Arts & Entertainment

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Theatre Review: MSU's "Three Sisters" (playing through Sept. 29)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

"...more clouds of grey, than any Russian play could guarantee."

The Three Sisters may not alone have inspired that line from George and Ira Gershwin's "Not for Me"—The Cherry Orchard, The Seagull, and Uncle Vanya come to mind—but the melancholic Russian soul is never far from the surface. These are not three happy sisters, and none of their friends and relations are happy either, not even Chebutykin, the aging, philosophical and paternal, regimental doctor, played with great panache by Tyler Gotch in the MSU Theater Department production that continues through Saturday, September 29, at the Arena Theater.

MSU Theatre Offers 'Three Sisters' to Start Season

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

MSU Department of Theater, following a highly acclaimed 2011-2012 season, will kick off the new academic year with Anton Chekov's classic, Three Sisters, in repertory with Jane Martin's Anton in Show Business, both directed by Rob Roznowski. Anton in Show Business, winner of the 2001 American Theater Critics Steinberg New Play Award, is a comedy about three actresses taking on the title Chekov roles. Variety described it as, "A smart, acerbic, crowd pleaser.... Simultaneously a love letter and a poison pen letter to the American Theater."

Singer/Songwriter Todd Snider at Lansing's The Loft Saturday

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Todd Snider is a favorite musician of mine, and has been quite successful recently. His latest album, "Agnostic Hymns and Stoner Fables", charted at #6 on the U.S. Folk chart, and #15 on the U.S. Indie chart.  He will be playing TWO shows at The Ark in Ann Arbor, but luckily he will also stop in Lansing on Saturday night (September 15). He'll be playing at The Loft, and the doors will open at 6 pm.

Todd's music isnʼt exactly protest songs and theyʼre not meant to incite class warfare (though he knows they might anyway). Theyʼre populated mostly by losers in the midst of losing, with a couple of spotlight appearances from the humbly anointed 1 percent. He's kind of a working man's hero a la early Springsteen.  While his songwriting is strong, this is more rock than folk, and his lyrics often show a very sharp wit.

Ten Pound Fiddle Concert and Dance Season Starts

Monday, September 10, 2012

Editor's Note: Girlyman will be playing at the Ten Pound Fiddle on Friday, September 28 at 8 pm. According to the Ten Pound Fiddle's website, "Girlyman, a very talented trio, has wowed audiences all over the USA, most recently at the Ann Arbor Folk Festival and other major Midwest venues. The Fiddle is pleased Girlyman will stop in East Lansing to share social commentary and personal narration via imaginative harmonies and varied instrumentation." Below, Eliot Singer introduces this year's series:

The Ten Pound Fiddle concert and dance season begins 8 pm, Friday, September 14, with a concert by Nervous But Excited at The Fiddle's regular venue, Unitarian Universalist Church, 855 Grove St., East Lansing. Among the fall concert highlights are a celebration of Woody Guthrie's 100th birthday, master humorists Lou and Peter Berryman, Sparky and Rhonda Rucker, Joel Mabus, and the annual Holiday Sing, hosted by Sally Potter. For a full schedule, see the series website.

The Ten Pound Fiddle, which began as an MSU student organization in 1975, with Bob Blackman, longtime folk music host on WKAR, as one of its founding members, is one of East Lansing's oldest grassroots institutions. (Read Bob's history here.) The Fiddle is always looking for volunteers.

Season Opens for MSU School of Music

Monday, September 10, 2012

The MSU School of Music season begins Sunday, September 16. A list of upcoming events can be found at their website. A PDF or interactive brochure for the entire year can be obtained through this link:

The popular MSU Opera Theater (listed among MSU School of Music Events) will be doing a Kurt Weill compilation on October 19-21 at the MSU Community Music School Auditorium, due to renovation of Fairchild, its usual venue.

English Songstress Sarah McQuaid at Pump House

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Photo credit: Colm Henry

The Pump House Concerts presents Sarah McQuaid, England's Songstress, in concert Sunday, September 16, with music starting at 7pm at the Pump House in East Lansing's welcoming Bailey Neighborhood.

Sarah McQuaid is a gifted and captivating performer whose music is sublime and compelling, characterized by velvety vocals, magisterial songwriting and a distinctive open-tuned guitar style. She was born in Spain, raised in Chicago, holds dual U.S. and Irish citizenship, and currently lives in rural England. Sing Out! calls McQuaid “a gifted and captivating performer whose warm, haunting alto is delicately cradled by her sparkling guitar” and the BBC Radio 2 says “a great songwriter & singer, & a wonderful guitarist."

East Lansing’s Little Known Musical Gem – Pump House Concerts

Monday, August 27, 2012

Many people enjoy live music, but are not into the bar scene or paying $75 to sit in an arena with thousands of other people. What’s a music fan to do?

In East Lansing, they go to the heart of the Bailey neighborhood and attend a Pump House Concert. The Pump House, located at 368 Orchard Street, was built by the WPA in the 30s as East Lansing’s water pumping facility. The well remains, but the water tower and valves are gone and now the building is a one room, neighborhood run community center. About once a month it turns into a listening room. When the music starts, the talking stops, and the worst seat is about 5 rows from the musicians. It is the most intimate (max ~60 seats) music venue in Mid-Michigan and a very special way to experience live music.

Arts Chorale Preparing for Season Concerts

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Arts Chorale of Greater Lansing is celebrating its 33rd year as a choral ensemble, performing primarily in the greater Lansing area. Dr. Dale Bartlett, Professor Emeritus of the Michigan State University School of Music, has been conductor of the Chorale since 1983.

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