Emerson Hart, Paula Nelson to play Acorn

Published 5:29 pm Thursday, December 1, 2011

Emerson Hart is the lead singer and songwriter of Tonic.

Pastiche, an open mic night, begins with signups at 6:30 p.m. This is a free evening of music, comedy, poetry and whatever evolves.

Thursdays in December
Free evening of dancing, cocktails and music videos beginning at 9 p.m.


Paula Nelson is the daughter of famed musician Willie Nelson.

The Paula Nelson Band plays a smart collection of jazzy rockers, seductive love songs and heartfelt ballads at 8 p.m. with opening act Art Croyle. Tickets are $15.

Nelson, the daughter of the famed and some say unsurpassed musician Willie Nelson, was born on Oct. 27, 1969, in Houston, Texas. Born into a family of music and entertainment, she started playing piano and singing at age 7.

She drew early influences from singers such as Jesse Colter and Rita Coolidge, whose bluesy, supple vocal style provided one of Wilson’s earliest templates as she found her own voice. Texas Monthly has called that voice “torchy,” and the Los Angeles Times praised, “There’s no missing the unforced power of Paula’s singing.”

The band finished its second European tour in March. Paula and the band have been playing together since the summer of 2004. “The chemistry between this band and I is magic both on stage and off.  I feel truly blessed to be in the company of these amazing musicians,” Wilson said.

Dec. 16
Emerson Hart, the lead singer and songwriter of the alternative rock band Tonic, performs at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $25.

Tonic’s first release, “Lemon Parade,” was a multiplatinum success, featuring the hit songs, “Open Up Your Eyes” and “If You Could Only See” the latter of which became radio’s most played rock song in 1997.  In 1999, Tonic returned with its second album and the mainstream rock hit, “You Wanted More.” In 2002, Tonic released its third LP, Head On Straight. In 2003, Tonic received two Grammy nominations – one for best Rock Performance by Duo or Group with Vocal for “Take Me As I Am,” and the second for Best Rock Album.

Emerson Hart’s father, Jennings Hart, sang for the USO and his mother, Sandra Hart, was a former television hostess. His father was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and was prescribed medicine to regulate his mental disorder, but he often resisted treatment and he and Sandra divorced in 1977.

Dec. 17
The eighth annual “Christmas at the Acorn” comes complete with complimentary hot-roasted chestnuts. Show is 8 p.m. Tickets are $25.

Show founder Robert Swan has brought together four fine singers, including Acorn favorite mezzo-soprano Martha Cares and Kurt Weill, who dazzled audiences with their interpretation of Jacques Brel.

This eclectic concoction of humor and beauty includes tenor John Concepcion›s haunting rendition of Balulalow, accompanied on the harp by Ramona Kim, and his hysterical “I Saw Daddy Choking Santa Claus,” followed by Cares’ eye-stopping version of “Santa Baby.”

Swan will sing “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire).” On the same theme, real hot-roasted chestnuts, organically fresh from Swan’s own tree, will be offered free of charge.

Organist Denny Danitschek is back, playing the famous Acorn organ, as is pianist Anatoliy Torchinskiy. Elliott Delman on guitar fills out the artistic roster with his sensitive accompaniment of“Oh Holy Night” and “I Wonder as I Wander.”

Dec. 31
“Super Happy Funtime Burlesque” returns for the third year of NY’s Eve Celebration, with a free dance party following.  Show begins at 9 p.m. Adults only. Tickets are $10.

The ensemble takes the stage with some sexy musical comedy theater. Imagine “Rocky Horror Picture Show” meets “Saturday Night Live” with a live band
Michigan’s only burlesque troupe puts on what it jokingly call a “post apocalyptic variety show.”

Part revival and part post modern, the 25-member cast and live band celebrate the art of striptease in a classic vaudeville format with a modern twist.

Dancers portray characters incorporating their striptease into satirical skits and musical numbers, magicians and stand-up comics, sideshow acts and circus feats and a smoking hot seven-piece band that covers all styles from Dixieland to disco. Its performers have been wowing audiences all over the nation and taking top honors at international burlesque festivals and events.

Acorn Theater is located at 107 Generations Drive in Three Oaks. Call (269) 756- 3879 for tickets.