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home : news : arts & entertainment January 22, 2021

Field Museum reopening to public
Sue the T. rex and the rest of the dinosaurs at the Field Museum are about to start seeing visitors again.

Two months after the famed natural history museum on Chicago’s lakefront closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the museum will once again open its doors this week.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Lincoln Library hosting art contest
Illinois children can showcase their artistic talents and consider the importance of art in our lives, thanks to a statewide art contest sponsored by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the Illinois State Board of Education.

The theme of the contest is “Art Surrounds Us.” Illinois students from kindergarten through high school can let their imaginations run wild to create original works of art reflecting what the theme means to them.

Monday, January 18, 2021

The strange, new underground world of ghost kitchens
I have arrived at a neutral location — the parking lot of a Virginia Beach Barnes & Noble — to procure a bag of hamburgers that can’t be found at any restaurant.

The burgers in question are not good, as it turns out. They are, in fact, barely edible. But they arrive with a pedigree of sorts. They come from MrBeast Burger, a fast-food chain that launched overnight in December with a boggling 300 locations, stamped with the name of a 22-year-old North Carolina YouTube star famous for filming himself giving away stacks of money to randomly selected people.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Publishers Weekly Best-sellers list
Saturday, January 16, 2021

Potato pancakes are great any time
Potato pancakes are traditionally served during Chanukah celebrations. This dish is often referred to as "latkes," a Yiddish word that loosely translates to "little oily thing."

Potato pancakes are not exclusive to Jewish celebrations and cuisine. Germans have their own variation called "kartoffelpuffer" that can be served with sour cream, applesauce or smoked salmon. The Irish have "boxty," which may be made with a combination of shredded potato and mashed potato before being fried. .

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Sheet pan comfort
How do you define comfort food? For me, it's a meal or dish that is easy to make and undemanding, yet deeply flavorful and homey, as though it has been tended to for hours to reap delicious results. Sheet pan recipes often fall into this category.

A sheet pan dish is simply that -- a complete meal assembled on a pan and plopped in the oven, where the meat, vegetables and aromatics mingle together. Their juices baste the dish, along with any other liquids, such as a splash of wine or stock, infused by sprigs of fresh and woodsy herbs.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Review: 'Locked Down' mirrors our quarantine experiences
Doug Liman’s “Locked Down,” one of the first and most ambitious films to be conceived and shot during the pandemic, is, like our own quarantine experiences, erratic, a little absurd and sporadically delightful.

Unlike our time in quarantine, it has Chiwetel Ejiofor and Anne Hathaway. This, not a small difference, is crucial in “Locked Down,“ an energetic romantic comedy-slash-heist movie that makes a game entry into the emerging genre of COVID-19 movies. Liman, the director of “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,“ “The Edge of Tomorrow” and “The Bourne Identity,” has always, in a movie world of lumbering, oxygen-depleted action films, had a knack for more agile and playful films that give A-list performers ample room to breathe.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Philip J. Smith, who led Shubert Organization, dies at 89 from complications arising from COVID-19
Philip J. Smith, who rose from box office treasurer at the Imperial Theatre on Broadway to chairman and co-CEO of the theatrical giant Shubert Organization, has died from complications from COVID-19, according to his daughters. He was 89.

In a career that spanned 63 years, Smith worked in every department of the Shubert Organization and was named general manager of all Shubert Theatres in 1964. The Shubert Organization owns and operates 17 Broadway theatres and six off-Broadway venues.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

"A Swim in a Pond in the Rain," by George Saunders
Have you ever wondered what makes a story great? George Saunders has, and at Syracuse University, where he has taught for more than 20 years, he takes his students under the hood of great fiction to show them how it works. Now, for the price of his latest book — a lot cheaper than an MFA —he’ll do the same for you.
Friday, January 15, 2021

"The Dig': Buried treasure, impending war, loss
Just before the outbreak of the World War II, a small-time archeologist was hired by a local woman to excavate her land. The thought was that it possibly contained some Viking remnants. But what was unearthed in the mounds out in the fields was far more significant than they could have imagined: Buried in the grounds of Sutton Hoo was actually a ship that would end up providing a deeper understanding of the sophistication of the early Anglo-Saxon period.

