Go For the Food: The Admiral in Asheville

Associated Press writer
Sunday, 23 February 2014 10:04

In downtown Asheville, N.C., good restaurants are as handsomely conspicuous as the artsy boutiques and bodegas that give the Blue Ridge Mountain mecca its trendy, vibrant flair.

Across the French Broad River, in West Asheville?

Pro Arte Quartet taps its Belgian roots

Written by By Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 21 February 2014 11:19

The Pro Arte Quartet: David Perry, Suzanne Beia, Sally Chisholm and Parry Karp. –Photo: Courtesy PAQ

The Pro Arte Quartet wanted to honor its Belgian heritage when it commissioned Belgian composer Benoît Mernier to write a composition for its centennial celebration.

How the von Trapps got together with Pink Martini

Written by By Gregg Shapiro,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 20 February 2014 13:42

The von Trapps, who are heard on Pink Martini’s latest album Dream a Little Dream, are joining the group on its current tour, which comes to Wisconsin in early March. -PHOTO: Chris Hornbecker

Where else but on a Pink Martini album such as Dream a Little Dream would you be able to hear Abba’s “Fernando” sung in the original Swedish? Not only that, it’s sung by the von Trapps (Sofia, Melanie, Amanda and August), the great grandchildren of Maria and Georg. Yes, that Maria and Georg. 

Making Mardi Gras taste a little more like home

Associated Press writer
Thursday, 20 February 2014 08:39

The sad fact of the matter is, most of us won't make it to New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras. But that's no reason to forsake some of the city's classic cuisine.

This year, honor Mardi Gras by making jambalaya at home. It's the perfect dish for out-of-towners; it's easy, it's weeknight- and kid-friendly, and it's extremely versatile. Because while there are several basic approaches to jambalaya — Creole and Cajun among them — there really are endless variations on this dish of rice, meat and seafood.

Taking root: Wisconsin ginseng goes global

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 21 February 2014 12:05

Think of Wisconsin cash crops and a variety of products — cultivated and manufactured — come to mind. But ginseng?

Chamber Theatre play explores tragic uncertainties

Written by By Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 21 February 2014 10:40

The front page of the Kingsport News after the October tragedy that heavily influenced playwright Lori Matthews –Photo: Wikipedia

Budding authors are encouraged to write what they know, but such counsel often leads writers to also explore what they need to understand. For Wisconsin author Lori Matthews, personal catharsis is the seed of the narrative in October, Before I Was Born at the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre.

Pink Martini continues to surprise audiences

Written by By Matthew Reddin Contributing writer Thursday, 20 February 2014 13:00

Thomas Lauderdale and China Forbes. -Photo: Holly Andres

With the name “Pink Martini,” a band has to be a little bit out of the box. And Pink Martini doesn’t disappoint. The self-proclaimed “little orchestra” is one of the most eclectic musical groups touring, dipping into classical, jazz and old-fashioned pop while at the same time drawing inspiration from the world music scene.

Pollstar: Top 20 concert tours in North America

Written by The AP Friday, 14 February 2014 15:13

The Top 20 Concert Tours ranks artists by average box office gross per city and includes the average ticket price for shows in North America. The previous week's ranking is in parentheses. The list is based on data provided to the trade publication Pollstar by concert promoters and venue managers.

King Cab: The royal, robust red

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 21 February 2014 11:27

I resolved this year to drink more red wine — as much for the health value as for the complex flavors.

‘Vaginal Knitting’ raises a number of feminist issues

Written by By Brandon Miller ,
Contributing writer
Friday, 21 February 2014 10:09

KNIT YOUR REVOLT: “Craftivist” Casey Jenkins is the founder and director of femiNEST and the radical craft group Craft Cartel, which aims to subvert and honor art techniques often dismissed as women’s crafts. -PHOTO: YouTube

Melbourne-based feminist artist Casey Jenkins says she had no idea that a video clip showing her “vaginal knitting” performance art project would go viral, attracting more than 4 million viewers after it was featured on SBS, an Australian news publication. 

So many characters but only one actor make ‘Chesapeake’ a challenge

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 20 February 2014 12:39

Matt Daniels in

Lee Blessing’s play Chesapeake presents a stable of colorful characters. The challenge to presenting them all? There’s only one actor.

MSO presents 'Valentine Romance' program

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Contributing writer
Friday, 14 February 2014 13:50

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra

“When you get booked for a Pops concert in the middle of February,” John Morris Russell says, “the theme seems a little obvious.”