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home : news : arts & entertainment August 7, 2020

Film: A sweet fable in Rogen's 'American Pickle'
(AP) — The funniest part of “ An American Pickle ” isn’t even really in the movie. It’s a little scene in the middle of the credits in which Seth Rogen’s Herschel Greenbaum, a 1920s laborer who wakes up 100 years after falling into a vat of pickle juice, watches “Yentl” with his millennial great-grandson Ben Greenbaum (also Rogen).
Friday, August 7, 2020

A superb Rylance lifts up 'Barbarians'
Watching Mark Rylance play a man of basic decency getting swallowed up by an evil world — and a sadistic Johnny Depp — in “Waiting for the Barbarians,“ I absent-mindedly jotted down in my notes: “Nobody does basic decency like Mark Rylance.”

Then I remembered: Nobody quite does INdecency like Rylance, either. Watch him play a villain, a creep, or maybe a scheming Shakespearean king, and you’ll be chilled to the bone.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Low-key 'Secret Garden' still blooms
For more than a century, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s “The Secret Garden,“ first published in 1911, has endured. It remains one of the great classics of children’s literature, a book that deftly combines the dreams and nightmares of childhood. Its balance of dark and light, death and rebirth is still powerfully moving in its rare harmony.

Mark Mundan’s adaptation, which STX Films will release on-demand Friday, struggles to burrow into the interiors of its characters. It’s sluggish at times and too withdrawn for such a vibrant tale. But it stays nevertheless in tune with the spirit of Burnett’s book, and by the time it reaches its late crescendo, this “Secret Garden” blooms nevertheless.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Entertainment this week: Bryan, Foxworthy, Rogen
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, August 4, 2020

Books: Land channels James Bond with new thriller
Fans of Jon Land's thrillers featuring fifth-generation Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong will be pleased to hear that the new book in the series is a lot like the first 10 as the hero, a cross between Wild Bill Hickok and Wonder Woman, dispatches a series of Bond-villain wannabees with extravagant use of gun play and explosives.
Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Film: 'Summerland' a sweet WWII tearjerker
" Summerland " might look like something you've seen before: A scenic story about a schoolchild who must leave London during the war and take up shelter with a reluctant caregiver. But while it is comfortingly familiar in many ways, and a little cliche and overwrought in others, it also has a modern edge and bite to it that keeps it novel enough to sustain interest.
Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Baby elephant dies at St. Louis zoo weeks after his birth
A baby elephant has died several weeks after it was born at the St. Louis Zoo.

Zoo officials said the Asian elephant calf named Avi was euthanized Sunday because he had developmental problems that limited his ability to feed. The zoo said Avi’s condition had deteriorated quickly in recent days despite feeding assistance and intravenous treatments.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Pandemic parody of 'Goodnight Moon' to be released
A popular online spoof of the children’s favorite “Goodnight Moon,” reworked for the coronavirus, will be published by Penguin Random House this fall.

The Penguin imprint Philomel Books announced Monday that “Good Morning Zoom,” written by Lindsay Rechler and illustrated by June Park, is scheduled for Oct. 6. Currently self-published, “Good Morning Zoom” takes Margaret Wise Brown’s beloved bedtime story and turns it into a narrative about Zoom, bread baking, home schooling and other familiar parts of life during the pandemic.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Lucky No. 7: Taylor Swift nabs 7th No. 1 album with 'folklore'
To no one’s surprise, Taylor Swift’s surprise album “folklore“ is dominating the music charts.

Swift’s eighth album debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s 200 albums chart this week, marking the best first-week sales of the year and giving the pop star her seventh No. 1 title on the chart. According to Nielsen Music/MRC Data, the album sold 846,000 equivalent albums in the U.S. based on a combination of sales and streams.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Best Sellers List
Saturday, August 1, 2020

Mad for Mezee
Traveling abroad may be on hold right now, but there's no reason why we can't bring the taste and ambience of travel home to our kitchens and gardens with mezze. Mezze is an appetizer tradition essential to the cuisines of the Middle East, Turkey and Greece.
Saturday, August 1, 2020

Alan Parker, director of "Midnight Express," dies at 76
Filmmaker Alan Parker, one of Britain’s most successful directors whose movies included “Bugsy Malone,” “Midnight Express” and “Evita,” has died at 76, his family said.

