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Archive | Arts & Entertainment

Improv comedy performance at the Kent

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By Terri Riggle

The Cedar Springs Community Players is pleased to announce its first annual comedy “Improv Night” debuting at the Kent Theatre on Wednesday, Jan. 25. Doors will open at 6:30 and the show begins at 7 p.m. Local talent will take to the stage to entertain their audience for 90 minutes. Cost is only $5 at the door. It’s not The Second City, but in the same fashion, it should be an evening of grins and giggles as performers quickly create characters and dialog in the spur of a moment!

Improvisational theater (now shortened to just Improv) is a form of live theater in which the plot, characters and dialogue of a game, scene or story are made up in the moment. The most direct ancestor of modern improv is probably the Commedia Dell’Arte, which was popular throughout Europe starting in the mid-1500. Troupes of performers would travel from village to village, presenting shows in the public squares and on makeshift stages. They would improvise the dialog, within a framework provided by a set called a “scenario.”

During the 1920’s and 30’s, a woman named Viola Spolin developed a new approach to teach acting. It was based on a simple yet powerful idea that children would enjoy learning the craft if it were presented as a series of games.

Spolin’s son, Paul Sills, built on his mother’s work and was one of the driving forces of improvisational theatre centered at the University of Chicago in the mid-1950. Along with people like Del Close and David Shepherd, Sills created an ensemble of actors who developed a kind of modern “Commedia” which would appeal to the average man in the street. The goal was to create theatre that was accessible to everyone.

The group that sprang from the work of Sills, Shepherd and Close, called The Compass, was extremely successful. It brought people to the theatre who, in many cases, had never gone before. Eventually, it led to the development of a company called The Second City in Chicago, which opened its doors in December of 1959 and has since grown to become the world’s premier comedy club, theatre, and school of improvisation. The main focus of the theater was to provide a place where scenes and story were created improvisationally, using the same innovative techniques that Viola Spolin had developed and taught.

The Second City has been a launching pad for comedians, actors, directors and others working in show business. Notable alumni include Alan Arkin, Dan Aykroyd, James Belushi, John Belushi, John Candy, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Chris Farley, Tina Fey, Bonnie Hunt, Richard Kind, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, Gilda Radner, Harold Ramis, Joan Rivers, Amy Sedaris, Martin Short, George Wendt and Fred Willard, among many others.

The Players hope to form a permanent Improv troupe which would be able to perform in area locales all throughout the year.  They encourage any persons interested in being a part of the troupe to attend the performance and leave your name at the box office or leave a comment on their website cedarspringscommunityplayers.org.

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Parachute training

 

I volunteered recently to perform a parachute jump for charity. On our first day of training, the instructor made an important point about preparing for landing at 300 feet.

“How do you know when you’re at 300 feet?” asked one woman.

“A good question,” replied the instructor. “At 300 feet you can recognize the faces of people on the ground.”

The woman thought about this for a minute and said, “What happens if there’s no one there I know?”

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Hometown Happenings

Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.


Benefit Fundraiser for Rowdy

Jan. 14: A Hotdog/Chili benefit luncheon will be held on Saturday, December 14th from 11 am to 3 pm at the Sand Lake United Methodist Church. Free will offering. Proceeds will be used towards medical expenses for Pastor Darryl’s leader dog Rowdy. Sponsored by Sand Lake, South Ensley UM Churches and Sand Lake Lions Club. #2p

Blood Drive

January 17: Michigan Blood Drive on January 17th at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church from 12:30 pm until 7:00 pm. What better New Year Resolution than to give the gift of life. That would just cost you about one hour of your time every other month. Your donation has the potential to improve/save three people’s lives. The Blood Center thanks all the people that donate at the Cedar Springs blood drive. #2

Lions Club Pancake Breakfast

Jan. 21: The Cedar Springs Lions Club will host an All You Can Eat Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, January 21st from 7 am to 11 am at the United Methodist Church, 140 S. Main St., Cedar Springs. $8 per person, family of 4 is $25. #2

