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Last update: 2013-06-28

Stroke, Stroke, Stroke — The Atlantic Ocean's Dazzling Oarsmen

2013-06-28

At night, in the ocean, they look like little Broadway billboards with dazzling trills of rainbow colored light. They have eight little runways on their bodies for light display. What are they?…

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To Be, Or Not To Be (Covered By The AP)

2013-06-20

The Associated Press won't be reviewing dance, opera or off-Broadway shows anymore. Does it matter?…

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'Glee' Guy Matthew Morrison On His First Love: Broadway

2013-06-16
Length: 9m 40s

Long before became known as Will Schuester — the lovable Spanish teacher and show choir director on TV's Glee — Morrison was dancing and singing, garnering Tony nods for his work on the Broadway stage.…

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Theater Of The Absurd: Have Audiences Lost Their Manners?

2013-06-11

Margot Adler looks at Broadway audiences and whether they've gotten more boorish.…

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Disruptive Broadway Audiences Master Stage Whisper

2013-06-11

Cell phone rings. Loud talking. Candy wrappers crinkling. Even fights in the aisles. Have Broadway audiences gotten ruder?…

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Clothes Make The Man (And The Woman, And The Show) On Broadway

2013-06-09
Length: 6m 16s

Among the hopefuls who might take home trophies at this weekend's Tony Awards are costume designers William Ivey Long and Dominique Lemieux. Jeff Lunden talks to the two about their work on Cinderella and Pippin, two of the season's better-upholstered revivals.…

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In The Rush To The Tonys, A Late Glut For Theatergoers

2013-06-09

A whirlwind finish for the Broadway season saw 19 shows open in March and April. Are producers skewing the process in hopes voters will pick fresher shows over faded memories from the fall? Jeff Lunden looks back at a so-so year on the Great White Way.…

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In Middlebury, Vt., Teens Train For Careers In The 'A.R.T.'s

2013-06-08
Length: 6m 16s

A successful Broadway set builder took his theater skills back to New England. At the tiny Addison Repertory Theater, a part of the Hannaford Career Center, he teaches all aspects of professional theater to students — some of whom go on to successful careers in Hollywood and New York.…

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Cheyenne Jackson On 'Song Travels'

2013-06-07

The Broadway and 30 Rock star performs a stripped-down version of Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream."…

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Veteran's Benefits, Pearl S. Buck's Lost Manuscript, And Keith Carradine

2013-05-26

In this week's podcast of Weekends on All Things Considered: A look at the challenge veterans face in applying for benefits. Also, a lost and found manuscript, a novel set in Chechnya and an interview with Broadway star Keith Carradine…

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Two Songs That Led Keith Carradine From Screen To Broadway

2013-05-25
Length: 8m 24s

One of Keith Carradine's most famous roles in recent years was as Wild Bill Hickok on the HBO TV show Deadwood. But Carradine is also a musician, and it was a song that jump-started his career — and another that drew him to his latest Broadway role.…

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Equity At 100: More Than Just A Broadway Baby

2013-05-25
Length: 5m 7s

The union of actors and stage managers, who banded together to improve working conditions in the early 1900s, marks its centennial this year. As Jeff Lunden reports, it's operating in an ever-shifting theatrical landscape.…

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Liza Minnelli On 'Song Travels'

2013-05-24

The Broadway star and actress says that songs "punctuate your emotions throughout your life." Minnelli joins her good friend and Song Travels host Michael Feinstein for an enlightening discussion of her life and the evolution of her approach to song.…

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Audra McDonald, A Broadway Star Gone Roaming, Comes Home

2013-05-17
Length: 7m 4s

After extended jaunts in TV and on the road, McDonald's first new album in seven years marks a return to her roots in musical theater.…

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Luhrmann's 'Gatsby': Bracingly Novel

2013-05-10
Length: 7m 2s

The movie is loud and obvious, but it's not a desecration of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 masterpiece. Baz Luhrmann's interpretation of The Great Gatsby is more like a cartoony Broadway musical version of Gatsby in which no one, alas, sings.…

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When Tonys Tap Faves, Look For These Names

2013-04-27
Length: 6m 25s

The nominations for the 67th Tony Awards are due April 30, and Barbara Chai of The Wall Street Journal has seen pretty much every show on Broadway this season. NPR's Scott Simon talks with Chai about what she loved, what she hated and what's likely to make the Tony cut.…

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David Hyde Pierce On 'Song Travels'

2013-04-26

The TV and Broadway star performs his favorite standards and talks Beethoven, rap and Spamalot.…

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'Pippin' Revival Is A Circus Of A Show

