Theater Director Jack O'Brien; Orson Welles Recordings; "Choir Boy"; Voting Rights in NC; Saving Florida's Oranges

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Thursday, August 01, 2013

Jack O’Brien talks about his unexpected career, directing Broadway shows like “Catch Me If You Can” and operas at the Metropolitan Opera. Then, film historian Peter Biskind on newly found recordings of conversations between Orson Welles and fellow director Henry Jaglom. Jeremy Pope and Wallace Smith discuss their roles in the off-Broadway play, “Choir Boy.” Ari Berman takes look at a North Carolina bill that would change the state’s voting laws. And we’ll find out how genetic modification could save Florida’s oranges.

The Accidental Education of an Unintentional Director: Jack O'Brien

Director Jack O’Brien talks about the history of American regional theater and how he became a director. In Jack Be Nimble: The Accidental Education of an Unintentional Director he explains that he didn’t intend to become a director, or to direct some of the most brilliant—and sometimes maddening—personalities of the age, but that’s what unexpectedly happened.

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Lunches with Orson Welles

Orson Welles and his friend the director Henry Jaglom, recorded conversations they had over lunch in the years before Welles died. The tapes were thought to be lost, but they've recently been discovered. Film historian Peter Biskind talks about what the conversations reveal.  My Lunches with Orson, edited by Biskind, presents Welles talking intimately, disclosing personal secrets, reflecting on the highs and lows of his career, the people he knew—FDR, Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin, Marlene Dietrich, Laurence Olivier, David Selznick, Rita Hayworth, and more—and the many disappointments of his last years.

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“Choir Boy”

Jeremy Pope and Wallace Smith discuss their roles in “Choir Boy,” a new play with gospel music. Pharus (played by Jeremy Pope) wants nothing more than to take his rightful place as leader of the Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys’ legendary gospel choir, but can he find his way at the institution if he sings in his own key? “Choir Boy” is playing at Manhattan Theatre Club through August 11.

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North Carolina and Voting Rights

Last week the North Carolina legislature passed what Ari Berman calls “the country’s worst voter suppression law.” The bill mandates voter ID to cast a ballot and strictly limits the forms of ID accepted. It also cuts the number of early voting days and eliminates same-day voter registration. Berman, contributing writer for The Nation magazine and an Investigative Journalism Fellow at The Nation Institute, talks about these new regulations and looks at what other states have been doing to make it more difficult for citizens to vote.


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Saving Florida's Oranges

The Florida orange crop has been under attack by an incurable disease. New York Times reporter Amy Harmon looks at the pursuit of a genetically modified orange that will save the Florida crop. She wrote about it in her article "A Race to Save the Orange by Altering Its DNA," in the New York Times.

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A Beach for Lower Manhattan: Good Idea?

On Monday, Mother Jones reporter Kate Sheppard was on The Leonard Lopate Show to talk about how coastal communities along the East Coast – including New York City - are adapting to rising sea levels and the ongoing threat of repeated floods. In her article “Under Water,” Sheppard wrote that, although Hurricane Sandy might have been a “100-year flood,” city officials have been repeatedly warned that global warming and rising water levels leave New York increasingly susceptible to major amounts of flooding.

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Guest Picks: Jack O'Brien

Director Jack O'Brien was on the Leonard Lopate Show recently to talk about what he calls his "accidental career" directing operas and Broadway plays and musicals. Find out why he says, "All I hear is Shakespeare" -- and what he's reading these days.


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