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Wednesday, November 17,2010

Signing up a storm

David Sedaris treats fans to ’Squirrel’ stories

by Paul Wozniak
However, perversions and grotesque details never make up the heart of his stories. Nor do they reflect the character of a man who, according to Schuler’s promotions coordinator Whitney Spotts’ introduction of Sedaris, sends every person working at each book-signing event a handwritten thank-you note.
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Wednesday, October 27,2010

Channeling history

'Farnsworth Invention' electrifies at Riverwalk

by Paul Wozniak
From presidential inaugurations to assassinations, a man walking on the moon to miners stepping out of a caved-in mine, live television has fundamentally changed how we see the world. While the story behind the invention of the electronic television is at least worthy of a made-for-TV movie, Aaron Sorkin's "The Farnsworth Invention" was, ironically, written for the stage. Riverwalk Theatre brings this compelling drama to life with polished production values, a strong leading cast — and limited commercial interruptions.
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Wednesday, October 6,2010

Camping it up in the castle

’Fortinbras’ puts ham back into ’Hamlet’

by Paul Wozniak
Whether you are in or out of the Shakespeare camp, "Fortinbras" simply requires a love of "camp." Currently running at Riverwalk Theatre’s Blackbox Stage, Lee Blessing’s bawdy, crowd-pleasing "Hamlet"skewering joke mill falls over itself with clever references to "Hamlet," mocking its literary interpretations and masterpiece status.
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Tuesday, September 28,2010

Ticking into the future

MSU's 'American Clock' is an often striking look at the 1930s

by Paul Wozniak
As our current recession seems to be winding down, the Michigan State University Department of Theatre has wound up "The American Clock" by Arthur Miller. As Miller’s "Death of a Salesman" is an intense close-up of a troubled man, "Clock" is an expansive wide shot of a troubled nation struggling through the Great Depression. However, director Tony Caselli (artistic director of Williamston Theatre) proves that with the right music, even a disjointed series of vignettes can be turned into a cohesive anthem.
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Wednesday, September 15,2010

Ambitious 'Caroline' isn't small change

by Paul Wozniak
They couldn’t find one. The story of a Caroline, a poor black maid working for a Jewish family in 1963 Louisiana to support her precocious children, could easily have been sugar-coated by a score of radio-friendly hits about the struggles for equality.
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Wednesday, September 15,2010

'Brigadoon' hits music, misses drama

by Paul Wozniak
What if thy built a condo on the plot of land where the magical town of Brigadoon appears from the mist for only one day every 100 years? Would the villagers wake up to urban sprawl? Thankfully, in a sense, “Brigadoon” creators Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe were not concerned with logical, real-world possibilities.
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Wednesday, August 4,2010

Less is Moor

Outdoor 'Othello' works effectively

by Paul Wozniak
“Bare bones” blatantly describes the design elements of Shakespeare on the Grand’s "Othello" in its current form.
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Wednesday, July 28,2010

’Hairy’ plotter

A boogieman haunts the bayou backwaters in fun frightfest ’Wiley’

by Paul Wozniak
Rounding out the cast is Garrett Clinard as Wiley’s trusty hound Dog, as well as a chorus of trees, vines, prickly bushes and many other malleable conjurations made of Jan Anderson, Carol Ferris, Jennifer Dachtler, Jayke Pell and Bob Murrell..
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Wednesday, July 21,2010

Can you taste the ’Love’ tonight?

Williamston Theatre cooks up summer fun with a zany musical

by Paul Wozniak
“Five Course Love” may be light fare from a dramatic standpoint, but it is certainly a tasty and satisfying dish worth trying. A musical that fits cozily on the Williamston Theatre stage, “Five Course Love” offers a variety of flavors for a broad palate, with plenty of spices thrown in as well.
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Friday, June 25,2010

'Wonderland' express

Summer Circle production full of fun physicality and imagination

by Paul Wozniak
Playtime with children can often be a surreal experience while their imaginations are still free and untethered by the constraints of growing older. Thus is MSU Summer Circle’s current interpretation of Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland" (directed by Mary Job) the odyssey of a child at play being regulated and warped by slightly older children.
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