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Thursday, April 29,2010

The Screening Room

Down in the 'Valley'

by James Sanford
A recent letter on film critic Roger Ebert’s website asked Ebert if he knew when he was scripting it that “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls” was an exploitation film. Ebert’s answer is succinct: “It was many things. It was above all a satirical comedy.”
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Wednesday, April 21,2010

LSO hosts ’home-grown talent’

Familiar local faces return during 2010-11 season

by James Sanford
“The purpose of music programs in school, of course, is to develop the person, not to make them into a professional musician,” Muffitt said. “But it’s a nice fringe benefit when we have these people who come through these programs and go on to become successful.
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Wednesday, April 21,2010

The Screening Room

Bringing down the 'Hausu'

by James Sanford
There are many strange and puzzling films you may encounter over the course of your lifetime. But I feel reasonably safe in saying that no matter where you may travel in this world, you will never find anything quite so flamboyantly bizarre as the...
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Wednesday, April 21,2010

Something in Common

Alice Cooper, Sammy Hagar, Jimmy Cliff playing Common Ground

by James Sanford
Cooper burst onto the rock landscape in the 1970s with his ghoulish stage shows and radio-friendly hits, such as “Eighteen,” “School’s Out,” “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” “Only Women Bleed” and “How You Gonna See Me Now.
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Wednesday, April 14,2010

Renegotiating 'Rent'

Director Scott Burkell draws on his friendship with Jonathan Larson in shaping the show’s MSU production

by James Sanford
Scott Burkell met the late Jonathan Larson at the Barn Theatre in Augusta in the summer of 1980. Over the course of the season, Burkell, Larson and fellow Equity membership candidate Marin Mazzie ' then a student at Western Michigan University and...
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Wednesday, April 14,2010

LSO meets Elton John

‘Rocket’ puts classic rock into a symphonic setting

by James Sanford
After a long career as a guitarist, music producer and music director, Brennan began looking for ways to combine rock and symphonic music. His first project was a show built around the music of Elton John and performed by Orchestra London in London, Ontario.
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Wednesday, April 7,2010

The Screening Room

3D: Back to stay — or a high-tech fad?

by James Sanford
3D movies may be all the rage these days, but the craze is certainly nothing audiences haven’t seen before. Even as far back as the 1930s, filmmakers were testing the waters with novelty-short specialist Pete Smith’s “Audioskopics” and “Three-Dimensional Murde...
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Tuesday, April 6,2010

Living on the 'Line'

For 'Chorus' star Ashley Yeater, every night is an audition

by James Sanford
How does a “Chorus Line” star spend her spare time between shows? For Ashley Yeater, it’s about resting in her hotel room with her dog, while Nicole Kidman sings herself to death. “I’m watching ‘Moulin Rouge,’” Yeater said, calling from a tour stop in Hershey, Pa. That’s a movie musical she likes; the 1985 film version of “A Chorus Line” — uh, not so much.
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Friday, April 2,2010

Riverwalk Theatre announces 2010-11 season

'Caroline, or Change,' 'Smokey Joe's Cafe' among next season's offerings

by James Sanford
Musicals, fairy tales and a double dose of Edward Albee are in the forecast for Riverwalk Theatre, which just announced its 2010-11 season.
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Thursday, April 1,2010

This 'Clash' never gets Kraken

Stick with the original and give this pointless remake a myth — er, miss

by James Sanford
When it was released in 1981, “Clash of the Titans” represented a sort of last hurrah for the sword-and-sandal spectaculars of the “Jason and the Argonauts” and “The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad” variety. The stop-motion animation creations of Ray Harryhausen were enchantingly old-fashioned and the mythological mash-up of the plot (involving displeased gods, curses, Medusa and Pegasus) wasn’t just old-school, it was ancient-academy.
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