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Performance

Studio 360

Alan Cumming

Friday, May 24, 2013

Alan Cumming likes doing accents. He’s played a German mutant in the X-Men franchise, a Russian Bond villain, and the venomous Washington operative Eli Gold on The Good Wife. Cumming is actually Scottish and he is playing a famous Scot on Broadway right now in Macbeth ...

Bonus Track: Kurt’s extended conversation with Alan Cumming

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Studio 360

Mel Brooks and The Comedy of Humanity

Friday, May 03, 2013

Mel Brooks still writes comedy, but his main business is collecting awards. He’s an “EGOT,” one of only a dozen or so people to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony, and he’s had no trouble settling into a stream of never-ending accolades. In May, one more arrives on PBS ...

Bonus Track: How Gene Shalit saved Brooks' career

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Studio 360

The 2,000 Year Old Man

Friday, May 03, 2013

It began as a time-filler during a lull in the writer’s room; became a favorite party gag; then was captured on a 1961 album — “the comedian’s Bible,” says Billy Crystal. Carl Reiner, as the straight-man interviewer, would paint Mel Brooks, his millennia-old guest, into a corner, and Brooks ...

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Studio 360

Are Kids with Imaginary Friends More Creative?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Lots of kids have imaginary friends. Marjorie Taylor, a psychology professor at the University of Oregon, has been looking at imaginary friends and the children who have them. “They tend to be more social, less shy, and do better on tasks which require you to take the perspective ...

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Studio 360

Fiona Shaw and The Testament of Mary

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Irish actress and director Fiona Shaw stars as Mary, the mother of Jesus, in a one-woman show opening this week on Broadway. The Testament of Mary, which Colm Tóibín based on his own novel, presents not the saintly exemplar of maternal love familiar from religious paintings ...

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Listen to Lucy

Worker bees should be left to bumble

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Worker bees should be left to bumble

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Studio 360

Carmen Miranda: O Que è Que a Bahiana Tem

Friday, April 12, 2013

The samba “O Que è Que a Bahiana Tem” was recorded by the Brazilian singer Carmen Miranda in 1939. Dori Caymmi, the son of the songwriter, and biographer Martha Gil-Montero explain how the song brought Brazilian music to the global marketplace — with unforeseen ...

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Studio 360

Jeremy Irons: Perfecting the Bad Guy

Friday, April 12, 2013

“You can’t play a bad guy thinking, ‘I’m a bad guy,’” Jeremy Irons tells Kurt Andersen. “You’ve got to say, ‘Why does he make that choice to behave in that way?’” It’s all about playing the gray areas. Irons knows from despicable; for 40 years, he’s been our best bad guy ...

Bonus Track: Jeremy Irons' 3 for 360

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Studio 360

Tom Hanks: Lucky Guy

Friday, April 05, 2013

It’s a cliché, but is there anyone in Hollywood more likeable than Tom Hanks? He’s had not one but many iconic roles as a truly decent person who holds up under duress, from Big to Forrest Gump, from Saving Private Ryan to Castaway. On Broadway now, Hanks is playing a different sort, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Mike MacAlary. 

Bonus Track: Tom Hanks' 3 for 360

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Studio 360

Live in-Studio: Richard Thompson

Friday, March 01, 2013

Guitarist Richard Thompson keeps good company. His name is regularly found alongside those of Hendrix, Clapton, and Jimmy Page on various "Best Guitarists of All Time" lists. But while they all riffed off the American blues, Thompson has always done his own thing. “It’s not really bluesy ...

Video: "Stuck On The Treadmill"

 

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Studio 360

Aha Moment: Sandra Bernhard

Friday, March 01, 2013

Sandra Bernhard was only eight when she saw a touring production of Hello, Dolly! starring Carol Channing. “Right from the get-go," she remembers, "I assumed I should be a part of the cast. ‘Why am I not on stage here, playing at least one of the supporting roles?’” Sitting there ...

