Mike Lee

Producer, Arts Eclectic, Get Involved, Sonic IDs

Mike is a features producer at KUT, where he’s been working since his days as an English major at the University of Texas. He produces Arts Eclectic, Get Involved, and the Sonic ID project, and also produces videos and cartoons for kut.org. When pressed to do so, he’ll write short paragraphs about himself in the third person, but usually prefers not to.

Several years ago, he featured a young dancer on his Arts Eclectic program, and she was so impressed by his interviewing skills that she up and married him. Now they enjoy traveling, following their creative whims, and spending time with their dogs.

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Arts Eclectic
1:28 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Geek Out at Wizard World Austin Comic Con

This weekend's Wizard World Austin Comic Con will be a three-day celebration of comic books, science fiction, and pop culture in general. There will be panel discussions, Q&As with artists, actors, and writers, and special appearances by myriad celebrities, including Stan Lee, William Shatner, cast members of Firefly and The Walking Dead, and many, many more.

The con will also feature several local artists, who will display and sell their artworks. Cartoonist Will Rodriguez, of the online and self-published comic Mangled Stare, will be there, pen in hand, sketching convention goers and displaying his wares.

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Arts Eclectic
9:21 am
Mon November 18, 2013

See a Classic American Comedy at the Vortex

The classic comedy Arsenic and Old Lace opens November 22 at the Vortex. The play, by Joseph Kesselring, centers around the Brewster family, which is eccentric to say the least. The clan includes Teddy, who believes he's Theodore Roosevelt and is digging the Panama Canal in the basement; Jonathan, who failed as a doctor but found success as a murderous mafioso; and Martha and Abby, the sweet, elderly aunts who have recently started murdering lonely old men. As the relatively calm center, third brother Mortimer tries keep things together.

The play was written in 1939 and is probably best remembered for its 1941 film version. The version which will open at the Vortex this week is produced by Different Stages, under the direction of Norman Blumensaadt. It stars Jennifer Underwood and Karen Jambon as the Brewster sisters, Tyler Jones at Mortimer, Michael Harlan as Teddy, and Steven Fay as Jonathan.

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Arts Eclectic
12:46 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

See 'Murder Ballad Murder Mystery' in a Bar Near You

"Murder Ballad Murder Mystery" began its life several years ago, as a site specific work at the Vortex Theater.

Since then, its creative team decided to form their own production company. And the play's been condensed and made a little more travel-friendly.

The show (as the title implies), is a murder mystery inspired by murder ballads. It will soon hit the road, to be staged in several bars in Austin, as well as stopping at New Orleans and Marfa, Texas.

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Arts Eclectic
3:27 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

Covering Shakespeare and 'Fixing King John'

After listening to the White Stripes' recording of Robert Johnson's "Stop Breaking Down," playwright Kirk Lynn was inspired to try a cover version of his own.

He decided to take on a Shakespeare play. But, reluctant to tamper with one of the greats, he opted to create his own version of what he considered Shakespeare's worst play, "King John."

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Get Involved
8:44 am
Mon November 4, 2013

Get Involved Spotlight: Center for Child Protection

Learn more about the Center for Child Protection

The Center for Child Protection, a nationally accredited children’s advocacy center, is the first stop for children in Travis County who are suspected victims of sexual abuse, serious physical abuse and for children who have witnessed a violent crime. The Center is a child-friendly, specially-equipped facility where children go for recorded forensic interviews, medical exams, counseling and intervention during the investigation and prosecution of child abuse cases. 

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Arts Eclectic
1:33 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Cinema Touching Disability Film Festival Offers Entertainment and Education

Arts Eclectic feature on the Cinema Touching Disability Film Festival

The Cinema Touching Disability Film Festival will celebrate its 10th anniversary this weekend. The festival specializes in "disabilty films," which festival coordinator William Greer defines as a film about, starring, or made by a person with a disabilty.

This year, the festival will be headlined by two feature documentaries, "The Crash Reel" and "Getting Up: The Temp One Story." "The Crash Reel" focuses on aspiring Olympic snowboarder Kevin Pearce and his attempts to return to competitive snowboarding after suffering a traumatic brain injury. "Getting Up: The Temp One" Story documents grafiti artist Tempt-One as he learns a new way to practice his art after being paralyzed by the degenerative nerve disorder ALS.

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Arts Eclectic
11:38 am
Tue October 29, 2013

This Show Isn't 'This American Life' - It's 'Not This American Life'

Michael Ferstenfeld as Not Ira Glass

The folks at the Institution Theater often stage shows based on existing pop culture franchises (they've done Firefly: The Musical, live episodes of South Park, and they'll be performing live improvised Dr. Who shows in November), so they’re no strangers to the cease and desist letter.

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Arts Eclectic
10:55 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Crank Collective Presents a Texas History Operetta

The cast of "Alamo Aftermath: A Texas Revolution Operetta"

Arts Eclectic feature on "Alamo Aftermath"

This November, Crank Collective will debut the second of three Texas history musicals. "Alamo Aftermath: A Texas Revolution Operetta" tells the story of Jose Antonio Menchaca in the time between the Alamo and the battle of San Jacinto.

