love with the stuff and wanted to spread the good word. This is her take on a wellness bar, with kombucha actually provided by Lively Up, alongside organic acai bowls, smoothies, “Funky Fresh Entrees,” raw juice and wellness shots. CULTURED KOMBUCHA

Hailing from Traverse City, this kombucha brand is straightforward, quality stuff. Find their glass bottles on store shelves, in f lavors like Yooper Berry, Strawberry R hubarb, Lavender Bliss, Spiced Pear and Tasty Tepache. A lso keep an eye out for seasonal f lavors like Apple Harvest in the fall! ZENNED OUT

Operating out of Muskegon and delivering within the region, Zenned Out Kombucha (ZOK) brews a uniquely well-balanced kombucha that has subtle tart notes. It began as a post-workout recovery for owners Matt and Kyle and blossomed into a business in 2022. Get a six-pack of their original green tea kombucha or raspberry hibiscus delivered to your door, or start making your own with the ZOK Kombucha Brewing 101 class—just $15 to attend and an additional $15 for an optional kombucha starter kit. BAILEY’S FARMS

Another Traverse City brand, Bailey’s does fun, f izzy fermented tea in 13 delicious f lavors, ranging from Happy Spleen Green to Sun In The Winter, Creamy Earl Grey and many more. You can spot them by their signature cute, modern packaging in stores around West Michigan. ■





inter may have been late to the party, but it sure made up for it by making a grandiose entrance in January! If you’re holed up at home, looking out your window wondering when it’s going to end, we have news for you: it’s gonna be a while. Might as well get out and enjoy it! West Michigan has so many options for outdoor, cold-weather activity, it’s almost like we have some experience with it. Let’s look at some of the best places to go to get your chill on. RICHMOND PARK & MULICK PARK Multiple Locations |

There are plenty of hills for sledding around town, but these two spots have something a little extra: self-serve sled stations brought to you by GR Outside. R ichmond on the NW side and Mulick Park on the SE side both offer this service, so you don’t even have to BYO. They just ask that you return sleds when you’re done so others can give it a whirl. R ichmond is also a great spot for hiking. And, though they don’t have sleds to borrow, Manhattan, Belknap, Mary Waters, and Johnson Parks are other list-topping sledding hills. WITTENBACH WEGE CENTER 11715 Vergennes St. SE, Lowell

This large, 140-acre property in Lowell is a favorite among winter hikers, and they also offer snowshoe rental. There are five miles of trails to enjoy, and they host special events, too, including W WC Winterfest on February 3. This all-day, opt-outside event will feature crafts, games, recreation, demonstrations, and hot cocoa available for purchase. BLANDFORD NATURE CENTER 1715 Hillburn Ave. NW

Another excellent spot for hiking and snowshoes rental, this Westside gem is known for its beautiful trails, wildlife ambassadors, educational experiences, and enriching activities out in nature. Blandford runs events year-round, and on the calendar for February are Snowshoe with Your Sweetie, Guided Shinrin-yoku Series, Galentine’s Hike with the Animals, and more. INDIAN TRAILS GOLF COURSE 2776 Kalamazoo Ave. SE

If you’re on the Southeast side, this is another place where you can rent snowshoes. And, if you’ve ever been curious about fat-tire biking, you can try-before-you-buy with on-site bike rentals. Both snowshoes and fat-tire bikes are available f irst come, so they recommend calling f irst at 616-245-2021 to check availability.

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by Allison Kay Bannister

Indian Trails Golf Course, Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park. COURTESY PHOTOS


Head out to the lakeshore to Muskegon State Park for a full day of fun. The sports complex rents snowshoes, cross-country skis, hockey equipment, and ice skates, and they have a number of trails to explore for each activity. Plus, there’s an 850-foot luge track—one of only a handful in the U.S. Equipment and training is provided for the luge. They pride themselves on their commitment to accessibility, and have adaptive equipment and accommodations for many needs. A lso, right nearby is Lost Lake Trail, which is popular for hiking. PIGEON CREEK AND HEMLOCK CROSSING 12524 Stanton St. & 8115 W Olive Rd., West Olive

