317: Julie Taymor
Theater

317: Julie Taymor

She directed and designed costumes for the stage version of The Lion King, seen by 90 million people in 100 cities, attributing its success, in part, to its use of puppets. “I actually think people are often more touched by a puppet’s gesture than a human’s.” Make up your own Trump/Putin joke. Continue reading »

Next Live-ish Show: Mo Rocca
Uncategorized

Next Live-ish Show: Mo Rocca

He owns a framed a ticket to Andrew Johnson’s impeachment trial, a memento of his – Rocca’s – work on CBS Sunday Morning or NPR’s Wait, Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me! (Andrew Johnson is a regular on neither, and they’re the worse for it.)  Wednesday, Sept. 30, 8:00  Live streamed by the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan  To register and receive a … Continue reading »

316: Tom Perrotta
Fiction

316: Tom Perrotta

When  the admired writer — Election, Little Children, The Leftovers — was off at college, he got some unsettling news from his beloved cousin Mike: “He was a really talented indie rocker, but he ended up with a bunch of his friends playing in a wedding band.” This became the basis for The Wishbones, whose protagonist believes such bands emit … Continue reading »

Theater

315: André De Shields

This fine performer — Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Wiz, Hadestown — notes that Shakespeare has much to say about our times, including “Macbeth is seen as a great killing machine,” alluding to the virus, the police, or the president. We find the metaphors we need. Our first episode made with Broadway on Demand, the video version can be seen – seen! … Continue reading »

Comedy

9: Susie Essman

She’s best known for her sharp and funny portrayal of the foul-mouthed Susie Greene on Curb Your Enthusiasm, an overnight success she achieved after decades as a working comic. We met when she did the warmup for The Rosie O’Donnell Show, displaying the rare ability to induce laughter in the morning. Continue reading »

Architecture & Design / Science & Medicine

314: Frances Halsband, Michael Marin

This founding partner of Kliment Halsband Architects teamed with the head of surgery at Mount Sinai to create a hospital in Uganda and fight crime in outer space. One of those. The former. Their solar-powered facility, in the village of Kyabirwa, provides surgical services for a long-underserved community. A conversation (in the Zoomian sense) at the Center for Architecture. Continue reading »

Art

313: William Wegman

Like millions of his admirers, I encountered him through his videos of his dogs, Man Ray, then Fay Ray, then her descendants – odd, surprising, sometimes funny, always full of feeling. Curiously, he used to say horrible things about video art. “That’s how a young artist thinks. I’m much more generous now as an old … Continue reading »

Art

312: Garry Trudeau

He was still in college when he created his smart and funny comic strip, “Doonesbury,” and has since sent his characters to a disconcerting number of wars without disheartening the readers. His most recent book is Lewser: More Doonesbury in the Time of Trump, which nearly disheartens me. Laughing through my tears. Of rage. Continue reading »

Nonfiction

311: Sam Roberts

A reporter and editor for The New York Times for more than 30 years, he began at the Daily News, in the seventies, when the city faced financial collapse, terrorist bombs, a blackout, a psychotic serial killer, and Studio 54. “What a time to be city editor of a tabloid newspaper in New York!” He was 28. A … Continue reading »

Movies

310: Sheila Nevins

For decades, she ran HBO Documentary Films, producing over a thousand and winning more prime-time Emmies than any other person, clearly reflecting her love of the form. “No! I hate documentaries. I didn’t like documentaries at all. I wanted to do things that people watched; I wanted to get patted on the back; I wanted … Continue reading »