Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bill Cosby Headed To DeVos Performance Hall for LaughFest

Gilda's Club of Grand Rapids, named after late comedian Gilda Radner, will be offering the country's first community-wide festival focused on humor in Grand Rapids come this Spring. As part of the 10-day celebration, legendary comedian, director and actor Bill Cosby will bring all of his iconic expertise to DeVos Performance Hall! Cosby will take the stage on March 13.

Other entertainers participating in the festivities include Betty White, Kevin Hart, Kathleen Madigan and more among local performers as well. LaughFest will host performances, shows and films, plus a community talent showcase, in as many as 25 locations in town.

LaughFest, opening March 10, marks the 10th anniversary of Gilda's Club, which provides support for individuals and families touched by cancer.

For more information, click here to go to the official LaughFest website.

Gilda's Club LaughFest Brings GR's First Community-wide Comedy Festival

Need a chuckle when winter is coming to an end and the weather is looking bleak?

Come to the first ever Gilda’s LaughFest in downtown Grand Rapids! This is a community-wide festival with truly funny stuff happening in March. Celebrating laughter for the health of it — a festival of comedy, performance, film, and a variety of seriously funny stuff that makes us laugh.

Some of the performers include Betty White, Kevin Hart, Mike Birbiglia and Kathleen Madigan. But arguably the most recognizable name in the festival will make his stop right here at DeVos Performance Hall. Comedy legend and actor Bill Cosby will hit the DeVos Performance Hall stage on March 13 at 4:30PM and 7:30PM.

All proceeds will go to Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids, the largest and busiest of the 52 affiliates in North America. Gilda's Club is a free cancer and grief support program for children, adults, family and friends. For more information and to be updated on ticket access, go to

Friday, November 19, 2010

Make it a Nutcracker Overnight with Amway!

Come celebrate the holidays a little early by seeing the Nutcracker and spend a magical night at the Amway Hotel!

It is just $99 per night during the Nutcracker. Enter promo code NUTCRK for the special.

Check out for more information about the Nutcracker!

Grand Rapids Hosts National Launch of ICLEI Program to Assist Local Governments in Preparing for Climate Change

Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell will be hosting the national launch of ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability’s Climate Adaptation Program: Climate Resilient Communities™, the country’s first comprehensive program to assist local governments with preparing for climate change, on Thursday, November 18th, 2010, at 4:00 p.m., in the Chase Board Room of the DeVos Convention Center, located at 303 Monroe, NW in Grand Rapids.

Grand Rapids will be one of the first local governments in the nation to use ICLEI’s advanced tools and resources to accelerate its preparedness in the face of unavoidable, local climate change impacts—including more frequent and severe heat waves, excessive rain events that threaten the integrity of the Great Lakes, declining harvest yields, and changes in temperature and precipitation patterns that threaten people, ecosystems, and the Grand Rapids economy. ICLEI’s resources include a new beta-tool, ADAPT: the Adaptation Database and Planning Tool, which will be locally introduced for the first time, and a member networking platform so that local communities across the country can share their lessons and experience related to building resilience towards climate change.

“Grand Rapids is delighted to be hosting the national launch of ICLEI’s Climate Resilient Communities program and is looking forward to utilizing the new ADAPT tool to advance local sustainability planning,” said Grand Rapids Mayor George K. Heartwell. “Our partnership with ICLEI has been instrumental in helping Grand Rapids move forward in building a sustainable, livable community.”

As a national leader on environmental issues, Grand Rapids has been leading the charge on climate adaptation and climate mitigation for years. Grand Rapids’ leadership and innovation on sustainability—from community revitalization and smart growth to the integration of economic and environmental sustainability—has made Grand Rapids a leader in the local sustainability arena both domestically and internationally.

As the leading national and international organization committed to advancing local sustainability and climate protection, ICLEI has been actively working for over 20 years to ensure that local communities have the tools, information, resources, training, and networking opportunities they need to advance their climate and sustainability goals.

“Over the last few years, ICLEI has realized that one of the underserved areas in which local governments need assistance is around building resilience toward existing and future climate change impacts,” said Martin Chavez, Executive Director of ICLEI USA. “Recognizing this need, ICLEI has been working with local governments across the country to develop the Climate Resilient Communities™ program, and we are delighted to finally be able to unveil this program to our national membership.”

