Arts

Arts and culture

Maude Julien's childhood was so horrible, it's difficult to read about. Her father wanted to turn her into some kind of superhuman, able to withstand any torment without flinching. So he treated her in a subhuman way: He forced her to stay in a dark cellar at night, to meditate on death. He made her hold on to an electric fence, to strengthen her will. She had to wait on him hand and foot. And he kept her from most contact with the outside world for years.

One of the casualties of Hurricane Harvey has been parts of Houston's thriving arts and culture community. Four days of torrential rainfall nearly drowned the city's opera, ballet, and theater companies, along with a revered mural. But they're drying out and starting over.

On Aug. 28, as engorged Buffalo Bayou crept into Houston's Theater District, Perryn Leech and Dean Gladden pulled on slickers and rubber boots and headed downtown for a look.

Method Man co-founded the hip-hop collective Wu-Tang Clan. He's also done best-selling collaborations with Redman and Mary J. Blige, acted in movies and TV shows and is now the host of the new rap battle show Drop The Mic.

Being that the Method Man is also an actor, we gave him three questions about Method acting: the dramatic technique of "becoming" the character one plays.

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DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

If you were alive in 1994, you probably remember hearing a lot about Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding. A media frenzy erupted when Harding's ex-husband was implicated in an attack on her chief competitor, Nancy Kerrigan. The movie I, Tonya explores Harding's story, with special emphasis on her ferocious mom, LaVona Golden, played by Allison Janney. It's a role that screenwriter Steven Rogers wrote specifically for her.

Authenticity is a trait we all prize. We all want the real thing - whether that thing is a designer purse, or a loving relationship.

But the two stories you'll hear today raise profound questions about authenticity and nature of human belief: If you believe something is real, if you can fall in love with someone or stand in awe of a painting, is it possible that it doesn't actually matter whether the object of your affection is fake?

I never really understood why so many people saw The Crown as a superior TV show last season.

Yes, the Netflix drama has the production values and ambition of an epic motion picture, tracing the long reign of Queen Elizabeth II. And for those who miss the aristocratic soap opera of Downton Abbey, a big-budget recounting of the royal family's turmoil over marriages and abdications is quite a replacement. Who can argue with 13 Emmy nominations?

The mystery over who paid a record-breaking $450 million for Leonardo da Vinci's painting Salvator Mundi at an auction last month appears to have been solved. It turns out it's Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.

That's according to U.S. intelligence officials who keep a close eye on the kingdom's young and powerful crown prince, says the Wall Street Journal.

The color of the year for 2018 is a vivid purple, according to Pantone, which gives the title to a new hue every December.

Specifically, "PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet" is the chosen hue. ("Ultra violet" with a space, we'll note: actual "ultraviolet" light is, by definition, invisible.)

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