Alley Cat Bike Race
A raggedy band of reckless bikers overtaking the streets of Detroit? If that sounds threatening, bear in mind that they’re riding bicycles. And instead of roughing up teenagers and breaking vending machines, they’ll be racing through the streets on a scavenger hunt-relay rally. After an hour or so of blood, sweat and tears, only one team will get the worthless laminated certificate, and, of course, bragging rights with Detroit’s growing “alternacyclist” community. Race begins at 8 p.m., at Hart Plaza, at the foot of Woodward Avenue, Detroit. For more details go to myspace.com/alleycatdetroit.
"When I'm good, I'm very good but when I'm bad, I'm better." Buxom and bawdy, Vaudeville sexpot Mae West is an icon for the naughty-minded and the potty-minded. An actress, novelist and playwright, West challenged the censors for decades with her over-the-top sexuality. A lifetime's worth of titillating ("A hard man is good to find") double entendre has been compressed into this biographic play, which will present a pay-what-you-can preview performance on Thursday at 8 p.m. Shows will run thereafter until Aug. 19 at the Performance Network, 120 E. Huron St., Ann Arbor; 734-663-0681.
Boyz II Men
You'd think that 20 years of puberty would sound horrific, but R&B chart-toppers Boyz II Men continue to capitalize on their love-me-not warbling. And who's complaining? The men still deliver Motown-flavored make-out ballads with undeniably powerful vocals. Expect some serious crooning "Down on Bended Knee" at 7:30 p.m. R&B foursome 112 to open. At DTE Energy Music Theatre, 7774 Sashabaw Rd., Clarkston; 248-377-0100.
ISSUES AND LEARNING
Last year's war between Israel and Lebanon left a lot of unanswered questions, not the least of them being: Was it really necessary? The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee will commemorate the one-year anniversary of the war by presenting a collective view of the human rights violations that transpired. A public reception will be held at 6 p.m. at the Arab-American National Museum, 13624 Michigan Ave., Dearborn; call 313-581-1201 for more information.Friday • 13
Tom Verlaine: Music for Films
FILM/MUSIC Tom Verlaine, formerly of pioneering punk act Television, will be in town this week, performing some of the scores he has composed for silent films. He’ll be joined by guitarist Jimmy Ripp, accompanying several avant-garde films of the 1920s, including Ballet Mécanique, Thythmus 21 and Fall of the House of Usher. Made possible in part by the Ohio Arts Council. (Way to go, Ohio.) Starts at 8 p.m., one show only, at the Detroit Film Theatre, inside the DIA, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-3237.
Friday, Saturday 13, 14
Brunch – The Musical
Dude. Reality Bites. You're really at a Crossroads; how the hell are you ever going to pay Rent? Never fear, everything will come together, as long as you can rely on your Friends. That young struggle through "Where am I going?" "What sort of life do I lead?" and "What the hell did I go to college for?" is spotlighted once more in Michigan playwright Adam Barnosky's new musical, Brunch. The story focuses on the comic mishaps of a cadre of New York City twentysomething restaurant workers, who must pay rent and student loans tip by tip. The show is preparing for an off-Broadway run in 2008, but can be seen during a handful of preview performances at the Corner Playhouse, 12671 Dix-Toledo Rd., Southgate; call 734-285-3452 or visit brunchthemusical.com for more information.
2007 National Organization of Women National Conference
ISSUES AND LEARNING
It's hard to conceive that women lacked basic civil liberties mere decades ago and though the battle for gender equality goes on, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has helped improve the way society looks upon women. It was founded in 1966 by 28 feminist men and women including The Feminine Mystique author Betty Friedan, and has since grown to more than 500,000 members. This year's national convention will feature dozens of workshops, including "Sex, Stereotypes and Beauty: The Commercial Exploitation of Girls and Young Women," "Ending the Business of Human Trafficking" and "Women Victimized in Family Courts: How to Make the System Accountable." At the Hyatt Regency, 600 Town Center Dr., Dearborn; registration is still open, call 313-982-1359 or visit now.org for more information
The Hunting of the Snark
There's a butcher and a baker, and while there's no candlestick maker there is a maker of bonnets. They're all out to sea, joined by a bellman, barrister, billiard-maker, beaver, banker, broker and a pair of boots. Whew. Think that alliteration was on purpose? Lewis Carroll, who provided the "Jabberwocky" with slithy toves, mome raths and borogoves, composed another, albeit less nonsensical poem, "The Hunting of the Snark." Puppeteers bring the tale to life by following this motley crew to the ends of the earth in search of a mysterious Snark. At the Dreamland Theater, 26 N. Washington St., Ypsilanti; call 734-657-2337 or visit dreamlandtheater.com for more information.
