Arts

Music News
4:16 am
Sun July 6, 2014

Even Broadway Has Its B-Sides: The Lost Songs Of Sheldon Harnick

Acclaimed songwriter Sheldon Harnick turned 90 in April.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun July 6, 2014 11:50 am

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."

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Author Interviews
4:14 pm
Sat July 5, 2014

Release Of 'Echo's Bones' Resurrects Beckett's Rejected Work

Playwright and writer Samuel Beckett, shown here around 1970, wrote Echo's Bones at his editor's request β€” only to have it cut from his first collection.
Reg Lancaster Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 5, 2014 6:14 pm

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 But a previously unpublished short story of his β€” now being released for the first time β€” was not so appreciated.

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Arts & Life
4:14 pm
Sat July 5, 2014

Pigeons Fly In Fear As Rufus The Hawk Guards Wimbledon's Grass

Imogen Davis catches Rufus, a Harris hawk, in the stands above Centre Court at Wimbledon. Rufus scares off pigeons who try to eat the ryegrass on the tennis courts.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 5, 2014 6:14 pm

At Wimbledon, maintaining the iconic grass courts is as important as the tennis matches themselves.

Every day during the Championships, Centre Court is cut to a precise measurement of 10 millimeters and the white chalk lines are re-drawn.

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Author Interviews
10:47 am
Sat July 5, 2014

A Noodle-Maker's Daughter Falls For Ballroom Dancing In 'Mambo'

Originally published on Sat July 5, 2014 12:08 pm

Transcript

TAMARA KEITH, HOST:

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Author Interviews
6:45 am
Sat July 5, 2014

Author Finds Inscrutable Spaces, Secret Cities For 'Unruly Places'

Originally published on Sun July 6, 2014 5:13 pm

Transcript

TAMARA KEITH, HOST:

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Food
6:45 am
Sat July 5, 2014

On The Hunt For The Nation's Best Burrito

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 8:23 am

Transcript

TAMARA KEITH, HOST:

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Book News & Features
4:14 am
Sat July 5, 2014

Roxane Gay: 'Bad Feminist,' Real Person

Roxane Gay's new novel is An Untamed State. Her essay collection Bad Feminist will be released later this year.
Roxane Gay

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 1:54 pm

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.

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Paperback Nonfiction Bestsellers
3:03 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Nonfiction, Week Of July 3, 2014

A House In the Sky, about an adventurous young woman who was abducted and held captive in Somalia, appears at No. 11.

Paperback Fiction Bestsellers
3:03 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Fiction, Week Of July 3, 2014

At No. 3, Elizabeth Gilbert's The Signature of All Things follows a gifted botanist as she researches the mysteries of evolution and falls in love with an artist.

Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers
3:03 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction, Week Of July 3, 2014

Debuting at No. 15, Edward Klein's Blood Feud describes the rivalry between the Clintons and the Obamas.

Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers
3:03 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week Of July 3, 2014

In Invisible, James Patterson and David Ellis follow an FBI researcher who tries to link hundreds of unsolved cases to one perpetrator. It debuts at No. 10.

NPR Bestseller List
3:03 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Week Of July 3, 2014

The lists are compiled from weekly surveys of close to 500 independent bookstores nationwide.

This Week's Must Read
3:00 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

On July 4, A Celebration Of Walt Whitman's Irreverent Hymnal

Originally published on Sun July 6, 2014 5:27 pm

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.

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Code Switch
2:34 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

Is Univision Ready To Up Its Game When It Comes To Women?

The finalists for Miss Mundial Brasil 2014 visit the set of Univision's entertainment talk show El Gordo y la Flaca. The show often invites guests to take a dip in an on-set hot tub. This particular segment is titled "8 reasons to fire up the Jacuzzi."
Screenshot Univision.com

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.

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Author Interviews
11:31 am
Fri July 4, 2014

'The True American' Reveals A Hopeful, Complicated Country

After the 9/11 attacks, hate crimes against people who were thought to be Muslim caught the country's attention. In "The True American," Anand Giridharadas follows the stories of one of those victims.

