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Again and again in Fire Shut Up in My Bones, the magnetically powerful new opera by Terence Blanchard, the focus returns to the torturous weight of a burden carried alone. That weight, shouldered by the opera's central character, stems from his sexual and emotional abuse as a child, and the resulting pain and alienation of his young adulthood.

Updated September 28, 2021 at 7:26 PM ET

Alex Rivera and Cristina Ibarra share an whimsical, avant-garde sensibility to filmmaking. Individually and as a power couple, they've created fresh, experimental cinema. And this year, they are each getting their own MacArthur fellowships, otherwise known as "genius grants," making them the first married couple to each win the prestigious award at the same time.

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

If you've been following the efforts by Britney Spears to get out of the conservatorship that has dominated her life for the past 13 years, then the broad outlines of Netflix's new film Britney vs Spears will not surprise you.

But for those who snap up every morsel of information in the case, director Erin Lee Carr has assembled a 90-minute feast filled with stories, details and sources sure to feed your hunger for new nuggets of information.

October has plans to bring us some new works from established authors — and some attention-grabbing books from new ones, proving to be packed full of great reads. Here are some of the books we're excited about that are hitting shelves in October.

In 1991, attorney Anita Hill testified that Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her when he was chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and she worked there as an adviser to him.

In 15th century Constantinople, a young girl scales the high walls of an abandoned monastery said to be haunted by spirits who carry their chamberlain through the broken halls on a throne made of bones.

In the 1940s, in Lakeport, Idaho, a boy follows his father to a new job, a new life and, eventually, a new war.

In 2020, a troubled teenager sits in his car outside the Lakeport public library, a gun in his pocket, a bomb in the backpack beside him.

Beck Bennett, known for playing former Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday Night Live, will be leaving the show in a cast reorganization announced Monday. The announcement also includes another departure, two promotions and three new hires at NBC's Emmy-winning sketch comedy series.

After more than 25 years of accusations and a federal court trial in New York that lasted seven weeks, R&B singer R. Kelly has been found guilty of charges including sexual exploitation of a child, bribery, racketeering and sex trafficking involving five victims. Kelly faces a possible sentence of 10 years to life in prison.

Kelly sat absolutely still as the foreperson gave the jury's verdict to Judge Ann Donnelly.

Dear Evan Hansen star Ben Platt admits to being anxious. He frequently worries about the past and also about what's to come, but there's one place where his anxiety tends to subside.

"Being on stage, for me, is kind of the antidote to that," Platt says. "That's the place where my mind is the most quiet."

Updated September 27, 2021 at 12:30 PM ET

Broadway's biggest stars paired lavish gowns with face masks for an extravagant and pandemic-altered Tony Awards.

The 74th Annual Tony Awards went on ahead Sunday after a more than 15 month delay. Moulin Rouge! The Musical took home 10 awards, including the night's biggest: Best musical. The Inheritance won for best play, and A Soldier's Play for best revival.

Anita Hill stares frankly out from the cover of her new book, Believing — which, if you only know her from the 1991 Clarence Thomas Supreme Court hearings, may lead you to expect the book to be something it's not.

Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence is not a book about Anita Hill. Yes, it has plenty of her personal stories and, yes, it references her role at the center of the Supreme Court hearing firestorm that first acquainted many Americans with the concept of "sexual harassment."

History is being made tonight at New York's Metropolitan Opera: For the first time in 138 years, the eminent company will present an opera by a Black composer. After 18 months of pandemic-canceled performances, the nation's premier opera house will open its new season with Fire Shut Up in My Bones, composed by Terence Blanchard.

NEW YORK — "Moulin Rouge! The Musical," a jukebox adaptation of Baz Luhrmann's hyperactive 2001 movie, won the best new musical crown at the Tony Awards on a Sunday night when Broadway looked back to honor shows shuttered by COVID-19, mourn its fallen and also look forward to welcoming audiences again.

The show about the goings-on in a turn-of-the-century Parisian nightclub, updated with tunes like "Single Ladies" and "Firework" alongside the big hit "Lady Marmalade," won 10 Tonys. The record is 12, won by "The Producers."

Multi-platinum singer-songwriter Anthony Hamilton is back with a new album. Love Is The New Black is his first full length album in five years — one fans have been anxiously awaiting.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

We are in the middle of National Hispanic Heritage Month. And the folks at NPR Music have come up with something very special this year. They are featuring nothing but Latin music on the Tiny Desk concerts for the whole month.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TU")

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

There's been big fun for people who like sandwich cookies and fierce, little pocket monsters. I'm talking, of course, about Pokemon Oreos.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

There's a sigh of relief on Broadway, these days – shows are reopening, and bars and restaurants in Times Square are filling up. And tonight, more than 15 months after they were originally scheduled, the 74th Annual Tony Awards will be presented. Previous winners Leslie Odom Jr. and Audra McDonald will host, with appearances from Lin-Manuel Miranda, Chita Rivera and Kristin Chenoweth, among others. But these pandemic Tonys are by no means business as usual.

This week's show was recorded remotely with host Peter Sagal, official judge and scorekeeper Bill Kurtis, Not My Job guest Bowen Yang and panelists Hari Kondabolu, Faith Salie and Roy Blount Jr. Click the audio link above to hear the whole show.

"Six o'clock in the morning. How's your head?"

So begins a poem written this month by the Cuban writer Katherine Bisquet. She continues:

"Is it cold in Berlin?


I go to bed this morning - I'm trying to change my habits - with a complaint,


There's an animal in the front yard that eats the neighbor's pigeons.


The beast eats everything it sees in its path,


How can I tell it not to eat what doesn't belong to it?


Are there cypresses there?


Here the ceibas have lost their leaves

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Benny Oh hears things. Things have spoken to him since he was 13 and his father died. As Ruth Ozeki writes near the opening of her new novel, "The Book Of Form And Emptiness," books are especially talkative.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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