Jeff Lunden

Jeff Lunden is a freelance arts reporter and producer whose stories have been heard on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition, as well as on other public radio programs.

Lunden contributed several segments to the Peabody Award-winning series The NPR 100, and was producer of the NPR Music series Discoveries at Walt Disney Concert Hall, hosted by Renee Montagne. He has produced more than a dozen documentaries on musical theater and Tin Pan Alley for NPR — most recently A Place for Us: Fifty Years of West Side Story.

Other documentaries have profiled George and Ira Gershwin, Stephen Sondheim, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein, Lorenz Hart, Harold Arlen and Jule Styne. Lunden has won several awards, including the Gold Medal from the New York Festival International Radio Broadcasting Awards and a CPB Award.

Lunden is also a theater composer. He wrote the score for the musical adaptation of Arthur Kopit's Wings (book and lyrics by Arthur Perlman), which won the 1994 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical. Other works include Another Midsummer Night, Once on a Summer's Day and adaptations of The Little Prince and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn for Theatreworks/USA.

Lunden is currently working with Perlman on an adaptation of Swift as Desire, a novel of magic realism from Like Water for Chocolate author Laura Esquivel. He lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.

One of the first people you meet when you walk through the door of the Winter Garden Theatre in New York City is Elizabeth Reed. She's part of a battalion of part-time workers who meet, greet and seat audience members at Broadway's 40 theaters. "What we really try and do is enhance the patron's experience, from the moment that they walk in the door, to the end of that performance," Reed says. Winners for the 70th Annual Tony Awards — Broadway's highest honor — will be announced Sunday night....

Playwright Dominique Morisseau is kind of the unofficial poet laureate of Detroit. She has written three plays about her hometown and her latest, Skeleton Crew , looks at four African-American automobile workers struggling with the economic downturn in 2008. The play is currently running off-Broadway, where it's gotten rave reviews. Skeleton Crew takes place in a drab break room in a stamping plant — that's where workers manufacture parts for the big three automakers. The factory has laid off...

April 23 is a big day in England: It's St. George's Day, a national holiday named for the country's patron saint, and it's also the day William Shakespeare is said to have been born and died. This April 23 marks the 400th anniversary of his death. According to the Royal Shakespeare Company's artistic director, Gregory Doran, the only account of Shakespeare's death was written 40 years after it happened, by the vicar of the church where he's buried. "[The vicar wrote] that Shakespeare and his...

Danai Gurira often calls herself a "Zimerican." The actress and playwright — who you may know best as Michonne, the samurai sword-wielding zombie slayer on The Walking Dead -- was born in Iowa, to Zimbabwean parents, and the family moved back to Harare when she was just five. She returned to the U.S. for college and has stayed ever since. "I was always in a hodgepodge of culture — there's no other identity I know, really," she says. And that makes her uniquely suited to tell stories from both...

On the surface, the setting for the new Broadway play The Humans couldn't be more ordinary: A young woman and her boyfriend have moved into a basement apartment in New York's Chinatown and invited her family for Thanksgiving dinner. Over the course of 90 minutes, they do what families do: They laugh, they bicker, they express their love. But director Joe Mantello says playwright Stephen Karam is up to much more. "He's so smart about how he's constructed the play and how it appears as if...

I remember being 14 years old and standing out in the cold at the stage door of Pippin, waiting to get actor Ben Vereen's autograph on my Playbill . More than 40 years later, I still have that program, and I thought about it a lot last weekend as I watched crowds of young people — many in elaborate costumes — geeking out over their shared love of theater. While a blizzard raged outside, about 5,000 hard-core fans packed a hotel in Midtown New York for the first ever BroadwayCon . Like Comic...

The Glory of the World is a new play that celebrates author and Catholic monk Thomas Merton — but it isn't really about Merton. "Everybody is far more complicated than that one simple line about being a great mystic, a great Buddhist, a great activist, whatever," says playwright Charles Mee. And that's exactly what Mee's characters discuss. The play is directed by Les Waters of the Actor's Theatre in Louisville, Ky., near where Merton lived at the Abbey of Gethsemani. Every morning on his...

Every January, as temperatures plummet, New York's Public Theater opens its doors to Under the Radar , a festival that features cutting-edge theater from around the world. Occasionally, these shows have moved onto the radar — like Gatz , an eight-hour adaptation of The Great Gatsby, which eventually had several runs at theaters across the country. Meiyin Wang and Mark Russell, co-artistic directors of Under the Radar, crisscross the globe every year trying to answer a single question. "In...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: The smash hit Broadway musical "Hamilton" mixes hip-hop with American history and features a multiracial cast. A lot's been written about the founding fathers in the show - Hamilton, Washington, Jefferson and Aaron Burr among them. But for reporter Jeff Lunden, "The One That Got Away," a song about the founding mothers, is the emotional heart of the show. JEFF LUNDEN, BYLINE: I'll admit it - since the ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFRPXRhBYOI Two members of the British House of Lords have written a show about a scruffy American rocker who can't pay his rent and turns a bunch of school kids into a rock 'n' roll band. Sound familiar? That's the story of School of Rock , the 2003 film that made Jack Black a star. School of Rock , the musical written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Julian Fellowes, opened Sunday night on Broadway. Lloyd Webber, composer of Phantom of the Opera and Cats , wrote the...

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