JANUARY 2023 1 WEST MICHIGAN’S ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE FOR 35 YEARS » JANUARY 2023 FREE! TEN BANDS TO WATCH IN 2023 | UNIQUE WEDDING VENDORS SOUNDS OF THE NEW YEAR | MEAD: WHAT'S THE BUZZ? NIKKI GLASER: SPEAKING HER TRUTH, WITH A NEW VOICE THINGS TO DO IN 2023!
JANUARY 2023 3
4 JANUARY 2023 / revuewm.com
JANUARY 2023 5 FEATURED 19 50 Things to Do in 2023 26 Memories Guaranteed: Unique Wedding Vendors 28 Making Your Day Special: Wedding Suppliers in West Michigan MUSIC 08 Ten Bands to Watch in 2023 COMEDY 10 Nikki Glaser: Speaking Her Truth, With a New Voice CANNABIS 12 From Seed to Sale: IndiGrow DINING 14 Noodlepig: Ramen with a Mission DRINKING 16 Mead: What's the Buzz? ARTS 30 The Book of Mormon: Don't Judge By Its Cover 32 Grand Rapids Symphony: Sounds for the New Year 34 Arts Calendar WHAT'S INSIDE JANUARY 2023 | VOLUME 35, ISSUE 1
Happy New Year!!!
I’m not sure if new years are so exciting because it represents a new start, a chance to begin again with fresh fervor—or if it’s just nice to keep getting further away from 2020.
Either way, we’re jazzed to see what 2023 has in store, and it’s already off to a great start with festivals, concerts, new businesses and so much more.
We give you our suggestions at the beginning of each year with 50 Things to Do, but what I’m really struck by this year is how many things I had to leave off the list. There are hundreds of events already lined up for the year ahead, with many more that haven’t even been announced yet. Your favorite event of 2023 may just now be in the early planning stages.
Still, we’ve rounded up what we think are 50 pretty great ideas for having an amazing year, whether it’s visiting fancy restaurants, seeing your favorite band, laughing at live comedy, walking on a hidden trail, climbing among the trees, or one of many other unique options.
We’re also taking a closer look at quite a few new businesses this issue, including microbusiness Indigrow in Muskegon, which allows you to tour their cannabis grow facility before purchasing and bringing it home. We also talk to Noodlepig, the hot new ramen joint in town that’s working hard to feed children around the world. And dive into our talk with Arktos Meadery, explaining just exactly what mead is and why you’ll love it.
Getting married? See our annual wedding guide, looking at unique vendors and top-tier suppliers. Excited for new music? Check out 10 Bands to Watch, highlighting artists who have a big year ahead. Interested in the arts? This month, we head to Miller Auditorium and the Grand Rapids Symphony for theater and music.
I’m not much of a resolutions guy (despite my best efforts), but if you’re still looking for one, here’s my suggestion: In 2023, leave your house, join the community, and soak up every experience you can. If there’s one thing these last few years have taught us, it’s this: Take nothing for granted.
’Til next time,
JOSH VEAL Managing Editor
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/// LETTER FROM THE EDITOR ON THE COVER FIND 50 THINGS TO DO IN 2023 ON PAGE 19!
TEN BANDS TO WATCH
| by Eric Mitts
Live music has slowly, steadily returned to West Michigan over the past year. With new and different opportunities starting every day as the pandemic continues to move into the past (hopefully), the many talented bands and musicians in our area have a variety of ways of getting seen and heard, live and in person.
From more all-ages afternoon matinee shows welcoming in a younger audience, to Opnr – run by legendary Grand Rapids DJ Andrea SuperDre Wallace – helping local acts land more opening slots on touring bills, the scene has come back stronger than ever. So to help kick the year off right, we’ve compiled a quick list of some of the artists you need to know about now.
Hometown: Lowell Genre: Pop-country, Roots-rock
Recommended If You Like: Lady A, The Band Perry
As the founder and leader of 616 Records, Teyland Avery hopes to channel his heart and his passion into a new era of unity for the local hip-hop scene. Grand Rapids born and raised, Teyland wants to tell stories that connect, making an impact on the community with both his words as a rapper, and his actions as an entrepreneur. He’s already dropped two mixtapes under his full name, a full-length album as just Teyland, and appears on the excellent 616 Records compilation, so don’t expect him to slow down now.
Hailing from a small town, but with Nashville experience already under their belt, this rising young country group has gotten a lot of attention in just the past couple years. Racking up over 40,000 streams of their first four songs, the six-piece plans to release their first EP early this year with two additional songs. And make sure to catch them live, as they’ve already shared the stage with the likes of local favorites Gunnar & the Grizzly Boys and Wayland, with more big shows sure to be on the way.
Hometown: Grand Rapids Genre: College Rap, hip-hop Recommended If You Like: J. Cole, IDK
Hometown: Grand Rapids
Genre: Indie-folk, art-pop Recommended If You Like: Phoebe Bridgers, Daughter
Made up of brothers Kendall and Connor Wright, this duo has broken through online with placements on prominent playlists, including Spotify, Apple Music, and regular rotation on SiriusXMU, following the release of their catchy debut EP “Cellular” in 2021. They’ve expanded their jangly, guitar-driven synth-pop sound with their upcoming new EP, “On the Dance Floor” (due out early this year), and plan to groove away our collective anxieties on tour this March, including a return stop to the Treefort Music Fest in Boise, Idaho.
With over 500,000 streams of her single “Lavender Hue” on Spotify, local singersongwriter Emma Bieniewicz has brought a new shade and color to the local music scene with her own original sound. Following up with her fascinating 2021 full-length album, her songcraft only continues to grow as she’s begun her latest endeavor: a deconstructed project in the form of a series of singles that she kicked off with her latest track, “Idle,” in December. Proving that she’s anything but idle, expect to hear a lot more from Emma in the coming year.
CAL IN RED
Hometown: Grand Rapids
Genre: Indie-rock, indie-pop
Recommended If You Like: Dayglow, Phoenix
8 JANUARY 2023 / revuewm.com /// MUSIC
Hometown: Grand Rapids
Genre: Dub step, Glitch Hop
Recommended If You Like: Zed’s Dead, ATLiens
If 2022 gave the immensely talented vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Dylan Tolbert a chance to get out and play, 2023 should prove the year to put his name firmly on the musical map. Gigging constantly in support of his debut album, “Tolbert Drive,” which he released in 2021, he made his voice heard at this year’s Sounds of the Zoo festival, and at bars and restaurants all across the region. A true talent, his classic sound with a soulful groove works in so many settings and sets him apart, he should work his way onto even bigger stages.
One of the most explosive DJs and producers in West Michigan’s bass music scene, RØNAN capped off 2022 with the release of his debut album, “False Dichotomy.” Featuring collaborations with Chaotic Character, Grisly, Icky, and Lowke (who he will go B2B with when opening for Artix! at The Intersection on Jan. 13), “False Dichotomy” brings together all that’s been building for RØNAN across his solo work, and as founder and CEO of Anbu Agency, which has helped organize immersive multimedia/ multisensory experiences across the state and online.
Hometown: Kalamazoo/Three Rivers
Genre: R&B, Soul
Recommended If You Like: John Legend, Aloe Blacc
SPIKE THE MEDIA
Genre: Alternative Rock, Jam rock
Recommended If You Like: Foo Fighters, Wolf Alice
Self-described “weird heavy” band Mouthful of Locusts clearly uses those descriptors as magnetic poles around which to assemble its sound. Calling the result chaotic metal, the chaos feels well-controlled as the band displays a deft mastery of its craft, even as it readily rides nearly off the rails with songs titled things like “Assisted Living Dracula.” Hitting the studio to record their forthcoming full-length, and opening a huge show for Michigan deathcore destroyers See You Next Tuesday at The Pyramid Scheme on Jan. 14, Mouthful of Locusts aim to break 2023 wide open.
There’s no defining or really even describing Spike The Media, and it’s clear they like it that way. Imagine a Gen Z post-TikTok take on Primus, with a healthy mix of guitar shredding, and varied vocals split between guitarist Brendan Martin and bassist Lauren Martin, and you’ll still be in for some surprises. The band released their unpredictably diverse debut album, “Giant Space Ocean,” last summer, so look for them to get out and play more in the coming year.
MOUTHFUL OF LOCUSTS
Genre: Chaotic Metal, metalcore
Recommended If You Like: Knocked Loose, Dethklok
Genre: Modern Rock, Indie-emo
Recommended If You Like: Young The Giant, Peach Pit
A bluesy blend of infectious melodies, driven by three-part harmonies and an impeccable pop sensibility, Stella Blu has all the chops to become a major mainstay in the local music scene. Already topping bills around town, the five-piece finds a way to make people move with their funky grooves that should prove perfect once festival season returns this summer. ■
Although they might be missing in action during the early months of 2023, Missing Days will actually be hard at work finishing their first full-length album. If their single, “Firework,” is any indication of what to expect from the evocative five-piece and their effusive guitar-work, the record could be quite spectacular. A part of the strong scene growing around the Park Theatre in their hometown of Holland – where they last played back in December as part of its annual fundraiser – Missing Days are a band not to be missed.
