Arts/Life

Arts & Life
10:19 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Debbie Allen On 'Fame,' Stage And Men In Tights

Debbie Allen won Fame for playing an iconic dance teacher in film and television. Now, she's getting new fans for roles on shows like Grey's Anatomy. She talks about the highs and lows of her career.

Monkey See
9:58 am
Thu April 24, 2014

'The Other Woman': When Terrible Movies Happen To Funny Actresses

Leslie Mann, Nicki Minaj, Cameron Diaz and Kate Upton have nothing to do in The Other Woman.
Barry Wetcher Twentieth Century Fox

There is a moment in The Other Woman in which Leslie Mann and Cameron Diaz, playing a wife and her husband's former mistress – now friends — fall into a hedge together. When they're spotted, there's a little bit of physical business that's legitimately funny. If you can ignore the fact that the moments of this kind scattered through the film are decorating such a conceptually odious, stupid-to-the-bone enterprise, some of them may make you laugh.

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Shots - Health News
8:31 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Snoopy, Garfield And Friends Go Bald For Kids With Cancer

Can these cartoon pals help reduce the stigma of cancer treatment for children?
Courtesy of Ogilvy Brazil

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Ask Me Another
8:23 am
Thu April 24, 2014

This Quiz Never Bothered Me Anyway

Robert Lopez, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, and their daughters, who appear as singers (and accidental lyricists) in Frozen.
Cindy Ord Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 10:25 am

Sure you have an Oscar, but do you have an Ask Me Another Rubik's cube? Frozen's married songwriters Bobby Lopez (Book of Mormon, Avenue Q) and Kristen Anderson-Lopez let their competitive swagger shine in a game where the answers are mashed-up musicals, like "The Lion King and I."

Ask Me Another
8:22 am
Thu April 24, 2014

'Let It Go': A Hit Song, Spawned From Partnership

"I wrote all the drag-queen-ish lines," Bobby says of "Let It Go." Kristen adds, "I was listening to a lot of Tori Amos at the time. A lot of things we didn't realize we needed to express went into this song."
Mike Coppola Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 10:26 am

  • Hear Bobby and Kristen play a game about mashed-up musicals
  • Bobby and Kristen on "Let It Go" and its many parodies

Has "Let It Go," the showstopper from Disney's Frozen, been stuck in your head all winter? You're probably humming it right now. It's a big-sounding song with a strong emotional core, written by husband-and-wife songwriters Bobby Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. If Queen Elsa, once destined to be the story's villain, is Frozen's superhero, then the Lopezes view "Let It Go" as her origin story moment.

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Ask Me Another
8:15 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Four-Letter Friends

We don't have to bleep a single word in this final round. Rather, identify famous folks who have four letters in both their first and last names, like the Grammy-winning singer of "I Try," Macy Gray.

Heard in Episode 315: Let It Lopez

Ask Me Another
8:15 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Working Title

Which sounds like a more appealing read, The Great Gatsby or Trimalchio in West Egg? They're the same book, but now you've learned Fitzgerald's working title. Identify more book titles in this game.

Heard in Episode 315: Let It Lopez

Ask Me Another
8:15 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Google, You Autocomplete Me

What's the weirdest thing you've ever Googled? Search histories can be so incriminating. In this round, guess celebrities based on their common search terms, like "height" and "goes crazy on Oprah."

Heard in Episode 315: Let It Lopez

Ask Me Another
8:15 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Be Kind, Rewind

The days of rewinding VHS tapes are long gone, but in this game, imagine the plots of famous movies if you watched them end to beginning. A retired Rocky jogs backwards through Philadelphia...

Heard in Episode 315: Let It Lopez

Ask Me Another
8:15 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Animal Lamina

You've got to think forwards and backwards in this game, to think up ridiculous palindromes that involve animals. Where might stylish alpacas go for new duds? A "llama mall"!

