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Despite Scars Of War, Karachi Holds Onto Its Chutzpah

Karachi is Pakistan's economic hub, its major port and its largest city. It's also the country's most violent and crime-ridden city. But it's not all blood and thunder. Witness the musical Grease, now playing to packed houses in Karachi.

A Major Oscar Dust-Up Over A Song From A Minor Movie

The song "Alone Yet Not Alone" had been nominated for Best Original Song at this year's Oscars. Scott Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter tells NPR's Scott Simon why the Academy rescinded the nomination.

Comedian's Career Is Central To 'Quality Balls'

Legendary comedian David Steinberg is the subject of a new Showtime documentary called Quality Balls. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Steinberg, whose controversial routine was responsible for the cancellation of the Smothers Brothers' TV show in the 1960s.

'Still Turning Heads' At Lunar New Year, An All-Female Lion Dance Troupe

A group of Asian-American women in Boston are redefining a Lunar New Year tradition every year by performing in an all-female lion and dragon dance troupe. The Chinese martial art is traditionally performed by men, often during new year's parades. The Lunar New Year starts Friday.

Neuwirth Returns To Broadway, With More 'Class' Than Ever

The Broadway veteran, who played the icy Lilith on TV's Cheers and Frasier, is back onstage in the musical Chicago for a third time — this time playing prison matron Mama Morton.

Artist Transforms Guns To Make Music — Literally

Mexican Artist Pedro Reyes wants to encourage questions about the availability of deadly weapons, so he turns guns into shovels and most recently, unique musical instruments.
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'Puppetry In America': Why Puppets Still Appeal in a Changing World

Some of the nation's most famous puppets, and many lesser-knowns dating back more than 150 years, are now on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.


These Guitars Are For The Birds — Literally

A new exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass., features a flock of 70 finches and an array of tuned and amplified guitars. As the flock fills the open room, the birds are free to land on the guitars, making music of their own as they move and jump off the instruments.

The Case Against Hugging, Dead Authors, Sharon Jones

In this week's podcast, we hear a researcher's objections to hugging, comedian Paul F. Tompkins brings authors back from the dead, and Sharon Jones beats cancer and releases a long-awaited album.

Bringing 'Dead Authors' To Life For Book-Smart Comedy

Every month, comedian Paul F. Tompkins plays the late science fiction author H.G. Wells in hosting different famed writers (played by some of comedy's hottest stars) for in-depth interviews about their work, their personal lives and their anger at critics.