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home : news : arts & entertainment June 18, 2019

Franklin impersonator at Dickson Mounds July 4
At Dickson Mounds Museum’s Tot Time on Thursday, July 4 at 9:30 a.m., tots and their caretakers will celebrate America’s birthday and meet “Ben Franklin,” a man for all ages! Inventor, statesman, and founding father--he seemed to do it all. Listen as “Franklin” reminisces about his political life, writings, and scientific inventions. How has this founding father changed the way we live our lives today?
Tuesday, June 18, 2019


Music, ice cream and games at Homestead Prairie Farm Independence Day 1860 event
Enjoy a 4th of July festival as Americans celebrated it in the 1860s. Visit HOMESTEAD PRAIRIE FARM at Rock Springs Conservation Area for Independence Day 1860 on Saturday, June 29 from 1-4 p.m. All activities are free and no registration required.
Monday, June 17, 2019

Wall Street Journal Best Sellers
Saturday, June 15, 2019

New novel 'Love Actually' meets the horoscopes
A journalist once considered adjusting her newspaper’s horoscope to help an astrology-devoted friend. She didn’t do it, but in her new novel, Minnie Darke imagines what happens when her lovesick protagonist acts on the same impulse she had. The result is an escapist delight.
Saturday, June 15, 2019

Klein, who helped created 'American Bandstand,' dies
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Lew Klein, a broadcast pioneer who helped create “American Bandstand” and launched the careers of Dick Clark and Bob Saget, has died. He was 91.
Friday, June 14, 2019

Music Review: 'Western Stars' new path for Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen’s new studio release breaks fresh ground for the veteran rocker, who turns his back not only on the blistering sound of the E Street Band but also abandons the haunting acoustic moods pioneered on “Nebraska” and fine-tuned on later solo efforts.
Thursday, June 13, 2019

Upcoming IDNR events celebrate history, nature and art
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) lists upcoming events in the area:
Monday, June 10, 2019

Broadway honors its own: A historic win tops an evening of feel-good moments
When effervescent actress Ali Stroker came onstage to accept her historic trophy as the first actor in a wheelchair to win a Tony, it wasn’t just the feel-good moment of the night. It may have been one of the most joyous Tony moments in years.
Monday, June 10, 2019

Wall Street Journal Best-Sellers
Saturday, June 8, 2019

YOUR NEXT PARTY CENTERPIECE
This salad does not hold back on herbs and spice. Handfuls of your favorite garden herbs, and a shake of the contents of your spice drawer, build welcome layers of flavor and freshness into this bright and festive couscous platter. Israeli couscous (also known as pearl couscous) is made of wheat flour and semolina, which is rolled into tiny "pearl" balls and then toasted. The dried couscous, once purchased, is simmered in a liquid to soften. I like to toast the dried couscous in the pan with a little olive oil first, before adding the liquid to simmer, which essentially means the couscous is doubly toasted. This extra step adds a satisfying nutty flavor and golden color to the sturdy little semolina balls.
Saturday, June 8, 2019

Theatre 7 holding open auditions for season opener "Lucky Stiff"
Theatre 7 is hosting two days of open auditions for the hilarious murder mystery musical "Lucky Stiff." Auditions will start at 6:30 p.m. July 23 and 24 at Theatre 7, located at 131 N. Water St. in downtown Decatur.
Saturday, June 8, 2019

Small island of Kauai dotted with spectacular golf courses
Hawaii has some of the most beautiful and memorable golf courses in the world. And the quiet island of Kauai may have the most picturesque courses on the islands  or anywhere else.
Friday, June 7, 2019

Venezuelan ska band leaves crisis-hit country for US tour
Jammed into a small studio, Venezuelan ska band Desorden Publico rehearsed “One Step Beyond” and other tunes ahead of an American tour. Percussionist Oscar Alcaino, 60, wore a porkpie hat, a sartorial signature of ska. The cork-lined walls carried old music posters: Dr. Ring Ding, Ruben Blades, Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, Joe Strummer 1952-2002.
Friday, June 7, 2019

Review: Danger, beauty, suspense in 'The River's' wilderness
This novel about two Dartmouth College students on a canoe trip gone badly awry is partly an ode to the Northern wilderness, partly a survival how-to, and mostly a thriller  suspenseful and gut-wrenching.
Friday, June 7, 2019

Funky New Orleans singer Dr. John dies
Dr. John, the New Orleans singer and piano player who blended black and white musical styles with a hoodoo-infused stage persona and gravelly bayou drawl, died Thursday, his family said. He was 77.
Friday, June 7, 2019

