Here are four arts and culture videos from public broadcasting partners around the nation.
From American Masters: "Mel Brooks: Make a Noise"
From KERA's Art&Seek, a profile of Desmond Blair, an artist who was born without hands:
» Continue reading
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A performer participates in the 10th anniversary celebration of the El Salvador Museum of Art in San Salvador. Photo by Jose Cabezas/AFP/Getty Images.
An epic journey told in song. Laments about lost loves. A protracted death scene. Just another production at the Houston Grand Opera. But there's nothing typical about "Cruzar la Cara de la Luna," or "To Cross the Face of the Moon."
Written in 2010 and billed as the first mariachi opera, "Cruzar la Cara de la Luna" tells the story of three generations of a Mexican family in the United States. It's also just part of a grand mission by the Houston Grand Opera to engage new audiences by telling their stories. Patrick Summers, HGO's artistic director, says he sees it as a moral responsibility to "broaden the art and take it to as many people as want to seek it."
Part of the outreach to new communities is a matter of pure demographics. Thanks to a large influx of immigrants over the past several decades, Houston has become a majority minority city, with 60 percent of its residents of African, Hispanic or Asian descent. But Summers says what his company is doing has less to do with filling seats and much more to do with fully integrating into the community.
"We absorb each other's culture and what comes out is something very uniquely American," Summers says. "That's how I view Houston. And that's very much how I view the role of the Houston Grand Opera."» Continue reading
The cast of the National Theatre of Scotland's "Black Watch" performs at the Armory Community Center in San Francisco. Photos by Scott Suchman.
Have you ever thought of marching, fighting soldiers as ballet dancers? In a play called "Black Watch", now intriguing audiences in San Francisco, a troupe of Scottish actors, all male, spends nearly two hours strutting across the stage, choreographed as if they were dancers.
They are part of the National Theatre of Scotland, and for the past eight years their play has been performed, first in Scotland, then around the world, including highly acclaimed runs in Brooklyn, N.Y., Chicago and Seattle. The venue for the production is not a regular theater, but a basketball court-like setting, in this case the drill court in an old armory in San Francisco's working class Mission District. The audience sits on either side of the court, in bleacher-like seats.
The dozen or so actors turn the court into a training facility, a war zone, a parade grounds and regimental headquarters. The locale is mostly Iraq, where the Black Watch Regiment, storied for its roles in battles for three centuries, has come to aid the Americans and uphold the honor of the British Empire, Scotland and the regiment itself. These mostly young soldiers have no idea why they are fighting, and most of the time they don't seem to care.
No, the soldiers do not wear kilts in Iraq, and bagpipes don't continually blare through the hall. The language is consistently obscene, but the audience doesn't flinch at the torrent of vulgarities. It comes with the male military territory and with the heavy Scottish brogue that is mostly understandable by American audiences.» Continue reading
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We know how much you all adored this giant rubber duck, so it's with heavy hearts that we share some unfortunate news. On May 14, 2013, our 54-foot inflated friend...deflated. Hopefully it will rest in peace knowing that its existence gave us some chuckles. Before we get to those clever captions, here's the story behind Jessica Hromas'/Getty Images' photo:
"Dutch conceptual artist, Florentijin Hofman's floating duck sculpture, 'Spreading Joy Around the World,' was moved into the Victoria Harbour on May 2, 2013 in Hong Kong. Since 2007, 'Rubber Duck' has been traveling to 10 countries and 12 cities."
Several of you quoted the "Rubber Ducky" song Ernie of Sesame Street so often sings. Others turned the Victoria Harbour into an enormous bathtub. But our winner connected our giant rubber duck with another giant from history. Congratulations Patricia Shay! You'll be receiving a NewsHour mug for your winning caption:
"Knowing that the Trojan horse had been tried before..."
Thank you all for playing along. Join us next week for another Tuesday Cutline.
About the Tuesday Cutline: Every other Tuesday, we post a photo. You compose a witty/ funny/ creative caption, submit it by Friday at 5 p.m. ET in the comments section or on the NewsHour's or Art Beat's pages. The following Tuesday we pick one winner. Everyone celebrates.
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A visitor at the Museum of Modern Art in New York experiences an exhibit entitled Rain Room. The large-scale environment by Random International is filled with a field of falling water that pauses wherever a human body is detected, offering visitors the experience of controlling the rain.
By Charles Hood
That is an interesting scar,
Charles Hood is the author of "South x South" (Ohio University Press), winner of the 2012 Hollis Summers Poetry Prize. His previous books include "Bombing Ploesti" and "Rio de Dios" (Red Hen Press). He has been the recipient of a Fulbright fellowship, an Artist in Residency with the Center for Land Use Interpretation, and an Artists and Writers grant from the National Science Foundation. He teaches photography and writing at Antelope Valley College, Calif.
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A contortionist performs as a lizard at the Chelsea Flower Show at Royal Hospital Chelsea in London.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan in "The Great Gatsby."
It is—again—a Gatsby/Fitzgerald moment. "The Great Gatsby" is on the big screen now in Baz Luhrmann's new film version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel. There are also several new books about the lives of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.
Earlier Friday, I talked about the phenomenon with Kirk Curnutt, vice president of the F. Scott Fitzgerald Society. He's also a professor of English at Troy University in Montgomery, Ala.
A transcript is after the jump.» Continue reading
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