Arts and Culture News

News from the arts world.

Piotr Anderszewski might be one of the most revered pianists of his generation, but he's also one of the most impulsive.

In 1990, at age 21, the young Pole entered the prestigious Leeds International Piano Competition. He was nearly finished with his semi-final performance when he quit playing — just walked off the stage. He felt he wasn't good enough to continue. It was a gutsy move that actually helped launch his career.

Comedian Iliza Shlesinger has a lot to say about what it's like to be a lady these days — and what things could have been like in the past.

"Do you think for a second, that if women were physically stronger than men, we would have waited for the right to vote?" she asks in her latest Netflix special, Confirmed Kills. She goes on to imagine a "jacked up housewife" in 1910, with a "shaker of horse testosterone and creatine," shoving her husband out of the way because "mama's going to the polls."

A Tempo host Rachel Katz speaks with the co-chairs of the Congressional Arts Caucus, Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), about the Trump Administration's proposal to eliminate funding for the National Endowment for the Arts; Matthew Shaftel, Dean of Rider University's Westminster College of the Arts, discusses how NEA funding has supported some recent Westminster programs.

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Jo Lampert is leading a new rock opera based on Joan of Arc. It's written by David Byrne of Talking Heads. It is Jo Lampert's biggest role yet. And as NPR's Elizabeth Blair reports, she seems born to play the part.

Theater critic Howard Shapiro talks about the busy season of new drama and comedy productions on Broadway… 10 new productions of drama and comedy.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, editor of the website TV Worth Watching, sitting in for Terry Gross.


A recent lawsuit brought by a blind theatergoer against the producers of the hit musical Hamilton has highlighted Broadway's spotty track record in serving audiences with disabilities.

A Tempo catches up with Timothy O'Leary, general director of Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and composer Philip Glass, whose opera, The Trial, will have its US premiere during the Festival. This week's program also includes other news headlines from the week.

Over the weekend, I was in Los Angeles and attended a production of Zoot Suit, by the trailblazing Chicano playwright Luis Valdez.

This week Howard Shapiro reviews the Broadway revival of THE GLASS MENAGERIE, with Sally Field as Amanda Wingfield in Tennessee Williams' classic. Tune in Friday at 8 am and Saturday at 10 am.