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home : news : arts & entertainment May 27, 2020

Gospel group performing at drive-in service in Pana Sunday
The Wanda Mountain Boys will be appearing at the United in Faith Church located at 609 Fairground Road in Pana for a drive in service performance on May 31 at 10:15 a.m.
Southern Gospel music has always been known for it’s smooth harmonies, strong vocals, and powerful, straight forward lyrics. For the last 25 years, the Wanda Mountain Boys have displayed all of these qualities as they have established themselves in the gospel music community in the Midwest.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Perry's studio moves toward reopening while industry waits
Tyler Perry is planning to make his Atlanta-based mega studio one of the first domestic filming grounds to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic. But while Perry is looking to restart production in July, other studios in Georgia and beyond are anxiously waiting for Hollywood’s green light.
Saturday, May 23, 2020

Wall Street Journal Best-Sellers List
Saturday, May 23, 2020

Author Murakami DJs 'Stay Home' radio show to lift spirits
Acclaimed Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami, hosting a special radio show from home, painted a brighter side of the world with his favorite music, and said the fight against the coronavirus is a challenge in figuring out ways to help and care for each other.

The 71-year-old, known for bestsellers such as “A Wild Sheep Chase” and “Windup Bird Chronicle,” said Friday he hoped the show would “blow away some of the corona-related blues.”

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Nav on back-to-back No. 1s and learning from The Weeknd
Canadian-Indian rapper Nav has no problem being signed to one of the biggest artists in the world. In fact, he says The Weeknd doesn’t overshadow him, but pushes him to the forefront.

“It’s a real family over here. He has so much success. I don’t think he really cares about who’s (also successful),” said Nav, whose real name is Navraj Singh Goraya and is signed to The Weeknd’s XO imprint. “He just wants everybody to win.”

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Police: Actor wounded woman, fatally shot himself
A Kentucky actor who appeared on the FX series “Baskets,” and had been recently released on a rape charge shot and wounded a woman before killing himself, officers said.

Investigators said Hagen Mills, 29, attempted to kill the woman then turned the gun on himself Tuesday at the woman’s home in western Kentucky, news outlets reported.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

How to master grilling a thick cut of meat
A thick cut of meat grilled over an open flame can make for a mouth watering meal. While such an endeavor likely won't lead to any complaints around the dinner table, many people still shy away from grilling especially thick cuts of meat.

A thick cut of uncooked meat can intimidate even the most devoted grilling enthusiast. Such cuts tend to take a long time to cook, and many a grilling devotee has put in that time only to end up with a dried out piece of meat. So what do? The following are some ways to master the art of grilling thick cuts of meat.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Prosciutto rolls are a fresh and fun start to a summery meal. The method to make them is inspired by Vietnamese spring rolls, which are packed with fresh herbs and crisp vegetables and wrapped in rice paper. These rolls are equally fresh and raw, but with an Italian twist. Salty, savory prosciutto replaces the rice paper and bundles up crisp fennel, arugula leaves, fresh mint and piquant Parmesan shards.
Saturday, May 23, 2020

Florida's Grayton Beach No. 1 in top-10 US list
The sand along the coast of Grayton Beach State Park is so unique, some say it speaks to you.

It’s compared to sugar, and is so white it’s almost blinding in bright sunlight. And people who have been cooped up because of stay at home orders can once again go walk along it and hear the unique sound the beach makes when bare feet sink in the sand.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Writer reflects on friendship with author
For 20 years, Benjamin Taylor was a confidant of Philip Roth. Over the course of their friendship they talked often and intensely — about books, sex, fathers, food, politics, baseball, Jewishness and more. Crucially, Taylor was at his bedside in 2018, when Roth died of congestive heart failure at age 85.
Thursday, May 21, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has altered the annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival, but it will still go on, giving students the chance to show their talents virtually.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the program.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Album considers coal miners' perspective
Contemplating the treacherous political landscape of West Virginia, Steve Earle decided to build a bridge.
Thursday, May 21, 2020

A night gone very wrong in 'Lovebirds'
“ The Lovebirds ” stars Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani are two of the most exciting voices working in film and television today, as actors, writers and creators. Rae’s “Insecure” and Nanjiani’s “The Big Sick” are both vibrant, stimulating and fresh and rooted deeply in the diversity of their own experiences. So it’s at least notable that this film, a dark, night-goes-wrong comedy that seems very much in each of their wheelhouses, was not created or written by either. And at times, you kind of wish it had been.
Thursday, May 21, 2020

Books: 'Been There, Married That' more like a movie than a novel
Rich detail is paid to the food, the clothes and the decor that surrounds Agnes Murphy Nash, the perfect wife to successful movie mogul (and cringe-inducing narcissist) Trevor. Readers are fully immersed in a jet-set lifestyle that by Page 2 seems too good to be true.
Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Film: Coogan and Brydon spar again in 'The Trip to Greece'
Most franchises that have made it to four films have by then traipsed the galaxy, pulled off a series of daring heists or freed Willy many times over. The movies of “The Trip,“ however, have gotten this far almost entirely on the volition of Michael Caine impressions.

Michael Winterbottom’s four “Trip” movies, with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, are certainly more than that — but not much more. And that’s no slight. The exceedingly low stakes of these movies are part of their appeal.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Tune in to enjoy live acoustic music on selected Sundays this summer
The Macon County Conservation District will again host a free summer concert series. However due to COVID-19, this year participants will enjoy the concert streamed live, on the Macon County Conservation District's Facebook page:
Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Entertainment this week: Gaga, 1975 music, a last 'Trip,' 'Stargirl'
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, May 19, 2020

'Beaver's' two-faced Eddie Haskell dies
Ken Osmond, who played the two-faced teenage scoundrel Eddie Haskell on TV’s “Leave It to Beaver,” died Monday, his family said.

