Arts and Culture | WGLT

Arts and Culture

Katie Bell and artwork
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Artist Katie Bell stood smiling among the collection of materials she’d gathered around town for her exhibition at University Galleries. It looks like a construction site, but the materials are on the verge of being formed into the visual landscape of a deconstructed painting.  

Cristen Monson and Sandra Zielinski
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Everything’s coming up roses at Prairie Fire Theatre with the staging of “Gypsy,” the classic musical which is based on the memoirs of famous strip tease artist Gypsy Rose Lee.

Bruce Boeck
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

It was a dark and stormy night. The rain dripped into my glass of gin, dampening my spirits. Then suddenly, out of the shadows, he was there – Bruce Boeck. Well, of course he was there. After all, I had asked him to do an interview about his play, “Library Noir.”

Harry Potter fans
Steve Luciano / AP

 Fandom has truly come into its own.

That's according to a couple of guys who should know: GLT's Psych Geeks. Where it was once supremely geeky and social unacceptable to be a Trekki, now it's accepted and even considered cool. Fandom has moved centerstage.

John Stark
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The play’s the thing at the Illinois Shakespeare Festival. And this season, the plays we know so well have a new look and a fresh perspective to thrill audiences. 

rusted car
Justin Hamm

Sagging barns and rusted out cars in the rural landscape offer inspiration to artist Justin Hamm, who needs more than just words—and more than just images—to express his feelings about what he encounters out and about in the Midwest.

Kate Smith statue
Matt Slocum / AP

There's no more Kate Smith singing "God Bless America" at Yankee games. Her statue outside of the Philadelphia Flyers stadium is gone, too.

Mary Cullen / WGLT

Bloomington’s Coalescence Theatre Project has a curtain call on the national stage in June.

Nancy Steele Brokaw
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

What if the things we’re teased about are actually the very things we need to make us strong?

Actors in the musical
Beetlejuice The Musical / Facebook

Say "Beetlejuice" three times fast and you’ll summon the irreverent demon—and Savannah Wetzel will make sure he’s nattily attired.

musicians
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

A new classical ensemble in Bloomington-Normal isn't waiting for their big break. They're breaking into the business on their own power, armed with energy, passion, and some talented friends. 

The Prom cast
Deen van Meer

One of this year's hottest Broadway shows this year was produced by an Illinois Wesleyan University alum.

Rhys Lovell looks at statue
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

Nearly to the day 139 years after making his major league baseball debut on May 5, 1880, a tree carving of Bloomington's Charles "Old Hoss" Radbourn was dedicated not quite 60 feet, 6 inches from his final resting place.

Maggie Morton and huge pencils
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The rising artists of Illinois have an abiding sense of humor and are not afraid to use it.

CIFSC

Spring is here. Flowers are blooming. Trees are budding. And ice skating is peaking.

Wait, what? Ice Skating? The Central Illinois Figure Skating Club is performing its annual celebration Saturday evening at Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington.

It's the seventh year for the annual show and the figure skating community has grown by leaps and bounds. Lena Chaudhury from the club said they now have 72 skaters, as young as three on up to people in their 60s.

Jeff Ready
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

A classic courtroom drama navigates the gray areas of power and honor in the latest production from Community Players.

Mary Cullen / WGLT

Most historical artifacts get tucked away in museums behind locked doors and thick glass. For some, the best piece of history fits in your palm and sits in a drawer at home.

A picture of a piano
Illinois Wesleyan University

Illinois Wesleyan University is receiving a $3.5 million gift to become an all Steinway piano music school. University Piano Technician Dave Horine said they will be buying 35 new pianos and trading in 45.

Rhys Lovell and Gail Dobbins
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Heartland Theatre has scheduled a new season that includes opportunities to catch the works of rising playwrights, plus a chance to see a classic masterpiece. Oh, and there's cake, too.  

Putting the Cross in Cross-Pollination Painting
Angel Ambrose

The 10th annual “What’s So Good About Good Friday?” art show spotlights local artists’ impressions about Good Friday and their Christian faith. This year more than 60 artists will exhibit works centering on the idea that Jesus’s crucifixion, death, and resurrection accomplished something beautiful.

A view of the creativity center building.
BCPA

The Friends of the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts has announced a $5 million capital campaign to finish the Creativity Center across the street from the BCPA on Locust Street.

rearview mirror
Robert Couse-Baker / Flickr/Creative Commons

Taking a moment to reflect on your past, recall a cherished friend or replay a memory is more than just a fun journey into remembrance. It’s a healthy jaunt through nostalgia, and according to GLT’s Psych Geeks, it can do you a world of good.

German Wheel
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Gamma Phi Circus at Illinois State University celebrates a milestone anniversary this weekend with a show that looks back over the decades, even as the circus moves confidently towards a bright future. 

A page in the music score of Gate of Horn
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The Illinois Symphony Orchestra premieres a new piece of music Friday evening at the BCPA in Bloomington.

Nahm and Quinlan
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

You can forget about that Peeps-toting bunny. The rabbit to watch this season is one you can’t even see. Or can you? 

cast of Table Manners
Geoff Hughes / Heartland Theater

Don’t talk with your mouth full. Keep your elbows off the table. Avoid picking your teeth with the salad fork.

Judy Garland
AP

Back during the Golden Era of Hollywood, one year flashed with a brilliance that earned it the title, "The Greatest Year in Hollywood History."

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

An LGBTQI+ poet and scholar looks to indigenous people in North America for broader gender definitions that can help modern society as the current culture struggles over accepting multiple identities.

Illinois Symphony Orchestra

Growing up in Springfield, African-American violinist Clayton Penrose-Whitmore was one of few people of color around him playing classical music. Penrose-Whitmore has gone on to a career in music, winning prizes in the Sphinx competition and performing with noted groups such as the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.

Performer and educator Paige Hernandez said she created the multi-cultural/multi-generational show Liner Notes to bridge generational gaps while preserving the culture of hip-hop.

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