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Friday, April 27, 2012

Large turnout at CAM Raleigh as Redress Raleigh promotes eco-fashion

Posted By on Fri, Apr 27, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Photo by Leigh Moose/ Side Yard Studios PhotographyTwo models show off JulieApple Handbags.By 8 p.m. or so, the Contemporary Art Museum in downtown Raleigh was fully stocked with spectators last Friday evening. They were all in attendance not for art, but for fashion. On this night, Redress Raleigh took over the museum for its fourth annual Eco-Fashion Show, where eco-friendly designers are given the opportunity to show off the fruits of their labor. And after previously doing the show at such spots as Flanders Gallery and Edenton Street United Methodist Church, the people behind Redress thought the CAM Raleigh would...

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

New company has almost all the "Proof" we need: Exit Through Eden at Raleigh Ensemble Players

Posted By on Thu, Apr 19, 2012 at 2:27 PM

PROOF3.5 stars (out of five) Exit Through Eden Raleigh Ensemble PlayersThrough Apr. 22 Catherine, the bright, bewildered daughter of a deceased mathematical genius, isn’t the only one with something to prove in this current production of David Auburn’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama. A new director at the helm of a new theater group is having to present a few bona fides as well. This production marks the maiden voyage for director Jason Sharp’s company, Exit Through Eden. Sharp has achieved notice in a series of supporting roles in shows including Violet at Hot Summer Nights and Raleigh Ensemble Players’ Distracted, and...

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Monday, March 19, 2012

El Anatsui's optimistic objects

Posted By on Mon, Mar 19, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Artists are a resourceful lot. In their hands, common materials become artifacts charged with new significance. Often this transformation is powered by an artist’s imagination or vision of metaphorical possibility. Other times it comes from sheer necessity—one uses what is at hand, almost regardless of the material itself. Western artists typically use found or discarded materials to revel in their materiality or to implicate the wasteful systems and habits that caused the materials to be discarded. There’s a whole disorganized era of “recycle/reuse” art. But this term is a luxury of the First World, a place where an infinite amount...

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

When The Spinning Stopped: LES MISERABLES' 25th Anniversary at Progress Energy Center

Posted By on Sun, Feb 19, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Deen van MeerAt the Barricade: Jeremy Hays, Max Quinlan and Chasten Harmon in LES MISERABLESLES MISÉRABLES4 stars out of 5Broadway Series South/North Carolina TheatreThrough Feb. 19 There’s a certain contradiction when a production celebrates the 25th anniversary of a world-wide musical theater phenomenon by completely discarding the original’s landmark production concept—and then cutting, according to reports, somewhere between 20 and 40 minutes from the show. That, however, is the outcome with the 25th Anniversary Tour of LES MISERABLES which stops at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium this week. The odd result is a historical production (in more than one sense of the...

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fortune rising: One-time Peace College student returns to Raleigh for Goodnights gig

Posted By on Thu, Dec 22, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Fortune FeimsterYou hate to be the asshole who points out that it’s a good thing Fortune Feimster has that first name, since a lot of that has been coming her way as of late. But it’s true. The 31-year-old stand-up comic and Belmont, N.C. native has gotten herself the sweetest of gigs, as a writer for Chelsea Lately. Feimster says there were many people angling to be on Chelsea Handler’s popular, late-night bitchfest. Luckily, her appearances on NBC’s Last Comic Standing led to Handler and her staff taking a chance on her. “They had about 400 people apply and I...

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Addictive personalities in an uncompleted house: Love Drunk at REP

Posted By on Tue, Dec 6, 2011 at 4:43 PM

Evan FulksLOVE DRUNK2.5 stars out of 5J&J Productions@ Raleigh Ensemble Players Through Dec. 17brownpapertickets.com/event/210573 417-2477 Director Joshua Benjamin and actors John Honeycutt and Jess Jones find themselves in the best of theatrical company this week. Would that that were better news than it is. For after I witnessed two of the region’s most renowned actors humbled by the demands of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf at PlayMakers Rep the night before, this upstart company’s production of Romulus Linney’s last play, Love Drunk, similarly seemed a theatrical puzzle only partially solved by last Sunday night in Raleigh Ensemble Players'...

