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Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

"Motown: The Musical" will be at the Fisher Theatre through April 30.
EncoreMichigan.com

There's a lively professional theater scene happening in Michigan.

With that being the case, Stateside is launching a new regular segment on the show called Theater Talk. It will turn the spotlight on different companies, keeping you up to speed on productions.

Four soldiers sit at a table in South Vietnam, 1972
Manhhai / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

 

The Vietnam War spanned more than a decade, from the arrival of U.S. support troops in 1961 to the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975. It’s a conflict that remains one of the most painful chapters in United States history.

Now, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Ken Burns and his co-director Lynn Novick look back on this period in a new ten-part documentary series The Vietnam War.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Scott Smith Pipe Organs in Lansing repairs, restores, installs, and builds pipe organs. However, Scott Smith says his profession causes confusion for some people, such as a guy he was talking to at a party.

Stateside 4.13.2017

Apr 13, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear about an event designed to train imams and other faith-based leaders to spot the first signs of mental illness. And, we get a sneak peak of the first-ever musical version of "Into the Wild," premiering in Dexter.

Valentine Vodka

Take that, Russia, Poland, France!

Those countries, famous for their vodka, were also-rans against a small Ferndale distillery in the World Drinks Awards for 2017.

Valentine Vodka of Ferndale was named the “World’s Best Varietal Vodka” for the second straight year.

Rifino Valentine, president and founder of Valentine Distilling Company, joined Stateside to explain both the award and the vodka responsible for it.

Conor Ryan plays Christopher McCandless in the new musical "Into The Wild"
Michele Anliker Photography

25 years ago this month, a recent college graduate named Christopher McCandless hitchhiked to Alaska. He then hiked into the wilderness, using an old mountain road called the Stampede Trail.

A few months later, on Sept. 6, a hunter found him dead inside an old bus.

Writer Jon Krakauer told this puzzling story in his book Into the Wild which was later adapted into a 2007 film directed by Sean Penn and starring Emile Hirsch.

Now, the story of the young man who called himself "Alexander Supertramp" has been turned into a stage musical.

Into The Wild opens tomorrow night (Friday, April 14) at the Encore Musical Theatre Company in Dexter.

Stateside 4.12.2017

Apr 12, 2017

Today on Stateside, we learn that the Red Wings' first outdoor game wasn't in a big stadium. It was at a prison. And, women are more stressed than men, so why do they live longer?

the cover of X: A Novel
Candlewick Press

"One title. One state. And thousands engaged in literary discussion."

That's the motto of the Great Michigan Read.
Every other year, the Michigan Humanities Council announces its choice for the Great Michigan Read. The goal is to give people across the state a chance to connect by reading and talking about the same book. 

This year, the 2017 Great Michigan Read is X : A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon.

Tyehimba Jess has won the Pulitzer Prize in poetry for his book Olio. It's a book of sonnets, songs and narrative that examines the lives of mostly unrecorded African-American performers. 

Flickr user emdot / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Great Gatsby, an American classic, was published on this day in 1925.

The book sells half a million copies each year, totaling over 25 million copies sold since it was published. It’s been made into a movie five times. But author F. Scott Fitzgerald went to his grave thinking it was a flop.

It sure seems like when something is done, it should also be finished.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A museum dedicated to honoring Michigan women is moving to a new home, near to the food court in a Lansing area shopping mall.

Last week, movers were busy loading cardboard boxes at the Michigan Women’s Historical Center and Hall of Fame.   For 3 decades, the museum has called the Cooley Haze House home.   But the building, overlooking downtown Lansing from its perch next to General Motors Grand River assembly plant, is showing signs of its age. 

Sam Richardson (left) and Tim Robinson, the creators and stars of the Comedy Central show "Detroiters"
Comedy Central

The Comedy Central show Detroiters will wrap up its first season next week. 

Sam Richardson and Tim Robinson are the creators and stars of the show are Detroit natives

The two friends recently received some good news: Detroiters has been picked up for a second season.

Richardson and Robinson joined Stateside to talk about why they wanted to film a show in Detroit.

A bottle of sweet vermouth, half a lime, and a cocktail.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The Cheers! crew is always looking for new Michigan products for cocktails and other drinks. Tammy Coxen with Tammy’s Tastings hunts high and low.

“This is one of the most unique products I’ve come across recently,” she said. “It’s a Michigan-made sweet vermouth,” she explained, holding up the Brengman Brothers Piccolo Dito Vermouth. Brengman Brothers is based at the Crain Hill Vineyard near Traverse City.

The Wall Speaks / Wojtek Sawa

 

“If we can feel sad for what happened to children in Poland, we can equally feel sad about what is happening to children in the Middle East.”

