Local favorite Lake Louie Brewing, formerly of Arena and now part of Wisconsin Brewing Company in Verona, recently sent over a couple cases of their newest product — hard kombucha!
We finally had the chance to Waltz by and try out the newest dining and social club in the Valley. Pairing veteran businessman Mike Haight as owner and general manager with classically trained executive chef David Moreno, Roarin 20s Dining and Social Club (1170 Main Street, Plain) adds art deco charm to downtown Plain. In full disclosure, we were surprised to find out that dinner was on the house, however that has no bearing on our review. Unflappable, we took the opportunity to review some of the menu and drink options and ask Haight and Moreno some questions.
We recently had the chance to stop by and try out the newest pizza place in the Valley. With veteran pizzaman and restaurateur Rich Peterson at the helm, Rocket Man Pizza (1150 Main Street, Plain) is a gem in downtown Plain that will delight. (Disclosure: They even sent us home with some more options to try!) We took the opportunity to review the options and ask Peterson some questions.
An Improbable Fiction kicked off American Players Theatre’s (APT) 2021 Hill Theater season on May 27 with a nod to APT’s strong connection to Shakespearean theater in the quippy play written by James DeVita.
American Players Theatre actors James DeVita and Marcus Truschinski star as grave robbers seeking to reconcile their troubled past by making a big score in One Foot In. The twenty-five-minute independent film was written and directed by Eric Schabla, and produced by Jack Whaley, both APT alumni. Whaley was also director of photography for the film.
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.”
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.
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.
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.)