Northern Arts & Culture

Hosts Hans Ahlstrom and Kurt Hauswirth discuss what is happening in the area regarding arts, music and cultural events in and around the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

*Voice Memo Recording Instructions*


 Public Radio 90's Hans Ahlstrom speaks with local author John Gubbins about his new book, "The American Fly Fishing Experience - Theodore Gordon: His Lost Flies and Last Sentiments.

The Ishpeming Public Library will be holding a reception for Gubbins on Wednesday, October 30th at 5pm. 

Camilla Mingay / Second Skin Shop

The Nutcracker Ballet has been a holiday staple in the Marquette community for years.  This year, a new event in support of both the Nutcracker Ballet and the U.P. Children's Museum is happening about a month ahead of the ballet performance.  Second Skin Shop & U.P. Children's Museum will present a Nutcracker Tea Party; at this event, attendees will have the opportunity to have Tea with the Nutcracker, take part in a Gift Basket Drawing, and decorate Pointe shoes.

Camilla Mingay (Second Skin Shop) came to Public Radio 90 to speak more about the event:

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burlesque entertainment is defined as a "theatrical entertainment of a broadly humorous, often earthy character consisting of short turns, comic skits, and sometimes striptease acts."  In essence, a way to make the serious become a little less serious.  In terms of a person's self-expression, it can be a powerful and positive force of self-esteem.

A special Burlesque Workshop will be presented Monday, Oct. 28th at Queen City Arts in Marquette, and special guest Vyxsin (of "The Amazing Race" and "Unfinished Business" fame) will help those who want a boost of self-esteem or want to express themselves differently.

In conversation at Public Radio 90, Vyxsin explains that burlesque is more than what it seems:

Kurt Hauswirth / Public Radio 90

Fantasia, Finlandia & Franck is the title of a unique performance from the Marquette Symphony Orchestra.  In a side-by-side concert, the MSO will join with members of the Marquette Senior High School Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble.  The goal of this concert is not only to provide a wonderful evening of classic works for patrons of the orchestra, but also to further music education opportunities.

Octavio Mas-Arocas, the MSO's principal conductor, will lead the combined ensembles.  The MSHS Symphony Orchestra is conducted by Eric Marta, and the MSHS Wind Ensemble is conducted by Matt Ludwig (both teachers are members of the orchestra).  Octavio joined Kurt Hauswirth during Classiclectic to discuss the concert repertoire and the opportunities for performers and audience members:

Kurt Hauswirth / Public Radio 90

The musical Rocky Horror Show is being presented in its 21st production, starting Friday, October 25th 2019.  A theatrical institution in the Marquette area, both members of the community and students from Northern Michigan University have come together for years to put on the cult show.  In his 18th year as the lead role, Bobby Glenn Brown returns as Frank-N-Furter.

Bobby came to Public Radio 90 to speak further about this year's production, how things have evolved over the years in his perspective, and hinted at changes and surprises this time around:

Kurt Hauswirth / Public Radio 90

"Quills" by Doug Wright is a fictionalized tale of the Marquis de Sade during his real-life residency in the Charenton Insane Asylum, in 19th Century France.  The Wolf's Head Theatre Company (an offshoot of the U.P. Shakespeare Festival) presents performances of the play in an intimate setting, the Ore Dock Brewing Company, Wednesdays and Sundays in October 2019.

The play is a commentary on mental health, the arts, control and discipline; the entanglement between the Marquis and two officials at the Asylum (both with their ideas of how best to move forward with treatments) urge the audience to delve into both external and internal reflections on these issues.

Kurt Hauswirth spoke with Jamie Weeder (director) and Jeff Spencer (actor) about the process of presenting a play that hopes to broaden the spectrum of awareness about mental health, while also challenging the audience in an intimate space:

The Hiawatha Music Co-op's 2019 Fall Master Artist Concert and Workshop takes place tonight and tomorrow. The duo is the husband and wife team of Paul Brown and Terri McMurray. Public Radio 90's Hans Ahlstrom spoke with Paul Brown about the traditional music of North Carolina and southern Virginia he and Terri are bringing to our area.

The concert is tonight at 7pm at the Peter White Public Library. The workshop is tomorrow from 10-11:30am at the Hiawatha Music Co-op office in the Village Shopping Center.

Public Radio 90

Everyone has a body, and the discussions on body autonomy, respect for your own body and others, and the differences in all of our bodies along the spectrum only continue to develop over time.  NMU Theatre and Dance address these kinds of issues and also offer opportunities for students to express themselves and speak on these issues through the medium of theatre with their production of The Full Monty (running Oct. 11-19, 2019).

The film from 1997 is the inspiration for the musical version, and is all about a group of down-on-their-luck, unemployed gentlemen who take it upon themselves to not only get employment, but also take control of their bodies and their body images, after finding out that the Chippendales' striptease act is something that appeals to certain members of the opposite sex.

Without giving away the full monty, the director of NMU Theatre and Dance Bill Digneit came to our studios to talk a little about the plot and themes of the show, but also the opportunities the show affords the community and campus populations:

American cellist Ashley Bathgate "...wanted a modern-day suite that could hold its own among the epic works that already exist in the repertoire." She is speaking about her debut solo album ASH, out September 27, 2019 from New Amsterdam Records.  Formerly a member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars (a sextet of classical and alternative classical musicians which began as an ensemble in 1992), Ashley has left the ensemble to explore performance and recording on her own.  The product of years of work (and collaboration with the living composer group "Sleeping Giant"), ASH is a modern-day take on the cello suites of the past, such as J.S. Bach's or Britten's, but this is different than one composer writing the entire work; there are six individual composers who each collaborated and wrote a movement of the six cello pieces featured on ASH.

Ashley was available to speak with Kurt Hauswirth about the album, the collaborative process, and the mindset behind the compositions and performances:

Water Rising is the October-long event that marries art with environmental concerns.  The Cedar Tree Institute and the interfaith Northern Great Lakes Water Stewards are teaming up with other local art and environmental organizations to present this unique art collaboration.  One of the local art organizations is the Fresh Coast Film Festival, which takes place concurrently.

Tiina Harris, director of the City of Marquette Arts & Culture Center, came to Public Radio 90 to speak about a special film installation at the Center, that will also have its screening premiere at the Fresh Coast Film Festival, along with a special artist talk: