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home : news : arts & entertainment July 15, 2018

Last words: The late Peter Mayle's 'My 25 Years in Provence'
(AP) — A new, posthumously published collection of essays by Peter Mayle takes readers back to the idyllic, slow-paced and occasionally befuddling world that Mayle first wrote about in his best-selling memoir “A Year in Provence.”
Saturday, July 14, 2018

Stories in 'Sweet & Low' reach far past the South
(AP) — “Sweet & Low,” a collection of short stories by Nick White, is set primarily in modern-day Mississippi, but the themes of these stories reach well beyond the Southern locale.
Saturday, July 14, 2018

'Terrible Country' is wonderful book
With the United States in an uproar about Russian meddling in its election, it’s a good time to brush up on the country’s former Cold War enemy. Here to help is Russian-born emigre Keith Gessen, whose hilarious, heartbreaking second novel, “A Terrible Country,” may be one of the best books you’ll read this year.
Thursday, July 12, 2018

Film: A flawed but earnest cartoonist biopic from Van Sant
Macabre is a word often associated with the late cartoonist John Callahan. He’s the man who in his widely published cartoons, drawn in his signature squiggly style, poked fun at lesbians, Chinese people, the handicapped, women, Oprah, Alzheimer’s patients, chiropractors and even sexual harassment in a cartoon that features a woman showing cleavage in a tight dress telling her similarly outfitted colleague “’s only sexual harassment if they’re not dateable.” His website proudly featured all the “hate mail” sent to the newspapers that published his cartoons. It’s extensive.
Thursday, July 12, 2018

Alyson Hannigan plays TV mom to glitter-loving 'Fancy Nancy'
Alyson Hannigan is clear about why she pursued a role on the “Fancy Nancy” TV series: Her daughters, ages 6 and 9.
Thursday, July 12, 2018

Entertainment: Comedy hypnotist and live music
The Nokomis Homecoming has announced that it will feature several entertainment acts during this year’s event.
Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Nokomis Homecoming kicks off Friday night, carnival and queen contest
Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Texas songwriting duo at the museum
Texas singer songwriter duo Ordinary Elephant will perform on Thursday, July 12 at 7 p.m. for the Music at the Museum Concert Series in the Illinois State Museum auditorium.
Monday, July 9, 2018

Activist's memoir a poignant voice for incarcerated women
Donna Hylton opens her memoir, “A Little Piece of Light,” with an admission of guilt and remorse for her crimes. However, this isn’t where her story begins. From as early as she can remember, Donna’s life was marked by torment at the hands of her caregivers. Beginning with her birth in Jamaica and shifting to her move to New York when she was adopted, each phase of her existence promised relief, yet delivered disaster.
Saturday, July 7, 2018

I am the queen of rustic desserts, which is a nice way to label desserts that are rather imperfect. The good news is that there is plenty of room for rustic and, yes, imperfect desserts in anyone's repertoire. In fact, most cuisines tout their own homey version of bubbling, squidgy desserts cobbled together with crumpled and crinkled borders oozing juices like a ruptured pipe. They're supposed to do that, and more important, they taste really good.
Saturday, July 7, 2018

Explore Birds of Prey at Rock Springs Nature Center
Learn about birds of prey at “What’s the Difference? Raptors” at Rock Springs Nature Center on Thursday, July 12 from 6-7 p.m. Explore what makes, owls, hawks, falcons, and eagles unique from one another. We have several mounted species to show you. This program is free and for all ages. Register online by noon on July 11 at
Saturday, July 7, 2018

CC Fair Jack Pot Western Horse Show set for July 28
The Christian County Fair Jack Pot Western Horse Show will be held Saturday, July 28, 2018 on the infield at the Christian County Fairgrounds beginning at 9 a.m.
Saturday, July 7, 2018

Canoe or Kayak the Emiquon Complex on Saturday, July 21
The Illinois State Museum-Dickson Mounds, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service-Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge, and The Nature Conservancy will be co-hosting a paddling event on Saturday, July 21, 2018 from 8:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
Saturday, July 7, 2018

Time to start thinking about county fair exhibits
The 2018 Christian County Fair Book is now available online at The fair dates are Tuesday, July 24 through Saturday, July 28, 2018.
Saturday, July 7, 2018

Olde Tyme Tractor Show
The 23rd Annual Olde Tyme Tractor Show, co-sponsored by the Montgomery County Farm Bureau, is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, July 21 and 22 at Lake Hillsboro Park, Hillsboro, Ill.
Saturday, July 7, 2018

Wall Street Journal Best-Sellers
Saturday, July 7, 2018

'Matchmaking' romantic summer read
Just in time for summer, Maddie Dawson serves up a delightful, light-as-air romance that successfully straddles the line between sweet and smart without ever being silly.
Thursday, July 5, 2018

Hendrix archives plucked for new album
Elvis has left the building but Jimi is still busy in the studio. Or so it would seem from the staggering number of posthumous Hendrix albums that record labels, bootleggers and — for the past two decades — his family have been releasing since his death in 1970.
Thursday, July 5, 2018

Film review: 'First Purge' is depressingly prescient
This Fourth of July weekend, we've got a chance to celebrate America's birth in a very American way — watching internecine warfare, spasms of savage violence and a dark government conspiracy pulling the strings. That's right, it's time for a new Purge.
Thursday, July 5, 2018

Newest book in coal mine wars trilogy is released
Looking for a summer read that drips more blood than a vampire movie, crackles with gunfire and shudders with man’s inhumanity to man. Seek no further than Sundown Town, the newest entry in author Kevin Corley’s coal mine wars trilogy.
Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Renovated museum opens as part of $380-million project to transform area around Gateway Arch
The centerpiece of a five-year project to transform the area around the Gateway Arch officially opens Tuesday when the Arch museum is introduced following a $176 million renovation, marking the completion of a $380 million upgrade to St. Louis’ iconic monument to westward expansion and the area around it.
Tuesday, July 3, 2018

TASC to host Sensory Friendly Film Event
Eisentraut Theatres and TASC/The Autism Support Connection have joined together to bring families affected by autism and other disabilities “Sensory Friendly Films”.
Monday, July 2, 2018

Summer Watermelon Salad
How do you like to eat watermelon? Undoubtedly, it's a summer treat. I remember hot New England summers when the air was so humid you could slice it with knife. My brothers and I would eat thick watermelon-smiles, as wide as our faces, leaning over the grass, while the juices dribbled down our chins and forearms, and spitting the seeds out (at each other, of course).
Saturday, June 30, 2018

Books: David Sedaris seeks catharsis in 'Calypso'
“Though there’s an industry built on telling you otherwise, there are few real joys to middle age.”

So begins David Sedaris’ first collection of essays since 2013, firmly grounded in the present, but with the same sense of twisted nostalgia that has always marked his best work.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Film review: Slow down just a bit with the low-key drama 'Leave No Trace'
Like the pleasures of slow cooking, purposefully slow cinema can be a welcome respite from the craziness in both our world and multiplexes. And that is exactly what you'll get with filmmaker Debra Granik's "Leave No Trace ," a poetic and low-key drama about a father and his teenage daughter whose attempt to live outside of society becomes increasingly impossible.
Thursday, June 28, 2018

Music review: 'Lost' 1963 John Coltrane album a rare pleasure, real treasure
It’s a rare pleasure to hear this “lost” John Coltrane album for the first time. The component sounds of his classic quartet are so familiar that it’s like hearing from an old friend — but the songs and solos are truly new. The original high quality tape recording, fruit of a glorious one-day session at Rudy Van Gelder’s famed New Jersey studio, was in the hands of the family of Coltrane’s ex-wife Naima, and the well-produced CD released 55 years later captures the quartet in its prime.
Thursday, June 28, 2018

Muni band concert on Wednesday
The Taylorville Municipal Band will present its weekly band concert on Wednesday June 27, at 7:30 at Hershey Towers.
Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Two chances to explore early Illinois, July 11-12
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will take people back to the earliest days of Illinois with special events July 11 and 12 as part of the state bicentennial celebration.
Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Save energy, save money workshop set for July 17
A free interactive workshop, Save Energy, Save Money, is being offered to help residents learn the basics of managing household electricity usage and achieving cost savings on monthly electric bills. Simple ways to improve home energy efficiency and using Smart Meter technology will be discussed. The workshop will be held on Tuesday, July 17 from 10-11:30 a.m. at the Montgomery County Extension Office in Hillsboro.
Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Old Stone House open Sunday in Rochester
The Rochester Historical Preservation Society will hold open house at the Old Stone House in Rochester Historic Park this Sunday, July 1.
Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Visitors come from around the world to see synchronous fireflies' light show
Picture a moonless June evening, shortly after midnight, deep in a northwestern Pennsylvania forest. Wild sounds echo gently. Stars glow far above through the canopy of trees. Otherwise it is dark — so very dark.
Monday, June 25, 2018

Prolific, painfully candid ex-poet laureate Donald Hall dies
Donald Hall, a prolific, award-winning poet and man of letters widely admired for his sharp humor and painful candor about nature, mortality, baseball and the distant past, has died at age 89.
Monday, June 25, 2018

Vivid 'Florida' stories are edgy, potent
“Florida,” a collection of short fiction by Lauren Groff, brings together 11 stories that for the most part have been published in recent years with favorable critical notice.
Saturday, June 23, 2018

Illinois arboretum gets giant troll statues
A Danish artist has built six giant troll statues scattered throughout an outdoor museum in a western Chicago suburb.
Saturday, June 23, 2018

Coast Coliseum to get food overhaul starting July 1
Visitors to the Coast Coliseum & Convention Center in Biloxi will soon be in for some new food.
Saturday, June 23, 2018

Wall Street Journal best-sellers
Saturday, June 23, 2018

Fight summer heat
Do you crave spicy food when it's hot outside? It may sound counterintuitive, but when you eat food that packs a punch in the heat department, it cools you down. Spicy food makes you sweat, because it speeds up your metabolism, and once the sweat evaporates, it cools you off. This is a reason why hot peppers and spices are generously used in many warm-weather cuisines, such as this Caribbean barbecue recipe for Jamaican jerk chicken
Saturday, June 23, 2018

ABC orders 'Roseanne' spinoff minus Roseanne
ABC, which canceled its “Roseanne” revival over its star’s racist tweet, said Thursday it will air a Conner family sitcom minus Roseanne Barr this fall.
Friday, June 22, 2018

Morning prairie walk at Rock Spgs. Saturday
Beat the heat of the midday sun by experiencing the prairie ecosystem in the morning at Rock Springs Conservation Area on Saturday, June 23 at 10 a.m.
Thursday, June 21, 2018

TV: 'Yellowstone' has everything a Western should
“Yellowstone” has everything a worthwhile Western should, including breathtaking vistas, battles over land and Kevin Costner in the lead role.
Thursday, June 21, 2018

Pattinson elevates the melancholy western 'Damsel'
Pitiful men pin their hopes on delusions of romance in David and Nathan Zellner’s clever and melancholy western “Damsel,” an offbeat odyssey about the foolhardiness of believing in the “damsel in distress.”
Thursday, June 21, 2018

Lincoln Library looks at impact of American troops in WWI
A century ago, America sent its troops “over there” – to Europe, where Germany was gaining the upper hand in World War I. On June 21, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will look back at what it took for America to build its army and prevent disaster.
Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Lincoln Library offers tour of sites from Lincolns' courtship
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is offering special tours this summer that let visitors explore historic Springfield and learn about the unlikely romance between Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd.
Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Get an up-close insider look at Reagan after the White House
After leaving the White House, Ronald Reagan met with world leaders, planned his presidential library, wrote his memoirs and slowly succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease. Peggy Grande was at his side during those years and will discuss them July 10 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Friends of Lincoln Trail Homestead State Park announce summer events
The Friends of Lincoln Trail Homestead State Park has announced some upcoming summer events:
Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Taylorville Muni Band concert Wednesday
The Taylorville Municipal Band will perform their second concert of the season on Wednesday, June 20 at 7:30 at Hershey Towers.
Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Montgomery County Fair begins tomorrow
The Montgomery County Fair begins June 20. This year’s organizers have announced several events scheduled for this year’s fair.
Tuesday, June 19, 2018

TPL to host Movie at the Library tomorrow
The Taylorville Public Library’s summer movie series continues this Wednesday, June 20 at 1 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.
Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Follow the steps of Lincoln's courtship
This is for anyone who wants to know about the days when the Great Emancipator was the Great Romancer.
Thursday, June 14, 2018

Summer Porch Chats at the Iles House June 20, 27
“Growing Up in Springfield” is the theme of this year's Summer Porch Chats at the Elijah Iles House at Seventh and Cook in Springfield, a series of free events scheduled on successive Wednesday evenings, June 13, 20 and 27 at 5:30 p.m.
Thursday, June 14, 2018

