Arts/Culture

WNPR Arts and culture reporting focuses on the world of ideas in fine art, crafts, writing, music, theater, performance, design and creative activities that make us unique and make us human

Joel Ormsby / Creative Commons

All of us know what it feels like to have a bad day - the pain, the regret, the sheer misery. We also know how one bad decision can spiral into a day(s) filled with misery.  Sometimes, misery stems from really bad events that are out of our control, like the loss of a loved one. But, too often, we're quick to blame misfortune on chance, the toss of the dice, bad luck. 

Updated at 1:49 p.m. ET

Bruce Jenner, the former Olympic gold-medal-winning decathlete who revealed recently that "for all intents and purposes" he is a woman, is now Caitlyn Jenner.

The revelation was made in Vanity Fair, which tweeted an image of Jenner on the cover of its July issue.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Last week, we went up to do our annual live show from Great Barrington, Massachusetts at the Berkshire International Film Festival. Our usual host, The Triplex, had technical problems, so we pulled the plug with a few minutes left to go, which is why you heard a re-run about movie trailers. Meanwhile, we recorded this show so you could hear it today.

Public Domain

Veteran character actress Betsy Palmer has died.  

Palmer  achieved lasting, though not necessarily sought-after, fame as the murderous camp cook in the cheesy 1980 horror film "Friday the 13th."

No one can ask a tough question quite like Bob Schieffer.

For example, when he asked then-presidential candidate John Edwards: "It appears that the White House strategy will be to picture you as a pretty boy....A lightweight...Does that bother you?"

Cue nervous laughter from a candidate who became known for paying $400 to get a haircut.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

This hour, we talk about movie trailers. Maybe you wonder what a movie critic thinks of them. Actually, critics don't see as many as you do because they often go to special screenings.

Chion Wolf. / WNPR

The Berkshires is known for many things: its quaint, rural towns, its serene trails, and its rustic restaurants. But in addition to all of that, it's also a hotbed for creativity. A place where emerging artists hone their craft, and museums, theaters, and festivals abound. 

Chris Stone/flickr creative commons

Back in the days when rock and roll was still young and three-chord bands were popping up everywhere, The Grateful Dead were unique in just about every way. They fused multiple music styles: rock, blues, folk, R&B, country, jazz, and, of course, more than a peppering of psychedelia.

Jameziecakes / Creative Commons

A 2014 Nielsen report yielded some dismaying news for jazz connoisseurs: the once-coveted genre is now one of the least-consumed in the United States.

But why are so many turning away from jazz, and toward other styles of music like rock, pop, and country? 

This hour, a panel of experts and musicians weigh in, and share their thoughts on jazz's future both in America and abroad.

Stew Stryker / Creative Commons

Memorial Day now behind us, it's time to take out the calendar and begin the serious business of penciling in the summer concert-going plans.

Lanny Nagler

WNPR's Diane Orson sat down with Rob Ruggiero, the director of “Good People,” to discuss the play and his approach to directing. “Good People” runs May 22 to June 28 at TheaterWorks in Hartford. The following has been lightly edited for clarity.

Lawrie Cate / Creative Commons

Jews make up 2.2 percent of the population although it fluctuates depending on who gets counted. The U.S. Jewish population is roughly the same size, north of 6 million, as the Jewish population of Israel. 

And, since there are about 14 million Jews in the whole world, an astonishingly high percentage of them live in those two countries. 

jamieanne/flickr creative commons

On the menu… it's easy to make Campari popsicles for your next party… or try our breakfast martini… the featured cookbook, Genius Recipes features cooked forever broccoli that is staggeringly good.

Kevork Imizirian

It’s been five years since the big-toned, Israeli-born tenor saxophonist Benny Sharoni made his recording debut with an acclaimed album called Eternal Elixir.

Rick Ciaburri / Wesleyan University

Award-winning composer and lyricist Lin Manuel Miranda addressed college graduates on Sunday as the keynote speaker at Wesleyan University's commencement.

It's a warning sign at art museums around the world: "Don't touch the artwork."

