Ann Arbor Summer Festival Top of the Park Spectacles & Mainstage Shows

The Ann Arbor Summer Festival takes place from mid-June through early July. has announced more of their schedule. The Top of the Park movie lineup was initially announced in March.

Top of the Park Outdoor Spectacles

Top of the Park is our favorite part of the Ann Arbor Summer Festival. We love to grab dinner from Culinary Row, meet up with friends, listen to music and hopefully catch some of the spectacle performances. Last year, we missed them due to weather, my daughter’s softball schedule, and her travel schedule. This year, I’m hoping our schedule is more cooperative.


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For 2018, there are two spectacle performances the second and third weekends of the festival.

Italian aerial theatre company, eVenti Verticali will be performing their show Wanted on June 19 & 20. 

A2SF - Top of the Park eVenti Verticali

Event Verticali Schedule:

  • Tuesday June 19, 2018 8:00pm eVenti Verticali’s Wanted
  • Tuesday June 19, 2018 9:30pm eVenti Verticali’s Wanted
  • Wednesday June 20, 2018 8:00pm eVenti Verticali’s Wanted
  • Wednesday June 20, 2018 9:30pm eVenti Verticali’s Wanted
  • Polyglot, an Australian children’s theatre company will be performing their interactive Ants on June 26 and 28th. There will also be an indoor performance on June 27 (details to be released).

    A2SF - Top of the Park - Polyglot Theatre's Ants

    Polyglot’s Ants Schedule:

  • Tuesday June 26, 2018 4:30pm Polyglot Theatre's Ants
  • Tuesday June 26, 2018 5:45pm Polyglot Theatre's Ants
  • Tuesday June 26, 2018 7:00pm Polyglot Theatre's Ants
  • Thursday June 28, 2018 4:30pm Polyglot Theatre's Ants
  • Thursday June 28, 2018 5:45pm Polyglot Theatre's Ants
  • Thursday June 28, 2018 7:00pm Polyglot Theatre's Ants
  • Ann Arbor Summer Festival MainStage Series

    Most of the MainStage performances are geared towards adults. However, the Acrobuffos will be performing Air Play on June 10. There will be two shows – 1p and 4p. 

  • Sunday June 10, 2018 1:00pm Acrobuffos’ Air Play
  • Sunday June 10, 2018 4:00pm Acrobuffos’ Air Play
  • A2SF Press Releases

    For more details, see the press releases below.

    The Ann Arbor Summer Festival Announces its 2018 Outdoor Spectacle

    ANN ARBOR, MI (April 3, 2018) – The Ann Arbor Summer Festival is pleased to announce this season’s free outdoor spectacle. From alien dinosaurs, aerialists suspended from a helium balloon, or superheroes flying up the bell-tower; the festival surprises, excites, and inspires our community with creative performances that we call ‘spectacle’ every summer. This year is no different. The festival’s 2018 spectacle series includes Italian aerial theater company Eventi Verticali’s 2-D and 3-D show Wanted, and Australian’s Children’s Theatre Company Polyglot for their roving, interactive performance called Ants.

    All spectacle events are free and open to the public and take place at Top of the Park located at 915 E. Washington Street, Ann Arbor MI 48109.

    eVenti Verticali’s Wanted
    June 19 & 20 at 8 & 9:30pm at Top of the Park
    Aerial theater combines with video projections on a giant outdoor screen and concocts a mind-bending visual comedy extravaganza for all ages. Suspended in a world of animation, two Italian brothers play “cops and robbers” by hanging from ropes and harnesses against a vertical stage. Blending 2-D and 3-D, the brothers adventure through an animated world of crazy desktops, vintage video games, and breathtaking landscapes. Constantly on the run, they cross the globe, scale high buildings, jump on roofs, and dive into oceans. Wanted has played 150 times in ten European countries, Russia, South Korea, and Taiwan. The whole family won’t want to miss the spectacular vertical dance of this world-renowned Italian company!

    Polyglot Theatre’s Ants
    June 26 & 28 at 4:30pm, 5:45pm, & 7pm at Top of the Park
    June 27: Special, daytime pop-up performance. Times and location to be announced
    Ants is an interactive roving performance where giant ants bring children together in a gentle and intriguing landscaping project. Faced with hundreds of giant breadcrumbs and three insects, children are irresistibly drawn in to discover what the ants want them to do. Gradually a world of meaning unfolds, illustrating the human desire for order by transforming any public spaces with wavering lines and patterns, crossing adult lines and disrupting the everyday. Perfect for kids ages 1-13, Ants is an enchanting investigation into the nature of work and children’s relationship with their environment.

