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  • Reports from the ‘High Times’ Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio

    On Saturday we set out to check out the High Times Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio, Mich. — High Times did hold a Cannabis Cup in the Motor City back in 2011, but Detroit police flexing their muscles and making arrests at that event may have been to blame, at least partially, for the choice of a new host city. The event was held this year at the Auto City Speedway, (also known as “B.F.E.” to Detroiters). Nevertheless, the prospect of stopping at the Torch for the best burger in the Genessee County was compelling — and anyway, this was the Cannabis Cup we were talking about. Was it really going to be “work?” It turned out, just a little bit. An inexplicable lack of an on-site ATM meant hiking quite a ways up the road to the nearest gas station, and then waiting for an attendant to restock the ATM with cash. We spoke with plenty of Cannabis Cup attendees at the gas station — everybody knows that the local gas station is a stoner’s best-friend. The two-day festival, for which one-day tickets were sold for $40, was divided into two sections — a general area and a medicating […]

    The post Reports from the ‘High Times’ Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • ICYMI: Forbes rates Detroit #9 on its “America’s Most Creative Cities” list

    Yes, it’s true. Forbes says Detroit is one of America’s most creative cities: “We ranked these places based on four metrics: activity per capita on project-funding platforms Kickstarter and Indiegogo and music sites Bandcamp and ReverbNation. The goal was to capture organic creativity, since many artistic and musical types have “day jobs” outside of creative pursuits.” The Forbes list sandwiches #9 Detroit between #8 Seattle and #10 Oakland, Calif. If you are watching the art and culture explosion happening right now in Detroit, you probably think we should rank higher than #2 Boston and #1 San Francisco, if only for the fact that it’s actually affordable to create here and there is space for everyone to be creative. But hey, those metrics weren’t part of the equation. And there’s always next year.

    The post ICYMI: Forbes rates Detroit #9 on its “America’s Most Creative Cities” list appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Food trucks go to the dogs

    Today, starting at 10am, Milo’s Kitchen Treat Truck will be swinging by the  Cherry Hill Village at Preservation Park on  N. Roosevelt St. in Canton. They’ll be serving the pups (“gour-mutts,” as Milo’s calls them) treats and the dog parents the opportunity of “family portraits.” Milo’s is on a cross-country food truck trip, promoting their “grilled burger bites” and “chicken meatballs” to pup parents from L.A. to NYC, with stops in between, including Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, the Carolinas, and Arkansas. But watch out! Milo’s Kitchen Treat Truck markets “real chicken and beef home-style dog treats” that are are “wholesome” and “authentic” without “artificial flavors or colors-made right here in the USA.” Authentic, processed food that is. Remember what George Carlin said about “home-style”? Their treats are also packed with soy, TVP, wheat flour, tapioca, rice, and sugar–fillers that make the meat go far and aren’t the best for your pup. They’re also packed with preservatives, like sodium erythorbate, nitrates, BHA, sodium tripolyphosphate, and potassium sorbate. Small amounts are probably ok, and no doubt the pup will love it, the same way it’s easy for humans to love carb- and sugar- laden, processed and preserved, treats.  

    The post Food trucks go to the dogs appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Former Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt to honor Mark “The Bird” Fidrych

    Coming up on August 16, former Detroit Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt will team up with the Navin Field Grounds Crew and Metro Times‘ own Dave Mesrey to honor legend Mark “The Bird” Fidrych. The festivities, known as the annual “Bird Bash,” will be held at the infamous Nemo’s Bar & Grill, and will benefit The Bird’s favorite charity, the Wertz Warriors, and also the Mark Fidrych Foundation. For more information, check out their website or Facebook page.

    The post Former Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt to honor Mark “The Bird” Fidrych appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • First Little League game at Navin Field today

    Today Navin Field (the Old Tiger Stadium) hosts its first Little League game on a new field made just to host the youngsters! Here’s a photo of the game happening right now, courtesy Tom Derry and Metro Times‘ copy editor extraordinaire, Dave Mesrey: Stop by the site (corner of Michigan and Trumbull) today to watch history in the making!

