It’s time to whip out that planner and pencil in some unique, queer-charged local events for the coming weeks. From a Broadway show (“Company” at the Fisher) to a scholarly event focused on the cultural significance of drag as art, there’s something on tap sure to hit you the right way. Don’t miss your chance to get a little weird with strangers at Dance Church or a free screening of “The Times of Harvey Milk.” It’s also not too late to grab tickets to see queer humor icon David Sedaris when he travels to the Great Lakes State this month.
1. Learn How Drag Can Serve as Resistance
Dig into a juicy cultural conversation and dazzling drag performance Oct. 12 when Necto, U-M Arts Initiative and the Spectrum Center join up to present “Drag as Resistance: Conversation and Performance” in honor of LGBTQ+ History Month. Held at queer-inclusive hotspot Necto, the extravaganza includes performances by double-crown winner from "RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars" winner Monét X Change, National Entertainer of the Year nominee Jadein Black, trailblazing Black drag king Riley Poppyseed, Pinball McQueen and Perry Dox, plus a conversation with UM professor and author Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes. The event will dive into the history and cultural significance of drag performance, examining why the art form is both celebrated and so frequently attacked.
Oct. 12, 7 p.m., Necto (516 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor). Tickets and more information at bit.ly/45i6AXd.
2. Get Yourself to Queer-Led (Dance) Church
Looking for a “pleasure-centered fitness space for all bodies”? University of Michigan dance department alum and queer interdisciplinary artist, drag performer and makeup artist Rowan Janusiak, who has participated in events like the Detroit Dance City Festival and Midwest RAD Fest, promises all that and more at Dance Church - Ann Arbor. Each week, dancers join together and simply… move.
"I'm so excited to bring the Dance Church experience to Ann Arbor and welcome everyone to join us on the dance floor," Janusiak says. "Whether you're an experienced dancer or a first-time class-taker, Dance Church is a space for you to move, connect and experience joy through dancing and letting it all out."
The 70(ish)-minute class is geared toward all levels and is designed for people of all shapes and sizes, backgrounds and identities. The only prerequisite is open-mindedness. To get a sense of the community, check out @dance_church on IG.
Wednesdays, 7 p.m., The Phoenix Center (220 S. Main St., Ann Arbor). Learn more at go.dancechurch.com/rowanjanusiak.
3. Attend an LGBTQ+ History Documentary Event
Head to Wayne State Oct. 24 to catch a free screening of “The Times of Harvey Milk,” the 1984 Academy Award-winning documentary directed by Robert Epstein. The film shines a bright light on Milk’s human rights activism and the circumstances leading to his assassination in 1978. You’ll also glimpse a rare insight into day-to-day life in San Francisco’s influential Castro District in the ’70s through exclusive archival footage. Stick around for a discussion about the film.
Oct. 24, 12 p.m., Wayne State University, Applebaum Building #610. Reserve your place at bit.ly/45mRlwh.
4. Spend an Evening with David Sedaris
Iconic queer humorist David Sedaris returns this month with two stops in Michigan — Interlochen on Oct. 20 and East Lansing on Oct 24. The bestselling author of classics like “Naked” and “Me Talk Pretty One Day” will read from his latest collection of personal essays, “Happy-Go-Lucky.” The book details Sedaris’ experiences during the pandemic lockdown, when he spent time walking miles through a nearly deserted city, found himself vacuuming his apartment twice a day and contemplated how people working as sex workers and acupuncturists were managing the unique circumstances related to quarantine. Oct. 20, Interlochen Center for the Arts and Oct. 24, Wharton Center in East Lansing. Find more details and ticket information at davidsedarisbooks.com.
5. Enjoy a Broadway Show Close to Home
Broadway in Detroit welcomes “Company” to the Fisher Theatre stage Oct. 17-29. The touring production of the Stephen Sondheim musical is a five-time Tony Award winner (including Best Revival of a Musical) that focuses on a funny, relatable tale about 35-year-old unmarried Bobbie, sick of fending off questions about when she’ll get married or start a family — it’s a notable departure from the 1970 original, which featured a male lead. The musical features several award-winning songs, including “You Could Drive a Person Crazy,” “The Ladies Who Lunch” and “Being Alive.”
Oct. 17-29, The Fisher Theatre (3011 W. Grand Boulevard, Detroit). Find tickets at broadwayindetroit.com/shows/company.