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Man Threading A Needle

Wine, Painting with a Twist and Bill Cosby!

Detroit is sew crazy this May …  and the few ditties we’ve picked out are as different from one other as they are unique in and of themselves.

In the Age of New Austerity, perhaps it’s time to start mending your gently worn items — or making new ones at home. Too proletariat?  What about dusting off the tux for a shwanky fundraiser? Too bourgeoisie? Okay, kick back and chill with some classic folk music. Too hippy? Well, there’s gotta be something here you like, Detroit; because nobody does it half as good as you — Motown … you’re the best!





A new star is coming to town: Emagine Entertainment. Renowned for a plush movie-going experience — and enormous movie screens — Emagine is raising the curtain on its newest venue, Emagine Royal Oak, this month at 11 Mile and Main.

Featuring 1,700 seats in 10 state-of-the-art auditoriums, with digital projection and stadium seating, each theater offers several rows of luxury seats. In the event there’s nothing playing that week, there’s also an upscale 16-lane bowling center, Star Lanes — and it’s not your dad’s bowling alley; the restaurant there has an extensive menu, plus an additional four lanes on the mezzanine level.

To celebrate its grand opening, Emagine Royal Oak is literally rolling out the red carpet, playing the host to A Star Is Born, a star-studded gala to benefit Variety — the Children’s Charity. The black-tie event will also unveil the Michigan Celebrity Hall of Fame, an exhibit of memorabilia honoring distinguished artists and performers who have made an impact in philanthropy. Created by the Detroit chapter of Variety, it will be housed at the theater. $75-$500. 7 p.m. Friday, May 13.
— Emagine Royal Oak; (248) 258-5511;;

In John Prine’s very first newspaper review, in 1970, none other than Roger Ebert wrote: “He appears on stage with such modesty, he almost seems to be backing into the spotlight. He sings rather quietly, and his guitar work is good, but he doesn’t show off. He starts slow. But after a song or two, even the drunks in the room begin to listen to his lyrics. And then he has you.” And it’s all still true.

Since his start as a folk-singing mailman in Chicago, the great folk poet, who headlined the very first Ann Arbor Folk Festival in 1977, is still engaging audiences with his profound and witty slices of American life. $45-$69.50. 8 p.m. Saturday, May 7.
— The Ark, Ann Arbor; (734) 761-1451;;

Spend a day strolling downtown Royal Oak, sampling a smattering of hors d’oeuvres and wines and having a generally merry time at the seventh annual Wine Stroll to benefit the Royal Oak Police Department and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeast Michigan.

More than 19 restaurants and retailers will participate, among them D’Amato’s, Lily’s Seafood Grill & Brewery, Oak City Grille, Tom’s Oyster Bar, Pronto, Andiamo, Creative Arts Studio, Scout and Shine. $40 in advance; $50 day of the event; wine strollers must bring a valid ID. Purchase tickets at participating locations, the two check-in tents on the day of the event (at Third and Main or Fifth and Washington) or online at Noon-5 p.m. Saturday, May 14.
— Downtown Royal Oak; for details, call (248) 246-3065;

Never picked up a paintbrush in your life? Not a problem. At Painting with a Twist, the Ferndale art studio for the everyman, you can unleash your inner-Degas while enjoying a BYOB glass of wine (there’s the twist).

In two- ($35) and three-hour ($45) daily sessions, monthly Family Days ($25) or private group parties (think Mother’s Day, birthdays with the girls, even kids’ parties), the studio provides the tools — easels, canvases, acrylic paints, etc. — and you provide the inspiration.
Inexperienced painters can re-create the work of a famous artist or an original piece done by a local artist with incredibly pleasing results. With classes led by local artists, easy-to-follow paintings range from landscapes, abstracts and cityscapes to animals, florals and more. Ongoing; times and dates vary.

— Painting with a Twist, 320 W. Nine Mile Road., Ferndale; (248) 850-7182;

Who else is synonymous with Jello pudding pops and wearable art (Lady GaGa not withstanding on the latter!)? The TV star extraordinaire, author, five-time Grammy winner (for his comedy albums) and ’80s fashion icon was also a forerunner of modern race relations; he was the first African-American to co-star in a dramatic series (I Spy).

Oh, and his last stand-up tour was rife with controversy. This could be interesting. $42-$45. 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 20.
— MotorCity Casino, 2901 Grand River, Detroit; (866) PLAY-MCC;

Since Sarah Lapinski started Motor City Sewing in 2007, the self-taught, award-winning designer and seamstress — whose work appears in local and national boutiques, publications, museums and galleries — opened Wound, a menswear line “for dukes, foreigners, stylish men and the ladies who love them.”

Wound recently moved to a new Corktown space in an effort to help establish a fledgling fashion district within the city; and you can be a part of it! Dust off your Singer and learn to sew from one of the best.

Through weekly sewing studio classes for beginners (and others for self-directed, continuing education students) — offered in four-session chunks (or private lessons) — students learn their way around their machine, basic seams, finishing techniques and buttons. Go ahead and create a lovely little ditty to show off to family and friends. $120/four sessions; $20/each additional session.
Ongoing; 6-9 p.m. Wednesdays or 3-6 p.m. Saturdays.
— Wound; 2000 Brooklyn, Detroit; (313) 595-5275; RT



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