Arts & Life

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

(SOUNDBITE OF SAMBA PARADES)

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

For Daniel Breaker, who plays the sardonic, soulful Aaron Burr in Broadway's Hamilton, the kitchen is the room where it happens.

Terese Marie Mailhot started her new memoir, Heart Berries, while she was in a mental institution, where she had committed herself after a breakdown. The pages bleed with the pain of mental illness, lost love and her family history on an Indian reservation in British Columbia.

It's a collection of essays filled with what she called "heavy material": experiences of poverty, addiction and abuse. But she also says she's finding joy in cultivating art. She spoke with me about her work and her life from Spokane, Wash.

When I first started reading Natalie Hopkinson's A Mouth Is Always Muzzled: Six Dissidents, Five Continents, and the Art of Resistance, I found myself ricocheting between bewilderment and frustration. I consider myself a pretty well-informed person with more than a passing knowledge of the histories of oppressed people, but I couldn't make it more than a few paragraphs without wondering, "How could I not know this?"

Black History Month is a time when a lot of people remember firsts, such as Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court justice. Now, the film awards season has given us two new names to join those ranks.

Mudbound director Dee Rees is the first black woman nominated for an Oscar in Best Adapted Screenplay. Singer and actor Mary J. Blige is the first anyone — ever — to be nominated for both an acting performance and an original song in the same film.

Whether you're planning the ultimate romantic evening or a night alone in your sweats, this list of podcasting's best love stories are sure to put you in the Valentine's Day mood. Listen to individual episodes on NPR One or wherever you get podcasts.

Love Me, "At a Loss for Words" from CBC

Two travelers fall in love over Google Translate. But, some sentiments just don't easily translate from one language to another. This is all about how they find a common language (of love!).

stevendepolo (Steven Depolo) [Flickr]

If you are concerned for your pet's safety, do not put its name on the collar or ID tag.  An animal may be more receptive and willing to go with a stranger that knows its name.  And remember - unattended means unsafe when it comes to your best friend.

*************************

Michael Korda's new book Catnip: A Love Story is drawn from scribbles that amused in a time of anxiety. Korda's wife, Margaret, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. She went riding most days of what turned out to be the last year of her life, and each day, he sketched cartoons of their cats on the back of old manuscripts in the tackroom.

If any feminist walks the walk, it's author, actress and activist Eve Ensler, best known for her play The Vagina Monologues. In 2009, Ensler went to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to help victims of rape and torture create a sanctuary called City of Joy.

That's when her own life got upended.

Pete Buttigieg is a Harvard graduate, a Rhodes scholar, a veteran who served in Afghanistan and a millennial. But he took his talents back to South Bend, Ind. — his hometown — where he ran for mayor and won. He's now serving his second term in office.

He's been South Bend's biggest booster, so naturally, we decided to ask him three questions about the town of North Bend, Wash.

Click the listen link above to see how he does.

'Winterfolk' Cloaks Harsh Reality In Fairy Tale Mist

Feb 10, 2018

Winterfolk is a brutally realist tale that's told as though it happened once upon a time.

Rain and her father live in a tent, somewhere on the outskirts of Seattle. For most of Rain's life, they've made their home at the edges of a community of homeless people who call themselves the Winterfolk. Rain knows how to be mostly invisible, both to those outside the community and to those within.

Just days after a monthlong hiatus from making megabucks-generating videos, YouTube vlogger Logan Paul is in trouble again for creating more questionable content.

By the time Angels In America got to Broadway in 1993, after workshops, a pair of west-coast stagings, and an ecstatically received London production, it played like the smash audiences had heard it was.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Who is that dour man?

Massachusetts' highest court owns his portrait — it hangs on a wall outside the chief justice's chambers — but the court's officials have no idea who he is.

They're hoping you might have an idea.

Benjamin Swasey, of member station WBUR, reports:

Paradigm Shift

Feb 9, 2018

Welcome to the alternate dimension where Julia Louis-Dreyfus's hit HBO comedy about crying is called "Weep." We've changed one letter in a movie or TV title, and imagined what the new plot might be. Based on our new synopsis, can you guess what our version would be called?

