Broadcast TV used to have bigger stars, bigger audiences and bigger budgets. Cable shows were edgier, with more sex and violence than the broadcasters dared show. In the last few seasons, though, cable ratings have improved and broadcast shows have taken more risks. What's going on on TV?
A new exhibit in Berlin's Jewish Museum is intentionally provocative. The point, one curator says, is to "get people talking about how they perceive Jews, particularly in Germany today." At the center of the controversy is a display in which a Jewish person sits inside a glass showcase and answers questions from visitors.
The Humana Festival of New American Plays is a major event in the theater world. More than 400 plays by some of the world's top playwrights have made their world premieres there since Actors Theatre of Louisville founded it in 1976. And every year Actors Theatre commissions a play specifically for the company's apprentice actors. This year's apprentice show, Sleep Rock Thy Brain, is a suite of three one-acts that all use brain research and stage flying effects to explore the experience of sleep and dreams.
Semiprecious stones were the medium of choice for Vasily Konovalenko, a Soviet ballet set designer turned sculptor. His masterful workmanship captured Russian characters, from Cossacks and drunks to country folk and czarist henchmen. He fell afoul of the authorities and left Russia for the U.S. in the 1980s.
NBC announced Wednesday that Jimmy Fallon will take over The Tonight Show from Jay Leno next spring. But NBC has a raft of other problems including a rocky ride in prime time. Plus, it fell from first place last fall to fifth in February — behind not just the other broadcast networks but the Spanish language Univision.
As a Mormon missionary, Ryan McIlvain spent two years ringing strangers' doorbells, even as he experienced doubts about his own faith. He left the church in his mid-20s. McIlvain's debut novel, Elders, tells the story of two young Mormons carrying out their missions.
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