Arts/Life

Theater
5:21 am
Sun November 23, 2014

Reviving 'Allegro': Even Rodgers And Hammerstein Had Flops

A commentary on the American Dream, Allegro tells the story of Joe Taylor, Jr., a small-town doctor who moves to Chicago.
Rodgers & Hammerstein

Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II may have been one of the most successful writing teams in Broadway history — think of Oklahoma! and The Sound of Music, just to name a couple of their hits.

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Author Interviews
5:21 am
Sun November 23, 2014

How John Safran Lost A Year In Mississippi

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

Book Reviews
5:03 am
Sun November 23, 2014

These Tales Of Transformation Are Both 'Rich And Strange'

Ron Rash is a Southern-born novelist and short story writer with a reputation on the rise; you might know him as the author of the novel Serena (a PEN/Faulkner fiction prize nominee a few years back), which is about to become a movie with Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. I have just finished reading his newly issued collection: 34 pieces of short fiction, previously published from 1998 to 2014, all of them under the title Something Rich and Strange, and I have to say that rich and strange are two words that aptly apply to this book.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
8:23 am
Sat November 22, 2014

Not My Job: We Ask 'Real Housewives' Producer Andy Cohen About House Flies

Charles Sykes AP

Originally published on Sat November 22, 2014 9:58 am

Andy Cohen started out as a producer with CBS News, doing tough stories from tough places. But his secret dream was to choreograph elaborate cat fights between wealthy, underemployed women. He's the Bravo producer responsible for the Real Housewives franchise and host of Watch What Happens Live.

We've invited Cohen to play a game called "Bzzz ... bzzz ... bzzz." Three questions for the man behind Real Housewives about house flies.

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Environment
5:55 am
Sat November 22, 2014

What We Learn When Find Silence

Originally published on Sat November 22, 2014 9:21 am

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

Author Interviews
5:55 am
Sat November 22, 2014

Author Wrestles With Wolves In 'Treat Us Like Dogs'

Originally published on Sat November 22, 2014 1:55 pm

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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NPR Story
5:03 am
Sat November 22, 2014

'Recasting' India's Economic Policy For The Free Market

cover crop
Palgrave Macmillan Trade

It takes almost a month to get permission to start a business in India — a feature of the country's four-decade experiment with centralized, state-controlled economic planning.

India began moving away from its old policies and opening up to outside investment in the early '90s — but that movement towards a free market economy has happened in fits and starts, and is far from complete.

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Music Articles
12:03 am
Sat November 22, 2014

In 'The Homesman,' Wind Is The Sound Of Insanity

"I want it to be folksy, but surrounded by madness," director Tommy Lee Jones told The Homesman's composers.
Dawn Jones Roadside Attractions

Originally published on Sat November 22, 2014 9:21 am

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This Week's Must Read
3:27 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

These 'True Tales' Add Nuance To The Immigration Discussion

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 4:36 pm

We need more stories and books that treat Mexican immigrants as humans — novel idea, right? But far too often, the media and authors cast them as sinners or saints, with little deviation from cliches established decades ago.

That's why I recommend the writer Sam Quinones, and his two collections: True Tales from Another Mexico and Antonio's Gun and Delfino's Dream: True Tales of Mexican Migration.

Read them both, you'll see something rare: his migrant characters are brilliant, maddening, flawed and very human.

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Movie Interviews
2:23 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Benedict Cumberbatch: Code Breaker Alan Turing Was A Puzzle Himself

Benedict Cumberbatch plays British mathematician Alan Turing in The Imitation Game. "You're not asked to like the character," Cumberbatch says. "You're introduced to him, warts and all."
Black Bear Pictures

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 9:35 pm

The Imitation Game is the story of Alan Turing: British mathematician, World War II code breaker and seminal theoretician of computer science. "It's a war thriller, it's a love story and a tragic testament to a genius wronged," the star of the film, Benedict Cumberbatch, tells NPR's Robert Siegel.

