Laurie Stark

Most weeks, I spend about as many waking hours at work as I do at home. I took three solid months decorating my house, but was in my cube for two years before I so much as tacked up a photo. Spending 40 hours of your life in a windowless office or a gray-walled cubicle isn't anyone's idea of style, but there are ways to spruce up your space without breaking the bank -- or your company's HR policies. more

Apr 5, 2012 2:00 PM Isthmus Abode

Context's new studio is an echoing, cavernous space on Madison's near east side used for photo shoots, shipping and receiving, and apparently interviews with alt weekly journalists. The ceilings are sky high, and the decor is minimalist. I feel more like I'm in a trendy Manhattan loft than a renovated warehouse in a midsize Midwestern city. more

Mar 8, 2012 3:00 PM Emphasis

You may think beauty pageants are all glitter and gowns, but for Miss America hopefuls, big scholarship money is on the line. Our own Miss Wisconsin was crowned Miss America just last month, which means every local toddler in a tiara has her eye on the prize. more

Feb 23, 2012 3:00 PM People

I'll admit: I was afraid to interview Joel DeSpain. When I asked to interview the public information officer, writer of the immensely popular Madison police blotter, I might as well have been asking to interview Jon Bon Jovi. more

Feb 23, 2012 3:00 PM News 1 Comments


James Campbell

Nights are getting longer, trees are getting barer and mall-goers are getting acquainted with the 734th version of "Little Drummer Boy." It's that magical time of year when families gather 'round the hearth, children ring around the tree and I consume my weight in eggnog. Do you hear what I hear? more

Nov 17, 2011 3:00 PM A & E


John Benson

Like New Year's Eve, Valentine's Day, and the annual festival of anxiety and self-doubt known as your birthday, Halloween is a night for getting drunk and reflecting upon the unfortunate choices you have made in your life. Can't fit into last year's sexy Scott Walker costume? Maybe it's time to lay off the Bit-O-Honeys. Dateless for your coworker's costume party? Maybe you shouldn't have dumped the only man who ever loved you. more

Oct 27, 2011 2:00 PM MUSIC


Madison Theatre Guild

Edward Albee's "Three Tall Women", which won the playwright his third Pulitzer Prize, is really a story of one tall woman -- a hateful, paranoid bigot made bearable, in the Madison Theatre Guild production, by Sarah Whelan's strong performance and the occasional comic moment. The character is based on Albee's mother, and after completing this review, I plan to send him a card expressing sympathy for his parental misfortune. more

Sep 24, 2011 3:40 PM Stage


Carolyn Fath

Fall is a special time. We stumble, as if in a daze, toward the red and yellow blaze of the sugar maples; the smoky-sweet scent of a fireplace, aglow in a cozy hearth; the distant but unmistakable call of the Jager bird. "Jager! Jager! Jager!" Laden with pumpkins fresh from the patch and a case of Four Loko, we make our way through the swarm of red sweatshirts and the throng of Uggs, wondering how it got so loud all of a sudden. Fall is a time of endings, a time of beginnings, a time perhaps of slipping in the puddle of a 19-year-old's puke. more

Sep 15, 2011 2:00 PM MUSIC


Eric Baillies

In February, Madison playwright Doug Reed was assigned the summer slot at Broom Street Theater. He had a new script in the works. But all his free time was spent at the protests that were engulfing the city, so he wasn't getting any writing done. It occurred to him that perhaps these separate activities should become one. more

Aug 11, 2011 2:00 PM A & E

As the lights dim on the Middleton Performing Arts Center's proscenium stage, a flickering projector eases us back a few decades to the 1920s, with lively music and clips of flappers doing the Charleston. When the film reel ends, the lights rise on dancers in classic Bob Fosse silhouette, and suddenly we are in "Chicago". more

Aug 6, 2011 12:55 PM Stage


Broom Street Theater

I loathe shrill, preachy political theater, especially when the shrilling and preaching are being done on the side I agree with. But a friend assured me she'd seen playwright Doug Reed's previous work, and if anyone could pull off a Broom Street Theater take on the political events that rocked Wisconsin earlier this year, it would be him. more

Jul 30, 2011 4:24 PM Stage

The list has evolved over time with new sins added as others fell away, but for the past 15 centuries, the big seven have remained the same: lust, wrath, greed, gluttony, pride, sloth and envy. Sounds to me like a standard Friday night. more

Jul 14, 2011 2:00 PM MUSIC


RJ Johnson

Lust: perhaps the most famous of the sins, the most reviled and the most revered. If you're looking to indulge in a little lust, try the delicious local burlesque troupe Foxy Veronica's Peach Pies. more

Jul 14, 2011 2:00 PM MUSIC


Tsela Barr

I'm a lucky girl, and envy has never been my style. But if there's one swath of humanity I envy the most, one whole mass of people I'd trade spots with in an instant, it's children. more

Jul 14, 2011 2:00 PM MUSIC


Sharon Vanorny

As sins go, sloth is among my favorites. I'll take a lazy Sunday in a friend's backyard over a three-mile hike any time. So it follows that my favorite way to watch a movie is at the drive-in. This is the laziest possible way a person can go to the movies. more

Jul 14, 2011 2:00 PM MUSIC


World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.

Now we come to wrath, the sin the Lord's soul detesteth. I detesteth it pretty strongly myself. I avoid sports arenas, death metal shows and any other place where wrath reigns king. I'm a pacifist at heart and, frankly, kind of a coward. more

Jul 14, 2011 2:00 PM MUSIC


Sharon Vanorny

When I think of greed, I think of King Midas and his fatal touch, Scrooge McDuck swimming in his vat of gold coins. No one wants to be thought of as greedy, but all it takes is a family game of Monopoly to reveal our inner Ebenezer. more

Jul 14, 2011 2:00 PM MUSIC


Sharon Vanorny

If Wisconsinites have one sin down, it's pride. Whether it's beer or football or drinking beer while watching football, if we do it in Wisconsin, we do it the best. But of all the things we do well in Wisconsin, our most pride-inducing export of all is cheese. more

Jul 14, 2011 2:00 PM MUSIC


Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board /

And now for everyone's favorite sin: gluttony. Whether it's a post-Thanksgiving, tryptophan-induced haze or your fourth brat at a backyard barbecue, mass consumption of grease is a key component of any social occasion. more

Jul 14, 2011 2:00 PM MUSIC

The Brass Ring, 701 E. Washington Ave., is a sprawling expanse with high ceilings and exposed brick, a plethora of pool tables, and picture windows overlooking scenic East Washington. There are a lot of bars around town that host Team Trivia, but Larry Walsh, owner of the Brass Ring, says his bar is special. "I guarantee I'm the only bar that buys everyone a drink," Larry laughs. "How do you think I make friends? Free alcohol." more

May 12, 2011 2:00 PM MUSIC