2013-04-25
Length: 7m 20s

The smash-hit '70s musical, which made a name for Wicked composer Stephen Schwartz, gets a shiny new production set at the circus — with real-life acrobats and Broadway pros alike in the center ring.…

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On Broadway, One Runt To Rule Them All

2013-04-24
Length: 5m 18s

Bob Mondello looks at Broadway's new child-friendly musical Matilda through the prism of his very first commentary for NPR 29 years ago today — a piece about how Annie was really Oliver! in drag.…

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Tito Puente: 90 Years Of Getting People To Dance

2013-04-20

From 1948 until 1966, the Palladium Ballroom, at the corner of 53rd and Broadway, was the city's mecca for Afro-Caribbean dance music. And for a lot of that time, Puente was one of the main attractions. A new box set compiles the Latin music legend's RCA recordings of this crucial period.…

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Following The Yellow Brick Road Back To The Origins Of 'Oz'

2013-04-15
Length: 8m 19s

Before the movies, Broadway musicals and Halloween costumes, L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was a smash hit of a children's book published in 1900. NPR's Backseat Book Club goes back to where the Yellow Brick Road began with children's book historian Michael Patrick Hearn.…

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'Matilda' Brings Beloved Book To Broadway

2013-04-11
Length: 7m 28s

Roald Dahl's beloved children's novel is set to hit the stage as a Broadway musical. The musical's creators say the show skews closer to the beloved book than to Danny DeVito's 1996 movie, leaning more on the original's naughty charm.…

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On Broadway, Old Shows And New Tricks

2013-04-06
Length: 6m 51s

These days, a hit show can run not just for years but for decades. So how do you keep it fresh for new audiences? Reporter Jeff Lunden talks to people who work on three of Broadway's biggest hits to find out.…

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'Kinky Boots' Walk Cyndi Lauper To Broadway

2013-04-04
Length: 7m 21s

Kinky Boots, the quirky independent British film, has been turned into a splashy Broadway musical with a score by pop icon Cyndi Lauper. Reporter Jeff Lunden takes look.…

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Nora Ephron's 'Lucky Guy' And Tom Hanks Make Their Broadway Debuts

2013-04-01
Length: 6m 3s

Lucky Guy is one of the spring theater season's most highly anticipated plays. It stars Hanks, in his first Broadway performance, as tabloid journalist Mike McAlary. Director George Wolfe calls Ephron's last play "a love poem to journalism."…

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New York's Living Theater Drops Its Curtains

2013-03-30
Length: 5m 14s

For nearly 70 years, the Living Theater championed some of the most challenging work in New York Theater. It was the original off-Broadway company. But last month, Jon Kalish reports, co-founder Judith Malina shuttered the space she poured all of her money into and moved into an assisted-living home.…

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For One Military Family, DOMA Decision Will Hit Close To Home

2013-03-30
Length: 3m 41s

Same-sex couples in the military will be watching closely now that the U.S. Supreme Court is considering the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act. Anxiously awaiting a decision are Army lieutenant colonel Heather Mack and her wife, Ashley Broadway, who've been together for 15 years and have two children. They say repealing DOMA would help many enlisted same-sex military couples, who don't receive funds to move non-military spouses from one base to the next. But most of all, Broadway and Mack say repealing DOMA would give them the recognition they crave: to have their marriage officially recognized in every state in the country. Jessia Jones of WUNC talked with the couple.…

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'Testament Of Mary': A Familiar Mother, In First Person

2013-03-29
Length: 8m 1s

Irish actress Fiona Shaw stars on Broadway in The Testament of Mary. It's a one-woman production by Irish novelist Colm Toibin and focuses on perhaps the most well-known mother ever: the Virgin Mary. Shaw talks about her intense, intimate role.…

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Brooke Waggoner On Mountain Stage

2013-03-21

Blending pop, Broadway influences and classical music, the powerful pianist plays songs from her most recent album, Originator.…

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Broadway Understudy Is Less Than 'Purrfect'

2013-03-21
Length: 29s

The Broadway show Breakfast at Tiffany's opened Wednesday in New York, but it was curtains for one understudy. The black-and-white feline apparently refused to follow stage directions.…

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'The Last Five Years' Returns To New York

2013-03-10
Length: 10m 14s

A cult-favorite musical, The Last Five Years is a semi-autobiographical look at one couple's failed marriage. A revival hits off-Broadway this week, and the show's creator Jason Robert Brown joins host Jacki Lyden to talk about the last 11 years of the little show that could.…

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For Berry Gordy, Broadway Is Memory Lane

2013-03-07
Length: 4m 59s

The legendary music that makes up Broadway's upcoming Motown: The Musical offers audible proof that Berry Gordy's Detroit R&B label is the soundtrack of an American generation. But for Gordy, the new project is just the story of that label as he lived through it.…

