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Vintage Players to perform annual ‘Senior Moments’ Saturday at Theatre Lawrence

The retirees-turned-thespians of Theatre Lawrence’s Vintage Players call it “An Evening of Senior Moments,” but, as members of the group will attest, the annual comedy performance is more than colonoscopy jokes and predictable bits about failing memory. “It’s funny,” Vintage Players director Mary Ann Saunders says of ... Continue reading

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Shakespeare 400 at your library

Perhaps you’re all up to date on all [#Shakespeare400][1], but I (and here I hang my librarian head) have only paid glancing attention to the worldwide celebration of the Bard’s “passing through nature to eternity.” Thankfully, I’ll be given the chance to remedy my oversight when on ... Continue reading

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Reading under the influence with James Patterson’s Bookshots

If Nike gave out shoe deals for authors, James Patterson would be the first to have a line of $120 premium sneakers. Literary tastes aside, there’s no denying that he’s running the popular fiction game right now, with scores of best-selling titles coming out every month. How ... Continue reading

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A block-by-block guide to the Downtown Lawrence Sidewalk Sale

With nearly 100 local businesses slated to participate Thursday, July 21, the 57th annual Downtown Lawrence Sidewalk Sale is again expected to draw at least 10,000 savvy shoppers over the course of the day — that'd be sunup to sundown, or roughly 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. ... Continue reading

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Republish or perish: An interview with the Purple House Press

Back in third grade, my best friend hipped me to the wonders of Bertrand Brinley’s novel "[The Mad Scientist’s Club][1]," about a group of boys who float a mannequin over their town’s Founder’s Day celebration, construct a remote controlled “monster” in a local lake, and wreak further ... Continue reading

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Tour of Lawrence returns this weekend with an estimated 750 cyclists rolling into town

More than 750 cyclists are expected to roll into town (we’ll try to keep the bicycle jokes to a minimum here) when the eighth annual Tour of Lawrence kicks off Friday. The three-day event, sanctioned by USA Cycling, is presented by U.S. Bank and made possible by ... Continue reading

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‘Bob’s Burgers Cookbook’ a cure for those burger blues

The Fourth of July was a tough holiday for me. It’s not a lack of patriotism, if that’s what you’re thinking. It’s the barbecues. You’d think I’d have gotten used to not eating meat after so long, but *man*. Just thinking about some nice grilled hamburgers gets ... Continue reading

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Charlaine Harris: Reaching a supernatural crossroads

I first discovered Charlaine Harris’ acclaimed [Southern Vampire Mysteries][1] (aka the Sookie Stackhouse series) while in college. At the time, I worked two jobs while finishing my bachelor’s degree, and I needed a vacation from the dense, academic drivel that consumed my evenings. Following a recommendation from ... Continue reading

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Lawrence cook takes home top prize, scholarship at national culinary competition

Zach Frieling was sweating, his body wracked with nerves as the results began to roll in at last month’s SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Ky. He remembers the “shock” that came with the news that he’d won first place in the conference’s culinary arts ... Continue reading

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Graphic novel recommendations, part two: nonfiction

If you’ve ever taken a creative writing class, you’ve no doubt heard the writing workshop mantra: “Show, don’t tell.” Combine that with the old adage that “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and you’ve got the sweet spot that graphic novels inhabit — a medium that ... Continue reading

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10 Questions with Benjamin Farmer and Joni Alexander of Alchemy Coffee & Bake House

In this week's installment of 10 Questions, which turned out to be nine because this reporter evidently cannot count, Alchemy Coffee & Bake House co-owners Benjamin Farmer and Joni Alexander chat about their recent Best of Lawrence honor (first place in the competitive "best coffee shop" category), ... Continue reading

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Free State Festival proves popular again; next year’s fest to focus on global-local connections

Anywhere from 15,000 to 20,000 people flocked to Lawrence’s Free State Festival events, according to estimates from festival organizers, putting this year’s numbers roughly in the same range as 2015 figures. Still, it’s an imprecise tally, said festival director and ideas programming coordinator Sarah Bishop, who hopes ... Continue reading

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Taco Zone files plans to add outdoor seating

If you’re a fan of Taco Zone and eating al fresco, here’s a bit of news that might whet your appetite (get it?) for both. Brad Shanks, co-owner of the popular [downtown eatery][1] at 13 E. Eighth St., has filed plans to install a railing “with a ... Continue reading

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Three graphic novel recommendations (that aren’t ‘Saga’)

I have a confession to make: I used to be one of those people who looked down their nose at graphic novels and comics and openly judged others for reading them. In frustration, I even said once, “It’s not really reading! It’s just a bunch of pictures!” ... Continue reading

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Dispatches from a newly minted book club

While reading is often thought of as a solitary activity, book clubs and reading groups provide a bit of social camaraderie for certain book lovers. Lawrence is lucky to have a wide and active community of readers, with [lots of book clubs][1] of all sizes popping up ... Continue reading

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Radiolab co-host Jad Abumrad on journalism, the fury of Terry Gross fans and what makes ‘messy’ stories worth telling

The creative process, according to "Radiolab" co-host Jad Abumrad, is marked with uncertainty. Whether that creative queasiness — “gut churn,” he calls it — helps or hinders the operation is the inquiry at the center of Abumrad’s multimedia presentation of the same name, [coming to Lawrence this ... Continue reading

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Fiesta to celebrate Mexican culture, food this weekend

In some ways, St. John’s Mexican Fiesta isn’t unlike La Yarda, says fiesta publicity chair and longtime St. John parishioner Jacinta Hoyt. The community of Mexican railroad workers that sprang up 90 years ago in East Lawrence is long gone (the patch of small, brick homes was ... Continue reading

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Lawrence Libations: Rose lemonade at Aladdin Cafe

Lawrence Libations revisits an old summer standby this week, with a Middle Eastern twist on lemonade at Aladdin Cafe. The addition of rose water — which itself has been marketed as a [good-for-you “beauty drink”][1] as of late in the Western world, apparently [showing up][2] in the ... Continue reading

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‘Heart of a Lion’ is a true story of fear, cats and ecology

I bet when William Stolzenburg wrote his previous book, "[Where the Wild Things Were][1]," he didn’t figure he would later find one of the wildest things in the Americas on a walkabout that stretched from the Black Hills of South Dakota, through Midwestern farms and cities, across ... Continue reading

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Van Go to celebrate young artists, successful endowment campaign at Saturday’s What Floats Your Boat

Emily Laughlin was only 12 when she first learned of Van Go Inc., the social service agency that provides arts-based job training to at-risk teens and young adults in Douglas County. She wasn’t yet old enough to take part in the program, but Laughlin, now 19, remembers ... Continue reading

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