Top Picks: Joseph Rosen's book 'Blues Hands,' PBS's broadcast of 'Act One,' and more

Moviegoers can see Benedict Cumberbatch's London turn as Hamlet, the Smithsonian Channel's program 'Hozier: The Church Tapes' includes interviews with and performances by the popular musician, and more top picks.

The Smithsonian Channel

Soulful sermon

Get up close and personal with the popular singer Hozier as he performs and discusses his influences and success in a new program titled Hozier: The Church Tapes. In this Smithsonian Channel special, the “Take Me To Church” singer performs at an intimate concert inside St. James’ Church in Dingle, Ireland. It airs Nov. 6 at 10 p.m.

Striking a chord

Photographer Joseph Rosen has spent three decades following the men and women of the blues, from B.B. King to Susan Tedeschi to The Blind Boys of Alabama. Blues Hands is a visual love letter that focuses on the musicians’ expressive hands as they dance across keyboards and frets under stage lights – rings, wrinkles, and all. The book’s arresting images are supplemented by short bio notes at the end that fill in details about the celebrated musicians and their blues family tree.

Conductor notes

Musical director Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony are releasing a live recording of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3, featuring pianist Emanuel Ax, and Mass in C major. A short video about the recording, featuring performance footage and interviews with the artists, serves as a pre-concert lecture. Check it out at The CD is available Nov. 13.


From the Hart

Theatergoers may not know the name Moss Hart, but they probably know the shows in which he was involved, including “You Can’t Take It With You” and “My Fair Lady.” Now PBS is airing a Lincoln Center production of the play Act One, which tells the story of Hart’s life and features an impressive cast including Tony Shalhoub and Andrea Martin. “Act One” airs Nov. 13 at 9 p.m.

National Theater


Benedict onstage

Benedict Cumberbatch, a 2015 Academy Award nominee for Best Actor, continues to impress with his breadth of ability, and nothing showcases that more than his starring role in Hamlet. Tickets for the British production sold more quickly than any other London show in history, but moviegoers can experience the action through National Theatre Live. Filmed in October, “Hamlet” can be seen in encore showings at various theaters through mid-November. Find a theater near you at 

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