Next Act’s ‘Back of the Throat’ finds absurdity in fear

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 25 September 2015 13:01

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, Arab-American writer Khaled receives a visit from two government agents. Their friendly demeanor turns aggressively suspicious as the pair attempts to connect Khaled to the worst terrorist act ever to take place on U.S. soil.

Joan Armatrading. — PHOTO: Courtesy

We have good news and bad news about Joan Armatrading’s latest tour, passing through Madison this fall. Let’s start with the downer: The award-winning, prolific British musician has announced that this will be her final major tour, after more than 40 years on the road. On the other hand, this is also Armatrading’s first-ever “solo” tour — just her, a guitar, a piano and that voice of hers — which is sure to make this farewell to one of music’s greatest singer/songwriters even more poignant. Americana singer/songwriter Kristina Train opens.

The Driftless Area: A great place for Wisconsin brews

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 24 September 2015 12:48

Perhaps Wisconsin’s most famous microbrewery, New Glarus has been a fixture of the Driftless Area brewing community for 22 years.
—Photo:New Glarus

One of Wisconsin’s best-kept tourism secrets may be the Driftless Area, that relatively small southwest corner of the state that wasn’t scoured flat by glacial ice some 500,000 years ago. 

Putting the ‘Milwaukee’ in the Milwaukee Film Festival

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Thursday, 24 September 2015 10:07

Clarence, one of the documentaries in this year’s Cream City Cinema program.
—Photo: Milwaukee Film

Most of the talk that surrounds the Milwaukee Film Festival seems to center on what’s being drawn to Milwaukee — what hit indie narratives, what special guests, what incisive documentaries. Yet equally important, if not more, is what’s already here. 

Author challenges gay men to lead societal change

Written by Louis Weisberg,
Staff writer
Friday, 25 September 2015 12:23

Raymond L. Rigoglioso. — PHOTO: Courtesy

Many gay men view the legalization of same-sex marriage as the culmination of the LGBT civil rights movement. For them, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling was a historical arrival point for gays in terms of social acceptance, as well as an opening of the doorway to full assimilation.

New music from Keith Richards, Lana Del Rey, Don Henley, Duran Duran

Written by Bill Lamb,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 24 September 2015 19:22

Crosseyed Heart is the first solo album from Keith Richards in 23 years, coming a decade after the last Rolling Stones album. Without Jagger, Richards is free to indulge in blues and country as well as rock ’n’ roll.

Pumpkin spice: The flavor of fall and a hint of the past

Written by Christine Armario,
Associated Press
Thursday, 24 September 2015 10:18

Once upon a time, pumpkin spice lived pretty much only in pies.

In Bay View, art needs no galleries

Written by Kat Minerath,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 24 September 2015 10:04

Bay View’s Tonic Tavern is home to John Kowalczyk’s “Golden Gazelle” and “Yellow Faced Kudu,” densely patterned mixed media works.
—Photo: Kat Minerath

There’s already a lot to do in Bay View. With the biannual Bay View Gallery Night on Sept. 25, the list gets longer. 

‘Rocky Horror’ ends an Alchemist Theatre tradition

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Thursday, 24 September 2015 23:08

After years of terrifying audiences every Halloween, the Alchemist Theatre is wrapping up an annual Halloween series with The Rocky Horror Show, the source material for the cult film starring Tim Curry.
—Photo:Alchemist Theatre

For years, Aaron Kopec has been terrifying audiences with haunting Halloween shows at his theater, the Alchemist — tales of paranormal horror, devilish dealings and general terror. That all ends this year. Kopec’s declared this fall’s Halloween show will be the theater’s last, and they’re going out with a bang.

‘Dreamgirls’ continues the Rep’s commitment to diverse storytelling

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 24 September 2015 12:55

Nova Y. Payton, playing Effie White, will lead the Rep’s production of Dreamgirls.
—Photo: Michael Brosilow

When the Milwaukee Rep opens its season with Dreamgirls on the Quadracci Powerhouse stage, the company will take another step toward fulfilling two continuing commitments made by artistic director Mark Clements. 

A decade after ‘Wicked,’ Kristin Chenoweth remains ‘popular’ — and at the top of her craft

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 24 September 2015 10:13

Whoever said good things come in small packages must have been thinking of Kristin Chenoweth. At 4 feet 11 inches, the singer/actress best known for her role as Glinda the Good Witch in the original production of Wicked has a height inversely proportional to her towering talent on the stage.

Pop and politics: Some campaigns hit high notes, some just off-key

Written by Lisa Neff,
Staff writer
Thursday, 24 September 2015 09:58

Anti-gay Kentucky clerk Kim Davis and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.
Photo: Timothy D. Easley/Associated press

Right-wing presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and anti-gay Kentucky clerk Kim Davis stepped forward, hands clasped, arms raised, signaling triumph, imitating Rocky Balboa.