By Denver Casado, Jessica Penzias, Kerry Kazmierowicztrimm, Christyn Budzyna & Jack Mitchell
The Franke Center’s Youth Theater is pleased to announce its production of The Claw: A New Children’s Musical featuring the talents of kindergarten – 5th graders. When an out-of-order claw game suddenly turns back on, all of the toys are ecstatic! Well… all of the toys except for Dot, a terrified stuffed cow. Dot’s desperate to hold onto her home and her best friend, Aiden. Can Dot conquer her fear of the unknown with some help from the Flair Bears, Mighty Mutant Power Turtles, Beanie Elders, and the all-knowing Mystical 8-ball? Come be part of this fantastical adventure!TICKETS
Join New York, NY Dueling Pianos for a night of piano party madness, as these internationally renowned performers take all of your song requests in a clap-along, bang-the-tables-along crazy fiesta where anything can happen. 2 performers, 2 pianos and an unforgettable night. Click here to see more: http://nynyduelingpianos.com
Downstage Club Preshow: Jack Austin
“Jack Austin will be a freshman at Western Michigan University in the Fall of 2022 obtaining a BFA in musical theatre performance. Notably, Jack has recently performed at the Tony award-winning venue, Feinstein’s 54 Below in New York City. He performed in an event called ‘20 & Under Sing 20 & Over’ where rising stars under 20 years old sing with Broadway stars. He has also recently performed in ‘7 Brides for 7 Brothers’ at the Barn Theatre School for Advanced Training in Augusta, Michigan. Jack’s love of music lives beyond the stage as he is also a recording artist. He released his debut single, ‘Give You My All’, in 2021. He also recently released a new single in August of 2022 called, ‘Veronica’. His music is available on all major streaming services. Jack has also gained notable exposure on his social media where he predominantly shares music and theatre content. He has gained over 22 thousand followers and over 2 million views on the platform.”TICKETS
The Skivvies are Nick Cearley and Sydney Shepherd singer/actor/musicians performing stripped down arrangements of eclectic covers and eccentric originals. Not only is the music stripped down – cello, ukulele, glockenspiel, melodica – but the Skivvies literally strip down to their underwear to perform. The Skivvies were born in 2012, when they became YouTube sensations with their unique covers of artists like Robyn, Carole King and Rihanna. The videos led to live shows, and now this “musically thrilling”, undie-rock, comedy-pop duo continues to perform to sold-out audiences in New York and beyond.
The Wall Street Journal calls them “smart, sophisticated…ingenious,” and Out Magazine says, “The Skivvies have managed to carve out a niche that we never knew needed to exist: part Weird Al- parody and part sexy burlesque…and unusual explosion of satire and sultry.” People Magazine named The Skivvies “The Most Playful Performers” in The Most Talked about Bodies issue and Sports Illustrated named them “Favorite New Band”. The New York Times calls them “a hot musical comedy duo specializing in unexpected arrangements, incongruous mashups, and of course, highly toned displays of skin.” They were also nominated for a MAC award for show of the year.
Nick Cearley (Broadway First National All Shook Up, Pageant, Buyer & Cellar, and Theatreworks USA’s national tour of the “Just So Stories.”) Nick has been performing with The Skivvies since 2012. Previous venues / performances with The Skivvies include: their residency at 54 Below, 42 West, The Highline Ballroom, Roseland Ballroom, Joe’s Pub at the Public Theatre, The Cutting Room, Rockwell Table & Stage in Los Angeles, The Smith Center in Las Vegas, The Laguna Playhouse, The Purple Room Palm Springs, Tampa Theatre, Straz Centre for the Performing Arts, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Huntington Theatre Company in Boston, City Theatre in Pittsburgh, Bay Street Theatre, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, Key West’s Red Barn Theatre, and The Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, PA where they also starred as Brad and Janet in The Rocky Horror Show directed by Hunter Foster.
