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Pack the Hall at these Midwest Venues


The Motor City thrives with summer performing-arts festivals. For electronic-music fans, Detroit’s Movement Music Festival delivers more than 85 acts on five stages over Memorial Day weekend. The second annual Detroit Music Weekend, June 14-17, combines music, dance and theater from well-known and next-generation talent. Saturday features a free-to-the-public festival and outdoor Legends Concert. Concert of Colors, a free-admission music festival July 11-15, unites the region’s diverse communities and ethnic groups through music. The Detroit Jazz Festival on Labor Day weekend ranks as the world’s largest free jazz festival, with more than 120 bands that feature legends and up-and-coming artists.

The National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, an eight-day event in early July, brings in big-name entertainment. This year, Sheryl Crow headlines, along with Dan and Shay, and Dustin Lynch. For another summer experience, the 1,200-acre campus of the Interlocken Center for the Arts brings in a summer lineup that performs in its outdoor amphitheater with Lake Michigan as the backdrop.

Farther north, the curtain rises July 7 for the premiere season at the Great Lakes Center for the Arts with a performance by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra at its opening gala. The center will offer a year-round lineup of performances across all genres — music, dance, theater, movies and film, intellectual dialogue and education — in its state-of-the-art, 500-seat venue.


Since 1990, the 2000-seat Lied Center for the Performing Arts in Lincoln has brought in renowned music, dance and theater, and featured top Nebraska talent. In the Historic Haymarket District, TADA Theatre presents an array of productions and regional premieres and has collaborated with groups such as the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra and the Lincoln Choral Artists.

In Omaha, jazz aficionados flock to the Holland Performing Arts Center’s annual 1200 Club, which showcases sounds from bluesy harmonica to funky trombones and jazz piano. The elegant Orpheum Theater, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, presents Broadway Across America and Omaha Opera. The Omaha Community Playhouse boasts two state-of-the-art performance spaces, and Midtown Crossing’s summer jazz festival takes place in its greenspace.

Farther west, the Hastings Community Theatre, run entirely by volunteers, celebrates its 58th season this year with four shows, a holiday production and the adult-oriented HCT After Dark musicals, which feature deliciously dark storytelling. And the North Platte Community Playhouse is housed in the 1929 Fox Theatre, which still sports its original marquee and Renaissance decor.