What to do in Milwaukee this weekend: Ice princesses, road trips and the world of the Maya

"Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed," the traveling exhibit opening Saturday at the Milwaukee Public Museum, is the largest display ever shown in the United States of the ancient Mayan civilization that once dominated Central America. More than 300 artifacts, interactive displays and a look at the work still going on at some of the archaeological sites are part of the experience. Timed-ticket admission to "Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed" is $25, $18 for seniors 65 and older, $16 for kids ages 5 to 12, and free for children 4 and younger, with lower prices for museum members. Tickets include general admission to the museum, 800 W. Wells St., which will have the exhibit through May 28.   Info: mpm.edu/maya Five Milwaukee Ballet choreographers join with local musicians for "MKE: Milwaukee Mixed," a homegrown blend of contemporary sounds and contemporary dance — including live performances by artist and poet Dasha Kelly and the Bonifas Electric Band, with Brian Lynch. The production takes the stage at the Pabst Theater, 144 E. Wells St., at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $36.25 to $111.25, available at the Pabst box office, pabsttheater.org and the ballet box office, 504 W. National Ave. Info: milwaukeeballet.org  This month's MAM After Dark shindig has a road-trip theme, tied to the continuing show "Open Road: Photography and the American Road Trip." There's team trivia, a scavenger hunt, a preview and unveiling of the show "Artnonymous," and more from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday 2/9 at the Milwaukee Art Museum, 700 N. Art Museum Drive. Admission is $14 at the door, free for art museum members.  Info:  mam.org The new edition of "Disney on Ice," "Dream Big," puts princesses Ariel, Rapunzel, Cinderella, Belle, Jasmine, Aurora, Tiana, Anna and Elsa on the ice to learn how to find magic of their own. Their comic-relief sidekicks are along for the glide, Continue Reading

‘Disney on Ice’ skater Princess Tiana encourages kids to ‘dream big’

What little girl doesn't want to grow up to be a Disney princess?For Chelsea Ridley, that dream has come true on the ice, Disney on Ice to be exact.Ridley, who plays Princess Tiana in "Disney on Ice presents Dream Big" first started ice skating when she was four years old. SIGN UP: Receive the MetroParent newsletter in your email twice a week The Chicago native's mom signed her up for skating lessons, and Ridley admits that at first she wasn't into it. She says, "My mom said, 'Well, I signed you up for this, so you're going to finish it.'"She did finish the initial lessons, and 20 years later, she's grateful she did. "I've competed, I've coached, I've basically done it all. I've always loved the show aspect and the presentation aspect of skating. So I decided to try to do shows. Now here we are at Disney, and I'm loving it." According to Ridley, she's not the only one who loves the most recent Disney on Ice show, which will be at the BMO Harris Bradley Center for the last time Feb. 8-11.Tinker Bell guides the narrative through the stories of nine princesses and a queen, from classics like Cinderella and Snow White through to those of the Disney renaissance era like Belle, Ariel and Jasmine, right up to modern princesses like Rapunzel, Tiana and Anna and Elsa.Although the narrative is heavily princess-focused, Ridley reassures Disney fans that there's plenty for the whole family to enjoy, including a fire-breathing dragon, the lovable and hilarious Olaf and lots of fun tricks by a Russian acrobatic team.The spectacle on ice will likely result in lots of kids wanting to don their own ice skates and sign up for lessons, especially since this is a Winter Olympics year.Ridley's advice to all those potential ice skaters is appropriate considering that Disney happy endings are most often about dreams coming true: " Go for it, give it a try. Even if it's not the best thing at first, keep trying and keep pushing. And always follow your dreams."When: Continue Reading

Real-life couple adds spark to ‘Disney on Ice Presents Dream Big’

