Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture
11:32 am
Fri March 27, 2015

LIVE MUSIC FRIDAY: Abbey Hoffman

Abbey Hoffman performing live in WKAR's Studio S.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Our Live Music Friday guest today is singer-guitarist-songwriter Abbey Hoffman. If you were listening a couple of weeks ago when Donny Brown was our Live Music Friday guest, Abbey was here to accompany him. She’s here today as a solo artist. She’s released a solo album called “This Too Shall Pass”.

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Arts & Culture
11:32 am
Thu March 26, 2015

MSU Theatre presents psychological thriller “Bug”

The MSU Department of Theatre’s production of “Bug” starts tonight and runs this weekend and next. It’s a psychological thriller by Tracy Letts, who wrote “August: Osage County.” The show deals with themes of trauma, paranoia, and trust.

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Arts & Culture
11:22 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Steppin’ In It frontman Joshua Davis steps out on “The Voice”

Joshua Davis of the band Steppin' In It is a contestant this season on NBC's 'The Voice'.
Credit joshuadavismusic.com

One of Lansing’s top bands in recent years has been Steppin’ In It. For a long time, they played a weekly gig at The Green Door. Now, fans are following the exploits of singer Joshua Davis. He’s competing on NBC’s “The Voice” this season.

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Arts & Culture
11:33 am
Tue March 24, 2015

MSU Opera director preview's Handel's "Xerxes"

Melanie Helton is directing the MSU Opera production of Handel's 'Xerxes'.
Credit Courtesy - MSU College of Music

George Frederic Handel's opera "Xerxes" comes to the Fairchild Theatre stage this week. The MSU College of Music opens the production tomorrow night, with additional performances Friday through Sunday.

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Arts & Culture
11:32 am
Mon March 23, 2015

EL exhibit features Spike Lee movie posters by MSU grad

'Movies and Messages: The Movie Posters of Art Sims' can be seen at the MSU Museum through April 30th.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

When a new movie comes out, one of the crucial marketing elements is the poster. The images, the words, even the fonts can be crucial to the studio’s hopes of getting moviegoers into the theatres. The MSU Museum currently has an exhibition of posters designed by Art Sims, a native Detroiter who has worked extensively with filmmaker Spike Lee on posters for his movies. Along with the posters, you can see books filled with Sims’ earliest visions for each of the projects, and how those ideas evolved into the final product.

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Arts & Culture
12:05 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

REACH Studio Art Center opens Lansing’s first youth gallery

The REACH Studio Art Center's youth gallery will be open Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. to see the exhibition of works by young artists.
Credit Joy Baldwin

Last night, hundreds of people headed to REO Town for the opening of Lansing’s first youth art gallery. The show featured the work of students from REACH Studio Art Center, a nonprofit community arts center.

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Arts & Culture
11:49 am
Fri March 20, 2015

LIVE MUSIC FRIDAY: Randy Napoleon

Randy Napoleon plays guitar with drummer Nick Bracewell and bassist Joe Vasquez live in WKAR's Studio S.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Our Live Music Friday guest today is guitarist Randy Napoleon. He’s recorded a couple of CD’s, “Between Friends” and “The Jukebox Crowd”, he’s played on dozens of other recordings and has toured extensively, notably with Freddy Cole.

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Arts & Culture
11:17 am
Thu March 19, 2015

National Book Award winning author devotes career to young readers

Jacqueline Woodson's speech is at 7 p.m. in MSU's Erickson Hall KIVA.
Credit http://www.jacquelinewoodson.com/

An award-winning author of books for young readers is coming to East Lansing this week. Jacqueline Woodson's 30 books for young adults, middle graders and children have won a multitude of awards including a National Book Award in 2014 for “Brown Girl Dreaming”. The MSU Department of Teacher Education is bringing her in for a talk tonight.

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Arts & Culture
11:12 am
Thu March 19, 2015

John Schneider on cultural exchange trip to Cuba

John Schneider (right), with Current State guest host Melissa Benmark.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

For almost 25 years, Lansing and mid-Michigan connected through John Schneider's column in the Lansing State Journal. He left the paper in 2012, but new columns appear regularly. Recently, readers took in an account of John’s visit to Cuba, where he encountered “breathtaking scenery and warm people.”

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Arts & Culture
11:08 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Classical music schedule includes Ann Arbor Symphony, Dali Quartet

The Dali Quartet
Credit http://www.daliquartet.com/

The classical concert season is in top gear right now, with old favorites and new music coming to our area this week. Current State's Peter Whorf sat down with the Dali Quartet yesterday to talk about their upcoming performance with the MSU Wind Symphony.  They’ll play Joel Puckett’s work entitled "Short Stories" tonight at the Wharton Center.

