A Fairytale in Drama and Dance
The Franke Center invites the community to family-friendly dance and storytelling production of The Pigeon’s Bride. A young princess meets a lovely pigeon only to discover he is a prince. The princess finds herself on an epic adventure crossing many lands, meeting strange people and fighting a horrible monster in an attempt to find her true love. The Pigeon’s Bride is the story of a young woman staying true to her love and herself—no matter the consequences.TICKETS
Two-Time Jammie Award Winner Nathan Walton appeared on Season 3 of ABC’s American Idol, where he received a Golden Ticket and competed in Hollywood with talented vocalists from all over the country. West Michigan’s original soul-rocker, Walton fronts his band The Remedy and released their award-winning record “Daybreak” and sister record “Nightdrive” in 2022.
With a voice Lionel Richie of American Idol called “a cannon,” Nathan Walton has become “an indisputable star here in our community.” Sure, his powerful, soulful vocals draw most of the attention, but it’s his prolifically diverse songwriting and passion behind the scenes that make him an increasingly major part of the music scene, and an artist everyone should know.
The Franke Center’s Youth Theater is pleased to announce its production of Musicville featuring the talents of kindergarten – 5th graders. MUSICVILLE takes you on an adventure with Maiden Melody and Radical Rhythm as they attempt to save their town from the Sorcerer of Silence. On their quest to the Castle of Composition, they pass through the Desert of Doo-wop, the Ocean of Opera, and the Terrible Terrain of Tango meeting musical friends and foes along the way. Their journey teaches them about new kinds of music, overcoming obstacles, and the importance of working together!
The cast features Emma Abbey, Abby Avery, Madison Avery, Penelope Benson, Violet Benson, Adelheide Brandafino, Eric Burtrum, Kierstin Burtrum, Cora Mae Davis, Alex Dingee, Ondine Dopp, Thora Dopp, Maddie DuPont, Penny Esser, Clara Gates, Evie Gerten, Hazel Grube, Oliver Hale, Riley Hale, Mason Hanson, Beatrix Huggett, Ella Johnson, Elaina Jones, Leda Jones, Aberdeen Joseph, Mae Kenall, Brielle McCleary, Isabella Mcintosh, Addison Mead, Zoey Mead, Vanessa Modert, Scarlette Murray, Freja Nycz, Bentley Nye, Mia O’Leary, Cooper Obermyer, Avery Peebles, Xavier Pope, Emma Popovits, Mason Popovits, Claire Putnam, Isabelle Roth, Isla Roth, Olivia Roth, Alexandra Ruff, Aliza Ruff, Maddie Schmidt, Ava Schuemann, Sabrina Snyder, Maggie Southworth, Ethan Spaulding, Henry Swender, Sylvia Swender, Addison Swope, Ava Thomson, Auburn Venske, Charlie Venske, Livia Watson, Thomas Watson, Evelyn Weaver, Lincoln Weaver, Henry Weeks, and Connor Wynne.
“We have so many new faces in our cast which is very exciting! This musical is just perfect for this age group and the audience is going to love it,” says Allison Ebner, Director of Youth Theater.
Show dates October 12-15, 2023 (Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 2:30pm).
Live entertainment at its finest!
Main Street Dueling Pianos performs an all-request show with a healthy dose of interactive comedy thrown in to entertain any audience – big or small, wedding, corporate party, country club, birthday, fundraiser, holiday – you name it. The entertainers have an impressive repertoire of 1,000+ songs and can cater to virtually any age group. Get ready for an unforgettable experience that is sure to have your audience singing, clapping and dancing the night away!
