Arts and Culture News

News from the arts world.

Andrea Avery had just begun to entertain the possibility that playing the piano would figure prominently in her career path when, at the age of 12, she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Two hugely popular live entertainment companies are joining forces. Cirque du Soleil announced yesterday it is acquiring Blue Man Productions. NPR's Rose Friedman reports.

"Bandstand" is a new Broadway musical about a group of soldiers just home from World War II and a woman whose husband died on the battlefield. Theater critic Howard Shapiro reviews "Bandstand" this week on In a Broadway Minute Friday at 8 am and Saturday at 10 am.

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Edward Albee has been in the news a lot lately. Albee died in 2016, and since then his estate has turned down a multi-racial production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and put his contemporary art collection up for auction for an estimated $9 million.

Most people love to sing, but in Estonia, they take their singing very seriously. At the Estonian Song Festivals, for example, over 30 thousand singers routinely show up to form one gigantic chorus. Among the Baltic country's smaller, professional vocal ensembles, the Grammy-winning Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir is considered one of the world's best. When the group releases a new album, fans of choral music listen up.

What role does music play in our national dialogue about immigration? Six young musicians, rooted in six different countries, gathered at Ellis Island, and in Manhattan, to explore that question in a new composition inspired by Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land."

With graduation behind them, many young musicians and performers have begun heading out on their career paths, and this week, A Tempo looks at two books addressing some of the issues these aspiring artists will face. Host Rachel Katz (7/1 at 7 pm) will interview Bernhard Kerres, CEO and founder of Hello Stage and author of Be Your Own Manager:  A Career Handbook for Classical Musicians, and dancer and financial professional David Maurice Sharp, author of The Thriving Artist: Saving and Investing for Performers, Artists and the Stage & Film Industries.

If you know any musicals at all, then you probably know the beloved Fiddler on the Roof. It tells the story of the dairy man Tevye and his family, and it's set in the town of Anatevka in czarist Russia.

In the musical, and second eldest daughter, Hodel, makes the bold decision to leave her family and everything she knows to find her fiancé, who has been sent to a labor camp in Siberia. As she boards the train, Hodel says to her father, "God alone knows when we shall see each other again."

Seventy-four high school singers and dancers, selected from a pool of 50,000 kids across America, recently came to New York City to strut their stuff. They were participants in the Jimmy Awards, which honor the best high school musical theater performers from around the country.

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole are performing as Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden in the new Broadway musical called War Paint, about the cosmetic empires the two women founded. Howard Shapiro will review War Paint this week on "In a Broadway Minute" Friday at 8 am and Saturday at 10 am.

Allison Vulgamore, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Orchestra, this week announced her plans to step down at the end of December, when her contract expires. During her tenure, she led the orchestra through bankruptcy proceedings and oversaw the expansion of community engagement initiatives, including its HEAR (Health, Education, Access and Research) program. This week on A Tempo (6/24), host Rachel Katz interviews Vulgamore about her legacy and the orchestra's next steps.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

What happens after Henrik Ibsen's classic, A Doll's House, is over? Playwright Lucas Hnath imagines that in his new Broadway play A Doll's House, Part 2. Howard Shapiro will review the play this week on "In a Broadway Minute."

Earlier this month, the New York Philharmonic's outgoing music director Alan Gilbert said goodbye to his orchestra in a series of concerts. Today, he is saying hello to a brand new job in Hamburg, Germany.

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