The director Julie Taymor walks away from a high-profile flop and into a dream. She tells Kurt Andersen what went wrong on Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and how she reinvented A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a new production off-Broadway. We look back on the year in culture: from Beyoncé to Miley to Macbeth. And just four years out of Juilliard, the actor Adam Driver (Girls, Inside Llewyn Davis) has arrived as Hollywood’s new star.
Kurt Andersen talks with the writer and musician James McBride, whose novel The Good Lord Bird recently won the National Book Award. McBride also brings his gospel quintet into the studio for a live performance. Kate Manning tells the story of one of 19th century New York’s most infamous, and perhaps misunderstood, women. Plus, we’ll hear about how the debut recording by soprano Leontyne Price set the bar for generations of singers.