Oct. 16--Sara Paretsky, the author who created hard-nosed (and genre-defying) female private eye V.I. Warshawski for a series of highly successful crime novels, is the star attraction at this year's METRO DETROIT BOOK AND AUTHOR SOCIETY LUNCHEON. Paretsky's next Warshawski novel, "Critical Mass," comes out Tuesday. Other speakers are best-selling author Jamie Ford, whose "Songs of Willow Frost" arrived last month; 1998 National Book Award winner Alice McDermott ("Someone"); Texas journalist Bill Minutaglio ("Dallas 1963"), and former federal prosecutor Allison Leotta, a Michigan State grad who has written a series of legal thrillers.
11 a.m. Monday, Burton Manor Banquet & Conference Center, 27777 Schoolcraft, Livonia. 734-397-0999, ext. 1197. www.bookandauthor.info. $30.
"The Butterfly Lovers," the story of a young couple's ill-fated romance that dates to the Tang Dynasty, is considered the "Romeo and Juliet" of China. The centuries-old tale of woe will come to life in Detroit on Sunday when the SHANGHAI BALLET visits Music Hall. The company's production of "Butterfly Lovers" showcases glorious costumes and evocative sets that depict the natural (and supernatural) worlds. The Shanghai Ballet, founded in 1979, performs classical ballet works and modern pieces as well as occasional works drawn from Chinese folklore.
4 p.m. Sunday, Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts, 350 Madison, Detroit. 313-887-8500. www.musichall.org. $30-$250.
You can expect something a little different from the Magenta Giraffe Theatre Company's production of George Bernard Shaw's 1923 play "SAINT JOAN." The story of French girl warrior Joan of Arc, which addresses political divisions and raises questions about leadership, is viewed through a decidedly Detroit lens in director Matthew Turner Shelton's adaptation. "I want to present a classical piece that is not only contemporary in subject matter, but also appeals to anyone committed to the ongoing battle to maintain historical Detroit and the growth of its artistic community," Shelton says.
8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Abreact Performance Space, 1301 W. Lafayette #113, Detroit. 313-454-1542. www.theabreact.com. $18, $15 students, seniors. Through Nov. 9.
A grape stomp that promises to be the comedic rival of the one Lucille Ball made famous in a classic episode of "I Love Lucy" will be the highlight of SWEET HARVEST IN THE VINEYARD at the Crystal Garden Banquet Center in Southgate. The celebration of all things Italian includes gourmet dining stations (with desserts!), an open bar, lots of Italian wines, live and silent auctions and gift raffles. Live entertainment comes courtesy of Mark Randisi, who will deliver an evening of Frank Sinatra hits. The event is a benefit for the Taylor Conservatory and Botanical Garden.
6-9 p.m. Wednesday, Crystal Garden Banequet Center, 16703 Fort, Southgate. 313-215-2308. www.taylorconservatory.org. $50 advance, $60 at door.
Funny guy LIL DUVAL, best known to MTV2 viewers for his work on "Guy Code," "Hip Hop Squares" and "Ain't That America," brings his edgy humor to the Music Hall stage Saturday night. The 36-year-old Jacksonville, Fla., native (given name: Roland Powell) got one of his first showbiz breaks courtesy of Cedric the Entertainer and released his first comedy DVD in 2003. Expect plenty of politically incorrect humor involving sex, drugs, race and pop culture.
8 p.m. Saturday, Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts, 350 Madison, Detroit. 313-887-8500. www.musichall.org. $39-$69.
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