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

"Underground is a play that's been in my consciousness for many years," says playwright Lisa B. Thompson. "I lived in Los Angeles during the uprising-slash-riots for Rodney King. I also lived in upstate New York during 9/11... and all that's been brewing in my consciousness for quite a long time."

"It began with a woman at the center," Thompson says. "She's now just a name in the play -- the men took over, and I was happy to let them. I've been writing it for some time and the characters announced themselves quite strongly." As Underground took shape in Thompson's mind, the work came to be about two men -- Kyle and Mason -- who reunite decades after meeting in college. 

Marc Pouhé plays Kyle. "At the start of the story... he's the head of the BSA, the Black Students' Association, on campus, and he takes Mason under his wing. But they have different beginnings and different... I don't want to say endings, but different where-we-end-up-meeting-them in this story."

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Jeff Ballou, Al Jazeera Media Network News editor, and the 110th president of the National Press Club.

Ballou is the first African American man to hold the position, and will mark the first time someone from a non-U.S. and non-Western-based television network has been elected president of the National Press Club.

Beth Dubber/Netflix

Life magazine once dubbed Madalyn Murray O’Hair “the most hated woman in America.” This week, a feature film about the longtime Austinite’s life and tragic death made its debut at South by Southwest.

J. Paul Brick

This is the 10th year St. David's Episcopal Church in downtown Austin has been a South by Southwest music venue. Nearby Central Presbyterian Church was the first church to be a venue for the festival, and it still is. Musicians will also perform at Promised Land Church this year.

Ricard Brazziell, Austin American-Statesman

The Chinese flavors at Old Thousand on East 11th Street might not be the most traditional or authentic you've tasted, but they're still delicious, according to Austin American-Statesman restaurant critic Matthew Odam. We spoke with him about his review.


https://www.facebook.com/faarrow/

A South by Southwest showcase on Friday features artists from countries affected by President Donald Trump's executive order banning travel from six Muslim-majority countries.

We speak about Contrabanned: #MusicUnites with Marco Werman, host of PRI's The World, which is a media sponsor for the show.


"My mother wouldn't let me have dogs growing up," says Circus Chickendog ringmaster Darren Peterson. "So, you know, look at me now."

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Meaghan “Meag” Taylor, on-air radio personality and assistant program director with WTUG and founder of ‘Women In Radio.'

‘Women In Radio’, is a community for women in radio who are shaping the culture. Taylor hopes the organization can shed light on all the amazing things women around the world are doing in radio.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The sight of red bicycles with bulky baskets is familiar to anyone who spends time in downtown Austin. B-cycle, which operates the rentable bikes, has had the bike-sharing market cornered here since it launched in 2013. But South by Southwest has brought some competition to town in the form of new rentable bikes that can be unlocked with an app and don’t have to be parked at stations.

Congressman Beto O'Rourke's Facebook page

With flights canceled up and down the eastern seaboard Tuesday, two Texas members of Congress went all Thelma and Louise across the state — the start of a cross-country road trip so they could cast votes at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

U.S. Reps. Will Hurd of Helotesa Republican, and Beto O'Rourke of El Paso, a Democrat, faced weather-related flight cancelations, so they opted for a 24-hour drive across Texas and beyond.

SXSW Ones to Watch: Gabriel Garzón-Montano

Mar 14, 2017
Matthew Scott

All this week, KUTX profiles the Ones To Watch—seven must-see artists at SXSW 2017.

Gabriel Garzón-Montano grew up in New York surrounded by classical music. His mother was a singer in the Phillip Glass Ensemble, and Garzón-Montano picked up violin at age six. But the music he makes now is much more Prince than Bach.

This story was updated on March 14 at 4:35 PM.

SXSW Ones to Watch: Jonathan Terrell

Mar 13, 2017
Cecelia Alejandra Blair

All this week, KUTX profiles the Ones To Watch—seven must-see artists at SXSW 2017.

Spike Johnson

Former Vice President Joe Biden pledged Sunday to work with President Donald Trump in the fight against cancer, a cause Biden took up in his final year in office — and following the death of his son.

"It is my hope that this new administration, once it gets organized — and I’m not being facetious — will be able to focus on and be as committed and as enthusiastic as we were in the goal of ending cancer as we know it," Biden said during a speech at the South by Southwest Conference in Austin. "I will do everything in my power to work with the new administration."

Quiz: Guess the Fake SXSW Panel Name

Mar 10, 2017
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

SXSW Interactive is upon Austin once again.

It's the time of year for branded activations and free booze, with the ultimate goal of forging bootstrapped, synergized, market-facing collaborations in a curated, disruption-minded world.

In short, it's a time for a bunch of panels with bafflingly jargon-laden names, so we decided to create a quiz to showcase (and poke fun at) some of those names.

SXSW Ones to Watch: Third Root

Mar 10, 2017
Josh Huskin

All this week, KUTX profiles the Ones To Watch—seven must-see artists at SXSW 2017.

SXSW Ones to Watch: Big Thief

Mar 9, 2017
Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUTX

All this week, KUTX profiles the Ones To Watch—seven must-see artists at SXSW 2017.

EMILY MAXWELL | WCPO

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with the Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones, of counsel with law firm Blank/Rome, LLP, retired judge with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and author of Answering the Call: An Autobiography of the Modern Struggle to End Racial Discrimination in America.

SXSW Ones to Watch: Lizzo

Mar 8, 2017
Martin do Nascimento / KUT

All this week, KUTX profiles the Ones To Watch—seven must-see artists at SXSW 2017.

Ilana Panich-Linsman for KUT

After last week’s dustup surrounding immigration-related language in its performance contract, South by Southwest has formally announced a change of policy. The Austin-based festival was lambasted on social media after an artist announced they were refusing to perform because of contract language that suggested the festival could notify U.S. immigration authorities under certain circumstances.

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