Arts

Theater
4:39 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Glenn Close Ends 20-Year Broadway Hiatus With 'A Delicate Balance'

Glenn Close stars as Agnes in Edward Albee's play A Delicate Balance.
Brigitte Lacombe Philip Rinaldi Publicity

In 1995, Glenn Close won her third Tony Award for her role the Broadway musical Sunset Boulevard. Now, after 20-year hiatus, Close is back on Broadway. She's starring alongside John Lithgow in A Delicate Balance, Edward Albee's 1966 Pulitzer Prize-winning play. The story follows Agnes (Close), a suburban matron striving to keep the peace in a household she her husband (Lithgow) share with her sister, who's an alcoholic; their daughter, who's a serial divorcee; and their best friends who have fled their own home in an inexplicable terror.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

The 1970s, Ugly And Adrift In 'Inherent Vice'

Joaquin Phoenix stars as Larry "Doc" Sportello Ҁ” a private investigator with a pot smoking habit Ҁ” in Inherent Vice, Paul Thomas Anderson's film adaptation of the novel by Thomas Pynchon.
Wilson Webb Warner Brothers Pictures

Paul Thomas Anderson probably wouldn't take kindly to being called a period filmmaker. And it's true that one of our finest pulse-takers of the American predicament is so much more than that. Anderson's movies track warped obsessives who come to define the particular times and places from which they get the tarnished American Dreams they pursue.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

In A Serious Season, The Loose Charms Of 'Little Feet'

Nico Rockwell and Lana Rockwell star in Little Feet.
Factory Twenty Five

On Christmas, a slew of Oscar hopefuls will hit theaters, taking on the kind of important topics you might expect from such prestige pictures: corruption in contemporary Russia, the psychological aftereffects of war, the struggles of the civil rights movement. In their company, the eccentricities of Alexandre Rockwell's Little Feet, which is getting a digital release on Vimeo and Fandor as well as a theatrical run in New York, stand out even more than normal.

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Author Interviews
12:21 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Richard Pryor, A Comedy Pioneer Who Was 'Always Whittling On Dynamite'

Comedian Richard Pryor, pictured in 1977, grew up in a brothel, surrounded by violence. "He said once that it's easier for him to talk about his life in front of 2,000 people than it is to do it one on one," says Scott Saul, whose new book is Becoming Richard Pryor.
AP

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 1:14 pm

Comedian Richard Pryor's legacy still reverberates nearly 10 years after his death. Pryor took the most difficult troubling aspects of his life and turned it into comedy. He talked about being black in ways that had never been done before in mainstream entertainment. And he was fearless and hilarious talking about race relations.

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The Two-Way
8:15 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Book News: Australian Prime Minister's 'Nasty' Move Sparks Lit-Prize Furor

Prime Minister Tony Abbott rankled the judges of the Prime Minister's Literary Award with a last-minute announcement. Judge Les Murray later called Abbott's pick a "stupid and pretentious book."
Stefan Postles Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 9:11 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

On Monday, Australia's top literary prize picked a pair of winners in its fiction category. Steven Carroll and Richard Flanagan, who was also this year's Booker Prize winner, split the Prime Minister's Literary Award and its winnings. The decision, while unusual, didn't raise many eyebrows at the time β€” but the aftermath has.

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Parallels
2:55 am
Thu December 11, 2014

The Risks, Rewards And Mysteries Of Reporting From Iran

Nazila Fathi reported from her native Iran for The New York Times. Fearing arrest, she fled in 2009 with her family and now lives in suburban Washington, D.C. Her new book, The Lonely War, describes the challenges of reporting from the country.
Hassan Sarbakhshian

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 11:53 am

Nazila Fathi covered turbulent events in her native Iran for years as The New York Times correspondent. She learned to navigate the complicated system that tolerates reporting on many topics but can also toss reporters in jail if they step across a line never explicitly defined by the country's Islamic authorities.

Fathi recalls one editor telling her what journalists could do in Iran: "We have the freedom to say whatever we want to say, but we don't know what happens afterwards."

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Book News & Features
2:55 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Join The Morning Edition Book Club: We're Reading 'Deep Down Dark'

Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 4:44 pm

Welcome to the first meeting of the Morning Edition Reads book club! Here's how it's going to work: A well-known writer will pick a book he or she loved. We'll all read it. Then, you'll send us your questions about the book. And about a month later, we'll reconvene to talk about the book with the author and the writer who picked it.