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Friday, December 2, 2011

Khan artistry: Why you should visit the NC Museum of Natural Sciences' exhibit on the Mongolian warlord

Posted By on Fri, Dec 2, 2011 at 1:52 PM

So, tonight is First Friday and, as always, downtown Raleigh will have a bevy (that’s right, I said bevy!) of happenings that wandering folk can dip into. Over at the Museum of Natural Sciences, the museum’s monthly “Natural Horror Picture Show” will show the 1989 comedy Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, which has Alex Winter and a pre-Matrix Keanu Reeves as high-school dunderheads picking up historical icons in a time-traveling phone booth for their history report. One of those icons is Mongolian warrior/leader Genghis Khan, about whom the museum just happens to have an exhibit. It opened a couple weekends...

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Drive to Raleigh to see one photograph? Do it.

Posted By on Wed, Nov 9, 2011 at 11:07 AM

“It is not (it seems to me) by painting that photography touches art, but by theater,” Roland Barthes wrote in Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography. The French theorist’s book investigates the relatively young medium through the question of why certain individual images fascinate him. Burk Uzzle's "Red, White, and Blue" (2007)One image at the back of the Burk Uzzle retrospective at Raleigh’s Flanders Gallery through Nov. 29 would likely have been in Barthes’ book. And its complex theatrical power makes it worth a special trip to camp out in front of for a half-hour pondering where America is, and where...

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Remembering SPARKcon 2011: Raleigh shows off local artists

Posted By on Thu, Sep 22, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Despite some rain and colder weather, the four-day event called SPARKcon, the sixth-annual celebration of Raleigh's creativity, was well-attended and included a number of great showcases for local and independent artists. SPARKCon is organized around various “Sparks,” collaborative groupings of artists around a theme. These range from groups like danceSPARK and theaterSPARK to geekSPARK (technology) or wheelSPARK (skateboarding). One of the most fun aspects of SPARKcon is wandering into a building off of Fayetteville Street and coming across a SPARK you didn't know about while witnessing a demonstration of something new and innovative. GeekSPARK probably tops the list in that...

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Author Kevin Wilson on The Family Fang; reading tonight in Raleigh

Posted By on Thu, Aug 25, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Photo by Leigh Ann CouchHis first novel, The Family Fang (Ecco, $23.99) only been out for a few weeks, but Kevin Wilson is already making waves as an author. The book's received rave reviews, including a full page in Time magazine and a profile of the author in the New York Times, and has appeared on that paper's bestseller list. The strange, tragic and very funny tale of two siblings coming to terms with being part of their parents' performance art experiments as children (from the boy infliltrating a beauty pageant in a dress to the parents staging a mock...

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Friday, June 10, 2011

Timeless corruption in Raleigh Little Theatre's The Threepenny Opera

Posted By on Fri, Jun 10, 2011 at 3:13 PM

Photo by Stuart WagnerMark Ridenour as MacheathThe Threepenny Opera 2.5 starsRaleigh Little Theatre@ RLT Sutton Main Stage TheatreThrough June 19 I’m not sure if it was my perfume or the play, but by the beginning of the third act, my entire section of the audience had not returned. At first, I was a bit alarmed that they would start the last act before approximately 30 people returned from the restrooms, but the unfortunate truth quickly dawned on me: They had walked. Now, I think there are very few reasons to walk out of a show before curtain bows, and Raleigh...

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Raleigh arts organization make their case as city council ponders cuts

Posted By on Wed, Jun 8, 2011 at 5:09 PM

File photo by Jeremy M. LangeMembers of Burning Coal Theatre Company were out in force Tuesday night. In this photo from 2008, members of the company pose in their new Murphey School space. Last night’s Raleigh City Council meeting was packed with people, two-thirds of which were members of the city’s local arts community. (Members of the Burning Coal Theatre Company filled up two rows of seats.) These people, many of them wearing lime-green stickers on their clothing with the words “think art” on it, were there for one simple reason: to convince the council not to cut Raleigh’s arts...

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Pulping Dixie: Poet Kay Byer and the complexity of race in the South

Posted By on Fri, May 27, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Any writing about race relations in the South will have its limitations. One’s experiences are never comprehensive. One’s skin color and background are hardly choices. In an important way, any individual book, essay, article, or poem about racism and the South aspires primarily to contribute to the totality of literature on the subject, rather than to overcome it. They’re part of an interminable conversation upon an unresolvable issue. And only time determines which books and works count more than others. Former North Carolina Poet Laureate Kathryn Stripling Byer’s new collection Southern Fictions, a series of sonnets coming out of black-white...

