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Arts and Culture (All)

Songs from the ’50s and ’60s are the stars of this refreshing show

Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre’s The Marvelous Wonderettes is frothy, refreshing and a complete contrast to its most recent production, Chicago. The all-black set has given way to pastels, and the jailhouse trollops are replaced by 1950s’ suburban teenagers.
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A southern-fried catastrophe ruins Pixar’s stellar run at the top of animation.

After 16 years of producing the most lauded animation in the film industry, Pixar has earned the blind trust of critics and audiences alike. This is why the horrible, thoughtless cash grab of Cars 2 seems like such a betrayal. It’s like finding out your favorite uncle secretly enjoys kicking puppies.
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Kids are totally invested in the story, and the script is so packed with hyperbole that it transcends caricatures to entertain the adults as well

Will Bartlett’s one-hour musical adaptation of Rumplestiltskin has run continuously off-Broadway since 1985 with good reason. It does a nice job of distilling a long and complex children’s classic with a warped message into an entertaining and concise plot with a healthy moral. And this summer, lucky little Naptowners need travel only as far as West Street to see it.
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This update on Shakespeare is fun all the way to the interplanetary nether regions

Twin Beach Players’ Return to the Forbidden Planet is a howler, and I mean that in a good way. It’s original and it feels spontaneous, but a ton of work had to go into this production. The large cast, comprising 14 teenagers and one adult, take over the spacious stage for a romp that takes us out to the spatial interplanetary nether regions, and it’s fun all the way.
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JJ Abrams writes a love note to Stephen Spielberg with aliens, explosions and boyish wonder

Did you ever wonder what would have happened if ET had been found by the government instead of that adorable moppet Elliott?
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Take children to the outdoors with these authors who evoke the magic and mystery of the natural world.

For wonder-filled, read-aloud picture books, look for author Jane Yolen. Her Caldecott-winning father-daughter tale, Owl Moon, should not be missed: “When you go owling, you don’t need words or warm or anything but hope.”
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Summer Reading Clubs at Anne Arundel and Calvert county public libraries give you ideas, company and rewards for summer reading. At every branch, clubs start this week for children, teens, families and adults. Each age group reads for prizes as well as pleasure.

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While some of this sci-fi flick’s multi-faceted plot is beyond preposterous, it’s still good fun.

Here’s a rarity: The Green Lantern is a sci-fi movie that strays from the well-trampled aliens vs. Earth-guy story. What’s especially rare in sci-fi films is a plot that is multi-threaded and multi-faceted with enough twists to maintain interest....

For those of Sinatra’s generation, this is a memory walk. For those younger, My Way could make some new Sinatra fans.

Tribute bands of performers impersonating famous artists are in vogue. My Way, now playing at Infinity Theatre, is subtitled “A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra.” But this show is intended as a genuine tribute, not merely an impersonation of Ol’ Blue Eyes. For that, be grateful because it is much more, and it reaches loftier goals.
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In this follow-up, the guys travel to exotic Thailand for Stu’s wedding, and what happens in Bangkok can be imagined.

There’s a big joke in this movie somewhere, but I can’t tell you what or where it is. Perhaps it’s the serious raunchiness that pervades. Maybe the producers of II made a ton of money from I, so they figured, What the heck, they laughed once, they’ll laugh again.
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