Hometown: Grand Rapids
Genre: Pop-rock, jam-funk Recommended If You Like: Fleetwood Mac, Lake Street Dive
JANUARY 2023 9
Speaking Her Truth, With a New Voice
Just over 20 years into her comedy career, standup comic, revered roast-master, podcaster, and reality TV host Nikki Glaser has gone and done the unexpected –she’s started a career in music.
Now, before cynics brush off the idea of a comedian taking the huge risk of attempting to become a legitimate singer-songwriter, they should hear Glaser’s voice, which she showcased on national TV when she placed third on this season of FOX’s “The Masked Singer.”
Performing as “Snowstorm,” she reached the semifinals, only losing to Wilson Phillips and season eight winner Amber Riley, after performing songs by Ariana Grande, Carly Simon, Katy Perry and Kelly Clarkson.
“By the time I was unmasked, they had already said I might be Sabrina Carpenter or Olivia Rodrigo,” Glaser said of her experience on the show. “So I was already being compared to good singers when they didn’t know it was me. It was the perfect way to earn my chops and have no one go, ‘What is this comedian doing? Singing love songs?’”
Glaser told REVUE that her foray into singing actually started back during the pandemic, when she moved back home with her parents in St. Louis for 10 months, which was documented on her E! reality series “Welcome Home Nikki Glaser.”
“I always wanted to be a singer,” Glaser said. “But I think that I’m also someone who’s not very comfortable with sincerity and emotions. So, comedy was just a natural way for me to get that same kind of catharsis out, but not be too sincere, because sincerity kind of makes me cringe and go like, ‘Who do you think you are?’”
When COVID-19 closed up all the comedy clubs in 2020 and took that outlet away from her – after constantly getting up onstage, staying busy performing and all over the country years – Glaser returned to music with her father, who’s a singer, and picked up a guitar to get her feelings out another way.
Working with her best friend and opening act, singer-songwriter Anya Marina, and her tour manager who’s in the band The Natural Lines, Glaser quietly created an album, and eventually released a song inspired by her friend and mentor Bob Saget shortly after his passing last year. She got scorned by the comedy community for doing so, and she put
her dream on hold until she had the opportunity to prove herself on “The Masked Singer.”
“Luckil,y when I perform stand up, I have a mask of makeup on that helps me feel very confident,” Glaser said. “Dressing for the part really helps. That’s why I dress like Taylor Swift on my tour. It just makes me feel like a star every night, because I’m still kind of like pinching myself that I’m getting to do these amazing theaters around the country.”
During the filming of “The Masked Singer,” Glaser discovered that she actually needed vocal cord surgery. So before heading back out and doing comedy, she underwent the procedure and had three weeks of recovery where she couldn’t talk at all.
“That three weeks of recovery was terrifying, because I have not shut up for more than three hours before,” Glaser said. “I thought I would really have some kind of existential crisis or discover something about myself. But I just learned it really made me appreciate how funny I actually am, because I think, like most artists, I doubt myself even at this thing that I clearly am very successful at. I kind of have imposter syndrome sometimes.”
In addition to getting validation from Jeff Tweedy and Wilco, who appeared with her in an episode of Apple TV’s “Carpool Karaoke” late last fall, Glaser got a big boost of confidence just days before our interview, when she met Jerry Seinfeld for the first time as both comedians performed in Atlantic City.
“We’re walking through the bowels of the casino, and I get over to his greenroom and he greets me,” Glaser said. “And he was like, ‘I’m such a fan, I’ve watched everything you do. I pull up your YouTube clips all the time whenever I want a laugh. And you’ve got it, girl, you have the voice...’
“So ever since that day, I felt like whenever I doubt myself, Jerry Seinfeld likes me and I can’t doubt him. So he must be right.”
THE GOOD GIRL TOUR
Kalamazoo State Theatre, 404 S. Burdick St., Kalamazoo Jan. 19 and Jan. 20, 6 p.m. doors, 7 p.m. show, $43.50+ (269) 345-6500, Kazoostate.com
10 JANUARY 2023 / revuewm.com /// COMEDY
| by Eric Mitts
Seinfeld is not alone in admiring Glaser’s work, including her latest hourlong special, “Good Clean Filth,” now streaming on HBO Max. In i,t she candidly discusses sex, fame, family, and reality TV in in a way not intending to shock, but to be open and honest.
“That’s the trick to doing comedy,” Glaser said. “If you want to be funny, just say what is true for you. Even if it’s
not right or it’s wrong. As long as you’re not coming from a hateful place, just say what’s true. And it will always be funny because everyone, everyone is putting on a mask. Everyone is trying to present a different way. Even if you don’t even think you are, if you just say what’s true, it’s the funniest.” ■
THE WINERY DOGS Coming to DeVos Performance Hall!
Vibrant powerhouse trio The Winery Dogs will be live in concert Monday, March 13, 2023 on the DeVos Performance Hall stage.
The American rock supergroup is comprised of band members; Richie Kotzen, Billy Sheehan and Mike Portnoy.
Following a seven-year break from the studio, The Winery Dogs are back in full force with their aptly named third album III, which is set for release on February 3, 2023 on the band’s Three Dog Music label (via Burnside Distribution/The Orchard) on CD and all digital formats—a vinyl edition of III will also be forthcoming in just a few months. III was self-produced by The Winery Dogs and mixed by longtime band associate Jay Ruston. From the clarion call for connection and societal understanding in “Mad World” to the dooropening personal realizations of “Breakthrough,” to the undeniable muscle-flexing reign of the white-hot “Pharaoh” and the albumclosing energy spillage of “The Red Wine,” all 50-plus minutes of III prove The Winery Dogs haven’t lost a step when it comes to conjuring fresh hooks, gutbucket grooves, and bold harmonies.
As III handily proves with each successive listen, just like a fine wine given the right amount of time to ferment and to breathe, The Winery Dogs keep on getting better and better with age.
Prior to the Winery Dogs, all three members have had successful careers with other bands. Richie Kotzen is known as a former member of bands Poison and Mr. Big, as well as having a consistent solo career with many albums released. Billy Sheehan is known for playing with Steve Vai, David Lee Roth, Talas, and Mr. Big. Mike Portnoy is known for being the original drummer of bands Dream Theater, Flying Colors, Transatlantic, Neal Morse Band, Sons of Apollo and Adrenaline Mob.
Tickets are on sale now for the March 13 concert at DeVos Performance Hall and may be purchased at the box office or online at ticketmaster. com. Purchase tickets in person at the DeVos Place box office, open Monday through Friday 11:00AM – 3:00PM and during select event hours. Ticket prices are subject to change. For current ticket prices, visit ticketmaster.com. Ticket prices may vary, as market pricing applies to all tickets. Prices may fluctuate based on supply and demand.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON UPCOMING EVENTS, BOX OFFICE HOURS, FAQ’S AND TICKETS
JANUARY 2023 11 /// SPONSORED CONTENT \\\
FROM SEED TO SALE:
It’s not often you get the opportunity to see every stage of a product’s life cycle, from seed all the way to sale, but that’s what IndiGrow has to offer. In this case, the product is cannabis, and IndiGrow is a new “microbusiness” in Muskegon that plants, cultivates, trims, dries, refines, distills, packages and sells everything right in one building. Not only that, but they want you to see it all happen.
IndiGrow officially opened in November, with the combined efforts of Dr. Paul Lomeo and Karen and Steven Kekelik. The trio are passionate about cannabis, both for recreation and as a tool for combating pain and anxiety.
Their ultimate goal is to raise standards and change the way people view cannabis. Education, higher pay, testing, equity, energy efficiency, transparency—they’re working to elevate every aspect of the industry.
That passion extends to everyone at IndiGrow, including biochemist Sienna, who also happens to be Steven’s sister, and head grower Scott Russo, who’s been a caregiver since 2009. IndiGrow believes caregivers laid the foundation for the industry and deserve the opportunity to be involved in the new world of high-quality, local cannabis.
One major aspect of IndiGrow’s unique approach is teaching people about cannabis, from classes and workshops in their education space to full tours of the facility, all located in a renovated 1908 manufacturing building.
“Most people have never seen a grown cannabis flower,” Steven told Revue on a recent visit, noting that being able to see it as an actual plant can help alleviate the fear and mystery surrounding it.
That’s mainly if you’re a newcomer, of course, but for enthusiasts like myself, getting a chance to see the process in
action is incredible. In fact, IndiGrow would love for Muskegon to become a hub for cannatourism, a must-visit destination with more to do than just shop around dispensaries.
The tour kicks off by donning a white suit, shoe covers and hairnet, all to keep the plants safe from whatever’s on your clothes. Then you step into the foot station and get a nice air shower, blowing away any residual particles like pollen. It’s a cinematic experience.
Next, you get to see the plant growing at all different stages. The adult rooms are packed so tight with plants, they use rolling stacks like a university library to save space. It’s a lush, green space, brimming with life. When IndiGrow began the business, people said they’d never be able to grow enough product with “just” 150 plants. Clearly, the opposite is true.
As Steven walked me through the different strains, he pointed out how varied their colors, density, height and smell were. When you use heirloom and landrace strains like IndiGrow does—rather than crossbreeding your way to homogeneity— the differences are stark.
Then there’s the teenager room, where Steven showed some little crossbreeding experiments in progress. Finally, the baby room, where plants are cloned (to keep strain genetics pure) and begin anew.
