Patrik-Ian Polk flies in new directions with ‘Blackbird’

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 02 October 2014 14:16

If you’ve ever seen any of director Patrik-Ian Polk’s work, you know one thing for certain: Polk is a master of the ensemble cast. Beginning with Punks and continuing through Noah’s Arc (both the movie and the TV series), as well as The Skinny, Polk has a knack for creating characters who are smart, sincere and sensitive.

Alec Soth finds the extraordinary in the ordinary

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 02 October 2014 14:01

Charles, Vasa, Minnesota. — PHOTO: Courtesy Alec Soth

Alec Soth has a rare gift for transforming glimpses of ordinary life into extraordinary images — and now we have a chance to see some of his finest work.

‘Next Fall’ examines faith with an even hand and a dose of humor

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Thursday, 02 October 2014 13:48

Faith is a hard subject to tackle onstage without exposing a bias either for it or against it. But with its opening play of the season, Next Fall, Theatrical Tendencies believes it’s found a show that evenhandedly explores faith by approaching it through love — the love shared by friends and family as well as the lovers at the center of the script.

‘Life Partners’ brings producer Jordana Mollick back to her hometown

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Thursday, 02 October 2014 11:09

Milwaukee native Jordana Mollick. — Photo: Courtesy

As with every film, there’s a story behind the story of Life Partners, which the Milwaukee Film Festival screens at 7:15 p.m. on Oct. 5 at Milwaukee’s Oriental Theatre. That story begins the day producer Jordana Mollick asked her friends Susanna Fogel and Joni Lefkowitz for a contribution to the annual play festival she started in 2011.

At Devil’s Lake, vintage rustic architecture adds to the autumn landscape

Written by Jay Rath,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 02 October 2014 14:12

Members of the CCC, who built Devil’s Lake’s “parkitecture” in the 1930s. — Photo: Courtesy Devil’s Lake

This time of year, there’s no better public art than our autumn leaves, and one of the best places to see them in Wisconsin is Devil’s Lake State Park. That park’s packed with other sorts of art, too, albeit art that’s a little out of the ordinary. And some of it is at risk. 

Rachel Sage’s ‘Blue Roses’ blends the old and the new

Written by Bill Lamb,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 02 October 2014 13:56

Through a connection made via Facebook, New York-based singer-songwriter Rachael Sage is collaborating with a visual artist from Jordan. Young art student Majd Alomari sent samples of her work to the singer, who was so impressed by the anime and graphic novel influences in the art that she invited Alomari to create pieces inspired by the song “Happiness.”

What are we reading? The Publishers Weekly best-seller list

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Thursday, 02 October 2014 11:57


1. “Edge of Eternity” by Ken Follett (Dutton Adult)

Aretha Franklin CD of diva classics due Oct. 21

AP Music Writer
Tuesday, 30 September 2014 09:52

Aretha Franklin is showing some R-E-S-P-E-C-T to her fellow divas: The Queen of Soul will release an album Oct. 21 covering classic songs from other female singers.

“Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics” will include songs such as Gladys Knight’s “Midnight Train to Georgia,” Barbra Streisand’s “People” and Whitney Houston’s “I’m Every Woman.”

Artists explore Lynden’s gardens, inside and out

Written by Kat Murrell ,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 02 October 2014 14:09

The trees are starting to change, trading their lush summer green for the sparking colors of autumn. While the sun still provides warmth, it is an opportune time to enjoy nature and art during the waning weeks of the latest incarnation of the Inside/Outside project at the Lynden Sculpture Garden. 

Milwaukee Rep keeps mum about its ‘unforgivable’ world premiere

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Thursday, 02 October 2014 13:52

A. Rey Pamatmat. — PHOTO: Courtesy

A. Rey Pamatmat doesn’t want to tell me anything about his new play, after all the terrible things I do.

‘Carrie’ throws a blood-red light on bullying’s horrors

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 02 October 2014 11:14

Whether in reference to Stephen King’s 1974 novel or either of the two film versions, the name “Carrie” instantly conjures images of a homely high school outcast covered in pig’s blood terrorizing her tormentors with telekinetic powers. Soon fans will be able to add singing and dancing to that visceral image.

Theatre Unchained’s production of Carrie: The Musical opens Oct. 10, just in time for the Halloween season’s horror binge. But the musical also offers a strong anti-bullying message, according to director Thomas Jacobsen.

Andre Benjamin finds a new rhythm in Hendrix biopic

Written by JAKE COYLE,
AP Film Writer
Friday, 26 September 2014 06:46

Andre Benjamin was uniquely qualified to play Jimi Hendrix in the film “Jimi: All Is By My Side,” and not just because his colorfully cosmic style has long owed something to the ‘60s icon.

The film, written and directed by “12 Years a Slave” screenwriter John Ridley, is a portrait of Hendrix in 1966 — a then somewhat aimless 24-year-old playing backup guitar — finding himself as a frontman and being elevated by the blues-rock scene of Swinging London. As the often reticent half of hip-hop duo Outkast, Benjamin, too, knows something about the psychology of a performer discovering his onstage swagger.