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    The Planet Ant Theatre in Hamtramck will present a police drama called A Steady Rain May 2 through 24. Planet Ant veterans Ryan Carlson and York Griffith will star in the play, written by House of Cards and Mad Men co-writer Keith Huff. Tickets ($10-$20) are on sale now at According to the press release, “A Steady Rain by Keith Huff focuses on Joey and Denny, best friends since kindergarten and partners on the police force whose loyalty to each other is tested by domestic affairs, violence and the rough streets of Chicago. Joey helps Denny with his family and Denny helps Joey stay off the bottle. But when a routine disturbance call takes a turn for the worse their loyalty is put to the ultimate test.First produced at Chicago Dramatists, A Steady Rain appeared on Broadway featuring Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig. The Planet Ant production of A Steady Rain is directed by York Griffith featuring Ryan Carlson and Andy Huff. This marks the return of two of Planet Ant’s founding members. Carlson and Griffith. Griffith has served as the theatre’s Artistic Director where he directed the critically-acclaimed productions The Adding Machine and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? […]

    The post Planet Ant presents A Steady Rain appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • You can wear Detroit’s blight on your face

    There is no easy answer to the question regarding what should be done with Detroit’s abandoned homes. However, an Eastern Market company has a solution that could reflect Detroit’s possibly bright future. Homes Eyewear has set out to make the city a little more stylish, and do their part in cleaning it up by repurposing select woods from neglected homes for sunglasses. All of the wood that Homes uses is harvested from vacant houses with the assistance of Reclaim Detroit. A lot of work goes into prepping the wood to be cut and shaped into frames. Homes goes through each piece to remove nails, paint or anything else detrimental to their production (it’s a bit strange to think that your wooden sunglasses could have had family portraits nailed to them). In order to produce more durable eyewear, they salvage only hardwoods like maple or beech, which are difficult to come by as most of the blighted homes were built with softer woods like Douglas fir and pine. If you’re worried about looking goofy, or shudder at the thought of salvaged wood resting on your nose, you can rest easy. Homes currently offers frames in the popular wayfarer style and are developing their unique spin on the classic aviators. For as […]

    The post You can wear Detroit’s blight on your face appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Lily Tomlin coming to Ann Arbor

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    The post Lily Tomlin coming to Ann Arbor appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Welcome Valerie Vande Panne, the new Detroit Metro Times editor

    The Detroit Metro Times, Detroit’s award-winning alternative weekly media company, is proud to announce the recent hire of Valerie Vande Panne as Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning independent journalist and Michigan native, Vande Panne’s work has appeared in Crain’s Detroit Business, The Daily Beast, and Salon, among other publications. Previously, Vande Panne attended Harvard University and was a regular contributor to The Boston Phoenix, and a news editor of High Times magazine. She has spent years covering drug policy among other subjects, including the environment, culture, lifestyle, extreme sports, and academia. “Valerie understands our business and what we expect to accomplish in Detroit. She has an excellent sense for stories that will move our readers, as well as experience with balancing print and digital content. I’m excited to have her at the paper and trust her leadership as we move forward,” said Detroit Metro Times publisher Chris Keating.

    The post Welcome Valerie Vande Panne, the new Detroit Metro Times editor appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Joumana Kayrouz to cover ‘Metro Times’

    She welcomes you when you enter Detroit, from every direction, with the one word that might just be Detroit’s biggest philosophical question: Injured? Joumana Kayrouz is deeper than the inflated image watching over Detroit, peddling justice to the poor and broken of the city. This Wednesday, Drew Philp takes us behind the billboard and into the heart of the Kayrouz quest. (And all of Brian Rozman’s photos of Kayrouz have not been retouched.) Check out MT‘s cover story, on newsstands Wednesday!

    The post Joumana Kayrouz to cover ‘Metro Times’ appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Fire at PJ’s Lager House, no people hurt

    There was a fire in an upstairs apartment at PJ’s Lager House on Monday evening. No people were hurt, although three cats belonging to the tenants died after CPR. The fire broke out around 10:30 p.m. during a show featuring Zombie Jesus & the Chocolate Sunshine Band, Curtin, and Jeffrey Jablonsky. “We just smelled smoke and someone yelled everyone has to get out,” 33-year-old Nick Leu told MLive. On the Lager House Facebook page in the early hours of the morning, a post said, “We at PJ’s lager House would like to thank everyone for their care and concern. Also, a very big THANK YOU to all who stepped up to do what they could this evening. The fire was contained to the upstairs but due to water damage in the bar, we will be closed until it can be assessed. Everyone is safe and we will keep you updated.” A later update read, “Update from the big boss. Since there was no damage to the stage side of the bar, the show will go on tomorrow! You may have to enter through the back door and there may not be a large selection of booze but we are going […]

    The post Fire at PJ’s Lager House, no people hurt appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Grabbed By the Balls

Vive Le Rouge

Photo: Photo courtesy of Detroit City FC, License: N/A, Created: 2012:07:01 16:38:10

Photo courtesy of Detroit City FC

The Detroit City FC playing on its home turf, Cass Tech High School.

