Arts/Culture

WNPR Arts and culture reporting focuses on the world of ideas in fine art, crafts, writing, music, theater, performance, design and creative activities that make us unique and make us human

Katie Burns / WNPR

Ten high school and college aged students stood in small groups on opposite sides of a black box theater, chatting excitedly about their ideas, before getting into character and diving into intense conversations on gun violence.

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

In January 2015, when it was announced that a planned new Ghostbusters movie would feature four female leads, internet fanbros went crazy. And then, this March, when the first Ghostbusters trailer came out, the internet fanbros went crazy all over again.

And now the movie is finally out. (And guess what the internet fanbros did.)

Justin O' Brien

"Black Boy Jungle" is a performance piece that incorporates multiple styles of dance, including modern, ballet and break dancing, along with narration and live music. It's a high-energy, interactive work with twists and surprises. 

ABC Television / Creative Commons

The 2016 Gershwin Prize for Popular Song will go to William “Smokey” Robinson.

About time.

Jan Mullen

Living for decades in the shadow of his famous, beloved big brother, Nat “King” Cole, Freddy Cole didn’t begin to emerge as a fine singer and pianist in his own right until the 1990s, when he was already in his 60s.

Charlie Jane Anders / Flickr

Author Ben Winter's latest work of alternative History, Underground Airlines, has been getting lots of attention in the short time since its release. Taking on themes such as institutional racism, social responsibility and personal redemption, the novel's relevance to today's top issues can't be denied.

When most of us think about computer hacking, we picture Julian Assange leaking government secrets or a shadowy, bad-shave crook in some former Soviet republic hoovering up credit card info from a chain store. But while folks like these do stir up all manner of trouble, a much deeper danger lies elsewhere.

Sadie Hernandez / flickr creative commons

As you may have heard, Pokemon is back (are back?) with the release last week of a new game. Pokemon Go is an augmented reality app that, through the magic of GPS on your phone, adds Pokemon to your surroundings, or, at least, to your surroundings as represented on your phone's screen, so that you can catch them.

American Mural Project

This week, the State Bond Commission approved a $1 million grant to support the development of an old mill building in Winsted to house the American Mural Project.

E. Bieber / Creative Commons

Earlier this week, it was reported that the autograph manuscript of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (“Resurrection”) will be auctioned at Sotheby’s this fall.

Irene Cowern

Traditional jazz fans can double their pleasure as the identical twin Midiri brothers, Joe and Paul, coast-to-coast co-champions of classic jazz, display their parallel musical wizardry at the Elks Lodge in Branford on July 15 at 7:30 pm.

Jim Glab / Flickr

There are few genres of entertainment more American than the Western. But for a genre so steeped in the iconography of our past, its accuracy in portraying historical event leaves much to be desired. Many argue that the Western is more myth than reality, and that this myth is akin to revisionist history.

Susi (daveandsusi) / flickr creative commons

We once did a show about beer jingles, which is a great example of how a product becomes a culture. Cereal as a culture, is off the charts. There's the box, there's the prize, there's the character, there's the jingles, there's the commercials. Most of us can probably sing some jingles and discuss favorite cereal personae from our childhoods, which makes it kind of weird when marketing experts tell us that cereal consumption is in decline.

Pokemon Go Is Catching Us All — In Unexpected Ways

Jul 11, 2016

It's been an eventful weekend for Pokémon trainers — even without Team Rocket around.

After being released Wednesday, the mobile app Pokémon Go is currently the top-downloaded free app, and the top grossing app, in both the Apple and Android stores.

Warner Bros.

There's a new entry in the long, long canon of Tarzan stories and adaptations and shows and movies and musicals and Happy Meals toys or whatever. This time around, True Blood's Alexander Skarsgård stars as the bare-chested, animal-whispering titular character. The Nose went to see "The Legend of Tarzan," and we can't help but recognize its troubles of race and unending violence in this week's news.

Seconds after a policeman shot a man named Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minn., his girlfriend started live-streaming the aftermath live on Facebook.

fuoco999 / Creative Commons

The Sunken Garden Poetry Festival at the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington is in full swing. 

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

No one likes a cloudy sky. A cloud on the horizon is seen as a harbinger of doom. We feel like clouds need to have silver linings.

But here's our thesis: Clouds are unfairly maligned.

Richard Conde

Unlike some piano virtuosos, Laszlo Gardony, Hungary’s great gift to the American jazz scene, uses his dazzling keyboard mastery to enhance his soulful expressiveness rather than relying on pyrotechnical prowess as his sole claim to international fame.

MILKADEAL / flickr creative commons

The Thighmaster, the Chop-O-Matic, the George Foreman Grill and the Clapper: Products which are all part of American consumer culture and which were all introduced through infomercials. But as online shopping increases and traditional television watching decreases, are we beginning to see the end of these high-energy, late-night shows?

Dc 160 / Wikimedia

After a six-month national search, The Hartt School has a new dean.

Diane Orson

Summer's here and many Connecticut kids are heading off to camps and summer enrichment programs.

Maurice Robertson

Break out the cooler, corkscrew, suntan lotion, shades, lawn chair and picnic basket for the grand July opening of the free, lavish summer jazz festivities in Hartford’s Bushnell Park.

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

Before Stephen Colbert and John Oliver, before Jon Stewart and Conan O’Brien, before "The Simpsons," before David Letterman, before "Saturday Night Live," before The National Lampoon… before all the great subversive American satirists that we’ve all grown… used to — before all that, there was MAD magazine.

Flickr Creative Commons

My Batman story begins with a crime. I was in third grade. I went to the barber shop in West Hartford Center where there were comic books to read while you waited.

I had never seen any superhero comic before and I started reading a Batman story. It was great but I didn't have enough time to finish it. So, when my haircut was done, I took it home with me. 

bobnjeff

Singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge responded to the mass shooting at a Florida nightclub by doing one thing she felt she could do, which was write a song. Her debut performance of it in Torrington went viral on Facebook and was shared over 25,000 times. 

At the BET Awards on Sunday night, after receiving the network's humanitarian award, Jesse Williams began with the usual litany of thanks. Standing with a slight hunch over a too-short microphone, he celebrated his parents and his wife.

With that out of the way, the real speech began.

Erin Baiano

New Haven’s International Festival of Arts and Ideas comes to a close this weekend. One of the finales is the world premiere of a commissioned dance piece called Some of a Thousand Words. It’s two nights only — Thursday and Friday. The work features two celebrated performers from vastly different dance backgrounds.

Olivier Bacquet / Creative Commons

Most of us know Cinderella as the poor servant girl who stuck it to her mean stepmother and stepsisters by proving she was good enough to marry the rich and handsome prince. She had a little help from a fairy godmother, a pumpkin coach, and a foot small enough to fit into the glass slipper.

Hilary Scott

Just to get this out of the way, I have no problem calling Brian Wilson a genius.

Over the years, some of my classical music friends have clucked at my willingness to grant this designation to the man who brought us “Fun, Fun, Fun” and “Surfer Girl” and “Little Deuce Coupe.

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