These two parks within the Ottawa County system stand out for their offerings and events. At Pigeon Creek, you can rent cross-country skis and snowshoes and traverse miles of groomed trails, plus take ski lessons and avail yourself of their sledding hill. The 239-acre Hemlock Crossing has six miles of trails through the woods and along Pigeon R iver, and rents snowshoes out of the Nature Center. Follow Ottawa County Parks and Recreation on Facebook to stay on top of their many events, including winter walks, birding, astronomy programs, and nature journaling. HOWARD CHRISTENSEN NATURE CENTER 16190 Red Pine Dr., Kent City

Lesser known, but no less charming, this 135-acre preserve is just a short drive from the city center. There’s a small fee to visit the grounds, which is waived for members. A long with great hiking through the woods on marked trails and loops, they put on regular special events. Head over for the Cabin Fever Craft Day and Yard Sale on February 10 and Valentine’s Snowshoeing on February 17, which concludes with hot beverages and s’mores. DOWNTOWN GRAND RAPIDS Multiple Locations

Since World of Winter hit the scene, downtown GR has become a hub for outdoor enjoyment. As if skating at Rosa Parks Circle and meandering the R iverwalk Promenade weren’t draws on their own, this outdoor event spanning several months really brings it, with all kinds of cool art installations and activities. It’s a great way to get some steps in and shoo away the winter blahs, and most everything is either free or low cost. It’s located within the three-square-mile social district, too, with more than 60 participating venues. CANNONSBURG SKI AREA 6800 Cannonsburg Rd., Belmont

Def initely a mecca for outdoor recreation enthusiasts, this resort located northeast of Grand Rapids rents downhill skis, snow boards, fat-tire bikes, and snowshoes. They also offer tubing, and you can rent tubes by making your reservation online. Cannonsburg caters to all experience levels, and boasts nine lifts and 21 runs, including three chair lifts, four rope tows, and two magic carpet transports. There are cross-county ski trails on the premises, as well, though you will need to bring your own equipment. If you’re inspired to get out, keep in mind that rentals are only available during each location’s regular business hours, and many activities require a minimum snowfall or cold enough temperatures to be sustainable. ■






f you’re looking for a way to get active but don’t know where to begin, West Michigan is home to a wide array of options. It goes far beyond g yms and trainers (though we have great choices there too). Every body is different, and we all have varied f itness goals, which means you need to f ind the f itness that works for you. The best exercise is the one you personally will actually feel motivated enough to do—there is no one-size-f its-all. So, here are a few ideas for you to get moving, no matter who you are. VARIETY & COMMUNITY




Multiple locations |

7780 Clyde Park Ave SW, Byron Center |

Swimming, running, weightlifting, machines, group f itness, court sports and more, MV P has it all. You can do it all on your own, join classes, work with a trainer, whatever works for you. This is the all-in-one package with a large community and multiple locations around West Michigan.

If you love the idea of training like an athlete (or want to get back to your college sport days), try out Coachman in Byron Center. The coaches here specialize in adult programs, athlete performance, and online programming. Their health-focused community is centered on helping you reach one goal: a sustainable f itness lifestyle.





2845 Thornhills Ave. SE, Grand Rapids |

109 S River Ave., Holland |

If your main issue with exercising is that there aren’t enough hours in the day, try out BODY20. This f itness studio is incredibly unique, utilizing an electro-muscle stimulation suit that gives your body “over 150 times more muscle contractions than a conventional workout.” You run through your 20-minute session with a trainer, getting huge results in a short time.

Valeo focuses on functional f itness, meant to mimic your everyday movements. No matter your age, size or current ability, Valeo is there to help you get stronger and more active in a practical way that will help you every day. Their team offers group f itness classes or one-on-one personal programming. FOR THE “LOST CAUSE”


This kickboxing spot has developed a real following, thanks to intense yet fun workout sessions. You can sign up now for a free trial class and learn what kickboxing is all about, from punching and kicking a big bag to jumping and planking. It’s a great way to let stress go with no judgment, and you’re guaranteed to sweat.

BODY BY CHOICE 4070 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids |

For those who think they're just not “one of those exercise people,” Body By Choice will prove you wrong. This personal training studio is all about helping you get healthier, stronger and more conf ident, with plans tailored to each individual—no matter where you’re at in your journey. They even have online training, if you’re shy! GET CROSSFIT


8TH DAY GYM 130 Market Ave., Grand Rapids |

People who join Friction fall in love quickly due to the top-notch people who show up looking to build community, including both trainers and fellow members. It’s a g ym focused on functional f itness, with personal training, group training and nutrition all available. Get stronger and feel better with simple, focused, effective strength building.

