Arts

Arts and culture from around the Tri-State, including theater, music and poetry.

Play it Forward Foundation

Aug 12, 2012

Brian O’Donnell speaks with Jim Hunt about the upcoming auction on August 17th at the Redmoor in Mount Lookout to benefit the Play it Forward Foundation, which provides financial assistance to area musicians.

There are many election-related books you could choose to help you endure the final months of the presidential race, from desk-pounding policy proposals to thick, shelf-crushing biographies.

Or, you could turn to Sneaky Pie.

Now, full disclosure, Sneaky Pie is a cat, and she's usually solving mysteries as the main character in Rita Mae Brown's bestselling Mrs. Murphy series.

Before the summer slips away, we raise a glass to hot August nights — and their perfect wine pairings. A good summer wine will be "light, bright and affordable," Leslie Sbrocco, author of The Simple and Savvy Wine Guide, tells NPR's Linda Wertheimer.

Whether you're on the beach, on the go or at the grill, Sbrocco offers recommendations for affordable reds and whites under $25.

When You're On The Go ...

Over the course of just a few sun-soaked weeks every summer, Chukar Cherries in central Washington state dries 250,000 pounds of fresh cherries.

"It's almost like going into your mom's kitchen and she's just taken a cherry pie out of the oven," says co-owner J.T. Montgomery. "A little bit like that."

Not surprisingly, the dried fruit goes into lots of Chukar Cherries' products, including the company's most popular: chewy, semi-dried cherries, rolled in oval nuggets of chocolate.

On-air challenge: You are given the ends of the names of three things that are all in the same category. You name the category. For example, "fur," "dine" and "sten" are all ends of chemical elements (sulfur, iodine, tungsten).

Last week's challenge, from listener Annie Haggenmiller of Chimacum, Wash.: Take the name of a well-known U.S. city in four syllables. The first and last syllables together name a musical instrument, and the two interior syllables name a religious official. What is the city?

So there I was, brandishing a microphone on the streets of Stratford, Ontario, and feeling, I have to confess, like a total fraud.

Batman has many secrets — the best-known one, of course, being his millionaire alter ego, Bruce Wayne. But that may not be the Dark Knight's biggest secret.

Since the 1930s, only one man has been given credit for creating the caped crusader and his home city of Gotham. Bob Kane's name appears in the credits of all the movies, the campy TV show and the associated merchandise, from video games and action figures to sheets and underwear.

But what if Bob Kane didn't do it all by himself?

On Sunday night, while the rest of us were ooohing and aaahing over gymnastics, a bunch of propeller heads at NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory were flawlessly steering a billion-dollar robotic space laboratory the size of a minivan to a landing on Mars.

Missions engineers Bobak Ferdowsi and Adam Steltzner — whose hairstyles have led them to be nicknamed "Mokawk guy" and "Elvis guy," respectively — are two of the guys behind the landing of the Mars rover Curiosity, and very well might be the Sexiest Nerds Ever.

When writer David Rakoff died Thursday at the age 47, he was barely the age he said he was always "meant" to be. In his 2010 memoir, Half Empty, he wrote, "Everyone has an internal age, a time in life when one is, if not one's best, then at very least one's most authentic self. I always felt that my internal clock was calibrated somewhere between 47 and 53 years old."

Rakoff died in New York City after a long struggle with cancer — an ordeal that he wrote about with sobering honesty and biting wit.

With the Olympics drawing to a close, NBC is looking especially golden. They have had two weeks of great ratings — including record highs. What better time than on the eve of the network's new fall season to rack up two weeks of record audiences? But what might seem a slam dunk for the network is anything but.

Jennie Fields was well into her new novel about Edith Wharton — and her love affair with a young journalist — when she heard that a new cache of Wharton letters had been discovered. They were written to Anna Bahlmann, who was first Wharton's governess and later her literary secretary. Bahlmann had never been considered a major influence on Wharton, but Fields had decided to make her a central character in her book, The Age of Desire, even before she heard about the letters.

Cincy Blues Fest

Thirty-thousand people are expected at this weekend's Cincy Blues Fest. Here's a preview of what you can expect on the 20th anniversary of the event.

Duke Robillard is no stranger to the blues business. For nearly a half century the guitar player has been building his fan base playing in bands like "Roomful of Blues" and "The Fabulous Thunderbirds." He's one of the headliners and will perform tomorrow night at Cincy Blues Fest. Spokeswoman Mary Beth Weaver says no matter when you come this weekend you'll be entertained on four stages at Sawyer Point.

Oh, the questions that circulated when this summer's Shakespeare in the Park revival of Into the Woods was announced.

Who'd play the Baker, that woebegone would-be father at the center of Stephen Sondheim's fractured musical fairy tale?

Who'd step into the star role of the vengeful Witch, played notably by Bernadette Peters in the premiere and by Vanessa Williams in the 2002 revival?

How would the show work in a giant outdoor amphitheater, amid the trees and lawns and urban clatter of Central Park?

Writer and humorist David Rakoff, who died Thursday at the age of 47, wrote with a perfect balance of wit and gravity about the cancer that would ultimately take his life.

Rakoff developed a devoted following as a regular contributor to the public radio program This American Life. His books of essays include Fraud and Don't Get Too Comfortable. Rakoff's most recent book, Half Empty, won the Thurber Prize for American Humor in 2011.

This week, I managed to return from press tour, but we are still without Trey Graham. Fortunately, that means that the lovely Barrie Hardymon joined us for this episode, which kicks off with me fully (and exhaustively — sorry!) debriefing the team about fall television as I experienced it out in Los Angeles.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Sana Krasikov's collection of short stories, One More Year, delves deep into the lives of characters trying to make it in the new Russia. Each story carries an underlying sense that the strong do what they will, and the weak do what they must.

But Krasikov doesn't consider her stories cynical, she says they're realistic.

"I think, if you're in Russia, you can't sometimes afford not to see it like that," she tells NPR's Michel Martin, as part of Tell Me More's summer BRICSION series.

It's National S'more Day, so you've got a good reason to indulge in the gooey goodness.

But what if you're nowhere near a campfire? How can you replicate the taste of a chocolate-marshmallow-graham cracker s'more fired up and fashioned en plein air?

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