Cast of Broadway's 'Ain't Too Proud' is very proud
For Jeremy Pope, the idea of playing one of The Temptations was a daunting proposition. Thankfully, he got some advice and help from an original Temptation.
Friday, June 7, 2019

Piano man Cullum's new album ambitious
Eight albums into his career, Jamie Cullum still deploys the vast musical repertoire of a cruise ship pianist, which he once was. Name a song; he’ll play it. Eager to please and hard to stump, Cullum willingly tackles any genre.
Thursday, June 6, 2019

Elton John's songwriter has new art exhibit
Bernie Taupin is known for his longtime musical work with Elton John, but the British songwriter’s visual artistry is stepping into the spotlight through an art exhibit.
Thursday, June 6, 2019

Film: Emma Thompson kills it in 'Late Night'
Watching “Late Night,” an enjoyably zippy if scattershot comedy about a veteran late-night host and her fresh-faced new writing hire, a persistent thought runs through your head: How have we been abiding without a steady supply of leading roles like this for Emma Thompson, and why haven’t we by now elected her ruler of all living things?
Thursday, June 6, 2019

'Chasing the Moon' looks at history of rocketry
“Chasing the Moon: The People, the Politics, and the Promise That Launched America into the Space Age” (Ballantine Books), by Robert Stone and Alan Andres
Thursday, June 6, 2019

Vandalia Grande Levee at the Vandalia Statehouse on June 14-15
The Vandalia Grande Levee, a celebration of the grand receptions held during the 1800s to honor government dignitaries and important visitors, will be held on Friday and Saturday, June 14 and 15 at the Vandalia Statehouse State Historic Site, located at 315 W. Gallatin St. in Vandalia. The family event is free and open to the public.
Thursday, May 30, 2019

Blast from the past comedies, Fawcett bio win in TV ratings
Blasts from the past proved irresistible to viewers, who flocked to live versions of a pair of classic sitcoms and a special about a 20th-century TV beauty.
Thursday, May 30, 2019

'Godzilla' brings Millie Bobby Brown to a new monster fight
Millie Bobby Brown may use brute force against demon monsters in “Stranger Things,” but the teenage actress relies more on intelligence to outsmart the 500-foot-tall behemoths in the new Godzilla film.
Thursday, May 30, 2019

Civil War general from Illinois creator of Memorial Day
Civil War General John A. Logan is credited with creating what we know today as Memorial Day, according to the executive director of the museum in Murphysboro, Illinois, that is dedicated to him.
Monday, May 27, 2019

"Bee Bath" craft for adults at Rock Springs
Bees need a cool drink of water, too!  Adults are invited to Rock Springs Nature Center to create their own garden Bee Bath on Sunday, May 26 at 2pm. Learn how to attract bee and butterfly pollinators to your garden, by creating a shallow “bee bath” for them to access water. All supplies will be provided. Free. Must pre-register online by noon on May 24 at MaconCountyConservation.org.
Saturday, May 25, 2019

Blue Apron latest to suffer in tough meal kit market
Meal kit companies face an ultimatum: Adapt or die.
Saturday, May 25, 2019

WHAT GROWS TOGETHER GOES TOGETHER
There's no better way to enjoy ripe fruit than in a good old-fashioned crisp. In the summer, stone fruit and berries reign supreme, while in the fall, apples and pears take over. This crisp was inspired by late spring's fresh rhubarb and boysenberries. I spied them at my weekend farmers market. A little rickety garden table in the far corner of the maze of stalls was lined with blotchy pint-sized cartons, stained blue and violet, from the juices of wild raspberries, blueberries and (best of all) boysenberries.
Saturday, May 25, 2019

Exhibits about Ali, nature, motorcycles opening at Graceland
A massive new exhibition and entertainment hall is set to open at Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Tennessee with three museum-style exhibits, including one focused on the late boxing great Muhammad Ali
Saturday, May 25, 2019

Wall Street Journal Best-Sellers
Saturday, May 25, 2019

Overwatch League commissioner leaving to work on Fortnite
Overwatch League Commissioner Nate Nanzer is leaving the competitive video game circuit to oversee esports competition for Fortnite publisher Epic Games.
Saturday, May 25, 2019

Young friends make a bad decision in Gudenkauf novel
Twelve-year-old Cora Landry starts junior high, and she lacks friends and social skills to succeed in the environment of cliques and budding puberty.
Saturday, May 25, 2019

