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Wednesday, May 12,2010

Punchlines, minus the punches

’Dead’ inspires yawns instead of chuckles

by Tom Helma
Starlight occupies a unique niche in the local theater community. It is a dinner theater in a middle school cafeteria with an auditorium stage and caters somewhat to a more geriatric demographic than other theaters.
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Wednesday, May 12,2010

’Size 8 Shorts’: Long on hilarity

Riverwalk hits home run with a night of sketches

by Tom Helma
There are 30 words in just the titles alone of the eight pieces that make up this delightful confection of laughs and snorts, beginning with “Wedding Duet,” a two-person compendium of all the roller coaster emotions that confront a bride and groom as they try to imagine what married life might actually look like.
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Wednesday, April 21,2010

'Rent' rocks

Strong cast and direction make musical drama sing

by Tom Helma
The mournful lyric “How do you figure a last year on Earth?” from the ensemble number “Seasons of Love" addresses a central existential question. The surprising answer is that “Rent” portrays ' in addition to a deep sense of loss ' an amazing sense of the capacity for joy among those who realize life is about to be cut short.
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Wednesday, March 31,2010

’Cider’ packs a punch

Adaptation of John Irving’s novel not for the faint-hearted — or the closed-minded

by Tom Helma
There is a chillingly ice-cold clinical feel to the lighting and set for Lansing Community College’s spring offering, “The Cider House Rules, Part One: Here in St Cloud”. Gauzy 21-foot-tall columns of fabric shift in the breeze like silent watchful sentinels.
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Wednesday, March 24,2010

’April’ flowers

Strong cast brings comedy to life at Riverwalk Theatre

by Tom Helma
When Lotty meets Rose Arnott (Veronica Gracia-Wing), a plot is hatched to rent a villa, nay, a castle in the Mediterranean, for these two women (and two more) to get away from the damp and thunderous rains of April in England, as well as their husbands.
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Wednesday, March 3,2010

A taste of Old Mexico

Ballet Folklorico comes to the Wharton Center

by Tom Helma
According to Salvadore Lopez Lopez, the grandson of Ballet Folklorico de Mexico founder Amalia Hernandez, it was a trip through her homeland that inspired Hernandez to create her company. Lopez describes the initial experience of his grandmother trekking across the regions of Mexico in 1952, visiting towns and villages and filming the sights and sounds, the colors and movements, the ancient ritual dances, the historic traditions and music of rural Mexico.
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Thursday, February 25,2010

The apple of his eye

Purple Rose hits new heights with glorious 'Gravity'

by Tom Helma
Through the mist, a woman walks through an arch, steps out from background shadows and onto the stage, and lifts her skirt, appearing to levitate. Is it intentional? The play is “Gravity” an examination of the life of Isaac Newton, a troubled soul and one of history’s most brilliant mathematicians.
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Wednesday, February 24,2010

Triple play

Witty ’Power Plays’ observes several odd relationships

by Tom Helma
Those few enlightened individuals who have never experienced the need to control others, to exert or assert themselves in an unseemly manner in order to be heard, will probably not be able to relate very well to the content of the three short one-act plays that consist of “Power Plays.
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