Tonight is the opening evening of MUSKET’S Avenue Q! The musical explores coming of age stories as the characters navigate the struggles of entering adulthood. Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx created the concept that was eventually made into the Broadway musical familiar to us today. Featuring a combination of puppets, their puppeteers, and human actors the production reinvents the use of puppets in storytelling. Don’t let the idea of cute puppets fool you- this is not a children’s show. When buying my tickets for the show, the ticket master had to read me a warning: “The show is intended for mature audiences only”.

In recent years, Musket has brought the UofM community both loving classics and new edge theater; Into the Woods, Spring Awakening, and Big Fish are just examples of the diverse performance this organization has put on. I look forward to seeing how they’ve put their own unique touch on the 3 time Tony award winning musical, Avenue Q!

What: Avenue Q
When: November 18th, 19th at 8pm AND November 20th at 2pm
Where: Power Center
Buy Tickets: Students $7/Adults $13 (at door $10/$15)

REVIEW: Jake Shimabukuro, ukulele

Ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro (photo taken from

On Wednesday night, the University Musical Society (UMS) had ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro at Hill Auditorium.  Shimabukuro wowed the crowd as he strummed so fast that his hands were a blur.  Him and his bass player Nolan Verner played original songs off of his new album titled Nashville Sessions such as “F Minor”, “Celtic Tune”, and “Blue Haiku”.  They also played popular songs such as the Beatles song “Come Together” and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”.  Shimabukuro took the stage alone as he paid tribute to Leonard Cohen by playing “Hallelujah”.

Bass player Nolan Verner and ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro (taken from

My friend and I ended up getting the opportunity to meet Jake after the concert and get a picture and autograph.  He was so sweet and extremely down to earth, even thanking us for coming to his concert!  I told him about how I started playing the ukulele a year ago and as I was leaving he said, “Good luck on the uke!”  Definitely an experience that I’ll never forget!


Upcoming performances through UMS can be found at

PREVIEW: Helicon’s Synesthesia Exhibit




1. the production of a sense impression relating to one sense or part of the body by stimulation of another sense or part of the body.

Helicon’s Synesthesia exhibit is featuring student art this Friday at 504 Catherine Street from 8-11pm!  Admission is completely free and is a great way to see some art and performances, live music from local bands, a video den, and a wine bar!

The featured bands are Platonic Boyfriends, Saajtak, and Broccoli.

As taken from the Facebook event page for the exhibit, “The goal of Helicon’s Synesthesia exhibit is to create a welcoming space for art appreciation and freedom of expression.”

I look forward to this event, and encourage everyone to stop by!


Last night, the School of Music’s own University Symphony Orchestra and University Philharmonia Orchestra came together to present a concert of orchestral works with French influences. The program was quite diverse, including works by Mozart, Debussy, Bitsch, and Berlioz, which allowed for the orchestra to showcase their skill in playing music from the classical, impressionist, romantic,  and modern eras. 

The concert opened with Mozart’s 31st symphony, nicknamed the “Paris Symphony” due to his composing the piece while looking for work there.  The piece is charming, and the USO demonstrated precision and attention to the stylistic idioms that come with playing in the classical style. This was followed by the gorgeous and evocative Sacred and Profane Dances by Claude Debussy, a concerto for harp and string orchestra, which was performed gracefully and beautifully by the School of Music’s harp professor, Joan Holland. Then, Daniel Fendrick, the winner of the School of Music’s 2016 Concerto Competition, performed the Bitsch Concertino for Bassoon. I had never heard the piece before, but found that it was modern and exciting, often reminiscent of Gershwin’s compositional style, but with more atonal figures. Fendrick had an amazing sound that filled Hill Auditorium, but at times the orchestration was too thick to be able to fully appreciate some of the virtuosic passages.

The first half of the concert was played by about a half-sized version of the USO, since the other half performed in the pit orchestra of the recent opera production, Roméo et Juliette. For the second half, members of of UPO joined them onstage, doubling the size of the orchestra for the grandiose and revolutionary Berlioz piece, Symphonie Fantastique. In this work as well there are several wonderful solos that showcased the talent of several orchestra members, particularly the woodwinds. The piece is programmatic, meaning that it follows a specific storyline, and all of the players certainly told a story with their musical expressivity.

In my opinion, this performance was not the orchestra’s strongest showing, as at times there seemed to be some issues of playing exactly together. That being said, USO and UPO do not play easy music, and they always amaze me because of the amount of quality concerts they give every semester. There is absolutely no denying the talent and dedication of every member of both orchestras. I was thoroughly impressed by all of the soloists both within the orchestra and without, and the orchestra’s ability to support them. 

Overall, this concert certainly made for an exciting and enjoyable way to spend my Tuesday evening!

PREVIEW: Helicon’s Synesthesia


UM’s campus is hardly lacking for artistic talent. In its varying forms, students are quick to represent their abilities. Helicon, the History of Art Undergraduate Society, will be giving a space to such talent and displaying student curated and student made art in a one night only pop-up exhibition titled: Synesthesia. The event is open to any and all looking to check out some art in a cool and casual setting.

Synesthesia will be taking place on November 18, 8-11 p.m. at 504 Catherine St.

PREVIEW: Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them

In case you somehow missed the hype, here is the trailer for the upcoming film.

Here are two of the many reasons why you should be excited:

  1. This new franchise doesn’t have a lot of source material (aside from Pottermore & the “book” that shares the same name. EVERYTHING will be new, and you won’t be disappointed by them changing or leaving anything out.
  2. David Yates is directing & J. K. Rowling is the screenwriter! Therefore, the next generation of Harry Potter movies will look and feel just like the way you remember.

Also why wouldn’t you want to see this gorgeous man on the big screen?

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them comes out November 18.

You can find times for Goodrich Quality 16 and Rave Cinemas (Ann Arbor 20) here.

Tickets run about $9.75 for standard adult 2-D