Friday, November 12, 2010

Small Stars shining in Grand Rapids Ballet's Nutcracker this December!

New to the stage this year are two young students from the Company’s recently launched Explorer Dance program, a dance class for children with Down Syndrome.

Nine-year-old Annah Huisman and fourteen-year-old Maggie Fisher, of the Explorer Dance Class, take the DeVos Hall stage for the first time as party girls in the Act I street scene of The Nutcracker. “These girls are so excited to be part of the production. They have been working very hard in class and will shine on stage,” says Explorer Dance instructor Amanda Sekelsky. “I am proud of what they have learned and thrilled to have them included in the Company’s production.”

Grand Rapids Ballet introduced the Explorer Dance program in the summer of 2010. This class, designed for children ages 6-14 with Down Syndrome, teaches the concepts of rhythm, coordination, balance, and spatial awareness. The inclusive, creative environment allows students the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of ballet movement while discovering new possibilities. The program is sponsored by Amway’s One by One Campaign.

Performances include four matinees, Dec. 4, 5, 11 and 12; and six evening shows, Dec. 3, 4, 5, 10, 11 and 12. Tickets may be purchased through Ticketmaster at 1.800.982.2787, or at the Ballet or DeVos Hall Box Offices. Prices range from $20-$53 with discounts available for children, seniors, and groups.

In The Heights Coming to Grand Rapids!

IN THE HEIGHTS, winner of four 2008 Tony Awards® and the 2008 Grammy® Award for Best Musical Show Album, is coming to DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids, MI from January 4-9, 2011.

IN THE HEIGHTS tells the universal story of a vibrant community in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood – a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. It’s a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions you take with you, and which ones you leave behind.

The performance schedule is Tuesday-Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday at 8:00pm, Saturday at 2:00pm & 8:00pm, and Sunday at 1:00pm & 6:30pm.

Tickets start at $27.50. Tickets are available at the DeVos Performance Hall box office, all Ticketmaster locations, or via phone at 1-800-745-3000. Group discounts are available by calling 616-742-6185 or e-mail

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Church Girl: The Musical

“Church Girl” is more than a stage play, it is a life changing experience! Based on TRUE STORIES “Church Girl” follows the life of “Emily Franklin”, a pastor’s daughter who is lured into a dangerous and fast-paced world that leads her away from everything she has been taught since childhood. So hold on to your seats as the story takes you on a visual, musical and emotional journey that will make you laugh, cry and dance in the aisles!

Starring: Robin Givens (Boomerang), A’ngela Winbush (R&B star), Drew Sidora (The Game), Sean Blakemore (Motives 1&2), Karen Clark Sheard (The Clark Sisters), Wanda Nero-Butler (Gospel Artist), Tony Grant (Az Yet) and Demetria McKinney (House of Payne).

Tickets are $34.50-41.50 and can be purchased here, at Ticketmaster outlets, Van Andel Arena and DeVos Place box offices.

For more information, click here

Friday, November 5, 2010

Blues Rock Star Joe Bonamassa to Headline DeVos Performance Hall

Award-winning blues rock star, guitar hero and singer-songwriter Joe Bonamassa and his ace touring band will perform in concert at Grand Rapids’ DeVos Performance Hall on March 21, 2011 at 8PM.

Tickets are $39, $49, $59 and $69 and go on sale Saturday, November 6 at 10 am at, DeVos Place and Van Andel Arena Box Offices, Ticketmaster outlets or charge by phone at 800-745-3000

The one-night-only show is in support of his upcoming, as yet untitled album which will be released on Bonamassa’s J&R Adventures label in March 2011. Bonamassa’s last album, 2010’s Black Rock, debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Blues Albums Chart and #38 on Billboard’s Top 200 Chart, a huge leap from 2009’s The Ballad of John Henry which debuted at #136 on the Top 200. In addition to the success of Black Rock and Black Country Communion’s stellar debut, 2010 kicked off with Guitar World dubbing Bonamassa “The Blues Rock Titan” and his song, “Lonesome Road Blues,” was included in Guitar Hero V’s New Blues Masters Track Pack. He was also honored twice in Guitar Player Magazine’s June 2010 Readers’ Choice Awards winning “Best Overall Guitarist” for the first time and “Best Blues Guitarist” for the fourth consecutive year. On June 26, he played the main stage at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival in Chicago.