It’s this true story that John Preston used as the stage for his novel “ The Dig,” which has been adapted into a very lovely film by screenwriter Moira Buffini and director Simon Stone. Carey Mulligan stars as the Sutton Hoo landowner, Edith Pretty, a wealthy widow, mother to a pre-teen son and a bit of an amateur archaeologist who has a hunch about one of the mounds on her property. There’s also a ticking clock behind her expedition — the story is set in the summer of 1939 and by September, Britain would be declaring war.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Sunday News: Guest Lineups
Saturday, January 9, 2021

Publisher's Weekly Best Sellers
Saturday, January 9, 2021

Books: 'Bone Canyon' a first-rate police procedural

(AP) — In the wake of wildfires ravaging Southern California hillsides, a Hollywood screenwriter discovers a human skull fragment on the edge of his property.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Music: Chris Cornell shines on album of covers
(AP) — No disrespect to Sinead O’Connor, but there’s another version of “Nothing Compares 2 U” that might be even better than the one the Irish singer delivered. That would be the cover by Chris Cornell, which is ragged with heartbreak.
Saturday, January 9, 2021

This week: Morgan Wallen, tiger cubs and 'Herself'
Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.
Tuesday, January 5, 2021

With 'Stillwater,' meditation expert Mallika Chopra brings mindfulness to kids
When the producers of the new animated children’s series “Stillwater” asked Mallika Chopra to be the show’s “mindfulness consultant,” the meditation expert, author and speaker said she was immediately on board.

“What an amazing title to have, right?” Chopra recounted in a recent interview with The Associated Press.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Some Mummers strut despite Philadelphia parade cancellation
Scores of costumed performers took to the streets of their south Philadelphia stomping grounds for a New Year’s celebration of Mummers tradition, far from the customary parade route and despite official cancellation of the annual event and a ban on large gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Saturday, January 2, 2021

Dip into this
Are you feeling the winter doldrums? January can be a blue time, post-holidays, when the dust settles and winter stretches ahead. It's tempting to daydream about far-flung escapes to steamy destinations, away from the cold, snow and darkness. Reality, of course, keeps us home for many practical reasons. So, as the saying goes, instead of cursing the dark, it's time to light a candle -- or in this case, the stove. If we can't travel away, then we can bring the taste of travel home to our kitchen.
Saturday, January 2, 2021

Health benefits of popcorn
 Many people will say that no movie marathon is complete without a big bowl of popcorn. Movies and popcorn have been linked for decades, but popcorn is more than just a must-have on movie night.

Popcorn lovers may be surprised to learn just how healthy this beloved snack can be.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Book Review: 'Ties That Tether' pits love against family
Jane Igharo’s “Ties That Tether” tells the story of Azere, a Nigerian immigrant living in Canada who at 12, made a promise to her dying father that she would only marry a Nigerian man.
Saturday, January 2, 2021

'Gilligan's Island' star Dawn Wells dies
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dawn Wells, who played the wholesome Mary Ann among a misfit band of shipwrecked castaways on the 1960s sitcom “Gilligan’s Island,” died Wednesday of causes related to COVID-19, her publicist said. She was 82.
Thursday, December 31, 2020

Noon Year's Eve: Toasting new year early
(AP) — Don’t want to stay up till midnight on the last day of the year? Families, early sleepers and those wanting to social distance might consider a midday celebration for December 31.
Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Three reads to consider from best-selling authors

Riley Wolfe has surely met his match in “Fool Me Twice,” the second novel in Jeff Lindsay’s series about the self-proclaimed world’s greatest thief.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

