Arts/Life

Monkey See
5:14 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Theater Diary: Ludacris Meets The Von Trapps, And A Bartender Proves Unreliable

Three's company: M (Jason Butler Harner, left) and F (Amanda Quaid) spar over the affections of the paralyzingly uncertain John (Cory Michael Smith) in Mike Bartlett's The Cockfight Play.
Joan Marcus

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 9:22 am

On Monday night, a theater-critic buddy and I were hoisting a round at a 9th Avenue saloon called Flaming Saddles. "God Bless Texas" was on the jukebox, which was an actual jukebox and not somebody's Spotify playlist, and the big-screen TVs were showing Shirley MacLaine getting smashed in Can-Can, because it's that kind of establishment.

Read more
Monkey See
10:44 am
Wed June 13, 2012

The Absolute Unvarnished Truth About The New And Rebooted 'Dallas'

Larry Hagman, as he must, returns to play J.R. Ewing in the rebooted version of Dallas.
Zade Rosenthal TNT

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 10:49 am

There is a certain honesty with which I believe critics must exist — a willingness to look yourself in the eye. A willingness to say, "This is the absolute truth as I experienced it."

Read more
Movie Interviews
10:16 am
Wed June 13, 2012

At The Heart Of 'Your Sister's Sister,' A Love Triangle

Iris (Emily Blunt, left) invites her best friend Jack to her family's vacation home after a death in his family. Unbeknownst to him, Iris' sister Hannah (Rosemary DeWitt) is already there, in the hopes of getting over a breakup.
IFC Films

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 3:27 pm

Lynn Shelton's 2009 movie Humpday was about two straight men making a gay-porn movie to win an amateur film competition. It might not have reached a mass audience, but Humpday was noticed by other directors and producers, including Matthew Weiner, who offered Shelton a job directing an episode of Mad Men.

Read more
Fresh Food
10:16 am
Wed June 13, 2012

'Fermentation': When Food Goes Bad But Stays Good

Yogurt is produced by the bacterial fermentation of milk. "Bacteria in our gut enable us to live," says author Sandor Katz. "We could not survive without bacteria."
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 1:48 pm

The list of fermented food in our lives is staggering: bread, coffee, pickles, beer, cheese, yogurt and soy sauce are all transformed at some point during their production process by microscopic organisms that extend their usefulness and enhance their flavors.

The process of fermenting our food isn't a new one: Evidence indicates that early civilizations were making wine and beer between 7,000 and 8,000 years ago — and bread even before that.

Read more
Monkey See
7:48 am
Wed June 13, 2012

How We Talk About A Bacon Sundae

This is the bacon sundae.
Noel Barnhurst AP

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 1:32 pm

I come not to praise the Burger King bacon sundae, nor to bury it. I come merely to point out that sometimes, the particular flavor of contempt with which you choose to address something is as important as the contempt itself.

Read more
Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed June 13, 2012

'Red House': A Kaleidoscope Of Family Dysfunction

iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 6:03 am

You can get to know people awfully well by spending a week with them on vacation. In The Red House, Mark Haddon brings together two long-estranged siblings and their disjointed families for a shared holiday at a rented house on the Welsh border six weeks after their mother's funeral. Seven days comes to feel like an eternity — for his characters and his readers.

Read more
Kitchen Window
10:28 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Just A Pinch Of Thought Brightens Fruit Salad

T. Susan Chang for NPR

Around the time I was just old enough to know how to cook but still young enough to have some free time, I started throwing brunch parties. The menu was always the same. I would bake a braided challah or Belgian waffles or blueberry muffins or all three. (This was show-off food, since none of my other friends had yet developed an interest in baking.) I'd prepare some mimosas and strong coffee. And then, in a weak and chinless nod to better nutrition, I would make a fruit salad.

Read more
Monkey See
11:25 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Theater Diary: In Which Our Heads Explode From Sheer Nerd Joy

Emily Skinner (left) and Alice Ripley in the original Broadway production of a show that we will shortly discuss further.