Video: Carol Channing in Hello, Dolly! (1979)

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Studio 360

A Needle in Isaac Newton’s Eye

Friday, March 01, 2013

Most plays about historical events and figures take liberties with the facts — you probably couldn’t write a good play if you didn’t. Audiences, though, can be distracted by wondering ‘was that bit really true?’ Lucas Hnath’s new play about Isaac Newton handles the problem in a unique way ...

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Studio 360

Wayne Coyne & Rocky and Bullwinkle

Thursday, February 21, 2013

In this Winter Pledge Special, Kurt Andersen talks with Wayne Coyne, the mastermind of the Flaming Lips, about a near-death experience. Rocky and Bullwinkle make the Cold War kid-friendly. And Whoopi Goldberg inspires a young woman to try stand-up.

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Soundcheck

For Those With Autism, Attending the Theater Becomes A Little Bit Easier

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Going to see a Broadway show is exciting experience for anyone – kid or adult. But for people on the autism spectrum, attending theater performances and other public events can be challenging, if not impossible.

That’s where the Autism Theatre Initiative, a program run by the Theatre Development Fund (TDF) comes in. The group has sponsored specially modified performances of The Lion King, Mary Poppins, and Elf on Broadway -- and recently announced that Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark would also be holding an autism-friendly performance in April

We hear more how theatre can be adapted to meet the needs of those with autism from Lisa Carling, who runs the Theatre Development Fund’s accessibility programs – and Donia Fahim, co-founder of the organization Autism Friendly Spaces. Plus, actor Derrick Davis, a member of The Lion King Broadway cast, joins us to share his experience as part of an autism-friendly performance. 

(Photos: Top: A shot of the crowd at an autism-friendly performance of The Lion King. Bottom: Audience members take a break in an "activity zone" at an autism-friendly performance of The Lion King. Credit: TDF/Autism Theatre Initiative)

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Studio 360

For Comedians, the Podcast Changes Everything

Friday, January 25, 2013

In the last few years a surge in comedy podcasting has changed the way comics work. “We’re beginning to realize our careers don’t hinge on someone in a plush office deciding to aim a little luck in our direction,” Patton Oswalt told the audience at a comedy festival ...

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Studio 360

Memory is Fiction

Friday, January 18, 2013

For a recent live event at The Greene Space in New York, Studio 360 teamed up with The Story Collider to present a night of true stories about memory and the brain. Or “true-ish,” as Kurt Andersen says — as we all know (and science confirms), the act of remembering is not only subjective ...

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Studio 360

Tracy Letts: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf

Friday, January 11, 2013

Tracy Letts is one of the most talented people in American theater today. His play August, Osage County, about a southern family thrown into crisis, won the Pulitzer Prize. Letts is also an acclaimed actor starring in the Broadway revival of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? ...

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Studio 360

Mind Games: Designing with EEG

Friday, December 21, 2012

EEG — electroencephalography — is almost a century old, and it’s creeping out of the research lab and the neurologist’s office. Headsets embedded with electrodes to read electrical activity in the brain are commercially available, and designers are using that information for all sorts of purposes ...

Slideshow: The Ascent

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Studio 360

Human Intelligence: A Holiday Tale

Friday, December 14, 2012

This is what Kurt Andersen considers a holiday tale ... melting ice caps and extraterrestrial spies? Kurt's story "Human Intelligence" first appeared in Stories: All New Tales, an anthology edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio. Our radio version was produced and directed ...

Read the full version of "Human Intelligence"

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Studio 360

Music Video: Our Rendition of Beck's "Saint Dude"

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Beck’s new album isn’t what you’d expect. There’s no CD, no .mp3s, or vinyl. So how’s it being released? Sheet music. Kurt's conversation with Beck will be online early next week. As we were getting ready for the interview, we had an idea: What if we put together a band to play some of the sheet music?

Video: Kurt Andersen & radio friends perform "Saint Dude"

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