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Wednesday, April 13,2011

Finding flexibility

Juanita Kennedy discovered a perfect medium for her art: versatile Styrofoam

by Mary C. Cusack
What is the difference between art and craft? Can a craft be honed to the point of becoming art, or is the artist aspect of a work based on ideas more than skill? When debaters tire of arguing over the issue of art vs. craft, the agreement seems to be that art is in the eye of the beholder.
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Wednesday, March 30,2011

'Pentecost' can't decide what to accent

Timely themes are buried inside a confused script

by Mary C. Cusack
Producing quality theater is always a challenge. Academic theater programs have the added challenge of finding a script that meets certain learning outcomes. The play must also be an ensemble piece that has enough roles to give substantial stage time for all of the students in the course, further limiting the script choices.
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Wednesday, March 9,2011

For filmmaker-actor Michael McCallum, it's time to get LUCKY

by Mary C. Cusack
On a recent Wednesday evening, the man who just completed the feature film “Lucky” knocks on wood without irony as he discusses his filmmaking experiences. Anyone who knows anything about making movies knows that luck has very little to do with success, and despite his gesture, Michael McCallum places his faith in hard work, not luck.
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Wednesday, February 23,2011

Don't be a Drag Just see a Queen

Chrome Cat and Spiral dress up their shows

by Mary C. Cusack
There have been two significant changes since my last address. The first one is that the Chrome Cat in Old Town has settled on Wednesdays for its drag night. The bar began a Tuesday drag show around the time that Club X-Cel was ending its shows, and changed it to Wednesdays last fall.
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Wednesday, February 23,2011

Playing to win

LCC cast scores with solid production of tricky 'Endgame'

by Mary C. Cusack
Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the play is an intimate look at the dynamics of four people who wile away the dismal days in the isolation of what was once a grand estate. These were people of privilege, whose wealth gave them the means to survive. It is a privilege they have grown to regret.
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Thursday, January 27,2011

Questioning the questioner

'Happy Holy Days' has humor, although its insights are debatable

by Mary C. Cusack
“Happy Holy Days”, an original work written and directed by Michigan State University Theatre Head of Acting and Directing Rob Roznowski, tells the rather unhappy tale of one woman’s lifelong struggle to make peace with herself, her loved ones, and maybe her maker. If she has one. She’s not always sure about that, which is the crux of the play.
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Wednesday, January 19,2011

Second to nun

Breeda Kelly Miller is a class act in wacky Stormfield comedy

by Mary C. Cusack
It would be a sin to give Stormfield Theatre’s production of “Put the Nuns in Charge” a poor review. Not that the Mother Superior said so specifically, but it seems that skewering a oneperson show about a nun giving an earnest lesson in the Seven Deadly Sins would fall under the sin of Pride.
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Wednesday, January 5,2011

Looking Back & Looking Ahead: Art

Picture is looking clearer for Lansing's artists

by Mary C. Cusack
The Grand Rapids area can boast the world’s largest art competition, ArtPrize. Easy for them ' they have sponsors with deep pockets, something the Lansing area lacks. But what Lansing-area arts organizations may lack in big money, they make up for in moxie, small grants and grassroots support.
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Wednesday, December 1,2010

Worth catching

Expert comic timing keeps Williamston’s ’Greater Tuna’ fresh

by Mary C. Cusack
While it isn’t the greatest show Williamston Theatre has done, “Greater Tuna” is a purty dang good distraction from holiday stress. Director Tony Caselli cast well with Williamston veterans Aral Gribble and Wayne David Parker, who portray 19 of the 474 residents of Tuna, Texas ' plus their dogs.
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Wednesday, November 3,2010

In the ear of the beholder

Scalding ’reasons’ tackles verbal violence

by Mary C. Cusack
The play opens with a fight in progress between a couple, Steph (Chelsea Witgen) and Greg (J.C. Kibbey). The more aggressive of the two, Steph unleashes an obscenity-laden tirade, a verbal assault that culminates in a physical one.
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