That’s the message that artist Wojtek Sawa and community space owner Alissa Shelton want to bring to the people of Hamtramck.

Jeffrey Angles (2nd from right) became the first American to win Japan's Yomiuri Prize for poetry.
Courtesy of Jeffrey Angles

The Yomiuri Prize, Japan's equivalent to the Pulitzer Prize, has honored exceptional literary works for nearly 70 years. Now, for the first time, an American took home the prize for poetry.

Stateside 4.3.2017

Apr 3, 2017

Tonight, when March Madness officially ends, an anthem will play just as it has each year since 1987. On Stateside today, we hear from the Michigander who wrote the song. And, we learn how a Michigan woman's story of abuse forever changed America's view of domestic violence.

Mackinac State Historic Parks

When you step off the dock onto Mackinac Island, you’re setting foot on a land with a long, and sometimes troubled, history for Michigan’s first people.

There are new efforts underway to get visitors to look past the fudge shops and the quaint homes, to appreciate the Native American history on this island they call “Great Turtle.”

Some of our best questions come from our listeners.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

For several months now, we’ve been traveling around the state, talking to people who make useful things with their hands. We’re calling the series Artisans of Michigan.

This time, we found ourselves in Tecumseh, in Mike Thomsen’s garage. Some people call him “Canoe Mike” because, among other things, he makes wood canoes.

WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2017

It’s no wonder Jack Driscoll has been singled out as one of America’s greatest writers. The ten stories in his new book are elegantly written.

They’re suffused with beauty and mystery and a deep compassion for the rough, yet good-hearted people who live in northern Michigan. 

Stateside 3.30.2017

Mar 31, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear how raising beef could be good for the environment, if done the right way. And, we discuss the backlog of immigration cases facing Detroit.

Vincent Van Gogh self-portrait, painted in 1887.
Wikipedia / Art Institute of Chicago

Happy 164th birthday to the man who is the personification of the "tortured artist."

Vincent Van Gogh was born on this day in 1853.

University of Michigan medical historian and PBS contributor Dr. Howard Markel joined Stateside to talk about some of the mysteries that still remain about this iconic artist. He started with the famous story of Van Gogh cutting off his own ear. 

Cass Adair

 


As Timothy Douglas gave his cast some advice before a recent rehearsal, giggles broke out when he mimicked one of the characters. Douglas laughed along with the University of Michigan student actors, who were taking notes from their seats in the campus’s Arthur Miller Theatre.

Michigan History Center

The story of how Lansing became our state capital starts when Michigan is in its infancy – back in the early 1800s.

When Michigan became a territory in 1805, Detroit was named territorial capital – and for good reason.

“It was the largest city, certainly, and it was also accessible by water, which was very important in an era when roads are, at best, terrible in most places,” said Valerie Marvin, Michigan state Capitol historian.

Courtesy Photo

This week, Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers are releasing their newest album, Pluto.

 The six-member band is rooted in Lansing, Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids. They're known for their eccentric style of mixing elements of funk, dance, pop and R&B.

Frontman Joe Hertler stopped by Stateside to preview the new album and the inspiration that brought it together.

smussyolay / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Grocery store shelves, restaurant menus and cookbooks are a lot different in 2017 than they were 30 or 40 years ago.

Americans tend to pay a lot more attention to the food we eat and how it's prepared. We know more about fine wines. Many of us seek out organic fruits and vegetables, and are willing to try exotic foods our parents and grandparents couldn't even imagine.

But, at the same time, we've seen the income inequality gap widen. How has "good food" become conflated with high status?

In December 2015 the Washington Post announced it was finally dropping the hyphen from "e-mail," two years after the New York Times and four years after the Associated Press Stylebook

While it's surprising that the Post waited so long to let go of a hyphen as obsolete as America Online's free trial CDs, the decision itself wasn't unprecedented.


nico7martin / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

I was sad to hear about Chuck Berry’s death last weekend.

When I worked in St. Louis two decades ago, getting an interview with Berry was a challenge for every reporter in town. He hadn’t given an interview in more than two years when I decided to give it a shot. The owner of a venue where Berry played every couple of months suggested I come to the 40th anniversary of Chuck Berry's Johnny B. Goode. The idea was the club owner would help me get an interview before the show.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Since it’s National Cocktail Day, Cheers! is mixing up a cocktail.

“I don’t know who comes up with these days, but I’m kind of glad to have an occasion to celebrate,” Tammy Coxen with Tammy’s Tastings said.

The Cheers! staff is up for a celebratory cocktail just about any day, but it would seem to be necessary today since it's a national holiday.

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