Parker’s diverse body of work includes “Fame,” Mississippi Burning, “The Commitments and “Angela’s Ashes.” Together his movies won 10 Academy Awards and 19 British Academy Film Awards.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Los Angeles Zoo's aged African lion couple euthanized
Two African lions that were inseparable companions at the Los Angeles Zoo were euthanized Thursday due to declining health and age-related illness, officials said.

The male, Hubert, and female, Kalisa, were both 21 years old and had lived at the LA Zoo for six years.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Vintage Super Mario Bros. video game sells for $114,000
An unopened copy of a vintage Super Mario Bros. video game has been sold for $114,000 in an auction that underscored the enduring popularity of entertainment created decades ago.

A bidder who wished to remain anonymous snapped up an early version of the pioneering Super Mario Bros. game released in 1985 for Nintendo's NES console during an auction conducted Friday, July 10, 2020 by Dallas-based Heritage Auctions.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Sports Illustrated taps model who is 56 years old and stands just 5-foot-3
Kathy Jacobs says it’s important not to discount people because of their age or height. She should know — the petite 56-year-old is a brand new Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue model.

Jacobs, from Calabasas, California and who stands 5-foot-3-inches, hopes her appearance in the issue will help change readers’ views of beauty.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

'Jaws' boat clone won't hunt sharks, it will save them
The Orca is headed back to the waters of New England, but this time, its mission isn’t to hunt sharks. It’s to help save them.

A group of ocean advocates and movie buffs is turning an old lobster fishing vessel into a replica of the Orca, the boat captained by the grizzled shark hunter Quint in “Jaws.” The work is taking place on Martha’s Vineyard, where Steven Spielberg shot the blockbuster movie in the 1970s.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Comet providing a spectacular show
A newly discovered comet is streaking past Earth, providing a stunning nighttime show after buzzing the sun and expanding its tail.

Comet Neowise — the brightest comet visible from the Northern Hemisphere in a quarter-century — swept within Mercury’s orbit a week ago. Its close proximity to the sun caused dust and gas to burn off its surface and create an even bigger debris tail. Now the comet is headed our way, with closest approach in two weeks.

NASA's Neowise infrared space telescope discovered the comet in March.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

What is a chef card?
When dining out, people with food allergies may find it difficult or uncomfortable to communicate their allergy concerns with restaurant staff. In recognition of that, the organization Food Allergy Research & Education, which aims to improve the quality of life and the health of individuals with food allergies, provides an interactive "chef card" that outlines the foods diners must avoid.
Saturday, July 18, 2020

Layers are for salads, too
While simplicity often reigns when making salads, a little attention to how you put them together can make a difference -- and not just in presentation, but also in flavor. There's certainly nothing wrong with combining all of your salad fixings in a bowl and giving them a good toss. Some salads demand a good jumble, such as cheesy Caesar salads or simple green salads. However, if you have a special standout ingredient that you don't want to submerge in a bowl of greens, or if you prefer a lighter hand in dressing the salad without wilting tender leaves, then layering is the way to go.
Saturday, July 18, 2020

Publishers Weekly Best-Sellers List
Saturday, July 18, 2020

What distinguishes trip insurance from travel insurance?
When planning to travel, would-be vacationers must make a host of decisions. Where to go, how to get there and where to stay tend to garner the bulk of travelers' attention. However, consumers also should pay ample attention to how to protect their travel investments in the event they cannot make the trip due to illness, injury or some other unforeseen consequence.
Saturday, July 18, 2020

Learning art of sailing, finding 'canvas miracles' on lake
Back in 1980, Christopher Cross had a big hit with the song “Sailing,” describing the joys of simply messing about in boats.

“It’s not far to never-never land, no reason to pretend,

And if the wind is right you can find the joy of innocence again;

Oh, the canvas can do miracles, just you wait and see;

Believe me.”

Saturday, July 18, 2020

NYC cleared to open zoos, play ball under reopening plan next step
New York City was cleared Friday to take the next step in its reopening next week, allowing movie and TV crews to film, zoos to welcome reduced crowds, and professional sports teams play to empty seats.

