Arts

Theater
4:48 am
Sat April 27, 2013

When Tonys Tap Faves, Look For These Names

Tom Hanks is one to watch at Tuesday's Tony nominations; he's making his Broadway debut in Norah Ephron's final play, Lucky Guy.
Joan Marcus

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 4:42 pm

Nominations for the Tony Awards, Broadway's annual honors, will be announced April 30. Among the shows eligible: loud London transplants like Matilda the Musical, a new play by David Mamet, a revival of David Mamet, two revivals of Clifford Odets and a revival of the '70s musical Pippin.

Lots of Hollywood stars have made the trek to Broadway this season, ranging from Scarlett Johansson in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof to Tom Hanks in Norah Ephron's last play, Lucky Guy.

Read more
Author Interviews
4:48 am
Sat April 27, 2013

Siblings, Seafarers And 'Secrets' In Moviemaker's Novel

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 1:57 pm

Brendan, Cordelia and Eleanor Walker were suspicious from the first. They may be young — Cordelia is 15, Brendan is 12 and Eleanor is 8 — but they have enough worldly experience to know that when a real estate agent says a place is charming and rustic, she means that it's small and has wild bears in the backyard. So when the siblings first hear about the house at 28 Sea Cliff Avenue in San Francisco, they're skeptical. And their caution is quite warranted; the Kristoff House, as it's called, turns out to hold secrets, magic, skeleton pirates and a behemoth who looks like Mick Jagger.

Read more
Author Interviews
4:48 am
Sat April 27, 2013

'Country Girl' Edna O'Brien On A Lifetime Of Lit, Loneliness And Love

Little, Brown and Co.

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 1:57 pm

When Edna O'Brien wrote The Country Girls in 1960, the book was acclaimed by critics, banned by the Irish Censorship Board and burned in churches for suggesting that the two small-town girls at the center of the book had romantic lives. Oh, why be obscure? Sex lives.

Read more
Arts & Life
4:48 am
Sat April 27, 2013

Poet Kazim Ali On Poetry In Everyday Life

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 1:57 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

April is National Poetry Month. And throughout the month, WEEKEND EDITION is speaking with younger poets about the importance of poetry in daily life. This morning, we hear from translator and poet Kazim Ali.

Read more
Author Interviews
3:04 am
Sat April 27, 2013

Through Art And Industry, Chicago Shaped America

The term "third coast" refers to American cities that sit on the Great Lakes shoreline, like Chicago.
Jeff Haynes AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 8:16 am

After World War II, America became a superpower. New York experienced a global rise; Los Angeles was sprawling. But in a new book, Thomas Dyja writes that "the most profound aspects of American Modernity grew up out of the flat, prairie land next to Lake Michigan" — Chicago.

Read more
Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
4:26 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Not My Job: Kal Penn Takes A Quiz On The Microbiome

Discovery Channel

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 10:22 am

Kal Penn has a pretty unusual resume: He has starred in Harold and Kumar, the most successful series of stoner movies made in the past decade; and has served in the White House as the Obama administration's liaison to youth. Now he's hosting a new show, The Big Brain Theory, on the Discovery Channel.

Read more
Song Travels
1:58 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

David Hyde Pierce On 'Song Travels'

"Any show that's any good is much better a month later," Davie Hyde Pierce says of Broadway critics who only show up the first night. "And if it's been done right, it's way better a year later, but such is life."
Courtesy of the artist

Actor, singer and comedian David Hyde Pierce is best known for his Emmy-winning role as Niles Crane on the long-running TV series Frasier. He's also a Tony-winning actor for his role in Curtains. As a child, Pierce began in classical music as a pianist, but one summer, that all changed.

Read more
Monkey See
1:33 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Tribeca Diary: Documentary Roundup

A group of young women pose for a picture in a still from the documentary Teenage, a film that explores the evolution of young adulthood in America and abroad.
Tribeca Film Festival

Writer Joel Arnold is surveying the scene at the Tribeca Film Festival, which runs in New York City through April 28. He'll be filing occasional dispatches for Monkey See.

I keep going back to the documentaries. Out of the 14 films I've seen here so far, the documentaries have consistently offered some of the most inherently dynamic subjects — and served up surprising moments of discovery.

Read more
Monkey See
11:28 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Tribeca Diary: 'A Birder's Guide To Everything'

A ragtag group of amateur birders pursue a rare North American duck in A Birder's Guide to Everything. Pictured (from left): Katie Chang, Alex Wolff, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Michael Chen.
Tribeca Film Festival

Writer Joel Arnold is surveying the scene at the Tribeca Film Festival, which runs in New York City through April 28. He'll be filing occasional dispatches for Monkey See.

