Jeff Lunden http://wcbe.org en New York Philharmonic's Lead Fiddler Rests His Bow http://wcbe.org/post/new-york-philharmonics-lead-fiddler-rests-his-bow <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHU82TvSB_o</p> Tue, 24 Jun 2014 21:28:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 58354 at http://wcbe.org New York Philharmonic's Lead Fiddler Rests His Bow While Broadway Sings Its Praise, The Wigmaker Remains Unsung http://wcbe.org/post/while-broadway-sings-its-praise-wigmaker-remains-unsung Every time you see a Broadway show, chances are a lot of the actors are wearing wigs.<p>Sunday night at the 68<sup>th</sup> Annual Tony Awards, Broadway's highest honors will be presented in a ceremony at Radio City Music Hall. Awards will go to actors, actresses, set and lighting designers, but <em>not</em> the people who make the wigs the stars wear, even though the wigs are an essential part of theater craft.<p>Essential, and yet often invisible, says Jason P. Mon, 09 Jun 2014 14:07:34 +0000 Jeff Lunden 57413 at http://wcbe.org While Broadway Sings Its Praise, The Wigmaker Remains Unsung Well Into Spring, 'Frozen' Soundtrack Keeps The Charts Cool http://wcbe.org/post/well-spring-frozen-soundtrack-keeps-charts-cool Disney's animated film <em>Frozen</em> has been racking up impressive statistics since it was released last November. Its box office earnings total $1 billion, worldwide, the movie won two Academy Awards, and on the first day the home video came out, it sold 3.2 million copies. Fri, 09 May 2014 07:56:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 55705 at http://wcbe.org Well Into Spring, 'Frozen' Soundtrack Keeps The Charts Cool 'After Midnight,' And The Cotton Club Is Swinging Again http://wcbe.org/post/after-midnight-and-cotton-club-swinging-again <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-qEZ9zeIJw</p> Mon, 03 Feb 2014 08:30:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 50486 at http://wcbe.org 'After Midnight,' And The Cotton Club Is Swinging Again Oppression To Opera: Could A Woman's Courage Change Pakistan? http://wcbe.org/post/oppression-opera-could-womans-courage-change-pakistan Mukhtar Mai is from a small tribal village in Pakistan. In 2002, her brother was accused of sexually molesting a woman from a wealthy land-owning clan. What happened next was horrifying, says singer and composer Kamala Sankaram.<p>"For retribution, the village council decided that Mukhtar should be gang-raped by four of the men of this clan," Sankaram says. "And what is supposed to happen for a woman after this has taken place is that, not only has she shamed herself, she's brought dishonor to the rest of her family, as well. Sat, 11 Jan 2014 16:31:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 49403 at http://wcbe.org Oppression To Opera: Could A Woman's Courage Change Pakistan? Broadway's 'Spider-Man' Musical Turns Off The Lights At Last http://wcbe.org/post/broadways-spider-man-musical-turns-lights-last Regardless of how critics and audiences eventually responded, <em>Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark</em> was always going to be one of the most-discussed shows in Broadway history. Fri, 03 Jan 2014 08:26:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 48993 at http://wcbe.org Broadway's 'Spider-Man' Musical Turns Off The Lights At Last New Owner Promises Handmade Steinways For Years To Come http://wcbe.org/post/new-owner-promises-hand-made-steinways-years-come For 160 years, the pianos made by Steinway & Sons have been considered the finest in the world. So when hedge fund billionaire John Paulson recently bought the company, it struck fear in the hearts of musicians: Would the famously handcrafted pianos be changed, for the sake of efficiency? Paulson, who owns several Steinways himself, says nothing will change.<p>Great pianists need great pianos. Tue, 17 Dec 2013 09:34:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 48207 at http://wcbe.org New Owner Promises Handmade Steinways For Years To Come A Couple Of Knights (And Matinees) On Broadway http://wcbe.org/post/couple-knights-and-matinees-broadway Ian<strong> </strong>McKellen and Patrick Stewart have known each other for years — they were both actors at the Royal Shakespeare Company in the '60s and '70s, and both achieved broader fame through movies and television. Both were knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for their work onstage and off. Mon, 25 Nov 2013 14:04:34 +0000 Jeff Lunden 47056 at http://wcbe.org A Couple Of Knights (And Matinees) On Broadway For John Kander, A New 'Landing' At A Familiar Spot http://wcbe.org/post/john-kander-new-landing-familiar-spot Broadway composer John Kander is a living legend: With his songwriting partner, the late Fred Ebb, he created the scores for the smash hit musicals <em>Cabaret </em>and <em>Chicago,</em> as well as the enduring anthem "New York, New York."