Egerton glitters in glossy 'Rocketman'
Whatever you say about Dexter Fletcher’s glossy, glittering Elton John blinged-out biopic “Rocketman ,” a shiny sequin of a movie, it doesn’t lack for sparkle. Like its flamboyant subject, it’s a movie outfitted to the nines in dazzle and verve, even if it’s gotten all dressed up with nowhere to go but the most conventional places.
Thursday, May 23, 2019

Stray Cats in fine form in 1st album after 26 years

After 26 years, the Stray Cats are back with a new album. And the seasoned felines are in mostly fine form.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Mavis Staples, Ben Harper combine for great music
Time has certainly not dampened the urgency in Mavis Staples’ voice. Now 80, the Grammy-winning legend and social activist has one clear enemy on her new album: the status quo. She sings the word “change” some 20 times.
Thursday, May 23, 2019

Summer camping trip with the kids: The right gear can make it much easier
For some parents, it can be plenty challenging just to take young children on a trip to the mall. Then there are those who take their tiny hikers into the wilderness.
Saturday, May 18, 2019

Ramsey Lake State Park offers great outdoor fun at a location close to home
For those looking for family friendly outdoors adventures or just a beautiful place to dream away the summer hours, Ramsey Lake State Park has something for everyone. Located a little less than an hour’s drive from Taylorville in Fayette County, the state park is 1,980 acres of pure outdoor fun and beauty waiting for any willing adventurers to explore.
Saturday, May 18, 2019

Rick Atkinson digs deep into Revolutionary War
As he researched the first volume of his planned American Revolution trilogy, Rick Atkinson traveled from the battlefields of Massachusetts to London’s Windsor Castle, where he looked through the papers of King George III.
Saturday, May 18, 2019

Real spies, not James Bond, at new spy museum
James Bond’s shiny silver sports car — with its JB007 rotating license plate — is the first thing visitors see when they step into the new and improved International Spy Museum that opened last Sunday in Washington. After that, it’s as if the history of Hollywood’s famous private eye vanishes in invisible ink, while the stories of real-life spies and modern-day espionage take center stage.
Saturday, May 18, 2019

When Homemade Is Better
When I was young, one of my favorite side dishes was rice pilaf. It came in a slim box with a portion of rice and a sachet of spices, dehydrated chicken stock -- and goodness knows what else -- all set to prepare with water on the stovetop. The results were salty, addictive and aromatically flavored. My brothers and I would fight over who got to finish the bowl on the dinner table; one box was never enough.
Saturday, May 18, 2019

Summer concert series at Rock Springs starts June 2
The Macon County Conservation District will again host a free, outdoor summer concert series at Rock Springs Conservation Area. Enjoy lazy summer evenings with live acoustic music in the great outdoors on select Sundays in June, July, and August from 7-8pm.
Saturday, May 18, 2019

Wall Street Journal Best-Sellers
Saturday, May 18, 2019

New exhibit at library celebrates train history
A new exhibit celebrating train history and the 150th anniversary of the transcontinental railroad opened last week at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum with hours of free family activities.
Saturday, May 18, 2019

Dickson Mounds offers special kids programming
At Dickson Mounds Museum’s Tot Time on Thursday, June 6 at 9:30 a.m., the program will be “Fish” presented by staff from the Illinois River Biological Station. They will show a variety of live fish from the Illinois River. Participants may also enjoy viewing the station's fish population survey boat and learning about some of station’s latest research. In addition, there will be fun crafts for participating children to take home.
Saturday, May 18, 2019

Barnes & Noble kicks off summer reading with the hotest books and events
The world's largest retail bookseller, is kicking off summer reading with the hottest books, special offers, and nationwide events all summer long. The Company also announced its annual Summer Reading Program, giving kids in grades one through six a chance to earn a free book by reading 8 books and completing a reading journal. With its unique offerings and expert booksellers, Barnes & Noble is the destination for summer reading for all ages both in store and online at BN.com/summerreading, as well as on social media by using hashtag, #BookYourSummer.
Saturday, May 18, 2019

Summer STEM Camp in Rochester for area students
Students will have an opportunity for a fun learning experience of exploring, creating, and building this summer at STEM Camp. They will work together on science, technology, engineering, and math challenges.
Saturday, May 18, 2019

See the Smoky Mountains via Pink Jeep Tours
You may have walked, hiked and biked in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and now you have a chance to see it while riding in a decked-out pink Jeep Wrangler.
Saturday, May 18, 2019

Pine Bluff an unlikely hotbed for museums
The sky's the limit this spring at the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas. Actually, the entire universe is the limit in a family-focused exhibition at this hybrid Pine Bluff museum.
Saturday, May 18, 2019