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 5:44 pm

Read more
Author Interviews
10:10 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Under The 'Nuclear Shadow' Of Colorado's Rocky Flats

cover detail: Full Body Burden

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 1:40 pm

Kristen Iversen spent years in Europe looking for things to write about before realizing that biggest story she'd ever cover was in the backyard where she grew up. Iversen spent her childhood in Colorado close to the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons factory, playing in fields and swimming in lakes and streams that it now appears were contaminated with plutonium. Later, as a single mother, Iversen worked at the plant but knew little of its environmental and health risks until she saw a feature about it on Nightline.

Read more
The Salt
10:02 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Harissa: The Story Behind North Africa's Favorite Hot Sauce

Just a spoonful of the spicy chili paste known as harissa goes a long way
Benjamin Morris NPR

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 2:01 pm

NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep is taking a Revolutionary Road trip across North Africa to see how the countries that staged revolutions last year are remaking themselves.

Inskeep and his team are traveling some 2,000 miles from Tunisia's ancient city of Carthage, across the deserts of Libya, and on to Egypt's megacity of Cairo.

Read more
Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Alan Furst's New 'Mission' Delivers Spy Thrills

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 6:09 pm

Alan Furst is fixated on a place on the verge of all-out war — and his many readers are grateful for his obsession.

Furst is the wonderfully inventive author of a series of novels set in Europe on the eve of World War II. He's often been compared to John le Carre, Graham Greene and other masters of fictional espionage. But it's time to consider him on his own merits.

Read more
Business
3:09 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Starbucks Order Gives Ohio Mug Maker A Jolt

Bob Davis hand-dips mugs before they go into the kiln at American Mug and Stein in East Liverpool, Ohio. Most overseas companies have machines that can do this much faster.
Amanda Rabinowitz WKSU

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 11:03 am

For decades, when you slid into a booth at a diner or a local coffee shop, the waitress probably arrived with a standard-issue, off-white mug. More than likely that mug came from the Ohio River town of East Liverpool, which calls itself "The Pottery Capital of the Nation."

A lot of that city's pottery business is long gone. Now, one of the few remaining pottery factories in the battered town is pinning its survival on a major corporation.

To step inside American Mug and Stein in East Liverpool is to step into another era.

Read more
Monkey See
3:08 am
Tue June 12, 2012

The Old With The New: Generations Clash In New 'Dallas'

Bobby (Patrick Duffy, top left), J.R. (Larry Hagman, top center left) and the rest of the Ewing family are back, including a new generation, for TNT's reboot of Dallas.
Mark Seliger TNT

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 10:08 am

In 1980, the world was transfixed by the question of "Who shot J.R.?" Of course, we're talking about the archvillain from the nighttime soap opera Dallas. Three hundred fifty million people worldwide tuned in to find out. Now the TNT cable network is rebooting the show and hoping for even a fraction of that passion.

Read more
Author Interviews
12:50 am
Tue June 12, 2012

What Animals Can Teach Humans About Healing

When wildfires swept across Australia in February 2009, this photo of a firefighter sharing his water with an injured koala captured hearts around the world. The koala later died — not of fire-related injuries, but of chlamydia. Koalas in Australia are suffering from an epidemic of chlamydia, says Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz. "There's no such thing as safe sex in the wild."
Mark Pardew AP

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 6:18 am

When Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz was asked to treat an exotic little monkey with heart failure at the Los Angeles Zoo, she learned that monkeys can suffer heart attacks from extreme stress — just like humans. That's when the cardiologist realized she'd never thought to look beyond her own species for insights into disease.

Read more
Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!
5:05 pm
Mon June 11, 2012

Sandwich Monday: The Pritomus

Finishing touches.
NPR

We believe the children are the future. And here at Sandwich Monday, we try to foster the next generation of eaters through our after-school programs and subliminal EAT BACON messages. That's why we were so happy to see Peter's daughter Willa had invented her own sandwich: The Pritomus. It's hummus, Fritos and pickles served open-faced on an English muffin.

Peter: Into our mouths from babes.

