Wednesday, 26 August 2020 14:01

ARTS: Season Preview

Written by  Josh Veal
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Aaron Diehl / Pierre-Laurent Aimard Aaron Diehl / Pierre-Laurent Aimard Photo by Maria Jarzyna / Photo by Julia Wesley


The Gilmore’s season is going fully virtual this year, offering a number of e-tickets on a pay-what-you-can basis. There are three series: Piano Masters, featuring world-renowned performers; Jazz Club, with top keyboard artists on the jazz scene; and Rising Stars, highlighting amazing young pianists. 

Rising Stars

Mackenzie Melemed, September 20

Chaeyoung Park, October 18

Dominic Cheli, November 29

Isaiah J. Thompson Quartet, February 7

Evren Ozel, March 14

Glenn Zaleski Trio, May 2

Avery Gagliano, May 16

Piano Masters

Pierre-Laurent Aimard, November 8

Yefim Bronfman, December 6

Jazz Club

Emmet Cohen Trio, January 3

Aaron Diehl Trio, April 9

Special Event

Rachel Naomi Kudo, February 21

Angela Hewitt, March 28


The Grand Rapids Symphony shifted its performances to livestream as well, with a season titled Pathwaves, presented by SpartanNash. Currently, the plan is for four performances streaming from the Van Andel Arena and two from St. Cecilia Music Center, spanning a diverse variety of music. Plans for 2021 will be announced at a later date.

Romeo and Juliet, September 25-26

Mosaic Motion, October 16

Marcelo Plays and Conducts, October 23-24

Voice and the Violin, November 13-14

A New World: Intimate Music from Final Fantasy, November 20

Metro Health HOLIDAY POPS, December 4-5 


Circle has two summer concert series going well into fall! Both are on the lawn outside the theater, so bring your own seats and pack snacks. Check out the Summer Fundraising Concerts for $25, with all proceeds going to keeping Circle alive. The next show is September 16 at 7 p.m. These feature multiple people performing classic Circle favorites. Or visit the Popup Concerts series, featuring different local musicians each night.

Popup Concerts

Vanessa Allen & Debra Perry, September 8

Ellie Frances, September 22

Jeff Kemperman & Colin Tobin, September 28


Farmers Alley is doing something truly different this season, with its Backyard Broadway program. Instead of going to see a play in a theater, the show comes to you! You and up to 10 of your friends can reserve a private showing of this 40-minute musical revue featuring the talented staff of Farmers Alley. They’ll bring the proper sound equipment and everything. It’s a perfect birthday gift for that theater lover you know.



The 52nd annual Fallasburg Arts Festival is going virtual this year, on Saturday, September 19 at 10 a.m. There will be an interactive map, with more than 100 talented local artists at virtual booths, and you can purchase work from them. There will be live music available free online, with a limited number of tickets sold for in-person viewings at the outdoor Camp Clear Sky venue. There will be artist and craft demonstrations, including pumpkin carving, with free pumpkins available at the LowellArts Gallery. And as always, there will be a quilt raffle, featuring a lovely quilt from a local artist. Visit the LowellArts website for more information.



At the moment, Opera Grand Rapids plans to hold its 2020 – 2021 season in person, featuring three different shows. Cosi fan tutte, October 23 and 25, is a comedy scored by Mozart. Turandot, March 19 and 20, is Puccini’s final opera, centered around princess in China and her riddles. Aida, April 30 and May 2, is a tale of patriotism, love, and betrayal set in Egypt, written by Giuseppe Verdi.



The West Michigan Symphony is going virtual this season, with the chance to return in-person next year. The lineup features a nice variety of performances ranging from jazz to classical and Celtic. Purchase individual tickets for the shows or buy a package at a reduced rate.

Slavic Season Opening, October 2

Beethoven’s Birthday, November 13

Home for the Holidays, December 11

A Portrait of America, February 5

Cherish the Ladies, March 12

Funky Groovin’ with Jazz Flutist Alexander Zonjic, April 16

Hispania Nights, May 14

The Planets, June 4



Grand Rapids Civic Theatre had to cancel its planned season, but is going ahead with the exciting new Drive-In Live Theatre Series. It's radio theater, presented live in front of you. You'll pull up to the Deltaplex Arena parking lot, tune your car's radio station to the show, and sit back and relax. Here's the lineup:


Dracula, Oct. 23-Nov. 1

A Christmas Carol, Late November / Early December – Dates TBD



Ox-Bow in Saugatuck is offering a week of Art on the Meadow workshops, September 14 – 20. These classes cover drawing, writing, welding, cooking, ice-dyeing and still-life painting. You’ll learn from masters of the craft in these multi-hour, low-enrollment, outdoor, socially distant workshops. It’s never too late to learn something new!

Smart Like a Pencil: Drawing for Painters, September 14 – 16

Writing Who We Are, Might Have Been, Could Become, September 14

LookHear Zine Workshop, September 17

Still Life, Active Mind: Painting the Still Life, September 17 – 19

Ice-Dye It!, September 18

Fresh Fish Fundamentals: Perfect Roasted Salmon, September 19

An Intro to Welding and Bending Steel, September 19

This is My Story, September 19 – 20

The Crossroads of Spice: An Introduction to Malaysian Cuisine, September 20

Food Styling Basics, September 20



Fusion Film Academy runs Children’s Creations Theater, which is safely putting together plays with children and teens. The next outdoor show will be Charlotte’s Web, September 12. If you’d like your child to take part in a show, keep an eye on the theater’s website for information on when the next auditions will take place. 

If your child is interested in film production, check out Fusion’s classes, including upcoming remakes of Annie and Shrek. The students who take part learn every aspect of filmmaking they’d like to, whether it’s acting, writing, set design, operating cameras, editing, graphic design, or anything else.

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