Highlights from the Mobile World Congress electronics show

Written by The AP Friday, 06 March 2015 07:16

Apple was highlighting the capabilities of its iPhone cameras with a gallery of photos taken by its users around the world at an electronics show in Madrid.

Apple's campaign comes as Samsung unveiled new phones with improved photo-taking capabilities. The two companies have been fierce rivals, and one research firm said Tuesday that Apple bested Samsung as the world's top smartphone maker in the last three months of 2014.

MCT's 'The Train Driver' offers a bleak, complex look at post-apartheid South Africa

Written by Matthew Reddin,
staff writer
Sunday, 01 March 2015 13:21

Athol Fugard's play about a railway conductor haunted by a woman who killed herself with his train receives an exemplary Midwest premiere at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre.

WE TV airing ‘Sex Box’ reality TV show, and some object

Written by DAVID BAUDER,
AP Television Writer
Friday, 27 February 2015 14:09

A new relationship therapy TV show gives most participating couples the same prescription: Go into a modular, windowless room onstage and have sex while the studio audience waits until they’re done. Not surprisingly, “Sex Box” has attracted some negative attention.

The Parents Television Council, One Million Moms and the National Center on Sexual Exploitation say they’ve collected more than 38,000 signatures on a petition urging WE TV to shelve the show.

Music reviews, February 26, 2015

Written by Bill Lamb,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 26 February 2015 14:50

Imagine Dragons :: ‘Smoke + Mirrors’

Imagine Dragons is known for a joyfully bombastic stage performance and sophomore album Smoke + Mirrors is its perfect translation. The band retreads the most successful musical ideas from Night Visions — “Gold” is as anthemic as “Radioactive,” and the first single, “I Bet My Life,” recalls the band’s first hit, the neo-folk-rock “It’s Time.” The band also stretches in new directions, trying on Coldplay’s sound in “It Comes Back To You” and embracing pop and EDM on “Summer.” Through it all, Imagine Dragons retains its skill in moving from whispers to screams, even within a single song.

Review: ‘Second Best’ Marigold Hotel lives up to its title

AP National Writer
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 07:42

If you’re going to do a movie sequel that doesn’t quite measure up to the original and seems rather hurriedly cobbled together, well, OK. Many filmmakers have done the same.

But actually putting the words “Second Best” in the title? Now, that’s just asking for the unflattering comparisons.

Daniel Dae Kim takes control in ‘Hawaii Five-0’ and beyond

Written by LYNN ELBER,
AP Television Writer
Saturday, 28 February 2015 14:17

Daniel Dae Kim made an impressively smooth transition from a stalwart husband on “Lost” to dashing crime fighter on “Hawaii Five-0.”

The actor is not done with transformations. Kim has a big-screen role in “Insurgent,” the sequel to sci-fi drama “Divergent” coming in March, and took his first stab at TV directing with an episode of the CBS police series.

Skylight's 2015-16 season to focus on women

Written by Matthew Reddin,
staff writer
Friday, 27 February 2015 09:06

After a fairy tale season filled to the brim with strong female characters, Skylight Music Theatre will make women the centerpiece of its 2015-16 season.

Glen Campbell’s daughter carries on his legacy

Written by Mesfin Fekadu,
AP music writer
Thursday, 26 February 2015 14:46

Glen Campbell’s daughter says that although she can’t have a typical conversation with her father, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, she’s able to speak to him through music.

“When you sit there and play a guitar right in front of him, it really seems to reach him,” Ashley Campbell said in a recent interview. “So I try to do that as often as I can.”

'House of Cards' returns for 3rd season

Written by The Associated Press Tuesday, 03 March 2015 11:24

Even if it never wins another award, "House of Cards" already ranks among the most influential series in television history.

The political drama launched Netflix's expansion into original programming two years ago, a risky bet that might have toppled the Internet video service had "House of Cards" flopped and squandered its estimated $100 million investment. Instead, the show was an immediate hit with viewers and critics, giving Netflix the financial clout and creative firepower to further transform how we watch and define "television." And it spurred other online services such as Amazon.com Inc. and Google's YouTube to spend more on their own original content to create shows that rival those produced by broadcast and cable channels.

'Come Back' balances the tragedy of death with the comedy of life

Written by Matthew Reddin,
staff writer
Saturday, 28 February 2015 11:30
In 'Come Back,' Sky (Sara Zientek, left) finds herself on a journey to scatter her best friend Erin's ashes, aided by friend Mel (T. Stacy Hicks, rear) and hampered by Erin's estranged mother Val (Carrie Hitchcock). Photo by Ross Zentner.

To write a play that looks grief in the face and laughs at it is a greater challenge than writing a drippy melodrama will ever be. Come Back nails it.

The Sets List, February 26, 2015

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Thursday, 26 February 2015 14:57

Ariana Grande. — PHOTO: Courtesy

Ariana Grande

‘The Wet Archive,’ at Chazen, leaves viewers limp

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 26 February 2015 14:40

Despite what Andy Warhol might have thought, not everything an artist does is brilliant or groundbreaking. In Warhol’s case, trivial and self-indulgent are also descriptors that come to mind.

For evidence, look no further than his Polaroid photo “studies” of male genitalia, an example of what’s in store in the largely disappointing exhibit The Wet Archive: History, Desire, and the Photographer’s Liquid Intelligence, now on display at the Chazen Museum of Art on the UW-Madison campus.