Save money on an RV road trip: Make smart fuel choices and camp for free
Heading out on a road trip in a recreational vehicle allows travelers a unique opportunity to explore the nation while enjoying some comforts, too.
Saturday, May 18, 2019

Lake Shelbyville offers fun in the water, on the water and all along the shore
For those who enjoy summer fun on the water, look no farther to the east than Lake Shelbyville. This 11,100 acre reservoir is situated in both Shelby and Moultrie counties and offers a wide range of activities, whether you enjoy being in the water, on the water or along the shore.
Saturday, May 18, 2019

Night hike at Friends Creek
Explore Friends Creek Conservation Area after dark during a night hike on Saturday, May 25 from 8-10PM. Discover how your eyes, ears, and nose work at night, as you find your way through the woods on this naturalist-led hike. Wear sturdy shoes. $2/person. Must pre-register online by noon on May 24 at Macon CountyConservation .org.
Friday, May 17, 2019

Music: Big Thief's 'U.F.O.F.' hauntingly beautiful
Since the band’s debut album in 2016, Big Thief has continued to pull audiences in, captured by the voice of lead singer Adrianne Lenker and the compelling, poetic lyrics the band pairs with her distinctive, delicate tone. Her voice often comes across as angelic, but on “U.F.O.F.,” the band’s third album, her voice takes a turn. Coupled with cryptic lyrics and entrancing musical composition, her voice is haunting, as it floats through the album’s 12 tracks.
Friday, May 17, 2019

The Woodstock 50 festival is back on after judge nixes cancellation effort
The Woodstock 50 festival is back on after a court rebuffed an ex-investor’s effort to cancel the anniversary extravaganza — but organizers will have to do without some $18 million, at least for now.
Friday, May 17, 2019

Who's ready for a new Archie Bunker, live on TV?
Archie Bunker is coming back to prime-time network TV and he might look a little different to viewers — even if what he says is exactly the same.
Friday, May 17, 2019

Smashing debut for Swinton's daughter in 'Souvenir'
It was only weeks before production was starting on “The Souvenir,” the story goes, and British director Joanna Hogg and her friend, actress Tilda Swinton, still didn’t have a lead actress.
Thursday, May 16, 2019

McCullough's new book on pioneers criticized
David McCullough is one of the country’s most beloved historians, known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning biographies of Harry Truman and John Adams, acclaimed works on the Brooklyn Bridge and Panama Canal, and for narrating such famous documentaries as Ken Burns’ “The Civil War.”
Thursday, May 16, 2019

Explore history at new museum at Statue of Liberty
A new museum opening at the Statue of Liberty is giving visitors another opportunity to explore its history and the impact the iconic structure has had on the world.
Wednesday, May 15, 2019

New Salem celebrating centennial of acquisition
New Salem State Historic Site will host a public open house event Saturday, May 18, to celebrate the centennial of the state's acquisition of New Salem, Abraham Lincoln's home from 1831-1837.
Monday, May 13, 2019

Afternoon Tea at Flourishes in Shelbyville
Artist's Tea at Flourishes May 28 at 3 pm. Reservations needed by Thursday, the 23rd by email, phone or text to 217-827-5690.
Monday, May 13, 2019

Doris Day, icon of wholesome innocence in '60s film, has died
Doris Day, the honey-voiced singer and actress whose film dramas, musicals and innocent sex comedies made her a top star in the 1950s and ‘60s and among the most popular screen actresses in history, has died. She was 97.
Monday, May 13, 2019

This cruise line rivals Broadway with 134 shows, 50 theaters
In a non-descript building in North Miami, a dozen different rehearsals are going on simultaneously for Royal Caribbean, which puts on more performances a year than New York’s Broadway and London’s West End combined
Saturday, May 11, 2019

Years in the making, film about jazz pioneer to open
More than two decades after the seed was planted in Dan Pritzker’s mind to make a movie about jazz cornetist Charles “Buddy” Bolden, the world is finally getting to see the story he’s been trying to tell.
Thursday, May 9, 2019

'A Life in Movies: Stories from 50 Years in Hollywood'
Oscar-winning movie producer Irwin Winkler recalls the time he brought a promising script to United Artists. They hated virtually everything about it.
Thursday, May 9, 2019

Orchestra searching for child who 'wowed' crowd
America’s oldest performing arts group is looking for a child who was literally wowed by a recent classical music concert.
Thursday, May 9, 2019

