More than Lagers & Laughter: See what the weekend has to offer in Northern Michigan
By Rick Coates
While the marquee events of this weekend will definitely be the
Traverse City Winter Microbrew & Music Festival and the Traverse City
Comedy Arts Festival, there are other happenings throughout the region
and that is a good thing. If you do the math there will be about
150,000 residents and visitors within 60 miles of downtown Traverse
City this weekend and the two events are able to accommodate a little
more than five percent of those in the area. So what do the other
140,00 people in the region do this weekend? Here is a snapshot of
Super Happy Fun Time Burlesque at the InsideOut Gallery
Back by popular demand is the
Grand Rapids based Super Happy Fun Time Burlesque at the InsideOut
Gallery, in Traverse City, on Saturday night, February 12.
Super Happy Funtime Burlesque originated in Grand Rapids in 2004 and
has taken their community by storm. While his friends were soaking up
the offerings of current pop culture, Super Happy co-founder Corey
Ruffin was busy with his fathers record collection that consisted of
10,000 recordings from the burlesque and vaudeville era. Ruffin, who
is the bandleader and shows host (his stage name is Mr. Happy Pants),
has watched Super Happy Funtime Burlesque grow from its humble
beginnings at the 160-seat Sazarec Lounge, in Grand Rapids to touring
the country. Their Traverse City show a few years back was their first
out-of-town gig. The sold out show has resulted in the troupe making
an annual pilgrimage back to the InsideOut Gallery this time of year.
I like to say just in time for Valentines Day, said InsideOut
Gallery owner Mike Curths. This troupe has been very popular and
definitely a gallery favorite.
This show is definitely rated R and while there are several sexual
innuendoes, Super Happy Fun Time is very classy in their approach.
One thing I want to emphasize is that we are not some sort of
burlesque or vaudeville revival show. We are not doing historical
sketches from that period. Certainly we are in the spirit of those
art forms but with a modern perspective, said Ruffin. Basically, we
are a variety show with each act having about five minutes to do their
thing. Essentially, American Idol, late night talk shows and
Saturday Night Live are all burlesque and vaudeville in fashion but
The show starts at 9 pm on Saturday at the InsideOut Gallery, located
in the Warehouse District. Advance tickets are suggested and for
additional details, call the Gallery at 231-929-3254.
Red Green Show at the Kirtland Center
The popular PBS handyman, Red Green will bring his one-man-show to the
Kirtland stage in Roscommon for two performances on Saturday February
12. There will be a 2 p.m. matinee as well as a 7:00 p.m. evening
performance; and both shows were nearing sell-out at press time.
Red Green, best known for his work on PBSs The Red Green Show has,
for years, brought laughter to Americans and Canadians with the help
of the other members of The Possum Lodge, as well as come up with
endless uses for the handymans secret weapon: duct tape. He will
also be selling his new book How to Do Everything at both
performances. For tickets or additional information go to
www.kirtlandcenter.com or call the ticket office at 989-275-6777.
KC & The Sunshine Band at the Little River Casino
Few musicians can take credit for actually creating a music style, but
when you ask who was responsible for the Disco music scene of the
early 70s, a one Howard Wayne Casey comes to mind. Casey founded KC
and the Sunshine Band in 1973 and was behind such hits as (Shake,
Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty, Give It Up, Keep It Comin Love,
Thats The Way (I Like It), Im Your Boogie Man, Get Down
Tonight, and Boogie Shoes.
The band pioneeredalong with the Bee Gees and Donna Summerthe disco
music and dance music.
Casey, nicknamed KC, brings his band to Northern Michigan this
Saturday to the Little River Casino in Manistee.
I am looking forward to it up there. I love the snow, said KC. I
have been checking the weather up there and see that it has been
snowing hard. But truly, I like the snow. I live in Miami and we dont
get snow so I love it because I get to see it and then leave it.
KC says he is very energized today. He just turned 60 last week and
says he sees himself on the road as long as people will come to see
I look out in the audience and I see kids to grandmas. It is really
cool, said KC. What I am really enjoying is playing a lot of
intimate venues and I hear that the Little River is a smaller venue so
we are excited.
So should people bring their Boogie Shoes?
Definitely, said KC. KC and the Sunshine Band is not a sit down
concert. It is a partnership and we expect the crowd to do their
A few tickets still remain for the KC and Sunshine Band this Saturday
February 12 at the Little River Casino in Manistee. Tickets may be
purchased online at www.littlerivercasinos.com or by calling Star
Tickets Plus at 880-585-3737.