<p>Now, at 86, Kander has a new writing partner — and a new musical, <em>The Landing,</em> opening off-Broadway Wednesday.<p><strong>"Life Goes On"</strong><p>For a guy with such an illustrious history, Kander isn't terribly nostalgic. He's a writer, and he likes to write. Tue, 22 Oct 2013 20:38:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 45210 at http://wcbe.org For John Kander, A New 'Landing' At A Familiar Spot Chronicle Of A Death Foretold: New York City Opera Shuts Its Doors http://wcbe.org/post/chronicle-death-foretold-new-york-city-opera-shuts-its-doors This morning the New York City Opera announced that it was declaring bankruptcy and ceasing operations. Dubbed "The People's Opera" by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia when it was founded 70 years ago, the company was meant as an alternative to the richer Metropolitan Opera. Tue, 01 Oct 2013 21:59:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 44141 at http://wcbe.org Chronicle Of A Death Foretold: New York City Opera Shuts Its Doors An American Masterpiece, And A 'Menagerie' Of Stars http://wcbe.org/post/american-masterpiece-and-menagerie-stars Pop-culture aficionadoes will know Zachary Quinto as Spock in the cinematic reboot of <em>Star Trek</em>, and Cherry Jones as President Taylor from television's <em>24</em>.<p>But both are accomplished stage actors as well. And tonight, they're opening on Broadway, in a revival of Tennessee Williams' classic play <em>The Glass Menagerie</em>.<p>When the audience enters the Booth Theater, they see a simple, but striking vision. Thu, 26 Sep 2013 20:51:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 43850 at http://wcbe.org An American Masterpiece, And A 'Menagerie' Of Stars 'Mr. Burns' And Friends, Surviving Long Past The End Times http://wcbe.org/post/mr-burns-and-friends-surviving-long-past-end-times If the world as we know it comes to an end, will art survive? And if it does, what kinds of stories will be told after the apocalypse? The answer might surprise you.<p>The lights come up on a group of people around a campfire in the woods, trying to recall all the details of the hilarious <em>Simpsons</em> episode "Cape Feare," a parody of the Robert Mitchum and Robert De Niro movies, in which Bart Simpson is stalked by the evil but incompetent Sideshow Bob.<p>Then one member of the group hears a sound in the woods, and all of a sudden guns are drawn. Turns out something bad has happened. Tue, 10 Sep 2013 14:19:37 +0000 Jeff Lunden 42826 at http://wcbe.org 'Mr. Burns' And Friends, Surviving Long Past The End Times 'Love's Labours,' Tuned Up And Playing In The Park http://wcbe.org/post/loves-labours-tuned-and-playing-park A few years ago, after songwriter Michael Friedman and writer-director Alex Timbers had finished working on their cheeky historical musical <em>Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson</em>, they decided to look for a new project to work on. Friedman says they wanted the next show to have a completely different feel.<p>"So we started looking at Shakespeare," Friedman says. Tue, 23 Jul 2013 21:34:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 39924 at http://wcbe.org 'Love's Labours,' Tuned Up And Playing In The Park In The Rush To The Tonys, A Late Glut For Theatergoers http://wcbe.org/post/rush-tonys-late-glut-theatergoers This spring, more than in any recent year, the 2012-2013 Broadway season accelerated toward its conclusion: Nineteen productions opened between the beginning of March and April 25, the cut-off date for Tony eligibility. And many of those shows raised their curtains in the final two weeks of the season.