'Big Boy' steam locomotive makes post-restoration debut
It’s longer than two city buses, weighs more than a Boeing 747 fully loaded with passengers and can pull 16 Statues of Liberty over a mountain.
Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Learn about and look for mushrooms at Rock Springs Saturday
Discover the fascinating world of fungus with Dr. Andrew Miller at Rock Springs Nature Center on Saturday, May 11, from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon. Dr. Miller is a mycologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Monday, May 6, 2019

Summer starts in May at the movies: Here's a guide of what's playing
Summer starts in May at the movies and The Associated Press has you covered with a month-by-month guide of what’s playing at the theaters, and on Netflix, from the biggest blockbusters to the smallest indie
Thursday, May 2, 2019

'Hadestown' leads Tony nominations followed by 'Ain't Too Proud'
“Hadestown,” singer-songwriter Anais Mitchell’s Broadway debut, earned a leading 14 Tony Award nominations Tuesday, followed by the jukebox musical “Ain’t Too Proud,” built around songs by the Temptations, which received a dozen nominations.
Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Millikin to host Midwest Music Expo Friday, May 3 and Saturday 4
Those interested in making music, art or gaining insight into creative entrepreneurship are invited to attend the Midwest Music Expo hosted at Millikin University May 3-4, 2019. The Midwest Music Expo, presented by First Step Records, a Millikin student-run company, is a hub for the exchange of ideas, connections and opportunities for singers, musicians, producers, DJs, managers, podcasters, bloggers, designers and artists.
Saturday, April 27, 2019

Did you know?
Pizza continues to remain a popular comfort food and go-to staple for quick, family-friendly meals. Statistics Brain reports that 93 percent of Americans eat at least one piece of pizza per month.
Saturday, April 27, 2019

Making hotel stays more memorable through scent experience
While global in scale, Andaz hotels and resorts weave the sights, sounds, scents, tastes and textures of the surroundings into each property for an experience that truly immerses guests in the eclectic culture of each destination. Today, the brand announced a new collaboration with The Society of Scent, an olfactory collective which includes a proprietary fragrance creation laboratory led by Jean Claude Delville. Delville, who first began studying perfumery at age 17, has developed fragrances with several major designers including Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, Joe Malone and Vera Wang. Through this collaboration, the sense of scent will be brought to life at all Andaz properties worldwide in highly immersive and unexpected ways.
Saturday, April 27, 2019

HAVE YOU MASSAGED YOUR KALE LATELY?
Whether you use your oven or the grill, this healthy one-dish meal is bright and satisfying. I use my go-to marinade for the salmon. With a balance of bright citrus, sweet chili heat and piquant mustard, it hits all of the flavor categories, and provides a welcome bite to cut through the buttery richness of the fish.
Saturday, April 27, 2019

Young friends make a bad decision in Gudenkauf novel

Twelve-year-old Cora Landry starts junior high, and she lacks friends and social skills to succeed in the environment of cliques and budding puberty.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

National Comedy Center to digitize Lucille Ball archives
Handwritten notes and family photographs belonging to Lucille Ball will be digitally preserved as part of a new project being undertaken by the National Comedy Center in the late actress’s hometown.
Saturday, April 27, 2019

Wall Street Journal's Best-Sellers
Saturday, April 27, 2019

'Hamilton' exhibit opens in Chicago
An exhibition that producers are touting as a 360-degree immersive experience to accompany “Hamilton” the musical is set to debut in Chicago.
Friday, April 26, 2019

Auditions for Mary Poppins this Tues.-Wed. at Blackburn
The Summer Repertory Theatre at Carlinville is pleased to announce open auditions for the summer production of Mary Poppins.
Thursday, April 25, 2019

Puppet program for toddlers at Dickson Mounds
At Dickson Mounds Museum’s Tot Time on Thursday, May 2 at 9:30 a.m., the program will be “Puppets & Play-The Birds Fly Back with Mrs. Goose” presented by puppeteer, storyteller, and educator Marilyn Price. This interactive program will be filled with song and finger play and stories with Mrs. Goose and her puppet master. The goose will lead the audience in song and participate in two of her favorite stories including "The Little Red Goose" and "King Bounce the First." Tots and their caretakers will enjoy crafts, too..
Thursday, April 25, 2019

Books: Jon Land's fans are in for another wild ride
Jon Land’s insubordinate, trigger-happy Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong is back again in another action-packed thriller in “Strong as Steel.”
Thursday, April 25, 2019

Sting on Las Vegas residency, new album
Sin City? More like Sting City.
Thursday, April 25, 2019

In 'Red Joan', Judi Dench gets spy role far from 007
Judi Dench is back in the world of espionage — but her latest role is a far cry from James Bond’s unflappable spy chief, M.
Thursday, April 25, 2019

