Stories for August 2015

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Sunday, August 30

Kansas City Connection: Charisse retains old charm as Power & Light alternative

Since June 2012, the French and American flags have hung in tandem outside the downtown Kansas City restaurant at 1006 Walnut St. But the restaurant that started out as Aixois Brasserie, opened by the owners of the popular Aixois Bistro at 251 E. 55th St., rebranded last fall after chef Jason Craine purchased the restaurant from the original owners and renamed it Charisse.

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Lawrence artist captures father, childhood home in ongoing portrait series

You can’t go home again. That’s what they say, anyway. But it’s not exactly what Michael McCaffrey found upon his return to Lawrence last year, when spurred by the death of his mother in 2012, the thirty-something artist decided to leave Minneapolis to move back in with his elderly father. By Joanna Hlavacek

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Legendary punk band X coming to Lawrence

Any crash course in the history of punk rock will land you right in the middle of an X album, two of which were ranked by Rolling Stone among the top 500 albums of all time.

Thursday, August 27

Style Scout: John Flynn

Dream job: Guitarist for Emmylou Harris

Style Scout: Lorene Lewis

What were you doing when scouted? Going to Signs of Life to listen to a piano player.

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Lawrence production of '70s 'Come Back to the Five and Dime' still feels fresh

Tucked away in the alley behind the Lawrence Arts Center and identified from the outside by its green awnings, the short, squat little building at 913 Rhode Island St. is, on most days, an art gallery. But in recent weeks, the Lawrence Percolator’s already-compact 600-square-foot interior has been transformed into a small-town, 1970s-era five-and-dime store complete with an antique cash register and diner-esque chrome tables and chairs.By Joanna Hlavacek

Wednesday, August 26

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Off the Beaten Plate: Meatloaf po' boy at Terrebonne Cafe

At Terrebonne, homemade slices of (very hefty) meatloaf are piled onto a toasted French roll with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions and the cafe’s special po’ boy sauce.

Upcoming KU Theatre season aims to confront social issues of today

Some of today’s most-discussed current events and social issues — including teen dating violence, riots and feminism — will play a prominent role in Kansas University Theatre’s upcoming season.

Tuesday, August 25

Local artist Dave Loewenstein to host introductory workshop for new 'Kansas People's History Project'

Dave Loewenstein, the local artist whose colorful murals enliven public spaces in Lawrence and across the country, is embarking on a new project that he hopes will re-engage Kansans with bits of our state identity that we may have forgotten or unknowingly overlooked. It’s a lofty goal, to be sure, and to make it happen, he’s going to need some help. Loewenstein will host a workshop at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Watkins Museum of History to introduce the Kansas People’s History Project, a collaborative effort between the Douglas County Historical Society and five arts and educational organizations across the state.

Monday, August 24

Lawrence Arts Center planning 40th anniversary street party; permit awaits approval from city

Held in conjunction with Lawrence Arts Center’s annual September Final Friday street party, the 40th anniversary celebration will tentatively close traffic on the 900 block of New Hampshire Street. Arts Center officials are still awaiting approval for their permit request, which will be discussed at Tuesday’s city commission meeting 5:45 p.m. at City Hall. Commissioners will also consider adopting an ordinance that would allow the sale, possession and consumption of alcohol within the closed-off area during the event.

Sunday, August 23

Kansas City Connection: In the market for meat

With summer winding to a close and tailgating season right around the corner, I’d like to dedicate a hefty portion of this column to visiting three of Kansas City’s best family-owned and operated meat markets.

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Artists-in-residence bring 'thoughtful, poetic' approach to work

The Lawrence Arts Center's 2015-2016 artists-in-residence moved into their studios earlier this month, and will soon begin teaching classes, taking part in community-outreach projects and creating new work in Lawrence.

Thursday, August 20

Style Scout: Erin Spurlock

Tell us a secret: I’m going to throw my husband under the bus and tell you that he once thought an earthworm was a snake.

Style Scout: Joe Thurston

Describe your style: I was a Lawrence hipster, and then I moved to D.C. so I had to calm down.

'Cowboy Cabaret' a country music variety show with a Lawrence twist

If you don’t consider yourself a fan of country music, it may be time to take a fresh look at the genre at this weekend's “Cowboy Cabaret.”

Wednesday, August 19

Downtown Lawrence Restaurant Week to return Sept. 13-19

Downtown Lawrence Restaurant Week will return Sept. 13-19, organizers with Downtown Lawrence Inc. have announced.

Off the Beaten Plate: Dulce de leche chimichanga at Tres Mexicanos

You’re likely to find a chimichanga — basically a deep-fried burrito — at almost any Mexican restaurant in town. What’s a little more off the beaten plate (ahem) is Tres Mexicanos’ sweet reworking of the Tex Mex favorite, which in this case involves dulce de leche. So, yum.

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Film by KU graduate explores lasting effects of sexual assault

Benjamin Waller drew from personal experiences to write, direct, produce and edit “The Hardest Thing to Earn,” which examines the very real consequences of sexual assault in a small-town, collegiate setting.

Tuesday, August 18

Phat Kenny's catering to host hog-roast fundraiser Saturday to benefit Habitat for Humanity

Phat Kenny's catering will host its sixth annual hog roast Saturday at Holcom Park, 2700 W. 27th St., from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. — or until the (free) food runs out.

