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Make 'Em Laugh: 'The Comedians' Tells The Story Of Stand-Up

Kliph Nesteroff's book digs into the origins of modern comedy, from the segregated Chitlin' Circuit to the vaudeville refugees who found a new home in the Catskills, to the very first female comics.

HBO Documentary Explores Dark Underbelly Of Russia's Bolshoi Ballet

Russia's Bolshoi Ballet was rocked following the 2013 acid attack on the company's artistic director. A new documentary airing Monday on HBO, Bolshoi Babylon, looks at the culture of the company and how things got to that point. NPR explores how the paranoia and distrust of management within the ranks of the company is both very Russian and a symbol of the Bolshoi Ballet.
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A Conversation With Cellist Alisa Weilerstein

New York Magazine has called Alisa Weilerstein "Yo-Yo Ma's heiress apparent as sovereign of the American cello." The internationally lauded cellist on her new album, living with and fighting Type 1 Diabetes, and the perks and perils of being young in the classical music world.


Back On Broadway: 'The Color Purple'

Cynthia Erivo stars on Broadway as Celie in The Color Purple. She talks with NPR's Scott Simon about the production, and revisits one of the first songs she sang for an audience: Silent Night.

'Transparent' Is Transfixing In Season 2

The acclaimed Amazon show about a transgender woman and her dysfunctional family has just returned for a second season. TV critic Eric Deggans praises the show's drama, nuance and complexity.

Andrew Lloyd Webber Says Music Empowers In 'School Of Rock'

The composer teamed up with Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey, to create the new rock musical adaptation of the 2003 movie.

Anna Deavere Smith Wants Playgoers To Do What They Can To Counter Violence

Through powerful monologues, Anna Deavere Smith has tackled race riots, integration and health care. In Notes from the Field, she's using her characters to explore the school-to-prison pipeline.

New Exhibit Remembers Shakespeare's Silent Soirée

Forget the Merry Wives of Windsor, NPR's Scott Simon recalls a time when Shakespeare spent the night with a groupie.

'Invisible Thread' Is More Than A Musical About Uganda

Based on co-writer Griffin Matthews' experiences in the country, Invisible Thread explores the connection between an American gay couple and a group of Ugandan orphans.

Boston Museum Exhibit Celebrates Legacy Of Black Mountain College

Black Mountain College was only open for 24 years, but it helped foment the work of several artists, musicians, dancers and filmmakers, including John Cage, Merce Cunningham and Cy Twombly. Now it's the subject of the first major museum retrospective at Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art.