A colleague once told me that you're not a true Michigander unless you've traveled to Mackinac Island, sampled its creamy fudge, walked the porch of the Grand Hotel and conned your parents into buying you a rubber tomahawk.
Mackinac Island is on my bucket list of destinations, events and experiences, which is actually more of a tub than a bucket. Whenever possible, I will share the gems that I discover, in our listing of things to do in a day.
While covering the Elmore Leonard Literary Arts and Film Festival, for example, I was given the opportunity to visit The Community House, a landmark since 1923, located in downtown Birmingham. It was established by a small group of women with a vision to make a house big enough for dances, group meetings, concerts and plays assessable to the community. The idea blossomed and grew until the little house, where it all began, became too small to hold its visitors. A campaign for a bigger home was initiated, and on April 28, 1930, The Community House on Bates Street opened to the public. You could host a wedding there now (really, they do it all the time).
Despite the overwhelming changes in our society and economy, in its almost 90 years of existence, the house has remained true to the founders' vision of providing a place for the community to gather, learn and experience new things.
The Community House Events Calendar features an eclectic mixture of programs, shows and events for everyone in the community. For example: at 7:30 a.m. March 3, the Influential Women Breakfast featuring K. Bobbie Carbone, M.D., chief operating officer of the Beaumont Health System. Tickets are $16 in advance; $20 at the door (includes breakfast). To make reservations, call (248) 644-5832 or e-mail email@example.com; 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
March 5 and 2 and 5 p.m. March 6, Sara Smith Productions Youth Theatre presents Meredith Wilson's "The Music Man Junior." Tickets are $10 for kids' floor seating; $15 general seating; $30 for VIP seating. For tickets, call (248) 644-5832. The Community House is located at 380 South Bates Street in Birmingham.
Below are a few other day trip events and destinations going on in the Metro Detroit area:
The Grosse Pointe War Memorial will present a special tea featuring an audience with Queen Elizabeth I, from 12:30-2:30 p.m., Feb. 24. Participants will enjoy an opportunity to meet and mingle with Her Royal Heiness and a member of her court, portrayed by historical re-enactors along with a selection of sandwiches and sweets befitting such a royal engagement. Cost: $23 per person. Reservations are required by calling (313) 881-7511, ext. 145. For more information about the educational and cultural programs, visit The Grosse Pointe War Memorial
The Redford Theatre will present "The Harvey Girls," (MGM, 1946) Feb. 25 and 26, starring Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, and Angela Lansbury. This film won an Oscar for Best Music/Original Songs. Tonight's screening is at 8 pm. There are two showings on Saturday, 2 pm and 8 pm. General admission tickets: $4.00. Price includes a great movie experience on the Redford's silver screen plus live music. Welcoming tunes at 7 p.m. both nights by Chris Cavanaugh and Connie Masserant (Saturday 1pm) from the lobby piano. Auditorium's pipe organ performance will feature Tony O'Brien. Parking is free. The Redford Theatre is located at the NE corner of Grand River Ave. and Lahser Rd.
For more info, contact GoodTimes@RedfordTheatre.com, visit The Redford Theatre or call 313-537-2560.
Private swim pool party for families with children on the autism spectrum, 8-10 p.m. Feb. 19, at Macomb Recreation Aquatic Center, 54111 Broughton, Macomb Township. Free event sponsored by Friends of Jacob Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps families affected by the autism spectrum by providing financial assistance. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comedy for a Cause
Comedy For A Cause 33, benefit for Promise Village Home for Children, Feb. 18, Woodside Bible Church, 6600 Rochester Road, north of Square Lake Road, Troy. Doors open 6 p.m., show at 7, featuring "clean comedians" Max Winfrey and Daren Streblow. Free, offering taken. Visit Promise Village or call 877-A-PROMISE.
"Fat Attraction: A Greek Tragedy," weekends and Mondays Feb. 18-March 14 at Ringwald Theatre in Ferndale; tickets $20 Fridays and Saturdays, $15 Sundays, $10 Mondays. Call (248) 545-5545 or visit Who Wants A Cake Theatre
Michigan Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary card parties, 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Feb. 19-22 at Pampa Lanes Poker Room - Cards for a Cause, 31925 Van dyke, Warren. Call (248) 678-2755.
