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Wednesday, December 28,2011

Theater: 'Boys' bruised, while 'Blackbird' soared

by Mary C. Cusack
The City Pulse theater reviewers see upwards of 50 shows a year, which means that by the end of the year many of the productions are a blur. The standouts, the ones that eventually grab up fistfuls of Pulsar nominations and wins, are typically plays that have a lasting emotional impact.
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Wednesday, November 30,2011

Twenty1 is a lucky number for Griffin and McCallum

Filmmakers host a screening of their collaborations

by Mary C. Cusack
Filmmakers A.E. Griffin and Michael McCallum may be the hardest working men in Michigan show business. It s impossible to count how many productions they have worked on, both independently and collectively, because they don t stop working long enough to draft a proper curriculum vitae.
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Wednesday, November 16,2011

Comic candy

Sugar-sweet ‘Stratagem’ is zestfully played, but the fun goes on too long

by Mary C. Cusack
Michigan State University s Department of Theatre s production of The Beaux Stratagem is a sweet comedy of errors that reminds one of Brach s Neapolitan Sundaes candies found in the bulk  candy bins. Those colorful coconut-covered chewy candies look and taste good at first, but after a while your taste buds.
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Wednesday, November 9,2011

Strong start

Over The Ledge Theater debuts with a compelling production of ’The Guys’

by Mary C. Cusack
Those who saw Michigan State University Theatre Department s Two 9/11 Plays in September may find The Guys to be slow and sedate. In actuality the pieces complement each other well. The MSU plays were fast-paced, chaotic vignettes, which captured the immediate impact on a broad swath of people.
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Wednesday, October 26,2011

Meeting of the (evil) minds

Riverwalk’s ‘Conspiracy’ is a historical horror story

by Mary C. Cusack
As director James W. Houska said in his welcome last Saturday night, “Conspiracy” is not a show to be enjoyed. It is, however, an important event in history that people should experience and talk about, and Riverwalk Theatre’s production provides that opportunity.
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Wednesday, October 19,2011

Pure puffball

Lively actors can’t hide the fact that ‘Odd Couple’ is quaint and antiquated

by Mary C. Cusack
It is interesting that Dowd warms up to the role after doffing the iconic baseball cap, and really hits his stride as Oscar prepares for a double-date with neighbors Gwendolyn and Cecily Pigeon (Charlotte Ruppert and Angela Dill, respectively). As Dowd prances around, slapping on Old Spice and crooning classic love songs, he owns the stage.
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Wednesday, October 12,2011

Chiller theater

Thrilling ‘Terra Nova’ is a true triumph for Riverwalk

by Mary C. Cusack
In 1990 Aussie band The Church released a single called “Terra Nova Cain,” which sounds like just the remedy needed after enduring Riverwalk Theatre’s production of “Terra Nova.” Despite how that sounds, it is a high compliment. Among the finest productions to grace the stage of Riverwalk’s Black Box since its grand opening.
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Wednesday, September 7,2011

Three cheers for ’Heroes’

Stormfield Theatre scores again with ace production of Tom Stoppard’s comedy about World War I vets

by Mary C. Cusack
In its second season, Stormfield Theatre is proving itself to be the little theater that can ' that is, they can produce high-quality shows that so transfix an audience that one easily forgets there is a sports bar to the rear and a Sears across the parking lot.
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Wednesday, July 27,2011


Fitfully funny ‘Flaming’ doesn’t quite roar

by Mary C. Cusack
While not a flameout, Riverwalk Theatre’s production of “Flaming Idiots” is not quite as funny as it could be. In his directorial debut at Riverwalk, Josh Martin displays skill in staging physical comedy, but his direction of dialogue needs work, as this play relies heavily on equally good timing of both.
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Wednesday, May 25,2011

Advice and consent

Stormfield Theatre’s appealing ’Answers’ presents Ann Landers’ world in a different light

by Mary C. Cusack
“The more things change, the more they stay the same” is one of those truisms that is not always true. And it’s probably something that Eppie Lederer said at some time in the 47 years she wrote as columnist Ann Landers. She was known to drop the occasional cliché or bon mot, to be cute and clever and sometimes a wee bit snarky.
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