16 WED • OPERA Verdi’s Il Trovatore — Hate opera? You won’t for long if you open yourself up to this tale of tragic love and gypsy revenge, one of Verdi’s greatest, most melodic, soul-wrenching spectacles. Though famous for the rousing "Anvil Chorus," this intense musical drama — with its soaring arias and constantly flowing action — will seize you by the imagination and not let go. The Michigan Opera Theatre production features Russian tenor Viktor Afanasenko (and alternate Jeffrey Springer) in the role of troubadour Manrico and superstar soprano Indra Thomas (and alternate Isabella Sacco) as Leonora, the object of his fateful desire. Performances are at the Detroit Opera House (1526 Broadway, Detroit), Wed., Oct. 16 at 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 18 and Sat., Oct. 19 at 8 p.m., and Sun., Oct. 20 at 2 p.m. Call 313-961-3500 for the details.
16 WED • MUSIC John Tchai/Adam Lane Quartet — The surprise here is that the very young composer/bassist Adam Lane is a co-leader, helping to corral the wild energies of out-jazz veterans of the ’60s (saxophonist John Tchicai, featured on Coltrane's Ascension), ’70s (drummer Barry Altschul) and ’80s (trumpeter Paul Smoker). This troupe is grand under Lane's leadership on his recent CIMP release, Fo(u)r Being(s). And, by the way, if you're unfamiliar with Altschul's awesome power and precision, you can check the recent reissue of his 1977 date, You Can't Name Your Own Tune (32 Jazz), and brace yourself for his long-anticipated comeback to the scene. Detroiter Carl Smith and his trio share the bill at CPOP, 4160 Woodward, Detroit; 313-833-9901.
17 THU • MUSIC Cash O'Riley —These good-natured, trouble-lovin' boys are straight outta Prison City (Jackson), and whip up a deliriously catchy blend of classic honky-tonk and roots rock. The band also tips a Stetson to the punk-rock spirit with a foot-tapping rockabilly rendition of "I Love Rock ’n’ Roll," sung as "I Love the Ramones." In addition to top-notch musicianship, their songs boast a delightful undercurrent of wry, smart-assed humor. Besides, you just gotta love a band that dedicates space on their Web site to such glorious fan testimonials as "You guys don't suck at all!" and "Thanks to you guys, I'm gonna git laid tonight!" At the New Way Bar 23130 Woodward in Ferndale. Call 248-541-9870 for information.
18 FRI • THEATER Skeleton Parents—They say when one confronts death, there is a moment when your life flashes before your eyes. Penned through the eyes of hilarity, Skeleton Parents is a droll twentysomething's version of this very phenomenon. The original play, written and performed by Nate DuFort, Matthew Gannaway and Tim Robinson (three burgeoning local talents) Skeleton Parents poses a harrowing exploration into the pasts of three best friends. It’s perfect for the Halloween season; near-death experience has never been so funny. The laughs are two-fold, as Lisa Maxine Melinn prefaces the show with her one women comedic act, MELINNoma, a series of monologues that examine the issues and neuroses that keep her awake at night. Trick or treat … time to smell some feet at Macomb Center for the Performing Arts, 44575 Garfield, Clinton Township. Get the information at 810-286-2222.
19 SAT • ISSUES & LEARNING "Agents and Assets" — Straight out of southern California, the Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD) has been performing political and issue-driven plays for 17 years. LA Weekly says of the group, "despite the homeless status of many of it's members (LAPD) has thrived for years from its downtown outpost and continues to offer theater that's often stunning in its honesty and lacking in pretension." Taking ground in Detroit, they will be performing "Agents and Assets," a re-enactment of a 1998 hearing that alleged CIA involvement in crack cocaine trafficking. This eye-opening look into a reality that eludes our everyday life, will be performed by actors who have been radically impacted by crack, either because of former addiction or involvement in communities ravaged by the drugs and the war on drugs. Performances will be on Oct 17-19, at The First Unitarian-Universalist Church (4605 Cass Avenue). Tickets are $5, or whatever you can afford. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Call 313-671-3583 for reservations.