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Updated: 1 hour 15 min ago

Getting To Know The Real Story Was Key To Broadway's 'King And I' Revival

Sat, 05/02/2015 - 6:57am

The musical's heroine was inspired by an English-Indian governess who really did travel to the king of Siam's court. The revival, directed by Bartlett Sher, has received nine Tony nominations.

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Does Post-Apocalyptic Literature Have A (Non-Dystopian) Future?

Sat, 05/02/2015 - 6:03am

Store shelves and libraries are packed with post-apocalyptic, dystopian novels right now. Critic Jason Heller has some suggestions to help you wade through the floods. And the fires. And the fallout.

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At 81, The Man Behind Big Bird Sees 'No Reason To Quit'

Sat, 05/02/2015 - 4:34am

"It's an awfully good job," Caroll Spinney says, of the more than 40 years he has spent on Sesame Street. A new documentary tells the story of the octogenarian man playing a 6-year-old bird.

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Hollywood Offers Up A Bevy Of Superheroes In 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'

Fri, 05/01/2015 - 1:49pm

Reviewer David Edelstein says Joss Whedon's new film plays like "a strategic set-up for a Hollywood franchise." Viewers will be blitzed by sound and fury — and a certain amount of "gobbledegook."

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'Far From The Madding Crowd': Counterprogramming Writ Victorian

Fri, 05/01/2015 - 12:37pm

NPR film critic Bob Mondello reviews the new movie version of Thomas Hardy's Victorian romance, Far From The Madding Crowd.

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Kurt Cobain Speaks — Through Art And Audio Diaries — In 'Montage Of Heck'

Fri, 05/01/2015 - 11:18am

"The idea was not to tear him down, nor was it to put him on a pedestal," says director Brett Morgen. Instead, executive producer Frances Bean Cobain told Morgen to "make it honest."

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Pop Culture Happy Hour: Free Comic Book Day And Rabbit Holes

Fri, 05/01/2015 - 11:08am

On this week's show, we talk about lots and lots of comics in preparation for Free Comic Book Day, and we go down a few pop culture rabbit holes.

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Free Comic Book Day: A Guide To The Heroes, Musicians And Mutants

Fri, 05/01/2015 - 11:08am

Glen Weldon reviews the 50 comics available at participating comics shops for 2015's Free Comic Book Day, coming May 2 — what to pick up free, skip, and buy while you're in the shop.

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What's Inside A 'Derby Pie'? Maybe A Lawsuit Waiting To Happen

Fri, 05/01/2015 - 8:39am

Around Louisville, "derby pie" is de rigueur fare for the Kentucky Derby. But the pie's creators are real sticklers about what can be called a "derby pie" — and they're not afraid to sue over it.

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Carey Mulligan Returns To Period Drama For A Thomas Hardy Classic

Fri, 05/01/2015 - 2:31am

The actress spent years avoiding the genre for fear of getting pigeonholed, but she says she made an exception for Far From the Madding Crowd because of Hardy's modern, forward-thinking heroine.

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Bigger And Louder Than Ever, Can The Avengers Still Satisfy?

Thu, 04/30/2015 - 4:53pm

Avengers: Age Of Ultron continues the march of the Marvel Cinematic Universe toward more and more and more of everything. But that's not the same thing as making the movies better.

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In 'Marie's Story,' A Tale Of Teaching And Faith

Thu, 04/30/2015 - 4:43pm

A new French film about a girl born blind and deaf speaks not only to the questions of how she learns, but of her encounters with faith and loss.

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Revisiting The Melodrama Of 'Far From The Madding Crowd'

Thu, 04/30/2015 - 4:33pm

Carey Mulligan plays the role once occupied by Julie Christie, but her very different take may be too controlled for its own good.

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More Than 90 Writers Join Protest Of Free Speech Award For 'Charlie Hebdo'

Thu, 04/30/2015 - 10:17am

Dozens of writers have now signed an open letter that condemns the attacks on the French satirical magazine, but questions whether it deserves a free speech prize for its willingness to offend.

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Free Comic Book Day: A Guide To The Heroes, Musicians And Mutants

Thu, 04/30/2015 - 9:29am

Glen Weldon reviews the 50 comics available at participating comics shops for 2015's Free Comic Book Day, coming May 2 — what to pick up free, skip, and buy while you're in the shop.

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William Faulkner Makes Us Wonder: What's So Great About Poetry, Anyhow?

Thu, 04/30/2015 - 9:03am

William Faulkner — one of the great American novelists — thought of himself as a failed poet. Which made our critic Juan Vidal wonder: What is it about poetry that makes us hold it above other arts?

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Rome's Might Meets The Arabian Nights In 'Ember In The Ashes'

Thu, 04/30/2015 - 6:03am

First-time novelist Sabaa Tahir creates Capital Letter Fantasy in An Ember in the Ashes, with rebel Scholars battling an ancient, brutal Empire. Critic Amal El-Mohtar calls it "frequently riveting."

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Ohio Kidnapping Survivors Recount Captivity, Escape From Horror

Wed, 04/29/2015 - 2:34pm

In 2013, three young women who had vanished years earlier escaped from a house where they had been held captive. Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, along with writer Mary Jordan, discuss their new memoir.

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3,600-Page Autobiographical Novel Is An Honest And Masterful 'Selfie'

Wed, 04/29/2015 - 1:38pm

My Struggle is about Karl Ove Knausgaard's wrangle with his father, with death, with his Muse and on. The 46-year-old Norwegian's pointedly un-literary book has become a literary sensation.

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These Parents Make Lovely Lunch Bag Art. Not Everyone Is Pleased

Wed, 04/29/2015 - 12:18pm

Elaborately illustrated napkins. Famous paintings recreated using food. Depending on your viewpoint, these lunch projects are an expression of parental love or another salvo in the parenting wars.

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