Unwrap Your Candies Now

Unwrap Your Candies Now

As you take your seats in the theatre, the lights dim and a voice says “Please locate the nearest exits, turn off all cellular devices, and if you should wish to partake of hard candy during the performance, please Unwrap Your Candies Now…” and then the show begins! Ernie Manouse and Catherine Lu invite you into the world of the performing and visual arts, through conversations with the personalities who bring that world to life. Each episode of UYCN features lively conversations with colorful characters — helping the listener connect with the ideas and people who are shaping today’s pop culture landscape.

Episodes

March 6, 2020 34 min

In this episode of the podcast “Unwrap Your Candies Now,” Ernie Manouse interviews Nick and Diane Marson, a Houston couple who met on 9/11 and whose real-life story inspired central characters in the Tony Award-winning musical Come From Away.

Then, Catherine Lu chats with Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton, Houston Poet Laureate Emeritus and World Champion Slam Poet, about writing the libretto for Houston Grand Opera’s Marian’s Song, a Worl...

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In this episode of the podcast “Unwrap Your Candies Now,” Catherine Lu heads to Lawndale Art Center to interview Houston artist Virginia Lee Montgomery about her solo exhibition Sky Loop. Incorporating video, sound, sculpture and Houston-centric symbols, the immersive installation is inspired by the artist’s personal experience and memories of Hurricane Harvey, on view through March 29.

Then, Ernie Manouse talks with former Ameri...

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February 14, 2020 31 min

In this episode of the podcast “Unwrap Your Candies Now,” Ernie Manouse chats with singer-actor Paul Hope about legendary songwriter Harold Arlen – in particular about the music he wrote in the decade after his famous “Over the Rainbow.” The Paul Hope Cabaret presents That Old Black Magic – Harold Arlen in the 40s on February 17, February 24 and March 2 at Ovations Night Club.

Then, Catherine Lu talks with percussionist Craig Hau...

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In this episode of the podcast “Unwrap Your Candies Now,” Catherine Lu interviews Houston Chamber Choir founder and artistic director Robert Simpson and tenor Jack Byrom on what it was like to attend the 2020 Grammys and accept the award for Best Choral Performance for their album Duruflé: Complete Choral Works. From the red carpet to the moment the envelope was opened, we go behind-the-scenes of their win. The choir’s next conce...

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In this episode of the podcast “Unwrap Your Candies Now,” Ernie Manouse interviews Sasson Gabay and Janet Dacal, who star in The Band’s Visit, winner of 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Broadway Across America presents the North American-touring production January 28 – February 2 at The Hobby Center.

Then, Catherine Lu finds out about the city’s newest dance troupe, Houston Contemporary Dance Company, from Marlana Doyle, f...

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January 24, 2020 31 min

In this episode of the podcast “Unwrap Your Candies Now,” Catherine Lu chats with Dan Knechtges, Artistic Director of Theatre Under The Stars, about the company’s recently-announced 2020 – 2021 season. Knechtges, a Tony-nominated director and choreographer, talks about the eclectic mix of national productions with major buzz and homegrown TUTS productions that celebrate Houston talent – and why it’s like a meal of tapas.

Then, Er...

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January 17, 2020 28 min

In this episode of the podcast “Unwrap Your Candies Now,” Ernie Manouse chats with award-winning director and veteran actor, Shirley Jo Finney. Finney talks about the art of directing and her latest project as director of The Ensemble Theatre’s production of The Green Book. Inspired by The Negro Motorist Green Book, this play by Calvin Alexander Ramsey runs January 23–February 23.

Then, Catherine Lu interviews Natalie Lin, artist...

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January 10, 2020 31 min

In this episode of the podcast “Unwrap Your Candies Now,” Catherine Lu chats with Madison Petaway, Houston’s fifth Youth Poet Laureate. Appointed in November 2019 by Mayor Sylvester Turner through a joint program of Writers in the Schools and Houston Public Library, Petaway is a junior at Westbury High School and a member of the Meta-Four Houston youth slam team. She talks about how poetry changed her life and how she hopes to se...

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January 3, 2020 29 min

In this episode of the podcast “Unwrap Your Candies Now,” Ernie Manouse chats with Mariah Lyttle, who stars as “Celie” in the North American-touring production of The Color Purple. Society for the Performing Arts presents the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical from January 3 – 4 at The Hobby Center.

Then, Catherine Lu features a sound portrait of Houston poet Francis T. Goodbeer. Produced originally for HPM’s Voices and Verses s...

