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The Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Show: Mostly Funny, Occasionally Poignant

In 1975, a new television program made its debut on late-night television and forever changed what people would watch.
Since then, for most Saturday nights throughout the year come 11:30 p.m., a sketch would appear on the small screen that would end with someone breaking character and crying out, “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!”
Broadcast on the Peacock Network, the show was known simply as NBC’s Saturday Night, thanks to …

Hurricane Laura: 6 Dead, ‘Citizens Whose Lives Are Upside Down’

Hurricane Laura: 6 Dead, ‘Citizens Whose Lives Are Upside Down’

The most powerful storm to ever hit Louisiana, Hurricane Laura, has left six people dead, hundreds of thousands without power, and homes and buildings demolished.
Laura, which made landfall as a Category 4 storm Thursday morning, was later downgraded to a tropical storm and is expected to become a tropical depression later as it moves over Arkansas, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The amount of damage was devastating.
“We have thousands and …

In Vienna, A Hotel Room Comes with A Night at the Opera

I haven’t been to a live performance in a concert hall since seeing “My Fair Lady” at the Volksoper in early March, because, uh, social distancing and all, and I miss it quite a bit.  While it’s doubtful that Broadway will reopen before late fall at the earliest, and the Metropolitan Opera, which cancelled its fall season last week, may reopen New Year’s Eve, I now have the opportunity to …

Review: Metropolitan Opera Virtual ‘At-Home Gala,’ Live from the Stars Living Rooms

In opera, glitches are typically along the lines of what happened in Richard Wagner’s “Lohengrin” in the early 1900s, when the boat drawn by a swan moved offstage without him, and he said, audible to the audience, “Wann fährt der nächste Schwan?” or “What time does the next swan leave?”
Back then, opera was performed in grand opera houses.  Today, amidst the coronavirus pandemic, great opera is performed from the homes …

In Vienna, Horse-Drawn Carriages Deliver Food to Locked Down Residents

Even though tourists are missing from the city center, the Fiaker – the city’s horse-drawn carriages that still connote fin-de-siècle Vienna – are out and about, delivering food prepared by the InterContinental Vienna’s kitchens to the city’s elderly.
The Fiaker have long been a fixture of the cityscape, drivers with bowler hats and formal dress offering tourists a unique glimpse of the city and the opportunity to – for the duration …

Today is Good Friday and the First Night of Passover: Here is What’s Open and What’s Closed

Today is Good Friday and, at sundown, the first day of Passover. The former marks Jesus’ crucifixion, the latter, the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt.
Neither is as widely observed as a federal or state holiday: relatively few offices close and most people simply go to work.
The two holidays do coincide with the start of spring recess at many public and private schools throughout the United States, so students get a break.
Here’s …

Lobby Bar – April 15: Airport Amusement Rides, Outdoor Flying, and How to Live in a Hotel for Free

Lobby Bar – An Uncensored and Unsympathetic Summary of FBT News and Views
Thunderstruck. Paul Riegler puts the pedal to the metal in the 2016 Chevrolet Volt. The hybrid has a range of over 400 miles, 53 of which can be done solely on electric. To recharge the car, simply locate the nearest lightning storm and drive through, making sure to receive at least four direct strikes (holding a folded umbrella …