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Wednesday, June 3,2015

Curtain Call: Irish romance

Williamston Theatre capitalizes on intimacy

With its latest production, “Outside Mullingar,” Williamston Theatre proves once again why it earns such recognition as its 2014 National Theatre Company grant. It selects plays that maximize the intimacy of its space, enhancing the audience’s connection to the characters. “Mullingar” was written by John Patrick Shanley, best known for “Doubt,” the Tonyand Oscar-winning drama about a priest accused of molestation that delves deeply into ethics, morality, piety and righteousness. “Mullingar” is the antithesis of that work: a fairly straightforward romantic dramedy about loneliness, longing and love.
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Friday, October 3,2014

Power play

Tense script, fine acting give ‘Topdog’ serious bite

The Ixion Theatre logo features a character from Greek mythology who is punished by being attached to a fiery wheel. This is a fitting symbol for Ixion’s first play of the season, “Topdog/Underdog,” in which two brothers spin and burn toward their individual ruins.
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Wednesday, August 13,2014

Vouching for vouchers

Maximizing the utility of online vouchers

This summer a friend and I savored a gourmet meal at a local country club. It included an appetizer, two glasses of wine and two enormous entrees. Total cost: $29. No, we didn’t know the waiter and there was no scam involved. We enjoyed this upscale experience thanks to online vouchers, which make it is easy to save big bucks on Lansing meals, massages, golf and goods.
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Wednesday, July 23,2014

History of the world, take 2

Williamston serves up big laughs with audacious musical comedy

During a summer when a plane crash in Ukraine or clashes over tunnels in the Middle East could become very real global game-changers, the success of a play like “The Big Bang” is less than assured. After all, this is a musical that summarizes the horror of the Holocaust via Eva Braun’s lyrical lament of picking a bad boyfriend.
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Wednesday, May 28,2014

‘Wrinkle’ treatment

Over the Ledge launches summer season with ambitious adaptation

Science fiction and beloved children’s books are risky categories for modestly budged community theater productions. With its 2014 season premiere, “A Wrinkle In Time,” Over the Ledge Theatre Co. took on the challenge of John Glore’s double-whammy adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s outstanding young adult/sci-fi novel.
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Wednesday, February 19,2014

Curatain Call: On the nose

Seasoned actor shines in MSU’s ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’

Those who know the story of Cyrano de Bergerac based on Steve Martin’s version in the 1986 comedy “Roxanne” may be dismayed when watching the original play. As seen in Michigan State University’s Department of Theatre’s production, “Cyrano de Bergerac” is not a Hollywood romance, but a tragic tale of loves lost. Yes, plural loves.
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Wednesday, September 18,2013

Off the radar

Riverwalk's “M*A*S*H” is mostly swampy

War is not hell in Riverwalk Theatre´s production of “M*A*S*H.” It’s not even heck. It’s a minimalized setting for playwright Tim Kelly’s shallow versions of some of America’s most iconic pop culture characters.
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Wednesday, July 24,2013

What happens in Vegas ...

Williamston ends season with final entry in 'Tuna' series

Although the first two 'Tuna' shows were a solid draw for Williamston Theatre, the series' finale proves that not all good things come in threes.
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Wednesday, June 12,2013

Mellow 'Drama'

Over the Ledge starts summer season with quirky dark comedy

"Drama at Inish" is a wee tale about a hotel owner in a wee seaside town who hires a wee acting troupe to perform decidedly un-wee plays for its summer season. The troupe, led by husband-and-wife actors Hector De La Mare (Brad Rutledge) and Constance Constantia (Gini Larson), sweeps into town with its repertory of Chekhov, Ibsen and Tolstoy.
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Wednesday, March 27,2013

Diary queen

Peppermint Creek depicts fictionalized effort to publish Anne Frank

Peppermint Creek Theatre Co.'s latest production, "Compulsion, or the House Behind," may be a bit esoteric for a broad audience. The biggest challenge is getting past a spectral puppet of Holocaust victim Anne Frank, who — figuratively and literally — shares a bed with the lead couple.
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