    The post First Little League game at Navin Field today appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Twerk du Soleil shakes up Detroit

    Former American Idol contestant Vonzell Solomon weighs in on twerking, natural hair & CEO status. In 2005, recording artist Vonzell “Baby V” Solomon embarked on a journey that changed her life. At the age of 20, Vonzell made it to the top three on American Idol before she was eliminated. But that was not the beginning nor the end of her journey to stardom. Vonzell is one of more than two dozen artists on tour with YouTube sensation Todrick Hall, who is a former Idol contestant as well. Todrick gained notoriety for his fast food drive-thru songs and also for producing parody videos  —  based on popular Broadway musicals and songs. His tour, uniquely entitled Twerk Du Soleil (translation: twerk of the sun), is a combination of his popular YouTube spoofs. Both Vonzell and her ratchet alter ego,Boonquisha Jenkins, made an appearance in Twerk Du Soleil,which stopped in Detroit July 23 at Saint Andrews Hall. Boonquisha opened the show by facilitating a twerking competition among the audience. Next, Vonzell made a reappearance singing a fan favorite – Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” Later, Boonquisha came on stage screaming “It’s so cold in the D! You gotta be from the D to […]

    The post Twerk du Soleil shakes up Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Fall Arts Issue

Political theater

Magenta Giraffe introduces the season with a ripe rarity from a master dramatist

Photo: , License: N/A

L to R: Keith Allan Kalinowski, Jon Ager and Alysia Kolascz


MT: Do you know why Freud was compelled to write an essay about Rosmersholm character Rebecca West? Or what it said?

Shepard-Bates: Freud was fascinated by the character of Rebecca West; she has the most complex backstory of any of the characters in the play. He was taken by her being motivated in many of her actions by what he deemed to be a classic Oedipus complex — which will be explained further when you see the play. I don't want to ruin anything.


MT: What kind of man is the protagonist, Johannes Romers? 

Shepard-Bates: He has strong views, but does not come to any of those views on his own. He is idealistic to the extent of being somewhat childlike; he takes his cues from people around him. 


MT: What does Rosmersholm require of the actors?

Shepard-Bates: The play has been very challenging for all of us because the characters are so densely layered. There is nothing easy about Rosmersholm. The actors have been very willing to dive in and explore these complicated psyches, and we've taken our time finding out how exactly to approach the characters. There has been a lot of experimenting and exploring, and, luckily, these actors are more than up to the task of figuring all of it out.


MT: How did you find the experience of casting this play as opposed to others? Was it particularly hard or easy? 

Shepard-Bates: This play was actually fairly easy to cast. The actors I wound up casting really stood out in auditions, showing that they already understood the characters and situations to a certain extent. They are extremely committed and skilled artists, and it has been a joy working with them. The actors playing the three "lead" roles have been very brave and determined about figuring out what makes their characters tick, which is not all on the surface and must be dug for.


MT: Before we go, is it true that you are putting on theater workshops this fall?

Shepard-Bates: Yes. We are continuing our workshops for theater artists of all levels this fall and winter, on a monthly basis. One example of a workshop we teach is monologue coaching, which has proven to be popular and effective. All of the workshops are taught by Lisa Melinn, who brings a wealth of experience to the table and approaches these workshops with a sense of fun and encouragement.


MT: Finally: You've been fighting hard for four years to help grow the Detroit theater district. How's it going? 

Shepard-Bates: It's certainly been very challenging, but I feel like we've gained a strong foothold in the theater community. The main challenge we have been facing is the usual one: coming up with the funds to allow the company to continue to thrive and grow. We'll be holding a number of fundraisers this season, and we'd love to see some new faces there. We'd just love to see more people coming to see theater. 


Opens 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16, with performances at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday through Oct. 8, as well as a 3 p.m. matinee Sunday, Oct. 2, at 1515 Broadway, Detroit; tickets suggested $18 for general admission, $15 for students, seniors and industry. Reservations at 313-408-7269 or 

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