Wednesday • 12
Allan Barnes and Tim Caldwell: Tainted Cheesecake
Back in the 1940s, cheesecake posters of Betty Grable stoked the fantasies of young men. But things have changed — oh, have they ever! From the kinky minds of artists Allan Barnes and Tim Caldwell, Tainted Cheesecake is a photo exhibit that takes the cheesecake aesthetic and gives it a little twist. A nipple twist, that is. This installation is up for one night only at the Motor City Brewing Works, 470 W. Canfield, Detroit; 313-832-2700.
Wednesday • 12
Righteous Propagation: African Americans and the Politics of Racial Destiny After Reconstruction
Michelle Mitchell, professor of history and Afro-American and African Studies at the University of Michigan, has written a book that discusses often-ignored aspects of post-Reconstruction America: gender roles and sexuality. In her latest book, Righteous Propagation: African Americans and the Politics of Racial Destiny After Reconstruction, Mitchell examines the ideas of reformers such as W.E.B. DuBois and Mary Church Terrell, and reinterprets black protest and politics as a means to reshape the way Americans think about black sexuality and progress. Author reception at 4 p.m. at Shaman Drum Bookshop, 311 S. State St., Ann Arbor; 734-662-7407.
Wednesday • 12
Montreal protest singer Osama “Sam” Shalabi has taken on topics, such as arabophobia in the post-9/11 world, with his music. This week, he maintains his provocative stance with a “kind of concerto” for the oud, a Middle Eastern stringed instrument, accompanied by pre-recorded material. The work uses narratives, text and various musical layers to shine a spotlight on an imaginary Arab and Jewish dystopia. For mature audiences only. At the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre, 911 N. University, Ann Arbor; 734-764-2538.
Thursday • 13
It’s the season’s opening No. 2 for the Detroit Repertory Theatre: Intimate Apparel, a play about the hardships of African-American women at the turn of the 20th century. Esther, a 35-year-old woman with a gift for sewing exquisite lingerie, has carved out a rare life of independence with her craft. But when she risks her autonomy to wed a Caribbean stranger she only knows through a romantic exchange of letters, complications arise. This play won the 2004 Outer Critics Awards for Best Off-Broadway Play. At 13103 Woodrow Wilson, Detroit; 313-868-1347. Runs Thursday through Sunday until March 20.
Saturday • 15
Art of the Written Word in the Middle East
Under the official guidance of the Islamic religious community and court in the eighth century, Arabic calligraphy was transformed from basic penmanship into an elegant artform called the Kufic script. The script — so ornate that it’s difficult to read even for those fluent in Arabic — became a way to venerate the word of God. Witness some of the Middle East’s most rare and beautiful pieces of penscript at the University of Michigan Museum of Art’s exhibit Art of the Written Word in the Middle East. At 525 S. State St., Ann Arbor; 734-764-0395. Exhibit ends June 5.
Sunday • 16
Chamber Music at the Scarab Club presents Hungarian Fantasy, a rare musical presentation featuring traditional music from Hungary. The concert will commence with the Hungarian zither ensemble Szikra and will include several songs by Hungarian composers Zoltán Kodály and Erno Dohnányi. A reception will follow the performance. At 4 p.m. at the Grosse Pointe Unitarian Church, 17150 Maumee Ave., Grosse Pointe; 248-647-0289.
Sunday • 16
Hardcore Against Fur
OK, so it’s slightly ironic that a bunch of hardcore punk bands have joined together with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) for the “Hardcore Against Fur” tour. It just goes to show that you should never make assumptions about a crowd known for leather jackets. “This tour is about music, friendship and educating people about the horrific conditions that animals are forced to endure,” says Chris McLane, lead singer of headlining band Stretch Arm Strong. Slam dancers, not animals, at Alvin’s, 5756 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-831-4577 with H2O and With Honor.
FUN FOR ALL
It seems that we’re always looking for new and unusual ways to burn some calories (Have you heard about latest rage — pole dancing, for exercise?), and the Community House in Birmingham just might offer the change of pace that’ll pique your interest. Beginning Jan. 14, the uptown recreation center will offer fencing classes for all skill levels. Fencing is a European martial sport that develops balance, coordination and leg strength while pushing the mind to analyze situations and develop a course of action. At the Community House, 380 S. Bates St., Birmingham; 248-644-5832. Nine sessions for $126.
Mixed-media artist Lester Johnson and photographer Ronald Neff’s most notable collaboration was a greeting card that they made for the International Conference of African Influences in the Visual Arts of the Americas. The card, like their other collaborations, merged a variety of photographic, Australian aboriginal and African papermaking techniques to create color and energy. The Collaboration exhibit runs until Jan. 31 at the Macomb Center, 44575 Garfield Rd., Clinton Twp.; 586-286-2141.
The Damnation Game
It seems appropriate that a joint called the Improv Inferno hosts an event called “The Damnation Game.” Every Friday and Saturday, the Inferno’s improv troupe plays a variety of hilarious interactive games with audience members, who, by the way, have an opportunity to win prizes, including a “mealtime supply of Rice-a-Roni.” One part Whose Line is it Anyway? and one part celebrity roast, “The Damnation Game” is a great way to have a hell of a good time. Dante think you should go? (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) At 309 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-214-7080.Send comments to email@example.com