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Arts/Life

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When you think of Disney, "experimental" or "avant-garde" may not be the first words that spring to mind.

But when tasked with adapting the 1994 Disney animated film, The Lion King, for the Broadway stage, director Julie Taymor decided to take an unconventional tack.

Drawing on theater and puppetry traditions she'd studied from around the world, Taymor brought a bold, experimental approach to the show. And, when it opened in 1997, that fusion was met with wide critical acclaim and huge box office success.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

An American Comic In Canada

Oct 29, 2017

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Sometimes, you need to leave home to see it clearly. On our recent trip to Canada, we found an American comic who was taking stock of the U.S. from just across the border.

It's raining — of course — when we meet novelist Jen Sookfong Lee outside the Ten Ren Tea shop in Vancouver's Chinatown. About 49% of the population here is ethnic Asian — and over half of that is Chinese. Lee's novels explore Chinese-Canadian identity, and the repercussions of immigration in the city of Vancouver.

When Donald Trump announced he would be running for president, he didn't seem like the obvious candidate for evangelical voters, given his multiple divorces, use of crass language and one-time admission that he had never asked God for forgiveness.

Nonetheless, he did manage to coalesce 81 percent of white evangelical voters behind him in November.

She generated billions in profits for the fashion industry just by getting dressed in the morning. For some, she made gardening and gym class cool; for others, she is the poster child for what a successful marriage and family life can look like.

We're talking about Michelle Obama, the former first lady who is still a role model for millions of Americans who were refreshed by her style and authenticity, and moved by how she fulfilled her role as the first African-American first lady.

When you escape a catastrophe with the clothes on your back and your dog in your arms, people sometimes try to comfort you by saying the rest are "things" and things can be replaced. But, some things can't be — a family photo album, a scrapbook, grandma's quilt. That's what people in Houston are dealing with as they try to put their lives back together after Hurricane Harvey.

Brian May left a promising career in science to try his hand at rock 'n' roll, and did OK enough, we guess, becoming a co-founder of the band Queen. (That makes him the only Ph.D. astrophysicist in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.) What's more, he's also deeply into 3D stereoscopic photography, and has just published a new book of pictures of his band.

Given his success with Queen, we made him answer three trivia questions about Dairy Queen, the ice cream and fast food franchise.

Click the audio link above to see how he does.

Time and again, writer Daniel Alarcón has found himself on those lists that make other, less fortunate writers gnash their teeth. He's been named one of 37 under the age of 36, 39 under 39, and 20 under 40. Alarcón is 40 now — he was born in Peru, grew up in the suburbs of Birmingham, Ala., and he's got a new collection of short stories called The King is Always Above the People.

The new movie Thank Your For Your Service is about coming home. Specifically, it's about American soldiers who come home after serving during the "surge" in Iraq in 2007.

One scene takes place in a therapist's office. Sgt. Adam Schumann and his wife Saskia need help, and the therapist starts listing Schumann's military honors. "You never told me about those," Saskia says.

Saskia is the one who insists Schumann get help. The real-life Adam Schumann says, yes she did.

Over the years, many authors have dealt with alcoholism, addiction and recovery — think of plays like Long Day's Journey into Night, or films like Days of Wine and Roses. Now a new play from England joins them: People, Places & Things takes an unsentimental and, at times, harrowing look at addiction and recovery.

Inasmuch as Protestant (and especially Lutheran) congregations around the world are celebrating Reformation Sunday this weekend, accordingly let us mark the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the cathedral door in Wittenberg, Germany, with a coffee-and-fellowship hour buffet of indulgences.

The death of Eric Garner is a good place to start if you want to tell a story about our politically divided country. At least, that's the case Matt Taibbi makes in his new book, and quite successfully. I Can't Breathe, which takes its title from Garner's last words, traces his life from adolescence to his final day.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

In the HBO series "The Deuce," Maggie Gyllenhaal plays a sex worker in Times Square who is different from other sex workers. She does not have a pimp. Here's a scene where a new girl on the street meets Maggie Gyllenhaal's character for the first time.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

For decades, women generally kept quiet about being sexually harassed — or even assaulted — at work. But that may be starting to change. The recent New York Times and New Yorker exposés on Harvey Weinstein helped open the flood gates for women who allege they too have been victims. The #MeToo campaign lead to more stories. So we wondered — why now?

