Most Read
  • The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues

    Ypsilanti police are still searching for the person dubbed the “mystery pooper.” Someone has been, as the Associated Press politely puts it today, “soiling slides at an Ypislanti playground over the last six months.” So, of course, someone purchased an electronic billboard along I-94 near Huron St. at exit 183 that delivers multiple calls for action: For instance,”Help us flush the pooper.” The company that purchased the billboard, Adams Outdoor Advertising, knows how to reach the world in the 21st Century, branding each billboard with a hashtag for the public utilize in its efforts: #ypsipooper. WJBK-TV says the billboard also toggles through other rich lines, such as: “Do your civic doody, report the pooper #YPSIPOOPER” “Help us catch the poopetrator #YPSIPOOPER.” You can have the runs, but you can’t hide. They’re still looking for you, Mystery Pooper.

    The post The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co.

    It’s a really, very cool idea. Paxahau, the good people behind the Movement Electronic Music Festival, are hosting a series of warm-up events, or previews, to the big festival which takes place Memorial Day weekend. On Thursday evening, Movement moved into the Urban Coffee Bean on Grand River in Detroit. While Dj AvA and Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp ably worked the decks, the regular coffee shop goings on continued behind them. It made for an interesting and amusing webcast experience – one guy was taking a nap on camera, while others supped coffee and tappd their feet. It should come as no surprise – the Urban Coffee Co. people have always been big supporters of electronic music. The place includes a DJ stand, and co-owner Josh Greenwood encourages customers to bring their own vinyl and spin on the open turntables. Not on Thursday night though. This being a coffee shop, and it not being particularly late at night, the music remained pretty chill throughout. DJ AvA (real name Heather McGuigan) includes Beth Orton, Madonna, the B-52’s, Daftpunk and David Byrne among her list of influences, so you know that she’s capable of both whipping up a storm and also […]

    The post City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co. appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County

    CNN has a message to all prospective landlords: Head to Wayne County! Occupancy and rental rates are increasing, the report says, creating an opportunity for serious returns on investments. In fact, after comparing the median sales price of homes to average monthly rents in nearly 1,600 counties, RealtyTrac found that Detroit’s Wayne County offers landlords the best return on their investment in the nation. Investors who buy homes in the metro area can expect a 30% gross annual return from rents. That’s triple the national average of 10%. RealtyTrac, an online real estate information company, says the county offers investors low prices for larger homes — with a median price of $45,000. “We’ve got some steals here,” said Rachel Saltmarshall, a real estate agent and immediate past president of the Detroit Association of Realtors, told CNN. “There’s a six-bedroom, 6,000 square-foot home in a historic district selling for $65,000.” For more, read the entire report here.

    The post Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit

    This Saturday, audiophiles across the world will venture out to their favorite independent record stores in search of limited releases that quickly become collectors items. The third Saturday of April marks the fairly new international holiday Record Store Day. There are certainly dos and don’ts to know for RSD — like where to shop, and how to shop. That’s right, there is an etiquette to shopping on Record Store Day and violating that code makes you look like a real asshole. In my experience of celebrating Record Store Day, I’ve seen stores use a few different tactics as far as stocking the special releases. Some establishments will set up a table, somewhere in the store, where a few shoppers at a time can flip through records in a calm and contained manner. Other places will have a similar setup, with all the releases at a table, but shoppers ask the store employees for the releases they want. It’s like a record nerd stock exchange. This process gets loud, slightly confusing and incredibly annoying — this is where elbows start getting thrown. Then, there are places that put the releases on the shelves, usually categorized by size — twelve inches with the twelve inches, seven inches with the seven inches and […]

    The post The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled

    The Detroit Electronic Music Festival, which was supposed to be making a triumphant return this year, has been canceled. A statement on the website says that the festival will be back in 2015. Back in November, Ford Field hosted an announcement party for DEMF, where it was revealed that a new DEMF festival would take place at Campus Martius Park in Detroit over the July 4th weekend. “I’m proud to be involved in the biggest and best electronic music festival in the world,” said Juan Atkins. “The future’s here. This is techno scene.” Not the immediate future, apparently. The DEMF people claim that the M-1 rail construction is partially to blame for the cancellation/12-month-postponement. Read the full statement here. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards

    Despite a turbulent 2013 which saw Metro Times change owners, move buildings and change editors twice, we picked up eight awards at the Society of Professional Journalists Awards on Wednesday night. The big winner was Robert Nixon, design manager, who picked up a first place for “Feature Page Design (Class A)” for our Josh Malerman cover story, first for “Cover Design (Class A)” for our Halloween issue (alongside illustrator John Dunivant), and a second in that same category for our annual Lust issue. In the news categories, our esteemed former news editor and current contributing writer Curt Guyette won third in “General News Reporting” and third in “Best Consumer/Watchdog” – both Class A – for the Fairground Zero and Petcoke Series respectively. Music & Culture Editor Brett Callwood placed third for his Josh Malerman cover story in the “Best Personality Profile (Class A)” category, and former editor Bryan Gottlieb picked up a couple of Class C awards for “Editorial Writing” and “Headline Writing” (third and second, respectively). We were also pleased to learn that our investigative reporter Ryan Felton won first place and an honorable mention for work published while at the Oakland Press. The MT ship is steady now, […]

    The post Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



Search thousands of events in our database.


Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.


Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

MT on Twitter
MT on Facebook

Print Email

Culture Feature

Halloween in Detroit: Theatre Bizarre

John Dunivant’s festival matures in its indoor digs

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Artist John Dunivant spent a decade building up the Theatre Bizarre carnival near the old Michigan State Fairgrounds site — outside the law — before the law’s long arm finally caught up with him in 2010, putting the kibosh on that year’s event at the venue. Dunivant, though devastated, wasn’t to be stopped and the 2010 Theatre Bizarre was held at the Fillmore with only 18 hours’ notice. The following year, it moved to the Masonic Temple, which has been its home ever since.

“Moving to the Fillmore was a devastating blow,” Dunivant says about moving something as vast as Theatre Bizarre indoors. “We weren’t really sure what was going to happen in the future and we were scrambling for a year trying to find a new home. The first year at the Masonic, I was ready to be done and give it all up. It was so incredibly hard. This being our third year, we’ve learned so much. There was a huge leap from the first year to the second year, and we’re anticipating that again. It’s still hard, and I still miss the fairgrounds. I can’t believe how well we’ve survived and grown in ways that we wouldn’t have, especially being illegal, not being able to really get the word out and talk to anyone about it. Going from an illegal punk rock backyard party to being called a cultural institution is pretty insane.”

Arguably the greatest challenge Dunivant has faced has been re-creating the beautiful chaos of the old, outdoor Theatre Bizarre indoors without it turning into a club night.

“We spoiled people at the grounds because we were able to do so many things that were illegal,” he says. “You can’t compete with when you had no rules. Still, there’s more to do and see in one night than you’ll see in over a week. It’s an immersive experience. You’re not just going to a club where somebody’s setting up some moving lights, and throwing in a DJ. Schematically, people are picking up on the [Masonic Temple] feel of this strange mix of carnival and secret society.”

New attractions Dunivant says we can expect to see this year include a tightrope line between two chandeliers, so a tightrope walker will be walking above the crowd. “We’re going to have some interaction with him,” he says. “A devil will come out and get a chance to throw things at [him].”

As is the norm (for want of a better word), there will be all manner of carnival entertainment on hand, from creepy clowns and acrobats to jugglers, bands and burlesque dancers. Roxi D’Lite, an inductee in the Burlesque Hall of Fame, will be dancing and also managing the Dirty Devils Peep Show.

“All of the dancers come out of a giant devil’s head and they dance on a long runway which is a serpent tongue,” D’Lite says. “We have 19 burlesque performers from all over Canada and the United States. We had performers from as far as Italy and the United Kingdom last year. This year, our headline performer is Michelle L’amour from Chicago. We also have Russell Bruner from Portland, Kalani Kokonuts from Las Vegas, and myself, and we’re all Burlesque Hall of Fame titleholders. It’s a big year, and I’m really excited about it.”

D’Lite doesn’t want to give too much away about her own set, but, she says, “At 11:45 p.m., I’ll be in the ballroom and we’ll actually be having a procession. That’s my act. It’s going to be a lot of fun. I can’t give too much away, but John [Dunivant] has been working hard on amazing artwork for it. I can’t wait to share it all with you guys.”

Theatre Bizarre takes place on Saturday, Oct. 19, but there will be a preview gala the night before — a first for the event. “That’s more of an intimate event,” Dunivant says. “Saturday night is jam-packed with people and you’re going to miss a lot, no matter what. At the gala event, we’ll lead you through the highlights and our headline performers, who will be spread out on Saturday. The gala will be more concentrated.

“We’re also pushing a dress code: On Saturday, it’s Halloween. So as long as you’re in costume, you can come as whatever you want. On Friday, we want to push the immersion even more by having very specific outfits. Semi-formal or formal suits, tuxes, ball gowns and masquerade masks. There’s an open bar for close to eight hours, as well as dinner included. We’ve never offered those things before,” he says.

Another first this year is that Dunivant and the Theatre Bizarre were awarded a grant from the Knight Foundation, resulting in a welcome injection of cash. “One of the biggest problems with this project is that it’s not sustainable,” Dunivant says. “One of the reasons we’re doing the preview night is to try to expand. Even with our sell-out capacity, we’re still pushing performers and the crew too hard for very little return. To be able to pull off a project on this scale, based solely on ticket sales, we’re just realizing our ceiling is a lot lower than we were expecting, compared to the cost. To have a little bit of help is cool, because this can’t possibly last unless things change.”

Dunivant has made every attempt to spread the word and expand, even going so far as to take a little bit of Theatre Bizarre to New York for an art show.

“The show was actually pieces inspired by the show by the State Fairgrounds getting shut down. The series that I did was called ‘The Expatriate Parade,’ because we were forced out of the grounds, our homeland,” he says. “For my initial sketch, I was drawing a goat with a Ferris wheel on its back. This was a scapegoat, cast out of town. I did a series of paintings and sculptures, and I was able to bring some of the Theatre Bizarre performers to New York to perform a parade for the show, which was fantastic.”


Theatre Bizarre will have its gala at the Masonic Temple on Friday, Oct. 18, and procession Saturday, Oct. 19, at 500 Temple St., Detroit; 313-832-7100. For more information, see

Click here to see a slideshow of Theatre Bizarre.

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

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus