Author : Michael Muckian

  • Olde Madrid is tops in tapas

    When you run the only restaurant of its kind in a community, you have a natural corner on the market. But it helps enormously if you do an excellent job in the execution. Credit Manny and Natalie Salinas for capitalizing on their culinary strengths, as well as recognizing a need among Racine’s restaurant goers. The couple’s Olde Madrid is the only place in the city that serves Spanish tapas.... Read More
  • Red wine to sip with Santa

    If you flew through a cold winter’s night in a sleigh, circumnavigated the globe and slid down sooty chimneys from Wisconsin to Siberia, would you be happy with a few crumbling cookies and some tepid milk? Nope. And Santa Claus likely prefers something more fortifying. Spirits might be too strong for a strenuous evening and beer would add to his bloat. Given his traditional ensemble, nothi.... Read More
  • Honoré Daumier: satirist, chronicler

    Honoré Daumier was 19th-century France’s leading political and social satirist. Fifty examples from his output of nearly 4,000 lithographs will get a fresh look thanks to a new exhibit at the Chazen Museum of Art on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Daumier Lithographs: Characters and Caricatures, which opens Dec. 23 in the museum’s Pleasant T. Rowland Galleries, draws on the Chaze.... Read More
  • Madison Ballet almost back from the financial brink

    ’Tis the season of The Nutcracker, a time when ballet companies nationwide celebrate the joys — and the spike in revenues — that Tchaikovsky’s timeless work offers. However, troupes that fail to pay attention to the financial realities of their industry during the rest of the year may find themselves dancing in the dark — no matter how many little sugarplums fill the holiday stages. Th.... Read More
  • Shakespeare Prison Project offers inmates life lessons

    According to Hamlet, a play can hold a mirror up to life. Jonathan Shailor enacts this truth with inmates who are part of the Shakespeare Prison Project, a course he created and teaches at the Racine Correctional Institution, a medium-security prison located in Sturtevant. For nine to 10 months each year, Shailor — a professor of communications at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in Kenosh.... Read More
  • Treat yourself to a better holiday beer

    Holiday beers have just begun pushing their pumpkin brethren out of the coolers — and not a moment too soon. But will beer drinkers be better served with a palette of peppermint, spice and all things nice? There is something to be said about well-made, subtly seasoned Christmas ales produced by brewmasters who take a restrained hand to the nutmeg, cloves and vanilla extract. They know that to.... Read More
  • Skylight Music Theatre delights with fab, funny ‘Folles’

    Personal dynamics — good and bad — color many families’ holiday traditions. Such issues, along with a lot of tenderness, form the emotional core of La Cage aux Folles (The Birdcage), which is this holiday season’s production by Milwaukee’s Skylight Music Theatre. The families’ hassles and hugs come dressed in humor, song and the colorful costumes of an over-the-top drag show. What wou.... Read More
  • ‘ELF’ to benefit ARCW

    The AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin and ELF The Musical are joining forces to celebrate the holiday season while contributing to a worthy cause. On Nov. 22, ARCW presents its 21st annual Holly Jolly Folly! fundraiser. Tickets include food, drink, and admission to the opening night performance of ELF at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. That 7:30 p.m. performance will be preceded by ta.... Read More
  • ‘The Illusionists’ aims to amaze

    Don’t look away, because the burning string held by the man onstage will suddenly become a live dove. With another flick of the wrist, the dove becomes a pair of doves, and the audience erupts in applause. How does he do that? Magicians never reveal their secrets, because that would spoil the illusion of doing the impossible — and spoil the audience’s fun. Madison audiences’ fun arri.... Read More
  • Food Fight takes a healthy turn with Poke

    Two new restaurants are enlivening Madison’s Monroe Street neighborhood with tasty — and healthy — food. In the mood for Hawaiian food? You can get a taste of island paradise at Miko Poke, the first of two new health-conscious restaurants recently opened by Madison’s Food Fight chain. Poke (pronounce POH-kay) is a traditional Hawaiian dish of cubed raw fish, vegetables and sauces served .... Read More