Trey Graham

Trey Graham edits and produces arts and entertainment content for NPR's Digital Media division, where among other things he's helped launch the Monkey See pop-culture blog and NPR's expanded Web-only movies coverage. He also helps manage the Web presence for Fresh Air from WHYY.

Outside NPR, Graham has been a lead theater critic at the Washington City Paper, D.C.'s alternative weekly newspaper, since 1995, which means he's seen a good deal of superb theater and a great deal of schlock. He's still stage-struck enough to believe that the former makes up for the latter.

Graham began his career as a writer and editor at The Washington Blade; his subsequent tenure at USA Today included a stint as the newspaper's music and theater editor. A past fellow at both the O'Neill Critics Institute and the NEA Arts Journalism Institute in Theater and Musical Theater, Graham won the George Jean Nathan Award for distinguished drama criticism in December 2004.

Graham is also a regular panelist on Around Town, the venerable arts roundtable program on Washington PBS affiliate WETA-TV, and the author of the theater section of the newest Time Out Guide to the nation's capital. He's written about books, travel, movies and the arts for publications including The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Born in New Orleans (during Mardi Gras, no less) and raised in South Carolina, Graham has lived in Washington, D.C., since 1990 Β­ except for a couple of years in Zimbabwe, which turned out to be way more fun than a politically perilous, economically disastrous situation has any right being.

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Monkey See
10:18 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Morning Shots: In Which Kristin Wiig Gets Very Silly

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 11:37 am

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Monkey See
7:12 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Morning Shots: The Does Your Garden Make You Think Of Carrion? Edition

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 2:02 pm

In London, they're breathlessly anticipating a royal bundle of joy. Here in the capital of the former colonies, we await the blooming of a gigantic flower that smells like rotting meat. Because that's how we do. [The Washington Post]

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Movie Reviews
10:43 am
Fri July 12, 2013

'Terms And Conditions' And Us β€” Oh, My ...

Take It Or Leave It: The legalese you accept when you use Facebook or iTunes (or NPR's digital platforms) may have you agreeing to some surprising things. Cullen Hoback's documentary Terms and Conditions May Apply illustrates just how many β€” and just how much control we've obligingly signed away.
Variance Films

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 12:06 pm

I'm 45, single, substantially in debt and way too susceptible to jokes about redheads. And I'm telling you these things upfront because ... why not? It wouldn't be all that hard for you β€” or your Big Brother β€” to find out.

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Monkey See
4:03 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Teens Find The Right Tools For Their Social-Media Jobs

When you need to illustrate a story about proliferating social-media platforms, it's good to know that an enterprising stock photographer has probably thought about it already.
Anatoliy Babiy iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 4:45 pm

Once upon a time, it was MySpace. (Huh. Turns out you can still link to it.) Then Facebook happened. And Twitter. And beyond those two dominant social-media platforms, there are a host of other, newer options for staying in touch and letting the digital universe get a look at your life. And for certain kinds of sharing, some of those other options make more sense to tech-savvy teens than the Big Two do.

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Monkey See
1:59 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

'Into The Woods' All Over Again, This Time In An Actual Urban Jungle

Sarah Stiles and Ivan Hernandez are Little Red and the Wolf β€” whose encounter in Into the Woods brings the fairy tale's charged sexuality forcefully to the surface.
Joan Marcus The Public Theater

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 2:44 pm

Oh, the questions that circulated when this summer's Shakespeare in the Park revival of Into the Woods was announced.

Who'd play the Baker, that woebegone would-be father at the center of Stephen Sondheim's fractured musical fairy tale?

Who'd step into the star role of the vengeful Witch, played notably by Bernadette Peters in the premiere and by Vanessa Williams in the 2002 revival?

How would the show work in a giant outdoor amphitheater, amid the trees and lawns and urban clatter of Central Park?

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Monkey See
12:31 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Of 'Dark Knight,' Summer Games And Such

NPR

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 1:47 pm

  • Listen To Pop Culture Happy Hour

With our fearless leader Linda Holmes away at the TCA summer press tour, the crew is forced to stumble haplessly into the studio, where I somehow flopped into the host's chair again, heaven help us.

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Monkey See
4:14 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Theater Diary: The After-Action Report

Miriam Shor, late of TV's recently cancelled GCB, played the fairy godmother at this year's Broadway Bares charity strip-a-thon. We are sorry, but this is more or less the only photo we can show you from the event.
Matthew Murphy

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 3:35 pm

The last few days of my post-Tonys theater week were so jam-packed that there was no time to write up what I was doing. Matinees, cabarets, stand-ups, burlesques, benefit readings; it was a mad dash of a weekend. So here goes, with the recap β€” and a few recommendations for things to try next time you get to New York:

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Monkey See
5:18 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Theater Diary: When Reactions Speak Louder Than Words

Mariah, at right, is the steel-spined matriarch of Porgy and Bess's Catfish Row. Actress NaTasha Yvette Williams, with Norm Lewis's Porgy and Bryonha Marie Parham's Serena, creats one of the show's pivotal moments without having to speak a word.
Michael J. Lutch

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 6:46 pm

There's plenty of high drama going on in Porgy and Bess, and high drama can often mean intense acting.

God knows Audra McDonald is tearing up the stage as the drug- and drink- and sex-addled Bess: I've never seen her loosen up her joints and contort her body the way she does in two or three of the show's more scorching moments. She's located something rough and ugly deep inside, and found a physical and a vocal language for it.

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Monkey See
6:14 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Theater Diary: Ludacris Meets The Von Trapps, And A Bartender Proves Unreliable

Three's company: M (Jason Butler Harner, left) and F (Amanda Quaid) spar over the affections of the paralyzingly uncertain John (Cory Michael Smith) in Mike Bartlett's The Cockfight Play.
Joan Marcus

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 10:22 am

On Monday night, a theater-critic buddy and I were hoisting a round at a 9th Avenue saloon called Flaming Saddles. "God Bless Texas" was on the jukebox, which was an actual jukebox and not somebody's Spotify playlist, and the big-screen TVs were showing Shirley MacLaine getting smashed in Can-Can, because it's that kind of establishment.

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