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The Leonard Lopate Show

Djo Tunda Wa Munga on His Film Viva Riva!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Director Djo Tunda Wa Munga talks about his film “Viva Riva!” It’s a thriller about Congolese gas gangsters, set in Kinshasa, a city inundated with war, crime, corruption, food and energy shortages, and crushing poverty. “Viva Riva!”  won six awards at the 2011 African Movie Academy Awards, including best film, and it opens June 10 at Angelika Film Center.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Deana Martin on the Legendary Dean Martin

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Deana Martin talks about her father, the legendary entertainer Dean Martin. The newly released DVD box set “The Best of the Dean Martin Variety Show” features hundreds of guest segments, sketches and musical performances from the show, which ran on NBC from 1965 to 1974, and included guests such as: Orson Welles, Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, Duke Ellington, Rodney Dangerfield, George Burns, Tony Bennett, The Andrews Sisters, and Woody Allen. A hardcover book and 2-CD collection titled Cool Then, Cool Now and two collections of Dean Martin’s music, “Classic Dino: The Best Of Dean Martin” and a re-release of the Platinum-certified “Dino: The Essential Dean Martin” are forthcoming.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Oscar Hijuelos on Thoughts Without Cigarettes

Monday, June 06, 2011

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Oscar Hijuelos talks about the real people and places that have influenced his life and, in turn, his writing. His memoir Thoughts Without Cigarettes is an account of growing up in Manhattan's Morningside Heights, his stay at a Dickensian home for terminally ill children, and his quest for his true identity into adulthood, revealing the true stories and indelible memories that shaped his work.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Jerusalem on Broadway

Friday, June 03, 2011

Mark Rylance discusses his roles in Jez Butterworth’s new play “Jerusalem.” The show won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Foreign Play and earned six Tony nominations, including a Best Actor nomination for Rylance. Set in the woods of South West England, it centers on Johnny "Rooster" Byron, who is a wanted man—the council officials want to serve him an eviction notice, his son wants to be taken to the country fair, his stepfather wants to give him a serious kicking, and a motley crew of friends wants his ample supply of drugs and alcohol.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

By the Way, Meet Vera Stark

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lynn Nottage talks about her critically acclaimed comedy, “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark,” which stars Sanaa Lathan. The play draws upon the screwball films of the 1930s to take a funny and irreverent look at racial stereotypes in Hollywood. “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark” is playing through June 12 at Second Stage Theatre.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Anne-Sophie Mutter

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Renowned violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter discusses her time as Artist-in-Residence with the New York Philharmonic and her distinguished career. She returns for the third, and final, installment of her residency in June when she will give the world premiere performance of composer Sebastian Currier’s "Time Machines," one of five premieres she has brought to New York this season.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Tina Fey's Bossypants

Monday, May 30, 2011

Tina Fey talks about her career in comedy and her life before Liz Lemon, "Weekend Update," and Sarah Palin. Her book Bossypants is an account of her journey from nerd to "Saturday Night Live" and "30 Rock," and includes stories about her father, her halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty, motherhood, and her nearly fatal honeymoon.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Normal Heart

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ellen Barkin and Joe Mantello talk about their roles in Larry Kramer’s play “The Normal Heart.” The play is about a city in denial, and it unfolds like a political thriller as a close group of friends refuses to let doctors, politicians, and the media bury the truth about an unspoken epidemic. “The Normal Heart” is playing at the Golden Theater through July 10.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Born Yesterday

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Robert Sean Leonard and Nina Arianda talk about their roles in “Born Yesterday.” The play had its Broadway premiere on February 4, 1946, and became an instant hit—it remains the seventh longest running play in Broadway history. It was adapted for the screen in 1950, and Judy Holliday won an Academy Award for repeating her stage triumph. Now, it’s back on Broadway, playing at the Cort Theatre.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The School for Lies

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mamie Gummer and Hamish Linklater discuss their roles in David Ives’ sold-out, highly acclaimed new comedy, “The School for Lies,” a take on Molière’s “The Misanthrope.” It’s playing at Classic Stage Company through May 29.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Claire Bloom

Monday, May 23, 2011

Claire Bloom talks about her life in theater and film, and working with legends like Vivien Leigh, Julie Harris, Yul Brynner, Rod Steiger, Charlton Heston, Jane Fonda, Paul Newman, George C. Scott, and Sylvester Stallone. Charlie Chaplin cast Bloom as the emotionally crippled ballerina in "Limelight" when she was just 18. She has since starred on stage as Juliet, Cordelia, Ophelia, and most of the other great Shakespeare heroines, as well as in "The Trojan Women," "Hedda Gabler," "A Doll’s House," and "A Streetcar Named Desire." She’s been in such classic films as "Richard III," "Alexander the Great," "Look Back in Anger," "The Spy Who Came in from the Cold," and she played Queen Mary in the this year’s, "The King’s Speech."

