By Evelyn Cairns
The Downriver Council for the Arts’ second annual Hudson’s Maurice Salad luncheon rekindled memories of dining and holiday shopping at the legendary downtown Detroit department store for many of the 120 guests who gathered Nov. 10 for the luncheon and a talk tracing the building’s history.
The sold-out event began with Cheddar Cheese Soup, followed by Maurice Salad and Sander’s Cream Puff Sundae, all of which remain on the menus of Macy’s stores. (Macy’s purchased Marshall Field’s, which previously was Hudson’s).
Debbie Sharkey of Sharkey’s Riverfront Tavern prepared the meal using authentic Hudson’s recipes and added her own delectable mini fruited muffins to accompany the salad.
The speaker was author Michael Hauser, who showed historical videos, distributed enlarged photographs of the interior and exterior of the building and displayed numerous artifacts he acquired before the building was imploded in 1998.
He also talked about the opening of the store in 1911 and its founder, J.L. Hudson, and offered dozens of “vital statistics” about the beloved store.
Hauser said the store had 51 passenger elevators, 48 banks of escalators, and 423 departments that stocked everything from fashions to fabrics to home furnishings and major appliances.
He also spoke about the magic of Christmas at Hudson’s, where special Santas were available for all ethnic groups and races, and the famous Tree of Lights on the Woodward façade covered nine stories with nearly 80,000 lights.
The speaker said there were five public restaurants in the building, from snack bars to fine dining, providing a range of prices that all customers could afford. The world’s largest American flag often was displayed on the side building from Armistice Day in 1923 until the nation’s Bicentennial in 1976, he said.
Hauser, who was a sales associate at Hudson’s Southland store for 10 years, is the co-author of two books about Hudson’s. He was a guest curator at the Detroit Historical Museum for the exhibit “Remembering Downtown Hudson’s.”
Proceeds from the event will fund DCA programs, luncheon chairwoman and board member Norma Wurmlinger said.
Chilling play set at Fisher
The international sensation “Jekyll & Hyde the Musical” will be staged at the Fisher for one week only, Nov. 27 through Dec. 2, starring Tony Award nominee Constantine Maroulis in the dual role of Dr. Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde.
The play is based on “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Tickets, $39 to $79, including parking, are avail-able at all Ticketmaster outlets and www.broadwayindetroit.com. For more information, call 313-872-1000.
Places to go . . .
Through Nov. 25 (except Thanksgiving) — Festival of Trees, a benefit for Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation; at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center in Dearborn; featuring sales of 7-, 4- and 3-foot decorated trees, plus wreaths and gingerbread houses and a gift shop; admission tickets, available at the door, are $5, adults, and $3, children (under 2 are free); for hours and additional information, call 734-748-3822 or go to www.fot.org.
Nov. 30, Dec. 1, 2 — Ballet Americana’s presentation of “The Nutcracker Ballet” at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center in Dearborn; 7 p.m. Nov. 30; 1 and 7 p.m. Dec. 1; with the Detroit Symphony Civic Orchestra and two principal dancers from the New York City Ballet; for tickets, call 313-943-2354.
Dec. 4 — Detroit Symphony Orchestra Volunteer Council’s 30th annual Nutcracker Luncheon Extravaganza; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Henry in Dearborn; for tickets, $75, call 313-576-5154.
Dec. 7 — Annual Downriver Community Prayer Breakfast; 7 a.m. at Crystal Gardens, Southgate, with Frank Tanana, former Detroit Tiger pitcher, as speaker; for tickets, $15, send a check to Bovitz CPA, 1651 Kingsway, P.O. Box 445, Trenton, MI 48183.