But Spain's famous Prado Museum is changing that, with an exhibit where visitors are not only allowed to touch the paintings — they're encouraged to do so.

The Prado has made 3-D copies of some of the most renowned works in its collection — including those by Francisco Goya, Diego Velazquez and El Greco — to allow blind people to feel them.

It's a special exhibit for those who normally can't enjoy paintings.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut has been incredibly lucky in the directors who have made its regional theaters their basis of operations. Don't miss this full-length conversation between Colin and Darko Tresnjak, Hartford Stage's Tony Award-winning Artistic Director, about Shakespeare, his acceptance speech at the Tony's, moodiness in the theater world, and of course, his current production of "Kiss Me Kate".

It's impolite to stare. But when it comes to severely injured soldiers, maybe we don't look enough; or maybe we'd rather not see wounded veterans at all.

Two men are sliding nine pine coffins into a vault in the ground on Chestnut Street in downtown Portsmouth, N.H. The remains were disinterred in 2003, part of a long-forgotten burial ground for African slaves discovered during routine road work. Now, they are being reburied among 200 other long forgotten men and women as part of Portsmouth's new African Burying Ground Memorial Park.

Jasin Boland/Warner Bros.

Setting into your movie theater seat for "Mad Max Fury Road" you are treated a series of trailers that remind you how many movie screens this year will be taken up with new iterations of old franchises. There's a new Jurassic Park movie coming and a new Terminator.

But Mad Max is a little different. The franchise had lain dormant since and the movies are the work of a single auteur, George Miller, who begot Mad Max and, at age 70, has reimagined parts of it for this latest installment.

Blues Magoos

The psychedelic era made a huge impact on pop culture in the 1960s. Art, fashion, movies, and music all felt the impact of psychedelia. A blast from the psychedelic past comes to New Haven on Friday night. 

Frankie Leon / Creative Commons

News about other countries tends to focus a lot more on what’s wrong with a place, than what’s going right.

Recently, reports about the earthquake in Nepal, kidnappings in Nigeria and Islamic extremism in Iran have dominated the news.

Andrei Taranchenko/flickr creative commons

Haines, Alaska is a small town situated in the northern part of the Alaska Panhandle. It's home to abundant wildlife and the scenery is breathtaking. Haines has a population of about 2,000. There's a public radio station there and a weekly paper called The Chilkat Valley News, where Heather Lende's been writing obituaries for the last two decades. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

From Mozart to Radiohead, Sybarite5’s eclectic repertoire and dynamic performance style is turning heads throughout the music world: “…that impassioned playing, those hard-driving rhythms, the blissed-out faces of the mostly young audience…Genuine, spontaneous…excitement” (The Washington Post). 

Public Domain

The Boston Public Library is working with local and federal law enforcement to find two missing pieces of artwork worth more than $600,000.  It’s not clear if the works by Rembrandt and Albrecht Dürer were stolen or misplaced.

Public Domain

Gustav Mahler stood five-foot-four.

That doesn’t quite place him at the absolute bottom of the Famous Composer Vertical Comparison Scale (Grieg was a tad shorter, as was Ravel), but it’s strange to think that the man who created some of the most thunderously colossal symphonies the world has ever known, who famously said that each symphony should “contain the whole world,” stood just a few centimeters above Mickey Rooney.

When the final episode came, after weeks of accolades and tributes to his genius, David Letterman made sure he punctured the emotion of the moment with a little old-fashioned, self-deprecating sarcasm.

PHOTOGRAPHED BY BECKY LUIGART-STAYNER

On the Food Schmooze® menu this time… Faith's new Frozen Dark & Stormy Cocktail, along with Anthony DeSerio's Ginger Beer Piña Colada… our new go-to burger—the 

Chris Boland / Creative Commons

It's been more than 40 years since Graham Nash first sung with David Crosby and Stephen Stills.

Bengt Nyman / Creative Commons

Looking every inch a silver-maned patriarch of Biblical grandeur, Sonny Rollins, the 84-year-old genius of the jazz tenor saxophone, was especially elated last weekend to receive an honorary doctor of music degree from the University of Hartford at graduation ceremonies on its West Hartford campus.

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