Walking With Dinosaurs
Back in the old days, when dinosaurs were but dusty bones in dusty museums, it was hard to visualize the "terrible lizards" that once ruled the earth. There was Godzilla and some stilted animation that was fan-bloody-tastic, but ogling the devoured Japanese did little to teach the kids anything about their beloved Stegosauri. But then came robotics, computer animation and Spielberg, and now we have such life-like theatrical spectacles as "Walking With Dinosaurs." The 'saurs will stomp around Cobo Arena as khaki-clad actors teach the theories of evolution and extinction: Variety wrote of the show, "The dinosaurs are stunning, life-sized and faultlessly nimble. In Act 1, the beasts parade into the arena gnashing and cavorting as a safari-suited paleontologist describes their attributes ... in the second half, the action cranks up, culminating in a spectacular clash as a T. Rex mom defends her baby from predators." At Cobo Arena, One Washington Blvd., Detroit; 313-877-8777. Tickets range from $38.50 to $72.50.
Detroit's Belle Isle: Island Park Gem
Put on your thinking cap, kiddies — it's time for fun with analogies. New York is to Central Park as Detroit is to ... Zug Island? No ... Belle Isle. Duh. The two parks were designed by the same man, Frederick Law Olmsted, in the 19th century. Learn more about the idyllic haven by day, make-out spot/date-rape liability by night from Michael Rodriguez, author of Detroit's Belle Isle: Island Park Gem. Part of the Detroit Historical Society's Fall Author Series, Rodriguez has taken photographs from Wayne State's Walter P. Reuther library archives to chronicle the island's history, showing how it has changed and survived through the economic and social turmoil faced by Detroit. From 6 to 8 p.m. at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, 100 Strand Dr., Belle Isle; 313-833-7935 for info.
Urban Organic Festival
BEATS, NOT BEETS
The title may be a slight misnomer, so let's clarify: The sixth annual Urban Organic Festival is a four-day multi-venue hip-hop and indie-soul music festival, during which Ron Ayers, chick-magnet Amp Fiddler and others will perform. Drake Phifer, founder of Urban Organic, says, "This year's festival theme is Connecting the Dots, and we basically wanted to show where the love of the music originates. We are on a continuum, and it is important to look back and see who led the way." Because of this, documentaries about the roots of techno and soul music will also be shown. A string of events will be held at Buzz Bar, MoCAD, Cobo Hall and the Johanson Charles Gallery. For a complete lineup, visit myspace.com/uolifestyle.
NOT ONLY FOR PUNKS
The Trumbullplex is always worth the trip — as expected of any Woodbridge housing collective, there's an art installation to ponder, a vegan squatter anarchist activist to swill Pabst with and always, always a band du jour. This time, folksters-of-growing-repute the Places will perform. Lead singer Amy Annelle's quiet twang is likened to that of Cat Power, and, according to Rolling Stone, "straddles the fence between the organic and the atmospheric." With Ralph White of Bad Liver, Sneaky & the Rat and Pale Wild Wood Flowers at 9 p.m. at Trumbullplex, 4210 Trumbull Ave., Detroit; 313-930-0039.
NOT FOR PUNKS
Even the most casual of electrophiles has heard of Benny Benassi, or, at the very least, gotten lost in a boozy haze while convulsing (er, dancing) to such "hits" as "Satisfaction" or his recent ear-twisting and ironic remix of Public Enemy's "Bring the Noise." The Italian DJ is perhaps one of the most sought-after DJs around the globe, so Detroit's club scene goes all cosmopolitan an' shit for a night, with a cover ranging from $25 to $50. Doors at 10 p.m. at Bleu Room Experience, 1540 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-222-1900.
As Bees In Honey Drown
GENIUSES & CHARLATANS
The folks at Breathe Art Theatre Company have brought Douglas Carter Beane's As Bees in Honey Drown to the Furniture Factory's stage. This comic satire about success-hungry artists — and the con artists who hoodwink them — pokes fun at the world of arts and letters, where upstart creative types eager for any shortcut to fame and fortune make easy prey. In Honey, a writer is seduced by a charming and utterly crooked socialite, who helps catapult him to star status. Directed by Courtney Burkett, and starring Tiffanie Kilgast, Chelsea Sadler, Christa Coulter, Dax Anderson and Oliver Georgiou. At 4126 Third St., Detroit; $20, $15 student; Call 313-831-1939, or e-mail email@example.com.
