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This week’s Culture Vultures recommend:

The Secret Keeper, the Fabulous Ladies of Fitness, and Bunheads

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Rachel Laritz, costume designer at the Court Theatre, lingers in her car with:

The Secret Keeper I am addicted to audiobooks and recently finished "reading" Kate Morton's The Secret Keeper and fell in love with the story, style, and characters. The book begins with Laurel, a teen hiding out in her tree house, glancing out of the window to see a stranger walking up the lane. The stranger greets her mother, Dorothy, and Laurel witnesses a shocking crime. Fifty years later, Laurel finds herself haunted by memories of the crime and attempts to find the answers that only Dorothy's past can provide. Morton unveils Dorothy's story by bouncing back and forth from pre-WWII England to the present day, to the streets of London at the height of the Blitz, to the 60s. Through the eyes of Dorothy and her two unlikely friends Vivien and Jimmy, each from notably different worlds, Morton weaves a heartfelt tale of fortitude, lovers, deception, and perseverance.

  • Ky Dickens

Ever Mainard, emcee at monthly open mike the Shit Show, breaks out her party spandex for:

Fabulous Ladies of Fitness Cheap beer, hot babes, and a really kick-ass dance party. Every second Thursday I head to Cole's bar, where spandex-clad DJs—the Fabulous Ladies of Fitness—throw a dance party called Get Physical, spinning their singular blend of light rock, deep cuts, soundtrack gems, and retro hip-hop/R&B. Each party is themed, so depending on the icon of the night expect the FLOF to be dressed as your favorite member of the Jacksons, TLC, Heart, or Hall & Oates—complete with fake mustaches and irresistibly feathered hair. As the night progresses and the PBR flows, the ladies hop onstage, take their favorite VHS tape workout moves, and teach what can only be described as hipster line dancing. Not only is it free, there's enough space to dance without hitting someone or getting an elbow in the back.

  • ABC Family

Scott Silberstein, cofounder of HMS Media, demonstrates his good taste by watching:

Bunheads In addition to starring one of my all-time talent crushes (Sutton Foster) and being created and largely written by Amy Sherman-Palladino (the wildly underrated creator of Gilmore Girls), Bunheads distinguishes itself by genuinely liking its characters, and in particular treating girls and women honestly and respectfully (if also with a knowing sense of humor). Bunheads is brave enough to make its characters as quirky, complicated, frustrating, and lovable as any on TV. It understands that characters don't need to be dressed up as pretty little liars or revenge seekers to be compelling. Bunheads also respects the art of dance. Other shows and films pretend to, but what they mainly understand is the thrill of being around it, not how to take us inside it, so they dress it up with fancy tricks and fancier editing. Bunheads knows dance is something bigger and more holistic—not just a party but something that can become a way of life for practitioners and audience members.

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