'Soul' features stairway-to-heaven visions of afterlife
Pete Docter’s “Soul” features stairway-to-heaven visions of the afterlife, a pre-birth “before” realm where souls are glowing turquoise orbs and an in-between spiritual realm trafficked by some kind of psychedelic pirate. And yet, kind of magically, it’s about “just regular old living.”
Saturday, December 26, 2020

Clooney moving in 'Midnight Sky;' Hanks doggedly heroic in 'News of World'
Netflix is on a roll this year, with "Mank,""Ma Rainey's Black Bottom,""Da 5 Bloods" and "The Trial of the Chicago 7" all garnering Oscar buzz. Well, hold onto your spacesuits for the latest  "The Midnight Sky."

George Clooney directs and stars in this feature film adaptation of Lily Brooks-Dalton's novel "Good Morning, Midnight" and what he has done on both sides of the camera is astounding.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Books: 'Fool's Paradise' resurrects the late great Robert B
The body of a stranger who had been dropped off by a car service at the gate of the richest family in fictional Paradise, Massachusetts, is found floating in a lake. That same night, someone tries to rape a friend of the town’s deputy police chief.
Monday, December 21, 2020

Music review: Paul McCartney is fab on latest, 'McCartney III'
Add Paul McCartney to the list of artists who have been busy making inspired music while grounded due to the pandemic.
Monday, December 21, 2020

Pop Culture in (ugh) 2020, from bizarre to sublime
And now, for our annual look at the year in pop culture.. Oh, wait. This was 2020. The year everything stopped cold.

Well, not really. Truth is, people turned to culture of all kinds in 2020 — highbrow and lowbrow — to satisfy varied and sometimes conflicting needs: Distraction, inspiration, consolation, escapism, hope. And those needs evolved: If we began lockdown in March by addictively binge-watching the darkly bizarre “Tiger King,” by early winter we were transfixed by a different sort of animal: the graceful octopod of “My Octopus Teacher,” extending her tentacles to make connections that seemed achingly poignant in a time when mere hugs between humans are taboo.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

SpongeBob and slime: Nickelodeon ready for NFL
Get ready for SpongeBob SquarePants running out of the tunnel, players being covered with digital slime after touchdowns and commentary from the cast of “All That” when Nickelodeon airs an NFL playoff game.

CBS Sports and Nickelodeon revealed their plans on Tuesday for the kid-focused channel’s broadcast of a wild-card game on Sunday, Jan. 10. The Nickelodeon feed will be tailored for younger audiences with the usual broadcast airing on CBS and online at CBS All Access.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

J. Lo, Billy Porter to perform at 'New Year's Rockin' Eve'
Jennifer Lopez will help bring in the New Year with a headlining performance in New York’s Time Square for “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2021.“
Sunday, December 20, 2020

Improve your crossworld-solving skills in the new year
Crossword puzzles are an integral component of newspapers. In addition to their entertainment quality, crossword puzzles can help improve cognition and brain health in individuals of all ages.

The first known crossword puzzle to be published was created by a British journalist named Arthur Wynne, who is often credited as the inventor of crosswords. The first puzzle appeared in the New York World on December 21, 1913. The original crossword was diamond-shaped and did not feature the familiar black squares.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

You know Dasher and Dancer, Comet and Cupid, but how well do you know Christmas carol trivia?
Following are brief synopses of some favorite traditional Christmas carols  and some little-known facts about each, along with a stanza or two from these timeless classics:
Sunday, December 20, 2020

If you want to grow apples, choose the tastiest
If you’re thinking about growing apples, take some time now to test varieties and talk with local growers.

I grow an apple called Hudson’s Golden Gem and I do so for one reason. Yes, this apple’s russeted, golden skin is beautiful. But it’s the flavor that puts it above the rest.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

For baking season, a primer on an essential: Vanilla
I used to take vanilla for granted.

Then, I was making chocolate chip cookies one day and ran out of vanilla extract. So I left it out. It was like leaving salt out of the recipe. The cookies lacked the round, full flavors they usually had. I realized vanilla was the foundation of all my favorite baked goods.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Follow these practical tips for successful holiday baking
The holiday season is steeped in tradition. Baking is one tradition that comes with the holiday territory.

