“Stage Fright”

Last night, Tim Motley hit Rumors Nightclub for one of our biggest & most anticipated show nights of the year! “Stage Fright” their annual Halloween drag show. The show featured an all-start line-up including Batty Davis, Jasinya Sanchez, Anna Mossity, Reba Rose Rau, Kylee Starr, Lady Leggs and other special guests. DJ Monica Parker played after the show!

Rumors Night Club is the hottest gay bar and dance club in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Located centrally in downtown Grand Rapids, Rumors Night Club is the premier Western Michigan gay bar and gay club. They have the greatest female impersonators every Sunday on Show Night.

Check Rumors out on the web: http://www.rumorsnightclub.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rumors-Nightclub/127421965414?sk=info



Gallery 154

A leisurely stroll through Gallery 145 puts you in touch with over 70 Artists throughout the country. Marking 35 years in business, they offer just about any art form known to man or beast. They’ve been told many times over that they have the best selection of jewelry in town.

During the November and December months, Gallery 154 looks like a North Pole extravaganza. Crowding the shelves and dangling overhead is a lavish display of Christmas ornaments from around the world. And, as the banner outside reads, ‘Unpredictable Gifts’ for any occasion.

Step back in time. Visit the oldest gallery in town.

Ron Lichtenstein
1456 Lake Drive SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49506
Phone: (616) 454-2154

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gallery-154/149505865091102

Grand Rapids Gallery Association:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Grand-Rapids-Gallery-Association/90451268435

website: http://www.grga.org/




LaFontsee Galleries & Underground Studio

As forerunners of the art culture of West Michigan, LaFontsee Galleries is committed to facilitating the appreciation of art in our community, the growth of our artists, and innovative programming. The gallery has been considered a must-see for over 20 years, and our Urban Craft Boutique is a shopper’s paradise for unique gifts, personal accessories and home decor.

Scott LaFontsee
833 lake Drive SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49506

Phone: (616) 451-3850/9820
Email: scott@lafontsee.us

website: http://www.lafontsee.us/
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/LaFontsee-Galleries-Underground-Studio/113320186732

Grand Rapids Gallery Association:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Grand-Rapids-Gallery-Association/90451268435

website: http://www.grga.org/


Graveyard Shift with House Industries

It’s no secret that creatives know how to fun. AIGA West Michigan does Halloween in style.

Each year, the AIGA West Michigan Halloween party trumps all others. Last year, they brought in DC’s Design Army, this year House Industries.

To get things started, House Industries‘ co-creator Rich Roat spoke about their Delaware-based type shop which began in 1993 and officially formed as a font foundry in 1994. Their viral success came about 10 years later. The team sticks to a set of aesthetic principles and works on each project until it’s finished instead of applying some sort of arbitrary deadline is a great way to maintain integrity.

They’ve gone beyond typography and even illustrations to develop objects such as furniture, textiles, sculptural elements and, in the case of the Girard family, dolls, puzzles and more. They also partner with outside artists, like Grand Rapids artist David Dodde who creates posters and other products for the company.

The UICA was wall-to-wall in creatives complete with a very competitive costume contest with awesome prizes (such as the latest version of Adobe Creative Suite), delicious fare from the WinchesterDJ Tom EngelsmanDJ Jobot, and performances by DITA and local favorite, Alexis.

Kudos to event organizers, Gwen O’Brien and Dottie Rhodes. Thanks for letting Stellafly and Mikey Cook stop by to capture this great time!

For more information on the West Michigan AIGA:
website: http://westmichigan.aiga.org/
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aigawestmichigan
twitter: http://twitter.com/aigawestmi

For more information on House Industries:
website: http://www.houseind.com/


Grand Rapids Ballet Presents Dracula


London’s Paddington Station is bustling with activity. Newlyweds Jonathan and Mina Harker linger at the station. Jonathan will soon leave to meet his new client, Count Dracula. Mina, unwilling to let him leave, begs him to stay. When the last train whistle blows, she realizes he must be off. As a symbol of her love, Mina gives her husband the golden cross, which just moments before had lain over her heart.

