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

In recent years, the production company Doctuh Mistuh has staged crowd-pleasing musical versions of Evil Dead, Silence of the Lambs, and Reefer Madness; it's safe to say that pop culture musical theater is in their wheelhouse. So it's not too surprising that they're the company that secured the rights to produce the regional premiere of Heathers, the Musical, based on the 1988 dark comedy cult film. 

Bill Oriani

Rising rents in Austin's Red River Cultural District are prompting the closure of Holy Mountain, a music venue that opened in 2012 at 617 East 7th Street. Holy Mountain's last show will be September 27.

The venue's operating group took over a four-year lease from the former tenants, Beauty Bar. The lease expires at the end of September, and general manager James Taylor says the landlord wants to raise the rent from $5,500 a month to $8,000, not including taxes, insurance and maintenance. 

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. conclude his conversation with Ylonda Gault Caviness, veteran journalists, education advocate and author of ‘Child, Please: How Mama’s Old School Lessons Helped Me Check Myself Before I Wrecked Myself.’

Caviness was raised on P-Funk and chicken wings by a mama whose “expert” advice was a beat-down glare and five simple words: Don’t. Make. Me. Hurt. You. When she became a mother herself, she flouted Mama’s old-fashioned ways.

Television icon Regis Philbin and comedy legend Don Rickles have been performing live shows together for a while now. Philbin, who's been half of more than one famous entertainment team, working with people like Joey Bishop and Kelly Ripa, says that Rickles tops his list of favorite co-performers.

"First of all, he's the funniest guy of all the comedians that Hollywood ever had," says Philbin, who was working as an entertainment reporter in Los Angeles when he met Rickles.

Rich Merritt

Sky Candy has been producing aerial dance works for several years in Austin. Their seventh and latest full-scale work, Swings Asunder, is now being staged at the Rollins Studio Theater at the Long Center.

Like any Sky Candy production, Swings Asunder is the result of many artists (including dancers, aerialists, musicians, visual artists, and more) working together, but it's also a personal piece. 

Allyson Holley/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

The game is tied. There’s five seconds left on the clock. A hush comes over the crowd and the defense seems to part as you make your way to the basket. You jump up and – your fantasy ends there.

Who are you kidding? Even in your wildest dreams you can’t dunk a basketball.

Or can you? That’s what Asher Price wanted to know. He writes about energy and the environment for the Austin American-Statesman, so he took a scientific approach to his quest to dunk a basketball. He stopped by the Texas Standard to talk about his book Year of the Dunk.


Kari Anne Roy

It’s a true pleasure to get to sit down with Holt on The Write Up and discuss her craft and career and how she balances daily life, deadlines and being a mother of three. Join us as we chat about the attraction of writing for a younger audience, her love for underdogs and preteen ne’er-do-wells, and the allure of poetry.

Her novel Mike Stellar: Nerves of Steel won praise from readers all over the nation. Her poetry shines in her collection Haiku Mama: Because 17 Syllables is All You Have Time to Read, written under the name Kari Anne Roy, is a collection of haikus hilariously bemoaning the struggles and joys of parenting.


On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Ylonda Gault Caviness, veteran journalists, education advocate and author of ‘Child, Please: How Mama’s Old School Lessons Helped Me Check Myself Before I Wrecked Myself.’

Caviness was raised on P-Funk and chicken wings by a mama whose “expert” advice was a beat-down glare and five simple words: Don’t. Make. Me. Hurt. You. When she became a mother herself, she flouted Mama’s old-fashioned ways.

On Story: Amanda Silver, Rick Jaffa and Danny Boyle

Jun 16, 2015

From Austin Film Festival, On Story is a radio show that takes a look inside the creative process with today’s leading writers and directors.

On today’s episode, Planet of the Apes and Jurassic World screenwriters Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa. And later in our program, filmmaker Danny Boyle.

The website Women Painting Women was launched several years ago by artists Alia El-Bermani, Diane Feissel and Sadie Valeri. The mission of the site was (and remains) fairly simple: to create an online space for female artists to share works which feature women as subject matter.

Carlo Nasisse for KUT News

On Friday evening, downtown Austin rumbled with the sounds of thousands of motorcyclists converging on Congress Avenue for the annual Republic of Texas Biker Rally.

For 20 years, Austin has hosted the ROT Biker Rally, one of the largest and most highly anticipated events of its kind for bikers and bike enthusiasts. With glossy bikes and unique apparel on full display, the rally, particularly the Friday night parade, offered a showcase of biker culture in all its diversity.

