Franke Center photo
Franke Center photo

It's a new season at The Franke Center for the Arts in Marshall.   The 2017/2018 season gets rolling with pianist Bob Milne this Saturday night in a special "Home Tour" concert.   Milne is a longtime favorite at the Franke, and plays a mix of Ragtime, Boogie Woogie and Blues piano.  But he also is a great storyteller, and talks about how American music came to be, how it evolved, and what it was like to play music in the out-of-the-way places across the nation.

The Franke's new season features a mix of returning favorites and new acts.  "There is something for everyone", said Patty Williams,  Franke Center Executive Director.  “We are truly blessed to have such a high caliber performing arts venue right here in Marshall. We encourage everyone to come and experience a live show in our beautiful, intimate venue”.

Franke Center for the Arts 2017/2018 Season Events

  • September 9, 2017       Bob Milne, Ragtime, Boogie-Woogie, Jazz and Blues
  • September 30, 2017     Lisa Mills, Gospel/Soul – Music On Tap
  • October 12-15, 2017    Children’s Theater - Cinderella
  • October 21, 2017         Bex Marshall – Blues Series
  • November 18, 2017     The Kruger Brothers – Folk/Bluegrass
  • December 30, 2017     Laith Al-Saadi – “The Voice” Finalist
  • January 13, 2018         Irish Pub Night – The Moxie Strings
  • January 27, 2018         Movie Night – “North By Northwest”
  • February 3, 2018         Harper, Jacob Kershaw – Winter Blues Fest
  • February 15-18, 2018  Children’s Theater - Grease
  • February 24, 2018       Heywood Banks – Comedy
  • March 24, 2018           Tinsley Ellis – Blues Series
  • April 7, 2018                Annual Fundraiser Movie – “Casablanca”
  • April 21, 2018              David Lindley – Folk/Roots
  • April 28, 2018              Richard Buckner – Music On Tap

Ann Arbor’s “The Voice” finalist Laith Al-Saadi will be welcomed back to the Franke stage for a full evening of rock music on Saturday, December 30. After Laith’s sold out show last December, the evening this year will be expanded to include two different shows plus a VIP “meet and greet” all on the same night, giving fans an opportunity to meet Laith in person before the first show.

The Blues Series returns with three shows, beginning with London, England’s Bex Marshall on October 21, 2017, then featuring Harper and Midwest Kind with Special Guest, Marshall’s own Jacob Kershaw Band for the annual Winter Blues Fest on February 4, 2018. The third Blues Series show will feature Tinsley Ellis, with a special show “Guitars Along the Blues Highway”, celebrating Ellis’s 40 year music career, on March 24, 2018.

As a followup to the popular Mandolin Summit in August, two shows will bring American Folk/Roots music to The Franke. Saturday, November 18, 2017, will feature the acclaimed Folk/Bluegrass trio The Kruger Brothers. Then on Saturday, April 21, 2018, multi instrumentalist David Lindley, formerly part of the Jackson Browne Band, will perform his solo act on the Franke Center stage.

The intimate Downstage Club will be featured in the newly named Music On Tap Series, presenting three shows in collaboration with the Jackson Symphony Orchestra’s Weatherwax Hall. Leading off the series on Saturday, September 30, will be gospel/soul singer Lisa Mills, who promises to take the audience on a musical journey through the deep South. January 13, 2018 marks the return of the popular Irish Pub Night, which will feature the Irish band the Moxie Strings, and the Music On Tap series closes out the season on April 28, 2018, with acclaimed singer/songwriter Richard Buckner.

In addition to the concerts, the season again includes a Comedy Night on Saturday, February 24, 2018, with Heywood Banks taking the main stage for an evening of hilarity. Two classic movies will be shown on the big screen, with “North By Northwest” on January 27, 2018, and the ever popular “Casablanca” for the annual fundraising event on April 7, 2018.

The Franke Center Children’s Theater will present Cinderella Kids October 12 – 15 for their Fall show, featuring K to 5th grade students. For the Winter show, the musical “Grease” will be performed February 15 through 18, featuring 5th to 9th graders.

Speaking about the new season, Dave Deppe, Franke Center Events Manager, said “this season includes a wide range of shows, something for everyone, and we are really excited about the level of talent we will be bringing to Marshall. For many of these artists, The Franke Center is the only venue in our region where they will be performing this year”.

The Franke Center for the Arts is an intimate, acoustically superb 270-seat theater located in downtown historic Marshall, Michigan. With top-shelf shows like Laith Al-Saadi, Tim O’Brien, and Sarah Jarosz, this unique venue has become one of the best listening rooms in the Midwest. Please visit The Franke Center website for more information, and to purchase tickets.








More From WBCKFM