Osmond died in Los Angeles at age 76. No indication of the cause was given.

“He was an incredibly kind and wonderful father,“ son Eric Osmond said in a statement. “He had his family gathered around him when he passed. He was loved and will be very missed.”

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

TV cliffhanger: Fall season in jeopardy amid virus shutdown
The first new TV season of the coronavirus era is facing an understandably shaky start that comes with a tacit disclaimer: The comedy and drama series being trumpeted for fall 2020 and beyond will air — if they get made.

Studios, guilds and trade groups are huddling to find ways to ease a near-complete production shutdown, among the nationwide efforts to curb the pandemic. While streaming services parcel out series year-round, broadcast TV still relies heavily on a September filled with fanfare and high-profile scripted shows.

Monday, May 18, 2020

'Matewan Massacre' a century ago embodied miners' struggles
The bullet holes in the brick wall of a former post office serve as a reminder of how Appalachian coal miners fought to improve the lives of workers a century ago.

Ten people were killed in a gun battle between miners, who were led by a local police chief, and a group of private security guards hired to evict them for joining a union in Matewan, a small “company town” in West Virginia.

Monday, May 18, 2020

The Secret's in the Sauce
Memorial Day is around the corner. If you haven't already escaped to the great outdoors to do some grilling, then now is the time to dust off the grill, breathe in the fresh air, and cook up a platter of these crispy, sticky ribs.
Saturday, May 16, 2020

Famed Beatles photographer Astrid Kirchherr dies at 81
NEW YORK (AP) — Astrid Kirchherr, the German photographer who shot some of the earliest and most striking images of the Beatles and helped shape their trend-setting visual style, has died at age 81.
Saturday, May 16, 2020

Publisher's Weekly Best Sellers
Saturday, May 16, 2020

Film review: 'How to Build A Girl' is a wickedly funny, sweet and vibrantly told coming-of-age story
(AP) — Sixteen-year-old Johanna Morrigan (Beanie Feldstein) lives a romantic and exciting life, at least in her imagination. The heroine of “ How to Build a Girl ” has (what she perceives to be) the misfortune of being from Wolverhampton, where everything seems to be dirty and old, where Mr. Darcys are scarce, and opportunities are even scarcer.
Saturday, May 16, 2020

Looking for a comforting escape? Try one of these 'warm blanket' films
(AP) — When many were rushing to rewatch “Contagion,” the eerily prophetic 2011 Steven Soderbergh film about the outbreak of an easily transmitted virus, I was searching for more comforting escapes. I reached for “North by Northwest” the way a baby grasps for a pacifier.
Saturday, May 16, 2020

How sweaters became scene-stealers on ABC's hit comedy 'The Goldbergs'
The character Beverly Goldberg on ABC’s hit comedy series “The Goldbergs” can elicit laughter before she even speaks, thanks to the over-the-top outfits that are a love letter to the mother of the show’s creator and to 1980s fashion.

“No dialogue necessary,” laughs “Goldbergs” star Wendi McClendon-Covey, who plays the overbearing but lovable Beverly on the show.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

An inglorious look at Capone's last year
Al Capone lived out his final years on a grand estate in Palm Island, Florida, with his wife, Mae, by his side and grandchildren running around the property. It sounds like a pretty nice end for the notorious Chicago gangster, until you realize that he spent those post Alcatraz years suffering from declining health, dementia and the long-term effects of a syphilis infection from when he was just a teenager that went untreated. Also? He was likely broke. Then he died of a heart attack on January 25, 1947. He was only 48.
Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Music: Wilson returns to Dixie roots
Jonathan Wilson revisits his Southern roots on “Dixie Blur,“ an album loaded with many gently reflective songs about youth, relationships and loss.
Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Review: Lou Gehrig's generosity of spirit shines through in new memoir
In the pre-television and internet era, it’s hard to imagine the wattage a star player such as Lou Gehrig created or the emotion generated by his famous 1939 farewell speech at Yankee Stadium.

Decades later, as the Baltimore Orioles’ Cal Ripken closed in on the consecutive games record Gehrig had held since Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis took him out of the lineup, the ghost of Gehrig visited that 1995 season, reminding us again of the man of uncommon decency and grace and a body built to drive baseballs out of stadiums.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Entertainment this week: Taylor Swift, 'Maleficent,' Marshall
This week comes an encouragement to go way back to watch a great movie — all the way to 1926. Buster Keaton’s “The General” is considered ahead-of-its-time and it counts Quentin Tarantino as a fan.

There’s also a five-episode PBS series on Asian Americans airing between Monday and Tuesday. It’s a sweeping look at Asian Americans’ impact on society, politics and pop culture from the mid-19th century through 9/11.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Right at Home: What's new and notable in outdoor grills
Barbecue season couldn’t be more welcome this year.

Grilling is a way to change things up and expand the menu and the view for those stuck at home because of the coronavirus. “Eating out” means the patio, yard or balcony, if you have one.

