May 22, 2008...
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When writer Tony Horwitz visited Plymouth Rock, he was disappointed with the puny piece of granite. But he was even more disappointed when a park ranger told him that most Americans think Columbus dropped off the Pilgrims on his way back to Spain. Horwitz realized that even he didn't know much about the early explorers, so he decided to do some research. That research became A Journey Long and Strange, his new book that traces the footsteps of the explorers who searched the new world for gold, a trade route to the orient and God knows what else. Horwitz covers everyone from the Vikings to the English, but it's the Spaniards who really piqued his interest. I asked him if the nasty reputation of the Conquistadors was earned or just a bad rap.
Tony Horwitz' new book is A Journey Long and Strange. His other books include Confederates in the Attic and Blue Horizon
When writing his new book about city politics, NPR's Scott Simon could've chosen any berg. But in Windy City, it's hard to ignore the allure of the diversity, ambitions and grit of Chicago. Simon's hometown is captured in full political lore - or gore; only the names have changed. He tells WBHM's Steve Chiotakis what makes the people of his book - and the city - breeze ahead of others.
What happens when Elton John puts his own musical twist on a famous opera set in ancient Egypt? The result is Aida! Magic City Actor's Theatre brings the Broadway musical to Birmingham's Virginia Samford Theatre. An ancient tale with a contemporary flare, Aida presents a love story that's more than meets the eye, as WBHM's Katie Turpen reports.
The Magic City Actors Theatre presents Aida at the Virginia Samford Theatre through June 1.
Across town - at the Levite Jewish Community Center - another production takes the stage. This one features five southern women talking about life, love, and relationships. But it isn't the Steel Magnolias. This is the world premiere of a new play, called Lots of Life, by collaborators and twins Don and David Garrett. WBHM's Tanya Ott has more.
What to know what's going on around town?
Activeculture.info is a one-stop source for finding out what's going on in the Birmingham metro area.
Birmingham rockers April Cover count among their influences the bands Coldplay, Jimmy Eat World and U2. That would explain their highly melodic pop/rock sound and straightforward approach to song craft. Singer Kipp Williams's lyrics give equal weight to the big picture and the personal. Themes vary from love and war to poverty and heartache. This is Don't Close Your Eyes from their latest CD. (AUDIO MONTAGE) April Cover plays The Foundry in Bessemer on June 21st,
Tapestry is produced by Tanya Ott and Michael Krall, with additional reporting this week from Steve Chiotakis and Katie Turpen and production help from Coleman Lipsey and Islara Vazquez. I'm Greg Bass and we'll see you next week.