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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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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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