Family fun and insight in 'Incredibles 2'
“The Incredibles” writer/director Brad Bird has said that his characters’ powers are all born of stereotypes. Dad is strong, mom is stretched in a million directions, teenage girls put up shields, little boys are full of boundless energy and babies are unpredictable. It’s why he decided that for the sequel, “Incredibles 2 ,” a buoyant and quick-witted romp, he’d pick up right where we left off, in that parking lot after Dash’s track meet where a new threat emerges from underground. No matter that in reality, 14 years had actually passed. Animation is not bound by time or aging actors.
Thursday, June 14, 2018

Welcome center at Newport's Breakers mansion opens after long court battle
The group that owns The Breakers mansion in Rhode Island is opening a welcome center that has drawn strenuous opposition from neighbors, preservationists and many descendants of the Vanderbilt family.
Thursday, June 14, 2018

10 million Americans may be descendants of Pilgrims, are you one of them?
Figuring out whether you’re a descendant of a Pilgrim is now just a mouse click away.
Thursday, June 14, 2018

Civil War encampment this weekend at Lincoln Log Cabin site
Visitors are invited to the Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site in Coles Co. this Father's Day weekend and learn about the men who answered President Lincoln's call for troops in 1861. Members of the 5th and 9th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry Regiments will be encamped at the Lincoln Log Cabin site on June 16-17 for special activities from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. both days.
Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Bernstein writes 'Famous Father' memoir

(AP) — Private schools, a New England country home and socializing with the likes of President John F. Kennedy and family — this is what it’s like to grow up as the child of famed composer and musician Leonard Bernstein.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Clinton-Patterson novel takes off in 1st week
Bill Clinton’s debut novel had the year’s biggest opening so far for a work of fiction.
Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Once sidelined, romantic comedies rise again
Summer is always full of action and superhero pics, but this year a once dormant yet utterly adored genre is coming back in a big way: the romantic comedy. After a 2017 without any from a major studio, this summer is proving to be a re-birth for this lost Hollywood staple with five notable releases, including “Crazy Rich Asians “ and a “Mamma Mia! ” sequel.
Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Stonington Elementary Staff To Serve As Parade Grand Marshals
Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Center Point Dance Academy on Summerfest main stage on Saturday
Coming off a successful "Brand New" dance recital, The Center Pointe Dance Academy will be proud to present select dances from its 2017/18 Competitve Dance team season on the main stage of the Stonington Summerfest this Saturday, from 6-7 p.m.
Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Stonington celebration kicks off Friday with contests, carnival, fish fry, more
Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Canoeing in Minnesota's Boundary Waters
Every paddle stroke sprinkled water drops, reflecting the setting sun like sparklers across the black, glacier-carved lake.
Wednesday, June 13, 2018

"Tales from the Vault" features 19th century fashion
Underneath every beautiful Victorian gown was a complicated set of underpinnings to support it. Join the Illinois State Museum's curator of decorative arts and history, Erika Holst, to learn about what 19th century folks wore under their clothes.
Tuesday, June 12, 2018

150 years later, 'Little Women' and author Louisa May Alcott still resonate
A century and a half before the (hash)MeToo movement gave women a bold, new collective voice, Louisa May Alcott was lending them her own.
Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Small-scale intimate musical 'The Band's Visit' best musical at Tony Awards
A small-scale, intimate musical about hard-won cultural understanding was an altogether apt Tony winner on a night where tolerance and inclusion were constant themes.
Monday, June 11, 2018

Cohen hilariously tackles work-life balance in 'The Glitch'
Shelley Stone is a hard-working CEO of a Silicon Valley tech company that sells a small device called a Conch, which helps improve everyday life. The Conch offers helpful advice and prompts such as “take an umbrella” or “turn left on Main Street” when worn. Unfortunately, the tiny piece of technology has recently been known to encourage owners to “jump off the bridge.”
Saturday, June 9, 2018

Beat the heat
When it's too hot to cook, try serving a big summery salad for your main meal. Not just a simple garden salad, but a satisfying bowl layered with crisp veggies, grains or legumes, and fresh herbs. The combination is fresh, filling and light -- guaranteed to hit the spot on a warm day.
Saturday, June 9, 2018

