entertainment

‘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.

Stephen King returns to true horror in ‘Revival’

Written by ROB MERRILL,
Associated Press writer
Thursday, 13 November 2014 09:02

Remember when Stephen King announced that he was retiring? That was more than a decade and at least six books ago, and he’s done nothing but crank out best-sellers ever since.

King's latest novel — likely to be No. 1 next week — is appropriately titled “Revival,” for it marks a return to true horror for the modern master of the genre. There are no soul-sucking vampires as in “Doctor Sleep,” or speculative historical fiction about the assassination of John F. Kennedy as in “11/22/63.”

10 Things: 10 fresh ways to improve a mug of cocoa

Written by The AP Tuesday, 11 November 2014 19:05

We can’t help it. Once the cooler weather arrives, we crave hot cocoa with the same intensity that we crave a cold beer during barbecue season.

There is, after all, something intensely comforting about drinking a warm mug of nature’s most perfect food — chocolate! Add a dollop of freshly whipped and lightly sweetened cream and it doesn’t get much better.

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. 

The Rep resurrects ‘Mr. Showmanship’

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Thursday, 13 November 2014 14:10

Jack Forbes Wilson in Liberace! — Photo: Michael Brosilow

Given that the legendary pianist Liberace was a Milwaukee native, the Milwaukee Repertory Theater had reason to believe local audiences would embrace its 2010 biographical cabaret performance starring local musician Jack Forbes Wilson as Mr. Showmanship himself. But Liberace! more than earned its explanation point.

Pink Floyd say goodbye with ‘The Endless River’

Written by JILL LAWLESS,
Associated Press writer
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 10:53

Pink Floyd, “The Endless River” (Columbia Records)

Never was an album more aptly named than “The Endless River,” the new — and seemingly final — release from Pink Floyd. It flows unstoppably, and while some listeners may feel it meanders on too long, it’s very easy to get swept along by it.

Inaugural poet Richard Blanco returns to Miami in memoir

Written by The Associated Press Tuesday, 11 November 2014 05:05

In Richard Blanco's Miami, memories linger outside coffee windows and in Cuban grocery store aisles.

Barack Obama's 2013 inaugural poet grew up here, gathering experiences and stories as the son of Cuban exiles that would lay the foundation for his written work and inspire his new memoir, "The Prince of Los Cocuyos."

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.

Cerebral palsy is part of this gay comedian’s act

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 13 November 2014 13:37

Comedian Greg Walloch. — PHOTO: Robyn Von Swank

Greg Walloch is a hilarious guy. A first-rate storyteller with a sharp sense of humor, Walloch is an author whose work appears in a variety of publications and anthologies. But he’s probably best known for his performances as a monologist and comedian. 

Lost Dylan lyrics brought to life

Written by SCOTT BAUER,
AP writer
Tuesday, 11 November 2014 22:08

Various Artists, “Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes” (Electromagnetic Recordings/Harvest Records)

The bottomless well of material from Bob Dylan just got deeper with the release of “Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes,” an unqualified success.

Storming the cinemas: Climate Change stars in 'Cli-Fi' films

Written by The Associated Press Monday, 10 November 2014 07:49

The giant, inflatable whale in this Gulf Coast city signals not only the arrival of one of the world's biggest documentary festivals, but also the emergence of film as a way to tell the story of climate change.

Once perhaps relegated to National Geographic and PBS features, environmentally conscious narratives have gone Hollywood. Director James Cameron and deep-sea explorer Fabien Cousteau have made their own real-life sagas, the types of documentaries that are the focus of the Blue Ocean Film Festival here. But the issues they bring to life are also finding their place on the big screen.