Concert halls and music venues around the world have been shuttered due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, but before closing its doors, the Philadelphia Orchestra gave one last performance on March 12 — to an empty concert hall. Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin describes the experience of playing in a vacant hall and hearing silence at the end of each piece. And we listen to a 2019 interview with Yannick.
In his new one-man show, William Shatner talks about his childhood growing up in Montreal -- and the ups and downs of creating iconic characters, from starship captain James T. Kirk to lawyer Denny Crane.
Movie musicals usually get lumped together as a category. But classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz says that a batch of original musicals from MGM and 20th-Century Fox, just released on DVD, reveals an array of categories that date back to the earliest sound films. The batch includes Till the Clouds Roll By, Summer StockDown Argentine Way and It's Always Fair Weather.
She's starring in her one-woman show, Bridge and Tunnel. The play about the immigrant experience in America has been critically acclaimed. Margo Jefferson of The New York Times writes, "Humor, compassion and daring have more often found a place in solo performance. This free form frees gifted artists to change sex, race, age, body type and personality in an instant. It takes great craft and generosity. Sarah Jones has both."
On March 7, the actor and monologist Spalding Gray was found dead in the East River in New York. Gray, 62, had been missing for two months. His family believes he committed suicide. Gray was best known for his autobiographical monologues, including Swimming to Cambodia, Monster in a Box and It's a Slippery Slope. Over the last 19 years he was a frequent guest on Fresh Air. We listen back to excerpts of his performances and interviews: Swimming to Cambodia (rebroadcast from Aug. 20, 1985), Monster in a Box (rebroadcast from Sept.
Actor Spalding Gray, famous for his autobiographical monologues, was found dead on March 7 in New York's East River. He'd been missing for two months. In the first of a two-part series, Terry Gross speaks with people who knew Gray well, including his wife, Kathie Russo, and his friend, Robby Stein. The second program features excerpts of GrayÂs Fresh Air interviews.
Performance artist, writer and theater director Rhodessa Jones is co-artistic director of the San Franciso performance company Cultural Odyssey. She is also founder and director of the "Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women," a performance workshop for women in prison in which she helps them develop and stage works based on their own stories. Jones' solo performance works include Hot Flashes, Power Surges, and Private Summers, and Big Butt Girls, Hard-Headed Women.
He is one of New York's most notable spoken-word artists. He blends lyrics of urban dwelling with music. Born in Harlem, Sundiata is a professor of English literature at The New School for Social Research. He's released CDs of spoken word including The Blue Oneness of Dreams and Urban Music. This week, Sundiata premieres his new one-man show blessing the boats. It's about the year his kidney failed, he went into dialysis and then had a kidney transplant.
Comedian Marc Maron. His hit one man show in Manhattan, “Jerusalem Syndrome,” is described as a “poetically paranoid rant on corporate culture and the quest for spiritual fulfillment.” Maron has appeared on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, and was the host of Comedy Central’s “Short Attention Span Theater.” He appears in Cameron Crowe’s new film, “Almost Famous.”
Monologist, actor and writer Spalding Gray. His newest work is "Morning, Noon, and Night" (Fararr, Straus, and Giroux) about being a father and raising a family. Gray's monologues include, "Monster in a Box" about all the distractions that prevented him from completing his novel, "Impossible Vacation," and "Swimming to Cambodia" about filming a movie in Cambodia. His monologue and book "Gray's Anatomy" was about his eye problems, and his adventures in the mainstream and alternative health care industries.
Actor Roger Guenveur Smith stars in the one-man stage show "A Huey P. Newton Story." Drawing from Newton's own writings and interviews, Smith performs in character as Huey Newton, the co-founder of The Black Panther Party. Roger Guenveur Smith has appeared in a number of Spike Lee films including: "Do The Right Thing," "Malcolm X," "He Got Game," and "School Daze." His other film credits include: "Tales from the Hood," "Poetic Justice," "King of New York," and "Panther."
Magician and trickster Teller of Penn and Teller. They've been performing for over twenty years, both on Broadway and around the world. The duo has just written "How to Play in Traffic" (Boulevard), an offbeat travel guide, and has also authored "Cruel Tricks for Dear Friends" and "How to Play with Your Food."
Since 1979, Gray has been performing monologues about his life and anxieties before audiences. "Swimming to Cambodia" was about the Vietnam war and his acting part in the film "The Killing Fields," "Monster in a Box" was about writing/vacation and Hollywood, and "Gray's Anatomy" was about an eye ailment. His latest is considered his most confessional, "It's a Slippery Slope" about marriage and learning to ski.
The former Saturday Night Live performer was best known for, Pat, the gender-ambiguous character. Sweeney took the character the big screen, but the result was a flop. When her brother was diagnosed with cancer, she took him into her home to take care of him while he was getting treatment. Her parents also moved in. Sweeney began work on a performance piece as a way to deal with the situation. Her brother eventually died, and she herself was diagnosed with cancer. She's now in remission. Sweeney's one woman show is called "God Said, Ha!"
An excerpt from the next edition of "This American Life" from WBEZ: a performance excerpt from monologist, actor and writer Spalding Gray. His latest show "It's a Slippery Slope" opens this Sunday at New York's Lincoln Center Theater. This excerpt was recorded at Chicago's Goodman Theater.
A new monologue by the NPR commentator, playwright, and housecleaner. "Drama Bug" was featured on This American Life, a nationally broadcast radio program hosted by Ira Glass and produced at WBEZ in Chicago. Sedaris is known nationally for his humor writing; he launched his radio commentator career with his "SantaLand Diaries," broadcast during NPR's "Morning Edition in 1992.
Comic and performance artist Marga Gomez. Her new show is "A Line Around the Block" a solo memoir performance about her father, New York Cuban comedian Willy Chevalier. In 1991 Gomez wrote and performed a piece about her mother a flamboyantly self-dramatizing Puerto Rican dancer, "Memory Tricks." Gomez is performing her new show at The Public Theatre in New York, this month.