Heard in Episode 315: Let It Lopez

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
6:09 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Book News: Happiness Study Says Library Trips Are As Good As A Pay Raise

Pedestrians walk past the main branch of the New York Public Library in New York City in this 2013 photo.
Seth Wenig AP

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Mitterrand's Taste For 'Intrigue' And Contradiction

It's probably a little too pat to say that all successful political careers are marked by contradiction and compromise, though you're not likely to hear many objections to that characterization. Politics is a game of survival, and with a few sadly notable exceptions, unyielding purists seldom make it to the top.

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Code Switch
5:22 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Why Lupita Nyong'o's 'People' Cover Is So Significant

People is calling actress Lupita Nyong'o the most beautiful woman in the world. She's the third black woman to get the magazine's title.
People AP

It has been a very good 12 months for Lupita Nyong'o: piles of awards (including an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her portrayal of Patsy in 12 Years a Slave), a contract to be the face of Lancôme Paris cosmetics, and now this: the cover of People's annual "50 Most Beautiful" issue.

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Monkey See
2:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

On Television, More Transgender Characters Come Into Focus

Laverne Cox plays Sophia on Netflix's Orange Is The New Black, one of several current shows exploring the lives of transgender characters.
Paul Schiraldi Netflix

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 9:06 pm

Over the past year or so, I've looked at how TV's expanding universe represents gays and lesbians and working women. This piece about transgender representation feels like an important part of the same project.

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Bonus Round: Ask Me Another
12:46 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Household Words: Shakespeare's Enduring Lexicon

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In 1964, for Shakespeare's 400th birthday, The Beatles performed an excerpt from A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Roger Jackson Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 4:18 pm

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NPR Story
12:44 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Seth Meyers' 'Late Night' Challenge: What To Do With His Hands

Seth Meyers hosts the premiere of his talk show, Late Night with Seth Meyers, in February. "The trickiest part of this job the first week was just figuring out what to do with my hands," says Meyers, who was used to holding a microphone during standup. Remembering that he had pockets was key.
Peter Kramer AP

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 2:32 pm

Seth Meyers already had his dream job. As the host of Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update, "I sort of had already accomplished the job I never thought I would accomplish," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. He joined the cast in 2001 and was there for 12 years.

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Music
9:23 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Yaya Alafia's Songs Of Strength For Her Baby Boy

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 10:24 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Finally today, let's hear from a model and actress who also has Nigerian roots, Yaya Alafia. Last year was a breakout year for her with meaty roles in critically acclaimed films including Lee Daniels' "The Butler" and Andrew Dosunmu's "Mother of George." And she had a baby.

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Kitchen Window
6:58 am
Wed April 23, 2014

In Tasmania, A Food Bounty As Spectacular As The Scenery

Laura B. Weiss

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 1:01 pm

Have you seen the devil?

When you've been to Tasmania — or Tassie, as the Aussies call it — that's what everyone wants to know.

Sure, the Tasmanian devil, a squat, foul-smelling animal with a ferocious screech, has helped put the 26,000-square-mile island (roughly the size of West Virginia ) on the map.

But there's a lot more to Tassie than its infamous marsupial. And a lot of it is ace tucker — that's Aussie slang for good food.

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Monkey See
6:47 am
Wed April 23, 2014

What Do 'The Simpsons' Look Like In Lego?

The Simpsons enters the world of Lego in the upcoming episode "Brick Like Me."
Fox

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 7:26 am

Fox has started to release images of the Simpsons from the upcoming episode "Brick Like Me," which is — get this — the 550th episode. That means you could watch a different episode of The Simpsons every day for roughly a year and a half, weekends and weekdays, before you ran out of new ones.

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Book News: Gabriel García Márquez Left An Unpublished Manuscript

Writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who won the Nobel Prize in 1982, died last week at age 87.
Paco Junquera Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 9:17 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Better (?) Living Through Chemistry In 'Afterparty'

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 5:44 am

The question you have to ask yourself is, how juicy do you like your science fiction?

And I mean that in terms of a spectrum. To me, classic space operas are saltines — dusty and dry and fit only as a calmative after a long binge of weirder, more foreign flavors. William Gibson? He's ... moist. Rudy Rucker is a juicy peach. Paul Di Filippo is that same peach, a week gone and with a tooth stuck in it.

