Julia Sweeney is a figure of bicoastal sophistication. She's a comic actor who does one-woman shows about love, illness, faith and family. She's still remembered for creating the androgynous Pat on Saturday Night Live. She hobnobs with famously glamorous and witty people.
So how did it come to pass that she wound up in Wilmette, Il., driving a minivan and dreaming of solitude? Sweeney has put some of her musings on becoming a Midwestern mother — and keeping up her life in comedy — into a new book, If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother.
April is the cruelest month, according to one of the most famous poems in the English language. Perhaps to take the edge off of April, the Academy of American Poets chose it as the month to draw attention to the art and legacy of poetry — and the achievement of American poets.
We're celebrating this month by hearing from young poets about how they chose — or were chosen by — poetry, and why poetry — one of the oldest human art forms — still matters.
Willemjin Verkaik is the latest leading lady to play Elphaba, the misunderstood green girl who grows up to become the Wicked Witch of the West in Broadway's long-running Wicked. She has also played the role in Dutch and German in Europe.
Credit Joan Marcus
Hugh Panaro plays the title character — here done up as The Red Death for the show's spectacular masked-ball scene — in The Phantom of the Opera, Broadway's longest-running show. Twenty-two years ago, Panaro made his debut with the show as Raoul, the male romantic lead.
Credit Joan Marcus / Disney
Tshidi Manye (center) as the baboon narrator Rafiki, with the ensemble of The Lion King. The long-running adaptation of the popular Disney animated film has been on Broadway for 15 years.
When I was a teenager falling in love with the theater, I picked up a book called Broadway's Greatest Musicals. The sole criterion for inclusion was that a show run for at least 500 performances, which translates to about a year and a quarter.
The number 42 has been retired from every team in Major League Baseball, and in recent years, teams have been eager for fans to remember why: It was the number Jackie Robinson wore for the Brooklyn Dodgers when he broke the sport's color barrier — and began to break a new path in American history.
Every Midwestern city has garages full of four local teenagers playing rock 'n' roll and dreaming of the big time ... but Rockford, Ill., boasts the few that made it. Rick Nielsen formed Cheap Trick with three of his friends back in 1973 in Rockford and since then they've traveled the world and put out more than 16 albums.
Since Nielsen was in a band called Cheap Trick, we've invited him play a game called "BAAAAAAAA." Three questions about sheep tricks.