Paul Simon’s Graceland album, an experiment in cross-cultural collaboration, was also commercially popular, selling 14 million albums worldwide and winning Grammys for “Album of the Year” and “Song of the Year” for the title track. Today, it’s considered one of the most significant recordings of its time. But why was Graceland so controversial in 1986? Why did Simon face such vehement criticism? In 2011, filmmaker Joe Berlinger accompanied Simon on his return to South Africa to reunite and perform with several of the musicians involved in the original album, capturing Simon’s unique homecoming as he reflects on the landmark events.
Life On Fire
Wed, 01/02/2013 - 10:00pm
Volcanoes are among the most spectacular and powerful forces on our planet. They create new land, change landscapes and destroy civilizations, but more than two billion years ago, they also breathed life into our world. From the ocean abyss to snow-covered summits, this ambitious series paints a detailed picture of the struggles and amazing intimacy required to survive around volcanoes. Spectacular scenery provides the backdrop for the extraordinary animals and plants that have learned to juggle with fire. Fragile and engaging, these creatures teach us lessons in survival in a world as fascinating as it is dangerous.
Wed, 01/02/2013 - 9:00pm
The eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano in 2010 turned much of the northern hemisphere into an ash-strewn no-fly zone. But Eyjafjallajökull was just the start. Katla, an Icelandic volcano 10 times bigger, has begun to swell and grumble. Two more giants, Hekla and Laki, could erupt without warning. Iceland is a ticking time bomb: When it blows, the consequences will be global. Meet scientists trying to understand those consequences — for air travel and for the global food supply and Earth’s climate. Could we be plunged into years of cold and famine? What can we do to prepare for the coming disaster?
Tue, 01/01/2013 - 9:30pm
Why has the Broadway musical proven to be such fertile territory for Jewish artists of all kinds? From Broadway’s golden age, names like Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, the Gershwins, Arthur Laurents, Jerome Robbins, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim immediately come to mind. More recently, Broadway babies such as Stephen Schwartz, Marc Shaiman and Andrew Lippa represent a sampling of the Jewish talents who continue to leave their mark on musical theater. Filmmaker Michael Kantor focuses on this central question left largely unaddressed in his Emmy-winning BROADWAY: THE AMERICAN MUSICAL, combining interviews with performance footage, including many of the rousing anthems and timeless ballads America has loved for a century.
Tue, 01/01/2013 - 8:00pm
Always one of GREAT PERFORMANCES’ “favorite things,” the cherished tradition of ringing in the New Year with special host Julie Andrews and the Vienna Philharmonic continues. With guest conductor Franz Welser-Möst wielding the baton at the opulent Musikverein, the program features everyone’s favorite Strauss Family waltzes and the dancers of the Vienna City Ballet. In addition to the Musikverein setting, the broadcast features a range of picturesque Vienna landmarks.
Mon, 12/31/2012 - 9:30pm
Twenty years after dazzling audiences in his first solo Broadway concert early in his career, three-time Grammy Award-winner Harry Connick, Jr. returned to the Main Stem in a roster of favorites, performed in his trademark New Orleans style.
Taped in July of 2010 at New York’s Neil Simon Theater, Harry Connick, Jr. in Concert on Broadway features Connick’s big band and a 12-piece string section, with the star on both a Steinway grand and upright honky-tonk piano. Variety raved, “Connick, in concert, packs such dynamite that those ‘Jersey Boys’ across the street seem positively sedate.”
Live from Lincoln Center
Mon, 12/31/2012 - 8:00pm
The New York Philharmonic, conducted by Paul Gemignani, rings in 2013 with this celebration of the life and work of Marvin Hamlisch. Joshua Bell, Raúl Esparza, Michael Feinstein, Maria Friedman, Josh Groban, Megan Hilty, Kelli O’Hara and Frederica Von Stade are featured in a program highlighting selections that span Hamlisch’s groundbreaking music for stage and film. Audra McDonald hosts.
Sun, 12/30/2012 - 7:30pm
In this special, newly married Chummy and Nurse Jenny Lee are hard at work during their first Christmas in Nonnatus House. As nurses and nuns minister to an abandoned newborn and search for the mother, and Jenny tries to find the children of an elderly vagrant, Chummy plans an ambitious nativity play. In true Chummy fashion, mishaps ensue.