There’s all kinds of stylish and practical barbecue gear available to help.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Chipotles in adobo sauce are one of my go-to ingredients when I make a marinade or barbecue sauce. You can find chipotles in adobo in the international or Mexican section of your supermarket. I usually buy a few cans at a time, and I dove into my stash for this recipe.
Saturday, May 9, 2020

Review: Paranoia seeps through a starship in 'Providence'
A crew of research scientists makes first contact with an alien species of creatures that look like salamanders and it all goes horribly wrong. The violence is captured on video, and now Earth is at war.
Saturday, May 9, 2020

Grit and red wine: Famous war photographer beats virus at 97
Tony Vaccaro’s mother died in childbirth, and at a tender age he also lost his father to tuberculosis. By age 5, he was an orphan in Italy, enduring beatings from an uncle. As an American GI during World War II, he survived the Battle of Normandy.

Now, a celebrated wartime and celebrity photographer at age 97, he is getting over a bout with COVID-19. He attributes his longevity to “blind luck, red wine” and determination.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Tribeca taking audiences back to the drive-in theater
Tribeca is taking audiences back to the drive-in this summer.

Tribeca Enterprises, IMAX and AT&T said this week that they are partnering to launch “Tribeca Drive-In,” a summer programming series of new and classic films, music and sporting events. It’ll take place in drive-in theaters and “other exclusive venues” nationwide starting on Thursday, June 25. The lineup will be announced in the coming weeks.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Take a virtual tour of famed La Scala opera house
Milan’s famed La Scala opera house on Thursday unveiled a virtual journey through its ornate premises and rich archives via Google Arts & Culture, with serendipitous timing as theaters throughout Italy and the western world remain closed due to the coronavirus.

The project has been in the works for years, and organizers accelerated it during the coronavirus, knowing there was a captive audience eager for cultural outlets. To herald the event, the La Scala orchestra and artists released a video performance of an excerpt from Verdi’s ‘’Simon Boccanegra,” with musicians and singers performing in their gardens, living rooms, balconies and studios.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Mother's Day special on Comedy Central
Louie Anderson’s late mom is never very far from the comedian’s mind.

He often references her in his stand-up, writes books with her in mind  and even won an Emmy for “Baskets” playing a character in full drag inspired by his real mom.

“I’m trying to pay her back every day for saving me and providing me with a sense of humor that clicks with the rest of the country,“ he says. “I’ve been able to stay relevant for 42 years — it’s really her.”

Friday, May 8, 2020

Music: Jason Isbell firms up his place among best
Jason Isbell long ago earned his place among the finest songwriters of his generation. Now he’s just pouring it on.

On “Reunions,” Isbell’s seventh full-length album and fourth with the 400 Unit, the four-time Grammy winner firms up his place on the short list of artists whom you could draw up a list of 25 best songs and start real arguments. It’s territory typically reserved for people such as Isbell’s late pal and mentor, John Prine, but Isbell keeps proving he belongs there.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Relax: New documentary on HBO focuses on the life of Natalie Wood
The fate of “ Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind ” hung on a Robert Wagner interview. Director Laurent Bouzereau knew that it would be a delicate conversation. If it didn’t work, there would be no documentary. So they filmed it first.

“If there was nothing interesting in it or something that just didn’t feel right, we were not going to proceed with the film,” Bouzereau said.

With his stepdaughter Natasha Gregson Wagner in the interviewer’s chair, Wagner sat for two days to tell the story of life with his wife — their highs and lows, their first marriage, their second marriage and how it came to an end with her tragic death in the waters off Southern California at 43.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Read: 'Moment of Tenderness' offers collection of short stores for L'Engle fans
“The Moment of Tenderness” gifts readers with a new batch of stories from the late Madeleine L’Engle, beloved bestselling author of “A Wrinkle in Time.”

Discovered and compiled by L’Engle’s granddaughter, Charlotte Jones Voiklis, the stories range widely in plot, from a girl being bullied at summer camp to a married woman in love with her children’s doctor to an embarrassed daughter resisting her mother’s mandate that she wear her glasses in public.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Feed: Head to the kitchen with kids and creativity
While so many families spend more time at home than normal, many may be seeking ways to increase fun and activity, especially for children. One way to increase engagement while teaching lifelong lessons is to head to the kitchen for a learning exercise in creating nutritious snacks and treats. 
Wednesday, May 6, 2020

'Jeopardy!,' Stones, and Bieber reality
Bored with your surroundings? Justin and Hailey Bieber are showing off their lives in their Toronto home in a new series, while Hulu this week is premiering a documentary looking back at an early 1990s isolation tale — Biosphere 2.

Even if you already know the answers, a re-airing of last year’s epic “Jeopardy!“ Greatest of All Time tournament offers a chance to relive Ken Jennings’ greatness, while the Rolling Stones are revisiting six of their concert tours on YouTube.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Wall Street Journal Best Sellers
Saturday, May 2, 2020

CBS bring back Sunday Night Movies thru May
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Josh Gad had a notion about what might soothe the kid in him during a scary time and maybe do the same for others. The actor got to work organizing an online reunion of the cast and creators of the 1985 movie “The Goonies,” which quickly tallied a million-plus views.
Saturday, May 2, 2020

Friendships carry on in 'It's Not All Downhill'
(AP) — Best-selling author Terry McMillan has spent the last thirty years creating strong female characters who know what they want in life. In her latest novel, “It’s Not All Downhill From Here,” McMillan introduces a new group of women who also fit that mold.
Saturday, May 2, 2020

Illinois State Museum offers virtual Super Saturday
The Illinois State Museum (ISM) announces "Bugs! Virtual Super Saturday" – the first virtual event in its popular Super Saturday series – will take place online from Saturday, May 2 to Tuesday, May 5.

