15 THU • MUSIC Mary J. Blige — Since she busted into this scene with 1992’s What’s the 411?, awe-inspiring soul singer, Mary J. Blige has been on the proverbial roll. Hell, with the stacks of multi-platinum records in her wake (such as Not Gon’ Cry and the coming-of-age No More Drama) this Bronx girl has continued to raise the bar for the other divas. Whitney who? Blige belts it out at the Fox Theatre (2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit) with Glenn Lewis and Musiq. Call 313-983-6611 for further information.
16 FRI • ART & MUSIC Toby Upton and Frank Pahl — They say that artist Toby Upton’s impetus to make bugs came when a glass bead he was crafting accidentally took the shape of a grub. Fascinated by the fact that a bug could look beautiful as glass, Upton has been buggy ever since. Experimental musician and artist Frank Pahl sees beauty in the unusual too; in keeping with this month’s nature theme, the Biddle Gallery offers the Pahl installation “Ode to Mesmer.” (Franz Mesmer was the psychiatrist who first proposed the idea of “animal magnetism,” the original mesmerizer.) At the Biddle Gallery (2840 Biddle Ave., Wyandotte). Call 734-281-4779 or visit www.biddlegallery.com for more information. (Upton will be offering free glass-working demonstrations from 6 to 9 p.m.)
16 FRI • FUN FOR ALL Ernie Harwell — For years, Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell has been donating his books, program guides and photos to the Detroit Public Library. It seems only fitting then to launch the release of his new book, Harwell: Life After Baseball, there. View memorabilia and meet the man behind the microphone for an evening of fun and nostalgia. This event includes a baseball-style dinner (we are thinking hot dogs, etc.), at the Detroit Public Library’s Main Branch (5201 Woodward Ave., Detroit). Call 313-833-4042 for more information; $20 per person.
16 FRI • THEATER Welcome to the Moon and Other Plays — John Patrick Shanley, author of the Academy Award-winning, Moonstruck and such plays as Danny and the Deep Blue Sea and Savage in Limbo, has made his way to Hamtramck. Well … his works have anyway. See his collection of six short plays entitled Welcome to the Moon and Other Plays at the Planet Ant Theatre (2357 Caniff, Hamtramck). Call 313-365-4948 ext.1 for ticket information. Runs through May 9.
16 FRI • MUSIC Madeline Eastman — How far can she go in reinterpreting a standard? Well, her version of Harold Arlen’s “Get Happy” is anything but, dwelling on troubling blues rather than the hoped-for escape. That’s just one highlight or her new release, The Speed of Life, her fifth on her own Mad-Kat label. And that’s the kind of daring move that’s marked the San Francisco chanteuse as one to watch. Her area debut is at the Firefly Club (207 S. Ashley, Ann Arbor); call 734-665-9090.
17 SAT • COMEDY Richard Jeni — Most recently, he’s been seen adding his two cents to "Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn" on Comedy Central, but you may remember him from his "single guy in the ‘90s schtick" in the stand-up special Richard Jeni: Platypus Man. As Jeni puts it: "A platypus is a comical metaphor for anyone who — like the part-duck, part-beaver, part-fish mammal — is completely confused." Self-effacing humor at its best at Dearborn’s Ford Community & Performing Arts Center (15801 Michigan Ave, Dearborn), call 313-943-2350 for ticket information.
17 SAT • DANCE Afro-Cuban Dance Party — Offering live dance music and an open dance floor, the University Musical Society brings Orchestra Baobab, the ultimate party band, to Ypsilanti. Known to many as “the best band in Senegal,” the Afro-Cuban offerings from this ninesome are a heat-infused way to celebrate the seasonal changes! At the EMU Convocation Center (799 N Hewitt St., Ypsilanti). Call 734-764-2538 for ticket information.
19 MON • MUSIC Wolfbait — They claim to have come down from Mount Hell and insist that their fathers are Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Alice Cooper and Slayer. OK … so maybe they are three-quarters of everybody’s favorite punk rock/cow-polk outfit — Bill Parker and his Motherscratchers — but, folks, the outfits alone are worth the paltry cover charge. See death metal at its Dee-troit finest at the Lager House (1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit) with Supagroup. Call 313-961-4668 for further lowdown.