Arts and Culture News

News from the arts world.

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.

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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.

Cari Ann Shim Sham

Opera productions have long been transporting audiences emotionally into places and times both far away and familiar. Now, opera companies are beginning to explore the possibilities of taking this a step further by truly drawing audiences into the middle of the opera through virtual reality.

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.

The blues have traveled far and wide over the last century — exerting a vast cultural influence worldwide, yielding myriad offshoots, and generating fortunes for some of the biggest musical acts of our time. But it's also still the product of local conditions, and bound by hardscrabble local concerns.

On this episode of Jazz Night in America, we'll go to Clarksdale, Miss., to get a temperature reading at ground level, where struggling musicians are finally beginning to reap the benefits of a recent wave of blues tourism.

For the 19th year, Broadway casts have produced a set of CDs for the holiday season called “Carols for a Cure.” Hear more about their charity project and the CDs this week on “In a Broadway Minute” Friday morning at 8 and Saturday morning at 10. 

Pianist Glenn Gould rocketed to fame in 1955 with his startling and original take on Bach's Goldberg Variations. Gould's fans were treated to a remake of Goldbergs in 1982, when he released a slower-paced rendition just before his untimely death. But it's that first, rapid fire 1955 recording that continues to captivate audiences.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

It was 100 years ago this week that Russian violinist Jascha Heifetz made his American debut at New York's Carnegie Hall in 1917. Considered by many to be one of the greatest violinists in history, he was just 16 years old at the time. NPR's Rachel Martin spoke with commentator Miles Hoffman about that appearance and the career that followed.

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