Call it Crossf it, call if functional f itness, call it whatever you want. Just know it gets results. 8th Day Gym is one of the most successful g yms in Grand Rapids, utilizing natural and functional movements with everyday objects. As they put it, “we teach you how to move your body as it was designed, then challenge this movement with variables such as weight, speed, and duration.”





2427 Eastern Ave. SE, Grand Rapids |

601 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids |

If you’re a “high performer” who always has a full schedule and needs a way to develop healthy habits, this is the place for you. The mission of Life Addicts is to exercise often, eat well, engage community and enjoy the lifestyle. And if your least favorite part of working out is being seen doing it, you’ll appreciate the intentionally dim lighting here that lets everyone focus on themselves.

There are plenty of stellar cycle spots throughout West Michigan, but we love that Lunar Cycle is totally locally owned. The welcoming attitude, immersive atmosphere and unforgettable playlist are core drivers behind any spin class, pumping you up and keeping you motivated for intense workouts.

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Body20, CKO Kickboxing, Valeo Sport & Fitness, Lunar Cycle. COURTESY PHOTOS




Rebounderz, Air Zoo, The Ruse. COURTESY PHOTOS



ooking for something to do this winter? Of course you are. No matter the season, it’s always good to be on the lookout for exciting new experiences beyond the usual favorites like eating and drinking—though of course, we encourage those too. But West Michigan has a bounty of fun to be had with friends, family and strangers. So, next time you’re looking to be entertained but feel like you’re all out of ideas, consult Revue’s Entertainment Guide. It’s not meant to be comprehensive, but we’re positive something here will strike your fancy.

GUIDE by Revue Staff

ALL AGES TRAMPOLINE PARKS Sky Zone | Altitude | Rebounderz | Airborne Adventure

Not long ago, you had to hope the local g ymnastics center had a spare evening if you wanted to book some time with trampolines and foam pits. Now, we have bespoke trampoline parks all over West Michigan, each offering dozens of things to do. Beyond the trampolines and foam zones are free climbing walls, parkour courses, ropes courses, foam jousting, trapeze, silks, zip lines, slides, and more. Adults are welcome to play too! AIR ZOO 6151 Portage Road, Portage

This world-class, Smithsonian-aff iliated aerospace and science museum is a wonder to behold and a blast to explore, with more than 100 air and space artifacts, full-motion f light simulators, indoor amusement park rides, interactive exhibits, and hands-on classes. It’s a true gem of edutainment, perfect for people of any age who love space, f light, machinery and rides. CRAIG’S CRUISERS Grand Rapids, Holland & Muskegon

W hen you can’t decide on just one activity for the day, this is the place to go. Craig’s offerings go far beyond his cruisers (go karts), including robust laser tag arenas, bumper cars, indoor rides like the Cruiser Coaster, and an arcade with nearly 100 games. W hen the snow melts, you can also enjoy a seated zip line over the mini-golf course, bumper boats, and The 360. BATTLEGR 284 Dodge Court, Comstock Park

For another option with huge variety, check out Battle GR, which is all about active group fun. Their laser tag can be customized thanks to moveable obstacles and objective based games/missions. Their axe throwing has patent-pending, no-bounce-back borders for extra safety, along with special games like Connect Four and Tic Tac Toe. Their Gel Blaster is a unique approach to paintball, using soft and squishy pellets that disintegrate on contact. They also have archery tag, and a full sports court!

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PINBALL LAND 114 Courtland St., Rockford

A ll the fun of a retro arcade without the hassle of quarters—Pinball Land has seven rooms of play space, home to more than 50 pinball machines and over 100 arcade games to enjoy for as long as you’re there. It’s just $7 for one hour ($15 for all day) to play everything from DDR to Pac Man, Crazy Taxi, Turtles in Time and beyond. BOWLING, FOWLING & DUCKPIN Clique Lanes | Northfield Lanes | Fowling Warehouse Woodrows Duckpin Bowling | Airway Fun Center

