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Wednesday, April 24,2013

Open secret

Lansing artist collective elevates its profile with open house

by ALLAN I. ROSS
Career artists, for the most part, tend to be self-contained. To paraphrase Kurt Vonnegut, they instinctively know that opening the window on their creative process could make their work catch cold. But that's the paradox of the profession — although art often comes from a secretive place, it doesn't mean much until the public has its say.
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Wednesday, April 24,2013

Anonymous

Documentary about AA founder gets local special engagement

by ALLAN I. ROSS
How do you make a documentary film about a person who spent his life diligently avoiding the camera, denying even Time magazine so much as a shot of the back of his head? Filmmakers Kevin Hanlon and Dan Carracino of Page 124 Productions set the bar pretty high for themselves by choosing to tell the life story of Bill Wilson, founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, for their debut endeavor, "Bill W."
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Wednesday, April 24,2013

New in town

HopCat / Zoobie's / Travelers Pub

by ALLAN I. ROSS
On Monday, HopCat-East Lansing held a ceremonial groundbreaking — and fittingly, it was a hop bine planting. (Hops are the aromatic plants used to flavor some beers.) The restaurant/brewpub opens this August on the ground floor of the mixed-use development, The Residences.
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Wednesday, April 17,2013

League of extraordinary gentleman

Jackie Robinson biopic a powerful, bittersweet victory

by ALLAN I. ROSS
The first time we see Jackie Robinson in the biopic "42," he's in silhouette, crouched like a tiger, leading off about 10 feet from first base at a Negro League night game. The pitcher winds up, throws one over the plate, and Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) breaks into a loping sprint.
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Wednesday, April 17,2013

New in town

Maru Sushi & Grill

by ALLAN I. ROSS
Maru Sushi & Grill opened in its new East Lansing location this week. This is the third restaurant for owner/operator Robert Song's 4-year-old enterprise, following Maru's expansion in Grand Rapids last summer and the original restaurant in Okemos. At 2,800 square feet and with a seating capacity of 86, it's also the largest.
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Wednesday, April 17,2013

Return of the mac

Old Town barbecue eatery wins with comfort food staple

by ALLAN I. ROSS
In 1993, Canadian pop rockers Barenaked Ladies released their signature song, "If I Had $1000000 Dollars," which included the cute (but bizarre) segment: "If I had a million dollars/we wouldn't have to eat Kraft dinners/But we WOULD eat Kraft dinners, we'd just eat more …" In concert, this prompts audience members to hurl packages of macaroni and cheese at the stage, but crowd antics this sentimental contain a truism for a generation raised on boxed meals.
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Wednesday, April 17,2013

Faking it big

Musical hits the right notes, but lacks crackle

by ALLAN I. ROSS
The two best things about Steven Spielberg's 2002 film, "Catch Me If You Can," featuring a slippery counterfeiter and his relentless pursuer, were the Saul Bass-inspired opening credits and Tom Hanks' R-rated knock-knock joke. Guess what — neither of them made it into the musical adaptation, playing this week at the Wharton Center.
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Wednesday, April 10,2013

Better than air

'American Idiot' a soaring triumph

by ALLAN I. ROSS
A post-ironic pop-punk opera about the futility of rebellion, "American Idiot" is challenging. It's exciting. It's inciting. It's triumphant.
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Wednesday, April 10,2013

And the winners are ...

by ALLAN I. ROSS
After last year's particularly nasty presidential campaign, Lansing voters got about a two-month reprieve before being thrust back into the heart of another election season. Sorry about that, but also, you're welcome.
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Wednesday, April 10,2013

Victory by numbers

Sometimes the nomination is better than the win

by ALLAN I. ROSS
It's not always about who won or lost, but who got the most votes. Not so fast — winning and getting the most votes are not necessarily the same thing, smart guy. At least not in the new Top of the Town two-round voting system.
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