entertainment

Performing Arts
11:40 am
Sun July 20, 2014

At Monty Python Reunion Show, The Circus Makes One Last Flight

Michael Palin, left, and Terry Gilliam perform on the opening night of Monty Python Live (Mostly). The final performance of the reunion show, on Sunday, will be live-streamed at theaters around the world.
Dave J Hogan Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 12:08 pm

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Television
10:30 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Television Critics Give Big Awards To 'Breaking Bad,' 'Orange Is The New Black'

Bryan Cranston as Walter White on AMC's Breaking Bad.
Frank Ockenfels AMC

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 9:22 pm

The Television Critics Association is a funny animal. Its challenge, as well as its strength, is that it includes people with massively different jobs: longtime print critics (both nationally and locally oriented) who have been coming to the annual press tour for decades, reporters who cover the television industry, cultural critics whose beats extend past television, online writers who specialize in weekly criticism — this is a lot of people who quite reasonably look at television differently.

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Comic Con
6:18 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

As Superheroes Go Mainstream, Comic Cons Get Corporate

Anna Swope, dressed as a stormtrooper from Star Wars, and her husband Stephen Goss, dressed as the films' Boba Fett, wait to use an ATM while attending the Fan Expo convention in Vancouver, B.C.
Darryl Dyck AP

Darren Tompkins attended his first comic convention (or comic con) in Roanoke, Va., back in the mid-1980s. At the time, these gatherings were only for die-hard comic fans — people who might invest in a Batman or Joker costume to wear once a year.

"Really, it was just a small ballroom filled with cardboard boxes," Tompkins says. "I mean, there weren't any actors or famous people or panels or anything. It was just a place for comic book dealers to get together and sell their wares."

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:29 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

The Nose Ran Off The Tracks

Credit obnoxious and anonymous / Flickr Creative Commons

We've never done this before but last night the three Nose panelists and I gathered at my house so we could all watch Snowpiercer, a sci-fi summer action movie with a brain. Snowpiercer is a meditation on leadership, climate change and socioeconomic inequality and it manages to tackle all of those topics without skimping on the bloody axe fights. It's based on a French graphic novel and it stars the actor who played Captain America in two movies and we're going to spend a lot of time today in that universe.

What with the death of Archie and the news that the new movie Captain America will have a black actor and the new Thor will be a woman. Also, on our topic list will be the viral audio of a guy trying to cancel his cable subscription against spirited resistance from a comcast rep on the other end. 

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Comics
11:42 am
Thu July 17, 2014

After Thor, Marvel Announces Big Change To Captain America

Sam Wilson, the new Captain America.
Marvel

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 11:55 am

Sam Wilson will carry Captain America's shield.

It's the second major announcement from comics publisher Marvel, which also said this week that the new Thor will be female.

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Comics
2:06 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Odin's Beard! Marvel Announces A New Thor — And She's A Woman

The new Thor.
Marvel

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 2:47 pm

The Mighty Thor, the Son of Odin, the God of Thunder, the comic book god with the hammer is a woman.

Not quite — but here's the tweet announcing the new Thor:

"No longer is the classic Thunder God able to hold the mighty hammer, Mjölnir, and a brand new female hero will emerge worthy of the name THOR," Marvel said in a statement.

The new Thor will be written by Jason Aaron with art by Russell Dauterman.

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Emmy Nominations
11:56 am
Thu July 10, 2014

HBO And 'Game Of Thrones' Haul In The Most Emmy Nominations

The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards nominations were unveiled Thursday by Mindy Kaling and Carson Daly. Big winners included HBO, for Game of Thrones, and Netflix, for Orange Is the New Black.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 12:06 pm

Cable network HBO has received 99 nominations for the 2014 Emmy Awards, running its streak as the network with the most Emmy nods to 14 years. HBO's Game of Thrones got 19 nominations, one ahead of the FX miniseries Fargo.

NPR's Neda Ulaby reports for our Newscast unit:

"HBO also got nominated for its movie The Normal Heart, for its drama True Detective and, in a surprise, for its comedy Silicon Valley.

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Bluegrass Music
8:10 am
Thu July 10, 2014

The Rosenthals Bring Their Bluegrass Fusion to the Elm City

Jazz trumpeter Daniel Rosenthal and his father, roots-music master Phil Rosenthal.
David Leifer The Rosenthals

Roots-music master Phil Rosenthal and his son, jazz trumpeter Daniel Rosenthal, gave a unique concert on Wednesday night in New Haven.

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Musical Theatre
6:21 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Curtain Up: “Gypsy” Opens at the Connecticut Repertory Theatre

Leslie Uggams as Rose in a production of "Gypsy" at the Connecticut Repertory Theatre.

Tony and Emmy award-winning actress Leslie Uggams stars as Rose in a production of "Gypsy" opening Thursday night at the Connecticut Repertory Theatre, the professional producing arm of the drama department at the University of Connecticut. 

