© 2024 WEMU
Serving Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County, MI
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Art & Soul: The Performance Arts - Telling Stories Through Song And Other Local Performance Events

Kevin Shay
Kerrytown Concert House

This week, "Art and Soul" is about the local performance arts scene.  WEMU’s Lisa Barry and Wendy Wright talked to the creator and director of “Wine, Women & Song,” which is in its 18th year at the Kerrytown Concert House, Monica Swartout-Bebow.



  • Kerrytown
    Credit Kevin Shay / Kerrytown Concert House
    Kerrytown Concert House
    Monica Swartout-Bebow, Kerrytown Concert House Artistic and Executive Director

    Kerrytown Concert House was founded 35 years ago and is a unique performance venue in the historic Kerrytown District in Ann Arbor - a Victorian home that transforms itself by day-and-night to a cabaret house, a jazz listening room, a chamber music salon, always a rotating art gallery, and sometimes a student's recital hall, wedding chapel, reception hall, or mini-conference center.

  • At least 15,000 people pass through its doors each year including musicians, actors, dancers, teachers, students, audiences, staff, and volunteers.
  • This year marks the 18th anniversary of "Wine, Women & Song," Kerrytown Concert House’s annual benefit show.
  • All of the women are volunteers with the love of KCH in common; about half of the women have been part of WWS for at least 10 years, which is amazing when you think about getting a bunch of women together!  There’s no way to describe in words the fun and the esprit de corps that emanates from this immensely talented group of women.
  • The “women” are a diverse mix – small business owners, professional consultants in industries ranging from fundraising to real estate to engineering to communications, retired teachers, professional musicians and dancers and even a priest!
  • Production Team: Monica Swartout-Bebow, Show Creator and Director; Kathy Waugh, Assistant Director; Susan Shipman, Production Assistant; Tyler Driskill is our Music Director and Pianist – known for his award-winning work with The Encore Theater among others and is “THE ACCOMPANIST” for the University of Michigan’s Musical Theater and Dance School.
  • Last year, we added Drummer Jon Brown to the band and that created a lot of energy and fun!  Jon is a free soul, incredibly talented, and able to make noise and cut a beat on most anything you can throw at him.
  • We always promise laughter and fun but generally have an underlying theme to convey.  This year, however, with all that’s going on in the world, we decided we were just ready for some fun!  Hence the theme --- A Funny Thing Happened on the Way....  The show explores the funny things that happen in life through song – at work, in friendships, or in the search for “the one.”  It looks at funny ways in which we get too full of ourselves, or to the contrary, funny ways in which we find wisdom.  
  • Kathy plays a self-absorbed hysterical diva with a capital “D,” Susan plays an over-anxious person learning to free her “abs,” and Monica plays a sassy and sultry person who is wiser and stronger after a break-up. 
  • So here’s how it works – you arrive between 7:30 and 8:00 pm, help yourself to a glass of wine included in the price of admission, take your seat and enjoy!  The show is non-stop action, never more than an hour and a half, and you’re home by 10:00 pm!
  • Ticket prices range from $25 to $75, and there’s really not a bad seat in the house.
  • We promise you will leave laughing and clapping and cheering loudly – and this year, you might even catch some special Mardi Gras beads to take home!
  • Call 734-769-2999 or email kch@kerrytownconcerthouse.com to see how you can reach out to five sold-out audiences.



Lift Off- Rebirth

Aviary Aerial and Circus Arts

2875 Boardwalk Dr, Suite A – Ann Arbor

Sat. January 25th 6:30PM Doors, 7PM Show

Celebrating with joyful and jubilant acts, bright enough to beat back the winter weariness! Join us for an unforgettable night of aerial and acrobatic performance from our talented students. May contain adult language & content.

Apple Season

By E.M. Lewis

Theatre Nova

Jan 31st – Feb 23rd

When her father dies, Lissie returns to her family's apple orchard after escaping from there with her brother Roger many years before.  But a chance encounter with an old flame conjures haunting family secrets she thought she'd left behind.  As Lissie tumbles down a rabbit hole of memory and grief, she must choose whether to preserve her tangled past--or burn it to the ground.


The Blue Llama Jazz Club

Soul Message Band

Fri. January 31st, 7 & 9:30 P.M.

2/3 of the Deep Blue Organ Trio bring a soulful and infectious style crafted around classic organ grooves and rooted in the tradition of great Hammond B3 organists.

Dave McMurray and D3

FRI. FEBRUARY 21st, 7 - 10 P.M.

Detroit saxophonist Dave McMurray has had a multifaceted career, spanning genres of Jazz, Funk, and Groove.

The Ark

43rd Ann Arbor Folk Festival

Friday and Saturday, January 31st and February 1st – 6:30PM

Hill Auditorium

Fri: Calexico, Iron & Wine, Ingrid Michaelson

Sat: Nathaniel Rateliff, Mandolin Orange, Bettye LaVette

Alvin Youngblood Hart

Thursday, February 6th – 8PM

The cosmic American love child of Howlin' Wolf and Link Wray!

The Allman Betts Band

Saturday, February 8th – 8PM

A musical legacy...a new generation from the sons of Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts

The SteelDrivers w/sg Nickel and Rose

Wednesday, February 12th – 8PM

Bluegrass-based experiments from Nashville.  Just ask former member Chris Stapleton.


Is This a Room: Reality Winner Verbatim Transcription

Conceived and Directed by Tina Satter

Arthur Miller Theatre

Wednesday, January 29th – February 2nd

June 3, 2017.  A 25-year-old former Air Force linguist named Reality Winner is surprised at her home by the FBI, interrogated, and then charged with leaking top-secret evidence of Russian interference in our voting system to the media.  As Reality’s autonomy shrinks before her eyes, a simmering real-life thriller emerges, offering vital considerations of access, language, power, patriotism, and honor at this particularly loaded American moment.

Cécile McLorin Salvant and Aaron Diehl, piano

Thursday, February 6th 7PM & 9PM Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre

“Salvant, regularly and rightly, is considered one of the greatest jazz singers of her generation, but that label sells her short.” (Rolling Stone)

Non-commercial, fact based reporting is made possible by your financial support.  Make your donation to WEMU todayto keep your community NPR station thriving.

Like 89.1 WEMU on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu

Wendy Wright has been on the radio at WEMU since April 2000. She served as host of 89.1 Jazz, Sunday mornings from 5-8 a.m. for seven years, when she was asked to host From Memphis to Motown. She was then asked to create the Soul Break which airs Wednesday afternoons.
Lisa Barry was a reporter, and host of All Things Considered on 89.1 WEMU.
Related Content