‘The Duke’ charts John Wayne’s restless search for respect

For more than four decades and 162 feature films, John Wayne filled the screen and our cultural fantasies. Along the way he became a symbol of American masculinity, the emphatic authority figure defending our values with fists and guns — “an innocent man in primary colors,” in the words of Scott Eyman’s entertaining new biography.

The Kansas poet laureate invites your verse

Kansas poet laureate Wyatt Townley has requested participants submit verse in the form of the American cinquain. “I want to get people thinking about the concept of ‘home,’” said Townley, who lives in Leawood.

‘Oculus’: Mirror, mirror, off-the-wall

What “Oculus” has going for it is a slow, steady build-up of tension, leading to a final act that makes up in pure intensity what it lacks in originality. In a genre that so often relies on gore and lazy jump scares, that goes a long way.

‘The Lunchbox’: Romance with a dash of regret

In Ritesh Batra’s beguiling romance “The Lunchbox,” a virtual relationship blossoms not through a sexy operating system as in “Her,” or modern-day epistolary as in “You’ve Got Mail,” but the old-fashioned way, through carefully written notes delivered by hand every day.

Dream Theater belies its reputation for excess

Dream Theater is burdened with a reputation for bombastic excess. Although Wednesday's show at the Uptown Theater lasted over three hours, the members of the quintet allowed themselves surprisingly few moments of indulgent exhibitionism during their surprisingly taut performance.

Comic Bill Maher, who performs Sunday at the Midland, is known for making waves

Bill Maher, the comedian, satirist and host of the HBO show “Real Time With Bill Maher,” is no stranger to controversy. The most recent came in the wake of comments he made about the movie “Noah,” when Maher said God is a “psychotic mass murderer who gets away with it.” Maher was nonplussed about the reaction and surprised his comments aroused much anger.

Stephen Colbert will replace David Letterman on 'The Late Show'

CBS took little time in naming a replacement for David Letterman as host "The Late Show." A week after Letterman announced his retirement, CBS named Stephen Colbert as his replacement. “Simply being a guest on David Letterman’s show has been a highlight of my career,” Colbert said in a statement. He added: “I’m thrilled and grateful that CBS chose me. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go grind a gap in my front teeth.”

Video: The Star’s Press Pavilion becomes a stage for Quixotic’s performance art

Billed as a "convergence of the arts, tech and cultural communities," the Forum, the nonmusical portion of Ink’s Middle of the Map Fest, kicks off with a party at 5 p.m. Thursday at The Kansas City Star’s Press Pavilion. The party features a Q&A with George Packer of The New Yorker magazine, performances and lighting installations by Quixotic. On Wednesday, crews prepared the pavilion for Quixotic’s performance.

Jazz spotlight shines on talented women

It’s a busy month for jazz in Kansas City, and women musicians are responsible for some of the best events on the calendar. Pianist and composer Helen Sung performs Saturday at the Blue Room to promote her new album, “Anthem for a New Day.” Another schedule highlight is provided by singer Catherine Russell, who is at Knuckleheads on Wednesday.