<p>The Tony Awards are ostensibly given for excellence over the course of an entire year, but all the late openings make me wonder whether producers haven't taken to scheduling their shows strategically to garner Tony nominations and Tony votes for marketing purposes. Mon, 10 Jun 2013 17:13:36 +0000 Jeff Lunden 37284 at http://wcbe.org In The Rush To The Tonys, A Late Glut For Theatergoers Audra McDonald, A Broadway Star Gone Roaming, Comes Home http://wcbe.org/post/audra-mcdonald-broadway-star-gone-roaming-comes-home In the seven years since her last album, <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15396807" target="_blank">Audra McDonald</a> has kept busy. She spent several years in Hollywood, filming the television series <em>Private Practice</em>. She's gotten divorced and remarried, absorbed the shock of losing her father in a plane crash and watched her daughter, Zoe, grow up from a kindergartener to a middle-schooler.<p>Last year, McDonald returned to New York, starred in <em>Porgy and Bess</em> and won a fifth Tony Award. Sat, 18 May 2013 06:03:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 35883 at http://wcbe.org Audra McDonald, A Broadway Star Gone Roaming, Comes Home 'Matilda' Brings Beloved Book To Broadway http://wcbe.org/post/matilda-brings-beloved-book-broadway <em>Matilda</em> is a well-loved book by Roald Dahl, who's been called the greatest children's storyteller of the 20th century. It's about a much-put-upon little girl with tremendous gifts. Thu, 11 Apr 2013 18:32:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 33816 at http://wcbe.org 'Matilda' Brings Beloved Book To Broadway On Broadway, Old Shows And New Tricks http://wcbe.org/post/broadway-old-shows-and-new-tricks When I was a teenager falling in love with the theater, I picked up a book called <em>Broadway's Greatest Musicals</em>. The sole criterion for inclusion was that a show run for at least 500 performances, which translates to about a year and a quarter.<p>How quaint.<p>I was thinking about that when I attended the 25th-anniversary performance of <em>The Phantom of the Opera,</em> now ranked as Broadway's longest-running musical ever. Sat, 06 Apr 2013 08:33:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 33548 at http://wcbe.org On Broadway, Old Shows And New Tricks 'Kinky Boots' Walk Cyndi Lauper To Broadway http://wcbe.org/post/kinky-boots-walk-cyndi-lauper-broadway If you ask Billy Porter, one of the lead actors in the Broadway musical <em>Kinky Boots,</em> what the show's about, he's got a succinct answer:<p>"It's about two people who have daddy issues," Porter says. "And one of them just happens to wear a dress."<p>Porter would be that guy: He plays Lola, a fabulous drag queen who inadvertently helps save a failing shoe factory in the English Midlands. And he gets to sing fabulous songs — by Cyndi Lauper.<p>More than four years ago, Lauper was asked by her good friend Harvey Fierstein if she'd like to write a musical with him. Fri, 05 Apr 2013 19:20:57 +0000 Jeff Lunden 33528 at http://wcbe.org 'Kinky Boots' Walk Cyndi Lauper To Broadway Nora Ephron's 'Lucky Guy' And Tom Hanks Make Their Broadway Debuts http://wcbe.org/post/nora-ephrons-lucky-guy-and-tom-hanks-make-their-broadway-debuts Several years ago, when Nora Ephron handed Tom Hanks an early draft of <em>Lucky Guy</em>, her play about tabloid journalist Mike McAlary, he had a pretty strong reaction.<p>"I said, 'Well, that guy's sure a jerk!' I used another word besides jerk — I know what you can say on NPR," he says. "And she laughed and she said, 'Well, he kinda was. Mon, 01 Apr 2013 21:50:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 33276 at http://wcbe.org Nora Ephron's 'Lucky Guy' And Tom Hanks Make Their Broadway Debuts Singing The Praises Of Pre-Dawn Walks http://wcbe.org/post/singing-praises-pre-dawn-walks Minnesota-born composer <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/17003773/maria-schneider" target="_blank">Maria Schneider</a> has called New York home for more than 30 years, and she knows how to find nature in the middle of the city. Because her new album is called <em>Winter Morning Walks</em>, we walked to her favorite bird-watching spot in Central Park on a chilly February morning.<p>"This part right here in the Ramble and this Azalea Pond area is just teeming with warblers," Schneider says. "On a good day, you can see 18 warbler species in the morning, maybe even more. Mon, 01 Apr 2013 07:18:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 33222 at http://wcbe.org Singing The Praises Of Pre-Dawn Walks