The bard and the king
Many Bard lovers think Shakespeare flowered not only under Queen Elizabeth I, but also under the king who succeeded her, James I. Shakespeare: The King’s Man (Acorn Media) is a 2012 BBC documentary on DVD that explores the dark, complex plays of Shakespeare’s last decade. Dig into “King Lear,” “Macbeth,” and “The Tempest,” which mirrored both royal life and the era’s profound social changes. A bonus disc features the BBC’s 1983 production of “Macbeth.”
If you are a regular fan of listening to NPR’s Peabody Award-winning quiz show, now you can watch the action unfold in Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me! – Live. It has been adapted for the stage and will be broadcast live on the big screen in select US movie theaters. Host Peter Sagal is accompanied by panelists Paula Poundstone, Mo Rocca, and Tom Bodett as they play the game in front of an audience at New York University’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, Thursday, May 2, at 8 p.m. For tickets and more info, go to fathomevents.com.
Timed to Earth Day on April 22, HBO presents An Apology to Elephants, narrated by Lily Tomlin. Few animals match the affection and fascination this pachyderm holds for most – yet it has been poached, captured, and abused by many cultures for centuries. The film is infused with Ms. Tomlin’s gentle wit and her passion for the humane treatment and preservation of this animal. Viewers should note there is graphic material in this film.
Lift the curtain on William Randolph Hearst, the man portrayed in “Citizen Kane.” This documentary on the BIO channel explores the 125-year history of his media empire, including the financial success that led him to build Hearst Castle, near San Simeon, Calif., and hold lavish parties during the Great Depression. William H. Macy narrates the details of Hearst’s career, including his rivalry with Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World, and his talent for steering public opinion and staying on the cutting edge. Citizen Hearst airs Tuesday, April 23, at 8 p.m.
Pocket weather reporter
April showers are back, but you can stay dry with Dark Sky, which offers hyperlocalized weather reports, including minute-by-minute rain forecasts for your exact location. If you don’t own an iPhone or iPad, the company behind Dark Sky also runs the excellent website www.Forecast.io.
Taylor Goldsmith is not shy. The lead singer and principal songwriter for Dawes is the aural focal point on every track of his band’s fine new album, Stories Don’t End. Mr. Goldsmith’s sometimes awkward but brave lyrics are delivered in a plaintive tenor with minimal backing and passionate supporting harmonies by his talented ensemble. The opening track, “Just Beneath the Surface,” sets a high bar that the rest of the record soars over.