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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Five thoughts about Conan on TBS

Posted By on Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 9:17 PM

TBS/ Team CocoConan O'Brien returned to the airwaves on Monday night, and he—and I—couldn't be happier. After three nights, here are five observations:1. The bearded O’Brien looks happier than ever. I always thought he looked uncomfortable on The Tonight Show, so frankly, I stopped watching. (Maybe he shared my foreboding about that whole thing.) And it’s nice to have Andy Richter out from behind that announcer’s podium and back on the couch, where he belongs. 2. The set looks scary huge. The big-screen effects behind his desk are amusing; it was fun to see Tom Hanks getting drenched by a...

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Eggers sunnyside up at Duke

Posted By on Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 1:50 PM

Dave Eggers spoke at Duke's Page Auditorium last nightThe theme of writer-humanitarian Dave Eggers's talk to a large audience at Page Auditorium last night was simple and almost shockingly optimistic: "We are a nation that instinctively wants to help people," he said early on. "This is still, and I think always will be, the most welcoming country in the world." Anecdote after anecdote exampled Eggers' stance, from changing someone's flat tire to tutoring kids (which is what his San Francisco literacy project, 826 Valencia, has been doing since 2002) to saving lives after Hurricane Katrina. Eggers, who was at Duke...

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Shaolin Riverdance? The amazing Mr. Cherkaoui and Sutra at Carolina Performing Arts

Posted By on Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 9:10 AM

Andree LanthierSIDI LARBI CHERKAOUI/ SADLER'S WELLS LONDON: SUTRA Carolina Performing Arts@Memorial Hall, UNC CampusNov. 10-11 Belgian choreographer-performer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui has one of the most graceful, flexible and articulate bodies on the world stage. His aesthetic—at least as expressed in Sutra, an hourlong entertainment created with the support of British dance presenter Sadler’s Wells—doesn’t bother to temper this facility with subtlety or nuance. “I feel like I just saw a Chinese version of Riverdance,” one theatergoer was overheard to say at Wednesday night's show. As the performance concluded, the audience rose up for a noisy standing ovation. Popping out of...

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Monday, November 8, 2010

How can you stay in the house... and how can you leave? Ralph Lemon at Duke

Posted By on Mon, Nov 8, 2010 at 2:04 PM

Photo by Frank OudemanRalph LemonRalph Lemon: How Can You Stay in the House All Day and Not Go Anywhere?Duke PerformancesReynolds Industries Theater Nov. 6 “We had a lot more walk-outs last night than usual,” said lighting director and production manager Christopher Kuhl prior to the Saturday night performance of New York-based choreographer Ralph Lemon’s How Can You Stay in the House All Day and Not Go Anywhere? “Ralph is interested in it. He likes to track when people leave, when they start texting.” The evening began whimsically enough with a video piece featuring 102-year old Walter Carter—Lemon’s muse and mentor,...

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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Revolutionary satire? Or satire on revolution?
Little Green Pig's NIGHT BEAST at Manbites Dog Theater

Posted By on Sat, Nov 6, 2010 at 11:36 AM

photo by Jay O'BerskiGil Faison, Utrophia Robinson and Regenna Rouse in the world premiere of NIGHT BEAST.NIGHT BEAST2.5 stars (out of 5)The Theme is Blackness FestivalLittle Green Pig Theatrical ConcernManbites Dog TheaterThrough Nov. 6 Had he lived long enough, Marx may well have updated his famous epigram that history repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce. By now, might he not have easily added that, by the third time, it starts to look a lot like Tarantino—or in other words, an unlikely combination of the two? That’s my initial response to the world premiere of NIGHT BEAST, a...

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dancing toward solidarity: sensational Billy Elliot at DPAC

Posted By on Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 5:32 PM

Photo by Michael BrosilowHe's not that kind of contender: Billy (Giuseppe Bausilio) and George (Joel Blum)BILLY ELLIOT5 starsDurham Performing Arts CenterThrough Nov. 14 Most of us will never know the kind of community solidarity that features so movingly in Billy Elliot The Musical because most of us in "right-to-work" North Carolina have little experience with organized labor. But the real-life British coal miners’ strike of 1984-85 that forms the backdrop of this rousing story heralded a lasting change in the relations between labor, capital and government. When British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her gang broke the coal miners’ union,...

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