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Theater
Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2008

Theater Review

The Boulevard Theatre Ensemble's new production of Somerset Maugham's The Constant Wife (running through Oct. 5) proves that you can easily convey the vivacity of Maugham's script without resorting to elaborate sets and costuming. Less is definitely more. If only this idiom had been extended to the extraneous packaging that hampers this otherwise enjoyable production. The idea of setting The Constant Wife as a play within a play is not entirely without merit, if it helps cast a fresh light on the play...
Theater
Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2008

Theater Review

   First Stage's adaptation of Lois Lowry's Gossamer begins with a waif-like girl engaged in a battle of wills with her unyielding mentor, her unquenchable curiosity gently butting against her elder's limited reserve of patience. It's an appropriate beginning for a play that is essentially all about the battle of wills between the spirited ingeniousness of youth and the wisdom of old age, the forces of light and darkness, and between a young boy's suppressed feelings of shame and his burgeoning sense of self-worth...
Art
Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2008

Art Review

An air of uneasiness lingers over the "Unmasked and Anonymous" exhibit at the Milwaukee Art Museum, and it has little to do with the severe, antiquated faces gazing at you from beneath glass vitrines. Perhaps it arises from the sense of history compressed into a rather tight space; perhaps it's the nagging conviction that the body of contemporary work presented here is somehow ill-equipped to bear the weight of all this history. The exhibit brings together the work of contemporary Wisconsin photographers John Shimon and Julie Lindemann...
Books
Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008

Book Preview

During an interview earlier this year, Milwaukee Poet Laureate Susan Firer professed her goal to get more people interested in poetry-people who usually feel adrift in the aphoristic world of rhyme and cadence. This week her plan comes to fruition. On Thursday, Sept. 25, Firer and the Milwaukee Central Library host an inter-art collaboration between some of Milwaukee's most dynamic choreographers, poets and musicians.
Books
Monday, Sept. 15, 2008

Book Preview

The deployment of smear tactics and sex-centered propaganda in the run-up to the November election has helped eclipse some of the issues that genuinely deserve primacy on the public agenda. Speculation over Sarah Palin's ability to govern a region more populous than Alaska (not to mention concern over her shaky knowledge of the Jurassic period) has momentarily crowded out issues like immigration rights and border control . . .
Theater
Thursday, Sept. 11, 2008

Theater Review

Milwaukee Ballet, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra and First Stage Children's Theater have teamed up for an adaptation of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf that uses dance, music and narration in English, Spanish and sign language to convey the battle of wills between boy and beast. The result of this ambitious endeavor is a sweet production that benefits from being short (35 minutes).
Theater
Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2008

Theater Review

Though Shakespeare often suffers at the hands of modernized productions, Love's Labour's Lost is usually an exception. Many directors have successfully set the play in the not-too-distant past, bringing the action closer to the audience's experience to offer a more accessible reading, but not so close they can't survey the characters and themes with some level of temporal detachment.
Books
Monday, Sept. 8, 2008

Book Preview

Why did the chicken cross the road? What do you get when you cross a llama with a lampshade? It doesn't take a genius to work it out… or does it? In their new book, Harvard-educated philosophers Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein show unsuspecting readers the myriad philosophical concepts craftily concealed within jokes. Never again will you dismiss a lame gag without pausing to consider the metaphysical truths buried within it. And never again will you make the errant assumption that philosophy can't be a hoot . . .
Art
Thursday, Sept. 4, 2008

Art Review

When Richard Sennett published his provocative thesis on the diminishing boundaries between public and private selves in the late '70s, things like reality TV and the Patriot Act were unheard of. Today they're incontrovertible facts that have further breached this boundary.
Books
Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2008

Book Preview

The United States is lamentably behind the Western and Eastern nations that have already elected powerful female leaders. And despite the dogged perseverance with which she attempted to earn a victory, Hillary Clinton's defeat in the presidential primaries earlier this year helps continue this embarrassing legacy. When Vermont's former governor Madeleine Kunin published her book Pearls, Politics & Power: How Women Can Win and Lead more than four months ago, not only was Clinton very much in the race, but she seemed set to win. Instead of dealing a decisive blow to the glass ceiling that keeps women in America . . .

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