The fun won’t end with Halloween night this year because Fremont High School Theatre is bringing The Addams Family Musical to the stage at Dogwood Center for the Performing Arts on November 1, 2, 3.
Wednesday Addams (Lizzy Faulkner), the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family – a man her parents have never met. And if that weren’t upsetting enough, Wednesday confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother. Now, Gomez Addams (Colton Yuhasz) must do something he’s never done before – keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia (Jordyn Doran). Everything will change for the whole family (Alex Tillery as Uncle Fester, Ainsley Jahr as Grandma, Katie Gebhart as Pugsley, and Aidan Petz as Lurch) on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday’s ‘normal’ boyfriend and his parents (Aiden Ekkel, Mateo Rodriguez and Rebeka Barnes).
Tickets are $12 for adults and $7 for students, and are available through the Dogwood Center Box Office, at ArtsPlace in downtown Fremont, or online at www.dogwoodcenter.com.
Alex Guthrie at Dogwood Center
Alex Guthrie will perform in the Dogwood Center's Black Box on Friday, November 9 at 7:30 p.m. Guthrie is an Atlanta based "earthy, soul, pop" artist who is turning heads across the states. With the infusion of different genres, Guthrie brings audiences together through brilliant lyrics and an expressive voice.
Most recently, Guthrie performed the National Anthem at SunTrust Park for the Atlanta Braves, voted “Most Popular” Emerging Artist at the 2018 Summerfest in Milwaukee, opened for Smash Mouth at the Coca Cola Roxy for the Arby’s Foundation Dream Big Event, and perhaps, most notably, Guthrie has been noted as “the guy from the Jennifer Hudson commercial.” The now-infamous American Family Insurance commercial that features him playing in Atlanta’s Woodruff Park when the Grammy Award-Winning singer Jennifer Hudson surprises Guthrie and sings along to Bill Wither’s beloved “Lovely Day.” The commercial has played on national television and radio, resulting in new opportunities and heightened awareness for Alex Guthrie, his band and his music. Click here and check it out!
Guthrie and his band have performed events that have included 30A Songwriter’s Festival in Florida, Wire and Wood Songwriter’s Festival in Georgia, Wheeler Opera House in Colorado, Jammin’ Java Listening Room in Virginia, and the Elbo Room in Chicago.
In 2015, Guthrie and his band were awarded the Georgia Americana Artist of the Year, an astounding achievement that brought his music attention and recognition. Within a short span of time, Guthrie was opening up for national touring artists including Kelly Clarkson. A new album is currently being recorded and is expected to be released in spring 2019.
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 or just click here. For information, phone 231.924.8885. The Dogwood Center is located one mile east of downtown Fremont.
Halloween looms as does November. Here are a few weekend tips from the folks at N3 World Headquarters.
For some rather amazing grub on the go Hit The Road Joe is servin up Polish Dinners Friday night from 5-7pm. We’re talking Kapusta,Homemade Keilbasa, Glombkie and Red Skin mashed potato and a slice of Rye bread
At 12 bucks a plate you can’t go wrong as anyone who has sampled the summertime ribs-to-go can duly attest. One must consider, however, there will be limited quantities so call ahead for reservations to guarantee a plate or just stop in if you want to take your chances but you took a chance on the Mega Millions and that didn’t work out so….(231)652-6020.
In Pretty Woman Richard Gere’s character tells Julia Roberts “People's reactions to opera the first time they see it is very dramatic; they either love it or they hate it. If they love it, they will always love it. If they don't, they may learn to appreciate it, but it will never become part of their soul.”
Mike Gesler reviewed the performance of The Magic Flute being presented this weekend at Opera Grand Rapids and I encourage you to read it. If afterwards you might have your interest piqued a bit and you attend as a first timer, send us an email and let us know what you thought of it.
Trail of Terror wraps up another year of laying some serious scare on those brave enough to attend, including our own Ms,.Wirts who delivered this review.
