Weekend Edition

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Simon Says
5:11 am
Sat April 6, 2013

Roger Ebert: Elegance and Empathy

The iconic Chicago photographer Art Shay took portraits of presidents, prizefighters, prose poets — and in the person of Roger Ebert, at least one Pulitzer-winning critic.
Art Shay

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 11:08 am

Roger Ebert was a critic, not a blowtorch. He could be sharp if he thought a movie insulted the audience, but had a champ's disdain for a cheap shot.

Many critics ridiculed the film Deep Throat when it came out in 1973. Who couldn't mock its absurdities? Roger just wrote, "If you have to work this hard at sexual freedom, maybe it isn't worth the effort."

Roger Ebert was a Chicago newspaperman who typed with two fingers — it sounded like a machine gun, columnist Bob Greene remembered on Friday — who was from the age when reporters were fueled by ink and booze.

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Theater
4:33 am
Sat April 6, 2013

On Broadway, Old Shows And New Tricks

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.
Bankhoff-Mogenburg

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 11:08 am

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.

How quaint.

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Movie Interviews
3:03 am
Sat April 6, 2013

In '42,' A Young Star Suits Up For A Hero's Role

Chadwick Boseman plays baseball's trailblazing Jackie Robinson in the upcoming biopic 42.
D. Stevens Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 11:08 am

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.

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Sports
8:16 am
Sat March 30, 2013

Elite 8 Take To The NCAA Courts

Originally published on Sat March 30, 2013 10:34 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Know why I am hoarse? Because it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC)

SIMON: All that cheering. Florida Gulf Coast Eagles got eaten by the Gators yesterday, but the Cardinals are still flying high. Louisville, Florida, Michigan and Duke move on to men's college basketball Elite 8; and baseball season opens tomorrow when the Texas Rangers face the Houston Astros.

We're now joined by Howard Bryant, of ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine. Good morning, Howard.

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Europe
6:11 am
Sat March 30, 2013

German Anti-Euro Group Has Big-Name Backers

Originally published on Sat March 30, 2013 10:34 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court
6:11 am
Sat March 30, 2013

Gay Marriage Recap: Will Justices Rule On Constitutionality?

Originally published on Sat March 30, 2013 10:34 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon and we'll have to wait until June to learn what the U.S. Supreme Court has decided on the two gay marriage cases before it. But this week, the justices heard oral arguments and they gave perhaps some hints of their thinking. One case concerns the constitutionality of California's ban on gay marriage, the other case is a challenge to what's called DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act.

We're joined now by NPR legal affairs correspondent, Nina Totenberg. Thanks for being with us.

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Sports
6:11 am
Sat March 30, 2013

No Longer In Disguise, Female Pakistani Keeps Up Squash

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 1:26 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Pakistan's top female squash player used to have to pretend that she was as boy. Maria Toorpakai is now 22 years old. She was born in Waziristan, that region of the country that's been called one of the most dangerous places on Earth, and home of the Pakistani Taliban. They did not like a girl running around in shorts, playing squash.

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Arts & Life
6:11 am
Sat March 30, 2013

A Fossilized Confection Baked For Easter 1807

Originally published on Sat March 30, 2013 10:34 am

A British couple believes they've come across a hot cross bun that was baked more than 200 years ago. Host Scott Simon explains.

Health
8:13 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Public Health Campaigning, Like A New Yorker

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled another plan to try to promote healthier living this week. He wants New York to be the first U.S. city to make stores that sell tobacco keep those products out of sight. Cigarettes for sale are now kept in Plexiglas cubbyholes in bodegas and other convenience stores that also sell beer, candy, lottery tickets. Under this proposal, the cigarettes would have to be kept in a drawer or behind a curtain.

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NPR Story
7:57 am
Sat March 23, 2013

From One Author To Another, Letters Of Praise

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 8:13 am

Host Scott Simon reads some of the best fan mail to authors, written by authors.

NPR Story
7:57 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Gay Lobbying On The Hill Has Short Yet Strong History

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 1:37 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

One argument used by some conservatives in the Supreme Court cases is that gay Americans have become so politically powerful and prominent they don't need special consideration from the courts. Whether or not that's true, it is clear that lesbian-gay-bisexual-and-transgendered advocacy groups have built a strong network of lobbyists and political activists in Washington, D.C.

NPR's Peter Overby reports.

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NPR Story
7:57 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Obama Leaves Middle East With Mixed Reviews

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 9:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. And President Obama heads home from the Middle East today after a mixed reception to his four-day visit. Mr. Obama spent much of that time in Israel trying to lay the groundwork to revive the long-stalled peace process with Palestinians. He also traveled to the West Bank and met with Jordan's King Abdullah. NPR's Scott Horsley has a recap.

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Music Interviews
6:25 am
Sat March 23, 2013

The Milk Carton Kids: At Life's Crossroads, A Duo Looks Both Ways

Kenneth Pattengale (left) and Joey Ryan, who record as The Milk Carton Kids. Their new album is called The Ash & Clay.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 9:28 am

Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan were doing just fine as solo performers. Then one night, Ryan walked into a bar where Pattengale was playing.

"I heard Kenneth perform a song that he had written from the perspective of a dead dog, only very recently having been hit by a truck," Ryan says, wryly. "And it was that sort of uplifting material that drew us together."

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Author Interviews
6:24 am
Sat March 23, 2013

'Z' Tells The Fitzgeralds' Story From Zelda's Point Of View

St. Martin's Press

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 8:13 am

F. Scott Fitzgerald first saw his future wife from across a crowded room at a country club dance in Montgomery, Ala., where he was in basic training and she was waiting to be discovered by the world. They wed in 1920, and the two went on to have a famously turbulent marriage — tarnished by personal and professional jealousy, alcohol abuse and mental illness — which they both immortalized in their writing.

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Middle East
6:24 am
Sat March 23, 2013

In Saudi Arabia, Shiite Muslims Challenge Ban On Protests

Anti-riot police face off with protesters in Saudi Arabia's eastern city of Qatif on March 11, 2011. Despite bans on the demonstrations, Shiite Muslims in the eastern part of the country have continued to stage protests, demanding political changes.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 4:27 pm

Editor's note: When Arab Spring protests broke out in Saudi Arabia in 2011, the government reacted quickly, pumping $130 billion into the economy and cracking down on dissent. While this approach has worked in some cities, the Shiite Muslims in the Eastern Province continued to demonstrate. Reese Erlich, on assignment for GlobalPost and NPR, managed to get into the city of Qatif and meet with protest leaders.

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