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Thursday, March 18,2010

A quiet drink with friends

Director Claire Denis reveals the complex ties between four people in "35 Shots of Rum"

by James Sanford
It takes “35 Shots of Rum” for Lionel (Alex Descas) to mark a truly special occasion, and he doesn’t take that ritual lightly. There don’t seem to be many important moments in Lionel’s life: A handsome, thoughtful widower, he drives a metro train in Paris and lives with his college-age child, Josephine (Mati Diop), in a compact apartment. It’s a good thing he and Josephine get along; when they sit down to eat, there’s barely enough room at their tiny dinner table for a rice steamer, a salad bowl and a couple of plates.
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Thursday, March 18,2010

Ready for 'Rent'

Jonathan Larson's Pulitzer winner addresses issues faced by Everett High School teens, says director

by Jessica Carreras
Lansing's Everett High School has become the only school in Michigan’s lower peninsula to perform Jonathan Larson's controversial rock opera, “Rent,” which tackles such topics as sexual orientation, HIV/AIDS and drugs. But theater teacher Jim Allen isn’t worried about a backlash: He has school board approval, permission from parents of the students involved and rights to a school version of the production that is decidedly “toned down,” he says, adding that these are issues that need to be addressed — even if it’s through song.
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Wednesday, March 17,2010

Master P to masterpiece

Ella Joyce speaks for Rosa Parks in ’Rose’

by Lawrence Cosentino
“It’s the part I was born to play,” Joyce said. “I have actually felt her spirit right down inside of me on stage.” spur a court challenge to discrimina- Best known for her leading role in the tory seating practices on Montgomery socially conscious Fox sitcom “Roc,” which buses.
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Wednesday, March 17,2010

Gregarious guitars

L.A. Quartet finds strength in numbers

by Lawrence Cosentino
With arrangers like Kanengiser in the group, the entire universe of music is theirs to pillage, with one restriction: no electronics. In addition, all of the quartet’s material ' old, new, borrowed or blue ' has to make guitar sense. On Sunday’s slate, for example, is a crowdpleasing arrangement of six pieces from Bizet’s opera “Carmen.
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Wednesday, March 17,2010

Breaking new ground

by Lawrence Cosentino
On Tuesday morning, Kevin Waldman’s biggest headache was protecting big shots like architect Zaha Hadid, billionaire tycoon Eli Broad, Michigan State University president Lou Anna Simon and Gov. Jennifer Granholm from stepping in the March mud at the groundbreaking of MSU’s Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum.
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Wednesday, March 17,2010

Over my dead bodypaint

by Amy Alkon
He’s actually demanding that the bride rebook the church, the caterer, the florist, and the hall, and tell hundreds of her guests to change their plans.
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Wednesday, March 17,2010

Cemetery Symmetry

Death is only the beginning of the story in a Niffenegger novel

by Bill Castanier
Niffenegger and her writing are known for unusual goings on. Take her first book, “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” which put an unusual twist on H.G. Welles’ literary trope of time-travel. A young couple, Clare and Henry, meet, fall in love and marry. That’s where the tradition ends and Niffenegger’s imagination begins.
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Wednesday, March 17,2010

Comedic comfort food

’Opal’s Husband’ is predictable farce

by Paul Wozniak
The Starlight Dinner Theater is virtually immune to theater criticism for the same reason as summer blockbusters: It has a built-in audience. Their latest production, “Opal’s Husband,” never aims to be more than artistically clear, formulaic comic fare.
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Wednesday, March 17,2010

'Zeitoun' selected for One Book, One Community

Author Dave Eggers visits East Lansing Aug. 29

by James Sanford
The City of East Lansing and Michigan State University have selected Dave Eggers’ 2009 novel “Zeitoun” as the 2010 One Book, One Community novel. Set in New Orleans immediately after Hurricane Katrina has devastated the city, “Zeitoun” chronicles the journey of Syrian-American Abdulrahman Zeitoun, his wife, Kathy, and their four children as they face the storm’s terrifying aftermath.
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Wednesday, March 17,2010

The Screening Room

It’s ’80s redux: Remakes pour into cineplexes

by James Sanford
“I would love to see some new ideas come out of the big studios ' the remake thing is killing me,” one Facebook follower complained. “I think they have remade every cult horror movie and now they are going to remake every chees(y) ‘80s movie. I mean, what’s next.
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