Chion Wolf / WNPR

It was a fertile week for topics, but here at The Nose, we've boiled them down to four.

First, the decision by NBC to capitalize on its live Sound of Music ratings hit with a revival of the live TV Peter Pan. No cast has been announced yet, so that allows us to do some "dreamcasting. "

In a combative interview from North Korea, former NBA star Dennis Rodman defended his "basketball diplomacy" in the repressive country and seemed to imply that he believes American businessman Kenneth Bae, sentenced to 15 years' hard labor for allegedly trying to overthrow the Kim Jong Un regime, is guilty.

Blond, blue-eyed and wearing blazing white robes in Lawrence Of Arabia, Peter O'Toole was handsome enough — many said beautiful enough — to carry off the scene in which director David Lean simultaneously made stars of both his title character and his leading man.

"For pulling the papacy out of the palace and into the streets, for committing the world's largest faith to confronting its deepest needs and for balancing judgment with mercy, Pope Francis is Time's 2013 Person of the Year."

The magazine adds that:

"We're all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars," says a character in an Oscar Wilde play. That pretty well sums up Lou Reed. We're both honored and saddened to tackle him as our first topic as we experiment with putting more immediacy into our Monday show. We decided to let the weekend tell us what our topics were. 

Lou Reed, the singer and songwriter whose work as a solo artist and as the leader of cult-favorite band The Velvet Underground influenced generations of musicians, has died at age 71.

Chion Wolf/Official Artist Photograph

"Two names you never thought you would ever hear in the same sentence: hip-hop artist André 3000 and NPR's Frank Tavares," said the latter. He's been the voice of NPR for more than three decades. But Frank Tavares is wrapping up his tenure later this year. Not sure exactly who I'm talking about?

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were the real-life star-crossed lovers of the 1960s and '70s. No relationship better merited the adjective "tempestuous," and of none was that word more often uttered.

BBC America offers a dramatized glimpse of the relationship in its movie Burton and Taylor. The film focuses not on the couple's scandalous beginnings when they met filming the 1963 movie Cleopatra, but rather on their public curtain call as a couple, the 1983 Broadway revival of Noel Coward's play Private Lives.

Chion Wolf

He's widely recognized as Alcide from HBO's 'True Blood,' but did you know Joe Manganiello is a classically-trained actor who graduated from Carnegie Mellon? Or that he inhabited the role of Stanley Kowalski from Tennessee Williams' iconic 1947 play "A Streetcar Named Desire," multiple times before landing his gig as a tall, brown-eyed lupine?

Chion Wolf

It just goes on and on. We're in New Haven today where the Yale Rep is getting ready to mount a production of "A Streetcar Named Desire," but there's already one playing in Dublin at the Gate. There probably hasn't been one year in the last 50 when there wasn't a significant staging of this play.

Copyright © & Ⓟ Sandra Boynton 2013

Connecticut resident Sandra Boynton is hard to label. She's arguably one of America's most popular children's book authors. She's an artist whose whimsical greeting cards are wildly popular. She's also a music composer who's produced five albums and been nominated for a Grammy.

Alterna2, Flickr Creative Commons

Michael Bolton has reinvented himself many times. A few years ago, he cut off his trademark hair.  He put out an album of opera arias and another of American Songbook Standards. But probably his biggest challenge was dealing with his image as a romantic icon so permanently rooted in the dead center of the mainstream that poking fun at him became an easy way for people who really weren't all that cool to prove they were at least cool enough to reject Michael Bolton.

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If you seek parallels between J.D. Salinger and Thomas Pynchon they're easy to find. Both were literary geniuses. Both were publicity-shunning recluses. Both men were psychosexually arrested by God knows what primal wound.

Salinger seemed able to bond only with very young women and girls. Pynchon had a pattern -- somehow linked to inability to form normal alliances --  of hijacking the wives and partners of his friends.

Chion Wolf

Thirteen years ago, I wrote an amusing but fairly ignorant op-ed piece for The New York Times triggered by watching a planetarium movie narrated by Tom Hanks. I wrote: "I miss the days of the anonymous, nobody-special narrator. Playing next door to Mr. Hanks at the museum was a Mount Everest Imax movie narrated by Liam Neeson. Take a cab to get there, and Isaac Hayes tells you to take your stuff when you get out, and don't forget your receipt." 

