Lecture to feature author of prize-winning novels

Detroit native and prize-winning mystery writer Steve Hamilton will be the speaker for the Downriver Town Hall Lecture Series program at 11 a.m. Jan. 14 at Crystal Gardens, in Southgate.

Hamilton, who graduated from the University of Michigan in 1983, won the Private-Eye Writer of America/St. Martin’s Press Award for the Best First Mystery by an Unpublished Author in 1998, followed by the Shamus and Edgar awards for Best First Novel.

The awards were for “A Cold Day in Paradise,” a story set in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula town of Paradise about Alex McKnight, a former policeman who becomes a reluctant detective.

McKnight is the key figure in the author’s series of seven mystery novels that have been translated into 12 languages.

Hamilton also wrote “Night Work,” about a probation officer in Upstate New York, and “The Lock Artist,” slated for release this month.

The author will autograph copies of his newest book and other novels after his talk.

Hamilton lives in Upstate New York with his wife and their two children. He works for IBM in the daytime and writes at night.

A limited number of tickets for the lecture will be available at the door after 10:30 a.m. Crystal Gardens is at 16703 Fort St.

The next lecture in the series is scheduled for Feb. 11, when the speaker will be NBC reporter Anne Thompson.

Four hit shows are on schedule
Four new hits are coming to Detroit beginning Jan. 29, when the “Wizard of Oz” opens and will continue through Feb. 14 at the Fisher Theatre.

The other plays are Steppenwolf’s “August: Osage County,” winner of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award, to be staged Feb. 19 through 21 at the Fisher; Mel Brooks’ new musical, “Young Frankenstein,” Feb. 23 through March 14 at the Detroit Opera House; and “Spring Awak-ening,” the winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, April 20 through May 9 at the Fisher Theatre.

Tickets for all four are available at TicketMaster locations, by going to www.ticketmaster.com or www.BroadwayInDetroit.com or by calling TicketMaster at (800) 982-2787.

The Detroit debut of the family musical “Wizard of Oz,” with its endearing characters Dorothy, Toto, the Cowardly Lion, Tin Man and the Scarecrow, will feature dazzling special effects and spectacular choreography.

Performances are planned at 7:30 Tuesdays though Saturdays, with matinees at 2 p.m. Saturdays and 1 p.m. Sundays. Sunday evening shows will be at 6:30, with the exception of Feb. 14. when there will be no performance.

Tickets range from $24 to $79. Additional information about the musical is available at www.wizardofozontour.com.

Coming up . . .
Jan. 8, 9, 10 — Auditions for the Southern Great Lakes Symphony’s Downriver Idol contest, which seeks singers of all types of music; preregistration fee of $5 re-quired; for audition schedule, locations and additional in-formation, call (734) 246-2890 or go to www.sgls.org.

Jan. 12, 13 — Performances by Lady Gaga, “The Monster Ball Tour”; 7:30 p.m. at Joe Louis Arena (the venue has been changed from the Fox Theatre because the production is so large); ticketholders must obtain new tickets, available at the point of purchase; for more infor-mation, call (800) 653-8000 or contact TicketMaster at www.ticketmaster.com/h/asktm.html.

Jan 14. — Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber’s 7th Annual Member Tribute, 5:30 p.m. at the Downriver Italian-American Hall, 646 Biddle, Wyandotte; tickets, $15 per person, include hors d’oeuvres and refreshments; for tickets or more information, call (734) 284-6000.