Families with elementary age children can join ISM over the weekend to explore the remarkable world of insects, bugs, and arachnids. "Bugs! Virtual Super Saturday" will include engaging art and science activities that families from across Illinois and beyond can do while at home.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

'Hollywood' miniseries offers a deeply nostalgic look at 1940s Tinsel Town
Ryan Murphy has a clear-eyed fascination with the 20th-century Hollywood dream machine, so adroit at making stars and breaking the hearts of those who didn’t fit the mold. Among the casualties: Anna May Wong and Hattie McDaniel, gifted actresses of color consigned to play stereotypes, and closeted matinee idol Rock Hudson.

Their stories are part of “Hollywood,” Murphy’s seven-episode Netflix drama debuting Friday, but the producer of “American Horror Story,” “9-1-1” and “Pose” refused to leave it at that. In his optimistic version of what could have been, a hidebound industry is challenged by bold actors, writers and others who fight to be in the picture.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Book imagines Jesus as a married man
“I am Ana. I was the wife of Jesus ben Joseph of Nazareth. I called him Beloved and he, laughing, called me Little Thunder.”

With these opening words, Sue Monk Kidd launches into her ambitious new novel, “The Book of Longings.”

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Looking for something to read: Stephen King gives fans four new stories
I like to think of Stephen King as a high-paid starting pitcher. Between starts — bestselling novels often thick enough to be doorstops — he works in the bullpen, writing novellas. Over the years, many of those have been made into movies that are now essential parts of the King canon like “Stand By Me” and “Shawshank Redemption.”
Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Entertainment this week: Netflix teen romances, Indiana Jones on TV, Chesney-Sheeran project
It’s good to see familiar faces and hear familiar voices, and several are returning this week in ways retro and new. JoJo, Kenny Chesney and Offset are among those with new projects out this week, while Indiana Jones will be back fighting Nazis and hating snakes on network TV.

There’s plenty of new arrivals headed to devices this week as well, with Netflix offering a comedy from Mindy Kaling and a teen romance film. Other offerings will allow the housebound a chance to marvel at the splendors of Los Angeles, Dover, England, and Dublin on screens this week.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Finding solace and joy in dangerous times
Their reasons may differ, but crafters agree: Makers gotta make. Those who create things by hand — who weld, weave, play in clay or paints — are pursuing their passions the best they can during the coronavirus pandemic.

The creative arts are soothing, fill time, and keep our minds and hands busy.

“This is what makes us human,” says Melanie Falick, author of the recent “Making a Life: Working by Hand and Discovering the Life You Are Meant to Live” (Artisan).

Monday, April 27, 2020

Now more than ever, it's important to eat healthy, nutrient-rich meals that boost our immunity and our mood. It also helps if our meals are not only delicious, but also relatively easy to prepare without overwhelming. We're talking less stress, folks, while nourishing and providing enticing dinner options that give us something to look forward to at the end of each day.
Saturday, April 25, 2020

Review: New tales for L'Engle fans in 'Moment of Tenderness'
Discovered and compiled by L’Engle’s granddaughter, Charlotte Jones Voiklis, the stories range widely in plot, from a girl being bullied at summer camp to a married woman in love with her children’s doctor to an embarrassed daughter resisting her mother’s mandate that she wear her glasses in public.
Saturday, April 25, 2020

A 'Phantom of the Opera' contest seeks singer with style
Andrew Lloyd Webber has launched a virtual competition that could lead to one fan singing on Broadway or the West End when musicals resume playing.

The composer has invited singers to make up their own little vocal showcase at the end of the song “Think of Me” sung by the character Christine Daae from “The Phantom of the Opera.” There’s a little 13-second pocket — called a cadenza — where freestyle vocal gymnastics are encouraged.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Steve Dalkowski, inspiration for 'Bull Durham,' dies at 80
Steve Dalkowski, a hard-throwing, wild left-hander whose minor league career inspired the creation of Nuke LaLoosh in the movie “Bull Durham,“ has died. He was 80.

He died Sunday at the Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain. His sister, Patricia Cain, said Friday he had several pre-existing conditions that were complicated when he became infected with the new coronavirus. Dalkowski had been in assisted living for 26 years because of alcoholic dementia.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

'Spider-Man,' 'Doctor Strange,' 'Thor' shift release dates
Hollywood studios are shuffling more release dates as a result of the coronavirus, including sequels to “Doctor Strange,“ “Spider-Man: Far From Home“ and “Into the Spider-Verse.”

Late Friday, both Sony Pictures and The Walt Disney Co. announced updated theatrical release schedules that significantly delay some of their marquee superhero films.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Wall Street Journal Best-Sellers list
Saturday, April 25, 2020

'Phantom' contest seeks singer with style
Andrew Lloyd Webber has launched a virtual competition that could lead to one fan singing on Broadway or the West End when musicals resume playing.

The composer has invited singers to make up their own little vocal showcase at the end of the song “Think of Me” sung by the character Christine Daae from “The Phantom of the Opera.” There’s a little 13-second pocket — called a cadenza — where freestyle vocal gymnastics are encouraged.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Take a look at your surroundings and improve your home's function as a refuge
When your entire life is happening inside your home, it matters how that space feels and functions.

Interior designers often focused on this even before self-quarantine, asking clients how they spend their time at home and how various rooms might make them happier. These questions get at the real purpose of a well-designed home.

And now they seem more important than ever.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Can't go to the beach? Bring it home
Mary Parker is a nurse from St. Louis so caught up in the beach novels of Elin Hilderbrand that she makes an annual trip to Nantucket, the Massachusetts island community where Hilderbrand sets her stories.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Parker isn’t sure she’ll make it to Nantucket this year or even find herself close to a beach. But she will continue to make the journey in her mind, through books by Hilderbrand and others.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Even in the midst of a pandemic, the faithful still see a higher power at work
Dan Frachey of Springfield said he doesn’t believe in “a capricious or mercurial God.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused deaths, stripped people of their livelihoods and even shuttered places of worship.

