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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Peak Potter-Mania Has Passed, but the Old Magic Lingers at the Regulator's Cursed Child Release Party

Posted By on Tue, Aug 2, 2016 at 4:05 PM

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Release Party Saturday, Aug. 30 The Regulator Bookshop, Durham There was magic in the air on Saturday night at the Regulator Bookshop. An hour before midnight, the store was filled with an assortment of witches, house elves, Hogwarts professors, stuffed owls, and no shortage of nostalgia. The Regulator—along with bookstores across the country—was hosting a midnight release party for the eighth Harry Potter installment, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. It’s been nine years since the last book came out. Katherine McNulty has read all seven books twice—and out loud. She attended the Regulator’s...

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Pokémon No: Why Are People Stumbling Around Saying Words Like "Squirtle" and Falling Down Open Manholes?

Posted By and on Thu, Jul 14, 2016 at 9:00 AM

If the words “Gotta catch ’em all!” mean something to you, then the world outside your bedroom has become a little more exciting. The free augmented-reality mobile game Pokémon Go is fulfilling childhood fantasies of becoming a Pokémon master, as people are venturing out in the world attempting to capture all the Pokémon. Android and iOS users are searching for spawned Pokémon in any place imaginable: gas stations, hospital rooms, strip clubs, and, to the chagrin of some, churches and graveyards. They’re everywhere, including all over the Triangle. Local Pokémon trainers are in a Pokémon trance in their search for...

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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Video: Watch Durham's Monica Byrne Turn Into a Hologram in Vancouver TED Talk

Posted By on Thu, May 5, 2016 at 2:23 PM

Durham author and playwright Monica Byrne is known for raveling disparate strands of gender, race, and love in speculative social orders, from the acclaimed novel The Girl in the Road to the ambitious play Tarantino's Yellow Speedo. Last February, she added to that list with For My Wife, Navid, a story commissioned by Chris Anderson and then performed live at TED 2016 in Vancouver. The performance, in which Byrne portrays a hologram (aided by clever lighting and digital glitch effects), went up on TED's website today. "From what I heard afterwards, a full third of the audience thought I was actually a...

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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

ConcussionCast Carnival Showcases Exciting Bouts of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Durham Central Park

Posted By on Tue, May 3, 2016 at 1:41 PM

Early rain couldn’t stifle the action at Durham Central Park on Sunday, where a slate of ten jiu-jitsu bouts, fought in an MMA cage, kicked off with a short match. As the rain started to clear, Chapel Hill’s Mary Holmes locked an armbar on her opponent, Washington, D.C.’s Laurie Porsch, and gave the event an enduring shot of energy. From there, all the fights kept the intensity level high. Most of the bouts either ended quickly, with a sudden submission, or pushed the competitors into overtime. The ConcussionCast Carnival, a live extension of the weekly Cageside ConcussionCast radio show...

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

M.C. Escher speaks through new downtown Raleigh murals

Posted By on Wed, Sep 16, 2015 at 8:27 AM

On Thursday morning, the first day of Hopscotch, painter David Eichenberger stares at an off-kilter A-frame ladder. One set of the ladder’s legs sits on a platform nearly a foot above the second, and the entire thing is perched atop tall metal scaffolding in front of AHPeele Studio in downtown Raleigh. Eichenberger is one word into a six-word mural, and he looks at the silver ladder, uneasy. “Are you going to climb that thing?” I ask, peering up at him from below the metal tangle. A few onlookers crane their necks to get a better view. Even cars on notoriously zippy...

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween special: The day it rained blood and guts in North Carolina

Posted By on Wed, Oct 29, 2014 at 1:54 PM

In 1850, a strange package arrived at the office of the North Carolinian. It contained a letter and what appeared to be the rotting organ of an animal. “The piece which was left with us,” the editors wrote in March, “has been examined with two of the best microscopes in the place,” and certainly contained blood. “It has the smell,” their article continued, “both in its dry state and when macerated in water, of putrid flesh; and there can be scarcely a doubt that it is such.” Thomas Clarkson, who lived on a farm about thirteen miles southwest of Clinton,...