Before people started mispronouncing his name when referring to a street in south Austin, Menchaca was a soldier in the Texas Revolution, a mayor pro tem of San Antonio, and a crusader for the rights of Tejano veterans.

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Arts Eclectic
10:24 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Experience James Turrell's Latest 'Skyspace' at UT

James Turrell, Interior of The Color Inside
Florian Holzherr

Over the past quarter century or so, renowned artist James Turrell has created dozens of experiential artworks known as Skyspaces around the world. They're rooms designed to give viewers an uncorrupted view of the sky -- just the sky, with no horizons, buildings, or trees visible to get between viewer and sky.

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Arts Eclectic
9:38 am
Thu October 24, 2013

See 'Innocent When You Dream' at Salvage Vanguard Theater

Zeb West in "Innocent When You Dream"

Innocent When You Dream is a one-man show featuring puppets, masks, physical comedy and song which tells the epic but intimate story of one man stuck in a place he never wanted to be. It was written by and stars Zeb West, who was inspired by the characters of Captain  Ahab and Don Quixote. 

He uses those two characters, both larger-than-life and delusional in their own ways, to explore the idea of self honesty and the overcoming of personal despair.

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Arts Eclectic
11:21 am
Thu October 17, 2013

The Serie Project Turns Twenty

In 1993, artist Sam Coronado founded the non-profit Serie Project to teach and promote fine art serigraphy (or screenprinting) and to bring more attention to Latino artists in Central Texas. In the two decades since, Serie has fostered hundreds of artists, some of them veterans of serigraphy and many of them new to the art form.

For their twentieth anniversary this year, the Serie Project is presenting Serie XX, an exhibition of work by this year's group of artists along with material by project founder Sam Coronado.

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Get Involved
9:17 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Get Involved Spotlight: Alzheimer's Association

Learn more about the Alzheimer’s Association Capital of Texas Chapter.

The Alzheimer’s Association Capital of Texas Chapter is dedicated to enhancing care and support services for individuals and their families while providing leadership to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research. 

The Capital of Texas Chapter strives to improve the quality of life for people with Alzheimer’s, their families and caregivers, and increase community awareness and knowledge of Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders.  

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Arts Eclectic
8:47 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Neil LaBute's Comedy 'Fat Pig' is at the Off Center

This month, Theatre en Bloc is presenting Neil LaBute’s play “Fat Pig” at the Off Center. It’s a unique love story; one that takes a hard look at our cultural attitudes toward weight and beauty. The comedy centers around young professional Tom, who meets and falls in love with Helen, the rare ingenue role written for a plus-sized actress. As written by LaBute, the play makes the audience laugh and then forces them to question why they’re laughing; it’s a romantic comedy that asks its audience to think about the issue at hand.

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Arts Eclectic
2:32 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Paradox Players Present the Historical Drama 'New Jerusalem'

Rick Felkins, Carl Guthie, and Craig Kanee in "New Jerusalem"
Credit JoAnna Johnson

Arts Eclectic feature on "New Jerusalem"

In 1656, Jewish philosopher Baruch Spinoza was the subject of an intense interrogation in his family’s adopted hometown of Amsterdam. At the time, the Inquisition was at full power in Spain and Portugal; the Dutch considered themselves a more tolerant people, and allowed Jews to live in the city, albeit with certain constraints: they weren’t considered citizens but resident aliens, and they were allowed to practice their faith but not to discuss it with Christians.

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Arts Eclectic
3:13 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

'THIRST' Features a Ghostly Tree on Lady Bird Lake

Concept art for "THIRST"

This weekend, a new art installation will open that will be hard to miss. THIRST, from Women and Their Work, comprises two components: a series of 14,000 prayer flags which will form a 2.5 mile loop near Lady Bird Lake, and a 35-foot cedar elm tree that will hover above the lake itself.

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Arts Eclectic
3:20 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

See Joseph Noderer & Jamie Panzer at Tiny Park Art Space This Weekend

"Can All the Good Times Be O'er? (Lament)" by Joseph Noderer/"Reach" by Jamie Panzer

Arts Eclectic feature on Joseph Noderer and Jamie Paner

The latest exhibition at Tiny Park Art Space features the work of two artists: painter Joseph Noderer and sculptor Jamie Panzer.

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Arts Eclectic
1:14 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Forklift Danceworks and Austin Energy Join Forces for 'Power UP'

Power UP is an arts project featuring eatures dozens of workers from all parts of Austin Energy.
Forklift Danceworks

KUT's Arts Eclectic feature on "Power UP"

Over the past several years, Allison Orr's Forklift Danceworks has staged performances featuring, among others, roller skaters, Elvis impersonators, and sanitation workers. The Trash Project, the large-scale performance they produced with the City of Austin Sanitation Department, won multiple awards and was the subject of the documentary film Trash Dance.

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