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  • Planet Ant presents A Steady Rain

    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 PlanetAnt.com. 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

    Detroit home-girl Lily Tomlin will perform at the Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, June 14. A press release reads, “Get together with Lily Tomlin for an unforgettable night of fun and sidesplitting laughter. “Tomlin is amazing” The NY Times and “as always a revelation.” The New Yorker This unique comic artist takes her audience on what the Washington Post calls a “wise and howlingly funny” trip with more than a dozen of her timeless characters—from Ernestine to Mrs. Beasley to Edith Ann.” “With astounding skill and energy, Tomlin zaps through the channels like a human remote control. Using a fantastic range of voices, gestures and movements, she conjures up the cast of characters with all the apparent ease of a magician pulling a whole menagerie of animals from a single hat.” NY Daily News “Her gentle touch is as comforting as it is edifying.” NY Time Out She has “made the one-person show the daring, irreverent art form it is today.” Newsweek Her long list of awards includes: a Grammy; two Tonys; six Emmys; an Oscar nomination; two Peabodys; and the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Find more info here. Follow @City_Slang

    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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Lit Up

'Django Unchained' Original Screenplay and 'Sex Criminals'

This week's book reviews.

Photo: Courtesy Photo, License: N/A

Courtesy Photo


Django Unchained Original Screenplay
by Quentin Tarantino; adapted by Reginald Hudlin (featuring art by R.M. Guera, Jason Latour, Denys Cowan, Danijel Zezelj and John Floyd)
$24.99, Vertigo

Did we ever live in a world without on-demand video? Sure. It was called the 20th century. In those days, all you had was the theatrical experience and, perhaps (if you were lucky), the literary adaptation. Maybe it was in prose form or comics, but in its way, it kept the movie alive for you. Heck, sometimes there wasn’t even a video release.
But times have changed.

You might say movie adaptations simply don’t have the same urgency they used to, and when the title in question is a Quentin Tarantino film, in this case the Oscar award-winning Django Unchained, a comic book adaptation seems dreadfully redundant. But in the foreword, Tarantino name-checks some influential Western comics he grew up reading, such as Kid Colt Outlaw, Tomahawk, Kid Cassidy and others, setting the stage for why this collected edition exists. But there’s not much new here.

Based on Tarantino’s first draft, the graphic novel plays out pretty much the same as the film: Django, a slave in the deep South, is given an opportunity by a bounty hunter named Dr. King Schultz to avenge himself against the Brittle brothers, and rescue his wife, Broomhilda, from a plantation called Candyland. The graphic novel ends just like the movie. It’s the in-between stuff that’s actually fascinating. Tarantino’s crackling screenwriting seems strange squeezed within the confines of word balloons (which, sadly, isn’t nearly as fun as hearing it), but you’ll find some snatches of dialogue you won’t catch on the Blu-ray release, and if you’re interested in a fuller realization of Broomhilda’s backstory, you get it (you could say it’s the graphic novel’s centerpiece)

Sex Criminals
Matt Fraction (writer) and Chip Zdarsky (artist)
Cover price $3.50; digital price $2.99
Image Comics

Banned publications are always worth considering, especially if they’re full of sex, time suspension, and a couple of lovebirds on the run from the law. If you’re looking for something that stretches good taste to the farthest reaches of pretty much any galaxy, Sex Criminals is as filthy a title as you’ll ever encounter. So filthy, in fact, that Apple has banned the serial comic from the Apple Store. Though you can get it directly at the Image Comics website, your local comics store, or download it digitally at Comixology, Apple’s not directly selling Sex Criminals via its iOS platform.

Don’t let the title fool you, Sex Criminals is a postmodern love story. Jon and Suzie are truly two of a kind — a really weird kind. The two have supernatural abilities (triggered during sexual intercourse in which both have the power to freeze time), and when they find each other, the fun really starts. (Particularly, when they plan their first bank robbery and the Sex Police show up.)

That said, there’s something tender and personal about Sex Criminals. The story brings to mind all the embarrassing sexual escapades you might have experienced in high school, college and later. More importantly, it examines how these relationships, however brief, stay with us for the long haul, shaping us into the adults we end up becoming.
It’s a groundbreaking work, an honest discussion about human sexuality packaged as a tale that’s sci-fi, romance, coming of age. What more could you ask for?

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