REVUE West Michigan - March 2024

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AFFORDABLE VS.

PREMIUM CANNABIS

BUDTENDER STAFF PICKS

PLUS: DEMETRI MARTIN & JOE PERA

CATCHING UP WITH AVENUE FOR THE ARTS

CANNABIS/CBD DIRECTORY

EASTERN KILLE'S BIG MOVE

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10 What's Going On

12 Inaudible Darling: Cranking Up The Volume COMEDY

14 Joe Pera Talks with REVUE

15 Demetri Martin: The Joke Machine GET OUT!

16 Saddle Up and Ride

DINING & DRINKING

18 Putting Down Roots: MIZIZI by Street Chef Shaw

19 Eastern Kille's Big Move CANNABIS ISSUE

20 You Smoke What You Pay For: Affordable vs. Premium Cannabis

22 Cannabis Glossary

24 Budtender Staff Picks

34 Rising Tides: Catching Up with Avenue for the Arts

36 Spies, Intrigue, Slapstick:

39 Steps at Kalamazoo Civic Theatre

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MARCH 2024 7
NEWS
MUSIC
28 Cannabis/CBD Directory CBD SPOTLIGHT
31 CBD 101 ARTS
2024 | VOLUME 36,
3 ON THE COVER: THE CANNABIS ISSUE STARTS ON PAGE 20
Arts Calendar WHAT'S INSIDE MARCH
ISSUE

It was way back in December 2019 (which was roughly 5 years ago, even though it feels like 2) that the first storefronts started to open up, and now you can’t swing a pre-roll without hitting a dispensary.

While there’s been plenty of change already in the industry, with mergers, acquisitions and rebrands as companies work to stand out and stay afloat in a wildly competitive market, it seems like things are starting to settle down.

The next big step is for cannabis to be legalized federally, so far more research can be done properly, banks can support the industry without massive risk, and no one goes to prison for something us Michiganders can now do comfortably in our own homes.

In the meantime, we’re enjoying watching the industry evolve—finetuning strains, educating the public, and producing wild new innovations like THC Infused Hot Cheetos. In this annual Cannabis Issue, we look at the difference between cheap and premium flower, let local budtenders pick their favorite products, and explain how CBD can help you (whether you also partake in THC or not).

You’ll also find interviews with beloved comedians Demetri Martin and Joe Pera, the latter of which recently told Seth Meyers that Grand Rapids was “probably the drunkest city” on his last tour. Sorry about that, Joe!

And, I talked with Street Chef Shaw about his new spot, MIZIZI, on Plainfield, which has very quickly become a neighborhood favorite. Similarly, Rockford has welcomed Eastern Kille’s new location with open arms and mouths, and co-owner Brandon Voorhees walked me through all the changes—including some of the absolute best pizza around (in my opinion).

This issue, we’re also launching a new column: Get Out! It’s a creation of our writer Allison Kay Bannister, the founder and primary organizer of a West Michigan recreation group. I’m looking forward to her unique excursions that go beyond your typical “first-thought” ideas for getting out.

Whether you love cannabis or have never touched the stuff, there’s something for everyone in this issue. And you have to admit, it’s pretty cool that an issue like this wouldn’t have even been possible 5 years ago. Wow! Progress!

'Til next time,

WHO'S WHO

You may not be getting the BEST eNewsletter in West Michigan! Confirm that you have great decision-making skills by signing up at RevueWM.com/Subscribe.

Managing Editor | Josh Veal, josh@serendipity-media.com

Art Director | Courtney Van Hagen

Marketing Director | Loren Eisenlohr

Marketing Coordinator | Rachel Syrba

Distribution | Kelli Belanger

Contributing Writers | Allison Kay Bannister, John Kissane, Eric Mitts

ADVERTISING / (616) 458-8371

Media Sales Manager | Kelli Belanger, kelli@revuewm.com

Media Sales Consultant | Maggie Mutch, maggie@serendipity-media.com

(616) 458-8371 or email sales@revuewm.com

DINING & DRINKING | Spotlight: Coffee & Tea

A celebration of West Michigan's many restaurants, bars and other places to eat and drink—plus, the people who make it all possible. Space Deadline: 3/13/2024

PUBLISHED MONTHLY

8 MARCH 2024 / revuewm.com
FROM THE EDITOR
| josh@serendipity-media.com
JOSH VEAL , Managing Editor
Serendipity Media LLC 535 Cascade West Parkway SE Grand Rapids, MI 49546 (616) 458-6371 www.serendipity-media.com FIND US ONLINE revuewm.com | @revuewm @2024 Serendipity Media LLC All rights reserved. BE A PART OF THE NEXT ISSUE! Call
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APR

WHAT’S GOING ON, MAR '24

3/2

EXPERIENCE THE MAGICAL WORLD OF WINTER

Downtown Grand Rapids

Through March 10 worldofwintergr.com

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:

CIRCUS WONDERLAND

Calder Plaza | March 2

Experience stilt walkers, LED performers, fire performers and aerialists from the Grand Rapids Entertainment Group, all happening near our featured international installation, ‘Dandelion’. It’s an event you can’t afford to miss, complete with food trucks, games, and more. Join the circus and come on down!

NOODLE FEST

Calder Plaza | March 9

Get ready for Noodle Fest – where chefs battle it out to whip up the tastiest noodle dishes! Picture awesome food, live entertainment and vendors dishing out $6 bowls of noodle goodness. You decide the winner by throwing in your votes with your donations. Think of it like a chili cookoff, but arguably even cooler.

LUMINARY LIGHT NIGHT PARADE

Ah-Nab-Awen Park | March 10

March into spring with us at the 2024 World of Winter Festival Closing Celebration. Enjoy live DJ’s, a complimentary s’mores station, a parade led by a drumline and our 2024 World of Winter Art Installations! Help light the night by bringing your own lantern!

4TH ANNUAL GRAND RAPIDS

BOURBON FEST

Studio D2D Event Center

1157 Century Ave. SW, Grand Rapids March 2, 4 p.m.

grandrapidsbourbonfest.com

Grand Rapids Bourbon Fest is an indoor bourbon festival hosted with more than 200 whiskeys and bourbons, store picks, classic cocktails and high-end bottle section. Most of the list is bourbon but there will be a few non-bourbon options such as beer, wine & nonalcoholic options—plus food trucks, live music, vendors and more!

3/5

TUESDAY NIGHT MOVIE:

LEGALLY BLONDE

Wealthy Theatre

1130 Wealthy St., Grand Rapids March 5, 8 p.m. grcmc.org

Every Tuesday Night, Wealthy Theatre hosts a classic film like The Big Lebowski Pulp Fiction, and more. This week’s is Legally Blonde, the incredibly iconic comedy (with a touch of romance) starring Reese Witherspoon as a bright (in every sense of the word) young sorority girl.

3/9

MAPLE SUGAR FESTIVAL

Kalamazoo Nature Center 7000 N. Westnedge Ave., Kalamazoo March 9

naturecenter.org

If the frigid temps of winter have you craving spring already, head out to the Kalamazoo Nature Center for the Maple Sugar Festival on March 9. Tours, pancakes, coffee, animal ambassadors, live music, art activities and more! Savor the sweetness of the coming season with the fresh flavors directly from the forest, and leave with some bottles of pure Michigan magic to make your pancakes perfection all year long.

3/15

THE SURFRAJETTES

Bell’s Eccentric Café

355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo March 15, 7 p.m. bellsbeer.com

The Surfrajettes are a four-piece instrumental combo from Toronto. Since forming in late 2015, the band has charmed audiences with their clever mix of psychedelic rock and reverb-drenched surf music, sky-high beehives, go-go boots, and eyeliner as thick as their guitar strings.

NIKKI GLASER

GLC Live at 20 Monroe 11 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids March 15, 7:30 p.m. livenation.com

Known for her sharp wit, fearless humor, and unapologetic honesty, Nikki Glaser brings her unique perspective on relationships, pop culture, and everyday life to the stage. With a blend of observational comedy and personal anecdotes, the Good Girl Tour promises an evening of laughter and entertainment that’s both relatable and boundary-pushing.

3/16

IRISH ON IONIA

Ionia Avenue March 16 irishonionia.com

The all-day St. Patrick’s Day festival is back once again for its 11th year! Stretching on Ionia St. from Fulton to Oakes and on Weston from Ionia to Commerce, enjoy two entertainment stages, Irish bands, DJs, food trucks, heated tents, Irish & local beers, seasonal cocktails, bag pipes, Irish dance troops, and so much more!

3/17

JOE GATTO’S NIGHT OF COMEDY DeVos Performance Hall 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids March 17, 7 p.m. devosperformancehall.com

Joe Gatto is a comedian best known from the hit TV shows “Impractical Jokers” and “The Misery Index.” Gatto’s quick wit, infectious laughter, affable personality—and… motherly advice?— have endeared him to audiences worldwide, making him a beloved figure in the world of comedy.

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/// NEWS

3/21

BIANCA DEL RIO:

DEAD INSIDE COMEDY TOUR

Kalamazoo State Theatre

404 S. Burdick St., Kalamazoo March 21, 7 p.m. kazoostate.com

As the seasoned comic’s sixth large-scale stand-up tour, “Dead Inside” will cover politics, pop culture, political correctness, current events, cancel culture, and everyday life through the eyes of someone who’s “dead inside,” finding humor in everything.

