WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 16
Green Initiatives Detroit!
This free evening of environmental discourse focuses on a number of organizations currently working to make Detroit a little greener. Groups on hand will include the Green Garage, Jeff Klein's Classic Landscaping and the Detroit Evolution Laboratory, as well as representatives from the Coleman Young Municipal Center and a rep from the state's Bureau of Energy Systems. Each will give a presentation on its current initiatives, followed by an open discussion about the possibilities of such earth-conscious programs taking off in the D. 6 p.m. at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, 4454 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-4665; mocadetroit.org for info.
THURSDAY DECEMBER 17
The award-winning Broadway hit Jersey Boys makes its way to Detroit. Finally! This jukebox musical uses the music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons to tell the story of the group's ascension from the mean streets of Jersey to the vaulted heights of pop stardom, followed by the inevitable complications that come with success. Jersey Boys depicts both the grime (mob connections, affairs, etc.) and the glamour (fortune, fame, etc.) as each member of the group — Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi — tells his story in between renditions of inimitable hits such as "Walk Like a Man," "Rag Doll" and "Big Girls Don't Cry." It's boomeriffic '60s nostalgia, baby! Or maybe just a celebration of really good fucking music. Through Jan. 23 at the Fisher Theatre, 3011 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit; tickets start at $35, available through Ticketmaster 800 982-2787; broadwayindetroit.com for a complete schedule.
THURSDAY-SUNDAY DECEMBER 17-20
FAT MAN COMETH
"I wonder what the poor people are doing tonight," he'd say, with an eye twinkle, brow flutter and impish smile while his fingers skidded across the piano keys. We always thought Fats Waller was talking about the poor of heart who couldn't be seduced by either his personae or art — both of which have endured on disc, in old film clips and onstage re-creations more than a century after his birth. This staging of the 30-year-old musical salute to Fats, starring local Waller-phile Alvin Wattles, has already sold out for the 18th and 20th; response has been so strong the jazz café is slating the show to run the last Tuesday (Fats Tuesday) monthly starting in January. $47 includes dinner; Jazz Café at Music Hall, 350 Madison Ave., Detroit; 313-887-8501.
FRIDAY-SATURDAY DECEMBER 18-19
Detroit City Conduit
CONNECT THE DANCE
Dancers and choreographers Amy Cova and Thayer Jonutz formed Mise en Place Dance in order to bring eclectic dance performances to diverse audiences. To this end, they present Detroit City Conduit, an event that they hope will "bring energy and art, light and performance to Detroit." The night revolves around Phases, a new work by Cova and Jonutz that features four diverse movements which all speak to the evolution of human relationships throughout life. Live music, video and visual art will accompany the performance, which begins at 7:30 p.m. each night at the Russell Industrial Center, 1600 Clay Ave., Detroit; 313-872-4000; $10.
FRIDAY-SUNDAY DECEMBER 18-20
Satori Circus: Hodgepodge
A SHOWY JUMBLE
Performance art veteran Russell Taylor, better known as Satori Circus, presents the appropriately titled Hodgepodge, a series of mixed bag performances featuring his signature blend of vaudeville, music and theater. Each night will consist of a different collection of vignettes from the Satori Circus's 21-year existence, including selections from his three full-length works Moses:39, Funy As Hell and Child-Proof, as well as shorter pieces and even some new bits. Also expect guest appearances by musicians, burlesque dancers and performers of all types. Doors at 7:30 p.m. at 1515 Broadway Theatre, 1515 Broadway, Detroit; 313-965-1515; $10 advance, $15 door; additional performances on Dec. 23, 26, 27 and 30.
SATURDAY DECEMBER 19
IT AIN'T SMOKEY, BUT ...
Native Ann Arborite-done-good Mayer Hawthorne returns to the Mitten for a (nearly) hometown performance of his distinctive Motown-inspired soul. The former hip-hop DJ began his retro revival after moving to L.A., recording two tracks in his apartment and playing nearly all the instruments himself. Those tunes were all it took for Hawthorne to snag a good record deal; his disc of vintage-y blue-eyed soul, A Strange Arrangement, hit streets in early September, earning him famous fans and Internet-fed buzz. The clean-cut, self-described music nerd performs with Will Sessions at 8 p.m. at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700; $12; all ages.
SATURDAY DECEMBER 19
Naughty and Nice
STUFF THOSE STOCKINGS!
Frantic holiday shoppers can pick up last-minute, eye-popping gifts at this open house featuring works both naughty and nice by local artists. Check out new paintings by Martine MacDonald; glass-blown ornaments, jewelry, wine stoppers and more by Barb Yerace of Creative Glassworks; pottery by Tim Hutchinson and felted jewelry by Sharlet DiGiorgio. MacDonald will also be signing copies of her new book Roadside Memorials, which features charcoal drawings MacDonald made after spending more than a year photographing memorials around the state. Noon to 4 p.m. at Biddle Gallery, 2810 Biddle Ave., Wyandotte; 734-281-4779.
SATURDAY DECEMBER 19
Detroit Holiday Lights Tour
BIG CITY LIGHTS
Preservation Wayne's newest tour takes attendees on a bus sightsee through Detroit's historic neighborhoods to view beautiful homes decked in dizzying and dazzling light displays. Hoods on the route include Arden Park, Boston-Edison and Indian Village. The tour takes place from 6 to 9 p.m., call Preservation Wayne at 313-577-7674 for more info; $30 tickets must be purchased in advance.
WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 23
Sounds and Spirits Olde Fashioned Holiday Spectacular
ROCK 'N' ROLL WARM AND FUZZIES
Eight years in, the Sounds and Spirits Holiday Spectacular has become a bona fide holiday tradition for lovers of Detroit's indie rock scene. An homage to the feel-good Christmas variety shows of the past, the Spectacular features more than 20 bands on two stages, celebrity emcees, video clips and local crafters hawking extremely last-minute gifts. Gracing the stage will be the Hard Lessons, Silverghost, the Satin Peaches, Friendly Foes, Old Empire, Mick Bassett & the Marthas, the Pop Project, the Octopus and more. All proceeds benefit Detroit's Coalition on Temporary Shelter and attendees are encouraged to bring a dish to pass. 8 p.m. at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700; $15.
Spring 2010 Collection
Fashionistas, take pause. Gallery Project's current exhibit, Spring 2010 Collection, is not a straightforward display of eye-catching couture. Instead, 27 artists have created their own lines or individual pieces that comment on the loaded gun that hides behind the concept of fashion, exploring issues such as identity, materialism, globalism, consumption, reuse and recycling. The exhibit aims to be an interactive experience, offering gallery-goers a number of hands-on activities throughout its run. Through Jan. 11 at the Gallery Project, 215 S. Fourth Ave., Ann Arbor; 734-997-7012; thegallerproject.com.
Our World at War
FOCUS ON THE FRONTLINES
An initiative of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Our World at War features the work of five photojournalists who traveled to Afghanistan, Lebanon, Liberia and the Philippines to document the lives of those affected by war and armed conflict. Depicting desperation and dignity, hopelessness and optimism, the forty displayed images provide a haunting overview of war's profound impact on humanity. Our World at War has been exhibited in more than 40 countries, including Afghanistan, Austria, Egypt, Fiji, France, Kuwait, Kenya and Japan, and is on display through Jan. 3 at the Ann Arbor Art Center, 117 W. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 734-994-8004 ext. 101; annarborartcenter.org.