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Looking Good Eliza D

She’s no Billy Ray Valentine (and, yes, look for Eddie Murphy to host next year’s Oscar telecast!), but George Bernard Shaw’s Eliza Doolittle, the original ingenue, could make the Duke brothers of Trading Places swoon. Check out the musical that once set the record for Broadway’s longest-running show. Not into Broadway? Starting to panic? That’s OK — as long as it’s Widespread.

Just remember, enjoy the shows, but not at the expense of planning those gourmet feasts in the sukkah. What? You need help in that department, too? We aim to please: Sur La Table will school you in the art of menu preparation. Let us know what time we should arrive for dinner and feel free to dance all night, Detroit!

Before Billy Ray Valentine, There Was Eliza Doolittle
If your most recent memory of anyone singing “I Could Have Danced All Night” is of Hank Azaria and Nathan Lane (not that there’s anything wrong with that) in The Birdcage, it’s time to get to the Fox, where My Fair Lady will be performed in all its glory. Based on George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, with book, music and lyrics by Lerner and Loewe, the original 1956 Broadway production set a new record for the longest run of any major theater production in history (2,717 performances, but now surpassed by many shows, including Cats, Les Miserables and the all-time leader, Phantom of the Opera) before Audrey Hepburn brought Eliza Doolittle to life on the screen. 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22; 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23. $30-$60. Fox Theatre, Detroit. (313) 471-6611 or (800) 745-3000; or

Spreading the Panic
Their fans aren’t as hippie-friendly as some other road warrior acts (we’re thinking of Phish and the Grateful Dead), but for a virtually guaranteed good time there aren’t many bands that can touch Widespread Panic.

With Southern rockabilly charm, the “boys,” as WSP fans call them, will make you feel it’s OK to let it all hang out. Their jam-ability is legendary and, like the other bands we included in their league, guessing what song comes next is as much fun as the songs themselves. 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14, at the Fillmore Detroit. $30. (313) 961-5450;

Did Col. Mustard Kill Yvette?
Murder, mystery and mayhem, oh my! And munchies, of course. Enjoy cocktails and a three-course dinner, while mingling with “characters” to solve the mystery — a la Clue — at an interactive Mystery Dinner Theater at Meadow Brook Hall. Built by Matilda Dodge Wilson and her second husband, Alfred Wilson, in 1929, the Tudor Revival estate transforms into an enchantingly spooky backdrop for an evening of espionage. 7-10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14. $75. Meadow Brook Hall, Rochester. (248) 364-6263;

Be The Hostess Avec Le Mostest
Longing to host an elegant dinner party but stumped on creating the menu? Want to learn more about those gorgeous knives you haven’t touched since your wedding shower? Head to Sur La Table — the go-to shop for the well-stocked kitchen, inspired by classic French cookware and techniques — at the Somerset Collection in Troy, where cooks of all levels can participate in hands-on classes focusing on specific menus, dishes or cuisines.

This month, check out Fall Dinner Party 101: You’ll create a menu of Spinach Salad with Caramelized Pears and Goat Cheese with Pan-Seared Chicken Breast ($79); Elegant Fall Cupcakes ($69); Fabulous Foods of Spain ($79) and more. Sur La Table, the Somerset Collection, Troy. (248) 283-1057;

Fun Enough To Wake The Dead
Recalling the plot of the low-budget horror film The Evil Dead, written and directed by Detroit’s Sam Raimi, it’s easy to see why it was ripe for an Off Broadway-style homage: Nothing says big-budget musical parody like possessed college students being axed, shot, strangled, stabbed (in traditional dagger-style and an inventive pencil-to-the-ankle approach), assaulted by trees, shoveled and eye-gouged over the course of a country weekend gone very wrong. It’s funny! (And not just because they’re Michigan State students.)

Now we can all “Do the Necronomicon” because Evil Dead: The Musical is back in town for a limited engagement, marking the 30th anniversary of the film’s 1981 premiere in Detroit. The show’s four-week run at Detroit’s City Theatre (located inside Hockeytown Cafe) runs Oct. 7-Oct. 29. Note: The messy “Splatter Zone” seats are available on a first-come-first-served basis. $25. Detroit City Theatre;  (800) 745-3000; or

Bert’s Open Mic Jazz Jam
It’s no surprise that Detroit is home to several legendary jazz clubs and bars. One, Bert’s Marketplace, located in the Eastern Market, is one of those intimate (code word: small) venues where you might happen to drop in the same night as Wynton Marsalis or Chaka Kahn. As one patron wrote in her review, “It is one of my favorite places on this earth.”

Dozens of regulars turn up Thursdays for the open mic jazz jam sessions. For only $3, hang out in a classic neighborhood jazz watering hole and check out the local talent. Novices and aspirants alike hang with the RGB Trio. Got some soul in you? All musicians and singers welcome. 8:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. every Thursday; 2727 Russell, Detroit. (313) 567-2030;



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