After that, you get to visit the drying rooms, meet the people who make it happen, and stop by the lab, full of hightech equipment for producing high-quality, pure, delicious extracts.
Along the way, Steven pointed out too many fun facts to include here, from the fact IndiGrow makes use of roughly 90% of each plant to their various approaches that save energy, not to mention their determination to pay all their employees above average. You’ll just have to take the tour yourself to see it all.
The business itself grew out of a desire to find real consistency in product, which proved to be a struggle for the Kekelik’s due to the everchanging nature of dispensaries. That’s why IndiGrow is taking things back to basics, with a relatively small lineup of strains to start. Find one you like? You can be sure it will be there when you go back.
IndiGrow uses heirloom and landrace strains (basically, the OG stuff) to get back to a time when you could rely on your flower to have a predictable effect. Indica and sativa used to be actual useful terms before every defining characteristic was lost in decades of crossbreeding. IndiGrow still uses these terms, because they actually fit.
The best way to learn these strains is a cannabis flight, offering five pre-rolls. Of course, I had to get in on this. I went in blind, and am truly impressed with how much my personal experience matched the info put out by IndiGrow:
Blueberry: This is a clean, pleasant, simple smoke, that got me nice and hungry. Turns out, it’s a classic indica, which lines up with my experience of lying down and eating snacks on the couch.
Kilimanjaro: Now here’s a kick! The flavor is potent, but refreshing, like a strong cup of matcha. It’s a light, buoyant, uplifting experience—sativa through and through. Maybe my personal favorite.
African Frost: My first note was, “Nothing too crazy.” My following notes proved that wrong: “I feel kind of smart… trenchant even. #Thankful.” This strain led to some interesting conversations.
Kwazulu: I maybe wasn’t in the most scientific mindset for this one, but I can tell you it’s full of flavor and was the perfect treat for a post-party Saturday night. IndiGrow suggests this sativa strain for a boost of energy!
Pakistani Chitral Kush: At just 8% THC, this is the perfect remedy to the idea THC is at all a metric you should care about. Fragrant, complex, relaxing and deeply purple, I can suggest this strain to absolutely anyone.
Looking ahead, Steven said IndiGrow hopes to have a smoking space outside and get even more involved in the community than they already are, with more exciting products (made entirely at IndiGrow) to come. In the meantime, stop by for a tour, a chat and a flight of premium cannabis at average prices. ■
12 JANUARY 2023 / revuewm.com /// CANNABIS
| by Josh Veal INDIGROW
639 W. Clay Ave., Muskegon IndiGrowmi.com
IndiGrow. COURTESY PHOTOS
| by Josh Veal
RAMEN WITH A MISSION NOODLEPIG:
It’s a rare combination, but Noodlepig in Grand Rapids is making it happen.
Opened just a few months ago in the North Monroe district (next door to SpeakEZ Lounge), Noodlepig is a new ramen restaurant with a mission, elevating the fast-casual concept. Days of work go into every bowl, but the time between ordering your meal and picking it up from the counter is a few minutes at most, which is why founder Chris Wessely calls it “fine-casual.”
This isn’t the first big project Wessely has rolled out in West Michigan. Around
2008, he started the Grand Rapids Sports & Social Club, which grew from 35 people at the orientation meeting to over 10,000 players each year.
Eventually, Wessely was ready to try something new, and the arrival of COVID accelerated that. He wanted to return to his culinary roots and has been working on Noodlepig ever since. Now it’s open and seeing immediate success, so much so that they’re eagerly seeking out new staff to help with the demand.
Applicants should be willing to work in a kitchen and on a line right out in the open, “onstage,” where customers can see everything you’re doing. The team works together in every position, pooling tips across the entire staff to make sure everyone is being treated and paid equally.
“Every part of the job, from day prep to dishwashing to noodlemaking, is an
integral part of the process of creating the experience for the audience,” Wessely said.
In this way, Noodlepig is a unique space, and one of very few local fast-casual (or fine-casual) concepts.
You order at the counter off a menu of both pre-designed ramen bowls and buildyour-own-bowls, along with boba, katsu sando and more. Not long after, your order is ready at the other end of the counter. Then you’re free to enjoy your meal in Noodlepig’s hip, bright, industrial setting.
While the bowls may come together quickly, your ramen’s journey began long before. The bone and vegetable broths, as well as flavor bases (tare), are made from scratch and take anywhere from 20 hours to multiple days to make. The wheat noodles are produced in-house, where everyone can see. A Japanese-imported noodle machine helps create traditional, square-cut noodles,
as well as a unique Noodlepig-style, using a custom three-flour blend.
The signature bowls feature traditional styles going back to Wessely’s family heritage, alongside inventive styles like Japanese-Indian fusion. Your typical bowl will include noodles, broth, protein, kikurage (wood-ear mushrooms), ajitama (seasoned egg), Naruto (fish cakes), scallions and nori (seaweed). Then there’s dozens of variations to choose from, including protein like baby back ribs, toppings like fried leeks and roasted bok choy, and finishing sauces like black garlic and furikake butter.
I personally tried the Shio 42 on my visit, made with a lighter, simple, clean broth that really allows the ingredients to shine. It didn’t take long to devour the entire bowl. I paired this with a boozy Mai Tai boba beverage, which was bold in every
14 JANUARY 2023 / revuewm.com /// DINING
601 Bond Ave. NW, Grand Rapids noodlepig.com
way, and hit the spot as dessert.
We’ve given a hundred reasons to visit Noodlepig already, but haven’t even mentioned the best part: For every bowl of ramen you buy, three hungry kids are fed.
This mission to fight child hunger began with Wessely’s “brother from another mother,” who start feeding people in his parents’ village after returning to Southern India to find them in 2003. That grew into a nonprofit, Faith In Deeds, which inspired Wessely to do more with his business.
He decided to give to Faith In Deeds for every bowl sold, then realized he’d like to feed kids at home as well. On the national level, Noodlepig works with No Kid Hungry. On the local level, they work with Hand2Hand, which helps feed kids when they’re not in school— complementing the work of Kids’ Food Basket, which feeds students.
Ending childhood hunger is such a big part of Noodlepig’s mission, there’s a screen above the counter that says exactly how many kids have been fed, both that day and a running total since the eatery opened.
Wessely’s mission is to grow the concept beyond Grand Rapids eventually, bringing high-quality, housemade ramen to people all around the world, and feeding children on a huge scale. He’d even love to bring Noodlepig back to Japan.
“My dream is to take our style ramen and eventually go back to Japan and sell it back to them, and have this American version of ramen that they love. They do fall in love with a lot of American things, so hopefully they would embrace it.”
For now, those of us in West Michigan get to enjoy it. Noodlepig plans to roll out online ordering and more non-soup offerings in the future, but the menu is already full of every kind of ramen you could hope for, not to mention beer, cider, sake and wine.
So head on in, grab a bowl and a boba, and feel good knowing you’ve fed not just yourself, but three hungry children. ■
JANUARY 2023 15
WHAT'S THE BUZZ? MEAD:
| by Josh Veal
The oldest alcoholic beverage in the world has lasted millennia by being astoundingly versatile. Sweet, spiced, warm, chilled—mead can be whatever you want it to be.
If you don’t know what mead is, that’s understandable, since beer, wine and spirits have taken centerstage in the modern palate. But there are multiple world-class meaderies in Michigan, including one practically downtown Grand Rapids, and people are starting to notice.
WHAT IS MEAD?
To help explain exactly what mead is, we turned to Maciej Halaczkiewicz of Arktos Meadery, now open on the bustling Bridge Street.
“The basic way to make mead is to take honey, put in water, and then either wild yeast or added yeast. That, plus time, will create mead,” Halaczkiewicz said.
So, it’s simple as that. Mead is fermented honey, much like wine is fermented grapes. In fact, you may sometimes see mead referred to as honey wine, but watch out! Some “honey wines” on shelves are really just white wines sweetened with honey, which is a very different experience.
WHAT DOES IT TASTE LIKE?
A basic mead with nothing added will be around 15% ABV, like a strong wine. It’s not a sugar bomb, but a gentle, nuanced sweetness that carries the natural complexity of honey. I typically drink IPAs and bourbon, but still love mead—there’s just nothing like it, and it can take on so many different flavors.
While Arktos uses Michigan wildflower honey for almost everything, the flavor can vary greatly depending on the kind of honey alone. Halaczkiewicz mentioned a Polish meadery that almost exclusively uses buckwheat honey, and you can taste the buckwheat. He’s been to a spot in California that used honey from the coffee plant, resulting in a mead that tastes like java. Some places in Africa use killer bee honey, which tastes like anise.
Then you get into the spices and fruits and other fun things you can add into mead. Arktos right now has ginger mead, papaya mead, grape mead, yuzu lemon mead, and even a maple syrup and blueberry mead, which Halaczkiewicz said is especially good when warmed up.
I tried the Doc Holliday, a huckleberry mead with a perfect balance of fruity tartness and sweetness, which gets even better with just a touch of ice. It was very similar to a sour beer, but easier to drink. And the East Sea Dragon King is a hibiscus mead, light and floral with a touch of fruitiness.
