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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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Wednesday, August 21,2013

Corn's ready, music's ripe

Mason’s ‘Song of the Summer’ is the Sun Dried Music Festival

by Paul Wozniak
Surrounded by cornfields, with a population under 9,000, Mason is not a metropolis. But the Ingham County seat’s annual homegrown “Sun Dried Music Festival” is turning this sleepy town into an end-of-summer attraction.
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Wednesday, August 14,2013

Renegade upgrade

Theater festival back with new features

by Paul Wozniak
Lansing’s Old Town district transforms into a giant stage this weekend at the 8th Annual Renegade Theatre Festival. Actually, it’s more like 11 stages, featuring classic and new works from nearly every theater company in town, along with music performances and storytelling events, but who’s counting.
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Wednesday, August 7,2013

Odd 'Duck'

Performances shine through off-kilter Mitch Albom script

by Paul Wozniak
Over the Ledge Theatre Co.’s production of Mitch Albom’s “Duck Hunter Shoots Angel” is A.) a caricature of Southern stereotypes; B.) a multi-pronged tragic-comedy with pseudo-“Twilight Zone” plot twists; or C.) an oversimplified commentary on racial/cultural relations.
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Wednesday, July 3,2013

A hundred years of invisibility

Making a living in show business 'in the middle of the cornfields'

by Paul Wozniak
he Wharton Center stage teemed with people and activity Saturday night, but the plush red seats in the audience sat empty. Banquet tables loaded with freshly grilled steaks and ribs, poster boards covered in photos and a light splash on the floor were not aspects of an elaborate touring Broadway production.
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Wednesday, June 5,2013

Swann song

Riverwalk closes season with musical comedy adaptation

by Paul Wozniak
In live TV of the 1950s, you had one chance to get it right; blow that entrance, line or dance step, and millions of viewers witnessed your screw-up. The same is true, of course, of live theater and Riverwalk Theatre's "My Favorite Year," a musical set in the salad days of television, too often demonstrates the pitfalls of minimal preparation.
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