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Wednesday, February 2,2011

Turn it Down: A survey of Lansing’s musical landscape

by Rich Tupica
In the 1950s, he formed the Bluenotes with pianist Joe Weaver, which led to gigs with John Lee Hooker, Big Joe Turner, Ruth Brown and Eddie Burns. He also played in the house band for Detroit’s Fortune Records label, where he recorded with Detroit legends Nolan Strong & the Diablos and Andre Williams.
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Wednesday, February 2,2011

Off the screen and onto the stage

Alan Mingo Jr. follows in Eddie Murphy's famous hoofprints as Donkey in 'Shrek: The Musical'

by James Sanford
“I don’t do impersonations, and that was a struggle at first,” Mingo said. For millions of moviegoers, Donkey will always be associated with Eddie Murphy, who voiced the character in the quartet of “Shrek” features. Mingo’s strategy was to remain true to the character while putting his own spin on the performance.
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Wednesday, February 2,2011

The Screening Room

Overlooked by Oscar, but worth looking into

by James Sanford
There are only so many slots available in each Academy Awards category, which means there will always be worthy performances and notable films that will go unrecognized. Several of them have just been released on DVD and Blu-ray. The Academy voters may not have seen them, but you should.
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Wednesday, February 2,2011

Curtain Call

New visions of classic tragedies

by Christopher Horb
Director Tony Caselli knows that “Oedipus” may be a hard sell to mainstream audiences. After all, most people only know Sophocles’ classic tale for its most sensational element: the title character’s murder of his father and marriage to his own mother.
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Wednesday, February 2,2011

A variety of voices

Audience participation is key at Mid-Winter Singing Festival

by Alyssa Gienapp
Another community sing ' known as Michigania! ' closes out Saturday. Six Michigan singers will lead the crowd in songs from the 1920s to the 1990s, and Rachel Alexander, the founder of Lansing’s womens’ chorus Sistrum will direct the All Comer’s Festival Choir.
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Wednesday, February 2,2011

A Super Bowl party with a purpose

Sir Pizza fund-raiser benefits Guatemalans

by Alyssa Gienapp
Super Bowl Sunday will offer a chance for local residents to help provide health care in Guatemala. Sir Pizza Grand Caf' in Old Town is holding an event at 6 p.m. Feb. 6, to help raise funds for Michigan State University students and teachers venturing on a two-week mission to the reg...
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Wednesday, February 2,2011

Occasus releases new CD

It's the metal band's second in two years

by Alyssa Gienapp
Last Saturday night, the Blackened Moon Concert Hall was filled with smoke, booze and local Lansing metal bands, as Occasus held its CD release party. “The metal scene tries to help each other out,” said Eric Potts, guitarist of Occasus. “The rap scene in Lansing is more cutthroat, but we invited our friends to come play.”
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Tuesday, February 1,2011

The Case of the Redeemed Hitman

True love blooms between gun battles in Purple Rose's 'Corktown'

by Tom Helma
CHELSEA — At first squint and frown, “Corktown,” now playing at the Purple Rose Theater, appears to be nothing more than the latest incarnation of the hit-man-with-a-heart-of-gold genre popularized in crime novels by Elmore Leonard, on the big screen by “Pulp Fiction,” and on HBO by “The Sopranos.”
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Friday, January 28,2011

The darkest shades of love

Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling hold back nothing in bruising 'Blue Valentine'

by James Sanford
“Have we become a habit? Do we distort the facts? Now, there’s no looking forward; now, there’s no turning back.” The words come from an old Pat Benatar hit, “We Belong,” but they perfectly express what’s going through the mind of Cindy (Michelle Williams) in “Blue Valentine.” Benatar’s ballad sounds like a fiery ode to the power of passion — until you pay close attention to the lyrics: “Whatever we deny or regret, for worse or for better, we belong together.” Perhaps Cindy is figuring out the underlying meaning of the song for the first time while she listens to it as she drives to work. She is slowly, reluctantly facing the realization that she can’t keep going down the same road.
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Thursday, January 27,2011

Questioning the questioner

'Happy Holy Days' has humor, although its insights are debatable

by Mary C. Cusack
“Happy Holy Days”, an original work written and directed by Michigan State University Theatre Head of Acting and Directing Rob Roznowski, tells the rather unhappy tale of one woman’s lifelong struggle to make peace with herself, her loved ones, and maybe her maker. If she has one. She’s not always sure about that, which is the crux of the play.
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