Arktos is also working on even more offerings, from braggots (mead and beer hybrids) to mead spirits and mead cocktails. One bartender developed “buttermead,” which is mead mixed with a special spiced butter and warmed up. It might just put you to sleep.
WHERE DID IT COME FROM?
The oldest evidence of mead goes back at least 9,000 years ago to northern China, where pottery was discovered with traces of fermented honey. Ancient recipes for mead have been found around the world, from Europe to Africa to Hindu texts.
“All these places have some history of mead making, but it didn’t originate in one specific location,” Halaczkiewicz said. “In Ethiopia, there are stories of like, they put honey in their water to preserve the water over a two-week trip back to their villages. It fermented, they drank it, they felt good.
“There’s another story where humans saw apes drinking water from dead tree trunks, where the beehives were, and they would look all jolly, so the humans went and tried it. Vikings were really big with mead. The berserkers were known for drinking before battle because it gave them, you know, crazy powers and strength. It’s so cool that it doesn’t belong to any specific culture.”
There are multiple great meaderies around West Michigan, but Arktos has been holding the scene down in Grand Rapids since 2014, when they began distribution. That led to a small taproom in an office building south of downtown, which was cozy but difficult to find.
The new taproom on Bridge is in the heart of a busy area and makes for the perfect pre-dinner waiting room or post-dinner drinks. Opened in 2021, Arktos is comforting, filled with stone, art, pelts and big barn beams that Halaczkiewicz installed himself. It’s the perfect atmosphere for drinking the nectar of the gods out of goblets.
In the basement, Arktos has Cellar of Tales, a private, immersive space for playing TTRPG and board games with friends. It’s been decked out with lights that change colors, Bluetooth for music, and more.
Whatever you come for, Halaczkiewicz just wants you to give mead a try.
“To people who don’t know what mead is, it comes in all different flavors, varieties, dryness and sweetnesses. It is the original alcohol. Give it a shot, at least, so that you can see what it tasted like when Vikings would drink before battle.
“Plus, it’s gluten-free.” ■
JANUARY 2023 17 ALWAYS ON TAP & IN CANS, BUD-DY! 17 S. 2ND ST GRAND HAVEN, MI 616.414.7822 WW W . G RAN D ARM O R Y B R E W I N G .C O M
WHERE CAN I DRINK IT?
ARKTOS MEADERY 442 Bridge St. NW, Grand Rapids arktosmeadery.com
JANUARY 2023 19 THINGS TO DO IN 2023! |
by Revue Staff
THE FIELDS OF MICHIGAN 154 68th St., South Haven thefieldsofmichigan.com
With all the beauty West Michigan has to offer, you don’t have to go far to get a getaway this year. The Fields, a resort and spa in South Haven, offers visitors a relaxing staycation complete with farm-to-table dinners, massages, sailing, wine tasting and more. Their accommodations include luxury tents adorned in rustic elegance, and they are designed for families, friends and even dogs to enjoy. To top it off, the Fields is also available to book as a wedding venue. Having been featured in Forbes, National Geographic and Soho House, the Fields gives deluxe glamping experiences located just steps away from your backyard.
MARQUETTE GREENWAY PROJECT
While many return to dreary gym routines in 2023, why not make this year’s fitness goals fun with the Marquette Greenway Project? This 58-mile bike trail, spanning from New Buffalo to Chicago, is set to open this spring. The trail will give West Michiganders a new way to stay active and get outside, as well as an opportunity to see new parts of the state. Also pedestrian-friendly, the Marquette Greenway Project provides visitors with endless ways to enjoy its scenic route.
TAKE A MURAL TOUR
It’s no secret that Grand Rapids is adorned with art on every street corner. This year, take the time to visit all of the public art the city has to offer through grkids.com mural map. Complete with a scavenger hunt, the walkable map offers 100+ locations featuring murals around the city. Perfect for children and adults alike, the mural map outlines the best locations to view all of the art Grand Rapids has on display.
BRRRRING YOUR SCARF AND MITTENS TO WINTERFEST
Grand Haven January 27-29 grandhavenwinterfest.org
This four-day event has something for everyone. Build and take the helm of your own cardboard sled, deal into the euchre tournament, set up for a little beach volleyball, or gad about town in your jammies for the Sleepwalker .62 Run. There’s also a Kids’ Day with snow angel contest, a Bonfire Bash, and more—plus free shuttle service.
GET YOUR CREEP ON AT ODDITIES & CURIOSITIES EXPO
DeVos Place, 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
April 1, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. odditiesandcuriositiesexpo.com
Explore all things spooky, spectacular, and strange at this panorama of peculiarities featuring vendors and artists from across the U.S. Jewelry, antiques, taxidermy, clothing, collectibles, and unusual specimens are just part of what you’ll find. You’ll also be in the company of like-minded folks who appreciate the dark side of things.
KEEP ON TRUCKIN’ WITH ROLL’N OUT FOOD TRUCK FESTIVAL
Calder Plaza May 21, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. facebook.com/GRFoodTrucks
Put on some pants with a little stretch in them and head over to this eatables extravaganza—now in its fifth year. Expect as many as 45 participating food trucks and trailers serving up a variety of tastes and treats. It’s one of—if not THE—largest festival of its kind in GR.
ADVENTURE SPORTS PARK 462 Scenic Dr., Muskegon msports.org
Formerly known as Muskegon Winter Sports Complex, this park has everything you need to have an amazing winter. One of the few winter luge tracks in the U.S.A.? Check. A 1,400-foot dual zipline that runs in winter? Check. Skiing trails, ice skating, sledding? Check! In fact, you can even come in summer for the only wheel luge track in the U.S., archery, hiking trails and more.
WANDER THE WATERFRONT AT LAKESHORE ART FESTIVAL
Downtown Muskegon June 24 & 25, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. lakeshoreartfestival.org
Arts, crafts, music, and food come together for this two-day event in the prime of summer. Shop artisan-made goods, dine on inspired fare, and enjoy live performances and entertainment. There’s also a social district for the adults and a Children’s Lane for the kids, plus opportunities for interactive community art.
ESCAPE INTO EDM ENCHANTMENT
Electric Forest Festival June 22-25, Rothbury electricforestfestival.com
A rite of passage for young concert lovers and an annual pilgrimage for the live music faithful, Electric Forest exists in a magical space between the surreal and the sublime. Now in its 11th year, Electric Forest continues to draw thousands from across the country to a tiny spot near the lakeshore for a reason – it’s the sort of experiential weekend that’s hard to come by anywhere these days, and it’s right in our backyard, in all its bass-bumping glory.
TRAVEL THE ART COAST OF MICHIGAN Saugatuck/Douglas
Nestled along the shore of Lake Michigan, Saugatuck and Douglas are twin cities full of top-tier art galleries, studios, exhibitions and public installations—in addition to the gorgeous beaches and lakes to explore. For example, Button Gallery has an eclectic mix of artistic voices, and a beautiful sculpture garden. J. Petter Wine Gallery has both art and something to sip. With more than 30 galleries to visit, you can't go wrong.
PAWS, CLAWS, AND CORKS
DeVos Place, 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids March hswestmi.org
Put your paws in the air and party with pets at the annual Paws, Claws, and Corks gala hosted by the Humane Society of West Michigan. Savor food and beverage from West Michigan while bidding on top-notch auction items. All proceeds go towards the Humane Society’s mission to promote the humane treatment and responsible care of animals in the community.
TUESDAY NIGHT MOVIE
Wealthy Theatre, 1130 Wealthy St., Grand Rapids Every Tuesday at 8 pm grcmc.org
In 2022, become a regular at the Tuesday Night movies, hosted at the Wealthy Theatre. Each week features a classic film like The Big Lebowski, Pulp Fiction, The Neverending Story, and more. While the movies start at 8 pm, head to the theatre early (doors open at 7!) to enjoy each week’s themed cocktail and curated playlist while you mingle with the other regulars, volunteers, and staff at the theatre.
PLAY IN THE TREES
TreeRunner Adventure Park, 2121 Celebration Drive NE, Grand Rapids treerunnergrandrapids.com
Climbing, balancing, leaping and zipping from tree to tree is one of my favorite activities. Is this obstacle course among the leaves an intense workout? Yes. But it’s also incredibly fun. It’s safe, too, as you’re attached to a wire at all times. And it’s easy to social distance here. One ticket gets you a threehour experience, with seven aerial trails of various difficulty. Once you’ve completed the beginner and intermediate trails, come back another time to master the expert level!
20 JANUARY 2023 / revuewm.com
HEAR A GRAMMY-WINNING JAZZ MASTER
| MARIA SCHNEIDER ORCHESTRA
Chenery Auditorium, 714 S. Westnedge, Kalamazoo
March 12, 4 p.m. thegilmore.org
The Gilmore brings the greatest pianists in the world to West Michigan, and this is no exception. Composer and bandleader Maria Schneider’s Grammy-winning and Pulitzer Prize-finalist album Data Lords was described by the Pulitzers as “an enveloping musical landscape of light and shadow… reflecting the promise of a digital paradise contrasted by a concentration of power and the loss of privacy.” It was also named Jazz Album of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association and NPR. She will present selections from Data Lords with her 18-member jazz collective.
