The Franke Center Children’s Theater in partnership with Young Michigan Dances is pleased to announce a free community performance and art exhibition for its newest production of Wonder Tales from Around the World.
Written & Directed by Tibbits Opera House Artistic Director, Charles Burr, Wonder Tales is a collection of folktales from China, Africa, Cambodia, Arabia, Czechoslovakia and the Iroquois people of North America. In these tales, ordinary people encounter extraordinary circumstances and respond with cleverness, courage and benevolence. This multicultural collection of tales from across the globe integrate dance within the drama and comedy of the stories.
Following this production will have a free community showing on Tuesday, March 28 at 7pm, followed by an art exhibition on the lower level showcasing the work of Albion resident, Jerome Washington. Mr. Washington has been commissioned to create sketches and caricatures of 14 students who attend Marshall Middle School and The Burma Center in Battle Creek.
“Mr. Washington’s work focuses on showing the similarities of children from different backgrounds and is a compliment to the goals of this program. Our partnership with Young Michigan Dances has a long history – one that we are thrilled to expand this year. In addition to the community performance, we will be bringing students from schools across the area to attend daytime performances as part of their classroom curriculum,” says Jennifer Conley Darling, Director of Children’s Theater. “Prior to the school groups attending the show, teaching artists will enter select classrooms and create a dialogue through hands-on workshops to demonstrate how different cultures can inspire different forms of art. These teaching artists will be experts in pottery, drawing, theater and dance.”
Young Michigan Dances, Coldwater’s own dance company, has been bringing the finest in dance to young people since 1972. This production and art exhibition are supported, in part, by State Farm’s Neighborhood Assist Program, Marshall Community Foundation, Cronin Foundation, Marshall Public Schools via FireKeepers Revenue Sharing Board, Battle Creek Community Foundation, Albion Community Foundation, Eaton Corporation, The Branch County Community Foundation, and The Stanley G. Godfrey Endowment Fund for the Arts at the Branch County Community Foundation.
At the conclusion of the epic film “Doctor Zhivago,” some fortunate person will receive the night’s top prize – a two-night stay for two people at the Grand Hotel, including two dinners, provided by Dan Musser III, president of the historic establishment.
“Mr. Musser is one of our great supporters, and he has made another extremely generous donation to the Franke Center,” said Patty Williams, executive director of the Franke Center at 214 E. Mansion St. “We at the Franke Center are very grateful to him, and to Marshall’s own Hans Schuler and Tom Franke, who helped to make this gift possible.”
Doors will open at 6 p.m. for early-bird patrons to obtain concessions and contest tickets. The film program will begin at 7 p.m. Admission tickets are being sold on a reserved-seat basis at $10 each, available for purchase online at www.frankecenterforthearts.org, by calling the box office at (269) 781-0001 or at the door.
Opportunities to win the Grand Hotel prize will be sold only during the event, prior to the screening and during intermission. Cost of “The Grand Ticket” is $10 per entry, or three chances for $25.
Another fortunate winner will leave the event with a note good for two full-week VIP tickets and parking privileges for the Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show and Balloon Festival, which will be held June 29-July 4. Tickets for that prize will be sold at $5, or six chances for $25.
That prize is being donated by Marshall-based BluFish Consulting, as arranged by Ryan Traver, a member of the Franke Center’s Board of Directors.
Audience members who show up in costume or traditional Russian outfits will have the chance to win a gift certificate from one of several local restaurants that have donated gift certificates.
“We’re grateful to the fine local restaurants who are contributing to this great cause,” Williams said.
In addition to the costume contest, the evening’s schedule calls for a fund-raising “vodka pull” in honor of the characters in “Doctor Zhivago” and a gift basket with several items related to the movie, its characters and setting.
The film will be shown in two parts, with a 25-minute intermission, during which food and beverages will be available.
The community fund-raiser will support ongoing projects intended to further upgrade the building’s infrastructure and performance venue.
The Franke Center for the Arts in Marshall is excited to announce the addition of Blues great Jimmy Thackery and his band The Drivers to the Eaton Blues Series. Thackery will take to the Franke Center stage on Saturday, April 16, 2017. Festivities for the evening will start at 7:00 PM in the Downstage with acoustic Blues, followed by the main stage show at 8:00 PM. Tickets are $26 advance, $28 at the door, and students are half price.
Thackery is one of the few blues guitarists still performing who learned firsthand from the masters of the blues, not off a blues record or DVD. It was Thackery’s time on stage with Muddy Waters that is branded deep within his musical soul. “Muddy was one of those guys who was constantly encouraging. He never told you what to do, but he always told you what you were doing wrong. He never minced words about that. “The first time on stage with Muddy, I was in such awe of him that I just kept my eyes and ears open and just picked up on everything he did. It was the dynamics they had that became so ingrained in us. We heard it on the records and then stood on stage and saw how it worked.”
Co-founder of the well known band The Nighthawks, Thackery left in 1987 because he wanted the opportunity to write and put newer material into the sets. First he formed a six piece R&B band, the Assassins, an all-star R&B, funk band from the DC area, and recorded three albums with them. Then, in 1992, Thackery put together his three piece band called the Drivers to highlight his explosive guitar and hit the blues highway. Since then he has recorded eight discs on Blind Pig records, and continues a busy schedule of live performances.
Whether Jimmy Thackery headlines a festival in South Dakota or jams for hours in one of numerous blues bars that dot the musical landscape, he’ll always unleash an intense volley of rockin’ blues guitar guaranteed to leave crowds emotionally spent. His double edged guitar dynamics allow him to fire off tracer missiles, bend a note so it will fit under a limbo bar, run off dive bomber riffs, and find space within the trembling of one stinging note. “I put all my senses on hold and find the zone and follow what’s inside. There’s an electricity from your mind to your heart to your fingers. You just try and remember to breathe.”
Make your plans now to be at The Franke on April 16 for what promises to be an enjoyable evening of hot Blues with this legendary performer!TICKETS