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Laughter in the dark: ‘The Death of Stalin’ turns grim history into comedy

Stalin was one of the bloodiest tyrants of the 20th century, an era that had no shortage of bloody tyrants, so it’s only natural to wonder whether his final days, filled with murderous paranoia, and the bureaucratic struggle to seize power following his death are really fitting material for a comedy. The Death of Stalin follows the path cut by Mel Brooks, whose classic comedy The Producers, which revolves around a musical about Hitler, hit movie theaters just 22 years after the end of World War II. […]

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Rural Route Film Festival’s ‘Very Best Of’ tour rolls into Cedar Rapids

Elkader native Alan Webber is back in Iowa for two presentations of his Rural Route Film Festival — tonight, April 19 at CSPS Hall in Cedar Rapids (tickets are $10) and Sunday, April 22 at Luther College in Decorah, as part of the Oneota Film Festival. […]

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City of Iowa City Recycling presents screening of ‘The Age of Consequences’ in honor of Earth Day

On Thursday, April 19, City of Iowa City Recycling is taking over meeting rooms A, B and C at the Iowa City Public Library to offer a free screening of 2016 environmental documentary “The Age of Consequences.” Popcorn and treats will be provided, and attendees will be invited to take home a free kitchen compost container. The recycling department makes a point to show several environmental films each year to engage the public, Recycling Coordinator Jane Wilch said in an email. […]

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Ralph Garman and Kevin Smith are bringing ‘Hollywood Babble-On’ to Iowa City

It’s been a stressful year for Ralph Garman, from being let go by KROQ-FM to one of his best friends suffering a near-death heart attack. But in the wake of Kevin Smith’s recovery and the kick-off of Garman’s podcast “The Ralph Report,” the comedian is excited to step back on stage. […]

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‘Black Panther’ production designer Hannah Beachler on representation, Afrofuturism and becoming Wakandan

“Representation matters,” says Hannah Beacher, who will lecture in Iowa City on April 29 for the 2018 Flyover Fest. “It’s important that the people who the story is representing are also behind the scenes, making sure that that representation is truth.” […]

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Mission Creek 2018: A look back

It is impossible for any one person to offer a complete perspective on the Mission Creek Festival (MCF), as even the avid attendee is still limited to one body and one set of guiding preferences. More than most years I became aware of my limitations as a reviewer and the radically different possibilities for what MCF means, is and becomes. […]

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‘Kinky Boots’ struts its stuff into Hancher, courtesy of the nimble Jos N. Banks

Based on a BBC documentary series that featured the true story of a struggling heir of a failing shoe-manufacturing company that rebooted itself by designing footwear for drag performers and the fetish market, Kinky Boots was adapted into a Broadway musical by a trifecta of talent, with multi-Tony winning Harvey Fierstein writing the book, lyrics by Grammy-winner Cyndi Lauper and Tony-nominated Jerry Mitchell as choreographer and director. […]

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‘A Quiet Place,’ written and produced by Iowans, was made for thriller fans

A Quiet Place, floating on a cloud of high praise and a big opening weekend, has perhaps been overinflated. Nevertheless, the suspense-thriller, penned by Iowan filmmakers, is deliciously unsettling. […]

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‘This Evil Thing’: Exploring the story of England’s conscientious objectors during WWI

One hundred years ago, as the First World War was grinding through its fourth and final year, the British government considered its country’s leading philosopher such a menace to society it imprisoned him and refused to let him write letters to anyone in the outside world. […]

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Framing synchronicity: Cheryl Jacobsen’s exhibition “Pins, Bones, Gold & Games” opens Friday

Cheryl Jacobsen teaches calligraphy at the renowned University of Iowa Center for the Book, and has assembled artifacts of random finds, collaged to shape, rather than tell, textured stories. […]

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