CONCERTS UNDER THE STARS:

SARENA RAE

Grand Rapids Public Museum

160 Front Ave. NW, Grand Rapids March 21, 6:30 p.m. grpm.org/concerts-under-the-stars

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 real-time with the music. This show features singer/songwriter Sarena Rae, vocalist for local band Brena.

3/23

SUGARBUSH FESTIVAL

Blandford Nature Center 1799 Hillburn Ave. NW, Grand Rapids March 23, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. blandfordnaturecenter.org

Join us for our 54th year of celebrating the sweet arrival of Spring! Learn the maple sugaring process through Sugarbush demonstrations & techniques including a taste test in our Sugarhouse. Activities include wildlife encounters, maple cotton candy, games/crafts, and more. Lazy Dazy Coffee Camper will be on-site selling concessions. Blandford School 6th graders will be performing songs and a puppet show!

3/26

LESS THAN JAKERETURN TO ROCKVIEW TOUR

The Intersection

133 Cesar E. Chavez Ave. SW, Grand Rapids March 26, 7:30 p.m. sectionlive.com

Less Than Jake is an American ska punk band formed in Gainesville, Florida, in 1992. Known for their energetic performances and catchy tunes, they’ve become a staple in the punk rock and ska scenes. With a distinctive blend of horn-driven melodies, upbeat rhythms, and witty lyrics, the band has released numerous albums and EPs, including fan favorite “Hello Rockview,” which they’ll be performing on this tour!

FALL OUT BOY:

SO MUCH FOR (2OUR) DUST

Van Andel Arena

18 Ottawa Ave. SW, Grand Rapids March 26, 6:30 p.m.

vanandelarena.com

Fall Out Boy is on tour with Jimmy Eat World for an amazing night of both nostalgia and new music. Each show includes the use of a Magic 8 Ball to surprise fans with a performance of a Fall Out Boy song that has never played live before, which has become one of the most buzzed about topics for the So Much For (2OUR) Dust Tour.

3/29

THE PERAS TOUR

Kalamazoo State Theatre

404 S. Burdick St., Kalamazoo March 29

kazoostate.com

Come get cozy with Joe Pera as he performs from all 10 of his studio albums in a 3-hour long show—just kidding, but you won’t want to miss this show regardless. There’s no comedian out there like Joe Pera. The soft-spoken man delivers jokes in such a subtle way, some people have a hard time even telling what’s a joke, and that’s what makes him so great. Come, laugh, go home and put on an episode of “Drifting Off with Joe Pera.”

MARCH 2024 11
Irish on Ionia, Nikki
Blandford Nature Center. COURTESY PHOTOS
Glaser,

INAUDIBLE DARLING: Cranking Up The Volume

Right from the start, having a sense of humor has been very important to Grand Rapids rock band Inaudible Darling.

So when their original release show for their self-titled full-length debut album got cancelled by the biggest blizzard of the year back in January, they just took it in stride.

First formed during the pandemic, when lead singer Shanda Hopkins, guitarist/ backing vocalist Martin Bush, and drummer Steven “Scuba” Gerrard teamed up with bassist/backing vocalist Andre Damoiseaux, Inaudible Darling brought together each member’s past and varying experiences from previous bands and other projects.

“Initially we started out more punk, but as we have progressed we have evolved to be much heavier, more metal, and more in your face,” Shanda Hopkins told Revue .

As a band, they draw influence from a lot of 90s metal, and cite grunge bands like Nirvana and Soundgarden, as well as Queens of the Stone Age and Green Jello, who’s 1992 hit “Three Little Pigs” they have covered, complete with the approval of that band’s founder and lead singer Bill Manspeaker.

Individually, Hopkins said she’s influenced by KISS and L7, while Bush

mentioned 80s rock acts like Ratt and Faster Pussycat. Gerrard and Damoiseaux added that they are big fans of Clutch, Korn, and Rage Against The Machine.

“Our most memorable show was probably at The Intersection inside Elevation when we opened for Buckcherry,” Hopkins said. “We’ve also had some really great shows at Mulligan’s and Turnstiles too.”

Very close with fellow local bands Slumlord Radio, Bleed The Water, Skin Jacket, Moto, Throat Piss, Mooch Globe, and Flesh of the Beast, Inaudible Darling will have their friends Tru-Burn, Hillbilly Nightmare and Vedma join them for their now rescheduled album release show at The Stache inside The Intersection on March 9.

“We are excited for the great sound set up, the stage, the fantastic staff at The Intersection, and to be able to rock out with our friends and family,” Hopkins said about the album release show. “It is a little different with streaming now, so having a CD doesn’t quite have the same meaning or feel to it, but it still feels great to have it out there in the world.”

Currently streaming online on Bandcamp and other streaming platforms, Inaudible Darling had worked on the eight-song

album for about a year with CJ Gardineer at Red Wolf Studios in Grand Rapids.

“We have some interesting practices,” Hopkins said, when asked about the creation of the album’s distinct cover. “Like we mentioned earlier, humor is a must in this band. Through different discussions and ideas we were throwing around we came up with the puking Kool-Aid Man idea, and our friend Shane from Bleed the Water who is a phenomenal artist, drew it up for us and brought our idea to life.”

For those who have yet to see Inaudible Darling live, Hopkins described their live show as “Sweaty, Loud, and Aggressive.”

“The origin of our name is interesting, but the best description is someone saw

‘Inedible’ on a trash can, and we decided to go with Inaudible because Inedible Darling just seemed like a bad idea,” Hopkins said.

The band has a lot of ideas in the works for future shows and plans to keep fans updated via Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites, with Hopkins adding, “we’re totally going to play Upheaval, if they’ll let us.”

As for the local music scene, Hopkins said they have some ideas for what they’d like to see change as well.

“Something that would be great for the current state of local music would be more venues that showcase and cater to local bands,” she said. “More opportunities for locals to open for national touring acts without it being a popularity contest.” ■

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/// LOCAL MUSIC
Inaudible Darling Live. PHOTO COURTESY OF BENJAMIN HOWELL / Inaudible Darling. PHOTO COURTESY OF RED WOLF INAUDIBLE DARLING Album Release Show | Wsg. Tru-Burn, Hillbilly Nightmare, Vedma The Stache (inside The Intersection), 133 Cesar E Chavez Ave. SW, Grand Rapids March 9, 6:30 p.m. doors, 7 p.m. show, $10 advance, $13 day of show, all ages Sectionlive.com, facebook.com/InaudibleDarling

JOE PERA Talks with REVUE

Most comedians might take offense at knowing that their material helps people fall asleep. Then again, Joe Pera isn’t most comedians.

Perhaps best-known for his slow, soft-spoken style, and his beloved live-action TV series “Joe Pera Talks With You” on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, Pera has found humor in embracing the simplest of pleasures in life.

He first broke through with the animated short, “Joe Pera Talks You To Sleep,” which premiered on Adult Swim in 2016. That was followed by “Joe Pera Helps You Find the Perfect Christmas Tree,” filmed in Marquette, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, which went on to become the setting of his series.

Talking with REVUE via phone while driving in the UP after a show in Marquette last month, Pera, who grew up in Buffalo, New York, shared how he came to find a second home in our state.

“We were looking for somewhere in the Midwest where it was most likely to snow in October because Adult Swim said we could do whatever we wanted with the special as long as we had it finished by November to air in December,” he said of first coming to Marquette. “So we looked around and they were supposed to get snow the earliest in all of the parts in the Midwest, and also in a place that produces a lot of Christmas trees. So we ended up going up there. We didn’t get any snow, but through that process, realized that it was just the perfect place to set the show for the character. And the nature and the culture, it was like how a lot of stuff overlapped with how I grew up in Buffalo, but it allowed for some creativity and I was able to see a place

with new eyes, which inspired a lot of ideas.”

For the three seasons “Joe Pera Talks With You” aired, before getting canceled in 2021, Pera stars as a fictional version of himself who works as a middle school choir teacher. In real life, Pera went to New York City to pursue comedy after graduating from Ithaca College, where he studied film, and also won the college’s stand-up competition three times.

“There’s a lot of personal stuff in the show and the character,” Pera said when asked about the widespread speculation regarding how close he is to the show’s character. “But I didn’t want to do another show about a comedian. So I chose a career that a lot of friends went into, music education. And I thought that was a possibility for me. Like, a road I didn’t take. And the show was kind of an exploration of that. So, I think it’s more interesting. The music teacher me is more interesting than comedian me.”

Last October he released his first-ever stand up comedy special, “Joe Pera: Slow and Steady,” independently on YouTube. It was a culmination of over a year and a half on the road, and well over a decade of doing stand up.

“I’ve been doing stand up since I was 18 years old, and I’ve never been able to tape the special, in part because of the show, which, it was great to make the show, but it kind of made me focus on the show for a while and not touring,” Pera said. “So I’ve had material and ideas that I wanted to shape into a special, and it was a dream to be able to do, even though it took a lot of the tour money from the last go around. It was a relief in a way. I did the best standup special I possibly could, based on a standard that I’ve been doing

thus far. And now I can kind of make a fresh start with new material and new ideas, and I don’t know where that will go.”

