A passion for food
Restaurateur Marc Bianchini has made appetite ‘a way of life’

Written by Mike Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 21 March 2013 14:03

When Osteria Del Mondo closed its doors in the Knickerbocker in April 2011, patrons hoped that one of Milwaukee’s best restaurants soon would find a new home. Owner Marc Bianchini initially promised a six-month hiatus before reopening in a smaller, higher-profile location downtown. 

Musical revue reheats the phenomenal talent of singer/songwriter Sam Cooke

Written by Mike Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 21 March 2013 13:27

Darrian Ford performs the music of Sam Cooke. -Photo: Sam Ciardi

Singer/songwriter Sam Cooke was shot to death in a cheap motel in South Central Los Angeles on Dec. 11, 1964. No identification was found on his body, and it took police three days to identify him.

University panel to talk music-politics connection

Written by AP Monday, 18 March 2013 11:14

The Lambuth campus of the University of Memphis is sponsoring a panel discussion about the relationship between politics and music.

The university says the symposium is scheduled for March 22 in the Hamilton Performing Arts Center on the Jackson campus.

Europe’s Perpetuum Jazzile has returned to the United States for select concert performances.

Having performed for sold-out crowds in America in 2011, the a cappella group from Slovenia features 35 voices creating a “Vocal Orchestra” with vocal percussions, a human beat-box imitating an incredible array of drums, electronic beats and choreographed hand movements that simulate storms for an intense sound experience.

Panera's mystery menu

Written by Mike Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 21 March 2013 13:59

We like a mystery as much as the next person, especially when it involves food. But we were at first stumped by the murmurs we heard about Panera Bread’s low-calorie “hidden menu,” something so secret that Panera didn’t advertise it on the restaurant chain’s website or in its various franchise locations.

French lessons
'Little White Lies' and 'Farewell, My Queen' offer Gallic charms

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Staff writer
Thursday, 21 March 2013 13:04


Before she lost her head for her country, Marie Antoinette (Diane Kruger) lost her head for Sidonie (Lea Seydoux), a lady-in-waiting who became the queen’s favorite reader in “Farewell, My Queen.” Spanning the first few tumultuous days of the French Revolution in July 1789 , the film opens with a shot illustrating the vast differences between the worlds outside of and within the walls of Versailles. As bread becomes scarce in Paris, the question becomes how safe is it for the king and queen and their staff of servants.

Sarah Palin writing book about Christmas

Written by AP Wednesday, 13 March 2013 14:10

Sarah Palin has a new book coming, this time about Christmas.

The former Republican vice presidential candidate and Alaska governor has a deal with HarperCollins for "A Happy Holiday IS a Merry Christmas," scheduled for November. HarperCollins announced Monday that the book will criticize the ``over-commercialism'' and "homogenization" of Christmas and call for a renewed emphasis on the religious importance.

Disney takes viewers on a return trip to Oz

Written by By SANDY COHEN,
AP writer
Saturday, 09 March 2013 03:33

Returning to the mystical land of “The Wizard of Oz” took more than 70 years and several hundred millions dollars.

Disney released its highly anticipated prequel to the 1939 movie classic on March 8. Directed by Sam Raimi, “Oz the Great and Powerful” explores the origins of the wizard (James Franco) and the witches (Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz) in a three-dimensional Oz.

Holly Near goes far in new double-CD release

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Staff writer
Thursday, 21 March 2013 13:49

On her new double-CD release “Peace Becomes You,” singer/songwriter and activist Holly Near draws on the various influences and inspirations of her musical career to create a song collection to satisfy a diverse audience. Standards from the Great American Songbook and songs of protest mix comfortably with a few contemporary pop tunes and compositions by women’s music legends – including songs by Near herself.

Japanese architect Toyo Ito wins Pritzker Prize

Written by The Associated Press Monday, 18 March 2013 12:25

Japanese architect Toyo Ito, whose buildings have been praised for their fluid beauty and balance between the physical and virtual world, has won the 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize, the prize’s jury announced earlier this week.

The 71-year-old architect joins such masters as Frank Gehry, I.M. Pei, Tadao Ando, Renzo Piano and Wang Su in receiving the honor that’s been called architecture’s Nobel Prize. Ito, the sixth Japanese architect to receive the prize, was recognized for the libraries, houses, theaters, offices and other buildings he has designed in Japan and beyond.

"The Ellen DeGeneres Show" renewed through 2017

Written by AP Tuesday, 12 March 2013 15:19

Fans of Ellen DeGeneres' daytime talk show have reason to feel reassured.

Show producers and NBC announced Monday that “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” has been renewed through 2017. Some 189 television stations, including the 10 owned by NBC, have committed to airing it.

Under the big 'M'
Ann Arbor thrives as Madison's unofficial sister city

Written by Mike Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 08 March 2013 17:25

The Ark, one of many fine eateries in Ann Arbor.

It doesn’t take the giant "M" on the outside of Michigan Stadium – dubbed The Big House for its capacity to seat more than 111,000 screaming football fans – to understand in what shadow the Michigan city of Ann Arbor sits.