Thomas Pike and the Vintage Parlor Orchestra are working to bring orchestral music back to the mainstream. As the project gains momentum, expect to hear symphonic arrangements in unusual places — maybe even your favorite bar or art gallery.

The new executive director for the Grand Rapids Opera has always been a lover of music, philanthropy and business and it shows in every aspect of her life.

Lakeshore art galleries offer a little bit of everything when it comes to fine art gifts, home décor and original paintings and pottery.

When we see a show so amazing that it draws us in and makes us forget there are real people onstage, it’s so easy to not think about what performers like Isabella Abuan go through every single day to make that magical performance happen.

In a small doughnut shop in Uptown Chicago, two unlikely friends form a bond and find out not only what sets them apart, but more importantly, what they have in common.

Best of The West: Cultural Arts Winners

Written by Josh Veal | Friday, 26 July 2019 11:15 |

Last year, we removed the whole Cultural Arts category with the idea of doing an extended Best of the West that was JUST for arts organizations. Only flaw in the plan: We never ended up doing that. Oops! 

Review: You’ll fall in love with ‘Shakespeare in Love’

Written by Marin Heinritz | Sunday, 21 July 2019 13:48 |

The turn of the 21st Century brought, among other things, a proliferation of stage adaptations from film, and the trend has continued, to varying degrees of success. “Shakespeare In Love,” the 2014 adaptation based on the Oscar-winning 1998 romantic comedy, is one of the rare examples of a movie-turned-play that actually works better on stage, and the current production directed by Cameron Knight at Hope Summer Repertory Theatre glorifies its many successes with a brilliant cast so good, they’re not even upstaged by their gorgeous period costumes and impressive set.

Review: Farmers Alley’s ‘Avenue Q’ is delightfully twisted and smart

Written by Marin Heinritz | Saturday, 20 July 2019 12:32 |

The wickedly funny and smart “R-rated puppet show” “Avenue Q” closed in New York last May after multiple runs off and on Broadway, delighting audiences and winning Best Musical, Best Book, and Best Original Score Tony Awards in 2004. Considered by critics a “breakthrough musical” with long-term influence, the show remains shockingly fun, even for those among us who have seen it in various iterations over the years.

Review: ‘Big’ is larger-than-life fun for all

Written by Marin Heinritz | Wednesday, 17 July 2019 15:03 |

Children long to be grown before their time, yet adults wish to be young again is the truism at the heart of the beloved 1988 film “Big,” starring Tom Hanks, and its themes, characters and story are just as delightful 31 years later translated into the 1996 musical adaptation at The Barn Theatre where children get a peek at what it is to be grown and adults get to be children again — both on and off stage.

Review: ‘Old Man and The Old Moon’ is a pleasant, whimsical adventure

Written by Marin Heinritz | Friday, 12 July 2019 15:09 |

“The Old Man and The Old Moon” is an imaginative quest tale about, yes, an old man who has tasked himself with filling up the moon with liquid light when it begins to wane. When one night his wife tries to cash in on his promise to take her dancing and he curmudgeonly refuses, she takes off. Of course he follows, through adventures rife with storms, civil war, strange encounters in the belly of a whale, ghosts and memory, only to discover truths even larger than that which makes his wife happy.

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