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For This Pair Of Clowns, 'Old Hats' Means New Laughs

2013-03-05
Length: 6m 23s

Theatrical clowning duo Bill Irwin and David Shiner haven't shared the spotlight onstage since the late 1990s. Now, with a collaborative theater project running at off-Broadway's Signature Theatre, they bring their zany brand of participatory slapstick to a new generation.…

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'Don't Underestimate The Guts' Of This Modern Leading Lady

2013-03-01
Length: 6m 58s

Winning a leading role on Broadway by way of a reality TV show may not have been the most traditional career path. But Laura Osnes proved she was the real deal. The young actress leads a revival of Cinderella opening this weekend.…

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Before 'Les Miz', 'Cabaret' Revolutionized The Film Musical

2013-02-24
Length: 10m 9s

Joel Grey won an Academy Award 40 years ago as best supporting actor for his role as master of ceremonies in the film version of Cabaret, a character he created for the musical which hit Broadway in 1966. Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin looks back on Cabaret with the actor and dancer.…

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Michael Cerveris On Mountain Stage

2013-02-21

From West Virginia to Broadway and back again, this folksinger-turned-actor has returned home to play songs from his upcoming album.…

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After 30 Years, I Finally Went To A Barry Manilow Concert

2013-02-21

The night wasn't about kitsch for her. Writer Danyel Smith fulfilled the real dreams of her 13-year-old self when she saw the pop singer live on Broadway.…

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Ann Harada, From 'Smash' To Stepsisterhood

2013-02-05

Smash's dauntless stage manager (Ann Harada) returns to TV tonight — though the actress herself will be on Broadway in Cinderella.…

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Rebecca Luker Has 'Got Love' For Jerome Kern

2013-02-05
Length: 17m 59s

The Broadway star has a new album, I Got Love: Songs of Jerome Kern, which features songs by the great Broadway composer. The collection came out of a live show Luker performed at the Manhattan club 54 Below.…

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25 Years Strong, 'Phantom Of The Opera' Kills And Kills Again

2013-01-26
Length: 4m 4s

Invited guests packed the Majestic Theater on Saturday night to celebrate the longest-running Broadway musical ever. Times have changed, but the Phantom, that tortured genius who haunts the Paris Opera House, creating havoc and causing the chandelier to fall, has endured.…

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Obama's 'Hope And Virtue' Distilled In A Song

2013-01-19

"With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come." Those words, from President Obama's first inaugural address, have been set to music on a new album. Celebrating the American Spirit also features Broadway star Kelli O'Hara singing Bernstein.…

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Dementia Takes The Stage In 'The Other Place'

2013-01-18
Length: 12m 22s

In the Broadway play The Other Place actress Laurie Metcalf ("Jackie" on the TV show "Roseanne") plays a scientist suffering from the dementia she studies. Playwright Sharr White discusses the play and the challenge of presenting complicated science on a theater stage.…

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A Cooler Roof For A New 'Cat'

2013-01-17
Length: 7m 19s

A Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams' iconic Cat on a Hot Tin Roof may feature big names, but it aims for a quiet kind of authenticity. Director Rob Ashford asked his cast to take their characters off the pedestal of dramatic history and put them back in the scene.…

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South Park Duo Creates Production Studio

2013-01-14
Length: 2m 0s

Having success in TV, movies and Broadway, Trey Parker and Matt Stone are now branching out with their own $300 million production company. They've named it Important Studios, and it's poised to approve TV, movie and theater projects.…

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Bobby Cannavale, At Home On Broadway

2013-01-09
Length: 36m 59s

The actor, who's currently starring in Glenngarry Glen Ross opposite Al Pacino, has been acting for the stage since he was a teenager in Union City, N.J. "It was the only thing I ever wanted to do, really," he says.…

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A Vet's Haunted Homecoming In 'Water By The Spoonful'

2013-01-08
Length: 6m 28s

Quiara Alegria Hudes' Pulitzer Prize-winning drama opens off-Broadway on Tuesday. The play is the second in a trilogy focused on an injured Iraq veteran named Elliot — a character based on Hudes' cousin. "I just remember the instant I saw him, there was just something changed in his eye," she says.…

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A Way Without Words: Mummenschanz Mimes Celebrate 40

2013-01-04
Length: 5m 45s

The experimental Swiss mime troupe took Broadway by storm in the 1970s. Now the masked performers are bringing their hard-to-describe characters back to the U.S. for a five-month national tour celebrating the troupe's 40th anniversary.…

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A Hitler-Themed Piggy Bank, And Other Ways The U.S. Sold War Bonds

2012-12-28

National ad campaigns, star-studded Broadway rallies, and a pig with a tiny mustache. How the government got citizens to fund wars.…

