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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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Wednesday, October 20,2010

Bedeviled hams

Despite audio gremlins, MSU’s ’Evil Dead’ serves as a fun tribute to Raimi

by Mary C. Cusack
It’s campier than “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” with a higher body count than “Little Shop of Horrors.” “Evil Dead: The Musical” is based on the trilogy of cult films ("Evil Dead," "Evil Dead 2" and "Army of Darkness"), which were directed by Michigan State University alum Sam Raimi.
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Wednesday, October 13,2010

A smart start

Stormfield Theatre scores with ’Friends’

by Mary C. Cusack
Dan (John Lepard), an award-winning humanitarian of the year, is caught cheating at a poker game by his brother-in-law, Will (Bill Bannon). Soon Will is seeing vice in everything Dan does, and he tries to poison affable buddy Matt (Aral Gribble) against Dan.
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Wednesday, October 6,2010

'Complete' lunacy

Shakespeare gets short shrift at LCC

by Mary C. Cusack
Lansing Community College’s production of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)” is nothing if not a crowd-pleaser. The play breaks the fourth wall and actively involves the audience; the audience at Saturday evening’s performance didn’t take long to warm up to the format.
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Wednesday, September 22,2010

Eyes on ArtPrize

Local talents enter annual G.R. competition

by Mary C. Cusack
The grand prize is greater than Bravo’s “Top Chef," but less than “Survivor” or “Big Brother.” It’s a competition for world’s largest prize awarded for the creation of art, but it’s not on television, and it doesn’t take place in New York, London or Los Angeles.
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Wednesday, September 8,2010

'City' of secrets

A pair of potent performances bolster a provocative drama at Capital TheatreWorks

by Mary C. Cusack
“Dying City” is the story of three deeply damaged people and the wounds they inflict upon each other. Kelly, played with guarded brittleness by Kayla DeWitt, is a widowed therapist who wiles her evenings away watching “Law and Order.
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Wednesday, August 25,2010


Noah meets Santa (sort of) in an art show at Basement 414

by Mary C. Cusack
Basement 414 is perhaps Lansing’s least-known but most characteristic art space. The entrance is tricky to find, accessible only from the alley behind the Nuthouse Bar.This repurposed warehouse, home to artists, bicycle enthusiasts and the occasional group of counter-culturists, now houses a menagerie. Literally figuratively — or figuratively literally. Or both.
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Wednesday, August 4,2010

Don't you dare touch that dial!

Capitol TheaterWorks revives radio drama in 'Variety Show'

by Mary C. Cusack
One of the greatest strengths of Capital TheaterWorks is that its summer season is housed in the Ledges Playhouse. Those who know its history of ghosts and raccoons may disagree, but the fantastically creaky venue is perfect for some of TheaterWorks’ recent shows, including its current “1940’s Radio Variety Show.
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Friday, July 9,2010

'Mountain' of love

Fun-filled gospel hootenanny will make you want to testify

by Mary C. Cusack
This is the perfect weekend for Lansing Community College’s latest “Summer Stage Under the Stars” offering. Warm and muggy well into the evenings, the weather literally helps set the atmosphere for the smokin’ "Smoke on the Mountain." The setting is a North Carolina Baptist church in June, 1938. The outdoor set is a big, realistically-rendered, slightly rustic church interior. Between that and a naturally hot and humid night, it is easy to feel like a part of the congregation, which is the intention. There is no fourth wall, as the cast present a musical church service in real time.
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Wednesday, June 30,2010

Fabrication was no vacation

Fussy neighbors, scorched tables: Welcome to Scrapfest

by Mary C. Cusack
Some random bit of wisdom says to “do something every day that scares you.” For two weeks, I did that consistently as a member of a team competing in Old Town Scrapfest 2010. The event, a fund-raiser for the Old Town Commercial Association, is in its second year.
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