Meanwhile, R.M. Renfield, a man of limited mental capacity, comes to Dracula’s castle. He falls under the evil spell of Count Dracula and is driven crazy, frequently eating insects. While under Dracula’s control, Renfield becomes the Count’s slave and informant.

After a troubling journey, Jonathan arrives at the castle door. Dracula senses his presence and eerily greets his guest. Jonathan puts aside his misgivings about his client. After the legal papers are signed, Jonathan remembers Mina’s crucifix and removes it lovingly from his pocket. Instantly, Dracula recoils in horror. Uneasy at his hosts’ reaction to the cross, Jonathan places it back in his pocket.  Dracula then begins his control over Jonathan, leading him in a hypnotic dance. Jonathan collapses in his bed, exhausted.

Strange dreams torment Jonathan. Drawn to his side are three beautiful seductresses, eager not for his love, but for his life’s blood. An enraged Dracula appears and dispels the ghostly beings with an appetizing gift. Dracula continues his domination over Jonathan, who knows he is a prisoner of this evil creature.

While Jonathan is at Dracula’s castle, a different scene is taking place across the ocean. Joyous sounds of a summer party are heard. Mina is hosting a debutante ball for her dear friend, Lucy Westerna. Three handsome suitors profess their love for the coquettish Lucy.  Quincy Morris, a wealthy Texan, tries to impress Lucy with his bravura. Arthur Godalming, an English Lord, is a gracious, courtly gentleman. Dr. Abraham Van Helsing, the oldest of the three, has nothing to give Lucy but his heart. After much deliberation, Lucy makes her choice. Suddenly the party is interrupted by a violent storm, brought on by Count Dracula. The guests are frozen. Dracula makes a choice of his own, claiming Lucy with his evil bite. Dracula vanished and the guests rush to Lucy’s side. Her friends take her to the sanatorium for help.


Having waited all night, the men are no closer to knowing what has stricken Lucy. Dr. Van Helsing, suspicious of Lucy’s illness, hides his fears from the grief-stricken men. When Van Helsing discovers two bite marks on Lucy’s throat, he is moved to action. He places a heavy crucifix in Lucy’s hand.  She instantly rejects it, which confirms his diagnosis that Lucy has been bitten by a vampire. Lord Godalming, distraught over Lucy’s illness, leads the men in remembering happier times with Lucy.

The entrance of an insect-eating madman shatters their reverie. Renfield, Dracula’s informant, and now Dr. Van Helsing’s patient, was sent to distract the men. The wardens and the three men recapture Renfield. Dracula comes to Lucy, biting her a second time, forever sealing her fate as a vampire.

At dawn, the men return to find Lucy’s seemingly lifeless body. They relive the evening before when they professed their love for Lucy. Mina, stunned by the death of her best friend must dress Lucy, not for her wedding, but for her burial. The funeral procession winds its way from the sanatorium to the tomb, led by a distraught Mina. At the tomb, Mina is faced with Lucy’s terrifying secret. Meanwhile, Jonathan awakes from his Transylvanian nightmare in a London sanatorium with Mina’s arms protecting him from the terror.

The men, consumed with rage over Lucy’s death, leave to seek vengeance. Renfield escapes again, this time to Mina’s side, terrifying her with a demented dance. Once again he is restrained and removed to his cell.  Mina is now alone and vulnerable to Dracula’s power. The entrance of the men breaks his spell over Mina. Dracula, weakened by lack of blood, retreats to the strength of his power – Transylvania.

Mina warns the men that Lucy is not dead, but un-dead. Van Helsing, an expert on folklore and the occult, somberly informs the men what they must to do save Lucy’s immortal soul. As dawn approaches, the men come upon Lucy’s tomb, horrified, yet strengthened by their honorable task to free Lucy’s tortured soul. The men, led by Mina, turn their concentration on hunting Dracula, chasing him to Transylvania.