With new fans discovering “Joe Pera Talks With You” on the streaming service Max, especially during the pandemic, when the gentle calmness of the show’s comedy felt quite needed, Pera said he would possibly like to do a film version of the show.

“There’s definitely more,” he said. “I have an ending in mind… I feel lucky we got three seasons on the air. But I do feel like Adult Swim didn’t realize how many people found it during the pandemic.”

Currently he hosts a monthly podcast, “Joe Pera Helps You Drift Off,” where he fully embraces helping people fall asleep as part of his comedy with his musical collaborator Ryan Dann and other guests.

“I’ve been wanting to do more sleep stuff,” he said. “We did an episode each season that’s especially relaxing but not sleep-based... I have been wanting to do a podcast, and when the show was cancelled, it was neat to do it without time restrictions, or really any creative boundaries. The podcast opened up so many more possibilities.” ■ JOE

The

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PERA
PERAs Tour
State Theatre, 404 S. Burdick, Kalamazoo
29, 7 p.m. (doors), 8 p.m. (show), $38-48 Reserved
$43-53 Day of Show
joepera.com
Kalamazoo
March
Seating,
Kazoostate.com,
/// COMEDY
Joe Pera. COURTESY PHOTO

Now over 25 years into his standup career, comedian Demetri Martin gets joke ideas pitched to him from some surprisingly unexpected collaborators—his kids.

Known for his mastery of deadpan oneliners, often paired with his acoustic guitar, or an oversized sketch pad, Martin has seen his unique style of humor reflected in his young son and daughter, who he says still respect him and what he does for a living. For now.

“I tell some stories now in my act, but my first love is still jokes,” Martin told REVUE. “Really what keeps me interested in standup comedy is writing new jokes and finding ways to make them really economical, and how to build a joke. So they’ve been helpful with that… I don’t know if helpful is the right word, but it’s just cool to see that they understand that this is a job.”

Martin’s career started when he left law school during his final year to pursue comedy after performing around New York City in 1997. He went on to write for “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” in 2004, and later worked on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”

In 2009, he hosted his own show on Comedy Central, “Important Things with Demetri Martin,” and has written, directed and starred in his own feature film, 2016’s “Dean,” which was in part inspired by the loss of his father.

“It seems like such a trope that a comic has kids, and then he does a show about it,” Martin said about pushing back on personal parenthood experiences influencing his standup too directly. “It makes total sense that you would. So maybe it’s in indirect ways of just trying to be, I guess, more present as a parent… but I guess joke writing, sometimes it’s easier if you’re more present. I guess it depends on the situation because often for me it’s more of daydreaming. Escaping the present moment is what gives me jokes.”

Although he’s also voiced the character of Ice Bear on the popular Cartoon Network series “We Bare Bears,” and presently serves as the narrator for its prequel series, “We Baby Bears,” Martin said his kids actually don’t watch that much TV.

“We’re pretty hardcore about that,” Martin said about limiting screen time. “We’re not Mennonite or religious about it or anything, but we try to minimize that stuff. We also don’t watch a lot of stuff, my wife and I, and that helps.”

Now living in L.A., Martin admits the cliché hipster nature of the fact that he

DEMETRI MARTIN: The Joke Machine

actually has several vintage typewriters that he uses to write jokes on, if he’s not writing in his notebook, rather than getting on his phone or computer.

Martin’s latest special, “The Joke Machine,” due out April 2 on Netflix, will be his seventh overall, and first since the pandemic. Structured as part of a “trilogy of specials,” the new special is part one, while Martin is currently touring and will perform part two when he comes to Grand Rapids as part of this year’s LaughFest March 9.

Martin said he likes to think of his live audiences as yet another unexpected collaborator in the refining of his expertly crafted jokes, and they’ve helped shape his career.

“Not only do they sort of guide you in how you’re funny, audiences tend to be very honest,” Martin said. “Each one has its own pretty brutal honesty to it, and they teach you. They’re like, ‘We don’t buy that from you.’ Even if it’s true, even if it’s your

real experience or how you really feel about certain things. I think there are these weird mismatches sometimes in how you look, or your age, or whatever. And crowds will be like, ‘No, we’ve sort of made a box that you’re in and that doesn’t fit in it. So what else do you have that fits in the box? What about this? Yeah, yeah, we’ll buy that.’”

During the pandemic he said he missed live audiences so much that actually built a small stage in his garage for Zoom shows that never happened due to the lag in that immediate feedback that no amount of technology can quite replicate.

“One of the saddest things for me in the last few years was taking down the homemade theater that I built that I never used,” he said.

In terms of mental health, Martin said he feels lucky having a “normal” mental health profile, especially after hearing about some of the struggles other comedians have shared.

“It’s weird as a comic, you’re lucky, but it’s also a liability to be not one of the people who has to struggle so much with that stuff,” he said when asked about the connection between humor and health. “Having said that, I feel a lot better when I’m doing comedy, or enjoying comedy, certainly when I’m laughing and just connecting with other people. It just seems like a really important thing.”

“I think crying’s a better decongestant,” he added. “But I think generally laughter is a good medicine.” ■

LAUGHFEST: DEMETRI MARTIN

Presented by Gun Lake Casino Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids March 9, 7 p.m., $35-45 Laughfestgr.com, demetrimartin.com

MARCH 2024 15
Demetri Martin. COURTESY PHOTO

YOUR MONTHLY GUIDE TO WHAT’S GREAT IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS

SADDLE UP AND RIDE

Oh, hey… welcome to my little slice of Revue. I’ve been a regular contributor for a few years, covering topics from sweets, glorious sweets, to travel, events, arts, and more. I’m also a huge outdoorist, and I recently asked Managing Editor Josh if I could write about some not-soeveryday activities to do outside, and he said, “Sure!”

(Um, that was easy!)

If I told you I was super-stoked about this opportunity, I would be understating my enthusiasm. As the founder and primary event organizer for a West Michigan recreation group, I have a lot going on a lot of the time, and my aim is to keep it interesting. So, while we do go on leisurely walks or somewhat hilly hikes in the woods, I always have my eyes and ears open for something different for us to do, too.

One of these ideas was horseback riding. You’d think we’d have our pick, but for inexperienced riders who just want to give it a whirl, without signing up for a full slate of lessons, the options in town are few. However, I did find Legacy Stables in Caledonia, which offers guided, one-time horseback rides for people of all abilities and skill levels, ages 6-100. They also offer limited opportunities for younger kids.

They run these rides year-round on most Saturdays, with two time slots in the afternoon. Each ride allows a max of six people and lasts 55 minutes. There are some height and weight restrictions, so keep that in mind.

When my group arrived, we signed some paperwork, suited up with helmets, and met our horses. Legacy Stables’ mission is to foster the human-horse connection, and, before riding, they encouraged us to have a bonding moment. This made a lot of sense to me, and I set to work getting my horse, Caspian, to like me through brushing and sweet talk. Trained staff then

gave us instructions on how to hold the reins, and what to say and do to get our horses to stop or go. With that important info, we walked our horses over to the indoor arena, got on board, and accustomed ourselves to the experience.

Not. Gonna. Lie. I was a little nervous. I mean, imagine if your car or bike had a mind of its own? I tried not to. I did remind myself that these horses are gentle enough for children and therapeutic riding, so the chance of an incident was pretty low. This was not their first rodeo; and, in fact, not a rodeo at all.

My group and I took a few rounds indoors, dodged some impromptu potty breaks, and left the arena for the grounds. On the trails, which wove through the property, we were accompanied by three expert guides who led the way, and offered help when our horses were more interested in eating grass than plodding ahead. We felt safe and in good hands, and the ride overall felt calm and relaxing.

The time was up quickly, but it felt like the right amount— and judging by how my rear felt the day after, it was plenty. Would I do it again? I would; and I know other members of my group would, too.

But, I also want to see what else is out there, and what our next adventure could be. Stay tuned for that!

Learn more about one-time rides, private parties, and lessons at legacyhorses.com. ■

8001

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/// GET OUT!
LEGACY STABLES AND KARIN’S HORSE CONNECTION
Patterson Ave. SE, Caledonia
Legacy Stables. PHOTOS COURTESY OF ALLISON KAY BANNISTER
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Putting Down Roots:

MIZIZI BY STREET CHEF SHAW

From free plates outside his house to a brick & mortar eatery, food truck and catering business, Street Chef Shaw has had an eventful four years.

Kirel Shaw has been cooking in the restaurant industry for 15 years now. He says it wasn’t necessarily the plan out of high school, but he quickly fell in love with the experience after graduating. He’s worked everywhere from Amore Trattoria under Chef Jenna Arcidiacono to HopCat and Logan’s Roadhouse.

So when COVID hit in 2020, naturally, a lot of his friends and family were in the restaurant industry and lost their jobs. He worked to make free plates of food for people who needed it and served it out of his house on the corner of an intersection. The final meal was tacos, which people especially seemed to love, and that’s when it clicked to turn this into some sort of a food business.

So, Street Chef Shaw was born, starting in incubator kitchens at the Downtown Market and Bee Side Kitchen.

“The original goal was to have the food truck in five years,” Shaw said. “We got it in two, and we’ve been moving ever since.”

