Aretha takes on divas, comes out swinging

Written by JEFF KAROUB,
Associated Press writer
Friday, 17 October 2014 17:27

Aretha Franklin sings the sound of America like nobody else alive — a point of unceasing pride for Detroit, the place she was raised and remains near today. So the release of “Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics” raises one question right off: Does the singular Queen of Soul really need to borrow from other divas?

The answer is she doesn’t need to do anything, but a dive into the realm of other divas is a solid move.

Theatre Gigante resurrects its unique take on ‘Othello’

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 16 October 2014 15:21

Take one of the most villainous acts in the Shakespeare canon, season it with some Japanese Noh theater, add some balletic elements and repeat over and over.

‘Flying Dutchman’ focuses on a ghastly legend’s emotions

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Thursday, 16 October 2014 12:35

The Flying Dutchman by Albert Pinkham Ryder. — PHOTO: Wiki

Halloween is the time for ghost stories, and the Florentine Opera has one ready to go a week early: Wagner’s epic The Flying Dutchman, playing at the Marcus Center’s Uihlein Hall on Oct. 24 and Oct. 26.

McGivern shears ‘Madness’ from his repertoire

Written by Louis Weisberg,
Staff writer
Thursday, 16 October 2014 11:14

Local actor and media personality John McGivern. — PHOTO: Courtesy

Local actor and media personality John McGivern says his current performance in Shear Madness, playing at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino’s Northern Lights Theater, is his last turn in what many fans consider to be his signature role.

Review: ‘Book of Life’ celebrates death

Written by FRANK SCHECK,
The Hollywood Reporter
Friday, 17 October 2014 16:33

It’s not surprising that a companion art book to the new animated film directed by Jorge R. Gutierrez and produced by Guillermo del Toro has already been released. Steeped in Mexican folk art and inspired by that country’s holiday the Day of the Dead, “The Book of Life” is a visually stunning effort that makes up for its formulaic storyline with an enchanting atmosphere that sweeps you into its fantastical world, or in this case, three worlds.

Bookended by amusing contemporary segments in which a sassy museum tour guide (Christina Applegate) hosts a group of skeptical school kids, the story concerns the romantic triangle among the free-spirited Maria (Zoe Saldana) and her two suitors: Manolo (Diego Luna), the scion of a long line of bullfighters, who really wants to be a singer/guitarist; and the vainglorious Joaquin (Channing Tatum), a military hero who struts around with a huge display of medals on his chest.

Celebrate Halloween with horror-themed beers

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 16 October 2014 14:47

Avery Brewing Company’s Mephistopheles Stout. — PHOTO: Courtesy

Joseph Hausmann’s Capital Brewery in Madison was a thriving enterprise in the late 19th century. The stocky German with the distinctive saber scar on his cheek was often seen stacking empties and pulling tap handles in the brewery’s adjoining saloon.

Glitter to Gore specializes in turning people into zombies — or artworks

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 16 October 2014 11:42

Dawn Marie Svanoe and Michelle Soltis. — PHOTO: Peter F. Castro

It’s 5 p.m. on an October Saturday, and Michelle Soltis is waiting patiently for a gaggle of actors to come rushing in. Once that happens, things start to get really ugly.

Cat whisperer Jackson Galaxy in a category of his own

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 16 October 2014 11:08

Jackson Galaxy. — PHOTO: Courtesy

Jackson Galaxy, author and host of Animal Planet’s My Cat From Hell, is the definition of a cat whisperer. Since the show premiered in 2011, the cat behaviorist has come to the aid of many cat owners, assisting them in working out various cat-astrophes and bringing harmony to homes with sparring feline frenemies. Galaxy’s new book Catification, written with feline environment designer Kate Benjamin, takes a paws-on approach to renovating your house into a cat-friendly home.

YouTube channel to stream comedy series on Nixon

Written by The AP Friday, 17 October 2014 12:59

Harry Shearer is hardly the first person to mine comedy from the rich vein where Richard Nixon shines.

But no one has done it more faithfully than Shearer, who, in his new series, mimics Nixon unimpeachably while re-enacting real-life scenes as the man known to detractors as Tricky Dick - all to hilarious effect.

Pop and jazz artist Bruce Hornsby goes classical

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 16 October 2014 12:39

Bruce Hornsby’s new album explores atonality. — PHOTO: Courtesy

“Some things will never change,” Bruce Hornsby sings in his 1986 hit “The Way It Is.”

Stitching history from the Holocaust

Written by Kat Murrell,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 16 October 2014 11:24

— Photo: Jewish Museum Milwaukee

Pepsi launches 'craft soda' in effort to attract millennials

Written by The Associated Press Thursday, 09 October 2014 07:01

Pepsi is hoping to keep up with the times with a soda called "Caleb's Kola" that comes in glass bottles reminiscent of a bygone era.