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'Pippin' on Broadway worthy of its 10 Tony nominations

  • Pop2it
The revival of "Pippin" is a celebration of everything right about musical theater -- fabulous choreography, a true sense of fun, Patina Miller and acrobats. And it's easy to see why this came in with 10 Tony nominations, just after "Kinky Boots' with 13, and "Matilda" with 12.

"Pippin" has been updated since the show ruled on Broadway for five years in the 1970s, and made Ben Vereen a star. Now Miller plays the role Vereen had, as Leading Player, justifiably earning her second Tony nomination. She's the circus ringleader, narrator and star. Pippin, son of Charlemagne, who is called Charles in this, is on a quest to find meaning in life. He's educated, sweet and earnest. Here, Matthew James Thomas (Broadway's "Spiderman") plays the title role. 

Stephen Schwartz' music and lyrics, Roger O. Hirson's book, Diane Paulus' direction and Chet Walker's choreography are flawless. Set under a big top,
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Kennedy Center Honors Recipients: From Marian Anderson to Meryl Streep

The Kennedy Center Honors have been handed out since 1978. Recipients hail from various branches of the American performance art world — including film, stage, music, and dance — even though performers more closely associated with British show business have managed to sneak in every now and then, e.g., Paul McCartney, Roger Daltrey, Elton John, Pete Townshend. Since recipients are supposed to attend the Washington, D.C., ceremony in order to take home their Kennedy awards, Doris Day has remained unhonored by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Katharine Hepburn kept putting it off until she finally relented in 1990. (Irene Dunne, see above photo, was one who managed to be honored though absent due to ill health.) Ginger Rogers, for her part, was present at the ceremony, but her films with Fred Astaire weren't — because Astaire's widow, Robyn Astaire, demanded payment for the televised clips. At the time, Kennedy Center Honors
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Listen to This: Christopher Walken on NPR

Listen to This: Christopher Walken on NPR
Move over Adrian Cronauer, Barry, and Grant Mazzy!

There's a new sheriff in the radio booth. The oft-mimicked and irreplaceable Christopher Walken recently tried his hand at radio, filling in for NPR's Leonard Lopate the other day. There's no cowbell, nor strange monologues about wristwatches, but it's completely delightful. This is 100% earnest Walken, chatting with friends and a slew of other guests, namely: Tony winners Jack O'Brien and Richard Easton, Zoe Kazan (Me and Orson Welles, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee), Eddie Izzard in a quick drive-by, dancers Jacques D'Amboise and Alex Shimizu, and Chef Lidia Bastianich and her mother, who turn out to be childhood friends of Walken's, from his days in Queens.

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Christopher Walken To Play Host on Radio Show

  • IFC
Christopher Walken To Play Host on Radio Show
Whenever I interview someone over the phone, I inevitably hear Leonard Lopate's voice in my head and find myself posing questions the way he does -- the way he states something the interviewee has done, or is known for, or admitted to, and drops a question mark at the end in a way that's inviting, sometimes almost intimate. Maybe now when I listen to Leonard Lopate, I'll have Christopher Walken in my head after he guest hosts for Lopate this coming Monday on Wnyc.

What syllables he'll be accenting, no one knows. What strange and wonderful pauses will be created where none should be. Walken's guests will be Jack O'Brien, director and producer of the stage musical "Hairspray," followed by actress Zoe Kazan, who shared the stage with Walken in "A Behanding in Spokane." Then, dancer to dancer, Walken interviews the classically trained Jacques D'Amboise, founder of the National Dance Institute,
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