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Rufus Wainwright, Bonnie Raitt to perform during Summer Festival

By |2018-01-15T19:31:29-05:00May 24th, 2012|Entertainment|

From soul legends and songbook crooners to aerial acrobats and urban storytellers, the new Ann Arbor Summer Festival season runs June 15 through July 8 and features an eclectic mix of music, dance, comedy, film, spoken word, contemporary circus and family entertainment.
Now celebrating its 29th season, the festival’s Mainstage series features a variety of performing artists. The festival’s Mainstage performances take place in Power Center for the Performing Arts, Hill Auditorium and the Michigan Theater. The outdoor activities at Top of the Park continue at Ingalls Mall, located directly in front of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies on Washington Street near the Burton Memorial Tower.
The Ann Arbor Summer Festival is an exhilarating celebration of performing arts, outdoor entertainment, and community spirit. A boutique music and arts festival, the three-week gathering offers an array of ticketed and free events, both indoors and out, featuring a progressive mix of local, national and international artists. Presenting over 100 events each season and attracting a diverse audience of more than 60,000 people, the festival continues to grow as a major cultural event in the Ann Arbor community, and as a leading multi-arts celebration that enriches the cultural, economic and social vitality of the region. This year’s lineup includes:

Ann Arbor Summer Festival 2012 Mainstage Season

Bonnie Raitt (with special guest Marc Cohn), 8 p.m. May 25. Hill Auditorium. $35.50-$65.50.
More than just a best-selling artist, respected guitarist, expressive singer and accomplished songwriter, Bonnie Raitt has become an institution in American music. With a unique style that blends blues, R&B, rock, and pop, this nine-time Grammy Award winner returns to Ann Arbor in support of her newest album, “Slipstream.” Marc Cohn opens the show.
At the artist’s request, fifty cents of each ticket sold for this concert will be donated to the ARIA Foundation.

Feist (with special guest The Low Anthem). 8 p.m. June 5. Power Center, $30-$50.
For nearly a decade, Leslie Feist did not stop moving. Her 2004 Juno award-winning album “Let It Die” led right into 2007’s “The Reminder,” which earned her four Grammy nominations, six Juno wins, the Shortlist Music Prize and the opportunity to teach Muppets to count on Sesame Street. She then made her “Saturday Night Live” debut and toured the world. Feist appears in support of her newest album, “Metals.” The Low Anthem opens the show.

Ira Glass, Reinventing Radio: An Evening with Ira Glass (Co-presented by Michigan Radio Saturday). 8 p.m. June 23. Power Center. $35-$55.
The creator of the public radio’s “This American Life” talks about his program and how the show is put together. As part of this, Glass mixes stories from the show, live onstage, combining his narration with pre-taped quotes and music, recreating the sound of the show as the audience watches.

Pilobolus. 7 p.m. June 24 Power Center. $10-$50.
An American institution for nearly 40 years, Pilobolus returns to Ann Arbor with its dancers who leap, fly, intertwine, and break all of the rules. With styles ranging from playful to intense to gravity- defying, the company has been universally celebrated for its startling mix of humor, intelligence, physical invention, and raw athleticism.

An Evening with Nellie McKay (with special guest Sneakin’ Out). 8 p.m. June 27. Power Center. $25 General Admission.
Nellie McKay’s music is as tuneful and clever as the best of the Great American Songbook – part cabaret, part sparkly pop. From time-honored torch songs to Doris Day standards, the ivory-tinkling crooner offers an irresistible cocktail of vintage jazz classics, charming originals, and plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor. Sneakin’ Out opens the show.

The Mother Mainstage, Under the Influence: Stories that Shape and Shake Us (co-presented by Michigan Radio). 8 p.m. June 28. Michigan Theater. $35 General Admission.
The Moth, New York’s hottest literary phenomenon, is an acclaimed nonprofit organization dedicated to the art of storytelling. After its sold-out performance at last year’s festival, The Moth Mainstage returns to Ann Arbor with an all-star line-up of favorite tellers and local gems, each with a ten-minute story told live without notes.

Rufus Wainwright. 8 p.m. June 30. Power Center. $30-$50.
Affectionately referred to by Elton John as “the greatest songwriter on the planet” and praised by The New York Times for his “genuine originality,” Rufus Wainwright’s lush, theatrical pop offerings hark back to the traditions of Tin Pan Alley, cabaret, and even opera. Wainwright appears in support of his newest album, “Out of the Game.”

For more information, including the complete lineup, visit the festival website at

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.