27 WED • FUN FOR ALL Mars Viewing Events — Few things are more breathtaking than the Michigan sky at night. And mother universe will be putting on an extra show this month. On Aug. 27, Mars will come within 34,649,589 miles of Earth and will be the brightest object (except for the moon) in the night sky. It should be quite spectacular. Don’t hold off — the next time Mars will be this close to Earth will be in 2287. Special viewings will take place at the Cranbrook Institute of Science (39221 Woodward, Bloomfield Hills). Call 248-645-3200 for more information. Last day for gazing at the Cranbrook Institute of Science is Saturday, Aug. 30.
27 WED • ART “The Art of Labor” — Political activist Cesar Chavez once said, “When any person suffers for someone in greater need, that person is a human,” and nowhere is this sentiment truer than in the realm of labor. For years, the plight of the working person has been parlayed into paintings, photography and other art forms, and the primal and jarring outcome is something to behold. This show focuses on the blood, sweat and tears of the callus-handed. At the Creative Arts Center (47 Williams St., Pontiac). Call 248-333-7849 for more information. Runs through Sept. 27.
27-1 WED-MON • FUN FOR ALL Michigan State Fair — Ahh, there’s nothing like the smell of manure in the heart of an urban setting. Seriously. Need some respite from the sprawl and city? Then check out the Michigan State Fair: Attractions include the Miracle of Life exhibit, the DNR/HCMA’s “Outdoor Zone” (where kids can learn to fish), daily parades, horse shows, agricultural displays, arts and crafts, racing pigs, carnival rides, games and free concerts. Hey, this year’s musical headliner is “Diamond” David Lee Roth (Sunday, Aug. 31). Check it out at the Michigan State Fairgrounds (Woodward and Eight Mile Road, Detroit). Call 313-369-8250 for more information. Fair ends on Monday, Sept. 1.
29 FRI • FUN FOR ALL Detroit’s Disco Ball Reunion — Do you remember the sweaty nights spent in Detroit clubs such as Cheeks, the Lady, Jay Bee’s on the Park Ave. and Detroit Studio 54? Were you part of an era that thought roller skates on dance floors was a good idea? Then get thee to the Detroit Disco Ball Reunion. Catch up with old dancing partners and rehash the wild times. All old clubbers are welcome. At the Roostertail (100 Marquette Drive, Detroit). Call 313-822-1234 for more information.
29-30 FRI-SAT • MUSIC Karrin Allyson — The qualities that make a great jazz singer — inimitable phrasing, depth of feeling and unmistakable sound — come together in one person too rarely. And though there’s always an argument about the who’s who of greatness, more and more listeners are falling in love with the voice and musicianship of Karrin Allyson. On her 2001 CD, Ballads: Remembering John Coltrane, she set her sights on the near impossible — reinterpreting Coltrane’s instrumental treatments of song classics by emoting the lyrics in the spirit of Trane’s set — and came up a winner. Ballads became the jazz vocal album of the year and had unsuspecting hearts melting on many a sleeve. If you can’t remember the last time you demanded “All or Nothing at All” or the last time you didn’t want a tune to end, then you owe it to your soul to hear Allyson at the Firefly Club (207 S. Ashley, Ann Arbor) this weekend. Call 734-665-9090 for more information.
2TUE • THEATRE Kiss Me Kate — This Tony Award-winning musical is sentimental and funny … it is also largely considered the musical high ground of Cole Porter’s illustrious career. What with songs such as “So In Love” and “Why Can’t You Behave?” Kiss Me Kate has become a bona fide classic: When the egomaniacal actor Fred Graham is cast opposite his ex-wife Lilli Vanessi in a theater production of Taming of the Shrew, it becomes evident that they still have feelings for each other. Mistaken identity, quirky fun and true love — it’s all there! At the Fisher Theatre (3011 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit). Call 313-872-1000 for ticket information. Runs through Sept. 21.