Once again, NPR delivers a couple of gems; tonight’s was from the theater world, and it reminded me of another informative and descriptive one I’d heard on a different edition of the podcast All Things Considered a few weeks ago.
Tonight’s feature was called, “Encore! Encore! Applauding the Literal Showstopper.” Bob Mondello describes his experience of watching audiences demand encores in performances of Hello, Dolly! and Annie Get Your Gun. His descriptions are so vivid, I could picture the performances and actors without hindrance; listening to it on the radio with clips of the performances and sounds of the audience reactions livened up the experience. The piece, both in written and audio format, can be found here:
A while back, I heard Mondello do another piece entitled, “The Theatrical Curtain Call: More Than Just Bows.” In this story, he describes his near-magical experience of seeing a beautiful curtain call while watching a production of Oliver! as a child. He describes other curtain calls he’s seen, as well as the history of applause and how curtain calls factor into theater today. The piece, in both written and audio format, can be found here:
Mondello’s storytelling is informative and descriptive, full of nostalgic and reminiscent delight paired with current connections. In his “Encore” piece, Mondello references both the world of the opera (with a recent incident at the Met) and the world of rap (with an example of a performance by Kanye West and Jay-Z). Of course, I’m a huge fan of musical theater, so Mondello’s references hold a special place in my heart, but his writing and mini history lessons are endearing and interesting, even if the theater element weren’t there.