Read more
Movie Interviews
9:52 am
Fri April 26, 2013

'Guilt Trip': Streisand On Songs, Film And Family

Barbra Streisand is Joyce Brewster in The Guilt Trip. The multitalented performer has won an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy and a Tony — a feat achieved by fewer than a dozen artists.
Sam Emerson Paramount Pictures

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 6:04 am

This interview was originally broadcast on Dec. 17, 2012.

If a good voice is genetic, it's likely Barbra Streisand got hers from her mother. Streisand's mother was too shy to ever perform professionally, but she had a lyric soprano and would sing at bar mitzvahs in their Brooklyn neighborhood when Streisand was a girl.

Read more
Arts & Life
9:49 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Listeners Tweet Flowers And Fruitfulness

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 10:23 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

And next, the latest in our series, Muses and Metaphor. We're celebrating National Poetry Month by hearing your tweet poems. Today's first poem is from artist and writer Susan Crane of Longmont, Colorado. Here she is.

Read more
Monkey See
6:27 am
Fri April 26, 2013

How 'The Office' Took A Scene From The Heart And Shot It In The Foot

John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer as Jim and Pam Halpert.
Chris Haston NBC

This has been a difficult year for The Office. There are only three episodes left after "Paper Airplanes," which aired Thursday night, and where 30 Rock rallied as it headed to the finish, The Office has seemed lost, particularly by devoting substantial time to world-building Dwight's beet farm, a remnant of a failed spin-off effort.

Read more
The Salt
12:48 am
Fri April 26, 2013

So Jerry Seinfeld Called Us To Talk About Coffee

In an episode of Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee called "Larry Eats A Pancake," Jerry Seinfeld has coffee with Larry David.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 1:48 pm

According to Jerry Seinfeld's publicist, the comedian was listening to Coffee Week on Morning Edition and decided he had something to add. So he called up host Steve Inskeep. Here's what he shared, edited for brevity.

On his new coffee habit

Read more
Theater
2:59 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

On Broadway, One Runt To Rule Them All

The Broadway musical Matilda put NPR's Bob Mondello in mind of two other big-budget tuners with plucky kids at the center of the action — and got him thinking about what these shows say about their eras.
Joan Marcus

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 6:16 pm

Broadway's newest family-friendly musical, Matilda, based on the Roald Dahl novel about a precocious child who proves smarter than all the adults in her life, opened earlier this month to some of the best reviews of the year.

While it's a brand-new show, seeing it jogged my memory — jogged it all the way back to my very first commentary for All Things Considered exactly 29 years ago.

Read more
Arts & Life
12:06 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Steadicam Inventor Joins Inventors Hall of Fame

Garrett Brown with Sylvester Stallone during the filming of Rocky II.
Courtesy Garrett Brown

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 9:32 am

Rocky Balboa's sprint up the stairs of the Philadelphia Art Museum in Rocky is a scene that would have once been impossible to film. Camera innovator Garrett Brown made it possible when he invented the Steadicam, a body-mounted camera that stabilizes handheld shots.

Brown has received three Academy Awards for his technical inventions and holds 50 patents for cinematography devices. The college dropout-turned-inventor will be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in May.

Read more
Television
10:58 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Matthew Weiner On 'Mad Men' And Meaning

Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner was also a writer and producer on The Sopranos for a time.
Michael Yarish AMC

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 11:37 am

The sixth season of AMC's Mad Men, which premiered April 7, jumps forward in time a few months from where the fifth season concluded. The first episode of the season comes to a close on New Year's Day 1968. That date was designed to set the tone for the entire season.

That year, says Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, is, "as far as I can tell, in the top two or three worst years in U.S. history."

Read more
Arts & Life
9:44 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Listener Muses About Visions And Cherry Blossoms

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now the latest in our series Muses and Metaphor. We are celebrating National Poetry Month by hearing your poems that you've been sending us via Twitter. Today we hear from Sarah Jones of Seattle. She recently moved from Los Angeles with her husband and two sons and says her family made it just in time to see the cherry trees blossom. Here she is.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:12 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Book News: Maya Angelou Out Of Hospital, Recovering At Home

Writer and poet Maya Angelou attends her 82nd birthday party in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Steve Exum Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 7:27 am

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

Read more
First Reads
5:03 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Exclusive First Read: 'A Constellation Of Vital Phenomena'

AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 11:13 am

  • Listen to the Excerpt

Until last week, when the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings were revealed to be Chechen, you might not have spent much time thinking about Chechnya. It's far away. It might not even be the country you're picturing as you read this.