Once in Dracula’s castle, the hunters find Dracula’s coffin. Mina lures Dracula from his coffin as sunset nears. A dramatic struggle underscores the battle of good and evil. Jonathan, forever changed by his encounter with Dracula, ends the Count’s reign of terror by driving a stake through his heart. The dying Dracula begs Mina for mercy. Disgusted, Mina rejects Dracula once more.

The Doctor Is In… With Grand Rapids


When he came to Grand Rapids as a medical student in 1984, Khan Nedd was a long way from home. Twenty-seven years later…he’s right at home.

He’s Doctor Khan Nedd now, and he’s lived more than half his life in Grand Rapids, a place far from his childhood home in Grenada. He’s OK with that. He’s become part of the fabric of Grand Rapids and continually looks for ways to get involved.

When he does, it’s hard not to notice him — at well over six feet tall he’s an imposing physical presence. But up close he’s reflective and soft spoken, even when talking about topics he cares about the most. He’s a man of faith, a father of three, an active (when possible) soccer player, and a guy who enjoys the city’s increasingly varied social life.

So what does he do with his day?

He’s an internist who co-owns a healthcare business, a member of, or volunteer for, numerous community boards, and a passionate advocate for quality, accessible healthcare. Why so busy? It’s simple, he says:

“Wherever you go, you’ve got to make it your home. And if you want to make changes, you have to be part of it. You have to get involved at the core…from within.”

He is.

Nedd’s healthcare business, which he co-founded 12 years ago, is Infusion Associates, a medical group practice that provides IV therapies for patients. This option allows people to avoid a more expensive hospital visit for these services.

“Wherever you go, you’ve got to make it your home.”

After hours, or sometimes during, he’s on the board at Spectrum Hospital; he’s chair of a committee that evaluates the cost and efficacy of drugs covered by Medicare; he’s involved in the Hope Network; he has a long volunteer relationship with Pilgrim Manor; and he’s the founder of the Grand Rapids African-American Health Institute, an organization that focuses on resolving disparities in the healthcare system..

It’s not quite all healthcare all the time, but it’s close. Nedd believes there are daunting challenges that can be met by taking a closer look at the issues from the patient’s point of view..

“The issue is so highly politicized right now,” he says. “It’s blinding; it’s like walking into a blizzard. We can’t really solve anything unless we have a good understanding of what really happens. It’s more important to know how people operate — do I know who to call, do I know who to talk to…”

Nedd discovered close-hand how well the system works. He was a patient himself.

“Two years ago I had a cardiac arrest,” he remembers. “I also had cancer the same year. I got to understand what patients felt. I always viewed myself as pretty empathic and this put me in a position to experience what other people to through.”

He believes the experience gave him a better sense of what can work and what does not. It isn’t always about money, but what is most effective, most efficient. The money, he reasons, will follow.

“Sometimes, treatment costs rise and you’ve lost all the ground you gained,” he says. “For us to restructure healthcare we would have something like 30 million people becoming participants. Since when aren’t 30 million people a business opportunity?”

“Modernization doesn’t have to have negatives. Negatives come when people aren’t able to participate.”

Not solving the problem within the industry is worse, he suggests. “We don’t want government or the insurance companies to reflexively decide for us. We can work together to optimize what we do. I’m always amazed at how much you can learn when you take the time to sit down and talk to somebody.”

Communication is important to Nedd, including social media, which he believes will play a key role in the future of healthcare.

“The reality for us in healthcare is that people are going to want to interface using the machinery of social networking.” he maintains. “That’s where people are going to get their information. Some people don’t like this but modernization doesn’t have to have negatives. Negatives come when people aren’t able to participate.”

It is this aspect of inclusiveness that Nedd views as a fundamental part of what makes a city work. He saw the opposite of it in his early days in Grand Rapids, and while he is grateful now for the friendships and opportunities he has, he believes there’s always room for growth.