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Arts & Culture
10:36 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Book Review: Josh Malerman's 'Bird Box'

"Bird Box" by Josh Malerman scared the pants off me. Please don’t think I’m saying this lightly. While horror movies can terrify me for days, horror books rarely have the same punch for me. Usually, they feel predictable, formulaic, like something conjured from an old episode of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" minus the wit or surprises.  But "Bird Box" was different, and it was terrifying.

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Arts & Culture
11:03 am
Tue March 17, 2015

Grand Rapids celebrates Bach in bars and cathedrals

Grand Rapids celebrates the genius of Johann Sebastian Bach with its biennial Bach Festival this week at numerous venues throughout the Grand Rapids area.

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Arts & Culture
1:23 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Michigan vaudeville troupe puts modern twist on bygone genre

Lil Darlins Vaudeville members Katie Corr (Kitty Darlin) on the left, Jo Serrapere (Jo Darlin), and Laura Bates (Lulu Darlin).
Credit Credit: Tasha Oltman

  

 

   Fred Astaire. Buster Keaton. Fats Waller. Mae West. 

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Arts & Culture
11:45 am
Thu March 12, 2015

MSU music faculty to revel in Ravel

Deborah Moriarty
Credit http://music.msu.edu/

The next Joanne and Bill Church West Circle Series concert from the MSU College of Music happens on Monday. It’s called “Maurice Ravel, Man of Mystery", and features a number of MSU faculty musicians, including the head of the College’s piano area, Deborah Moriarty.

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Arts & Culture
11:22 am
Wed March 11, 2015

MI MUSIC SCENE: LSJ’s Anne Erickson on Joshua Davis, March concerts

Joshua Davis lives in Traverse City now, but Lansing fans remember him from his time with the band Steppin' In It. Davis is competing on NBC's 'The Voice'.
Credit joshuadavismusic.com

It’s time for our monthly look at the Michigan music scene. Current State’s Scott Pohl is back with Lansing State Journal Things to Do reporter and music columnist Anne Erickson about concerts around the state including Maroon 5 and Heart.

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Arts & Culture
12:19 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

LIVE MUSIC FRIDAY: Hatchet Man and The Frog

Hatchet Man is Dave Matchette (right), and Frog is S.J. Forgey.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Our Live Music Friday guests today are Hatchet Man and the Frog. Hatchet Man is Dave Matchette, and the Frog is S.J. Forgey. You know them from their local bands Frog and the Beeftones and The Uptown Band. Both of them work at Elderly Instruments in Lansing.

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Arts & Culture
11:58 am
Thu March 5, 2015

LSO concert debuts new work by local composer

LSO Music Director Timothy Muffitt. The 'Masterworks 5: Enigma Variations' concert with guest artist Richard Sherman on flute is at 8 p.m. Saturday in the Cobb Great Hall of MSU's Wharton Center.
Credit Courtesy Lansing Symphony Orchestra

The Lansing Symphony performs music by Mozart, Elgar and local composer Marjan Helms at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Wharton Center. Before the concert, WKAR classical music host Jody Knol will talk with Helms, who’s work “7 Ascents for Flute and Orchestra” will be performed. That PreView conversation is at 7:15 p.m. Saturday in the Jackson National Lounge.

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Arts & Culture
11:45 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Book Review: Emma Hooper's "Etta and Otto and Russell and James"

Life is a wondrous bit of magical happenstance. Sadly, we usually forget that fact in the mundanity of it. We go from day to day lost in worries about jobs, family, and the future. Hours and days slip by one after another with little thought or memory attached to them.

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Arts & Culture
11:36 am
Wed March 4, 2015

NYC jazz guitarist teaches, performs at MSU

Credit Courtesy - MSU College of Music

The MSU Federal Credit Union Jazz Artist in Residence program with the MSU College of Music has another feature artist working with students on campus this week. Current State talks with guitarist Peter Bernstein of New York City.

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Arts & Culture
12:27 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

"Seeing Differently" through Chinese advertising art

The 'Seeing Differently' exhibit at MSU includes works from the self portrait series of Wei Da, a student at Shanghai Normal University.

A new art exhibition on the MSU campus has brought works done by top advertising students from China to East Lansing. The exhibition is called “Seeing Differently: Solving Communication Problems From Two Sides of the World”, and the art includes some interesting works. It’s here on the ground floor of the MSU Communication Arts Building for the next three months.

