It was only months ago that for a while it felt like legendary performer Jerry Lewis was a Nashvillian. In town to accompany the World Premiere of his stage adaptation of The Nutty Professor at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, Lewis made himself accessible and eased comfortably into the energy of the city. Directing The Nutty Professor’s transition to the stage was just the latest project in this prolific and entrepreneurial entertainer’s career. Encapsulating that career for anyone else would be daunting, so Lewis decided to do it himself, in a style he was accustomed to. Taped in the Showroom at the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas in November 2012, An Evening With Jerry Lewis: Live From Las Vegas—premiering Sunday, March 3, at 7 p.m. on NPT—presents Lewis on stage, telling stories of his eight-decade career through narrative and musical performances with video and rare, never-before-seen clips from his personal and private vaults.
The membership drive broadcast will be accompanied by the first-ever Puppet Pledge, as puppets from the Nashville International Puppet Festival, taking place June 21–23 at the Nashville Public Library, take over the NPT pledge set, manning the phone bank and interacting with the on-air talent. It’s a fun, must-see event!
The late Levon Helm holds a special place in the heart of Nashville, from his remarkable Ramble at the Ryman to the stunning tribute paid him at the end of last year’s American Music Association Honors and Awards show.
In October of last year, friends and admirers of Helm gathered at the Izod Center in New Jersey for a once-in-a-lifetime benefit concert celebrating Helm’s life and music and raising funds to support his lasting legacy. Net proceeds went to ensure that Levon’s home, barn, and studio remain in the hands of his family. NPT is proud to bring you this show on Wednesday, March 6, at 8:30 p.m. and give you the opportunity, along with Gregg Allman, Mavis Staples, John Hiatt, Dierks Bentley, Roger Waters, Joe Walsh, Amy Helm and more, to show your own Love for Levon.
Philip Roth, the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning novelist, often referred to as the greatest living American writer, gets the American Masters treatment on Saturday, March 30, at 9 p.m. with Philip Roth: Unmasked. In candid interviews, Roth discusses intimate aspects of his life and art as he has never done before: his unliterary upbringing in Newark, New Jersey, his writing process, the inspiration behind his most famous novels, including Goodbye, Columbus; Portnoy’s Complaint, Sabbath’s Theatre, American Pastoral, and The Human Stain, and the many controversies he stirred throughout his career. Interviewees include Mia Farrow, Jonathan Franzen, and Nicole Krauss. The directing and producing team of David Redmon and A. Sabin have created some of the finest documentaries of recent years, among them Mardi Gras: Made in China (2005), Kamp Katrina (2007), Intimidad (2008), and Invisible Girlfriend (2009). In 2011’s riveting Girl Model,
presented by P.O.V. on NPT on Sunday, March 24, at 9 p.m., the filmmakers go behind the facade of the modeling industry by following two people whose lives intersect because of it: Ashley, a deeply conflicted American model scout, and 13-year-old Nadya, plucked from a remote Siberian village and promised a lucrative career in Japan. The operatic pop vocal group Il Divo—Spanish baritone Carlos Marín, Swiss tenor Urs Bühler, American tenor David Miller, and French pop singer Sébastien Izambard—will be live in Nashville in May at the Ryman Auditorium, but NPT has them Live in London in March. In a taped concert at the beautiful London Coliseum, airing on Tuesday, March 12, at 7 p.m., the four men unveil songs from their new CD, Wicked Game, including the sensational “Dov’è l’amore.”