Bowling is a prime winter activity, perfectly crafted to blend socializing, friendly competition and movement (plus bar food and cheap beer, if you like). If you want to change it up, check out duckpin or fowling. Duckpin is similar to bowling, but with smaller balls that f it right in your hand, so no need to f ind the right weight and size for your f ingers—and you don’t have to rent or change your shoes! The lane is also shorter and the pins are smaller, attached by strings at the top, which means everything moves quicker. Or, for the opposite end of the spectrum, check out fowling to chuck some footballs at pins in a big ol’ warehouse! ESCAPE ROOMS The Great Escape Room | The Ruse | Locked 460 | Lakeshore Quest | Escapology

Escape rooms have taken America by storm for a reason. You might think puzzles aren’t for you, or that being locked in a room for an hour sounds like a stressful time, but we’ve seen people be converted time and time again. These rooms are full of all kinds of puzzles, and you’ll naturally gravitate toward whichever excites you. Each clue you solve is a little burst of joy, and it quickly becomes addicting. Try an escape room—you won’t regret it (and, believe it or not, they’ll let you out at any time if you just ask). AXE THROWING Wood-Splitters | FlannelJax | Muskegon Axe Throwing | Choppin Co.

A xe throwing is sweeping the nation, partly because we all love to take turns throwing things as a form of socialization—and in a much larger part because of how fun and satisf ying it is to feel the axe leave your hand, f ly through the air and stick in the wood. Some spots have added additional games as well, like crosscut sawing to make you feel like a lumberjack, and Thump the Stump, in a race to hammer a nail with a hatchet. Call me Ke$ha because I’m yelling timber.

SPORTS GRAND RAPIDS GOLD We may not have Lions, Tigers and Red Wings, but we do have spectacular sports teams of our own to spectate. Of course the winter months are perfect for watching the GR Griff ins and Kalamazoo Wings sweep the ice in hockey, but the Van Andel Arena is also home to the Grand Rapids Gold, our off icial minor league NBA team now associated with the Denver Nuggets (hence the name). If you want to see pros play before they head up to the big leagues, here’s your chance! GRAND RAPIDS RISE This year, the Grand Rapids R ise is playing its inaugural season, with 24 games ahead. This is a female professional volleyball team, played by elite athletes, “who, for the f irst time, have an opportunity to make a R E A L living wage without leaving the county.” Head to Van Andel to see this athleticism on display! GRAND RAGGIDY ROLLER DERBY

Founded in 2005, Grand Raggidy Roller Derby is proud to be one of only 30 founding member leagues of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association. Anyone and everyone is welcome to come see their games, where women showcase their speed, agility and strategic prowess. Watch skaters with names like “Marzi Pain” and “Scary Magdalene” slam into each other, slip past each other and race around the track. It’s fun for everyone!

FlannelJax, Pinball Land, Grand Rapids Rise, Grand Rapids Gold. COURTESY PHOTOS




The Pyramid Scheme, Bell's Eccentric Café, Kalamazoo State Theatre, The Intersection. COURTESY PHOTOS

MUSIC VENUES THE INTERSECTION 133 Cesar E. Chavez Ave. SW, Grand Rapids

With f ive stages in one venue, The Intersection is built for just about every kind of show you could hope for. W hile electronic/EDM/house music has a strong presence here, so do hardcore, hip-hop, tribute bands, country, retro parties and more. THE PYRAMID SCHEME 68 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids

The ultimate indie venue, Pyramid Scheme is home to quite a few local showcases, along with larger indie touring groups like Jeff Rosenstock and Slaughter Beach—as well as metal shows like See You Next Tuesday. Plus, their front bar is full of pinball machines! BELL’S ECCENTRIC CAFÉ 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo

Bell’s has been absolutely crushing it with their shows recently, both on the indoor stage and the larger outdoor space in the Beer Garden. Here you’ll f ind big gets like Waxahatchee and Belle & Sebastian alongside intimate singer-song writer shows and smaller local bands. A lso: Lots of craft beer and great food!

MIDTOWN GR 123 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids

Formerly known as The Listening Room, this is a seated, unique, very intimate venue with a focus on atmosphere and acoustics. Head here for shows you really want to pay attention to and soak in (plus, regular improv comedy from R iver City and Pop Scholars). KALAMAZOO STATE THEATRE 404 S. Burdick St., Kalamazoo

It’s quality over quantity at Kazoo State, a beautiful Spanish-styled theater hosting indie legends like Silversun Pickups and The Mountain Goats, along with country bands like Home Free and Jason Isbell. SKELLETONES 133 S. Division Ave., Grand Rapids

This legendary venue has returned after years of being closed. It’s an allages space, alcohol-free and wheelchair accessible, focused largely on punk, hardcore, metal, emo, ska and other underground genres.

