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This and that: “This American Life” on stage; Aardman’s “Timmy” goes solo; Mr. McFeely’s back in the ‘hood

Iraglass_2Call it pay TV, only in a theater. The much-loved Showtime/public radio skein This American Life,” hosted by Ira Glass, will mount a live show on May 1 at NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts that will be beamed out via high-def satcast to more than 300 theaters that are part of National CineMedia Fathom digital network. Event promises to show behind-the-scenes clips, outtakes, and a live audience Q&A with Glass, and it will help tubthump the sophomore season bow of the TV rendition on May 4. For tix or more info click here….

Good news today for Aardman Animations nuts. Disney Channel has licensed a Timmy preschooler skein from Aardman, “Timmy,” about a cuddly 3-year-old lamb “with a lot to learn.” He’s based on designs by the great Aardman animator Nick Park, and a character already known to fans of Aardman’s “Shaun the Sheep” series. Disney calls “Timmy” to be Aardman’s first foray into wee kidvid territory (which seems surprising), but I’m guessing it’ll still have those subtle-wacky touches that we love so much in Aardman’s “Wallace and Gromit” (Timmy first appeared in the “Wallace and Gromit” short “Wallace and Gromit” in a Close Shave”) and “Creature Comforts” et al ….

Speaking of kidvid, those of us who were raised on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” will be wishing we could be in Pittsburgh on Thursday for the preem of “Speedy Delivery,” a docu on the long-running PBS series by helmer-producer Paul Germain. Pic is described as a retrospective on the show through the Davidnewellcrop_2 eyes of David “Mr. McFeely” Newell (pictured left), who played the ‘hood’s Speedy Delivery postman from the show’s inception in 1968. Hard to believe that Fred Rogers, the Presbyterian minister who saw television as his pulpit to spread the gospel of healthy child-rearing (never forget that “Mister Rogers'” is as much designed to teach moms and dads how to cope as it is to entertain kids) has been gone for more than five years. Thankfully, his gentle soul lives on in those 900 segs that should run forever. For more info on “Speedy Delivery,” check out the doc’s website right here. (Just thinking about “Mister Rogers'” makes me want to put on a sweater and change my shoes.)

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