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Wednesday, March 30,2011

Williamston’s 'Bowling' is a solid hit

Sterling stars make 1950s comedy-drama connect

by Paul Wozniak
  Pithy bowling metaphors scarcely describe the Williamston Theatre’s "While We Were Bowling." Carter W. Lewis’ magnificent script takes a curved look at one suburban family in 1957, contrasting the televised ideal to the reality on stage with a poignant and...
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Wednesday, March 16,2011

Uneven ’Akimbo’

Like its teenage heroine, Stormfield’s dark comedy is still finding its way

by Paul Wozniak
A daughter who is dying quickly, a mother who is dying slowly, a father who is killing himself, and a baby to be born in the midst of it all: It sounds dark ' and it is ' but David Lindsay-Abaire’s play "Kimberly Akimbo" is wickedly funny, especially while juggling subjects of death and domestic turmoil.
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Wednesday, February 23,2011

Not to be mist — uh, missed

Riverwalk’s ’Hairspray’ is a stylish sensation

by Paul Wozniak
From cult B-movie to Broadway hit, the aerosol-inspired “Hairspray” is setting the Riverwalk Theatre stage ablaze. Written and composed by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, this pro-justice musical openly mocks ignorance and racial phobias while stomping and sliding to the rhythm of early rock and roll.
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Wednesday, February 2,2011

Out of the ’Ordinary’

by Paul Wozniak
"Ordinary Days" by Adam Gwon is a sentimental, often funny Off-Broadway script that wears its influences on its sleeve. Gwon’s music begs comparisons to Jonathan Larson ("Rent") and Stephen Sondheim ("Sweeney Todd," "Into the Woods"). Unlike Larson and Sondheim, Gwon’s songs lack any memorable hooks.
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Wednesday, January 19,2011

It’s ’Maine’-ly about love

by Paul Wozniak
In a mystical, made-up town, magic manifests from metaphor to material in "Almost, Maine." Filmmaker Nancy Meyers ("It’s Complicated," "The Holiday") would have been proud of John Cariani’s script, which is filled with spontaneous smooches and other expressions of affection.
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Wednesday, January 5,2011

Looking Back & Looking Ahead: Theater

Several local actors are worth spotlighting

by Paul Wozniak
The Lansing theater scene is blessed to have so many gifted actors appearing on professional, collegiate and community stages. From breakout to breakthrough performances, these actors provided some of the finest examples of what good community and professional performances should be like.
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Wednesday, December 8,2010

Getting in 'Tuna'

Starlight Dinner Theatre packs plenty of humor into 'Christmas' farce

by Paul Wozniak
It’s Christmas time in Tuna, Texas, and its citizens ' as played by Jason Carlen and Michael Hays ' have returned to display their humiliations and humor onstage at the Starlight Dinner Theatre.
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Wednesday, December 1,2010

These 'Boots' were made for watching

Forget 'Shrek': Musical 'Puss' has a style all its own

by Paul Wozniak
Pre-dating the Dreamworks films by almost 10 years, Bill Helder and Jane Zussman’s mirthful meta-musical "Puss in Boots" bears little resemblance to the "Shrek" epics. No computer-generated characters or celebrity casting are necessary to make this family musical comedy fun for young children and parents alike.
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Wednesday, November 17,2010

Signing up a storm

David Sedaris treats fans to ’Squirrel’ stories

by Paul Wozniak
However, perversions and grotesque details never make up the heart of his stories. Nor do they reflect the character of a man who, according to Schuler’s promotions coordinator Whitney Spotts’ introduction of Sedaris, sends every person working at each book-signing event a handwritten thank-you note.
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Wednesday, October 27,2010

Channeling history

'Farnsworth Invention' electrifies at Riverwalk

by Paul Wozniak
From presidential inaugurations to assassinations, a man walking on the moon to miners stepping out of a caved-in mine, live television has fundamentally changed how we see the world. While the story behind the invention of the electronic television is at least worthy of a made-for-TV movie, Aaron Sorkin's "The Farnsworth Invention" was, ironically, written for the stage. Riverwalk Theatre brings this compelling drama to life with polished production values, a strong leading cast — and limited commercial interruptions.
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