Continued on page 30...

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GLC Live at 20 Monroe, with Patton Oswalt. PHOTO BY JAMIE GEYSBEEK Pop Scholars, Dr. Grins Comedy Club. COURTESY PHOTOS

...continued from page 28.


GLC LIVE AT 20 MONROE 11 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids

You’ll f ind many of your favorite comedians at GLC Live, where second shows are regularly added due to popularity. Stavros Halkias, Lewis Black, Nimesh Patel, Nikki Glaser, Ari Shaffer—just a few of the comedians already slated for 2024! DR. GRINS COMEDY CLUB 20 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids

Every week, typically Monday through Wednesday, a new comedian takes up the mic at Dr. Grins, the comedy venue inside The B.O.B. These are largely the comedians who are out there touring and crushing it before they develop a massive following. Beth Stelling, Don Friesen and Step Tolev are some upcoming names! THE COMEDY PROJECT 540 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids

If you want odd, unique, local comedy, this is the place to be. Head here on Mondays for a comedy variety show, and on weekends for multiple improv comedy shows ranging in themes from Battle Bots to Jellybean Station, “the comedy kid’s show no kid should see.” POP SCHOLARS

W hen it comes to improv, Pop Scholars have something special. There’s a chemistry between the four guys that started strong and has only grown over 15 years of performing together. If you think improv just isn’t your thing, you’re probably wrong—check out Pop Scholars. Continued on page 32...

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to the DeVos Performance Hall stage with P-U-L-S-E , their biggest and most spectacular production to date, on Wednesday, April 3rd. This production is a celebration & faithful recreation of Pink Floyd’s legendary Division Bell Tour, complete with a stunning laser light show, iconic circular screen, inflatables and theatrics. Performing tracks from Pink Floyd’s magnificent catalog of albums including, the Dark Side of the Moon, The Wall, Wish You Were Here, Animals, Division Bell, Meddle and more! Catch Brit Floyd, the greatest Pink Floyd tribute band in the world, live on the DeVos Performance Hall stage on April 3rd. Tickets are on sale at or the DeVos Performance Hall box office during regular box office hours. Brit Floyd, formed in 2011, features performances supported by an immense & immaculately curated state of the art production. Their performances emulate the stunning

Gift Someone Fabulous Local Art.


soundscapes and visuals of classic rock legends Pink Floyd’s iconic catalog. Brit Floyd is a celebration of authenticity, featuring musicians hand picked by Damian Darlington & occasionally including guest musicians from Pink Floyd’s studio and road line-ups. Considered “the most exciting tribute show” by Ticketmaster and called “flawless & astounding” by the LA Times, Brit Floyd is a show you don’t want to miss.


Artist: Sri “Oetjoen” McCarthy

125 Ottawa NW Ste #160, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 | | 616.805.5725




...continued from page 30.

Billy's Lounge, Eve. COURTESY PHOTOS


BILLY’S LOUNGE 1437 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids

With DJs on Sundays (playing throwback tunes), Mondays (electronica), Wednesday (Latin) and Thursday (College Night), Billy’s is a great place to dance throughout the week, smack dab in Eastown. EVE 20 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids

Eve is back, with different DJs playing every single Friday and Saturday. If you want to dance all night and get lit in a classy nightclub setting, head up the stairs of The B.O.B. to the top f loor. MOJO’S DUELING PIANO BAR 180 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids

Don’t let the name fool you—while there is a dueling piano bar downstairs, and it’s a fun time to be sure, Mojo’s also has a dance f loor with DJs on the second f loor, Fridays and Saturdays at 9 p.m. RUMORS NIGHT CLUB 69 S. Division Ave., Grand Rapids

The most popular gay bar and dance club in the city has DJs playing hits on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Head there anytime after 10 p.m. and it’s bound to be lit. Plus, karaoke on Wednesdays, and show nights on Sundays! ■

