7 Things to Do This Weekend (Feb. 19-21)

Enjoy a virtual performance from Blues singer Thornetta Davis, check out a silent film about space exploration, and learn more about the art of sculptor Jaume Plensa during U-M’s Penny Stamps Speaker Series
Our Heavenly Bodies PC Grand Rapids Public Museum
Join the Grand Rapids Public Museum for a virtual showing of the silent film “Our Heavenly Bodies” on Feb. 19. // Film still courtesy of Grand Rapids Public Museum

Our Heavenly Bodies

Each year, Grand Rapids Public Museum hosts Roger That!, a celebration of space exploration and of the life of NASA astronaut in the Apollo program and Grand Rapids native Roger B. Chaffee. As part of the event’s 5th annual occurrence this weekend, the museum will present an organ-accompanied showing of the 1925 German silent film Our Heavenly Bodies. Considered both educational and science fiction, the film explores the origin and mechanics of various aspects of our solar system — including stars, galaxies, and gravitation — as well as fantastical notions of space travel. No cost. Feb. 19. Virtual event; grpm.org 

Quiet Moonlight

Sun Wang’s dynamic, storyboard-style paintings allude to histories, legends, and current events from various cultures to create multi-layered narratives. The Pontiac-based artist’s debut solo exhibition, Quiet Moonlight, explores themes of war, religion, and socio-economic and cultural strife through a global lens. No cost. Feb 19-March 27. Playground Detroit, 2845 Gratiot Ave., Detroit; playgrounddetroit.com

Jaume Plensa PC Patrick Young 2
Jaume Plensa’s sculpture “Behind The Walls” can be seen outside the University of Michigan Museum of Art. // Photograph by Patrick Young

Jaume Plensa: Can You Hear Me?

Though best known for his “Crown Fountain” in Chicago’s Millennium Park, internationally celebrated Spanish sculptor Jaume Plensa’s public artworks can be found in cities across the world, including San Diego, Montréal, London, Paris, Dubai, Bangkok, and even metro Detroit. As part of its Penny Stamps Speaker Series, the University of Michigan Museum of Art will host a virtual screening of Can You Hear Me?, followed by a discussion between UMMA Director Christina Olsen and Plensa himself. The film, which documents a year and a half of the artist’s life, provides viewers with a behind-the-scenes look into his artistic process. No cost. Feb. 19. Virtual event; stamps.umich.edu

Mardi Gras Bar Crawl

Participants decked in flashy costumes, elaborate masks, and an abundance of beads make Detroit’s Mardi Gras Bar Crawl the most extravagant of the year. In addition to a costume contest, you can enjoy themed cocktails, live entertainment, and food and drink discounts at bars throughout the city. $20. Feb. 20. Level Two Bar & Rooftop, 535 Monroe St., Detroit; barcrawllive.com 

Thornetta Davis PC Carr Center
The Carr Center presents a virtual performance by Thornetta Davis this weekend. // Photograph courtesy of Carr Center

Thornetta Davis

In honor of Black History Month, the Carr Center will present a special concert by Detroit singer-songwriter Thornetta Davis. Throughout her three-decade music career, “Detroit’s Queen of the Blues” — so crowned by the Detroit Blues Society in 2015 — has won more than 30 Detroit Music Awards and performed alongside such blues icons as Gladys Knight, Etta James, and Ray Charles. Concert viewers will experience Davis’ smooth and commanding vocals as she performs songs from her most recent and critically acclaimed album to date, Honest Woman. No cost. Feb. 20. Virtual event; thecarrcenter.org

Rodney Perry

Madea’s Big Happy Family star and former co-host of BET’s The Mo’Nique Show Rodney Perry will perform a live stand-up comedy routine at Bert’s Warehouse Theatre this Saturday. With material that’s often based on his own experiences as a husband and father, Perry’s comedic style manages to be both brazen and relatable. $35+. Feb. 20. Bert’s Warehouse Theatre, 2727 Russell St., Detroit; eventbrite.com

 Learning From the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil

In this event hosted by the Farmington Hills-based Holocaust Memorial Center, philosopher and author of the book Learning From the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil Susan Neiman will sit down with National Public Radio host Jenn White to discuss the turbulent state of race relations in the U.S. and how they’re shaped by the racist legacy of slavery. Neiman will offer lessons from Germany’s efforts to atone for the Holocaust, which might inform the U.S.’s approach to confronting its own historical wrongdoings. No cost. Feb. 21. Virtual event; holocaustcenter.org