Fans of the story can see "Beauty and the Beast" ballet performed by Grand Rapids Ballet School Junior Company at the Dogwood Center on Saturday, April 13 at 3:00 p.m. Don't miss the classic tale as old as time that's perfect for the whole family! Treat your little ones to this special performance they'll never forget.
"Beauty and the Beast" features a talented cast of student dancers, inventive choreography by school director Attila Mosolygo and delivers a professional-level show that is fun for all ages. The school company is completing successful performances of the "Beauty and the Beast" ballet in Grand Rapids during March, and are excited to bring their production for a Newaygo County audience in April.
This program is funded in part by the Fremont Area Community Foundation, Gerber Foundation, and the Ted and Nancy Johnson Endowment Fund at FACF.
Tickets are $17.50 for adults, $5 for children 18 and under and are available through the Dogwood Center Box Office, NCCA-Artsplace in downtown Fremont, or on-line at www.dogwoodcenter.com. For information, phone 231.924.8885. The Dogwood Center is located one mile east of downtown Fremont.
Wild Rice in Michigan Book Talk at Fremont Library
Live @ the Library, a series of events including author visits and writing workshops is welcoming Barbara Barton to the Fremont Area District Library to present her Michigan Notable book.
Manoomin: The Story of Wild Rice in Michigan is the first book of its kind to bring forward the rich tradition of wild rice in Michigan and its importance to the Anishinaabek people who live there. Manoomin focuses on the history, culture, biology, economics, and spirituality surrounding this sacred plant. Barton discusses historic wild rice beds that once existed in Michigan, why many disappeared, and the efforts of tribal and nontribal people with a common goal of restoring and protecting Manoomin across the landscape.
Barbara is an endangered species biologist; member of the State of Michigan's wild rice working group, Michigan Water Environment Association, and western Upper Peninsula's wild rice team; and academic affiliate of the University of Michigan's College of Literature, Science and the Arts Biological Station, where she collaborates on the state's wild rice map. This free program will begin in the Community Room on Saturday, March 30th at 10:30 a.m.
The Fremont Area District Library was established in 1996 and serves the City of Fremont; the Fremont Public School District, Dayton Township, Sheridan Township, and Sherman Township. The mission of the Fremont Area District Library is to provide library service for community learning, growth, and enjoyment. For more information visit the library’s website at www.fremontlibrary.net.
Beaver Island Birding Trail Festival—Warblers on the Water-May 24-26, 2019
The 6th annual Beaver Island Birding Festival, Warblers on the Water, will be held on May 24-26, 2019, on Beaver Island, in northern Lake Michigan. The island is a spring migratory song and shore bird mecca with over 200 species of birds recorded from the island. Registration is limited and birders are urged to register early through the Beaver Island Birding Trail website at http://www.beaverislandbirdingtrail.org.
Transportation to the island is via ferry or air taxi. Lodging is available on the island, and transportation for the various field trips will be provided to registered participants. More information about transportation, food, and lodging is available on the website.
Researchers and expert field trip leaders will lead trips to some of the island’s 30+ birding sites. Whether you are a novice or expert birder there will be something for you during this Memorial Weekend event. The birding trips are flexible and use local guides to get the most out of your exploration of the northern Lake Michigan islands’ history, natural resources, and scenery. A featured field trip to High Island which lies to the west of Beaver Island is scheduled for registered participants. Presentations on the history of Beaver Island and the night sky are also scheduled.
For more specific information about Warblers on the Water visit http://www.beaverislandbirdingtrail.org/warblers.html. Information about transportation to and accommodations on Beaver Island can be found at http://www.beaverislandbirdingtrail.org/accommodations.html, and for information about the island visit the Chamber of Commerce’s website at http://beaverisland.org.
Escanaba in Da Moonlight is hilarious
By Megan Wirts
Photos by Catalpa Photography
I can look you right in the hairy eyeball and tell you that Escanaba in Da Moonlight is a must see show. LionHeart Productions has done it again with this uproariously funny comedy written by Michigan native, Jeff Daniels. Under the direction of Mike Gesler, this hilarious show about a deer camp in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula will leave any “fudge-sucking flatlander” cracking up.
I brought my 11 year old son with me to this show since he is an avid hunter and outdoorsman, plus he has seen the movie, so I knew he’d love it. While he hasn’t been to deer camp yet (and neither have I), he has been to fish camp and he tells me that fish camp is pretty much just like Escanaba in Da Moonlight, especially the snoring and the farting, except with fish. This show does have some adult language, but with me as a mother and his time at fish camp, he’s probably heard worse. Even with our lack of deer camp experience, we both were rolling with laughter the entire time. I imagine those that have been to deer camp will relate to this on an even more personal level. I’m more of a bargain hunter than a deer hunter, or any other animal for that matter, and I thoroughly enjoyed this show.
