Arts & Culture

Arts & culture

New York's famed Metropolitan Opera announced on Wednesday that the house will remain closed until September 2021.

In a press release, the Met said that it had made its decision to cancel the rest of the 2020-21 season based on the advice of "health officials who advise the Met and Lincoln Center," and keeping in mind the hundreds of performers and staff members required for rehearsals and performances as well as its audiences.

About 35 years ago, violinist Lara St. John — then just 15 years old — went with two friends to the dean of the school she attended, Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music, to say that her private teacher, the famed violin pedagogue Jascha Brodsky, had sexually abused her on multiple occasions.

Today marks what would have been jazz giant John Coltrane's 94th birthday. Two years before his untimely death from liver cancer in 1967, a young San Francisco couple heard him play — and their experience was literally religious.

They founded a spiritual community inspired by his music and 50 years later, they're still preaching that gospel at the Coltrane Church in San Francisco.

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Gale Sayers, a graceful and quick Chicago Bears running back whose elusiveness bedeviled defenses and delighted fans, has died, the team and the NFL announced Wednesday. He was 77.

Sayers was a fearsome competitor, but he was also famous for his character and fortitude.

The story of the Black football star's friendship with a white teammate, Brian Piccolo, inspired the beloved 1971 TV movie Brian's Song, after Sayers used his acceptance speech for the NFL's Most Courageous Player award to praise his less-heralded friend who was battling cancer.

Ridgewood, N.J., rock band Real Estate put out its first album in 2009, but the group started playing together a lot earlier than that. Like so many suburban rock bands do, the founding members met in high school and played in backyards and basements.

Uncle Ben's will now be known as Ben's Original.

Food giant Mars, Incorporated said Wednesday that it is changing the rice brand's name, which has faced criticism for racial stereotyping. It said the change signals "the brand's ambition to create a more inclusive future while maintaining its commitment to producing the world's best rice."

Mars also said it will remove the image of the elderly Black man in a bow tie from its packaging.

The venerable Sizzler USA family steakhouse chain has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing a business environment roiled by COVID-19 restrictions — and saying that not enough has been done to help restaurants survive.

"Our current financial state is a direct consequence of the pandemic's economic impact," Sizzler President Chris Perkins said, "due to long-term indoor dining closures and landlords' refusal to provide necessary rent abatements."

An authoritative history of post 9/11 America has not yet been written. We may be too close to the events of that day — and the weeks and years after — to see it clearly.

But that is, in part, the assignment celebrated novelist Laila Lalami gives herself in Conditional Citizens, a no-holds-barred non-fiction debut.

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NOEL KING, HOST:

"Plucky" is one of those words that doesn't get out and about much anymore.

Something about it feels off, a bit — regressive, condescending, even vaguely sexist, as it's usually only seen in the company of the word "heroine" these days.

In the musical Hamilton, there's an entire song about the election of 1800 — the contest between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson that marked the first peaceful transfer of power between opposing political factions in U.S. history.

America now is on the cusp of the election of 2020 — and cast members of the hit Broadway show have repurposed some of the show's soundtrack with new lyrics to promote voting.

There's this one story, in a new book by comic artist Allie Brosh, where four guys dress a dog in a humiliating costume and parade him down Las Vegas Boulevard — all to celebrate some human's birthday. Needless to say, the dog is confused, and overwhelmed.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SACHA PFEIFFER, HOST:

Past occupants of the White House have placed their business holdings into a blind trust. Not President Trump.

Forbes magazine investigative journalist Dan Alexander has pored over business records, mortgage documents and government reports — and even staked out some Trump properties — to assemble a detailed picture of the president's business interests. He says the president has broken a number of pledges he made about how he would conduct business while in office.

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