Read more
Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu April 25, 2013

'Woman Upstairs': Friendly On The Outside, Furious On The Inside

Claire Messud's cosmopolitan sensibilities infuse her fiction with a refreshing cultural fluidity. Her first novel, When the World Was Steady (1995), followed two midlife sisters in search of new beginnings, one in Bali and the other on the Isle of Skye. In her second novel, The Last Life (1999), a teenager reacting to a family crisis pondered her father's origins in Algeria and southern France, and her mother's New England roots.

Read more
Author Interviews
1:26 am
Thu April 25, 2013

First Western War In Afghanistan Was An 'Imperial Disaster'

Knopf

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 12:46 am

The year is 1839, and two great empires — Great Britain and Russia — are treating the world map like a chessboard, trying to outmaneuver one another for territory. For no reason other than geography, Afghanistan gets caught in the middle.

Today, as the U.S. ends its war in Afghanistan, historian William Dalrymple recounts the first time a Western power fought in that country. In Return of a King, Dalrymple details Great Britain's attempt to control Afghanistan by putting an ousted king back on the throne — a plan that went famously wrong.

Read more
Theater
1:23 am
Thu April 25, 2013

'Pippin' Revival Is A Circus Of A Show

The role of the Leading Player (Patina Miller) becomes a kind of circus ringmaster in the new Broadway revival of Stephen Schwartz's 1972 musical Pippin.
Joan Marcus

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 12:46 am

When Pippin opened in 1972, it was a sensation. Directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, who was coming off his Academy Award-winning film version of Cabaret, it was a showbiz triumph of jazz hands, sexy dancing and theatrical magic.

Read more
Arts & Life
12:17 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Getting The Gig: The Life Of A Career Poet

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 10:15 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

Read more
Author Interviews
12:05 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

'Let's Explore': David Sedaris On His Public Private Life

David Sedaris' stories have appeared on This American Life and in The New Yorker, and have now filled seven essay collections -- most recently, Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls.
Hugh Hamrick Little, Brown and Co.

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 5:43 pm

David Sedaris writes personal stories, funny tales about his life growing up in a Greek family outside of Raleigh, N.C., about working as an elf in Santa's workshop at Christmastime, and about living abroad with his longtime partner, Hugh.

Read more
Book Reviews
11:14 am
Wed April 24, 2013

'Equilaterial': Martians, Oil And A Hole In The Desert

Johan Swanepoel iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 8:08 am

Equilateral is a weird little novel, but any reader familiar with Ken Kalfus expects his writing to go off-road. Kalfus wrote one of the best and certainly the least sentimental novels about New York City post-9/11. I loved A Disorder Peculiar to the Country, but I stopped assigning it to students in my New York lit class because they were usually turned off by its black humor and lack of uplift. Equilateral doesn't run that same risk of being in bad taste as social commentary because, at first, it doesn't seem to have anything to do with current events.

Read more
Monkey See
10:18 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Tribeca Diary: 'The Kill Team'

U.S. Army Spc. Adam Winfield is the subject of the documentary The Kill Team, which focuses on his ongoing legal struggles after being accused of the premeditated murder of an unarmed Afghan in 2010.
Tribeca Film Festival / ITVS

Writer Joel Arnold is surveying the scene at the Tribeca Film Festival, which runs in New York City through April 28. He'll be filing occasional dispatches for Monkey See.

At Tribeca over the weekend, I was initially reluctant to seek out The Kill Team, a documentary focused on American soldiers charged in the 2010 murders of three Afghan civilians — this, after a week when senseless violence felt especially close to home.

Read more
Arts & Life
9:53 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Listener Muses About Mom's Love For Dad

Tell Me More celebrates National Poetry Month by hearing poetic tweets from listeners for the 'Muses and Metaphor' series. Today's poem comes from Roberta Beary. She tweets about her mother's loving gestures toward her father — even after his death.

Monkey See
7:56 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Ryan Lochte And The Easy Life Of The Professional Public Dummy

Ryan Lochte, seen here during the London Olympics in 2012, has a new reality show on E!.
Ng Han Guan Getty Images

Is there any reason to be a professional public hero anymore when you can be a professional public dummy?

Read more
The Two-Way
5:24 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Book News: Letters Reveal A Caustic But Affectionate Salinger

A photo of J.D. Salinger taken in September 1961.
AP

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 9:01 am

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

Read more
Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed April 24, 2013

False Notes In Allende's Dear-Diary 'Notebook'

At 19, Maya Vidal, the California-born heroine of Isabel Allende's florid, frenzied and intermittently entertaining novel Maya's Notebook, has already busted out of a wilderness academy for troubled teens in Oregon, been raped and beaten by a trucker, worked as a girl Friday for a drug dealer/counterfeiter and done some $10 hooking in Las Vegas.

Read more

Pages