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Geoffrey Rush. Maya Lin. Mikhail Baryshnikov. And Then Some.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Check out this revolving door of cultural luminaries; it's a chance to remember some of the highlights of 2009's best theater, film and books. 

The Academy Award winning actor Geoffrey Rush talked about Ionesco's play, "Exit The King," in which he starred last spring with Susan Sarandon and Lauren Ambrose. Rush says the play is a "forgotten masterpiece" and a "fantastic recipe for brilliant theater making."

Kevin Spacey and Jessica Hynes stopped by to discuss Alan Ayckbourn’s comedic trilogy "The Norman Conquests." Make sure you watch the video. He's not exactly Keyser Söze, but Spacey, in a tweed hat, impresses.

Jason Moran and Charles Tolliver performed live in WNYC's studio, and discussed the 50th Anniversary of Thelonious Monk's Town Hall concert in 1959. Do you hear the Monk inspiration in Moran's tune? Watch the video!

One of cable TV's most acclaimed stars, Mary Louise Parker, took a career turn last Spring when she starred in Henrik Ibsen's "Hedda Gabler."Check out her interpretation of the forever-discussed character.

The author Colum McCann discusses his novel, Let The Great World Spin, the story of Philippe Petit, who walked a tightrope between the World Trade Center towers in 1974. But the novel is not about Petit's crossing. "He's the conceit that ties all these people together on this one sort of fantastic day," he says.

Photographer Robert Frank and Jeff Rosenheim, curator of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Department of Photographs, discuss "Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans," celebrating the 50th anniversary of the publication of The Americans, Robert Frank’s suite of black-and-white photographs made during a cross-country road trip in 1955–1956.

Maya Lin is largely inspired by nature: from designing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., to her latest earth sculpture, Storm King Wavefield, and her design for the new Museum of Chinese in America, that inspiration can be seen in her work.

Mikhail Baryshnikov published a book of photographs this year, Merce My Way, an homage to choreographer Merce Cunningham. The conversation between Leonard Lopate and Baryshnikov skipped fluidly from Richard Avedon to the Domincan Republic and back again.

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