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Wednesday, June 8,2011

The Screening Room

Woody Allen is back on track in 'Paris'

by James Sanford
When it comes to comebacks, Woody Allen could probably teach Cher, Britney Spears and even Lazarus a few lessons by now.
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Wednesday, June 1,2011

Back to the Barn

’Great Big Bar Show’ relaunches venerable Augusta summer theater

by James Sanford
Hans Friedrichs spent three seasons at the Barn Theatre in Augusta as an Equity Membership Candidate. Then he took more than 20 years off.He’s back this summer as the director of “The Great Big Bar Show,” which opens the theater’s 65th season this week.
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Wednesday, June 1,2011

The Screening Room

The art of maintaining a little mystery in marketing

by James Sanford
We live in an era when too many movie trailers and commercials give away far too much ' including all the best jokes, all the biggest shocks and sometimes even the ending of the film. If you talk to marketing people, they’ll tell you this is what audiences demand: Everyone supposedly wants to know exactly what is coming before buying a ticket.
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Wednesday, May 25,2011

Badgero’s new role

Founder of Peppermint Creek Theatre is now on staff at the Arts Council

by James Sanford
"With Chad’s experience working through the Old Town Commercial Association, as well as his involvement in the community ' and especially his background in the arts and his enthusiasm for Lansing, he’s a great addition to our staff, and we’re thrilled to have him.
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Wednesday, May 25,2011

The Screening Room

The season of sequels starts with a double shot

by James Sanford
Not every mosquito bites ' and not every second or third installment of a series does either. Remember "The Godfather, Part II" and "Toy Story 2"? Sure, you may say, but what about "Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen" and "Sex and the City 2"? Like the summer weather, you never know what you’re going to get.
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Wednesday, May 18,2011

Woman of letters

Ann Landers has her say in Stormfield’s ’Answers’

by James Sanford
I’ve been reading your column for years, and I never dreamed I’d be writing to you. But here in Lansing, a local theater is about to expose all your secrets. The play is called “The Lady With All the Answers,” and the actress portraying you is Diane Dorsey, who comes from Chicago (isn’t that your neck of the woods?).
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Wednesday, May 18,2011

The Screening room

A little spring cleaning before the summer storm

by James Sanford
The annual avalanche of summer blockbusters is beginning to rain down on theaters, with the opening of "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" this weekend and "The Hangover 2" and "Kung Fu Panda 2" due to arrive for Memorial Day.
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Wednesday, May 11,2011

Repression and expression

’The Pride’ asks provocative questions about perceptions of homosexuality

by James Sanford
When Sylvia discovers her husband, Philip, is having an affair with Oliver, she can’t even say the term that defines their relationship. It’s 1958 in London and, as author Alexi Kaye Campbell’s “The Pride” reminds us, that sort of behavior wasn’t the sort of thing people talked about in what was called “polite conversation.
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Wednesday, May 11,2011

Curtain Call

Queen bees, dancing princesses

by James Sanford
Believe it or not, "Chicago" ' which has seen nearly 6,000 performances on Broadway ' was once considered a bit of a disappointment. When the John Kander/Fred Ebb musical opened in 1975, it was overshadowed by another Broadway newcomer: "A Chorus Line," which won more awards and brought in bigger audiences.
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Wednesday, May 11,2011

The Screening Room

’Le Concert’ celebrates a case of musical vengeance

by James Sanford
After your career as a maestro has been demolished and you’ve been branded an "enemy of the state" by no less than Leonid Brezhnev, what do you do for an encore?
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