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

Since its debut in Milwaukee in 1999, The Marvelous Wonderettes has proven enduringly popular. The jukebox musical, which focuses on a four-member girl group performing at their 1958 high school prom and their 1968 class reunion, has been produced at theaters across the country, eventually enjoying an Off-Broadway run in 2008. 

"I was twenty-six years old when I decided to run away from home," says writer and actress Bernadette Nason. "A lot of things had gone wrong in my life and I just decided I needed to go somewhere."

U.S. House of Representatives

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents a tribute to the late George T. "Mickey" Leland, a former congressman from the 18th Congressional District of Houston.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

With about 10 minutes left in a DJ group's final set at a downtown bar, a manager told them to shut off the music.

"This hotel does not play Latin music," DJs from the Chulita Vinyl Club say they were told.

Empanadas and other baked goods from Paraguay are featured at a new cafe and bakery on Montopolis Drive near Riverside Drive. Austin American-Statesman restaurant critic Matthew Odam tells us about his review of Cafe Nena'i.


"Making art can be a solitary practice ... and we picked artists who are maybe stepping out in a new direction," says the Contemporary Austin's Andrea Mellard. "So our hope is that we can get a group together and they can support each other in this and give each other some feedback or some encouragement or some constructive criticism."

Courtesy of WYRevolution Consulting

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Charles S. Corprew, III, Ph.D., founder and president of WYRevolution Consulting. Corprew, who has studied the issue of hypermasculinity, tells Hanson that African-American men have a responsibility to give back to younger men and that mentoring is key to more successful outcomes.  

From Meals on Wheels Central Texas, this month's Get Involved spotlight nonprofit:  

Mission:

Meals on Wheels Central Texas seeks to nourish and enrich the lives of the homebound and other people in need through programs that promote dignity and independent living.

Courtesy of Creative Action Youth Cinema Collective

On a hot summer day in June, a crowd shuffled into an Alamo Drafthouse to catch a matinee. But the theater wasn't packed for your standard blockbuster with a big Hollywood name; the film was the brainchild of a group of teens.

In the new play TWENTYEIGHT, "six people ... come from different cities all over the country to this place called Settlement 40 where they build a space shuttle that's going to take them to a place called the Liberian Space Station, which was marketed to black families as a seperatist utopia," explains playwright Tyler English-Beckwith. "And [it's] set to the music of Kanye West."

Inside Books Project Offers Texas Inmates An Escape

Jul 21, 2017
Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Jorge Renaud sits at a table in a dim room lit by string lights. He is surrounded by shelves of books, hunched over a box with dozens of letters from people in jail. He pulls out a letter from the stack and reads it aloud: 

Inside Books Project,

Courtesy of Margot Lee Shetterly

On this week’s program, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Margot Lee Shetterly, author of Hidden Figures: The American Dream And The Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Help Win the Space Race.

 

Leslie Abbott Photography

Author Jeff Abbott’s latest novel, Blame, is a mystery-thriller that takes place in an Austin suburb and is centered on Jane Norton, a high school student who gets in a serious car crash with her friend David.

The crash kills David and causes Jane to forget the past few years of her life. A suicide note written by Jane and found at the scene has many blaming her for David’s death.

"We had this idea about doing an all-female Richard III because there's just no roles in Shakespeare for women that are this big," says Rachel Steed, Last Act Theatre's artistic director. "There are some big roles, but they're mostly in the romantic comedies. As far as the dramas go, you have Lady MacBeth and that's kind of the biggest one, and so we really wanted to do Richard III with a female Richard."

Once that decision was made, it snowballed a bit and the company eventually decided to use an all-female cast, and then an all-female cast and crew.

Ralph Barrera, Austin American-Statesman

A new fried chicken joint in the Mueller Development is bringing back a classic Austin brand with a heavy dose of nostalgia. We asked Austin American-Statesman restaurant critic Matthew Odam about his review of J.T. Youngblood's.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Angela Shelf Medearis, the founder and president of Diva Productions and an award-winning author of children's books and cookbooks. 

Dave Inman

"I've been wanting to direct this show for years," says The Normal Heart co-director Carl Gonzales, referring to Larry Kramer's acclaimed 1985 drama about the AIDS crisis. "And then we had a friend who passed away from pneumonia and we didn't know that it was partly due to the HIV/AIDS virus."

"He had a diagnosis and because of stigma ... he didn't seek out treatment," adds his co-director (and wife) Lacey Gonzales.

https://pixabay.com/en/action-analysis-business-2277292/

On the last episode of Two Guys on Your HeadDr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talked about how to influence behavior using rewards and direction. However, things aren't that simple when it comes to building and motivating teams – especially in the workplace.

In this follow-up episode, they discuss how to structure rewards at work for the best long-term results.


Austin Car Clubs Give Community A Lift

Jul 6, 2017
Dani Matias

Some kids come home from school and hog the television remote or hide behind their smartphone for hours. Nine-year-old Angel Martinez, however, is usually found twisting a wrench on his “lowrider” bicycle or helping his dad wipe oil off car parts.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Foyekemi Ikyaator, an emergency room physician and medical director of Life Savers Emergency Room in Houston.

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