Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

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Monday, February 7, 2011

Snow Moon Ranch

Features Pat Stinson 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
opportunities:

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 father’s record collection that consisted of
10,000 recordings from the burlesque and vaudeville era.  Ruffin, who
is the bandleader and show’s 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
for contemporary.”
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 PBS’s “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 “handyman’s 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,”
“That’s The Way (I Like It),” “I’m Your Boogie Man,” “Get Down
Tonight,” and “Boogie Shoes.”
The band pioneered—along with the Bee Gees and Donna Summer—the 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 don’t
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
him.
“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
part.”
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.

 
Monday, January 25, 2010

Wedding DJ puts his spin on the big day

Music Pat Stinson Wedding DJ puts his spin on the Big Day
By Pat Stinson
After “spinning discs” at 1,200-plus weddings and spending 14 years as a WRIF radio personality in Detroit, deejay Mike Staff, owner of the wedding services firm Mike Staff Productions, has seen and heard it all. He offers plenty of sage advice for would-be grooms and brides, based on his observations and those of his seasoned DJs, photographers and videographers.
Anecdotes abound in the wedding business, and there are as many stories as there are participants. Some are funny – such as when the best-looking father-of-the-groom Staff had ever seen turned out to be a transvestite. Some are sad, such as a ‘Bridezilla’ and Winnie-the-Pooh fanatic who used a microphone to yell obscenities at her new husband when he joined her in a dance with her beloved Pooh-bear.
Staff observes that there are two types of wedding clients. Most approach their Big Day as the party of their lives, and are there to have a good time. Others want to control everything. “They can’t really get into the vibe and they don’t have fun,” Staff says of the latter.
On the other hand, would-be grooms should assume one or two responsibilities, so their wishes are heard and prospective brides aren’t shouldering everything. “Remember, grooms, it’s your day too,” he says.
 
Monday, November 9, 2009

Bow and Sparrow

Features Pat Stinson Bow & Sparrow
An ‘urban fairy tale’ of high-flying dancers

Pat Stinson 11/9/09

Like an arrow sailing toward a bull’s-eye, or a songbird heading to its migratory home, Northern Michigan native Alayna Stroud has always known the path she would travel. The co-artistic director of Bow & Sparrow, a San Francisco aerial dance company, will share her life-long love of movement and adventure when she returns to Traverse City with members of her ensemble for the Michigan premiere of “NeverAfter” at InsideOut Gallery, this Thursday and Friday, Nov. 12-13.
“I am truly delighted to have this opportunity to share my art for the first time with my family and friends,” said Stroud, who took dance classes and attended junior high in Traverse City, followed by a year of high school at Interlochen Arts Academy. “Many people that I’ve known all my life have never seen me perform, and I feel lucky to share my passion with them.”
 
 
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