Trey Graham

Trey Graham edits and produces arts and entertainment content for NPR's Digital Media division, where among other things he's helped launch the Monkey See pop-culture blog and NPR's expanded Web-only movies coverage. He also helps manage the Web presence for Fresh Air from WHYY.

Outside NPR, Graham has been a lead theater critic at the Washington City Paper, D.C.'s alternative weekly newspaper, since 1995, which means he's seen a good deal of superb theater and a great deal of schlock. He's still stage-struck enough to believe that the former makes up for the latter.

Graham began his career as a writer and editor at The Washington Blade; his subsequent tenure at USA Today included a stint as the newspaper's music and theater editor. A past fellow at both the O'Neill Critics Institute and the NEA Arts Journalism Institute in Theater and Musical Theater, Graham won the George Jean Nathan Award for distinguished drama criticism in December 2004.

Graham is also a regular panelist on Around Town, the venerable arts roundtable program on Washington PBS affiliate WETA-TV, and the author of the theater section of the newest Time Out Guide to the nation's capital. He's written about books, travel, movies and the arts for publications including The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Born in New Orleans (during Mardi Gras, no less) and raised in South Carolina, Graham has lived in Washington, D.C., since 1990 ­ except for a couple of years in Zimbabwe, which turned out to be way more fun than a politically perilous, economically disastrous situation has any right being.

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Monkey See
12:49 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Clip Job: 'Five Dances,' One Sweetly Moving Romance

Ryan Steele in Five Dances
Paladin

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 4:10 pm

Five Dances might be the least talky movie I've seen in months — but it's plenty expressive. What it says, it says silently, or at least nonverbally, in the music-and-movement language of Jonah Bokaer's haunting choreography, which speaks of solitary strivings and the brief, passionate connections that punctuate them.

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Monkey See
1:35 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

When A 'Total Eclipse' Leads To Some Serious Exposure

Christina Bianco performs with some regularity at Jim Caruso's Cast Party and 54 Below's Backstage open-mic night in New York City. She's currently in the cast of Newsical the Musical, the current-events lampoon running at Theatre Row.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 3:40 pm

So this here "Total Eclipse of the Heart" video has blown the heck up, tallying a million-plus YouTube plays since Scandal showrunner Shonda Rhimes tweeted a link to it. It's made the rounds of LaughingSquid and Gawker and the like, and if you haven't watched it, do yourself a favor and get that done, because you'll thank me.

I'll wait.

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Monkey See
7:27 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Guy Pearce, We Are Pleased To Find You Looking Vaguely Disreputable In 'Jack Irish'

Dear Guy Pearce: The Jack Irish stubble is working, though we're not feeling the giant butterfly art. We assume it's in a hoodlum's house, not Jack's, but we'll be watching this weekend just to confirm.
Lachlan Moore Acorn TV

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 1:46 pm

With Linda still out at the TCA gathering, TV is much on our minds. And as she noted yesterday, there's a whole big conversation going on about the newer modes of consuming what we still, for lack of a better word, generally call television.

(Actually, we probably don't need a better word, as "television" just means "far-sight" and doesn't have anything to do with broadcast or spectrum or modes of transmission or the technology involved, BUT I DIGRESS.)

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Monkey See
2:13 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Coffee Break: The Get Your 'Mary Poppins' Groove On Edition

iStockphoto.com

* Having seen Cate Blanchett's electric Blanche DuBois, and had a public pretend-squabble with our own Bob Mondello about it, I felt like I was all up in Charles McNulty's head when I read his take on Blue Jasmine. [The Los Angeles Times]

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Monkey See
1:34 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Coffee Break: People Arguing And Counting And Singing And Getting Gassed Edition

iStockphoto.com

* If you're anywhere near Winston-Salem, please note that Tonya Pinkins, whose chops are so considerable that I don't entirely know where to start with her amazingness, so just Google her, is in cabaret thereabouts, as part of the biennial National Black Theatre Festival. This is a thing that makes me want to go to North Carolina. [Winston-Salem Journal]

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Monkey See
4:25 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Coffee Break: Of Weddings And Looming Parental Mortality And German

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 4:37 pm

No, it's not Morning Shots today. Some of us just really aren't morning people. (What, breakfast is the only time you caffeinate?)