A child prodigy, Bonamassa opened shows at age 12 for blues legend B.B. King, who said after first seeing him play, “This kid's potential is unbelievable…He's one of a kind.” Bonamassa’s recording career began in the early ’90s with Bloodline, a rock-blues group also featuring Robby Krieger’s son Waylon and Miles Davis’ son Erin. His solo debut was in 2000 with the Tom Dowd-produced A New Day Yesterday.

Win a Chance to Meet The Von Trapp Children!

The Grand Rapids Symphony is bringing in The Von Trapp Children, the great-grandchildren of the Captain and Maria Von Trapp, whose story was immortalized in The Sound of Music. They will perform with the Symphony Nov. 12-14 -- and two lucky winners will have the chance to meet them during a rehearsal.

The Symphony has launched a contest called "My Favorite Things." Tell us just one of your favorite things in order to enter a drawing to meet the children and attend a performance. Additional prizes include CDs and signed copies of a new children's book by a Flint writer, V is For Von Trapp.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Grand Valley Photograph and Graphic Design Graduates Exhibit their Senior Thesis Work in Bling! Flash! Art! (Part 1)

The public is invited to attend the first collaborative GVSU Senior Thesis Showcase, part of Grand Valley State University's 50th Anniversary Celebration.

The showcase is from November 17th until December 9th.

This years show features 12 Photographers and 10 Graphic Designers, showcasing a flash into their experiences.

Please join the artists during the opening reception held on Thursday, November 18th, from 5:00pm-7:00pm in the Grand Gallery Skywalk located in the DeVos Place

For More Information Please Contact:
Victoria Veenstra-616.331.3957
Chitra Gopalakrishnan-616.331.8164
Performing Arts Center Gallery-616-331-2564

Von Trapp Children Book Signing on Alpine!

Are your hills alive with the sound of music? Are you a huge "The Sound of Music" fan? Well, come and meet the Von Trapps for yourself!

The Von Trapp Children, who will perform with the Grand Rapids Symphony next weekend, will join Michigan author William Anderson at Schuler’s Books and Music for a special book signing and appearance on Saturday, Nov. 13.

The great-grandchildren of the famous Captain and Maria Von Trapp, whose story was immortalized in “The Sound of Music,” will appear from 11 a.m. to noon at the 3165 Alpine Ave. NW, Walker location of the bookstore. They will be joined by Flint resident and author William Anderson, who will be signing copies of his newly released V is for Von Trapp: A Musical Family Alphabet, which presents a behind-the-headlines look at the family.

The two-tiered alphabet format follows the early days of the Von Trapps in Austria, their escape from Nazi authorities, their love of America and their family lodge in Vermont. The release of the book coincides with the 45th anniversary of the film version of the beloved musical and the Nov. 2 release of a digitally restored, Blu-Ray limited edition collector’s set of The Sound of Music.

Tickets for The Von Trapp Children’s performance with the Grand Rapids Symphony start at $18 and are available by calling Ticketmaster at 800-982-2787, online at or in person at Ticketmaster outlets. Tickets may also be purchased in person at DeVos Place and Van Andel Arena box offices or the Symphony office.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Broadway Grand Rapids Presents Shrek the Musical

SHREK THE MUSICAL, based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks film that started it all, brings the hilarious story of everyone's favorite ogre to life on the stage.

In a faraway kingdom turned upside down, things get ugly when an unseemly ogre - not a handsome prince - shows up to rescue a feisty princess. Throw in a donkey who won't shut up, a bad guy with a SHORT temper, a cookie with an attitude and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits, and you've got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero. Luckily, there's one on hand... and his name is Shrek.

Featuring a terrific score of 19 all-new songs, big laughs, great dancing and breathtaking scenery, USA Today proclaims SHREK THE MUSICAL, "ALTOGETHER IRRESISTIBLE. A BIG FAT HIT!"

SHREK THE MUSICAL is part romance, part twisted fairy tale and all irreverent fun for everyone!