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Sky Hopinka: Mnemonics of Shape and Reason. PHOTO COURTESY OF GRAND RAPIDS ART MUSEUM



he Grand Rapids Art Museum’s f ive current exhibitions immerses attendees in everything from the bright and colorful world of LEGO to the way photography can freeze a moment in time, allowing it to live even after its photographer has shuff led off this mortal coil. Brick by Brick: The Creative Art of LEGO (now through May 31) is the f irst in what will be an annual celebration of the iconic toys and of LEGO the company, a name that didn’t exist before 1934 (Ole Kirk Christiansen, owner of the company, had a contest to name the company; the winner got a bottle of homemade wine). Today, LEGO is so strongly identif ied with childhood nostalgia that it might surprise people to learn that the modern, stackable plastic bricks were only introduced into America in the early 1960s. The GR A M’s exhibition features several creative and well-designed pieces, including some linked to pop culture (one in particular is sure to delight Twin Peaks fans). There’s a drawing activity, and an invitation to build with LEGOs yourself; on a recent

| by John Kissane

visit, two young girls (10 and seven years old) spent twenty minutes creating, and would have spent far longer, had their writer father allowed. Uncharted Ways Through: Maps, Land, And The Image (now through April 7) celebrates the practical art of mapmaking, an art that has brought our world closer together, both to great benef it and at great cost. Maps act as spur to the imagination and as a tool for conquest; by def ining borders, they also def ine what lies outside of them. One of the pieces on display, Viviano Norwood’s Recasting Grand Rapids, makes use of 3-D printing. It’s a recently developed technique, but the result feels older. The piece is a small wooden table on which has been set a threedimensional rendering of downtown Grand Rapids, with streets that seem made out of wood and buildings that might have been carved from frozen honey: a remarkable blend of technolog y and the organic world. This Decisive Moment: Sports Photography from GR A M’s Collection (now through March 10) gathers together exemplary work featuring

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Top Images: Border Cantos / Bottom Images: Brick by Brick, The Creative Art of LEGO. PHOTOS COURTESY OF GRAND RAPIDS ART MUSEUM

everyone from passionate amateurs to athletes as legendary as Michael Jordan and Muhammad A li. A long with capturing indelible moments, the exhibition also displays the evolution of the art form itself, from the 19th Century technolog y used to capture sumo wrestlers to the digital cameras used today. Particularly evocative is Jacques-Henri Lartique’s 1912: Paris. La Singer de Course: “Bunny III.” Taken when the photographer was in his teens, it displays with wonderful clarity a bicyclist pulled up next to an automobile driver and the perambulator who strolls in the distance: a scene then modern that, having sunk irretrievably into the past, now hums with poignancy and charm. Sky Hopinka: Mnemonics of Shape and Reason (now through April 28) features work by Hopinka, a member of the HoChunk Nation and the Pechanga Band of Luiseño, work that explores poetry, imagery, and sound in order to explore both memory and self in the wider context of indigenous history and life. The connection between self and the world is made explicit through this cinematic work. In one still, the outline of a person is imposed over a beautiful landscape, a reminder that, for all our uniqueness, we are part of, and bound by, history and the world. Border Cantos (February 3 through April 28), a collaboration between photographer R ichard Misrach and composer/artist Guillermo Gallindo, brings to Canadaadjacent Michigan the realities of life at our country’s Southern border. Sound and image unite to document the pain and complexities of this urgent concern. As with all of GR A M’s exhibitions, Border Cantos will leave attendees carrying out of the building more than they carried in: experiences that linger. ■

Uncharted Ways Through: Maps, Land And The Image. PHOTOS BY GRAND RAPIDS ART MUSEUM

GRAND RAPIDS ART MUSEUM 101 Monroe Center St. NW, Grand Rapids





GET ON YOUR FEETat Frauenthal | by John Kissane relieved that it had all gone over well. W hen the touring production (which is in English) was announced, he may have been the obvious choice to play Estefan. But he did have to audition, a fact Garnica appreciates. “I was happy to have the opportunity to prove myself,” he said. The night before coming to the Frauenthal, the show plays at Detroit’s historic Fox Theatre, designed by legendary architect C. Howard Crane. A lso designed by Crane is the Frauenthal, which serves as a reminder: great art can be found on the Lakeshore, just as it can in Detroit. Messing sees the show as f itting precisely within the Frau’s remit, which is to offer diverse, quality entertainment to the community it sits in. “Nothing beats the spectacle of live theater,” he said. “And this is a great show.” ■


