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Wednesday, February 15,2012

Tutu good to be true

There’s more than meets the eye when Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo takes the stage

by Paul Wozniak
Since its inception in 1974, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo has been keeping the ballet world on its toes — male toes, that is. The all-male repertory company from New York continues its almost 40-year legacy of sending up classical and contemporary ballet pieces in drag.
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Wednesday, February 8,2012

Have knife, will travel

Splendid 'Shoes' finds humor — and horror —in the Old West

by Paul Wozniak
The stakes are higher and the situation more dire in Williamston Theatre’s world premiere of Joseph Zettelmaier’s “Dead Man’s Shoes.” By placing his character’s lives at risk, the renowned Michigan playwright creates real suspense with his latest work. At its heart, “Dead Man’s Shoes” is a comical examination of unlikely friendships and coincidental meetings.
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Thursday, February 2,2012

Lighter side of darkness

'Addams Family' haunts the Wharton Center

by Paul Wozniak
Itīs yet another adaptation of the Charles Addams cartoons, this time for the Broadway stage. But this show is hardly a reanimated sellout. It is mostly funny and highly entertaining for its target audience, which would be parents who were raised on the 1960s TV show.
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Wednesday, February 1,2012

Finding her 'Courage'

Leslie Hull bids farewell to MSU by taking on Bertolt Brecht's 'Mother'

by Paul Wozniak
The Michigan State University Theatre production of Bertolt Brecht’s “Mother Courage and Her Children” utilizes the same English translation by Tony Kushner (“Angels in America”) as the 2006 Shakespeare in the Park production starring Meryl Streep (yes, that Meryl Streep).
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Wednesday, January 25,2012

Head games

'The Boy in the Bathroom' simply doesn't wash, despite sweet love story

by Paul Wozniak
Imagine the question “to be or not to be?” stretched into a 90-minute musical, and you have the essence of “The Boy in the Bathroom.”
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Wednesday, December 28,2011

Theater: Riverwalk's 'Conspiracy' electrified

by Paul Wozniak
Community theaters, particularly in small towns, often rely on the tried and true. However, theater is far more exciting when companies take risks. New and daring works can turn into overambitious fiascos, but they can also soar higher than old standards when they succeed.
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Wednesday, November 9,2011

Will’s wit

Kevin McKillip ropes you in as the wisecracking, lasso-twirling Will Rogers

by Paul Wozniak
As the late humorist/cow- boy/actor and all-around celebrity, Kevin McKillip pays tribute to Rogers in his self-com- posed one-man show, Will Rogers: An American Original at Stormfield Theatre. Rogers blends puns, political commentary and rope tricks into a polished portrait of an American archetype.
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Wednesday, October 19,2011

From fascination to collaboration

Writer-director James Houska works with ‘Conspiracy’ author Loring Mandel to turn an award-winning HBO movie into Riverwalk’s world premiere stage drama

by Paul Wozniak
Based on a lone surviving document, “Conspiracy” dramatically reconstructs the 1942 Wannsee Conference, a meeting of 15 high-ranking Nazis who discussed the practical implementation of the Final Solution.
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Wednesday, October 19,2011

Meet Loring Mandel

by Paul Wozniak
Chicago native Loring Mandel never imagined his profession might be writing for television. Mandel, 83, wrote his first closedcircuit radio productions for fun when he was 6 years old; when he needed money for graduate courses in music at Northwestern University, Mandel discovered he could make a living from fun.
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Wednesday, October 12,2011

The biggest loser

‘The Dead Guy’ is a spotty spoof of reality TV

by Paul Wozniak
If he did, “The Dead Guy,” now at Williamston Theatre, might be a sharper satire in the vein of “Network” or “The Truman Show.” But the show’s very concept suggests that Coble cannot appreciate his topic on its own terms, resulting in flawed premises and shallow characters that make “Guy” feel cynical instead of comically cerebral.
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