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The Salt
1:16 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Thanksgiving, Frozen: A 6-Day Guide To What To Cook Ahead, And When

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 2:15 pm

The countdown to Thanksgiving has begun. And for those of us who already feel short on time during a regular week, the pressure is on to figure out just how to squeeze in all that extra shopping, prep work and cooking ahead of the holiday.

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Performing Arts
11:23 am
Fri November 21, 2014

For Alan Cumming, Life Is (Once Again) A Cabaret

This is the third time Cumming has starred in the musical. He talks about the new production — everything from his costume (which he calls a "Wonder Bra" for men) to the darker themes of the show.

Originally aired April 28, 2014.

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

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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The Salt
10:03 am
Fri November 21, 2014

The 3-Bird Turducken Has Nothing On This 17-Bird Royal Roast

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 12:43 pm

The turducken — a whole chicken stuffed inside a whole duck stuffed inside a whole turkey, all boneless — is a relatively recent culinary phenomenon. Though popularized in the past 20 years with the help of Louisiana's Chef Paul Prudhomme and John Madden, who brought one to a football game broadcast in 1997, the turducken actually builds on a long tradition of creative bird-into-bird stuffing.

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The Two-Way
9:20 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Book News: Daniel Handler Apologizes For Jokes At National Book Awards

Daniel Handler — aka Lemony Snicket — apologized Thursday for his "ill-conceived attempts at humor" during the National Book Awards ceremony Wednesday.
Robin Marchant Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 1:08 pm

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

If this year's National Book Awards saw a fiery speech from Ursula K. Le Guin, the evening also featured incendiary comments of quite another kind. Ceremony host Daniel Handler — whom most readers might know better by his pen name, Lemony Snicket — made several racially charged jokes that drew a strong reaction Thursday.

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Monkey See
6:40 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Foxcatcher' And The Art Of The Trailer

NPR

We're getting into the thick of Oscar movie season, and one of the interesting and curious entries is Foxcatcher, starring Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo in a film fairly loosely based on a true story out of Delaware in the mid-'90s. (Details here; to the degree history can be a spoiler, that is one.) We sat down this week to talk about the film with our pal, NPR film critic Bob Mondello.

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The Salt
2:18 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish Put To The Test At Amish Market

A tub of Susan Stamberg's mother-in-law's famous cranberry relish made by Beth Hansen of Easton, Md.
Jackie Judd NPR

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 11:42 am

The request was forwarded to me from a distant (fifth floor — I'm on the fourth) division of NPR.

It came from Justin Lucas, the head of NPR's Audience and Community Relations team. He's the go-to person here for requests from listeners, for information or permissions.

He'd gotten a letter from Beth Hansen, owner of Soup and Salad, a small sandwich shop in Easton, Md., a charming old town on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay.

Justin read me an excerpt of the request: "I'd love to make and sell Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Chutney. A portion of the proceeds ... "

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Remembrances
2:24 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Director Mike Nichols Remembered As A Comedian, Raconteur, Charmer

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 4:30 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Book Reviews
1:09 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

'Redeployment' Explores Iraq War's Physical And Psychic Costs

In his short story collection, former Marine Phil Klay takes his experience in Iraq and clarifies it, lucidly tracing the moral, political and psychological curlicues of Operation Iraqi Freedom. On Wednesday, he won the National Book Award for fiction for the collection.

This review originally aired March 26, 2014.

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Politics
1:09 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Sen. Mitch McConnell's Political Life, Examined, In 'The Cynic'

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will take over as Senate majority leader in the new term in January.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 2:35 pm

When Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) first entered politics in the 1960s, he started out as moderate — pro-abortion rights, pro-union, in support of the civil rights movement. With time, McConnell shifted to the right as the Republican Party shifted.

"I was just really startled by this when I started looking into it," Alec MacGillis tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I knew that he had started out as somewhat more moderate — but I didn't realize just how moderate he really was."

