Detroit’s Top 10: Cool things to do this week, including New Year’s Eve fun, the Roots, Jeff Daniels, Kwanzaa


1. The Fisher Building will rock

Parties all over town will be ringing in the roaring 2020s on New Year’s Eve, and one of the hottest promises to be the sixth annual MOTOR CITY GALA, which moves this year to the Fisher Building. DJ Chrome and Kenny Spear will lead the entertainment lineup with support from DJs Dinero, Leo, Hartmando, Lito and Kraftmattikfor. The evening includes a balloon drop, confetti, snack stations and a champagne station. A dinner option is available, and luxury booth and hotel packages are also being offered.

Starts at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Fisher Building, Midtown Detroit. $99 and up. Ages 21 and older.

2. The Roots at the Fillmore

Hip-hop outfit THE ROOTS, which has spent much of the last decade as the house band for “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” is on the road this week and bringing its holiday tour to the Fillmore Detroit. Fans of the critically lauded Roots have waited years for new music from the group and co-founder Black Thought says it’s on the way. “We want it to be a dense sonic journey,” he told the Asbury Park Press last month about the group’s next album. “So that’s sort of been the focus, figuring out what songs best move the story that we’re trying to tell forward.”

7 p.m. Friday, the Fillmore Detroit. $59.50-$99.50. With Phony PPL.

3.Critics pour praise on ‘Little Women’

Actress Greta Gerwig (“Frances Ha,” “Mistress America”) turned heads in Hollywood in 2017 when she wrote and directed the Oscar-nominated “Lady Bird.” She’s doing the same thing this holiday season with her take on a literary classic that doubters assumed Hollywood had adapted to death: Louisa May Alcott’s “LITTLE WOMEN.” USA Today calls the film “a sometimes heartbreaking and always entertaining hoot,” while the Associated Press opines: “Gerwig has made the most full-realized interpretation of this well-worn material for one simple reason: She lets Amy, Beth, Jo and Meg grow up.”

Now showing nationwide. Read review here.

4. Tipping Point rolls back the years

Zeus, Poseidon and Aphrodite get tangled up with the era of bell-bottoms, earth shoes and macrame vests in Tipping Point Theatre’s annual year-end cabaret fundraiser. This year’s production, the playful “OLYMPUS FEVER,” finds a cast of local performers playing familiar figures from Greek mythology and navigating their romantic dilemmas with the help of music hits from the 1970s.

8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 9 p.m. Tuesday, Tipping Point Theatre, Northville. $40 and up. A cash bar will be available at shows this weekend. Tuesday’s New Year’s Eve performance includes drinks, appetizers and a champagne toast. 

5. 7 days of Kwanzaa at the Wright

The drums and dancers are ready to take center stage at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History for the venue’s annual celebration of KWANZAA, which begins Thursday. Kwanzaa was first observed in the 1960s as a mean of helping African Americans reconnect with their cultural heritage, and each of its seven days is devoted to a principle of African life, including faith, purpose and self-determination. Events, which continue through New Year’s Day, are being offered free of usual admission charges.

6-9 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 2-5 p.m. Sunday, 3-6 p.m. Monday through Jan. 1, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit.

6. Jeff Daniels is home for the holidays

Chelsea favorite son JEFF DANIELS, who spent last Christmas starring in the just-opened “To Kill a Mockingbird” on Broadway, returns home this holiday season to revive his “Onstage & Unplugged” shows at the Purple Rose Theatre. The popular shows find the actor, 64, performing acoustic selections from his six albums and sharing stories from his life and career. Daniels recently signed on to play former FBI director James Comey in a CBS miniseries based on Comey’s 2018 book “A Higher Loyalty.”

8 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 2 & 8 p.m. Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday, 2 & 8 p.m. Tuesday, Purple Rose Theatre. $75-$85.

7. Ratt rocks on at the Fillmore

Metal outfit RATT, the 1980s glam-metal pioneer best remembered for 1984 album “Out of the Cellar” and single “Round and Round,” brings its year-ending In Your Direction Tour to the Fillmore Detroit on Saturday. Founder Stephen Pearcy and longtime member Juan Croucier are leading the current version of the L.A. band, which has experienced its share of turbulence over the decades.

7 p.m. Saturday, the Fillmore Detroit. $10 and up.

8. New Year’s for kiddies

The Drop, Detroit’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration, has been canceled for a second year (organizers promise it’s coming back next year), but the city’s downtown won’t be completely dead come Tuesday. Starting at 1 p.m. — long before the wild and crazy revelers hit the streets — Beacon Park will be hosting its annual NEW YEAR’S EVE KIDS COUNTDOWN, and yes, it will include a ball drop. There also will be crafts and activities geared to youngsters of various ages.

1-6 p.m. Tuesday, Beacon Park, Detroit. Free.

9. ‘Smackdown’ time at LCA

Enough with the holiday cheer and peace-on-Earth stuff. It’s time for some World Wrestling Entertainment! Pro wrestling TV show “FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN,” which moved to Fox in October, is heading to the D this week with a headlining bout pitting WWE champ Brock Lesnar against Kofi Kingston. Also on the card (subject to change): Roman Reigns vs. King Cobra, Braun Strowman and women’s champ Bayley.

7:45 p.m. Friday, Little Caesars Arena, Detroit. $25 and up.  

10. A jazzy new year

Jazz flutist Alexander Zonjic will once again usher in the new year Downriver with his  his  NEW YEAR’S EVE JAM. Joining him Tuesday night will be James Lloyd of R&B-jazz fusion group Pieces of a Dream, jazz violinist Evan Garr and 12-year-old jazz piano prodigy Justin Schultz. The evening comes with a champagne toast at midnight followed by gourmet desserts and coffee.

9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Trenton Village Theatre, Trenton. $55.

— Greg Crawford, Detroit Free Press



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