    Polyglot Theatre is Australia’s leading creator of experiential, interactive and installation theatre for children and families, encouraging kids to turn the simplest things into extraordinary creations. Inspired by the artwork, play and ideas of children, Polyglot creates imagined worlds where audiences actively participate in performance through touch, play, and encounter. At Polyglot, theatre is child’s play.

    The remainder of the festival’s 2018 Mainstage ticketed line-up will be announced in early April and the other 175+ admission-free events will be announced ongoing through May 1st.

    The Ann Arbor Summer Festival is an exhilarating celebration of performing arts, outdoor entertainment, and community spirit. An annual international arts gathering in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the three-week festival offers two concurrent programs—one indoor and one outdoor—at various venues and spaces across the University of Michigan campus and in downtown Ann Arbor. Each season features a progressive mix of over 175 events showcasing local, national, and international artists and a diverse audience of more than 80,000 people.

    The indoor Mainstage series includes ticketed performances of world-class music, contemporary circus, dance, family entertainment, public radio shows, and comedy. The outdoor program, Top of the Park, is held along a beautiful campus green and offers admission-free concerts, Movies by Moonlight, open-air street spectacle, culinary treats, and unique family attractions.

    The Ann Arbor Summer Festival’s admission free series located at Top of the Park runs nightly from June 8 – July 1, 2018 (dark on Mondays).

     

    The Ann Arbor Summer Festival Announces its 2018 Mainstage Series

    ANN ARBOR MI (April 9, 2018) – The Ann Arbor Summer Festival is pleased to announce its headlining Mainstage ticketed performances for the festival’s 2018 season. Festival Executive Director Mike Michelon shares, “We’re excited to embark on a season and a future that focuses on imaginative, and interactive presentation. As a part of festival’s 35th anniversary year, we’re proud to present a diverse mix of performance that includes spectacle, music icons, rising stars, and immersive experiences. Our audience has come to expect creative and engaging events that enrich our community – this will be our focus as we head towards the festival’s fourth decade. With over 175 concerts and events, the festival is the best part of summer in Ann Arbor.”

    Highlights include Ani DiFranco, Scot Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox, Acrobuffos’ Air Play, Scott Silven’s At The Illusionist’s Table, Jazzmeia Horn, and The Capitol Steps! The remainder of the festival’s 150+ admission-free events will be announced ongoing through May 1st.

    Festival Ticket Information 
    Tickets On Sale: 
    Wednesday, April 11 at 9 am ($1,000+ Members)
    Friday, April 13 at 9 am ($100+ Members)
    Monday, April 16 at 9 am (General Public) 

    By Phone: (734) 764-2538 
    Online: A2SF.org 
    In Person: Michigan League Ticket Office, 911 N. University Ave, Ann Arbor MI 48109

    Festival Venue Information
    Power Center for the Performing Arts: 121 Fletcher Street, Ann Arbor, MI 
    The Ann Arbor Club: 103 E Liberty St # 300, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
    Top of the Park: 915 E Washington St, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

    A detailed schedule of ticketed Mainstage performances follows.

    Ann Arbor Summer Festival 2018 Mainstage Series

    Ani DiFranco
    with special guest Haley Heynderickx
    Tuesday, June 5 at 7:30 pm
    Power Center
    $35-$55
    Provocative and charming, the iconic singer/songwriter, activist, poet, and auteur Ani DiFranco returns to the passionate folk rock that brought her to the world’s attention backed by a full band. One of the first artists to create her own label in 1990, she has been recognized among the feminist pantheon for her entrepreneurship, social activism, and outspoken political lyrics. At a time of global chaos and confusion, hers is a brash elegance pushing society to a better place.

    Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox
    Saturday, June 9 at 8 pm
    Power Center
    $45-$55
    Since when was Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” about an upright bass fiddle? At what point did Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” evolve into a ’20s hot jazz tune in spats and sequins? It’s all part of the saucy, vintage nouveau world of Postmodern Jukebox. From their YouTube presence of 912 million views to this Ann Arbor début, this playful revue dips into nostalgia with a dozen vocalists and a mini orchestra dressing up an unparalleled playlist of the greatest songs of modern pop in 20th century forms.

