Originally published on Fri April 10, 2015 11:47 am
Something rare is happening in the world of ballet: At the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., two African-American dancers will be the leads in The Washington Ballet's production of Swan Lake.Misty Copeland, soloist with American Ballet Theatre, will dance the dual role of Odette and Odile, while Brooklyn Mack of The Washington Ballet will dance Prince Siegfried.
Originally published on Fri April 10, 2015 12:37 pm
China may have surged ahead in scientific prowess in recent decades, but it still lags behind other countries in science fiction.
Author Liu Cixin is starting to change that. The books in a popular trilogy published in China have each sold more than half a million copies. He has won nine Galaxy Awards, the Chinese equivalent of the Hugo Award. And a recent English-language translation is bringing his science-packed, futuristic vision to new audiences.
Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 8:26 pm
South African comedian Trevor Noah will become the new host of Comedy Central's The Daily Show, stepping into the role Jon Stewart has filled for 16 years.
Confirming reports of his new job Monday morning, Noah tweeted, "No-one can replace Jon Stewart. But together with the amazing team at The Daily Show, we will continue to make this the best damn news show!"
Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 9:04 pm
In Palm Springs, Calif., a $1 million home was just built â€” with plans resurrected from 1951. The original sold for about $15,000, and was called an Eichler, after developer Joseph Eichler, who offered well-designed, well-built tract homes to the masses a half-century ago.
As part of a series called "My Big Break,"All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.
Diane Ruggiero-Wright has written and produced a number of TV shows, including the cult classic Veronica Mars. She's the co-creator of the new show iZombie â€” about a zombie who pretends to be a psychic and solves murders â€” which premieres on The CW on Tuesday.
Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 11:48 am
From bomb and drug-sniffing duties to neighborhood patrol, dogs are widely used in law enforcement. Many agencies rely on volunteer canine teams to assist them with search and rescue operations and criminal investigations.
But the county of Los Angeles has a full-time four-legged detective on its payroll: Indiana Bones, or "Indy."
Karina Peck, an investigator and canine handler with the Los Angeles County coroner's office, is in a truck, rolling over uneven, hard-packed earth that dead-ends in a shallow canyon.
Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 8:54 am
This week, we've brought the show to New Orleans, where Troy Andrews â€” better known as Trombone Shorty â€” began playing music at age 4. He was touring with his brother's band by age 6, and went to the same performing arts academy as Harry Connick Jr., Terence Blanchard and the Marsalis brothers. Now, just shy of 30, he's doing his part to spread New Orleans music around the world.
We've invited him to answer three questions about obscure musical instruments.
Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 7:56 am
Sir Terry Pratchett, the prolific author behind the Discworld series, has died at the age of 66. The British writer had struggled with a rare, early-onset form Alzheimer's disease for the better part of a decade.
His publisher, Transworld Books, confirmed news of the writer's death in a tweet Thursday morning.
Ten years ago Kevin Berthia lived in the San Francisco Bay area. He had an infant daughter who had been born premature, and the medical costs for her care climbed to nearly $250,000. He couldn't see a way out of debt.
Berthia fell into a deep depression and went to the Golden Gate Bridge.
"Before March 11, 2005, I never even went to the bridge," the 32-year-old said during a recent visit to StoryCorps. "I didn't even know how to get there. I had to ask for directions."
California Highway Patrol Officer Kevin Briggs was there that day, too.
Larry David wrote and stars in a new play that has broken the all-time record on Broadway for advance ticket sales â€” more than $14 million. Fish in the Dark is a comedy about a family's rivalries and dysfunction as its patriarch passes away. David tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies that the idea came to him when a friend's father died.
When Downton Abbey, which wrapped up its fifth-season run on PBS Sunday night, is fun, it's so much fun. And when it's not good, it's usually talking about Mr. Bates and Anna and somebody getting murdered.
At a time when the mere sight of Petula Clark touching Harry Belafonte's arm held the potential to upset delicate sensibilities, the half-human, half-Vulcan character Mr. Spock embodied an identity rarely acknowledged, much less seen, on television: a mixed-race person.
Sure, the mixing of races was allegorical in Spock's case, as was the brilliantly subversive mode for social commentary on Star Trek. But that doesn't mean it didn't resonate.
Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 3:14 pm
A major star who has absolutely nothing do to with movies is having his day in Los Angeles right now. It's the 19th century French painter Edouard Manet. Not exactly an Impressionist, Manet was revolutionary enough for the Impressionists to make him their hero.
Two LA museums are now featuring two major Manet works. Several museums in the area have Manets in their permanent collections. But these two â€” The Railway, on loan from Washington's National Gallery of Art, and Spring, which is worth about $65 million â€” are new in town and getting the star treatment.
Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 4:02 pm
Updated at 1:16 p.m.
Actor Leonard Nimoy, best known for his role as Mr. Spock, the logical half-Vulcan, half-human in the original Star Trek series and several movies, has died at his home in Los Angeles, his granddaughter, Madeleine, told NPR. Nimoy was 83.
The cause was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, she said.
NPR's Neda Ulaby, who is reporting on the story, tells our Newscast unit:
Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 11:13 am
When House of Cards' third season opens, Kevin Spacey's murderous politician Frank Underwood is fooling the world again.
From the very first scene, he's bringing a presidential motorcade to his tiny hometown of Gaffney, S.C., pretending to honor his father's grave for the press.
"Nobody showed up for his funeral except me, not even my mother," Underwood says in one of those sly asides where he speaks directly to the audience. "But I'll tell you this: When they bury me, it won't be in my backyard. And when they pay their respects, they'll have to wait in line."