City Pulse - Arts and Culture <![CDATA[Catching his breath]]> Joshua Davis’ improbable run on “The Voice” ended on May 19’s season finale, with the former Lansing resident and Steppin’ In It frontman finishing in third place behind champion Sawyer Fredericks, a 16-year-old folk singer from upstate New York, and country singer Meghan Linsey. His run on the reality TV singing competition began three months ago, with Davis´ performance of Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released” in a blind audition on the show’s Feb. 23 debut. Davis narrowly escaped elimination on April 21’s results show, but he safely sailed through the next three rounds en route to the show’s final round.]]> <![CDATA[A lot of that jazz]]> From gutbucket thumps to gossamer tones, guitar chords to vocal cords, straightahead to way-out-there, the 19th annual East Lansing Summer Solstice Jazz Festival has announced its most diverse, high-caliber lineup yet for June 20-21. “Our goal is, in an incremental way, to make it one of the premier festivals of the Midwest,” said Rodney Whitaker, the festival’s artistic director and MSU jazz studies chief. “We have people from all over the world calling us, wanting to be a part.”]]> <![CDATA[Bringing it home]]> For most Broadway performers, a national tour means many nights on the road, sleeping in unfamiliar cities. For one member of the “Kinky Boots” touring cast, however, the musical’s stop in East Lansing brings him back home. Dance captain Stephen Carrasco was raised just minutes away from the Wharton Center stage. An Okemos native, the New York-based dancer graduated from Okemos High School in 2002. While Carrasco, 30, has been in four Broadway shows (including the Broadway run of “Kinky Boots”) and a few national touring shows, this musical is a special achievement for him.]]> <![CDATA[New face in Old Town]]> Austin Ashley, who most recently served as marketing manager at Astera Credit Union, begins Monday as the new executive director of the Old Town Commercial Association. “I’m excited to get started,” said Ashley. Ashley, a 25-year-old resident of Lansing’s Westside neighborhood, has a history with the Old Town Commercial Association. He worked as an intern for the organization in 2011, and has continued to stay involved with Old Town by serving on festival committees, volunteering at events and maintaining friendships with business owners. He is looking forward to returning to the neighborhood in his new role.]]> <![CDATA[Curtain Call]]> When the musical is named “Kinky Boots,” one shouldn’t be surprised when it kicks off with a tribute to footwear. After the opening “Price & Son Theme,” the full ensemble launches into a high-energy rendition of “The Most Beautiful Thing in the World.” (Spoiler alert: The most beautiful thing in the world is a shoe.) The shoes and boots, of course, are metaphors. For Charlie Price (Steven Booth), heir to the failing Price & Sons shoe business, the sturdy, unfashionable shoes made at the factory represent the dying of an era, as reliability is cast aside in favor of cheap thrills and disposable fashion.]]> <![CDATA[Baseball by the numbers]]> ERA, RBIs and OPS have always been a big deal in baseball. The numbers don’t lie, and these numbers allow fans to continue evaluating the past and predicting the future of baseball. That’s one of the conclusions readers will come to after devouring baseball writer Danny Knobler’s new book “Numbers Don’t Lie: The Biggest Numbers in Detroit Tigers History.” Knobler, now based in New York, has covered professional baseball for most of his adult life, including 18 years as a sportswriter for Booth Newspapers. He knows what he is talking about when he says, “Baseball has always been about numbers. From the start of the game, people have always looked at the numbers.”]]> <![CDATA[Lansing staycation]]> Remember that restaurant you have been meaning to try? What about that museum you have always meant to visit? The Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau is giving Greater Lansing residents a chance to re-discover their hometown with its 21st annual Be a Tourist In Your Own Town event. Popular Lansing businesses and destinations will offer free admission, tours, special events and more to curious explorers. ]]> <![CDATA[Turn it down]]> ]]> <![CDATA[New in town]]> I can’t imagine there’s a huge crossover between New Orleans cooking and Asian cuisine. Sure, there are probably lots of folks out there who appreciate a nice bowl of gumbo and/or a bánh mě sandwich, but to have both on the same menu could be overwhelming. Well, as they say in N’awlins, “Laissez les bon temps roulez!” Nola Bistro Pho & Po-Boys, which opened earlier this month on Lansing’s west side, has a menu that flip-flops between Vietnamese and Creole dishes. The restaurant’s name says it all.]]> <![CDATA[Green Report: The buds are back]]> <![CDATA[Top of the Town Winners]]> ]]> <![CDATA[Top of the Town - Top 3 Winners]]> The 2015 Top 3 Winners for Top of the Town]]> <![CDATA[Fields of bronze]]> Joshua Davis’ improbable journey on reality TV singing competition “The Voice” ended Tuesday night, with the Traverse City-based singer ending in third place behind champion Sawyer Fredericks and runner-up Meghan Linsey. Davis, a former Lansing resident and frontman of Steppin’ In It, was in the mix until the show’s final episode.]]> <![CDATA[Basking in the glow]]> <![CDATA[Usual and unusual]]> Lady walks into a bar. Bartender gives her a drink called a Concerto for Four Saxophones and Orchestra. Voo, voo, voo, wah! Lady´s head expands. “What was that?” “The usual.” Slipping zing into classical music´s dogeared cocktail list of Mozart, Tchaikovsky and their cronies is a tried and true formula for Lansing Symphony Orchestra maestro Timothy Muffitt, and he’s not about to change it for the 2015-16 season, announced this week.]]> <![CDATA[Bravo, Mr. Brand]]> At the Wharton Center, it is usually the casts of actors or the groups of musicians that get standing ovations. On May 12, however, the center’s top man-behind-thescenes received his own standing ovation when Mike Brand, Wharton Center’s executive director, was awarded the Samuel J. L’Hommedieu Award at this year’s Broadway League Conference in New York. “It’s a really special honor, and speaks well for the Wharton Center’s efforts,” Brand said.]]> <![CDATA[And the Top of the Town award goes to...]]> It's a still night on Michigan Avenue. A crowd gathers in anticipation. They heard this could be the night. Wait a minute — is it? Could it be? Yes! A plume of white smoke emerges from the chimney of City Pulse headquarters. The people of Lansing have selected the 2015 Top of the Town winners. ]]> <![CDATA[Celebrate yourselves, bring your friends]]> <![CDATA[Old Town beat down]]> <![CDATA[New in Top of the Town]]>