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Arts and Culture (All)

A perfect orphan for the holidays

Leapin’ lizards, Annie, how do you still break hearts after 35 years, even when we know what’s coming? It’s not just your heart-warming premise or sweet songs, your adorable mutt or Vaudevillian villains. It’s the magic of a cast so sincere and invested that two hankies are not enough for Colonial Players’ family holiday classic.
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Local animal lovers read local Short Leash writer

If you read Marley and Me and cried like a baby, we may have the book club for you.
    The readers in this club carry their passion about animals into their taste in books. They’ll read any animal-themed book. They started on The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein and The Pitbull Placebo by Karen Delise.
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The story of a man who wanted to die with his boots on

A few lines of cocaine, a three-way with rodeo groupies and a belt or two of whiskey is how Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey: Mud) liked to start his mornings. Before long, hard living and hard fighting make a mess of this bull rider.
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Nothing here but wit, and that aplenty

Of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest 1895 premiere, critic William Archer wrote in The World newspaper, “What can a poor critic do with a play which raises no principle, whether of art or morals, creates its own canons and conventions and is nothing but an absolutely willful expression of an irrepressibly witty personality?”
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Even a brilliant foil can’t save this weak entry in the Marvel series

When the universe began, light spread throughout the cosmos. Light is usually a good thing, but it did not please a race called the Dark Elves. Their leader Malekith (Christopher Eccleston: Doctor Who) responded with Aether, a weaponized energy source, to bring back darkness and destroy the universe.
    It didn’t work.
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Not up to Twain’s standard

Good theater, like good fiction, convinces the audience to suspend its disbelief, and Mark Twain’s genius was his ability to convey place and personality with such unblinking realism that we embrace his story no matter how far-fetched. In The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, that meant accepting that Tom (John Patterson), a kid from a good home, could be best friends with the town delinquent, Huck Finn (Erik W....

On Veterans Day — or any other — first-line heroes are welcome here

Montgomery County firefighter and paramedic Mike O’Neil sips a beer as he sits beneath the 9/11 wall at Heroes Pub. O’Neil was at the Pentagon doing search and rescue in the aftermath of that day. He’s a typical Heroes regular: a first responder and a local from Arnold who comes in several times a week. He seems to know everyone in the place, and everyone knows him. “Great bar food, great people, and they support the community....

Your chance to peer behind the “bubble”

At St. John’s College this Sunday, I’m sure to be asked how I got the access to write my latest book, Prisoners of the White House: The Isolation of America’s Presidents and the Crisis of Leadership.
    It’s a question I’m used to, for I answer it all the time.
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Survival is a lonely business in this gripping drama

Some people dream of setting out on their own to sail the vast oceans of our world. It seems like a grand adventure, until something goes wrong and you find yourself slowly taking on water hundreds of miles from help. What to do when your grand adventure turns into a disaster?
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It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving ­without the sweet finale

Can Thanksgiving dinner be both wonderful and boring at the same time? I’ve been having the exact same Thanksgiving dinner for almost 25 years now, and it’s getting old. Every year it’s the same people, same place, same menu.
    What’s changeable?
    It’s family, so that’s not changing.
    Turkey with stuffing, sweet potatoes, gravy and the trimmings are too traditional to change....