Many people may only bake in November and December, so it’s understandable if they’re a little rusty come the holiday season. These baking tips can lead to successful yields of cookies, cakes and other holiday treats.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

It's winter, nearly the new year, and uncertain times. With that convergence, we could all do with some hygge right now. You might have heard about hygge, a Danish word that's made a splash beyond its Nordic borders. It's an appealing term, albeit linguistically challenging (pronounced WHO-gheh). The meaning, however, is hardly challenging.
Saturday, December 19, 2020

Book Review: 'Ties That Tether' pits love against family
Jane Igharo’s “Ties That Tether” tells the story of Azere, a Nigerian immigrant living in Canada who at 12, made a promise to her dying father that she would only marry a Nigerian man.
Saturday, December 19, 2020

Edmunds announces '21 top-rated awards
Every year Edmunds’ experts put their heads together to determine the very best new vehicles on sale. Spread across eight categories, the  Edmunds Top Rated Awards are given to the cars, trucks and SUVs that rank at the top of their class according to Edmunds’ vehicle testing program. That means each winner has been tested at the Edmunds test track and thoroughly evaluated over many miles of real-world use.

We’ve highlighted the four first-time winners for 2021, along with a returning champion from last year’s awards. The vehicles are listed in ascending order by manufacturer’s suggested retail price and include destination charges.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Movies, TV and music this week:
Wednesday, December 16, 2020

San Francisco's iconic Cliff House restaurant to close
San Francisco’s iconic Cliff House restaurant that has served tourists and locals for more than a century from atop a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean is closing its doors at the end of the year.

Dan and Mary Hountalas, the restaurant’s proprietors since 1973, said in a post Sunday on the restaurant’s website they are closing Dec. 31 because of losses brought on by the pandemic and a dispute over renewing their long-term operating contract with the National Park Service.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Athletes to retrace escape route of Donner survivors
A pair of backcountry endurance athletes who became obsessed with the Donner Party spent the last seven years researching and exploring the Sierra on foot to try to pinpoint the final 90-mile (145-kilometer) route survivors of the infamous tale of cannibalism finally cut through mountain snow drifts to safety in the winter of 1846-47.

Now, four veteran ultrarunners from Northern California are setting out on snowshoes to retrace the footsteps of the pioneers who braved the worst blizzard in a century to escape over the top of what’s now called Donner Pass through the Emigrant Gap northwest of Lake Tahoe.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Film: Love, Irish farmer style in 'Wild Mountain Thyme'
(AP) — Ask any actor, Irish accents are notoriously tricky. Even natives can struggle with regional dialects. So it is a little alarming that the first voice you hear in “ Wild Mountain Thyme ” is Christopher Walken’s, who sounds exactly like you think Christopher Walken attempting an Irish accent would. It is a bold choice, certainly, and not the most solid footing to start out on. Still it might be worth giving this odd little duckling of a film a chance.
Saturday, December 12, 2020

Film: Join Streep, Wiest and Bergen for a meandering ride
Given that obvious fact, Cunard is likely to be thrilled that a new movie has come out which takes place — or 90 percent of it — on the Queen Mary 2, with its gleaming dining rooms, sparkling ocean views, disco nights and afternoon teas.
Thursday, December 10, 2020

Book review: 'Blind Vigil' a tense, fast-paced, hard-boiled read
(AP) — It seems unlikely that a sightless private detective could be of much use, but in “Blind Vigil,” the seventh book in Matt Coyle’s series featuring San Diego gumshoe Rick Cahill, the protagonist is determined to prove the doubters wrong.
Thursday, December 10, 2020

Dynamic folk duo evoke Appalachia and the Scottish Highlands
Kacy & Clayton and Marlon Williams, “Plastic Bouquet” (New West)

Second cousins Kacy Anderson and Clayton Linthicum emerged from rural Saskatchewan in the past decade as a dynamic traditional folk duo who evoke the Canadian prairie, Appalachia and the Scottish Highlands.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Albums of year include Springsteen, Goulding
The top 10 albums of the year by Associated Press Music Editor Mesfin Fekadu:
Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Fans, Yoko, bandmates mark Lennon anniversary
Fans remembered John Lennon with flowers, candles and songs Tuesday, the 40th anniversary of the former Beatle’s death after being shot outside his New York City apartment building.