Festival of Spring and river clean up day this Saturday
Celebrate spring and April's Earth Day with a day of outdoor activities. The Macon County Conservation District and Decatur Audubon Society will hold the 38TH Annual Festival of Spring and Sangamon River Clean-Up on Saturday, April 27 at Rock Springs Conservation Area. Many activities will take place, beginning at 8 a.m. and concluding at 4 p.m.
Wednesday, April 24, 2019

All five Marsalis musicians performing at Jazz Fest
If your tastes are eclectic, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival poses a problem: Which of a dozen acts do you want to hear? Earth, Wind & Fire, Alanis Morissette, or Taj Mahal & the Phantom Blues Band?  Van Morrison, Al Green, Johnny Rivers, or all five Marsalis jazzmen playing together?
Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Man or cyborg? 'Jeopardy!' champ passes $1M mark
There’s no truth to the rumor that James Holzhauer is a cyborg created to be the perfect “Jeopardy!” contestant.
Wednesday, April 24, 2019

'War of the Roses' author Warren Adler dies at 91
Best-selling author Warren Adler who chronicled dysfunction and duplicity, most notably in his divorce novel “The War of the Roses,” a dark comedy that was made into a hit film has died. He was 91.
Wednesday, April 24, 2019

'The Peacock Emporium' reminds us to live in the now
(AP) — Suzanna Peacock's marriage can only be described as stagnant. After financial troubles require her and her husband to move back to her hometown, she welcomes a much needed distraction by opening up a shop in the busy marketplace. It is here that Jojo Moyes sets the stage for an array of colorful characters to impact Suzanna's life in "The Peacock Emporium."
Saturday, April 20, 2019

Review: Book offers spirited claim 1999 was film's best ever
Everybody’s entitled to their opinion, especially when it comes to the movies. Somewhere out there is a person, maybe even two, whose all-time favorite is “The Boy Who Could Fly.”
Thursday, April 18, 2019

Film review: Andrew Garfield is the bright spot in 'Under the Silver Lake'
We’ll call it the “Garfield Rule” — not the comic, the actor. It holds that any performance by Andrew Garfield, on screen or stage, will be worth seeing, no matter the content.
Thursday, April 18, 2019

Notre Dame an inspiration in film, music and books
The Notre-Dame de Paris, which sustained a devastating fire Monday, has inspired writers, painters and filmmakers for hundreds of years. Here are some notable examples:
Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Review: 'The Eighth Sister' is a gripping thriller
Charles Jenkins has left his time in the CIA far behind and now lives with his family on a farm on a remote island in Washington state. His wife is expecting their second child, and he runs a security consulting business to pay the bills. When financial issues force him to contemplate how to pay his employees while at the same time keeping his wife as stress-free as possible due to pregnancy complications, Jenkins receives an offer he should refuse.
Saturday, April 13, 2019

'The Rise of Skywalker' is title for next 'Star Wars' film
“No one is ever really gone,” says the voice of Luke Skywalker in the first teaser trailer for “Star Wars: Episode IX,” which audiences finally learned will be called “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” Friday at a fan event in Chicago.
Saturday, April 13, 2019

Tulsa museum to feature musician Bob Dylan's paintings
A Tulsa museum will soon open a new Bob Dylan exhibit that will showcase 12 pastel portraits the musician painted.
Saturday, April 13, 2019

Woodstock '69 artifacts showcased in museum 50 years later
A motorcycle, a bass guitar and speakers are among 170 artifacts from the 1969 Woodstock festival showcased in a new museum exhibit opening this weekend at the site of the festival in upstate New York.
Saturday, April 13, 2019

What is America's oldest cemetery?
Many images are symbolic of Halloween. Witches riding broomsticks and ghosts gallivanting about haunted mansions are two such images. Cemeteries also play a prominent role in setting the Halloween scene.
Saturday, April 13, 2019

Wall Street Journal Best-Sellers
Saturday, April 13, 2019

MAGIC MUSHROOM DUST
Not those kind of mushrooms, silly. You want these mushrooms -- namely, dried porcini mushrooms -- in your kitchen. They keep indefinitely in your pantry and can easily be reconstituted for use with pasta, risotto, soups and sauces. Or you can simply blitz the heck out of them and turn them into dust.
Saturday, April 13, 2019

