Arts

Arts and culture from around the Tri-State, including theater, music and poetry.

Tonight, after NBC wraps up its Olympic coverage — at a time currently listed as 11:04 p.m. — they'll be previewing Matthew Perry's new sitcom, Go On, which will then go away until its regular premiere on September 10.

You Call That A Beach Book? Really?

Aug 8, 2012

A couple of years ago, on a weekend in August, I was lying on the beach, reading. The sun shone, the waves crashed, and no plans lay ahead beyond soccer, grilling, maybe a stroll to the ice cream stand. My friend, on the towel next to mine, rolled over lazily and glanced at my book. His brow wrinkled. "Are you enjoying that?" he said, laughing.

Meet God, according to Simon Rich. He's a mostly nice dude — compassionate, though he gave up on listening to prayers and intervening in the lives of humans years ago. ("[H]e's really more of an ideas guy, you know?" explains an angel.) He loves golf and the music of Lynyrd Skynyrd, and he's not averse to enjoying a beer or two during the workday. He's easy to like, except for two things: He's planning to destroy all of humanity so he can focus on opening an Asian fusion restaurant in heaven; and even worse, he's a Yankees fan.

Grown-Up Ice Pops For The Young At Heart

Aug 8, 2012

My mother was never one for spending money on food that other '80s kids took for granted. Canned ravioli, boxed macaroni and cheese, animal crackers and white bread were the kinds of things my kid palate craved to the point of obsession, forbidden fruits to be enjoyed only at friends' houses.

And while other mothers were stirring up alluring, fluorescent pitchers of Kool-Aid, my mom wouldn't dream of it. She was the queen of the frozen fruit-juice concentrates.

Larry McMurtry is perhaps best known for novels like The Last Picture Show, Terms of Endearment and Lonesome Dove; but the author also has a career as a bookseller.

His store, Booked Up, spills across four buildings in his small hometown of Archer City, Texas, and houses nearly half a million rare and used books. But starting this Friday, McMurtry is holding an auction to whittle down that number — by a lot.

He wouldn't make the claim himself, but when it comes to comic-book writers, Mark Waid is one of the greats.

"I've pretty much hit all of the pop culture bases," Waid says, surrounded by comic-book memorabilia in his Los Angeles home. Batman, Spider-Man and even The Incredibles have all had adventures dreamed up by Waid.

"Jan. 26, 1979, was the most important day of my life," Waid says. "Because that's the day that I saw Superman: The Movie. I came out of it knowing that no matter what the rest of my life was going to be like, it had to involve Superman somehow."

The act of sharing decades of your life with one person lends itself to repetition. If you aren't careful, repetition becomes routine, routines become ruts, and then, for the terminally uncommunicative, ruts dig themselves so deep that they become the sort of soul-sucking bottomless trench in which Kay and Arnold, the married couple played by Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones in Hope Springs, find themselves.

Most theaters let audiences know the show is about to start by blinking the lights. Stratford's Festival Theater in Stratford, Ontario, is a bit more festive. Four burgundy-uniformed buglers and a drummer quicken the pace of hundreds of theatergoers who've been ambling up the hill from the banks of the Avon River. When curtain time arrives, a cannon will boom.

Marvin Hamlisch won just about every big-time award there is — Emmys, Grammys, Oscars, a Tony and a Pulitzer. He wrote music for The Sting, A Chorus Line and dozens of other movies, stage shows and TV specials. Hamlisch died Monday in Los Angeles. He was 68.

Step, if you will, into my bedroom at night. (Don't worry, this is a PG-rated invitation.) At first, all is tranquil: My husband and I, exhausted by our day's labors, slumber, comatose, in our double bed. But, somewhere around 2 a.m., things begin to go bump in the night. My husband's body starts twitching, like Frankenstein's monster receiving his first animating shocks of electricity. Thrashing about, he'll kick me and steal the covers. In his dreams, he's always fighting or being chased; one night he said he dreamt Dick Cheney was gaining on him.

In the earliest days of the Civil War, the Union Army focused on cutting off key supply lines on the periphery of the South. The approach was designed to hurt the South's economy and convince its citizens to return to the Union.

Even though President Lincoln said slavery was unjust, in the earliest days of the war he told the Southern states that he wouldn't interfere with slavery as an institution.

Believe it or not, the Cincy Blues Fest is celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year, with the event scheduled for August 10 and 11 at Sawyer Point. Mary Beth Weaver from the Cincy Blues Society talks with Lee Hay about this year’s anniversary event, some of the performers and how the Fest supports the efforts of the Society.

Your Favorites: 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels

Aug 7, 2012

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We're in the middle of a golden age (if that's the right term for it) of doomsday narratives.

President Bill Clinton famously loved doughnuts on the campaign trail, and we've told you about current GOP candidate Mitt Romney's affection for serving the press corps Jimmy John's subs. But what do our past presidents and the presidential wannabes' food choices say about them?

Gabrielle Zevin's latest book is All These Things I've Done.

Forgive me, Facebook! I do not always want to tell people what I like. This flaw in my character puts me at odds with much of modern life, which is, of course, organized around a relentless cycle of recommendation.

Sandwich Monday: The Van Engelenfrozen

Aug 6, 2012

It's our intern MacKenzie Van Engelenhoven's last week, and she asked if she could bring in the sandwich on her final Sandwich Monday. We said "of course," because the only thing we love more than sandwiches is having the intern do things we should be doing ourselves.

It's an old Van Engelenhoven family recipe: Make cookies, bake them only four minutes, and freeze them. This maximizes the cookie-dough-ness when you make ice cream sandwiches out of them.

Mike: It's like cookie dough ice cream, reversed. Genius.

WVXU

A former Cincinnati union president is expected to report to prison Tuesday.

Diana Frey has had just over two months to prepare herself for four years behind bars. The sentence handed down by Judge Susan Dlott in June was for more time than federal guidelines recommended. She called the white-collar crime serious.

With each season of AMC's Breaking Bad, Dean Norris' character, DEA agent Hank Schrader, has evolved from a knuckleheaded jock into a complex, sympathetic and even heroic counterpoint to the show's anti-hero, high-school chemistry teacher turned meth cook Walter White. And to further complicate matters, Schrader and White (played by Bryan Cranston) are brothers-in-law.

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