The World is a Stage

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Monday, October 31, 2011

Frank Langella and Adam Driver in Roundabout Theatre Company's "Man and Boy" (Joan Marcus, 2011)

One of America’s greatest actors, Frank Langella, tells us about his latest role on Broadway, in Terrence Rattigan’s “Man and Boy,” about how much a man will sacrifice for success. Pulitzer Prize-winner Stacy Schiff joins us for our latest Leonard Lopate Show Book Club—we’re talking about her best-selling biography of Cleopatra! James Wolcott revisits getting down and semi-dirty in 1970s New York. Plus, science writer Lone Frank tells mapping her own DNA to investigate the consequences of this new field of science.

Frank Langella in "Man and Boy"

Frank Langella discusses his career and his role in the Roundabout Theatre Company’s “Man and Boy.” Set at the height of the Great Depression, it tells the story of a ruthless financier whose business is dangerously close to crumbling. He tracks down his estranged son in the hopes of saving his company. The play is about family, success and what we’re willing to sacrifice for both. “Man and Boy” is playing at the American Airlines Theater.

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October's Book: Cleopatra: A Life, by Stacy Schiff

Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Stacy Schiff joins us to talk about Cleopatra: A Life. Famous long before she was notorious, Cleopatra is remembered in history for all the wrong reasons. Relying on classical sources, Schiff separates fact from fiction to rescue the magnetic queen whose death brought forth a new world order. She recreates the world that Cleopatra lived in, rich in political and sexual intrigue, and draws a vivid portrait of her as a shrewd strategist and an ingenious negotiator. She had children with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, two of the most prominent Romans of the day—and she and Antony attempted to forge a new empire, an alliance that spelled both their ends.

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James Wolcott on the 1970s in New York

James Wolcott describes moving to New York, with the dream of being a writer, in fall 1972—when the city was sinking into squalor at the same time the cultural and creative energy was building. His memoir Lucking Out: My Life Getting Down and Semi-Dirty in Seventies New York is a portrait of a critic as a young man, and is also a portrait of a legendary time in New York history.

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My Beautiful Genome

Science writer Lone Frank talks about using her own DNA to examine the new science of consumer-led genomics. In My Beautiful Genome she looks at how this science is used, how important it is for our health, and the consequences of biological fortune-telling.

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