Music, Theatre, and the Arts
The University Musical Society hosts approximately 75 performances and provides more than 150 educational events each season. Visiting performers and artists in residence have included the San Francisco Symphony, Yo-Yo Ma, Madeleine Peyroux, Youssou N’Dour, Wynton Marsalis, Caetano Veloso, and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet. Please visit the University Musical Society's website for a complete schedule and information about student discounts. The University also books such diverse acts as Bill Maher, Morrissey, Chris Rock, BB King, Ani DiFranco, and Bruce Springsteen. Annual events in the city include Handel's Messiah, the Ann Arbor Folk Festival, and the Summer Festival, a month of live dramatic, dance, and musical performances along with nightly cinema under the stars.
The School of Music offers many free concerts by orchestras, choirs, bands, and faculty and student chamber ensembles and soloists. University theatre groups include the Residential College Players, which is an independent student dramatic group; the University of Michigan Department of Theater and Drama; the University of Michigan Gilbert & Sullivan Society; and the University of Michigan Musical Theater Program, which performs two musicals per season. The University Activities Center promotes several student-run music, theater, and dance groups.
The University's Museum of Art sponsors frequently changing exhibitions, as well as a chamber music series. Other notable museums and collections are listed below:
Ann Arbor's performing arts groups offer professional dance, theatre, and music. The Performance Network not only sponsors dance, music, and dramatic performances, but also shows works of art in its gallery. The Kerrytown Concert House features regionally and nationally known classical, jazz, and avant-garde artists. Chelsea's Purple Rose Theatre Company mainly produces new works by western writers, performed by members of the Actors Guild. And Ypsilanti's Riverside Art Center hosts numerous theatrical events as well as dance, drum, and yoga classes. The Ann Arbor Civic Theater offers a range of popular Broadway shows and welcomes Michigan law students as cast members. The Brecht Company produces experimental drama. The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra produces an exciting season each year, often with guest artists; Ars Musica, the city's baroque orchestra, performs both locally and nationally. Local nightspots feature nationally known jazz and blues artists. The Ark, the oldest nonprofit folk music club in the country, brings folk, blues, jazz, and Americana to Ann Arbor.
A short drive from town brings one to the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village; a few miles farther lies the Detroit Institute of Arts, which holds one of the nation's largest and finest collections of visual arts and sponsors exciting film and performance art presentations.
The city's galleries and museums exhibit shows of variety and depth, featuring both local and national artists.
Ann Arbor's movie theaters and film cooperatives show first-run, "cult," and classic films. The Michigan Theater, owned by the city, is an exquisite golden movie palace restored to its original Silent Era splendor. Each year, the theater hosts the Ann Arbor Film Festival, which brought director Lawrence Kasdan, among others, his first public notice while he was a student at the University. The theater also sponsors a drama series and brings a variety of performing artists to its stage.