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News, interviews, and commentary on theater, the arts, music, and dance.

Last Build Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:10:09 -0400

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Kevin Breel: What Can Depression Teach Us About Comedy?

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:10:09 -0400

The image of the "sad clown" can seem like a cliche. But for Kevin Breel, it's very real. He describes how he struggled with depression while performing as a stand-up comedian.

Sandi Toksvig: Can Social Change Start With Laughter?

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:10:09 -0400

When comedian and TV host Sandi Toksvig came out as gay in the early 1990s, she used humor to recover from the onslaught of vitriol.Today, she says, humor can help bring about social change.

On Fashion Runways, Inclusion Is About More Than Color

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 17:21:00 -0400

It's a tricky thing, casting. Directors have a vision for their lines — but what if that vision doesn't include a more inclusive palette?

In 'Confirmed Kills,' Iliza Shlesinger Cloaks Social Commentary In Comic Rants

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 16:31:00 -0400

Comedian Iliza Shlesinger's standup is physical. She contorts and snorts and stalks the stage as she becomes the characters in jokes that explore what it's like to be a woman in today's society.

Jo Lampert Takes On Joan Of Arc

Sat, 18 Mar 2017 08:12:00 -0400

New York artist Jo Lampert just landed her first major role: Joan in David Byrne's new rock opera based on Joan of Arc. With her androgynous appearance and bluesy voice, Lampert seems like a good fit.

'Fresh Air' Marks The 90th Birthday Of Broadway Composer John Kander

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 15:25:39 -0400

Kander and his partner, Fred Ebb, wrote the songs for a number of musicals, including Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman and Cabaret. Kander spoke to Terry Gross in 1991 and 2015.

A Blind Theatergoer's 'Hamilton' Lawsuit Aims Spotlight On Broadway Accessibility

Tue, 14 Mar 2017 16:28:00 -0400

The class-action suit brought against the hit musical doesn't seek damages. The attorneys say the hope is to draw attention to Broadway's spotty record in serving audiences with disabilities.

Phyllis Diller's File Of 53,000 Jokes

Sat, 11 Mar 2017 08:29:42 -0500

The female comedian would write a joke and have it typed on an index card and put in a file. Now at the Smithsonian, volunteers are digitizing the cards one at a time.

Patton Oswalt Explains How Pop Culture Gets Grieving All Wrong

Fri, 10 Mar 2017 14:00:00 -0500

Nevermind the superhero stories; after his wife died, Oswalt wasn't motivated to channel his loss into fitness or crime fighting. He says so far push-ups have not been a part of his grieving process.

When Clothes Make The Man Appear Dangerous

Thu, 09 Mar 2017 05:01:17 -0500

The revival of playwright Luis Valdez's "Zoot Suit" reminds us that clothes and garments have long been the site upon which bigots can project their prejudices and fears.

Not Your Grandpa's Circus: The Big Top Makes Room For Experimental Companies

Sat, 04 Mar 2017 07:41:00 -0500

A nonprofit wants you to know that the circus is more than ringmasters and lion tamers — it's also an avant-garde art form.

Liz Coleman: How Do We Teach College Students To Ask Big Questions?

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 08:57:00 -0500

Former Bennington College President Liz Coleman believes higher education is overly-specialized & complacent. She says we need to encourage students to ask bigger questions and take more risks.

Exhibition Celebrates Merce Cunningham And His Choreography Of Chance

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 07:54:30 -0500

Cunningham was always looking for new ways to move — that's why he used "chance operations" (rolling dice or tossing coins) to put a piece together.

'Man Of Good Hope' Tells A Somali Refugee's Story — In Song

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 16:31:00 -0500

The musical was inspired by Asad Abdullahi, who, as a child, embarked on a perilous journey through Africa. "It's sort of a Greek epic in its proportions," says director Mark Dornford-May.

Andrew Lloyd Webber Has 4 Musicals On Broadway — At The Same Time

Sun, 12 Feb 2017 07:45:19 -0500

Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber hit a milestone this past week. He's the first since Rodgers and Hammerstein to have four musicals running simultaneously on Broadway.