Arts & Culture » Culture

Night and Day

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Wednesday • 14
Monkey Day
FUN FOR ALL/HOLIDAY

Monkey Day — one of the more promising pseudo-holidays to crop up over the years — may not be the most important festivity of the year, but it certainly has potential to be one of the silliest. As one pro-simian site puts it, it’s your chance to celebrate all things simian, a festival of primates, “a chance to scream like a monkey and throw feces at whomever you choose.” Local observations of this red (ass)-letter day will take place at the Biddle Gallery (2840 Biddle Ave., Wyandotte; 734-281-4779), where a variety of monkey-themed artworks will be for sale, and at Mac’s Bar in East Lansing (2700 E. Michigan Ave., East Lansing; 517-484-6795), where alcohol consumption and monkey costumes will take center stage.

Thursday-Saturday • 15-17
Maria Bamford
COMEDY

The name might not immediately ring a bell, but comedian Maria Bamford has a rep in the world of comedy. The cute and quirky blonde with the bug eyes dishes one-liners that spotlight the hilarious intricacies of secretarial work, family life and the dating world, which have been funny enough to get her a special on Comedy Central, and spots on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase, 314 E. Liberty, Ann Arbor; 734-996-9080.

Friday • 16
Everyone a Pope
MUSIC

Trumpeter Ross Huff fronts Everyone a Pope, a jazz and fusion ensemble which features some of the area’s most enthusiastic improvisers. The lineup includes Joey Dosik on the alto sax, Mike Nickens on the tuba, Matt Endahl on piano, Keith Reed on bass and Chuck Navyac on drums. Expect original compositions, standards and free improvisation. At the Canterbury House, 721 E. Huron, Ann Arbor; 734-665-0606.

Friday • 16
Rodney Whitaker’s New York Quartet
MUSIC

Caroling and spirituals aren’t the only sounds that have been long associated with the holidays. Cool jazz rhythms fit the mood of Christmas the same way brandy helps make eggnog smooth and mellow. Nat “King” Cole’s immortal “The Christmas Song” and Charles Brown’s piano-plunking “Merry Christmas, Baby” could make the case for holiday jazz all by themselves. But helping to follow in their great tradition is Rodney Whitaker’s New York Quartet, performing in the Max M. Fisher Music Center’s Allesee Hall. Whitaker is an associate professor of double bass and director of Jazz Studies at Michigan State University. Joining him in quartet will be drummer Rodney Green, saxophonist Antonio Hart and pianist Cyrus Chestnut. The Max M. Fisher staff and Chestnut fans are hoping he’ll lay down a little of that A Charlie Brown Christmas music from his 2003 remake of Vince Guaraldi’s seasonal classic. 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. at the Max M. Fisher Music Center, 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-576-5100.

Saturday • 17
Santarchy
FUN FOR ALL

It all started in 1994 when several dozen tipsy Santa Clauses converged in downtown San Francisco. Apparently, the crocked Kris Kringles wreaked a little good-hearted havoc on the City by the Bay (there are police reports) and the night became a legend of sorts. Since then, the idea has been co-opted, and several cities across the globe organize their very own version of the jolly pub crawl. Detroit’s adaptation of Santarchy will begin at the Lager House (1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-961-4668) between 8 and 8:30 p.m. (Because this event tends to get heady, we recommend participants take cabs to and from the meeting place.) Buses will take participants venue-to-venue.

Saturday • 17
Cyril Lords CD Release
MUSIC

Let’s be honest, the toned-down garage rock template is overworked in these parts, and, for a while there, the Cyril Lords (formerly known as the Bloody Hollys) were part of the problem. But against the odds, this sexy threesome has busted out of the “house that Jack built.” Their latest record, Motherland, is full of rich sounds and warm melodies. The new songs? Impressive, cascading, often beautiful and always classically cool rock: We’re not blowing smoke when we say it’s an antidote to a stale sound. At the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700. With Modey Lemon and the Apes.

Monday • 19
26th Annual Victorian Feast
HOLIDAY

The 26th Annual Victorian Feast at the beautiful Holly Hotel offers a little Christmas cheer by way of the palate. The traditional meal will include Oysters Katherine, celery soup, roast goose, Brussels sprouts and chestnuts. For dessert, enjoy English plum pudding, hard sauce and a wassail toast. $39 per person at the Holly Hotel, 110 Battle Alley, Holly; 248-634-5208. Visit hollyhotel.com for more information.

Ongoing
Cathy Davis and the Soulsearchers
MUSIC

Blues diva Cathy Davis has found a new joint for her popular Thursday night open jam. She’s still backed by ax-man Chris Brantley and the Soulsearchers, but the midweek tradition has moved from the New Way in Ferndale to downtown Detroit. Grab the guitar, throw back a few, and join the party at Corktown’s famous blues bar, Nancy Whiskey, 2644 Harrison St., Detroit; 313-962-4247.

Ongoing
Side by Side by Sondheim
THEATER

The Jewish Ensemble Theatre’s production of Side by Side by Sondheim features a variety of gifted singers, both local and regulars of the Great White Way. The show features Peter Kevoian (New York), who originated the role of Monsieur Reyer in the Broadway production of The Phantom of the Opera, and NYC-by-way-of-Ann Arbor actor Naz Edwards. Side by Side by Sondheim includes 32 of composer Steven Sondheim’s much-admired show tunes, including “You Gotta Have a Gimmick” from Gypsy and “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” Wednesdays-Sundays until Jan. 8, at 6600 W. Maple Rd., West Bloomfield; 248-788-2900.

Send comments to edoster@metrotimes.com

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