The cast is comprised of familiar faces from past LionHeart productions along with a couple of new faces. The patriarch, Albert Soady, is played by Mark Walters, a Grant High School teacher who recently played George Banks in LionHeart’s Mary Poppins. With his excellent delivery and timing, Walters set the scene and had us in the palm of his hand as he spun the tale of the eve of November 15, 1989, or as they like to call it, “Christmas with guns”.
His son Reuben, played by Jamie M. Evans, is about to become the oldest Soady to never bag a buck at the age of 35. Evans, has also been on the stage with LionHeart in the past and is fantastic as the somewhat doltish Reuben. Armed with not just a gun, but with a few potions and incantations from his wife Wolf Moon Dance, played by newcomer Caitlin Phillips. Reuben hopes that with her help, this is the year he breaks his curse. As the night before opening day goes on, strange things start to happen as the other deer camp attendees arrive.
First we have Remnar Soady, Reuben’s younger brother and much better shot. Remnar is brought to life by Devon Conley, another Grant High School teacher and first timer with LionHeart. Conley seems right at home up there on the stage. His portrayal of the superstitious and hilariously dim-witted Remnar was spot on and so funny. Add to the mix LionHeart veteran Jim Bowman, as Ranger Tom T. Treado the DNR ranger that believes he saw God in the woods, and the laughter continues.
Then there is Jim Jenkins. Jenkins is absolutely hilarious as Jimmer Negamanee, the wackadoodle local that was abducted by aliens and hasn’t been quite right ever since. Jenkins, who has been part of LionHeart since 2004, had me snorting with laughter. His onstage shenanigans as the loveable loon had the audience laughing out loud almost the entire time he was on stage.
This show is full of Michigan references and yooper culture, that many of us here in Newaygo County can relate to. The characters are our uncles, neighbors and cousins and is an ode to life in the north or near north. Go see this show and laugh until your stomach hurts! It’s worth it!
You can see the show March 16 at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm at the Grant Public Schools Fine Arts Center and March 23 at 2:00 pm 7:30 pm and March 24 at 2:00 pm at the Dogwood Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are available online at the Grant Fine Arts Center and the Dogwood Center for the Performing Arts or at their box offices. Don’t miss your chance for a night of fun!
There is a cartoon by B. Kliban that inspired a personal motto. It is also the title of his book of what can only be called...uh.. unusual humorous sketchings.
The title and philosophical sub-category?
“Never eat anything bigger than your head.”
Like I said, it became a personal dieting guide since I didn’t want to establish a too rigid approach to gastronomical moderation.
Well, Friday is the annual St Patrick’s Day Potato luncheon at the Commission on Aging and having been to several over the years those potatoes come awfully close to bridging those pretty liberal boundaries.
They’re 8 bucks and come with a veritable plethora of toppings and cole slaw (who doesn’t love a good dose of slaw?) dessert and music provided by those fine folks from the Wheatland Music Organization (Happy Wheatland!).
The monies raised support the work of the COA so while savoring your substantial spud you can feel good about contributing to some well needed programming.
11am-1:30pm at 93 S. Gibbs in White Cloud.
Community theater at its finest unfolds this weekend as LionHeart Productions puts the classic tale of Buckquest on stage with “Escanaba In Da Moonlight” the Jeff Daniels creation guaranteed to stimulate your ulnar nerve.
If you have never seen this prime piece of Yooper yuckery it is not to be missed and anyone who has hunted, knows someone who hunts or has ever heard of deer camp will find it hilarious.
We have been to numerous LionHeart presentations over the years and they have never disappointed so support community theater and make plans to attend this weekend
Shows are Friday at 7:30pm and Saturday at 2pm and 7:30pm at the Grant Fine Arts Center.
What? Got a busy weekend?
Never fear the show moves to the Dogwood next weekend for performances at 2pm and 7:30pm Saturday and 2pm Sunday.
We love the Michigan Irish Music Festival that arrives at our Metro sister to the west each fall and as a way to support this magical musical medley organizers will hold their annual St. Patrick’s Party March 15 and 16 at Bella Maria’s Ristorante & Event Center, 513 West Pontaluna Road, Norton Shores. Featuring live entertainment both nights.
Good way to get your Irish on so sláinte Hibernophiles.
Newaygo Brewing Co. continues its Acoustic Lunch series with Jack Leaver making an appearance from Noon-4pm.
