South American Music at the Ramsdell!

South American Sounds Tour to Include Ramsdell Stage

The Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts will showcase the South American sounds of two outstanding groups on Friday, October 6th, at 7pm. Both Choro Das 3 (CD3) and The Alberto Rojo Trio will be visiting Manistee and the Ramsdell stage for the first time and are looking forward to sharing their unique musical styles.

CD3 performs a Brazilian music style known as Choro, an instrumental music genre that transpired in the 19th century from Brazil. The three sisters and their father are excited to play music from their eight albums. This visit to the Ramsdell is part of their 2017 USA tour.

“Sharing our music with as many people as possible is our dream. We’ve never been to Michigan before,” said Corina Ferreira, CD3 band member. “Including the Ramsdell Theatre in our tour is such a treat for us, especially in this remarkable year, when we celebrate our 15th anniversary, our 5th USA tour and release our 8th CD.”

Joining CD3 for the evening will be The Alberto Rojo Trio. Their music focuses on both traditional Argentinean folk songs and styles along with new compositions. The band members Alberto Rojo, Michael Gould, and Mikael Berglund perform styles such as The Tango, Chacarera, and jazz that they arrange with South American flare.

“We are excited to come to the Ramsdell theatre to be a part of this concert,” said Gould. “We look forward to people coming out and enjoying the blend we have developed with not only Argentinean music and Jazz but also our interests in science and art mixed with the music we play. See you there!”

“The RRCA plans to continue creating opportunities for cultural exchange like this” said the organization’s Executive Director, Xavier Verna. “I’m so thrilled to welcome Choro Das 3 and The Alberto Rojo Trio to the Ramsdell stage as part of their tour. We’re getting an extraordinary mix of genres at this concert. Seldom do we see how fusion of traditional folk music and jazz is created. This will be a highly enjoyable and educational experience for all!”

Join these two incredibly talented groups for a night full of music. Tickets are $22 for Adults and $13 for Students. Concessions and merchandise will be sold starting at 6:00pm. There will be a short intermission. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling 1-800-836-0717.

Ballet at the Ramsdell!

Grand Rapids Ballet Returning to Ramsdell for Russian Inspired Premier

The Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts (RRCA) is excited to welcome the Grand Rapids Ballet—Michigan’s only professional ballet company—to the Ramsdell stage. This is their second appearance at the Ramsdell. The ballet company will preview its 47th season on Friday, September 29 at 7:30pm with From Russia with Love—a “mixed rep show” comprised of multiple short excerpts of some of the best and most beloved Russian ballets.

“Although the true origins of ballet are rooted in the 15th century Italian Renaissance courts, Russia was the first country to truly embrace the beauty of the art form and make it accessible to the people,” said the company’s Artistic Director, Patricia Barker. “Russia’s influence on classic ballet is absolute and indisputable—and we’re thrilled to bring the beauty of these works to Manistee.”

The performance will include four selections including Flames of Paris Pas de Deux; The original ballet from which this classic pas de deux (dance for two) between a dashing groom and his lovely bride originates is based on songs of the French Revolution. Raymonda Pas de Dix;  This pas de dix (solos, two pas de deux, a duet for two women, and a quartet for four men) comes from a ballet that was created especially for the benefit performance of the celebrated Italian ballerina, Pierina Legnani. Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux; Choreographed by George Balanchine—the father of American ballet—this pas de deux was originally intended for act 3 of Swan Lake. Giselle Act II; Giselle is a tragic romantic ballet performed in two acts about a peasant girl who dies of a broken heart after discovering her lover is betrothed to another.

“We’re proud to be engaging with regional artists and organizations like the Grand Rapids Ballet,” said the RRCA’s Executive Director, Xavier Verna. “Both Patricia and the Grand Rapid Ballets’ Executive Director, Glenn Del Vecchio, have been great partners in making this a reality for Manistee twice in one year. This show will not disappoint!”

For tickets, go to or call 1-800-836-0717. Tickets are $35 for Adults, $25 for Seniors, and $15 for Students. The show will feature concessions starting at 6:30pm and a short intermission.

Broadway Actress, Karen Curlee, takes the stage at the Ramsdell….