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Diagnosis: aesthetic anorexia
MY NAME IS RACHEL CORRIE at Burning Coal

Posted By on Sat, May 21, 2011 at 10:24 PM

Peace activist Rachel CorrieMY NAME IS RACHEL CORRIE1.5 stars (out of 5)Wait Till You See ThisBurning Coal Theatrethrough May 22 There’s minimalism. There’s out-and-out starkness. And then—unfortunately—there’s the form of aesthetic anorexia that director Tea Alagic and actor Alice Turner have come up with in this production of MY NAME IS RACHEL CORRIE. Throughout theatrical history, more than one director has wisely advised an actor facing an emotionally daunting text to “let the words do the work.” Generally, that means an actor should do less with a text to achieve more; gauging the intrinsic impact the words already have so...

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The next big thing: Triangle gaming designers to gather today and tomorrow

Posted By on Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 9:35 AM

Those heading downtown to the Raleigh Convention Center for the East Coast Game Conference on April 13 and 14 might learn the secrets behind creating the next hit video game that lets players solve a puzzle, learn a skill, or find new ways to dismember an enemy. The conference’s highlight is “Unreal University,” highlighting Cary-based Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, a game development tool that’s been licensed out to other companies to help create such hits as BioShock and Batman: Arkham Asylum. Along with offering previews of such anticipated Epic projects Gears of War 3 and Samaritan, the conference features veteran...

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Jason Whitman’s hapless animals at Rebus Works

Posted By on Thu, Mar 17, 2011 at 6:36 PM

Courtesy of Rebus WorksJason Whitman:DrawingsRebus Works Through March Remember that guy in high school who was always drawing? You always wanted to sit in the row next to him so you could peek over during class to see what he was scrawling there, hiding the paper with an arm so the teacher couldn’t see what he was up to. I have a feeling that Jason Whitman was one of those guys. Whitman’s 25 or so pencil drawings currently at Rebus Works in Raleigh still show something of that album-cover, adolescent hand, featuring painstakingly shaded animals under various degrees of ironic...

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An older and mellower Tom Green: a conversation with the creator of Freddy Got Fingered

Posted By on Thu, Mar 17, 2011 at 6:20 PM

Courtesy of Marleah Leslie & AssociatesIn the late 1990s and early 2000s, Tom Green rose to superstardom through such gross-out humor as putting a sculpture of his parents having sex on their front lawn and the novelty hit “The Bum Bum Song.” There was also the debatable cult classic Freddy Got Fingered. (A highbrow appreciation is here.) But these days, the one-time MTV sensation who famously broadcast his testicular cancer surgery on the air has embraced a perspective he calls “conservative.” “I just talk about things that make me laugh, and that the mainstream doesn’t necessarily talk about,” says Green...

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First Friday diary

Posted By on Thu, Mar 17, 2011 at 5:38 PM

Photo by Lauren ShuteAt 311 Gallery, Friday night in RaleighAlthough I’ve spent three years in Raleigh, I’d yet to hit downtown for a First Friday. But this month, it was time. My editor asked for a report on the monthly art celebration, and I was more than happy to grab a notepad and some friends and spend a night on the town. My friends and I paired our most chic outfits with our highest heels for First Friday earlier this month, eager to fit in with the Raleigh art set. We sipped white wine and nodded along with the artists,...

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Good cast, long script—and a tight situation:
REP's Last Days of Judas Iscariot

Posted By on Sat, Mar 12, 2011 at 5:17 PM

D.L. AndersonLormarev Jones as St. Monica in THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT. Click image to enlarge.THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT3.5 stars (out of 5)Raleigh Ensemble PlayersThrough March 13 Our review of this production is also inescapably a first critical notice on a new venue—Raleigh Ensemble Players’ new theater space, which occupies the main floor of their modest four-story brick building at 213 Fayetteville Street in the heart of downtown Raleigh. That theater finally opened for its first show this week after a couple of earlier miscues, during a capital campaign conducted over two of the most economically unstable...

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Sunday, March 6, 2011

In this political climate, Arts Advocates are needed. Here's how you become one...

