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Wednesday, October 6,2010

Brilliant 'Blue'

Wiiliamston's 'Door' is well worth opening

by Tom Helma
Williamston Theatre’s “Blue Door” is an intensely quiet and deeply moving play, one that stills and startles the audience into an unexpected opportunity for personal reflection and self examination.
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Wednesday, September 22,2010

Shaky Shakespeare

Shaky Shakespeare ’Shrew’ doesn’t shine

by Tom Helma
For those of you not familiar with this overly familiar tale of misogyny, “Shrew” is the simple story of Baptista, a father who sells his tempestuous eldest daughter to the aging Petruchio, a wealthy merchant, who “tames” (read: abuses) and thereby transforms this fiery female into a loving Stepford wife.
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Wednesday, July 14,2010

A new synonym for ’stinkeroo’

’Skungpoomery’ defines how bad theater can be

by Tom Helma
“Skungpoomery,” by the late British playwright Ken Campbell, fails on both counts. The word skungpoomery ' itself a made-up word ' is intended to describe the process of making up other nonsense words because the words we use to describe ordinary things are, well, too ordinary.
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Wednesday, May 26,2010

All in the family

Humorous and heartfelt, ’Home’ is a winner for Williamston Theatre

by Tom Helma
Written by Annie Martin and Suzi Regan and directed by Regan, “Home” follows 2008’s "Maidens, Mothers and Crones," which focused on women, and last year’s "Flyover USA," which dealt with men’s concerns. Approximately 50 people shared family stories that inspired the vignettes in "Home.
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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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