Five memorable movies from Mike Nichols

AP National Writer
Friday, 21 November 2014 14:28

Mike Nichols was a master of self-satire, a man of wealth and education and connections for whom his best targets were those of wealth, education and connections, from the vapid Californians of “The Graduate” to the military brass of “Catch-22.” Here are highlights from the long film career of Nichols, who died on Nov. 19 at age 83:

“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (1966) — Nichols was already a top stage director when he made a spectacular film debut by adapting Edward Albee’s play about the bickering, self-loathing spouses George (a history professor) and Martha (daughter of the college president). Filmed in claustrophobic black and white, winner of five Academy Awards, it featured the world’s most glamorous couple, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, very unglamorous and almost unrecognizable — he in glasses and an old sweater, she in a knotty wig and dull, unflattering dresses and blouses. The film was highly profane and sexually explicit for its time, and was among the first releases that barred attendees under 18 who were unaccompanied by an adult.

Ruffalo, Tatum and Carell shine in 'Foxcatcher'

Written by Jocelyn Noveck,
AP National writer
Saturday, 15 November 2014 08:30

Channing Tatum and Steve Carell

Let’s start with a plea.

Conductor De Waart makes most of streamlined MSO

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 13 November 2014 14:37

Edo de Waart — Photo: Bert Hulselmans

Edo de Waart, music director of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, has logged a lot of miles in the past few months. Yet the 73-year-old maestro remains remarkably vibrant and ready to take on his share of the MSO’s 2014–15 season.

With the help of First Stage, ‘Rudolph’ takes flight

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Thursday, 13 November 2014 14:23

Young actors in Rudolph. — Photo: Mark Frohna

Turning successful film and television programming into stage productions is the way the entertainment industry operates these days, and the classic holiday special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer isn’t exempt from the trend. Fifty years after the original TV special first aired, a stage version of the beloved holiday tale is currently being produced at theaters across the United States, and a national touring production is crisscrossing North America. 

Go For the Food: Hole in the Wall in Des Moines

Associated Press writer
Thursday, 20 November 2014 07:10

There’s a hole in the wall in Des Moines that’s just that: a food joint called Hole in the Wall.

A small room inside a bar a few blocks from downtown, Hole in the Wall is the kind of place you could easily miss if you walked by. It’s less than a mile from my apartment, yet for months I didn’t know it existed. But it’s there, with food for both indoor patrons at the Gas Lamp bar and customers ordering outside a window. A few plastic chairs lined up against an exterior wall are about all you’ll get if you ask for a reservation.

Taste tradition in red wines of the Old World

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 13 November 2014 16:45

Next time you pour a glass of wine, consider how long the nectar of the grape has been filling drinking vessels around the world.

Roches’ mother-daughter harmonies to fill Shank Hall

Written by Bill Lamb,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 13 November 2014 14:33

Suzzy Roche and Lucy Wainwright Roche. — PHOTO: Courtesy

To their many fans, the surnames Roche and Wainwright imply musical royalty. Their intertwined family tree has created two generations of accomplished folk musicians connected by blood and marriage.

Redline exposes Cuban handicrafts

Written by Kat Murrell,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 13 November 2014 14:19

A portrait of poet José Martí. — Photo: UWM Special Collections Library

Out of small seeds come great and unexpected things. In 1985, artist Rolando Estévez Jordán and poet Alfredo Zaldívar established a workshop in Matanzas, Cuba, about 70 miles west of Havana. Their first visual works were fliers promoting meetings for writers and artists interested in sharing their work and ideas. This modest initiative developed into a publishing house for handmade artists books, produced under the name Ediciones Vigía.

MSO's 'Scheherazade' merges music and storytelling

Written by Julie Steinbach,
contributing writer
Monday, 17 November 2014 13:28

This weekend, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra performed a program of works that not only lived up to the ambitious nature of their season, but even surpassed expectations through evocative, escapist storytelling.

Chef Tory Miller: Cook authentically this Thanksgiving

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 13 November 2014 16:39

Madison chef Tory Miller plans Thanksgiving dinner around the same main dish as most families — the turkey.

‘Fidelio’: Beethoven’s struggle, Madison Opera’s reward

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 13 November 2014 14:27

Beethoven, painted by Joseph Karl Stieler. — Photo: Wikimedia

Talking to Kathryn Smith, general manager of the Madison Opera, it’s clear how much she loves her medium. And how challenging a medium she’s picked.

Madison hosts Broadway star Karen Olivo’s next act

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 13 November 2014 14:14

Karen Olivo. — Photo: AP/Charles Sykes

Karen Olivo’s next performance will be far from the glittering lights of Broadway, where she won a Tony Award for her performance as Anita in the 2009 Broadway revival of West Side Story. She’ll appear in the city she now calls home — Madison.