Top Picks: the Maccabees' album 'Marks to Prove It,' PBS's 'Mary Tyler Moore: A Celebration,' and more

Elvis Costello's autobiography 'Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink' is a fascinating tale, a PBS broadcast brings the Tony Award-winning musical 'Billy Elliot' to your living room, and more top picks.

West End live

The Tony Award-winning show “Billy Elliot” comes to your living room with the PBS broadcast of Billy Elliot the Musical Live Oct. 23 at 9 p.m. The musical centers on a young boy who lives in a rough-and-tumble British mining town yet dreams of becoming a dancer. This program was recorded in London’s West End and stars acclaimed British stage actress Ruthie Henshall.


Generations familiar with the classic sitcom “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” will appreciate a PBS special honoring the pioneering Moore on the show’s 35th anniversary. Mary Tyler Moore: A Celebration looks at the wide-ranging influence of a show that depicted an unmarried working-
woman. Moore and other costars share behind-the-scenes stories. It airs Oct. 13 at 8 p.m.

Hip-hop hit

Can’t get tickets to the Broadway hit Hamilton but curious what all the fuss is about? In 2009, “Hamilton” writer, composer, and star Lin-Manuel Miranda performed at the White House Poetry Jam and offered a sneak peek at his hip-hop project depicting America’s Founding Fathers. Check out Miranda performing an early version of one of his “Hamilton” musical numbers at http://bit.ly/hamiltonsong. (Note: There’s some adult language.) 

London’s latest

The Maccabees’ Marks to Prove It – a hit album in Britain – tells the stories of down-and-out residents in an up-and-coming London suburb. That may sound as bracing as a December dip in the Thames. But these dynamic indie-rock anthems celebrate small moments of everyday grace. On “Slow Sun,” rousing trumpet accompanies a recording of early morning commuters on the subway. Singer Orlando Weeks croons, “While the company owns you/ You know she adores you/ and that’s real enough.” 

Costello chronicles

A true-to-life Zelig of pop music, Elvis Costello seems to pop up everywhere, collaborating with everyone from Paul McCartney to Burt Bacharach to Tony Bennett. Costello’s idiosyncratic autobiography, Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink, traces his childhood as the son of London jazzman Ross McManus, through his struggles to find his own place in music, to his arrival as a new wave superstar in the late 1970s, to his post-hits career as a ubiquitous scenemaker. It’s a fascinating tale, pulsing with wit and wisdom. 

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