But malls, museums and restaurant dining rooms would stay shuttered in the nation’s biggest city.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Film tracks Rulon Gardner's highs, lows in years since winning Olympic gold
Rulon Gardner is living a quiet life, just the way he likes it.

He is 48 now, sells insurance and has a second job coaching wrestling at a Salt Lake City-area high school.

It’s been 20 years since Gardner, a 2,000-to-1 underdog, beat three-time gold medalist Aleksandr Karelin in the Greco Roman heavyweight final at the Sydney Games in one of the greatest upsets in sports history.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

For showy blooms, pruning hydrangeas is all about the timing
Hydrangeas are popular shrubs grown for their impressive blooms. Their foliage can also be attractive, particularly oakleaf hydrangeas.

"Pruning hydrangeas can be confusing because each species should be pruned at a different time of the year," says Ken Johnson, University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator. "The five common hydrangea can be divided into two groups for pruning purposes: those that bloom on old wood and those that bloom on new wood."

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Review: 'Conspiracy' tells of gold rush and Gilded Age greed
Rules, laws and honesty meant little to Alexander McKenzie, a Gilded Age political boss in North Dakota who chummed around with deep-pocketed capitalists and U.S. senators. After gold was discovered in the territory of Alaska at the end of the 19th century, he involved them in his brazen scheme to plunder gold already claimed by miners by secretly rigging the justice system.
Saturday, July 18, 2020

Rabbi: Cannon 'genuinely concerned' after apology, meeting
A prominent rabbi who met with Nick Cannon says the television host and producer is “genuinely concerned about the hurt” he caused by making anti-Semitic remarks, and they intend to work together to reject hate.

Cannon apologized to the Jewish community this week for his “hurtful and divisive” words, a day after ViacomCBS cut ties with him for the comments made on a podcast where he discussed racial bias, and following a phone conversation with Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s associate dean.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Film review: Handsome, broken Aussies connect in sprawling 'Dirt Music'
Everyone is sad in the Australian indie “ Dirt Music,” a sprawling story about a small fishing town, an affair and the dark secrets that tie everyone together. But at least the Western Australia setting is pretty, and the people are, too.

The film stars Kelly Macdonald as Georgie, a former nurse who has taken up with a widower crayfish baron, Jim Buckridge (David Wenham) in White Point. But life in their modern seaside mansion with epic views and two well-behaved little boys doesn’t seem to be enough. Georgie doesn’t fit in among the townies, even with her partner being the local bigwig. She wakes before sunrise to skinny dip in the water and day drinks white wine until she falls asleep on the couch.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Entertainment this week: 'Flannery,' Ellie Goulding, 'Showbiz Kids,' 'Psych'
(AP) — 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, July 14, 2020

Charlie Daniels dies at 83
Country music firebrand and fiddler Charlie Daniels, who had a hit with “Devil Went Down to Georgia,“ has died at age 83.

A statement from his publicist said the Country Music Hall of Famer died today at a hospital in Hermitage, Tennessee, after doctors said he had a stroke.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Spaghetti Western movie composer Ennio Morricone dies
ROME (AP) — Ennio Morricone, the Oscar-winning Italian composer who created the coyote-howl theme for the iconic Spaghetti Western “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” and often haunting soundtracks for such classic Hollywood gangster movies as “The Untouchables” and the epic “Once Upon A Time In America,” died today. He was 91.
Monday, July 6, 2020

Review: Don Bryant expresses deep soul on 'You Make Me Feel'
Don Bryant’s second secular album in decades is like a lost Memphis soul treasure.

Everything on “You Make Me Feel,” from the songs to the sounds to Bryant’s still-astonishing voice, confirms that his 2017 comeback, “Don’t Give Up On Love,” was no fluke.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

USA Today Best Sellers
Saturday, July 4, 2020

Raise a lemon-infused toast
Tart and tangy, lemon-based flavors are hard to pass up. Citrus can help cleanse the palate between courses, but it also can be a refreshing component in beverages.