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In Paris, Misery And Music Blended For The Big Screen

2012-12-24

Tom Hooper's adaptation of the musical Les Miserables — itself an adaptation of Victor Hugo's classic novel — is solidly effective. Critic Ian Buckwalter says performances from Broadway veterans as well as non-singers deliver a range of interest and a breadth of talent.…

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Broadway's Profit-Turning, Crowd-Pleasing Christmas Story

2012-12-21
Length: 7m 19s

With hordes of tourists descending on New York for the Christmas season, Broadway is looking to turn a profit — by staging limited-run holiday musicals like A Christmas Story and Elf. But with production costs so high, how can these shows make money back? The answer, it turns out, is complicated.…

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Cristin Milioti: She Came From New Jersey

2012-12-20
Length: 12m 9s

Listen as Broadway star Crisitin Milioti (of Once) goes head to head against another Jersey native in an Ask Me Another Challenge about the fascinating people and ingenious inventions that were birthed by the Garden State. Plus, Jonathan Coulton takes us out with a cover of Bon Jovi's "Livin' On A Prayer."…

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The State Of Palestinian Statehood, And Ricky Martin

2012-12-02

In this week's podcast of weekends on All Things Considered, the state of Palestinian statehood, and the geography of wealth. Also, how an unknown writer sold 18 million copies of his first novel, and Ricky Martin on being Che in Broadway's "Evita." Plus, punk legend Ian Mackaye's The Evens.…

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Ricky Martin's Second Act

2012-12-01
Length: 9m 32s

Though best known as a pop idol, the Puerto Rican singer has also acted for much of his career. This year, he's done both at once, starring in the Broadway revival of Evita.…

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Kathie Lee Gifford Takes Evangelism To Broadway

2012-11-16
Length: 5m 27s

Kathie Lee Gifford is best-known to millions of people as the perky morning TV host, who spent years paired with Regis Philbin and is now on the Today show. But Gifford has written the script and lyrics for a new Broadway musical, Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson. How will Gifford fare in the pressure cooker of Broadway?…

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A Midcentury Romance, With 'Sunlight' And 'Shadow'

2012-09-26
Length: 2m 48s

When aspiring Broadway actress Catherine and World War II vet Harry first lock eyes on the Staten Island Ferry, everything changes — but their lives together won't be easy. Mark Helprin delivers an old-fashioned love story, and an ode to 1940s New York, in his novel In Sunlight and in Shadow.…

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A Broadway Mystery Worthy Of 'Rebecca'

2012-09-25
Length: 4m 57s

A musical adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's Gothic novel Rebecca was set to come to Broadway — until the existence of its major investor came into question. New York Times theater writer Patrick Healy discusses the mystery on All Things Considered.…

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The Movie Michael Peña Has 'Seen A Million Times'

2012-09-22
Length: 3m 32s

Actor Michael Peña could watch Woody Allen's Broadway Danny Rose a million times. "You know, you get into the world of what it means to be a comic," he says.…

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First Read: Helprin's 'In Sunlight And In Shadow'

2012-09-19
Length: 1h 4m 42s

Author Mark Helprin's latest novel is a sprawling tale of love, honor and danger in the years just after World War II. Returned soldier Harry Copeland spots a mysterious woman in white on the Staten Island Ferry. She turns out to be an heiress with Broadway dreams and a complicated past that threatens their growing love.…

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Shorts Inspire Music In 'Sounding Beckett' Trilogy

2012-09-18
Length: 5m 32s

Samuel Beckett, the author of Waiting for Godot, is known for the spare, modern rhythms of his plays. Now, as Jeff Lunden explains, the off-Broadway show Sounding Beckett brings together three of the playwright's short works with new pieces of contemporary music they inspired.…

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Broadway Spoofers Return To 'Forbidden' Territory

2012-08-30
Length: 4m 40s

After a three-year hiatus, satirist Gerard Alessandrini is back with Forbidden Broadway: Alive and Kicking! Alongside Once and The Book of Mormon, they also target the Broadway-centric TV series Smash — but like all good parody, the skewering comes from a loving place.…

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Audra McDonald: Shaping 'Bess' On Broadway

2012-08-30
Length: 29m 7s

The actress plays Bess in the Broadway musical Porgy and Bess. The show, which won two Tony Awards, closes next month.…

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David Alan Grier's 'Sporting Life' On Broadway

2012-08-30
Length: 16m 39s

The stand-up comedian and star of In Living Color played Sporting Life in the opera Porgy and Bess. The show, which won Tony Awards, closes on Broadway next month.…

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In The Theater Of Politics, Staging Is Everything

