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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Kitchen's Soho Years

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Deb Singer and Eric Bogosian discuss the 40th anniversary of The Kitchen, and the exhibition “View from a Volcano: The Kitchen's Soho Years, 1971-85.” The show offers a unique perspective on the vibrant downtown New York arts scene of the 1970s and early 1980s and features audio, video, and print documentation from The Kitchen’s years in Soho, as well as single-channel videos and other artworks by Eric Bogosian, Laurie Anderson, Vito Acconci, John Cage, Bill T. Jones, Meredith Monk, Steve Reich, Carolee Schneeman, Bill Viola, and others. "View from a Volcano: The Kitchen's Soho Years, 1971-85" is on view at The Kitchen through August 27.

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The Takeaway

Movie Date: 'Bad Teacher'

Friday, June 24, 2011

This week, Rafer and Kristen couldn't disagree more about Cameron Diaz comedy "Bad Teacher." Rafer thinks it's unfunny hogwash, Kristen says that if it was a guy playing Diaz's raunchy, gold-digging character, it would be a different story for moviegoers. What do you think? 

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Louis Armstrong’s Later Years

Friday, June 24, 2011

Jazz scholar and musician Ricky Riccardi discusses the remarkable final 25 years of Louis Armstrong’s life and art. What a Wonderful World: The Magic of Louis Armstrong’s Later Years takes an in-depth look at his music in the years after World War II until his death in 1971, when Armstrong recorded his highest-charting hits, including “Mack the Knife” and “Hello, Dolly!”; collaborated with Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, and Dave Brubeck, among others; and toured the world.

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The Takeaway

Movie Date: 'Green Lantern'

Friday, June 17, 2011

This week, Kristen and Rafer take a third wheel on Movie Date, as Takeaway sports contributor and lifelong comic book geek Ibrahim Abdul-Matin joins them to dissect "Green Lantern." A huge "Green Lantern" fan, Ibrahim loved the movie for many reasons — the same reasons Kristen and Rafer hated it. Plus, Kristen and Rafer answer a listener's question about Terrence Malick's "Tree of Life."

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The Takeaway

Discovered Letters Inspire Readers at Troy Library

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Forty years ago, E.B. White – the author of "Charlotte’s Web," "Stuart Little", and many other beloved children’s books – wrote a letter to the children of Troy, Michigan, at the request of a librarian in Troy’s new public library. "A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there, in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort. A library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered." White was just one of the famous authors and public figures who responded to librarian Marguerite Hart’s request for letters to urge the children of Troy to read.

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The Takeaway

Movie Date: 'Super 8'

Friday, June 10, 2011

On this week's edition of Movie Date, Kristen and Rafer give us a sneak peak at one of the summer's most mysterious movies, "Super 8," directed by JJ Abrams and produced by Steven Spielberg. Rafer says "Super 8" is a heartless, sub par rehash of Spielberg's "E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial." After hearing that review, Kristen thinks Rafer is the heartless one.

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The Takeaway

Civil Rights Worker Befriends KKK Grand Dragon: True Story, New Play

Friday, June 10, 2011

Celeste Headlee is broadcasting from the studios of our partner, WGBH, today. She's in Boston to speak at the National Race Amity Conference this weekend. Tonight, a new play called "Xernona and the Grand Dragon X" premieres at the conference. The play tells the story of the friendship between Xernona Clayton, an African-American civil rights leader, and Calvin Craig, a Grand Dragon in the Ku Klux Klan. It was his friendship with Xernona that convinced Calvin to publicly renounce the KKK in 1968.

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The Takeaway

Daniel Wilson on Writing 'Robopocalypse'

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

As a kid I dreamed about robots and as an adult I built them. Now, I write about them. In retrospect, it’s all the same thing: I’m dreaming up how humans and machines interact on an everyday basis.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

David McCullough on Americans in Paris

Monday, June 06, 2011

David McCullough tells the untold story of the adventurous American artists, writers, doctors, politicians, architects, and thinkers who set off to work in Paris between 1830 and 1900, and how their achievements there profoundly altered American history. The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris tells the stories of these pioneers, including Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female doctor in America; James Fenimore Cooper and Samuel F. B. Morse; pianist Louis Moreau Gottschalk; Oliver Wendell Holmes; writers Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, and Henry James; and painters Mary Cassatt and John Singer Sargent, among others.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Motherf***er with the Hat

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Bobby Cannavale, Elizabeth Rodriguez, and Yul Vazquez talk about starring in “The Motherf***er with the Hat,” Stephen Adly Guirgis’s play about Jackie and Veronica, who have been in love since the 8th grade. Jackie is on parole and living clean and sober under the guidance of his sponsor, Ralph D, while his volatile soul mate Veronica, who is fiercely loving, is far from sober. Their love is so pure and true that it seems like nothing can come between them – except a hat. “The Motherf***er with the Hat” is playing at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre.

