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Posted on Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 10:27 a.m.

Ann Arbor Summer Festival announces 2013 main-stage schedule and 2 special Top of the Park attractions

By Bob Needham

The Ann Arbor Summer Festival on Monday announced its schedule of main-stage, ticketed shows for this year, as well as two special outdoor attractions at Top of the Park.

The schedule includes an on-stage appearance of the National Public Radio show "Snap Judgment," hosted by Glynn Washington, who holds bachelor's and law degrees from the University of Michigan; acclaimed British pop band Django Django; and New Orleans mainstay the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

Other highlights include the drag ballet troupe Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, as well as return appearances from Pink Martini and the Capitol Steps. The season also features a previously announced live broadcast of public-radio favorite "A Prairie Home Companion."

The season, the festival's 30th, runs June 14-July 7. Main-stage tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. Monday, April 15. Tickets will be available online at, or in person or by phone from the Michigan League Ticket Office, 911 N. University Avenue, 734-764-2538.

The festival also announced two special outdoor attractions, "Tangle" and "Superhero." to take place at Ingalls Mall, the site of the festival's free, outdoor "Top of the Park" component.

From the announcement: "Presented by Melbourne-based Polyglot Theatre, Tangle is a beautifully chaotic and ever- morphing art installation. Part performance, part playground, part dance party, Tangle gets kids and their families busy creating, playing inside and getting tangled up in a bouncy, colorful web made of giant elastic bands wrapped around 25 vertical poles of various heights. The Polyglot "Weavers" help facilitate kids' ideas and intentions, while a changing soundtrack inspires families to come up with ever-changing designs. Simple yet complex, the innovative work draws children (and their grown-ups) into a wonky web that also serves as an evocative metaphor for instinct, connection, and community. Tangle is presented on Ingalls Mall from June 19 through June 23 at 4:30-6:30 pm and 7:30-9:30 pm, with 40-minute play sessions in each of the 2-hour time blocks. Admission is $5 per child; adults with children are free. Tickets are available onsite at the event entrance during its five days of exhibition.

"The following weekend, from June 28 through June 30, the festival will transform visitors into airborne superheroes, 3-D mapping their bodies across the facade of one of Ann Arbor’s most iconic buildings, the Burton Memorial Tower. Created by Wildbytes, a Madrid-based collective renowned for creating works that blend art and technology, Superhero is an interactive projection mapping experience in which participants are given the opportunity to exhibit super powers, including throwing light balls, shape shifting, and, of course, flying. Taking place on Ingalls Mall from 9:45-11:45 p.m. during the three nights of exhibition, festival-goers are invited to experience this extraordinary digital art installation, which uses Kinect cameras and customized software to detect human gestures in real time and project the user’s image across the building’s multi-story facade. Participation is free."

A detailed schedule of ticketed Mainstage performances along with additional information on the Tangle and Superhero exhibitions follows. The remainder of the festival’s 2013 lineup, including the full Top of the Park schedule, will be announced over the coming weeks and months. For the most up to date information, please visit the festival’s website at


Here is the schedule of ticketed events, with descriptions provided by the festival:

A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor Saturday, June 1, Pre-Season Event
Hill Auditorium, 5:45 p.m.

$75, $65, $55, $45, $35
America’s favorite storyteller Garrison Keillor returns to Ann Arbor as part of Hill Auditorium’s 100th anniversary celebration. This special live broadcast of Keillor’s radio show, A Prairie Home Companion, will feature an ensemble cast, comedy sketches, musical interludes, special guests, and Keillor’s signature monologue, "The News from Lake Wobegon." Co-presented by Michigan Radio. Limit of six (6) tickets per order. Student Discount: $5 off per ticket, up to two (2) tickets, in any price section through May 15. Tickets must be purchased in person at the Festival Ticket Office, and a current student ID must be presented at the time of purchase to receive discount.