But Frachey, a Roman Catholic and program director for the Chiara Center, a spiritual retreat center in Springfield, rejects any theology that pins the blame on God.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Virus delays launch of Magnolia Network
Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Network will be blooming late because of the coronavirus crisis.

The network’s planned October launch is being pushed back because of production delays related to the COVID-19 disease, it was announced Tuesday. A new debut date wasn’t immediately announced.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Lester Holt starts show for kids about coronavirus
In the NBC “Nightly News” inaugural kids edition, Sadie of Morristown, New Jersey, posed the question that everyone wishes had an answer.

“When is coronavirus going to end? she said.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Old West famous feud and myths about it come to life in 'Tombstone'
In 1881, five Earp brothers gathered in hopes of finding their fortunes in Tombstone, Arizona, the last boomtown in what was still left of the untamed American West. They were relatively young men—Wyatt, the middle brother, just 31—when they joined a growing community of shopkeepers, prospectors, gamblers, prostitutes, and rustlers drawn by a silver strike in the nearby Dragoon Mountains.
Wednesday, April 22, 2020

'Willoughbys,' a visual feast with animation bursting with vibrant imagination
Maya Rudolph loves stories about unconventional families. It’s why her daughter brought Lois Lowry’s “The Willoughbys” to her attention well before she knew that there was a planned film adaptation. The novel, from 2010, is a gently macabre Lemony Snicket-meets-Roald Dahl cocktail of terrible parents and quirky children who’d prefer to be rid of one another.

“I knew right away once she told me about this strange family,” Rudolph said. “That always gets me. I like a strange family story.”

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Entertainment this week: Beastie Boys documentary, Earth Day shows, 'Fleabag'
The planet and its wondrous inhabitants take center stage this week in celebration of Earth Day.

Several documentaries will spotlight the wonders of the outside world, while a new Beastie Boys documentary provides a chance to get moving in our homes. For non-virus offerings, HBO will premiere a new dark comedy while PBS takes a street-level view of climate change through the eyes of New Yorkers.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Pandemic didn't derail 'Sopranos' podcast
The coronavirus pandemic almost upended a new podcast about the hit TV series “The Sopranos” before it even started. But hosts and series actors Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa said fans pleaded with them to find a way to do it.

They did and watchers of the award-winning HBO series will be overjoyed that the two “Sopranos” stars are providing insight into the show while listeners are stuck in their homes.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

No bread flour? No problem, try this
LONDON (AP) — Are you struggling to find bread flour and fresh yeast at the moment? If so, you’re not alone.
Saturday, April 18, 2020

Bon Jovi to kids: 'Do What You Can'
A Florida kindergarten teacher took his virtual classroom to new levels on Monday when rock icon Jon Bon Jovi popped in on a writing lesson about life in the coronavirus quarantine.

Last month, the Grammy award-winning 80s rocker released an incomplete version of “Do What You Can,“ which is a ballad about the nation’s battle to contain the virus, and asked fans to submit verses to help complete it, the Palm Beach Post reported.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Easy on your budget: Cook it once, eat is twice
Cook once, eat twice. It's a kitchen practice as simple as it sounds. Cook a base dish that can be enjoyed today and used for an entirely different meal tomorrow. For example, bake some fish for tonight's dinner, and enjoy fish tacos for tomorrow's lunch.

With so many Americans preparing meals at home, the practice of cooking once and eating twice can extend your grocery budget while also making meal planning less stressful and more comforting.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Essence of spring
This bowl of pasta is the essence of early spring, a time of the season that brings a conflicting message of gentle sunshine and gray days with cool rain. Crispy pancetta swathed in cream and cheese provides winter warmth, while sweet peas and delicate pea tendrils add freshness and earthy fragility, an early hint from a garden awakening from its winter slumber.
Saturday, April 11, 2020

Review: Payoff provides surprises in Lee Goldberg's latest
In Lee Goldberg’s “Lost Hills,” deputy Eve Ronin is a media star, thanks to a viral video of her arresting a movie star who was behaving inappropriately. With the eyes of the public and her superiors watching her every move, Ronin needs to tread carefully while also learning the nuances of the job. When Ronin and her almost-retired-but-already-moved on-in-spirit partner Duncan Pavone arrive at the home of a reported missing woman, things go south quickly. They find a scene with blood everywhere, but no sign of any bodies. Where did she disappear along with her kids and dog?
Saturday, April 11, 2020

Wall Street Journal Best-Sellers List
Saturday, April 11, 2020

'Saturday Night Live' back on the air
“Saturday Night Live” will be back on the air this weekend with a show that abides by social distancing rules.

The comedy sketch show will include include a “Weekend Update” news segment and original content from “SNL” cast members, NBC said Thursday.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Fellowes' latest addictive series starts with one of most famous parties in history
Julian Fellowes’ latest addictive series about English social classes kicks off with a party. Mind you, not just any run-of-the mill, high society bash. “Belgravia” on Epix starts with one of the most famous parties in history.
Friday, April 10, 2020

Itching to dig in the dirt? Try planting the 'Sun King' perennial of the year
The Perennial Plant Association has announced the 2020 Perennial Plant of the Year. Aralia cordata ‘Sun King’ is a fabulous high-impact perennial that brings a bold pop of glowing color and texture to the shade or part shade garden.
Thursday, April 9, 2020

Good to read: Lynn's new memoir chronicles unbreaking bond with Cline
Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn only knew each other a short time before Cline’s death at the age of 30, but the friendship formed between two trailblazers of country music is enough to fill a book.
Thursday, April 9, 2020

Is your grill the centerpiece of your non-traditional Easter dinner this year?
Unless you are a year-round griller, the warmer weather signals the start of the grilling season. This spring, especially, as millions of us are told to stay home, a trip outside to the backyard or patio is a welcome change.

