An in-depth look into what makes our community so special — and the arts, creativity, businesses and culture that sustain it.
Welcome to the 1st Annual Best of the River Valley reader poll! Drawing inspiration from cities like Eau Claire, Madison and Milwaukee, we’re excited to facilitate this reader poll that showcases your voice in sharing the best of what our area has to offer to our community and those who visit it.
Last Spring these baby robins were, for a short time, tucked carefully into a nearby shrub. My neighbors, Ruthie and Jerry discovered their little chirps and pretty soon we were all checking on them daily, especially after thunderstorms. I had a new perspective on robins.
Watching and writing about APT’s 2021 Winter Words play readings from my home office in Escondido, California – with actors and directors from home (the Valley) and all over the country – has been, to quote APT’s artistic director, Brenda DeVita, “an unexpected gift of the pandemic.”
Wisconsin is dotted with Frank Lloyd Wright buildings. During his decades-long career, the famed architect designed structures ranging from the Monona Terrace to the Robert Lamp House — a single family home on North Butler Street in Madison. Now, one of Wright’s lesser-known buildings is getting a boost from the state of Wisconsin.
A few years ago a friend and I were sitting at a picnic table near the riverwalk in Sauk City and noticed a French Talouse goose among a huge flock of Canadian geese. A woman sitting nearby gave us the lowdown: “That’s Norman, he gets along with everyone. He was dropped off here by, presumably his owner.” How sad.
Based on the previews and trailers, I had moderate hopes for this movie and it’s always a nice surprise when a film exceeds expectations. Palmer is one of those films. It’s not perfect, but performances by Timberlake, as Eddie Palmer, a recently released convict, Ryder Allen as Sam, a seven-year boy who enthusiastically identifies as a girl, and Alisha Wainwright as Maggie, Sam’s grade school teacher, give this movie legs. Allen, eight-years old in real life, is a joy to watch in his movie debut. Sam is unexpectedly thrust upon Palmer who is already facing challenges reintegrating into society and must decide what is best for the boy. Juno Temple (Sam’s wayward and absent mother, Shelly) and June Squibb (Vivian, Palmer’s kind grandmother) also deliver outstanding performances. Directed by Fisher Stevens.
The School of Architecture at Taliesin announced recently that it will be dropping the term “Taliesin” from its name and has severed ties with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, and will move forward as just the School of Architecture.
Daniel Kaluuya (Black Panther, Get Out) gives a compelling performance as Fred Hampton, a trailblazer in the 1960s Black empowerment movement. At just 21 years of age, Hampton was a senior leader in the Black Panther party in Illinois and was known as a unifier. His ideas were viewed as radical by many and the FBI saw him as a threat. LaKeith Stanfield stars as Bill O’Neil, a small time criminal coerced by FBI agent Roy Mitchell (Jesse Plemons) to infiltrate the Black Panther party. Judas and the Black Messiah has six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor (both Kaluuya and Stanfield). (Premiered on HBO Max. Still playing in theaters and should return to streaming by this summer).
This movie was recently in Netflix’s Top 10 Viewed list, so I checked it out. With Owen Wilson as the lead character, I was expecting action with a bit of light-hearted comedy: wrong. This film is frenetic and very intense. It doesn’t take long before the action starts, and it never stops. Jack Dwyer (Owen Wilson) works for a US-based water infrastructure company and takes his wife Annie (Lake Bell) and family on a new assignment in an unnamed county bordering Vietnam. Pierce Brosnan stars as Hammond, someone that always seems to be around at the right time—is he good or bad? You’ll have to watch to find out.
The announcement of APT’s 2021 in-person Summer Season was an emotional event here in Spring Green. And, from what we’ve heard, it was for you as well. So to start, we want to thank you for the support, the excitement and even the tears you’ve shared with us since then. Your emails, notes and social media comments make us so happy, and keep us going when challenges come our way (and they do keep coming). But today is for accentuating the positive, so thanks once again for being the best audience we could hope for.
In music, a fugue is a short melody or phrase which is introduced and then developed and interwoven throughout a composition. In psychiatry, it refers to a “fugue state”—a period of loss of awareness of one’s identity.
I’ve had a love affair with the Wisconsin River since I can remember. The river’s source begins at Lac Vieux Desert in the Lake District of Northeastern Wisconsin and travels 430 miles to meet the confluence of the Mississippi River, near Prairie du Chien. A while back I’d heard rumors of a re construction project on my favorite stretch of river road, Highway Sixty West along the Wisconsin from Gotham to Muscoda. This eleven-mile Scenic Highway is to me, the most magical section of the road with its curves and rock outcroppings which never lose sight of the river. A trip back in time to relax and leave the world behind for a while.
Billed as a thriller, it’s more drama than thriller (although the conclusion is certainly suspenseful and builds to a crescendo). Deeply affected by the sexual assault of her friend Nina while both attended medical school, Cassandra (Carey Mulligan) launches a one-woman crusade to entrap and educate men (and women) on the gravity of their misconduct. Cassandra employs highly effective in-your-face strategies to drive her message home to those complicit in the sexual assault on Nina. Smartly done and a worthwhile message for all. Promising Young Woman has five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actress (Carey Mulligan). Written and directed by Emerald Fennell. (Still in theaters, currently available for rental on online sources.)
An excellent, tastefully done documentary, the film chronicles the life of Audrey Hepburn from a young girl separated from her parents during World War II and suffering from malnutrition, to an overnight movie star, to her later years as the face of UNICEF. Lots of archival video and insightful interviews with family members, friends, and Hollywood associates. A worthwhile investment of your time.
The Lone Rock Bistro and Taproom is the first local spot to announce to-go cocktails following the state passing the bill allowing restaurants to sell carryout alcohol on Friday, and going into effect Sunday.
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