Friday, Saturday 13, 14
They've really got it all from lithe, sexy, hound-dog Elvis to paunchy, greasy, coked-out Elvis. Impersonators will wiggle hips and curl lips in a weekend-long tribute to the rock 'n' roll sensation who remains undead in the hearts of countless fans. Elvisfest, which this year commemorates the 30th anniversary of the King's passing, features Texas Hold 'Em and Black Jack tents, karaoke, magic acts basically, enough spectacles to seem (to those who are very drunk) a Vegas-style extravaganza. Elvisfest has drawn crowds to Ypsi since 2000, and will be held yet again at Ypsilanti's Historic Depot Town; visit mielvisfest.org for more information.
Adoption Information Meeting
ISSUES AND LEARNING
The process of adopting a child can be lengthy and arduous. Adoption Associates, Inc., a local agency that has placed more than 3,000 children since 1990, is holding an open house to field questions concerning international and domestic adoptions for prospective parents. Learn the necessary steps to adopt a child from America, China, Ethiopia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Nepal or Guatemala at 7 p.m. at Adoption Associates, Inc., 26105 Orchard Lake Rd., Farmington Hills; RSVP by calling 248-474-0990 or visit adoptassoc.com for more information.
Telic or Cyclic: Investigations of the Mutable Nature of History
Artist Alison Byrnes presents a "seriously quirky" investigation of history. Her paintings, ironic and clever, such as the one titled "Aquitaine Eleanor, Eleanor Roosevelt, Roosevelt Theodore, Theodore Bundy," question the nature of history. At the Institute for the Humanities, 202 S. Thayer, Ann Arbor; visit www.lsa.umich.edu/humin for more information.
You gotta see Jeremy Ellis live. Sure, he has got records out, and sure, the samples on his Web site are catchy, but whispers of his freestyling skills aren't quite whispers anymore: Dude can freestyle. A little jazz, a little funk, a little broken beat, a little house, a little hip hop Ellis lets loose with a mélange of jaw-dropping cool shit. Every Sunday at Buzz Bar, 546 E. Larned, Detroit; 313-962-1800.
Boom and Bust
Boom and Bust, the title of Ypsilanti-based artist Cooper Holoweski’s solo show, could refer to the explosion of worldwide capitalism or the explosion of violence in the Middle East. Either way, Holoweski’s mixed-media prints highlight trends of imperialism taking over global terrain. Close inspection to his alternate maps, featuring layers of newsprint, drawing, photography and digital imagery pays off Runs through July 24 at Museum of New Art, 7 N. Saginaw, Pontiac, 248-210-7560.ONGOING
Artists Kate Levant and Michael Smith carefully piece together a show with an extraordinary range of materials, from tarp and plastic to cotton turtlenecks and daylight. In their one collaborative piece, the duo creates a site-specific scene: During morning at Susanne Hilberry Gallery, a fuzzy light hits floor and rises up the white walls becoming a crisp, triangular shape pointing skyward as the day progresses. The artists arrange shapes covering the ceiling skylight to play with the shadows on the floor. Watch as the art moves around you through Aug. 10 at Susanne Hilberry Gallery, 700 Livernois St., Ferndale; 248-541-4700.
Craig Nowak Solo Show
Painter and recent College for Creative Studies grad Craig Paul Nowak should be getting a big head: He’s got a slew of shows coming up through the end of the year, including one in France. He does have a big head, but only on canvas. Nowak’s large-scale portraits are more about answering big questions: “Who am I? What is my purpose? Where did I come from? Would the world be the same without me? How is it possible that I am alive?” See what answers his art comes up with in his solo show, running through July 28 at Next Step Studios and Gallery, 530 Hilton Rd., Ferndale; 248-414-7050. Meghana Keshavan is Metro Times listing editor. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org