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Thursday, we’re talking about one of the great classics of American theater, A Streetcar Named Desire. It was 70 years ago when Marlon Brando first played Stanley Kowalski on Broadway, but the themes of sexual violence, homophobia, addiction, and family strife still resonate today. A new production at Salt Lake City’s Grand Theatre opens this week, so we’re exploring Tennessee Williams’ masterpiece and how it’s become, as one guest puts it, enshrined in America’s psyche.

Wednesday, we’re talking about August Wilson, one of the great American playwrights … period. That doesn’t need the qualifier that he was a black playwright. But his plays were about the black experience in this country, and one of his masterpieces was Fences. Denzel Washington’s film version is now in theaters, and the stage version has just opened at Pioneer Theatre Company. We’re taking the opportunity to talk about the heart breaking beauty of August Wilson’s work.

Best Music of 2016

Dec 14, 2016
Sur Name, via Flickr/CC http://bit.ly/2huquIt, http://bit.ly/1mhaR6e

NPR music critic Bob Boilen says 2016 was a year of surprises—good and bad. It started in January with the unexpected release of a new David Bowie album. Two days later, Bowie was dead. That loss, and many others, was bookended by a terrific new record by Leonard Cohen, who then also passed away. Both are in Boilen’s list of the top 10 albums of 2016, which includes debutants, hidden gems, and another elder statesman. Boilen joins us Wednesday to talk about his picks for the best music of the year.

NPR’s Shankar Vedantam says that in some ways, human behavior is the ultimate frontier of science. After all, there’s a lot we don’t know about why behave the way we do. But if we can get a glimpse at the unconscious patterns that influence us, Vedantam argues we have the potential to make big changes in our lives and our world. Shankar Vedantam is host of the popular podcast Hidden Brain, and Tuesday, he joins us to explain how science and storytelling can improve the human experience.

Where does genius come from? Some people say geniuses are born, or that they’re made by thousands of hours of work. But what if genius is actually grown, like a plant? Travel writer Eric Weiner has scanned the globe and come to exactly that conclusion. He says genius arises in clumps at particular places and times when certain ingredients are present. Think Ancient Greece, 14th-century Florence, or modern-day Silicon Valley. Weiner joins us Wednesday to explain his theory of the geography of genius.

NPR's Melissa Block

Apr 8, 2016

Friday, we’re broadcasting a conversation we had with NPR’s Melissa Block when she was in Utah this past February. Block was of course co-host of NPR’s All Things Considered for some 12 years. Now she’s a special correspondent, and she’s been reporting on opioid addiction and she went to Belgium to cover the bombings for NPR there. There’s something Block brings to all her work that is a hallmark of a top-notch reporter: she’s a good listener.

Mike D vis CC/flickr, http://bit.ly/1ZlQch8

Tuesday, with Utahns headed to the caucuses to choose presidential nominees, we’re looking ahead to the national political conventions in July. That’s where the Democrats and Republicans will confirm their respective candidates. The national conventions are now seen mostly as coronation ceremonies, but in the past they featured quite a bit of drama and high-stakes competition. We’ll sift through the colorful history of the national political conventions and ask what we’re in store for later this year.

How Fashion Works

Mar 25, 2015

Longtime NPR correspondent Jacki Lyden has started a new project called The SEAMS. It’s an audio expedition of the fashion world and it explores how our clothes connect us to each other. To Lyden, everything we wear says something, whether we intend it to or not. She and fashion designer Simon Doonan join us Wednesday to discuss how fashion works and we hope to hear from you. What does your wardrobe say about you? What do you notice about other people’s clothes? And we can exempt ourselves from fashion?

Doug Fabrizio talks to Western journalists on their return from the devastation left behind by Hurricane Katrina. He's joined in studio by NPR's rural affairs correspondent Howard Berkes, and Tucson author Charles Bowden who is writing for GQ magazine.

New Music of 2014

Jul 9, 2014
Image by <a href="http://bit.ly/1jcJnhb">jiulliano</a>, CC via Flickr

Wednesday, Bob Boilen of NPR's All Songs Considered is our guest. He's joining us to talk about his favorite music of 2014 (so far). There are some names you may recognize, like Kishi Bashi, Beck and Jack White. There are also some new artists that may remind you of old artists (you can tell us if you hear Neil Young or ELO). He's even got a song in Portuguese (which you don't need to speak to understand.) And since it's summer, there may be a tune or two you'll want for your next road trip.

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