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A&E Feature
Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008

Celebrating the vote

The 2008 presidential race has been exciting and entertaining. Let's face it, though: Most of us are glad it's almost over. Given the surplus of negative advertisements and unprecedented forms of voter manipulation-from constantly broadcasted poll results to graphs denoting real-time reactions at the bottom of CNN's debate coverage-it's easy to lose sight of the joy and privilege of voting. Partly to reinstate the value and significance of visiting the ballot box, IN:SITE Chair Pegi Taylor and Haggerty Museum Registrar John Loscuito founded My Vote Performs...
Books
Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008

Book Preview

As if the nail-biting tension of the last few weeks wasn't enough, Milwaukee's mystery fans must brace themselves for a weekend of murder and mayhem. Starting next Thursday, Nov. 6., Mystery One Bookstore and the Muskego Public Library once again host "Murder and Mayhem in Muskego," bringing more than 30 mystery authors into town for a series of panel discussions that cover various aspects of the mystery market. Headliner Dennis Lehane will be present for his second appearance...
Theater
Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2008

Theater Review

One of the greatest achievements of E.B. White's 1952 novel Charlotte's Web is that it avoids talking down to children. Alongside the humor and hope inherent in a barn spider's selfless friendship with a runty pig, the tale illuminates the graver realities of nature and survival. First Stage's production of Charlotte's Web doesn't fully eclipse these graver themes but focuses more on the tale's lyrical life/death cycle, investing it with a mystical quality that runs somewhat contrary to its earthy appeal. The play is bookended by a scene of ritualistic enchantment enacted by the same actress who plays Charlotte, robbing the latter of some of her bite...
Books
Monday, Oct. 20, 2008

Book Preview

Despite daily proof of man's capacity for cruelty, there are some who draw great sustenance from whatever morsels of humanity we can get our hands on. This wary optimism gains credence when espoused by an individual like Jan Egeland, current director of the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs. During his previous tenure as the U.N. under-secretary-general and U.N. emergency relief coordinator, he witnessed more tragedies and acts of barbarism than most of us could dream of, yet prefaces a book published earlier this year with a message of hope...
Theater
Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2008

Theater Review

If one subscribed to Aristotle's definition of the history play, Aeschylus' The Persians might be placed in that genre. After all, it is constructed around a particular event, namely the Battle of Salamis, and describes rather than shows the events surrounding Persia's staggering defeat at the hands of the Greeks. However, the moral message at the heart of the play, that loss and failure inevitably greet all acts of hubris, holds the universal currency Aristotle ascribed to tragedy. Renaissance Theaterworks' production of the play heightens its universal themes-not through the obvious ploy...
Books
Monday, Oct. 13, 2008
During the recent presidential debate, John McCain once again reduced Barack Obama's diplomatic intentions to a desire to take tea with terrorists ("without preconditions!"). To parry his opponent's attack, Obama may have done well to invoke the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 to illustrate just how effective diplomacy can be in defusing an explosive situation. In his new book, One Minute to Midnight, Washington Post reporter Michael Dobbs does just that.
Books
Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008

Book Preview

Edward R. Murrow's CBS Radio program "This I Believe" originally aired amid the alarm and suspicion of the McCarthy era. More than 50 years later it was revived on NPR during the similarly divisive post-9/11 era. The soothing tones of narrators who prompt reflection rather than dogma has buoyed the spirits of many a radio-listener flagging under the language of fear that's become the lexicon of our age. Last month the second compilation of essays from the series was published, named This I Believe II and edited by program producers Jay Allison and Dan Gediman...
Art
Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008

Art Review

Were it not for memory and the visible onset of age, man might easily infer that he lives an infinite and unvarying existence. After all, isn't each day more or less indistinguishable from the last, bearing the fruit of yesterday and the seed of tomorrow? Perhaps, as Delacroix said, the role of art is to give value and substance to the passing of time, to interrupt the terrifying monotony of our days with glimmers of understanding. A new exhibit at Milwaukee Art Museum titled "Act/React" reveals the weightlessness that art engenders by erasing all memory of itself...
Books
Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2008

October 5 - October 15

It's that time of year again. The clamor of the summer festivals has subsided and the city sets its sights on more edifying offerings than fried cheese curds and bratwursts. Beginning Oct. 5 the Milwaukee Book Festival returns for 10 days of author readings, panel discussions, writing workshops, book-art presentations and a slew of culturally diverse literary events for young and old, hosted by festival partners across the city.
Books
Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2008
If you think our nation's unmitigated access to countless avenues of exposure might have dulled its appetite for divulging secrets, you're wrong. A project founded in 2004 by part-time artist Frank Warren proves that our society's craving for confession is as strong as ever. And even the curious form of the confessional, a 3-by-5-inch postcard sent without name or address, suggests that neither emerging media nor today's cultural transparency have usurped the suggestive powers of an anonymous, handwritten note.

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