News Column

Best of the best: 5 fun things to do Aug. 29-Sept. 4

August 28, 2013


Aug. 28--Funny guy Dave Chappelle and the quirky Flight of the Conchords are the headliners for the ODDBALL COMEDY & CURIOSITY FESTIVAL, which lands Sunday afternoon at DTE Energy Music Theatre. Presented by Funny or Die, the website famous for comic videos from major Hollywood players, the event is being billed as an extravaganza with "two stages, street performers, vendors, psychics, freaks, food and more." Metro Detroit is among just a handful of locales on the current tour, which also features Al Madrigal, Brody Stevens, Hannibal Buress, Kristen Schaal and Demetri Martin, who's currently starring with Lake Bell in the offbeat film "In a World ... ." Stand-up guy Jeff Ross, who has a weekly show on Comedy Central, is your host for the afternoon-evening of laughs.

5:15 p.m. Sunday, DTE Energy Music Theatre, I-75 at exit 89, Clarkston. 248-377-0100. $29.50-$97.

Homemaking enthusiasts will be quilting and milking goats, the daredevil Wallenda clan will be defying gravity and thrill seekers young and old will be shrieking and screaming aboard carny rides when the FIFTH THIRD MICHIGAN STATE FAIR opens Friday in Novi. The four-day celebration also includes the Detroit Shrine Circus (multiple performances daily featuring the Flying Wallendas), the Beginning of Life exhibit featuring baby farm animals, a beer garden serving Mitten-brewed suds and the Michigan Made Pavilion, which will be overflowing with products grown or made here. And speaking of Michigan-made products: Local singer-songwriter Stewart Francke performs Friday night, while Berkley-grown Marshall Crenshaw takes the stage Saturday.

10 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday, Suburban Collection Showplace, 46100 Grand River, Novi. 248-348-6942. Unlimited wristbands, $10-$30; fair-only admission, $5-$8.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir was a major player on the world stage for a just a few short years, but she has been a force in the world of entertainment for decades. Projects about her life and times have attracted actresses as varied as Ingrid Bergman, Anne Bancroft, Judy Davis and Colleen Dewhurst. In "GOLDA'S BALCONY," coming this weekend to West Bloomfield's Berman Center, Tovah Feldshuh returns to the role of Meir, which she created on Broadway in 2003. (Valerie Harper played the Israeli leader in the 2006 film version of the play, much of which is set around the time of the 1973 Yom Kippur War.) "Golda's Balcony" is being presented as part of the Jewish Community Center's annual Stephen Gottlieb Festival of the Arts.

8 p.m. Saturday, 2 & 7 p.m. Sunday, Berman Center for the Performing Arts, 6600 W. Maple, West Bloomfield. 248-661-1900. $67, $62 JCC members.

The folks who plan special events at the DETROIT ZOO clearly had young adults in mind when they created this year's chic Summer Zoomance evenings and Love Gone Wild on Valentine's Day. On Wednesday, Sept. , however, they'll be turning their attention to seniors. People 62 and older who live in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties (plus a caregiver) will get free admission, parking and rides on the zoo's Tauber Family Railroad. Also in the mix: live music, zookeeper talks, bingo, fitness assessments and a group exercise class. The zoo offers Senior Days twice a year as a way of showing appreciation for voter approval of a 2008 ballot measure that provides funding for the attraction.

Free admission for seniors 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4, Detroit Zoo, 8450 W. Ten Mile, Royal Oak. 248-541-5717.

Festivals and noisy fun abound in metro Detroit this weekend, but if you're looking to end your Labor Day celebration on a quiet note, head to peaceful and pretty Franklin on Monday for its annual ART IN THE VILLAGE. The Franklin Village Green will become a charming outdoor gallery showcasing everything from pottery and fiber art to watercolors, jewelry and works of metal. Entertainment will be provided by guitarists Wayne Gerard and Sean Blackman and singer-keyboardist Rennie Kaufmann. Of course, no visit to Franklin is complete without a stop by the Franklin Cider Mill, which will be gearing up this weekend for its busy fall season. (We can smell those doughnuts already!)

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Franklin Village Green, Franklin Road between 13 and 14 Mile roads, Franklin. 248-626-9666.

-- Greg Crawford, Detroit Free Press staff writer


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