“When it come to African-American issues, a good measure of where you are as a city
is when people can reflexively see and react to an issue,” he says. “That’s when you know you have arrived as a city.”

Nedd adds that inclusiveness ultimately extends to everyone:

“Energy is created in a city by how many people you can keep here, and how welcome people feel when they come here…when they step out of their car and have that sense of Nirvana…of arriving at a great place.”

Getting there takes some work but the basics are right in front of us, every day, Nedd believes:

“The fundamental definition of Christianity is the God-man relationship, but the only expression of it is man to man…how do you treat your fellow man?”

As a doctor..and a citizen, Dr. Khan Nedd treats them pretty well.

— GF

Let’s TOGA for Special Olympics!

Last night, our friends at Special Olympics Area 11 threw their inaugural “Let’s TOGA for S.O.” toga party at downtown’s EVE at The B.O.B.

The 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games were held in Athens, Greece last summer. They are the only games in the world, where all participating athletes are Winners. Winners in their struggle for our respect in their diversity. Winners in their struggle for self-esteem. Winners in their struggle to defend their special abilities.

In keeping with this theme, “Let’s TOGA for Special Olympics!” The toga party incorporated all the fun aspects of Greek culture and, of course, the Olympics. The event was emceed by WZZM TV’s news anchor Juliet Dragos and WLAV’s Michelle McCormick.

Holy Trinity’s very own youth dancers donned traditional Grecian dress and performed some spectacular dances.  Toward the end of the event Michelle McKormick led the live-auction of five local Special Olympic athlete-created fine art pieces. Clint Hull’s piece went for over $1000! Guests enjoyed Greek hors d’oevres, a Greek drink special ‘The Dirty Greek’ in which $1 from each drink was donated to Special Olympics.

SOMI Area 11 athletes created 23 masterpieces for the “Let’s TOGA for Special Olympics” fundraiser.  Each piece was amazing in it’s own way. Events like these are made possible by involving sponsors. This year’s sponsors included: Great Design Plus, Lacks Enterprises, Pioneer Construction, Proos Manufacturing, WZZM 13, LAV-FM, Grand Rapids Yassou Greek Festival, The Gilmore Collection, West Michigan Caterer, Richard App Gallery, Stellafly, ADAC Automotive and Rent-Downtown.

Congratulations to the event organizers on a very successful first year!

For more information on how to get involved with Special Olympics of Michigan Area 11:
website: http://somi.org/area11
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fansofsoarea11
twitter: http://twitter.com/fansofsoarea11


Lend An Ear: the Fuzzrites May Just Be Headed To a Garage Near You

Lend An Ear:
the Fuzzrites May Just Be 
Headed To a Garage Near You

The first time you hear a new band it’s tough not to ask yourself: who do they sound like?

So it is with the Fuzzrites, a garage-slash-rock-slash-neo-punk-slash-we-don’t-do-love-songs band with roots in most every rock music genre (OK, no glam or disco) from the early ‘60s on up. They’ve been compared to The White Stripes, the Sonics, the Kinks and early Cavern Club Beatles — but the more you listen the more you realize they’ve come up with a sound all their own.

Taking their name from a classic fuzz box brand produced in the ‘60s by Mosrite, the Fuzzrites play vintage instruments, but with a contemporary sensibility. Band co-founder and fearless leader Dick Chiclet says group’s nod to the past is less about sounding vintage, more about building on the raw purity of vintage sound.

“Much of modern music has no dynamic range,” Chiclet maintains. “It’s who can deliver the fattest, biggest hard-on for three minutes; they scoop out all the mids — it’s either all high end or all low end.”

Chiclet and the band work with the mids. They prefer their music shaken…and stirred. It’s an art, Chiclet suggests and, like all art, it should be singularly distinctive. “Music is an organic experience,” he says. “It’s three-dimensional. When it’s done right, you feel the emotion.”

