May 14--"I use my powers for evil instead of good," KEVIN LEPINE jokingly tells his Las Vegas audiences. The funny and occasionally risque hypnotist, a former Eastpointe resident and '93 grad of East Detroit High School, returns home Monday night for a return engagement at Mark Ridley's Comedy Castle. A standing attraction at Sin City's Hooters Casino Hotel just off the Strip, Lepine delivers a show that relies heavily on audience members who are game for a little indignity. Think being coaxed into mimicking Britney Spears onstage, mistaking cocktail napkins for $100 bills or picturing Lepine in the nude. "I get about 18 volunteers, knowing that about 12 of them will be able to go into a hypnotic state in public," Lepine told the Free Press in 2012. "I excuse the ones who can't, thank them for trying and then do the show with the people remaining."
8 p.m. Monday, Mark Ridley'sComedy Castle, 310 S. Troy, Royal Oak. 248-542-9900. www.comedycastle.com. $15.
"The Power of Perseverance" is the theme for this year's FORD FREEDOM AWARDS ceremony Wednesday at Music Hall. The event, a fund-raiser for the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, will salute this year's Freedom Awards honorees: former South African President Nelson Mandela; civil rights activist Myrlie Evers-Williams, former wife of slain activist Medgar Evers, and Lt. Col. Alexander Jefferson, a Tuskegee Airman and prisoner of war during World War II. Entertainment for the evening will come courtesy of the Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards. A special VIP package ($75) includes a pre-ceremony reception, afterglow and meet-and-greet.
7 p.m. Wednesday, Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts, 350 Madison, Detroit. 313-887-8581. thewright.org. $40, $35 for museum members.
It's spring fling time at the COLLEGE FOR CREATIVE STUDIES. The school's annual student exhibition kicks off Friday night with a reception featuring cocktails, hors d'oeuvres from local restaurants and music from local bands. More than 5,000 pieces of student art will be on display and available for purchase. All proceeds from sales go to students to help launch their art and design careers. Serious collectors eager to get a first crack at the student work can show up for a 5:30 p.m. preview and private reception ($350). The exhibit will be open and free to the public starting Saturday and continuing through May 30.
7 p.m. Friday, A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education, 460 W. Baltimore in Detroit's New Center. 313-664-7464. collegeforcreativestudies.edu/seo. $50. Regular exhibit hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday-Wednesday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday-Friday.
Daredevil stunts, acrobatic tricks, magic and a healthy dose of eccentric humor are what you can expect when CIRCO COMEDIA takes the stage Sunday afternoon at Music Hall. The Montreal duo of Patrick Cote and Jean Saucier delivers a kid-friendly show that incorporates everything from juggling and cycling to roller skates and a drum kit. The performance works like this: Saucier, described as a "master equilibrist," performs the daredevil feats (often from dizzying heights), while Cote, billed as a "burlesque clown and expert roller skater and drummer," provides comic relief as his eager but inept assistant.
4 p.m. Sunday, Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts, 350 Madison, Detroit. 313-887-8500. www.musichall.org. $20, $10 children.
Best-selling Mississippi novelest Greg Iles, described by one critic as "William Faulkner for the 'Breaking Bad' generation," and northern Michigan author-mom-farmer Mardi Jo Link are among the guest speakers for the METRO DETROIT BOOK AND AUTHOR SOCIETY's annual spring luncheon. Also appearing: Daniel Jones, who edits the Modern Love column for the Sunday New York Times; novelist John Searles, who appears regularly as a book critic on NBC's "Today," and family-friendly author Richard Paul Evans, whose career was launched in the '90s after publication of the best-selling "The Christmas Box." All will be available to sign their books after the luncheon.
Noon Monday (book sale starts at 11 a.m.), Burton Manor Banquet and Conference Center, 27777 Schoolcraft Road, Livonia. 586-685-5750. bookandauthor.info. $40.
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