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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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Wednesday, March 24,2010

Secrets of Cirque

’Language of performance’ unites an international cast

by James Sanford
“We have performers from 17 different countries,” senior artistic director Michael Smith noted as he observed his artists preparing for a stopover of the “Alegria” spectacular in Detroit in February. “We’re very multi-national. That’s the best part of working at Cirque.
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Wednesday, March 24,2010

'Romeo & Juliette' and Miami Beach?

Michigan State University promises "fun and funky" twist on Shakespearean opera

by Brandon Kirby
It’s Shakespeare meets “Miami Vice” as the Michigan State University Opera Theatre takes on Charles Gounod’s “Romeo et Juliette.” The French-language adaptation of the Shakespearean tragedy has been transferred to 1980s Miami Beach.
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Wednesday, March 24,2010

Building ’Cider House’

LCC stages Part One of epic play

by Brandon Kirby
Written by Peter Parnell and adapted from the novel by John Irving, “The Cider House Rules” tells the story of an orphan named Homer Wells in 1920s Maine who resides in St. Cloud’s orphanage. Wilbur Larch, the head doctor at the orphanage, becomes a father figure to Homer and takes him under his wing as an apprentice.
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Tuesday, March 23,2010

On bags and bungling

by MIKE SOUTER
When you travel as much as I do, it’s not surprising that,occasionally, a piece of luggage fails to arrive when it is supposed to.Inthirty years of travel writing, my checked in bag has failed to appearon the carousel on no more than three or four occasions. With oneexception, they ...
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Tuesday, March 23,2010

White Rose hosts Battle of Bands preliminaries

Technical problems don't rattle rockers as they vie for an Ionia Free Fair slot

by Jack In Black
The Battle of Bands preliminaries were held March 20 at Riedy’s White Rose Café in downtown Charlotte; the winning group goes on to compete at the Battle of Bands this summer at the Ionia Free Fair on July 23.Riedy’s White Rose Café is a pleasant two-story bar/restaurant. The contest was held upstairs in a large rectangular room with red brick walls and high ceilings. It was not built for optimal acoustic properties.
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Thursday, March 18,2010

Fruits and Leaves opens Thursday

The produce market features ethnic groceries from India, the Middle East and Mexico

by Joe Torok
Co-owners Kevin Watersian and Rushit Bhimani opened on Monday, March 15 with a limited selection of dry goods, but the store will be fully stocked with produce by Thursday.
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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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