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Wednesday, March 12,2014

‘Butterflies’ affects

Timeless themes keep period piece fresh with Starlight romance

by Paul Wozniak
When community theaters stage 40-year-old plays, the results can be as stale as a forgotten bag of chips. But Starlight Dinner Theatre’s production of “Butterflies Are Free” feels fresh, lively and contemporary. Unlike Starlight’s standard lineup of broad farces, this polished revival of Leonard Gershe’s 1969 script draws its abundant laughs from the intimate pain of reality.
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Wednesday, January 15,2014

Anger management

Courtroom drama cuts like a dagger

by Paul Wozniak
“Twelve Angry Men” depicts an optimistic, if not idealistic vision of the American judicial process. The myth of a man changing his peers’ opinions through reason is the jury room equivalent to Wyatt Earp taming the West.
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Wednesday, December 11,2013

Curtain call: All in the family

Williamston serves up big laughs

by Paul Wozniak
Everything in Williamston Theatre´s latest offering, "Over the River and Through the Woods," is vivid, authentic and hilariously familiar.
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Wednesday, October 16,2013

'Crazy' in love

Starlight keeps audiences in stitches with original comedy vignettes

by Paul Wozniak
When the moon hits your eye/ Like a big pizza pie/ That’s amore. / When the humor is broad/ but the Review pace tends to plod / That’s a-“Crazy Little Thing Called Love.”
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Wednesday, October 16,2013

Die, Bard

MSU show mixes splattered blood and clever word play

by Paul Wozniak
What if the Black Plague of the 14th century turned the afflicted victims into zombies and the Review world’s most famous playwright wrote a show about it? That’s the basic premise of “William Shakespeare’s Land of the Dead,” a genre mash-up penned by John Heimbuch for fans of The Bard.
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Wednesday, October 9,2013

Ain't nothing like the real thing

Swing and a miss for Riverwalk’s Stoppard adaptation

by Paul Wozniak
Like lemon cars, theatrical productions require the breakdown of multiple factors to be truly defective. In the case of Riverwalk Theatre´s current black box production of “The Real Thing,” contributing factors to its failure are inconsistent, poor British accents and the pacing of a tranquilized turtle, among many others.
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Wednesday, September 25,2013

Keeping up with the killers

Peppermint Creek sets the original celebrity criminals to music

by Paul Wozniak
As a biographical musical love story, “Bonnie and Clyde” offers reasonable retro entertainment. The music, written by Frank Wildhorn, ranges from early jazz and blues to show stopping, shout-and-response gospel, which the cast delivers with requisite polish.
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Friday, September 20,2013

Review: 'Widows'

MSU play explores the horror of war through those left behind

by Paul Wozniak
Ariel Dorman’s play “Widows” is not fun to watch. The subject matter is grim, many characters are underdeveloped and the run time is long. However the performances in the Michigan State University Department of Theatre production, directed by Ann Folino White, are gripping and powerful, giving nuance to the high drama of courage versus cowardice.
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Wednesday, September 4,2013

50 ways to stretch a stage

Lansing area theater season takes some chances in 2013-'14

by Paul Wozniak
In most towns, an alliance of zombies, ghosts and evangelizing Mormons would mean the apocalypse is nigh, but in Lansing it means a diverse theater season that promises engaging entertainment for all ages.
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Wednesday, August 21,2013

And the Pulsar goes to ...

by Paul Wozniak
The 2013 Pulsars, recognizing the best in Lansing theatre, capped the final night of the Renegade Theatre Festival Saturday evening. Over 100 people packed the ceremony at the former Chrome Cat in Old Town.
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