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The Takeaway

Remembering Gil Scott-Heron: Musical Innovator and Rap Inspiration

Monday, May 30, 2011

Gil Scott-Heron, a Chicago-born poet who many called the "Godfather of Rap," died Friday, at the age of 62. Scott-Heron was a musical innovator, whose spoken-word-over-jazz 1970 debut album "Small Talk at 125th and Lenox," is often credited as year zero of rap music. The record featured songs like "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," which, along with many other Scott-Heron compositions, became heavily sampled and referenced in music that came afterward. The musician and writer often said the accolades were misguided, and preferred to call himself a "bluesologist." 

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The Takeaway

Movies: 'The Hangover Part II' Offends Asians, Moviegoers and Humans

Friday, May 27, 2011

It's Memorial Day weekend, and for many people that means a visit to see whatever is playing at the local movie theater. Certainly the most heavily advertised option is sequel "The Hangover Part II," the bro-tastic comedy flick featuring Ed Helms, Bradley Cooper and Zach Galifianakis. But some people, like San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jeff Yang, aren't happy about the way Asians are portrayed in the film. Yang and producer Kristen Meinzer join us to talk about the film.

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The Takeaway

Pain, Music and Destiny: Bob Dylan at 70

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Some might joke that his vocal chords are indeed much older, but celebrated folk legend Bob Dylan turned 70-years-old on Tuesday. Recently audio has surfaced from 1966, in which the singer speaks to a good friend during a flight from Nebraska to Colorado about struggling with addiction and contemplating suicide. It's the latest in a long narrative about a truly singular singer whose mysteries are still being revealed. We take a listen to some of the audio in question, and music that made Dylan a force of musical nature.

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The Takeaway

Curtain Closing on Live Broadway Orchestras?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

In response to a decision by some Broadway musicals to drastically cut the number of live performers in the orchestra pit, the Broadway musicians' union is waging an aggressive battle to save jobs. The show at the center of the controversy is the jukebox musical "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert," which features disco favorites. The show currently only has nine musicians playing live in the orchestra. The rest of the music comes from a pre-recorded track. We talk with Marshall Coid, a lead on stage violinist in the Broadway show, "Chicago." Boyd has been performing on Broadway for 30 years, as an actor, singer and violinist.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Peter Bart on Hollywood

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Peter Bart, longtime editor-in-chief of Variety, tells about upending his life in 1967 to enter the dizzying world of movies as an executive at Paramount. When Bart left Paramount in 1975, the studio had completed a remarkable run with such films as "The Godfather," "Rosemary's Baby," "Harold and Maude," "Love Story," "Chinatown," "Paper Moon," and "True Grit." Infamous Players: A Tale of Movies, the Mob, (and Sex) is about his role in the studio’s successes and failures, and how a new kind of filmmaking emerged.

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The Takeaway

'Bridesmaids': A Great Step Forward for Feminism?

Friday, May 13, 2011

This weekend, movie goers are talking about one movie: "Bridesmaids." A new raunchy ensemble comedy, it features a cast that's almost entirely female. "Bridesmaids" stars Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph, of "Saturday Night Live" fame, as well as Ellie Kemper from "The Office" and Wendi McLendon-Covey from "Reno 911." Crass to the point of being shocking, some cultural critics are arguing that this could be a watershed moment for women in film and comedy. 

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The Takeaway

What Not to Give Mom for Mother's Day

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Mother’s Day is just around the corner. And aside from flowers and chocolates, what should we be giving Mom? Patrik Henry Bass, Takeaway contributor and senior editor at Essence magazine has compiled a list of books to say "thank you for not being like Mommy Dearest." Patrik calls his list “an ode to some of the moms we’re thankful we never had.”

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Modigliani: A Life

Friday, April 29, 2011

Meryle Secrest discusses the life and work Amadeo Modigliani. Her biography, Modigliani: A Life, is a fully realized portrait of one of the 20th century’s master painters and sculptors. She also paints a portrait of the Paris that Modigliani lived in, a dynamic city in where art was still a noble cause, and takes a look at how Modigliani became part of the city's art world in the midst of a transforming revolution.

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The Takeaway

Maya Soetero-Ng's 'Ladder to the Moon'

Thursday, April 14, 2011

President Obama's mother Stanley Ann Dunham died young, at the age of 52. Because of this, her four grandchildren never got to hear her stories, eat her cooking, or experience those other parts of the special relationship many children are able to have with their grandparents. Maya Soetero-Ng, Dunham's daughter, didn't think deeply about this until one of her kids asked her what grandma was like. That question served as the inspiration for a children’s book called “Ladder to the Moon.” The story, illustrated whimsically by Yuyi Morales, imagines a meeting between Maya’s older daughter and her own mother.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

“The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures”

Friday, April 08, 2011

Playwright Tony Kushner and Linda Emond, who plays Empty, talk about Kushner’s new play, “The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures.” The play explores revolution, radicalism, marriage, sex, prostitution, politics, real estate, unions of all kinds and debts both unpaid and unpayable. It’s playing at the Public Theater through June 12.

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