For more information about Shrek, check out DeVos Place Fanpage

Broadway Grand Rapids Presents Stomp

STOMP is explosive, provocative, sophisticated, sexy, utterly unique and appeals to audiences of all ages. The international percussion sensation has garnered an armful of awards and rave reviews, and has appeared on numerous national television shows. The eight-member troupe uses everything but conventional percussion instruments - matchboxes, wooden poles, brooms, garbage cans, Zippo lighters, hubcaps - to fill the stage with magnificent rhythms. As USA Today says, "STOMP finds beautiful noises in the strangest places." STOMP. See what all the noise is about.

Find out dates and times by going to DeVosPlace's Fanpage

Grand Rapids Symphony Pops: Wicked Divas

Julia Murney and Jennifer Laura Thompson, stars of the hit musical Wicked join guest conductor Steven Reineke and your Grammy-nominated Grand Rapids Symphony for a fantastic concert of diva showstoppers including popular favorites from Wicked, The Wizard of Oz, My Fair Lady, and Chicago.

To find out more information about Wicked Divas, please go to!

Grand Rapids Symphony Classical: Orchestral Gems

Check out DeVos Place's Fanpage to get more information about Orchestral Gems!

Opera Grand Rapids: The Barber of Seville

In what is probably the most beloved comedy in all of opera, pure silliness and hilarious situations abound, clothed in the brilliance of bel canto opera at its best! With the assistance of Seville’s famous barber, Figaro, the lovely Rosina tries to avoid the marriage intentions of her withered old guardian, Dr. Bartolo. She much prefers her handsome young suitor instead, who just happens to be Count Almaviva in disguise! With a zany plot full of mayhem, mistaken identities and madcap fun, matters of the heart come to a beautifully comic conclusion that will leave you laughing long after the final curtain comes down.

The show is 4/29/11 and 4/30/11. Tickets will available on 2/21/11 at the Van Andel Arena and DeVos Place box offices, Ticketmaster ticket centers, charge by phone at 1.800.982.2787 and

Grand Rapids Symphony Classical: Two Dons and Dvorak

Check out DeVos Place's Fanpage in order to find out more about the show!

Grand Rapids Symphony Symphonicboom: Jim Brickman

Jim Brickman has revolutionized the sound of solo piano with his pop-style instrumentals and star-studded vocal collaborations. His lush, expressive playing has made him the best-selling solo piano artist of our time, known for chart-toppers including Valentine, The Gift and Love of My Life.

4/12/2011 @ 7:30 AM with tickets starting at $39.50!

Broadway Grand Rapids Presents Chicago

There's never been a better time to experience CHICAGO, Broadway's razzle-dazzle smash. This triumphant hit musical is the recipient of six Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards, a Grammy and thousands of standing ovations. A sensational tale of sin, corruption and all that jazz, it's no surprise that CHICAGO has wowed audiences from Mexico City to Moscow, from Sao Paulo to South Africa. And now it's coming to your town!

If you're looking for your first Broadway musical CHICAGO has everything you could want: knockout dancing, an edge-of-your- seat story and one showstopper after another. If you loved the Academy Award-winning film, nothing beats the live show, and if you are already intimately acquainted with the musical, experience that sizzle again, CHICAGO always delivers. Come on, babe! Head to CHICAGO, we're hotter than ever.

Check out DeVos Place's fanpage to find out more information on Chicago!

Grand Rapids Symphony Classical: Seascapes

Come check out DeVos Place's fanpage to get more information about Seascapes!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Grand Rapids Symphony Pops: Celtic Celebration with Leahy

This powerhouse of eight musical brothers and sisters mystify audiences whenever they play. The band is a triple-threat of fiddle-driven music, dance, and vocals augmented by keyboards and percussion. Their music combines the influence of their Irish and Scottish roots with a desire to know no musical boundaries.

Take a look at DeVos Place's fanpage to get more information about the show!

Grand Rapids Symphony Classical: Latin Fire

David Lockington’s creation, “Latin Fire,” will capture the imagination of the audience with a songful, dance-filled, flamboyant and soulful program that reflects the Latin spirit. The program features four soloists: Classical Guitarist Jason Vieaux; Violinist Dylana Jenson (who also happens to be Lockington’s wife), Bandoneon player Peter Soave, and a Flamenco Dancer.

Check out DeVos Place's fanpage for more information about Latin Fire!