Taking the stage on Friday, September 8th at 7pm is Broadway actress Karen Curlee performing her one woman show: “What is This Thing Called Love?” For more than 25 years, Karen Curlee appeared in chorus and feature roles on Broadway in six long-running shows (Cats, A Chorus Line, Me and My Girl, Blackstone, The Tap Dance Kid and Showboat). She has played lead roles in musicals off Broadway and regionally; roles include Sally Bowles in Cabaret, Marta in Company, Velma Kelly in Chicago, and Kate in The Taffetas.

The show will also feature her husband Mark Stewart, Paul Simon’s music director, and local pianist Carrie Selbee. Curlee says, “When I started working on new music more appropriate for “a woman of a certain age”, I found out that all the Broadway songs about love and relationships were far more interesting and nuanced – as love truly is when one has time to live a life. When Sarah Helge suggested I do a show at the Ramsdell, I was thrilled to gather up all my favorites to create this evening of music. Mark and I have been singing together for years, so it was a natural fit to add those songs to a night about love.”

Mark Stewart is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, composer, and instrument designer who has been heard around the world. Since 1998 he has recorded, toured and been Musical Director with Paul Simon. He is currently a curator at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art and a visiting lecturer at MIT in Cambridge. Carrie Selbee has been involved in all things piano since she was six years old. She currently is one half of the jazz duo, Carrie and Roger, with the highly acclaimed drummer, Roger Tarczon. She does extensive accompanying for the Manistee area schools and is an accompanist for the Manistee Community Chorus.

Sarah Helge, president of the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts board of directors shares her excitement for the show. “It’s not often that a bonafide Broadway singer, dancer, actress is able to perform in Manistee. Karen’s engaging personality and extraordinary talent will make for a fabulous evening of entertainment.”

Tickets are $13 for students and $27 for adults. Join Curlee on a dynamic musical adventure to explore what we call love. Concessions will be sold at 6:30pm. The show starts at 7:00pm in the theatre.

Free at the Ramsdell!

Tomorrow, Tuesday, August 15th at 10am Jeanne Butterfield will be sharing her knowledge on bees and how to help save them. After retiring in 2014 to Manistee from Washington DC, she took her interest in the environment and the impact of pesticides and climate change on the honey bee population. For the past three years her neighbor, Kay Birkett, has become her mentor as she taught her everything about bees. Together they have attended many conferences and meetings about beekeeping where they have met other beekeepers from all over the region. Jeanne loves sharing everything she knows about bees with her friends in Manistee along with her honey! Protecting bees has become a very important subject today so join Jeanne at this free event to learn what you can do to help!

Two Cellists at the Ramsdell

This Saturday on July 22nd, the Ramsdell Theatre presents “Two Cellos- Two Friends.” The
concert features Grammy Award winner Eugene Friesen and Interlochen’s own Crispin
Campbell. The two are very excited to engage the audience with their Classical, Brazilian,
Gypsy, Jazz, and Blues arrangement of compelling music they bring to every performance.
Campbell is always elated to be on stage with Friesen, “Playing music with Eugene Friesen is
always an adventure in paving new trails with what the cello can do. His energy permeates the
room, and the audience will be in for an amazing ride. We’ve been friends for years, and every
time we perform it’s as fresh as the first time!”

Their performance starts at 8:00pm and tickets are $20 for adults, $13 for students, and $30 for box tickets. Xavier Verna, executive director of the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts, is excited to welcome the dynamic duo to the theatre. He says, “Cris has demonstrated great collaboration with the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts. It’s exciting to see how two great institutions can provide such a great service to a local community. I look forward to welcoming both Cris and Eugene to the prestigious Ramsdell Theatre.” Join us this Saturday to be a part of the creative energy these two bring to the stage
as two friends with their two cellos perform an astounding concert.

For tickets visit or call 1-800-836-0717

Theatre Workshop!

Ramsdell Theater to Offer Cultural StoryArts Workshop

July 18, 2017, Manistee, Michigan.  Storyteller, Writer and Narrative Consultant, Jenifer Strauss of Story Be Told in Traverse City, Michigan will be offering a special Cultural StoryArts Workshop for the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts Kids Series on July 25, 2017 from 10am – 12pm. Children between the ages of 8-14 years of age are invited to participate in this unique opportunity.

