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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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Friday, March 26,2010

Identity crisis

Amanda Seyfried and Julianne Moore generate some steam in "Chloe," but a feeble finale spoils the mood

by James Sanford
The younger woman pours a steady stream of sugar into her coffee cup. Her life could use a little sweetening up: She’s Chloe, a call girl who lives out other people’s fantasies while shutting out her own. “I can become your first kiss, or a torn-out image from a Playboy magazine you saw when you were 9 years old,” she says. “I can become your living, breathing dream. Then I can disappear.”
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Wednesday, March 24,2010

OMG, it’s in A minor

Violinist Schmidt is old-school, Web-savvy

by Lawrence Cosentino
It’s a digital life for a man with an analog soul. His parents played for the Philadelphia Opera Co., so he grew up in the Academy of Music’s Great Hall, home of the legendary Philadelphia Orchestra. The lush “Philadelphia sound,” nurtured by conductors Leopold Stokowski and Eugene Ormandy, pillowed his ears from youth.
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Wednesday, March 24,2010

’April’ flowers

Strong cast brings comedy to life at Riverwalk Theatre

by Tom Helma
When Lotty meets Rose Arnott (Veronica Gracia-Wing), a plot is hatched to rent a villa, nay, a castle in the Mediterranean, for these two women (and two more) to get away from the damp and thunderous rains of April in England, as well as their husbands.
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Wednesday, March 24,2010

Moment of "poof!" likes it soggy-style

by Amy Alkon
But, it seemed like the perfect date! Well, maybe his idea of perfection is romancing the hell out of a woman, getting her into bed, and getting outta Dodge. Or maybe, he decided to never see you again, but figured he’d see you naked first.
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Wednesday, March 24,2010

Let them eat books?

Literary events bloom in April all over Lansing

by Bill Castanier
The annual Rally of Writers, an all-day workshop, is set for April 10 at Lansing Community College’s west campus. The rally includes programs on everything from writing thrillers to poetry and, according to organizer Linda Peckham, at $70 it is one of the best bargains for aspiring writers in the Midwest.
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Wednesday, March 24,2010

Spring Guide 2010

by City Pulse
March 26Suheir Hammad, 9 p.m. Abbot Café, first floor, Abbot Hall, MSUAltan, Celtic music, 7:30 p.m. Charlotte Performing Arts Center, 378 State St. $29-$36. www.CPACpresents.com“Night of Singing” with Sally Potter and Joe Hickerson, 8 p.m. Ten Pound Fiddle, 855 Grove St. $10 (...
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Wednesday, March 24,2010

Awesome ’Alegria’

Cirque spectacular provides an assortment of amazing acts

by Paul Wozniak
The themes for this show are reportedly darker than other Cirque productions, but apart from a sad clown and a few distorted face masks and disproportioned bodies, there is virtually no darkness to be found. The glittery white costumes are intricately stunning in both surreal design and unlimited movement for the performers.
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Wednesday, March 24,2010

Small town, big trouble

’Cheatin’’ is lowbrow, but high in laughs

by Paul Wozniak
The Lansing Civic Players Guild want you to know it is revamping its image. Left with the basement of its costume shop, the Players have cleaned and reformed the space into a cozy black-box setting, albeit not one with tiered seating.
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Wednesday, March 24,2010

'Blood' diluted by over-familiarity

Vivid performances make a preachy script pay off in MSU Theatre production

by Mary C. Cusack
In the blood, in the dirt, in the gutter — it’s all the same for the protagonist of “In the Blood,” a Second Stage production of Michigan State University’s Department of Theatre.Inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic novel “The Scarlet Letter,” the play’s script is not nearly as kind to its Hester. This Hester (Piaget Ventus) endures a life closer to that of Job: God, man and fate heap suffering upon her fragile frame as if she is a plate on the buffet line of misery.
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