Matrix: Midland Festival 2011

32 Years of Showcasing the Exceptional and Innovative

Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, Local Music, National Music, Culture, Community Profiles,   From Issue 725   By: Robert E Martin

28th April, 2011     0

The MATRIX:MIDLAND festival has always carried a special place in my heart. Apart from starting its exceptional series of speakers, showcases, and innovative performances the same year that the Review started publishing, since its inception the MATRIX Festival has set a standard and benchmark for excellence in our area that is hard to match.

Over the years MATRIX has brought such prodigious writers as Joseph Heller, Norman Mailer, and P.J. O’Rourke into town; its stages have featured such iconic performers as Stevie Winwood and America; and it has featured scientific innovators ranging from Jane Goodall to cutting-edge men of physics that are too numerous to mention.

This year’s festival runs from Wednesday, May 25 through Friday, June 24th and true to form, features an eclectic array of entertainment, information, and insight. What follows is a detailed glance at the smorgasbord open to your intellect and senses to kick off the days of early summer:

The Guy Fieri Food Show
Wednesday, May 25 • 7:30 pm – Auditorium, Midland Center for the Arts
MATRIX:MIDLAND Festival 2011 opens with Guy Fieri, host of NBC’s Minute to Win It and three hit Food Network shows, mixing food, fun and Rock n' Roll on our stage!  It’s a wildly unscripted evening complete with interactive cooking stations, secret tips and dishes from his forthcoming cookbook, as well as behind-the-scenes stories from the road, and much more.  TheGuy Fieri Food Tour is sponsored by The National Pork Board.
Tickets: $25 | $35 | $50 | plus 2 exclusive seating opportunities:  $252 “Off Da Hook” Package  (SOLD OUT) & $152 “Kulinary Krew” Package
Sir Ken Robinson:  The Element:  How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything
Wednesday, June 8 • 7:30 pm – Little Theatre, Midland Center for the Arts
Sir Ken Robinson’s 2009 breakthrough book about talent, passion, and achievement provides a real platform for our futures.  It is essential information for anyone with children, unfulfilled dreams or a life still to live.  Be prepared to be inspired by one of the most forward thinkers of our time:  the video of his famous 2006 TED Conference talk has been seen by an estimated 200 million people in over 150 countries, and is currently listed on the TED website as the most favored video of all time.
Tickets:  $30 Adults | $18 Students
The StepCrew
Friday, June 10 • 8 pm – Auditorium, Midland Center for the Arts
Fall into step with the international dance sensation from Canada!  The fusion of fancy footwork stars the world’s top talents in three captivating dance styles – Irish Step, Ottawa Valley Step and Modern Tap – and three world-class fiddlers backed by an amazing five-piece ensemble comprised of some of the most talented and respected musicians in the Celtic music scene today!
Tickets:  $27 & $30 Adults | $16 & $20 Students | Family 4-Pack $69
Stacy Schiff:  Cleopatra’s Leadership Secrets
Wednesday, June 15 • 7:30 pm – Ballroom, Midland Country Club
Cleopatra’s name alone casts a spell. History remembers her as an irresistible seductress, but she was also a canny political strategist, a brilliant manager, and a tough negotiator. She knew how to build a fleet, control a currency, and quiet an insurrection.  In Cleopatra: A Life, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Stacy Schiff uncovers the life of the legendary historic figure, an individual who stood at one of the most dangerous intersections in history: that of women and power.  Refreshments and a book signing immediately following the lecture.
Tickets:  $28
Chris Botti
Saturday, June 18 • 8 pm – Auditorium, Midland Center for the Arts
Since the release of his 2004 critically acclaimed CD When I Fall in Love, GRAMMY Award-winning trumpeter Chris Botti has become the largest selling American jazz instrumental musician of all time.  A master artist and performer, he’s sold nearly three million albums worldwide, worked closely with an unparalleled roster of the world’s greatest musicians, and bridges the gap between jazz and classical music.  Hear him live when he makes a one-night stop at Midland Center for the Arts!
Tickets:  $38 | $46 | $50
Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers
Friday, June 24 • 8 pm – Auditorium, Midland Center for the Arts
Following up on his 2010 GRAMMY Award for Best Bluegrass Album, the multi-talented Steve Martin, actor/comedian/musician and bestselling author, teams up with the Steep Canyon Rangers for an extraordinary evening of toe-tapping bluegrass & banjo.
Tickets:  $48 | $55 | $62
For the latest Center news, visit their web site at    
Information and ticket prices are available online at or by calling the Ticket Office at (989)631-8250 or 800-523-7649.


Please login to comment



Current Issue


Don't have an account?