Arts and Culture

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

When Stephanie Lenz saw her toddler jamming out in the kitchen to the Prince song "Let's Go Crazy," naturally she took a video and posted it to YouTube.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

The shortlist of nominees for the prestigious Man Booker literary award was announced today in London. On the one hand, as the Man Booker committee noted, it's a diverse list. On the other hand, two of the short-listed nominees are American, which could make some British authors unhappy.

For more than a decade, CBS Entertainment chief Nina Tassler seemed like the last woman standing in network TV, maintaining control of the most-watched broadcast network's drama, comedy and late-night offerings while executives at rival outlets rose and fell.

Author Mary Karr has written three memoirs and is often credited with popularizing the genre, but she still jokes that hers is a "low-rent form."

"When I was in grad school, I remember Geoffrey Wolff saying [the memoir] was like inscribing the Lord's Prayer on a grain of rice," Karr tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "It was the province of weirdos and saints and film stars with fake boobs — or you could be a prime minister or something."

In Divided Nicaragua, National Dish Brings Rich And Poor Together

Sep 15, 2015

Everyone I met in Nicaragua wanted to know two things. Where was I from and had I tried vigorón?

It was the taxi driver who dropped me off at the airport at the end of my first trip to the country who was most disappointed that I had not managed to try Nicaragua's national dish. And I had no good excuse for the oversight: Vigorón is ubiquitous on menus around the country, especially in the city of Granada, where I'd been. The hearty dish of starch, meat and vegetables adorned with condiments can be ordered for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

When Juan Felipe Herrera came to NPR's Washington studio, the poet laureate carried a sketch pad of drawings and scribbles of poems in the works. Herrera is the child of Mexican migrant farmworkers. He grew up following the seasons as his parents picked crops in the heat and dust of California's fields.

Welcome to the third session of the Morning Edition book club! Here's how it works: A well-known writer will pick a book he or she loved. We'll all read it. Then, you'll send us your questions about the book. About a month later, we'll reconvene to talk about the book with the author and the writer who picked it.

Fin-de-siecle America — in the final years of the 19th century — was fanatical about fads.

"There is something about the end of a century that sets people to thinking about their collective prospects and ultimate destiny," writes historian H.W. Brands in The Reckless Decade: America in the 1890s.

And collective thinking can lead to collective compulsive behavior, which can lead to collective fashions and fads and manias. Some of the fads were confined to certain places; others traveled farther. Here is a trio:

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Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

"The Mindy Project" is the latest show to jump from a broadcast TV network to streaming video. It was canceled by Fox. It debuts on Hulu today. And our TV critic Eric Deggans likes it.

Staff / WGLT

People in Uptown Normal will be spending part of their time looking up on Saturday. Way up. WGLT's Mike McCurdy has more on the weekend celebration observing the Town’s 150th birthday and the Town’s circus history. McCurdy talks with someone with a storied history in the circus.

The Normal 1-5-0 celebration continues with stories and dramatic presentations this weekend. GLT continues its coverage of the Sesquicentennial here on Sound Ideas. Voices from the Past is presented by the Illinois Voices Theater, which also does the Cemetery Walk for the McLean County Museum of History every year. The show happens three times on Sunday at the Normal Theater. Charlie Schlenker talks with John Kirk and Judy Brown about dramatic moments from the history of Normal including a sketch about the Dillon Stables.

ISU Alum Gets Lead Role In New Play

Sep 10, 2015

A new play is being developed about the talented and tormented performer Oscar Levant and the lead role is already filled by Emmy Award-winner, and ISU alum, Sean Hayes. Producers including Beth Williams and Barbara Whitman say a stage biography is in the works about Levant, a pianist who was known for his roles in films such as "An American in Paris" and "The Band Wagon." Levant, who died in 1972, wrote dozens of musical compositions, and did stints as a television talk show host and radio game show panelist, where he earned popularity with his broad knowledge and biting, cynical wit.

Jazz vocalist and lyricist Lorraine Feather has been quite busy in the last few years.

Photo: Claire Hedden, MCAC

The McLean County Arts Center in Bloomington is dedicated not just to displaying art, but helping people create it, no matter where they are.  Laura Kennedy has more about a program that doesn't wait for young people to come to art, it takes art straight to youngsters.

American Institute Of Architects

Buildings shape society as much as society shapes buildings. The American Institute of Architects is out with a new version of its Guide to Chicago. Of course, that's a huge topic. It's hard to cover Chicago comprehensively. WGLT's Charlie Schlenker asks editor Laurie McGovern Peterson about curatorial decisions in looking at the architecture of the Windy City.

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