Anyone who has enjoyed a tall glass of lemonade on a warm day understands how thirst-quenching it can be. Limoncello is a lemon liqueur mainly produced in Southern Italy, particularly in the region around the Gulf of Naples. Limoncello is made from the zest of lemons, which is then steeped in alcohol, like vodka. The lemon-infused liqueur also is mixed with a sugar syrup.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

It may sound counterintuitive, but when the weather is hot, the spices should be hotter. Think about it: Many cultures that infuse their cuisine with chiles and spice are warm-weather countries. Sure, many of these five-alarm ingredients are native to their environment, but the simple fact is that spicy food is cooling. It makes you sweat, which is your body's sensible method of adjusting its thermostat.

This recipe is my attempt to confront a sweltering day with a plate of fiery food. Chicken thighs are great for roasting and grilling. The dark meat is rich, moist and flavorful, and it can easily handle a wallop of heat and spice. Plus, the juicy meat won't dry out while you cook the thighs to crispy perfection.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Making the most of your outdoor space, no matter how small
Coronavirus quarantine had many people rethinking the interiors of their homes this spring. DIY projects were tackled, and rooms reorganized.

Now that summer’s here, why not give the same mini-makeover to backyards and outdoor spaces?

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Hugh Downs, TV presence for four decades, dies
Hugh Downs, the genial, versatile broadcaster who became one of television’s most familiar and welcome faces with more than 15,000 hours on news, game and talk shows, has died at age 99.

Downs died of natural causes at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Wednesday, said his great-niece, Molly Shaheen.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Music: Paul Weller's shiny 'On Sunset' is a carnival of sounds
Paul Weller’s “On Sunset” is a rapturous collection, filled to the brim with a carnival of sounds that finds inspiration in decades past while occasionally stepping into something new.

Weller’s 15th solo effort has more of The Style Council than The Jam, his two former bands, and clearly feels of a kind with the string of albums he’s been releasing since 2008’s “22 Dreams,” chipping and stretching the mold without breaking it.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Film review: A master class by Catherine Deneuve in 'The Truth'
Family may be the great subject of Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda, but he doesn’t draw straightforward portraits. In Kore-eda’s hands, family is more malleable. He tends to shift roles around like he’s rearranging furniture, subtly remaking familiar dynamics until he has, without you knowing it, undone everything.

In his delicate, devastating and deeply humane films, family works like a prism, a way to see things often obscured in Japanese society. In “Like Father, Like Son,” a switched-at-birth tale (usually the stuff of melodrama) is used to delicately render class divisions. In “Nobody Knows,” four children of different fathers and one mother for a moment find harmony together. In his Palme d’Or-winning “Shoplifters,” a makeshift and impoverished clan are a truer family than most that are bound by DNA.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Beloved creator of 'Dick Van Dyke Show' dies
NEW YORK (AP) — Carl Reiner, the ingenious and versatile writer, actor and director who broke through as a “second banana” to Sid Caesar and rose to comedy’s front ranks as creator of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and straight man to Mel Brooks’ “2000 Year Old Man,” has died. He was 98.
Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Sir Patrick Stewart is writing memoir
NEW YORK (AP) — Nearing his 80th birthday, Sir Patrick Stewart is finally ready for the project he once feared taking on — his memoir.
Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Review: Quartet with Yo-Yo Ma wows
(AP) The success of the first album from this string band in 2011 showed there's a large potential audience for something different.
Tuesday, June 30, 2020

BET Awards celebrate 20th Anniversary with strong performance reflecting the current times

NEW YORK (AP) — The BET Awards, celebrating its 20th anniversary, kicked off with a performance reflecting the current times as Black artists rapped and sang anthems about the Black experience and fighting for equal rights.

Monday, June 29, 2020

How to clean up your summer grilling game
(Family Features) —There's something about summertime that ushers in an easygoing spirit. The long, hot summer months are often celebrated with backyard barbecues, beach days and spending time with friends and family. It's a time to fire up the grill, slow down and roll with the punches.
Saturday, June 27, 2020

Tabbouleh Inspiration
I call this salad tabbouleh, although many of the ingredients are not what you will typically find in a traditional Middle Eastern tabbouleh salad. Middle Eastern tabbouleh is a puckery bulgur salad, tumbled with fresh herbs and chopped vegetables, and laced with garlic, lemon and olive oil.
Saturday, June 27, 2020

Country music reckons with racial stereotypes
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — When country singer Rissi Palmer was working on her debut album, she wanted a song like Gretchen Wilson’s “Redneck Woman,” a song that would introduce her and tell her story to fans.
Friday, June 26, 2020