he touring production of Broadway’s On Your Feet! comes to Muskegon’s 1700-seat Frauenthal Center for a performance at 7:30 PM on Sunday, February 25, thanks in part to recent renovations that included complete replacement of the sound and lighting systems. “The difference is night and day,” said Eric Messing, the Frauenthal’s executive director. “This drastically improves the patron experience.” The last renovation of that size had been in the late 1990s. “It was def initely time. We were able to showcase some of this in late 2023. The response was overwhelming–it was that noticeable.” One highlight is the 22 moving lights. The renovation was needed in order to facilitate the kind of shows the organization hoped to bring to the area. “To be transparent, there were groups and events that passed us by due to previous technical limitations,” Messing said. Initially, it was hoped that the renovation campaign would bring in $5.1 million. Instead, thanks to the generosity of the local community, it brought in $6.3 million, making the transition to state-of-the-art technolog y possible. On Your Feet!, the story of Gloria and Emilio Estefan, is one show that wouldn’t have been possible before. A high-energ y, inspirational show, it tells the story of the husbandand-wife duo as they achieved success after success in the music world, earning huge critical and commercial success and helping Latin music make signif icant inroads into not just American popular culture but world culture generally. Samuel Garnica plays Emilio, an ambitious musician who met young Gloria in 1975 while rehearsing for a church event. Gloria and her cousin, Merci, sang Cuban standards; Emilio, impressed, offered them roles in his band, which would no longer be known as Miami Latin Boys. Now that the ladies were in, it would be known as Miami Sound Machine. In time, the success of the band and of Gloria’s later solo career would lead them both into the stratosphere. Garnica f inds real joy in playing Emilio, who he has met and clearly admires. “There’s a great opportunity in playing someone like that,” he said. There is no shortage of footage of Emilio, which allows him to study the man’s cadence and gestures, but the result is less impersonation than inhabitation. Garnica has performed the role before, in Spanish; on May 5th, 2022, the musical got its Spanish-language premiere. The cast performed at the GA L A Hispanic Theatre in Washington, D.C., for an enthusiastic audience that included Gloria and Emilio Estefan themselves. Garnica ate dinner with them afterward, soaking in the couple’s presence and

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ON YOUR FEET! Frauenthal Theater 425 West Western Ave., Muskegon Feb. 25 , 7:30 p.m.



| by Revue Staff

FEBRUARYARTSCalendar It’s 2024 and arts organizations in West Michigan are thriving, with incredible, jam-packed seasons of art, conversations, fun and community involvement. This month, you can visit the theaters for big Broadway shows and intimate plays, listen to symphonies play the classics and modern pieces, and head to local museums for a variety of stunning art. Check it out.




160 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids

296 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon



POSTCARD SALON 2024, Feb. 22-March 14 ODDITIES & DELIGHTS, Through Feb. 25


NATIVE GARDENS, Jan. 25-Feb. 4




FONTANA CHAMBER ARTS 359 Kalamazoo Mall Ste. 200, Kalamazoo


FRAUENTHAL CENTER 425 W. Western Ave., Muskegon

ON YOUR FEET!, Feb. 25

GILMORE THEATRE/WMU THEATRE 1903 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo


GRAND RAPIDS ART MUSEUM 101 Monroe Center, Grand Rapids


JEWISH THEATRE GRAND RAPIDS 2727 Michigan NE, Grand Rapids

THE HATMAKER’S WIFE, Feb. 29-Mar. 10

KALAMAZOO CIVIC THEATRE 329 S. Park St., Kalamazoo


KALAMAZOO INSTITUTE OF ARTS 314 South Park St., Kalamazoo



Through May 19


GRAND RAPIDS BALLET 341 Ellsworth Ave. SW, Grand Rapids


GRAND RAPIDS SYMPHONY 300 Ottawa Ave. NW Ste. 100, Grand Rapids


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KALAMAZOO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA 359 Kalamazoo Mall Ste. 100, Kalamazoo


MUSKEGON CIVIC THEATRE 425 W. Western Ave., Muskegon


OPERA GRAND RAPIDS 1320 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids



OF PLANTS AND PLACE, Ongoing FORESHADOWING, Ongoing MR. SOCIETY OF 23, Feb. 9-May 17 RE-WILD, Feb. 9-May 10

THE GILMORE 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo





LOWELLARTS 223 W. Main St., Lowell


360 W. Western Ave. Ste. 200, Muskegon




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