Serve up homemade salsa this Cinco de Mayo a
Much like St. Patrick's Day is celebrated by people with no trace of Irish heritage, Cinco de Mayo has become a day of celebration for people who do not trace their ancestry to Mexico. In fact, History.com notes that Cinco de Mayo is a relatively minor holiday in Mexico, where the day commemorates a symbolic yet not significantly strategic win by a heavily outnumbered Mexican army over French forces sent by Napoleon III to establish an empire on Mexican land. In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has become a day to commemorate Mexican culture, including its much-loved cuisine.
Saturday, April 13, 2019

View the night sky during van trip, Thursday, April 25
Macon County is lucky to have a state-of-the-art observatory right in its own backyard.  Join Macon County Conservation District staff on a Van Trip to Millikin University’s Requarth Observatory on Thursday, April 25, from 8-10pm.
Saturday, April 13, 2019

Fashion brand 'FUCT' seeks trademark help from court
Erik Brunetti’s four-letter fashion brand starts with an “F” and rhymes with “duct.” The federal government calls it “scandalous” and “immoral” and has refused to register the trademark.
Saturday, April 13, 2019

Earth Day tree giveaway at Dickson Mounds April 20-21
At Dickson Mounds Museum on Saturday and Sunday, April 20 and 21, visitors to the Museum can receive a free tree sapling, while supplies last. The Museum has several species of native Illinois tree saplings from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Mason State Tree Nursery to give away throughout Earth Day weekend. Visitors are encouraged to choose a species to plant in their own backyards. Information about each sapling will also be provided.
Saturday, April 13, 2019

There's no place like (Lincoln's) home
Abraham Lincoln achieved a big piece of the American dream when he bought the only home he would ever own. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will celebrate the 175th anniversary of that event May 2 with a special display of artifacts and free admission to our first 175 guests.
Saturday, April 13, 2019

Illinois Emerging Writers Competition
Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White announced today that entry forms are available for the 15th annual Illinois Emerging Writers Competition Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award.
Friday, April 12, 2019

Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra closes season April 13
The Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra (MDSO) will bring its 2018-19 season of rhapsodic stories and American dreams to a brilliant close with Dvorak's Symphony no. 9, "From the New World," on Saturday, April 13 at 7:30 p.m. at Kirkland Fine Arts Center.
Thursday, April 11, 2019

Looking for Lincoln event schedule announced
Looking for Lincoln is sponsoring five signature events this summer.
Thursday, April 11, 2019

Books: 'The Liar's Child' is a compelling story
Young Cassie and her 5-year-old brother, Boon, live at the Paradise apartments near North Carolina’s Outer Banks and are dealing with a broken home. Their mom left them with their father, who doesn’t have the strength or finances to handle being a single parent, and when they are together, it’s more fighting than anything else. Cassie starts acting out, and if she’s not careful, she may fall in with the wrong crowd.
Thursday, April 11, 2019

Music: Norah Jones is unrestrained on 'Begin Again'
Norah Jones grew to be a household name after her 2002 debut "Come Away With Me" — an album that brought her five Grammys. She became a jazz sweetheart overnight, but quickly established that she did not want to be boxed into one genre.
Thursday, April 11, 2019

Henson, Rockwell bring sensitivity to true-life tale
If you didn’t know that “The Best of Enemies” was based on a true story, you’d likely find the premise preposterous, and for a movie, probably ill-advised: A lowbrow Klan leader in North Carolina and a black single mom/community activist are forced into dialogue and become lifelong friends and allies. Really??
Thursday, April 11, 2019

Foursome: Stieglitz, O'Keefe, Strand and Salsbury
It’s been almost a century since Alfred Stieglitz scandalized polite society with nude photographs of his lover and soon-to-be-wife Georgia O’Keeffe.
Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Bob Dylan whiskey distillery to open fall of 2020
More information is being released about music icon Bob Dylan’s project in downtown Nashville in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of his “Nashville Skyline” album.
Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Strike: Chicago symphony may cancel more concerts
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra may cancel more concerts after striking musicians rejected what it calls its last, best and final offer on a new contract.
Tuesday, April 9, 2019

25 years later, TCM still abides, so movie lovers pray
There is always an asteroid, real or imagined, bearing down on Turner Classic Movies .
Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Lincoln Log Cabin hosts an Easter Egg Roll on April 13
Celebrate a presidential tradition at Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site on Saturday, April 13 as the site hosts an Easter Egg Roll for youngsters from 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Monday, April 8, 2019

A Commemoration of Sarah Bush Lincoln on April 27-28
In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the death of Sarah Bush Lincoln, Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site on April 27 and 28 will present a free weekend of activities and programs about this remarkable woman who played a formative role in the life of her stepson, Abraham Lincoln.
Monday, April 8, 2019

