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Arts and Culture (All)

Better living through science

Frank (Frank Langella: Unknown) has lost a few steps over the years. His body aches, his kids never visit and his memory is failing. He occupies himself by walking to the library to hit on the sexy librarian (Susan Sarandon: That’s My Boy) and wandering into a soap store that used to be his favorite diner. His son Hunter (James Marsden: Straw Dogs) is tired of dealing with his cantankerous old man.
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Discovery is half the fun in 2nd Star’s Bloody Murder

The marquee outside the Bowie Playhouse is only slightly exaggerating in promising You’ll Die Laughing at 2nd Star Productions’ season opener, Bloody Murder. This is far and away the best non-musical I’ve ever seen under this roof. A creative new show from a new playwright, it’s just the thing for audiences who like to think outside the box and appreciate brainteasers, puns and Brit-bashing....

Janet is an utterly personal book describing the human experience with purity, truth and guilelessness. That is how elegies work.

The elegy is a literary form dear to the human heart, for it’s the best reply we can summon to death’s speechlessness.
    Janet is such a work, created by Bay Weekly contributing writer Al McKegg in honor of his wife, Janet.
    With soaring highs and crashing lows, theirs was a love story made for literature. It was too cruel for real life.
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Bring a mason jar to this true tale of moonshine and bloodshed

During the Prohibition Era, drinking didn’t diminish; it became more chic. While gangsters and molls kicked their heels up at speakeasies in Chicago, the Bondurant brothers were taking advantage of a new cottage industry, cooking up mountain dew in homemade stills tucked away in the hills of Virginia.
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This bad movie is loads of fun for ’80s action fans

Remember when you listened with rapt attention to your grandfather’s stories of his glory days? Imagine that Grandpa is Sylvester Stallone, who calls in a bunch of his buddies to act out his stories. That, in essence is The Expendables 2. It’s poorly written, unevenly plotted and deeply silly. Yet it’s fun to watch action stars of the 1970s and ’80s relive their glory days.
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A comedy for adults masquerading as a horror movie for children

Young Norman Babcock (Kodi Smit-McPhee: Dead Europe) isn’t very popular with the living. He’s obsessed with zombies and horror movies, awkward with kids his own age and an embarrassment to his family. But he can talk to the dead, so he’s never alone. He spends his days chatting with his departed grandmother, petting the spirits of road kill and waving to the many dead souls that line the streets of his neighborhood.
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Irrepressible fun!

Spoiler alert for readers not current on 1980s’ kitsch: The musical Xanadu has nothing to do with Citizen Kane or with Coleridge’s poem of the same name. The motif of creating a stately pleasure dome, however, does link all three disparate references to Xanadu.
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An old couple learns new tricks in this ­surprising comedy

After 30-odd years of marriage, Kay (Meryl Streep: The Iron Lady) and Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones: Men in Black 3) have a routine: Kay suffers in silence as she does housework, longing for grand romantic gestures. Arnold ignores her. They sleep in different rooms and barely touch, talk or acknowledge each other in front of their grown children.
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Four versatile boys take on Romeo and Juliet

Is Shakespeare R&J a new take on Romeo and Juliet — or a throwback to the theater before King Charles II when women were not allowed on stage and men played all the roles?
    Playwright Joe Calarco has reset Romeo and Juliet in a Catholic New England boarding school for boys. Reading Romeo and Juliet is forbidden. Why we never know, though the boys’ reaction may be reason enough.
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Crownsville author writes to end hatred

Denis Murray wants to put his two cents on the table. After 70 years of reading and thinking and thinking and reading, he believes that death, hate and responsibility are gifts we should appreciate.
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