Laura Kennedy | WGLT

Laura Kennedy

Features Reporter/All Things Considered Host

Reporter, content producer and All Things Considered host, Laura Kennedy is a native of the Midwest who occasionally affects an English accent just for the heck of it. Related to two U.S. Presidents, Kennedy appalled her family by going into show business.

Astonishingly pale and a tad goth, Kennedy tends to sizzle if left in the sun too long.

In her spare time Kennedy nurtures her worrisome passion for cashmere, plays zither in her imaginary garage band, Dowager Hump, and sits slack-jawed in front of the television watching Turner Classic Movies.

Ways to Connect

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Watching fish swimming in an aquarium is relaxing and stress relieving, so much so that it can lower your blood pressure. But inside the tank, if there isn't harmony between the finned residents, there can be an abundance of stress.  Put the wrong fish together and  bullying -- or worse -- could be the result.  But careful selection and understanding of the needs of fish can result in compatibility. 

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Winter is underway, and through these dark, chilly days it's only natural to think longingly of summer.  That's the season that's very much on the minds of the organizers of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival.  They've just announced their plans for the 2016 season, and it includes having a dame play the Dane.  Artistic director Kevin Rich talks about the decision to cast a woman to play Hamlet.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

A Twin Cities author is celebrating the publication of her first novel, Badfish.  And it's a feat made that much sweeter by the independent path she followed.

Paul Pitman / Flickr via Creative Commons

If you're still searching for a lovely gift for the gardener in your life, Grow host Patrick Murphy has a list of suggestions you should check out.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The latest chapter in the Star Wars saga is set to open Friday with anticipated huge ticket sales and monster merchandising.  But all the fuss surrounding "The Force Awakens" actually started in 1977 with the release of the first Star Wars film.  Shari Zeck, from ISU's College of Fine Arts, talks with GLT's Laura Kennedy about how the movie came to be such a cultural phenomenon. 

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

When kids visit Santa's Station in Uptown Normal this holiday season, they'll find more diversity.

Dennis Hill / Flickr via Creative Commons

What's in a name?  Well, plenty, if it's a storm.  Grow host Patrick Murphy is naming names of weather systems and looks into why dubbing storms fascinates us.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The Midwest Institute of Opera  helps young people appreciate and perform music.  But as founders John and Tracy Koch have discovered, the kids have a lot to teach them, too.  

Zach Inglis / Flickr via Creative Commons

A range of health issues, from benign to serious, can cause an alarming reaction in your pet's balance systems.  This edition of Animal House examines vestibular syndrome and why it's a sure sign you should take your furry friend to the vet. 

Exit 167

A local band that's found success combining elements of Indian and American music is staging a concert in the Twin Cities this weekend.  With Exit 167, the musical accent is unique and hard won.

Laura Kennedy

The Normal Theater has a double dose of greed and ambition among southern aristocrats by pairing live theater with a classic movie.

USFWSmidwest / Flickr via Creative Commons

Native plants are a great choice for any gardener, and while they can look great in the warmer months, can they bring winter interest to your yard? Grow host Patrick Murphy has the low down.

Laura Kennedy

  For 106 years, The Yale Whiffenpoofs have entertained audiences all across the country with harmonies so tight you could bounce a quarter off of them.  The Whiffenpoofs are coming to the Twin Cities for a concert, allowing a hometown man to step into the spotlight in front of family and friends.

Steven Depolo / Flickr via Creative Commons

So...what'll it be?  Maybe a Scotch pine or a blue spruce?   Patrick Murphy is happy to help you select just the right tree for Christmas.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Straight from the deserts of Asia and the Middle East, the leopard gecko has become a popular choice for lizard lovers.  This edition of Animal House looks at why this particular gecko is considered a great starter lizard.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The animal kingdom inspired the latest exhibition at the McLean County Arts Center in Bloomington.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

IWU's Wakeley Gallery is currently showing an exhibition of self-portraits revealing the ravages of Alzheimer's disease on an artist who, despite the devastating diagnosis, never stopped creating.

dynamasquito / Flickr via Creative Commons

The Normal Theater is screening a film about a legendary detective that was made almost 100 years ago and, until recently, was thought lost.  Now restored, it takes its place among the huge canon of Sherlock Holmes films that prove the enduring popularity of the fictional detective.  Laura Kennedy chats with ISU professor Jan Susina about the man in the deerstalker hat.

davidd / Flickr via Creative Commons

Ol' Blue Eyes would have been 100 this year.  To celebrate, a local jazz group is hosting a concert in celebration of Sinatra.  Laura Kennedy has more.

Lori L. Stalterl / Flickr via Creative Commons

Warm weather  is gone and you're about to toss those potted ornamentals you've had on your patio all summer long.  Don't.  Patrick Murphy, host of GLT's Grow, has a better idea.

James Naremore / University of Illinois Press

2015 marks the 100th birthday of legendary filmmaker Orson Welles. In honor of that, the University of Illinois Press has released a third edition of "The Magic World of Orson Welles" by film scholar James Naremore.  Laura Kennedy has more with the author, who says despite the great accomplishment of Citizen Kane, Welles's film may be a victim of its own luminous reputation.

Carrie Schneider

The pure pleasure of sitting down with a good book goes from a private diversion to a public exhibition at the ISU Galleries in Normal.  A new exhibition of works from artist Carrie Schneider is on display, made possible by grant money from the Warhol Foundation.  Laura Kennedy has more.

John Tann / Flickr via Creative Commons

Ornamental grasses lend a unique beauty to the landscape, plus they can give a hint of agricultural practices of years past.  Patrick Murphy has more on this edition of Grow.

din_bastet / Flickr via Creative Commons

Heartland Theater is staging a play by award-winning playwright Lynn Nottage.  "Intimate Apparel" is a work that truly lives up to its name.  Laura Kennedy has more on this edition of the GLT Datebook.

Photo courtesy Flickr user Joe deSousa via Creative Commons

Wonderful spots full of amazing plants surround us -- we just have to slow down and notice them.  Murph has some advice on noteworthy places to find interesting plantings.

Angel Ambrose

Get to know some of the artists in our community with the Annual Art Walk.  Laura Kennedy has more on the GLT Datebook.

Mark Garrett Cooper

  Just seven percent of the films coming out of Hollywood today are helmed by women.  There's no doubt that the film industry is dominated by men, but 100 years ago this was not the case.  Lois Weber, Ruth Ann Baldwin and Twin Cities native Cleo Madison were all successful directors.  Laura Kennedy has more with the author of a book that examines a unique era in film history, and a particular studio that, for a time, did not have a celluloid ceiling.

Photo courtesy Flickr user jimmy brown via Creative Commons

In this edition of Animal House, Laura Kennedy highlights the reasons why puppies and kittens aren't always the way to go when adopting a furry pal.

Sebastian Dooris / Flickr user via Creative Commons

A film that combined corsets and fishnet stockings with Sci-Fi/Horror musical parody celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.  Laura Kennedy has more on the phenomenon of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Sylvia Shults

Paranormal author Sylvia Shults discovered a fascinating history of demons in her latest book.

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