Skylight presents the original 'Porgy and Bess'

Written by Mike Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 16 May 2013 12:15

Milwaukee’s Skylight Music Theatre closes its current season with a production of “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess,” but artistic director Bill Theisen wants the city to know this isn’t the version that caused a stir on Broadway last year.

Physical by iPhone becoming real possibility

Written by The Associated Press Monday, 06 May 2013 13:15

It’s not a “Star Trek” tricorder, but by hooking a variety of gadgets onto a smartphone you could almost get a complete physical – without the paper gown or even a visit to the doctor’s office.

Blood pressure? Just plug the arm cuff into the phone for a quick reading.

Milwaukee Ballet takes traditional flight plan for 'Swan Lake'

Written by Mike Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 02 May 2013 15:12

Milwaukee Ballet’s Valerie Harmon as the Black Swan. -Photo: Jessica Kaminski

When it comes to producing “Swan Lake,” the size of your bevy matters.

Rachel Barton Pine plays lullabies for people of all ages

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 02 May 2013 14:54

Rachel Barton Pine.

A child prodigy, Rachel Barton Pine began playing the violin at the age of 3½. She performed with the Chicago Symphony at age 10.

‘Spider Woman’ takes web of music and intrigue to Milwaukee’s Off the Wall Theatre

Written by Mike Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 16 May 2013 11:33

Life lived out of balance is difficult at best, but a life lacking purpose is destined to end quickly.

That’s the sort of existential message at the heart of “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” says Dale Gutzman, whose Off the Wall Theatre is mounting a production of the John Kander/Fred Ebb musical this month. The plot follows the unlikely love that blossoms between two men sharing the horrors of an Argentine prison.

Beard's best of the best in cookbooks, food writing

Written by J.M. HIRSCH,
AP writer
Monday, 06 May 2013 13:06

No trendy restaurants. No fancy equipment. No hard-to-find hipster ingredients.

The pages of this year’s top food publication don’t read like your average gourmet glossy. That’s because the only trend ChopChop magazine – named publication of the year by the James Beard Foundation – cares about is how to get America’s children eating healthier.

Out novelist Anne Laughlin brings her mysterious ways to Milwaukee

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 02 May 2013 15:05

Chicago lesbian novelist Anne Laughlin has added another honor to her distinguished career. Her novel “Runaway” (Bold Strokes Books) was selected recently as a 2012 Lambda Literary Award finalist.

“Runaway” is a mystery with romantic elements. It follows Chicago-based private investigator Jan as she searches for Maddy, a suburban teenage runaway. What begins as a seemingly ordinary case soon develops into something more. Maddy’s possible connection to a radical group echoes something from Jan’s past that she had hoped to leave behind her. To make matters worse, a passionate workplace romance with Jan’s new boss Catherine threatens to derail not only her investigation, but also the life she has worked so hard to keep concealed.

Nathan Lane is a tour de force in 'The Nance'

Written by The Associated Press Thursday, 02 May 2013 14:45

Douglas Carter Beane’s play “The Nance” opens with Nathan Lane hungrily looking around an automat. It is 1937 in New York and he’s not there for the food.

Lane, who portrays a lonely burlesque performer in the play, is there on his off-hours to try to pick up a man – any man, really. It’s an assignation that city officials frown upon in these closeted times and so everyone has to be careful or they’ll end up in jail.

The winners of the coveted James Beard Foundation national chef awards for 2013 include the Blue Hill Restaurant in New York City for Outstanding Restaurant. Tied for Outstanding Chef were David Chang of Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York City and Paul Kahan of Blackbird in Chicago.

Van Gogh Museum reopens with display on his craft

Written by The Associated Press Saturday, 04 May 2013 08:54

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has reopened after a seven-month renovation, kicking off with “Van Gogh At Work,” an exhibition that shows the famously tortured artist’s working methods right down to his paints, brushes and other tools.

Appropriately, the final painting curators hung this week was a self-portrait in which Vincent Van Gogh painted himself behind a canvas, brushes and palette in hand. Nearby, on loan from the Musee d’Orsay in Paris, are an actual palette and paints that Van Gogh used.

The Mint Julep is steeped in history

Written by Mike Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 02 May 2013 14:59

Our first mint julep was poured in the infield at Churchill Downs prior to the running of the Kentucky Derby. It seems so long ago now that horses might have been the primary mode of transportation then. 

An overworked bartender took the year’s official 12-ounce Derby souvenir glass, tossed in a handful of ice cubes, filled it with a brown distillate we took to be whiskey, and then stuffed a mint sprig down next to the cubes. Voila! Instant ecstasy, or so we thought after the first three drinks. We even heard they ran a race that day.

NARI’s home tour is a great way to explore design ideas for spring remodeling projects

Written by Louis Weisberg,
Staff writer
Thursday, 02 May 2013 10:38

If you’re considering a spring home remodeling project, the Milwaukee/NARI Tour of Remodeled Homes offers a great venue for exploring ideas, says group spokesman Dave Amoroso.

Thirteen projects were selected for this year’s tour, which features an entire home makeover as well as a variety of bathroom and kitchen re-dos. Visitors can get a sense of new trends in flooring, cabinetry and appliances as well as the chance to compare what different contractors are able to accomplish on varying budgets, Amoroso says.