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Wednesday, March 21,2012

Dream machine

Riverwalk Theatre revs up a gem with 'New Car'

by Paul Wozniak
The play derives its name from one of the opening lines of dialogue: "When women say they want a new car, they want a new life," delivered by the “middle-aged” protagonist Becky — full name Rebecca Foster (Gini Larson).
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Wednesday, February 29,2012

The darker side of the Emerald Isle

While some of the flavor of MSU’s 'Cripple of Inishmaan' gets lost in an audio fog, Edward O'Ryan’s sharply drawn portrait of the title character is pure gold

by Paul Wozniak
While the script avoids easy Irish stereotypes (apart from some brief whisky imbibing and a sarcastic reference to a shalalie), actors remain only one level away from shouting to make their points. Without equally measured diction, the result is often an acoustical echo cloud created by overlapping Irish accents and the dynamics of the Arena Theatre.
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Wednesday, February 22,2012

'Smokey Joe's' is definitely on fire

Riverwalk Theatre presents a rousing celebration of golden oldies

by Paul Wozniak
But the original voices are not essential to spark these songs, as the fantastically talented and diverse cast of Riverwalk Theatre proves. If anything, these remakes typically exceed their original counterparts, giving fresh life to timeless tunes with flair.
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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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