The Republic of Texas biker rally brings rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd to town, along with members of Creedence Clearwater Revival. But there are also shows by Houston rap godfathers the Geto Boys and the San Antonio Smiths-influenced band Girl in a Coma.


KUT’s Nathan Bernier speaks to KUTX program director Matt Reilly about what’s happening on live music stages this weekend.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Cheryl Pearson-McNeil, Senior Vice President of U.S. Strategic Community Alliances and Consumer Engagement for Nielsen. Nielsen is a leading global provider of information and insights that measure what consumers watch and buy in more than 100 countries around the world.

For a show that was born out of very real pain, 'Fragile Rock' is a lot of fun. While dealing with a divorce and the depression that comes along with such a life-changing event, Brently Heilbron found himself wanting to give in to the urge to write depressing, self-pitying songs. And since he's a comedian at heart, he saw the humor in that urge. The image of an all-puppet emo rock band singing sad songs stuck in his head, and before he knew it, 'Fragile Rock' was born.

Since he had no background in puppetry, Heilbron sought the help of puppet maker Shaun Branigan and the felt cast of 'Fragile Rock' began to come to life. More songs were written, a story began to take shape, and the show came to life. 


From Texas Standard:

There are at least three things every Texan knows about Austin. 1) It's the state capitol. 2) It calls itself the live music capitol of the world. And 3) It seems like there's a festival nearly every weekend.

One of those festivals is all about television – a segment of the entertainment industry that used to have a Rodney Dangerfield complex – it "never gets no respect."

But as the Texas Standard's Laura Rice found out at this year's ATX Fest, the real story here is how much that's changed.

Daily Buzz at Cannes Episode 18

Jun 6, 2015

Wrapping up this edition of the Daily Buzz at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, Daily Buzz Producer catches up with Scott Foundas (Variety), Maggie Lee (Variety) and Aaron Hillis (VICE) at the Grey Goose Rotunda poolside of the Hotel Majestic Barriere during the final weekend of the 68th edition of the Cannes Film Festival. Tune in as these three industry experts discuss what stood out at this year's fest, including the greater number of female directors in competition, their festival favorites and disappointments, festival award predictions and the most memorable parties.

Daily Buzz at Cannes Episode 17

Jun 6, 2015

Daily Buzz Co-Host John Wildman talks with Cannes Directors' Fortnight (Quizaine) winner, Turkish/French writer/director about her film, MUSTANG, Deniz Gamze Ergüven and actress, Güneş Nezihe Şensoy poolside at the Clarion Suites Hotel mid-week prior to winning at the 68th Edition of the Cannes Film Festival. First time filmmaker, Ergüven describes her inspiration for making the movie and why she wanted to tell the story of what it means to be a girl in Turkey today. Having spent time in various countries, she felt a restraint in Turkey she didn't experience elsewhere.

Daily Buzz at Cannes Episode 16

Jun 6, 2015

Daily Buzz Producer, Irene Cho chats with Gerald Duchassoy from the Cannes Classics program on the 4th floor of the Palais Du Festival at the 68th edition of the Cannes Film Festival. Often referred to as the cinephile portion of the festival, Cannes Classics was created in 2004 by Thierry Frémaux, the director of the Institut Lumière and of the Cannes Film Festival as part of the transition of 35mm to digital.

Daily Buzz at Cannes Episode 15

Jun 6, 2015

Daily Buzz Co-Host, Anderson Le speaks with Korean writer/director Shin Su Won, about her film, MADONNA. The final of 4 Korean films at Cannes this year, other titles include THE SHAMELESS, OFFICE, and COIN LOCKER GIRL. Han Jun hee's COIN LOCKER GIRL was selected to be part of Semaine de la Critique (CRITICS WEEK) while Hong Won Chan's OFFICE played in the Midnight Screening section. Oh Seung Uk's THE SHAMELESS and Shin Su Won's MADONNA were invited to screen in Un Certain Regard.

Daily Buzz at Cannes Episode 14

Jun 6, 2015

Daily Buzz Co-host, John Wildman catches up with international sales agent, Josh Braun, Co-President of Submarine at the Hotel Majestic Bar mid-week during the 68th edition of the Cannes Film Festival. Join us for this Festival Insider conversation as we check in with this festival expert post Submarine's Cannes Market debut screening of Tara Subkoff's directorial debut, #HORROR starring Chlöe Sevigny, Natasha Lyonne and Taryn Manning and the documentary film, HAROLD AND LILLIAN, A HOLLYWOOD LOVE STORY screening in the Cannes Classics section of the festival.