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Any Questions #277 - Playwrights

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats for a show about playwrights.

Last week's challenge
Start with the name GRACE HOPPER. Add a letter and you can rearrange the result to spell the five-letter name of a fruit and the seven-letter name of a fish. What are the words?
Answer: Add and A and you can spell PEACH and GROUPER.

On-air questions: On this day in 1899, Noël Peirce Coward was born in London. The child actor would go on to write songs, plays, operettas, poems, short stories and continue to act. He was knighted in 1970. Some of his most famous plays include Blithe Spirit, Private Lives, and Present Laughter among many others. So in honor of Noël Coward, today’s show is all about playwrights.
1. Frederic March, Lee J. Cobb, Dustin Hoffman and Brian Dennehy are among the actors to portray on screen Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman. Who is the playwright behind this American classic?
2. First performed around 429 B.C., a play by Sophocles centers on a man trying to escape a prophecy that he will eventually kill his father and sleep with his mother. What is the name of the title character?
3. A hit musical about the politics surrounding the American Revolution played to sellout crowds in New York City this year featuring characters including John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. What is the name of this play, written by Sherman Edwards and Peter Stone?
4. The co-artistic director of the West Bank Café Downstairs Theatre Bar in the 1980s, which author of works like the Williamstown Theatre Festival-staged One Slight Hitch and The Deal is a Yale-educated playwright who is probably best known for a recurring segment on The Daily Show since its first season in 1996?
5. The Broadcast Film Critics Association is posthumously nominating for best adapted screenplay the late playwright of the new film Fences. The 1983 play, part of the “Pittsburgh Cycle,” won the Pulitzer and Tony for who?

Extra credit
1. Four hundred years after Shakespeare’s death, the Oxford University Press made headlines late this year by announcing that which bard contemporary would be given a co-author credit for all three Henry VI plays?
2. With his 12 Oscar nominations, Jack Nicholson is the most nominated male actor in Academy Awards history. One of those nods was for portraying Eugene O’Neill in the 1981 movie Reds, co-written, directed, produced and starring what man?

This week's challenge
Start with the name of Weekend and The Best Man playwright Gore Vidal. Rearrange the letters and you can spell a two-word phrase (5,4) that is a way of describing the Grand Canyon. What is the phrase?

On-air questions

1. Arthur Miller (more than a decade after his death, according to the American Theatre, Miller was the fourth-most produced playwright in the U.S. in the past year)
2. Oedipis (Rex) (Christopher Plummer played Oedipus in a 1968 film also featuring Orson Welles and Donald Sutherland)
3. 1776 (which appeared in concert at City Center’s Encores! this year, piggybacking on the success of which other colonial show?)
4. Lewis Black
5. August Wilson

Extra credit
1. Christopher Marlowe
2. Warren Beatty

A lifelong resident of the Capital Region, Ian joined WAMC in late 2008 and became news director in 2013. He began working on Morning Edition and has produced The Capitol Connection, Congressional Corner, and several other WAMC programs. Ian can also be heard as the host of the WAMC News Podcast and on The Roundtable and various newscasts. Ian holds a BA in English and journalism and an MA in English, both from the University at Albany, where he has taught journalism since 2013.
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