Ask 'Mimi' March 9, 2014

Ask 'Mimi' March 9, 2014

1. Should Matthew McConaughey have mentioned in his Oscar acceptance speech for best actor for "Dallas Buyers Club" people living with AIDS? In the movie he plays an AIDS patient who eventually dies.

That issue was raised in a Salon article ( and on Facebook after the ceremony last week. The Salon writer contrasted McConaughey's narcissistic speech with the humble one by best supporting actress winner Lupita Nyong'o for "12 Years a Slave." She mentioned that the suffering of many led to great joy for her.

Facebook friends varied on their opinions, and I can't make up my own mind.

A FB friend who's a big McConaughey fan believes the actor was required by etiquette to mention people living with AIDS because he had profited from their suffering. Another commented the actor had worked for years to get the story on screen — and that should suffice. Yet another said McConaughey is an actor, not activist, and should not be required to be politically correct in an acceptance speech.

2. Have any more acts been announced for the inaugural Phases Of The Moon Music + Art Festival on Sept. 11-14 at Kennekuk County Park near Danville?

Yes, just this past week. Grateful Dead guitarist/founding member Bob Weir will perform with one of his latest band projects, RatDog. Other bands announced in Phase 2: Railroad Earth, Vintage Trouble, Donavon Frankenreiter, Sam Bush Band, Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers, Martin Sexton (two sets), Kung Fu, The California Honeydrops (two sets), Toubab Krewe, and Poor Man's Whiskey (two sets).

Also, The Brothers Comatose, Cornmeal (two sets), The Steepwater Band, Mingo Fishtrap, Futurebirds, Go Down Moses, Moon Hooch, The Dawn, Abnormous, Naked Rock Fight, The Harmaleighs, A Live One, Steady Flow, Flatland Harmony Experiment, Ernie Hendrickson Band, Kevin Bilchik, The Brothers, Kasey Burton, Boat Drink Caucus (featuring actual state legislators) and The Moonrise Gospel Brunch.

Stay tuned for further announcements. For more on this highly anticipated festival, go to

3. What's going on with the new Star Theatre in Villa Grove?

Though not officially open yet, owner Jim Whitmore, a 1979 Tuscola High School alum, has been having free open houses with live music as well as other events in the theater, a 1912 building that in 1949 became the Bijou, later the Gem and in '92, the Gemini, with two movie screens.

Whitmore returned here from Virginia to buy and renovate the building.

"I live above the theater, so my commute is 35 feet, south," he joked.

He's applied for a liquor license, is preparing plans for the Health Department and ironing out other details. He aims to open officially May 9 and host a variety of events at the "event center" but is having open houses so folks can check out what he's been doing over the past half year. For more, go to

Topics (4):Art, Film, Music, Theater

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