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September 23rd, 2023

asteroid city spotlightELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times


When creating a play or any other piece of art, there is always a lot of work done with all aspects to make sure it fully matches the artist’s vision. 

Recently, film director Wes Anderson attempted to capture that process with his newest film “Asteroid City.” The film simultaneously depicts the events of a Junior Stargazer convention in a retro/futuristic version of 1955, staged as a play, and the creation of the play, which itself combines popular memory and mythology about aliens and UFOs witnessed in the Southwestern desert in close proximity to atomic test sites during the postwar period of the 20th century.

To begin, the overall concept of the movie is actually rather creative, and viewers can tell there was a vision behind this the director wanted executed. There was definitely a lot of creativity that went into the set design, because it definitely reminded me of other photos and other media I’ve seen from the 1950s. In an odd way, the sets for Asteroid City somewhat reminded me of how they designed Radiator Springs in Pixar’s “Cars” movies because there’s lots of color but also quite a bit of desolation since the city is out in the desert. Those scenes have a stark contrast to the black-and-white scenes that go into detail about the play’s inception, and that combination works rather well. The costuming was also done really well and I could again see the influences from the fashion of that time, and I will admit the costume for the “alien” was straight up nightmare fuel. So overall, there was definitely effort put forth in the aesthetic of the movie, and I have to commend that. 

dan dan the magic man spotlight pageDan Dan the Magic Man (right) and his son, Patrick, prepare to take an audience on an Ocean of Possibilities during a performance at Liberal Memorial Library last year. Dan Dan the Magic Man is set to return to the library July 13 at 2 p.m. L&T file photo/Elly GrimmELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times


Liberal Memorial Library’s summer reading program will soon be wrapping up, and as part of those festivities, Dan Heath, aka Dan Dan the Magic Man, will be on hand to share some stories and tricks for those who come. 

Dan Dan the Magic Man will be performing at 2 p.m. Thursday, July 13 at Liberal Memorial Library as part of the wrap-up party, which will begin at 1 p.m. As Heath tells it, there is a lot of excitement with returning to Liberal. 

“Liberal always has a great crowd, we see a great turnout every year. We've been performing at that library for many years now as part of the summer reading program activities, and it's always a great time out there,” Heath said. “My children have also grown up being part of the show as my assistants, so it's really fun bringing them back with me. The people at Liberal Memorial Library are always warm and friendly and the children in the audience are always so excited to see us. Liberal has an absolutely fantastic library and if there are people not using it, they need to get in there and use it, because it's a fantastic facility.”

Heath said the show is a good one for the entire family. 

kelly clarkson chemistry spotlight pageELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times


Kelly Clarkson has been one of my favorite artists since she won “American Idol” and she has released many of my favorite songs in the years since then, including “Miss Independent,” “Behind These Hazel Eyes” and “Stronger,” among many others. So when she announced on Twitter she would be releasing a new album that coincided with her recent divorce proceedings, titled “Chemistry,” I knew I would have to give it a listen when it came out. 

I did exactly that earlier this week, and it is a very rare thing for an album to make me feel as many emotions as “Chemistry” did. 

The album starts off with the extremely raw and powerful “Skip This Part,” and it perfectly captures that feeling of wanting to feel good again after being in a hurtful situation. The way the chorus is written, I actually felt it could fit any type of emotional situation, whether it’s a breakup or the loss of a family member or any other similar situation. We’ve all been at that point where we want to skip over the hurt and bad feelings and go straight to the healing, and this song is the PERFECT opener and the perfect way to express those feelings. The album then continues with “Mine,” which is also very raw and powerful and expresses very well a person’s feelings of being alone and unloved in a relationship and constantly second-guessing whether or not YOU’RE the problem, and I would say these are the feelings felt immediately after the breakup happens. This song features rather minimal instruments throughout, and I absolutely loved the buildup with the last two verses.