Pop Culture Roundup: This Week

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The actor - who plays Ramsay Bolton in the HBO fantasy series - will star as the Nazi in a TV film charting the tyrant to- be's attempts to enroll at the Vienna Academy of Fine Art in his younger years.

Chatting with The New York Times, Rheon told them he'll be playing "a young Hitler" in Adolf the Artist : before quipping: "Oh, I'm typecast already."

Documents laying out some of the original "Laws of Base Ball" sold for $3.26 million early Sunday morning, setting a new record for the highest-priced baseball document.

Before presidents were the standard, a variety of American figures could be found on our banknotes.

The Medieval Times chain of castles offers a “dinner and tournament” experience intended to evoke the Middle Ages. Guests eat a four-course feast with their hands while watching six knights fight one another in front of the host king. Founded in Majorca, Spain, Medieval Times opened its first U.S. venture in Florida in 1983. There are now nine castles in North America.

How the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop created a new space for gay New Yorkers.

Like many New Yorkers, Craig Rodwell had a vision. He imagined a world where gay men would no longer be restricted to the bars and bathhouses in the city as the only places to congregate. A vice president of the Mattachine Society, a gay political group in New York, Rodwell wanted to open a store that would cater to the growing local gay community. “I was trying to get the Society to be out dealing with the people instead of sitting in an office,” Rodwell recalled. “We even looked at a few store-fronts. I wanted the Society to set up a combination bookstore, counseling service, fund-raising headquarters, and office. The main thing was to be out on the street.”

When the Mattachine Society rejected Rodwell’s vision, he resigned and decided to found a bookstore that would serve as a hub for the gay community. Rodwell had no experience in running a bookstore; his only training was in ballet. As he once explained, in a mix of humility and grandiosity, “I am not a bookseller businessman. I am a person who at the age of 13 set out to help change the world and primarily Gay people’s self-images.”

Miguel de Cervantes, by most lights the greatest writer in the Spanish language and the creator of the modern novel, bequeathed to the world the enduring story of Don Quixote, a romantic idealist, tilting at windmills.

With “Don Quixote de la Mancha,” Cervantes cast a colossal influence on Western literature. Published in the early 17th century, “Don Quixote” is the second-most-translated book after the Bible, and, according to a recent survey of 100 novelists, the best book of all time.

Cervantes died 400 years ago, on April 22, 1616. The Gazette spoke with Mary Gaylord, director of undergraduate studies and Sosland Family Professor at the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, about the writer’s remarkable genius and humor, and why the quest of Don Quixote continues to enthrall readers around the world.

Years after famously portraying George W. Bush in comedy sketches and on Broadway, actor Will Ferrell is set to play Ronald Reagan in a feature-length film. According to Variety, Ferrell is attached to star as the late president in the Mike Rosolio-penned Reagan, a satire about Reagan's second term where he suffers from dementia and an intern is responsible with convincing the ex-actor that he is simply playing a president in order to keep the White House afloat. 

She’s the face of every famous statue from America’s Gilded Age and the first actress to appear nude in a Hollywood film—but Audrey Munson’s charmed life ended in tragedy.

When Audrey Munson was a girl of five, the Gypsy Queen Eliza came to the United States from England. Eliza Cooper was just eighteen but had reigned over 55,000 Roma since succeeding to the throne at the age of ten. Touring the country by train, Queen Eliza stopped in upstate New York to be hosted by Plato Buckland’s thirty-five-strong Gypsy band in East Syracuse. A colorfully painted wagon carried her from the railroad station to the camp on Eastwood Heights, and she was installed with her maidservant in a white tent filled with bright new rugs. In place of a crown, she wore an intricate lace cap on her head.

Ronald Reagan was a movie star who became a politician; John F. Kennedywas a politician who took on the glamour of a movie star.

The process began before Senator Kennedy’s election to the presidency in 1960, when he gave Robert Drew, a producer of news films for Time Inc., permission to document his campaign during the Wisconsin primary. Kennedy’s opponent, Senator Hubert H. Humphrey of Minnesota, had no choice but to follow that lead.

The result was the 53-minute film “Primary” (1960), which Mr. Drew (1924-2014) followed with two TV documentaries about the Kennedy presidency, “Adventures on the New Frontier” (1961) and “Crisis” (1963). All three, along with Mr. Drew’s short “Faces of November” (1964), a reflection on public grief in response to Kennedy’s assassination, have been reissued on disc as “The Kennedy Films of Robert Drew & Associates” (Criterion).

With Harriet Tubman coming to the American $20 bill, and other changes being made to the look of money in the United States, the design of dollars is once again set to evolve. But our current bills still hold many of the symbols and motifs that existed in our earliest paper money, the Colonial and Continental currencies.

Back then, when the bills were being produced by each of the colonies, they were both wilder and more elaborate. Incorporating early versions of the filigree and emblems, like the pyramid, still found in American currency today, these proto-dollars are terrific artifacts from a more primitive economy. Until 1797, they did not even use the "$" symbol, which had to be invented by a bankrupt Irishman first.

Two tone-deaf security guards at the 9/11 Memorial got tough with some wide-eyed middle school kids visiting the city for the first time from their small town in North Carolina — because they sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Postscript:  "The guard who halted a group of 50 students from North Carolina from singing 'The Star-Spangled Banner' during a visit to New York’s 9/11 Memorial was in the wrong, site officials said."

As mathematicians go, Srinivasa Ramanujan isn’t exactly a household name. But his genius — the ability to divine formulas seemingly from thin air that, a century later, are informing computer development, economics and the study of black holes — has long captivated academics and artists alike.

For Matthew Brown, the writer-director behind “The Man Who Knew Infinity,” opening Friday, April 29, mathematics was merely the canvas for a tale of two beautiful minds: Mr. Ramanujan, a South Indian autodidact who believed that an equation held no meaning unless it expressed a thought of God, and G. H. Hardy, a Cambridge professor and atheist who refused to believe in what he could not prove.

 Two giants of Western literature, William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes, are being honored this weekend in their native countries on the 400th anniversaries of their deaths.

But while Britain has gone all out to fete Shakespeare, with a yearlong slate of high-profile events, readings, concerts and stagings of his plays, Spanish officials have been accused of not doing enough to promote Cervantes, whose “Don Quixote” is considered to be a foundational text of modern fiction.

As Spain heads into its fifth month without an elected government, after inconclusive elections in December, the criticism has taken on a distinctly political flavor.

A few weeks ago, Juan Luis Cebrián, the chairman of Prisa, the Spanish media group that owns the newspaper El País, paid tribute to Cervantes at his shareholders’ general assembly. But he took a swipe at “the absence and anomia of the authorities of our country in terms of everything that relates to this event.”

Shakespearean actors from the 19th century sat for some gloriously melodramatic portraits

Robert B. Mantell as Iago. (Photo: Folger Shakespeare Library/ CC BY-SA 4.0)

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