Ready? Here we go:

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The Salt
4:39 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

More Drinking, Less Buzz: Session Beers Gain Fans

Chris Lohring founded Notch Brewing in 2010. The company's lineup includes a Czech pilsner, a Belgian saison and an India pale ale. All of the brews are session beers β€” meaning their alcohol by volume, or A.B.V., is less than 5 percent.
Courtesy of Notch Brewing

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 1:13 pm

Tailgating, camping trips and wedding receptions are just some of the occasions when many Americans down a few beers in one sitting. For those who prefer high-alcohol microbrews and other craft beers, that can lead to trouble.

But a growing trend is offering another option: Session beers emphasize craft-beer taste with alcohol as low as or lower than big-brand light beers.

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The Salt
3:52 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

From Potatoes To Salty Fries In School: Congress Tweaks Food Rules

When it comes to salty french fries or pizza served at lunch, schools may get more time to dial back sodium content, thanks to a provision in the federal spending bill headed for a vote on Capitol Hill.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 9:00 am

The gargantuan budget bill that lawmakers on Capitol Hill are expected to vote on Thursday does more than dole out federal dollars to keep the government running.

It also tweaks federal nutrition rules.

For starters, the bill β€” aka, the 2015 Omnibus Appropriations Bill β€” includes a provision that will give school food directors more flexibility when it comes to adopting 100 percent whole grain items, such as pasta and biscuits, in school breakfast and lunch meals.

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Code Switch
12:38 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Jacqueline Woodson On Growing Up, Coming Out And Saying Hi To Strangers

Jacqueline Woodson has published 30 books, and won three Newbery honors and a Coretta Scott King Book Award for her young adult book Miracle's Boys.
Marty Umans Courtesy of Penguin Group USA

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 1:01 pm

When author Jacqueline Woodson was growing up in Greenville, S.C., in the '60s and '70s, she was keenly aware of segregation.

"We knew our place," Woodson tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "We knew our place was with our family. We knew where it was safest to be. There wasn't a lot of talk about the white world and what was going on in it; it didn't really have a lot to do with us, except in situations where there was the talk of resistance."

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The Two-Way
8:16 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Book News: The Elusive Elena Ferrante Finally Speaks β€” Sort Of

When it comes to picturing Elena Ferrante, readers have even less material than they do on Thomas Pynchon. They'll have to continue to settle for stock photography such as this, a shot of her native Naples, Italy.
Angelafoto iStockphoto

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Author Interviews
2:54 am
Wed December 10, 2014

WWII By The Books: The Pocket-Size Editions That Kept Soldiers Reading

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 9:11 am

This week in 1941, Japanese forces attacked Pearl Harbor. Over the next few years, millions of Americans would leave home to fight in Europe and the Pacific. They had few comforts and little in the way of escape or entertainment β€” at least not until American publishers got involved.

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Movies
2:54 am
Wed December 10, 2014

'Pelo Malo' Is A Rare Look Into Latin American Race Relations

Actor Samuel Lange Zambrano plays Junior, a boy who becomes obsessed with relaxing his hair.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 11:23 am

"Pelo Malo" means "bad hair" in Spanish. It's a term that is commonly used in Latin America, and it's also the title of a new Venezuelan film that tackles racism and homophobia.

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Food
1:30 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Best Cookbooks Of 2014 Offer Tastes And Tales From Around The Globe

Andrea Nguyen's Banh Mi Handbook: Recipes for Crazy-Delicious Vietnamese Sandwiches is the perfect gift for your friend who has an app tracing the routes of half a dozen food trucks on her phone.
Ten Speed Press

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 7:30 am

2014 was a year for faraway cuisines to take up residence in U.S. kitchens β€” cookbook authors cast their nets for flavors from Paris, the Middle East and Southeast Asia; from the ancient spice routes and every point in between.

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Code Switch
3:16 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

The Annie Of Tomorrow Has The Same Hard Knocks, But Different Hair

QuvenzhanΓ© Wallis, who was nominated for an Oscar for her role in Beasts of the Southern Wild, plays little orphan Annie in the new film adaptation of the 1977 musical.
Barry Wetcher Sony Pictures Entertainment

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 12:09 pm

When you think about the musical Annie, what associations come to mind? Probably the song "Tomorrow," right? And Annie's bright red, curly hair? Red hair comes with its own cultural mythology. In this case, it underscores Annie's plucky, independent spirit.

