News Column

Best of the best: 5 fun things to do Sept. 26-Oct. 2

September 25, 2013


Sept. 25--Classical crossover artist SARAH BRIGHTMAN, due Friday at the Fox Theatre, is bound for outer space. The enduringly popular soprano, 53, still best known for originating the role of Christine in "The Phantom of the Opera" on Broadway back in the late '80s, announced last year that she's in cosmonaut training and hopes to board a Russian Soyuz rocket in 2015 for a 10-day journey to the International Space Station. (And yes, she says she plans to sing in space, but hasn't settled on a song yet.) While Brightman awaits blast-off, she's touring to promote her latest album, the eclectic "Dreamchaser," which finds her turning spiritual on "Ave Maria" and covering Sigur Ros and Cocteau Twins tunes.

8 p.m. Friday, Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward, Detroit. 313-983-6611. $54.50-$154.50.

The heat is on in Saigon -- again. Inspired by Puccini's opera "Madame Butterfly" and set during the sad final says of the Vietnam War in 1975, the musical "MISS SAIGON" took London's West End and Broadway by storm two decades ago and gained fame for a scene involving the helicopter evacuation of the last Americans in the war-torn capital of South Vietnam. The big and bold show is back in Detroit for a Fisher Theatre run that continues through Oct. 6. A major West End revival of "Miss Saigon" is planned for next year, and there's still talk of a movie version. In an interview earlier this year, original producer Cameron Mackintosh called the show "inherently cinematic" and said the success of last year's movie version of "Les Miserables" could help propel the project forward.

8 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 2 & 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 & 7:30 p.m. Sunday, 8 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday, Fisher Theatre, 3011 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit. 313-872-1000. $35-$116. Through Oct. 6.

Over its 32-year history, MOMIX, a Connecticut-based company of dancer-illusionists, has been involved in everything from TV commercials (Target, BMW) to a Robert Altman film (2003's "The Company"). Using props, light, shadow, humor and the human body, it conjures surrealistic images that dazzle and inspire. The company returns Friday to Detroit's Music Hall to present "Botanica," a work that sets out to reveal the changing face of nature and that finds dancers embodying everything from bugs to birds. The work involves puppetry, projections and music from Antonio Vivaldi, Peter Gabriel and Celtic Woman.

8 p.m. Friday, Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts, 350 Madison, Detroit. 313-887-8500. $30-$250.

Dean Regas, one of those hosts of those short "Star Gazers" segments that air on PBS stations, will help bring the autumn sky to life this weekend during the 17th annual ASTRONOMY ON THE BEACH at Kensington Metropark. Using simulation software, he'll deliver talks at 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday that include stops by the moon and all the familiar planets as well as the farthest reaches of the universe. Astronomy on the Beach opens at 6 p.m. both evenings. Early arrivals can use special telescopes to view sunspots and other features of the sun. Latecomers can stay until midnight and view celestial objects through high-powered telescopes provided by the Great Lakes Association of Astronomy Clubs.

6 p.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday, Kensington Metropark, 2240 W. Buno Road, Milford Township. 248-685-1561. . Metroparks vehicle entry permit needed for admission ($25 annually, $15 annually for seniors or $5 daily).

Ham noodles, peach chutney, apple fritters and buttermilk biscuits are among the homespun culinary delights that await you starting Saturday during the first of two FALL FLAVOR WEEKENDS at Greenfield Village. The aforementioned goodies will turn up during cooking demonstrations Saturday and Sunday at various village farmhouses. Also on tap: a wheat-threshing demonstration featuring a 1904 threshing machine, an open-air farmers market, product samples at the Greenfield Village store (including Michigan-made fudge, sausage and popcorn) and a cooking demonstration by Michael Trombley, the Henry Ford's executive chef. The harvest-time fun continues next weekend.

Various events scheduled 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Greenfield Village, 20900 Oakwood, Dearborn. 313-271-1620. $24, $22 ages 62 and older, $17.50 ages 5-12, free to members and ages 4 and under.


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