The food truck and catering business could be found at big events, outside of Mulligan’s on Tuesdays (where you can still find it, run by chef Brandon Muscato), on Mondays at City Built Brewing—the list goes on. As the fanbase grew, customers hoped to someday see Street Chef Shaw’s unique brand of African/ Latin fusion food more consistently.

When Rinaldi’s on Plainfield sadly shuttered in 2023, the time was right. Shaw had grown up near Creston, attending Northview High School, and this was the perfect opportunity to return to the community.

So, MIZIZI was born. Meaning “roots” in Swahili, the brick & mortar location’s name speaks to a return to Shaw’s roots in Creston, as well as his family’s roots that play a large part in the food itself.

“We’re an African fusion restaurant. Right now, we’re focused on Latin America and East Africa—my family descends from the East African region, and my children’s mother, her family descended from Mexico, so I feel like it was

something I wanted to do to give to them, something to represent their legacy. That’s where our dream started and where it’s going to continue moving.”

It’s this unique and delicious food, of course, that's really given Street Chef Shaw the following. It’s a slight twist on classics like tacos, burritos, and ramen that really makes use of contrasting flavors and textures while still being entirely approachable (and, dare I say, craveable).

The tacos, for instance, are fried in house-made Swahili chili oil, and freshened up with some green cabbage with gives a nice refreshing crunch. The Birria Burrito is a very popular menu item, dipped in consumme, stuffed with coconut curry rice, green chili frijoles de olla, melty white cheese, fresh chopped cabbage, red onion, and cilantro.

You might start with the tacos to stick to the familiar, but you’ll quickly find yourself moving down the menu to dishes like the East African Chappatis, a flatbread wrap stuffed with your choice of protein and kachumbari—a bright and flavorful salad of chopped onions, tomatoes and chili peppers. Or go for Shaw’s personal favorite, the Coconut-Curry Pilau Bowl, which also has protein and kachumbari, plus house-roasted sweet & spicy tree nuts, pomegranate roasted garlic aioli, and a bed of pilau/rice.

Whatever you order, you get to choose your protein: shredded chicken tikka, poussin pulled pork, mishkaki beef, roasted goat (sourced from the local Shamrock Meats), or an amazing cactus red pepper hash for vegetarians.

That’s all not to mention the tortilla chips, which are cut, fried and seasoned in-house, along with the salsa and hot sauce made from scratch. With all the different combinations possible, the menu totals out to nearly 60 different items, many of which are gluten-free or vegan.

“It’s African food with a twist that tells a story from where we came from to where we are now.”

While the space is relatively small at the moment, the wait time for food is a few minutes at most, in part thanks to Shaw and Muscato’s years of experience running the food truck. No online or call-ahead ordering is needed, trust me.

Looking ahead, Shaw is excited to try out some new dishes now that they’ve established MIZIZI, and to keep getting to know the neighborhood. Down the line, they’d love to upgrade to a full-service, upscale, African cuisine restaurant—for now, the truck, takeout spot and catering business are enough to handle.

While the pandemic hit many businesses hard, it essentially led to Street Chef Shaw, which is one big silver lining for us all.

“A lot of people I talked to, everyone’s like ‘You’re crazy for trying to start a business right now,’” Shaw said. “But we’re always gonna have to eat, right? So, I thought, hopefully, I can make good food.”

And he sure has. ■

18 MARCH 2024 / revuewm.com /// DINING + DRINKING
MIZIZI BY STREET CHEF SHAW 1539 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids streetchefshaw.online MIZIZI by Street Chef Shaw Soft Opening. PHOTOS COURTESY OF CARBON STORIES & ERIK LAUCHIÉ

EASTERN KILLE'S BIG MOVE

Amove years in the making, Eastern Kille Distillery has officially joined the Rockford community with an ample tasting room, brand new kitchen, enhanced production capabilities, and acres of outdoor space.

Initially opening in 2016 on Ottawa Avenue, amid the heavily industrial Monroe North neighborhood, Eastern Kille started out with a commitment to creating high-quality, small-batch, yet versatile and unpretentious spirits—with a craft cocktail experience to match. The Barrel-Finished Gin quickly became a favorite, and the years have given time to produce beautiful aged spirits like Michigan Straight Bourbon, Michigan Straight Rye, and Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon.

MOVING UP After a few years, they began to outgrow the building. And as much fun as they (and I) had with parking lot parties, the next goal was to create an intentional space, inside and out, that would act as a unique destination. Owners Brandon Voorhees and Steve Vander Pol sought out a spot with multiple acres, not too far from Grand Rapids, with a great community. Months of searching and walkthroughs finally landed them at 7755 Childsdale Ave. NE, just down the road from Third Nature Brewing Co.

Now, they have 16 acres, home to a gorgeous new building that makes great use of wood, natural light and the surrounding woods—including a short pathway that connects directly to the White Pine Trail. Voorhees said the intention was to “let nature do most of the talking,” and the new building’s beauty lies in its simplicity. As the weather warms up, there will be outdoor seating, live music, fire pits, games for all ages, and a variety of events to keep an eye on.

The new space also allows for enhanced production capabilities, such as a 1,000-gallon stripping still and a larger mash kettle. “Those two new pieces of equipment alone, we can increase production by three to four times without adding any extra shifts,” Voorhees said, adding that the greater capacity for barrels should allow for more creativity down the line.

IN THE KITCHEN Neither the former Ottawa location nor the current Wealthy location have had a kitchen, due to space and a desire to make sure Eastern Kille was nailing the spirits and cocktails. In adding food to the experience, they remained concerned about not lowering those standards.

Voorhees, Vander Pol and their general manager spent years leading up to the new location researching, checking out different equipment, visiting restaurant and pizza expos, and interviewing 20 great candidates for the head chef position. They landed on Stephen Kolavo, who’s worked in Chicago as well as Anemel in Benton Harbor, and he in-turn brought on an excellent kitchen crew.

The end result is a full-service staff that works excellently together and cares deeply about producing the quality Eastern Kille is known for. The menu itself is not too large, as they don’t want to overcomplicate things and lower standards. Instead, they focus on incredible pizzas that highlight top-tier ingredients.

“It’s not complicated, but it’s not simple, like bourbon, at the end of the day,” Voorhees said.

Just as bourbon is simply corn, water and yeast—but can produce a complex and beautiful final product with the right ingredients and techniques—pizza can do the same. For instance, the oven makes use of relatively new technology: a refractory stone conveyor. It allows for the speed, convenience and customization of a conveyor oven with the consistency and lovely charred crust of a stone deck or woodfired oven.

THE MENU It shouldn’t take you too long to navigate Eastern Kille’s menu, which features starters like marinated olives, focaccia and salad selections, plus 8 or so pizza selections, and a handful of desserts. Fan favorite pizzas so far include the Pepperoni, Honey & Thyme; the sausage, pepperoni, mushroom, onion and red chili (essentially a supreme pizza); and the classic Sausage & Onion, which I personally tried.

The kitchen makes their own sausage, then pickled red onions and diced white onion add a layer of zest and umami respectively, plus a bit of fennel herb for color and freshness. With Eastern Kille’s pizza, the toppings are really allowed their time in the sun, supported wonderfully by the thin, charred crust, and just the right amount of sauce and cheese. It’s the kind of pizza you make when you know you’re working with high-quality ingredients, from the dough to the sausage to the herbs. It’s not complicated, but it’s not simple.

THE LIQUIDS Two things Eastern Kille doesn’t see the need to change much are the spirits portfolio and cocktail program, which have developed a strong reputation over the past 8 years. At the Rockford location, expect to see the staples and fan favorites you’ve come to know and love, such as the Doctor’s Orders: barrelfinished gin, ginger, honey-sage, lemon, and lapsang. If you’re eager to branch out and try lots of new things, head to the Wealthy Street location, which is a smaller cocktail lounge with lots of creativity and experimentation.

However, you can expect to see new spirits coming out, such as the brand-new Cask Finished Series. These take a nearly 5-year-old bourbon base and finish it in five different unique European casks for 8 more months of aging, adding another level of flavors. The Vermouth and Cognac finished bourbons are out now, with Apricot Brandy, Tawny Port and Sherry on the way.

MORE THAN WELCOME Eastern Kille is up and running, and ready for you to come visit. It’s a short drive up the highway or East Beltline from Grand Rapids, and you’ll find yourself in a beautiful location with delicious pizza and award-winning drinks.

While you’re in the area, you can walk right down the road to Third Nature Brewing, and even take the White Pine Trail less than 1.5 miles up to Rockford Brewing—not to mention everything else the town has to offer. Bring your friends, bring your kids, and most of all, bring your appetite. ■

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Childsdale Ave. NE, Rockford easternkille.com
EASTERN KILLE DISTILLERY 7755
Eastern Kille. COURTESY PHOTOS

SYOU SMOKE WHAT YOU PAY FOR: Affordable vs. Premium Cannabis

TOP TERPENES

Myrcene

Aroma: herbal

hopping at a dispensary, you’ll quickly notice that there is dirt cheap cannabis, and there’s the premium stuff. Both have a time and place.

Without trying both, you might be wondering exactly what makes the top-shelf stuff worth the price—or on the flip side, why the affordable stuff is so darn affordable. We’re here to help!

But just to get it out of the way: Cheaper does not mean less safe. This is a highly regulated and tested industry at this point, and you should rest easy as long as you’re buying from a legit shop.

