Cultural Calendar


Sept. 13-25

Come Fly Away:

The Fisher Theatre gets off to a high-flying start as it begins its 50th year. Wedding the smooth music of Frank Sinatra with the dynamic choreography of Twyla Tharp, Come Fly Away follows four couples throughout their evening at a New York City nightclub as they dance, romance, and beg to be flown to the moon.

Sept. 13-25. $39-$89. Fisher Theatre, 3011 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit; 313-872-1000,


Sept. 17

An Evening with Ahmad Jamal:

Born in Pittsburgh in 1930 as Frederick Jones, Ahmad Jamal began tickling the ivories when he was a small boy. In 1958, Jamal’s group released a live album, But Not for Me, which dominated the Top 10 best-selling charts for 108 weeks and featured “Poinciana,” which many consider to be Jamal’s greatest recording. His avant-garde jazz prevails to this day, and at 81, Jamal shows no signs of slowing down. He comes to Treetown with his trio, beefed up by added percussion.

8 p.m. Sept. 17. $10-$46. Hill Auditorium, 825 N. University Ave., Ann Arbor; 734-763-3333,


Sept. 22, 23, 24

DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS):

The yearly fundraiser opens with the Cocktails by Design/ArtWorks Auction (live and silent). The 16th annual ArtWorks Auction includes original pieces by 150 artists. The evening includes a designer-tables display, tasting challenge with local chefs, and live music. Sept. 22, 6 p.m.-midnight; $100. The display is open to the public Sept. 23, noon-8 p.m. The Dining by Design Gala Sept. 24 includes experiential auction, live entertainment, dinner, and appetizers by Matt Prentice Restaurant Group.

(Limited seating; $250). Willys Overland Lofts, 444 W. Willis, Detroit,


Oct. 8, 9

Detroit Symphony Orchestra:

Because of a lingering strike, Orchestra Hall was silent for much of last year, but the 2011-12 season promises to fill the hall again with sweet music. The centerpiece of the opener, led by DSO Music Director Leonard Slatkin, is Berlioz’s fervent Symphonie Fantastique. In 1832, its grim tale of unrequited love won over composer Hector Berlioz’s future wife, who inspired this Romantic program piece. Also on tap is jazz pianist Michel Camilo, who performs his Piano Concerto No. 2 — which makes its North American debut — and Rossini’s evergreen William Tell Overture.

8 p.m. Oct. 8 and 3 p.m. Oct. 9. $15-$100. Orchestra Hall, 3711 Woodward, Detroit; 313-576-5111,


Oct. 15, 19

Michael Jackson — The Immortal World Tour by Cirque du Soleil:

Right before Motown headed for sunny California, Berry Gordy snagged one final act: The Jackson 5. And just about everyone knows the story of how the youngest Jackson, who once crooned, “Oh, I want you back!” became arguably the most successful solo artist ever. Traveling North America, Cirque du Soleil is now doing for Michael Jackson what it once did for The Beatles: fusing music with the theatrical spectacle the troupe is famous for. The show’s creator, Jamie King, describes the production as a “journey into Michael’s head [and] his world,” reflecting “his essence and spirit.”

8 p.m. Oct. 15 and 4 p.m. Oct. 16. $50-$175. Joe Louis Arena, 600 Civic Center Dr., Detroit; 313-396-7444,


Oct. 16 – April 8

Detroit Revealed: Photographs 2000-2010:

With more than 50 photographs by selected metro Detroit artists, Detroit Revealed remembers our most recent decade: a time of new challenges, strong culture, and changes in landscape. The company of images showcases the work of several photographers, including Carlos Diaz, Scott Hocking, and Michelle Andonian. Video work by Dawoud Bey and Ari Marcopoulos accompanies the photography.

Oct. 16-April 8. Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward, Detroit; 313-833-7900,


Oct. 23

Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings:

In Roman mythology, the god Janus has two faces: one looks forward, the other back. He symbolizes acknowledging the past while entering the future. Similarly, the DCWS, in its season opener called 30 Something, celebrates three decades of making music by recalling first-season favorites, while simultaneously looking forward to “the next 30-something years” with a performance by Amusia, the young ensemble-in-residence.

3 p.m. Oct. 23. $10-$25. Berman Center for the Performing Arts, 6600 W. Maple, West Bloomfield Township; 248-559-2095,


Oct. 15, 19, 21, 22, 23

Carmina Burana/The Medium:

Michigan Opera Theatre kicks off its 41st season with an operatic doubleheader. Carl Orff finished Burana, which is based on a medieval collection of poetry, in 1936. Seventy-five years later, an all-new production offers a fresh take on the classic, incorporating dazzling Cirque du Soleil-trained circus acrobatics and Detroit’s own Eisenhower Dance Ensemble. Also on the bill is The Medium, Gian Carlo Menotti’s two-act opera about séances and murder, which MOT is producing for the first time in 38 years in honor of Menotti’s birth centennial.

7:30 p.m. Oct. 15, 19, 21, 22 and 2:30 p.m. Oct. 23. $29-$121. Detroit Opera House, 1526 Broadway, Detroit; 313-237-7464,

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