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Light and Sound
5:48 am
Sat July 5, 2014

The Art of Fireworks Displays

Fireworks by Grucci at the Sir Sidney Poitier bridge renaming ceremony
Fireworks by Grucci

Wet weather in the forecast prompted some Connecticut towns to postpone their fireworks displays. Among them is the town of Westport, which moved its event to July 7.

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The Faith Middleton Show
11:06 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Fun Things to Do This Summer

Credit JacobRuff/flickr creative commons

Our region has exploded with fun things to see and do, from new happenings to traditional events. Feed your mind and body by checking out the Connecticut Tourism Guide. Your local newspaper will have lots of activities listed. And so will the wall at your local supermarket, library and post office.  Get out and enjoy; it will your vacation state of mind.

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Student Work
12:00 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Teens Savor Hartford Comic Con, "a Divine Experience"

The Joker at Hartford Comic Con.
Joshua Gaestel CPBN Learning Lab

Students from the Journalism and Media Academy Magnet School Satellite Campus at the CPBN Learning Lab in Hartford had a chance to visit Comic Con in the capital city recently. One described it as a "divine experience."

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Tough Jobs
11:54 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Listen: My Job is to Make People Cry

Bruno Passigatti/iStock Thinkstock

Have you wondered what work is like for the producer of a reality television show? Rebecca Hertz, based in Los Angeles, has worked on a number of shows, and to hear her describe it, sometimes the job is pretty harrowing.

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Code Switch
11:11 am
Fri June 27, 2014

The Elusive Dave Chappelle Re-Emerges, But For How Long?

Chappelle alluded to his decision to walk away from his hit Comedy Central show only obliquely.
Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 28, 2014 10:50 am

Just before Dave Chappelle took the stage Monday as part of a sold-out series of shows at Radio City Music Hall, a song featuring a loop of LL Cool J's famous opening line from "Mama Said Knock You Out" blasted over the sound system.

Don't call it a comeback!

You could take it as a suggestion that Chappelle had never really gone anywhere. Or you could read it as a coy reminder that none of us should get too comfortable, because Chappelle might bounce again at any moment.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:56 am
Thu June 26, 2014

The Evolution of Game Shows

Credit Clement B. / Creative Commons

What's become of game shows in America? Since their television debut in 1938 we've seen everything from microwave ovens to million dollar payouts awarded to lucky contestants. Now, in a television culture increasingly captivated by reality T.V., we see traditional game shows being crowded out by reality competition shows at an alarming rate. What will become of the time-honored genre? Are we witnessing the end of an era or will a new generation of Trebeks and Sajaks emerge to save the day?

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Television
3:22 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Texas Politics To Be Lone Star Of New HBO Series

A large Texas flag is carried up Congress Avenue toward the Texas Capitol during the annual Boy Scouts Parade and Report to State in Austin in February 2013.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 3:54 pm

Between Rick Perry, Ted Cruz and Wendy Davis, Texas politicians in recent years have lived up to their state's reputation for producing larger-than-life characters.

That makes the Texas political scene a natural for the Hollywood treatment.

HBO has given God Save Texas, a drama about the state's often raucous political culture, the green light for development. It's set to unfold at the Texas statehouse, a perennial flashpoint for national debates about issues ranging from abortion to gun rights to the size and role of government.

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Hip Hop Classic
3:15 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Listen to a Beatboxer Explain How He Jams With the Hartford Symphony Orchestra

linda369369 YouTube

Beatboxer Shodekeh has the skills to improvise along with a symphony. How does he do it?

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Theater
2:26 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Hartford Stage Closes 50th Anniversary Season with 2013 Tony Award Winner

The cast of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. (from l. to r.) David Gregory (Spike), Andrea Lynn Green (Nina), Mark Nelson (Vanya), Leslie Hendrix (Masha) and Caryn West (Sonia).
T. Charles Erickson Hartford Stage

You might say Hartford Stage has Tony fever. Not only did the musical "A Gentlemen's Guide To Love and Murder," which was developed and produced by Hartford Stage, win big at last Sunday's Tony Awards, but also the 2013 Tony winner for best play is currently running at the theater. 

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Light and Dance
11:49 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Multi-Media Spectacle Inside Stony Creek Quarry

The quarry, prepared for this year's "Terra Tractus."
Terra Tractus

A multi-media spectacle of light, music, theater and dance begins performances next week inside the Stony Creek quarry along Connecticut’s shoreline. 

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:53 am
Mon June 9, 2014

An Epic, Multimedia Outdoor Spectacle: Terra Tractus 2014

Terra Mirabila 2005 Earth Cooling

An epic meditation, multimedia outdoor spectacle with lasers, dance, drums, music, sculpture, water, fire, science, technology, climbers, shadows, and projections: Witness the geological, climatic anthropological history of the Stony Creek Quarry as it evolves through ancient history to our projected future. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Jerry Adler and Richard Kline Let The Sunshine In

Jerry Adler is a theatre director, production supervisor, and a television and film actor, well-known for his role as "Hesh" on The Sopranos.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Richard Klein and Jerry Adler are veteran actors and directors on stage, television, and film. You might know Klein as Dallas on Three's Company, and Adler as "Hesh" on The Sopranos. On this show, they'll visit the WNPR studios to tell their stories, and reminisce with Colin about his years as Ed the Handyman on Charles In Charge.