Main Street Dueling Pianos travels all over the Midwest including Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. We also travel to Canada regularly. Special travel arrangements (and equipment rental if necessary) can be made for events further than 500 miles from Grand Rapids, MI.TICKETS
David continues to find success, not only for himself, but also as a writer for other artists and touring throughout the world. 2018 brought an exciting new EP from Cook – Chromance. “I was a ‘rock’ guy, but the further away I’ve gotten from that, the more I’ve opened up and found inspiration in the peripherals. I wouldn’t have had the courage earlier in my career, but now I have the confidence to go after the sound I want.” A fan of both Massive Attack and Nine Inch Nails, Cook always admired how they pushed the envelope and brought pop elements into rock music. “I used them as a bedrock for Chromance and how I wanted the record to feel.”
If putting out his 2018 EP wasn’t enough to keep Cook busy, that same year he headed to the Great White Way for his Broadway debut as Charlie Price in KINKY BOOTS. “I’ve had conversations about finding creative outlets outside of being a musician, but the timing was never right.” While Cook was excited about his first starring role, he was also aware the message behind KINKY BOOTS was timely and relevant. “I was honored to be part of the show and get to work with so many amazing people. I love the collaborative aspect of theatre too, the idea of being part of a creative team and working it out in front of an audience each night.”
Another passion of Cook’s is his work in behalf of organizations such as the National Brain Tumor Society, a Washington DC-based nonprofit that drives cutting-edge research and treatments for brain cancer and brain tumors. “I’ve been very involved with this cause and am very grateful that my career has allowed me to do that. I lost my brother Adam to a brain tumor in 2009; every year I am part of the Race for Hope-DC and, together with my fans, have raised over $1.5 million for brain cancer and brain tumor research through this and other fundraising projects. Far and away, that is the proudest of all my achievements.”
Cook is well aware, and grateful, for the breaks American Idol has brought his way, and for the opportunities he continues to have. He has no plans to slow it down. “I love creative endeavors. I like starting with nothing and then finishing with something that didn’t exist before. That’s my favorite thing about creating new music. I love being able to put something artistic out in the world for people to enjoy.”
In 2020, David released two new singles. The first, Reds Turn Blue, is a nod to the manic highs (reds) and lows (blues) of anxiety, something David has struggled to overcome since his season seven win on American Idol. As David told People.com: “This song became a therapeutic process for me, as a way to personify my anxiety and make it something other than me — which, in an odd way, has helped me navigate my relationship with it.” To capture that struggle, David worked with artist Justin A. Nixon to create a visual that was, “sci-fi and sinister” but left open-ended to represent “that constant battle between anxiety and myself.” And the second, Strange World, is “my homage to this year,” said David. “Staring out of windows at the world outside, feeling disconnected from it, and trying to find those moments that would normally exist outside, inside. “Both singles, along with the driving Fire are from his EP The Looking Glass, released in April 2021.
In April 2022, David released his latest single, “TABOS” (This’ll All Be Over Soon). The single’s release coincided with his return to the American Idol® stage to perform for their special 20th-anniversary reunion show.
FRANKE CENTER ACCEPTING SHORT FILM SUBMISSIONS
SUBMISSIONS OPEN | SEPT 15
DEADLINE | NOV. 12
EVENT | JAN. 20
The Franke Center for the Arts is gearing up again for two popular events, The Wolf Tree Film Festival and Michigan Music Video Awards. The submission site, FilmFreeway.com, is now open for entries for both events.
Everyone is welcome to attend, including cinema and music fans as well as industry professionals. According to the Franke Center’s Event Manager Cathy Bovitz, “It’s exciting to see these events continue to grow in the number of submissions and the level of talent each year. We’re thrilled to be able to showcase a variety of short films and music videos in Marshall for our community to enjoy, and The Franke Center is becoming a favored venue for filmmakers and musicians as well. We hope to continue to spread the word and encourage even broader participation.”
The WOLF TREE FILM FESTIVAL is in its 6th year and is set for January 20, 2024 at 7:00pm ET. The festival will once again showcase short films (under 30 minutes) set in the Great Lakes region or that include themes or topics related to the region, as well as the work of filmmakers who reside in or grew up in the Great Lakes region.
This year’s event will again include screenings of each selected film, a meet and greet with the filmmakers and an awards presentation. Selected films will include a variety of genres, including comedy, drama, documentary and others.