    Acrobuffos’ Air Play
    Sunday, June 10 at 1 & 4 pm
    Power Center
    $22
    Ride the wind and dream with this modern circus spectacle and poetic ode to childhood. “Making magic out of thin air” (The New York Times), the two siblings at the heart of the adventure journey through an enchanted world animated by the wind, transforming the ordinary into objects of uncommon beauty. Fabrics dance, balloons have a mind of their own, confetti turns into the night sky, and a gorgeous canopy becomes a river of silk hovering over the audience. The creation of husband and wife team Seth Bloom and Christina Gelsone, this humorous and moving interactive spectacle merges their circus and street theater performance art with the sculptural artistry of Daniel Wurtzel. With visual images seemingly sewn from the sky, and music (Yann Tiersen, Gustav Holst) that transports the audience this wondrous visual poem will enchant and electrify the young and young at heart. Best for ages 5+.

    At The Illusionist’s Table
    Tuesday, June 26 at 6:30 PM
    Wednesday, June 27 at 6:30 PM
    Thursday, June 28 at 6:30 PM
    Friday, June 29 at 6:30 PM
    Saturday, June 30 at 6:30 PM
    Sunday, July 1 at 4 PM
    Sunday, July 1 at 7 PM
    Monday, July 2 at 6:30 PM
    The Ann Arbor Club
    $200
    After sell-out runs in Manhattan and London, a sensational, immersive theater experience comes to Ann Arbor in a festival anniversary exclusive. Hosted by the world-renowned Scottish mentalist and storyteller Scott Silven, 22 strangers will share an elegant candlelit three-course meal as mesmerizing illusions complement everything from the cocktails to the dessert course. His enchanting tales from a childhood in Scotland’s Ochil Hills pair with hushed astonishment as one twist braids into another. It’s an unforgettably exquisite sensory experience combining sophisticated fare, libations, intimate conversation, and wonder that “transcends art and performance” (The Evening Times). Discover why there is a celebrity following for this smart, sophisticated engagement that had The New York Times exclaiming “Wow. Wow. Wow.” Ages 21 & up. 

    Jazzmeia Horn
    Thursday, June 28 at 8 pm
    Power Center
    $25-35
    After winning the coveted Thelonious Monk and Sarah Vaughan jazz vocal competitions, the 26-year-old breakout jazz singer Jazzmeia Horn is a talent ready to take her place alongside the best headlining jazz vocalists of today. Her spirited group performances assemble great storytelling, inspired message-giving, rich tonality, and impeccable scat-singing. Horn’s Grammy nominated début, A Social Call, proudly announces the arrival of a gorgeous, fully realized stylist.

    The Capitol Steps
    Wednesday, July 4 at 4 pm
    Power Center
    $40-$55
    In their annual 4th of July appearance, America’s foremost political satirists are gracing the Power Center stage with this year’s biggest stars—Mike Pence, Hillary Clinton, Vladimir Putin, Bernie Sanders, and those who were gone too soon—Sean Spicer, Tom Price, Rex Tillerson, and, of course, the Mooch. Everyone’s under suspicion when these former Congressional staffers poke fun at both sides of the aisle, cracking you up with song parodies like “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Korea” and “Wake Me Up In Mar-a-Lago.” Sharing new songs from Orange Is the New Barack, get ready to enjoy politics being funny again. One show only!

    The Ann Arbor Summer Festival is an exhilarating celebration of performing arts, outdoor entertainment, and community spirit. An annual international arts gathering in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the three-week festival offers two parallel programs—one indoor and one outdoor—at various venues and spaces across the University of Michigan campus and in downtown Ann Arbor. Each season features a progressive mix of over 175 events showcasing local, national, and international artists and a diverse audience of more than 80,000 people.

    The indoor Mainstage series includes ticketed performances of world-class music, contemporary circus, dance, family entertainment, public radio shows, and comedy. The outdoor program, Top of the Park, is held along a beautiful campus green and offers admission-free concerts, Movies by Moonlight, open-air street spectacle, culinary treats, and unique family attractions.

    The Ann Arbor Summer Festival’s admission free series located at Top of the Park runs nightly from June 8 – July 1, 2018 (dark on Mondays).

    For more information on all festival events, please visit the festival website: a2sf.org 

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    Anna Mae

    Anna Mae owns & operates Ann Arbor with Kids, a website dedicated to Family Activities in Ann Arbor. My husband and I moved to Ann Arbor in 2003 and our daughter joined the family in 2006.
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