Trumpet virtuoso, singer and bandleader Louis Armstrong propelled jazz onto the mainstream stage, shaping the music with his own distinctive style. Jazz documentary producer Ken Burns says “Armstrong is to music what Einstein is to Physics, and the Wright Brothers are to travel.”
Yet, the man behind the legend is less well known. The Wilma Theater is now staging Satchmo at the Waldorf, a one-man show by Terry Teachout, who is also the Wall Street Journal drama critic and the author of Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong. Both the book and the play are informed by audio tapes Armstrong made of his private conversations with friends and family.
Susan Lewis talks with playwright Terry Teachout, actor John Douglas Thompson, and WRTI's Maureen Malloy about Armstrong and his life, and about how the tapes, the book, and the play reveal a different, lesser-known side of the jazz icon.
Classical host Gregg Whiteside discusses DON CARLOS with Meridee Duddleston.
A long war between France and Spain winds down with a peace treaty. A cross-border royal marriage solidifies the deal. Over the course of the next several hours, Italian composer Guiseppe Verdi tests the limits of a king’s power, the good intentions of a jealous princess, and the loyalty of a dear friend. Underscoring it all, are the righteous fury of the Spanish Inquisition and the unfulfilled love of Spain’s Don Carlo and the virtuous Elizabeth of France, culminating in one puzzling conclusion.
In the midst of a still rocky financial landscape, one suburban Philadelphia county is investing in the arts as a path to a more vibrant local economy. This fall, Montgomery County unveiled “Creative Montco” – an initiative created by a collaboration of cultural groups, county government, community planners, and business, education, and foundation leaders.
Although it did not explicitly ban drinking, the 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibited the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors. Ratified in 1919, it took effect in 1920. By the time of its repeal, 13 years later in 1933, prohibition had triggered major changes in the American social, political and economic landscape. The National Constitution Center is now staging an exhibition about that era.
Philadelphia lawmakers are getting involved in bringing businesses and jobs to the city. WRTI's Jim Hilgen speaks with City Council members, and leaders of the business community, about the legislative body's new, pro-active approach to economic development.
After the Freeh Report and the NCAA came down hard on Penn State for its handling of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, it was not only an eye opener at Penn State, but also for other universities around the country. WRTI’s Joe Irizarry speaks with Temple Athletic Director Bill Bradshaw and his counterpart at Villanova, Vince Nicastro, to discuss how each university is moving forward after the fallout at Penn State.
The United States Supreme Court will hear arguments this week for an affirmative action case, Fisher v. Texas. WRTI's Timothy Churchill interviews a professor of political science and constitutional law at the University of Pennsylvania about two landmark precedents for racial balancing in higher education, what's at stake in Fisher and how the Court, led by Chief Justice John Roberts, might decide.
September 17, 2012 - With federal and statewide elections around the corner, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is taking a hard look at the state's voter ID law. With few exceptions, the law requires PA voters to show a qualifying photo ID to get into the voting booth. Will it be effective on Tuesday, November 6th? That question was the focus of oral argument before the Commonwealth's High Court last week. WRTI's Meridee Duddleston presents a glimpse of the session. The hearing was broadcast by Pennsylvania Cable Network. Updates below...
Pennsylvania's politically split Supreme Court is considering a challenge to a lower court ruling that upheld the state's polarizing voter identification law.
The law requires a state-issued photo ID card to vote, and supporters say it will help prevent voter fraud. Voting-rights activists have now shifted strategies from attempting to overturn the law, to instead putting up to a million state-issued photo ID cards in the hands of residents.
State officials recently estimated it is possible nearly 200,000 Philadelphia residents alone don't have proper ID.