You thought it was tricky to train a dragon?
It’s even trickier to take a much-admired animated film and make a sequel that feels satisfying and worthwhile. And it’s harder still to balance the competing needs of stretching the story in new directions but retaining the guiding spirit of the original enough to make fans happy.
By all accounts, Tim Hauser is a lucky man, and luck has helped propel The Manhattan Transfer, the group he founded in 1969, on an impressive career trajectory as the country’s best-known jazz vocal group.
This week’s Art Gaze selections prompt new ways of seeing through an extraordinary array of paintings, prints and photographs, and whimsical sculptural installations.
More than 70 years ago, woman drummer Viola Smith rattled the music establishment when she wrote an editorial for the jazz magazine Down Beat declaring that “hep girls” could hold their own in any jam session. The piece, title “Give Girl Musicians a Break!,” expressed the frustration that she faced as a woman playing instruments that society believed women were not capable of playing as well as men.
Milwaukee band Ivy Spokes first came together in 2011 and released a debut EP titled Chaos to Cosmos. The band describes its sound as dance rock, but that doesn’t fully honor the wide range of sounds that are woven into an Ivy Spokes show.
Summer weather usually means a seasonal slowdown for indoor activities, but the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art continues to offer new exhibits, even as it gears up for Art Fair on the Square July 12–13.
Jennifer Hudson’s story is the stuff of legends. The Chicago native’s meteoric rise from American Idol competitor to Oscar-winning actress is a once-in-a-generation story. We knew she could sing, but when she stole the movieDreamgirls from Beyoncé, she entered the stratosphere. Personal tragedies (the murder of family members) and triumphs (remarkable weight loss) followed. Hudson has persevered through whatever life has thrown her way and continued to turn out memorable work and performances. Her third album Driven, soon to be released, is expected to show yet another side of the star.
Anyone who thinks chamber music is stately, stodgy and, in some cases, somnolent has never seen the seasonal performances offered by Madison’s Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society.
The campus end of Madison’s State Street looks like the scene of an explosion right now, due to roadwork. But by the time autumn leaves fall, it will feature a new sculptural work of public art.