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December 27, 2019 29 min

In this special episode of the podcast “Unwrap Your Candies Now,” Ernie Manouse interviews Oscar-winning actor, singer and author, Julie Andrews, along with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton. The mother-daughter pair have co-written 32 books, including Andrews’ latest memoir Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years. This on-stage interview was recorded live at the Fourth Annual Power of Literacy Luncheon hosted by the Barbara B...

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December 21, 2019 28 min

In this special episode of the podcast “Unwrap Your Candies Now,” Catherine Lu and Ernie Manouse unwrap and share audio gifts of holiday performances by beloved singers and actors from Houston and beyond.

Set list:

Martha DavisI’ll Be Home for Christmas

Lyle LovettA Visit from St. Nicholas

Deborah Hope and Steven Jones – Santa Baby

Julia Krohn and Walt ZipprianThe Gift of the Magi

Martha Davis – Silent Night

 

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December 13, 2019 29 min

In this episode of the podcast “Unwrap Your Candies Now,” Catherine Lu chats with Houston Ballet Principal Dancer Connor Walsh. They talk about his lead role as “The Prince,” which he originated for Stanton Welch’s The Nutcracker, as well as his childhood Nutcracker memories and finding time for holiday traditions amidst a busy performance schedule. Performances of The Nutcracker run through December 29 at the Wortham Center.

The...

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December 6, 2019 31 min

In this episode of the podcast “Unwrap Your Candies Now,” Ernie Manouse chats with longtime “Tonight Show” host, stand-up comedian, voiceover artist, author and speaker Jay Leno, known to many as “the hardest working man in show business.” Society for the Performing Arts presents An Evening with Jay Leno on December 6 at Jones Hall.

Then, Catherine Lu interviews mezzo-soprano Cecilia Duarte and bass Daniel Noyola, two of the star...

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November 29, 2019 29 min

In this episode of the podcast “Unwrap Your Candies Now,” Catherine Lu chats with hip hop pioneer and legendary rapper Kurtis Blow, who is the MC of The Hip Hop Nutcracker. The national-touring holiday production comes to the Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land on December 4.

Then, Ernie Manouse sits down with Dixie Longate of "Dixie's Tupperware Party" to talk about her latest show, Never Wear a Tube Top While Ridin...

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November 22, 2019 29 min

In this episode of the podcast “Unwrap Your Candies Now,” Ernie Manouse interviews Jeff Miller (director) and Tamarie Cooper (cast member and co-artistic director) about Baby Screams Miracle by Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright Clare Barron. Described as a funny, moving tale of faith and survival, the show is being produced by The Catastrophic Theatre from November 22 – December 15 at MATCH.

Then, Catherine Lu chats with Housto...

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In this episode of the podcast “Unwrap Your Candies Now,” Catherine Lu chats with Houston arts writer Pete Gershon about Lawndale Art Center’s 40th Anniversary. They discuss the center's history and impact, from its DIY beginnings in 1979 as an annex for University of Houston art students and its role as an incubator for experimental art to current exhibits and plans for the future. Gershon is Chair of Lawndale’s Advisory Boa...

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In this episode of the podcast “Unwrap Your Candies Now,” Ernie Manouse interviews actor and attorney John Raley, who stars in Inherit the Wind. Cone Man Running Productions will present the classic play by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, inspired by the Scopes Monkey Trial, November 14 – 23 at Spring Street Studios. Raley talks about his career in law, his love of acting and how the two intersect.

Then, Catherine Lu features ...

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In this episode of the podcast “Unwrap Your Candies Now,” Ernie Manouse interviews Broadway superstar and stage legend Bernadette Peters, who performs in Houston on November 2 at Jones Hall presented by Society for the Performing Arts.

Then, Catherine Lu previews the 7th Annual Houston Early Music Festival, November 7 – 17.  She finds out about the city’s early music scene, uniqueness of historical instruments and upcoming festiv...

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In this episode of the podcast “Unwrap Your Candies Now,” Catherine Lu chats with MECA’s Resident Curator Theresa Escobedo and Program Director Liz Salinas about the traditions associated with Día de los Muertos and the organization’s free community festival in celebration of the holiday, from November 2–3.

Then, Ernie Manouse interviews Timothy Gulan and Brandon Michael Nase, who star in Broadway’s Cats, October 22 – 27 at the H...

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In this episode of the podcast “Unwrap Your Candies Now,” Ernie Manouse chats with Desdemona Chiang, director of Vietgone at the Alley Theatre, from Oct. 4 – Nov. 3. A mix of rom-com, road trip, hip-hop and 70s pop culture, the play by Qui Nguyen is inspired by the story of how his own parents met and fell in love in 1975 in an Arkansas camp for Vietnamese refugees.

Then, Catherine Lu learns more about the 12th Annual Houston Fri...

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