Commentary

When I first watched Thoroughbreds, I came away irritated. Some people seem to regard it as a black comedy, though it’s only sporadically funny. And I was surprised to learn it’s apparently not based on a stage play, because it’s only got a handful of characters, 80 percent of it takes place in a single location, and it’s very talky.

The Salina Biennial exhibition at the Salina Art Center is a super crisp show of technical and conceptual strength by 42 artists from 10 states up the middle of the country.

72 works out of 500 submitted were chosen and judged by Jodi Throckmorton who is Curator of Contemporary Art at the Museum of Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Ms. Throckmorton was the previous Curator at The Ulrich, here in Wichita. 

The geographical area of the 10 states involved might suggest an abundance of, or at least a hint of, regional landscape work, but this was not the case.

With spring just a few days away, Mark Foley says it’s time for Music Festival Season.

Festivals have had a profound effect on music ever since the Newport Jazz Festival started in 1954, or possibly as far back as Stonehenge. 

Jonathan Huber

The Sedgwick County Zoo has sheep from various regions of the world, but they all share at least one thing in common: They get warm as temperatures climb into spring.

On one March Saturday, the zoo shears the sheep’s wool, while also providing necessary veterinarian examinations and vaccinations. The zoo makes a day of it, and demonstrates what happens to the wool after it’s shorn. It must be washed and dried, cleaned, brushed, and spun. KMUW’s Jonathan Huber visits the noisy spectacle in this Audio Postcard.

Giuseppe Verdi created the opera La Traviata, or The Fallen Woman, set to the work of Italian librettist Francesco Piave. Originally titled Violetta, after the main character, the opera is based on the play “The Lady of the Camellias,” which was, in turn, adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas fils. The story concerns a dying courtesan who falls in love with a young man, and is persuaded to sacrifice her brief happiness to protect the young man's future. It made its onstage debut at La Fenice opera house in Venice on March 6th, 1853.

Hip hop is a vast territory, and it’s often difficult to make declarative statements about it because a counterexample is usually just around the corner. However, there are clear facts, and one of them is that 1996 was one of the greatest years in hip hop history. Here’s just five of the incredible releases from that year:

Outkast, ATLiens

A Tribe Called Quest, “Beats, Rhymes and Life”

The Roots, “Iladelph Halflife”

Busta Rhymes, “The Coming”

Mobb Deep, “Hell on Earth”

Marginalia: Ben Dolnick

Mar 9, 2018
Todd Heisler

Ben Dolnick’s new book, The Ghost Notebooks, follows a young couple--Nick & Hannah--as they move from New York City to a historic home turned museum in upstate New York. The book--and their lives--seem pretty straight forward, until the Hannah begins hearing voices. She’d had a history of mental illness, but the couple didn’t believe her behavior since the move could be attributed to any past illnesses. Something else was off. And area neighbors knew it, too.

Justin Cary

There used to be a time when I would stand at the butcher counter at my local shop, overwhelmed by the sheer amount of options in the case in front of me -- and that was just in the beef section.

Something the internet is awash with is fan art - drawings or stories or songs written about another property that particularly resonated with the artist. It’s a sort of tribute to the original work.

Red Sparrow is the latest in a line of stories about young women being coerced into joining a secret government organization, wherein they become super spies, or super assassins, or something along those lines. Think of Luc Besson’s La Femme Nikita.

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