Culture Calendar: Contemporary Exhibits at Cranbrook, The Return of Hamilton, and Violinists in Ann Arbor

Ryan Patrick Hooper, host of ’CultureShift’ on 101.9 WDET, offers a curated guide of arts and entertainment in November 2022.
Now is your time to be in the room where it happens; catch Hamilton at the Fisher Theatre. Photograph by Joan Marcus.

Visual arts

A trio of Detroit heavy hitters land at Cranbrook

Cranbrook Art Museum has been obsessed with connecting itself to the city of Detroit. With its latest round of exhibitions, the bond only grows as three talented heavyweights in the city’s contemporary scene land in Cranbrook’s galleries.

Bakpak Durden is a homegrown talent whose eye for anatomy and hyperrealism has set them apart, whether working on a mural or on canvas. Their debut solo museum exhibition, The Eye of Horus, will continue to build their nascent legacy.

James Benjamin Franklin may be a West Coast transplant, but he’s adopted Detroit since studying at Cranbrook and laying roots here. His exhibition Full Circle explores the intersection of found materials and abstract art framed in natural shapes and also marks a solo museum debut.

I’ve saved the longest-standing and most distinguished Detroit artist of the bunch for last, and that’s Scott Hocking and his Detroit Stories retrospective at Cranbrook, which will bring together his sculpture, installation, photography, and video work into one place, including his surrealist installations created with found objects from obscure places.

It’s a loaded fall exhibition calendar at Cranbrook that’ll provide a quick pulse check of what Detroit’s contemporary arts scene looks like now. All the exhibitions mentioned from Bakpak Durden, James Benjamin Franklin, and Scott Hocking open on Nov. 5 at Cranbrook Art Museum and will be on display through spring 2023.

More info is available at Cranbrook Art Museum’s official website,


Hamilton returns … and it’s still must-see Broadway

It’s 2022. You are yet again hearing about Hamilton, the Lin-Manuel Miranda masterpiece that opened back in 2015 and remains a juggernaut on theater stages from here to infinity. It’s making its second tour of duty through the Fisher Theatre ahead of Thanksgiving and sticking around into December.

It’s the type of must-see Broadway spectacle that will have tickets flying out of the box office and people lined up for their lottery chance to see it in the lobby of the Fisher Building. The warning here is that all good things come to an end, so if you’ve been putting off seeing Hamilton because it feels like it will always be here and waiting for you … you don’t want to throw away your shot.

For tickets to Hamilton and other information about upcoming Broadway in Detroit shows at the Fisher Theatre, go to


A Berlin debut in Ann Arbor

Like clockwork, the University Musical Society brings some of the most diverse music, dance, and theater programming in southeast Michigan.

The arts arm of the University of Michigan is celebrating its 143rd year with violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman (Dec. 10), the bluegrass master Béla Fleck (Dec. 16), and the bizarre film-meets-art installation The Plastic Bag Store, which I’ll be bringing to your attention in January. But for our November purposes, we’ll focus on the Berlin Philharmonic gracing the stage with the Ann Arbor debut of their new maestro, Mozart’s First Violin Concerto, and lots more.

As a bonus, the Berlin Philharmonic will be performing inside Hill Auditorium — one of the most acoustically sound venues in the United States, designed by architect Albert Kahn. A sophisticated and savory evening indeed.

The Berlin Philharmonic performs two programs across two nights on Friday, Nov. 18, and Saturday, Nov. 19, at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor as part of UMS’ latest season.

More information and tickets are available at

This story is from the November 2022 issue of Hour Detroit magazine. Read more in our digital edition.