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Tuesday, October 5,2010

The sound of muzhik

Gurt, Lansing Symphony roll out Russian revelry

by Lawrence Cosentino
The Russians have a proverb: The only tool you really need is an ax. Michael Gurt, a brilliant pianist with a bearish frame, untucked shirt and savage glee in his eyes, kicked through classical decorum to hew, hack and finesse his way through Tchaikovsky’s piano concerto Friday night with maestro Timothy Muffitt and the Lansing Symphony.
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Tuesday, October 5,2010

Staying power

Sarah Chang continues a lifelong journey at Wharton

by Lawrence Cosentino
To get into Sarah Chang, you have to get over Sarah Chang. It seems she has. Chang, 29, can’t believe her 20th anniversary disc is due next year. “That’s kind of shocking, actually,” the violinist said when reached by phone at a gig in Hong Kong. At first, people marveled at her, as if she came to Earth from Alpha Centauri’s accelerated conservatory of music. Since then, amazement had turned into involvement. The prodigy of prodigies has taken her listeners on a passionate, lifelong exploration of sound.
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Tuesday, October 5,2010

Picture-perfect

Photographer Mikayla Spyker is only 10 years old, but she's already competing against professionals

by James Sanford
She was recommended for the competition by her instructor, Jeana-Dee Allen. “She’s the most dedicated student,” Allen said. “She’s come to every single class, and she wants to learn anything and everything. If you ask her what is an abstract shot and what is a wide-angle picture, she can tell you.
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Tuesday, October 5,2010

'It's a Breast Thing' happens Wednesday

Event raises awareness of breast cancer

by Kritika Bharadwaj
"It's a Breast Thing," held each October, focuses on breast cancer awareness and treatment through a host of activities. But the main event must be the bra decorating contest.
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Friday, October 1,2010

The Screening Room

The misunderstood message movie

by James Sanford
It must have seemed like a great idea to all concerned back in 1981. Paramount Pictures wanted a “’Jaws’ with paws” horror film; teen star Kristy McNichol was looking for a project that would help her make the transition to adult roles; director Sam Fuller (“Shock Corridor,” “The Naked Kiss”) needed a big hit to continue his comeback.
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Friday, October 1,2010

The Screening Room

Noomi Rapace sizzles while 'Playing With Fire'

by James Sanford
At the end of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” the brilliant computer hacker Lisbeth Salander seemed to be on her way to a life of luxury. Alas, the tables are turning as “The Girl Who Played With Fire” begins, and soon Lisbeth, who once tracked down a killer by operating on the outskirts of the law, will find herself hunted and harassed.
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Friday, October 1,2010

Pinsonnault is the king in the wings in 'Fortinbras'

by James Sanford
It’s not from a lack of coffee and it’s certainly not boredom. It’s the punishing schedule he’s set up for himself, which starts with a 2:15 a.m. wake-up call for his job as the morning and noon news anchor at WLNS-TV. Typically, he would stay up for a few hours after work ' “do some physical activity, maybe play golf” ' and then get to bed around 8 p.
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Friday, October 1,2010

The Screening Room

'Social Network': A slap in the Facebook

by James Sanford
Zuckerberg is the mastermind behind Facebook and the subject of director David Fincher’s outstanding “The Social Network” (opening nationwide on Friday). The movie asks if Zuckerberg also purloined the idea for Facebook from a couple of his classmates at Harvard, wealthy identical twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.
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Friday, October 1,2010

Mother to mutha

Long-shelved 'Case 39' inspires chuckles, not chills

by James Sanford
(FRIDAY - Oct. 1) Maybe there's a sliver of truth in all those "Oscar curse" theories after all. Six years ago, Renee Zellweger took home a best supporting actress Academy Award for "Cold Mountain," in which she gave a memorably feisty performance as the tough farmwoman who teaches Civil War survival skills to lady of the manor Nicole Kidman. Since then, Zellweger has stayed busy, but her fans have stayed home.
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Friday, October 1,2010

Bloody marvelous

When the vampire next door says ‘Let Me In,’ do it

by James Sanford
Abby is one of those friends your parents warned you about. Sure, she looks nice enough — but there’s something, well, strange about her. She’s the new girl in town who doesn’t like to talk about herself. She says she’s 12, “more or less.” She walks around barefoot in the middle of winter, claiming, “I don’t really get cold.” She’s also hungry all the time, but not for candy or burgers or anything else that the typical junior high kids eat. She prefers fresh blood.
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