Saturday the River Stop Saloon will be hosting a Halloween Party so whip up your most imaginative costume idea and make sure the getup allows for movement because the place will be rocking to the tunes of the Kyle Hilton Band. Years ago at a faraway bar during Halloween I witnessed three people walking in step as if stuck together. They wore sunglasses and bore white canes and mouse ears and noses.
You got it, three blind mice.
The best part was when the three ordered shots and downed them in sync, then waddled their way back out.
Three area football teams will be in the playoffs. Newaygo is at home while Holton and Tri County hit the road. Games start at 7pm and here’s more info.
“Come Sing With Us!”
There is a long standing tradition for the Newaygo Community when it comes to the Christmas Concert, a tradition that has endured for over 3 decades. The first concert was held at the Newaygo United Methodist Church in December of 1987. At that time, Doris Purcell, an organist from the Newaygo Congregational UCC, accompanied the choir and Kathy Badge, choir director from Newaygo United Methodist Church, directed the choir and invited the community to attend. Soon, members from other churches joined this community Christmas choir, and not only did the choir grow in size--but the audience did as well.
To accommodate the growing audience, the concert was moved to Saint Bartholomew Catholic Church. Doris Purcell played accompaniment for the first 5 years and then Lois Vandyke took over the accompanist position while Kathy Badge continued to organize and direct the choir for twenty years.
In 2006, both Kathy Badge and Lois Vandyke retired from leadership of the Christmas Choir and many folks wondered if this might be the end of a wonderful tradition. It was at that point that Rev. Barbara Boss volunteered to step in and try to keep the choir going. That was in 2007--and the tradition still continues.
This year marks the 32nd year a combined community choir gathers and learns sacred Christmas songs to be performed for a Community Christmas concert on the second Sunday of December. Although the choir has been given different names, each year anyone who has a love of singing about the "real reason for the season" is invited to join this community effort.
There are no tryouts--all are welcome (age high school through adult). Last year. 2017, the choir chose to call themselves the River Country Community Christmas Choir and it attracted fifty singing adults from Newaygo County and beyond. This year, the invitation is the same and the choir welcomes all to “come and sing with us!”
Rehearsals start on Tuesday, November 6, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Family of God Community Church. Barbara Boss, a retired pastor from Newaygo, will continue to direct and Lorene Witte, of Fremont, will thankfully accompany the choir once again.
For the last several years, the concert has been held at the Grant Fine Arts Center--and the tradition of performing on the second Sunday in December continues as the 2018 date is December 9--beginning at 6 p.m. (regardless of weather!).
“As in the past, there is no charge for the concert,only a free-will offering is taken and given to community ministry of Newaygo County,” said Rev. Boss. “If you enjoy singing, come to our first rehearsal and see for yourself. If you enjoy listening to some wonderful songs of the Christmas season, please put the concert date on your calendar and bring your friends and family.”
A Night At The Opera
By Mike Gesler
Last night I had the opportunity to attend the final dress of Opera Grand Rapids’ performance of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s, The Magic Flute with libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder. I must admit, I was going in with a little trepidation. Not because it was an opera; I love opera. While The Magic Flute is not my favorite, it does rank within my top five. My apprehension was caused knowing that Opera Grand Rapids was performing this final Mozart masterpiece in English rather than its original tongue of German. I wondered how well this opera would translate. My other hesitation was if Opera Grand Rapids could find a coloratura soprano who could carry the high A6 needed in both arias sung by the Queen of the Night. I wasn’t expecting Diana Damrau (YouTube her. I dare you.), but still, Mozart tailored this to the vocal range of the original singer, Josepha Hofer, and it’s been a challenge to many singers since. Yet, despite my reservations, I eagerly anticipated my night at the opera.
First of all, if you’re an opera fan or just opera curious, this production is a can’t miss. Seriously, to miss this show would be tantamount to missing the stars at night, the majesty of the mountains, or the oceans crashing on the shore. Yes, your life will go on, but it will be richer and fuller for the experience. The translation used from German to English rendered extremely well. And while Opera Grand Rapids still ran subtitles – if you have never attend the opera, there is a screen that runs English subtitles so you can follow along – it was nice not having to read in order to understand and follow the story. Opera Grand Rapids did this with intention; to make opera more accessible. And The Magic Flute is arguably one of the best entry level operas as it appeals to both children and adults.
