Jeff Lunden http://kcur.org en Met Opera Tentatively Settles With 2 Major Unions http://kcur.org/post/met-opera-tentatively-settles-2-major-unions A labor crisis threatening to shut down New York's Metropolitan Opera — the largest opera house in the world — appears to have been averted. Two of the major unions announced a tentative settlement this morning. While agreements with 10 additional unions need to be reached by Tuesday night, this represents a major turning point in a bitter dispute.<p>The Met's labor problems have played out, for the most part, in the press, with acrimonious statements from both management and unions substituting for actual bargaining sessions. Mon, 18 Aug 2014 22:32:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 60737 at http://kcur.org Met Opera Tentatively Settles With 2 Major Unions While Broadway Sings Its Praise, The Wigmaker Remains Unsung http://kcur.org/post/while-broadway-sings-its-praise-wigmaker-remains-unsung Every time you see a Broadway show, chances are a lot of the actors are wearing wigs.<p>Sunday night at the 68<sup>th</sup> Annual Tony Awards, Broadway's highest honors will be presented in a ceremony at Radio City Music Hall. Awards will go to actors, actresses, set and lighting designers, but <em>not</em> the people who make the wigs the stars wear, even though the wigs are an essential part of theater craft.<p>Essential, and yet often invisible, says Jason P. Sun, 08 Jun 2014 09:22:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 56997 at http://kcur.org While Broadway Sings Its Praise, The Wigmaker Remains Unsung Well Into Spring, 'Frozen' Soundtrack Keeps The Charts Cool http://kcur.org/post/well-spring-frozen-soundtrack-keeps-charts-cool Disney's animated film <em>Frozen</em> has been racking up impressive statistics since it was released last November. Its box office earnings total $1 billion, worldwide, the movie won two Academy Awards, and on the first day the home video came out, it sold 3.2 million copies. Fri, 09 May 2014 07:56:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 55457 at http://kcur.org Well Into Spring, 'Frozen' Soundtrack Keeps The Charts Cool 'After Midnight,' And The Cotton Club Is Swinging Again http://kcur.org/post/after-midnight-and-cotton-club-swinging-again <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-qEZ9zeIJw</p> Mon, 03 Feb 2014 08:30:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 50667 at http://kcur.org 'After Midnight,' And The Cotton Club Is Swinging Again Broadway's 'Spider-Man' Musical Turns Off The Lights At Last http://kcur.org/post/broadways-spider-man-musical-turns-lights-last Regardless of how critics and audiences eventually responded, <em>Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark</em> was always going to be one of the most-discussed shows in Broadway history. Fri, 03 Jan 2014 08:26:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 49204 at http://kcur.org Broadway's 'Spider-Man' Musical Turns Off The Lights At Last New Owner Promises Handmade Steinways For Years To Come http://kcur.org/post/new-owner-promises-hand-made-steinways-years-come For 160 years, the pianos made by Steinway & Sons have been considered the finest in the world. So when hedge fund billionaire John Paulson recently bought the company, it struck fear in the hearts of musicians: Would the famously handcrafted pianos be changed, for the sake of efficiency? Paulson, who owns several Steinways himself, says nothing will change.<p>Great pianists need great pianos. Tue, 17 Dec 2013 09:34:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 48456 at http://kcur.org New Owner Promises Handmade Steinways For Years To Come Chronicle Of A Death Foretold: New York City Opera Shuts Its Doors http://kcur.org/post/chronicle-death-foretold-new-york-city-opera-shuts-its-doors This morning the New York City Opera announced that it was declaring bankruptcy and ceasing operations. Dubbed "The People's Opera" by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia when it was founded 70 years ago, the company was meant as an alternative to the richer Metropolitan Opera. Tue, 01 Oct 2013 21:59:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 44539 at http://kcur.org Chronicle Of A Death Foretold: New York City Opera Shuts Its Doors An American Masterpiece, And A 'Menagerie' Of Stars http://kcur.org/post/american-masterpiece-and-menagerie-stars Pop-culture aficionadoes will know Zachary Quinto as Spock in the cinematic reboot of <em>Star Trek</em>, and Cherry Jones as President Taylor from television's <em>24</em>.<p>But both are accomplished stage actors as well. And tonight, they're opening on Broadway, in a revival of Tennessee Williams' classic play <em>The Glass Menagerie</em>.