New Polish vodka museum in Warsaw celebrates national drink
Polish vodka has been drunk by kings and peasants, used as a medicine, and during World War II even served to bribe the occupying Nazi German forces.
Saturday, June 9, 2018

Wall Street journal Best Sellers
Saturday, June 9, 2018

Los Angeles for tourists: Hollywood, beaches - and pot?
Recreational marijuana sales became legal in California this year, and the industry is targeting tourists as well as locals, with tours, shops, lodging and ads. “Just seconds from LAX,” says an ad for the MedMen chain .
Saturday, June 9, 2018

Special Bicentennial play premieres this weekend
A special play marking the Illinois Bicentennial, Anybody’s Story: 200 Years of Illinoisans and Their Stuff, will premiere on Friday and Saturday, July 6-7 at the Historic Edwards Place, 700 North 4th Street at 7:30 p.m. and again at the Illinois State Museum in the Thorne Deuel Auditorium, 502 S. Spring Street at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 8. The play, written and directed by Mark Beanblossom, is produced by the Springfield Art Association and the Illinois State Museum.
Friday, June 8, 2018

Roger Daltrey aces set of soulful covers
It may seem paradoxical to begin a review of a Roger Daltrey album by mentioning Pete Townshend, but The Who vocalist himself credits his bandmate for encouragement in getting “As Long As I Have You” finished.
Thursday, June 7, 2018

New novel fleshes out Jean Rhys' troubled life
Novelist Jean Rhys is best known for her lyrical masterpiece “Wide Sargasso Sea,” in which she gives in an incandescent voice to the woman Charlotte Bronte locked away in an attic in “Jane Eyre.” Now Rhys gets a similar revival from Caryl Phillips, whose new novel, “A View of the Empire at Sunset,” restores Rhys’ voice to the long years she spent adrift with men who preferred her when she did not speak.
Thursday, June 7, 2018

'Hereditary,' primed to be a breakout summer hit
The first thing writer-director Ari Aster felt after “Hereditary’s” midnight premiere at the Sundance Film Festival was relief that people didn’t hate it. Then headlines started popping up in the early hours of the morning declaring that the film had restored faith in the genre, that it was the most traumatically terrifying horror movie in ages, and that star Toni Collette should even get an Oscar nomination. The relief quickly turned to gratitude.
Thursday, June 7, 2018

Historic site to demonstrate 19th century cooking Saturday
Have you ever wondered what types of dishes were popular in 19th century American cooking? Did they have ‘comfort foods’ like macaroni and cheese? Stop by and visit their kitchens as they demonstrate 19th century cooking on Sat., June 9 from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site in Coles Co. They’ll run the gamut from plain to fancy fare through baking, boiling, frying, roasting and toasting.
Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Children's Museum of Illinois to open pro law enforcement exhibit
The Children’s Museum of Illinois will open a pro-law-enforcement themed exhibition next month.
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Miss American won't judge on looks, no swimsuits
The Miss America Organization is dropping the swimsuit competition, saying it will no longer judge contestants on their appearance.
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Oprah Winfrey picks prison memoir for book club
Anthony Ray Hinton, wrongly imprisoned for nearly 30 years, can hardly believe how his luck has changed.
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Blind Boys of Alabama founder dies
A founding member of the Grammy-winning gospel group the Blind Boys of Alabama has died. Clarence Fountain was 88.
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Exhibit explores the world of Winnie-the-Pooh
A new exhibition in Atlanta celebrates Winnie-the-Pooh, wandering through his magical world and giving visitors a peek behind the scenes at the people, relationships and inspirations behind the “silly old bear” and his friends.
Thursday, May 31, 2018

David Byrne's 'Utopia' seeks answers
David Byrne has been asking questions and looking for answers since the first Talking Heads album over 40 years ago, and “American Utopia” continues that healthy habit.
Thursday, May 31, 2018

Author unravels new view of Cinderella story
Have you ever considered the beloved fairy tale of Cinderella from the perspective of the evil stepmother? What if she wasn’t wicked at all, but a loving woman who cared deeply for all of her children? Danielle Teller’s debut novel, “All the Ever Afters: The Untold Story of Cinderella’s Stepmother,” answers this question with a fascinating reimagining of the original tale.
Thursday, May 31, 2018

