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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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Wednesday, September 28,2011

The remains of the day

MSU's strong double bill of dramas examines the aftermath of Sept. 11

by Paul Wozniak
Remember Sept. 11, 2001? Not the divisive rhetoric that tirelessly evoked the date for political evasion or justification, or the shameless merchandising that recently reached new lows (9/11 Merlot, anyone? Just $19.11), but where you were when you first heard the tragic news.
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Wednesday, September 21,2011

Intense 'Blackbird' looks at the dark language of love

Broken hearts, shattered lives and fractured dialogue combine in Peppermint Creek's two-character drama

by Paul Wozniak
That staccato style blended with the thematic, twisted love story intrigued director Lela Ivey back when Chad Badgero first presented her with the script.
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Wednesday, September 21,2011

Not quite heavenly

Naughty nuns kick the habit in salacious spoof 'Divine Sister'

by Paul Wozniak
Audiences be warned: Lansing Civic Player’s season opener “The Divine Sister” is a perverse, expletive-laden, alacritous satire of sisters from stage and cinema.
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Wednesday, August 17,2011

What’s with all the drama?

Old Town turns into a miniature Broadway once more during the fourth annual Renegade Theatre Festival

by Paul Wozniak
Working under the loosely encompassing mission statement of providing “as much theater as possible in a short amount of time” for free, Badgero says Renegade answered a persistent question among theater people: Where can you perform pieces that don’t fit anywhere else?.
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Wednesday, August 3,2011

Black Box-ing

Kerry Waters directs Christopher Durang’s comedy ‘Laughing Wild’

by Paul Wozniak
But “Laughing Wild” promises the poignancy and depth that are absent from most social media newsfeeds. “Laughing Wild” is the first mainstage Riverwalk Theatre production to be set in the more intimate Black Box space.
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