2012-08-23
Length: 4m 54s

As the party conventions approach, elaborate theatrics on the part of presidential candidates are at the forefront. NPR critic Bob Mondello takes a look at the ways campaigns frame their candidates to make them stand out like Broadway stars.…

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Mike Nichols Warns 'Death' May Be His Final Curtain

2012-07-04
Length: 16m 42s

Mike Nichols has won every major entertainment award over a long career in theater, comedy, TV and film. He returned to Broadway directing a revival of Death of a Salesman, which picked up seven Tony nominations. Nichols warns the production may be his last. Originally broadcast May 23, 2012.…

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From 'Glee' To Gettysburg: Brian Stokes Mitchell Speaks For Lincoln

2012-07-04
Length: 3m 2s

The Broadway and television star talks about the new recording of Aaron Copland's Lincoln Portrait he made for NPR Music with the United States Marine Band.…

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Fresh Air Remembers Broadway's Richard Adler

2012-06-25
Length: 10m 13s

Richard Adler, who co-wrote the musicals The Pajama Game and Damn Yankees with his partner, Jerry Ross, died Thursday at his home in Southampton, N.Y. He was 90. Fresh Air remembers the composer and lyricist with excerpts from a 1990 interview.…

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Mike Nichols: 'Salesman' By Day, Artist Always

2012-03-09
Length: 8m 17s

Director Mike Nichols' story can be traced from Nazi Germany to Hollywood and Broadway. Over more than 50 years in show business, he's done serious (The Graduate), he's done shtick (Spamalot) and now he's doing a revival. Nichols' production of Death of a Salesman opens March 15.…

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'Galileo' Lives In A New Production

2012-03-02
Length: 17m 13s

F. Murray Abraham stars in a new off-Broadway production of Bertolt Brecht's classic "Galileo." Brian Kulick, artistic director of the Classic Stage Company and the director of the play, discusses Galileo, (the scientist and the play) and tells why he thinks the themes in the work are still relevant today.…

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'Carrie' Creators Resurrect A Legendary Flop

2012-02-29
Length: 7m 19s

The musical adaptation of Stephen King's novel Carrie is one of Broadway's most famous disasters. Now the show's original writers are back — with a completely reworked version.…

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It's 'Shatner's World' And He Wants You To See It

2012-02-18
Length: 9m 52s

he wild range of roles played by William Shatner over the past half-century goes well beyond Captain Kirk. Host Scott Simon speaks with the pop culture icon, who's returning to Broadway for a one-man show, Shatner's World: We Just Live In It.…

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Cabaret Wanes As The Oak Room Is Felled

2012-02-07

One of New York City's most famous cabaret clubs, the Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel, is closing. Murray Horwitz, a veteran Broadway writer, is feeling the loss. In this essay he explains just what it is that makes cabaret such an important art form.…

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The Producers Behind NBC's Musical 'Smash'

2012-02-02
Length: 14m 25s

Producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan take us inside the world of Smash, the new NBC musical drama about the people putting together a Broadway musical.…

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Anthony Mackie Makes His Mark In Hollywood

2012-02-02
Length: 10m 38s

Actor Anthony Mackie is best known for playing uptight Army Sgt. JT Sanborn in the Academy Award-winning movie The Hurt Locker. Mackie is also no stranger to off-Broadway plays and independent films. The Julliard graduate stars in Man on a Ledge, and has several other productions scheduled for release in 2012.…

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'Smash' Stars An 'Interesting Tribe': Theater People

2012-01-28
Length: 8m 27s

NBC's new drama plumbs the drama behind the curtain. The new series is the story of a Broadway musical — from the first idea, to auditions, rehearsals and the big premiere. The show's creator and executive producer says Smash has a universally appealing theme: the desire to pursue a dream.…

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In Broadway's 'Wit,' A Documentary Of Our Demise

2012-01-26
Length: 4m 49s

Cynthia Nixon, best known for her glamorous role in Sex and the City, stars in a Broadway revival of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Wit. Jeff Lunden talks with Nixon — and Wit's playwright Margaret Edson — about depicting disease and pain with humor.…

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Carol Channing, Still Delightfully 'Larger Than Life'

2012-01-19
Length: 2m 28s

Veteran Broadway performer Carol Channing has been onstage for seven decades. A new documentary lovingly profiles the still-sharp, still-charming star of Hello, Dolly.

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New 'Clear Day' A Test For Harry Connick Jr.