TIP-TOE THROUGH THE TULIPS
Tulip Time in Downtown Holland is a West Michigan springtime staple. Whether you’ve never been or you’re a yearly attendee, Tulip Time is worth making time to see. You can expect rolling fields of bloomed tulips, Dutch treats and traditions, as well as family friendly activities throughout the week long event. The festival is almost exclusively outdoors, so pack some SPF and shake off the winter blues with Holland’s Tulip Time festival this spring.
HAVE A LOCAL LAUGH
The Comedy Project, 540 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids thecomedyproject.com
The Comedy Project is Grand Rapids’ home to local comedians and actors, presenting hilarious shows of every kind multiple days a week. Check out one of their many variety shows, featuring sketch comedy, improv, musical comedy and much more. This winter features Winter?
I Hardly Snow ‘Er!, a winter comedy show that will help you “forget the frozen hellscape outside for 60 minutes.”
DRINK OUTSIDE AT WINTER BEER FEST
Feb. 25, 1-6 p.m. mibeer.com
What more do you need to know! Okay, we’ll tell you a little bit: Winter Beer Fest is one of the defining events of West Michigan. Beer, local music, wacky performances, ice sculptures, and it’s all outdoors in the snow. Your ticket includes admission and 15 tokens for beer samples, with hundreds of beers to choose from. Bundle up, and cheers!
EXPERIENCE AWE-INSPIRING ACOUSTICS
St. Cecilia Music Center, 24 Ransom Ave. NE, Grand Rapids scmc-online.org
St. Cecilia Music Center is an astonishing, world-class venue that’s not just beautiful to see, but to hear as well. They have an incredible lineup coming through in 2023, with a wide variety of artists. Stop by on January 19 for a chamber performance of Franz Schubert’s greatest works; come in February 5 for folk artist Chris Thile; and stop in February 16 for jazz supergroup ARTEMIS, comprised of six incredible solo artists.
KALAMAZOO CRAFT BEVERAGE WEEK
Kalamazoo Craft Beverage Week is a weeklong series of events that celebrate the craft beverage industry. This celebration is for anyone who shares a passion and an affinity for hand-crafted products, made by people who care about an enriching experience and carefully fashioned flavor profiles. Breweries around the area will be releasing special brews, competing in competitions, hosting fun events and much more.
71ST ANNUAL KALAMAZOO ARTS FAIR
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts June 2-3 kiarts.org
The 71st Annual Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Fair is a two-day, juried show featuring up to 175 fine artists. Staged in the shady, historic Bronson Park in downtown Kalamazoo, the KIA Arts Fair is acclaimed for its friendly atmosphere and large crowds of arts patrons from across Michigan, Indiana, and beyond. The fair offers many artist amenities, awards for best-in-category prizes and is supported by far-reaching promotional measures attracting a crowd in upwards of 40,000. Proceeds from the fair support freeadmission and education programming at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts.Top of Form
ICE, WINE, BEER AND BLUES FEST
Franke Center for the Arts, 214 E. Mansion St., Marshall Feb. 3-4 choosemarshall.com
The Ice, Wine, Beer and Blues Fest is a two-day celebration of winter, booze, and blues! Choose to attend one or both nights of fun. The festival is a Marshall favorite featuring specialty wine and beer tastings on Friday night and a blues concert at The Franke Center on Saturday. Friday’s popular festivities feature a wine and beer tasting throughout Marshall’s downtown starting a 6pm. Enjoy food, craft beers and specially selected wines. There will also be live ice sculpting!
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HOLLAND’S SNOWMELT SYSTEM
Downtown Holland holland.org
Holland isn’t just a cute little town on the lakeshore, it’s also chock full of places to see and things to do, made even better by the city’s snowmelt system in the winter. If you’re looking for a magical Hallmark winter moment, come to Holland, have a drink at Big Lake Brewing, a bite at Waverly Stone Gastropub, a latte at Lemonjello’s Coffee, shop at one of many boutiques — we could go on all day!
HEAR A CONCERT UNDER THE STARS
Grand Rapids Public Museum grpm.org
With the ability for pretty much infinite variety in visuals, the Grand Rapids Public Museum’s planetarium makes for a magical, spectral stage. Thanks to spiffy modern technology, artists are able to shift the mind-blowing visuals in realtime with the music. All kinds of bands have taken the stage, from psychedelic and atmospheric to acoustic, electronica and shoegaze. Check the museum’s website for this season’s lineup, including Earth Radio, Phabies and Jordan Hamilton.
WOMEN AND WHISKEY
JW Marriott Grand Rapids
235 Louis St. NW, Grand Rapids
Jan. 19, 6-9 p.m.
Whether you’re a connoisseur or looking to learn, bring your curiosity and join in to celebrate the world of whiskey and complimentary spirits. Happy Hour begins at the Lounge at Margaux at 5 pm. The private mixology class featuring Maker’s Mark whiskey experts kicks off by 7pm in the private event space. Join for a lively, educational class, using varieties of whiskeys and spirits while enjoying the company of other whiskey-loving ladies (and gentlemen)!
JANUARY 2023 21
DINNER AND A SHOW IN ONE SPOT
Salt of the Earth, 114 E. Main St., Fennville saltoftheearthfennville.com
Salt of the Earth is a favorite in Fennville, baking their own bread and serving up an authentic Midwest American rustic food experience. It’s a warm and welcoming place, with elevated yet familiar dishes, from wood-fired salmon to grilled hanger steak and wood-fired pizza. Plus, you can enjoy a show with your meal when you stop in for live music, like Darcy Wilkin & Drew Nelson’s show on February 5.
SEE BASKETBALL LIKE NEVER BEFORE
VanAndel Arena, 130 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids Jan. 22 vanandelarena.com
The World-Famous Harlem Globetrotters are bringing their newly reimagined Spread Game tour to Van Andel Arena this month. The Spread Game Tour is a basketball event like no other. Ankle-breaking moves, jaw-dropping swag, and rim-rattling dunks are only some of the thrill you can expect from this fully modernized show. Part streetball from the players who defined it, part interactive family entertainment, the new tour will show off the best of the Globetrotters in a dazzling exhibition of talent and game.
DISNEY ON ICE PRESENTS LET’S CELEBRATE
Van Andel Arena Feb. 2-5 vanandelarena.com
Eight shows across four days! Grab your Mickey ears and get ready for the ultimate party when Disney On Ice skates into your hometown with more than 50 unforgettable Disney characters. Hosted by Mickey and Minnie, go on an adventure through 14 of the greatest Disney stories ever told.
AMAZE AND AMUSE: A MODERN DAY MAGIC SHOW
1130 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids
Jan. 20, 7 p.m.
Local comedian and magician with trademark hair, Trino has performed a comedic magic show for high-prestige audiences, but he makes his home Grand Rapids, where he performs monthly. Throats dry from laughter and amazed gasps are no concern, as ticket purchase includes a drink voucher. Guest hypnotist and magician Chuck King joins Trino for the night of entertainment and surprise.
TOURS AROUND MICHIGAN toursaroundmichigan.com
Even if you’ve lived in West Michigan your whole life, there’s still an incredible amount to see in your own backyard, and Tours Around Michigan is here to help. Whether you’re a local or an out-of-towner, their goal is to inspire guests to keep exploring, diving into the city’s history, art, riverfront, historic homes, parks, tastings, and so much more. The most popular tour is the Ghost Tour Grand Rapids, but there’s something for everyone! They recently received endorsement from Accessible Travel World, which means these tours are fully welcoming for people using wheelchairs, needing sign language interpreters, or other accommodations.
COCKTAILS 101: AN INTRODUCTION TO BETTER DRINKS
Long Road Distillers 537 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids Jan. 24, 6:30 p.m.
Where better to learn how to make cocktails than at a distillery? And Long Road is one of the best, known for their memorable drinks that innovate on the classics. In this class, you’ll cover the basics of distillation, the components of a proper cocktail, and basic techniques to make better drinks at home.
GAME NIGHT OUT
House Rules Board Game Lounge 404 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids houseruleslounge.com
Bring your own game, buy one off the shelf, or borrow one of 200-plus games from the Lounge Library. Then, choose from one of 20 drafts, which feature not just craft beer but craft soda, root beer, build-your-own seltzer and more! On top of that, the cooler has hundreds of CBD, kombucha, seltzer, tea, coffee options and more. Game on.
JAZZ YOUR NIGHT UP
GRNoir Wine and Jazz 35 S. Division Ave., Grand Rapids grnoir.com
If you need a place to chat, snack and sip wine, with built-in conversation breaks for live jazz, head to GRNoir. The atmosphere is plush but extremely welcoming, fitting with the bar’s mission to help introduce “regular” people to wine and jazz, two pursuits often seen as high society in today’s world. Essentially, the whole place is a conversation piece.
BOLD CIGAR BAR & LOUNGE 144 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids boldcigar.com
BOLD is a cigar lounge in GR with a huge walk-in humidor, amazing cocktails and extremely helpful owners. Whether you’re an expert or have never touched a cigar in your life, they’ll lead you to the right smoke and even cut it for you.
SKYDIVE GRAND HAVEN skydivegrandhaven.com
What could possibly be more exhilarating, unique and memorable than skydiving? Book a jump this year and you’ll enjoy a scenic plane ride over Lake Michigan, then freefall at 120 mph before parachuting down to safety. Life is short, start working on your bucket list now!