<p>When the audience enters the Booth Theater, they see a simple, but striking vision. Thu, 26 Sep 2013 20:40:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 44268 at http://kcur.org An American Masterpiece, And A 'Menagerie' Of Stars 'Love's Labours,' Tuned Up And Playing In The Park http://kcur.org/post/loves-labours-tuned-and-playing-park A few years ago, after songwriter Michael Friedman and writer-director Alex Timbers had finished working on their cheeky historical musical <em>Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson</em>, they decided to look for a new project to work on. Friedman says they wanted the next show to have a completely different feel.<p>"So we started looking at Shakespeare," Friedman says. Tue, 23 Jul 2013 21:34:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 40724 at http://kcur.org 'Love's Labours,' Tuned Up And Playing In The Park Audra McDonald, A Broadway Star Gone Roaming, Comes Home http://kcur.org/post/audra-mcdonald-broadway-star-gone-roaming-comes-home In the seven years since her last album, <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15396807" target="_blank">Audra McDonald</a> has kept busy. She spent several years in Hollywood, filming the television series <em>Private Practice</em>. She's gotten divorced and remarried, absorbed the shock of losing her father in a plane crash and watched her daughter, Zoe, grow up from a kindergartener to a middle-schooler.<p>Last year, McDonald returned to New York, starred in <em>Porgy and Bess</em> and won a fifth Tony Award. Sat, 18 May 2013 06:03:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 36977 at http://kcur.org Audra McDonald, A Broadway Star Gone Roaming, Comes Home 'Matilda' Brings Beloved Book To Broadway http://kcur.org/post/matilda-brings-beloved-book-broadway <em>Matilda</em> is a well-loved book by Roald Dahl, who's been called the greatest children's storyteller of the 20th century. It's about a much-put-upon little girl with tremendous gifts. Thu, 11 Apr 2013 18:32:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 34929 at http://kcur.org 'Matilda' Brings Beloved Book To Broadway On Broadway, Old Shows And New Tricks http://kcur.org/post/broadway-old-shows-and-new-tricks When I was a teenager falling in love with the theater, I picked up a book called <em>Broadway's Greatest Musicals</em>. The sole criterion for inclusion was that a show run for at least 500 performances, which translates to about a year and a quarter.<p>How quaint.<p>I was thinking about that when I attended the 25th-anniversary performance of <em>The Phantom of the Opera,</em> now ranked as Broadway's longest-running musical ever. Sat, 06 Apr 2013 08:33:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 34668 at http://kcur.org On Broadway, Old Shows And New Tricks Nora Ephron's 'Lucky Guy' And Tom Hanks Make Their Broadway Debuts http://kcur.org/post/tom-hanks-and-nora-ephrons-lucky-guy-make-their-broadway-debuts Several years ago, when Nora Ephron handed Tom Hanks an early draft of <em>Lucky Guy</em>, her play about tabloid journalist Mike McAlary, he had a pretty strong reaction.<p>"I said, 'Well, that guy's sure a jerk!' I used another word besides jerk — I know what you can say on NPR," he says. "And she laughed and she said, 'Well, he kinda was. Mon, 01 Apr 2013 21:25:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 34421 at http://kcur.org Nora Ephron's 'Lucky Guy' And Tom Hanks Make Their Broadway Debuts For This Pair Of Clowns, 'Old Hats' Means New Laughs http://kcur.org/post/pair-clowns-old-hats-mean-new-laughs Twenty years ago, theatrical clowns Bill Irwin and David Shiner collaborated on a Broadway show called <em>Fool Moon</em> — a giddy mixture of slapstick, improv and audience participation that proved such a success that it came back to Broadway for two more runs and toured both the U.S. and Europe. Tue, 05 Mar 2013 23:07:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 33004 at http://kcur.org For This Pair Of Clowns, 'Old Hats' Means New Laughs Grand Central, A Cathedral For Commuters, Celebrates 100 http://kcur.org/post/grand-central-cathedral-commuters-celebrates-100 Friday marks the day that 100 years ago, Grand Central Terminal opened its doors for business for the very first time. The largest railroad terminal in the world, the magnificent Beaux-Arts building is in the heart of New York City on 42nd St. Fri, 01 Feb 2013 08:40:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 31267 at http://kcur.org The Composer Who Tested Fighter Planes And Partied With Sinatra http://kcur.org/post/composer-who-tested-fighter-planes-and-partied-sinatra <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTUKHMlbYGA</p> Sat, 26 Jan 2013 07:03:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 30978 at http://kcur.org The Composer Who Tested Fighter Planes And Partied With Sinatra A Vet's Haunted Homecoming In 'Water By The Spoonful' http://kcur.org/post/vets-haunted-homecoming-water-spoonful The cliche about writers is they should write what they know, and that old saw has certainly worked for Quiara Alegria Hudes. The 35-year-old playwright has mined her Puerto Rican family's stories into a series of plays, a musical and even a children's book. Tue, 08 Jan 2013 