Share Tweet Share Email Comments Print IF YOU GO What: Disney On Ice Presents Dream Big When: 7 p.m. Thursday; 7 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m., 3 p.m., and 7 p.m. Saturday; and 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday Where: Huntington Center, 500 Jefferson Ave. Admission: Tickets start at $15, box office or huntingtoncentertoledo.com If guests notice chemistry between Rapunzel and her dashing love interest, Flynn Rider, as they glide and twirl across the ice this weekend, it’s not just good acting. The figure skaters who portray the fictional duo, Tatjana Zaharjeva and Bonard Muck, are real-life love interests too. “It gives you a spark when you’re on ice,” Zaharjeva said with a laugh. Their Rapunzel and Flynn skate into the Huntington Center on Thursday, when Disney on Ice Presents Dream Big is set for its first of seven weekend performances. Dream Big sees the Tangled protagonists join a cast of familiar characters — Aurora, Tiana, Jasmine, Belle, Anna, Elsa, and more — in approximately two hours of twirls, jumps, and daring acrobatics. Tickets start at $15 and are available at the Huntington Center box office or online at huntingtoncentertoledo.com. Show times are 7 p.m. Thursday; 7 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m., 3 p.m., and 7 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday. Dream Big samples from each of its characters’ well-loved stories, following Ariel as she longs for a life above the waves and sisters Anna and Elsa as they learn about the magic of true love. The sisters’ lovable snowman, Olaf, makes an appearance on skates too. In covering both classic fairy tales like Snow White and Cinderella, and more contemporary adaptations like Frozen, Tangled, and The Princess and the Frog, Dream Big offers something for viewers of all generations. And, while it’s clearly heavy on its heroines, it’s not all lovey-dovey princess stuff, either. “We have acrobatic sailors, a fire-breathing dragon,” Continue Reading

Anika Noni Rose in Disney’s ‘The Princess and the Frog’; ‘Dreamgirl’s’ latest role is history making

Anika Noni Rose has good reason to feel animated.Her latest starring role isn't simply high-profile — it's downright historic."The Princess and the Frog" leaps into local theaters on Wednesday, and her voice will be heard as Disney's first animated black heroine: Tiana, a sassy go-getter out to rescue a bewitched prince from amphibian oblivion.The tweaked Grimm's fairy tale is set in jazzy 1920s New Orleans, but Rose, 37, a Tony winner best known from the movie version of "Dreamgirls," says her connection to Tiana is rooted right at the core of the Big Apple. Rose was in the middle of Times Square when word came that she'd landed the coveted regal role.The producers "had been trying to reach me for quite a while, but I'm a New York girl," says Rose. "I was trying to do 10,000 things at once and didn't get the phone. I ended up running to the Disney office. Luckily they were nearby — and I was in sneakers."Those sensible shoes fit the character of Tiana, a chef who's waiting tables until she can open her own restaurant.Unlike other Disney princesses introduced with a trademark "I want" tune revealing their deepest desire (like the Little Mermaid, Ariel, who wants to "be where the people are"), Tiana's first song, "Almost There," is one of self-confidence and certainty. "She's been saving and saving, and she's got the down payment ready," says Rose. "She sees her dreams coming true."Then comes that fateful well-meaning smooch. Tiana plants one on a hapless prince who's been turned into a frog (voiced by Bruno Campos) and changes into a croaker herself. Don't worry — a happily ever after can't be far off.Following the failure of its 2004 animated feature "Home on the Range," the Mouse House hopes the new princess epic — their first since the mid-1990s — will conjure fairy-tale magic at the box office. They've pulled in big guns to help make it happen. Randy Newman wrote the music. The direction is by Ron Clements and John Musker, who Continue Reading

So you want to be a princess?

Every little girl wants to be a princess. For Jerramy Fine, it became a full-blown obsession. At age 6, Fine decided she was destined to marry the Queen of England's eldest grandson, Peter Phillips, after spotting him in a book. Determined not to let her hippie parents, or the small Colorado rodeo town she grew up in, hold her back, Fine went the extra mile - 5,000, in fact - and moved to England nine years ago to chase her dream. "A lot of Americans think that going to England is going to be like a Hugh Grant movie. A big part of me kind of thought that, too," admits the 33-year-old, who documents her offbeat quest in her debut novel, hitting bookstores Thursday, "Someday My Prince Will Come: True Adventures of a Wanna-be Princess." Unfortunately, her mission didn't exactly go accordingly to plan. "Even just meeting English people in London was difficult," says the attractive blond, who landed with a thump in residence halls at the London School of Economics, where students from every country except England populated the shabby gray corridors. Still intent on winning over Peter Phillips (who holds no royal title and is the son of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips), Fine read up on British etiquette, invested in a Grace Kelly-style wardrobe and, with a combination of luck and determination, soon found herself rubbing shoulders with England's aristocratic elite. "I treated it for a long time as if it was going to be a career," she confides. "I threw myself into it with that much gusto." Her eccentric mission may sound at best odd and, at worst, completely nuts, but it's almost impossible not to root for the unlikely heroine, especially when she finally scores a one-on-one with Peter himself (yes, really). "It's a little scary that your whole life is out there for the world to read," admits Fine, whose story doesn't end with a royal wedding but serves to remind us that life is all about the thrill of the chase, not the prize. Continue Reading