Django Django
Tuesday, June 18, 8 p.m.: Power Center
$25, $20; General Admission
Edinburgh art-pop foursome Django Django is a band that defies musical classification. The former art-school students combine ‘80s pop rhythms with ‘60s Beach Boys-style vocal harmonies, a style that some have labeled folktronica. Their debut, self-titled album earned widespread praise and had the critics swooning for their experimental, kaleidoscopic songs.


Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Preservation Hall Jazz Band with New Orleans Bingo! Show
Wednesday, June 19, 8 p.m.: Power Center
$50, $45, $40, $30
The Preservation Hall Jazz Band derives its name from Preservation Hall, the venerable music venue located in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter. With abundant energy and a fresh approach, the band brings new life to the sultry sounds and irresistible, toe-tapping rhythms of their native Louisiana. The musical gameshow cabaret The New Orleans Bingo! Show opens.

Les 7 doigts de la main in “Sequence 8”
Saturday, June 22, 8 p.m.; Sunday, June 23, 5 p.m.: Power Center
$45, $40, $35, $25, $10 Kids
Based out of Montreal, Les 7 doigts de la main (7 Fingers) is one of the world’s leading contemporary circus companies, linking the intimate with the spectacular. Packed with dazzling daredevilry, urban charm, and infectious energy, this rebel circus collective has pioneered a new brand of theatrical entertainment with their innovative mix of acrobatic dance, physical theatre, and torso-twisting artistry.

Pink Martini
Tuesday, June 25, 8 p.m.: Power Center
$55, $50, $45, $35
Somewhere between a 1930s Cuban dance orchestra, a classical chamber music ensemble, a Brazilian street band and Japanese film noir is Pink Martini. Influenced by Latin music, jazz, cabaret, cinema scores and more, the intoxicating retro-pop ensemble brings melodies and rhythms from different parts of the world together to create an eclectic, modern sound.


Glynn Washington

"Snap Judgment"
Saturday, June 29, 8 p.m.: Power Center
$40, $35, $30, $25
NPR’s Snap Judgment tells intriguing stories about extraordinary and defining events in people’s lives. The program’s raw, intimate, and musical brand of storytelling dares listeners to see a sliver of the world through another's eye. Host Glynn Washington takes listeners on a narrative journey that highlights people from across the globe who have put everything on the line. It's storytelling ... with a beat. The program airs locally on Michigan Radio 91.7 FM. Co-presented by Michigan Radio.

The Intergalactic Nemesis in “Book One: Target Earth”
Sunday, June 30, 5 p.m.: Power Center
$35, $30 $25, $20, $10 Kids
Inspired by Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars, and the pulp serials of the 1930s, The Intergalactic Nemesis is a one-of-a-kind theatrical experience that mashes up sci-fi radio drama with comic books. With over 1,000 projected graphic novel panels, three actors voicing dozens of characters, a Foley artist creating sound effects, and a keyboardist playing an original score, The Intergalactic Nemesis is a spectacle unlike any other and a show for the kid in everyone.

Amadou & Mariam
Tuesday, July 2, 8 p.m.: Power Center
$35, $30, $25, $20
World music superstars Amadou and Mariam, affectionately know as the “Blind Couple from Mali,” met in the orchestra of The Institute for the Young Blind in Bamako. Since then, their magical fusion of Malian blues, rock, pop, and traditional West African music has won them fans around the world. In recent years, their collaborations with Manu Chao, Scissor Sisters, and stadium tours opening for Coldplay and U2 have spread their infectious music far and wide.

The Capitol Steps
Thursday, July 4, 5 and 8 p.m.: Power Center
$50, $45, $40, $30
Answering the call for more civil discourse, these former Congressional staffers' brilliant song parodies and hilarious sketches lampoon up-to-the-minute issues, events, and personalities, poking fun at both sides of the aisle. A holiday tradition in Ann Arbor, America's foremost political satirists return to the festival for their annual Fourth of July performances.


Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo
Friday, July 5, 8 p.m.: Power Center
$55, $50, $45, $35
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo remains one of the most popular dance troupes in the United States. Performing in tutus, tiaras and tights, this all-male ballet company specializes in hilarious twists on the classics such as Swan Lake and Giselle, with equal parts comedy and technical prowess. The talented dancers perform an impressive repertoire of both classical ballet and contemporary dance.

The Ann Arbor Summer Festival is made possible with the support from its 2013 season sponsors: Allergy and Immunology Associates of Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Arbor Brewing Company, Bank of Ann Arbor, Chevrolet, Comerica Bank, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, Douglas J Salon, Edward Jones, Fifth Third Bank, First Martin Corporation, Greenhills School, Highlander Graphics, Llamasoft, Meijer, Miller Canfield, O&W Inc., Phire Group, Pollock Investment Advisors, Rehmann, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, State Street Area Association, Toyota, Underground Printing, University Lithographers, U.S. Wine Imports, and Whole Foods Market. Media partners for the season include:, Ann Arbor Observer, ann arbor’s 107one, Between the Lines, Michigan Radio 91.7 FM, The Ann, WCBN 88.3 FM, and WEMU 89.1 FM. Additional funding is provided by the City of Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan along with following program underwriters: The Seth Bonder Foundation, Anne and Howard Cooper, Heather and Stuart Dombey, Wendy and Ted Lawrence, Benard L. Maas Foundation, Molloy Foundation, THE MOSAIC FOUNDATION (of R. & P. Heydon), and Cindy and John Nixon. The 2013 festival is also supported in part by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts/ArtWorks and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Bob Needham is director of entertainment content for Reach him at or 734-623-2541, and follow him on Twitter @bobneedham.


Andy Price

Tue, Mar 19, 2013 : 3:35 p.m.

Wow. Good lineup this year. Django Django are wonderful.

sandy schopbach

Tue, Mar 19, 2013 : 12:57 p.m.

Quite a line-up! Quite international! Bravo!


Tue, Mar 19, 2013 : 2:07 a.m.

Aw, no Cinematic Titanic this year?


Tue, Mar 19, 2013 : 12:42 a.m.

Check this out:


Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 8:15 p.m.

Love the AA summer festival but why can't they have better food and more fun stuff for kids.


Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 10:01 p.m.

I suppose people can bring picnic baskets, and maybe if they are seated in the beer garden area, that could even include wine? Thanks to my favorite station, 107one, for sponsoring Top of the Park.

Top Cat

Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 7:13 p.m.

Top of the Park, some of the best people watching around, drinking Leinie Sunset Wheat and being outside and being warm. Sigh.


Tue, Mar 19, 2013 : 2:30 p.m.

just being warm...sigh


Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 7:08 p.m.

Ugliest ballerinas I've ever seen. :-;


Tue, Mar 19, 2013 : 1:37 a.m.

Do you know what "Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo" is?


Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 6:57 p.m.

We are so lucky to have this event in our town!


Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 6:53 p.m.

Yay for Preservation Hall and Amdou & Miriam. Nay for the Capitol Steps and Garrison Keillor.


Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 6:57 p.m.

Maybe we can pass a moratorium on red socks being worn in the city!

Ryan J. Stanton

Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 5:33 p.m.

Very excited to see Glynn Washington is coming! I've been a fan of his show for a while but didn't realize until last year when he was talking on the air about his early years in Grand Rapids that he's actually from Michigan. Check out his show if you haven't already:

Melanie Maxwell

Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 5:47 p.m.

It's one of my favorite podcasts! He's not only from Michigan but he attended the U-M. Definitely looking forward to his show!

Dog Guy

Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 5:22 p.m.

These are opportunities to hear NPR stuff without waiting for a Prius with open windows to drive by.


Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 6:59 p.m.

Hating on the funny guy today I guess. Too bad.


Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 5:08 p.m.

Very excited for Preservation Hall Jazz Band. They're absolutely amazing.