Yoko Ono espresso cups inspired by tragedy, hope

Written by The AP Monday, 11 May 2015 10:22

Yoko Ono is expressing herself through espresso cups.

The artist and widow of John Lennon has designed a collection of cups and saucers featuring the dates and places of six tragic events written in Ono's handwriting, such as the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945 and the day Lennon was shot and killed in 1980. A seventh cup appears untouched to represent hope.

Madeline Kahn biography goes beyond the laughs

Written by Douglass K. Daniel
AP writer
Saturday, 09 May 2015 04:55

She was delightful in "Paper Moon" and "Blazing Saddles," then uproarious as the monster's tuneful bride in "Young Frankenstein." Yet Madeline Kahn often didn't seem to appreciate her comedic talent, even though it kept her close to the hearts of audiences for three decades.

That's just one of the many sad notes that arise from "Madeline Kahn: Being the Music, A Life," William V. Madison's well-researched and insightful biography of Kahn, once hailed by New York Times critic Vincent Canby as possibly the funniest woman in films. Imagine getting such an accolade if being funny isn't really your goal.

‘Big Fish’ director and First Stage change lives through theater

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 08 May 2015 12:32

It didn’t take long for Jeff Whiting’s mother to realize sports were not his thing. In fact Whiting, a New York theater director and choreographer currently directing First Stage Children’s Theater’s production of "Big Fish," credits his mother for launching his career.

“My mom recalls watching me on the soccer field like my brothers, but unlike my brothers I was bored out of my mind,” says Whiting, who grew up in Salt Lake City. “Luckily, my intuitive mother said, ‘There must be something else out there for Jeff.’”

Quasimondo explores itself with ‘Giraffe on Fire’

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Thursday, 07 May 2015 12:57

Quasimondo’s Giraffe on Firetakes its name from the recurring image used by Salvador Dali in such paintings as Burning Giraffes and Telephones.
— Image: Courtesy

Think of the last dream you remember. Try to move your body the way it moved then, fluid and faster than your mind. Imagine the landscapes too strange to be real. Take stock of the images and motifs that mean nothing to any soul but you.

The Harlem Renaissance revived in Madison museum

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Sunday, 10 May 2015 12:51

The Harlem Renaissance, the rich period of African-American cultural, artistic and social growth in one of New York City’s most famous neighborhoods during the 1920s, seems miles and decades removed from Madison in 2015. 

But don’t tell that to the founders of the new Harlem Renaissance Museum, on Madison’s east side. They argue there’s no better time or place to tell the tale of one of the richest periods of social growth in American history and illuminate its connections to Madison.

Early Music Now teaches a clarinet history lesson

Written by Kirstin Roble,
Contributing writer
Friday, 08 May 2015 12:41

In September 2013, Milwaukee’s Early Music Now offered audiences a unique history lesson. The subject: the clarinet and how the woodwind instrument evolved over several centuries. 

But if you missed it, don’t worry. Early Music Now has put the class back on the curriculum and re-invited its de facto instructor, Eric Hoeprich, to teach us about the instrument through a wide sampling of music.

The Sets List
Dylan, Tame Impala, Hullabrew and more

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Thursday, 07 May 2015 23:15

Yes, we know this show has been sold out forever. But if you’re a fan of Dylan who missed your chance to get in, take solace in the knowledge that one of the greatest folk musicians of our time will be in the same state as you, perhaps even the same city or the same ZIP code, for the duration of this concert. That’s not anywhere near as good as hearing the legend perform songs from his new album of Frank Sinatra covers or classics from his nearly 60-year career, but it’s something.

Orchestras welcome a month of ‘May-thoven’

Written by Julie Steinbach,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 07 May 2015 12:02

Something classical must be in the Wisconsin water supply. This May, Beethoven-lovers practically can’t walk out of the house on a given weekend without stumbling on an orchestra performing one of the composer’s epic, groundbreaking symphonies.

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MOWA puts photographer duo in the viewfinder

Written by Kat Murrell,
Contributing writer
Saturday, 09 May 2015 12:47

In works like Self-Portrait in the Garden at Dusk, Whitelaw, WI, photographers J. Shimon and J. Lindemann turn the camera on themselves.
— PHOTO: J. Shimon & J. Lindemann

There is a familiar, strange and dark beauty in the lives drawn out by photographer duo J. Shimon & J. Lindemann. You know these people, you know these places. They are particular and peculiar, brought together at the Museum of Wisconsin Art for the pair’s largest museum show yet: a retrospective of their 30-year career. It is an eloquently important exhibition.

Big brass, big legacy
Chicago co-founder Robert Lamm says ‘Now’ isn’t the time to slow down

Written by Bill Lamb,
Contributing writer
Friday, 08 May 2015 12:37

When the band Chicago hits the stage at Milwaukee’s Riverside Theater May 18, it will be the latest opportunity to see one of the most successful pop-rock bands of all time. The group’s second only to the Beach Boys among American bands on the pop charts, selling more than 100 million records and registering 21 Top 10 singles. 

More impressive is the band’s longevity. The band has been performing consistently since 1967, a 48-year stretch, and still has four of its original co-founders playing. One of them is keyboardist Robert Lamm, one of Chicago’s lead singers and songwriters. We can credit him with such classics as “Saturday In the Park,” “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” and “25 or 6 to 4.”

Music Reviews:
Josh Groban, The Weepies, Zac Brown Band, Jenny Lewis

Written by Bill Lamb,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 07 May 2015 23:04

New music. New reviews.

"Stages" is what Josh Groban’s most devoted fans have been waiting for. There’s nothing experimental: no songs in Portuguese like “Voce Existe Em Mim” on "Illuminations" or strange cover choices like “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress” on "All That Echoes." It is simply a collection of beautifully sung and orchestrated songs from Broadway musicals (and two movies, but one is a measured take on “Over the Rainbow” so he gets a pass).

Lightning strikes yet again for Chris Hemsworth

Written by Jan Janssen,
The Interview Feed
Thursday, 07 May 2015 11:54

Chris Hemsworth is Thor. — PHOTO: Courtesy

Chris Hemsworth is about as ideal a choice to play a Norse god as you could imagine. The strapping 6’3” Aussie has the sandy hair and sculpted features that are perfectly suited to the role of Thor, one of the Avengers dedicated to saving the earth from the forces of evil.