News Column

Best of the best: 5 fun things to do Feb. 27-March 5

February 25, 2014

By Greg Crawford, Detroit Free Press

Feb. 26--Don't look now, metro Detroit, but Paczki Day is upon us! Fat Tuesday isn't until March 4, but paczki-centric Hamtramck is getting the celebration started Saturday with its second annual PACZKI RUN. The 5K race begins at 10 a.m. at the corner of Jos. Campau and Hanley, and everyone crossing the finish line gets an incredibly rich, hopelessly fattening paczek and a beer to wash it down. The run is being presented by Tour de Troit. The Hamtramck fun continues Tuesday at SMALL'S with a party featuring Polish food, live music (including East Side Elvis and Polka Floyd) and paczki bombs. For the uninitiated, the latter are booze-filled mini-paczki that are best consumed with a straw. They're the pastry equivalent of a Jell-O shot. (Lots of other Hamtown bars will be celebrating on Tuesday, too!)

On-site registration Saturday for the Paczki Run is $40. The party at Small's, 10339 Conant in Hamtrack, starts at 10 a.m. Tuesday with live music kicking off at 4 p.m. No cover.

WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT -- you know it better as WWE -- returns to Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday with lots of drama and all of its flesh-pounding thrills intact. The big event at this Smackdown extravaganza is a six-man tag-team match pitting WWE stars Sheamus, Daniel Bryan and Batista against Bray Wyatt, Kane and Alberto Del Rio. The big brawl will be taped for airing on "WWE Smackdown," which airs Friday nights on cable TV's Syfy. The Detroit bout is another stop on the tour leading up to the ultimate slug-fest: April's Wrestle Mania XXX in New Orleans.

7 p.m. Tuesday, Joe Louis Arena, 600 Civic Center, Detroit. 313-396-7000. $20 and up.

If you prefer seeing machines rather than men fight to the finish, head to Ford Field on Saturday for the Detroit return of the ever-popular MONSTER JAM. Top-of-the-heap attraction Grave Digger will be back in action, along with two vehicles never before seen in Detroit: Captain American and Cleatus (driven by Roseville'sFrank Krmel). A couple of other local drivers will also see some action: Jim Koehler of Columbus Township will helm Avenger, and Steve Koehler of Chesterfield Township will be behind the wheel of Wrecking Crew. As usual, fans can get cozy with the trucks and drivers at a pre-show pit party (2-5 p.m., $10).

7 p.m. Saturday, Ford Field, 2000 Brush St., Detroit. 800-745-3000. . Tickets start at $20, $10 children.

Homelessness and despair are the social ills addressed in Detroit actor-playwright Loren Dean Harper's gospel play "SPARE CHANGE II," which arrives this weekend at Music Hall. Harper drew on parts of his troubled past while crafting a story about a woman who is penniless and estranged from her family when she encounters a bum who teaches her lessons about faith. Harper assumes the role of the comical bum named Spare Change in the production, which also features gospel great Vickie Winans, Detroit gospel artist Lisa Page Brooks and Dr. E. LeQuint Weaver II & the Hallelujah Singers.

8 p.m. Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts, 350 Madison, Detroit. 313-887-8501. $22.50-$35.50.

Think of it as "Hamlet" meets "An Evening at the Improv." THE IMPROVISED SHAKESPEARE COMPANY, founded in Chicago in 2005, takes story suggestions from its audiences and then acts them out as Shakespeare might have written them. "Thee" and "thou" turn up frequently and result in comically unfortunate lines like: "Noble sir, I wish to do nothing but love thy daughter free of a cloak" and "If thou art married, thou may dispense of prophylactics." The all-male troupe brings its adult humor to Macomb Center for two shows Saturday.

2 & 7 p.m. Saturday, Macomb Center for the Performing Arts, 44575 Garfield, Clinton Twp. 586-286-2222. . $25; $20 students, seniors.


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Source: Detroit Free Press (MI)

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