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Too much fun at SPARKcon 2014

Posted By on Mon, Sep 22, 2014 at 3:37 PM

If you’re in downtown Raleigh during the weekend of SPARKcon, it’s nearly impossible to avoid. I was still in pajamas on Saturday, Sept. 13, when I noticed a throng of 30 people in front of my house around 10 a.m. They were on designSPARK’s Urban Issues Walking Tour, learning about design in the historic district. A jumble of umbrellas colored the sidewalk as neighbor Matthew Brown explained the history of my home. From my porch, I waved politely when he said, “A nice couple has done wonderful things to the interior.” I quickly returned to the comfort of said interior...

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Review: Love's Infrastructure, a striking theatrical collaboration of Torry Bend and Bombadil

Posted By on Mon, Jan 27, 2014 at 5:45 PM

Love's Infrastructure Duke Performances @ PSI Theatre,  Durham Arts Council Closed Jan. 26 Let’s start with the most striking thing about Love’s Infrastructure, the new collaboration between puppeteer Torry Bend and pop-folk trio Bombadil: how the show works. Imagine watching The Muppet Show while simultaneously seeing all the hubbub behind the scenes. While Bombadil plays music, Bend’s crew of designers, managers and puppeteers creates a complex puppet show, projecting the results at the center of the stage, while the “making of”—sets, puppetry, cameras and computers—spills out behind the screen. The delightful opening scene, for example, shows the sun—a round...

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Monday, March 4, 2013

The most amazing season, eh? A closer look at DPAC's new Broadway line-up

Posted By on Mon, Mar 4, 2013 at 1:23 PM

Photo by Joan MarcusThe Book of Mormon comes to Durham Feb. 11-23, 2014.To summarize the lineup of touring Broadway shows coming through the Durham Performing Arts Center’s new season as succinctly as possible: Hope you like Andrew Lloyd Webber. Sir Andrew’s work may be found in three of the seven new shows announced at DPAC’s SunTrust Broadway Preview Event on Friday, specifically the touring version of the recently-closed revival of Evita, the 2011 West End musical version of The Wizard of Oz film with new songs by Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, and a whole concert featuring songs from Lloyd...

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Some assembly required? Meow Meow in Beyond Glamour at PSI Theatre

Posted By on Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Karl GiantCaburlesque performer Meow MeowBEYOND GLAMOURMeow Meow3.5 stars (out of 5)PSI Theatre, Durham Arts CouncilThrough Feb. 14 It doesn’t always look that way, I know. But critics usually don’t go to a show for the purpose of basking in their own smugness and perceived superiority over the material, the genre, the company or the audience. (At least, they shouldn’t. When one does—and occasionally it happens, even here—little more is served than their own ego.) But what do we make of a performance in which the performer appears to be doing this instead? That is the riddle posed by one Melissa...

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mary Poppins is witty and colorful, if not supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 2:37 PM

Kyle FromanMadeline Trumble and Con O'Shea-Creal as Mary Poppins and BertMARY POPPINS* * * 1/2 starsThrough Feb. 17Durham Performing Arts Center The touring production of the stage musical version of Disney's Mary Poppins, co-created by Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera hitmaker Cameron Mackintosh and appearing at the Durham Performing Arts Center through Feb. 17, is an odd experience, depending on which version of Mary Poppins you know. If you're mostly familiar with the 1964 film with Julie Andrews, this version jettisons many of the songs, scenes and plot points, creates a completely different conflict for the second act...

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Cirque du Soleil's athletic prowess compensates for show's flaws

Posted By on Fri, Aug 17, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Cirque du Soleil's Dralion - Images by Independent Weekly CIRQUE DU SOLEIL: DRALION* * * starsPNC ArenaThrough Aug. 19 Cirque du Soleil is a global juggernaut, but it's still a surprisingly youthful institution. In contrast to, say, those 19th-century animal drivers Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey, Cirque is a babe. Officially dating to 1984, the Montreal-based troupe exploded in the 1990s. In the middle of that decade, the troupe developed an Eastern-themed show called Dralion. The show focused on Chinese acrobatics and became a huge hit, running for about 13 years. In 2010, the show was revived for arena...

