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Wednesday, January 16,2013

Leaning on love

MSU's annual musical King tribute stretches a big tent bigger

by Lawrence Cosentino
Michigan State University's annual musical and spoken word tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. is still known by its original name, "Jazz: Spirituals, Prayers and Protest" — a big tent to begin with — but MSU Jazz Studies chief Rodney Whitaker keeps stretching it bigger and bigger.
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Wednesday, January 16,2013

Family feud

Dysfunction delights in epic drama

by Paul Wozniak
It's one of the basic rules of storytelling: your own family's dysfunction makes you neurotic; someone else's dysfunction is good drama (or comedy, as the case may be). The clan in "August: Osage County" is the epitome of gothic drama, complete with drugs, death and pedophilia.
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Wednesday, January 16,2013

New in town

Secrets Nightclub & The House of Eden Rock

by ALLAN I. ROSS
Over the last couple months, downtown Lansing bars J's Pub (formerly Brannigan Brothers), Secrets Nightclub (formerly Club X-Cel) and The House of Eden Rock (formerly the Wild Beaver Saloon) have made changes ranging from complete internal renovations to a simple change of signage. I told you about J's Club’s transformation last month; now let's take a look at those other two.
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Wednesday, January 16,2013

Turn it down

A survey of Lansing's musical landscape

by Rich Tupica
While he may spend his days teaching and selling at Elderly Instruments, at night Elden Kelly impresses audiences with his vocals and virtuoso guitar skills. His eclectic jazz style blends a broad range of music traditions Aside from his six-string abilities, Kelly has also developed a syncretic style on the Arabic oud, the Turkish cumbus and the Glissentar, an 11-string fretless guitar.
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Wednesday, January 16,2013

Re-gifting 'The Gift'

Conceptual art exhibit enters final stage: the walls of strangers

by Dana Casadei
If you have a portrait hanging in your living room, chances are it's from a major life milestone —a graduation, a wedding, the beginning of a senior year — and certainly of someone you know. But the 1,182 Lansing-area people who took part in "The Gift," one of the debut exhibits at the recently opened Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, have been tasked with displaying large-scale, black-and-white photographs of complete strangers in their homes.
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Wednesday, January 9,2013

The sweet smell of failure

At 50, MSU grad Rose Cooper brings hope to slackers everywhere

by Lawrence Cosentino
Inspiration can be a drag. Take the guilt-inducing paragons who taunt us on the interstate: "Climbed Everest. Blind." Desmond Tutu, Steve Jobs, Jackie Robinson. Sure, we can relate. Thank God, millions of mortal screw-ups have Lansing's Rose Jangmi Cooper, the singing motorcycle dreadlock woman, to look up to.
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Wednesday, January 9,2013

Wooed, wowed and overwhelmed

Lansing Symphony, violinist Philippe Quint go for the jugular in first concert of 2012

by Lawrence Cosentino
Imagine two contrasting romantic scenes. In the first, a beautiful person comes into sudden view, coils around you and bite-kisses your lower lip without mercy for about 17 minutes. In the second, you spot a breathtaking beauty under a waterfall in the woods, sit down and swoon quietly on a crag for an hour, unobserved.
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Wednesday, January 9,2013

Potent notables

Annual event celebrates Michigan-based literature

by Bill Castanier
The 11-year-old program Michigan Notable Books, which is coordinated by the Library of Michigan, highlights local authors and stories and promotes reading. To be selected, books must be published in the previous calendar year and must be about Michigan (or the Great Lakes region) or written by an author with Michigan ties.
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Wednesday, January 9,2013

'Current' talk

WKAR launches bold new daily radio show focusing on local content

by ALLAN I. ROSS
When 90.5 WKAR-FM debuted in October 1948, it was Lansing's first FM radio station. For most of its 64 years, it has been content to broadcast public radio fare like "All Things Considered" and classical music while the rest of the dial slowly filled up with whipper-snapper commercial stations.
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Wednesday, January 9,2013

Staying on her toes

Actress draws on a lifetime of theater for role in 'Billy Elliot'

by ALLAN I. ROSS
For eight years, "Billy Elliot the Musical" has been racking up awards and knocking audiences out on both sides of the Atlantic. Whether it's Elton John's rousing music or the story's believe-in-yourself-no-matter-what-others-say sensibilities, the show seems to be that rare adaptation that's every bit as good as its source material. Local audiences will find out for themselves on Tuesday when the Tony Award-winner for Best Musical pirouettes across the Wharton Center's stage.
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