AS WE CELEBRATE 4/20 and everything that marijuana has given the world, I am reminded of Ricky Otto. That name will almost certainly mean nothing to you (to be fair, he is barely remembered in his native England), but, growing up, this professional soccer player had quite an impact on a young me. Otto played for Birmingham City, Charlton Athletic and a few other teams, never making the leap into the Premier League, but earning a decent living in the lower divisions. He was also a bit of a pothead.

Otto was “cautioned” in 1995, after police found cannabis in his car, and subsequently fined three years after, again for possessing cannabis. He was 25 years old that first time, 28 the second. In 1995, I was an impressionable 20-year-old and, even then, I remember thinking, “Dude, you’re living the dream. You’re a professional soccer player at a relatively big club on a good salary and the potential to get to the top. Why the fuck would you blow it by smoking a joint?”

Ricky Otto wasn’t the first athlete to dabble in recreational drugs, and he certainly wasn’t the last, but the image of him seeing out his playing days with an amateur club, the weight piled on and the pace gone, is enduring. Happy 4/20.


ONE WOULD HOPE  that the players at Detroit City FC, a professional soccer franchise, are a lot smarter than Ricky Otto since they already have enough barriers to overcome. However, this grassroots organization seems to have some smart people behind it, and it might stand a chance of achieving something quite special.

This isn’t the first time Detroit has attempted to create a soccer franchise. In 1967, the city made the rather odd move of importing a group of players from Glentoran F.C. of the Northern Irish League and calling them the Detroit Cougars. It didn’t last; the Cougars (who played at Tiger Stadium) were dissolved in ’68. There have been others too, but recently we had Detroit Arsenal (with an emblem ripped from Arsenal of the English Premier League), which existed from 1997 to 2007, playing in the fourth tier of U.S. Soccer at Berkley High School. They simply disappeared too.

The Detroit Ignition, an indoor soccer team, seemed to be kicking all kinds of ass but suffered when every league they entered folded.

If the owners of Detroit City F.C. are looking for examples of how not to do things, they need not look very far: There’s a 45-year blooper reel to pull from. Of course, not everything that has gone wrong can be blamed on the Cougars, the Arsenal, the Ignition, or any other club who gave it a go.

We Detroiters are blessed in that we have four competitive professional sports franchises (to varying degrees). Throw in the popularity of college sports (particularly, but not exclusively, Michigan and Michigan State athletics), and we already have plenty to occupy us and spend money on (i.e. tickets and merchandise).

The people behind Detroit City are attempting to throw something new into that pile and, what’s more, something that has repeatedly failed in the past. What’s different now?


DETROIT CITY PLAYED  its first ever season in 2012 in the National Premier Soccer League’s Midwest Division, hosting matches at Cass Tech. Nicknamed “Le Rouge,” and with a crest featuring the Spirit of Detroit, the team ended with a respectable 5-2-5 record. At the end of the season, Canadian Kofi Opare left City to sign a professional contract with the L.A. Galaxy. That’s great, but isn’t the aim of Detroit City’s handlers to make the club one that players want to stay at? Fuck L.A.!

The co-owners of Le Rouge are Alex Wright and Sean Mann, local businessmen looking to give something back to their community. Well aware that Detroit City isn’t about to compete with the Tigers et al., Wright says the whole thing is easier if your ambitions are modest.

“Sean and I didn’t look at it from that business macro point of view,” Wright says. “We are both local Detroiters and our work is in the city. We came together through a rec league Sean had founded, discovered the interest and tapped into that. We decided to start small and smart. When you do that, you don’t have the worries that the pro teams have.”

Wright says that soccer is already popular in this country, so the idea that Detroit City is going to be the team to carry the sport forward is nonsensical.

Rather, he and the team simply have to tap into a couple of thousand fans in southeast Michigan and encourage them to come to Cass Tech to see a game. “I do think it’s inevitable that eventually the pro-soccer experiment will come to Detroit,” Wright says. “But pro-soccer will only succeed if the small clubs grow first. Our job is simply to build the supporter base and provide a winning team. It’s hard to imagine Detroit City going pro, because the amount of capital required to build a pro team is astronomical. It’s just not the way the business works.”

For Wright, the fact that his team is competing in its league, producing quality soccer and offering affordable entertainment to the locals is reward enough. “We’re very passionate about the city,” he says. “It’s important that we offer $5 games because we know that there are plenty of options for Detroiters to spend their money on. It’s important that we partner with local businesses, and it’s important that we reach out to local ethnic communities and say, ‘Hey, we share your passion for this game.’”

While there is passion for the game, a team like Detroit City has a chance.

City till I die.


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Brett Callwood is a staff writer for Metro Times. Send comments to

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