08:47:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 30075 at http://kcur.org A Vet's Haunted Homecoming In 'Water By The Spoonful' The Peony Pavilion: A Vivid Dream In A Garden http://kcur.org/post/peony-pavilion-vivid-dream-garden <em>The Peony Pavilion</em> is one of China's most famous operas, but uncut performances of this romantic 16th century work can take more than 22 hours. Chinese composer <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15167564/tan-dun" target="_blank">Tan Dun</a>, who's best known for his Academy Award-winning score for the film <em>Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon</em>, has adapted the work into a compact 75 minutes. Fri, 30 Nov 2012 09:03:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 28320 at http://kcur.org The Peony Pavilion: A Vivid Dream In A Garden John Williams' Inevitable Themes http://kcur.org/post/john-williams-inevitable-themes For more than 50 years, <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15003640/john-williams-composer" target="_blank">John Williams</a>' music has taken us to <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JG5OsfOuEy0" target="_blank">galaxies far, far away</a> through adventures <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bTpp8PQSog" target="_blank">here on earth</a>, made us feel <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O15x-B8PgeE" target="_blank">giddy joy</a> and occasionally <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvCI-gNK_y4" target="_blank">scared us to death</a>.<p>He might be the most recognized contemp Sat, 10 Nov 2012 05:00:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 27391 at http://kcur.org John Williams' Inevitable Themes Philadelphia Orchestra Reboots With New Music Director http://kcur.org/post/philadelphia-orchestra-reboots-new-music-director Everywhere you look right now, it seems like American symphony orchestras are fighting for their lives — strikes, lockouts, bankruptcy. Perhaps the biggest example is the world-renowned <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/16021984/philadelphia-orchestra" target="_blank">Philadelphia Orchestra</a>, which is just coming out of its own bankruptcy. Tonight, its new 37-year-old music director takes the podium as the venerable orchestra begins a reboot.<p>The Philadelphia Orchestra has been one of the world's greatest orchestras since it was founded in 1900. Thu, 18 Oct 2012 06:03:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 26173 at http://kcur.org Philadelphia Orchestra Reboots With New Music Director During Lockout Season, Orchestra Musicians Grapple With Their Future http://kcur.org/post/during-lockout-season-orchestra-musicians-grapple-their-future It's been a tumultuous time for American orchestras. Labor disputes have shut down the Minnesota Orchestra and Indianapolis Symphony, and strikes and lockouts have affected orchestras in Chicago, Atlanta and Louisville in the past year.<p>Whether Mozart is on the bill or Mahler, it's an expensive proposition to present a symphony orchestra. To do the music justice, you need between 80 and 100 musicians to play it, and their salaries and health care benefits make up most of an orchestra's budget. Wed, 10 Oct 2012 20:06:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 25797 at http://kcur.org During Lockout Season, Orchestra Musicians Grapple With Their Future Shorts Inspire Music In 'Sounding Beckett' Trilogy http://kcur.org/post/shorts-inspire-music-sounding-beckett-trilogy It all began last year, when the Library of Congress presented Samuel Beckett's <em>Ohio Impromptu</em> alongside a piece of music by composer Dina Koston, which responded to the text. A New York group, the Cygnus Ensemble, played the music, while Washington, D.C., director Joy Zinoman staged the play, for one night only.<p>"And when it was over, Bill Anderson, the head of the Cygnus Ensemble, said to me, 'Might you be interested in taking this to New York?' " Zinoman recalls. "And I said, 'An 11-minute play in New York? Tue, 18 Sep 2012 19:33:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 24696 at http://kcur.org Shorts Inspire Music In 'Sounding Beckett' Trilogy Gathering Of The Viols: The 50th Annual Viola Da Gamba Conclave http://kcur.org/post/gathering-viols-50th-annual-viola-da-gamba-conclave Viola da gamba players are a special breed — a tiny subset in the already small world of early classical music. They rarely meet their own kind, but once a year they come together for a week in July at an annual jam session they call a conclave. Wendy Gillespie, who just finished her term as president of the <a href="http://vdgsa.org/" target="_blank">Viola da Gamba Society of America</a>, says attending the event is the highlight of her year.