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Gabriel Byrne, Ireland’s Cultural Ambassador

Friday, May 20, 2011

Renowned Irish actor Gabriel Byrne, Ireland’s cultural ambassador, discusses organizing the exhibition “Revisiting the Quiet Man: Ireland on Film” at MoMA, which explores representations of Irish identity in cinema. Byrne chose films with key themes—an emigré’s sense of “home,” politics, the role of women, religion, and Irish identity, including “The Quiet Man,” “The Dead,” “The Informer,” “The Wind That Shakes the Barley,” “In the Name of the Father,” and “Hunger.” Byrne will also discuss the Imagine Ireland program in New York City, and his cultural ambassadorship.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Moby on Insomnia, Travel, and "Destroyed"

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Moby talks about his new album and book of photographs, “Destroyed.” The book Destroyed features 55 photographs taken all over the world, and helps to show the strange and disconcerting life of touring that is rarely seen—time spent isolated in anonymous, mundane spaces like hotel rooms, airports, and backstage waiting areas. Songs on the album “Destroyed” were written mostly late at night, in hotel rooms around the world when cities had gone to sleep. Clic Gallery in New York City will host “Destroyed: Photographs by Moby,” an exhibition May 12-June 26 featuring photos and multimedia work from “Destroyed.”

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The Takeaway

Raising Brilliant Kids: will.i.am, Jeff Bezos Say 'Thank You Mom'

Friday, May 06, 2011

Takeaway host, John Hockenberry reflects on the "Mothers of Invention” panel at the FIRST Championship in St. Louis. He moderated the panel and talked to the moms of a few brilliant sons. He spoke with the mother of musician, will.i.am, Segway inventor Dean Kamen, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and educator and innovator Salman Khan. When did these moms know that their children were special? When they were in the crib. Jackie Bezos (Jeff's mom) says "I think I knew early on that he was wired differently ... when he tried to take his crib apart with his screwdriver, that cinched it."

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The Takeaway

New Movie Releases: 'Thor', 'The Beaver', 'Something Borrowed'

Friday, May 06, 2011

It’s Friday, and Rafer Guzman reviews this weekend's releases: "Thor," "The Beaver," and "Something Borrowed." Film critic for Newsday, Rafer Guzman also co-hosts the Takeaway’s Movie Date podcast. Below: The trailer for "Something Borrowed." Unfortunately, says Guzman, this movie is "neither a comeback nor a self-immolation for Mel Gibson."

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Rufus and Martha Wainwright Perform Live

Monday, May 02, 2011

Rufus Wainwright and Martha Wainwright perform songs by Kate McGarrigle live in our studio. A two-night tribute to Kate McGarrigle will be held at Town Hall, May 12-13. It features performances by Martha and Rufus Wainwright, and her sister Anna, as well as Emmylou Harris, Antony Hegarty, Norah Jones, and Teddy Thompson, among others. Profits from the concert will go toward creating the Kate McGarrigle Sarcoma Research Fund.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Richard Tuttle

Monday, May 02, 2011

Artist Richard Tuttle talks about his work and the exhibition “What's the Wind,” at Pace Gallery. It features six large-scale, free-standing sculptures that are a synthesis of five decades of Tuttle’s work. “What's the Wind” is on view at 510 West 25th Street from May 7 through July 22. 

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Ben Stiller in "The House of Blue Leaves"

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ben Stiller talks about his film career and his role in John Guare’s “The House of Blue Leaves,” directed by David Cromer. He plays Artie Shaughnessy, a zookeeper and wannabe songwriter, who is trying to cope with a schizophrenic wife (played by Edie Falco), an impatient girlfriend (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and a visit from the Pope. Ben Stiller’s mother Anne Meara played Bunny in the original off-Broadway production of the play in 1971, then Ben made his Broadway and professional debut in the role of Ronnie in 1986, and he is now on Broadway for the first time, but in the exact same play. “The House of Blue Leaves” opens April 25 at the Walter Kerr Theatre.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Belarus Free Theater's “Being Harold Pinter”

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mark Russell, producer of the Public’s Under the Radar festival, and Natalia Koliada, cofounder of the Belarus Free Theater, discuss the company's three productions in repertory at La Mama April 13-May 15. In December the troupe had to sneak out of Belarus to come to New York for the Under the Radar Festival, where they performed “Being Harold Pinter.” They've returned to New York with that play along with "Zone of Silence" and "Discover Love." 

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Billy Collins on Writing Poetry

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Billy Collins, Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003 and Poet Laureate of New York State from 2004 to 2006, talks about the art of writing poetry and his latest collection, Horoscopes for the Dead: Poems.

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