2012-01-01
Length: 9m 40s

Connick is starring in a new Broadway production of the musical On a Clear Day You Can See Forever. He says a twist on the original premise drew him to the role — but has also presented one of the biggest challenges of his career.…

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Stephen Colbert: A 'Company' Man On Broadway

2011-12-30
Length: 17m 2s

The political satirist and comedian talks about his Broadway performance (and performance anxieties) and about his recent segments on The Colbert Report featuring Sarah Palin and Anthony Weiner.…

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South Park Creators Talk 'Book Of Mormon'

2011-12-30
Length: 28m 15s

Trey Parker and Matt Stone talk about their blasphemous, hilarious and oddly endearing Broadway hit, which led the Tony nominations field this year — and will probably go down in history as the only Broadway musical ever to combine Mormons, Uganda, filthy language and a chorus line.…

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Bill T. Jones Takes Broadway Hit 'Fela!' On Tour

2011-09-21

Award-winning choreographer Bill T. Jones joins NPR's Neal Conan to discuss Fela!, his hit musical about the life of Nigerian musician and human rights activist Fela Kuti. The show kicks off a national tour this month.…

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Broadway's 'Follies,' Sounding As Sumptuous As Ever

2011-09-12

Many Broadway revivals trim their budgets by downsizing the orchestra, but a new Follies features 28 musicians in the pit. Jeff Lunden speaks with orchestrator Jonathan Tunick about working on the Stephen Sondheim score, which evokes Broadway sty…

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The Oft-Misunderstood Faith Of Modern Mormons

2011-08-24

With The Book of Mormon getting rave reviews on Broadway, and two presidential candidates who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mormons find their faith in the spotlight. But much of what many Americans know about th…

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'40s Flop, 'Sweet Bye And Bye,' Could Get 2nd Chance

2011-08-22

The 1946 musical Sweet Bye and Bye was an unmitigated disaster and never made it to Broadway. The show closed in Philadelphia and seemed to be lost forever — until the score was rediscovered in a New Jersey warehouse in 1986.…

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Beyonce's Twin Kingdoms: Pop And Hip-Hop

2011-07-07

Ann Powers talks about the bestselling album this week, 4, which melds pop, Broadway and hip-hop.…

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Who's Carl This Time?

2011-06-18

Carl reads three quotes from the weeks news: A Fearsome Foursome; A Coke or Pepsi Debate; Peter Parker's Broadway Debut.…

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Stephen Colbert: In Good 'Company' On Broadway

2011-06-14

The political satirist and comedian talks about his Broadway performance (and performance anxieties) and about his recent segments on The Colbert Report featuring Sarah Palin and Anthony Weiner.…

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At Long Last, Curtain To Rise On 'Spider-Man'

2011-06-14

After months of previews, cast injuries, scathing reviews and delay upon delay followed by a shut-down and complete overhaul of the script, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark — the most expensive musical ever produced on Broadway — opens Tuesday night…

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'Book of Mormon' Draws Hopefuls Into Ticket Lottery

2011-06-13

The Book of Mormon has been a popular Broadway musical since it was in previews — So popular, in fact, that hundreds gather in the heat, day after day, just to enter a lottery for a ticket.…

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Buffalo's Master Hatter Gets Customers Worldwide

2011-05-25

Hat maker Gary White's eye for detail and historical accuracy have landed his hats in movies, TV and Broadway shows. His shop is the last standing business on its block in Buffalo, N.Y., a largely-abandoned area with high levels of crime and poverty. Desp…

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'Priscilla' Plays Canned Music; Union Claims Desertion

2011-05-22

Musicians Local 802 is protesting the Broadway show Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert for its use of fewer musicians than the minimum required. The show is the first musical in Broadway history to use a prerecorded soundtrack that a small group of m…

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'The Normal Heart,' Still Pumping Love And Fury

2011-05-17

Larry Kramer's unflinching autobiographical play — written in 1985 and set in the early days of the AIDS crisis among a community of gay men in New York City — has been revived on Broadway, but Kramer himself isn't looking back.…

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'Book Of Mormon' Creators On Their Broadway Smash

2011-05-09

Trey Parker and Matt Stone talk about The Book of Mormon, their blasphemous, hilarious and oddly endearing Broadway hit, which leads the Tony nominations field this year — and will probably go down in history as the only Broadway musical ever to …

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Arthur Laurents: Broadway Powerhouse Remembered

2011-05-07

One of the artistic geniuses who helped make Maria and Tony, the Sharks and the Jets and Baby and Mama Rose household names has died after a long, signature career. Arthur Laurents, who directed and wrote some of the most beloved classics of stage and scr…

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Broadway Playwright Arthur Laurents Dies At 93

2011-05-06

Laurents, best known for writing the books for the landmark Broadway musicals Gypsy and West Side Story, died Thursday. Fresh Air remembers the writer and director with excerpts from a 1990 interview.…

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'Catch Me If You Can' Takes Flight On Broadway

