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Thursday, March 26,2015

Book reviews: Notes from Neil

Food and Fun

by Neil Rajala
THURSDAY, MARCH 29 — There's a Scottish theme to this week's newsletter. Purely by coincidence, two of the authors are from the north end of the UK. The third book? I'll let you decide what group it might belong to. Here's what we're reading:
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Wednesday, March 25,2015

Barge of slow ravishment

'Xerxes' brings delicate Baroque opera to MSU

by Lawrence Cosentino
It´s a heady week for music winos. For the first time in MSU Opera Theatre´s history, director Melanie Helton is going all the way to the back of the cellar and uncorking the really good stuff — from 1738. Baroque opera is about 30 years into a worldwide resurgence at places like Cooperstown´s Glimmerglass Festival. Finally, the barge of slow ravishment is penetrating the wilds of the Red Cedar River in the form of George Frederic Handel´s “Xerxes,” the “Messiah” composer´s last operatic masterpiece.
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Wednesday, March 25,2015

Curatin call: Beauty in simplicity

Nathan Dome and Sally Hecksel deliver pitch-perfect performances

by Tom Helma
Less is, indeed, sometimes more. In the canon of theater, there are large, block-buster mega-musicals, and then there are small minimusicals. ‘They’re Playing Our Song” is one of the latter. A mini-musical of a mere 11 songs, peppered, however, with some of the most witty dialogue that playwright Neil Simon has to offer.
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Wednesday, March 25,2015

Northern Michigan on two wheels

Traverse City author gives tips for exploring Northern Michigan by bicycle

by Bill Castanier
Robert Downes, author of “Biking Northern Michigan,” had two requirements for the more than 35 bike routes he details in his book. “They had to be safe and scenic,” he said in a phone conversation from his Traverse City-area home. Out of the many bicycling routes Downes writes about, he said that the M-22 Frankfort to Glen Arbor tour and the Glen Lake tour are a couple of his favorites.
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Wednesday, March 25,2015

Out on the town

by City Pulse
Siren song Thursday, March 26 Twenty-five years of marriage can take a toll on a relationship, but leave it to mythological Greek temptresses to spice things up. The play “Sirens” begins when Sam first falls in love with Rose. He writes her a song that up becomes a hug...
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Wednesday, March 25,2015

Curtain call: Soviet kitsch

Riverwalk Theatre brings a comedic take on a Chekhov classic

by Paul Wozniak
One does not need to be a Chekhov scholar to enjoy “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” playing at Riverwalk Theatre, but a stomach for playwright Christopher Durang’s broad humor is essential. Fortunately, director Mary Job and much of the cast work hard to ground Durang’s dialogue in honest emotions and make the best of the inconsistently funny material.
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Wednesday, March 25,2015

Curtain call: The ugly truth

‘Dogfight’ explore ugliness, inside and out

by Mary C. Cusack
Peppermint Creek’s latest production, “Dogfight,” is a play about unattractive women and crass human behavior, set against the backdrop of a violent global conflict on the eve of a presidential assassination. Yet despite — or perhaps in spite of — all of that ugliness, it is an entertaining and beautiful masterpiece of love and compassion.
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Wednesday, March 25,2015

Turn it down

A survey of Lansing's musical landscape

by Rich Tupica
The Real McKenzies at the Avenue Cafe, Wednesday, April 1 Since 1992, the Real McKenzies have been banging out high-energy Celtic punk from their home base of Vancouver, British Columbia. The Fat Wreck Chords-signed outfit has released nine hard-folk LPs and shared stages with Ranci...
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Wednesday, March 25,2015

New in town

by Allan I. Ross
Last month I told you about Henry’s on the Square, a new specialty goods market on downtown Lansing’s South Washington Square that was designed to slowly incorporate elements of restaurant, bar and nightclub into its identity. Evolution seems to be a theme on that street &mdash...
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Wednesday, March 25,2015

Mythical journey

Bradon Badeau’s art uses mythology to tap into the universal

by Jonathan Griffith
Mythologist, writer and lecturer Joseph Campbell spent a fair amount of time convincing people of the timeless qualities found in myths and what our interpretations of their meaning can mean to us. He described an archetype, referred to as the Monomyth, that sees all mythic narratives as variations of one great story. He came to this conclusion based on the observation that there is a striking similarity of thematic elements found in the narratives of myths, regardless of their origin or time of creation.
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