Monday, August 17

Consultants to present city's Cultural Plan, survey results at commission meeting

A team of city consultants is slated to present its final draft of Lawrence’s Cultural Plan — an endeavor that launched in February — during Tuesday’s City Commission meeting.

Oread to host Rob Riggle at fundraiser meet-and-greet

Actor, comedian and Kansas University alumnus Rob Riggle will appear at a scholarship fundraiser and meet-and-greet Aug. 24 at The Oread Hotel, 1200 Oread Ave.

Sunday, August 16

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Mandolin mecca: Tracing Lawrence's decades-long love affair with an old-fashioned instrument

Mike Black, 42, was in mid-twenties when he packed up and left his hometown of Salina to follow his then-girlfriend to Lawrence. The relationship didn’t last — they broke up shortly after the move, Black says — but his love affair with Lawrence and its music scene has held steady. By Joanna Hlavacek

Kansas City Connection: Truman Library exhibit looks back at WWII

This week, Kansas City is host to an extraordinary variety of cultural, historical and art exhibits and performances, as well as one of the area’s most enjoyable festivals.

Thursday, August 13

Style Scout: Cait Bubna

Fashion influences: That scene from the first “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” movie where the kids are in that warehouse and they’re skateboarding and spray-painting stuff and it’s all so ’90s.

Style Scout: Drew Perry

Fashion influences: David Bowie, David Bowie and David Byrne

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Lawrence Opera Theatre to stage modern twist on 'Carmen'

For this year’s Summer Festival season, Lawrence Opera Theatre organizers chose the theme “LOTs of LOL (Love, Obsession, and Laughter).” The company’s production of “La Damnation de Carmen,” a modified version of the 1875 work, promises all three when it opens Friday evening at Theatre Lawrence.

Wednesday, August 12

Off the Beaten Plate: Chocolate Cheese Smoke Burger at KC Smoke Burger

At KC Smoke Burger, chocolate and 100-percent Angus beef have been merged into one smoky, sweet creation.

Start them young: New parents to receive library-card application for babies born at Lawrence Memorial Hospital

Soon, every baby born at Lawrence Memorial Hospital will come home with a library-card application from the Lawrence Public Library.

Monday, August 10

Kansas City Connection: Raphael Hotel home to good jazz, eats; Starlight ‘lets it go’

Since the days of Charlie Parker and Count Basie, Kansas City has enjoyed a reputation as a jazz town. But these days one of the most reliable venues to see different jazz bands every night isn’t a nightclub — it’s the restaurant and lounge of a swank hotel on the Country Club Plaza.

Sunday, August 9

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Lawrence community photo studio brings art form back to the masses

As a kid, Jay Keim would spend many an hour tinkering around his family’s at-home darkroom. It’s where his father, an avid hobby photographer, taught him the basics of developing images on film. It’s also where Keim, now 60 and operating his own photo studio, first fell in love with photography.

Thursday, August 6

Mountain Goats' John Darnielle coming to Lawrence Arts Center

John Darnielle, frontman of acclaimed indie folk rock band the Mountain Goats, will play a solo show next month at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St.

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Sugar Britches bring sass to bluegrass

Not all girl groups are sugar and spice; and if you don’t like that, then the gals in Sugar Britches will call you out on it… from the stage.

Style Scout: Milan Rathod

Dream job: Probably a TV anchor on "Inside the NBA" with Charles Barkley

Style Scout: Laura Smith

Fashion trends you hate: The '80s. I'm sad that they're here again.

Wednesday, August 5

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Short documentary celebrates KU basketball history; official release date set for November

A four-minute video celebrating Lawrence as “the cradle of basketball” has racked up tens of thousands of views since its Monday debut on Facebook.

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Lawrence Libations: Snowdrift martini at the Jayhawker

Fully expecting something white and frothy and well, snow-like, I was pleasantly surprised by the Snowdrift, which bartender Kristy Lopez guesses is meant to evoke the kind of cuddly coziness we associate with wintertime.

Getting to know you: An introduction to East Ninth Project's commissioned artists

The City of Lawrence on Tuesday announced the names of the East Ninth Project's eight commissioned artists, and while details of the artists' plans for the project aren't available as yet, we do know that all artists involved have ties to the Lawrence or Kansas City region.

Tuesday, August 4

East Ninth Project announces commissioned artists

The City of Lawrence has announced the names of eight artists commissioned for work on the East Ninth Project.

Sunday, August 2

Nominations sought for Phoenix Awards to honor outstanding Lawrence artists

The Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission is now accepting nominations for the 2015 Phoenix Awards.

Kansas City Connection: Where comics, movies and TV shows come to life

This week, Lucas scopes out Kansas City Comic Con, the museum of toys and miniatures, and Glace Artisan Ice Cream.

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Before Drakkar Sauna plays its farewell, a look back

The boisterous wailing, the twirly moustache, the science fiction-themed lyrics: they’re all key ingredients that have helped make the duo known as Drakkar Sauna a local music treasure over the last decade.

Behind the Lens: Engagement helps animate photo subjects

From my years of experience as a photographer, I’ve learned that a person’s facial expression or body language can result in a photograph that either simply documents objective visual evidence of the person, or instead may capture a more expressive moment, transforming the scene into a memorable record of a life experience.