Many growers nowadays will even have a budget and a mid-tier or premium version of the exact same strain. It’s not a marketing scam though—cannabis plants are living, growing things which means they’re nearly impossible to get perfectly consistent. So the same exact strain, grown in the same room with the same inputs, can have enough variability to be different tiers. Rather than try to pass it all off as the same thing, growers will separate the product out under different brands.

Understanding the nuances between the two can empower consumers to make informed decisions aligned with their preferences and budgets, so we asked Pincanna’s COO Andrew Hall for his insight on what makes some cannabis more premium than others.

KEY FACTORS

When evaluating cannabis products, Hall says several factors come into play, with each holding varying degrees of importance for individual consumers:

Grow Environment: The conditions in which cannabis is cultivated greatly influence its overall quality and potency. Due to this, some growers have more expensive operations than others.

Flower Aesthetics: Factors such as trichome density, structure, trimming, and bag appeal contribute to the visual and tactile appeal of the cannabis flower.

Cultivar and Specific Phenotype: Different strains and phenotypes offer unique combinations of cannabinoids and terpenes, shaping the overall experience of the product.

Cannabinoid and Terpene Content: THC percentage, CBD percentage, and other micro-cannabinoids like CBN or THC-V, as well as the total terpene percentage and specific terpenes, all play crucial roles in determining the potency and effects of cannabis.

Smell, Taste, Burn: The aroma, flavor and combustion properties influence the sensory experience and overall enjoyment of consuming cannabis.

Overall Effect: The combination of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other factors determines the unique psychoactive and therapeutic effects of the strain.

QUALITY ASSESSMENT

Hall says premium cannabis typically ranks higher on the scale for these key factors, while mid-tier and budget options may fall short in one or more aspects. For instance, a strain may boast high THC content but lack terpenes and overall structure, categorizing it as mid-tier or budget. The cannabis industry has placed a lot of emphasis lately on the fact THC content should not be the primary factor in your shopping—terpenes are what actually matter! Similarly, a flower rich in terpenes but lacking in structure and “bag appeal” may have less consumer desirability. For instance, larger buds are often associated with premium products, versus a bunch of little nugs.

THE ROLE OF TERPENES

As consumers become more knowledgeable, terpenes are emerging as a pivotal consideration. Terpenes not only contribute to the aroma and flavor of cannabis but also modulate its effects. Hall says Pincanna terpene tests all of their flower, enabling them to highlight its content on packaging and start the conversation with consumers to allow it to play a larger role in their decision-making process.

While the world of terpenes may seem overwhelming, understanding their significance enhances the appreciation of cannabis effects. Pincanna encourages consumers to explore the dichotomy between fruity and fuel-based terpenes with its brand called Fruit & Fuel, which places terps at the forefront of the packaging, making it very easy to digest. Whether you prefer the uplifting aroma of fruity terpenes or the earthy notes of fuelbased ones, engaging in conversations about terpenes can lead to a more tailored and satisfying cannabis experience.

UP TO YOU

In the end, there is no right or wrong choice here. Cheaper weed is perfectly okay to smoke and enjoy, whether it’s for budget reasons or you simply don’t enjoy the often intense high of more premium weed. Quite a few people these days are saying they miss the “mids” of yore. Well, it’s still out there, and it’s more affordable than other! But if you’re a regular smoker ready to explore new heights, try out some premium cannabis when you can and see how it hits. We doubt you’ll regret it. ■

Found in:  sweet basil, lemongrass, thyme, parsley, mango and hops

Caryophyllene

Aroma: spicy

Found in:  cinnamon, clove, black pepper, rosemary, oregano, basil and hops

Pinene

Aroma: woody

Found in:  pine trees, parsley, rosemary, dill and sage

Ocimene

Aroma: floral

Found in:  pepper, mango, mint, oregano, basil, tarragon and lavender

Humulene

Aroma: earthy

Found in:  coriander, ginger, sage, clove, spearmint, and found in high concentrations in hops (humulus lupulus)

Terpinolene

Aroma: floral

Found in:  apples, pines, turmeric leaf, sage and cardamon, but it’s most abundant in parsnip

Linalool

Aroma: floral

Found in:  lavender, roses, basil, laurels and cinnamon

Limonene

Aroma: citrus

Found in:  the rinds of all citrus fruits

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MARCH 2024 21

Adult-use is “recreational” weed. Anyone over 21 can buy it! Medical means you have a card certifying you use cannabis to help with an issue like pain, epilepsy or anxiety. Both are purchased at provisioning centers, also known as dispensaries.

BOWL, BONG, JOINT

The most common ways to smoke flower. A bowl is a small glass pipe, a bong is a more complex bowl that runs the smoke through water so it hits nice and smooth, and a joint is essentially a weed cigarette.

CANNABINOIDS

The chemical compounds that make up cannabis. The most common is THC, the stuff that gets you high. Then there’s CBD, used for pain relief and anxiety, and CBN, which makes you sleepy. We won’t run through the other 100+ cannabinoids.

CONCENTRATES

This is the stuff that will send you to the moon — concentrated cannabis, a.k.a. dabs or wax. We love dabs, but before you accept one from a stranger at a party, you should do your research.

FLOWER/EDIBLE/TOPICAL/VAPE

The most common ways to consume cannabis. Flower is straight off the plant—the “nugs” you grind up and put in a bowl, bong or joint. Edibles are food infused with THC. Topicals are lotions or patches you put right on your skin. Vape pens have a cartridge with the stuff you smoke, and the battery that vaporizes it.

altogether, putting an emphasis on terpenes instead.

GREENOUT

If you’re not careful, you too will have that moment where you think your edible isn’t working so you take another, and an hour later you’re glued to the ground like a bug in a web. That’s a greenout.

HEMP

Long story short: Hemp is a different version of the same cannabis plant, with much higher concentrations of CBD and nearly zero THC.

KIEF

Some grinders have a kief trap, using a very fine filter to catch only the tiniest little bits of flower. You’re left with a super potent dust called kief, great for topping off bowls, or forgetting about until you’re out of weed and then smoking it all out of desperation.

TERPENE

These are aromatic compounds found in tons of plants, not just cannabis. Terpenes have a huge impact on the flavor profile and effects of a given strain. ■

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MARCH 2024 23

BUDTENDER Staff Picks

No one knows cannabis better than the people who grow and sell it. With so many options to choose from in terms of stores, growers and products, we decided to ask the experts what they recommend. If you need more recommendations after this, we recommend going into your local shop and talking to budtenders face to face—they’re nice!

Here are the top cannabis product picks from West Michigan budtenders and other experts.

FLURESH

Jayson Polverelli | I like the Truffle Stomper for its gassy and lemony vibes. Also, with it being a strong indica, it keeps me mellow in-da-couch.

Steve Spear | The Tropical Jelly Runtz from our Carbon line of flower is one of our most popular strains for a reason. Its fruity and funky terpene profile regularly tests above 2%, meaning it’s full of flavor and effect.

PINCANNA

Chris Hart | I LOVE our Sunshine #4 strain! Whether it be flower or concentrate, it’s always an amazing high. It is so easy for me to recommend to our guests because it is always a staple in my own stash!

Megan Thompson | SUPERBOOF! I could sing about this product ALL DAY—perfect hints of sweet Cherry that leave you elevated to take on any day. Pincanna hit their Superboof to perfection! By far my favorite product and I recommend it to every customer I can.

HOUSE OF DANK

Budtenders | Pressure Pack is our favorite brand because they always bring the heat with the new drops! From the actual buds you’re smoking, to the bag designs, it’s always fire!

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PURE OPTIONS

INDIGROW

Jeff Burke, Marketing Operations Manager | Hey folks, let me introduce you to something truly special: Pro Gro’s Live Resin Vape. It’s top-shelf Pro Gro flower, but in an insanely potent live resin form. Every hit elevates your brain with flavor, thanks to those unique terpenes and cannabinoids. Trust me, if you’re looking for a top-shelf vaping experience, this is it.

NOXX

Sam Chmielarczyk | Mooon Juice multipack of twenty 1g prerolls. The value for $50 is second to none. I’m a big fan of the Captain Krunch strain—it gives me a great body buzz and tastes just like cereal. I tend to smoke these at the end of the night to chillax, because it knocks me out.

Sophie Looney | My pick is the 12-pack of 1g prerolls from Louds: The Traverse City Cherries strain, a sativa-dominant hybrid.

Zach F., Sales Manager | My staff pick is our Kwazulu flower. I enjoy using Kwazulu before doing any big tasks around the house or if I’m going to be spending the day outdoors. Kwazulu just makes me want to get up and go, which is why it is my favorite product.

Brie B., Intern | The diamond-infused African Frost blunt quickly became my favorite due to its ability to deliver an energizing and euphoric sativa high. It is the perfect size to enjoy with friends, and has only enhanced my social experiences while using it. What truly sets it apart for me is the exceptional quality. Unlike many infused products, the Diamond Insured African Frost Blunt smokes evenly and slowly. Additionally, the glass tip allows for a smoother inhalation experience, resulting in a fuller and more enjoyable high.

LOVE SUPREME

Erik McGraw | My personal favorite product that we carry, clocking in at a cool 81.99% THC and being a heavily sativa dominant strain, our Snowman Live Rosin Cart is a real winner. The natural Limonene backbone gives it a citrusy and zesty flavor without being too acrid. This cart packs a euphoric and peppy punch without any of the anxietyinducing effects you sometimes find with such concentrated head highs.

