Jenny Lawton

Jenny Lawton appears in the following:

Jack Black, A Cappella

Friday, October 12, 2012

From a wannabe rock star in School of Rock, to a Mexican wrestler in Nacho Libre, Jack Black is probably the closest thing in Hollywood to a superstar clown. He’s been described as “big, obnoxious, and funny in a slightly terrifying way.” So his role as the title character in Bernie ...

Video: Jack Black’s one-man version of The Who’s “Tommy”


Oskar Eustis: Putting the Public Back in Theater

Friday, September 28, 2012

New York is the epicenter of American theater, but it's not just because of Broadway. A mid-size theater complex downtown is arguably the most important incubator for new theater today: The Public Theater. Oskar Eustis is The Public’s artistic director, and a fierce advocate for his art form ...

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A Conversation with Philip Glass

Friday, September 14, 2012

In 1976, Philip Glass was an unknown composer — almost pushing 40, and driving a taxi to make ends meet — when he got his break: a new work performed at New York’s echt-prestigious Metropolitan Opera House. Einstein on the Beach was directed by Robert Wilson, a key figure ...

Bonus Track: Kurt’s extended conversation with Philip Glass

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Aha Moment: e.e. cummings

Friday, September 14, 2012

As a child Quang Bao fled Vietnam and lived in a refugee camp with his family. They eventually settled in Sugarland, Texas. He was in high school — a mediocre student, uninterested in literature, and unready to accept being gay — when he was given an e.e. cummings’ poem ...

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Aha Moment: Hamlet

Friday, September 07, 2012

A listener named Jeff House told us about his revelation experience with Hamlet. As a teenager he watched the Christopher Plummer film on TV with his big sister, who was enthralled; House was nonplussed. “The language didn’t make sense,” he remembers. The hero was ...

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Aha Moment: Earl "Fatha" Hines

Friday, August 24, 2012

Seth Barkan’s father was a classical cellist who urged his son to follow in his footsteps. Barkan studied classical piano for years, but it never quite suited him. Then one day, accompanying his mother to Costco, he returned with a history of jazz on CD. When he heard the stride pianist Earl “Fatha” Hines ...


Aha Moment: Diane Arbus

Friday, August 17, 2012

Neil Selkirk is an accomplished portrait photographer.  He began his career in London during the 60s, when being a magazine photographer meant wild parties, fancy cars, and beautiful girls.  During a shoot assisting Richard Avedon, he encountered a photograph: A Family One Evening in a Nudist Camp, Pennsylvania, 1965.  Selkirk was shocked ...

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Aha Moment: Perry Mason vs. The Paper Chase

Friday, August 03, 2012

Jonathan Amsbary wanted to be a lawyer to "help America be what it was supposed to be." He idealized TV’s Perry Mason, the righteous defense attorney who stood up for the little guy and always made sure justice was done. Just before leaving for college, Amsbary saw The Paper Chase ...


Woody Harrelson: Back to (Off-)Broadway

Friday, August 03, 2012

Woody Harrelson has played a stone-faced Marine, a porn king, and a sociopathic criminal. He’s just arrived Off-Broadway in two new roles: playwright and director. Bullet for Adolf is loosely based on Harrelson’s life: it’s set during a summer of partying hard and working construction ...

Bonus Track: Harrelson on The Hunger Games

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Suzan-Lori Parks' Porgy and Bess

Friday, July 20, 2012

Porgy and Bess was groundbreaking: an opera about poor African-Americans in South Carolina, starring a cripple, a tramp, and a drug dealer. There’s a new production on Broadway now entitled The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, but it’s not the one George and Ira presented in 1935 ...

Video: a song from the Broadway production

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The Computer as Artist

Friday, July 06, 2012

Computers have taken over an astonishing array of tasks humans used to do. They fly our planes, give us directions, recommend books, set us up on dates.  But can they tell us a good story? Meet Brutus, a computer programmed to write fiction.  Through a series of mathematical equations, its ...

Bonus Track: “Self-Betrayal,” written by Brutus

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Lisa Randall: Knocking on Heaven's Door

Friday, July 06, 2012

Harvard physicist Lisa Randall is at the forefront of the search for new theories about how the universe works.  She’s especially interested in dark matter and is involved in work at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.  And although her work requires complex math and work on the theoretical ...

Bonus Track: Kurt's extended conversation with Lisa Randall


Benh Zeitlin: Beasts of the Southern Wild

Friday, June 29, 2012

The new movie Beasts of the Southern Wild is a Louisiana fairy tale with a six-year-old hero named Hushpuppy. The film, which clinched top honors at both the Sundance and Cannes film festivals, is 29-year-old director Benh Zeitlin’s first feature. The New York native moved ...

Video: A scene from Beasts of the Southern Wild

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Canada: The Winning Slogan

Friday, June 29, 2012

Last month, we asked for your suggestions for a new six-word tagline for Canada. And the slogans poured in, more than 750 submissions. The winner was one of the first, and it remained our favorite to the end.

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Nina Arianda: Venus in Fur

Friday, June 01, 2012

Nina Arianda is the it-girl on Broadway — she’s nominated for a Tony for her performance in David Ives’ comedy Venus In Fur.  The show is a play within a play:  a writer has adapted an erotic novel for the stage, and he’s having a hell of a time casting the lead.  Enter Vanda: a sexy ...


Bruce Norris' Clybourne Park

Friday, June 01, 2012

In Lorraine Hansberry’s 1959 play A Raisin in the Sun, a black family buys a house in an all-white neighborhood — and even before they move in, the neighbors are up in arms. Clybourne Park, on Broadway now, is set in that very same house. It is “sort of a parallel play,” explains ...

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Preview: 2012 Tony Awards

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The 66th annual Tony Awards are Sunday, June 10. Here's a round-up of Kurt Andersen's conversations with some of the nominees: James Corden (One Man, Two Guvnors), Suzan-Lori Parks (The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess), Bruce Norris (Clybourne Park), Jon Robin Baitz (Other Desert Cities), and Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur).

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Novelist Chris Adrian

Friday, May 18, 2012

Chris Adrian's novels tell dark, fantastical stories that draw on his experience working as a pediatric oncologist. Adrian tells Kurt how writing helps him deal with the emotional burden of the medicine he practices. Anne Marie Nest reads selections from Adrian's forthcoming novel ...


Sherlock Holmes Goes Digital

Friday, May 04, 2012

If you're a fan of the reboot of British sci-fi TV series Doctor Who, Steven Moffat is the patron saint of nerd cool. He's the visionary show runner and writer behind some of the series’ most creepy and popular episodes. He recently reinvented another classic British superhero, who’s similarly ...

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Tracy K. Smith: Life on Mars

Friday, April 27, 2012

It’s the first poem about David Bowie to win the Pulitzer Prize. Tracy K. Smith’s collection Life on Mars contains many references to the man she salutes as the “Pope of Pop." Smith admits she became “kind of obsessed” with Bowie’s extraterrestrial alter ego Ziggy Stardust late. He seemed ...

Poem: "Don't You Wonder Sometimes"

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