2011-04-07

The 2002 hit film, Catch Me If You Can, told the true story of a teenaged con artist who successfully posed as an airline pilot, a doctor and a lawyer, while stealing millions of dollars. Now that story has been turned into a splashy new Broadwa…

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Linda Eder: Getting To 'Now'

2011-04-01

The Broadway veteran tells Scott Simon how her experiences with love and celebrity have fundamentally changed her approach to singing.…

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Robin Williams Brings Baghdad's 'Tiger' To Broadway

2011-03-31

Williams makes his Broadway debut this week in Rajiv Joseph's Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo as the ghost of a captive tiger. Joseph's play explores the war-torn streets of Baghdad and the spiritual journeys of its denizens, through a blend of g…

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A Second Run For Stoppard's Duality-Driven 'Arcadia'

2011-03-17

Tom Stoppard's masterful comic romance plays out in two centuries at once, tripping lightly through subjects as diverse as sex and landscape gardening, academic ambition and the Second Law of Thermodynamics. A much-anticipated Broadway revival opens March…

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Broadway's Debut Of 'Spiderman' Delayed Again

2011-03-10

The ill-fated Broadway musical Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark has hit another tangle. Its opening is being delayed until early summer as the production re-tools with a new creative team.…

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Chris Rock, Putting On A Blue New 'Hat'

2011-03-10

The actor and stand-up comic makes his Broadway debut this month — in a play whose title NPR's Ari Shapiro can't say without benefit of a bleep.

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'That Championship Season': Fathers And Sons Find A New Home On Broadway

2011-03-05

Scott Simon speaks to cast members of the new Broadway version of the prize-winning play That Championship Season — including Jason Patric, the son of playwright Jason Miller.…

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Musical Theater Museum Struggles To Preserve Archives

2011-03-02

The Institute of the American Musical in Los Angeles is home to footage collected by one of the earliest pirates --Ray Knight of Jacksonville, Fla. Between 1931 and 1973, Knight would make trips up to Broadway and sneak a 16 mm camera into theaters. He ev…

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From Lieder To Latin: The New York Festival Of Song

2011-02-17

The 23-year-old New York institution is known for its high-energy ensemble productions, with repertoire ranging from art song and opera to Broadway and the blues. Jeff Lunden speaks to its founders.…

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Broadway's 'Spider-Man' Is All About Superlatives

2011-02-14

The musical Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark is the most expensive musical ever, logged the most preview performances, the most injuries to cast members and the most negative reviews before the show officially opens. Audiences, however, are paying p…

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'Spider-Man': Don't Be So Quick To Write Off The Dark

2011-02-11

NPR's Bob Mondello reviews Julie Taymor's much-criticized $65 million Broadway epic — and while it's not so good, it's not as bad as you might have heard. With a few changes (and a whole lot of cutting down), it might even be fun when it finally gets its …

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Reviewers Rebel Against Broadway's 'Spider-Man'

2011-02-08

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark has been plagued with plot and staging issues, and producers have postponed its official opening several times, thus holding reviewers at bay. The latest delay was from Feb. 7 to March 15. But in a break with establi…

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Critics Review 'Spider Man' While It's In Previews

2011-02-08

Opening night for Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark has been pushed back several times. But many critics bypassed Broadway protocol and released their reviews. New York Daily News theater critic Joe Dziemianowicz talks about his review, and …

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No Fooling: 'Earnest' Star Makes One Formidable Lady

2011-02-05

As one of the finest classical actors of his generation, Brian Bedford has donned all manner of period costumes. These days he's wearing ladies' stockings – and playing Oscar Wilde's imperious Lady Bracknell in a Broadway revival that has critics in sti…

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Spiderman Takes A Time-Out Before Broadway

2011-01-15

The Broadway production of Spiderman can't seem to get on its eight legs. Opening night has been pushed back to March, producers said, "to allow for more time to fine-tune aspects of the show."…

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Broadway's 'Spider-Man' Postponed Until March

2011-01-14

The new show Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark was supposed to open in December. But the accident-plagued production has been repeatedly postponed. On Thursday, producers delayed the opening yet again. It's now set for mid-March.…

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Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong Takes Broadway

2011-01-14

The frontman for the pop-punk band Green Day details the group's early days in Berkeley and describes what it's been like to see American Idiot, the Broadway musical based on one of his albums.…

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Remembering Ellen Stewart, Giant Of N.Y. Theater

2011-01-14

As the founder and artistic director of La MaMa Experimental Theater Club in 1961, Ellen Stewart launched Off Off Broadway and provided a stage for such playwrights as Harvey Fierstein -- whose Torch Song Trilogy started there -- and such actors …

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The George Family's Most Spectacular Flop