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chicago brings the razzle-dazzle, but not the Brinkley

Posted By on Wed, Aug 1, 2012 at 9:19 AM

Photo by Jeremy DanielToo bad Christie (above) is sick, but c'mon... Bianca Marroquin is covering for her.CHICAGO3.5 stars (out of five)@Durham Performing Arts CenterThrough Aug. 5 I never thought I’d say this, but I’m glad I missed Christie Brinkley last night. A buzz of disappointment ran through the opening-night crowd for the brash and bawdy musical Chicago at the Durham Performing Arts Center. Supermodel Brinkley, due to play murderous ingénue Roxie Hart, would not appear due to illness. She may return later this week. (DPAC announced this morning that Brinkley will not perform in Durham.) But Bianca Marroquin, who's playing...

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Boneshaker author Cherie Priest talks steampunk at ConTemporal in Chapel Hill

Posted By on Fri, Jun 22, 2012 at 9:47 AM

Photo by Libby BulloffCherie PriestWhy should you head to ConTemporal, the Chapel Hill-based science fiction convention that focuses heavily on the retro-futuristic concept of steampunk? We’ll let the con’s literary guest of honor Cherie Priest tell you why. Steampunk, for those not in the know, is a branch of science fiction that postulates what would have happened if modern or futuristic technology had been created in the past, using the technology and materials available at that time, e.g. steam engines, zeppelins and the like. It’s become a particularly popular subset of science fiction fandom, with many fans creating steampunk-themed outfits...

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Thursday, June 7, 2012

It's wrestling, but is it art? Food trucks and smackdowns tonight in Raleigh

Posted By on Thu, Jun 7, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Shonna GreenwellA superstar from the late ’90s Southern Championship Wrestling sceneThere’s art to be found in men beating the crap out of each other. There is also wholesome, family entertainment located there too. Just ask Rebus Works owner Shonna Greenwell. Today, the men of local wrestling outfit GOUGE Wrestling will be smashing and bashing outside her arts and crafts gallery, entertaining spectators as they take part in another one of Rebus Works’s Food Truck Rodeo. So, just how did an art gallery owner hook up with a bunch of tights-wearing bruisers? Well, for starters, she lived next to one for...

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Love never dies, but many terrible musicals have: Sitting through Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom sequel.

Posted By on Wed, Jun 6, 2012 at 4:12 PM

This past Christmas, I received two books on the history of Broadway flops, Not Since Carrie and Second Act Trouble. They’re fascinating reads, both illuminating some hidden treasures of the theater and in recounting the brazen excesses that doom many a Broadway flop to its fate. A review of the adaptation of Carrie, the musical version of Stephen King’s classic revenge story, which inspired the title of Not Since Carrie. A recent revival dumped the camp and was excoriated for NOT providing the insane spectacle the audience anticipated. This is on my mind when I recently attended a Fathom Events...

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Baby steps: Learning to love anime at Animazement

Posted By on Tue, May 29, 2012 at 4:32 PM

File photo by Jeremy M. LangeThe scene at the 2010 Animazement conventionStuck in the doorway outside the Raleigh Convention Center on a rainy Sunday, I'm at least treated to the spectacle of a small army of middle school-to-college-aged individuals communing in makeup, corsets and the odd Pokemon hat. It's the last day of Animazement, the popular Raleigh event that attracts thousands of fans of Japanese animation or "anime," and I'm on a mission—to join in on their fandom. Anime represents a blind spot in my nerdity, but its sense of community and wide variety of colorful series have long piqued...

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Philip Glass' Satyagraha: Sounds are beautiful, but stamina is required.

Posted By on Tue, Dec 6, 2011 at 2:43 PM

Photo by Ken Howard/ Metropolitan OperaRichard Croft as GandhiSATYAGRAHAThe Met Live in HD, live in theaters Nov. 19Rebroadcast 6:30 p.m. Dec. 7 Regal Brier Creek, North Hills, Crossroads Philip Glass is one of those artists who make you work for the satisfaction that is ultimately to be found in his music. His 1980 opera Satyagraha is no exception. Although it is based on Mahatma Gandhi’s early adult years in South Africa, where Gandhi developed his techniques for non-violent protest, the opera is highly abstracted, and lacks a narrative through-line even though the scenes are chronologically arranged. Unless you know a...

