Robert E Martin


Robert E. Martin is co-founder, Editor, & Publisher of Review Magazine, an independent publication of news, the arts, and culture, which was established in 1979. He graduated from Albion College & the University of Sussex, in Brighton England, and has also contributed to many statewide and national publications.
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It is totally fitting that in celebration of its 75th Anniversary the Pit & Balcony Community Theatre would kick off their landmark season with an ambitious musical stage production of L. Frank Baum's classic, The Wizard of Oz.

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There was a time in the not so distant past when Rock music started proving that not only did it have the potential to change the world, but indeed possessed the power to alter the political, cultural, and social climate as we know it.

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As the rhetoric heats up with mid-term elections looming in November, one of the most fascinating races in the mid-Michigan area centers around a face-off perceived by pundits to be cut & dry:  the 95th District House of Representatives   contest between Democrat Andy Coulouris and Republican newcomer Joel Wilson.

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The Bijou Orchestra will feature seven soloists when it opens its fourth season of performances at the State Theatre on Saturday, September 16 at 8 PM with I Love a Piano & The Joy of Sax.  The concert is the first performance of the Labadie Bijou Pops Series at the State sponsored by Labadie Auto Company of Bay City.

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As was certainly true with the 2004 Presidential election, all the eyes of serious political pundits are focused upon the State of Ohio once again this year.  Why?  Because if democracy is an on-going work in progress, this year's mid-term elections will truly test the power of the Christian coalition that has embedded itself so deeply within the Republican Party.

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Back in 1979, in the very first issue of The Review, the headline story I wrote was how a plant in Caro was striving to produce a new product known as 'gasohol', utilizing agricultural products, improving auto efficiency, and most importantly, saving people money on gasoline at the pump.

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Consistent with their trend in recent years to present holiday productions that emanate from a spotlight outside the conventional space of traditional Christmas fare, Pit & Balcony community theatre is presenting an exciting new dramatization of C.S. Lewis classic, The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe that is certain to engage a broad mix of young and older audiences with this magical tale that unravels the mystery of Aslan, the great lion, his struggle with the White Witch, and the adventures of four children who inadvertently wander from an old wardrobe into the exciting and unforgettable land of Narnia.

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The holidays illuminate brightly on the stage of Bay City Players as this honored theatrical company continues the celebration of their 100th season with the welcomed levity of humorist Jean Shepherd’s memoir, A Christmas Story – a contemporary classic that follows 9-year old Ralphie Parker in his quest to find a genuine Red Ryder BB gun under the tree on Christmas morning.

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If you mix a slice of Desperate Housewives with Sex in the City and Mamma Mia and sprinkle in a litany of contemporary Pop Music, one can get a good sense of humor and energy that drives the 10th Anniversary Edition of GIRLS NIGHT: THE MUSICAL - a feel-good comedy about five girlfriends going from heartbreak to happiness during a wild night of karaoke, which will be playing at The Temple Theatre on Friday, November 10th at 8:00 PM.

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There is no finer exponent for kicking off the holiday season than the annual Holidays in the Heart of the City & Christmas Parade extravaganza, which this year will start on the evening of Friday, November 17th at 5:45 pm with the Lighting Ceremony at the Saginaw Water Treatment Plan, and conclude with the 8:30 PM Fireworks Display from Ojibway Island, followed by the 40th Annual Christmas Parade the next morning on Saturday, November 18th at 11 AM, featuring floats, marching bands, drill teams, costumed characters, and of course, an early appearance by Santa to help kick things off.

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At the ripe age of twenty, Tim ‘Naneek’ Keenan had a world of a very real Vietnam war on his shoulders. And through the prism of this amazing documentary film Naneek, which will be screening at the Riverside Saginaw Film Festival on Sunday, November 12th, director Neal Steeno delivers a riveting and epic journey taken by this amazing Vietnam veteran, that documents his return to Vietnam to see the places and people where he had fought after living with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome for more than four decades.

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Jazz artist John Coltrane is arguably one of the most revolutionary and ground-breaking musicians of the 20th Century, charting a blueprint of musical contradictions through the mathematical precision and accomplishment of his musical constructions that simultaneously knew no boundaries when it came to creating innovative architectures to his music.

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As the 11th annual Riverside Saginaw Film Festival commences its second season of delivering the cream of the crop from contemporary films released in the past year that have all received top accolades from both critics and festivals across the country where they have premiered, the dynamic range of dramatic narratives, documentaries, comedic and foreign films that will be showcased from November 9-12th is an illuminating excursion into both the pitfalls and possibilities that populate the human spirit.

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The new release by contemporary Reggae advocate, ambassador, songwriter, and innovative producer David Asher is titled Dub World - an engaging remix of stellar tracks cultivated from his last groundbreaking 2016 outing Who Is That Mad Band? with The PROCESS.

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In the event you’ve been living under a rock or simply have lost interest in the relatively corporatized, sanitized, and benign entropy that pretty much defines the contemporary landscape of rock ‘n roll, leave it to four enterprising and passionately engaged musicians from Frankenmuth, Michigan to shift the gears on a classic model and break into the international consciousness with a fresh sound and talent that within the course of a few short months has catapulted them into that rarified air of rapid success and critical acclaim.

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