Art & Design
11:31 am
Fri July 4, 2014

For Designer B. Michael, Mentoring Is Key To Diversifying The Fashion World

B. Michael is one of a few top-tier African-American fashion designers whose designs are worn by some of Hollywood's top names. Host Michel Martin talks with the designer about his inspirations.

Alt.Latino
8:31 am
Fri July 4, 2014

Immigrant Voices: Writers Share Stories Of Coming, Staying, Going Back Home

Families communicated through a border fence at San Diego's Friendship Park Nov. 17. On weekends, people on the American side are allowed to to visit, under U.S. Border Patrol supervision, with family and friends in Mexico.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 4, 2014 9:36 am

  • Hear This Week's Show

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.

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Monkey See
6:49 am
Fri July 4, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Too Old For Youth Culture And Toys

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

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.

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Art & Design
6:14 am
Fri July 4, 2014

Banksy Buyer Turns $60 Art Purchase Into $215,000

Originally published on Fri July 4, 2014 6:52 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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.

History
5:59 am
Fri July 4, 2014

Celebrating A Star-Spangled Anthem ... That's Really Hard To Sing

"The Star-Spangled Banner" spans one and a half octaves. Above, Samu Manoa, Scott Lavalla and Cameron Dolan of the USA Eagles sing the anthem before the opening qualifying match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Scott Cunningham Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 6, 2014 5:27 pm

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!)

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The Salt
2:31 am
Fri July 4, 2014

Designing The Perfectly Architectural Ice Cream Sandwich

(From left) Strawberries and cream gelato; peanut butter ice cream sandwich; dirty mint chip.
Brian Leatart Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 6:26 am

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.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Trudging Uphill With Two Men And The Weight Of History

The cast and crew of Beyond the Edge re-enacted Sir Edmund Hillary's (Chad Moffitt) historic climb on site at Mount Everest, and at Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park in New Zealand's Southern Alps.
Mark Whetu Sundance Selects

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 6:02 pm

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.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

The Devil's In The Derails: 'Deliver Us,' Indeed

Based on the accounts given by a former NYPD sergeant, Deliver Us From Evil follows Ralph Sarchie, a New York police officer played by Eric Bana, as he investigates unexplainable crimes.
Andrew Schwartz Screen Gems

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 6:23 pm

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.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Melissa McCarthy, An Unstoppable Force Imperfectly Deployed In 'Tammy'

Melissa McCarthy co-wrote, produced and stars as the title character in Tammy -- a comedy about a woman on a felonious road trip with her alcoholic grandmother, played by Susan Sarandon (left).
Saeed Adyani Warner Brothers Pictures

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 6:29 pm

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.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Isolation Spells Frustration In Bertolucci's 'Me And You'

Lorenzo, a 14-year-old misfit played by Jacopo Olmo Antinori, adopts a new worldview after spending a week in his basement with his estranged half-sister, Olivia, played by Tea Falco.
SΓ©verine Brigeot Emerging Pictures

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 6:49 pm

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.

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The Salt
3:09 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Simple Summer Jam Session Calls For Strawberries And Sunshine

A few jars of strawberry jam bask in the light of what made them: the summer sun.
Christian Grantham Flickr

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 7:55 pm

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.

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Television
3:09 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Questlove And The Roots: How A Hip-Hop Band Conquered Late Night

Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson (center) appears with The Roots members Frank Knuckles (left) and Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter during the first episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Lloyd Bishop NBC

Originally published on Sun July 6, 2014 10:47 pm

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Code Switch
2:33 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

David Tomas Martinez Turns Hustle In The Street To Poetry On The Page

David Tomas Martinez was born and raised in San Diego.
Courtesy of David Tomas Martinez

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 5:26 pm

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.

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Movie Interviews
1:14 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

'Life Itself': An Unflinching Documentary Of Roger Ebert's Life And Death

Roger and Chaz Ebert attended a benefit awards dinner in Chicago in October 2011. Just over a year later, Ebert agreed to be filmed for a documentary. And then his cancer returned.
Daniel Boczarski Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 3:05 pm

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.

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Movie Reviews
1:14 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

In Charming Film 'Begin Again,' Music Can Save A Life

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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.

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