Sydney Shepherd is filling in for Lauren for this special performance. Sydney is an actor, singer, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter living in Brooklyn NY. Selected stage credits include the world premiere of August Rush the musical (dir. John Doyle) as the lead role of Lyla, First Date (Broadway), the role of Agnes in Jasper in Deadland. Her film credits include Groove, i****you, and the upcoming Midnight Song. She can be seen in the video game Red Dead Redemption II as animal wrangler Sally Nash and as the roller skating waitress in a Verizon commercial.
Sydney is ⅓ of the critically acclaimed indie folk-pop band Bandits on The Run. The band has released several albums, toured internationally, and played esteemed festivals like Americanafest, Summerfest, The NPR Tiny Desk Tour, Cambridge Folk Fest, and the Singapore Formula 1 Grand Prix. Bandits on the Run also wrote, produced and performed several songs that will be featured in the upcoming season of Netflix’s Emmy-award winning show StoryBots.
Here’s Sydney Shepard performing with “Bandits on the Run.”
Submitted films should be no longer than 30 minutes, and all genres will be considered.
The festival will take place at The Franke Center for the Arts in Marshall, MI* and will include screenings of each selected film, a Q&A with select filmmakers, an awards presentation, and a filmmaker roundtable with industry professionals.
The Wolf Tree Film Festival is housed in historic Marshall, Michigan, a gorgeous small town with a vibrant artistic community. Hosted by the Franke Center for the Arts and Marshall’s Youngish Professionals Committee, the festival is held at Franke Center, originally a church built in 1921, now an arts complex that is the proud home of world-class concerts, inspiring theater, and award-winning movies.
*The festival will adhere to all public health and safety recommendations at the time of the event
An ambitious performer and songwriter, Elijah Russ’ sound ranges from modern funk to lo-fi blues to cinematic soul-rock. A veteran of the West Michigan music scene and a standout guitarist, Russ has played with such bands as Gunnar & The Grizzly Boys, Melophobix, The BlueWater Kings Band, The Legal Immigrants, and Harper and the Midwest Kind. His albums include The Elijah Russ Collective (Live), Sandcastles, and Wandering. For more information, visit: https://www.elijahruss.com/
DOWNSTAGE 7PM PRESHOW
Hard Times was formed back in 1989. It was originally developed by four musicians who shared a love for the Blues and Rock n Roll. With influences like Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Tom Petty, ZZ Top and many others. There was so much music to learn and explore. Like a lot of bands Hard Times lineup has changed and evolved over the years. The band called it quits in the mid 90’s only to reemerge in 2012 to do a reunion show and they had such a good time that they decided to bring back Hard Times. After a few lineup changes the band has become a force in the Blues/Rock scene in Kalamazoo and surrounding areas. The current lineup consists of Jon Gates/Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar. Matt Houchin/Bass, Vocals. Bob DeYoung/ Lead Guitar, Lead and Backup Vocals. Larry Sams/ Drums, Percussion. With its current lineup Hard Times has been able to branch out and explore a mix of both Progressive Blues and Rock. Hard Times has always been a band that has tried to appeal to everyone with variety while staying true to what they love.TICKETS
Chakra Learning and Healing Series
The chakra system offers a map that helps us see the correlation between physical body, mindset, emotions, and energy. Chakras are spinning disks of subtle body energy that are accessed through felt sense and intuition. This life force energy when open, aligned, and fluid keeps us radiant, balanced, and alive. Each chakra contains energy of thoughts, feelings, memories, experiences, and actions. This 8 class Chakra Learning and Healing Series was created to illuminate the mind and body connection, in an accessible and practical way. You will be reminded of your infinite potential—you can be grounded, yet flexible, passionate yet disciplined, and expressive yet compassionate. This series will give you access to your subtle body through education and experiences of the chakra system. You will experience practices to build intuitive awareness, transmute and release energy in chakra centers, and receive deeper knowledge of Self.
Each session will be dedicated to moving energy in a particular chakra, starting at your root. We will begin by engaging with introduction and context for each chakra. Then you will be guided and supported through a yoga based embodiment practice, breathwork, meditation, and journaling to experience and feel and draw awareness from each subtle energy center in your body. We will finish with an integration circle and take home tools for continued connection. Our final session will integrate the full series with a Chakra Dance guided by Andrea Sulak of Sacred Pathways.
