JENN’S TAKE: A look at some of the highlights coming up this weekend in Ann Arbor


56th annual Ann Arbor Film Festival. Though it’s still considered a best-kept-secret by some locals, the Ann Arbor Film Festival is the oldest experimental and avant-garde film festival in North America, running six days each March (through March 25 this year), and primarily housed at the Michigan Theater. AAFF shows over 200 films from nearly 70 countries, offering approximately $20,000 in awards each year.

You can check out wrap-up award screenings on Sunday, or you can dive in anytime. Thursday night features “Out Night”; Friday night offers up the always-popular (but not necessarily kid-friendly) animation program; the all-ages program happens Saturday; and also on Saturday this year, at 1 p.m., a new documentary titled “The Big House” will have its premiere. The film eschews gridiron glory to look closely at the labor – from cooks to snipers – that goes into hosting 100,000 people.

For more information on this and other programs, visit

“The Marriage of Figaro” at U-M. U-M Philharmonia Orchestra director Martin Katz will direct U-M opera and music students in Mozart’s beloved, popular opera, famous for its stirring, lovely melodies. Bored by his wife, Count Almaviva eyes her maid, Susanna, who is engaged to his valet Figaro.

When the count decides to exercise his feudal rights, he sends Figaro, Susanna, and others into frenzied attempts to thwart his lecherous scheme. Playing Thursday through Sunday at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theater.

For more information, visit

46th Annual Dance for Mother Earth Ann Arbor Powwow. This gathering of Native Americans from throughout the Great Lakes area includes social dancing and demonstrations of different styles of Native American dance, including fancy, traditional, grass dress, and jingle dress.

The big attractions are drum and dance contests in a variety of styles, by children and adults, accompanied by Native American drumming ensembles. Grand entries at noon & 7 p.m. on Saturday, and at noon only on Sunday. Also, display and sale of traditional crafts and food. Happening all day Saturday and Sunday at Skyline High School. For more info, visit

Jane Fink & Friends: The Encore Musical Theatre Company Summer Program Fundraiser. An evening of storytelling by local storytellers Fink and Susanna Zoumbaris, as well as Chelsea fiction writer and playwright Steve Daut. Also, Encore casting director Thalia Schramm sings a few songs with some of the Encore’s summer campers. Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Encore, 3126 Broad St. in Dexter. Tickets $25. Call 734-268-6200.

Left to right – Kristine Overman as the Countess, Sedona Libero as Cherubino, and Mahari Conston as Susanna in Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” presented by the U-M University Opera Theatre and the University Philharmonia Orchestra. The opera is double cast. “The Marriage of Figaro” plays at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre in Ann Arbor March 22-25, 2018. For tickets call the League Ticket Office at 734-764-2538 or online at Photo by Peter Smith Photography.


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