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Wednesday, January 14,2015

Hey, elk, look up

Symphony, guest cellist bring great outdoors to Wharton concert

by Lawrence Cosentino
For all the fiddlers, fandooglers and foom-boomers crowding the stage at Saturday’s Lansing Symphony concert, two distinct figures linger in my mind. I’ll start with the obvious one: Soloist Bion Tsang. For better or worse, in motion or stasis, through reverie and hysteria, the evening’s guest cellist made it impossible to take your eyes off of him. Not that he was showing off. He seemed determined to take a seemingly cornball piece of music, Tchaikovsky’s “Variations on a Rococo Theme,” and wring maximum meaning and drama from every bit. He was all business, ear cocked for every cue from the orchestra and maestro Timothy Muffitt.
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Wednesday, January 14,2015

Intensity and intention

Riverwalk’s ´The Sea Gull´ takes Chekhov out of Russia

by Tom Helma
Two gunmetal gray, stark cold cemetery benches flank the stage of Riverwalk Theatre, awaiting audience members who shuffle in from the gunmetal gray, stark cold Lansing winter. Welcome to Jean-Claude van Itallie’s adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s “The Sea Gull.”
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Wednesday, January 14,2015

Turn it down

A survey of Lansing's musical landscape

by Rich Tupica
Cheap Girls, Split Single at Mac´s Bar, Friday, Jan. 16 Still pumped from its latest power-pop release, the “Famous Graves” LP, Cheap Girls returns to its home turf of Mac’s Bar for a headlining gig. Those who buy advance tickets online get a free poster. Warming up t...
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Wednesday, January 14,2015

A history of nonviolence

MLK biopic gets a lot right at exactly the right time

by Allan I. Ross
“Selma” comes along at the right time and with precisely the right message to give hope for a nation that still needs to proclaim #blacklivesmatter. The Martin Luther King Jr. biopic has none of the sweeping grandeur that made Richard Attenborough’s “Gandhi” (about King’s idol) pure Oscar bait or any of the deft filmmaking touches that gave Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X” (about King’s political converse) a burning urgency. “Selma” is a quiet, contemplative film that grounds King’s nonviolent methods in the humdrum world of political red tape and systemic racism.
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Wednesday, January 14,2015

New in town

New Thai Kitchen

by Allan I. Ross
Two years ago, when Ying Xiong sold his East Lansing restaurant, Thai Kitchen, 2843 E. Grand River Ave., he thought he was done with the food business. “The (restaurant’s) new owner came in one day and asked how much I wanted for it,” Xiong says with a little smile. &...
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Wednesday, January 14,2015

Requiem for a (SCENE)?

East Lansing art gallery’s fate is uncertain

by Ty Forquer
Since 2004, East Lansing’s (SCENE) Metrospace, 110 Charles St., has provided a venue for risk-taking visual and performance art to be showcased. But faced with a tightening budget, the city — which has co-funded the gallery’s six annual exhibitions with the support of private donations — has been quietly looking for ways to get out from under the financial burden without skimping on its dedication to art and placemaking. Enter Michigan State University.
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Wednesday, January 14,2015

Queens of comedy

Friday, Jan. 16

by Ty Forquer
The Women’s Center of Greater Lansing is serious about its mission to help Lansing women, but it will take a break to laugh this weekend as it presents the 10th annual “She Laughs” fundraiser. The event will feature standup comedy from four Lansing-area women. Headlining the show is comedian Kate Brindle, who recently moved to East Lansing to pursue a doctorate in law at Michigan State University.
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Friday, January 9,2015

Book reviews: Notes from Neil

Getting Caught Up

by Neil Rajala
FRIDAY, JAN. 9 — Spending the last few weeks of the year recapping things I've already written about, while great fun, does cause me to miss a book or two that came out near the end of the year that truly deserve to be mentioned. Here are two significant titles that fit that description and will amply reward the time you spend with them. Here's what we're reading:
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Thursday, January 8,2015

Pinsonn-OUT

WLNS anchor, man-about-town leaves Lansing for Los Angeles

by Allan I. Ross
In 1971, iconic Detroit news anchor Bill Bonds, who died last month, popped up briefly in “Escape from the Planet of the Apes.” Five years later, his station mate at WXYZ-TV, Diana Lewis, cameoed in “Rocky.” Neither strayed far from their field of expertise — they both played reporters — and they both returned to their real jobs when filming was complete. For them, apparently, showbiz was just a moonlighting gig.
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Wednesday, January 7,2015

‘The Voice’ by proxy

Cellist Bion Tsang sings with a cello at Saturday’s Lansing Symphony concert

by Lawrence Cosentino
Austin-based cellist Bion Tsang, guest soloist for Saturday’s Lansing Symphony concert, coaches youth football, loves to roughhouse with his three young kids and has a great laugh. He sounds like a guy most people can relate to. Yes and no.
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