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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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Wednesday, April 10,2013

New in town

Old Town General Store

by ALLAN I. ROSS
Old Town's going old school in a few weeks when the Old Town General Store gets up and running. Owner/operator Maria Van Atta will soon launch her debut solo enterprise next to Preuss Pets, near the corner of Grand River Avenue and Cedar Street.
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Wednesday, April 3,2013

The kids are all Reich

Australian drama gives the Holocaust a new set of victims: Nazi children

by ALLAN I. ROSS
Nazis are easy narrative villains — the systematic slaughter of 11 million people really puts them in their own class of evil. Consequently, in literature and film, it's a bold move to depict them as anything less than cold-blooded monsters.
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Wednesday, April 3,2013

New in town

Jonna's 2 Go & Portable Feast and Friends

by ALLAN I. ROSS
The "gateway to East Lansing" is getting a little more welcoming this week with the opening of Jonna's 2 Go, the western-most location for a series of southeast Michigan-based convenience stores.
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Wednesday, March 27,2013

Opening the door to schools

As the Lansing School District cuts elementary arts instructors, community groups re-evaluate their roles

by ALLAN I. ROSS
Last week, the Lansing Board of Education approved a five-year teachers' contract that will get the Lansing School District about $7 million closer to closing the next school year's projected $9 million deficit. On the chopping block: 87 teaching positions, including 23 professionally certified — or "endorsed" — elementary school art, music and physical education teachers.
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Wednesday, March 27,2013

New in town

Williamston New Businesses

by ALLAN I. ROSS
Spring is off to a relatively chilly start, but in Williamston business is in full bloom. Three new businesses celebrated grand openings last week, while a fourth moved into a space nearly six times the size of its previous location.
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Friday, March 22,2013

The Screening Room

'Great' expectations

by ALLAN I. ROSS
In a perfect world, a visionary filmmaker such as Sam Raimi could make a prequel to "The Wizard of Oz" without having it compared to its 1939 predecessor, inarguably one of the greatest motion pictures ever made. Sure, we're in the middle of a spate of subpar big screen adaptations and "re-imaginings" of classic children's stories, but it's hardly fair to make Raimi pay for the sins of his peers. But films aren't made in a vacuum; every allusion has its price.
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