Read more
The Salt
1:36 pm
Mon June 11, 2012

Food Truck Lingo Might Be Just Around The Corner

Taking a sip of the official drink of the food truck movement, Mexican Coke
courtesy John T. Edge

New words and phrases and new uses for words we already know creep into our everyday language from the most unlikely places, much to the displeasure of our English teachers.

Read more
Monkey See
11:35 am
Mon June 11, 2012

Tony Awards Recap: We Ponder The Highs And Lows Of A Show About Shows

David Alan Grier dazzled audiences last night in "It Ain't Necessarily So," part of a song medley from best musical-revival winner Porgy and Bess.
Theo Wargo Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 5:44 pm

The Tonys, like all awards shows, are about successful people dressing pretty to congratulate each other for being successful. Can't get past that.

But the Tonys, to me, always seem just a little less gross than the Oscars or the Grammys or the Xtreme Video Music Firewalking Awards or what have you.

Read more
Book Reviews
10:14 am
Mon June 11, 2012

Book Party For One: A Loner's Summer Survival Guide

Harriet Russell

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 2:48 pm

Summer is a season when people get hypersocial — with barbecues and neighborhood fairs, graduations and pool parties. In short, it's an especially trying time for those of us who'd rather stay indoors and read a book. My early summer reading list, therefore, takes the form of a loner's survival guide.

Read more
Monkey See
9:57 am
Mon June 11, 2012

'Bunheads' Doesn't Need To Be Studied, Just Enjoyed

Sutton Foster stars in Bunheads, premiering Monday night on ABC Family.
Adam Taylor ABC Family

The advent of serious, thoughtful, artistically ambitious television has brought us many marvelous shows: Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Good Wife. And the growth of comedies with strong points of view has allowed oddball projects like 30 Rock and Community to emerge and earn praise.

Read more
Author Interviews
9:38 am
Mon June 11, 2012

Joan Rivers Hates You And Everyone Else

Joan Rivers says her material has only gotten stronger with age. "I always say, 'What are you going to do? Are you going to fire me? Been fired. Going to be bankrupt? Been bankrupt.'"
Courtesy of the author

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 10:18 am

Joan Rivers doesn't hold anything back.

Over the course of her 50-year career, Rivers has made fun of her bankruptcy, her many facelifts, her husband's suicide and the sacrifices she made over the years as a female standup performer.

Read more
The Salt
9:13 am
Mon June 11, 2012

The Psychology Of The Honor System At The Farm Stand

Swanton Berry Farm's famous honor till
Sarah Twitchell Flickr.com

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 10:04 am

In a state full of tasty surprises, count the Swanton Berry Farm, along the coast highway just north of Santa Cruz, California, among the most charming. At this pick-your-own, certified-organic berry field and farm stand cafe on the planted bluffs above a tumbling surf, you can pick or picnic with ocean views — and, if you're lucky, catch a glimpse of a grey whale and her calf migrating north from Baja.

Read more
Monkey See
9:00 am
Mon June 11, 2012

The Most Intriguing, Promising, Not-Here-Yet Games Of E3

A scene from the new version of video game Halo 4, shown at the Microsoft Xbox E3 2012 media briefing.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 4:53 pm

The controlled chaos and wonderfully oppressive din of E3 (the Electronic Entertainment Expo), the world's most important videogame expo, has ended. During the event in downtown Los Angeles, many journalists and fan sites distributed awards purporting to name the best games of the show. The problem? These games aren't even completed. Sometimes, they aren't even playable at the show. These awards, therefore, have become both ubiquitous and nearly meaningless.

Read more
Monkey See
2:36 am
Mon June 11, 2012

Picturing Tunisia: A Favorite Hollywood Location Through A Different Lens

A scene from the Kairouan medina - where some of the street scenes from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark were filmed.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 4:48 am

Here's a movie scene burned into my brain: Harrison Ford, playing Indiana Jones, is on a chase through the streets of Cairo. It's in the original movie Raiders of the Lost Ark, which I saw as a kid. Today I couldn't tell you who was chasing whom or why, but I remember the climax. Jones is pushing through a mass of people when the crowd abruptly parts. He's confronted by a swordsman, who flips his giant scimitar around both artfully and menacingly.

