From world music superstars and comic book supervillians to 3-D superhero mapping and a super bouncy exhibit for kids, the new Ann Arbor Summer Festival season runs from June 14 through July 7, and features an eclectic mix of music, dance, comedy, film, spoken word, contemporary circus, street arts and family entertainment.
Now celebrating its 30th season, the festival’s Mainstage series features the return of several Ann Arbor favorites along with a number of performers making their festival debut. With artists spanning the globe, this year’s lineup includes the nationally beloved radio program “A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor”; British electro art-pop quartet Django Django; the Big Easy’s Preservation Hall Jazz Band with musical gameshow cabaret New Orleans Bingo! Show; Montreal’s rebel circus collective Les 7 doigts de la main; lounge mini-orchestra Pink Martini; NPR’s storytelling show Snap Judgment; live-action graphic novel The Intergalactic Nemesis; Malian superstars Amadou & Mariam; political satirists The Capitol Steps; and the all-male drag ballet corps Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo.
The festival’s ticketed Mainstage performances take place in the Power Center for the Performing Arts and Hill Auditorium. The festival’s outdoor Top of the Park activities 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. Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased in person at the Michigan League Ticket Office, by phone at 734-764-2538 or online at http://www.A2SF.org.
2013 Schedule of Mainstage Performances
A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor, 5:45 p.m. June 1, Pre-Season Event Hill Auditorium ($75, $65, $55, $45, $35)
America’s favorite storyteller Garrison Keillor returns to Ann Arbor as part of Hill Auditorium’s 100th anniversary celebration. This special live broadcast of Keillor’s radio show, “A Prairie Home Companion,” will feature an ensemble cast, comedy sketches, musical interludes, special guests and Keillor’s signature monologue, “The News from Lake Wobegon.”
Django Django, 8 p.m. June 18, Power Center ($25, $20; General Admission)
Edinburgh art-pop foursome Django Django is a band that defies musical classification. The former art-school students combine ’80s pop rhythms with ’60s Beach Boys-style vocal harmonies, a style that some have labeled folktronica. Their self-titled debut album earned widespread praise and had the critics swooning for their experimental, kaleidoscopic songs.
Pink Martini, 8 p.m. June 25, Power Center ($55, $50, $45, $35)
Somewhere between a 1930s Cuban dance orchestra, a classical chamber music ensemble, a Brazilian street band and Japanese film noir is Pink Martini. Influenced by Latin music, jazz, cabaret, cinema scores and more, the intoxicating retro-pop ensemble brings melodies and rhythms from different parts of the world together to create an eclectic, modern sound.
The Intergalactic Nemesis in “Book One: Target Earth,” 5 p.m. June 30, Power Center ($35, $30 $25, $20, $10 Kids)
Inspired by Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars, and the pulp serials of the 1930s, The Intergalactic Nemesis is a one-of-a-kind theatrical experience that mashes up sci-fi radio drama with comic books. With over 1,000 projected graphic novel panels, three actors voicing dozens of characters, a Foley artist creating sound effects, and a keyboardist playing an original score, The Intergalactic Nemesis is a spectacle unlike any other and a show for the kid in everyone.
The Capitol Steps Thursday, 5 and 8 p.m. July 4, Power Center ($50, $45, $40, $30)
Answering the call for more civil discourse, these former Congressional staffers’ brilliant song parodies and hilarious sketches lampoon up-to-the-minute issues, events and personalities, poking fun at both sides of the aisle. A holiday tradition in Ann Arbor, America’s foremost political satirists return to the festival for their annual Fourth of July performances.
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo Friday, 8 p.m. July 5, Power Center ($55, $50, $45, $35)
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo remains one of the most popular dance troupes in the United States. Performing in tutus, tiaras and tights, this all-male ballet company specializes in hilarious twists on the classics such as Swan Lake and Giselle, with equal parts comedy and technical prowess. The talented dancers perform an impressive repertoire of both classical ballet and contemporary dance.