INTO VIRTUAL REALITY
Amped Reality 2923 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids ampedrealityvr.com
Amped Reality goes far beyond even when VR sets can do at home. You can play the popular VR games like Beat Saber and Superhot, of course, but they also have great games for groups, like virtual escape rooms and traveling through nature. It’s all amplified by the Haptic Vests, which provide feedback on your body.
22 JANUARY 2023 / revuewm.com
JANUARY 2023 23
136 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo climbkalamazoo.com
With 44 climbing walls reaching 25-30 feet high and spanning over 10,500 square feet, it’s safe to say Climb Kalamazoo is a climber’s paradise. Belay lessons, rope climbing, bouldering, a pro shop — they have it all.
THE MUD ROOM
1971 E. Beltline Ave., Grand Rapids themudroom.us
Parents of young children and adults who like to make things are well-served by this Grand Rapids business. Visitors are able to create pottery, wooden signs, and glass art, and to paint pottery, too. In a world in which so much of what we do is digital, getting to hold something you created is that much more powerful.
WALK ALONG SECLUDED WOODS
1859 Lake Michigan Dr, Grand Rapids
Aman Park is hardly a hidden gem. Still, many Grand Rapidians have yet to experience its beauty. Trails range from .8 to 1.5 miles. Its hills are modest enough for most walkers, but steep enough that showoffs can earn points by running up them. For a break, stop and admire its streams or listen to the sounds of the natural world. And bring your dog, or anyone’s dog.
GET A RESERVATION AT MDRD
187 Monroe Ave NW, 27th Floor, Grand Rapids amwaygrand.com
Too busy for vowels, MDRD remains a challenging, but worthwhile, reservation. The restaurant sits atop the Amway Grand Plaza, but its views, spectacular as they are, are nothing compared to the food. From the crispy-and-pillowy patatas bravas to the world-class pork belly, MDRD is there to satisfy. Top that with delicious cocktails and friendly, professional service, and terrific atmosphere. Propose to your beloved there. If he or she says no, well, at least you had a great meal.
LARRY THE CABLE GUY
Soaring Eagle Casino
6800 Soaring Eagle Blvd, Mount Pleasant March 10, 8 p.m. soaringeaglecasino.com
It’s time to get ‘er done with Larry the Cable Guy, multi-platinum recording artist, Grammy nominee, Billboard award winner and one of the top comedians in the country. Whether you love the Blue Collar Comedy Tour or just enjoy hearing his voice as Mater, this is your chance to see him.
GET WEIRD WITH AL
Kalamazoo State Theater
404 S. Burdick St., Kalamazoo Feb. 2, 7 p.m. kazoostate.com
It’s the perfect time to see Weird Al, hot off the release of his pseudo-biopic. He’s back on the road with “The Unfortunate Return of the Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour,” which is perfect for the superfans. He’s playing more intimate venues with more stripped down concerts, pulling deep from his back catalogue of 14 studio albums.
EXPERIENCE THE MAGICAL WORLD OF WINTER
Downtown Grand Rapids | Jan. 6-March 5 | worldofwintergr.com
The World of Winter is Grand Rapids’ way of making life not just bearable, but incredibly fun and magical in the heart of winter. Over 100 FREE events, a ton of unique interactive art installations, more than 50 ice sculptures, activities, programs and more will take over Downtown Grand Rapids. Here are just a few highlights:
Gillett Bridge | Jan. 6-March 5
Two spectacular heads created by the Hungarian light artist Viktor Vicsek also show countless emotions and reactions to each other. Unlike people, these Talking Heads don’t do it using muscles but through all the possibilities of light. Per head, some 4,000 individually controllable LEDs provide different facial expressions and conduct conversations using light.
HOUSE OF CARDS
Calder Plaza | Jan. 6-March 5
House of Cards consists of 128 light boxes in the form of playing cards, which in turn (or all at once) appear according to a preconfigured choreography. Every card in House of Cards has a different design, designed by internationally acclaimed street and visual artists from all over the world – creating one big joint art exhibition, carefully curated and crafted. In addition: DGRI partnered with several local artists to create 10 custom cards to go in the deck.
WINTER’S A DRAG
Calder Plaz | Jan. 14
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 photo opportunity with the crown-shaped ice sculpture!
ICE PARK & FOOD TRUCK RALLY
GR Public Museum | Jan. 21
Enjoy some food, a pop-up sound installation and outdoor games! Plus: Snap a selfie on the ice throne. The list of ice-cold games are shuffleboard, plinko, foosball, chess, checkers, cornhole and putt-putt. Ice Games will be left out until they melt.
24 JANUARY 2023 / revuewm.com
COUNTDOWN TO SIX : THE MUSICAL
Broadway Grand Rapids
DeVos Performance Hall 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids Jan. 10-15 devosperformancehall.com
You have eight chances to see the new hit musical Six when it comes to Grand Rapids this year. From Tudor Queens to Pop Princesses, the six wives of Henry VIII take the mic to remix five hundred years of historical heartbreak into an exuberant celebration of 21 century girl power. You’ll lose your head—er, mind!
WINTER WHEAT 2023
133 Cesar A. Chavez Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
Jan. 14, 1-11 p.m. sectionlive.com
Have you ever wished that the wonderful Wheatland feeling could last all year long? Have you ever wanted to share in Wheatland camaraderie, dance, and music during the winter doldrums? Have you ever wanted an excuse to delay your winter chores and cure your cabin fever? Wheat has grown from a cute little off-shoot to one of West Michigan’s premier indoor music and dancing festivals.
SEE CATS - ONSTAGE
1341 Theatre Dr., Kalamazoo Feb. 17-18 millerauditorium.com
If the truly bizarre movie version of Cats piqued your interest at all, why not see the real thing to understand why the musical is so beloved around the world (and has been for decades). Andrew Lloyd Webber, fascinating costumes, unforgettable characters— Cats has it all.
CHAIROSCURO INTERNATIONAL FILM SERIES
Wealthy Theatre 1130 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids All winter chiaroscurogr.com
Chairoscuro’s mission is to connect world cultures, promote greater understanding of diverse peoples, and celebrate the universal human spirit through exceptional international cinema. They do this with an annual film series held during winter months, choosing a relevant theme each year and then select five highly acclaimed international films for each series. A brief panel discussion is offered immediately after. A reception in the lobby follows with complimentary food and drink.
GO VIRAL WITH CASEY FREY
The Pyramid Scheme
68 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
Jan. 12, 6:30 p.m. pyramidschemebar.com
Mischievous, unpredictable, flexible, and a little bit surreal—Casey Frey is an internet star known for putting his incredible dance skills to great comedic effect. He’s been collaborating with huge artists like Donald Glover and even appearing in films, thanks to his singular voice. ■
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JANUARY 2023 25
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When you want your special day to be as one-of-a-kind as you are, it’s important to offer some unique opportunities.
One easy solution is to incorporate family traditions and favorite games into the reception. A more expensive solution is to hire a special performer, like dancers, artists, face painters, live musicians, even your favorite team’s mascot. Our suggestion? Take something traditional that you’d have at your wedding anyway, like a big cake or a bar, and remix it with a more distinctive option. Here are just a few of our ideas for unique wedding vendors in West Michigan.
MEMORIES GUARANTEED:Unique WEDDING
| by Revue Staff
Who needs cocktail waiters when you can have a charming little donkey serving up beverages at your wedding? The Tipsy Burro has two loveable miniature donkeys, Benny and Bandit, ready to melt hearts at your reception. They can dress however you like, and will roam around with whatever you give them to carry—champagne, beer, tequila, party favors, ice cream, it’s up to you. There’s truly nothing else like it in West Michigan.
BLACK BARREL BAR
There are now a few mobile bars in town, and Black Barrel Bar is one of the best. Their renovated 1971 Airstream Land Yacht mobile bar is beautiful, elegant and modern after an eight-month face lift, the perfect fit for any wedding. Plus, they provide full bar service, with bartenders, booze, glassware and insurance.
as unique and blends in with the wedding aesthetic, which means it makes for excellent photos both inside and out. The inside is cute and cozy with a bunch of sitting, or room to stand. Plus, it comes with tons of great props, and the ability to text yourself photos, and a custom album.
CLIQUE ESPRESSO CATERING CO. cliquecatering.com
As more and more people move into the sober lifestyle, it’s a great idea to have a caterer who can… well, cater to everyone! Clique brings the coffee house to your wedding, with hand-crafted Italian Espresso drinks in unlimited quantities. Drinks range from lattes to cappuccino, americano, café con miel, chai, and beyond, with flavors like vanilla and caramel to boot! Get the party started with a kick from Clique.
Want your party to actually feel like a party? Go for “the ultimate party flex,” Bar Hop, a mobile bar experience. This comes with not just any bar, but three beer taps, a slide-top cooler, custom LED sighting, a top-notch sound system, a big flatscreen TV and bar stools/high tops.
BEVIAMO! MOBILE BAR beviamobar.com
Started in 2019, Beviamo! offers a range of options. Book Vinny, the built-to-look-vintage camper bar that’s cute and colorful. Or go with the smaller option, Mini Vinny, an equally cute custom-built bar cart. Either way, Beviamo! specializes in creating delicious craft cocktails just for your special day, alongside tasty mocktails for the underage and sober.
