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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 www.panoramas.dk/7-wonders 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 dc-opera.org 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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