In Central Park’s Strawberry Fields section, which is steps from where he was shot and is dedicated to Lennon, photos of the icon ringed the inlaid “Imagine“ mosaic, along with a magazine, a small tree and other memorabilia, as musicians played nearby.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

New this week: Jingle Ball and 2 doses of Meryl Streep
Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.
Tuesday, December 8, 2020

60-year-old Bob Dylan catalog is sold
Bob Dylan has sold publishing rights to his catalog of more than 600 songs, one of the greatest treasures in popular music, to the Universal Music Publishing Group for an undisclosed sum.

The catalog includes such modern standards as “Blowin’ In The Wind,” “Tangled Up in Blue,“ “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door,” and “Like a Rolling Stone,” a body of work that may only be matched for its breadth and influence by the Beatles, whose songs were re-acquired by Paul McCartney in 2017.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Make a pizza Margherita like an Italian. Here's how to do it.
The Margherita is the undisputed heavyweight champion of pizza. It’s the pizza that any pizza chef would order to get the measure of a new pizzeria because there is nothing to hide behind; no snazzy flavors to mask the quality of your ingredients, dough and skill with the oven. Here is Thom Elliot and James Elliot’s recipe from their new book, “Pizza.”
Monday, December 7, 2020

Love trees and a cat rug: It's the odd side of St. Augustine
While commonly known history draws many people to St. Augustine, visitors can find oddities tucked away across the city.

Things like ancient Egyptian artifacts, shrunken heads and unusual plant life can be seen within blocks of each other.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

World's first regulatory approval for cultured meat
The first-in-the-world regulatory allowance of real, high-quality meat created directly from animal cells for safe human consumption paves the way for a forthcoming small-scale commercial launch in Singapore of Eat Just's new GOOD Meat brand, details for which will be disclosed at a later date. This breakthrough for the global food industry builds on Singapore's reputation as a world leader in business, technology and culinary innovation and underscores the country's dedication to enterprising solutions that advance environmental stewardship.
Saturday, December 5, 2020

You say holidays, and I say gravlax. In our Danish-American home, the winter holiday season is not complete without making home-cured salmon gravlax. It's simple to make and an easy, elegant appetizer or addition to a brunch table. All you need are two important things to make gravlax: fresh sashimi-grade salmon and time. The salmon is rubbed with a dry cure and stowed in the refrigerator to brine for two to three days. When ready, all you need to do is unwrap and remove the cure, then slice the salmon and drape it over bread. The flavor, presentation and simplicity are the essence of Nordic cuisine: elegant, minimal and clean.
Saturday, December 5, 2020

Review: 'White Ivy' is a dark, suspenseful immigration tale
Dark, suspenseful, and beautifully written, Susie Yang’s “White Ivy” is the story of Ivy Lin, a Chinese Immigrant growing up in Massachusetts who wants nothing more than to blend in as an all-American girl — and she is willing to do anything to be one. In her frantic pursuit to fit in, Ivy gains an obsession with her classmate, Gideon Speyer, a wealthy senator’s son.
Saturday, December 5, 2020

High court to decide whether Nazi art case stays in US court
Jed Leiber was an adult before he learned that his family was once part-owner of a collection of centuries-old religious artworks now said to be worth at least $250 million.

Over a steak dinner at a New York City restaurant in the 1990s he had asked his mother about his grandfather, a prominent art dealer who fled Germany after Adolf Hitler came to power. “What was grandpa most proud of in his business?” he asked.