Flickr Creative Commons, Boss Tweed

I find it difficult to think about the mess currently embroiling Anthony Weiner without also thinking about Virginia Johnson, who died this week at 88. She was one half of Masters and Johnson, the research and writing duo who opened up sex as a discussable topic.

Chion Wolf

You know who needs this show today?


I'm having a musically starved summer, at least in terms of modern recorded music. I've made it out to some live shows, but I really have no idea what's being released these days.

I can sum up my relation to music his summer in the following way: I was going to order the new Laura Marling CD, but I didn't. That's it. Meanwhile to force myself to do bicycle training runs every night, I've been playing an obscure 1978 Todd Rundgren song called "Determination." Sad, really.

Roundkids Photography on Flickr Creative Commons

The Nose Bids Farewell To James Gandolfini

Jun 21, 2013
Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

I'm one of those odd people who still gets physical newspapers thrown into his driveway.

On Monday, I was paging trough the New York Times and came upon Angelina Jolie's now-famous essay about her decision to have her breasts removed preventively, after learning of her high genetic risk factor for breast cancer. I had the odd sensation of looking at my laptop on a nearby table and knowing that, inside it, a massive cyber-conversation was unfolding.  

Wikimedia Commons

I'm one of those odd people who still gets physical newspapers thrown into his driveway.

On Monday, I was paging trough the New York Times and came upon Angelina Jolie's now-famous essay about her decision to have her breasts removed preventively, after learning of her high genetic risk factor for beast cancer. I had the odd sensation of looking at my laptop on a nearby table and knowing that, inside it, a massive cyber-conversation was unfolding.  

ArtsieAspie (Flickr Creative Commons)

Britain's Prince Harry capped his week-long trip to the U.S. by winning a charity polo match at a star-studded event in Connecticut.

 The prince's team won 4-3 after he scored a game-tying goal Wednesday afternoon at the Greenwich Polo Club.  Polo is a sport long associated with the British upper crust, but there are polo clubs playing matches right here in Connecticut.  Joining us by phone is Andrew Flint, a veterinarian, and a member of the Giant Valley Polo Club in Hamden.

Is Martha Stewart History?

Apr 5, 2013

With over thirty books published and millions of magazines devoured by fans eager to organize their homes, prepare delicious meals, and simply be crafty, Martha Stewart has become known as the most successful modern domestic advisor in the United States.  But domestic advice of the kind Stewart doles out in her television appearances, print, and internet publications is not something new.  Domestic advisors have long had a place in America’s kitchens and homes and have been providing women with guidance on how to manage their homes and cook appropriate meals for hundreds of years. 

Cheryl Tan

Artist, writer and experiemental philosopher Jonathon Keats explains his latest art project, Cloning Celebrity, which uses epigenetics to create "replicas" of President Obama, Lady Gaga, Michael Phelps, Oprah Winfrey, and Jennifer Lopez.

Leave your comments below, e-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.

Crown Archetype

Today's show started with the fact that Tony Danza was available and willing to talk to us. 

MTVLive, Wikimedia Commons

Every time I turned on my TV this week, there was a Tom Cruise movie playing. Are they able to do that? And by "that" I mean react so quickly to celebrity news that they can move somebody's back catalogue into the movie rotation of a cable channel. Maybe it was just a coincidence. Maybe if I knew more about what Scientology says about coincidences... Well, actually, I do.

Chion Wolf

(Before we go any further, this will explain why Pat Sajak is in Connecticut and, for that matter, on The Colin McEnroe Show.) Click on the audio to hear Pat Sajak and two of his friends talk about their lives, Hawaii Five-O and other pressing topics. 

Chris Ptacek (Chenoweth), Getty Images (Kony)

The Joseph Kony internet meme is racing across our hive mind with a speed and force almost unprecedented, at least for something serious. The video about the Ugandan opposition leaders seems to have had about 35 million views in one day. And the videos and its makers now have the support of Justin Bieber, Barack Obama, P. Diddy, Taylor Swift, Ryan Seacrest and Tim Tebow. So Joseph Kony, your days are numbered.

Flickr Creative Commons, DonkeyHotey

The national political media spend about a month trying to convince you that Iowa's caucuses are important. Now they're going to spend a week telling you why they don't matter.

On his blog PressThink, media critic Jay Rosen argued this week that: "The Iowa Caucuses are presented as a news event, a mini-election with an informational outcome, a winner. But what they really are is a ritual, the gathering of a professional tribe, which affirms itself and its place in our political system by staging this thing every four years."