THE SHOOTING COMET
There’s photo booths, and then there’s The Shooting Comet. This 1956 vintage camper both stands out
MIRROR MIRROR mirrormirrormi.com
Mirror Mirror takes photobooths to the next level. This magical (high-tech) mirror allows you to do so much more than just take photos. You can edit photos in real time, use different filters and props, sign your photos and more. Plus, the mirror even has games like Tic Tac Toe, Ping Pong, Screaming Contests and more. The company also offers a more simple Mirror Mobile and a 360 video booth. ■
26 JANUARY 2023 / revuewm.com
WEST MICHIGAN’S PREMIER ESPRESSO CATERING COMPANY
Weddings, Open Houses, Corporate, Schools, and more...
All I can say is WOW! Clique Espresso exceeded our expectations for my daughter’s wedding reception of 250 people! They were so professional from start to ﬁ nish. ... Their coffee barista setup looked amazing too! My wedding guests said it was so unique, unexpected, and a hit. The coffees, espresso, tea and hot chocolate options are all delicious. ... You can’t go wrong with Clique Espresso for your event. Professional and delicious from start to ﬁ nish!!
-Emily, Mother of the Bride
(616) 202-6250 www.cliquecatering.com
JANUARY 2023 27
We’d love the opportunity to serve you and your guests at your next event!
| by Revue Staff
It’s hard to know where to start planning our wedding, when there are so many choices to make, and so many options to choose from in West Michigan.
From venues to caterers, bridal shops and beyond, it’s a lot to think about. While we don’t claim to be the leading wedding authority by any means, we like to think we have pretty good taste, so here’s Revue ’s guide to just a few of the great options for making your special day the best it can be.
FRAUENTHAL CENTER | 425 West Western Ave., Muskegon | frauenthal.org
This historic building and its beautiful facilities are the perfect backdrop to your special occasion, with multiple venues to choose from. You can even have your reception onstage, if you’d like!
THE HIGH FIVE | 19 LaGrave Ave. SE, Grand Rapids | thehighfivegr.com
This expansive, beautifully renovated loft space exemplifies the best in “old world meets new.” High, wood-beamed ceilings, large windows, hardwood floors, exposed brick, and no pillars.
GRAND RAPIDS DOWNTOWN MARKET
435 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids | downtownmarketgr.com
Get married in the market’s gorgeous greenhouse, where lush plants surround you with soft, natural light during the day and gorgeous city views at night. Or go with the more classic banquet room.
THE CHENEY PLACE | 1600 Monroe Ave., Grand Rapids | thecheneyplace.com
One of the most beloved venues in town for many reasons. Have the entire wedding (ceremony and reception) in one “urban meets vintage meets modern” warehouse space with frosted windows and vintage furniture.
GREENCREST MANOR | 6174 Halbert Road, Battle Creek | greencrestmanor.com
In enchanting woods outside of Battle Creek lies Greencrest, a European-style venue with cascading ivy, sprawling gardens, a wrought-iron gate and more. It radiates warmth and historical opulence.
STREET CHEF SHAW | streetchefshaw.com
Street tacos, quesadillas and nachos inspired by the traditional Hispanic Birria Soup, with a Swahili infusion. There’s nothing quite like Street Chef Shaw’s interactive catering experience, and the food will please even the pickiest eater.
RISE AUTHENTIC BAKING CO. | riseauthenticbaking.com
Gluten-free, vegan, soy free, dye free—Rise Authentic Baking has delicious baked goods for everyone, and that includes cakes, cupcakes, donuts, brownies and more.
TWO SCOTTS BARBECUE | twoscottsbbq.com
Some of the best barbecue around (or anywhere), Two Scotts is a true crowdpleaser. Pulled pork, brisket, burnt ends, mac and cheese, coleslaw—they have it all.
PIZZA PARLIAMENT FOOD TRUCK | pizzaparliament.com
Everyone loves pizza, and this food truck has plenty of it. There’s basic personal pizzas alongside politically named specialty pizzas like the Bernie Scrambles, a breakfast pie.
PARTAGE | experiencepartage.com
Formerly known as Everyday Chef and Wife, these chefs use organic, local ingredients to create unique and special dishes with a more hands-on approach. They want to reinvent how catering is typically thought of.
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MAKING YOUR DAY SPECIAL: Wedding SUPPLIERS IN WEST MICHIGAN
RC CAYLAN ATELIER | 1876 Breton RD. SE., Grand Rapids | rccaylan.com
RC Caylan’s wide array of creations ranges from fashionable red-carpet gowns, bridal gowns, bridal entourage wears and even men’s suits. This company is dedicated to giving each client a one-of-a-kind outfit that matches their personal style and aesthetic.
TRUE SOCIETY | 4265 28th St., Kentwood | truesociety.com
True Society offers a plethora of award-winning designer dresses for you to try on. Custom designed, spacious fitting rooms, and stunning wedding dresses that speak to the soul.
RENEE AUSTIN WEDDING
1555 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids | reneeaustinwedding.com
A powerhouse in the West Michigan wedding industry, Renee Austin is known for an intimate backdrop, personable staff, and an exclusive collection of elegant, glamours and chic gowns.
BIANKA BRIDAL | 125 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids | biankabridal.com
This boutique is full-service, family owned, and fueled by love. Their passion is to create an experience you will remember as the highlight of your wedding planning process; the day you found the gown of your dreams.
MEMORIES BRIDAL | 203 E. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo | dresslikeyou.com
At Memories, dedicated bridal stylists work one on one with each bride, giving you the attention you deserve and helping you find the dress perfect for you. They learn about your personality, style, wedding dreams, and what makes you feel your most beautiful.
LET’S HAVE A BASH | mi-bash.com
Day-of coordination, month-of coordination, concept design and execution, website design—Let’s Have a Bash does it all. They were voted top spot for event planners in Revue’s very own Best of the West for good reason!
TANYA LYNNETTE EVENTS | tanyalynnetteevents.com
Tanya Lynnette’s team is a healthy split of analytical and creative, working in both color wheels and spreadsheets. The TLE team has 24 years of experience in coordination and planning events, and perhaps more importantly, they love to celebrate diversity and specialize in LGBTQ+ marriages.
PAPER HAT WEDDINGS | paperhatweddings.com
If you’re most stressed about the actual day of the wedding, Paper Hat specializes in day-of coordination, working with you to make sure the details come together and the big day runs smoothly.
7TH ON LINCOLN | 7thonlincoln.com
From elopements to one-time consultations, day-of coordination and full-scale wedding planning, 7th on Lincoln does whatever you need.
RSVP EVENTS | events-by-rsvp.com
People love Adrien and her team at RSVP events, as they have over 15 years of experience, so you know they’ll think of every little detail and are equipped to deal with whatever unexpected challenges life throws your way. ■
JANUARY 2023 29
THE BOOK OF MORMON:
Don't Judge By Its Cover
| by John Kissane
Eleven years after its release, The Book of Mormon still seems more likely to have been a fever dream than something that really happened.
A musical about Mormons? By the South Park guys? A hilariously offensive but somehow still sweet musical? Next you’ll tell me that the Church of Latter Day Saints took out ads in the playbill. Wait… that really happened? Somehow it did. The Book of Mormon proved a huge success
both with critics (“The best musical of the century,” according to the New York Times ) and with audiences (it’s grossed over half a billion dollars). It earned nine Tony awards, including Best Musical, and a Grammy. And, on January 27th and 28th, it will play in Kalamazoo’s Miller Auditorium.
The touring production stars Sam McLellan as Elder (Kevin) Price, a clean-cut, handsome young Mormon consumed with
faith and certain he’s destined to do incredible things. He’s paired with Elder (Arnold) Cunningham, a Dungeons & Dragons kind of guy, one who looks up in awe to his self-assured partner. The two are a classic odd couple: Fit and Round, Cool and Nerdy. Together, they’ll travel to Uganda to spread their faith; finding out that Uganda’s in Africa, Cunningham responds, “Like Lion King!”
They don’t find any animal sidekicks in Uganda. Instead,
30 JANUARY 2023 / revuewm.com
they find people, people beset by calamity. Warlords are busy picking off what poverty, famine, and AIDS haven’t gotten to yet. In “Hasa Diga Eebowai,” the villagers sing a phrase that comforts them in times of trouble. The revelation of its marvelously obscene meaning is one of the show’s first great laughs. Just know that it isn’t (as Cunningham surmises), “No worries for the rest of our days.”
In the first iteration of the show, the Africans were played for laughs that sometimes verged on the uncomfortable; it was clear that creators Parker and Stone were more familiar with Mormons than Ugandans, resulting in some lazy cliches. Later changes have made the show sharper and more incisive without its veering into bien pensant skittishness.
The mission, entered into with such hope, soon takes its toll on the protagonists. The Africans insist on being flawed and human and, in the case of Nabulungi (played by Berlande Mullis), beautiful; Cunningham finds himself drawn to her out of more than concern for her immortal soul. Price finds himself doubting whether he’s where
he ought to be.
