Sondheim, shown here in 1974, won the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for <em>Sunday in the Park with George.</em> He has also received eight Tony Awards, eight Grammy awards and a Kennedy Center Honor.
Credit Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Sondheim (left) wrote the lyrics for <em>West Side Story;</em> classical-music superstar Leonard Bernstein (center) was the composer, Jerome Robbins the director and choreographer. The story of the show's genesis is told in the special NPR series <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=14732874">50 Years of West Side Story</a>.
Zero Mostel starred as Pseudolus in the bawdy farce <em>A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.</em> The musical was the first to feature Sondheim's music <em>and</em> lyrics.
Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour: Catching Fire And Gifts
Taped in the run-up to Thursday night's Sound Of Music performance, this week's round-table podcast is not a review of it, but a consideration of the live event in general. Are we all just performance ghouls, waiting around for people to fail? What is it fair to ask from a live performance? And what happens if a horse has an unfortunate moment in a theater?
Our second segment brings back one of our favorite things (har har), the Regrettable Television Pop Quiz. Thrill to extravagantly bleeped cursing! Wonder about the appropriate and safe temperature for raw chicken!
Doris Lee's <em>Thanksgiving</em>, circa 1935, was, even then, a nostalgic look back at the quintessential American food holiday. "At a time of economic struggle, <em>Thanksgiving</em> offered a creation story for the nation that could unify the population around a familiar meal of turkey, stuffing, and all the trimmings," says Oehler. (Mr. and Mrs. Frank G. Logan Purchase Prize Fund)
Credit Courtesy of Art Institute of Chicago
<p>Francis W. Edmonds' <em>The Epicure</em>, 1838, is one of the earliest depictions of a tavern meal in American history, says Judith A. Barter, curator of American art at the Art Institute of Chicago. She says it represents America at a political crossroads between urban and rural ways of life and styles of government. (The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund)</p><p></p>
Credit Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
Raphaelle Peale is considered the first American professional still-life painter. His <em>Still Life - Strawberries, Nuts, &c.</em>, 1822, exemplifies early American efforts to showcase the bounty of North America. (Gift of Jamee J. and Marshall Field)
Edward Hopper's iconic <em>Nighthawks</em>, 1942, embodies the increasing isolation of young professionals in the cities, and stands in sharp contrast to Norman Rockwell's <em>Freedom From Want</em>, depicting a loving couple bringing a giant turkey to the family table, painted the same year. (Friends of American Art Collection)
Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 5:29 pm
In the age of celebrity chef fetishism and competitive ingredient sourcing, it can be hard to remember that there was a time when restaurants didn't exist in America.
Before the Civil War, most people ate at home, consuming mostly what they could forage, barter, butcher or grow in the backyard. But just because food choices were simpler back then doesn't mean our relationship to what we ate was any less complicated.
To test a theory that the Dutch master Johannes Vermeer used lenses, mirrors and other tools to create his masterpieces, inventor Tim Jenison sets out to re-create the method — and the paintings — in the dazzling documentary <em>Tim's Vermeer</em>.
Credit Shane F. Kelly / High Delft Pictures/Sony Pictures Classics
The life and work of composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim is examined in <em>Six by Sondheim,</em> a documentary from James Lapine, who also directed several of Sondheim's shows.
Stephen Sondheim has written quite a few classic musicals — Company, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods — but he's had just one hit song, "Send in the Clowns" from A Little Night Music. And, as he tells an audience in Six by Sondheim, it was a tricky one to write because the star who had to sing it, Glynis Johns, wasn't a singer with a capital "s."
The massive marketing campaign for <em>Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues</em> has gone way beyond trailers and commercials. Some critics say the journalists are embarrassing themselves — and some say the character has become tiresomely ubiquitous.
It's hard to think of a social issue more certain to drive people into blinkered encampment than the question of sexual consent. There are times when "no means no" seems like an incomplete response to an enormously touchy problem — especially as it affects teenagers, a demographic not known for prudent lust management.
Both literally and thematically dark, Out of the Furnace simmers with manliness like a slow-cooking pot of venison chili. This is the sort of movie where character is revealed by what the protagonist decides to hunt and possibly kill.
A noble buck in the Pennsylvania woods? Maybe not. A murderous, meth-dealing bare-knuckle-boxing promoter? Bang!
Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 3:47 pm
The title character of Inside Llewyn Davis starts and ends the film in a little Greenwich Village folk club in 1961, singing the gloomy traditional tune "Hang Me, Oh Hang Me." The song's world-weary protagonist resigns himself to his impending death, really bothered only by the eternity he'll spend trapped underground in the grave.