Abby Jester | My favorite product is our Single Source Gummies, made with the sativa dominant strain, Hella Jelly. In the past, I have used more indica dominant gummies to help ease my anxious mind and get a good night of sleep. I was hesitant to try a fully sativa gummy, but these gummies help me focus and tap into my creativity. They are perfect to eat at the start of a productive day or at a social gathering with friends. ■

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COURTESY PHOTOS

CANNABIS PROVISIONING CENTERS

3FIFTEEN CANNABIS

3423 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids

2245 Columbia Ave. W, Battle Creek

1525 Michigan Ave. W, Battle Creek

AMSTERDAM PREMIUM CANNABIS

11280 E. Michigan Ave., Battle Creek amsterdambc.com

ASCEND CANNABIS

6010 B Dr. N, Battle Creek

2741 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids

503 Century Ave. SW, Grand Rapids

1336 Scribner Ave. NW, Grand Rapids letsascend.com

CANNA 43

33760 Co Rd 653, Gobles canna43.com

CANNAMAZOO

2233 N. Burdick St., Kalamazoo

CANNAVIBES EMPORIUM

1135 W. Dickman Rd., Battle Creek mycannavibes.com

CLOUD CANNABIS

2190 Whitehall Rd., Muskegon

521 E. Mosel Ave., Kalamazoo

206 N. Main St. NE, Cedar Springs cloudcannabis.com

DOJA

4203 E. Centre Ave., Portage dojanow.com

EXCLUSIVE CANNABIS

2350 29th St. SE, Grand Rapids 937 Foster Ave., Kalamazoo

4515 E. Apple Ave., Muskegon

2384 W. Main St., Lowell exclusivemi.com

FLURESH

1213 Phillips Ave. SW, Grand Rapids (616) 208-9934

fluresh.com

GAGE

48 Main St., Battle Creek 3075 Peregrine Dr. NE, Grand Rapids 3825 Stadium Dr., Kalamazoo 2712 Portage St., Kalamazoo gagecannabis.com

GREAT LAKES PROVISION CENTER

811 Maple St., Big Rapids

GREEN EDEN

7215 S. Westnedge Ave. Way, Portage

GREEN KOI

435 Bluestar Highway, Douglas (269) 206-3305

greenkoi.com

HERBANA

2705 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo

HIGH PROFILE

2321 44th St. SE, Grand Rapids

1148 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids

823 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo

4037 S. Westnedge Ave., Kalamazoo

1265 E. Laketon Ave., Muskegon highprofilecannabis.com

HIGHLY CANNACO

293 E. Columbia Ave., Battle Creek highlycannaco.com

HOUSE OF DANK

3150 E. Mall Dr. SE, Grand Rapids shophod.com

Dedicated to world-class cannabis products, House of Dank is committed to making a lasting impact in Michigan—featuring a wide selection of flower, vaporizers, concentrate, edibles, CBD and more. The talented in-house team has a vast knowledge of the medical and therapeutic benefits of cannabis and works to ensure every consumer is receiving the perfect product.

INDIGROW

639 W. Clay Ave., Muskegon indigrow.com

JARS GRAND RAPIDS

1815 Alpine Ave. NW, Grand Rapids (616) 805-9900

jarscannabis.com

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KAI CANNABIS

3737 Apple Ave., Muskegon getkai.com

LAKE EFFECT

5216 S. Westnedge Ave., Portage lakeeffected.com

LEVELS CANNABIS

1840 6th St., Muskegon 4500 W Kl Ave., Kalamazoo enjoylevels.com

LIV CANNABIS

3769 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids livcannabis.com

LOVE SUPREME CRAFT CANNABIS

1925 Century Ave. SW, Grand Rapids lovesupremecultivations.com

LUME

16 N. Main St. NE, Cedar Springs 4162 Eastern Ave. SE, Grand Rapids 3406 Stadium Dr., Kalamazoo

1425 W. Main St., Lowell lume.com

MEDS CAFÉ

1965 W. Main St., Lowell medscafe.com

MINT CANNABIS

730 East Cork St., Kalamazoo mintdeals.com

NATURE’S RELEAF

666 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids naturesreleaf.com

NEW STANDARD

1922 Park St., Muskegon 12261 Cleveland St., Nunica

6406 Blue Star Memorial Hwy, Saugatuck 1125 S Beacon Blvd., Grand Haven

29 E Lake St., Sand Lake anewstandard.com

NIRVANA CENTER

401 N. Sage St., Kalamazoo 1250 W. Main St., Lowell ccbydesign.com

NOBO

1401 E. Apple Ave., Muskegon nobogoods.com

NOXX

2440 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids 1234 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids noxx.com

NOXX is a friendly being from another galaxy and one of NOXX’s core values is inclusivity. At some point in time, we have all felt unfairly judged or excluded, and we feel that the cannabis industry is also being unfairly judged. The NOXX character embodies the company’s mission of acceptance of not only cannabis, but each other as well, judgment free.

OLSWELL CANNABIS CO.

1940 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids olswell.com

PHARMHOUSE WELLNESS

831 Wealthy St. SW, Grand Rapids pharmhousewellness.com

PINCANNA

123 E South St., Kalamazoo (855) 929-2266

pincanna.com

With a finger on the pulse of the cannabis industry, Pincanna’s vast selection of products are proudly handcrafted from award-winning, Michigan-grown cannabis, produced at their state-of-the-art facility. “We’re based here, we’re invested here, we’re growing here.”

PREMIER BOTANICS

1450 W. Main St., Lowell prembotanics.com

PURE OPTIONS

1965 Holton Rd., Muskegon pureoptions.com

A one-stop destination for quality, service and education, Pure Options is all about offering top-notch cannabis products at prices that don’t break the bank. They’re dedicated to giving consumers the tools to make confident cannabis choices. It’s about lighting the spark of education in order to unleash the power of informed decisions. Their easy-going, yet knowledgeable team specializes in helping customers navigate toward the best fit for them.

QUALITY ROOTS

1028 E. Michigan Ave., Battle Creek getqualityroots.com

RAIR

1871 Peck St., Muskegon 104 N. Drake Rd., Kalamazoo rairco.com

REDBUD ROOTS

237 W. Laketon Ave., Muskegon redbudroots.com

MARCH 2024 29

SKYMINT

2900 S. Division Ave., Grand Rapids

3630 Gull Rd., Kalamazoo

2345 E. Apple Ave., Muskegon 11999 Cleveland St., Nunica skymint.com

SOZO MUSKEGON

580 W. Hackley Ave., Muskegon sozolife.com

STICKY BATTLE CREEK

625 North Ave., Battle Creek stickybc.com

SYMPONIA FARMS

1140 Harmonia Rd., Battle Creek symponiafarms.com

THE GREEN DOOR CANNABIS

500 Linn St., Allegan 126 W Monroe St., Bangor thegreendoorcannabis.com

THE REEF MUSKEGON

525 W. Norton Ave., Muskegon Heights findthereef.com

THE REFINERY

3650 Alvan Rd., Kalamazoo refinemi.com

TRUE LEAF PROVISIONING CENTER

265 Crandall Pkwy, Lawrence trueleafdispo.com

WHITE FLOWER CANNABIS

39530 W. Red Arrow Hwy, Paw Paw whiteflowercannabis.com

CBD STORE OF MICHIGAN

37 E. Main St., Fremont cbdstoremi.com bluelakecbd.com

MADE BY HEMP CBD WELLNESS

904 Chicago Dr, Georgetown Twp madebyhemp.com

PREMIER HEMP CO.

500 W. Crosstown Pkwy, Kalamazoo premierhempcompany.com

SHAH SAFFRON CBD shahcbd.com

THE CBD STORE

401 Baldwin St., Jenison 1111 Washington Ave., Holland 280 N. River Ave., Holland thecbdstoremi.com

THE GRASSY KNOLL

2125 Lemuel St, Muskegon ohgrassyknoll.com

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CBD
CBD/HEMP
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CBD 101

CBD 101

Now that the cannabis market has taken off in Michigan, CBD may seem to have taken a backseat, but there are still people (and pets) who enjoy the benefits of cannabidiol every day.

There’s been some confusion around CBD ever since it took off in the 2010s, before the adult-use cannabis market was even established. This hot new product was available all over, from gas stations to Family Video for some reason, but was rarely reliable due to a lack of regulation.

It turns out, CBD products need to be crafted with care, good science, and standards—when you do that, you get results. Still, it seems like quite a few people don’t understand exactly what CBD is or what it can do for them, so let’s take a moment to explain with the help of Rod Glupker, owner of CBD Store of Michigan and Blue Lake CBD.

WHAT IS CBD?

Everything on Earth is made up of chemical compounds—H2O, CO2, C2H6O (this one is alcohol), etc.

CBD is just the short name for cannabidiol, a major compound (C21H30O2) found in cannabis plants. THC is another major compound, but they do very different things. While THC is what gets you high, CBD affects the body in different ways that we’ll discuss later. Another commonly used compound is CBN, which helps with sleep.

