Watching a live performance on a stage has unfortunately become a dying pastime. I got a chance to see the Detroit Music Hall on a guided tour with DetroitShoppe. What an amazing building with such a rich history of Detroit and the Music/Theater Industry. Laura Raisch was our tour guide, and she was so knowledgeable about the building’s history and even had plenty of personal stories of her interactions with past performers at the Music Hall.
Music History in the Jazz Cafe
The Music Hall started in 1928 as The Wilson Theatre by Matilda Dodge Wilson. She was married to one of the Dodge brothers (John) and was influential in getting the Music Hall, and Meadowbrook Hall built. The Music Hall was updated recently to reflect the atmosphere of the 1920’s original architecture. They even discovered the beautiful ceiling that was under the paint. Who would want to cover up that ceiling? This tour is in the second building that I have been in recently that somebody painted over the ceiling. Are they crazy?
This building has hosted acts like Aretha Franklin, Miles Davis, and Ray Charles in the Jazz Cafe. The Main Hall has hosted performances from ballet companies to philharmonic orchestras. While I was on the tour, we got to see some auditions for the Joffrey Ballet Company. Hopefully, these little girls did well in their auditions.
Watching these auditions and hearing all the stories of artists that have been here in the past made me realize that I have been missing out on some great culture here in downtown Detroit. As I finish writing this piece, I am perusing this year’s season brochure and have already picked up a couple of tickets for Sleeping Beauty performed by the Russian National Ballet on May 1. Come on and join me! Culture awaits you!