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This Week's Events

Poltergeist: Musical Parody is a Stark Turn

Thursday - Sunday, Oct. 23 - 26, see website for show times
If you felt that going to a brand new musical production adaptation of Poltergeist was going to be just another night of theater complete with an accurate retelling of the 1982 cult film of the same name, then are you in for a real scare as soon as the lights fade out as the Stark Turn Players present a very twisted take on this classic horror film.
 
"A poltergeist is the presence of an absence," says Mary Beth Quillin, trustee for the Stark Turn Players. "What is severely absent in our family is a connectedness, and the technology (smart phones, TV, etc.) [is] causing their disconnectedness." 
 
Just as in the original film, the adults are particularly disconnected from the children. That's the main reason for the update, according to Quillin. In this parody of Poltergeist, with songs written by Julia Yob of TIP$ fame, only the children are aware of the presence of the poltergeist.
 
When the adults finally put down their technology, the family unit must come together to rid the house of the spirits. This reconnecting leads to a loving family reunion …. or does it?
 
And no worries about your favorite line, which gets rebirthed in the "Carly Anne's Hello" that is sure to stick with long after you leave the theater. The runtime of this new production is 2 hours with one 15-minute intermission. 
 
Notice: The Stark Turn Players host the annual Lake Effect Fringe Festival on February 27 - Mar 1, 2015. Submissions for the festival are being accepted until November 1, 2014.
 
Admission: $14/adults and $8 students and seniors.
 

St. Andrew’s Cemetery Tour: The Keymaster Walks with Us

Friday & Saturday, Oct. 24 - 25, 5:30 p.m. (ends 7:00 p.m.)
One of the area's oldest Catholic cemeteries was established in 1853 but has been placed under a lock, forever gated until a keymaster appears. One man who has a key to unlock this sacred space during a season associated with ghosts and mystical mishaps of nature's dark side will share tales of our city's earliest members interred there. See the final resting place of those big names that typically adorn our oldest buildings, street signs, and the occasional antique store discovery, including the Campau, Hake, Kortlander, and Clancy families.
 
Tour GR guests will learn the true story of the Old Iron Cross and Little Sisters of the Poor. As the skies darken, tourists of the cemetery will migrate to the comfortable refuge of the chapel and mausoleum of Father Patrick McManus.
 
The tour guide will be Jim Winslow, who last month led a group of history fans through the Morton House on his ArtPrize-inspired event connected to the SiTE:LAB exhibition venue. The Morton House would go on to win the 2014 Best Venue ArtPrize award, then was shuttered to the public for a complete renovation.
 
"I selected this venue because it is not a place easily accessed by the public," says Winslow. "I have a key to the cemetery because I have family buried there. My key also unlocks Fr. Patrick McManus's crypt - a great place to explore as it's just getting dark."
 
As with every tour, Winslow adds a bit of contemporary spin, with plenty of visuals shown on his iPad to help tie the location to other historical items of our city. Winslow suggests packing a flashlight, warm clothes, and your last will and testament.
 
Just kidding on packing your will. Seriously, though, if do you scare easily, it might be wise to tidy up your legal documents before you walk in a cemetery bathed in the red hues of the sunset under an advancing twilight.
 
 
Admission: $10. Please purchase tour tickets in advance at Tour GR's Event Brite page.
 

Thriller! Chiller!: It's Alive! It's Alive!

Wednesday - Saturday, Oct. 22 - 25, see site for show times
Each year Thriller! Chiller! International Genre Film Festival, a locally organized film event, grows to heights that even the organizers cannot believe. 
 
Entering its ninth year, Thriller! Chiller! has expanded to downtown Grand Rapids with 40 independent international films in the genres of action, horror, sci-fi, and suspense spread over five venues, including UICA, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Pyramid Scheme, Grand Rapids Brewing Co., and Stella's Lounge,
 
In 2013, the film festival was named as one of the Top 20 Horror/Sci-Fi Film Festivals by Moviemaker Magazine to attend. The festival offers a full docket of events, including an awards ceremony, lectures, filmmaker seminars, and many film-themed parties held over the four days.
 
For a complete listing of all the action-packed programming, visit their website.
 
Admission: Varies by venue and offering.
 

Cult of Cute: Wall Art and Wrist Spells

Opening Reception Saturday, Oct. 25, 7 - 11 p.m.
When you think of the spiritual world or the dark arts, it often comes with a built-in visual lexicon of imagery that rarely strays from black, white, grey, and a dash of red or the occasional yellow. But you most definitely do not see pink, even in the misty Northwest's doe-eyed Twilight Series.
 
But when Cult of Cute opens at the Glitter Milk Gallery, 22 artists will use their creative powers to present an adorably sweet face of the dark side at this instant classic space on the city's West Side.
 
The magic spell that inspired the art on the walls has been cooked down into powerful, wearable charms for your bracelet, necklace, earrings, or key chain. At the event, these original charms, which Sharp claims are imbued with special powers, will be revealed -- and most likely quickly snatched up by superstitiously smart collectors.
 
And like every show that Miranda Sharp, proprietor of Glitter Milk Gallery, curates, it promises to be an evening filled spellbinding moments that last long after the event is over.
 
Once such magical moment is on Friday, Oct. 31, when Glitter Milk will re-open to showcase Cult of Cute, featuring a special Halloween gathering complete with the all-girl punk band The Doctors' Wives starting at 10 p.m.
 
Admission: Free
 
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