entertainment

Florentine's 'Susannah' updates biblical tale

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 09 March 2012 16:40

Despite appearances to the contrary, the Florentine Opera Company’s decision to produce “Susannah,” composer Carlisle Floyd’s tale of a young woman force into sex by a clergyman and then ostracized from her community, has nothing to do with charges of sexual abuse against members of the Milwaukee Archdiocese.

“‘Susannah has had 2,000 productions since its composition in 1956 and it’s with our long-range plans that include a commitment to American works,” says William Florescu, the Florentine’s artistic director. “This is a singular story and doesn’t speak to the administrative aspects of abuse.”

Roberta Flack takes on the Beatles' canon

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Staff writer
Thursday, 23 February 2012 14:25
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Roberta Flack. – Photo: Courtesy

Still killing us softly more than 40 years since the release of her first album, Roberta Flack, who says she was sure that she "was going to be the first short black girl from North Carolina to be applauded for her knowledge and ability to play Scriabin," has turned her attention to the Beatles. On "Let It Be" (429), the diva who ruled the charts in the 1970s and '80s leaves her distinct mark on a dozen Beatles classics, renewing and refreshing them in ways that only she could.

Pets aid cancer researchers

Written by Todd Ackerman,
AP writer
Friday, 10 February 2012 11:53
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Stock photo

Leading Texas veterinarians are mobilizing to enlist pets in the testing of experimental cancer therapies, a potential benefit to not just dogs and cats – but also people.

New DVDs explore the teen scene

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Staff writer
Friday, 10 February 2012 11:49
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Taylor Lautner stars in ''Abduction.'' – Photo: Courtesy

Among new releases in DVD this month are films that explore the teen scene.

McGivern explores Wisconsin in new TV series

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 09 March 2012 16:32

An immediate anxiety betrays itself in John McGivern’s voice when you mention “Around the Corner,” his new Milwaukee Public Television series.

Novel proves same-sex love in black community

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Staff writer
Thursday, 23 February 2012 14:22
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Image: Courtesy

Since the untimely death of writer E. Lynn Harris, there has been a void in the gay African-American literary community. Chicago-based Eddie S. Pierce's debut novel "Love: Something Infinite" (rainbowroompublishing.com) could change all that. The story follows writer Seron, who returns to his Chicago birthplace from his home in Las Vegas to attend his dying ex-lover Calvin. The novel provides insight into the unique struggles of African-American gay men, and one man in particular.

Florentine goes romantic for Valentine's Day

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 10 February 2012 11:51

Milwaukee's Florentine Opera wants to capitalize on love, specifically the kind associated with St. Valentine's Day. With the production "Isn't it Romantic?," Florentine director William Florescu hopes to seize the Feb. 14 holiday by its chocolates with the first of what he hopes becomes an annual musical ode to romance.

The production is billed as a celebration of love songs "from Vienna to Broadway." It's designed as a light  Valentine confection that shines the spotlight on the company's studio artists in the intimate confines of Marcus Center for the Performing Arts' Vogel Hall on Feb. 10-12.

GPS devices help owners find lost pets

Written by the Associated Press Friday, 27 January 2012 02:40
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This purrfectly lovely feline is less likely to get lost thanks to her Tagg pet tracker GPS collar. The Tagg Master Kit costs $100 and comes with a battery charger and a month of wireless service; service is $8 a month after that. A basic Loc8tor Pet kit costs $100. – Photo: Courtesy

Houdini the dog lived up to his name.

Program helps abuse victims and their pets

Written by Louis Weisberg,
Staff writer
Thursday, 23 February 2012 14:26
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Photo: Courtesy

Remember the fate of the pet rabbit in the movie "Fatal Attraction"? Unfortunately, that scenario is not far-fetched. Pets often become tools of manipulation or revenge in unhealthy relationships. 

Documentaries among new video releases

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Staff writer
Thursday, 23 February 2012 14:21
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Candy Darling. – Photo: Courtesy

Subtitled "The Life and Times of Candy Darling, Andy Warhol Superstar," James Rasin's compassionate documentary gives the late transgender actress, who was immortalized in song by Lou Reed, the recognition that she rightly deserved.

This year's chapter on winter reading

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Staff writer
Friday, 10 February 2012 11:49

Curling up with a good book is a delight anytime — even more so on a cozy February night.

• Eleanor Brown's marvelous novel, "The Weird Sisters" (Berkley, 2011/2012), about the three Andreas sisters, their ill mother and Shakespeare-quoting professor father, was one of 2011's more auspicious debuts. It's now available in a paperback edition.

Memoir finds humor in end-of-life caregiving

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Staff writer
Friday, 27 January 2012 02:28
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''The Living End'' is gay writer Robert Leleux's second memoir. – Photo: Courtesy

In "The Living End" (St. Martin's Press, 2012), gay writer Robert Leleux's second memoir, he brings the reader up close to the experience of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease – and the toll it takes on family and friends. Leleux writes about his grandmother Joann's illness with loving care and respect. He keeps a level head throughout the book and even succeeds in infusing the tale with much-needed doses of humor.