Broadway Grand Rapids Presents Grease

The one that you want is back! GREASE,TIME magazine's 2007 pick for "#1 musical of the year," is rockin' across the country in this new production direct from Broadway.

Take a trip to a simpler time of poodle skirts, drive-ins, and T-birds. "Bad boy" Danny and "the girl next door" Sandy fall in love all over again to the tune of your favorite songs: "Summer Nights," "Greased Lightnin'" and "We Go Together" as well as additional songs from the hit movie: "Grease," "Hopelessly Devoted to You" and "You're the One That I Want."

So throw your mittens around your kittens and Hand Jive the night away with the show that'll make you want to stand up and shout,"A-wop-bop-a-loo-bopA-wop-bam-boom!," GREASE!

3/1/2011 @ 7:30 PM
3/2/2011 @ 7:30 PM
3/3/2011 @ 7:30 PM
3/4/2011 @ 8:00 PM
3/5/2011 @ 2:00 PM
3/5/2011 @ 8:00 PM
3/6/2011 @ 1:00 PM
3/6/2011 @ 6:30 PM

Tickets start at $27.50

Purchase Tickets

Broadway Grand Rapids Presents The Aluminum Show

Take a look at DeVos Place's fanpage to get more information about the show!

Grand Rapids Symphony Classical: Passion and Romance

Slovenian pianist Dubravka Tomsic enjoys "something of a cult status among pianophiles" (Gramophone Magazine), with performances that convey "heroic power and Olympian vision" (Los Angeles Times) as well as "splendor, drama, passion, poetry, and subtlety" (Boston Globe).

Check out DeVos Place's fanpage for more information!

Broadway Grand Rapids Presents New Shanghai Circus

Astonishing athletes defy gravity and execute breathtaking feats as they stretch the limits of human ability in this spellbinding show. Fearless performers with boundless energy bring you more than two thousand years of Chinese circus traditions. If it's humanly possible - and even if it's not - Shanghai's acrobats, jugglers and contortionists do it with spectacular flair!

Take a look at DeVos Place's fanpage to find out more information about New Shanghai Circus!

Opera Grand Rapids Presents Manon Lescaut

It was the wild success of this, Puccini’s third opera, that launched the string of masterworks that made him the most popular composer in history. While traveling to a convent where she is being sent by her family, Manon Lescaut attracts the attentions of France’s very wealthy Royal Tax Collector. She escapes his clutches with the help of her true love, a handsome young student. But, the allure of living in luxury soon overwhelms her and she abandons love for riches. Her attempt to return to her true love comes, however, at the incalculable cost of deportment and her tragic demise in the New World. Puccini’s ravishing and poignant music will sweep you away with its rich and emotional power!

Tickets will available November 21st, 2010, at the Van Andel Arena and DeVos Place box offices, Ticketmaster ticket centers, charge by phone at 1.800.982.2787 and

2/11/2011 @ 7:30 PM Start at $27.50
2/12/2011 @ 7:30 PM Start at $27.50

Grand Rapids Symphony Classical: Beethoven the Revolutionary

This program will both educate and inspire by placing Beethoven’s music in the context of his time. Audiences will have the opportunity to both hear and understand Beethoven’s greatness in comparison to some of Beethoven's contemporaries.

Check out DeVos Place's fanpage for more information!

Grand Rapids Symphony Pops: A Salute to John Williams

Williams’ Star Wars score transformed the film music landscape and became an icon of American culture. Now, 30 years (and 38 films) later, his melodies remain the soundtrack of a generation. Hear favorites from Star Wars, Jaws, Harry Potter, E.T. and more.

1/28/2011 @ 8:00 PM: $25.50, $40.50, $49.50, $56.50, $73.50, $97.50
1/29/2011 @ 8:00 PM: $25.50, $40.50, $49.50, $56.50, $73.50, $97.50
1/30/2011 @ 3:00 PM: $25.50, $40.50, $49.50, $56.50, $73.50, $97.50

Purchase tickets

Grand Rapids Symphony SymphonicBoom Presents Cirque De Noel with Cirque De La Symphonie

Check out DeVos Place's fanpage to find out more information!

Grand Rapids Symphony Classical: Orff's Carmina Burana

Check out DeVos Place's fanpage on facebook to learn more about Orff's Carmina Burana!