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Theater
2:34 am
Wed April 23, 2014

As Shakespeare Turns 450, 'Hamlet' Tour Makes The World A Stage

The theater troupe is kicking off its Hamlet tour with three performances at Shakespeare's Globe Theater in London.
Alastair Grant AP

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 8:51 am

No one knows the exact date of William Shakespeare's birth, but devotees have adopted April 23 as the day to celebrate — and this year, the man from Stratford turns 450.

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Book Reviews
2:16 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Book Review: 'In Praise Of Hatred'

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 4:38 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

In Syria, the 1980s were marked by a bloody civil war between the Sunni majority and the minority Alawite Muslim government. That's now the setting for a novel titled "In Praise of Hatred." It's by Syrian writer Khaled Khalifa. It's now available in the United States and a translation by Larry Price. And Alan Cheuse has our review.

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Television
2:06 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

'Inside Amy Schumer,' Some Surprising Commentary

Inside Amy Schumer showcases the work of Schumer, here with Deborah Rush.
Matt Peyton Comedy Central

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 4:38 pm

No one can send up sexism with a punch line quite like Amy Schumer.

"A lot of the women's magazines are supposed to, like, be confidence building, but they really just scare ... you so you buy the products in them," she says in one stand-up routine. "Like, they all will put Jessica Alba or somebody like that on the cover. And she's supersexualized no matter what magazine. ... And you're like, 'Good Housekeeping?' "

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Author Interviews
1:51 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

'Forcing The Spring' Tells One Chapter In Story Of Marriage Equality

In her new book, Forcing the Spring, investigative reporter Jo Becker goes behind the scenes in the fight for marriage equality. Above, Eric Breese of Rochester, N.Y., joins hundreds of others to rally outside the Supreme Court during oral arguments in a case challenging the Defense of Marriage Act on March 27, 2013.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 3:34 pm

In her new book, Forcing the Spring, investigative reporter Jo Becker tells the behind-the-scenes story of an important chapter in the fight for marriage equality. She embedded with the team that challenged Proposition 8 — the 2008 anti-gay-marriage California ballot initiative that called for amending the state constitution to say that the state would only recognize marriage between a man and a woman.

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Music
10:36 am
Tue April 22, 2014

'Cuddly Toy' On Nonstop Rotation For Margaret Cho

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now, the regular feature we call In Your Ear. That's where we invite some of our guest to tell us about the songs on their playlists. We caught up with entertainer Margaret Cho during her latest comedy tour. And she gave us a few of her favorite tunes.

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#TMMPoetry: Muses and Metaphor
10:36 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Waxing Poetic About Politics And Jimmy Choos

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now it's time for Muses and Metaphor. That's our ode to National Poetry Month. All through April we are featuring original tweet-length poems, 140 characters or less, delivered by Twitter and written by NPR listeners and, new this year, some of our regular contributors.

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The Two-Way
6:21 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Book News: Ex-Supreme Court Justice Wants 6 Changes To Constitution

Former Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, pictured in 2013, has a laundry list of legal changes he'd like to see and thinks "ultimately each will be adopted."
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue April 22, 2014

'Chameleon Club' Takes On Too Many Colors

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 12:10 pm

The narrators of Francine Prose's novel Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 are not to be trusted. In describing the life of Lou Villars, French racecar driver, cross dresser and Gestapo torturer, Prose tells a complex story about the malleability of truth when everybody is a collaborator.

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Book News & Features
5:01 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Exclusive First Read: Colson Whitehead's 'The Noble Hustle'

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 9:22 am

In the annals of great first lines, The Noble Hustle's ranks near the top: "I have a good poker face," Colson Whitehead writes, "because I am half dead inside." Hustle is a gritty, grimly funny — and seriously self-deprecating — account of Whitehead's adventures in poker, from home games to seedy $2 tables in Atlantic City and finally a trip to Las Vegas to play in the World Series of Poker — with a few detours for beef jerky, and a discourse on Anhedonia, his gloomy spiritual homeland.

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