The Unkindest Cut: Theater, President Trump And The Politics Of Performing Arts | WBEZ
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The Unkindest Cut: Theater, President Trump And The Politics Of Performing Arts

Conservative critics are attacking a production of William Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" that's running in New York. The basics of the play are the same as they've been since 1599 — the title character is deemed "ambitious" and is murdered in the Roman Senate on the Ides of March. But in the Shakespeare in the Park version, Caesar is a blond president in a long necktie who is more than just reminiscent of President Donald Trump. And in this production, the conspirators who brutally murder the leader are played by women and people of color. Facing complaints, advertisers have dropped their support of the play. Have artists in a polarized nation let loose the dogs of war? Is mischief afoot? Or are there no tricks in plain and simple art? Joining Joshua Johnson to discuss politics in the arts is Kyle Smith, critic-at-large for National Review, Jesse Green, theater critic at The New York Times, Mike Wiley, actor and playwright and Jacqueline E. Lawton, professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. But first, news broke Monday that Senate Republicans were apparently working on a repeal to the Affordable Care Act without plans to share drafts of it with other lawmakers or the public. The secrecy and fast-tracking has angered many Democrats, who want more say and sunlight in the process. NPR's senior correspondent Ron Elving catches us up.

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