Submissions can be submitted at https://filmfreeway.com/WolfTreeFilmFestival. Deadline for the submissions is November 16th.
January 13 | 8pm
The Founding is a Progressive Folk band from Kalamazoo, Michigan. With their timeless, powerful approach to songwriting and unique instrumentation, they strive to balance tradition and innovation as they bring new music to life. The Founding has performed at theaters and festivals throughout the United States and has the makings of a genre-defining band.
Members of The Founding include Elizabeth June, Joel Tyrone Myers, John Robey, Lukas Stanley, Patrick Hartson and Kyle Pitcher.TICKETS
The MICHIGAN MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS celebrates the best music videos by Michigan artists. The Michigan music industry has a rich and diverse history and talent, from Motown to rock, and this festival aims to showcase that. The event has featured musical performances from several different popular Michigan bands, including The Accidentals and continues to gain momentum.
In its third year, the event will feature live musical performances from nominees, industry expert host Becky Scarcello, screenings of the video finalists, and an awards presentation. The event also includes a reception for networking and socializing.
Music video submissions should be set in Michigan or include themes or topics related to the state, as well as the work of filmmakers and/or musicians who reside in or grew up in Michigan.
Submitted videos should be no longer than 5 minutes and all genres of music will be considered.
Submissions can be submitted at https://filmfreeway.com/MichiganMusicVideoAwards-1. Deadline for the submissions for the MMVA’s is January 17th, 2024.
January 20 | 7PM
In its 6th 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.
Jan. 27 2024 | 8PM
Country music singer/songwriter Sadie Bass grew up in small town Bath, Michigan. Sadie is an outdoorswoman at heart and spent much of her childhood playing sports, hunting, and fishing. For most of her life, Sadie sang behind closed doors, but at age 19 she felt God call her to start seriously pursuing music. In the same month she left college and her softball scholarship behind her, and went all in on her music career.
Sadie has never been motivated by the potential of fame or fortune. Her real passion is connecting with people through her music. “Whenever I am playing a show and see someone in the crowd singing along to one of my originals, or when someone messages me saying they related to my lyrics during a tough time, it’s the best feeling in the world” Sadie commented in a 2022 interview. It is that feeling that ultimately pushed her to make the move from her home town to Nashville in December 2020.
Sadie has now released six studio singles and opened for dozens of national acts including Brantley Gilbert, HARDY, Chase Rice, Tyler Farr and more. She was recently a contestant on season 22 of NBC’s ‘The Voice’, starred in two seasons of Outdoor Channel’s “Hunting for Love or Likes”, been featured on Sportsman’s channel’s “MTN Top Outdoors” and Discovery’s ‘Bassquatch Hunter’. She aspires to pave the way for other bad-ass female artists in music, and hopes this is only the beginning for her successful career.
Beer and Wine Tasting downtown Marshall – February 2, 2024
Laith Al-Saadi at The Franke
February 3 | 8PM
Featuring a Friday night beer and wine tasting in downtown Marshall and a Saturday night concert featuring blues virtuoso Laith Al-Saadi, 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 Laith Al-Saadi.
In 2016, Laith Al-Saadi won America’s hearts and a spot in the Season 10 finale of NBC’s “The Voice.” Now he’s poised to bring his authentic blend of blues, soul and classic rock to audiences around the nation and the world.
Laith Al-Saadi has always had the perfect combination of Midwestern hustle and incredible musical chops – honed at the University of Michigan school of music in his hometown of Ann Arbor, and on stages across the country working with legends like Taj Mahal, Luther Allison, Buddy Guy, Son Seals, Gregg Allman, B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Paul Rodgers and recently opened for Bob Seger on his farewell tour in January, 2019.
“Laith is one of the most diverse talents we have,” said Maroon 5 frontman and ‘The Voice’ coach Adam Levine. “Incredible guitar player, incredible singer.”
