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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British author Oscar Wilde once wrote that to know the principles of the highest art is to know the principles of all the arts. With few exceptions are such sentiments cemented more strongly than to the magical artistry of the circus.

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Having staged one of the most ambitious and potentially unpredictable musical showcases last year while successfully raising approximately $1,450 for the admirable efforts of the D-Street Music Foundation, organizers are poised to re-create the magic again this year at the 2nd Annual Band Roulette, which will be happening on Sunday, January 28th at Bay City’s State Theatre beginning at 5:00 PM.

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Given the breadth, range, and impact of pivotal stories and events that transpired on the political front in 2017, a majority of these will be covered in our next edition of The Review. However, one item deserves special mention, especially given the Mainstream Media’s propensity to bury it under the radar.

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The older and wiser I get the more I value the voices and individuals that impacted this all-too imperfect world in a manner that looked outside of themselves, beyond their own narrow self-interests. At this time of the year especially, it is important to keep that thought in mind.

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As one of the most prolific and popular musicians of his generation, in many ways Paul McCartney is ‘The Rockefeller of Rock’. Not counting his work with The Beatles, McCartney has released a total of 24 studio albums, 9 Live albums, 4 compilation albums, and 7 classical albums both as a solo artist and with his group Wings since The Beatles disbanded in 1970.

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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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