Film review: In 'American Animals,' a library heist goes awry
For anyone who has ever read “Crime and Punishment” and then really wanted to see a frat boy version — Bro-stoyevsky, if you will — your movie has finally arrived.
Thursday, May 31, 2018

Journey Through Illinois Saturday at Illinois State Museum
Summer is the perfect time for taking vacations and what better place to vacation than the great state of Illinois? Families will journey through Illinois with an interactive Adventure Guide through the Museum’s natural history and history exhibitions. Children will design a model of a Route 66 attraction and head out on a road trip obstacle course through some of the many tourist destinations in Illinois.
Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Gallery Walk takes place this Friday
The First Friday Gallery Walk for June will take place on Friday, June 1 from 5-7:30 p.m. in downtown Decatur.
Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Headed to a theme park this summer? A few tips
If this is a golden age for theme parks, then nowhere are new thrills more abundant than in Orlando where the major theme park resorts have been in an arms race, opening new attractions every year recently, with even bigger blockbusters slated for next year.
Tuesday, May 29, 2018

2 couples navigate infidelity, chaos in 'Little Disasters'
The shared birthday of their sons initially connects Michael and Rebecca to Paul and Jenny. While the women labor, the husbands introduce themselves, sharing a smoke and shot of bourbon just off hospital grounds in anticipation of becoming fathers.
Saturday, May 26, 2018

Expect the hits: Def Leppard and Journey
Def Leppard and Journey have hit the road together for a 60-show tour, but they promise there won’t be any squabbles over which band headlines each night.
Thursday, May 24, 2018

Maui's Kapalua Bay Beach tops Dr. Beach's list
A crescent-shaped beach on the Hawaiian island of Maui got the top slot Thursday on the list of best beaches issued annually by a Florida professor known as Dr. Beach.
Thursday, May 24, 2018

Music: The way John Prine's brain works keeps him relevant
John Prine thinks about things. And when John Prine thinks about things, people want to hear what he has to say.
Thursday, May 24, 2018

In 'Ibiza' a summer comedy, streaming at home
So long a staple of the moviegoing experience, the summer comedy has fallen on hard times. There are hardly any on this season’s release schedule, and one of the more promising candidates — “Ibiza,” starring the terrific Gillian Jacobs and the former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Vanessa Bayer — isn’t playing in theaters but is streaming on Netflix.
Thursday, May 24, 2018

Stephen King goes inside the mind of a new evil
Stephen King’s new novel, “The Outsider,” opens with witness interviews in a typewriter font, laying out the details of a grisly crime and setting the scene for a detective story.
Thursday, May 24, 2018

Wool and fiber crafts offered at Lincoln Log Cabin May 26
Are you looking to try out a new hobby or craft, but you're not sure whether it’s right for you? Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site is offering the opportunity for individuals to try their hand at one or several new crafts throughout the day on Saturday, May 26 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Visitors invited, Dana Thomas House special tours
Visitors planning to experience the architectural and historical beauty of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Dana-Thomas House in Springfield are invited to take extended interpreted tours of the landmark residence this spring, summer and fall.
Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Outdoor yoga offered at Rock Springs
Revitalize and energize with Yoga in the Pines at Rock Springs Conservation Area.  Yoga will be held the first Saturday of the month in June, July, and August: June 2, July 7, and August 4 from 4-5 p.m.
Monday, May 21, 2018

Miles to go before I sleep: Frost museum reopens
On a warm June morning in 1922, Robert Frost sat down at his dining room table in southern Vermont and wrote "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," one of his most famous poems.
Monday, May 21, 2018

Broadway star Patricia Morison dies at age 103
Patricia Morison, who originated the role of an overemotional diva in the Broadway musical “Kiss Me, Kate,” starred on stage opposite Yul Brynner in “The King and I” and appeared in films alongside Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, died Sunday at age 103.
Monday, May 21, 2018

Thoreau's 'Walden' gets new life as video game
Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth — err, game.
Thursday, May 17, 2018

CBS looks back for its reboot-heavy new TV season
Glance at next season’s schedule for CBS and you could be forgiven for wondering what decade it is.
Thursday, May 17, 2018

'Hush of the Night' has realistic characters
A special agent for the FBI works to bring down a sex trafficking ring with origins in Russia in Raymond Benson’s latest crime novel, “In the Hush of the Night.”
Thursday, May 17, 2018