Charlie Gabriel and Friends
NEW ORLEANS PARADE
Our '05 cover story on the Gabriel clan put saxophonist-clarinetist Charlie Gabriel in the context of a musical family with roots in New Orleans as deep as the roots of jazz itself. Charlie has bopped, played honkin' R&B and done roadwork with Aretha Franklin, but he's more than anything else a living, musical embodiment of those roots. Last time we saw him playing at the jazz fest, someone from the crowd sidled up and asked what club he played at. We said he doesn't play clubs often, but we'd try to give a shout out next time we heard. Here's a shout: Baker's Keyboard Lounge, 20510 Livernois Ave., Detroit; 313-345-6300.
Vesna Dulbic Benefit
Owner and chef Vesna Dulbic of Vienna Coffee Shoppe in Grosse Pointe treats patrons like old friends dining in her own home, whether it be spoiling diners with unordered, homemade dessert, or sending them with a takeout box with more food than they had left on the plate. Her customers were deeply saddened when Vesna, who had no health insurance at the time, was diagnosed with stage-four non-Hodgkins lymphoma in August of 2007. To raise contributions for her medical bills, her friends are hosting a benefit concert for her. Detroit Symphony Orchestra musicians and Barbara Ogar and her flute choir will be performing. At 4 p.m. at St. Claire of Montefalco Church, at 1401 Whittier Rd., Grosse Pointe Park. For more information, call 313-886-4765.
BEATS FOR SOFTSHOE!
Has the thunderous heart of D-town hip hop shifted to the burbs? On a lazy Sunday afternoon, sure. Shift from the 313 to the 248 to learn some hot hip-hop moves. Roland Tabor, who has choreographed for a slew of lithesome celebs, including Aaliyah, Usher, Ciara, Chris Brown, Omarion and others, will hold a dance workshop. The workshop is $55 in advance, $65 at the door, and from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Franklin Athletic Club, 29350 Northwestern Highway, Southfield; call 248-541-5155 or visit IAmDance.net for info.
Forecast Style Party
SPEND, SPEND, SPEND
"Fashionable" Ferndale is taking itself pretty seriously — hosting a "style extravaganza" in efforts to highlight the trendy retail joints peppered around Woodward and Nine Mile. In a bazaar-style setup, salons, spas and clothing stores will hawk and flaunt their wares, in booths and onstage. "We want to show prospective customers that Ferndale has everything to offer. Our focus this year is beauty, fashion and fitness," says Meagan Mitchell, a salon owner who conceptualized Forecast. "Ferndale is loaded with viable businesses and we want to showcase them." The $5 requested donation for the event will benefit the Midwest AIDS Prevention Program. From 7 to 10 p.m. at Club 9, 141 W. Nine Mile, Ferndale.
PUNKS WHO VOTE
You gotta adore the title of its recent single, "White People for Peace," with lyrics that go "protest songs in a response to military aggression ... protest songs to try and stop the soldier's gun ..." A political, anti-authority punk band? Oh, Joe Strummer, won't you please come home. Fronted by talented songwriter Tom Gabel, Against Me! has climbed charts and filled venues since way back in '97. They're at Clutch Cargo's, 65 E. Huron St., Pontiac; 248-333-2363 for info.
Thanksgiving Eve Bash
Local gritterati give thanks to our fair city for supplying 'em with enough angst and disgruntled motivation to continue making records and gathering fans for tours of chaos. Schram, Dismantle, 2 Days Out, Sex & Patriotism and Detroit Voodoo will be performing on the eve of the day white European men and an undisclosed Native American tribe broke bread together in sweet puritanical harmony. Public Service Announcement: The audience will not be tortured and pillaged or exterminated by an epidemic of small pox after the show. Thanks. Tickets are $5-$8. The bash is at The Ritz, 24300 Hoover, Warren, MI; 586-756-6140 for more info. Show starts at 8 p.m.