Entertainment briefs
Hillary does ‘SNL’ and more

Written by AP
and WiG reports
Thursday, 08 October 2015 15:57

Hillary Clinton (Kate McKinnon, left) opened up to Val (the real Hillary Clinton) on Saturday Night Live’s season premiere Oct. 3.

Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton appeared on the season opener of Saturday Night Live as a wise bartender named Val who pours a drink or two for, ahem, Hillary Clinton (played by SNL regular Kate McKinnon).

Politics flutter through Florentine’s ‘Madama Butterfly’

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 08 October 2015 10:25

For all its musical beauty and complexity, classical opera lives by some fairly simple rules: Love causes conflict and dramatic tension between characters. Beauty manifests in tragedy, usually the death of the lead soprano. And the hero is always a tenor, leaving the villain to rumble in his thunderous bass baritone.

Music reviews
Janet Jackson, New Order, Chvrches, Silversun Pickups

Written by Bill Lamb,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 08 October 2015 05:47

Janet Jackson's Unbreakable cover. — PHOTO: Courtesy

Fans of Janet Jackson have had a rough decade, suffering through three lackluster albums since 2004’s Damita Jo. It has been seven years since her last album but her reunion with producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis on Unbreakable is a triumph. The title song is an easy, soulful callback to past successes, as is the intimate “After You Fall.” Jackson explores new territory in the gentle country bounce of “Lessons Learned,” about abusive relationships, and heads to the dance floor with Missy Elliott on “Burnitup!” Perhaps best of all, she closes with the upbeat spirit of Sly and the Family Stone on her shoulder for the eminently funky “Gon’ B Alright.”

'Twilight' anniversary editions reversing genders

Written by The AP Wednesday, 07 October 2015 10:11

For the 10th anniversary of her "Twilight" series, Stephenie Meyer is offering a gender swap for those millions caught up in the saga of Bella and Edward.

A ‘little bit’ of Melissa Etheridge goes a long way live

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 08 October 2015 10:33

In her newest live album, A Little Bit of ME: Live in L.A., veteran performer Melissa Etheridge captures the energy of her current live set. She’ll visit venues in Appleton and Milwaukee in October.
—PHOTO: Courtesy

If you’ve ever attended a Melissa Etheridge concert, you know that she is a consummate entertainer. Her casual and playful stage banter results in a relaxed and friendly rapport with the audience. 

Three decades on, UWM’s LGBT Film Festival focuses on families in flux

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Thursday, 08 October 2015 10:16

‘From This Day Forward’ shows Oct. 15, at 7:30 p.m., at the Oriental.
—PHOTO: Courtesy

The Milwaukee LGBT Film/Video Festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary and festival director Carl Bogner is looking forward to the biggest program in recent memory. Over 11 days, he and UWM’s Peck School of the Arts will bring more than 30 feature films and shorts programs to the city, all centering around LGBT themes — but many not defined exclusively by those themes.

Sadly, no recipe for pureed bass in first Vitamix cookbook

Written by J.M. HIRSCH
AP Food Editor
Wednesday, 07 October 2015 20:20

When you speak to Jodi Berg, you find yourself hoping she’ll channel a little bit of Dan Aykroyd.

After all, she’s the fourth generation to head her family’s Vitamix company, maker of those super powered blenders prized by home cooks and professional chefs alike for their ability to grind and puree nearly anything into smoothie goodness. Because that’s the same blender that inspired the now iconic 1976 “Saturday Night Live” skit in which Aykroyd proselytized infomercial-style about the wonders of something called a Bass-O-Matic.

Emeril Lagasse tells life story via recipes in new cookbook

Associated Press
Tuesday, 06 October 2015 19:32

Before there were Food Network icons and cultish produce, before farm-to-table was a philosophy and cake decorating became a competitive sport, there was Emeril Lagasse.

And his is a life story best told by the kitchens that formed and informed him. There was the Portuguese bakery where he washed dishes as a youngster, the pizzeria where he stretched dough in high school, the Asian restaurants where he learned the secrets of Chinese sauces, and of course the grand kitchen of New Orleans’ iconic Commander’s Palace, where he became head chef at 23.

The Rep’s ‘Lion’ roars into Milwaukee

Written by Anne Siegel,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 08 October 2015 10:30

Benjamin Scheuer tells his life story through song in The Lionat the Milwaukee Rep.
— Photo: Matthew Murphy

Most people write their autobiographies in the final years of their lives. But what if a young man prematurely has gone through so many of life’s hurts and joys that he can write an interesting and full autobiography well before his 40th birthday?

Dueling ‘Draculas’ offer ballet with a bite

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 08 October 2015 10:01

Both the Madison Ballet and the Milwaukee Ballet will be staging productions of Draculathis October, each with their own take on the Bram Stoker tale
Photos: Andrew Weeks/Tom Davenport

Call it coincidence, or credit dark forces dancing in the human psyche. Either way, Wisconsin’s two premier ballet companies are opening their seasons with productions of a story that ballet fans will really be able to sink their teeth into: Dracula.

George Harrison, Marvin Gaye, Jimi Hendrix, Madonna, Tom Petty and John Mellencamp are among the A-list contenders nominated for the 2016 Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Blondie, Gloria Estefan, the Isley Brothers, Sly Stone and Nile Rodgers & Bernard Edwards are also up for the top honor. Winners will be inducted next June in New York City.

Alchemist's 'Rocky' commits to B-movie magic

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Tuesday, 06 October 2015 09:56

If your only concept of live Rocky Horror is dropping in on the Oriental for a midnight showing — or worse, if you’ve never done that either — you should only have one goal this October: Get to the Alchemist Theater's production of The Rocky Horror Show.