Monitor Picks

Five things we think you'll like, including a panoramic tour of the Seven Wonders of the World, an illustration of President Reagan's life, and a chat with four acting titans.

Newest wonders

In July, the New Seven Wonders of the World were anointed after a tally of global votes. To experience a bit of wonderment in 360 degrees, visit and marvel at panoramic views of Petra, Chichén Itzá, the Colosseum, and all the rest.

An American precedent

Ronald Reagan – actor, president, and hero of the political right – would seem an odd choice for the graphic-novel treatment. But Ronald Reagan: A Graphic Biography, by Andrew Helfer, Steve Buccellato, and Joe Staton, does what many traditional tomes couldn't do: It illuminates Reagan's achievements and foibles in sharp literary cinema. A unique take on one of America's most controversial presidents.

The world's music

Manu Chao, born José-Manuel Thomas Arthur Chao, has long recorded pop with a political edge. His most well-known album, "Clandestino," sung in a handful of languages, including French, had a supple grace – it was ideological without being jingoistic. Enter La Radiolina. Manu Chao's dynamic new disc stresses form over function, and the chaotic roar of influences over traditional verse/chorus structure. Plug in, and bliss out.

An aria in your area?

In an act of outreach, Washington National Opera will present a live simulcast of its modernized production of Puccini's La Bohème, Sunday, Sept. 23 at 2 p.m. The third such simulcast, it's the first to stream into selected colleges and high schools (32 in all) around the US – as well as two D.C.-area theaters and the National Mall. Most venues offer limited free seating. Check for details.

Screened icons

James Lipton, host of Bravo's Inside the Actor's Studio has been endlessly parodied for his fawning conversations with film stars. But Leading Men, a compilation of episodes featuring Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Russell Crowe, and Sean Penn is a reminder that, far from hogging the limelight, Lipton's pointed questions elicit great insights into each actor's approach to their craft.

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