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Wednesday, March 31,2010

'Song' sung blue

Miley Cyrus: Still a girl, not yet an actress in her dramatic debut 'The Last Song'

by James Sanford
Miley Cyrus fans, don’t say you weren’t warned. Remember how “The Hannah Montana Movie” took a serious turn in the last half-hour, with Miley suffering an identity crisis? Consider that a warm-up for “The Last Song,” in which Cyrus tackles her first straight dramatic role. Despite the title, she does very little singing in the film (aside from a scene in which she belts out Maroon 5’s “She Will Be Loved” along with the radio); she also doesn’t do much in the way of persuasive emoting, either.
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Wednesday, March 31,2010

The Screening Room

Cyrus is still a girl, not yet an actress in ’The Last Song’

by James Sanford
Remember how “The Hannah Montana Movie” took a serious turn in the last halfhour, with Miley suffering an identity crisis? Consider that a warm-up for “The Last Song,” in which Cyrus tackles her first straight dramatic role.
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Wednesday, March 31,2010

’Mars’ madness

It’s Halloween hysteria in Williamston comedy based on radio mix-up

by Brandon Kirby
Recipient of the 2009 Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award, “It Came from Mars” is a world premiere collaboration between Williamston Theatre and Ann Arbor’s Performance Network. The screwball comedy has a pay-what-youcan preview performance at 8 p.
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Monday, March 29,2010

Building a ‘bond of respect’

MSU conference seeks to dispel myth surrounding Muslims’ connection to violence, terrorism

by Jessica Carreras
There’s no question Muslims deal with a fair amount of stigma in the United States. Negative images in the media, combined with the instilled fear of terrorism, have left Americans wondering whom they can direct their anger and panic at. In many cases, the answer has been the nation’s own Muslim American communities. But Farha Abbasi, a resident in Michigan State University’s department of psychiatry, is aiming to change that.
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Sunday, March 28,2010

Turn It Down

Keeler taps into 'Water'

by Rich Tupica
In 2008, after graduating from Columbia College in Chicago with a music composition degree, Keeler’s sound began to morph into a polished blend of Sam Cooke-style soul and Tom Waits, while still staying true to his ‘90s alternative roots ' which shows in his debut solo album “The Cold” (2008).
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Sunday, March 28,2010

Wharton Center has everything from "Mary" to "Jersey"

2010-11 Broadway season also includes "Shrek the Musical," "9 to 5"

by James Sanford
It’s fresh, and yet it’s also familiar — that’s what you might think when you see the Wharton Center’s Broadway line-up for 2010-11.
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Saturday, March 27,2010

Lopsided love

MSU opera has high Juliettitude, low Romeosity

by Lawrence Cosentino
An insidious thought came to me during MSU Opera Theatre’s energetic “Miami Vice” remake of Charles Gounod’s 1867 Shakespearean opera “Romeo et Juliette.” I could flee the hall at halftime — that’s March madness for entr’acte — and walk away whistling the happy marriage duet that ends the opera’s first half. By the time stabbed and poisoned bodies started to pile up on stage, I could have been sipping a latte at Biggby’s while catching up on Kyle Melinn’s column. Even the opera’s doomed lovers agreed to this in principle: Better to slip out of the bedchamber while the nightingale is still singing, before the lark summons the cruel dawn. But I didn’t, and I’m glad. I would have missed the best part of the show.
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Saturday, March 27,2010

Wharton 2010-11 Season Schedule

by James Sanford
MSU FEDERAL CREDIT UNIONBROADWAY AT WHARTON CENTER: MaryPoppins *(Extendedrun) November3-21, 2010 9to 5 December14-19, 2010 Shrek February 8-13, 2011 Jersey Boys *(Extendedrun) Sept. 28-October 16, 2011 SPECIAL...
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Friday, March 26,2010

Putting the punch in punchline

The humor of "Greenberg" is acidic — and unexpectedly touching, too

by James Sanford
“Are you going to let me in?” That’s what Florence (Greta Gerwig) murmurs as she navigates the traffic on a busy Los Angeles street. She might ask the same question of the title character in “Greenberg,” writer-director Noah Baumbach’s acidic comedy, in which Ben Stiller plays a stubborn slacker who spends his days fashioning personal crusades out of minor inconveniences and wallowing in nostalgia, although it’s hard to imagine his supposed glory days were anymore glorious than his seemingly pointless present-day situation.
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Friday, March 26,2010

'How to Train Your Dragon': Fantasy battle reflects real-world wars

A beautifully animated, often funny adventure touches on some serious topics

by James Sanford
“Our parents’ war is about to become ours,” a young girl tells her friend in a new film. “Figure out what side you’re on.” All around them they see destruction and chaos, the result of being under siege by a culture they don’t understand. Some of these enemies set themselves on fire in order to kill more effectively. Many of the warriors who join in the battle come home with missing limbs. The rationale behind the fighting is vague. “They’ve killed hundreds of us!” a father warns his son. “And we’ve killed thousands of them!” the son replies. Given those kinds of details, you might think the movie is set in Iraq or Afghanistan or the Gaza Strip. It’s not
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