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The Leonard Lopate Show

John Leguizamo's “Ghetto Klown”

Friday, April 08, 2011

John Leguizamo and Fisher Stevens talk about “Ghetto Klown,” directed by Stevens and starring Leguizamo. The performance follows in the uncensored, uninhibited tradition of Leguizamo’s "Mambo Mouth," "Spic-O-Rama," "Freak," and "Sexaholix…a Love Story," and it takes audiences from his adolescence in Queens to the early days of his acting career in the 1980s avant-garde theatre scene to the sets of major motion pictures. “Ghetto Klown” is playing at the Lyceum Theatre through July 10.

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The Takeaway

Classic Congo: 'Kinshasa Symphony' Opens New York's African Film Festival

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Mahen Bonetti, founder of the New York African Film Festival has an annual dilemma. From a program of over 30 films, she has to pick one to be the opening feature. The film has to be so enticing the audience is eager to come back to see more. That's a lot of pressure, but Bonetti is used to it. She's been selecting African films for New Yorkers for the last eighteen years.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Use and Abuse of Literature

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Marjorie Garber, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of English and of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University, discusses the usefulness and uselessness of literature in the modern, digital age. The Use and Abuse of Literature aims to rescue literature from the margins and restore it to the center of our lives.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato discusses starring in Rossini's comic opera “Le Comte Ory” in the first-ever Met performance of the opera. She's best-known for two hit runs in Rossini's “Barber of Seville.” Her new CD Diva/Divo is half arias from female roles and half arias where she plays men. “Le Comte Ory” is playing at the Metropolitan Opera.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Peter and the Starcatcher

Monday, March 28, 2011

Playwright Rick Elice and director Roger Rees talk about “Peter and the Starcatcher,” an imaginative new play based on the New York Times best-selling novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson: Peter and the Starcatchers.  In the play, a company of twelve actors plays some 50 characters on a journey to answer the century-old question: How did Peter become the boy who would not grow up? “Peter and the Starcatcher” has been extended through Sunday, April 17, at New York Theatre Workshop.

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The Takeaway

Can Peer Pressure Be a Force for Good?

Monday, March 28, 2011

All teenagers have been warned: “don’t give into peer pressure.” We hear that peer pressure can do things like lead to drugs and binge drinking and unplanned pregnancies. Maybe peer pressure will make you drop out of school and join a gang. But in Tina Rosenberg’s opinion, peer pressure isn’t all bad. The Pulitzer Prize-winner is the author of a new book called “Join the Club: How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World.” She argues that peer pressure is a very versatile tool.

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The Takeaway

Alan Cheuse on 'Song of Slaves in the Desert'

Monday, March 28, 2011

The history of slavery is interwoven with the history of America, but what most of us learn about in school is the history of white settlers. And even in that white history, there are particular characters — mostly Dutch and Anglo-Saxon Protestants. Not Catholics, and certainly not Jews. But that may be about to change. A new novel called “Song of Slaves in the Desert” centers on a slave family and its owners, who are Jewish. It’s written by Alan Cheuse, the novelist and George Mason University professor who you might know as the books reviewer for NPR’s All Things Considered.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Jazz: The Smithsonian Anthology

Friday, March 25, 2011

Richard James Burgess, John Edward, and Dan Morgenstern discuss “Jazz: The Smithsonian Anthology,” which includes 111 tracks showcasing artists at their best and most influential. They talk about the turning points in the history of jazz through its legendary innovators—Armstrong, Ellington, Basie, Parker, Gillespie, Davis, Hancock, Corea, Marsalis—and notable styles from early ragtime, to international modernism, and every major movement in between.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Catherine Deneuve on "Potiche"

Friday, March 25, 2011

Actress Catherine Deneuve talks about her starring role in “Potiche,” Francois Ozon’s new comedy. She plays Suzanne Pujol, a submissive, housebound trophy wife, who steps in to manage her husband's umbrella factory, when the workers go on strike and take him hostage. Based on a hit play from the 1970s, the film is a satirical take on the war of the sexes and classes. “Potiche” is playing at Paris Theatre, Angelika Film Center, and Clearview Chelsea Cinemas. She also discusses the retrospective of her work at BAM.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Angela Lansbury

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Angela Lansbury, Broadway stage veteran, discusses her long and prodigious career on the stage, in film, and on television, and "Angela Lansbury and Friends Salute Terrence McNally" taking place Monday, March 28, at the Longacre Theatre.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Tom Stoppard's Arcadia

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Playwright Sir Tom Stoppard and actors Billy Crudup and Tom Riley discuss the new production of Stoppard’s comedy “Arcadia.” The play is set on an English estate in the early 19th century and in the present day, and it explores ideas from physics to geometry, poetry, Lord Byron, thermodynamics, English garden design, Romanticism, passion, and sex. “Arcadia” is playing at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre through June 19.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Rosie Perez on the Urban Arts Partnership

Monday, March 21, 2011

Rosie Perez  joins us to discuss her charity, the Urban Arts Partnership, which is being featured on an upcoming episode of Cause Celeb on NBC. The show will focus on Fresh Prep, an innovative hip hop-based curriculum and teacher support program.

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