Arts and Culture

All that jazz

Nov 4, 2011

As the saying goes, jazz was born in New Orleans, but it grew up in Kansas City. This week we’ll revisit Robert Altman’s “Kansas City.” And a new  musical audio postcard. 

Four widows discover the secret to perpetual youth in the lobby of a Palm Beach hotel.

Maplewood Barn Radio Theatre is a weekly radio drama program adapted for radio by Brad Buchanan and produced by Darren Hellwege.

Artist Ai Weiwei, who earlier this year was jailed by Chinese authorities for nearly three months, said today that the government there has sent him a $2.4 million tax bill.

"His supporters," the BBC says, say the bill and accusations that he owes back taxes "are part of a plot to silence Mr. Ai, who is an outspoken critic of the government."

Sister72 / Flickr

Halloween got an early start in downtown Columbia.

Halloween Is More Funny Than Scary In St. Louis

Oct 31, 2011

Being a comedian, Joe Marlotti is always afraid he won't get laughs. But he grows especially nervous this time of year. After all, a comedian doesn't want his kids to bomb when it comes time to tell jokes.

Marlotti hails from St. Louis, where local Halloween tradition calls for children not to say "trick or treat," but to tell a joke in order to earn candy.

"I've been all around the block — literally — telling them that it's important to tell the joke right, or it makes me look bad," Marlotti says.

Glenn Stout has served as the editor of the Best American Sports Writing series since 1991. His latest book is Fenway 1912: The Birth of a Ballpark, a Championship Season, and Fenway's Remarkable First Year.

Baseball is over again and — for a while — so am I.

Davis Dunavin / KBIA

In Missouri, like everywhere else, hundreds of under-the-radar bookstores struggle to stay above water in an age of Amazon and E-readers. Earlier this year a group of independent bookstores in St. Louis forgot about looking at each other as competitors and banded together. Their goal is to promote each other while keeping an eye on threats to the bookstore industry.

The annual haunting we all know as Halloween falls a Monday this year. So, to prepare for ghouls, candy and costumes, we head south to Jasper County for the spooky tale of a haunted house dating back to 1849. And autism theater has made its way to Columbia, Missouri.

Two chilling stories about English gentlemen defending their honor with murder and mayhem.

Maplewood Barn Radio Theatre is a weekly radio drama program adapted for radio by Brad Buchanan and produced by Darren Hellwege.

A delightfully dreadful little book recently found its way to my desk. Its black cover is adorned only by a photo of a skeleton and a plain gray title, Haunted Air.

Thomas Hart Benton / State Historical Society of Missouri-Columbia

Thomas Hart Benton is a Missouri artist known for his depictions of American life and the working man. He was not afraid to include political topics like prohibition and slavery in his paintings. Benton usually did large scale paintings, including the murals in the Missouri state capitol building. A less widely known exhibit by Benton is on display in Fulton at the National Churchill Museum.

Poet Marc McKee received his MFA from the University of Houston and his PhD from the University of Missouri, where he lives with his wife, Camellia Cosgray. He is the author of What Apocalypse? (2008). McKee will celebrate the release of his new full-length book of poetry, Fuse, 7 pm Saturday at the Columbia Art League with Melissa Range.

Mexico’s DREAM Initiative is continuing to make a difference in the downtown community.

Scarlett Robertson / KBIA

This week: we’ll go back in time  and revisit what could be considered the trial of the century. And you’ve probably heard of “Julie and Julia”—the novel-turned-movie where Julie Powell spends a year cooking her way through Julia Child’s "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." Well, we’re bringing you Columbia’s version…switch out French cuisine for in season and local food, and instead of one woman its a couple.

On NBC's Parks and Recreation, Amy Poehler plays a deputy parks director who dreams of one day working her way up the political ladder all the way to The White House.

When NPR's Ari Shapiro interviewed Poehler for Thursday's Morning Edition, The White House is exactly where he was. Shapiro is NPR's White House Correspondent and had just finished attending a briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney when he returned to his small White House basement office to talk to Poehler.

Classical Music From ...TED?

Oct 19, 2011

I'm a complete TED fangirl. I get irrationally excited when I see new talks from the TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference arrive. I just feel smarter listening to intelligent people from around the globe speaking about their passions and creative pursuits of all sorts, from writing to developing solar technology to advances in neurology.

But it's also become a rich treasure trove of musical performances and talks about musicians' creative processes, as you can see in these five videos. Enjoy.

The history of St. Louis’s Central West End is steeped in literature. The area is tied to four of America’s most famous writers: T. S. Eliot, Tennessee Williams, Kate Chopin and William S. Burroughs. But until recently, the neighborhood had no official tributes to the literary greats.

Expert commentary (in red) by Dr. Roy Fox, Professor of English Education at the University of Missouri-Columbia

Listen to the companion piece to this infographic: “In Republic, book challenges raise the question, ‘What should kids read?’”

Alex Smith / KCUR

This week we head to Kansas City for a different kind of dinner party—one that is uses a grassroots approach to support the arts. But first, a local look at a national event that’s all about supporting and celebrating the rights of of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

How an innocent proposal of marriage turns into a family feud.

Maplewood Barn Radio Theatre is a weekly radio drama program adapted for radio by Brad Buchanan and produced by Darren Hellwege.


When Republic High School in southwest Missouri removed two novels from its curriculum and library in July, it drew national attention and launched a conversation about what books are acceptable for Missouri students.

Amateur hour

Oct 7, 2011
Jessica Pupovac

Does the idea of standing up in front of a bunch of strangers and trying to make them laugh seem horrifying or exhilarating? For some people it’s both. This week, we explore the world of stand-up comedy and discover what kind of person willingly puts themselves out there.

One University of Missouri student says she will be using a can of Diet Dr. Pepper Cherry as a personal business card. That’s because her face and a brief bio will be printed on the can.

By Molly Balkenbush (Columbia, Mo.)

A satirical look at how the Trojan War really got started.

Maplewood Barn Radio Theatre is a weekly radio drama program adapted for radio by Brad Buchanan and produced by Darren Hellwege.

The University of Missouri is continuing to celebrate ability today as part of a week-long event to recognize people with disabilities.

by Jennifer Long (Columbia, Mo.)

Adam Procter / Flickr

The University of Missouri is now officially looking into a new athletic conference affiliation.

By Ryan Famuliner (Columbia, MO)

The Citizen Jane episode

Sep 30, 2011
James Muspratt

Filmmakers and filmgoers alike are flooding into Columbia for the 4th annual Citizen Jane Film Festival. We’ll check in with two of this year’s featured film-makers. And … it’s the season to be scary- and a darker sort of vampire has already landed in Columbia.

The inaugural show.  Two hillarious yarns by Missouri's favorite storyteller about the Ma and Pa Kettle of their time.

Maplewood Barn Radio Theatre is a weekly radio drama program adapted for radio by Brad Buchanan and produced by Darren Hellwege.

Davis Dunavin

This week of September 28-30 is the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week, which honors books challenged or removed from libraries across the US.

By Davis Dunavin (Columbia, Mo.)

The annual Citizen Jane Film Festival kicks off September 30.

By Mengxi Zheng (Columbia, Mo.)