Under the Radar: The Willis Remembered
It may be a simple idea, but when you take in the wild diversity of works in That DAM Box Show, Under the Radar: The Willis Remembered, it seems hard to believe that every piece started with an identically sized tin box. When you compare the sinewy metallic arms of longtime Detroit artist Robert Sestok's contribution with the whimsical, cuddly warmth of the Davin Brainard's, that they used the same source material is testament to the breadth and scope of their creators. In title and spirit, the Box Show ably pays homage to the now-defunct Willis Gallery and its importance in the downtown art scene. The Willis' reputation of encouraging artists to push the envelope lives on in the 300-plus contributions, and helps to celebrate the Detroit Artists Market's 75 years of doing the same. The opening reception will take place Friday, Sept. 8, 5:30-10 p.m. At Detroit Artists Market, 4719 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-8540.
Get over it your mom likes John Mayer and so do you. And it's OK, the "everybody's best pal"-ness of Mayer seems genuine, and his pop-sensation status is not only forgivable to hipster types, it's deserved. The blues guitar-slingin' kid writes likable music about a certain faith in humanity, and kudos for that. DTE Energy Music Theatre, Clarkston. Call Ticketmaster at 248-645-666. Fellow cool-in-her-own-way pop star Sheryl Crow opens.
esQuire After Dark with Marcie Bolen
He's the self-proclaimed "Boy Who Invented Rap" and she whether she knows it or not is the original rock 'n' roll redhead round these parts who bears an uncanny resemblance to a young, oversexed Marlene Dietrich. Epicene white-boy rapper esQuire and the Von Bondies guitarist Marcie Bolen unite for a one-off at the hippest sushi bar in Detroit, Oslo (OK, it's the only sushi bar). Expect esQuire's pissy-but-hilarious rhymes, Bolen's fab mien, plus modish fun from esQuire's go-go dancers. At 1456 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-963-0300.
Art & Apples Festival
FUN FOR ALL/ART
Nothing signals the end of a grimy, sticky summer in the city more than the first weeks of September, when even a short drive north reveals a blush on the trees and air that's beginning to cool. The refreshing return of autumn is the whole point of the Art & Apples Festival, which takes over the charming confines of Rochester Park for a worthy fund-raiser for the Paint Creek Center for the Arts. With performances from local high school bands, displays from area artists, and a host of food vendors, the weekend makes for a family-oriented day in the park, marking the end of summer and the beginning of fall. Art & Apples Festival hours are 4-7:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 8; 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9; and, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 10. You'll find Rochester Park in downtown Rochester, west of Main Street and north of University Drive. For more information call 248-651-4110 or visit their Web site at artandapplesfestival.com.
West Side Story
Let's face it; with all the high drama, pirouetting gang-bangers, and weepy love ballads, West Side Story has long been the Holy Grail of community theater. How many CPAs-by-day have dreamed of playing the role of Tony by night, anxiously waiting their chance to croon "Maria" all the way back to the cheap seats? But when Stagecrafters opens its 51st season with the "patron's choice" production, expect more than a dog-eared retread of the Berstein-Sondheim masterwork. Hosted at the elegant Baldwin Theatre, a cast of talented locals spin the tale of star-crossed kids from the wrong side of the tracks with refreshed routines from long-time Stagecraft choreographer Jerry Haines. Of course the play's hallmark songs, such as "I Feel Pretty," "Cool" and "Somewhere" still have as much power to pull a tear from the eye as ever. The play will run Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights though Oct. 1. At 415 S. Lafayette, Royal Oak; 248-541-6430.
Evening at La Cage II
Hopefully by the time the St. Dunstan's Theatre Guild of Cranbrook crowns Miss Kitty 2006 at the end their evening of song and dance, the winner's five o'clock shadow won't spoil the fun. Miss Kitty, after all, is essentially a cross-dressing pageant featuring members of St. Dunstan's and is one of the more outrageous highlights of Evening at La Cage II. La Cage II will bring to town celebrated South African female impersonator Ines Beau Rivage, who, after hours of cocktails and crab puffs, may just be the catch of the night. And the event isn't just a chance to giggle at the sight of leg hair under fishnets; proceeds from the evening will benefit St. Dunstan's and Variety, the Children's Charity. At the St. Dunstan's Theatre, 400 Lone Pine Rd., Bloomfield Hills; 248-645-0527.
The Dally in the Alley
MUSIC/ART/FUN FOR ALL
Every year, the sadness of the end of summer is sweetened by the annual Dally in the Alley. This year's Dally has four stages showcasing everything Detroit music has to offer, including everything from bluegrass to electronica, featuring everybody from the Saltminers to Human Eye. The Dally Gallery will have artwork from Slaw, Jack Johnson and Davin Brainard among others. All proceeds go to a worthy cause: the Dally in the Alley itself. From 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (rain date is Sept. 10) on Forest between Second and Third avenues, Detroit. For more information, visit dallyinthealley.com.
Visions of Peace Children's Art Show
What children lack in inches they make up for in imagination, but sometimes it takes the resolve of adults to get the wee ones' voices really singing. The Visions of Peace Children's Art Show started in 1985 by Lillian Mellen Genser, former director of WSU's Center for Peace and Conflict Studies gives local kids a chance to speak up and show off. Works by Eric Mesko and photographers Dave Krieger and Marilyn Zimmerman who has been involved in the show for several years makes for a riotous expression of color. And lest you think peace-loving people don't know how to party, this seven-hour shindig also features performances by recording artists DubPhonics, Survivor All-Stars and many more, as well as performance art troupe Fire Fabulon, who are sure to heat things up. 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. at 555 Gallery, 4884 Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313-894-4202; $10 donation.
Pole Dance World Record Attempt
FUN FOR ALL
With all the clever word reassignment going on these days, Americans can make anything sound legit. What was once known to strip-club patrons as little more than phallic innuendo-laden booty-shaking is now a popular exercise regimen called "Vertical Dance." And while we all know that vertical dance's true purpose is to conjure images of the horizontal bop, many people are finding it to be a refreshing change of pace to their tired workout routine. This week, the folks over at Pole Addiction (giggle now) workout centers are attempting to make the Guinness Book of World Records by getting the most people to perform the same pole routine at the same time. Do you really want to miss this? Begins at 9 a.m. at both Pole Addiction locations, 253 E. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale and 1219 Military St., Port Huron. Call Jessica Jakacki 810-989-5436 for further lowdown.Eve Doster is the listings editor of Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org