Studio 360 with Kurt AndersenAuthor: PRI
22 Feb 2019

Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen

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The Peabody Award-winning Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen, from PRI, is a smart and surprising guide to what's happening in pop culture and the arts. Each week, Kurt introduces the people who are creating and shaping our culture. Life is busy – so let Studio 360 steer you to the must-see movie this weekend, the next book for your nightstand, or the song that will change your life. Produced in association with Slate.

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    The Oscar hour

    The annual Oscar hour. Kurt Andersen starts it off with his takeaway from this year’s crop of nominees: some actors delivered great performances in films that overall were not so great. Then Kurt talks with Richard E. Grant about his nomination for "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" and some of his other memorable roles, including in “Withnail & I.” Finally, the invaluable yet seldom acknowledged job of a movement director, namely Polly Bennett, who helped Rami Malek embody Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

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  • Posted on 21 Feb 2019

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    The Crack Monster: The Mystery Behind Sesame Street’s Creepiest Cartoon

    In the mid-1970s, Jon Armond was traumatized by something he saw on Sesame Street. It was a cartoon about a little girl who encounters creatures formed by the cracks on her bedroom wall — including a horrifying, screaming face who called himself “The Crack Master.”
    Decades later, Armond wasn’t sure if the cartoon actually existed… until he discovered a subculture of obsessives who remembered the exact same thing. Armond details the bizarre rabbit hole he fell into trying to track it down. Plus, Sesame Street Executive Producer Ben Lehmann talks about the cartoon’s disappearance and uncovers some of its elusive mysteries.

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  • Posted on 19 Feb 2019

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    Sex seen

    As Cupid takes aim this week, a look at how sex and sexuality are handled — and mishandled — on-screen. Kurt Andersen speaks with Slate’s Jeffrey Bloomer on depictions of first-time sex. Intimacy-scene consultant Alicia Rodis describes how she helps actors who are virtual strangers seem like they are deeply and lustilly in love during sex scenes. Desiree Akhavan’s show “The Bisexual” takes on what she sees as an anti-bisexual bias, a bias she demonstrates with clips from shows including “Sex and the City” and “Orange is the New Black.” Plus a look back at how “Reality Bites,”which hit theaters 25 years ago this week, helped channel the Gen X zeitgeist.

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  • Posted on 14 Feb 2019

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    Honky tonk angels

    An hour on country music: past, present and future. Nashville-based music reporter Jewly Hight gives Kurt an update on how women artists in country music are forging new paths in an industry that’s become unwelcoming. Dolly Parton reflects on her long career. Willie Nelson shares an Aha Moment about the song that changed his life. And the incomparable Dwight Yoakam performs live in studio.

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  • Posted on 07 Feb 2019

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    Behind the Curtain at Autism-Friendly Broadway Shows

    In 2015, an autistic boy disrupted a performance of The King & I on Broadway, reacting loudly to a scene where a slave is whipped. He and his mother were asked to leave the theater.
    After the performance, one of the actors from the ensemble posted a reaction to the incident on Facebook. He wrote: “When did we as theater people, performers and audience members become so concerned with our own experience that we lose compassion for others?”
    The Facebook post went viral.
    What’s interesting is that Broadway was kind of responding the King & I incident even before it happened. Theater leaders were working to create a safe environment for families with autistic children — a place to enjoy art free of discrimination — with special autism-friendly performances at musicals and plays.  
    “It just takes away all the stress of taking her to a typical show where, you know, she might yell a little too loud or clap a little too loud or want to jump up and down and it may not be acceptable,” says Carmen Mendez, whose daughter is autistic. “Here she can be herself.”  



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  • Posted on 05 Feb 2019

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