Film: Ferrell spins warm-hearted spoof in 'Eurovision'
(AP) — “ Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga,” Will Ferrell’s goofy and highly quotable parody of the long-running European spectacle, is the first great comedy of 2020 and it couldn’t have come soon enough. There hasn’t been much to laugh about lately.
Thursday, June 25, 2020

New this week: 'Clemency,' HAIM, 'Doctor Sleep'
(AP) — 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, June 24, 2020

Planning for summer beach days? Docs share virus safety tips
Americans have never been more ready to get out of the house and bask in the sun. Warm-weather beach destinations are the most popular vacation searches, with Florida — particularly Key West — Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and San Diego among the top considerations.

According to Tripadvisor, 50% of travelers are looking to book a one- to five-day trip this month, suggesting massive pent-up demand for sand and surf. But the craving for a beach getaway coincides with recent spikes in coronavirus cases in nearly half the states, including beach havens like Florida, Texas and the Carolinas.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Drive-In concert series coming to St. Louis, Nashville and Noblesville
Tour promoter Live Nation has announced its first-ever drive-in concerts series in the U.S. for July, months after the live music industry has been on lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The entertainment company today announced “Live from the Drive-In” — a set of nine shows to take place July 10-12 in Nashville, Tennessee; Maryland Heights, Missouri; and Noblesville, Indiana.

Monday, June 22, 2020

To be perfectly clear: Having too many strawberries to eat is hardly a problem. But during this season of berry abundance, inventive ways to incorporate the sweet, sun-kissed strawberry into our meals is always welcome. And I'm not just talking smoothies and desserts. Strawberries are delicious in savory preparations, too, where their sweetness and gentle acidity contribute to light dishes such as salads, sauces, toasts and cheese plates.
Saturday, June 20, 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, June 20, 2020

'Chariots of Fire,' 'Lord of the Rings' actor Ian Holm dies
Ian Holm, an acclaimed British actor whose long career included roles in “Chariots of Fire” and “The Lord of the Rings” has died. He was 88.

Holm died peacefully Friday morning in a hospital, surrounded by his family and carer, his agent, Alex Irwin, said in a statement. His illness was Parkinson’s related.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Wall Street Journal Best-Sellers List
Saturday, June 20, 2020

Holland Taylor's Ann Richards: 'A woman for all seasons'
Holland Taylor earned a Tony nomination for her portrayal of charismatic Texas politician Ann Richards, but the actor deserves acclaim for her research and writing skills as well.

Taylor crafted “Ann” after digging into Richards’ life and character. The reward was a deepened appreciation of the tart-tongued Democrat, who died in 2006, and what turned out to be the highlight of a career that has zigzagged between a dizzying number and variety of movies and TV shows and includes an Emmy Award.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

'Into the Wild' bus removed from Alaska back country as a precaution
An abandoned bus in the Alaska backcountry, popularized by the book “Into the Wild” and movie of the same name, was removed Thursday, state officials said.

The decision prioritizes public safety, Alaska Natural Resources Commissioner Corri Feige said.

Friday, June 19, 2020

New solo version of Aretha song released
A never-before-heard solo version of the late Aretha Franklin’s riveting and powerful collaboration with Mary J. Blige about faith and race, 2006’s “Never Gonna Break My Faith,” has arrived on Juneteenth.

Sony’s RCA Records, RCA Inspiration and Legacy Recordings released the song Friday, aligning with the holiday celebrating the day in 1865 that all enslaved black people learned they had been freed from bondage.

“Never Gonna Break My Faith” resonates today, featuring lyrics like: “You can lie to a child with a smiling face/Tell me that color ain’t about a race.”

Friday, June 19, 2020

'Bully. Coward. Victim.' offers a look at Roy Cohn
The director of a new documentary about Roy Cohn is not exactly a neutral party. After all, Cohn played a key role in getting her grandparents executed.
Ivy Meeropol is the granddaughter of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were convicted of spying for the Soviet Union and executed in 1953 in large part due to Cohn’s influence. Objectivity is not Meeropol's goal here but better understanding of who this slippery character is, and this film succeeds in that.

