Performed to lyrics by the Greek homoerotic poet Sappho, arias by Handel and an original song by University of Michigan composer Evan Chambers, PSDC/Solos is a collection of solo dance performances by the Peter Sparling Dance Company. In the tradition of many modern dance greats, Sparling and his eight dancers will demonstrate how the human body can create vivid portrayals of the human condition. Chambers' work, the jubilant "The End of Shame," is a portrait of a gay man struggling in a world that both celebrates and condemns him. Performance Network, 120 E. Huron St., Ann Arbor; 734-663-0681.
Detroit Pub and Restaurant Tour
FUN FOR ALL
Stewart McMillin is the first to admit he's a sucker for adventure. And even though the dedicated traveler (he has a travel museum in his home) loves to show off the many artifacts and souvenirs from the 130 countries he's visited, McMillin's hometown passion for Detroit has translated into a compendious knowledge of the city. Join him for the Detroit Pub Crawl and Restaurant Tour stops include the Stoney Creek Brewing Company, the Town Pump, the Elwood Bar & Grill, Honest?John's, and many other longtime faves and current hotspots. Dinner will be at the Traffic Jam & Snug. Those still standing are invited to an after-party at McMillin's home. Tour participants meet at the McMillin household, 2136 Seminole, Detroit; 313-922-1990. Tickets are $15; call reservations.
Planet Ant Film and Video Festival
The Planet Ant Theatre in Hamtramck takes time out from the theater biz this week for its second annual film and video festival. Organized by Planet Ant actor and assistant artistic director Nate DuFort, the festival features movies from around the world. In addition to the traditional filmic fare, this year's festival will include experimental films, music videos and animation, and a variety of interactive events: The Quasar Wut-Aut vs. Buster Keaton (electronic musical accompaniment to the famous Keaton flick, The General) is especially intriguing. Thursday June 16 through Saturday, June 18, at the Planet Ant Theatre, 2357 Caniff, Hamtramck; 313-365-4948. And Sunday, June 19 at the Majestic Theatre, 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700.
This is the perfect daughter-dad concert for Father's Day weekend. Friday night, award-winning Manhattan School of Music grad Jannina Barefield performs from the classical repertoire along with pianist Michelle Cooker. On Saturday, her dad, Spencer Barefield, convenes a special lineup of his quartet featuring the esteemed bassist Richard Davis, now 75, whose résumé includes work with greats ranging from Stravinsky to Dolphy to Springsteen. The concerts at the family digs in Palmer Woods are to raise scholarship money for Jannina's further studies. Call 313-891-2514 for reservations. And in another Father's Day special, drummer Leonard King presents his organ trio Oopapada and a reunion of the Lyman Woodard Trio, featuring himself and guitarist Ron English. Bert's Marketplace, 2627 Russell St., Detroit; 313-567-2030.
Comets on Fire
You don't think outer space is an intense place? Northern California stun-guitar freaks, Comets on Fire, beg to differ. They rip through the static darkness with a ferocious attack that features loopy pedal effects and feedback, horn blurts and vocals fed through an old echo machine. When the music is fully charged, it moves like a sludgy raga, disorienting your head and pushing your body around at the same time. The band's 2002 LP, Field Recordings from the Sun, is hot, loud and beautiful; last year's Blue Cathedral burns even brighter, but also has quieter moments of ambient bliss. It's been a long time since any band has been favorably compared to Iron Butterfly (check 1968's 17-minute "In-a-Gadda-da-Vida"). See if Comets on Fire are worthy of being included in such heavyweight hippie company when they blaze into town this weekend. With Growing and Detroit noise crazies Little Claw, at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700.
Father's Day Breakfast
There are some things the average father doesn't get reminded of very often he's doing an excellent job, his good deeds haven't gone unnoticed, his spawn think he's the greatest guy on earth. And even though good fathering doesn't always get the kudos it merits, the Learning Institute of Family Education (LIFE) insists that it's one of the most important jobs on earth. Saturday, LIFE replaces words with action by hosting a very special Father's Day breakfast. Complete with a "Best Dad Ever" essay contest, a men's panel discussion, a scholarship awards ceremony (essay contest winners will get savings bond scholarship awards) as well as special musical guests, this is a great way to show your pop that you love him. At the Redford United Methodist Church, 22400 Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313-342-0006.
11th Annual Clay & Glass Taste of Royal Oak Festival
If you thought downtown Royal Oak was nothing more than bars on top of coffeehouses on top of bars, you'll be glad to know that the would-be cosmo hotspot is bringing a little culture to its streets. For the 11th year in a row, downtown R.O. will teem with people enjoying much art, music and food for the annual Clay & Glass Taste of Royal Oak. More than 130 artists from across the country will take part in the clay and glass sales, 10 restaurants will supply the grub, and live music will be provided by acts including jazz lady Sheila Landis, Brazil & Beyond and local funk-soul hotshots Black Bottom Collective. Washington Avenue at Fifth Street in downtown Royal Oak; 248-547-4000 or virtualroyaloak.com.
Closing the Gap Awards
The New Detroit coalition gives out three awards this week. The Closing the Gap Awards which recognizes those whose actions have made a positive difference in improving race relations in the metro area will honor Ed Deeb, founder of the Michigan Food & Beverage Association; Bank One/JPMorgan Chase, for the public apology it issued in January to employees, the African-American community and the nation at large for its historic connections to slavery; and the Race Relations Task Group of the Community House, Birmingham-Bloomfield area. Celebrate community at the Detroit Opera House, 1526 Broadway, Detroit. Call New Detroit for more information, 313-664-2006.
Dee Ann Segula: Party-Fauna
Artist Dee Ann Segula has worked in metalsmithing, calligraphy, oil painting, drawing and mixed media for 25 years, but what sets her apart from the throngs of aspiring artists is that she's managed to make a living at it. Best known for her elegantly carved surfaces, Segula recently added encaustic the ancient technique of painting with melted beeswax and pigment to her repertoire. See her newest works at the Washington Street Gallery, 120 E. Liberty, Ann Arbor; 734-761-2287. Opening reception, 7-9 p.m., June 24. Ends July 30.