BONUS: NBCo is offering their own St Patty’s culinary creations featuring Two House Beer Brats, Homemade Mash Potatoes, Stout ‘n Onion Gravy, Caramelized Onions and Cheddar Beer Bread.
Tunes and Treats. Can’t beat it. This Irish inspired dish will be available from Friday through Sunday only so grab your appetite and get moving to one of downtown Newaygo’s destination spots.
The Michigan Irish Music Festival 2019 St. Pat’s Party & Fundraiser
The Michigan Irish Music Festival will hold its annual St. Patrick’s Party March 15 and 16 at Bella Maria’s Ristorante & Event Center, 513 West Pontaluna Road, Norton Shores. will feature live entertainment both nights.
West Michigan-native band CrossBow can be heard at Irish and Scottish music festivals across the Midwest. Apparent from the moment they hit the stage, these high-energy musicians naturally feed off of one another, creating a dynamic, wholly unique performance that shouldn’t be missed.
Other highlights of the event include performances by Brother Crowe, a Detroit-based duo that plays Indie folk music in a traditional Celtic style, and traditional Irish dance performances from the Ardan Academy of Dance. Additionally, the silent auction returns both nights with several new exciting formats and ways to bid on the variety of items.
Back by popular demand is McGovern’s Corned Beef and Irish fare, plus Irish soda bread and soft pretzels from the Village Baker. Pigeon Hill Brewing Company’s MI Irish Stout, Magner's Irish Cider, Irish cream, Jameson Irish Whiskey, and Budweiser products will also be served. Doors open at 5:30 pm both nights with music starting at 6pm. Tickets are available at the door for $8, and kids 12 and under get in for free.
The mission of the Michigan Irish Music Festival is to produce a quality Midwest Irish Music Festival that promotes Irish culture and heritage while enhancing the community through entertainment, tourism, education and philanthropy. The festival is proud to support Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry and Kids’ Foot Basket with gifts of non-perishable food items and cash donations. Since 2008, due to the success of the St. Pat’s Party and the Festival, the Michigan Irish Music Festival has donated over $266,000 in cash and 21,000 pounds of food back to the community.
The Michigan Irish Music Festival will return this fall, September 12-15, 2019, at Heritage Landing in downtown Muskegon. The festival kicks off with a Pub Party on Thursday, September 12th. The festival and the St. Patrick’s Party are sponsored by G&L, Budweiser, Van's Car Wash & Quick Lube, and Family Financial Credit Union. For complete festival information, visit www.michiganirish.org.
Event to feature local high school talent
One of the coolest events of the early spring (can spring ever be too early?) is coming to the Grant Fine Arts Center on Monday March 25th at 7pm when the White Cloud Rotary hosts the Newaygo County Jazz Festival.
The concert features each of our 5 area school jazz bands who will put forth a lively evening of music guaranteed to set your toes to tapping and bring some smiles to a March Monday.
This annual event has been a favorite of N3 and has grown from it’s early days when just 3 schools began showing their syncopatic skills on the GFAC stage. Now in its 7th year the “Night of Jazz” showcases the musical accomplishments of our local students from White Cloud, Newaygo, Fremont, Grant and Hesperia.
Admire the sound of swing? Enjoy a little bebop? Savor some occasional blues?
Well this gathering of youthful talent will be right up your alley with some serious sounds being delivered to an appreciative audience in a superb setting.
These young folks will blow you away with the level of musicianship emanating from the stage,
And as a bonus, emcee (and former preeminent DJ) Jim Jones will once again man the mike to keep things rolling along.
Tickets are an absolute steal at a mere $10 and if you’re 18 or under a mere fin ($5) gets you in.
Said tickets are available from any Band Director band student or White Cloud Rotary member so get them while they’re hot and get ready settle in for an evening of entertainment well worth the price of admission.
Suggestion Box: Freezin’ Season, Hugo’s Hunchback, Some Standup, Tunes, Talks, and Tigers on the Horizon
By the N3 Entertainment Guide Guru
I know, I know you’re tired of it. Winter has been showing a little bitterness of late and like the mail for a postal worker it just keeps coming and coming and…
Well, you get the drift (no pun intended) and we get that it can be a challenge but as long as the Old Man lingers we may as well make the best of it and the only way to do that is to jump right into the teeth of it and shake out some badly needed fun.
Remember a few weeks back when we were touting the Freezin’ Season Winter Carnival? You know the one that got cancelled because the doggone weather wouldn’t even cooperate for a frosty festival, deciding instead to toss out an ice storm that cancelled the activities?