<p>"You meet your fellow Martians," Gillespie says. Sat, 04 Aug 2012 10:39:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 22167 at http://kcur.org Gathering Of The Viols: The 50th Annual Viola Da Gamba Conclave 'Oklahoma!' Actress Celeste Holm Dies At 95 http://kcur.org/post/oklahoma-actress-celeste-holm-dies-95 Academy Award-winning actress Celeste Holm has died. A star on both stage and screen, Holm was best known for roles in <em>Gentleman's Agreement</em>, <em>All About Eve</em> and <em>Oklahoma!</em> She was 95.<p>Holm died early Sunday morning in her Manhattan apartment with her husband, family and close friends by her side. Sun, 15 Jul 2012 17:47:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 21062 at http://kcur.org Tanglewood: Celebrating Beethoven In The Backwoods For 75 Years http://kcur.org/post/tanglewood-celebrating-beethoven-backwoods-75-years It now seems like a natural rite of summer — open-air classical music festivals where audiences can hear great music while picnicking under the stars. But 75 years ago, when the Boston Symphony first performed on a former estate called Tanglewood in the Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts, it was a novel idea.<p>When Serge Koussevitzy, the Russian-born conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, opened Tanglewood in 1937, he chose an all-Beethoven program, including the "Pastoral" Symphony. Sat, 14 Jul 2012 06:03:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 21019 at http://kcur.org Tanglewood: Celebrating Beethoven In The Backwoods For 75 Years Young Musicians Leave Nest For New Opportunities http://kcur.org/post/after-two-years-gifted-classical-students-leave-nest The odds of making it in the classical music business are long, but <a href="http://www.npr.org/2011/01/02/132491657/the-academy-rounding-out-todays-classical-musicians" target="_blank">for the past two years</a>, 25-year-old viola player Nathan Schram has received a stipend, health insurance, lots of amazing performance opportunities and a real-world education teaching violin students at an inner-city elementary school in Brooklyn. Now, Schram and his colleagues have to say goodbye to The Academy.<p>"It's kind of like getting booted out of your parents' house," Schram says. Fri, 29 Jun 2012 20:54:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 20293 at http://kcur.org Young Musicians Leave Nest For New Opportunities A (Very) Young Composer Gets His Chance At The New York Philharmonic http://kcur.org/post/very-young-composer-gets-his-chance-new-york-philharmonic What would it be like if you were 10 years old and composed a piece of music that was played by the New York Philharmonic? For a few New York City school kids, including one fifth-grader, it's a dream come true, thanks to the orchestra's Very Young Composers program.<p>Composer Jon Deak, who played bass with the New York Philharmonic for more than 40 years, says the idea for Very Young Composers came when he and conductor Marin Alsop visited an elementary school in Brooklyn several years ago.<p>"As we were going in, I saw all the children's art on the walls, which was so superior," Deak says. Sat, 02 Jun 2012 06:03:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 18698 at http://kcur.org A (Very) Young Composer Gets His Chance At The New York Philharmonic Managing The Gershwins' Lucrative Musical Legacy http://kcur.org/post/managing-gershwins-lucrative-musical-legacy In the 1920s, it wasn't uncommon for the Gershwin Brothers — composer George and lyricist Ira — to have two shows running on Broadway at the same time. Fri, 27 Apr 2012 06:41:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 16673 at http://kcur.org Managing The Gershwins' Lucrative Musical Legacy London Smash 'Two Guvnors' Comes To Broadway http://kcur.org/post/london-smash-two-guvnors-comes-broadway If you weren't a college theater major, you can be forgiven for not knowing much about commedia dell'arte, the 500-year-old theatrical tradition that Carlo Goldoni used for his comedy <em>The Servant of Two Masters</em> in 1743. Contemporary playwright Richard Bean has adapted that play into the decidedly British laugh riot <em>One Man, Two Guvnors --</em> and he says all you really need to know about commedia is ... well, it's funny.<p>"Commedia dell'arte," Bean says, "is very physical comedy, and there's a lot of clowning in it. ... You won't find much irony in this play. Wed, 18 Apr 2012 20:12:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 16183 at http://kcur.org London Smash 'Two Guvnors' Comes To Broadway A Fruitful Collaboration Still Yielding Broadway Hits http://kcur.org/post/fruitful-collaboration-still-yielding-broadway-hits <strong></strong>Since they made their debut in 1971, it's been rare for Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice to not have a show on Broadway. But now they're ramping it up, with the opening of <em>Evita</em> following fast on the heels of <em>Jesus Christ Superstar</em>.<p>"It's actually just a coincidence as far as I can tell, because the two shows came from totally different sources," Rice says. Thu, 05 Apr 2012 07:27:00 +0000 Jeff Lunden 15452 at http://kcur.org A Fruitful Collaboration Still Yielding Broadway Hits