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See Chasten Buttigieg, Grab Kathy Griffin Tickets, Attend a 'Beautiful Thing' at The Ringwald Theatre

Sarah Bricker Hunt

With the promise of spring just around the corner, it’s an ideal time to nourish your mind by joining a banned books club or hearing author Chasten Buttigieg talk about his memoir.  Beyond book events, support Ferndale Pride and the Ferndale Community Foundation at a carnival benefit hosted by Mx. Trans Michigan Blanca Sapphire or catch the latest Ringwald Theatre performance, “Beautiful Thing.” It’s also not too early to grab tickets to see Kathy Griffin in April. 

1. Attend Chasten Buttigieg Book Talk

Chasten Buttigieg at Books in Bloom 2023
Chasten Buttigieg at Books in Bloom, 2023. Photo: MyCatIsAChonk (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:MyCatIsAChonk)

Traverse City native Chasten Buttigieg, husband of U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, will head to Michigan State University in East Lansing on March 16 to discuss his memoir, “I Have Something to Tell You.” The 2020 book explores Chasten’s journey to finding acceptance as a gay man (Buttigieg released an updated version in 2023, “I Have Something to Tell You - For Young Adults”). Audience members can questions about the book, his LGBTQ+ activism and his background in theater, which he has credited with helping him get through his young adulthood. The event is free, but ticket reservations are requested. 

March 16, 7:30 p.m. Pasant Theatre (at the Wharton Center, 750 E. Shaw Lane, East Lansing). Reserve free tickets at bit.ly/3T4rTYe.

2. Get Tickets for Kathy Griffin’s April Show 

Kathy Griffin has been through it, ya’ll, and while the comedian has made a career out of poking fun at her attempts to stay relevant in the world of Hollywood on what she terms “the D-list,” her latest forays into public life have centered on the all-too-real struggles with everything from lung cancer, which she beat in 2021, to severe PTSD. Through it all, Griffin has been a staunch, vocal LGBTQ+ ally, frequently (and very publicly) going toe to toe with powerful anti-LGBTQ+ political and entertainment figures. Grab your tickets now for Griffin’s latest show, “My Life on the PTSD List,” April 19 at the Royal Oak Music Theatre. 

April 19, 7 p.m., Royal Oak Music Theatre (318 W. 4th St., Royal Oak). Buy tickets at bit.ly/3Tj2viT.

3. Dazzle at Blanca’s White Carnival Benefit

Blanca Sapphire. Photo: Facebook
Blanca Sapphire. Photo: Facebook

Forget that old rule about waiting until Memorial Day to break out your favorite bright white fashion pieces. Blanca’s White Carnival Benefit, hosted by Gigi’s Cabaret, happens March 24, just a few days after the arrival of spring. The carnival showcases Mx. Trans Michigan Blanca Sapphire in support of the Ferndale Community Foundation and Ferndale Pride as they get ready to vie for their second Mx. Trans USA title. The event will feature a performance by Blanca Sapphire, games, carnival food and “secret surprises,” according to Gigi’s Facebook. White clothing is optional but strongly suggested. 

March 24, 2 p.m. (doors open at 1 p.m.), Gigi’s (16920 W. Warren Ave., Detroit). 

4. See ‘Beautiful Thing’ at The Ringwald

Don’t miss The Ringwald Theatre’s latest show, “Beautiful Thing,” directed by Joe Bailey. The performance focuses on playwright Jonathan Harvey’s coming-out and coming-of-age story about two teens (played by Cole VanAmberg and Nick Easterling) who are neighbors experiencing personal traumas. When the two seek solace in the company of one another, an unexpected relationship blooms. The story, press materials read, is one of “community, friendship, rites of passage and what it is to be 16 and in love.” 

March 8-April 1, various times, The Ringwald Theatre (inside Affirmations at 290 W. Nine Mile Road, Ferndale). Tickets are available at theringwald.com/productions/beautiful-thing.

5. Join the Stand with Trans Banned Book Club

Cemetery boys

Find out why the far-right has its panties in a bunch about children’s and young adult books that have been targeted across the country at the Stand with Trans Banned Books Cub, which meets online on the fourth Friday of each month. Facilitator Aaron, a non-binary trans man, will lead a discussion about Aiden Thomas’ “Cemetery Boys,” a paranormal adventure tale with a focus on the power of identity on March 22. Attendees can also participate in a special art project. Upcoming books include “Love & Other Disasters” by Anita Kelly in April and “Hurricane Child” by Kacen Callender in May.

Fourth Fridays, virtual. Register at bit.ly/3wEpqw6 for login information.

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