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Top Picks: Teenagers going to Broadway, an Asian cuisine cookbook, and more

Paul McCartney's concert event comes to PBS, a 'Downton Abbey' season 3 clip debuts online, and more top picks.

August 31, 2012

'Broadway or Bust' on PBS

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Groove to world beats

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Lebanese-born, Paris-based trumpeter and composer Ibrahim Maalouf has concocted an energetic mélange in Diagnostic. Drawing on Arabic modes, Brazilian rhythms, Balkan brass, electronic jazz, and blistering electric guitars, Maalouf weaves together meditative passages, huge drums, subtle electronic effects, and microtonal choral passages to form an emotional statement of beauty. Diagnosis: infectious grooves!

Get back with Paul

Nostalgia is on the PBS menu with the “Great Performances” Sept. 7 airing of Paul McCartney’s “Live Kisses,” a concert event bringing to life his latest album, “Kisses on the Bottom,” which showcases Sir Paul’s unique takes on classic jazz standards. The evening features performers from the collection, including singer/pianist Diana Krall, as well as interviews with collaborators such as Eric Clapton and Stevie Wonder.

A Grandma for your kitchen

Asian cuisine requires three things: a wok, the right ingredients, and time to chop. Someone watching over your shoulder helps, too. In The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook, by Patricia Tanumihardja, the author has collected straightforward Asian recipes ranging from Chinese to Korean to Indian, and everything in between. Tanumihardja also contributes to the Monitor’s Stir It Up! recipe blog.

Gold Medal Sound

The London Olympics are over, and the images of triumph and heartbreak linger. So how about a soundtrack from the closing ceremony? A Symphony of British Music provides 39 tracks of proof that the British are also champions of popular music. From baby-faced newcomer Ed Sheeran singing Pink Floyd to The Who to the one and only Ray Davies of the Kinks to eccentric chanteuses Kate Bush and Annie Lennox, their parade of musical variety and creativity is unrivaled in the world. It's the next best thing to a gold medal.

'Downton Abbey': sneak peek

For Downton Abbey fans in the United States, Season 3 feels like an eternity away. Not so for our British cousins who get a head start this fall when the series resumes in Britain. British iTV has posted two 30-second clips of the next season with delicious sparring between grand dame Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) and Lady Cora's American mother Martha Levinson (Shirley MacLaine). Check them out at http://bit.ly/DowntonPeek1 and http://bit.ly/DowntonPeek2. Season 3 arrives in the US Jan. 6 on PBS.

Broadway bound

For 60 teenagers from 30 regional competitions across the US it's Broadway or Bust this fall on PBS (premières Sept. 9). They descend on New York for a week of focused "theatrical boot camp" and a shot at Broadway stardom and scholarships. The result: a very entertaining show on a Broadway stage pulled off in just 5 days, with two winners crowned from six finalists.

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