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Arts & Culture
12:52 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Bagratuni, Votapek collaborate on variations, sonatas

Suren Bagratuni and Ralph Votapek perform together on Thursday.
Credit Courtesy - MSU College of Music

This Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the MSU College of Music’s Cook Recital Hall, cellist Suren Bagratuni and pianist Ralph Votapek collaborate for a performance of four works. The duo will play sonatas by Benjamin Britten and Johannes Brahms, and variations by Beethoven and Martinu.

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Arts & Culture
11:41 am
Fri February 27, 2015

LIVE MUSIC FRIDAY: The Zodiac Trio

The Zodiac Trio performing live in WKAR's Studio S.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Our Live Music Friday guests today on Current State are the Zodiac Trio: Kliment Krylovskiy on clarinet, Vanessa Mollard on violin, and Riko Higuma on piano. The group is in Lansing to record at the Blue Griffin Recording Studio, and they’ve been playing for us throughout the show today.

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Arts & Culture
1:38 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Local fashionistas land on Lansing's "Runway"

"The Runway" opened in October in the former J.W. Knapp's department store in downtown Lansing. It's the city's only fashion industry incubator.
Credit Kevin Lavery / WKAR

Michigan State University students Katie Raynard and Anami Chan will receive an award honoring their work to demonstrate diversity through artistic expression.  The two MSU seniors are studying apparel and textile design. 

Raynard is an associate designer at The Runway, the new fashion industry incubator in downtown Lansing that’s only been up and running for about four months now. 

Current State’s Kevin Lavery recently toured the building, which is in a historic venue.

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Arts & Culture
12:27 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

LIVE MUSIC FRIDAY: Vincent Bowens

(Left to right) Saxophonist Vincent Bowens performs with Pierre Charles, Adam Olszewski and Ryan McMahon in WKAR's Studio S.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

It’s a Live Music Friday again here on Current State, and today, we’ve been enjoying the saxophone of Vincent Bowens. This week, Bowens has been spending time with students in the MSU College of Music Jazz Studies program as part of the MSU Federal Credit Union Jazz Artist in Residence program, along with drummer Tim Froncek.

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Arts & Culture
11:58 am
Thu February 19, 2015

MSU Theatre takes on "the Scottish play"

The MSU Department of Theatre presents 'Macbeth' February 20 through March 1.
Credit http://theatre.msu.edu/

The MSU Department of Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s "Scottish play" begins tomorrow night at Fairchild Theatre. Full of abuses of power, political wrangling, and outright murder, it hits home for audiences even 400 years after Shakespeare wrote it.

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Arts & Culture
11:53 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Book Review: W. Bruce Cameron's "The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man"

Literature is filled with stereotypes about us Michiganders. If, for example, a character in a book is from Ann Arbor, you can expect them to be smart. If they are from Detroit, they probably grew up rough and tumble in the inner city. They might be tough, but they will have a hidden heart of gold. And if a character is from northern Michigan or the UP, they’ll be poor, struggling, and have a strong attachment to hunting and beer. Also flannel. There will be lots of flannel.

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Arts & Culture
11:43 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Non-music majors find outlet in MSU Concert Orchestra

Credit http://music.msu.edu/

The MSU Concert Band and Concert Orchestra perform tomorrow night at 7:30 at the Wharton Center.

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Arts & Culture
11:48 am
Tue February 17, 2015

Local author pens novel set in East Lansing and Afghanistan

Susan Froetschel's new novel 'Allure of Deceit' is a follow-up to 'Fear of Beauty'.
Credit www.froetschel.com

East Lansing novelist Susan Froetschel has published “Allure of Deceit”, a tale that takes place in Afghanistan and East Lansing. It’s the sequel to her well-received “Fear of Beauty”.

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Arts & Culture
12:52 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

Lansing-based "Audio Air Force" revives theater of the mind

Credit Courtesy Audio Air Force

When you think of the golden days of radio, you might think of fancy productions like “The Lone Ranger” or “The Shadow”. These programs have often been referred to as “theater of the mind.”

One local radio veteran is starting up a new troupe that he hopes will stage live audio-based productions for fans of not only the old-time shows, but more modern efforts like “A Prairie Home Companion.”  It’s called the Audio Air Force. There’s an organizational meeting at 7 p-m tonight at the East Lansing Hannah Community Center.

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Arts & Culture
11:53 am
Fri February 13, 2015

Loving "Lucy" at Wharton

Euriamis Losada (left) plays Ricky Ricardo in 'I Love Lucy On Stage' with Thea Brooks as Lucille Ball.
Credit http://www.ilovelucylive.com/

One of the icons of TV’s early days is Lucille Ball. Her shows, most notably “I Love Lucy”, have endured for decades. This weekend, a stage production based on the smash hit sitcom will be at MSU’s Wharton Center.

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