Van Morrison in relaxed groove with jazzy reworkings
Van Morrison has come up with a simple, and surprisingly effective, way to combat possible writer's block  recycle old songs and standards with a brand new approach.
Thursday, May 17, 2018

A scoundrel is born in Star Wars spinoff 'Solo'
If there’s one takeaway from “Solo: A Star Wars Story ,” it’s that our favorite scoundrel had been through a lot before he ever met up with Luke, Obi-Wan and Leia.
Thursday, May 17, 2018

New study of pop music finds a rise in sadness
A study of hundreds of thousands of popular songs over the past three decades has found a downward sonic trend in happiness and an increase in sadness, as the chirpy band Wham! gave way to the moody Sam Smith.
Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Royal romance: New era has tolerant view of divorce
Divorce has bedeviled Britain’s royal family for centuries. It has created problems not only when Prince Charles and Princess Diana ended their marriage in the most bitter fashion in 1996 but also when other royals — Princess Margaret — fell in love with people who had been divorced and could not marry them for that reason.
Wednesday, May 16, 2018

With exposes, book and TV deals, Farrow on run of a lifetime
Perhaps the least surprising aspect of The New Yorker magazine’s story on abuse allegations against New York’s attorney general last week was Ronan Farrow’s name on it as one of the authors.
Monday, May 14, 2018

Network TV takes viewers to Chicago this season on Wednesday nights
NBC says it will introduce five new dramas and two new comedies next season. It’s the only one of the four biggest broadcast networks with more viewers than last season, although that would not have been the case without the Winter Olympics and Super Bowl.
Monday, May 14, 2018

Wall Street Journal Best Sellers
Saturday, May 12, 2018

Strawberry Mess
Sometimes presentation is overrated. Eton Mess is a British dessert that's an unapologetic mishmash of fruit, cream and crumbled meringues folded together and plunked in a glass or bowl. It's the kind of mix that appeals to kids and adults alike. While you might call it messy, there's no denying its swoon-worthy results: a mound of ethereal whipped cream punctuated by crispy bits of sugary meringue and chunks of juicy strawberries.
Saturday, May 12, 2018

Book Review: 'Raw' tells classic rags-to-riches tale
Another celebrity memoir has graced the genre, and this time it’s from a lesser-known member of the multiplatinum rap group Wu-Tang Clan.
Saturday, May 12, 2018

Foreigner soaks '70s, '80s classics in orchestral splendor
It really must feel like the first time when the members of the band keep changing.
Thursday, May 10, 2018

Book Review: Amy Poeppel examines Broadway allure in 'Limelight'
Author Amy Poeppel examines the allure of Broadway and New York City in her second novel, “Limelight.” The heartfelt story follows Texas transplant Allison Brinkley after moving with her husband and three children to the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. The Brinkley clan must navigate new jobs, different schools, a tiny apartment, adolescent mood swings and the anxiety that comes with change.
Thursday, May 10, 2018

Film: Tully offers close-up of postnatal motherhood
The title character of Jason Reitman's "Tully" descends not from the clouds, carried by an umbrella in the wind, but glides cheerfully through the front door on a black night. She arrives just as Marlo (Charlize Theron), the mother of two plus an unplanned-for newborn, is reaching the limits of exhaustion.
Thursday, May 10, 2018

Pop singers vye for CMT Awards
Carrie Underwood, Florida Georgia Line and Jason Aldean are the leading nominees for the CMT Music Awards with four each, but it's the pop artists who might steal the big prize at this year's awards show.
Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Spfld. jazz native returns for concert
The Music at the Museum Concert Series will welcome home the internationally renowned jazz guitarist Greg Pasenko Thursday, May the 10th at 7:00 p.m. A Springfield, IL native, Pasenko is a dynamic vocalist and a master guitarist in multiple styles, most notably jazz.
Monday, May 7, 2018

Enjoy the music of Michael Jackson at Kirkland
Millikin University's Kirkland Fine Arts Center will conclude its 2017-18 performance season with the number one Michael Jackson tribute concert in the world, MJ Live!, on Friday, May 11 at 7:30 p.m.
Monday, May 7, 2018

40 years later and Polanski's out of the film academy
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Until Thursday, Roman Polanski had been a film academy member for over 40 years since pleading guilty to unlawful sex with a minor in 1977. In his 40 years as a fugitive the “Chinatown” and “Rosemary’s Baby” filmmaker had been nominated for three additional Oscars, one for “Tess” and two for “The Pianist.”
Friday, May 4, 2018

