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Arts and Culture (All)

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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This contemporary cousin to Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf debates the value of compassion and the ethics of art.

The shape of things (written in lower-case by playwright Neil Labute) intends to raise questions about art, its role in life and the value of the creative methods. Honesty, kindness and truth seem to be of lesser concern.
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An excellent origins story is bogged down by too many mutants with no motivation

In the swinging 1960s, two mutant men set very different goals for themselves. Charles Xavier (James McAvoy: Gnomeo and Juliet) is hoping to use his telepathic abilities to score college co-eds — oh, and to unite other mutants, in hopes of celebrating the beauty of genetics....

2nd Star Productions’ Cinderella Enchanted

2nd Star Production’s Cinderella is keeping up the tradition. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical adaptation of the fairy tale has been delighting audiences of all ages for over 50 years. This Cinderella, playing for the next four weekends at the Bowie Playhouse, is so enrapturing that I found myself scribbling hearts instead of stars to mark the highlights....

It’s got “All the Jazz,” but it could use a bit of bite

Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre opens its season with Chicago, an upbeat musical with a downbeat outlook. Despite bouncy, memorable music, Chicago carries a cautionary tale about celebrity, corruption and media fascination with both. Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre captures the upbeat side flawlessly. The downbeat side is less well rendered.
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Po and his band of martial arts friends make feathers fly in this fun sequel

After becoming the famed Dragon Warrior in his last film, tubby panda warrior Po (Jack Black: Gulliver’s Travels) is living large....