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

The Daily Buzz at TIFF, Episode 2

Sep 15, 2015

Daily Buzz Host John Wildman speaks with Norwegian director Roar Uthaug inside the LUMA restaurant on the second floor of the Lightbox Theater opening weekend at the Toronto International Film Festival. Uthaug’s film The Wave is the first-ever Scandinavian disaster movie and is described as a catastrophic rock slide-tsunami thriller.

Hands Up Hoodies Down was originally staged in March of this year at the Vortex, but its origins go back to 2012, when the killing of Trayvon Martin affected Miller, in his words, "not only as an artist, but also as a dad."

In the years since, he continued to read more and more news stories about the violent deaths of black Americans, often at the hands of police officers. "It just got to the point, for me as an artist," Miller says, "I felt like I needed to say something." 

The Daily Buzz at TIFF, Episode 1

Sep 14, 2015

The Daily Buzz returns to Toronto for the 40th anniversary of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and kicks off this edition of the show with a lively conversation with one of Australia's best directors, Gillian Armstrong. Her film Women He's Undressed is a featured documentary at TIFF, and she chats with Daily Buzz host John Wildman about Orry-Kelly, a Hollywood legend whose costume designs were adored by some of Hollywood's greatest leading ladies. 

Ben Philpott/KUT News

Hole in the Wall, a 41-year-old bar and music venue on The Drag that’s provided a stage for local performers for decades, may be the next venue in Austin to shut its doors forever, according to the Hole in the Wall’s manager Will Tanner.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with the late Congressman George Thomas “Mickey” Leland.

Quiet Company

Shows in Austin this weekend include performances by a local rock band with dancers, some booty shaking brass music, a Canadian electronica act and a master of the Hammond B3 organ. Listen to our chat with KUTX program director Matt Reilly to learn more.

In the 78704, a Latin-inspired restaurant serving oysters, ceviche and other seafood in a casual setting opened this year. KUT's Nathan Bernier asks Austin American-Statesman restaurant critic Matthew Odam about his review of Alcomar.

Disclosure: Alcomar is an underwriter of KUT.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with the late Robert C. Maynard, journalist, newspaper publisher, editor and former owner of the Oakland Tribune newspaper.

Maynard was a charismatic leader who changed the face of American journalism, built a four-decade career on the cornerstones of editorial integrity, community involvement, improved education and the importance of the family.

The Warriors: A Love Story, from ARCOS Dance, isn't an easy show to sum up, even for its creators. It's a multimedia piece, using all the arrows in the ARCOS quiver: film, interactive video projections, live and recorded music, dance, theatrical elements, text, and narration. They've worked to make all those elements work together, though, "in a way that doesn't feel like there are multiple media; we try to make it feel like as immersive an experience as possible for the audience," says co-director Eliot Gray Fisher. "You can't just call it theater or dance...we've been struggling with what to call it. We're calling it 'multimedia performance' because that's kind of broad."

Image via facebook/7chinesebrothers

In the U.S. entertainment industry, there’s LA, there’s New York, and then there’s Texas — at least that’s what a lot of us have gotten used to hearing. But how far away is Texas from actually being that “third coast” in the biz? And what do new reductions in film incentives to do that image?

From Austin Parks Foundation, this month's Get Involved spotlight organization:

Austin Parks Foundation is devoted to connecting people to parks. Since its establishment in 1992, Austin Parks Foundation has focused on developing partnerships that foster on development and maintenance of Austin’s treasured parks, trails and public green spaces. Austin Parks Foundation focuses on volunteerism, park activation, community resources, sustainability projects, and public-private partnerships.

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.

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.