Arts & Life

Stories from KUNC, NPR & others on Life, Religion, Arts, Culture, Movies, Books, Theater, Entertainment & more...

SRG / Universal

While a music student at Colorado State University, Mandy Harvey lost her hearing due to a degenerative connective tissue disorder. Devastated, she left school and took a break from music.

When she returned to the stage, Harvey found a new world that eventually led her to a finalist spot on the TV show "America's Got Talent." KUNC arts reporter Stacy Nick caught up with her on tour to find out what the last two years since "AGT" have been like.

Denver Zoo

One of the Denver Zoo’s former polar bears is now a “papa” bear.

Lee was moved to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium last fall in the hopes that the 20-year-old bear would finally produce offspring. On Thanksgiving Day, Lee’s mate, Aurora, gave birth to a cub.

Mike Watson / Colorado Ballet

Colorado Ballet is looking to replace its beloved “Nutcracker” - at least parts of it.

The organization hopes to raise $2.5 million to cover the cost of commissioning new sets, props and costumes in time for the ballet’s 60th anniversary next year.

From disintegrating headpieces to a nutcracker doll whose had its share of breaks, KUNC arts reporter Stacy Nick spoke with the ballet’s artistic director Gil Boggs about how hundreds of performances have taken its toll.

Netflix

Movies about marriages – which are usually about divorces – are hardly new. In the 1930s and ‘40s Hollywood produced a slew of comedies about couples divorcing and then getting back together, and they were not trivial. They took on questions of truth, honesty and changing circumstances. Adam’s Rib from 1949 has Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn as two married lawyers fighting over marriage equality. Later came the vicious Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Kramer vs. Kramer, and a bunch of the now-disgraced Woody Allen’s movies about marriage.

Justin Favela
Stacy Nick / KUNC

Las Vegas artist Justin Favela has fond memories of his grandmother, Isabel Favela's, house around the holidays. Especially her tradition of building a gigantic, elaborate, and very specifically styled nativity — or "nacimiento."

"These are the key elements of (my grandmother's) nacimiento," Justin said. "At the very top of the mountain, you have the manger and then there's a grassy hill and that usually has sheep and deer on it."

On Thanksgiving, radio stations around the country will play Arlo Guthrie's 1967 "Alice's Restaurant." But why is this 18-minute song about littering and Vietnam considered a Thanksgiving song?   

KUNC's Colorado Edition put that question to Margot, music host from our sister station 105.5 The Colorado Sound.  

tuchodi via Flickr / Creative Commons

There have been no impeachment hearings during the holiday week, but people are still talking about it. And unless your family has a policy explicitly barring talk of politics or other divisive subjects, the topic is likely to come up around the Thanksgiving table. 

If that thought fills you with dread, relax. We're about to dish up some helpful tips for how to have civil discourse, so you can help avoid hurt feelings or possibly a food fight during the holidays. 

Lily Tyson / KUNC

As the holiday season approaches, you may be planning on baking pies, cakes and cookies. But as you may have discovered, baking at higher altitudes like the ones here in Colorado is different from baking at sea level. To find out more about what this actually means and what adjustments we should make so our desserts don't collapse, KUNC's Colorado Edition traveled to Colorado State University to get some advice. 

Utopia

My skin curdles when politicians cite movies as their guides to governing the nation. Movies are dreams not position papers. Ronald Reagan looked to fanciful war films; Newt Gingrich wanted to imitate Boys Town and other romanticized versions of America in the 1930s. In Errol Morris’s American Dharma, Steve Bannon, the political operative and key advisor for a time to Donald Trump, waxes devotional over the 1949 Twelve O’clock High, a dreamy, idealized story about problems of command in an Air Force squadron stationed in England during World War II.

Courtesy of Garland Photography

Weeks after Midtown Arts Center in Fort Collins was bulldozed, a new $10 million theater is poised to fill the void.

Set to open in 2021, Boardwalk by Candlelight will be an 800-to-1,000 seat venue focused on musical theater, said Dave Clark, owner and executive producer of parent company Candlelight Dinner Playhouse in Johnstown.

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