Her HBO film “Bully. Coward. Victim. The Story of Roy Cohn” doesn’t hide its loathing of Cohn, who later was at Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s ear looking for Communists in the 1950s, defended the mafia in court and helped Donald Trump's rise. Many of these touchstone moments may be familiar to anyone who watched Matt Tyrnauer’s 2019 documentary “Where’s My Roy Cohn?” This time, it's more personal.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Fan of gothic fiction? You'll love this

Dark doesn’t even begin to describe Ottessa Moshfegh’s latest novel, “Death in Her Hands.” Try horrifying, macabre, fashionably self-referential and exceptionally well-written — a book, as the publisher’s blurb says, that asks us to consider how the stories we tell ourselves both reflect the truth and keep us blind to it. Plus, it’s got a great dog.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Music: Neil Young's long-shelved 'Homegrown' a missing link
Neil Young's “Homegrown," finished 45 years ago but not released until now, is the missing link during one of his most productive and creative periods.
Thursday, June 18, 2020

Two Garrison Keillor books set for release this fall
Garrison Keillor will have two books out this fall — a novel and a memoir — marking his first releases since sexual harassment allegations were made against the author and humorist three years ago.

Arcade Publishing announced today that Keillor's “The Lake Wobegon Virus,” which continues his popular “Lake Wobegon” series and ties it to the current pandemic, is coming Sept. 8. Two months later, Arcade will release “That Time of Year,” a reflection on his childhood and “a good life, including mistakes, regrets, and a few medical adventures.”
In his memoir, the 77-year-old Keillor will address the harassment allegations, which led to his being dropped by Minnesota Public Radio and The Washington Post. Keillor was long known for his wry depictions of small-town life in his “Lake Wobegon” novels and in “A Prairie Home Companion,” the radio program that was the basis for Robert Altman’s movie of the same name, which came out in 2006.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Successor to 'Prairie Home Companion' canceled
American Public Media Group announced Tuesday it has canceled musician Chris Thile’s “Live from Here” radio show, the successor to Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion.”

The media organization said it was ending national production of Thile’s show while cutting 28 staffers at American Public Media and Minnesota Public Radio.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Eiffel Tower to reopen after longest closure since WWII
Workers are preparing the Eiffel Tower for reopening next week, after the coronavirus pandemic led to the iconic Paris landmark’s longest closure since World War II.

France’s tourism industry is opening back up, but the 324-meter (1,063-feet) tall wrought-iron tower won’t immediately welcome visitors the way it did before the country went into lockdown in March.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

'Taste Nation' serves up politics and food
Padma Lakshmi, a longtime judge of Bravo’s “Top Chef,” created and hosts the new Hulu documentary series “Taste the Nation,” which celebrates the food of American immigrants and indigenous people.

“Taste the Nation” sees Lakshmi go to the Texas border city of El Paso and talk to locals about the wall. She goes to South Carolina to go crabbing and explore Gullah Geechee food. She goes to Las Vegas to spend time with Thai immigrants and to Arizona to forage for Native American ingredients.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Lyric Opera of Chicago cancels fall season due to virus
The Lyric Opera of Chicago and San Francisco Opera have canceled the fall portions of their 2020-21 seasons due to the new coronavirus.

The Lyric Opera eliminated four of its 10 productions and delayed opening night from Sept. 17 to Jan. 16. San Francisco canceled five of seven stagings and delayed opening night from Sept. 11 to April 25. Twenty-six performances were canceled in Chicago and 37 in San Francisco.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Entertainment this week: The ESPYs, Nixon, Taste the Nation, Neil Young
Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, and music platforms this week.
Tuesday, June 16, 2020

PBS invites you to 'come up sometime' and view the Mae West documentary produced by Midler
Before there was Cher or Madonna, Beyonce or Rihanna, there was another savvy media star who unapologetically embraced her sex appeal and femininity.