If you have a new grill or have taken one out of winter hibernation, you’ll need to clean and season it before you cook.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

'Wow, No Thank You' offers comic relief in essay collection
With “Wow, No Thank You,” the incomparable Samantha Irby offers yet another laugh-out-loud masterpiece.
Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Illegal smile: Celebrated singer-songwriter John Prine has died, coronavirus
John Prine, the ingenious singer-songwriter who explored the heartbreaks, indignities and absurdities of everyday life in “Angel from Montgomery,” “Sam Stone,” “Hello in There” and scores of other indelible tunes, died Tuesday at the age of 73.
Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Whether you're new to hosting or simply looking for ideas to make Easter entertaining easier than ever, there are plenty of ways to save time and stress in the kitchen.

 Go with what you know. Trying out new recipes is fun, but it can also add stress when they don't turn out like you expected. Stick to tried and true dishes you can prepare and serve with confidence and save the experimenting for another time.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Bocelli giving livestreamed performance on Easter
From finding ways to help others cope to sheltering in place to canceling events, here’s a look at some of the ways the entertainment industry is reacting to the spread of the coronavirus, which most people recover from but can cause severe illness in the elderly and those with preexisting medical conditions.
Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Chicago saxman's latest both spirited and spiritual
Change is a constant on jazz saxman Jimmy Greene’s new album, “While Looking Up.” The 68-minute set flies by because of the way he varies the performing cast and mood.
Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Take your kids to the kitchen for a teachable moment
With a lot of parents facing the challenge of keeping housebound kids happy and healthy, this is the perfect time to teach kids the basics of nutrition and eating right.  Consider these simple suggestions:

Healthy Snack Time Taste Tests - Sometimes it feels like kids can snack all day long on easy-to-grab crackers, chips or cookies. Next time they reach into the snack pantry, try incorporating a taste test or food critic activity to encourage something different and more nutritious. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Teens will enjoy making, decorating bunny butts
Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Say hello to entertainment this week
This week’s entertainment offerings have a decidedly familial feel to them, and not the Force Family Fun kind. On television, viewers have the chance to say goodbye to the Roses of “Schitt’s Creek” and visit one last time with the “Modern Family” crew. “Parasite,” the Oscar best-picture winner, arrives on streaming this week, while “Trolls: World Tour” - which had its theatrical release quashed by the coronavirus pandemic - arrives for home rental. The Strokes are back with their sixth album, this one produced by Rick Rubin, while a host of friends including Christopher Guest helps Joe Satriani on his 18th record.
Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Winfrey chooses 'Hidden Valley Road'
Oprah Winfrey’s new book club pick is Robert Kolker’s “Hidden Valley Road,” an in-depth account of a 1950s family in which six of 12 children were diagnosed with schizophrenia. Winfrey says she will continue picking books during the coronavirus outbreak, and will seek new ways to engage readers.
Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Reissue of Nina Simone disc a work of contrasts
(AP) — Nina Simone’s “Fodder On My Wings” is an album of contrasts and extremes - personal traumas and world sounds, joy and despair, harmony and defiance, the carnal and the spiritual.
Saturday, April 4, 2020

Books: In Koontz's novel, a very intelligent dog
(AP) — In this vast universe, Dean Koontz notes, two species have formed an unbreakable bond: dogs and human beings. And this bond, he predicts in his new thriller, “Devoted,” is about to become even stronger.
Saturday, April 4, 2020

'Lean on Me' singer Bill Withers dies
(AP) — Bill Withers, who wrote and sang a string of soulful songs in the 1970s that have stood the test of time, including “ Lean on Me, ” “Lovely Day” and “Ain’t No Sunshine,” has died from heart complications, his family said in a statement to The Associated Press. He was 81.
Friday, April 3, 2020

'Captain Underpants' author launching new series for kids
NEW YORK (AP) - Dav Pilkey is going to the cats.

The million-selling author of the “Captain Underpants” and “Dog Man” series is starting the “Cat Kid Comic Club,” Scholastic announced Thursday. The first book will be released Dec. 1.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Fleeing virus for resort homes, some find welcome mat yanked
Some city folk have been fleeing to their second homes in resort areas to ride out the coronavirus outbreak near the beach or the ski slopes. But neighbors in many of those places are yanking the welcome mat  fearing infection and the overwhelming of already stretched resources in sleepy shore and mountain communities.