Without further ado:

* Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita got married, and a lot of stars were there, which is nice and all, but waitwhatdidyousaytonykushnerofficiated? <dies> [The Wrap]

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Monkey See
12:39 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

In Which We Consider 'Turbo,' But Do Not Quite Write A Review Of It

Turbo, center, is the hero of an unlikely adventure involving six or seven talking mollusks, a similar number of humans willing to gamble large sums of money on them, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. And they say Hollywood doesn't have any new ideas.
DreamWorks Animation

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 2:27 pm

When I was passing out assignments for this week's movie reviews, I noticed that none of my critics had raised a hand to bid for Turbo -- you know, the DreamWorks animated comedy about a sheltered suburban garden snail who dreams of racing in the Indy 500, and the scrappy squad of Van Nuys strip-mall snails who, with the help of an ethnically diverse array of down-on-their-luck shopkeepers, help him make that dream come true.

Wait, I think I've just figured out why I ended up with this assignment my own self.

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Monkey See
10:56 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Morning Shots: Not One But Two Bits Of Shark News

iStockphoto.com

It is with some joy, and also a little trepidation, that the entire Monkey See family welcomes the news that Sharknado 2 is a thing that will happen. Because really, is that singular Sharknado lightning terribly likely to strike twice?

On the other hand: The sequel will be set in New York City, so consider the quantity of hipsters who'll face flying piscine peril. [The Wrap]

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Monkey See
11:13 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Morning Shots: In Which Kristin Wiig Gets Very Silly

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 12:37 pm

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Monkey See
10:59 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Morning Shots: The Does Your Garden Make You Think Of Carrion? Edition

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 3:02 pm

In London, they're breathlessly anticipating a royal bundle of joy. Here in the capital of the former colonies, we await the blooming of a gigantic flower that smells like rotting meat. Because that's how we do. [The Washington Post]

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Monkey See
5:18 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Teens Find The Right Tools For Their Social-Media Jobs

When you need to illustrate a story about proliferating social-media platforms, it's good to know that an enterprising stock photographer has probably thought about it already.
Anatoliy Babiy iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 5:45 pm

Once upon a time, it was MySpace. (Huh. Turns out you can still link to it.) Then Facebook happened. And Twitter. And beyond those two dominant social-media platforms, there are a host of other, newer options for staying in touch and letting the digital universe get a look at your life. And for certain kinds of sharing, some of those other options make more sense to tech-savvy teens than the Big Two do.

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Monkey See
4:03 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

TIFF '12: On Spectacle, Scenery And Swoonery

Keira Knightley is Anna Karenina, whose life as a respectable wife and mother is shattered when passion flares between her and the charismatic cavalry officer Count Vronsky.
Laurie Sparham Focus Features

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 6:32 pm

With three TIFF screenings under my belt as of midmorning Friday, I've begun to realize that I've been picking my films based on a few highly personal likes: narrative intensity, rich visuals, inventive compositions and maybe a few other variables. Here's what I mean:

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Monkey See
2:59 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

'Into The Woods' All Over Again, This Time In An Actual Urban Jungle

Sarah Stiles and Ivan Hernandez are Little Red and the Wolf — whose encounter in Into the Woods brings the fairy tale's charged sexuality forcefully to the surface.
Joan Marcus The Public Theater

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 3:44 pm

Oh, the questions that circulated when this summer's Shakespeare in the Park revival of Into the Woods was announced.

Who'd play the Baker, that woebegone would-be father at the center of Stephen Sondheim's fractured musical fairy tale?

Who'd step into the star role of the vengeful Witch, played notably by Bernadette Peters in the premiere and by Vanessa Williams in the 2002 revival?

How would the show work in a giant outdoor amphitheater, amid the trees and lawns and urban clatter of Central Park?

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Monkey See
1:31 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Of 'Dark Knight,' Summer Games And Such

NPR

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 2:47 pm

With our fearless leader Linda Holmes away at the TCA summer press tour, the crew is forced to stumble haplessly into the studio, where I somehow flopped into the host's chair again, heaven help us.

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Monkey See
2:06 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Of True Tales, Fantasy Adventures And Happy-Making Things

NPR

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