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Wednesday, January 28,2015

Southern discomfort

Friday Jan. 30-31

by Ty Forquer
Sometimes the most harmful racism isn’t the blatant kind, it’s the hidden kind that lurks just underneath the surface. Set in South Africa in the 1950s, Athol Fugard’s “ ‘Master Harold’… and the Boys” is the story of three men as they navigate the racial tensions of the apartheid system. While the play is set more than six decades and 8,000 miles away, its message is potent in a nation still reeling from the events surrounding the police killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
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Thursday, January 22,2015

A stranger Hmong us

New book explores the history of Michigan’s Hmong immigrants

by Bill Castanier
The Hmong are one of Michigan’s most overlooked immigrant groups, often lumped together with the Vietnamese and Cambodian peoples who fled to the U.S. following the Vietnam War. Martha Aladjem Bloomfield’s new book, “Hmong Americans in Michigan,” is an attempt to put a spotlight on this community. The Hmong are, in fact, a distinct ethnic group found in Laos, China, Thailand and Vietnam. In Michigan, the Hmong are mostly known for their community gardens, their vibrant tapestries, a cultural exhibit in Frankenmuth and a supporting role in Clint Eastwood’s 2008 movie “Gran Torino.”
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Wednesday, January 21,2015

Freedom in the air and on the wall

Absolute Gallery fuses art and music made ´for the end of time´

by Lawrence Cosentino
A half-buried, two-way tunnel runs between the camps of art and music. From Mussorgsky´s "Pictures at an Exhibition" to Jackson Pollock´s jazz-fueled drip fantasias, artists and musicians have snorted, smuggled and stolen each other´s smokes for a long time. The next concert in Absolute Gallery´s long-running chamber music series, Absolute Music, will fuse the visions of New York painter Richard Estrin with the music of a 20th-century visionary, Olivier Messiaen.
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Wednesday, January 21,2015

Minimal maximalism

Take 6 takes charge at MSU´s King tribute

by Lawrence Cosentino
The MSU College of Music trimmed away the usual oratory and commentary from this year´s Martin Luther King Jr. tribute and served up two courses of pure music. Something was lost, but something else was gained. This year´s sold-out concert bore little resemblance to the long, cathartic community sweat lodges of past years, but it was an entertaining, highly professional show that snuck in a message or two by purely musical means.
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Wednesday, January 21,2015

Rent to own

Williamston Theatre finalizes purchase of its downtown space

by Paul Wozniak
It’s official. On Dec. 30, Williamston Theatre purchased the building it has called its home since 2006. Located at 122 S. Putnam Street in downtown Williamston, the 5,000-square-foot, century-old building houses Williamston Theatre’s rehearsal and performance space as well as offices. The theater company is confidently moving into its 10th season, now as theater owners.
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Wednesday, January 21,2015

Turn it down

A survey of Lansing's musical landscape

by Rich Tupica
Lead Belly & Josh White tribute show, Friday, Jan. 23 It is the early 1940s. Blues/folk legends Lead Belly and Josh White are backstage between sets, enjoying some downtime. What do they talk about? This is the setting for the Ten Pound Fiddle’s “Black Fathers of Folk ...
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Wednesday, January 21,2015

New in town

by Allan I. Ross
Lansing gets intergalactic Wednesday with the opening of Cosmos, a wood-fired pizzeria attached to intown Zoobie’s Old Town Tavern. Co-owner Sam Short said Zoobie’s, the 2-year-old craft beer, wine and cocktail hotspot, has been successful, but demand for food has been astronomical. “I think we’re going to make a lot of people happy with the Cosmos,” he said. “Zoobie’s only has light snacks right now, but when you’re out for the evening, sometimes you want something more (substantial).”
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Wednesday, January 21,2015

Gospel à la King

Saturday Jan. 24

by Ty Forquer
Don’t expect to do a lot of sitting Saturday night at the Wharton Center because it’s going to feel like Sunday morning church. Some of gospel music’s hottest artists will perform for the Greater Lansing Area Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Commission’s fifth ann...
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Friday, January 16,2015

Book reviews: Notes from Neil

Paperback Writers

by Neil Rajala
FRIDAY, JAN. 16 — Time to get caught up on titles I've raved about in hardcover (some more than once) that have had their paperback release since. Reading groups, start your engines! Here's what we're reading:
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Wednesday, January 14,2015

Tapestry of voices

Take 6 joins MSU’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. tribute

by Lawrence Cosentino
Each year, topical threads are added to timeless ones, but warmth is always woven into the MSU College of Music’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. tribute, ”Jazz: Spirituals, Prayer and Protest.” The annual tapestry of music and spoken word will shine with a new filament Sunday. The luminous, six-piece a cappella gospel group Take 6 will shed extra light on the “prayer” part of the proceedings.
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