In southern New Jersey, Cape May County Freeholder Director Gerald Thornton asked summer home owners, who make up nearly half the property owners, to stay away for at least two weeks.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Review: Book makes readers think about dying in a new way
Due to a clerical error made by Death himself, 23-year-old Daisy Cooper dies decades before she is scheduled to do so.
Saturday, March 28, 2020

Virus sends a nation of restaurant-goers back to the kitchen
Last Tuesday night in Tennessee, bluegrass musicians David and Virginia Blood were busy making sandwiches. In Pittsburgh, real estate agent Michelle Bushee was stirring a pot of homemade black-bean chili in her kitchen instead of shepherding curious buyers through potential dream homes. Marty Prudenti, whose nights are usually spent working backstage at New York City’s Lincoln Center, was in his Long Island backyard grilling burgers for his twins.
Saturday, March 28, 2020

All day cake
If you are looking for a cake that you can eat for breakfast, with tea, as a snack or dessert, this is the cake for you. And it also happens to be gluten-free. This lemon polenta cake is moist with olive oil and drenched in lemony syrup. The result is a moist and dense cake, bursting with citrus and with a nutty, toothsome texture, thanks to the polenta and almond meal. It's also not an overly sweet cake, which may lead you to munch on it all day long. For the record, no one will judge you for that.
Saturday, March 28, 2020

What 'Walden' can tell us about social distancing and focusing on life's essentials
Seeking to bend the coronavirus curve, governors and mayors have told millions of Americans to stay home. If you’re pondering what to read, it’s easy to find lists featuring books about diseaseoutbreaks, solitude and living a simpler life. But it’s much harder to find a book that combines these themes.
Thursday, March 26, 2020

Author uses Shakespeare to take the pulse of America on hotbutton issues
America: land of the free, home of the brave, known for Route 66, Silicon Valley . and Shakespeare? Yes, and from colonial days onward. Back then, the Bard wasn’t even considered high culture - his plays were as familiar to ordinary folks as the King James Bible.

In his new book, “Shakespeare in a Divided America,” James Shapiro makes the case that arguments about the Bard’s plays have long reflected our conflicted beliefs as a nation about hot-button issues like immigration, adultery, homosexuality and interracial love.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Museum slated up the river and through the wall at infamous Sing Sing
Busting out of Sing Sing has been a dream of inmates since cell doors started clanging shut along the Hudson River in the 1820s. Now there’s a plan to usher visitors inside the high walls well known in the past to gangsters, Hollywood stars and prisoners condemned to the electric chair.
Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Kidzeum to provide educational activities for kids online during closure
Kidzeum of Health and Science, located at 412 E. Adams St. in downtown Springfield, will now be closed, effective Sunday, March 15, 2020. They will continue to follow the state government and Springfield School District 186 in regard to closures and will keep the public up to date with new information as the situation evolves.

Beginning next week, Kidzeum will release online educational activities for kids to do while they are out of school. These activities can be done with everyday, household items and will also contain printable worksheets and activities that parents and kids can do together. “This is a challenging time for families. Kidzeum will continue to serve our community as creatively as possible through online content that will help parents keep kids in learning mode, even while school is out,” said executive director, Leah Wilson. Once available, these resources can be found at

Monday, March 16, 2020

Wall Street Journal Best-Sellers
Saturday, March 14, 2020

Poach boneless chicken breasts for flavor, tenderness
This time of year, boneless, skinless chicken breasts are my go-to protein. You can add them to a grain bowl, a green salad or Caesar, or shred them to make chicken salad, soup, casseroles, one-pot meals, etc.
Saturday, March 14, 2020

Welcome spring with a lemony risotto
Here is what I think about risotto: A good risotto should be creamy, but not gummy or soupy. The rice should be tender, with a little give to each bite (al dente). Any accompanying ingredients should be minimal without muddying, and ideally, they should reflect the season. This risotto checks all of those boxes.
Saturday, March 14, 2020

Exhibit of artifacts from last US slave ship
The state of Alabama will provide artifacts from the last slave ship to dock in the United States for a special public exhibition later this year, officials said Tuesday.

The Alabama Historical Commission, in a statement, said an exhibit named for the slave ship Clotilda is set to open this fall in Mobile, where the schooner arrived with African captives in 1860.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Should I use points and miles to book wedding travel?
You have no excuses now that the holidays have ended: It’s time to book travel for the wedding(s) you agreed to attend in 2020.

Whether you’re going to an exotic destination wedding or just flying back to Cincinnati for your awkward cousin’s nuptials, wedding travel can get expensive in a hurry. A weekend trip can easily cost over $1,000 in airfare and lodging — or much more if you’re traveling with family.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Review: New NUMA Files story is a nonstop thrill ride
In 1074 B.C., an Egyptian fleet heads out to sea and vanishes from sight and history. In 1927, a pilot attempting to make a transcontinental flight disappears. And in the present, a boat sinks with a secret cargo in the Clive Cussler and Graham Brown novel “Journey of the Pharaohs.” In typical Cussler fashion, the three seemingly disparate events are actually related, and an act of kindness to rescue the men on the vessel that is sinking throws Kurt Austin and his partner and best friend, Joe Zavala, into a deadly conspiracy.
Saturday, March 14, 2020

Late-night comics adjust to shows without an audience
Due to the new coronavirus, late-night comedians — Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Pete Buttigieg — are taking to the stage without the affirmation of adoring audiences.

Wait a second. Pete Buttigieg?

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Authors look at 'The Greatest Year at the Movies'
What was the greatest year in cinema history? Among film fans and critics, 1939 has long been a favorite pick. Hollywood’s studio system was at its peak that year and cranked out an astonishing number of crowd-pleasing, star-studded films including “The Wizard of Oz,” “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” “Ninotchka,” “Stagecoach” and “Dark Victory.” At the top of that formidable heap was “Gone with the Wind,” which won eight Oscars, including best picture.
Thursday, March 12, 2020

On Broadway: The shows will go on
The new coronavirus has reached Broadway, but the shows on the Great White Way are scheduled to go on as planned.