That would be Mae West, the bawdy, witty, sex symbol of the 1930s who pioneered a path for modern women with guts and a nod and a wink.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Police stories have evolved, far from Sgt. Friday
NEW YORK (AP) — Gary Phillips, a prize-winning crime novelist from Los Angeles, grew up on TV shows that showed a world nothing like the one he lived in.
Saturday, June 13, 2020

Sunday News Guest Lineups
Saturday, June 13, 2020

Publisher's Weekly Best Sellers
Saturday, June 13, 2020

Nora Roberts' thriller can cure any reading block
Never have I ever wanted to escape in a book more than the last few months, when life as we know it completely came to a stop.
Saturday, June 13, 2020

John Prine sideman steps out as reflective balladeer
(AP) — Lucky man, Jason Wilber. For 24 years he traveled the world with a stage pass to every John Prine concert.
Saturday, June 13, 2020

Gordon Lightfoot still carries an emotional charge
(AP) — Gordon Lightfoot’s first studio album since 2004 finds him displaying the pillars of his songwriting on “Solo,” a brave and unvarnished work teeming with maps of roads taken and avoided.
Saturday, June 13, 2020

TVshow highlights life's everyday heroes
LOS ANGELES (AP) — NFL star J.J. Watt, NBA player Chris Paul and country singer Brad Paisley will appear in an Amazon series that highlights everyday people who are supporting their community during the coronavirus pandemic.
Friday, June 12, 2020

Pick me up off the floor, Norah Jones says on her new album
NEW YORK (AP) — The title of Norah Jones’ new album, “Pick Me Up Off the Floor,” has two chief meanings.
Friday, June 12, 2020

Books: Twins veer apart in 'Thin Girls'
(AP) — Dark, poignant and gripping, Diana Clarke’s “Thin Girls” is sure to be unlike anything else you’ve read.
Friday, June 12, 2020

Fantasy adventure 'Artemis Fowl' arrives on Disney Plus today
(AP) — The Big-budget movie debut of  Eoin Colfer’s “Artemis Fowl,” which has grown into a best-selling series of eight young-adult novels over the last two decades, has been long in coming. First acquired in 2001, it’s gone through endless development, false-starts and release delays.
Friday, June 12, 2020

Is it safe to stay in a hotel, cabin or rental home yet? It depends
After nearly three months of quarantine, millions of Americans are ready to travel – an overnight trip, a weekend getaway, a summer sojourn. With states reopening, that’s now possible, with a caveat. Before coronavirus, few people likely thought twice about staying in a hotel room, rental home or cabin in the woods. But now, we have to factor in the potential for coronavirus exposure. Even if you’re OK with the travel risks taking you to your destination – plane, train or automobile – what about the risks of the destination spot itself?
Thursday, June 11, 2020

A Florida city known for its mermaids is dissolving
A Florida city known for its mermaid shows now sleeps with the fishes.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation on Tuesday dissolving the city of Weeki Wachee.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Movie theaters, shuttered for months, plan reopening in July
After three months of near total blackout of cinemas nationwide, movie theaters are preparing to reopen — even if it means only a few titles on the marquee and showings limited to as little as 25% capacity.

AMC Theaters, the world’s largest theater operator, said Tuesday that it expects to have 97-98% of its theaters worldwide reopened by mid-July. The National Association of Theater Owners, the trade group that represents exhibitors, expects some 90-95% of cinemas around the world will be opened by mid-July.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Some decor ideas for the housebound traveler
If your actual travel plans are on hold, you can soothe your wanderlust with a few home decor change-ups or additions.

Whether you’re wishing you were at a wilderness cabin, the beach or an exotic passport destination, designers and retailers are offering clever ways to bring the world into your quarantined home space.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Salzburg classical music fest will go on
The Salzburg Festival will be one of classical music’s few offerings in the summer of the coronavirus pandemic, staging a reduced 100th anniversary celebration with capacities limited to about 50%.

Europe’s top festival announced Tuesday it will present 90 performances, down from 212 originally intended.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

New this week: PBS 'Grantchester,' Disney 'Artemus Fowl,' Norah Jones
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, June 9, 2020

The 10 best movies released since theaters closed
Believe it or not, a lot of new films have been released since movie theaters were shuttered by the coronavirus pandemic — and a lot of good films.

They have arrived by streaming service, cable television, on-demand, drive-in and even Instagram. But the movies have kept coming. Here are 10 favorites of AP Film Writers Jake Coyle and Lindsey Bahr:

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Dalai Lama's first-ever album gets released July 6
Stressed out while working at a bank in New Zealand, Junelle Kunin began searching for music paired with teachings from the Dalai Lama to calm herself down and allow herself to focus.