"An Affair to Remember," annual fundraiser for Rackham Symphony Choir, 6:30 p.m. Feb. 19, Andiamo Italia, 7096 14 Mile Road, west of Van Dyke, Warren. Tickets, $70, include jazz performance, silent auction, food, dancing. Call (313) 404-0222 or visit Rackham Symphony Choir Also, performance of "A Gershwin Rhapsody," 7:30 p.m. March 12 at Detroit Opera House, 1526 Broadway, Detroit; pre-concert talk at 6:30 p.m. Tickets $18-$65; Detroit Opera House or (313) 404-0222.
Belle from "Beauty and the Beast" and chorus members from Warren Civic Theatre's production at Fraser Public Library upstairs meeting room, 16330 14 Mile Road, 1:30 p.m. Feb. 26. Free. Minimum age to attend 3-1/2 years; no strollers allowed. Call (586) 293-2055.
South Oakland Concert Band performance with guest David Jenson, trombonist and Royal Oak High School band director, 3 p.m. Feb. 27 at Royal Oak High School, 1500 Lexington Ave. off Crooks Road. Tickets $10 adults, $8 seniors and students, free younger than 12. Call (586) 323-6094 or South Oakland Concert Band
Southgate Digital Cinema 20 presents its 12th annual Oscar Night America Party to benefit the Southgate Community Players, the Overture Society and Ballet Americana -- featuring a live ABC broadcast of the 83rd Academy Awards, Feb. 27. It's a tradition for Detroit-area film buffs who attend for the show, wonderful food, wine, raffles and costume contest. Doors open: 7 p.m. Cost: $25 in advance; $30 at the door. Tickets can be charged by phone at (734) 282-4727, or online at scponstage.com. For more information visit MJR Southgate Digital Cinema 20 at 15651 Trenton Road, Southgate.
St. Clair Shores Players auditions for ages 12 and older for spring production of "Our Town," 7:30 p.m. Feb. 23-24, at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, 31601 Harper, St. Clair Shores. Call (586) 779-3122 or visit St. Clair Shores Players
Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings" presents "Mighty Horns" concert 3 p.m. Feb. 20 at First United Methodist Church of Birmingham, 1589 W. Maple between Southfield and Cranbrook roads. Discussion on brass chamber music at 2:15 p.m. Advance concert tickets, $25 adults, $22 ages 60 and older, $10 students, available at Detroit Chamber or (248) 559-2095; tickets $5 more at door.
University of Detroit Mercy Theatre Company presents David Mamet's "A Life in the Theatre," weekends through Feb. 20; 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 1 p.m. Sundays at Marygrove Theatre on Marygrove College campus, 8425 W. McNichols. Adults $18, students $9; $3 service fee per order for non-subscribers, no fee for students. Call (313) 993-3270 or UDM Theater Company
Fundraiser for Precious Pets Adoption League, 5-8 p.m. Feb. 24 at National Coney Island, I-696 and Gratiot, Roseville; 15 percent of food purchases donated to League (not valid on carryouts).
"A Lesson Before Dying," weekends through March 20 at Detroit Repertory Theatre, 13103 Woodrow Wilson. Free parking. For tickets, (313) 868-1347 or Detroit Repertory
Grosse Pointe Artists
"Resolutions" exhibit, through Feb. 26, Grosse Pointe Artists Association, 16900 Kercheval Ave.
OU Art Gallery
Oakland University Art Gallery hosts "Cynthia Grieg: Subverting the (un)Conventional," an exhibit by the photographer/conceptual artist, through Feb. 20, in 208 Wilson Hall. The gallery will also feature "New Eden: The Life and Work of Isabelle Raymond (1993-present)," and include an installation/reconstruction of a 19th century room containing some of Raymond's photographs.
The gallery is located on the Oakland University campus, 2200 N. Squirrel Road in Rochester Hills, and is open noon-5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. Call (248) 370-3005.
'A Day in the Warsaw Ghetto: A Birthday Trip to Hell" exhibit, through March 12, Holocaust Memorial Center, 28123 Orchard Lake Road, Farmington Hills. Hours 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday; (248) 553-2400 or The Holocaust Memorial Center
Macomb MSU Extension Master Gardener 2011 volunteer training program, 6-10 p.m. Thursdays, March 24-June 2, and Mondays, 6-10 p.m. Aug. 8-Oct. 24. For registration packets: (586) 469-6440 or e-mail email@example.com or Maureen.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Staff editor Debbie Komar contributed to this list