Heard On Chris Hadfield: Ground Control To Major Trivia

The Tourists' Guide To Washington D.C.

Feb 9, 2018

What DC landmark "looks a little bit like a missile?" During our Washington road show, a group of intrepid AMA producers interviewed tourists at famous memorials and monuments. Based on clips from those interviews, our contestants try to guess the landmark.

Heard On Chris Hadfield: Ground Control To Major Trivia

Our Nation's Capital

Feb 9, 2018

Question: what do single-elimination tournaments and the International House of Pancakes have in common? Answer: They're both NATION-al! In the final round of our D.C. show, each answer contains the word "nation."

Heard On Chris Hadfield: Ground Control To Major Trivia

Winter Sports Science

Feb 9, 2018

As a former downhill ski instructor and retired astronaut, Chris Hadfield is uniquely qualified for this game about winter sports.

Heard On Chris Hadfield: Ground Control To Major Trivia

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SMITHS-sonian

Feb 9, 2018

The Smithsonian is home to historical artifacts, iconic Americana, and all manner of weird pop culture memorabilia. We've rewritten songs by artists with "Smith" in their name to be about notable objects in the Smithsonian's collection— can you guess the object? For an extra point, name the artist we're parodying. And no, they're not all by The Smiths.

Heard On Chris Hadfield: Ground Control To Major Trivia

Podcast Or Fraud-cast?

Feb 9, 2018

From reviewing board games to comparing stationery products, it seems like everyone has a podcast these days. Guess whether the shows described in this game are real or fake podcasts— or, as we like to call them, future podcasts.

Heard On Chris Hadfield: Ground Control To Major Trivia

When astronaut Chris Hadfield returned from his last mission in space, his body was "really, really confused." After five months in orbit, "You can't balance. You don't inherently know which way up is," the first Canadian to become Commander of the International Space Station told host Ophira Eisenberg at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C.

Some people may be planning to dine on kimchi and bulgogi this weekend in honor of the opening of the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. The rest of us, however, are stocking up on Vulcan Plomeek Soup and blue-hued Romulan Ale as we prepare for the final episode of season one of Star Trek: Discovery on Sunday night.

Let the intergalactic feasting begin.

If you lived in Atlanta in the late 1970s or early '80s, you heard this question every night: "It's 10 p.m. Do you know where your children are?"

The reason that TV news started broadcasting that question every night: Many people didn't know where their children were. Kids were disappearing. Their bodies would turn up in the woods, strangled.

It's the biggest smorgasbord on TV. NBC and its related platforms are serving up more than 2,400 hours of Olympics coverage through the closing ceremony on Feb. 25 — a record for a Winter Olympics. It's all there in front of you, but figuring out what you want and when you want it is a challenge. Here are a few ideas on sorting through it all:

How To Watch On TV

With films like The Color Wheel, Listen Up, Philip and Queen of Earth, writer-director Alex Ross Perry swiftly established himself as indie-cinema's premier misanthrope, as if the literate class of Woody Allen movies had been body-snatched by caustic malcontents of John Cassavetes movies. Shot in 16mm, mostly in interiors free of electronic distraction, Perry's films are defiantly analog in their four-walled intensity, committed to unpacking the restive desires of characters who act on impulse and often look ugly in the process.

"Less plot, more ladders."

That's a philosophy espoused by a college friend of mine with a fondness for Jackie Chan movies. Chan is known for incredibly inventive action sequences in which he fights using whatever is handy — including, in First Strike, a ladder. But what my friend does not want from Jackie Chan movies is a lot of time unwinding a boring, byzantine plot. Less plot, he would demand. More ladders.

As is often the case, this year's crop of Academy Award-nominated live action shorts — several of them made as newbie filmmakers' calling cards — make up in earnest humanity for what they lack in technical sophistication. One way or another, all of this year's nominees turn on themes of terror — that's if you count the lone comedy, which speaks to the fear, fantasy, or wishful thought that psychiatrists may be crazier than their patients. Here they are, ranked from best ... to best-intentioned.

My Nephew Emmett

An NBA superstar, a Disney powerhouse and a beloved children's book author make up some of the Oscar nominees for best animated short this year, and you can watch them all in theaters before the ceremony.

Pages