A part-time usher and security guard who worked at two theaters in recent days tested positive for COVID-19 and is under quarantine, according to the Shubert and Nederlander organizations, Broadway’s largest theater chains.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Rachelle Garniez stylishly remembers Bowie, Aretha
Rachelle Garniez’s musical world is as wide and wonderful as the range of recently-departed artists she pays tribute to on “Gone to Glory,” from David Bowie and Della Reese to Glen Campbell and Aretha Franklin.
Thursday, March 12, 2020

Unusual tale of Civil War Soldier to be told at history forum
Hundreds of women disguised themselves as men to fight in the Civil War, but for most it was a temporary transformation. This was not the case with Albert Cashier, whose story will be told March 12 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Shelby County art show is April 4th
Thursday, March 19 is the deadline to register art for the 2020 Shelby County Art Show held annually for the 54th year.  Brochures are available on Facebook-Shelby County Art Show 2020 or by email from
Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Historic fashion exhibit to open at state museum
There is perhaps no more intimate connection to the women of the past than the clothing they left behind — garments that were once worn on a living, breathing person going about her daily business; garments that were soiled and washed and mended and altered; garments that expressed her aspirations and reflected her condition.
Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Sesame's Count wants to get young children counted in census
No other age group was under-counted more during the last once-a-decade census than children under age 5, researchers say. Sesame Street is hoping to use Count von Count to change that.
Monday, March 9, 2020

Affleck extraordinary in quiet drama 'Way Back'
There is nothing particularly extraordinary about director Gavin O’Connor’s “ The Way Back,” except perhaps for Ben Affleck’s performance. This is a quiet drama about a lonely alcoholic who gets a lifeline when he’s asked to coach a high school basketball team. It’s the kind of movie people like to say “Hollywood doesn’t make anymore,” which is only partly true. It’s also the kind of movie you might feel like you’ve seen before (also partly true).
Thursday, March 5, 2020

Music: K-pop's NCT 127 brings it on, turns it up

NCT 127’s sophomore album has something for everyone. It’s a little bit sexy, a little bit warm, a little bit wild, a little bit of a hellion on the dancefloor, and a whole lot of unusual twists and swerves in the musical lines.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Books: 'Grace Kelly Dress' redefines classic storybook ending
Three generations of women, each one reflective - and dare I say, ahead of her own formative moments in pop culture - take a turn wearing a wedding dress that was originally fashioned as a copy of the gown that Grace Kelly became a true princess in 1956.
Thursday, March 5, 2020

Bond book supplies fans with dossier worthy of Her Majesty's Secret Service
Three words — “Bond ... James Bond”— changed film history when 1962’s “Dr. No” introduced the British super-spy 007 to the silver screen. Originating in Ian Fleming’s Cold War espionage novels, the globe-trotting, gadget-equipped chick-magnet, who liberally applied his license to kill, set the archetype for Hollywood action heroes.
Wednesday, March 4, 2020

In the documentary 'Hillary,' Clinton candidly surveys her ups and downs
Since losing the 2016 election to Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton has released a memoir about that defeat, launched a political action committee and penned another book about “gutsy women” with her daughter, Chelsea. But Clinton’s most prominent return to the public eye has come in the form of a new candid four-hour documentary series.

Some, Clinton is aware, thought she would slink away after 2016.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Review: A real-life Cinderella story set in Gilded Age
Adam Hochschild is among the most readable of historians. With his latest book, “Rebel Cinderella,” he has latched on to an extraordinary love story, with echoes of the classic fairy tale, set in a time of enormous social upheaval during this country’s first Gilded Age.

It centers on Rose Pastor Stokes, a penniless Russian Jewish immigrant, socialist and union organizer, who in 1905 married James Graham Phelps Stokes, scion of a wealthy WASP family whose fortune flowed from the Phelps Dodge mining empire, as well as railroads, real estate, and gold and silver mines.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Wall Street Journal Best-Sellers
Saturday, February 29, 2020

Irish stout stew
There's no better time for a pot of beef stew than winter, and when March rolls around with St. Patrick's Day hype and festivities, why not add an Irish twist with a splash of Irish stout?
Saturday, February 29, 2020

Murder Museum: Oddity shop features Charles Manson's hair
A few strands of Charles Manson's hair. A vintage serial killer board game. A (potentially) haunted last rites kit.

These items may sound like they belong in the home of an Addams Family member, but are actually available for viewing in a small museum located in the back of Offbeat, an oddities and collectibles store in Columbus.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Review: 'Been There, Married That' is entertaining story
Being a book about Hollywood, maybe it’s not a coincidence that “Been There, Married That” by Gigi Levangie seems more like a movie than a novel.
Saturday, February 29, 2020

March Mini Camps exploring foxes
Children ages 1-5 and their adult buddy are invited to Rock Springs Nature Center for Mini Camp: Sly Foxes. This camp for ages 1-5 will be offered Wednesday, March 11 and Thursday, March 12 from 9:30-10:30am.
Saturday, February 29, 2020

Review: 'Broken Faith' looks inside Word of Faith Fellowship
Few religious leaders purport to hear directly from God but those that do seem to draw an unusually rabid following.
Friday, February 28, 2020

Review: Gardiner weaves horrifying tale in 'Dark Corners'
A terrifying killer that targets families by attacking them in the middle of the night tests the abilities of FBI profiler Caitlin Hendrix in Meg Gardiner’s latest thriller, “The Dark Corners of the Night.“
Thursday, February 27, 2020

Kids shine as Broadway's 'To Kill a Mockingbird' goes big
The cast of “To Kill a Mockingbird” ditched its somber Broadway home Wednesday for the cavernous Madison Square Garden, performing the play for 18,000 school kids in an electric one-time-only performance that one actor called “primal.”
Thursday, February 27, 2020

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