Manuel Puig penned a novel that became an Oscar-winning film and then a smash Broadway musical. That's a nice trajectory for a work of fiction. And it's nice to hear that Stagecrafters is greeting 2012 with Kiss of the Spider Woman. In case the McNally/Kander/Erb adaptation is a revelation to you: Two men find themselves sharing a prison cell in Argentina. There's Valentin, a revolutionary in the mold of Che, who endures torture with noble defiance. Then there's the openly gay and apolitical Molina, whose devotion to cinematic fantasies (especially those that center on the titular heroine) becomes an unexpected bond between him and Valentin. As directed by John Luther, this Baldwin Theatre production manages just the right balance between moral message and the pure magic of surrealism. Thru 2/12. Ticket info at 248.541.6430.
We Cover The Beetle On This Beat
Something we happily learned from that Lessons From The Industry symposium which took place at The Scarab Club last week: Starting 1/19, and on the third Thursday of every month, there will be an Emerging Artist Showcase devoted to a local talent worthy of notice. And we're pleased to see that photographer Cheryl Willard will be the first to enjoy the spotlight and we're hoping she'll bring copies of her recent book devoted to the city's tribe of circus and burlesque performers. She'll be followed by Brett Sullivan, Natalie Jane Estep, A. Owen Layne, Benjamin Eliasz and Marianne Audrey Burrows. Note please that these third Thursdays also have Dr. Sketchy dropping by with his Anti-Art School tribe. Sounds like one pleasant pow-wow after another at 217 Farnsworth this year.
Terrific Trifecta ... after a Traumatized Taurus
Bright and sunny skies last week inspired us to get the car washed. Guess what happened? Apparently the shock of cleanliness caused an engine problem or something and we were motor-less for several days! We eventually caught up with three great shows, however, and now we're giving you belated directions to them. First, 323 East has seen fit to give Dan Armand and Dennis Jacobs all the space they need to make Transliteration a clear and meaningful message for the eyes. A feast of multimedia works that collectively reference numerous cultural and social tangents, this exhibit possesses more than the usual thematic richness. 323 East 4th in Royal Oak. Another surprising discovery last week: University Liggett School in Grosse Pointe Woods has a welcome mat in front of the Manoogian Arts Wing and they allow the public to drop by and see what's there. Right now the walls are covered with the latest paintings by Lisa Poszywak, a Detroit artist we first met at the Scarab Club years ago. These pieces include canvases she finished during the last three years and works that Lisa cryptically mentions will never be shown again. 1045 Cook Road and YES, you must call first. Sabrina Nelson, another favorite of this column, is appropriately included in Great American Artists: An Exhibition in Three Movements over at the Charles H. Wright Museum. The fruit of an ongoing commitment to strengthen collaboration between Detroit painters and to collectively focus on common interests, this expansive show also celebrates the efforts of Richard Lewis, Mario Morre, Senghor Reid, Alonzo Edwards, and others. 313 E. Warren Avenue.
Still Open For Business
Unintentional neglect on our part prompted several of you to believe that the River Gallery closed last year. Nope! The address and phone number in Chelsea are both operational and the place will be hosting two shows worthy of your attention starting 1/21. The Richard Wilt Legacy (described to us as "a Museum Gifting Exhibition") is a marvelous retrospective and one that draws much-deserved (and long overdue) attention to Wilt himself. An innovative and imaginative master of both landscapes and figurative drawing, Wilt was one of the first Michigan painters to use acrylics and he encouraged his students to do likewise when he taught at U of M. After perusing this singular gift, we would like you to ascend to the gallery's second level where a dozen gifted people have joined forces to give us 12 Artists: An All Collage Exhibition. We noted a few familiar names like Jide Ade and Joan Painter Jones; now we have Brenda Miller, Leslie Sobel, and eight others to add to the rolodex. 120 S. Main. 734.433.0826.
Detroit Burlesque City! Has a Nice Ring to It, Don't You Think?
Okay, so lately we don't possess much in the way of economic growth or incentives or whatever else we're supposed to have to lure new capital into the area. What we do have, however, is an impressive enthusiasm for traditional burlesque as evidenced by the many troupes that entertain all of us at public events and venues. Well, we've been blessed again, folks! On 1/20, the Detroit Burlesque Company, the newest kiddies on the block, will be Teased To Meet You over at the Painted Lady in Hamtramck. Live music, bellydance, vaudeville humor and circus-inspired tricks to warm up our wintered souls. We'll be standing real close to the stage. See you there. 2930 Jacob. | RDW