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Popular Culture Programs

Late 18th-century England is the backdrop for the British series “Poldark” on PBS. Ross Poldark is the dashing hero caught up in the social, political, and economic changes swirling around him. Find out what the series, set in rugged Cornwall, gets right about the period.

Event date
Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

The show that proved that being a puppet is no barrier to being a Broadway star marks the end of its more than 6,000 New York performances in May. Before the final curtain falls, join two of Avenue Q’s non-puppet original cast members, Rick Lyon and Jennifer Barnhart for some behind-the-scenes insights on the development, history, and impact of the Tony-winning musical, and its groundbreaking use of puppetry on stage.

Event date
Saturday, April 27, 2019 - 7:00 p.m.

In a special evening, directors Joe Russo and Anthony Russo discuss their experience of back-to-back filming of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame and challenges of transporting the adventures of the iconic super-heroes from comic book page to the screen.

Event date
Tuesday, April 30, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

From their first performance of “I Want To Hold Your Hand” on the Ed Sullivan show in 1964 to “Let It Be” on their final album in 1970, the songs of the Beatles defined and shaped an explosive era in musical and cultural history. Join musical raconteur Robert Wyatt on a “magical mystery tour” of the life and works of the group whose influence still echoes in pop music—and our lives.

Event date
Thursday, May 9, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

Drawing on her new book, The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World He Created, Jane Leavy discusses the Bambino’s journey from Baltimore to the big leagues to the center of the nation’s adulation. In conversation with local sports attorney Phil Hochberg, she goes behind the mythology to uncover the man whose approach to the game and to life was always to hit it with all you’ve got.

Event date
Monday, May 20, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

Jewish comedy is serious business. It can be traced back to biblical times—and to a people who used humor to deal with an uncaring universe. Jeremy Dauber traces the genre’s origins and evolution and shows how it has mirrored, and sometimes even shaped, the course of Jewish history.

Event date
Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

Do Spider-Man’s existential doubts revolve around opportunity costs? Economist Brian O’Roark examines a powerful (if unlikely) alliance between the worlds of the comics and economics and why, despite their amazing powers, superheroes are still beholden to its laws.

Event date
Thursday, June 6, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

During six seasons on AMC, Walter White, the antihero of “Breaking Bad” practiced a lot of ad-hoc chemistry. But how much of it was actually scientific? Join the show’s science advisor, chemistry professor Donna Nelson, and scientist Marius Stan, who appeared as an actor, to learn how the series mixed fictional storylines with professionally accurate facts.

Event date
Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

To mark the anniversary of the landmark HBO series, Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller Seitz, television critics of New Jersey’s Star-Ledger—Tony Soprano’s hometown newspaper—discuss the show’s artistry, themes, and legacy, as well as its deep connections to other film and TV classics.

Event date
Wednesday, June 26, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.