Cast members of Ballet Americana’s performance of “The Nutcracker” accept bouquets and compliments after a staging of the holiday favorite at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center in Dearborn. From left are Mary Mitroka of Grosse Ile, a soloist in the Dance of the Reed Flutes; Kylie Walton of Taylor, who starred as the main character, Clara; and Ali Obermayer of Grosse Ile, who portrayed Mother Ginger. The ballet was presented on Dec. 2 and 3. Ballet Americana is headquartered in Taylor.
By Evelyn Cairns
The Renaissance era will come to life with music, merriment and a menu of four traditional courses Saturday when the Downriver Council for the Arts presents “A Madrigal Feast” at the Wyandotte Arts Center.
Guests will gather at 7:30 p.m. for the festive event, which will begin with the serving of wassail, a spicy concoction of wine and fruit juice dating to 1585 in early England.
Entertainment, including the singing of Renaissance and modern carols, will be provided by members of the AKT Theatre Project, composed mostly of Downriver residents, who will be dressed in period finery.
A highlight of the evening will be the presentation of a comedic spoof, “Who Killed the Kilt?” about the traditional Scottish dress.
Guests will nibble on pickles, olives, carrots and celery before the first course of a beet salad and fruit compote is served.
The second course will be baked chicken with peas and carrots, and the third course, roast beef with mushroom sauce and potatoes with parsley.
Cherry cobbler, coffee and tea will complete the meal.
Tickets, $60, are available by calling 734-720-0671 or going to www.downriverarts.org. Reservations are required, and seating is limited. Proceeds are earmarked for programs of the DCA.
Angie Ferrante is director of the AKT Theatre Project.
The center is at 81 Chestnut.
Magi comedy stars Sister
Mary Zentmyer has returned to the Century Theatre from a tour throughout the United States to star in “Sister’s Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold,” through Dec. 31.
In the holiday version of the Late Nite Catechism series, Sister employs techniques from her favorite TV show, “CSI,” to locate the Magi’s gold and the cul-prit who stole gold coins and left Mary, Joseph and infant Jesus in their stable
Tickets, 34.50 to $39.50, are available at all Ticketmaster outlets or by calling Ticketmaster at 800-982-2787. For more information, call 313-963-9800.
Art lecture set at center
Michael Farrell, historian and art professor, will present an illustrated lecture on the art and life of American painter John Singer Sargent at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Wyandotte Arts Center, 81 Chestnut.
The artist, who was born in Florence, Italy, in 1856 and studied in Paris before settling in London, was considered the leading portrait painter of his generation.
His “Portrait of Madame X,” intended to enhance his reputation as a society painter, instead resulted in scandal.
The speaker, who founded the Honors Art History Program at the University of Windsor, also lectures for Central Michigan University and has served as adjunct education curator at the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Detroit Historical Museum.
The program is being sponsored by the Downriver Council for the Arts. Admission is $10 for DCA members and $15 for non-members. Seating is reserved. For tickets, call 734-720-0671 or go to www.downriverarts.org.
Save the date . . .
Jan. 12 — Southern Wayne County Chamber of Commerce’s annual member tribute; 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Downriver Italian American Hall; 646, Biddle, north of Goddard Road, Wyandotte; two individuals and two businesses will be recognized for their contributions to the Downriver community and the chamber; hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served; for tickets, go to www.swcrc.com or call 734-284-6000.
Jan. 13, 14, 15 — Preliminary auditions for the Southern Great Lakes Symphony’s 2012 Downriver Idol contest; new this year is a junior division with its own finals and Idol winner; for additional information, go to www.sgls.org.