Second, the cast was absolutely wonderful. The combination of James Marvel, Director, and Maestro James Meena, Conductor, allowed for an artistic vision that brought out the best of each performer. From the principle and support singers to the entire ensemble, I was simply amazed that Grand Rapids could find and support the talented singers who marveled me with their performance. I’ve lived in the Grand Rapids area now for twenty-one years, and I’m still pleasantly surprised at what I find.
If you’re not familiar with The Magic Flute, it’s a fairytale operetta of a handsome young prince, Tamino, who must rescue Pamina, the princess in distress. Tamino is played by tenor Dennis Shuman and Pamina is played by soprano Cheyanne Coss. Together their vocals are a beautiful blend in their duets, and Coss’ vocals have found a new fan. While young in her career, she is definitely one to watch. It is the Queen of the Night, played by Jana McIntyre (and yes she can hit the high A6) who enlists Tamino to liberate her daughter, Pamina, from Sarastro, the High Priest of Isis, played by Zaikuan Song. In the mix, Tamino is joined by Papageno, a simpleton bird catcher, played by John Viscardi, whose only real desire is to catch a wife. Tamino, Pamina, and Papageno each must face several trails to prove their worth in order to win what their hearts desires; love, wisdom, and enlightenment. The story is filled with humor and drama, good and evil that keeps the audience engaged as any good fairytale should.
Opera Grand Rapids, The Magic Flute, is on stage at the DeVos Performance Hall this Friday and Saturday, October 26 & 27, at 7:30 pm. The costuming is gorgeous, and honestly some of the best costumes I’ve seen for The Magic Flute. The set is simple, yet complex, and very effective especially when the entire ensemble is on stage. And the use of digital backdrops add to the story in much the same way that Mozart composed the music. Tickets are available starting at $26 and student tickets cost only $5. You can order tickets online through operagr.org or ticketmaster.com, or by calling 616.451.2741 ext. 3. One word of caution. The Magic Flute is a three hour show including intermission. While older children will be entertained through the entire production, thought should be given with younger children.
Preserving The Prairie
Group seeks volunteers who dig the environment
Michigan Nature Association is inviting you to help preserve a section of Newaygo County’s rare and endangered ecosystems, the Dry Sand Prairie.
These prairie lands once covered over 5000 acres in Newaygo County and though they have been vastly reduced in size, they remain home to many unusual plants and animals.
MNA will be doing some fairly light labor this Wednesday, October 24 from 10am-2pm to help protect this area from invasive plant growth and are hoping to attract some folks who want to help keep this area thriving.
MNA member Sarah Pregitzer can be contacted for more information.
“Come find out what it’s all about,” she stated. “You can come for any part of the day. The more, the merrier! Contact me for details and directions.”
Ms. Pregitzer can be reached by phone: 616-916-9436 or email: spregitzer@ sbcglobal.net for directions to the sanctuary and info on appropriate clothing.
By Megan Wirts
Ed. Note: The inimitable Ms. Wirts, columnist, comedian, and cheesecake creator extraordinaire, shares her TOT experience as only she can.
It’s that time of year again, where families are going to pumpkin patches, apple orchards and reveling in the wholesome autumnal season. It’s also the time where my family goes all out and celebrates our favorite holiday, Halloween! Our house has been decorated, costume ideas have been discussed and debated and our annual trip to the Trail of Terror in Holton has happened. All that we are waiting for now is the big night for a little trick or treating and spooky, scary, fun stuff.
“What is this Trail of Terror?”, you may be wondering to yourself. Well, I’ll tell you, it is the hands down best haunted trail that I have ever been to. This is the third year that I have been bestowed the horror, I mean honor, of covering the event for N3. The Trail of Terror has been a staple in Holton for the past 15 years. It is 10 acres of woods filled with up to 70 live monsters, that will scare the socks right off of you, or your hat or your glasses, which I have first hand experience with. Don’t worry, if you get halfway through the trail and it’s just too much for you to handle, you can go off to a scare free area and a trail worker will come pick you up and take you to safety. Also, if you are sensitive to strobe lights, this may not be the trail for you. However, if you are into screaming until you laugh, reliving childhood nightmares and enjoying some safe, fun frights, this is the place to go.
