NPR Politics presents the Lunchbox List: our favorite campaign news and stories curated from NPR and around the Web in digestible bites (100 words or less!). Look for it every weekday afternoon from now until the conventions.

Convention Countdown

The Republican National Convention is in 4 days in Cleveland.

The Democratic National Convention is in 11 days in Philadelphia.

NASA has released the first picture of Jupiter taken since the Juno spacecraft went into orbit around the planet on July 4.

The picture was taken on July 10. Juno was 2.7 million miles from Jupiter at the time. The color image shows some of the atmospheric features of the planet, including the giant red spot. You can also see three of Jupiter's moons in the picture: Io, Europa and Ganymede.

The Senate is set to approve a bill intended to change the way police and health care workers treat people struggling with opioid addictions.

My husband and I once took great pleasure in preparing meals from scratch. We made pizza dough and sauce. We baked bread. We churned ice cream.

Then we became parents.

Now there are some weeks when pre-chopped veggies and a rotisserie chicken are the only things between us and five nights of Chipotle.

Parents are busy. For some of us, figuring out how to get dinner on the table is a daily struggle. So I reached out to food experts, parents and nutritionists for help. Here is some of their (and my) best advice for making weeknight meals happen.

"O Canada," the national anthem of our neighbors up north, comes in two official versions — English and French. They share a melody, but differ in meaning.

Let the record show: neither version of those lyrics contains the phrase "all lives matter."

But at the 2016 All-Star Game, the song got an unexpected edit.

At Petco Park in San Diego, one member of the Canadian singing group The Tenors — by himself, according to the other members of the group — revised the anthem.

School's out, and a lot of parents are getting through the long summer days with extra helpings of digital devices.

How should we feel about that?

Police in Baton Rouge say they have arrested three people who stole guns with the goal of killing police officers. They are still looking for a fourth suspect in the alleged plot, NPR's Greg Allen reports.

"Police say the thefts were at a Baton Rouge pawn shop early Saturday morning," Greg says. "One person was arrested at the scene. Since then, two others have been arrested and six of the eight stolen handguns have been recovered. Police are still looking for one other man."

A 13-year-old boy is among those arrested, Greg says.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

After an international tribunal invalidated Beijing's claims to the South China Sea, Chinese authorities have declared in no uncertain terms that they will be ignoring the ruling.

The Philippines brought the case to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, objecting to China's claims to maritime rights in the disputed waters. The tribunal agreed that China had no legal authority to claim the waters and was infringing on the sovereign rights of the Philippines.

Donald Trump is firing back at Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after she disparaged him in several media interviews. He tweeted late Tuesday that she "has embarrassed all" with her "very dumb political statements" about the candidate. Trump ended his tweet with "Her mind is shot - resign!":

Pages

'Into The Woods' All Over Again, This Time In An Actual Urban Jungle

Aug 10, 2012
Originally published on August 10, 2012 3:44 pm

Oh, the questions that circulated when this summer's Shakespeare in the Park revival of Into the Woods was announced.

Who'd play the Baker, that woebegone would-be father at the center of Stephen Sondheim's fractured musical fairy tale?

Who'd step into the star role of the vengeful Witch, played notably by Bernadette Peters in the premiere and by Vanessa Williams in the 2002 revival?

How would the show work in a giant outdoor amphitheater, amid the trees and lawns and urban clatter of Central Park?

And most critically, asked the chat-room chatterers, as they poured libations to the theater gods, would the thing be enough of a hit to earn a Broadway transfer?

That last answer will have to wait a bit. As for the others:

-- Denis O'Hare, of True Blood and American Horror Story, turns out to be a wonderfully subtle Baker, second-guessing even his own desires as he scrambles through the enchanted forest in search of four talismans that will earn the Witch's forgiveness and end a decades-old family curse that dooms his wife to barrenness: "the cow as white as milk, the cape as red as blood, the hair the color of corn, the slipper as pure as gold."

-- Donna Murphy, as the sorceress seeking to undo a curse of her own, turns in a performance monumental enough to fill every corner of the 1,800-seat Delacorte Theater, navigating some of Sondheim's trickiest lyrics with barely a bobble, and communicating pretty clearly despite a costume that, for much of the show, wraps her in a thicket of gnarly branches and vines.

-- The set, by John Lee Beatty (who adapted an earlier London staging), sends the characters scrambling up, under and along a multitiered collection of platforms and ladders, all crowned by a leafy bower that'll serve first as Rapunzel's tower prison and later as a refuge for the distraught, bereaved Jack, once all the consequences of his beanstalk adventures have come home to roost.

-- And the massive, whimsically terrifying lady-giant puppet who lays waste to Cinderella's kingdom is, for efficiency and impact, one of the most striking coups de theatre I've seen in some time. (She's voiced, it's worth noting, by Glenn Close, who clearly had a great time in that recording studio.)

Those wins, though, aren't terribly surprising. O'Hare's gentle, off-kilter appeal helped win him a Tony Award for the baseball-obsessed comedy Take Me Out in 2003. Murphy is a Broadway veteran revered for her commitment to characterization and the power of her voice. (She also, for connect-the-dots fans, voiced the character of Rapunzel's captor-caretaker in Disney's animated adventure Tangled.) And questions of noise pollution aside, the idea of blurring the boundaries between set and setting was always an intoxicating challenge — one that Beatty has delivered on handsomely.

The surprises come in smaller but no less potent packages. Chief among them is Sarah Stiles' punktastic Little Red, full of sass and hungry for more than just the sticky buns she stocks up on at the Baker's house in the opening sequence. She's greedy for experience of all kinds — the passage from childhood to maturity, with all its terrors and joys and sorrows, being the show's major theme. And when he encounters this decidedly knowing Little Red, Ivan Hernandez's sneering, sexually predatory Wolf will discover that not all fairy-tale pubescents are equally innocent, and that he may be trying to bite off more than he's prepared to chew.

Jessie Mueller's Cinderella is another plus, true of voice and quirky enough to be convincing as a princess who, in this version of the story, doesn't settle into the palace too well. And your mileage may vary, but I rather enjoyed the club-freak stepmother and stepsisters, with their goth fashions and their coke habits and their arrogantly angular physicality.

All of that said, this Into the Woods is a bit overthought for its own good. British director Timothy Sheader has added a framing device that grounds what can be a wrenching, sobering story a whit too firmly in the real world; the whole evening, in this telling, has to do with a little boy (a terrifically poised Jack Broderick) who's had a fight with Dad and run away into the forest, where he tells himself bedtime stories and conjures up the characters whose misadventures teach us that happily ever after really is a fairy tale.

The scale of that fascinating set adds to the difficulty. The events of Into the Woods, to say nothing of James Lapine's dialogue, are more than a little knotty, and with everyone scurrying up and down and in and out all night, this production can be tough to follow; it's like that kid narrator has a serious case of ADD. (Liam Steel's precise but hectic, overspecific choreography doesn't help.)

I haven't said anything about Amy Adams, whose charms are considerable and who sings quite prettily, but whose movie-star charisma doesn't quite convey; the designers have put her in a big red Charlotte Rae pouff of a wig, presumably to make her look frumpy enough to be a convincing Baker's Wife, but it mostly makes her look self-conscious. Give her credit, though, for a full-throated reading of the show's most delicious eye-roller of a lyric — you know, the one about the ends justifying the beans. If only I could feel that way about the evening as a whole.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.