But she couldn’t find it online.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

A cold concoction perfect for summer nights
Summer is synonymous with many things. Vacations, warm weather and al fresco dining are part and parcel of many people's summertime routines.
Saturday, June 6, 2020

Best-Sellers List
Saturday, June 6, 2020

Yes, you can eat warm soup in the summer -- especially when it's chowder. Clam and fish chowders evoke sunshine, seafood and the seashore. While clam chowder is always a favorite, I prefer to make fish chowders, loaded with chunky fish swimming in a smoky, creamy broth.
Saturday, June 6, 2020

Review: Nora Roberts' thriller cured my virus reading block
Nora Roberts, “Hideaway” (St. Martin’s Press)

Never have I ever wanted to escape in a book more than the last few months, when life as we know it completely came to a stop.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

TV: New superhero kid shines on PBS
There’s a new crop of superheroes coming to our TV this summer but they may need a little seasoning. After all, they’re only in elementary school.

The PBS Kids’ animated series “ Hero Elementary ” is set inside a grade school where a diverse group of four superhero students are learning to master their special powers.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Film: Elisabeth Moss unnerving as Shirley Jackson
Josephine Decker’s prickly, unnerving “Shirley,” is set mostly in the Bennington, Vermont, home of the reclusive writer Shirley Jackson (Elisabeth Moss) and her husband, the literary critic Stanley Hyman (Michael Stuhlbarg). But it also takes place in the gothic, heightened realm of one of Jackson’s own stories.
Thursday, June 4, 2020

Books: New novel explores construct of race, identity and belonging
A new novel explores the construct of race in the diverging lives of light-skinned black twins, one of whom transitions into a life as a white woman.
Thursday, June 4, 2020

Music: Dion gets distinguished help on rocking blues album
“Blues with Friends” sets up rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Dion with a distinguished set of guitarists, from Joe Bonamassa to Bruce Springsteen, on an album teeming with talent and great tunes.
Thursday, June 4, 2020

Books: Elliot Ackerman's latest is a tense tale from Turkey
If you know your Bosphorus from phosphorus and Gezi Park means something to you, you’ll probably love Elliot Ackerman’s new novel. If the strait that separates the European and Asian parts of Turkey and the 2013 demonstrations against urban development in Istanbul drive you to Google, you might not appreciate the novel as much at first, but don’t be afraid to give it a try.
Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Americana folk singer Erelli turns it up a notch
Americana singer-songwriter Mark Erelli has turned things up a notch.

Stepping further away from the gentle folk balladry he’s known for, Erelli on “Blindsided“ makes an unapologetic nod to the Tom Petty school of rock, and for the most part he succeeds. He shines brightest when he has a good hook, which happens frequently on this album.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

This week: Documentaries on Lee and Miranda
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, June 3, 2020

Macon Co. conservation areas and trails remain open
The Macon County Conservation District reports the following openings:

-  All Conservation Areas (Rock Springs Conservation Area, Fort Daniel Conservation Area, Friend Creek Conservation Area, Sand Creek Conservation Area, and Griswold Conservation Area) continue to remain open for hiking, walking, and nature exploration. As you visit these areas, you must continue to follow all social distancing guidelines. Pets are welcome to enjoy the conservation areas with their owners, but all pets must be leashed at all times.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Books: 'Nobody' a mesmerizing thriller
“Mr. Nobody,” the second novel by New York Times bestselling author Catherine Steadman, is a mesmerizing psychological thriller. A man is found on a beach. He doesn’t know his identity or how he got there. Expert neuropsychiatrist Dr. Emma Lewis is called in to help him regain his memory. This man — the media calls him Mr. Nobody — was found in Emma’s hometown, a place she fled 14 years ago, hoping never to return.
Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Lady Gaga, 'Space Force,' Ghibli films
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, May 27, 2020

Music: Buffet brings some new sunshine
Jimmy Buffett’s first studio record in seven years arrives with equal parts seduction and absurdity.

Coming just as we crave a margarita in a mason jar, sand in our toes and the salty wind of the ocean, Buffett’s beach bum life — often mocked — has never been so aspirational. What we wouldn’t do right now to join a goofy conga line.

Wednesday, 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

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