While you will always have some CBD in your cannabis/marijuana flower that you buy to smoke, it’s in much smaller amounts than hemp, the plant CBD products are typically crafted from—including at CBD Store of Michigan.

The best CBD products use organic hemp with no pesticides or heavy metals, extracted with CO2, which is the highest quality method, compared to alcohol/solvent extraction.

WHAT’S IT DO?

We’re not here to give you medical advice or make claims that CBD will diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. However, studies and anecdotal evidence have shown that CBD seems to ease symptoms like chronic pain, inflammation, anxiety and insomnia—along with larger issues like cancer and dementia.

Glupker himself has had his life changed by CBD, using it for his degenerative disc disease and seizures. With just CBD in the morning and CBD/CBN in the evening, nothing pharmaceutical or even over-the-counter, he’s managed to reduce his pain greatly and prevent the seizures entirely over the last 5 years.

The most common success stories with CBD are around managing chronic pain and anxiety, in both humans and pets! All mammals have the endocannabinoid system that helps receive cannabinoids like CBD and THC, including dogs, cats, horses, ferrets, bunnies and so on.

HOW DO I TAKE IT?

Just like with THC, there are tons of methods for getting your CBD. While the most common are tinctures (oils) taken orally, there are also gummy bears, CBD flower you can smoke, and all sorts of topicals like creams, roll-ons and even bath bombs.

“Tinctures are much faster acting than gummies,” Glupker said. “Putting drops under your tongue will absorb fastest into your saliva glands and then into your bloodstream, versus a gummy that has to go through your digestive system before it starts to release the CBD into your system. Gummies can usually contain sugar and other ingredients. Tinctures are usually just coconut oil, CBD and tasty flavoring.”

If you’re not sure how you want to get your CBD, there’s no harm in trial and error, but it also depends on factors like whether your symptoms are localized or all over. Topicals are great for specific areas, while consumables are best for full-body aches and pains. Plenty of people use both! Much like THC, there’s no danger of “overdosing” here, and not even a danger of getting too high and freaking out.

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WHERE DO I GET STARTED?

To avoid online misinformation, of which there is plenty, your best bet is to talk to the experts! CBD Store of Michigan will gladly help you whether it’s in the actual Fremont storefront or reaching out online, because this is very much not a one-size-fits-all product.

“There are a lot of factors that will decide how much someone should dose CBD,” Glupker advises. “The most common are the size of a person and the severity of symptoms. Most tinctures (CBD Oil) taken orally say to use a full dropper. However, most people do not need a full dropper. Many people can get away with half a dropper or even a quarter of a dropper. It may also depend on how much CBD is in the bottle—250 mg, 500 mg, 1000 mg, 2000 mg and more.

“The typical person needs about 25-50 mg per day. Many people also prefer to cut their daily dose in half with half in the morning and half in the evening. CBD will stay in your system about 16 hours before it starts to be less effective, so doing twice per day will keep it in your system 24 hours so you don’t wake up with symptoms.”

Glupker also recommends talking with your doctor when taking CBD so they are aware and can factor it into your treatment plan—even if it’s just to reduce another medication that CBD has essentially replaced (but absolutely do not go off any meds without talking to a medical professional). ■

CBD SPOTLIGHT

Here are just a few local products to check out so you can graduate from CBD 101 and become an expert.

SHAH SAFFRON - Oasis CBD & CBG Bath Bomb

Made with 175mg of hemp-derived CBD and 75mg of CBG, bringing your soak to a whole new level, leaving your skin hydrated and silky smooth.

LAKE NIGHT Tincture

Blue Lake CBD introduces NIGHT. 750mg of CBD and 250mg of CBN. You get the best of both worlds and a good night’s sleep, without feeling groggy in the morning. Flavored with Blackberry!

BUDDHA TEAS

Sold at CBD Store of Michigan, this tea has 5 mg of water-soluble CBD in each bag. Try different flavors like Peppermint, Chamomile or Turmeric & Ginger.

WYLD CBD Gummies

If you love Wyld’s THC gummies, of course you’ll love their CBD line as well, packed with real fruit and 25mg of broad-spectrum CBD per gummy. Available at Premier Hemp Company.

MADE BY HEMP Luxury Body Oil

This massage oil is hand-crafted with calming and rejuvenating herbal extracts for a premium full-body massage experience. The unique formulation is designed to soothe sore muscles, replenish nutrients in the skin, and relax the senses.

STRAVA CBD Coffee

Strava’s CBD Coffee is an amazing line of specialty CBD roasted coffees. They are infused with healthy Broad-Spectrum Organic Hemp Oil. The hemp oil provides a balance to the coffee’s natural caffeine and may alleviate the jitters. Sold at Grassy Knoll.

CBD STORE OF MICHIGAN

37 E. Main St., Fremont cbdstoremi.com

bluelakecbd.com

CBD Store of Michigan is in Fremont Michigan with more than 60 brands of CBD, as well as hemp clothing, jewelry, bags, hats, washcloths, towels, hacky sacks and more. Hemp does not require pesticides, does not deplete the soil, takes CO2 out of the air, has fibers that are 10x stronger than cotton, and produces more fibers with less space. Hemp can be used for textiles, construction, oil, fuel, foods and medicine. CBD Store of Michigan even has a hemp wood putter on display in the shop. The website offers free shipping on all orders over $25.

Blue Lake CBD is their proprietary brand, grown and manufactured in Michigan, doctor formulated, using organic farming practices. It’s processed by CO2 extract, rather than alcohol, making it a much cleaner product without any alcohol taste.

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/// CBD SPOTLIGHT
MARCH 2024 33

RISING TIDES:

Catching Up with Avenue for the Arts

If Grand Rapids has a reputation for celebrating art, a significant amount of credit for that reputation belongs to Avenue for the Arts. The organization, which began as an offshoot of the nonprofit Dwelling Place, has contributed to the transformation of downtown’s Heartside District and, under the recent leadership of Zachary Treballas, has begun to expand beyond, into the wider community; residents unaware of the organization may nevertheless have benefitted from it, including through large, striking murals.

It’s a grassroots organization, one run entirely by volunteers and committed to the idea that local artists deserve support, celebration, and an affordable place to create. In a time when housing has only grown less affordable, the organization provides 36 apartments with natural light, hardwood floor, and high ceilings; rent starts at $577 (the average rent for a one-bedroom in Grand Rapids is $1450). Those apartments are home to 55 creators, among them sculptors, painters, printmakers, and musicians.

Treballas began volunteering with the organization in 2015, shortly after having moved to Grand Rapids. It was more than a hobby; it became a mission. When Avenue transitioned to a volunteer-only organization, in 2018, he took over leadership, confident that the group would continue to have an important role as a facilitator and enabler of local creators. It did and does, and it does so in a variety of ways.

Each third Thursday of the month, dozens of downtown venues host special one-day events, showcases, and sales. Venues include restaurants, small businesses, and cultural venues such as the Grand Rapids Art Museum. All are located along the free DASH shuttle line, providing convenience and accessibility for would-be patrons.

The event Treballas may be proudest of is Break It Down, Make It Better, West Michigan’s only conference devoted to helping local artists develop professionally. “Nothing is sadder than when a creative person is processing mortgages for a bank,” Trebellas said, laughing. The conference helps artists find a different way.

This year’s conference, the 11th, takes place on March 22 at Kendall College, and will feature more than 20 workshops, roundtables, panel discussions, and presentations. Last year’s conference included sessions on public art, running an alternative art space, the future of the UICA; crowning it was a performance by Dance Annex. Like any good conference, attendees got as much value in the connections they made. By facilitating the conference, Avenue for the Arts helped artists discover how to help each other and themselves.

The organization’s website hosts episodes of a podcast, also titled Break It Down, Make It Better. It maintains a clear and comprehensive database of resources for local artists, including links to sites where artists can purchase supplies, learn of galleries showcasing and selling art, and more. Not least

34 MARCH 2024 / revuewm.com REVUEWM.COM/ARTS
Avenue for the Arts. MAIN IMAGE COURTESY OF AVENUE FOR THE ARTS / OTHERS COURTESY OF JOSHUE BACHAND/DELIGHTMORE PHOTOGRAPHY
/arts

of the website’s offerings is its Local Artist Network. Local drag queens, curators, visual artists, and more have individual links; click, for instance, Holly Bechiri’s, and you’ll be taken to a brief description of her work, along with an example and links to where you can learn more.

You don’t devote nine years to an organization, especially an organization that has since become all-volunteer, unless you see real value in it. Treballas has seen,

and contributed to, the value Avenue of the Arts offers: the real, practical value it offers to the creators living among us, helping make the city a more beautiful, and more interesting, place to live. ■

AVENUE FOR THE ARTS avenueforthearts.co instagram.com/avenueforthearts

MARCH 2024 35

SPIES, INTRIGUE, SLAPSTICK:

39 Steps at Kalamazoo Civic

Alate film critic once said of the even later director Alfred Hitchcock’s work that, in it, “nothing is ever taken quite seriously.” That’s certainly true. You might remember the episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents entitled “Lamb To The Slaughter,” in which the titular meat, having been used as a murder weapon, is cooked and served to some clueless cops. That’s awful, yes, but it’s also funny.

