Arts & Life

An anxious, awkward teenager, social media, suicide. These are the themes at play in a new musical at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. The production has garnered praise from both the New York Times ("sweet, sad and quite moving") and the Washington Post (which said it "radiates charm and wit)." They're not the only ones buzzing about it — this play about human behavior in the digital age will head to New York's Second Stage Theater next spring.

Letters: Greek Migrants, Summer Movies

Aug 14, 2015
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When writer Mona Eltahawy was 15 her family moved to Saudi Arabia from the UK. It was a shock. Suddenly her highly educated mother could not drive or go anywhere unless accompanied by a man. Boys and girls lived segregated lives and it seemed to Eltahawy that women were considered the walking embodiment of sin. She found her refuge in reading and eventually discovered the writing of Muslim feminists.

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Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Editor's Note: Hot weather is the time for popcorn pictures — escapist films that may have laughs or tears along the way, but that inevitably end happily. It's a formula that's served Hollywood well, and that's also served to make a lot of people into movie addicts, including our critic Bob Mondello. He now sees more than 300 movies a year — many of which do not have happy endings, and that suits him fine. But we asked him if he remembered his first trip to a movie theater. And he did.

By now, viewers know what to expect from a David Simon drama. You expect an intense study of a precise location, as with Baltimore in The Wire and New Orleans in Treme. You expect flawed, fascinating and unforgettable characters — like Omar in The Wire, just to name one. And you expect the story to raise issues, especially about race and politics, that are unfortunately relevant to today.

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour Episode Amateur Hour.

About A.J. Jacob's TED Talk

Author and journalist A.J. Jacobs has made a career of being an amateur. He talks about the year he spent living biblically — following the rules in the Bible as literally as possible.

About A.J. Jacobs

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Amateurs.

About Nancy Frates' TED Talk

The 2014 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was one of the fastest fundraising efforts in history. Nancy Frates recounts how her love for her son Pete plunged her into leading a worldwide awareness campaign.

About Nancy Frate

What's The Best Way To Achieve A New Goal?

Aug 14, 2015

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Amateur Hour.

About Derek Sivers' TED Talk

After setting a new personal goal, often your first instinct is to tell someone. But entrepreneur Derek Sivers says you're better off keeping it to yourself.

About Derek Sivers

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Amateur Hour.

About Julia Sweeney's TED Talk

Actor and writer Julia Sweeney says parenting has always made her feel like an amateur — but especially when her 8-year-old started asking some smart questions about animal reproduction.

About Julia Sweeney

In this season of anger in many black communities that are reacting to police brutality, we're remembering the largest urban riot of the civil rights era.

Fifty years ago this week in Los Angeles, the African-American neighborhood of Watts exploded after a young black man was arrested for drunken driving. His mother scuffled with officers and was also arrested, all of which drew an increasingly hostile crowd.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is a period adventure film. It has periods of international intrigue and periods of sexy comedy. Basically, it has a lot of periods. Even in this benighted age of wantonly colon-ized movie titles, U.N.C.L.E. stands out as the most punctuated picture of the year.

Brooke is a New York spin-class instructor who plans to open a restaurant that will also be a hair salon and a community center, and furthermore has an idea for a TV show called Mistress America. This sort of aspirational multi-tasking is also characteristic of the movie that shares the name of the imaginary TV program: It's a contemporary Gen-Y satire, a throwback screwball comedy, and a notebook of random jottings by writer-director Noah Baumbach and writer-star Greta Gerwig, all stuffed into 84 minutes.

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