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Musical Guest: Aimee Mann

Oct 27, 2017

Musical guest Aimee Mann knows she has a bit of a reputation for writing sad songs. She decided to lean into the joke with her latest album, whose title, "Mental Illness," was suggested by none other than Jonathan Coulton. "He asked me what the record what about and I said, 'Ah, it's my usual songs about mental illness.' And he said, 'Oh, you should call it 'Mental Illness,' thinking he was being snide and hilarious." The name stuck, and she released her ninth solo album in March.

LA LA And

Oct 27, 2017

Paul Scheer and D'Arcy Carden finished their trivia triad with a musical quiz designed to make people from New York feel defensive. We rewrote famous songs about Los Angeles to be about things with the initials "L.A."

Heard On Los Angeles: Famepocalypse Part One

HIGHLIGHTS

D'Arcy Carden On The Nature Of Her Feelings About One Direction

Real Or Fake Self-Help Book?

Oct 27, 2017

Paul Scheer and D'Arcy Carden took a page out of How to Win Ask Me Another and Influence People for their next quiz, deciding whether self-help book descriptions were real or fake.

Heard On Los Angeles: Famepocalypse Part One

HIGHLIGHTS

Paul Scheer On The Early Days Of The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre

I remember doing a show for one person. And then we decided we would chase him out.

Parental Advisory Spoiler Alert

Oct 27, 2017

Actor and comedian Paul Scheer maintains an incredibly high standard for the roles he accepts — even when he doesn't have any idea who he's playing. Known for his work with the sketch comedy team Human Giant and his role on the FX sitcom The League, Scheer also co-hosts the podcast How Did This Get Made?, which celebrates (and eviscerates) some of the worst movies ever made. He recently had a recurring role on HBO's VEEP, one of his very favorite shows, and he spoke to host Ophira Eisenberg about the air of mystery that surrounds such a spoiler-free series.

Nobody Walks In L.A.

Oct 27, 2017

It's a total Misubishi Eclipse of the heart as we crown our celebrity Ask Me Another champion in a final round about literal descriptions of car model names.

Heard On Los Angeles: Famepocalypse Part One

Freeway Traffic Report

Oct 27, 2017

Brett Gelman and Missi Pyle completed their Ask Me Another trilogy contracts with a quiz in which every answer is also the number of a freeway in the Los Angeles area. Plus, singer-songwriter Aimee Mann also joined us for a performance of "Rollercoasters," a song from her recent album "Mental Illness."

Heard On Los Angeles: Famepocalypse Part One


HIGHLIGHTS

Missi Pyle On Her Driving Style

Holy Foley!

Oct 27, 2017

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's the sound of boots walking through a kiddie pool filled with glue! We tested Missi Pyle and Brett Gelman's knowledge of the magic of cinema with an audio quiz about the strange practices of foley artists, the audio technicians who create sound effects for film.

Heard On Los Angeles: Famepocalypse Part One


HIGHLIGHTS

Missi Pyle On Succumbing To Peer Pressure From Sigourney Weaver

Star Map

Oct 27, 2017

Missi Pyle isn't just the kind of actress you recognize from something—she's the kind of actress you recognize from everything. Pyle got her break when she landed a major role in the 1999 cult film Galaxy Quest. As Laliari, an extraterrestrial with a very severe haircut, Pyle's first big movie remains one of her favorites. "Galaxy Quest was such a beautiful, magical experience," she told host Ophira Eisenberg.

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Dialogue And Exchange.

About Jonas Gahr Støre's TED Talk

As Foreign Minister of Norway, engaging in difficult and intense diplomatic negotiations was part of Jonas Gahr Støre's job. He learned that dialogue is a strategy of strength, not one of weakness.

About Jonas Gahr Støre

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Dialogue And Exchange.

About Robb Willer's TED Talk

Liberals and conservatives believe in different sets of moral values. That's why, social psychologist Robb Willer says, appealing to the other side's values — not your own — might change more minds.

About Robb Willer

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