The play 39 Steps , based heavily on Hitchcock’s 1935 film The 39 Steps (itself somewhat loosely based on a 1915 novel of the same name), dials down the director’s customary suspense and cranks up the humor. The result is a play crammed with humor, much of it slapstick; it

can be seen at Kalamazoo’s Civic Theatre, March 8-17.

Initially, director Kevin Dodd said he found the play “really ridiculous, really far out. Then I saw the movie.” The humor was there, too, intentionally (and sometimes not). Lines he’d found beyond absurd in the play turned out to have been lifted word from word from the film. “Seeing the way the play transformed the movie made it hilarious to me on a different level.”

He describes the play as an homage more than a spoof, although it’s that, too; he sees in it a real reverence for Hitchock’s work, and an embrace of the humor that’s never far from the surface (in the movie, that is; in the play, it’s all over the surface). “It’s an experiment, of sorts,”

Dodd said. “What if you took the movie and pushed everything further? Look at the opening scene. It takes place in a music hall in London. How far is that from vaudeville?”

The original plot was already bonkers: a man named Richard Hannay saves the life of what he thinks is a nanny, only to discover that there’s no baby in her pram. He finds himself intrigued. Together, they take in a show by Mr. Memory, a man capable of astonishing feats of memory. Soon, the woman reveals herself to be a British Intelligence worker; a spy, in other words. She’s on the tail of a group called The Thirty-Nine Steps, which is led by a man missing a finger… intrigue piles upon intrigue, danger upon danger, dizzyingly.

The play tells that story, more or less. The story isn’t incidental: there’s a nostalgic quality to Hitchcock and to the early 20th century itself, a world that’s long since passed over the horizon. But more than anything, the humor is the play’s reason for being.

Hitchcock fans will be catered to, with nods to everything from the shower scene in Psycho to the scene from North by Northwest in which Cary Grant runs from a plane. But Dodd said that a familiarity with Hitchcock’s work isn’t necessary. “If you don’t know anything about Hitchcock, you’ll have a good time,” he said. “If you do, you’ll have a good time, too.”

Lovers of theater are quick to point out the power of the art form, from its ability to dramatize

the struggles of the human heart to the important themes it artfully, or at least tendentiously, tackles. But most of us go to the theater because we want to enjoy ourselves. 39 Steps allows us to do that, whether we’re four or 90.

“There’s an electricity that happens with a live performance,” Dodd said. “It’s interactive. There’s an exchange that happens. That’s what we’re here for.” Having felt the loss of that exchange during the pandemic, he’s thrilled to be working, along with others, to help bring it back. ■

THE 39 STEPS

Kalamazoo Civic Theatre March 8-17

kazoocivic.com

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/// REVUE ARTS
39 Steps. PHOTOS BY DEBORAH MITCHELL
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MARCH 2024 37

MARCH ARTSCalendar

| by Revue Staff

AVENUE FOR THE ARTS avenueforthearts.org

3RD THURSDAYS, Mar. 21

BREAK IT DOWN, MAKE IT BETTER, Mar. 22

BROADWAY GRAND RAPIDS

122 Lyon St. NW, Grand Rapids broadwaygrandrapids.com

LES MISERABLES,  Mar. 5-10

CENTRAL PARK PLAYERS

421 Columbus Ave., Grand Haven centralparkplayers.org

HALF BAKED, Mar. 8-17

DEOS CONTEMPORARY BALLET

1595 Galbraith Ave. SE, Grand Rapids deosballet.com

EMBER SERIES, Mar. 16-17

FARMERS ALLEY

THEATRE KALAMAZOO

221 Farmers Alley, Kalamazoo farmersalleytheatre.com

SKELETON CREW, Mar. 7-17

FONTANA CHAMBER ARTS

359 Kalamazoo Mall Ste. 200, Kalamazoo fontanamusic.org

CYRILLE AIMÉE, Mar. 15

FOREST HILLS

FINE ARTS CENTER

600 Forest Hill Ave. SE, Grand Rapids fhfineartscenter.com

MAYFIELD FIBER ARTISTS, Feb. 14-Mar. 14

FRAUENTHAL CENTER

425 W. Western Ave., Muskegon frauenthal.org

VITAMIN STRING QUARTET,  Mar. 8

GILMORE THEATRE/ WMU THEATRE

1903 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo  wmich.edu/theatre

ARGONAUTIKA, Mar. 15-24

GRAND RAPIDS ART MUSEUM

101 Monroe Center, Grand Rapids artmuseumgr.org

THIS DECISIVE MOMENT: SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY FROM GRAM’S COLLECTION, Through Mar. 10

UNCHARTED WAYS THROUGH: MAPS, LAND, AND THE IMAGE, Through Apr. 7

SKY HOPINKA: MNEMONICS OF SHAPE AND REASON, Through Apr. 28

BORDER CANTOS, Through Apr. 28

BRICK BY BRICK: THE CREATIVE ART OF LEGO, Through May 19

GRAND RAPIDS BALLET

341 Ellsworth Ave. SW, Grand Rapids  grballet.com

JUMPSTART 2024, Mar. 22-24

GRAND RAPIDS CIVIC THEATRE

30 N. Division Ave., Grand Rapids grct.org

DISNEY’S DESCENDANTS, Mar. 1-17

GRAND RAPIDS SYMPHONY

300 Ottawa Ave. NW Ste. 100, Grand Rapids grsymphony.org

PROKOFIEV SYMPHONY NO. 7, Mar. 1-2

CELTIC LANDSCAPES WITH EILEEN IVERS, Mar. 15-16

BEETHOVEN’S EROICA SYMPHONY, Mar. 22-23

A NIGHT OF SYMPHONIC BOY BANDS, Mar. 29

HOLLAND SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

96 W. 15th St. Ste. 201, Holland  hollandsymphony.org

SURPRISE SYMPHONY,  Mar. 9

HOPE COLLEGE GREAT PERFORMANCE SERIES

100 E. Eighth St., Holland hope.gps

THE OTHER MOZART,  Mar. 22

JEWISH THEATRE

GRAND RAPIDS

2727 Michigan NE, Grand Rapids  jtgr.org

THE HATMAKER’S WIFE,  Feb. 29-Mar. 10

KALAMAZOO CIVIC THEATRE

329 S. Park St., Kalamazoo kazoocivic.com

THE 39 STEPS, Mar. 8-17

KALAMAZOO INSTITUTE OF ARTS

314 South Park St., Kalamazoo kiarts.org

AMERICAN REALISM: VISIONS OF AMERICA, 1900-1950, Through Apr. 14

KYUNGMI SHIN: A STORY TO FINDING US, Through May 12

YOUNG ARTISTS OF KALAMAZOO COUNTY, Feb. 10-Mar. 17

KALAMAZOO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

359 Kalamazoo Mall Ste. 100, Kalamazoo kalamazoosymphony.com

MAGICAL MELODIES,  Mar. 5

MUSIC, SHE WROTE,  Mar. 10

JOURNEYS: SHOSTAKOVICH, RAVEL & MARSALIS,  Mar. 23

KENDALL COLLEGE OF ART & DESIGN

17 Fountain St. NW, Grand Rapids kcad.ferris.edu

MASTER’S THESIS EXHIBITION: AARON MARKER, Through Mar. 12

MASTER’S THESIS EXHIBITION: ANNA MITCHELL, Mar. 19–Apr. 2

LOWELLARTS

223 W. Main St., Lowell lowellartsmi.org

38TH ANNUAL LOWELLARTS WEST MICHIGAN ART COMPETITION, Mar. 23-Apr. 27

MILLER AUDITORIUM

2200 Auditorium Dr, Kalamazoo millerauditorium.com

MY FAIR LADY, Mar. 10

DRUM TAO, Mar. 17

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, Mar. 26-27

MUSKEGON MUSEUM OF ART

296 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon muskegonartmuseum.org

POSTCARD SALON 2024, Through Mar. 14

TIFFANY LAMPS: THE RICHARD H. DRIEHAUS COLLECTION, Through Mar. 17

OLIVER JEFFERS: 15 YEARS OF PICTURING BOOKS, Mar. 14-May 26

EXPRESSIONS, Mar. 28-May 19

JOHN STEUART CURRY: WEATHERING THE STORM, Through Sept. 2

OPERA GRAND RAPIDS

1320 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids  operagr.org

VANDERLAAN PRIZE

FINAL ROUND CONCERT,  Mar. 23

SAUGATUCK CENTER FOR THE ARTS

400 Culver St., Saugatuck sc4a.org

OF PLANTS AND PLACE, Ongoing

FORESHADOWING, Ongoing

MR. SOCIETY OF 23, Through May 17

RE-WILD, Through May 10

ST. CECILIA MUSIC CENTER  24 Ransom Ave. NE, Grand Rapids  scmc-online.org

INSTRUMENTAL ARRAY,  Mar. 7

SAMARA JOY,  Mar. 26

STULBERG INTERNATIONAL STRING COMPETITION

359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo stulberg.org

DONGYOUNG JAKE SHIM W/ BALTIMORE CHAMBER ORCHESTRA,  Mar. 24

WEST MICHIGAN SYMPHONY

360 W. Western Ave. Ste. 200, Muskegon  westmichigansymphony.org

ST. PATRICK’S DAY CELEBRATION WITH CHERISH THE LADIES,  Mar. 15

VOX GR voxgr.com

MID-WINTER SONGS, Mar. 16

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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. /arts
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