As it turns out, hair is almost a character in this trailer for the new version of Annie coming out Dec. 19, says Noliwe Rooks, a professor at Cornell University. In just 2:19 minutes, you'll see three or four jokes about or references to hair.

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Television
2:26 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

'Sons Of Anarchy' Ends As A Macho Soap Opera Often Anchored By Women

Charlie Hunnam co-stars with Katey Sagal (center) and Drea De Matteo on FX's biker drama Sons of Anarchy.
Prashant Gupta FX Network

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 4:47 pm

Sons of Anarchy is probably the most macho drama on television, featuring a gang of gun-running, porn-making bikers.

But the biggest moment of the final season has featured a woman: Gemma Teller (played by Katey Sagal), mother to biker club president Jax Teller. Gemma admitted killing Jax's wife, Tara, and lying about it, which started a gang war.

When Gemma finally came clean, Jax insisted she pay the ultimate price.

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The Two-Way
8:58 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Book News: Random House Promises Changes To Lena Dunham Book

Lena Dunham's collection of personal essays, Not That Kind of Girl, is her first book.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 10:03 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

One of Lena Dunham's essays in Not That Kind of Girl features a man identified as Barry. She describes him as a notable Republican at Oberlin College, which the actress also attended. Barry had a mustache and a deep voice β€” and, Dunham alleges, he sexually assaulted her.

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All Tech Considered
3:41 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Inventor Ralph Baer, The 'Father Of Video Games,' Dies At 92

German-American game developer Ralph Baer shows the prototype of the first games console which was invented by him during a press conference on the Games Convention Online in Leipzig, Germany in 2009. Baer died on Saturday. He was 92.
Jens Wolf DPA /Landov

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 10:32 am

Ralph H. Baer, the man widely acknowledged as the "father of home video games" for his pioneering work in electronics and television engineering, died on Saturday at his home in Manchester, N.H. He was 92.

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Author Interviews
3:24 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Perry Wallace, Who Broke Basketball Barriers, Didn't Set Out To Be A Pioneer

Perry Wallace, playing for Vanderbilt University, blocks the shot of 'Pistol' Pete Maravich, circa 1970.
Frank Empson The Tennessean

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 4:49 pm

Language advisory: Quotes in this story contain language some find offensive.


Many people are familiar with the big stories of racial integration in sports β€” Jackie Robinson with the Dodgers, Althea Gibson at Wimbledon. But after the 1964 Civil Rights Act, many lesser-known African American athletes became "firsts" β€” whether they liked that distinction or not.

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The Two-Way
3:22 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

(Not) Eaten Alive: A Snake Tale, Made For TV

A still image from the Discovery TV special Eaten Alive, which angered some viewers after it aired Sunday.
Discovery

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 11:31 am

The outcome of an outlandish TV stunt Sunday night didn't go down well with many viewers, who say they were duped into expecting that the Discovery special Eaten Alive would actually portray a man being ingested by an anaconda.

But that didn't happen, forcing the network to defend the program today by saying it had been naturalist Paul Rosolie's "absolute intention to be eaten alive."

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Books
3:09 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

How Washington's Odd Couple Transformed Welfare

Richard Nixon and Daniel Patrick Moynihan at the U.S. Capitol Building in 1970.
AP

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 8:49 am

Most books about President Richard Nixon focus either on his foreign policies or on the crimes and misdemeanors that forced his resignation under threat of impeachment.

Not Stephen Hess's new book, The Professor and the President.

Hess, who has been writing about government for decades out of Washington's Brookings Institution, witnessed a rare partnership inside the White House.

The president β€” Nixon β€” was a Republican who felt obliged to do something about welfare.

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Arts & Life
2:39 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Don't Let The Kasha Vanish: Diners Band Together To Save CafΓ© Edison

The CafΓ© Edison serves what might be called Jewish soul food β€” blintzes, matzoh ball soup and kasha varnishkes.
Jeff Lunden

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 8:49 am

Yesterday, about 50 protestors β€” and some media outlets β€” gathered on West 47th Street near Times Square for a rally to save the CafΓ© Edison, a diner whose clientele includes everyone from Broadway luminaries to tourists. People carried signs, local politicians spoke, and a quartet sang β€” to the tune of "Silver Bells" β€” an ode to the cafe's matzoh balls.