Strauss has designed this workshop for kids who love story, drama, acting and art making! In fact, her promotion says, “Calling all story lovers, drama queens and goofy kids” so all are welcome! Participants will warm-up with fast-paced theater improv activities and storytelling activities and then become immersed in telling and acting out their own versions of three folktales from world cultures. The story telling will be followed by art projects related to each culture. Participants will engage in a folktale from Australia called “The Singing Snake” and then make an aboriginal instrument known as a Didgeridoo, a haunting tale from Japan called, “The Boy Who Drew Cats” followed by a lesson in rice paper painting and finally, an Anishinabek (Native American) story from Michigan called the Legend of Leelanau along with making original dreamcatchers.

A former classroom teacher of ten years, Jenifer Strauss discovered that the human brain is hard-wired for story and that people think, learn, and imagine in narrative.  In 1993 she combined her passion for teaching and storytelling to found her narrative consulting business, Story Be Told to help educators, organizations, and individuals use STORY to connect, communicate, and achieve goals. 1993, founded her consulting business, Story Be Told. Traveling nationally, Jenifer delivers over 300 presentations a year, offering dynamic and unique story performances, keynotes, writing workshops, and trainings along with long-term involvements as an Artist-in-Residence. For more information:

The Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts is focused on optimizing an irreplaceable regional center for cultural, educational and social activities through programming excellence, fiscal stability, strong community partnerships and committed volunteers. Sign up here to reserve your spot today! Class fee is $20 per person.

Met Opera at the Ramsdell

The Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts presents The Metropolitan Opera’s (MET) 2017-18 season. The MET features over 220 performances of 26 works, including two Met premieres, one co-commissioned by the company and one an older masterpiece having its first Met performances; a variety of repertory favorites, three in new productions; and performances of Verdi’s towering concert work for soloists, orchestra, and chorus, the Requiem. The Ramsdell will air 10 performances this upcoming season.

The first live showing at the Ramsdell is on Saturday, October 7 with a new production of Bellini’s Norma, conducted by Carlo Rizzi, directed by Sir David McVicar, and starring Sondra Radvanovsky, one of the world’s leading interpreters of the role, opposite Joyce DiDonato as Adalgisa and Joseph Calleja as Pollione. On November 18, composer Thomas Adès conducts the North American premiere of his The Exterminating Angel, a Met co-commission, based on the screenplay by Luis Buñuel and Luis Alcoriza of Buñuel’s 1962 absurdist film. The opera, which will be sung in English, will be staged by the librettist Tom Cairns, who is making his company debut. A new production of Puccini’s Tosca will air on January 27, with Met Music Director Emeritus James Levine conducting Sir David McVicar’s staging. Sonya Yoncheva stars in the title role opposite Vittorio Grigolo as her devoted lover Cavaradossi and Bryn Terfel as Scarpia. Later performances will star Anna Netrebko as the title character with Marcelo Álvarez as Cavaradossi and Michael Volle and Željko Lučić as Scarpia. A new staging of Così fan tutte,set in the 1950s on Coney Island, airs on March 31 and is conducted by David Robertson and directed by Phelim McDermott. The new production will star an ensemble cast including Tony Award winner Kelli O’Hara in her role debut as the maid Despina. On April 28, Massenet’s operatic adaptation of the Cinderella story, Cendrillon, has its Met premiere, conducted by Bertrand de Billy and directed by Laurent Pelly, with Joyce DiDonato in the title role and Alice Coote as Prince Charming. In November and December, James Levine will conduct four concert performances of Verdi’s Requiem, featuring soloists Krassimira Stoyanova, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Aleksandrs Antonenko, and Ferruccio Furlanetto, along with the Met’s orchestra and chorus.

Tickets go on sale on July 19. Purchase them at or by calling 1-800-836-0717. $20 Adults | $10 Students | Children under 10 Free

Manistee County Poll

Tickets on sale now

Great review on the newspaper!

Thanks to the News Advocate for writing a review on our pilot bucket drumming project! The concert was held last Friday, June 23rd in Hardy Hall. It featured local Manistee County students as well as kids from the Next Generation Learning Center. This program was sponsored by Next Generation Learning Center and the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians.

“A child’s introduction to music can be the foundation for a lifetime of creative expression, and the lessons learned through music reach far beyond the basics of counting, rhythm and good sound.” -News Advocate

-News Advocate