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A scholarly look at why men in classical art are so slightly endowed, plus how a writer thinks about her day job as a respiratory therapist and holiday fiction from Kurt Andersen.
My Fair LyricistLyricist Alan Jay Lerner’s centennial, and more theater magic with impresario Jack Viertel and Sweat in the Rust Belt.
American Tricons: Harley, Hendrix, and O’KeeffeAmerica’s love affair with a motorcycle, plus Georgia O’Keeffe’s Southwestern masterpieces and how Jimi Hendrix summed up the Vietnam War with a single guitar solo.
Done and DonerThe art of finishing—how creative people get unstuck and creative projects get back on course.
Scents and SensibilitiesHow a perfumer concocts a scent from Toni Morrison’s Beloved, the mysterious betrayal at the heart of the documentary Shirkers, and making sense of “American Pie.”
Day Jobs: Respiratory TherapistStacey Rose is a playwright, screenwriter, director, producer, and … respiratory therapist.
Mind the Generation GapMillennials and boomers do battle in Boomer1, learning to love Lawrence Welk, and Argentine experimental musician Juana Molina performs live.
HawkishEthan Hawke embraces the aging process, the enduring power of Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks,” and the genre-defying music of Balún.
A Room With a ViewfinderLiz Diller on her favorite use of architecture in film, a Richard Pryor classic album turns 40, and a noteworthy summer for black cinema.
The Remarkable Bounce of BlindspottingPoet Maya Phillips talks about how rap elevates this modern dramedy about race, friendship, and a rapidly gentrifying Oakland.
Walden PonderedHow Walden holds up, “I Will Survive” at 40, and Leonard Bernstein’s concerts for children.
Everyone’s a ComedianKen Jennings on the history—and ubiquity—of comedy, Picasso in Mira T. Lee’s new novel, and a performance by Roomful of Teeth.
Aha Moment: An Odd Path to PlathWhere a troubled teen discovered Sylvia Plath: in a Charlie Sheen TV movie.
Settlers, UnsettledA haunting opera about Homestead Act settlers, plus new leads in the Gardner Museum heist, a “White Album” obsessive, and a Buffalo Tom member’s day job in the leafy suburbs.
The Deal of the ArtNathaniel Kahn’s documentary about the art market, plus the making of a Talking Heads masterpiece and Kenneth Lonergan on writing plays and movies.
Home, Sweat, HomeHow Sweat, the Pulitzer Prize–winning labor drama by Lynn Nottage, made the jump from Broadway glitz to blue-collar communities.
Pure SpeculationThe many aspects of speculative fiction—sci-fi, fantasy, horror, alternate history, and everything else otherworldly.
All Most FamousTheresa Rebeck on Sarah Bernhardt, Justine Bateman on fame waxing and waning, and a pirate radio station that got too famous for the FCC.
Inside the National Recording Registry: “American Pie”The song where everyone knows the words, but few know what those words mean.
Pacific North-BestThe golden age of grunge—and moving beyond dumb grunge clichés—in the Pacific Northwest.
Apocalypse, WowHow Ann Dowd makes her dystopian character on The Handmaid’s Tale, Aunt Lydia, more believable, and how hippies in the late ’60s started obsessing over doomsday.
The Golden Age of Anonymous MusicThe curious world of vintage stock-music libraries, a groundbreaking radio thriller, and America’s most prestigious movie theater—the White House.
Happy Bernstein to You!As conductor of the New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein changed the way audiences understood classical music.
Whee!The art of children at play: playground design, imaginary friends, and the unlikely histories of Barbie and the Frisbee.