Submissions are now open for the second annual Michigan Music Video Awards, which will take place April 8, 2023. This award show will feature a screening of music videos from some of the state’s hottest performers and filmmakers. There will be live performances, networking opportunities, and a red-carpet reception. Videos must feature a musical artist or director who currently resides in or originally hails from Michigan. Performers whose videos are selected for screening may also be invited to perform live at the awards show.
The Michigan Music Video Awards will take place at the historic Franke Center for the Arts in Marshall. For more information and to enter, visit: TheFranke.org.
Submission link: https://filmfreeway.com/MichiganMusicVideoAwards-1
October 1, 2022: MMVA’s are open for submissions
January 1, 2023: Michigan Music Video Awards deadline for submissions
February 1, 2023: Michigan Music Video Awards filmmaker notification date
April 8, 2023: Michigan Music Video Awards at The Franke Center
Kennedy’s Kitchen has been making music and telling stories together since 1998, everything from backyard birthday parties and weddings to concert halls and festivals. We have released six CDs along the way, including our acclaimed 2019 release, The Whiskey of Truth, and our 2013 release, The Birds Upon The Trees, now with over 2.5 million streams on Spotify. Our local home is the best public house in the lower 48, Fiddler’s Hearth, and you’ll find us atIrish festivals such as Michigan Irish Fest, Milwaukee Irish Fest, The Celtic Classic in Bethlehem, PA, Erin Fest in Peoria, IL, Dayton Irish Fest in Dayton, OH, Chicago’s Irish American Heritage Center Irish Fest, LaCrosse Irish Fest, and Osh Kosh Irish Fest. We’ve a modern sound, deeply are rooted in traditional Irish music… jigs, reels, hornpipes, aires, stories, and songs; but it’s all about having a good laugh, and if needed, a good cry. Much of it is original: songs and recitations as well as newly composed jigs, reels, and aires. From toe-tapping to deeply moving, it’s always fun. The band is lead by joHn Kennedy, award winning singer and guitar player. It’s Kitchen Music from the home, the hearth, and the heart.TICKETS
In its 4th year, Wolf Tree Film Festival features standout short films and talented filmmakers from across the Great Lakes Region. Enjoy screenings, networking mixers, awards, and more.
The mixer begins in the Downstage Club at The Franke Center at 6pm. The screening will begin on the Mainstage at 7pm.
Featuring a Friday night beer and wine tasting in downtown Marshall and a Saturday night concert featuring blues queen Nora Jean Wallace, IWBB is a can’t-miss winter event!
Friday evening join your friends in downtown Marshall to sample beer and wine at 10 different business locations. Enjoy appetisers, mingle with friends, and watch live ice sculpting. Each tasting ticket entitles you to ten samples, one at each location.
Saturday’s concert features blues queen Nora Jean Wallace.
“Nora Jean sounds just like I did when I was her age. She is one of the new upcoming women that’s singing the real blues. I know she is going to make it.” – Koko Taylor
Nora Jean Wallace (formerly Nora Jean Bruso) is a Chicago Blues singer with deep Delta roots. Like so many blues greats that hail from the Delta of Mississippi, Nora Jean Bruso was born and raised in Greenwood, a town in the heart of this blues-rich region. From birth her father, Bobby Lee Wallace, a professional blues singer and sharecropper, and her Uncle, Henry “Son” Wallace, a blues singer and guitar player, infused the blues in her soul. Also contributing to her musical education was her mother, Ida Lee Wallace, a gospel singer, and her grandmother, Mary, who ran a juke house. As a child Nora would sneak down to her grandmother’s place on Friday and Saturday nights and listen to her relatives sing blues classics. It was during these years that Nora developed a love for the music of Howlin’ Wolf that has continued to the present day.
Nora’s singing career in Chicago began in 1976 when her Aunt Rose heard her sing at home and brought her to several clubs she was promoting. It was at the Majestic on the West Side of Chicago that Nora sat in with Scottie and the Oasis. She was invited to join the band and spent several years with them before Scottie’s unfortunate passing.