2011-01-03

Broadway's most expensive production ever staged, Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, is troubled by money woes, injuries and delays. Writer Jennifer George can sympathize. Her family's 1972 production, Via Galactica, was also plagued from th…

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More Woes For Broadway's 'Spider Man'

2010-12-21

There are more troubles for Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, the record-breaking $65 million musical in previews on Broadway. An actor playing Spider Man fell into a pit while performing a stunt during Monday night's performance.…

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Broadway's 'Spider-Man,' Tangled Up In Twitter

2010-11-30

The musical Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark doesn't open until Jan. 11, but after only one preview performance, it's being declared a problem -- if not a failure. Shows have traditionally used previews to work out their kinks, and this show has ple…

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Pee-Wee Herman Is A Loner, A Rebel -- And Back

2010-11-12

Pee-wee Herman, the zany boyish character created by comedian Paul Reubens, is back in a new Broadway show. In 2004, Reubens joined Terry Gross for a discussion about his show Pee-Wee's Playhouse, which ran from 1986 to 1991.…

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In New Play, Teller Raises The 'Dead'

2010-11-09

If you could talk to the dead, would you want to? That's the question explored in the new off-Broadway production Play Dead. It was directed by the magician Teller -- of the duo Penn and Teller -- as an homage to the old magic seance shows. On …

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Frank Langella On Acting, Aging And Being Very Bad

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Length: 9m 12s

The man who once brought Richard Nixon to life onstage returns in a Broadway revival of Man and Boy. He explains how he plays a villain learning to cope with a conscience — and why the 1963 show's theme still resonates.…

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'The Mountaintop' Opens On Broadway

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Thursday is opening night for Katori Hall's Olivier Award-winning play about Martin Luther King Jr. and his encounter with a chamber maid in Memphis the night before his assassination. Starring Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett, The Mountaintop

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'West Side Story' Film Still Pretty, And Witty, At 50

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Length: 30m 17s

Fifty years ago, the film version of the acclaimed Broadway musical premiered in theaters across the country. Two of the film's stars — Rita Moreno and George Chakiris — and theater critic Misha Berson join NPR's Neal Conan to discuss the mov…

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'Chinglish' Opens On Broadway

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Length: 4m 56s

Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Henry Hwang's new play Chinglish opens on Broadway after a sell-out run in Chicago. Author of the hit play M. Butterfly, Hwang is back to exploring the complexities of the clash of …

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On Broadway, John Turturro Offers Three For One

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Length: 8m 8s

Actor John Turturro is best known for roles in movies by Spike Lee, the Coen Brothers and others, but this month he's making his debut as a Broadway director. Turturro is directing three one-act plays by three big-name writers: Ethan Coen, Elaine May an…

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Hugh Jackman, Back On Broadway And Having A Blast

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Length: 6m 27s

The star of The X-Men and Real Steel returns to the New York stage for the first time since his Tony-winning turn in The Boy from Oz. He tells Jeff Lunden that he's dancing his behind off — and enjoying the heck out of it.…

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A Homecoming For Rachel Griffiths On Broadway

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Length: 5m 48s

The Australian actress known in the U.S. for her role on HBO's Six Feet Under returns to her roots as a stage actress in Other Desert Cities. "Theater was where I began," she says.…

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Hugh Martin's 'Hidden Treasures' Explored

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Length: 18m 42s

Martin wrote "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" for Judy Garland's 1944 movie Meet Me in St. Louis, along with dozens of other songs for MGM and Broadway musicals. His career is celebrated on a new CD and 88-page booklet with essays by Step…

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'Once' And Again: A Love Story Gets A Second Life

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Length: 7m 21s

Once, the 2007 film about a street musician and Czech immigrant who pen songs during an unforgettable week in Dublin, is now an off-Broadway musical. John Tiffany, the acclaimed director of Black Watch, collaborates with Irish playwright…

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Alan Rickman: From Severus Snape To 'Seminar'

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Length: 17m 4s

From Sense and Sensibility to Die Hard to Harry Potter, actor Alan Rickman's talents have made him recognizable to generations of moviegoers. Now, he's bringing that legacy back to the stage with a new Broadway play, Seminar…

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Danny Burstein On Living Up To Sondheim's 'Follies'

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Length: 46m 10s

Burstein has played a wide range of roles, from casino owner Lolly Steinman in HBO's Boardwalk Empire, to his current role as Buddy Plummer in the Broadway revival of Follies. He talks about his lengthy career on stage, screen and televi…

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Buddying Up To 'Follies' Star Danny Burstein

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Length: 26m 13s

Burstein has played a wide range of roles, from casino owner Lolly Steinman in HBO's Boardwalk Empire, to his current role as Buddy Plummer in the Broadway revival of Follies. He talks about his lengthy career on stage, screen and televi…

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