Sheldon Harnick has been a working lyricist for over 60 years. He shared a Pulitzer Prize for his work on the musical Fiorello! and a Tony Award for Fiddler On The Roof. But he says a career in the theater means writing some songs that, for whatever reason, don't make the show.
"Sometimes, the song was changed because a scene was changed and it no longer accommodated the song," Harnick says. "So, sometimes there had to be a new song."
Playwright and author Samuel Beckett, who died 25 years ago, wrote lasting works of literature like Waiting for Godot and Endgame. But a previously unpublished short story of his β now being released for the first time β was not so appreciated.
Roxane Gay's new collection of essays, Bad Feminist, is littered with defiant, regal I's. "I do not care for epigraphs." "I was not impressed."
Gay β novelist, essayist and relentless documenter of her own life β proclaims her I-ness everywhere she goes: On her blog, she describes what she ate for dinner, what made her mad on an airplane, what she's afraid of, what she's ashamed of, what makes her lonely.
Instead of you throwing a curve here instead is a fastball, high and hard.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the granddaddy of American poetry; the gray ghost; the big thumper; the barbarian's text with its barbaric yawp; the nation's first truly great mega biblion; the Kosmos; the Civil War witness; the seaside songbook; the irreverent hymnal; the book of the lover; the book of the loafer; the peacemaker; Leaves of Grass.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This post includes the use of an anti-gay slur because it is relevant to the the story.
Right before the kickoff of the World Cup match between Mexico and the Netherlands (June 29), one of the Univision announcers interrupted the network's reliably hyperkinetic broadcast to read a statement.
This week on Alt.Latino, we pay tribute to immigrant stories. With the help of Cuban-American writer and editor Achy Obejas, we're bringing you readings by celebrated authors on the topic of immigration, from Latin America to Asia, Africa and the Middle East. It's all part of a new book called Immigrant Voices: 21st Century Stories, edited by Obejas and Megan Bayles.
Stephen Thompson and I are joined this week by our blog siblings Gene Demby and Kat Chow of NPR's Code Switch, which always puts us in an upbeat and playful mood. Fittingly, we take a couple of listener questions this week about youth and play.
Good morning. I'm David Greene. Last year, British graffiti artist Banksy took New York by storm with a month-long guerrilla art campaign. Part of that included putting dozens of his signed, spray-painted works up for sale for just $60 each at an anonymous sidewalk stall. It was not a huge success. Over seven hours, just three people bought eight pieces of art. Now two of those have been sold at auction in London for $215,000, roughly 1,800 times the original price. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
It's been nearly 200 years since Francis Scott Key wrote the words of "The Star-Spangled Banner" as he watched America's flag fly over Fort McHenry during the war of 1812. Set to the melody of a popular English tune, it officially became the national anthem in 1931.
But spanning one and a half octaves, America's national song is awfully hard for the average citizen to sing. So NPR went down to the National Mall on Flag Day and asked folks to give it their best shot (without looking up the lyrics, mind you!)
Coolhaus ice cream shop β which is just blocks from NPR West in Culver City, Calif. β is famous for its ice cream, which comes in crazy cool flavors like Whisky Luck Charms and Peking Duck.
Coolhaus recently came out with a cookbook, so NPR's Renee Montagne visited the shop to learn how some of these loopy flavors can be used as building blocks in crafting the ultimate ice cream sandwich.
With or without his knighthood, the legendary climber Sir Edmund Hillary stood 6-foot-plus in his stockinged feet and looked a bit like a mountain crag himself. The New Zealand beekeeper β who with his Sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay was in May 1953 the first to reach the top of Mount Everest β was possessed of a jutting lantern jaw, piercing eyes and an obstinate determination that served this self-described "rough old farm boy" well when holding his own against the posh British leaders who ran the expedition to crest the world's highest peak.
For decades, cop dramas have depicted the South Bronx as the devil's playground. Deliver Us From Evil takes that idea all too literally. But then this slow-witted occult thriller takes everything literally, from the Catholic rite of exorcism to Jim Morrison's shamanic posturing.
The movie is derived from a book of the same name by former NYPD Sgt. Ralph Sarchie, who reportedly came to believe that some of the criminals he faced were literally possessed. Wisely, director and co-scripter Scott Derrickson made the on-screen Sarchie (stolidly intense Eric Bana) a skeptic.
Think of Melissa McCarthy playing Megan in Bridesmaids, and you may first remember her defecating in a sink, or driving a minivan full of stolen puppies, or brazenly propositioning an air marshal. McCarthy stole the show with a talent for profanity and pratfalls, but it's a reflective one-on-one scene playing impromptu life coach to Kristen Wiig's character that solidified her star-making performance. For that scene, she dropped the clownish shtick for a real human moment that made Megan into a character, not just a caricature.
In his five decades as a director, Bernardo Bertolucci has tended toward grand political filmmaking. His movies have generally been set in turbulent times: the rise of fascism in Italy in The Conformist and 1900; the leftist youth movements of the 1960s in Partner and Before the Revolution; the years prior to the Chinese Communist revolution in The Last Emperor β moments when social orders are being overturned.
With the onset of summer comes also a bounty of strawberries. Add to those berries a bit of sugar and plenty of sunlight, and you have a strawberry jam recipe fit for the season's best mornings β with a slice of good toast, of course.
Before writing the poems that make up Hustle, David Tomas Martinez was hustling for a long time. In sidelong verses, he compacts his childhood in the Meadowbrook Houses in San Diego, his teenage years running with a gang, his enlistment in the Navy, and then his eventual escape into the world of poetry β a place he admits sometimes surprises even him.
Roger Ebert was often considered the most famous film critic of his generation. Now filmmaker Steve James has produced a documentary about his life and death, called Life Itself.
In 2002, Ebert was diagnosed with cancer. Four years later, he had surgery to remove part of his lower jaw. It left him unable to eat, drink or speak. For the rest of his life, he was fed through a tube.
But his popularity seemed to only increase as he blogged and tweeted about films. Ebert loved movies and went out of his way to champion filmmakers he believed in β including James.
This is FRESH AIR. Director John Carney had a surprise hit with his low-budget musical "Once." And he returns to the musical arena - this time in New York and not Dublin - with his new movie "Begin Again." Keira Knightley plays a heartbroken singer-songwriter who teams up with a down and out drunken producer played by Mark Ruffalo. Film critic David Edelstein has this review.