Read more
Movie Interviews
3:05 pm
Sun June 10, 2012

'Mr. Cao' Recalls Rookie Congressman's Unlikely Rise

When Anh "Joseph" Cao beat Democratic incumbent Rep. William Jefferson in 2008, he became the first Vietnamese-American ever to serve in Congress. Two years later, he failed to win a second term.
Bao Nguyen Walking Iris Films

Originally published on Sun June 10, 2012 4:11 pm

In 2008, Republican Anh "Joseph" Cao was elected to Louisiana's predominantly black and Democratic 2nd Congressional District, which includes New Orleans, making him the first Vietnamese-American member of Congress. Needless to say, it was an unlikely rise.

Read more
Author Interviews
12:08 pm
Sun June 10, 2012

Bear Grylls on Family, Faith And Drinking Pee

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 6:31 am

Survivalist Bear Grylls has been an almost inescapable figure on the Discovery Channel for years.

His show Man vs. Wild has a global audience of millions and peaked as the highest-rated cable show in the U.S. But in March, Grylls and the Discovery Channel parted ways over a contract dispute.

He's currently taking some time away from television, developing ideas for a return, and spending time with his wife, Shara, and their three young sons, Jesse, Marmaduke and Huckleberry.

Read more
Sunday Puzzle
4:27 am
Sun June 10, 2012

This Changes Everything!

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun June 10, 2012 1:50 pm

On-Air Challenge: Given a sentence, change one letter in one word to make a new word which completely reverses the meaning of the sentence. For example, given "The singer is not coming on stage." Changing the "T" in not to a "W" in the word "not" makes the sentence, "The singer is now coming on stage."

Read more
Books
4:05 am
Sun June 10, 2012

Two Poems From The Nation's New Top Poet

English professor Natasha Trethewey was named the 19th U.S. poet laureate last week.
Jalissa Gray Creative Commons Image

Originally published on Sun June 10, 2012 4:14 pm

Natasha Trethewey is the newly announced, 19th U.S. poet laureate. The position is described by the Library of Congress as "the nation's official lightning rod for the poetic impulse of Americans."

Trethewey tells Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin that it's a lot of responsibility.

"Just trying to be the biggest promoter of poetry; someone who's really got to do the work of bringing poetry to the widest audience possible," she says.

Read more
Books
4:04 am
Sun June 10, 2012

No One In 'The Red House' Gets Away Unscathed

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 10:50 am

Ah, the family getaway. All of you together in one space — maybe a cabin in the mountains or a beach house. Delightful family meals, maybe some Scrabble. A time of togetherness and familial harmony.

That is decidedly not the kind of family vacation writer Mark Haddon draws inspiration from. In his latest novel, The Red House, Haddon peers inside the messy dynamics of a group of relatives, each grappling with their own fears and trying to make sense of themselves as a family, all while stuck in a vacation house in the remote English countryside.

Read more
Books
4:03 am
Sun June 10, 2012

Audiobooks That'll Make The Family Road Trip Fly By

Chris Silas Neal

Originally published on Sun June 10, 2012 1:50 pm

It's time to rev up the old minivan and hit the road for summer vacation. One way to stave off those "are we there yet" questions is to get 'em hooked on an audiobook.

It just so happens that this is the season when there are a lot of new audiobooks to choose from. Last week, prizes for the best audiobooks of the year were announced at the annual Audie awards.

Read more
Theater
10:03 pm
Sat June 9, 2012

Behind The Stars, The Sets That Help Them Shine

The idea behind Ost's design was to keep the set out of the way of the storytelling --€” and of Newsies' kinetic ensemble.
Mike Coppola Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 10, 2012 1:50 pm

Broadway caps off its 2011-2012 season June 10 at the 66th annual Tony Awards, and while the focus will mostly be on the nominated shows and actors, some attention must be paid to the set designers — the people who help create the environments that let those shows and actors shine.

Take Daniel Ostling: When he read Bruce Norris' script for Clybourne Park, a play that takes place in a very realistic Chicago bungalow, the veteran scenarist quickly came to a realization: "The house is actually a character."

Read more

Pages