ANN ARBOR - We're so done with winter. We've gotten hints of warmer weather only to later be punished with more cold, and unfortunately, this week is no exception. As always, however, the weather will not get us down, and this weekend is full of wonderful events that will put a smile on your face, snow be damned. So settle in for a weekend of fun and excitement in the city that was just named No. 1 best city to live in America on Niche.com's Best Cities to Live in America list for 2018.
'A Wrinkle In Time' at the State
You know the famous book by Madeleine L'Engle and you've no doubt seen the trailer for the movie by director Ava DuVernay. Now "A Wrinkle In Time" is finally here and appears to be polarizing with come critics. Whether you've read the book or not, you cannot deny DuVernay's keen eye and style when it comes to telling a thrilling story. Starring Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Mindy Kaling and many others, we hope you'll take the time to see this movie at the beautifully restored State Theatre and let us know what you think when you do. Screenings begin at 4:30 p.m.
Cinetopia Presents Direct From Sundance: 'The Death of Stalin' at the Michigan
If you've never seen the movie "In the Loop," we're going on record to say that you've missed out on the single greatest comedy that has come out in the last 20-plus years. More of you have probably seen the HBO series "Veep," which we'll allow, as both titles come from mastermind Armando Iannucci. But seriously: See "In the Loop" immediately. Once you've done that, you'll no doubt be even more excited to see "The Death of Stalin" at 7:15 p.m. as part of the Cinetopia Film Festival's Direct from Sundance presentation. Set in Moscow in 1953, the film focuses on the moment when tyrannical dictator Joseph Stalin drops dead, and the ensuing chaos that erupts when his parasitic cronies square off in a frantic power struggle to be the next Soviet leader. Among the contenders are the dweeby Georgy Malenkov (Jeffrey Tambor), the wily Nikita Khrushchev (Steve Buscemi), and the sadistic secret police chief Lavrentiy Beria (Simon Russell Beale). But as they bumble, brawl and back-stab their way to the top, just who is running the government?
Richard Shindell at The Ark
Acclaimed singer-songwriter Richard Shindell will play selections from his latest release, "Careless," beginning at 7:30 p.m., along with other favorites from his discography. Shindell has created a wide array of characters and personas within each song, all while rooting for the underdogs and condemning those who seek to practice religious intolerance, prejudice and war.He is also quite excited to return to our beloved city. "For performers of a certain ilk, The Ark has long been a beloved mainstay of the national touring scene," Shindell said by email. "Out on the road, knowing that the next stop is Ann Arbor is always a happy prospect."
Our Vices at Club Above
It is true that most of the time, when we write about musicians performing in the Ann Arbor area, it tends to be within the genre of folk, but this weekend, we're giving you three options. The second happens to be a band from Flint called Our Vices, a metal band that also brings a blend of musical tastes influenced by each member to every performance. The show at Club Above begins at 8:30 p.m. “We have always been interested in playing the Ann Arbor area because of the large number of residents our age and the thriving community," member Jonathan Rechsteiner said by email. "We can’t wait to meet all the new faces of fans and other bands alike on Saturday." Pro-tip: You may purchase fee-free tickets through ourvicesmerch.com. You're welcome in advance.
'Weird Al' Yankovic: Ill-Advised Vanity Tour with guest Emo Philips
We cannot help but be music-heavy this weekend with so many great artists coming to the city. Truly though, what's not to love about "Weird Al" Yankovic? We happened to grow up in the 90s and early aughts when songs like "Amish Paradise," "Jurassic Park," "The Saga Begins" and "Eat It" were all we listened to. Now, for the first time in his storied career, the world’s foremost musical satirist and four-time Grammy-winner foregoes his usual high-octane, big-production show for an intimate evening of music, focusing on original (non-parody) songs from his 14-album catalog. This performance, which begins at 8 p.m., will be a rare opportunity to get up-close and personal with this legendary performer.
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