The past two years I was accompanied by my mom, my children and various other family members. This year, my mom sat the trail out. I know, many of you are sad to hear this. We were all a little disappointed too. If you know my mother, you know that she is over the top when it comes to being scared, and honestly it’s one of the most hilarious things to witness. The first year at least two of us left with scratches and bloody lips from her flailing about in fear. So, I guess this years trail experience was a little safer for all of us. Love you Mom.
On this fateful fright night, there were 9 of us in total ranging in age from 9 years old - me, that made the brave trek through the trail. The group included first timers and veteran trail attendees. We arrived just as the sun was setting, filled with great anticipation and excitement, ready for the adrenaline rush.
They split our group up into two, which was bit unnerving at first as we entered through the black curtain. I was counting on more people around me to protect me, but I was left with my teenage daughter, Raven, her best friend, Avery and my cousin Tyler. Once inside we were met by the heinous Michael Myers and our fearful foursome tried to keep him at bay as he followed menacingly behind us. The further we went all I could hear were the screams from our family up ahead and the loud thumping of my heart in my ears.
We then were greeted by a terrifying figure standing in the darkness that screamed in our faces as we passed by and the only way to get around them, was by entering a maze filled with creepy little girls and haunting lullaby music. I kept screaming, “Tyler, Tyler, are you behind me!”, “Raven, Avery, OH MY GOD!” “NOO, NOO, I DO NOT LIKE YOU!”. It was chilling and I am certain I will have nightmares.
The trail is filled with scene after scene of unspeakable terror straight from some of the best horror movies ever made. You will encounter Children of the Corn, The Exorcist, IT, that horrible clown from the Saw movies, an axe wielding maniac, Freddy Krueger, and a pig with a chainsaw, just to name a few. But, the part of the trail that really gets me, each and every year, are the chainsaws. The smell, the sound and the terrifying masked maniacs, is almost too much for me to handle. Every single year it makes me pee just a little bit. One of the first movies I remember watching as a very young child was Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I was much too young to have watched it,(but it was the 80’s) and it definitely stuck with me.
When all nine of us were safely out of the trail and reunited we were all buzzing with adrenaline and laughter as we relayed our tales of terror to each other. We all agreed that this year’s trail was the most frightening yet. I was even able to chat it up with Buffy Murphy, owner and operator of the Trail of Terror. When asked about her favorite part of the trail, her answer, “My family of 15 years!”. This isn’t just a chance to scare people senseless for Murphy, this is a labor of love and family. She says that the entire staff, newbies and returning members, are deeply committed to excellence. Which I have seen first hand for the past three years. The trail is a small family owned operation that competes against million dollar organizations in the haunted house industry and year after year they have won the title of “Scariest Place in West Michigan.” A title that I agree, is very well deserved.
Don’t miss your chance to get your scare on! The Tail of Terror opens to the public on October 19, 20, 26 & 27th, beginning at dusk until 11pm weather permitting. Tickets are $14 for regular admission or you can upgrade to VIP for $19, a portion of proceeds goes to the Dakota Dean Murphy scholarship fund. The Trail of Terror is located at 7582 Crocker Rd. in Holton MI.
The String Doctors will perform in the Dogwood Black Box on Saturday, October 20 at 7:30 p.m. Together, the four musicians of The String Doctors will bring a new kind of country swing to your lives, joining forces to present an evening of extraordinary musicianship, story-telling, and stage banter. And they throw in “Michigan” humor that will keep you grinning.
The band is led by Joel Mabus with his superb songwriting and savvy stage presence on the guitar and mandolin. Ray Kamalay is the crooner and jokester on guitar. Peter Knupfer has a swinging, bluesy fiddle style that will have you tapping your feet. On bass will be Dave Rosin, an accomplished jazz bassist and teacher of all stringed instruments. His luscious low tones frame their music with beauty and grace.