Cabin Fever Cupcakes

Jan. 24: Fight Cabin Fever with cupcakes! Teens are encouraged to think “summer” and sport their beachiest resort wear while decorating summery cupcakes. Judges will give awards for the best summer-themed cupcake and for cupcake decorating skills. (No bikinis, must wear shoes, and be sure to top your outfit off with a coat and boots to make your way over!) Pre-registration is required 616-784-2007. Tuesday, January 24th at 6:30 pm at the Spencer Township KDL Branch, 14960 Meddler Ave., Gowen. Please visit www.kdl.org for more information. #2

Comedy improv at the Kent Theatre

Jan. 25: The Cedar Springs Community Players is pleased to announce its first annual comedy “Improv Night at the Kent” debuting on Wednesday, January 25th. Doors will open at 6:30 and the show begins at 7 pm. Local talent will take to the stage to entertain their audience for 90 minutes. Cost is only $5 at the door. It’s not The Second City, but in the same fashion, it should be an evening of grins and giggles as performers quickly create characters and dialog in the spur of a moment! #2,3p

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Kent District Library Homebrew Competition: Book-Inspired Brewing

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Kent District Library is proud to present the second annual “Book-Inspired Brewing” home brew contest as part of the KDaLe series. In collaboration with Gravel Bottom Brewing and Railtown Brewing, KDL is calling on home brewers to enter this unique competition: creating a beer inspired by their favorite title or author.  The winning beer will be brewed in a professional brewery, Gravel Bottom Brewing, and will be released at the KDaLe Wrap-Up Party scheduled for April 15. The winner’s name will be engraved on the KDaLe homebrew trophy and the top three finalists will receive a home brewer’s prize basket.

The deadline to sign up is January 7, 2017; 50 submissions will be accepted. Entrants must deliver three 12-ounce bottles of their brew to Gravel Bottom Brewing by February 15, 2017. They must also include the recipe and a brief statement about how the beer fits the theme of “Book-Inspired Brewing.” In addition to being judged on flavor, aroma, mouth-feel and appearance, your beer will be rated based on how well it fits the theme and the story behind it.

Primary judging will be done with a panel of Gravel Bottom, Railtown and KDL staff, along with local home brewers and other industry professionals. Secondary judging will be done by professional brewers and local cicerones. Winners will be announced on February 24.

For more information or to register, please visit http://www.kdl.org/events/kdale.

Kent District Library is a public library system operating 18 branch libraries. KDL serves nearly 400,000 residents of 27 governmental units, comprising most of Kent County, Michigan. KDL is an IRS-designated 501(c)(3) nonprofit supported by millage dollars and private donations.

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Short Snow Jokes

 

What happened when the snowgirl fell out with the snowboy?

She gave him the cold shoulder!

What do snowmen wear on their heads?

Ice caps!

What’s an ig?

An Eskimo’s home without a loo!

What do snowmen eat for lunch?

Icebergers!

Where do snowmen go to dance?

Snowballs!

How do snowmen travel around ?

By icicle!

What sort of ball doesn’t bounce?

A snowball!

How do you know when there is a snowman in your bed?

You wake up wet!

What do you get if you cross a snowman and a shark?

Frost bite!

What do you call an Eskimo cow?

An Eskimoo!

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Hometown Happenings

Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.


Praise the Lord at Cowboy Church

Jan. 8: 2nd Chance will be having Cowboy Church on Sunday, January 8th at 6 pm. It will be at 2nd Chance School at 810 – 17 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs (corner of 17 Mile and Olin Lakes Rd). The message and music will be shared by the group, The Traditional County and Gospel Singers, with Larry and Deb Eadie and fellow musicians. Invite your family and friends. Cowboy Church will be every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month. Each service will have different people sharing God’s word and music. Cowboy Church will introduce you to 2nd Chance and its vision. The school is in the building stage, which when completed, will teach troubled teens through God and the horse. If you have questions, call 616-293-2150. See you there! #1

Keep your weight loss resolution

Jan. 10: It’s that time of year… if you’ve made a New Year Resolution to drop some weight or to live a healthier life style, come check out what TOPS (Take off pounds sensibly) can do for you. TOPS is a non-profit weight loss support group for men and women that meets every Tuesday at the Resurrection Lutheran Church in Sand Lake. Your first visit is free! Weigh-ins 8:15-9am, meeting starts at 9:15am. In case of inclement weather, meetings are cancelled if Tri-County or Cedar Springs schools are closed. Call Barb at 696-8049 for more information. #1

Science Rocks!