Hey, big spender! K-Fed throws his cash around in Vegas

LOS ANGELES - Kevin Federline might play the part of the pauper to his pop princess ex-wife Britney Spears, but in Las Vegas he is king. Federline spent over $43,000 on Las Vegas hotels, dining and shopping between May 2007 and January of this year, according to documents filed by Federline's attorney in his custody battle with Spears. The documents were released by the Superior Court on Thursday. The tabs included $1,445 for clothing at Gianni Versace, $3,863 at TAO nightclub, and $3,008 at the Hard Rock Beach Club. He appears determined not to be branded a cheap tipper. At Scores strip club, he dropped a cool $2,000 on a $365 meal bill. Meanwhile, his company, Gooseneck Productions, Inc., spent $841,129 in 2007 while earning $544,075, according to the documents. The aspiring rapper also spent big on attempts to prop up his struggling music career. Federline had $74,102 in "music production" expenses, but earned only $9,849 in "music income," according to the documents, which did not elaborate. The Superior Court commissioner dealing with the Federline-Spears custody battle has consistently awarded Federline attorneys fees. In March, Spears' divorce attorney, Stacy Phillips, argued that Federline's attorneys were overbilling, and her client should not be required to pay. Phillips said that Federline tipped extravagantly. Indeed, a credit card statement showed a $1,100 tip for a $2,782 bill at a Los Angeles restaurant. Federline still owed $343,834 in fees to his attorney, Mark Vincent Kaplan, when the documents released Thursday were filed in January. Spears pays her ex-husband $15,000 per month in child support for 2-year-old Sean Preston and 1-year-old Jayden James. Her monthly spousal support payments of $20,000 ended in November. The accounting statement mixes personal expenses, like $1,500 per week for a nanny to care for the two toddlers, and business expenses, like $2,500 per month for his manager. The bulk of Federline's income Continue Reading

Big events coming to Cincy in November

Let's have a peek at all the big events coming in November. It shall be dubbed The Month of the Light Shows.Peppa Pig Live, Taft TheatreTodd Almond and Michelle Shocked, Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, Over-the-Rhine MORE:  Things to do this week: Nov. 1-5Nov. 2-5: Cirque Italia, Florence MallDenis Leary: "Why We Don't Suck," Joseph-Beth Booksellers, NorwoodBeach Slang, The Southgate House Revival, NewportKevin Griffin of Better Than Ezra, Live at The Ludlow Garage, Clifton MORE • Fountain Square ice rink now open • Search our complete calendar of eventsPrimus, Taft TheatreNov. 3-5: Bruce Bruce, Funny Bone at Liberty CenterNov. 3-4: VTDance, Aronoff CenterNov. 3-4: Blues and Boogie Piano Summit, The Southgate House Revival, NewportRed and 10 Years, Bogart'sWayne Bergeron, Redmoor, Mount LookoutPumpkin Chuck, Stanbery Park, Mount WashingtonNorthside Record Fair, North ChurchWhiskey City Festival, Lawrenceburg Event CenterChase Rice, Bogart'sRodney Carrington, Taft TheatreAll-City Boychoir Festival, Aronoff CenterNov. 4-5: The Storm That Built Music Hall, Music HallNov. 4-19: Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical, The Carnegie, CovingtonNov. 4-Dec. 17: Frank Ferrante in An Evening With Groucho, Playhouse in the ParkRegina Spektor, Taft TheatreJerry Jam, The Southgate House RevivalDream Theater, Taft TheatreCole Carothers: 40 Year Retrospective Exhibition, Caza Sikes, OakleyNov. 7-19: Finding Neverland, Aronoff Center Milk Carton Kids, Taft TheatreNov. 8-12: Harper Art Show, Farbach-Werner Nature Preserve, Colerain TownshipVIP Night Signing with Joy Mangano, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Crestview HillsSebastian Maniscalco, Taft TheatreNov. 9-10: Takahiro Yamamoto: Direct Path To Detour, Contemporary Arts CenterMUSE Cincinnati's Women's Choir: Welcome, Bellarmine Chapel, XUNov. 10-12: Greater Cincinnati Holiday Market, Duke Energy Convention CenterNov. 10-11: International Wine Continue Reading


