Broadway audiences were probably not familiar with the term “choreopoem” when “for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf” arrived at the Booth Theatre 1976. But Ntozake Shange’s dynamic and revealing series of poems (set to music and movement) was a giant hit, winning a Tony and a Drama Desk Award. “All sorts of people who might never have set foot in a Broadway house—black nationalists, feminist separatists—came to experience Shange’s firebomb of a poem,” remembers Hilton Als, now the theater critic for The New Yorker.
The TED Conference has a reputation for attracting and honoring international dignataries, prize-winning scientists, and even rock stars. Always keen to shake things up, it's giving its top honor -- the TED Prize -- to a graffiti artist. The 27-year old Parisian known publicly only as JR has been awarded the $100,000 prize.
Feeling adventurous this fall season? Well National Geographic has you covered with this zebra-printed Great Migrations reusable accessory. If you're in need of a new handbag, tote bag, grocery bag, or Mary Poppins bag (you know, the ones you just throw a lot of junk in and call it a purse), this is your lucky day.
Solomon Burke -- the legendary singer, songwriter, and pioneer of soul music -- passed away this weekend from natural causes. He was 70. Known for his influence on contemporaries like Sam Cooke and James Brown, his song 'Down in the Valley' appeared on Otis Redding's 1965 album Otis Blue. Probably his best known song, 'Cry to Me,' was featured on the soundtrack to Dirty Dancing.
$500,000 with absolutely no-strings-attached. The dreamiest fellowship of them all. It's that time of year and the MacArthur Foundation has announced its list of fellows. We noticed among the list of 'geniuses' a few past Studio 360 guests. Last spring Kurt Andersen spoke to David Simon, the creator of The Wire and Treme on HBO and last summer we were treated to a live in-studio performance from the jazz pianist and composer Jason Moran. Way back in 2001, Kurt had a conversation with installation artist Jorge Pardo.
The next time you hit the club, you may find yourself rocking out to a song sung by a nine-year old.
I'm amazed at the buzz swirling around Willow Smith's first single 'Whip My Hair.' The song is sassy, confident, and already receiving comparisons to Rihanna. Of course, it's no secret that Willow comes from an entertainment dynasty: she is the daughter of Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith and at the tender age of nine, she's inked a record deal with Jay-Z's Roc Nation.