Jan. 14: Explore earth science with hands-on activities. Become a detective and learn the skills geologists use to identify rocks. Take a journey through the rock cycle as if you were a rock yourself. Experiment with how meteorites create craters and use the magnetic force of the Earth to see who can make the longest magnetic chain. Create a piece of “rock-ing” art to take home, too. Saturday, January 14th at 10:30 am at the Nelson Township/Sand Lake KDL, 88 Eighth St. #1

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The Post travels to Montana

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Art Smith brought along his Cedar Springs Post while on an elk hunt in Montana with his brother Steve Smith and other family members. Art rode 8 miles on a mule to a tent camp, and hunted in the Lewis & Clark National Forest in the Bob Marshal Wilderness. He said that one elk and two deer were taken in the camp.

Thanks, so much, Art, for taking us with you!

This year the Post has traveled all over the world with our readers, visiting locations with our readers such as various cities in Arizona; the Adirondack Mountains; Atlanta, Georgia; Bay City, Mich.; Boston, Mass.; California; China; Colorado; Florida; Hoover Dam; Makcinac Island; Montana; New York City; Pictured Rocks; the Ryder Cup; South Dakota; Washington D.C.; West Virginia; Wyoming; Colombia; the Caribbean, Panama; Germany; Italy; France; Greece; Turkey; Haiti; Japan; Iceland; Nepal; Scotland; and Sweden.

Where will we go next year? It’s up to you!

Are you going on vacation? Take the Post with you and snap some photos. Then send them to us with some info to news@cedarspringspost.com or mail them to Post travels, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. We will be looking for yours!

 

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5 Steps For Easy Entertaining

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(Family Features) Hosting a large group of family and friends can be overwhelming, especially if entertaining isn’t something you do often. No matter the occasion, these tips can help you avoid common party pitfalls so you can keep the focus on having fun.

Offer an assortment. Rather than attempting to plan the menu around a wide range of likes, dislikes, allergies and other considerations, simply create a menu that satisfies everyone’s cravings. If you’re serving a buffet, provide a mix of hot and cold dishes in a variety of tastes and textures. For a plated meal, offer several robust sides so if the main dish misses the mark for one or two guests, there’s no chance of anyone going hungry.

Create a beverage cart. The kitchen is likely to be a hotbed of activity, but setting up a remote beverage cart can help redirect some of that traffic. A cart or table with multiple shelves is ideal. Stock the cart with an ice bucket and tongs; garnish such as lemons, limes, olives and cherries; and an assortment of glasses. Offer a couple of bottled beers on ice (one light and one with a bolder flavor), at least one white and one red wine, and a couple of liquors that work with a wide array of mixers, such as vodka and rum. Round out the cart with a few mixers, including fruit juice so non-drinkers can enjoy mocktails as well.

Never compromise on wine. Lots of times, guests have wildly different tastes in wine and it can seem impossible to select a couple bottles that everyone will like. If you want to please everyone but worry you’ll end up with a stash of partially poured bottles, there is an alternative to pulling all those corks. The Coravin Wine System lets you serve wine without removing the cork, allowing your guests to pour as much or as little wine as they like (you can save the rest or what’s left for another day). Using a Coravin System is like having a wine bar in your house. Rather than settling for what is open, everyone can drink whatever they like, even if the entire group has dramatically different tastes. If someone wants to taste lots of different wines, they will have the freedom to do just that. Learn more at coravin.com.

Plan ahead for refills. Clear as much space as possible in the refrigerator for extras so you can easily replenish anything that runs out. Make extra pitchers of punch, and have bowls of popular items ready to replace as needed. For warm items, use the warming feature on your oven to hold dishes at serving temperatures, or simply leave the oven off and contain the precooked dishes’ warmth.

Remember to enjoy yourself. Your guests can easily sense when you’re frazzled or stressed, so plan ahead and get all your preparations completed well before anyone arrives. Then you’ll be ready to mingle, visit and set a warm and inviting tone for an event that everyone can enjoy.

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Diary of a snow shoveler

 

December 8: 6:00 p.m. The first snow of the season. My wife and I sat for hours watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven. So romantic we felt like newlyweds again. I love snow!

December 9: Woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow. Moving here was the best idea I’ve ever had. Shoveled for the first time in years and felt like a boy again. The snow plow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so I got to shovel again.