Well it’s back and it is scheduled for this Saturday. That’s right, regardless of the Old Man’s effort to put a damper on even this ray of winter fun the organizers , bless their little pea pickin hearts, have regrouped and will be churning out some wintry whoopee beginning at 1pm at the Welcome Center located at 4684 Evergreen (mM37)
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM Intro to Ice Fishing
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM Sledding
1:30 PM - 3:30 PM Winter Bird Feeding Craft and Presentation
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM Snowshoe/Hike the North Country Trail
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM Build a Bat or Bird House
5:00 PM - 5:45 PM Chili Cook-Off Judging and Fishing Trip Drawing
5:45 PM - 8:00 PM Winter Night Photography presentation and activity
Carnival goers will also learn about Michigan's natural environment, plants, and animals during the winter months and be able to try out new ways to stay active outdoors and how to stay safe with fire/heaters during the cold months.
Take that you wretched false forecasting rodent who had the nerve to promise an early spring.
Did you see the review Ms. Megan Wirts did on the Grant High School production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame?
Well it’s epic and will make you want to go and besides supporting high school theater is one of those very cool things you can do while providing an evening of exceptional entertainment. These kids work hard and deserve not just an audience but one that will deliver a response that will make all their hard work worthwhile.
Like I said read the review.
Speaking of our Ms. Wirts she is doing her stand up comedy thing at Hennessey's Irish Pub in Muskegon ( 885 Jefferson St) at 8pm Friday. If you've seen her perform and heard about this you're likely to be already going but if you're not a Megafan of Megan yet, she is definitely one funny lady.
Have you caught the Acoustic Lunch scene at Newaygo Brewing Co. yet? The Loomans are delivering some great music to go with their fine brews and to-die-for pizza. This week it’s Nathan Dill squeezing out some sultry sounds on jazz guitar. Head for downtown Newaygo Saturday 12-4pm and you will not be sorry.
Other upcoming events?
Check out the Great Decisions Speaker Series latest offering at the Dogwood Tuesdays at noon. This is some real thought provoking stuff folks and if you’re the kind of person who actually desires and craves some well thought out ideas from people you won’t find on facebook or one of the panel driven cable news (and I use the word ‘news’ in only the broadest sense) shows check one or more of these out. There are two more after this week so don’t delay.
This week the topic will be “Life after the Arab Uprisings and the Islamic State” with Rania Abouzeid, author of "No Turning Back: Life, Loss, and Hope in Wartime Syria" so come on down and get yourself some real skinny on what’s going on in our world.
Wednesday night is Tall Cop Presents “High In Plain Sight” a free program with free dinner and free child care and a boatload of what you need to know about the current drug culture.
Thursday Brooks Township will be the site of a presentation on Climate Change by George Heartwell. Yes, I know there are those who have yet to believe in the whole climate change thing but then again there are those who still don’t believe the world is round so opinions are like... well like a lot of things everyone has.
Stay warm and stay hopeful. Spring Training games are in full bloom and Opening Day at CoPa is just 27 days away...though I fear we could be in for another long season fellow Tiger fans.
By Tim McGrath
We were comfortably ensconced in the house turned seminar facility on the Aquinas College campus ready to be lifelong learners. Like many colleges, they realize the oldster set is a hot market to tap. We baby boomers aren’t ready to shuffle off to shuffleboard while watching our chin turn to chins, and our bellies become cup holders. No sir, we’re ready for action. Hit the gym in the morning, golf course or pickleball (and naps) after lunch. But wait, there’s more. We’re not going to be mental loafers, either. Keep the brain nimble; ready to juke and jive at a moment’s notice. At least, that’s what the brochure said. So, there we were feeding our gray matter.
There were about twenty of us in the living room turned to cozy meeting space. The day’s seminar was led by a very engaging priest from the community whom I’ll call Father Tom. Can’t remember what the theme of the session was, but I vividly recall the part where Father Tom broke us off into groups of five or six people to discuss whatever it was we were supposed to be discussing. While we were busy at it, Father Tom quietly crept about the room listening in on the groups. Smiles, gentle laughter, encouraging remarks; all very nice, indeed. As we were discussing, I casually remarked to someone in our group: “Well, maybe you should…”. Didn’t get another word out.
“We don’t should on people here”, Father Tom not so casually remarked. “No shoulding allowed”.
“Now, let’s rephrase that without shoulding on him”, he encouraged with a smile and a gentle chuckle. So, that’s what I did. “Much better this time,” he remarked. Everyone in the group seemed satisfied the menace had got his comeuppance. Yet, I had this nagging feeling I’d be required to stay after the seminar and write one hundred times: “I won’t should on Billy ever again”. Thankful it didn’t happen, but I sure beat feet out of there at the conclusion. No way I wanted to get caught short disappointing a priest.
