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Wednesday, February 18,2015

Curtain call: Fantastic voyage

Ixion Theatre brings the outlandish tales of Louis de Rougemont to life

by Mary C. Cusack
Ixion Theatre’s latest production, “Shipwrecked! An Entertainment — the Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (as Told by Himself)” is the polar opposite of its last play. Review “Topdog/Underdog” was gritty, intense and tragic, while “Shipwrecked!” is innocent, charming and cute. And while “Topdog” benefited from the bare and intimate space of the AA Creative Corridor, “Shipwrecked!” would benefit from a space that offers better light and sound effects. The play is based on the real-life and imagined exploits of one Henri Grin. In the late 1800s, Grin created a fantastical (and mostly fictional) biography, under the pseudonym Louis de Rougemont, which he sold to London’s Wide World Magazine.
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Wednesday, February 18,2015

Turn it down

A survey of Lansing's musical landscape

by Rich Tupica
Dirk Powell and Riley Baugus at the Ten Pound Fiddle, Friday, Feb. 20 Fiddler Dirk Powell and banjoist/guitarist Riley Baugus bring their oldtime music expertise to the Ten Pound Fiddle. Deeply rooted in Appalachian heritage, both members of the duo are highly regarded in the American...
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Wednesday, February 18,2015

New in town

by Allan I. Ross
Just to be clear: There’s nobody named Dan behind the scenes at Dan’s Coney Island — at least not now. The fledgling diner on Lansing’s south side may coincidentally hire an eponymous member to its crew someday, but no Dan yet. Instead, owner/ operator John Gjidoda came up with the name by taking the first initial from each of his three kids. Given that those three letters could have also formed an acronym for the molecule that carries the genetic instructions for life, a conjunction or a slang nickname for a very sensitive body part, “Dan” seems like a fine choice.
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Wednesday, February 18,2015

Beyond Batman

Feb. 20

by Jonathan Griffith
The mainstream comics industry is something of a mess these days. The big two, Marvel and DC Comics, are so busy grooming their characters in hopes of making millions of dollars with movie adaptations that revisions and reboots have become as expected as Batman handing the Joker his own teeth. With so much effort to turn the medium into a multi-media product, it can be easy to overlook the fact that comic books can achieve an artistry that few other mediums can.
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Wednesday, February 18,2015

Kickinī brass

Capital City Brass Band prepares for its upcoming competition

by Ty Forquer
When you hear the term “brass band,” your mind may take you to the streets of New Orleans and the clamor of Bourbon Street. Many people are unaware, however, there is an entirely different style of brass band, rooted in centuries of British history. This unique style will be on display Saturday when the 40 members of Lansing’s own Capital City Brass Band take the stage. “The sound is really like nothing else,” says band member Daniel Alt. “It’s a homog enous sound, it really blends from top to bottom.”
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Wednesday, February 11,2015

Curtain call: The joint is jumpin’

‘Ain’t Misbehavin’’ overcomes early difficulties to put on a rousing performance

by Tom Helma
Kudos to the brave soul was who climbed the precarious ladder up to Riverwalk Theatre’s sound booth to let sound technician Leon Greene know that the first six musical numbers of the Fats Waller musical revue were at an excruciating volume — even for this reviewer who is 90 percent deaf in one ear. Three people in the third row got up and left after two decibel-blasting numbers. Others were seen holding their hands up to their ears, an entirely new twist on blowing the audience away.
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Wednesday, February 11,2015

Drawing on experience

Scott McCloud puts theory into practice in his first graphic novel

by Bill Castanier
Many comic book collectors, scholars and aficionados call Scott McCloud the “grandfather of comics,” but it may be more accurate to call him the “Yoda of comics” because of his singular ability to describe comics in terms of meaning, form and function. The reason for these platitudes is McCloud’s 1993 book “Understanding Comics,” the first book to explain the theory of comics and how words and pictures work together to tell a story. He followed that with “ Reinventing Comics” (2000) and “Making Comics” (2006), creating a triptych that is used in virtually every comic book class taught in the world.
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Wednesday, February 11,2015

Curtain call: Together at last

Two Lansing theater veterans share the stage in ‘The Best Brothers’

by Mary C. Cusack
Williamston Theatre is entering a new chapter with the purchase of the building it has inhabited since 2006. Its first production since the purchase is historic as well: pairing two respected theater professionals and friends on stage together for the first time. It’s a small shame that the play, “The Best Brothers,” isn’t the best script to celebrate this monumental occasion.
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Wednesday, February 11,2015

Turn it down

A survey of Lansing's musical landscape

by Rich Tupica
Chris Bathgate returns to Macīs Bar, Thursday, Feb. 12 Pinckney-based indie-folk songwriter Chris Bathgate returns Thursday to Mac’s Bar for an all-ages show. Openers are Streaking in Tongues, Mudwest, Joshua Barton & Seerstones and Molly Sullivan. Bathgate has a distinct fo...
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Wednesday, February 11,2015

New in town

by Allan I. Ross
Before Carl Lewis, Jeff Bezos and President Barack Obama made it to the top of their respective fields, they all worked in fast food — Olympic Gold medalist Lewis and Amazon founder Bezos worked at McDonald’s; the POTUS’ first job was scooping ice cream at Baskin-Robbins. “People like to make fun of fast workers, but it’s an extremely challenging profession if you apply yourself,” says Tim Ellis. Ellis is owner of WOW Hospitality, a consulting company specializing in launching new restaurants.
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