'Annie's Bones' a stylishly written novel
Grayson Melvin was just 18 when Annie, the girl of his dreams, broke up with him in a North Carolina college parking lot. Weeping, she ran from his car and disappeared into the night.
Thursday, May 3, 2018

Kidman becomes Urban's muse on new album
On Keith Urban’s new record, “Graffiti U,” female collaborators are featured on many of the tracks both as songwriters and duet partners. But it’s his wife, Nicole Kidman, who steals the show.
Thursday, May 3, 2018

Film: 'RBG' amuses, entertains, and yes, inspires
Is RBG getting enough kale?

That was the question — only partly in jest — that circulated back in early 2017 when President Donald Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. The idea — for liberals, anyway — was that Ruth Bader Ginsburg had better stay healthy, or the court’s precarious balance would be lost.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Temptations find musical magic in modern covers
Every music star covers The Temptations at some point. So what happens when this legendary group does its own covers?
Monday, April 30, 2018

Feeling spicy? When I crave a good dose of spice and fragrance, I head to Asia, the Middle East or North Africa -- in my dreams.
Saturday, April 28, 2018

'Our Little Secret' is remarkable debut by Roz Nay
Ten years ago, in the little town of Cove, Vermont, a quiet girl named Angela Petitjean fell in love with the dashing captain of the high school swim team. Now, Angela stews in the local police station, stonewalling a series of grim detectives who want to know if she can explain why her first love’s wife, Saskia, has gone missing.
Saturday, April 28, 2018

Wall Street Journal best sellers
Saturday, April 28, 2018

Jake Tapper's 'Hellfire Club' insightful
CNN’s Jake Tapper dives into the world of historical fiction and produces “The Hellfire Club,” an insightful novel that echoes today’s political landscape.
Thursday, April 26, 2018

'Fixer Upper' star debuts cookbook, talks of plans
Even though “Fixer Upper” has come to an end, Joanna Gaines is still going strong.
Thursday, April 26, 2018

Edmonson truly sings like an 'Old Fashioned Gal'
Kat Edmonson’s “Old Fashioned Gal” sounds like an alternate soundtrack to an Audrey Hepburn film, 11 self-penned songs of gentle romance and vulnerability in a decades-old style sparkling with modern sensibilities.
Thursday, April 26, 2018

McAdams, Weisz give searing turns in 'Disobedience'
Disobedience “ is a slow-burn drama that reveals its true self patiently to the audience.
Thursday, April 26, 2018

Public is invited to Decatur program on 'Mail in the 1800s' this Sunday
The Decatur Genealogical Society will meet on April 22 at 1 p.m. where  Brent Wielt will speak on the “Mail in the 1800s at 1 p.m. A general meeting will follow at 2 p.m, and the public is invited.
Thursday, April 19, 2018

Ukelele master playing at Hickory Ridge this weekend
Ukelele Master Lil Rev will take the stage Saturday, April 21st at 7:00 p.m. at the auditorium of the Dickson Mounds Museum. Rev is an award winning master of the harmonica and the ukulele and a witty, engaging performer who is rapidly gaining national attention for entertaining and informative performances.
Thursday, April 19, 2018

Books: 'The Art of the Wasted Day' explores leisure of silence and solitude
Critically praised Patricia Hampl invites readers to take a journey to explore the idea of a life steeped in leisure without schedules.
Thursday, April 19, 2018

Sting and Shaggy collaborate on sunny reggae album
The fact that Shaggy and Sting are teaming up on a CD does, admittedly, sound like a gimmick. Why are these two very different artists together? Because they happen to be known by a single name? Why not keep going and add Shakira, Sia, Slash and Seal?
Thursday, April 19, 2018

The prank-loving cops of 'Super Troopers' return
A goofy sense of inconsequentiality is an underappreciated trait in comedies. There’s an abiding charm to movies so low in their stakes and so loose in their order that they feel as if at any moment they might fall apart. Films like “Caddyshack” and “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” are good examples, but outside of the loose absurdities of some of Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s films (“Step Brothers,” “Anchorman”) most of today’s big-screen comedies are more conceptually tidy.
Thursday, April 19, 2018

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