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The Salt
2:00 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Sandwich Monday: Doritos Loaded

Doritos Loaded: Just nachos that keep their feelings on the inside.
NPR

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 2:20 pm

Doritos are everywhere. They're in taco shells at Taco Bell, they're in pizza crusts in Australia and they're sneaking up behind you right now with murder in their eyes. 7-Eleven has introduced the Doritos Loaded, shorthand for "vaguely Doritos-shaped fried thing stuffed with cheese."

Robert: This is what happens to Doritos after they eat too many Doritos.

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Movie Interviews
11:04 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Chris Rock On Finding The Line Between Funny And 'Too Far'

Chris Rock wrote, directed and stars in Top Five, a film about a standup comedian who is trying to reshape his career.
Ali Paige Goldstein Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 11:52 am

In the new film Top Five, Chris Rock plays Andre Allen, a standup comedian who has starred in a series of blockbuster comedies as a catchphrase-spewing character called Hammy the Bear.

When Top Five begins, Allen has given up the Hammy movies, given up drinking and is trying to reshape his career with his new dramatic film about a Haitian slave rebellion. Like Allen, Rock says he has had doubts about his own career.

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Art & Design
11:03 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Spanish Artist Francisco Goya On Display In Boston: An Extraordinary Exhibit

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 11:13 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
7:49 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Book News: Doris Lessing's Personal Library Returns Home β€” To Zimbabwe

Sitting on the steps outside her London home, Doris Lessing learns from reporters that she won the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Shaun Curry AFP/Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

In retrospectives, Nobel Prize winner Doris Lessing often gets tagged as a British novelist, having been born to British parents and spent decades living in London. Yet for some 25 years of her youth, Lessing lived in Zimbabwe β€” then a British colony called Southern Rhodesia. After leaving the country, and even after being banned briefly for criticizing the colony's white leaders, she still devoted much of her energy in later years to opening libraries there.

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Author Interviews
4:44 pm
Sun December 7, 2014

Author Of 'Bridge To Terabithia': Messages Are Poison To Fiction

Stories of My Life book cover

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 8:07 am

Katherine Paterson is the winner of two Newbery Medals and two National Book Awards. Her best-sellers include The Great Gilly Hopkins, Jacob Have I Loved, and her most famous book, Bridge to Terabithia.

Paterson was born in China to missionary parents. She tells NPR's Arun Rath that she had an idyllic childhood until about the age of 5, when Japan invaded China. "Those years were very scary years," she says.

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The Salt
2:57 pm
Sun December 7, 2014

Female Butchers Are Slicing Through The Meat World's Glass Ceiling

Master butcher Kari Underly cuts into a hog during a "Women in the Meat Business" workshop in Chapel Hill, NC.
Leoneda Inge North Carolina Public Radio

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 11:30 am

Kari Underly is slicing through half a hog as if it were as soft as an avocado ... until she hits a bone.

"So what I'm doing now is I'm taking out the femur bone," she explains to a roomful of about 30 women watching as she carves the animal. "The ham is a little bit of a drag, if you will, 'cause we have to make money, and not everybody wants a big ham."

Underly is a fit, 46-year-old master butcher from Chicago. Her father and grandmothers were butchers. She put herself through college cutting meat. These days, she encourages other women to enter the business.

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Food
8:05 am
Sun December 7, 2014

Siblings Build A Butcher Shop For 'Meat'-Loving Vegans

No need to wonder what's in this bologna; The Herbivorous Butcher lists every ingredient on its website: Tofu, vital wheat gluten, tomato juice, tapioca flour, tomato paste, nutritional yeast, vegan beef bouillon, canola oil, soy sauce, agar agar, red beet powder, sugar, salt, liquid smoke, onion powder, garlic powder and celery seed.
Jonathan A. Armstrong Courtesy The Herbivorous Butcher

Originally published on Sun December 7, 2014 11:44 am

Take a moment to imagine platters of andouille sausage, barbecue ribs and bacon. Now think of all of those dishes without meat.

It might seem like a contradiction, but brother and sister Kale and Aubry Walch β€” yes, Kale β€” are opening the first vegan butcher shop next spring in Minneapolis, to be called the Herbivorous Butcher. They plan to bring their customers all of those delicious meat flavors, minus the meat.

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