Posted By on Sun, Mar 6, 2011 at 8:41 PM

Arts Advocacy WorkshopsArts North Carolina RaleighUnited Arts of Raleigh/Wake County110 South Blount StreetTuesday, March 8, 12 noon DurhamDurham Arts Council120 Morris StreetMonday, March 14, 11:30 a.m. Chapel HillPlaymakers Repertory CompanyPaul Green Theater, UNC-Chapel HillMonday, March 28, 2 p.m. The moment has occurred repeatedly since the early part of the 2000s, when Arts N.C. executive director Karen Wells and her colleagues began conducting what she calls “Advocacy 101”—hour-long workshops that teach total novices how to coordinate and raise their voices with their elected representatives as citizens who support the arts. At some point it starts to dawn on her students: It...

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Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Tarot deck of dances? Doug Varone's Chapters from a Broken Novel, tonight at NC State

Posted By on Sat, Feb 5, 2011 at 10:54 AM

from Doug Varone's "Chapters from a Broken Novel"A person who sits for a conventional tarot reading knows several things. If that Rider-Waite deck hasn’t changed in the century since it was crafted, the archetypes depicted in its major arcana have basically been fixed for a half-millennium. No one snuck a card in last week depicting your favorite uncle or your most detested boss; a photo of your first love, your first car, or your first beer isn’t going to dramatically appear face up as the cards are dealt. And yet. A finite cast of characters and symbols set on 78...

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

News & Observer lays off Craig Lindsey as McClatchy continues assault on film criticism

Posted By on Tue, Jan 18, 2011 at 7:42 PM

Wiki CommonsCary Grant and Rosalind Russell in the greatest newspaper movie ever (and there have been some good ones)Once again, the News & Observer is reporting in its business pages that members of its own organization are losing their jobs. Today, 20 members of the organization were let go; an unknown number of them were offered voluntary buyouts. It's my particular displeasure to report that fellow film critic Craig Lindsey was among those laid off today by the McClatchy-owned paper. It's been my privilege to work with and around Craig for several years, getting to know both his renowned eccentricities...

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Friday, December 10, 2010

When is good, good enough?
DPAC's YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN and TIP's A CHRISTMAS CAROL

Posted By on Fri, Dec 10, 2010 at 8:28 AM

YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN3½ stars out of 5 Durham Performing Arts CenterThrough Dec. 12 A CHRISTMAS CAROL3 stars out of 5Theatre in the ParkThrough Dec. 15 Christopher Ryan as the Doc, Cory English (kneeling) as Igor, and Preston Truman Boyd, chilling, in YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN It’s a hideous proposition, particularly for a theater critic. Still, I must admit: On some occasions, the biggest question we’re asked to answer isn’t if a show is good. It’s “Is it good enough? ” Take the professional touring version of YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. Under the circumstances, I’m tempted to follow that sentence with the Youngman-esque rejoinder, “Please.” Clearly...

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Friday, December 3, 2010

In memoriam: Peter Eichenberger and perfect corners

Posted By on Fri, Dec 3, 2010 at 7:30 PM

D.L. AndersonPeter EichenbergerI met Peter Eichenberger on a random weekday morning in that infamously smoky backroom of the real Cup A Joe on Hillsborough Street. It was among my first few times hanging there. As a 20-something expatriate of academia eager to stage my own disappearance, I stumbled into Cup A Joe on a daybreak of wander and found it a prime location for an amateur poet to find her voice, to fester in her own anonymity. There was a retro-red diner table in the right corner just before the insubstantial wall segregating the women’s bathroom from the opaque air—as...

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Theatrical disaster as farce—and something else:
NCSU's INSPECTING CAROL and FATE's MARAT/SADE

Posted By on Thu, Dec 2, 2010 at 3:29 PM

INSPECTING CAROL3 1/2 stars out of 5N.C. State University TheatreThrough Dec. 5 THE PERSECUTION AND ASSASSINATION OF JEAN-PAUL MARAT AS PERFORMED BY THE INMATES OF THE ASYLUM AT CHARENTON UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE MARQUIS DE SADE2 stars out of 5Free Association Theater EnsembleClosed Nov. 20 NCSU photo by Ron ForemanJordan Manning, Christian O'Neil and Paul Brothers, in "Inspecting Carol" Optimism ! Trust ! Fearless Authority ! And DISASTER !! I can still hear performance poet John Giorno’s trademark, small-time chiseler’s voice—the unlikeliest set of pipes ever to front an art band—railing out the opening lines to his scabrous little...

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You stopped the arts coverage to cover the election..... You were probably better off just covering the arts, rather than …

by Matt Price on Will to Live Cautiously Returning? Here's a Few Things to Do This Week. (Arts)

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