Although it’s the oldest continuously running theater in Michigan (and the third oldest in all of the United States), Croswell Opera House has more vibrancy than most venues half its age. Renovated over the last two decades with a new stage floor, an enlarged orchestra pit, and burgundy and gold medallions atop a fresh coat of paint, the historic venue has lost none of its old-fashioned charm as it continues through its second century.
Originally constructed in 1866, the downtown epicenter of Lenawee County arts and culture has played host to a rich timeline of American entertainment. The 1800s featured vaudeville acts, musicians, and orators such as Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass, and the early 1900s saw silent movies swallowed by the next wave of cinema: loudies. Although it was nearly demolished in 1967, the opera house persevered with the loving care of its staff and patrons, and today continues to host a wealth of musical acts, Broadway shows, and children’s theater.
The youthful romanticism of Juliet. The raging jealousies of Othello. Richard III's outsized villainy. All are found in the pages of Shakespeare's works, and all are brought to vibrant new life at the Michigan Shakespeare Festival, the official Shakespeare festival of the state. With characters so rich, it's not surprising that the company exclusively staged the Bard's works for 19 years. But, recognizing that Shakespeare's reach extended far beyond the end of his own quill, the Festival now showcases one piece from an additional playwright each season. But whether the curtain opens on a comedy or a tragedy, a dramatic history or a tender romance, the organization aims to move audiences with timeless stories.
In 1997, Kip and Dennise Barber sold their suburban home. But it wasn't because they were downsizing or moving to the city. Instead, they used the money to purchase a large, wooded plot of land in Grass Lakes, which they cleared and planted with rows of grapevines. And thus, Lone Oak Vineyard Estate was born. Over the years, the couple worked to add more and more varietals to the vineyard, and today, their estate is home to 12 types of grapes spanning 25 acres. Handpicked at the peak of ripeness, each of the European grapes is transformed into estate wines, such as dry reds, semidry whites, and utterly sarcastic dessert wines.
The ale devotees at Bad Bear Brewery concoct small batches of unfiltered, handcrafted beers and locally made wines. The brewery's pumpkin beer infuses palates with hints of brown sugar, while the Michigan pale ale teems with more hops than a dunking competition featuring Peter Rabbit. Chefs also prepare hand-tossed artisan pizzas and 5-ounce beer-braised reubens. Membership in the Bad Bear Mug Club outfits beer advocates with a custom mug crafted by local potter Mary Humphrey as well as discounts on pub grub and suds.
Backed by more than 30 combined years of experience, Missy Bailey and Gayle Beery unite their abundant skills while working to foster beauty and relaxation.Within the laid-back confines of Cut Me Loose Hair and Nail Studio, these stylists grip scissors and work with men, women, and kids to craft cuts that radiate style like runway models hooked up to sunlamps. Missy and Gayle can fortify strands with deep-conditioning treatments or render heads a new hue using products form brands such as Redken. The beauty experts also pamper appendages with mani-pedis and whisk away fuzz with a lineup of facial-waxing services.
The talented chefs at Barley's American Grill pass on artificial flavors and fillers in favor of fresh ingredients used to fix up a menu of home-style American favorites. Preface a delicious meal with an appetizer of spinach-and-mozzarella bread served with a side of ranch dressing or pizza sauce ($8). Baby faces can don barbecue-sauce beards by taking big bites of the barbecue-bacon cheeseburger ($8.50) or matching their mandibles against the eatery's signature half-rack of baby back pork ribs with barbecue sauce ($13). Mouths take a pleasure trip to Italy with the pizza panini, stuffed with capocollo, pepperoni, mozzarella, and pizza sauce ($7.50), or plumb the depths of the sea with a platter of deep-fried cod and skewered shrimp ($14.50). A side of herb mashed potatoes ($2.50) sidles up alongside entrees to form a hunger-suppressing dynamic duo.
As if inspired by the visitors stretching at the fitness center below, a glass spiral staircase extends to the high ceiling, where skylights illuminate the floor below. Heather DuPuis designed Vie Fitness & Spa as an oasis for healthy living, blending health-club amenities and fitness services with a light, airy atmosphere and soaring architecture.
Certified trainers keep clients engaged in an active lifestyle through programs tailored to each individual's goals and lifestyle. In barre classes, an amalgamation of Pilates, ballet, and strength exercises set to up-tempo music work to tighten abs and thighs, and spinning classes test students' endurance while reminding them of their first bicycle's eventual theft.
An onsite juice bar refuels bodies, which stay refreshed with the boutique shop's designer water bottles and hand-poured Illume candles. To unwind after a taxing workout, patrons can stop by the facility spa for a massage or facial or head to the locker rooms equipped with fluffy towels and Pure Fiji bath products with which to wash the towels.