I had just been schooled on do-overs. Father Tom was making a valid point. Most of us don’t want someone telling us what we should do unless asked. It grates on my nerves when it happens to me, and here I was offering up to a complete stranger what I thought would, obviously, improve their life if they’d just do what I said. So, in retrospect Father Tom, thank you for letting me have a do-over here. In fact, Cheryl and I have a running joke/rule in our home about it: no shoulding allowed!
Sometimes, however, do-overs take an unexpected turn. My Cub Scout troop was scheduled to appear on The Buck Barry Show in a couple weeks. Buck Barry was a local celebrity in Grand Rapids during the 50’s and 60’s. He was our version of Gene Autry and The Lone Ranger, and he had a live weekly TV show one afternoon a week, along with his Saturday morning Buckaroo Rodeo broadcast. We’d been asked to do a little square dancing with the local Brownie troop on that afternoon’s show.
I don’t think any of us had the slightest clue how to square dance, but our den mother (my mom) thought it’d be a great opportunity. Plus, Buck assured mom he’d teach us everything we needed to know; we just had to show up about an hour before the show aired, and we’d have it down pat in no time. Sounds plausible that a bunch of eight year olds could learn to square dance on live TV in sixty minutes, right?
Buck was right; he showed us a few moves, and, in no time we were sashaying around the studio with our little Brownie partners in fine form. Buck introduced our piece of the show, we took our places, the music started, and what had been a mostly well oiled dancing machine broke down into chaos. It probably would have been hilarious to see this unfolding while watching at home, but not for us dancers. Thankfully, Buck realized quickly what was happening, and stopped us.
“Well, buckaroos, let’s try this again; I know you can do it. Everybody get with your partners, and let’s take it from the top!” We all quickly reorganized, the music started, Buck started calling out the moves. And, just as we were starting to promenade, I looked at my little Brownie partner. Something wasn’t right. Her face had turned the color of paper.
“Are you OK?” I mouthed. She looked back at me, shook her head no. And, in that same moment, she vomited – all over me. Not just a petite little throw up; this was volcanic. Our do-over on live TV quickly devolved into the stuff producers of live TV get hives over. Have to hand it to Buck, though; he was made of sterner stuff. He was used to his little buckaroos going off script from time to time.
“Well, buckaroos, looks like we’ll need to watch some of our favorite cartoons for a little bit while we get cleaned up. But, first, let’s go to commercial!” Not much else to report, other than as we were heading out of the studio, I spotted Buck sitting off camera fanning himself with his Stetson as he took a drag on his cigarette.
I like do-overs, in spite of there being no guarantees of anything better happening than the first (or second, third…) time. Depending on the situation, it could be simply a futile gesture, or a life changer. I keep reminding my golfing pals of this. “C’mon, guys, we get mulligans on this hole, too, right?”
Irish folk group Runa, bring their musical talents to the Dogwood Black Box on Friday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Quickly gaining recognition as one of Irish music’s new “super-groups,” Runa has been enchanting audiences by pushing the boundaries of Irish folk into Americana and roots music since their formation in 2008. Interweaving the haunting melodies and exuberant tunes of Ireland and Scotland with the lush harmonies and intoxicating rhythms of jazz, bluegrass, flamenco and blues, they offer a thrilling and redefining take on traditional music.
Seeking to preserve and continue a traditional culture in a modern age, Runa creates the backbone of its signature roots sound from the musical and geographical diversity of its individually established band members. Their strive for excellence and creativity blazes a trail for the future of folk music, earning them the reputation as one of the most innovative Irish folk groups of this generation.
Runa consists of vocalist and step-dancer, Shannon Lambert-Ryan of Philadelphia, Dublin-born guitarist, Fionán de Barra, Cheryl Prashker of Canada on percussion, Maggie Estes of Kentucky on the fiddle and mandolin, and Zach White of Missouri on mandolin, vocals, banjo, and flat-picking guitar.
The group has been honored internationally, winning Top Group and Top Traditional Group in the Irish Music Awards and three Independent Music Awards including Best LIVE Album, Best World/Traditional Song, and Best Bluegrass Song.
Tickets are $15.00 and are available through the Dogwood Center Box Office, NCCA-Artsplace in downtown Fremont, or on-line at www.dogwoodcenter.com. For information, phone 231.924.8885. The Dogwood Center is located one mile east of downtown Fremont.
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