“He was very, very proud to have acquired the Guelph Treasure, and then was forced to sell it to the Nazis,” she told him.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

James Taylor isn't done with American Songbook
NEW YORK (AP) — Something happens when James Taylor covers a song. It gets all James Taylor-y.

“People often tell me, ‘It sounds like you wrote that song’ or ‘That sounds like a James Taylor song.’ And that’s because basically it’s been translated into my language,” the singer-songwriter told The Associated Press in an interview this week.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Kurt Russell, Goldie Hawn and Chris Columbus save Christmas in 'Chronicles'
They may be one of Hollywood’s most beloved couples, but Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn have never felt the pressure to use that unmatched chemistry for the big screen time and time again. Since 1987’s “Overboard,“ they’ve received hundreds of opportunities to reunite in a film. Although none seemed quite right until another longtime, A-list pair landed at their feet: Santa and Mrs. Claus.

The film is “The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two,” a sequel to the 2018 Netflix picture that introduced Russell as a Santa who’s more superhero-meets-Elvis speedracing his sled than jolly old Saint Nick sitting by a fire. At the urging of Chris Columbus, who produced the first, Hawn appeared as Mrs. Claus in a cameo at the end.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Both Charlie Brown holiday specials to air on TV, after all, in PBS deal
The “Great Pumpkin” never showed on broadcast television this year, but after a deal with PBS, the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and Christmas specials will return to the air.
Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Get in the holiday mood: Classics and not-so classic
Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Walnut chocolate peppermint bundt cake
Wednesday, November 25, 2020

GRape and apple sheet pan pie
Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Overnight walnut french toast with fruit topping
Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Gingerbread Cupcakes With Vanilla Buttercream
Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Jose Feliciano celebrates 50 years of Christmas classic 'Feliz Navidad'
Jose Feliciano is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his bilingual Christmas classic “Feliz Navidad” by releasing a new version featuring Jason Mraz, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Shaggy and more.

Pop balladeer Michael Bolton, Latin boy band CNCO, country duo Big & Rich, and Mexican singer and actress Patricia Manterola are among the 30 acts who teamed up remotely for the reimagined track, which is being released Friday by Amazon Music. The collaboration of artists from different backgrounds and musical genres reflects Feliciano’s original goals for the song.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

New this week: 'Saved by the Bell,' Miley, McCarthy
Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.
Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Macy's Thanksgiving parade marches on
Jawan M. Jackson recently got to do something he’s been yearning to do for months — sing and dance again with his Broadway cast.

Jackson is one of the stars of “Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of The Temptations” and he reunited with castmates for the first time since theaters shuttered to prepare for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Episodes revived to put variety and music back in Carol Burnett show
Carol Burnett is so glad we had this time together, as she sang in her signature song. Now, she’s added a lot more time, and a lot more songs, to be glad about.

Since its original run from 1967 to 1978, most viewers have only seen heavily chopped versions of “The Carol Burnett Show,“ and many fans had no idea that singing and dancing were an essential part of a series that was actually more classic variety show than modern comedy sketch show.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Experts offer tips to rookie cooks making their first Thanksgiving dinner
After Christopher Hughey tweeted that he’s tackling his first Thanksgiving turkey this year, the advice started rolling in.

Brine it. Don’t bother. Try “spatchcocking” — grilling the bird split open. Remember to turn on the oven, and expect that something will burn.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Health benefits of popcorn
 Many people will say that no movie marathon is complete without a big bowl of popcorn. Movies and popcorn have been linked for decades, but popcorn is more than just a must-have on movie night.
Saturday, November 21, 2020

Bring on the layers when it's cold outside. And before you reach for your fleece or parka, let's be perfectly clear: We're talking about salads. That's right, salads have a place in the fall and winter, and when the brisk seasons invite layering hefty, nourishing ingredients into our meals, this principle also applies to salads. They can handle it.
Saturday, November 21, 2020

Shedd Aquarium closing through end of the year
The Shedd Aquarium will voluntarily close to the public through the new year as part of a commitment to the health and safety of the Chicago community, the attraction has announced.