It’s an emotion that seems to float in the air after a Fuzzrites tune. Yes, the fuzz pedal helps, but there’s an afterglow that says the tune was worth hearing. This, says Chiclet, is what makes listening to music worthwhile.

“I don’t want to just fly high for three minutes and eighteen seconds,” he explains. “I want to sit back and enjoy it.”

So what do you get from a Fuzzrites concert or record? The tunes are straightforward, guitar-heavy and seemingly simple, Yet the playing is nuanced, with subtle touches that give each song its own legs.

As the owner and chief sound man for his own studio, Goon Lagoon, Chiclet takes pride in preserving the texture of the music, not only for the Fuzzrites but for every group that comes in to record. At times, he admits, it takes diplomacy.

“A lot of people don’t understand all these frequencies,” he says. “They just want loud. Or the band sits in and each one wants their own part to get more attention. The band should not be there when a record is mixed. I’ve been there and know what it’s like. I’ve been my own guinea pig.”

He’s been pretty good at it, too. Goon Lagoon has produced music for a number of popular groups, such as the Boss Mustangs, Delilah DeWylde and the Lost Boys, and Ghost Heart, to name just a few. And the Fuzzrites, of course, whose own collection “Baby Cakes” is a local favorite as well as an online CD under the Spinout Records label.

While local music critics and venues have taken notice, so have people outside the area. Chiclet credits social media with helping spread the music, and the word. He recently heard from a deejay in Australia who wanted to hear more of the group’s music. The Fuzzrites are also getting play via college radio stations. All of which adds up to the potential for more CD sales.

It’s a double-edged sword for Chiclet. An avowed analog guy, he would prefer to work with vinyl. But he also admits that people listening to podcasts and downloading songs makes life a little easier.

“It’s a new era,” he says. You don’t have to play live as much or get out and tour. There’s also a lot more competition…but the good bands will get heard. The music just has to hit the right ear. Do that and you can sell bottle rockets to a convent.”

Chiclet is still hoping to hit a few more ears. He’s grateful for the local support — especially WYCE — but he has dreams of getting XM play and, the ultimate, getting air time on Little Steven’s Underground Garage.

You can give a listen and get concert info about the Fuzzrites by checking out the group’s facebook or myspace pages. You can purchase the album at fine music stores locally or on line via Spinout Records.


myspace: myspace.com/dickchiclet
facebook: facebook.com/The-FUZZrites/127576820596665
Spinout records: spinoutmusic.com

Additional sources
ReverbNation: reverbnation.com/thefuzzrites
CD Baby: cdbaby.com/Artist/TheFuzzrites

— GF

Prom Night – The Musical

The Stark Turn Players are a newly-formed non-profit theatre group in Grand Rapids.

Last evening, photographer Tim Motely stopped by Dog Story Theater to check out their annual Halloween horror parody Prom Night – The Musical. Based on the 1980 film Prom Night, by William Grey, the musical parody features original songs by Joel L. Schindlbeck.

In 1974, three children played a dangerous game of tag, ending up with the death of a little girl, Elizabeth Bacon.  The three swore they’d never tell, but someone saw.  Six years later, as the school prepares for the prom, those three homicidal children start receiving creepy phone calls and suspicions arise.   As the big night approaches, the three start dying off, one by one.  For everyone at Grover Cleveland High School, it becomes a prom night that no one will ever forget.

The show runs at Dog Story Theater, October 26-31st with special midnight showings on October 28 & 29 and a Costume Contest and party with refreshments, prizes and dancing on Halloween night, October 31 at 8:00 pm.

For more information about the Stark Turn Players, go to www.starkturnplayers.org.

Dog Story Theater is a VENUE and does not produce shows. Their mission is simply to provide an affordable, flexible performance space for performers, directors, writers, dancers, comedians, poets, filmmakers and musicians to showcase their work! Check them out on the web: http://www.dogstorytheater.com