Arts

Arts and culture

Orlando, Fla., where we are taping our show this week, is known for its rich history, going all the way back to the early 1970s. Since then, it's produced some of our nation's finest pop entertainment — for example, the boy band NSYNC was engineered here, and went on to become a massively popular musical act. We've invited former NSYNC member Lance Bass to play a game called "It's all about the bass, 'bout that bass, no trouble." Three questions about bass and bass fishing.

You may be among the millions of Americans who brought home a heart-shaped box of chocolates (or are planning to do so, before it's too late) for Valentine's Day.

But white chocolate, a relative newcomer to the chocolate family, seldom plays a starring role in the sampler pack. Which got us wondering why.

Hugh Grant is a British fish out of water — again. In The Rewrite he plays Keith Michaels, a screenwriter who won an Oscar 15 years ago, but hasn't done much since. Divorced and nearly broke, he reluctantly takes a one-semester teaching job at Binghamton University in upstate New York.

D'aron Davenport feels like a catfish out of his pond when he leaves his Georgia town of about 700 people to go to school in Berkeley, Calif. But within just a few months, it's his hometown that becomes a little hard to understand in his own, changed eyes.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Laura Van Den Berg is one of the most admired short story writers in the country, and readers have been eagerly awaiting her first novel, Find Me. The book opens with a sickness sweeping the country: It obliterates memory, then kills. In the middle of this is Joy, a lonely young woman who works at a Stop & Shop outside of Boston. Her chief impulse in life seems to be to swill cough syrup (by the way, there's a lot of product placement in this book) — but Joy also seems to be untouched by this sickness. Is she somehow immune?

When Saturday Night Live went on the air 40 years ago, few would have guessed how many of the cast members would go on to become household names. But you've probably never heard of Edie Baskin and Mary Ellen Matthews. They're the official photographers on Saturday Night Live and their combined careers have spanned the life of the show. A collection of their work has been published to coincide with this year's anniversary broadcast on Sunday.

The winter weather doesn't seem to be letting up — it's still cold and snowy in much of the country. For a little relief from the elements here are five ribald reads to ignite the most fiery of passions.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Movie musicals used to be box-office poison, but lately they've found ways to sing to a wider crowd. The onscreen Les Miz did away with lip-synching, Annie went multi-cultural, Into the Woods belted out revisionist fairy-tales — and combined, those three movies have taken in almost three-quarters of a billion dollars.

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