The aquarium  is targeting a reopening date of Saturday, Jan. 2, it said.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Cooking a smaller Thanksgiving feast
If you’re planning a smaller Thanksgiving gathering this year because of social distancing, you don’t have to give up the turkey, stuffing, pie and other traditional fare.

Thanksgiving feasts have typically been tailored for a crowd: big birds, large casseroles, and so on. Your favorite recipes might serve 10 or more. But from turkey breasts to muffin-tin pies, there are ways to adapt the classics for a smaller crew, with less expense and potential for waste.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

New this week: 'Big Sky,' Fogerty and Dolly Parton
Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.
Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Oxford study suggests playing video games can be good for mental health
Time spent playing video games can be good for mental health, according to a new study by researchers at Oxford University.

The finding comes as video game sales this year have boomed as more people are stuck at home because of the pandemic and many countries have once again imposed limits on public life.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Books: Chicago cop retires to Ireland in 'Searcher'
Cal Hooper, a Chicago cop whose wife has left him for reasons he does not yet understand, tells himself he’s done with police work. He retires from the force, moves to western Ireland, buys an abandoned country house, and sets to work fixing it up. Not much given to introspection, his therapy is carpentry, hiking through the countryside, and fishing its streams.
Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Entertainment: First responders, CMA awards tonight
Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.
Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Music : Stapleton delivers a sure-footed masterpiece
To say Chris Stapleton is one of country music’s best singers is to sell him short. He’s one of the world’s finest singers of any genre, period.

On his new album, “Starting Over,“ the Kentucky native ranges around in style with the confidence of a man who deserves the widest possible audience. His voice is pleading and impassioned and sounds phenomenal whether he’s wailing the blues or gently covering the Guy Clark classic, “Old Friends,“ one of two Clark compositions here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Michael Connelly proves master of legal thrillers
After celebrating his latest trial victory at a local pub, Los Angeles criminal lawyer Mickey Haller gets behind the wheel of his Lincoln, drives a hundred yards or so down the street, and gets pulled over by the LAPD.
Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Colder months can be perfect for garden photos
The coronavirus has led more people to spend time outdoors, and many find themselves walking the same paths and gazing at the same trees or shrubs day after day.

Author and self-taught landscape photographer Larry Lederman suggests looking at your surroundings anew by turning a camera on them. Fall and winter, he says, are the perfect time to take up landscape photography.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Jamie Oliver promises maximum flavor for minimum effort
Jamie Oliver knows one of the biggest obstacles home cooks face isn’t the drudgery of shopping, the chore of chopping or the mess of washing up. It’s delivery apps.

What he calls the Uber-ization of the food industry has led to tired families just ordering dinner for delivery or pickup. “It’s never been easier to fix that urge for food at the click of a button,” he said.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Season four of 'The Crown' premieres Sunday, November 15

 For viewers, “The Crown” offers a peek into a modern royal family’s life and times, or at least an engaging dramatization. For the cast, it’s meant the lofty equivalent of gig work as the Netflix series ticks through the decades.

Claire Foy played Britain’s young Queen Elizabeth II for the first two seasons, with Olivia Colman stepping in to chart her middle years last season and in the 10 new episodes out Sunday. Imelda Staunton ascends to the throne for the final two chapters 

Monday, November 9, 2020

Opus 24 Fall 2020 concert will be virtual this year
Decatur Choral Society’s Opus 24 will not be presenting their annual fall concert this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. A decision regarding their annual spring concert in 2021 has yet to be decided.  

