Life & Arts

Entertainment, live performance, food, cuisine, dining, theater, film, television, art, broadcasting, SXSW, and other arts and culture news in and around Austin and the Central Texas counties of Travis, Hays, Caldwell, Bastrop and Williamson

Image via Flickr/jmv0586 (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From the Texas Standard

Austin's historic theater nearly bit the dust, but three guys in the 1970s had a restoration plan to keep it afloat.

The Congress Avenue theater, which celebrates its centennial this year, almost didn't make it this far. It faced near-certain death back in the '70s, when it was in danger of being demolished to make room for a hotel.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Edward D. Irons, noted educator, financial and business executive, and author of ‘Only By Grace.’

Irons spent more than sixty years as a university educator; a business, government and educational executive; a management and financial consultant to business, banks and to the U.S. and foreign governments including the United Nations Economic Commission on Africa. He served on a number of corporate boards and numerous nonprofit organizations.

Ebony Stewart's 'Hunger'

Aug 26, 2015

Spoken word artists Ebony Stewart has been a big part of the Austin slam poetry scene for about a decade, but she's never created a full-length solo show until now. Her new one-woman show, Hunger, has been a long time coming, she says. 

The show is based on Ebony's difficult relationship with her own father."It basically stems from the idea of me trying to get over my daddy issues," she says. "I feel like I am constantly mourning not having the father that everyone else has." The title Hunger refers her need and desire for a positive male role model. "I crave my dad," Ebony says.  "I crave having that experience or that relationship, or being reared by a man."

Eli Reed/Magnum Photos

From Texas Standard:

Eli Reed's new book "A Long Walk Home" is the first career retrospective of his work.


paulapoundstone.com

From Texas Standard:

Comedian Paula Poundstone’s star began to rise in the 1980s – when she first started to appear on HBO standup specials. Since then, she’s gained a reputation for her quick, frank-speaking style and her preference for menswear. She’s probably best known by NPR listeners for her regular appearances on “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.”

Phil Change

From Texas Standard:

An Austin native is serving up the lesser-known fairy tales written by the Brothers Grimm — through art. Natalie Frank's fantastical and grisly paintings are on display at The Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, just a walk away from the Texas Standard Studios. 

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

Demetrius Hardison and Israel Uballe are warming up for their guitar lesson.

This summer, Hardison and Uballe are the only two students taking guitar here. But during the school year, there are two sections of guitar lessons with four to six students each. Students can earn academic credit for taking the lessons, which take place twice a week during the school year. 

Jeremy Osborn, a teacher from the Austin Classical Guitar Society, leads the boys through their warm-ups. 

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Bob Ray Sanders retired associate editor of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Sanders worked many years at the Dallas/Fort Worth PBS and NPR affiliate KERA-TV/KERA-FM, where he served as reporter, producer, station manager, and vice president.

Terrence McNally's acclaimed play Love! Valour! Compassion! made its Off-Broadway debut in 1994 and quickly started winning awards. It transitioned to Broadway the following year and was adapted as a feature film a couple of years after that. It's frequently hailed as McNally's finest work and has remained popular for the two decades since its original run.

Flickr/ Dave Hensley (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Texas has inspired a lot of great music.

To pay tribute, the Texas Standard talked to KUTX’s Laurie Gallardo last week and had her pick her top five Texas songs. But of course, that left out many favorites and classics.

The Standard heard back from listeners, compiled the comments, and brought Gallardo back into the studio to react to some of them.

Drafthouse Films, Participant Media

From Texas Standard:

The 2013 film “The Act of Killing” broke the mold for documentary storytelling. It told the events of Indonesia's 1965 genocide — some estimate more than half a million people were purged following a coup —  from the perspective of the killers. The film even had the killers reenacting what they’d done.

Now, “The Look of Silence” tells the same story from another angle: that of those still living under the rule of the men who murdered their loved ones.

Image via Flickr/Liz West (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Jim Stever could show you an original letter from Sam Houston to someone at the Battle of San Jacinto.

For almost 35 years, the 90-year-old World War II veteran has been collecting letters written during the days of the Republic of Texas. 

This month at the Vortex, Generic Ensemble Company presents the new original work Robin Hood: An Elegy.

The play, written by Krysta Gonzales (with portions devised by the ensemble) invokes not just the legendary folk hero Robin Hood, but also the current movement #blacklivesmatter. In this story, Robin Hood transcends space and time to experience state-sanctioned violence throughout the centuries.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Daron K. Roberts, former NFL coach and founding director of the Center for Sports Leadership & Innovation at the University of Texas. Roberts also serves as a lecturer in the Liberal Arts Honors program where he teaches courses on sports leadership and innovation.

Flickr/musicfanatic29 (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Alright y’all — it’s time to lasso the Top 5 Texas Songs with KUTX’s Laurie Gallardo!

#5 Luckenback Texas, performed by Waylon Jennings

  • Full title is Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love).
  • A country number one, it only got to number 25 on the pop charts.
  • Luckenbach is actually an unincorporated town — not much there but a dance hall, a working saloon, and a general store.
  • The way the place got associated with music was that Jerry Jeff Walker recorded a live album at the Luckenbach Dance Hall in 1973 — an album called “Viva Terlingua.” Otherwise, the place is pretty unremarkable.

Photo by Rodolfo Gonzalez, Austin American-Statesman

A new European restaurant in the downtown Austin brings an open-kitchen dining experience to the space formerly occupied by Garrido's. Is it worth the price of admission? We asked Austin-American Statesman restaurant critic Matthew Odam about his review of Prelog's


Randy Belice

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Joyce Ann Brown founder, president and CEO of Mothers (Fathers) For The Advancement of Social Systems, Inc. On June 13, 2015, Brown passed away in Dallas (TX) after suffering a heart attack. She was 68.

Jacob Villanueva/Texas Tribune

It's long been known that one of the greatest predictors of wealth and prosperity is what kind of family you're born into. But what hasn't been as clear is whether it's genetic or environmental factors determining these outcomes. A new paper co-authored by a UT researcher dives into the ongoing debate on nature versus nurture and how it affects wealth in a child’s future.

Researchers have known for a long time that having rich parents is the biggest predictor of whether a kid will grow up to be wealthy, too. They just weren’t exactly sure why.

Flickr/Sergio Olivier (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

What would you consider a signature Texas drink? An ice cold Shiner? Perhaps some of Houston’s own Pura Vida Tequila Silver in the form of a Mexican martini? Maybe you want a 20-ounce bottle of Big Red?

Well the country of Peru would like to add a new beverage to the list of Texas drinks — pisco. Its producers are setting their sights on Texas as their next big market. In fact, its popularity is already on the rise in the U.S., where imports of pisco have more than doubled between 2010 and 2014.

Mark Ramirez is a reporter with the Dallas Morning News, and he sat down with the Standard to talk about his recent article on what pisco is and why Peruvian producers are looking to Texas as the next big market for pisco.

Mary Kang/KUTX

In Austin’s Red River Cultural District, the 9-year-old venue Red 7 is closing at the end of September. The venue’s management could not come to terms with the owner on a new lease.

The venue and bar space at 611 E. 7th St. is listed at $14,000 a month, and the current managers were paying "around $10,000," Red 7 partner and Transmission Events co-owner Graham Williams says. 

"That's the nature of the beast," Williams says. "I was born and raised here. I've seen a hundred clubs open and close. Some of my favorite places to see bands when I was younger are no longer here, yet there's a bigger music scene than there ever was."

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