Society Confidential: Artists take over church space for ‘Spectre’ experience

Chuck Bennett
Special to The Detroit News

Artists take over church space for ‘Spectre’ experience

JJ and Anthony Curis of Library Street Collective have treated artsy, progressive-minded Detroiters to another exciting immersive experience. Remember the interactive installation called “The Beach?” Or how about the inflatable wonderland-turned-roller rink called Rainbow City Roller Rink? Both were unforgettable Curis projects only, to be followed by a classical performance Wednesday night dubbed, “Spectre,” created in conjunction with The Detroit Sessions. Taking place in the repurposed church originally known as Annunciation, artist Jason REVOK, with the help of Bluewater Technologies, artfully filled the holy walls with original projection mapping, while violinist Roberto Gonzalez-Monjas masterfully performed two Brahms violin sonatas accompanied by pianist Ivan Moshchuk. That act was followed by a powerful two-song performance by singer/songwriter Tunde Olaniran and his extraordinary choir. The 300 invited guests enjoyed craft cocktails throughout the performance. “It was an amazing experience – exciting and invigorating and calm and peaceful at the same time,” commented Jennifer Fischer. The church was recently acquired by the Curises as a new art space. It’s complete purpose and name have not yet been determined.

The place to eat and have fun

Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera, left, and diner owner Mark Zarkin.

Mark Zarkin, who owns Steven Lelli’s on the Green in Farmington Hills, thought he’d quietly open a new spot downtown Detroit and keep it under the radar for a while until he perfected the operation. Sorry, Mark. It didn’t work out that way. Once the word got out about the awesome American food -- inexpensive, large portions -- amidst the fun and whimsical background and attitude at Grand Circus Diner, on some recent game and event nights, guests have literally lined up outside the door waiting to be seated. It also seems to be a favorite for Detroit Tigers Miguel Cabrera and Ronny Rodriguez, who show up there frequently. And even though the menu contains guilty pleasure comfort food, like chili laced with spaghetti, jumbo Vienna all beef hot dogs and a BLT that contains a half a pound of bacon, we chatted up a heart surgeon who lives nearby, who says he eats there twice a day. Grand Circus Diner is on Woodward downtown and stays open until 3 in the morning on the weekends. Better get there before the word gets out.