During this time many local Chicago musicians, most notably Mary Lane and Joe Barr, encouraged Nora and taught her the finer points of her craft.
Nora’s big break came in 1985 when Jimmy Dawkins saw her perform at a local Chicago club and invited her to join his band. For the next seven years Nora toured and recorded with Jimmy and his band and appeared on two of his CDs, Feel the Blues (JSP, 1985 & 2002 with a bonus NJB track) and Can’t Shake These Blues (Earwig, 1991). She also released a single, “Untrue Lover” (Leric, 1982) and her first solo release in 2002, Nora Jean Bruso Sings the Blues (Red Hurricane).
While touring Europe, Canada, and the United States, Nora refined her performing skills and developed an international fan base. She appeared on many major festivals including the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, AK, the Chicago Blues Festival and the Pocono Blues Festival.TICKETS
17-year-old singer / songwriter Ada LeAnn captured the world’s heart as a semi-finalist on NBC’s “American Song Contest” with her song “Natalie.”
Born and raised in Battle Creek, Michigan and recording music out of Nashville, Ada LeAnn has drawn comparisons to Taylor Swift with her phenomenal voice and her ability to write emotional and relationship based lyrics that are real and relatable to her audience. She has released 2 EP’s and multiple covers, which are available on all platforms.
This star-studded awards show will celebrate the year’s best music videos and feature show-stopping performances by Michigan artists. Don’t miss the pre-party and your chance to share the red carpet with some of Michigan’s most talented performing artists.
If the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, then The Sweet Water Warblers are no exception. Comprised of Michigan songbirds Rachael Davis, Lindsay Lou, and May Erlewine, the folk trio’s organic vocal harmonies and seamlessly interwoven instrumentation leaves listeners breathless.
The Sweet Water Warblers came together in 2014, for a single performance at the Hoxeyville Music Festival upon request by the promoter. From the beginning, there was a unique connection between the three artists, a bond forged by a mutual passion for social change and expansion of the soul through music. Each of the ladies’ brought with them a regarded solo career within the Americana and roots worlds, and with them individual perspectives on traditional music. Whether it was the gospel and soul-laced melodies uncovered in Davis’ music, the Appalachian folk and country-leaning ballads belted out by Erlewine, or the versatile country soul and bluegrass roots of Lou’s band it was clear from the beginning that the culmination of their talents would be unparalleled.
With three-part vocal harmonies that are sublime, the singing sirens and multi-instrumentalists saw the release of their first EP, With You, in 2017. The repertoire swinging from gospel and bluegrass to soul and even joyful interpretations of pop, AmericanaUK called it, “top drawer roots music.”
The Warblers released their first full studio album, The Dream That Holds This Child, in May of 2020. Produced by Dan Knobler (Lake Street Dive, Caroline Spence), the album serves to empower and uplift spirits, and offer refuge, solidarity and support through its focus on modern femininity.TICKETS
Voted “Best Rock Band” in Central Pennsylvania, Big Fat Meanies offers a high-octane dose of horn-driven progressive rock with each impressive performance. The independent eight-piece ensemble hailing from Lancaster, Pennsylvania wields an on-stage energy that can only be matched by their catalog of exhilarating songwriting. Drawing inspiration from genres of all nature – including pop, punk, funk, metal, ska, and even musical theatre – Big Fat Meanies’ signature episodic songwriting archetype blends the varied musical backgrounds of each member in perfect harmony.
With each performance Big Fat Meanies presents powerful vocal lines, shredding guitar solos, and cinematic horn parts that emphasize refrains with glamorous ferocity. Their collective attention to detail shines through lyrical storytelling, captivating rhythmic structures, and sophisticated instrumental lines. The band uses every tool in their artistic arsenal to inspire feelings of both passion and catharsis. Big Fat Meanies’ live performances and studio recordings offer energetic talent and a wide array of inspiration that is sure to connect with each listener in a unique way. The band has been described as “off the wall”, “refreshingly different”, and “a gut punch of danceable high energy.” No matter your musical background, Big Fat Meanies is sure to move you and to make you move. Their latest EP Bad Hand is available to stream on all platforms.TICKETS