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Monkey See
1:01 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Mike Nichols: Remembering The Ellipses After The Story Ends

Mike Nichols, seen here in 2013, died Wednesday at 83.
Dario Cantatore AP

[At the top of this post, you'll find a discussion from me and my Pop Culture Happy Hour colleague Stephen Thompson about Mike Nichols and his work. Stephen tells a great family story about the impact of Nichols' comedy — give it a listen.]

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Performing Arts
9:00 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Mike Nichols, Award-Winning Director Of 'The Graduate,' 'Silkwood,' Dies

Mike Nichols was an ultimate Hollywood insider who won every major show business award directing for stage, film and TV. But his life in America began as an immigrant from Germany. Nichols was honored with an AFI Life Achievement Award in June 2010.
Kevin Winter Getty Images for AFI

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 9:31 am

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The Two-Way
8:26 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Book News: Ursula K. Le Guin Steals The Show At The National Book Awards

In her speech Wednesday night in New York, Ursula K. Le Guin declared, "The name of our beautiful reward is not profit. Its name is freedom."
Robin Marchant Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 12:52 pm

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

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Remembrances
7:14 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Renowned Theater And Film Director Mike Nichols Dies

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 10:43 am

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

Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu November 20, 2014

There's More To Asking Than Just Art

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Grand Central Publishing

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 8:20 am

Amanda Palmer's well-intentioned, slightly clueless new book, The Art of Asking, is a little bit diary, a little bit TED talk, and a little bit how-to guide. Palmer, Neil Gaiman's wife and one-half of the band the Dresden Dolls, had a well-publicized break from her record label and asked her fans to front the money for her next venture via Kickstarter. She asked for $100,000 — and received $1.2 million. From this successful experiment in asking for help, she has produced a hazy philosophy of asking, built on the pillars of trust, reciprocity, couch-surfing and a lot of body paint.

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The Two-Way
8:10 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

'Redeployment,' 'Age Of Ambition' Win National Book Awards

Neil Gaiman, left, and Ursula K. Le Guin attend the 2014 National Book Awards, where Le Guin was recognized, on Wednesday in New York City.
Robin Marchant Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 7:12 am

At a New York City ceremony packed as much with jabs at Amazon as with jazzy entrance music, the National Book Foundation crowned a newcomer. Former Marine Phil Klay took home the National Book Award for fiction, winning the prize for his debut short story collection Redeployment.

Klay, who had been deployed in Iraq, appeared taken aback by the honor on stage.

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Television
2:24 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

NBC The Latest To Distance Itself From Bill Cosby

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 5:31 pm

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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The Two-Way
1:24 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

NBC And Netflix Shelve Bill Cosby Projects As New Rape Claim Emerges

Comedian and actor Bill Cosby, seen here performing in September, is facing several new allegations of sexual assault.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 6:33 pm

A TV comedy Bill Cosby had been developing for NBC has been canceled, after new allegations of rape have been made against the comedian. Netflix made a similar move late Tuesday, shelving a comedy special that had been slated to premiere the week of Thanksgiving.

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The Salt
12:33 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Just What Is In Pumpkin Spice Flavor? (Hint: Not Pumpkin)

The flavor of the season, you may have noticed, is pumpkin spice. Food companies have gone overboard on the stuff. There are pumpkin spice ice cream sandwiches, pumpkin spice-flavored almonds and, of course, pumpkin spice lattes.

Comedian John Oliver couldn't take it anymore.

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Television
11:48 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Jon Stewart On The 'Daily Show': 'I'm Still Really Proud Of The Work We Do'

Stewart talks about his future hosting the show known for its political satire.

"It is unclear to me," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "The minute I say I'm not going to do it anymore, I will miss it like crazy."

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

Transcript

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Movie Interviews
11:48 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Bennett Miller On Making The True-Life Crime Film 'Foxcatcher'

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 2:22 pm

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

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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