Prairie Days this weekend at historical society grounds
This year Prairie Days falls on the weekend of the 157th anniversary of the Civil War Battle of Shiloh. Don Chamberlain of Decatur will be sharing, in pictures and stories, details about this major event in history both on Saturday and Sunday at 1pm in the heated historic courthouse.
Thursday, April 4, 2019

Harlan Coben's 'Run Away' firing on all cylinders
Simon works on Wall Street, and his wife, Ingrid, is a successful doctor. They had a wonderful family life until their oldest daughter, Paige, leaves to attend college. At first, things seem to be going well, but something happens that turns Paige into a drug addict and she runs off with her abusive dealer.
Thursday, April 4, 2019

Dion announces new tour, new album
Celine Dion is ending her Las Vegas residency soon, but the superstar singer will keep herself busy by releasing new music and embarking on a new world tour later this year.
Thursday, April 4, 2019

Vannelli's emotions carve up 'Wilderness Road'
Looking for a jazzy follow-up to George Michael’s “Kissing a Fool”? Try Gino Vannelli’s “Gimme Back My Life.”
Thursday, April 4, 2019

Film: How sweet the sound is in Aretha documentary 'Amazing Grace'
After many dangers, toils and snares, the long-lost Aretha Franklin concert film “Amazing Grace” has finally seen the light, and good Lord is it good.
Thursday, April 4, 2019

'Thrones' takes over Bellagio fountains
Winter came to Las Vegas.

Fire-breathing dragons held court over the world-famous fountains at the Bellagio casino-resort Sunday, as familiar elements from the TV phenomenon “Game of Thrones” were projected on the rising water. The jets danced to a score incorporating the recognizable theme song before one of the colossal beasts lit up the lake along the Las Vegas Strip in a blaze of pyrotechnics.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Little Theatre high school all star auditions April 12
The Little Theatre On The Square seeks high school age students to be part of its LTOTS High School ALL STARS. Auditions for The LTOTS ALL STARS will be held from 4-7:30 p.m. Friday, April 12, 2019.
Monday, April 1, 2019

Wall Street Journal Best-Sellers
Saturday, March 30, 2019

On becoming a coconut convert
The bane of my childhood candy experience was a Mounds bar. I just didn't get it. I would bite into the promising chocolate nugget, which would immediately give way to a chewy, shredded, nutty interior, that, in my opinion, had no rightful place in a chocolate bar. It was clearly the texture that I did not like.
Saturday, March 30, 2019

Review: Novelist explores the secular and religious divide
It’s 1999, and Larry, a lapsed Jew from Brooklyn, is at his sister Dina’s house in Memphis for their father’s funeral.
Saturday, March 30, 2019

Affordable music for the family in NYC? Try a jazz club
New York has long been a city known for jazz. What’s less well-known is how kid- and family-friendly jazz performances here can be.
Saturday, March 30, 2019

Tree Program at Dickson Mounds Tot Time April 4
At Dickson Mounds Museum's Tot Time on Thursday, April 4 at 9:30 a.m., the program will focus on Illinois trees and how important trees are to the environment. Tots and their caretakers may enjoy working together with staff and volunteers to plant several trees on the museum's grounds.
Friday, March 29, 2019

Books: 'Spearhead' is a well-researched WWII tale
With his two previous books, journalist Adam Makos established himself as a meticulous researcher who’s equally adept at spinning a good, old-fashioned yarn.
Thursday, March 28, 2019

Happy hunting Bonie and Clyde in 'The Highwaymen'
It’s hard to begin watching the Netflix movie “The Highwaymen” and not think about the way it will inevitably end — in a famous ambush and a hail of bullets.
Thursday, March 28, 2019

Chicago Bears Hall of Famer to speak at Decatur event
Chicago Bears Hall of Famer Dan Hampton will deliver the keynote address at the Decatur Community Leaders Breakfast next month.
Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Illinois State Museum receives highest national recognition
The Illinois State Museum has again achieved accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums, the highest national recognition afforded the nation’s museums. Accreditation signifies excellence to the museum community, to governments, funders, outside agencies, and to the museum-going public. The Illinois State Museum has been accredited since 1972. All museums must undergo a reaccreditation review at least every 10 years to maintain accredited status.
Thursday, March 21, 2019

Review: In 'Us,' Jordan Peele holds a dark mirror to America
Jordan Peele has tightened his grip in "Us," a less satirical and more slaughterhouse horror parable than the writer-director's astonishing debut, "Get Out," that despite its deficiencies will leave all who enter its shadowy world convinced of Peele's growing command as a singular conjurer of American nightmares.
Thursday, March 21, 2019











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