Arts & Culture

  • Jim Ford

    Odds are you have never heard of Jim Ford. But Ford, as they say, is the man. Don’t take my word for it. Those who cite him as an influence or collaborator include Nick Lowe and Bobbie Gentry. It is a short list of musicians who qualify as Deluxe Cracker: white guys brimming with such […]

  • Footloose

    By Tracy Doyle Check it: a beloved ‘80s movie starring Kevin Bacon, over a decade later made into a moderately successful Broadway musical, revised in 2007 and this past weekend made its local premiere in Elm Grove’s Sunset Playhouse. Why yes, I am talking about Dean Pitchford’s Footloose! Noi-ce! Mark Salentine’s director’s notes clearly stated […]

  • The Lady in Question

    Gender-bending roles are a trademark in the scripts written by Charles Busch – accomplished playwright, actor and drag artist. Awarded a Drama Desk Award for Career Achievement in 2003, Busch usually plays the leading ladies in his parodies of 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s film. Two of his best-known works are Psycho Beach Party and Die […]

  • A Midsummer Night McGivern

    One of the most popular people in local theatre, John McGivern has a huge following. Just to see the guy standing there onstage, the uninitiated could be forgiven for wondering what all the fuss is about. On the surface, McGivern seems like anyone else you might see walking around the East Side. Seeing him perform […]

  • The limitless as limitation

    Creativity has no limits. The freedom to express, within any given medium, is a liberating process and brothers John and David Jenson not only understand this process but are taking it a step further. What started as an idea in 2005, or rather a bouncing of ideas, later grew into what is now Soar Studios, […]

  • The Gourds

    Here’s the setting: You’re outside on a warm summer day; there’s a nice breeze and some good conversation flowing and you have a tasty beverage in hand. You hear some music and decide to stroll under the tent to check it out. It ain’t earth-shifting, life-affirmation stuff, but it’s well-played and gets your fingers tapping […]

  • Crowded House

    Fourteen years since their last album, 11 since their last show and yet it feels almost effortless the way Crowded House pick up where they left off. Admittedly, Time on Earth represents an incomplete reunion – original drummer Mark Hester died in 2005, and keyboardist Mark Hart wasn’t part of the initial lineup – but […]

  • Temporary Beauty

    The phrase “art on wheels” conjures images of taxi billboards, tour vans with flaming skulls and purple ponies, fancy ice cream trucks with neon graffiti and occasionally even cleverly wrapped buses. But look a little further – specifically, further down – and these words might also encompass another, much more fleeting form – skateboard deck […]

  • Kelly Willis

    While an American Idol monopolizes the dial with a hit about mutilating a cheater’s automobile, Kelly Willis returns some integrity to crossover-country. This mother of four who took a five-year sabbatical since her last release to raise her children is proof that hip is possible without the need to be trashy or pseudo-political – a […]

  • Milwaukee Short Film Festival reels up its 9th season

    It’s with some irony that the decaying relationship between Time Warner Cable and the local public access outlet (MATA Community Media) helped foster the physical existence of the Milwaukee Short Film Festival, and even more ironic that the internet – well known for stealing eyes away from theaters and television – has helped the local […]

  • Five Women Wearing the Same Dress

    Writer/Director Alan Ball has met with considerable success in film and TV. His film American Beauty won an Academy Award while his TV series Six Feet Under garnered him two Golden Globes and no less than six Emmys. Before any of that, however, Ball earned a degree in theatre. In 1993 he wrote a comedy […]

  • Hot summer in the city

    Lesley Kagen is looking out the front window of Restaurant Hama, the fine Japanese establishment her and husband Peter Knapp have operated out of the Audubon Court in Bayside for almost 10 years. But this is not a feature about the fine tempura and fried calamari we will feast on in a few minutes. “Piaskowski,” […]