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Arts And Culture

The Leonard Lopate Show

“Choir Boy”

Thursday, August 01, 2013

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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The Leonard Lopate Show

“Buyer & Cellar”

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Playwright Jonathan Tolins talks about his play “Buyer & Cellar,” along with Michael Urie, who stars in it. It’s about a  struggling actor in L.A., who takes a job working in the Malibu basement of a megastar. One day, the Lady Herself comes downstairs. It feels like real bonding in the basement, but will their relationship ever make it upstairs? It’s playing at the Barrow Street Theater and has been extended through mid-October.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Strippers, Showgirls and Sharks: Best Musicals

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Theater critic Peter Filichia chronicles the history of the American musical by looking at those shows that did not win the Tony Award for Best Musical. He points out that the best musical doesn’t always win, and looks at other factors that keep more deserving shows from getting the prize in Strippers, Showgirls and Sharks, a look at many of the 153 previous Best Musical Nominees that didn’t win the big prize. 

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Starting a New Literary Journal

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Uzoamaka Maduka talks about founding The American Reader, a new literary journal of litera­ture and criticism. The idea for the journal was hatched “on a fire escape in Washington Heights.”

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The Leonard Lopate Show

“Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812”

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Dave Malloy, who created the show “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812,” actor Blake DeLong, and director Rachel Chavkin discuss their unusual production. It’s an electropop opera slice of War and Peace, and it’s playing at Kazino through September 1.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Andre Gregory and Wallace Shawn on "The Designated Mourner"

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Andre Gregory and Wallace Shawn describe collaborating on “The Designated Mourner,” written by and starring Wallace Shawn, directed by Andre Gregory. It's the first New York revival of the acclaimed 1996 masterwork, and it’s part of runs through August 25 at the Public Theater.

 

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Hitchcock's Earliest Films

Friday, June 28, 2013

Florence Almozini, Program Director for BAMcinématek, and Rodney Sauer of the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, talk about Alfred Hitchcock’s nine earliest surviving works, all newly restored by theBritish Film Institute. These silent films are screened with live scores performed by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra. The Hitchcock 9 is playing at BAMcinématek June 28-July 3.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Alan Cox and Emily Barber on “Cornelius”

Friday, June 21, 2013

Alan Cox and Emily Barber talk about their roles in “Cornelius,” a forgotten masterpiece from one of Britain's greatest dramatists, J. B. Priestley. As bankruptcy looms, the ever-optimistic Jim Cornelius, partner at import firm Briggs and Murrison, is fighting to keep his creditors happy and his spirits up. Tensions rise with the arrival of Judy, the beautiful, young typist who shows Cornelius the life he could have led. “Cornelius” is playing at 59E59 theater.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Michael Bacon, Nellie McKay, and Philippe Quint on "Downtown Express"

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Michael Bacon, Nellie McKay, and Philippe Quint discuss the newly released soundtrack to David Grubin's film “Downtown Express,” which stars Quint and McKay. The soundtrack features original songs by McKay and Michael Bacon (of The Bacon Brothers) as well as classical performances by Quint.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Daily Rituals

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mason Currey describes the daily rituals of Andy Warhol, John Updike, Twyla Tharp, Benjamin Franklin, William Faulkner, Jane Austen, and other other great minds. In Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, he describes the routines that enable novelists, poets, playwrights, painters, philosophers, scientists, and mathematicians to do the work they love to do.

Do you have daily rituals that help you get your work done? Share them—leave a comment below!

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig on “Frances Ha”

Friday, May 31, 2013

Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig talk about their film “Frances Ha,” which they co-wrote, Baumbach directs, and Gerwig stars in, playing the title role. It’s a coming-of-age film centered on Frances, an aspiring dancer who is drifting in New York between college and full adulthood, coping with shifting friendships and life expectations.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

“Fill the Void”

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Rama Burshtein, director of “Fill the Void,” and Hadas Yaron, who plays the lead, 18-year-old Shira, the youngest daughter of an Orthodox Hasidic family living in Tel Aviv, who is about to be married. But Shira’s world is shattered when her older sister dies while giving birth to her first child. Deep in mourning, the family postpones Shira’s wedding and struggles to deal with their grief. “Fill The Void” opens May 24.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin

Monday, May 13, 2013

Leslie Woodhead reveals how the music of the Beatles played a major role in waking up an entire generation of Soviet youth, opening their eyes to 70 years of bland official culture and rigid authoritarianism. In How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin, he writes about how, in the USSR, music fans risked repression to hear the Beatles, and the Beatles and the bands they inspired helped break down the walls of Soviet culture.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Academy Award–winning director William Friedkin

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Academy Award–winning director William Friedkin talks about his career in movies and how Hollywood changed to capture the paranoia and fear of a nation undergoing a cultural nervous breakdown. His long-awaited memoir The Friedkin Connection is about making the films The French Connection, The Exorcist, and To Live and Die in LA, from the 1960s to today.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Life and Work of David Foster Wallace

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

D. T. Max talks about his biography of David Foster Wallace, one of the most influential writers of his generation. In Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace, Max charts Wallace’s battle to succeed as a novelist as he fights off depression and addiction to emerge with his masterpiece, Infinite Jest. Since his death by suicide at the age of forty-six in 2008, Wallace has become a symbol of sincerity and honesty in an inauthentic age.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Mary Pickford: Queen of the Movies

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Christel Schmidt talks about Mary Pickford, cinema's first great star, along with Ben Model, piano accompanist. Schmidt is editor of Mary Pickford: Queen of the Movies, a collection of essays by film historians that sheds new light on this icon's incredible life and legacy. Pickford is revealed as a gifted actress, a philanthropist, and a savvy industry leader who fought for creative control of her films and ultimately became her own producer.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Selected Letters of Willa Cather

Monday, April 29, 2013

Andrew Jewell and Janis Stout discuss The Selected Letters of Willa Cather, published for the first time than 65 years after her death. The 566 letters collected here range from funny reports of life in Red Cloud in the 1880s that Cather wrote as a teenager to such letters to luminaries such as Sarah Orne Jewett, Robert Frost, Yehudi Menuhin, Sinclair Lewis, and the president of Czechoslovakia.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Italian Tenor Vittorio Grigolo

Monday, April 22, 2013

Italian tenor Vittorio Grigolo talks about his role in “Rigoletto” at the Metropolitan Opera. The production is an exciting new take on the famous tragedy that moves the action from a misogynistic court in the 17th century to the swinging, dangerous world of 1960s Las Vegas. It’s Grigolo’s first role at the Metropolitan Opera since his debut there in 2010.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Fishing with John Lurie

Monday, April 15, 2013

Musician, actor, filmmaker, and artist John Lurie discusses his short-lived TV series, "Fishing with John," which he conceived, starred in, and directed.  He’ll also talk about his painting, a decade-long battle with Lyme disease and the controversial profile of him published in The New Yorker in 2010.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Legendary Illustrators Celebrate MAD Magazine

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Legendary illustrators Drew Friedman, Al Jaffee, and Arnold Roth discuss the life and work of Harvey Kurtzman, the cartoonist, writer, and editor who was the founding editor and creator of the most important comics satire magazine in 20th-century America, MAD.

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