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.
Be Curious: Dinosaurs at Grand Rapids Public Museum
By Alexis Mercer
The grand opening of the new exhibit at the Grand Rapids Public Museum was Saturday, October 13. This highly anticipated exhibit is held on the 3rd floor of the museum. In anticipation of the crowds being huge, I planned for my family to attend plenty early enough so that we could patiently navigate without worrying about closing time.
As it turned out, the crowds were not an issue. Though there were many people enjoying the exhibit, there is plenty of space and a multitude of activities and sights to keep everyone busy without it feeling overwhelmed. That extra time I had planned, however, was needed to stay and soak in every last detail.
What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon!
Kids of all ages will enjoy this dinosaur exhibit. It was built to be interactive, informative and realistic.
The museum website states "From life-sized and lifelike animatronic dinosaurs- some controlled by visitors – to mechanical and electronic learning stations, the exhibit has something for all ages. Visitors can learn about modern imaging techniques like high-energy neutron beams that reveal the inside of a T. Rex skull in microscopic detail never seen before. The exhibit includes a number of hands-on interactives that explain dinosaur movement, digestion, and evolution, and show the life and methods of dinosaur hunters from the 1800s to today. In addition to large animatronic dinosaurs, interactive highlights include a digital sandbox, paleontologist camp, and an interactive robot that allows visitors to manipulate dinosaur eggs!"
All three of my children (ages 6, 8 and 11) enjoyed the exhibit. In the past we have visited exhibits at other museums that reaches one age group, but not the wide range of all our children. This wasn't the case today. The three of them explored, read, manipulated dinosaurs, looked and learned.
I highly recommend taking a trip to see this newest addition to the museum. It will run through April of 2019. This is a unique, exciting way to foster creativity and curiosity in a museum close to home!
North Country Trail Adventure Part 12
Newaygo North Country Trail Section 12
By Bret Brummel
Nichols North Trailhead to 16 mile rd.
Distance: 5.67 miles
What a difference a few weeks makes in Michigan! The fall colors we witnessed on our drive up to this section of the trail were beautiful and the 40-degree morning temperature was refreshing to say the least. I’ve read that you should dress for running as if the air temperature was 20 degrees higher than the actual thermometer reading. For me, that meant I replaced a Tech performance t-shirt for a normal cotton t-shirt with some shorts. Anna thought I’d freeze. Meanwhile, she is in her running tights, long sleeve tech shirt, running jacket, and thin gloves. What a wimp!
I’m convinced Anna extended our warm-up stretches because I had made fun of her attire. By the time she was ready to go, I was cold. We crossed Cleveland Dr. and headed toward Walkup lake. The scenery was awesome. Not even a quarter mile in, and I was stopping for a picture. The trail wound its way around some marshy areas with standing water where some startled ducks flew adding to the scenery.
At the 2-mile mark, we passed some hikers on the banks of Leaf Lake. They were dressed appropriately for a hike with multiple layers, backpacks and boots. I completely understand their confused looks as we jogged up to them in our running clothes, quickly stopped for a picture of the lake, and ran off. We had warmed up by then and were in good spirits. It seemed that every half mile, we would approach another beautiful lake. I couldn’t resist leaving the trail to run down a steep bank to get a picture of Condon Lake. Anna wisely opted to see the lake from the top of the hill. On my trek back up the hill to rejoin Anna, I realized my legs would appreciate me taking fewer pictures.
It seems that at the four-mile mark of every trail run, it becomes harder to pick up your feet. You have to stay focused enough to get over some of the tree roots or bad things will happen. Today, the trail was carpeted with beautifully colored leaves. Unfortunately, that meant the roots that can be found on the path were hidden. It wasn’t long before Anna tripped and fell, then it was my turn, then Anna once again. Nothing was hurt but our pride. We joked that this hike should be titled “A beautiful Michigan Fall”.
We exited the trail at 16-mile road having enjoyed another wonderful section of the trail. Our next section will bring us to the Lake County line and the end of our journey. Please get out and enjoy the trail. The scenery is as good as it gets. You won’t be disappointed.
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