Please connect to Opus 24 on Facebook to view past concerts, with a new one uploaded every other week as part of their “Virtual Concert Series.” The series began earlier this summer. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

'Jungleland' a tale of trying to rise out of misery
When a small indie film uses the title “Jungleland,” it’s natural to expect that Bruce Springsteen’s famous tune will be heard. But, as with much of Max Winkler’s moody, tender movie, the answer is yes and no. There’s Bruce, but not the song you expected.
Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Music review: Neil Young revisits 2003's 'Greendale'
Think of Neil Young’s 2003 record “Greendale” as the venerable rocker’s take on “Our Town,” with a heavy dose of weirdness, environmentalism and anti-war sentiment thrown in.

“Return to Greendale” gives listeners, and viewers, a chance to revisit the often overlooked Young record, tour and rock opera film. On the live album, Young and his longtime collaborators Crazy Horse deliver versions of the record’s 10 songs that are largely faithful to the originals

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

New book has 150 recipes inspired by Black chefs
If anyone asks chef Marcus Samuelsson what African food taste like, he has a ready answer: Have you ever had barbeque? Rice? Collard greens? Okra? Coffee?

“All of that food comes from Africa, has its roots in Africa,“ says the Ethiopian Swedish writer and restaurateur. “Everyone has had African American dishes, whether they know it or not.”

Samuelsson is hoping to educate Americans and champion Black chefs in “The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food” from Little, Brown and Company’s Voracious imprint.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Entertainment this week: Outer space, Brubeck, TV comedies
Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’  of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.
Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Publishers Weekly - Best Sellers
Saturday, October 31, 2020

Hugh Laurie goes for political ride in PBS 'Roadkill'
On screen, Hugh Laurie has been by turns irascible (“House“), villainous (“The Night Manager“) and a comedic delight (“Jeeves & Wooster“). In a conversation about his latest project, PBS’ “Roadkill,” he proved equally versatile.

Laurie was thoughtful and charmingly wry and self-deprecating, including regarding expectations for the apple cider he attempted while housebound in London by the pandemic. “Revolting,” he predicts.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Frampton looks back in gentle memoir
When Peter Frampton was a child, he busted his father on Christmas morning giving him an acoustic guitar dressed as Santa. “And from 3:30 in the morning on Christmas when I was 8 years old, I haven’t stopped playing since.”

So recalls the singer-songwriter and guitarist whose album “Frampton Comes Alive!” became a monster hit in the mid-1970s in his new memoir, “Do You Feel Like I Do?”

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Books: Jack Reacher stays the course
The cover of “The Sentinel,” the 25th thriller in the wildly popular Jack Reacher series, declares that it was written by Lee Child and Andrew Child, but no one by either name actually wrote the book.

Reacher’s creator Lee Child, whose real name is actually Lee Grant, has declared that his days as a novelist are over. Lately, he’s been working with Amazon to develop a Jack Reacher TV show starring Alan Ritchson, an actor as enormous and menacing as the character in the books — a welcome change from the pipsqueak (Tom Cruise) who played the role in two Hollywood movies.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Entertainment this week: 'This Is Us,' Baby Yoda and 'The Craft' redone
Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.
Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Four episodes in, El-Waylly has yet to be stumped by a food challenge
Mac and cheese, 18th-century style. A seven-course meal using only ingredients from a convenience store. A meal that is literally on fire.

Four episodes into her new YouTube show, “Stump Sohla,” part of the expanding “Babish Culinary Universe“ channel, Sohla El-Waylly has yet to be stumped by a food challenge.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Animals, people rescue each other in new series
In a new docuseries, a child who uses a walker meets a dog with its own version of wheels. Inmates find solace in training canines for adoption, and pigs strut their stuff in a “body positivity“ celebration.

That and more is part of “That Animal Rescue Show,” an endearing project that reflects its unexpected creators as well as its stars, human and otherwise. All 10 episodes are out Oct. 29 on the CBS All Access streaming service.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

'Song for the Dark Times' contains two mysteries
Ian Rankin’s best-known character, John Rebus, typically resides in the dark world of the human soul and things are no different in “A Song for the Dark Times,” Rankin’s newest Inspector Rebus novel.
Saturday, October 24, 2020

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