December 12:The sun melted all our lovely snow. My neighbor Bob said not to worry, we’ll have so much snow by the end of winter that I’ll never want to see snow again.

December 14: It snowed 8” last night. The temperature dropped to 20F. The cold makes everything sparkle so. I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. The snowplow came back and buried everything again. I didn’t realize I would have to do quite this much shoveling.

December 15: 12-14 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4×4 Blazer. Bought 2 extra shovels. My wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think that’s silly.

December 16: Ice storm this morning. Fell on my butt on the ice in the driveway putting down salt. Hurt like heck. My wife laughed for an hour, which I think was cruel.

December 17: Roads too icy to go anywhere. Electricity’s been off for 5 hours. Piled blankets on to stay warm. Guess I should’ve bought a wood stove, but won’t admit it to her. I hate it when she’s right.

December 20: Electricity’s back on, but had another 14 inches of the white stuff last night. More shoveling. Stupid snowplow came by twice. Called the only hardware store around about buying a snow blower and they’re out. Might have another shipment in March. I think they’re lying. Bob says I have to shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he’s lying.

December 22: 13 more inches of the white crap fell today, and it’s so cold it probably won’t melt till August. Tried to hire Bob who has a plow on his truck for the rest of the winter; but he says he’s too busy. I think the jerk is lying.

December 23: Only 2” of snow today and it warmed up to 0. My wife wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning. Why didn’t she tell me to do that a month ago? She says she did but I think she’s lying.

December 24: Snow packed so hard by snowplow, I broke the shovel. Thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch the idiot who drives that snowplow, I’ll drag him through the snow. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling and then he comes down the street at a 100 mph and throws snow all over where I’ve just been! Tonight my wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open our presents, but I was busy watching for the stinkin’ snowplow.

December 25: Merry Christmas. Snowed in. I hate the snow! The snowplow driver came by asking for a donation and I hit him over the head with my shovel. My wife says I have a bad attitude. I think she’s an idiot.

December 26: Still snowed in. Why did I ever move here? It was all HER idea. She’s really getting on my nerves.

December 27: Temperature dropped to -30 and the pipes froze. December 29: 10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave-in. That’s the silliest thing I ever heard.

December 30:  Roof caved in. The snow plow driver is suing me for $100,000 for the bump on his head. My wife went home to her mother. 9 inches predicted.

December 31: Set fire to what’s left of the house. No more shoveling!

January 8: I feel so good. I just love those little white pills they keep giving me. Why am I tied to the bed?

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Hometown Happenings

Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.


God’s Kitchen in Cedar Springs

Jan. 3,10,17,24,31: Join us for dinner every Tuesday. God’s Kitchen – Cedar Springs welcomes families from Northern Kent County and the surrounding area to a Tuesday Evening Meal. No charge – no registration required!  Served from 5:30 – 6:30 pm at the St. John Paul II Parish, 3110 – 17 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs. For more information, call the Church office at 616-696-3904. #52

TOPS weight loss support group

Jan. 3: Take off pounds sensibly (TOPS), a non-profit weight loss support group for men and women, meets every Tuesday at the Resurrection Lutheran Church in Sand Lake. Your first visit is free so come check out what TOPS can do to help you reach your weigh loss goals! Weigh-ins 8:15-9am, meeting starts at 9:15am. In case of inclement weather, meetings are cancelled if Tri-County or Cedar Springs schools are closed. Call Barb at 696-8049 for more information. #52

Straw Building Bonanza

Jan. 7: With this unstructured building time, kids can build 2D and 3D geometric creations, vehicles, forts, or whatever! We’ll provide all the materials, kids bring their imagination and curiosity. Saturday, January 7, 10:30 a.m. at Nelson Twp. /Sand Lake KDL, 88 Eighth St.
#52

Explore MCC’s Kenneth J. Lehman Nature Trails

Montcalm Community College’s Kenneth J. Lehman Nature Trails are open to the public from dawn until dusk, 365 days a year. There is no charge to visit these beautiful trails winding through forests, grasslands and wetlands. More than four miles of trails are marked with numbered trail posts and maps are available at most major trail heads. For more information, please email naturetrails@montcalm.edu or call MCC Biology Instructor Heather Wesp (989) 328-1270. #52

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