PASADENA, Calif. - In the morally inverted world of "Nip/Tuck," truth is indeed stranger than any fiction even series creator Ryan Murphy could dream up. The FX series regularly depicts bizarre, unbelievable cosmetic surgery scenarios: a woman so obese she was confined to her couch and literally became adhered to it; another whose dead unborn child remained in her womb for decades, as petrified as a prehistoric fossil. Amazingly, each scenario is taken from the pages of life. "When you read a news clipping about a woman who has not left the sofa for three years and has grown into the sofa, you cannot quite believe it," said Murphy. "But you know, I find all of those things sort of ripe with intrigue, and I'm very interested in the morality of all those stories." And so it goes. As the network's No. 1 show heads into its fourth season the surgical exploits become very perverse and very personal. In the premiere episode (Sept. 5 at 10 p.m.), Sean (Dylan Walsh) and Julia (Joely Richardson) cope with the sad irony that their unborn son is cursed with a disfiguring handicap. And Larry Hagman and Kathleen Turner make winking guest turns. Hagman, one of TV's original Lotharios as J.R. Ewing, is seeking testicular implants. Apparently, his current set isn't big enough. And Turner, she of the infamous throaty drawl, plays a phone sex worker who needs a voice-lift. "That's something that I've wanted to write for three years, a voice-lift, because I thought it was so odd," said Murphy. "And as soon as you say voice-lift, you think of Kathleen Turner - at least I do. Who has the world's deepest voice?" Other guest stars this season include Brooke Shields in a multi-episode arc as Christian's (Julian McMahon) randy shrink, Rosie O'Donnell and Catherine Deneuve. O'Donnell, who has decried societal beauty standards and famously condemned fired "View" co-host Star Jones Reynolds for denying that her dramatic weight loss resulted from gastric bypass Continue Reading


SUPERMAN, BATMAN, Harry Potter - and Princess Natasha? She's no household name but that's not stopping AOL from hawking its newly minted animated character at the licensing show. AOL will make its formal debut at the mega merchandising fest tomorrow, and will be the only Internet company among the old-line media titans like Warner Bros., Disney and Marvel. The Time Warner-owned Internet giant is trying to break new ground. Until now, the online world has not generated characters with enough clout to spawn popular product lines. If they're successful, AOL may open up the licensing door for other Internet characters. But AOL has already begun to make some progress with Princess Natasha, a feisty royal spy whose mission is to thwart her evil uncle Lubek. She is among the first online characters to migrate to TV, with a show on AOL's sister cable channel Cartoon Network. A whole slew of Natasha products are next, thanks to 22 licensing partners who've already signed on. They run the gamut from Brewster Wallcovering for wallpaper, Colorbok for kids crafts sets and party favors, and Dream Apparel for princess appropriate p.j.s and robes. Three other AOL-generated characters will be seeking kiddie-friendly deals at the licensing show: "Pilar's Adventures" - a just launched educational program geared to pre-schoolers - "Kung Fu Academy," about an American high schooler who mistakenly ends up in Tibet, and skate boarder show "Skwod." It's too soon to say whether AOL can compete with the big guys in the lucrative licensing arena. While the Internet giant has signed up partners for Princess Natasha, the dollars it has received so far are a tiny fraction of it's $8.2 billion in annual revenues. The bulk of the Natasha products will debut in stores starting at the end of the year. The character is about to finish its run on Cartoon Network. AOL is discussing a possible new TV deal as well as a series of public service ads featuring the princess, but nothing Continue Reading


SWEPT AWAY As if following a script for the worst possible scenario, Hurricane Katrina roared into New Orleans, overwhelmed its levees and submerged the city. The federal government was woefully out to lunch. For nearly a week, tens of thousands of poor and mostly black New Orleanians begged for help on TV in images that shocked the world. The final death toll was more than 1,000 dead in Louisiana alone, but even that does not come close to quantifying the damage. Months later, whole neighborhoods remain empty, their residents scattered - refugees in the wealthiest nation on Earth. IRAQ MIRE Sgt. George Alexander Jr. became the 2,000th American service member to die in Iraq, a milestone that helped tip a majority of Americans against the war. The year began with a heartening Iraqi election that raised many spirits and hopes for a pullout. But three years after the invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, more U.S. soldiers are there than ever. Grieving mom Cindy Sheehan laid siege outside President Bush's Texas ranch during his long vacation, and hawkish Rep. John Murtha called to bring home all the troops. REMEMBERING ROSA PARKS When she refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man in 1955, Rosa Parks galvanized the civil rights movement. When she died Oct. 24 at age 92, she was acknowledged as an American heroine. Parks' body lay in state under the Capitol Rotunda - making her the first woman to receive such a tribute. TOUGH TIMES FOR BUSH Fresh from his reelection, President Bush roared into 2005 with the wind at his back, declaring he had a "mandate from the people." But the second-term curse hit W with a perfect storm of scandal and political missteps. Top GOP House leader Tom DeLay was indicted for corruption. Senate GOP leader Bill Frist was probed in a fishy stock deal. Top Bush aide Karl Rove barely escaped indictment in the CIA leak probe, but Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis (Scooter) Libby, was hit with Continue Reading