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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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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Breaking blood: After guilty pleasures, more thoughts about Twilight

Posted By on Thu, Dec 1, 2011 at 3:54 PM

Summit EntertainmentA couple for the ages. And ages and ages.Spoiler alert: If you want to be surprised by anything that happens in the film, read this after you’ve seen it.Let me state at the outset that I thoroughly enjoyed the latest Twilight movie. This is not Jean-Luc Godard. Werewolves take their shirts off. Pale vampires make ethereal beauties swoon. There’s a wedding and a honeymoon in Rio. And a demon baby. The franchise is critic-proof. Debating the relative artistic merits of the film is as meaningless as reproaching Transformers movies for having too many robots. In spite of the guilty...

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Rings of fire: Notes on The Met's Siegfried

Posted By on Fri, Nov 25, 2011 at 7:35 AM

Ken Howard/ Metropolitan OperaJay Hunter Morris in the title roleSIEGFRIEDThe Met Live in HDRegal Brier Creek Stadium 14 All my life, I’ve been hearing—words and music—the epic story of Siegfried, the hero of the eponymous third section of Richard Wagner’s four-part opera inspired by Norse mythology, Der Ring des Nibelungen, or the Ring Cycle. I had my mother’s childhood books on the Ring (published by the Metropolitan Opera Guild in 1939), and my father liked to tell the story to his children, because his father had told it to him. Yet in all these years, I’d never seen Siegfried, never...

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Friday, November 4, 2011

Rakish but satisfying Don Giovanni at Met in HD. Up this weekend: Wagner's Siegfried

Posted By on Fri, Nov 4, 2011 at 2:38 PM

Marty Sohl/ Metropolitan OperaMojca Erdmann as Zerlina and Mariusz Kwiecien as the title character in the Met's new production of Mozart's "Don Giovanni."Don GiovanniMetropolitan Opera Simulcast @Brier Creek Stadium 14, Saturday, Oct. 29Rebroadcast: Wednesday, Nov. 16 The digital revolution has made many wonderful things possible, but culturally speaking, one of the grandest is the live-in-high-definition broadcast of opera from the world’s major opera houses. The leader in bringing the enormous multi-art undertaking that is grand opera is New York’s Metropolitan Opera, with its Live in HD programming, now nearing its fifth anniversary. The most recent broadcast, on Oct. 29 (all...

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What will Iron Man 3 mean for Wilmington and North Carolina?

Posted By on Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 3:25 PM

Double Negative/ Marvel EntertainmentLast Thursday, Chris Cooney, co-owner and COO of EUE/Screen Gems studios in Wilmington, confirmed at a press conference that Marvel Studios would be shooting Iron Man 3 at their studios. Yes, there’s a really good chance Wilmington locals will see Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson and other A-listers who will return to film the third chapter in Marvel’s chief superhero franchise, which will be directed by Shane Black (who directed Downey in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang). Needless to say, local fanboys, like Raleigh film blogger and comics aficionado Isaac Weeks, are curious to find out...

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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 4, 2011

Exclusive video preview: Paperhand Puppet Intervention's
THE SERPENT'S EGG

Posted By on Thu, Aug 4, 2011 at 6:51 PM

Exclusive rehearsal footage from THE SERPENT'S EGG, the new musical puppet pageant by PAPERHAND PUPPET INTERVENTION. For more info on the show, read our preview from the Aug. 3 INDY. THE SERPENT'S EGG runs Fridays through Sundays through Sept. 5 at UNC's Forest Theatre, and Sept. 9-11 at the N.C. Museum of Art. A musical pre-show begins at 6:20 p.m. The performance starts at 7. Admission is a suggested donation of $12/adults and $8/children at the door, but the company stresses that no one is ever turned away for lack of funds....

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

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