NPR Arts & Culture
Launched as an alternative to the stale stylings of the '80s stand-up circuit, Beth Lapides' event bills itself as a venue for "idiosyncratic, conversational comedy." It's helped establish careers for performers from Kathy Griffin to Randy and Jason Sklar.
The screenwriter, producer, director and actor, whose name has become synonymous with American comedy, talks about his penchant for spoofs and his decades-long friendship with Carl Reiner. Brooks, who is among a handful of people who've won Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards, is the subject of a new documentary on PBS.
On Sundays, it can seem like we're a nation of critics. But we're not.
Quidditch was invented "in a small hotel in Manchester after a row with my then boyfriend," writes the Harry Potter creator. Other book news: Ireland puts an entire short story on a postage stamp; Daniel Handler on Midwestern literature; and the best books coming out this week.
In softcover nonfiction, Jenny Rosenstrach examines dinnertime, Kate Summerscale recounts a scandalous Victorian trial, and John Dramani Mahama looks back on his childhood in Ghana. In fiction, Victor Davis Hanson reimagines an ancient battle, and Marie NDiaye follows three women from Senegal to Europe.
A giant lot of Captain Kangaroo memorabilia goes on the auction block this week in Los Angeles. Among the items up for auction are several of the captain's signature jackets, Mr. Green Jeans' famous jeans and the life-sized costume worn by Dancing Bear.
John Williams' Stoner sold just 2,000 copies when it was originally published in 1965. It's now acknowledged as a classic work, is a best-seller across Europe and the No. 1 novel in the Netherlands.
Actor-director Katie Aselton could watch Kathryn Bigelow's Point Break a million times. "It totally scoops you up and takes you for a ride," she says.
"Women's anger is very scary to people," author Claire Messud says. Her new novel, The Woman Upstairs, features a seething main character, a young woman whose anger is unsettling.
Giuseppe Arcimboldo was a 16th-century artist who liked to play with his food, transforming it into the building blocks of many of his fantastical portraits. Artist Philip Haas has taken those portraits out of museums, reinterpreting them as colossal statues that interact with the natural environment.
Author Ethan Rutherford started reading Daphne du Maurier's collection of stories, Don't Look Now, while it was still light out and didn't move from his chair until dark. Each one features characters who endure the strange and the extreme, and who are forever changed by the events that befall them.
NPR's Bob Mondello and Susan Stamberg read excerpts of two of the best submissions for Round 11 of our short story contest. They read Ten Ring Fingers by Tamara Breuer of Washington, D.C., and Ghost Words by Matheus Macedo of Winthrop, Mass.
She found the first ring on a night that smelled of body odor and beer. The bar's last customers had finally given up hope of taking her to bed and staggered away, leaving her to clean the stains of their desperation.
The letter smelled of lavender and vanilla, like she couldn't decide which perfume to use so she used both. Her hand-writing had been drawn with the careful precision only seventh-grade girls in love have patience for.
Khaled Hosseini's new novel, like his two earlier works, is set partly in Afghanistan — but this time, political turmoil isn't a major element of the plot. Instead, And The Mountains Echoed is a story of a family's loss that spans decades and continents.
When the factory she worked at closed down, Tammy Thomas reinvented herself as a community organizer; and when Dean Price's truck stop business went belly up, he became a champion of biofuel. In a new book, George Packer examines how ordinary people are adapting to a new America.
We've already met Jesse and Celine, twice. In the 1995 film Before Sunset, they had a romantic encounter in Vienna. Nine years later, they found each other in Paris. In this third film, their relationship has progressed another nine years. The romance hasn't left, says director Richard Linklater, it's simply changed.
Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts with H-A and the second word starts with T.
NPR's Bob Mondello says J.J. Abrams' latest Star Trek film knows how to make the sparks and feelings fly, but doesn't bother making the sparks and feeling matter very much.