SUMMER Entertainment roundup


Journal Staff Writer

MARQUETTE – Some current local entertainment news of note:


“Beacon on the Rock” is being presented at 7:30 p.m. today and Sunday then again July 10-14 at Lake Superior Theatre in Marquette.

The Facebook page for the production states: “A musical celebration of our diverse heritage, and the human spirit. It is a story about people who came to this isolated region and found a way to survive the natural and social challenges. It is a story of courage, of desperation, of vision. It is also a story of hope, of pride, of laughter and tears, of the past and the future. “It is about individual freedom and communal ties. Most of all, it is about the thousands of families who left their homelands to carve out a home from unforgiving wilderness.”

For more information, visit


The public is invited to attend readings by the Upper Peninsula Poet Laureate finalists at the Vista Theater, 218 Iron St., Negaunee, at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The event is free.

The evening will include poetry readings and signings by the top five finalists for the first U.P. Poet Laureate Award: Elinor Benedict, Randall R. Freisinger, Eric Gadzinski, Austin Hummell and Russell Thorburn.

Introducing the finalists will be authors Marty Achatz, Kathleen Heideman, Beverly Matherne, M. Bartley Seigel and Janeen Rastall.

Benedict, Freisinger, Gadzinski, Hummell and Thorburn were nominated by authors, bookstores and librarians across the Upper Peninsula for the award.

Books from Snowbound. Books will be available for purchase. In addition to the authors, actors from the Peninsula Arts Appreciation Council will be reading selected works by the finalists.

A Facebook invitation for the event reads, “The poets were selected for their exceptional talent. They have been widely published and have distinguished careers in the U.P. as teachers and promoters of poetry.”

  • Elinor Benedict of Rapid River is the founding editor of the literary magazine Passages North. Her recent books include “Late News from the Wilderness” and “All That Divides Us.”
  • Randall R. Freisinger is an emeritus professor of humanities at Michigan Tech University in Houghton. His four books of poems include “Running Patterns,” “Hand Shadows,” “Plato’s Breath” and “Nostalgia’s Thread.”
  • Eric Gadzinski is an associate professor of English at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie where he was one of the founders of the LSSU creative writing program and literary journal. His poetry collections include “Lotus Eater,” “Sweetgrass” and “Road’s End.”
  • Austin Hummell is a professor of English at Northern Michigan University in Marquette. His books include “Poppy” and “The Fugitive Kind.”
  • Russell Thorburn has taught in U.P. schools through the Michigan Council of Arts and Cultural Affairs, at Marquette Branch Prison and at Northern Michigan University. He is the author of five books of poems: “Approximate Desire,” “Father, Tell Me I Have Not Aged,” “The Drunken Piano,” “The Whole Tree as Told to the Backyard” and “Misfit Hearts.”


The fifth annual Rockin’ The Bay Music Festival is set for July 12-13 at the Gladstone Yacht Club on the shores of Lake Michigan.

The event, which is a fundraiser for Boy Scout Troop 466, features two stages of continuous music.

Starting at 4:30 p.m., the July 12 lineup is Friday: Haight Ashbury from Escanaba; Feedback from Gladstone; Ross William Perry from Minneapolis; and Kelly Richey (featuring Freekbass) from Cincinnati, Ohio.

The lineup for Saturday, July 13’s performances, which begin at 3 p.m., is: Bryan Olds from Duluth, Minn.; Resolution from Escanaba; The Jam Band from Gladstone; Saint Anyway from Duluth; The Slamming Doors from Iron Range, Minn.; and Davina & The Vagabonds from Minneapolis.

Tickets are $10 for one day or $15 for two-day pass. Tickets can be purchased at: Gladstone Yacht Club, The Record Rack and Jim’s Music.

Bringing lawn chairs is recommended but pets and carry-in food or beverage are not permitted.

For more information, visit

Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her email address is