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Leslie Uggams Discuses Her Career in Theater and Television.

Leslie Uggams is an actress and singer known for her roles in the television miniseries "Roots" and "Backstairs at the White House" and the t.v. show "Sing Along with Mitch." She is also well-known for work in musicals and on Broadway. Uggams discusses her career and life including being a child actor, a member of a youth gang, and singing versus acting. Uggams is currently performing in Philadelphia.


Angela Lansbury On Playing Mrs. Lovett.

Angela Lansbury is an actress who is currently starring in the tour of "Sweeney Todd," playing now in Philadelphia. "Sweeney Todd" is a musical with music by Stephen Sondheim based on the legend of "The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," a barber whose quest for revenge leads to murder. Lansbury stars as his accomplice, and won a Tony for the role. She joins the show to discuss the musical and working with Sondheim, singing, and acting.


George Hearn on Playing a Villain.

George Hearn is an actor currently starring in the tour of "Sweeney Todd," playing now in Philadelphia. "Sweeney Todd" is a musical with music by Stephen Sondheim based on the legend of "The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," a barber whose quest for revenge leads to murder. Hearn plays the title role. He joins the show to discuss the musical, playing Sweeney Todd, and his career in theater, television, and film. (INTERVIEW BY DANNY MILLER).


Mercer Ellington on His Father's Work and Legacy.

Mercer Ellington is a trumpeter, composer, and band leader. He is also the son of jazz legend Duke Ellington. Mercer Ellington is the conductor for the musical based on Duke Ellington's work, "Sophisticated Ladies." Mercer Ellington joins the show to discuss the musical and his father.


Ralph Allen's "Sugar Babies."

Producer, writer, and composer Ralph Allen is one of the writers of the book for "Sugar Babies," the latest hit musical on Broadway. Allen joins the show to discuss musical theater, burlesque, vaudeville, and music.


Broadway's "Sugar Babies" Returns to Philadelphia,

Harry Rigby and Terry Kramer are co-producers of the burlesque musical revue "Sugar Babies." Rigby co-conceived the show with theater historian Ralph Allen, and is known as the producer who brought revivals back to Broadway. Kramer is known for producing a number of plays, including "I Love My Wife" and "Knock, Knock." Her mother was also a theater producer. "Sugar Babies" is back in Philadelphia with its original stars, film legends Mickey Rooney and Ann Miller.


Dick Goldberg's "Family Business"

After a successful off-Broadway run, Goldberg's play has been produced as a made-for-TV movie by PBS. He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross about the experience of being on set during filming, as well as the role of the playwright in a stage production.


A Dancer Clowns Around On Stage

Bill Irwin's art draws on diverse influences, including the American vaudeville tradition, clowning, and ballet. His unique approach to dance is featured in his new show, Regard of Flight.


Growing Up Asian-American.

Poet and performer Lane Kiyomi Nishikawa will be performing his one-man show about being Asian American "Life in the Fast Kabe: Requiem for a Sansei Poet" in Philadelphia. The show contains stories and poems based on his life in Hawaii and San Francisco. He joins the show to discuss his work and life.


Acting On Stage and On Film with Milo O'Shea.

Milo O'Shea is an Irish actor currently starring as a priest in "Mass Appeal" at the Walnut Street Theater. He played the same role on Broadway for which he won several awards and was nominated for a Tony award. O'Shea has appeared in numerous films and plays. He will appear with Paul Newman in the upcoming film "The Verdict."


Phyllis Hyman, Sophisticated Lady.

Jazz singer Phyllis Hyman was in the original Broadway cast of "Sophisticated Ladies," a musical revue of Duke Ellington's work, along with Gregory Hines and Judith Jamison. Hyman is featured on McCoy Tyner's new album is "Looking Out" and is in town to perform. Hyman discusses the show, her career, and writing jingles for television commercials.


Kander and Ebb, Musical Theater Songwriting Team.

Composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb are one the most popular songwriting teams in the country. They wrote the music for Broadway shows such as "Cabaret," "Chicago," and "Woman of the Year." They've also composed the music for movies such as "Funny Lady" and "New York, New York." Their song of the same name from the latter film became a hit when sung by Frank Sinatra. Their new musical, "Zorba," stars Anthony Quinn.


Opera Star, Roberta Peters.

Coloratura soprano Roberta Peters made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1950, and has sung there every seasons since. Peters has performed in China and the U.S.S.R. Peters joins the show to discuss her life, career, and the current state of opera.


The Amazing Kreskin.

George Joseph Kresge, also known as "The Amazing Kreskin," is a popular mentalist. Kresge will perform at the Fantasy Film Expo this weekend.


Interview and Concert with William Schimmel.

William Schimmel is the accordionist for the Tango Project, and disagrees with those who malign the instrument and the dance/music. Schimmel has written a tango mass for accordion, conducted and performed in the Joseph Papp production of the "Three-Penny Opera," and composed the musical "Kill." Schimmel lives in New York and commutes to Philadelphia where he is the dean of the New Power School of Music.


Few Roles for Black Actresses

Esther Rolle played a maid in the television show Maude, a role which she hoped would subvert the racist tradition of mammy characters typically given to African American actresses. Rolle now works mostly in theater, and is featured in a production of Carson McCullers' The Member of the Wedding.


Edward Albee's Unconventional Theater.

Noted playwright Edward Albee is the author of "The Zoo Story" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," which was lated adapted into an Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton film. Albee has won many awards including two Pulitzer Prizes, one in 1967 for "Delicate Balance," and one in 1975 for "Seascape."


Jazz Opera about Malcolm X.

Composer and pianist Anthony Davis has composed jazz and "new music" work with his ten-piece ensemble Episteme, directed plays, composed orchestral suites, and taught at Yale, where he also received his B. A. in music. His latest album with his band is called "Hemispheres." Davis has written an opera, "X," based on the life of Malcolm X. The libretto was written by his cousin and Village Voice writer Thulani Davis-Jarman, and the story was written by his brother CHRISTOPHER DAVIS.


Taking Tap to the Next Level.

Actor, director, and choreographer Maurice Hines comes from the famous tap-dancing family. He is the founder of the company Ballet Tap U. S. A. Hines appears in the film "Cotton Club." Hines joins the show to discuss working as a child with his father and brother, Gregory, touring Europe, learning ballet at the age of 30, the difference between "up-in-the-air," and "close-to-the-floor" tap dance, break-dancing, and the great dancers of film.


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