That's not true, Colin wasn't in Charles In Charge, but we'll explore the nuances of theater acting, the history of their time on television, and get a sneak peek at their latest work together, "The Sunshine Boys" at the Jorgensen Theater at UConn.

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Who you gonna call?
3:41 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

The Connecticut Ghostbusters Inspect WNPR

Connecticut Ghostbusters represent.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Before Wednesday's Colin McEnroe Show on Comic Con culture, we invited our guests, the Connecticut Ghostbusters John Kantor and Eric Gunther, to take a tour of the 6th floor offices at Connecticut Public Broadcasting.

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Sports Media
1:17 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

ESPN Opens New Digital Center In Bristol

ESPN's Bristol campus.
ESPN

Sports media giant ESPN has opened its new digital media center on its Bristol campus.

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Television
3:19 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Louis C.K. On His 'Louie' Hiatus: 'I Wanted The Show To Feel New Again'

In Louie, Louis C.K. plays a comic who finds comedy in uncomfortable, touchy topics.
K.C. Bailey FX

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 2:59 pm

Louis C.K. is now commonly acknowledged as one of the greatest comics of his generation. His celebrated FX series, Louie, started its fourth season a couple weeks ago, after a 19-month hiatus.

Louis C.K. created, writes, directs and stars in the series as a standup comic named Louie, who, like Louis C.K., is the divorced father of two young girls and shares custody with their mother. Last year, Louis C.K. also had prominent roles in two films: Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine and David O. Russell's American Hustle.

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Television
2:05 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

This Fall, TV Looks Much More Diverse: Now Don't Screw It Up

ABC's How To Get Away With Murder stars Oscar nominee Viola Davis.
Craig Sjodin ABC

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 1:13 pm

For those of us who have spent time arguing for increased ethnic and cultural diversity on television, the last seven days have felt like a fantasy fever dream.

This week, the big broadcast networks announced their schedules for the 2014-15 TV season during the industry's "upfront" presentations to advertisers. And there are 10 new series featuring non-white characters and/or show creators – numbers we haven't seen since the days when everybody was trying to clone The Cosby Show.

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Spotlight on the Arts
4:18 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Goodspeed's Fan Friendly "Damn Yankees"

Lora Lee Gayer and cast perform "Shoeless Joe from Hannibal, MO" from "Damn Yankees."
Diane Sobolewski

You could make the case that America’s obsession with sports really took hold thanks to baseball in the 1950s. When Broadway producer/director/writer George Abbott turned to "Damn Yankees" as his next musical in 1955, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

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Reviving a Theater
9:58 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Shakespeare Theater in Stratford Looking For New Management

Katharine Hepburn and Alfred Drake in front of the theater in 1957.
Town of Stratford

If you want to manage a once-popular theater that has hosted stars like Katharine Hepburn and James Earl Jones, the town of Stratford wants to hear from you.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:34 am
Mon May 12, 2014

NPR's Eric Deggans on the Changing Face of Television

Credit Rodrigo Carvalho / Flickr Creative Commons

We start today's show with Eric Deggans, NPR's first full-time TV critic. Eric and I have talked before about the issue of diversity in late night comedy programming and lo and behold, the very intriguing Larry Wilmore has been given his own show. So, we talk about that but Eric's main focus right now is a kind of television agrarian ritual, the unveiling of this year's crop of network shows, most of them to be harvested in the fall. A short description if you've been missing Matthew Perry, Patricia Arquette, Scott Bakula, Tea Leone and Katherine McPhee, just watch CBS.

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Code Switch
10:43 am
Sat May 10, 2014

Breaking Things Up: 'Senior Black Correspondent' Gets Colbert Slot

Larry Wilmore accepts the best talk show award for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart at the Critics' Choice Television Awards in June 2013.
Frank Micelotta Invision/AP

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 10:43 pm

It's not often the gods of TV hand you almost exactly what you ask for.

So it's time to praise Comedy Central for trying something different in late night, handing Stephen Colbert's time slot to the guy who plays The Daily Show's "senior black correspondent," Larry Wilmore.

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Television
12:45 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Jack Bauer Is Back, But One Woman Has His Number

Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) is back in Fox's 24: Live Another Day.
Christopher Raphael Fox

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 4:36 pm

Let's get one thing straight right away: Fox's new version of 24 references all sorts of newfangled ideas about politics, espionage and terrorism — from the use of drones to kill America's enemies to efforts by hackers in the Edward Snowden mold to expose governments' illegal acts.

But the heart of Fox's slimmed-down 24: Live Another Day is the same as it's always been: a principled, misunderstood Jack Bauer letting no rule book, villain or clueless bureaucrat stop him from doing what must be done for the greater good.

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