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Wednesday, August 6,2014

New in town

THE BARREL NEIGHBORHOOD PUB/HEAT BLOW DRY BAR

by ALLAN I. ROSS
Lansing’s getting a new gastropub next week: On Monday, the Barrel Neighborhood Pub opens in the strip mall across from Frandor. Although the name may sound familiar, it has no connection to either the Peanut Barrel in East Lansing or the Whiskey Barrel in Lansing.
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Wednesday, July 16,2014

Common purpose

Q&A with Common Ground festival organizer Scott Keith

by ALLAN I. ROSS
Last week was the 15th year for the annual Lansing music festival Common Ground, featuring alt-rockers, country twangers and R&B veterans Earth, Wind and Fire. Scott Keith is the President and CEO of the Lansing Entertainment & Public Facilities Authority Keith and chairman of Center Park Productions, the public entity that plans, organizes and executes the festival each year.
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Wednesday, July 16,2014

Gorilla warfare

Great ‘Apes’ delivers thoughtful examination of humanity, chimps with firearms

by ALLAN I. ROSS
In the 1981 film “Quest for Fire,” three early humans seek out a new pilot light that will keep their tribal fire sustained. It’s the simplest story ever told: Man have flame, man lose flame, man look for flame without being eaten by saber-toothed lions. The filmmakers tried to create as authentic a film as possible, even developed proto-languages based on the earliest known human words, and for 100 unsubtitled minutes you can see what it was like for our earliest ancestors to realize the power of their intelligence and experience the dawning of consciousness. It was a groundbreaking film that has for years been without equal.
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Wednesday, July 9,2014

Big screen treatment

Lansing’s newest movie theater could stir up cultural pot

by ALLAN I. ROSS
On Friday, as the primates in “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” launch their campaign to take over civilization — or at least the box office — Lansing-area audiences will see a significant shift in the local cultural landscape. A new movie theater, Regal Lansing Mall Cinemas 12 & RPX, opens Friday inside the Lansing Mall. It will bring the total number of screens in Lansing to 64, the most the area has ever seen. It also opens up a whole new set of possibilities for mid- Michigan movie fans.
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Wednesday, July 9,2014

The great outdoors

Turner Street Outdoor Movie Series adds music to the mix

by ALLAN I. ROSS
The summer 2014 box office is looking decidedly familiar: Sequels, gritty reboots, fairy tale adaptations. Ah, the old days, when all our entertainment was original.
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Wednesday, July 9,2014

Crisis of faith

Lansing indie ‘Ashes of Eden’ aims high with morality play

by ALLAN I. ROSS
The Bible is so hot, you guys. Besides the recent surprise hit films “God’s Not Dead” and “Heaven Is for Real,” there was “Son of God,” yet another biopic of Jesus, and “Noah,” which confused just as many devout filmgoers as it angered with the liberties it took from its Old Testament roots. Coming soon: Christian Bale begs Pharaoh to let his people go in “Exodus: Gods and Kings” this fall, and “Mary,” the prequel to “The Passion of the Christ” coming next spring.
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Wednesday, July 9,2014

New in town

Grace Boutique/Curvaceous Lingerie/Good Truckin' Food

by ALLAN I. ROSS
After five months of work, Summer Schriner’s renovation of Young’s Landing, the building across the street to the north from the neighborhood’s landmark Temple Club building, is finally complete. Schriner is the owner/ operator of Grace Boutique of Old Town, which moved into the space this week.
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Wednesday, July 2,2014

The ‘Lost’ generation

Indie sci-fi ‘The Signal’ perpetuates ‘mystery box’ myth

by ALLAN I. ROSS
For six mind-bending seasons, “Lost” captivated TV audiences and left a lasting influence on popular entertainment, for better and for worse. For better: Mainstream re-embracement of science fiction, long-form storytelling that doesn’t adhere to linear plots, a willingness to kill off main characters. For worse: A cliffhanger at every commercial break and the maddening habit of leaving plot points unresolved — a technique showrunner J.J. Abrams’ dubbed “the mystery box.”
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Wednesday, July 2,2014

New in town

Don Poncho Market/River Town Adventures

by ALLAN I. ROSS
When Don Pancho Market opened south of downtown Lansing in April, it created a whole new set of possibilities for downtown denizens looking for a local food mart. Downtown isn’t exactly known for its fresh food options; besides Sunset Market, 618 E. Kalamazoo St., Lansing, Don Pancho is pretty much it for walkable markets.
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Wednesday, June 25,2014

New in town

Strange Matter Coffee Co.

by ALLAN I. ROSS
Craft beer is so last week. Entrepreneur Cara Nader is riding the next wave of specialty beverage production: Craft coffee. Nader is the owner/operator and “chief coffee engineer” for Strange Matter Coffee Co., a new caf coming soon to Lansing’s newly named East Town district.
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