Entertainment Weekly called Laith Al-Saadi “a power performer who is so legitimate and memorable.”
Audiences have agreed, propelling Al-Saadi’s most recent CD release, “REAL” to the top of the blues chart for five weeks and the top 20 album chart for two weeks. Laith also had four singles in the top ten iTunes singles charts, and his albums “In The Round” and “Long Time Coming” spent time at the top of the rock and album charts. Al-Saadi also received a Detroit Music Award in 2018 for Best New Recording for his Digital EP “A 75th Birthday Tribute to Jimi Hendrix.
Guitar World Magazine has called Laith Al-Saadi a cross between “Danny Gatton and Buddy Guy at their best,” and in 2006 Guitar Center crowned him one of the top four blues guitarists in the United States.https://youtu.be/LVKglakS9xoTICKETS
SIMPLY QUEEN is a world class act!
This COMPLETELY LIVE tribute performs all the iconic songs that have made Queen one of the most legendary rock bands of all time and faithfully recreates the grand scope of Queen’s live shows – musically and visually capturing the amazing live Queen experience that has filled stadiums around the world.
The band is fronted by Freddie Mercury impersonator extraordinaire, Rick Rock (vocal/piano/guitar), CC Lambrick (guitar/keyboards/vocal), Mitch Taylor (bass/vocal) & Phil Charrette (drums/vocals). Based in Windsor, Ontario, CANADA, they are veteran musicians who have performed in festivals, theatres and arenas across North America and beyond!
“Guaranteed to Blow Your Mind!”
April 6 | 7:30 PM
Red Carpet Mixer: 7PM
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.TICKETS
April 13 | 8PM
Melody Angel (her real name) is the complete package: gifted guitarist and multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, vocalist, arranger, and producer. Along the way Angel found time to launch a successful theater and film acting career and received international acclaim at the Cannes Film Festival in France. The Chicago Reader newspaper called her “The Future of the Blues.” The Southside Chicago artist is indeed navigating a forward-looking musical path while integrating the legacy of classic blues.
Her music encompasses many 20th century American genres, including Rhythm &Blues, Blues, Rock, Folk, and Funk, all layered on a strong bed of Chicago blues.TICKETS
April 19 | 8PM
doors open: 7:30PM
Erin Zindle is the songwriter, fiddler, and leader of the nationally-touring folk-rock band Erin Zindle & The Ragbirds. With a genre-bending hybrid of indie-pop melodies, global-infused beats, rock guitar riffs, conscious lyrics and virtuosic fiddling, Erin Zindle & The Ragbirds deliver something that’s hard to define. Their music is equally danceable, intelligent, and vulnerable – a rare combination in an increasingly marketing-driven industry.
At each performance, Erin transforms into a seemingly-mythical creature who dances with graceful arms outstretched, hand-made wings glued to her shoulders, recklessly digging into her fiddle strings with her bow. Her voice is both earthy and ethereal, full of character and texture with lyrics that point to the daily paradox of intentionally cultivating hope in the midst of a crazed and jaded world. She skillfully switches between violin, kalimba, piano, and accordion, never losing her infectious smile.TICKETS
The Franke is known as one of the finest blues venues in the Midwest. Each year, we select standout artists from across the world and bring them right here to Michigan.
September 30 Nathan Walton and the Remedy Rock
West Michigan’s original soul-rocker, two-Time Jammie Award Winner Nathan Walton appeared on Season 3 of ABC’s American Idol, where he received a Golden Ticket.
February 3 Laith Al-Saadi Blues
In 2016, Laith Al-Saadi won America’s hearts and a spot in the Season 10 finale of NBC’s “The Voice.” Now he’s bringing his authentic blend of blues, soul and classic rock to audiences around the nation and the world.
April 13 Melody Angel Blues
Hailing from Chicago’s South Side, blues artist Melody Angel has followed in the footsteps of her cousin, blues legend Otis Rush, to create a sound that is at once authentic and fresh while paying homage to her Chicago blues heritage.TICKETS