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Audra McDonald: Shaping 'Bess' On Broadway

The actress is nominated for her fifth Tony Award for the Broadway musical Porgy and Bess. "There's very few quiet moments for Bess," she says. "They're all very big, very emotional. ... And to commit to that night after night after night is very difficult."
NPR

What Inspires Singer Simone

Actress and singer Lisa Celeste is better known by her stage name, Simone. She's the daughter of the late legendary singer Nina Simone, and she's appeared on Broadway in musicals such as Rent and Aida. As part of the series, In Your Ear, she shares the songs on her personal playlist.
NPR

A Test Of Hearts, Minds And 'Hands On A Hardbody'

The 1997 documentary Hands on a Hard Body followed the contestants in a Texas car dealership competition: Hopefuls had to keep one hand on a brand-new fully loaded truck, and the last person standing kept it. As Neda Ulaby reports, that surprisingly dramatic story is now being made into a musical.
NPR

A Gershwin Biopic That Ain't Necessarily So True

Rhapsody in Blue, a 1945 film version of the life of George Gershwin, is out for the first time on DVD. Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz says it's a fascinating mixture of real facts, pure invention and memorable musical moments.
NPR

When It Comes To War, Humor Helps Us Survive

Water by the Spoonful is this year's winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It's a play about addiction, memory, and the Iraq War. Host Michel Martin speaks with playwright Quiara Alegria Hudes, who says that her people don't have to wallow in misery, that we can laugh, even in our darkest moments.
NPR

Managing The Gershwins' Lucrative Musical Legacy

In the 1920s, it wasn't uncommon for the Gershwin brothers — composer George and lyricist Ira — to have two shows on Broadway at once. This season, it's happening again. As Jeff Lunden reports.
NPR

'Best Man' John Larroquette Takes Broadway

Perhaps most recognizable for his role on Night Court, John Larroquette has recently taken to the stage, earning a Tony Award for his role in the 2011 production of How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Now, he's returned to Broadway in a revival of Gore Vidal's The Best Man.
NPR

Blair Underwood On Stanley, Stella And 'Streetcar'

A new multiracial Broadway revival of A Streetcar Named Desire is opening and stars Blair Underwood as Stanley Kowalski. Underwood talks to Weekend Edition's Scott Simon about portraying the role as an African-American, New Orleans, and differentiating his "Stella!" from Brando's.
NPR

London Smash 'Two Guvnors' Comes To Broadway

A British comedy that was the fastest selling ticket in the history of London's West End opens on Broadway tonight with its original cast. As Jeff Lunden reports, One Man, Two Guvnors is full of whimsically portrayed stereotypes — and is based on 500-year-old comic traditions.

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