The miracle of the show lies in the way it balances shock and sincerity, two strains that should each weaken the other, but somehow never do. A song called “Man Up,” in which Cunningham describes how Christ “crawled up on that cross and he stuck it out,” should be absurd. And it is. But it’s also invigorating. Song after song is invigorating. Having experienced the show years ago, I can say without irony that it both made me laugh, and moved me, more than any other show I’ve ever seen.
It must be said: you should not take the more sensitive of your friends and relatives. Actually, scratch that; you should. It’ll be hilarious. ■
THE BOOK OF MORMON
1341 Theatre Dr., Kalamazoo Jan. 27-28 millerauditorium.com
JANUARY 2023 31 114 E Main St. Fennville 269.561.7258 saltoftheearthfennville.com The Fennhattan at SotE
The Book of Mormon. PHOTOS BY JULIETA CERVANTES
GRAND RAPIDS SYMPHONY:
Sounds for the New Year
| by Michaela Stock
no doubt that performing arts organizations have undergone stress over the past couple of years. However, Doty has seen the pandemic shutdown as an opportunity to give patrons a new and improved way of attending shows.
“Returning to a live environment has given us time to enhance our audience experience,” said Doty.
“You’ll see and hear new things both before and during our performances. We’re pleased to be able to let patrons bring beverages into the hall and we’re working on new ways to make technology a part of the patron experience.”
Despite the challenges of returning to inperson concerts, Doty remains optimistic.
GRAND RAPIDS SYMPHONY
300 Ottawa Ave. NW, Ste 100 Grand Rapids grsymphony.org
NIGHT ON BALD MOUNTAIN + ANDREI IONIȚĂ, Jan. 6-7
POPS KNOCKOUTS WITH CAROLINE CAMPBELL, Jan. 20-21
From 1920’s jazz music to classical covers of pop tunes, The Grand Rapids Symphony is ready to give West Michigan an array of fresh musical experiences this year. As the 2023 season commences, the Symphony hopes to touch new listeners and regular attendees alike with performances that inspire, rejuvenate, and brighten the community.
“There are so many different ways the Symphony reaches our community. We’re passionate about music and the impact it has on people,” said Aaron Doty, the symphony’s Vice President and General Manager. “No two days, or concerts, are alike.”
Because each live performance at the Grand Rapids Symphony slightly varies, Doty likes to attend the same show at least twice.
“With one note, music has the power to reach and nourish the soul unlike anything else. Those feelings are special and unique for each and every performance,” Doty said. “Each time you hear a piece of music, you discover something new and beautiful.”
The Grand Rapids Symphony’s 2023 offerings span from family-friendly storylines to multi-hyphenate experiences.
“In the first weekend of the new year, we have cellist Andrei Ioniță performing with the symphony. His energy is incredible and he truly rocks out on the cello,” Doty said.
“In the middle of January, we have a family-friendly program with the timeless story of Ferdinand the Bull, complete with narrator and dancing bull. Finally, an event that we have just announced is the
2023 Symphony With Soul guest artist, the amazing singer, actor, and comedian Wayne Brady.”
Fine arts, such as the symphony, can be intimidating for first-timers. For those who have never attended a show at the Grand Rapids Symphony, or for folks who haven’t attended a concert in a long time, Doty encourages people to choose a variety of shows and commit to trying more than one type of performance.
“You can choose so many different ways to experience symphonic music. It’s about looking for something that resonates with you and then trying something new,” said Doty.
“Give yourself a wide range of experiences.”
Since the Grand Rapids Symphony boasts an array of shows each season, choosing what to attend can be overwhelming. To help interested spectators better understand the symphony’s upcoming performances, people can call the Symphony’s patron services department for guidance on which shows are right for them.
“We’ve already had several really great concerts this season, and we are looking forward to sharing so many different programs in the coming months,” said Doty.
“Experiencing a live orchestra is truly special, and our musicians are deeply passionate about giving incredible performances every week.”
Even with the Symphony’s unending enthusiasm to bring the power of live music to the eyes and ears of West Michigan, it’s
“The past two seasons have taught us to be, if nothing else, flexible and understanding. Not every concert production has ended up exactly as it was conceived but it has given us opportunities to be creative and adapt in order to continue to give the gift of music to our community at a time when it has been most needed,” said Doty.
“The pandemic shifted many things in our lives, and we are all so grateful that live music is back.”
Whether it’s offering a variety of genres each season or helping patrons choose which shows to attend, Doty’s ultimate hope is for the Grand Rapids Symphony’s music to continue reaching the ears of West Michiganders far and wide.
“We’re so incredibly grateful to the West Michigan community for the support and enthusiasm they offer us,” Doty said.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a part of an organization that really feels and cares about each other like a family.” ■
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 1 IN CONCERT, Jan. 27-28
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2 IN CONCERT, Jan. 28-29
32 JANUARY 2023 / revuewm.com /arts
Stone. COURTESY PHOTO
Caroline Campbell. COURTESY PHOTO
Andrei Ionită. PHOTO
NIKOLAJ LUND / Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's
JANUARY 2023 33
In 2023, arts organizations are ready and raring to go, with incredible lineups of concerts, symphonies, dance performances, art exhibitions, musicals, plays and more. Heading into the new year, we have art from around the world, theater classics, and a smorgasbord of music. Due to the ever-changing nature of the pandemic, we suggest checking websites or contacting organizations to learn about safety measures in place.
BROADWAY GRAND RAPIDS
122 Lyon St. NW, Grand Rapids broadwaygrandrapids.com
SIX, Jan. 10-15
GILMORE THEATRE/WMU THEATRE
1903 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo wmich.edu/theatre
DONTRELL, WHO KISSED THE SEA, Jan. 26-Feb.5
GRAND RAPIDS ART MUSEUM
101 Monroe Center, Grand Rapids artmuseumgr.org
THE JIM HENSON EXHIBITION: IMAGINATION UNLIMITED, Through Jan. 14
RETHINKING MONUMENTS: AMERICAN SCULPTURE IN ITS TIME, 1850-2000, Jan.13-Apr.8
GRAND RAPIDS BALLET
341 Ellsworth Ave. SW, Grand Rapids grballet.com
THE NUTCRACKER, Dec. 9-18
FARMERS ALLEY THEATRE KALAMAZOO
221 Farmers Alley, Kalamazoo farmersalleytheatre.com
THE GREAT LEAP, Jan. 27-Feb.12
KALAMAZOO CIVIC THEATRE
329 S. Park St., Kalamazoo kazoocivic.com
A RAISIN IN THE SUN, Jan.13-29 CLYBOURNE PARK, Jan. 27-Feb 5
KALAMAZOO INSTITUTE OF ARTS
314 South Park St., Kalamazoo kiarts.org
CAPTIVE BEAUTIES: DEPICTIONS OF WOMEN IN LATE IMPERIAL CHINA, Through Jan. 15
KALAMAZOO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
359 Kalamazoo Mall Ste. 100, Kalamazoo kalamazoosymphony.com
MODERN MARVELS, Jan 29
GRAND RAPIDS CIVIC THEATRE
30 N. Division Ave., Grand Rapids grct.org
ONCE ON THIS ISLAND, Jan. 20-Feb. 5
GRAND RAPIDS SYMPHONY
300 Ottawa Ave. NW Ste. 100, Grand Rapids grsymphony.org
NIGHT ON BALD MOUNTAIN + ANDREI IONIȚĂ, Jan. 6-7
POPS KNOCKOUTS WITH CAROLINE CAMPBELL, Jan. 20-21
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 1 IN CONCERT, Jan. 27-28
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2 IN CONCERT, Jan. 28-29
2200 Auditorium Dr, Kalamazoo millerauditorium.com
THE BOOK OF MORMON, Jan. 27-28
MUSKEGON CIVIC THEATRE
425 W. Western Ave., Muskegon muskegoncivictheatre.org
INSPECTING CAROL, Through Dec. 4
ANNE & EMMETT, Jan. 13-21
MUSKEGON MUSEUM OF ART
296 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon muskegonartmuseum.org
JONATHAN THUNDER: MAAMAWI, Through Jan. 8
FROM GLASS TO PAPER, Through Feb. 6
THE RISE OF PRINT: REMBRANDT & COMPANY, Through March 19
OX-BOW 3435 Rupprecht Way, Saugatuck ox-bow.org
WINTER ARTIST MARKET, Through Dec. 17
SAUGATUCK CENTER FOR THE ARTS 400 Culver St., Saugatuck sc4a.org
UBUNTU: I AM BECAUSE WE ARE, Through Jan. 27
ST. CECILIA MUSIC CENTER 24 Ransom Ave. NE, Grand Rapids scmc-online.org
MAGICAL SCHUBERT, Jan. 19
URBAN INSTITUTE FOR CONTEMPORARY ARTS
17 Pearl St. NW, Grand Rapids uica.org
SHIMMERINGS OF THE NOT YET (T)HERE, Through Feb. 11
EXTREMOPHILIA: A G’NATURAL HISTORY, Through Feb. 11
DOUBLE TAKE, Through Feb. 11
WHARTON CENTER FOR PERFORMING ARTS
750 E. Shaw Ln., East Lansing whartoncenter.com
JAGGED LITTLE PILL, Jan. 31-Feb. 5
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| by Revue Staff /arts