×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

TED Talks Try for Broadway Crowds with Live New York Programming

TED, the brainy nonprofit that showcases notable ideas, has teamed with PBS for “TED Talks Live,” a six-night series of programming this fall at the Town Hall, the New York venue in the midst of the Manhattan theater district.

The programming will include a selection of the TED organization’s signature TED Talks as well as short films and performances, with talent involved including entertainment-world names such as Adam Driver, Rufus Wainwright, Sebastian Junger and Sara Ramirez, as well as former White House chef Sam Kass, film composer Paul Cantelon and singer-songwriter Angela McCluskey. PBS will record the event for broadcast in the spring.

The theater district seems a good fit for TED, which for its live programming can draw from the pool of city tourists who recognize the TED brand from its high digital profile, as well as from the well-off, intellectually-inclined city residents who fit the demographic of regular Broadway playgoers. Tickets to “TED Talks Live” will go for $100 a pop, although students and educators can apply for free tickets online.

“TED Talks Live” will be hosted by comedian Baratunde Thurston, with Ramirez, the “Grey’s Anatomy” alum who won a Tony for “Spamalot,” co-hosting the first two nights of programming dedicated to the “The Education Revolution.” Kass is on the bill for those two nights (Nov. 1-2), along with names including educators Sal Khan and Dena Simmons as well as Future Project co-founder Andrew Mangino, among others.

Driver (“Girls,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”), the Marine Corps vet who got his start acting on the New York stage, will be part of the two nights of programming (Nov. 3-4) focusing on “War & Peace.” Journalist-author Sebastian Junger and psychologist Hector Garcia also are among the names on that roster.

The final two evenings (Nov. 5-6) will center on “Science & Wonder,” with Radiolab research director Latif Nasser and genomic code expert Juan Enriquez on the bill.

After “TED Talks Live” runs Nov. 1-6 in Manhattan, PBS will air three one-hour specials in the spring featuring content from the events.

TED already has a theater-community presence thanks to the licensed offshoot TEDxBroadway, a future-focused annual conference run by theater-world regulars.

Popular on Variety

More Legit

  • Stephen Sondheim's 'Follies' in the Works

    Stephen Sondheim's 'Follies' in the Works as a Movie From Heyday, BBC Films

    David Heyman’s Heyday Films, whose credits include “Gravity,” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” “Marriage Story” and the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchises, and BBC Films have secured the film rights to Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman’s musical “Follies.” “Follies” will be adapted for the screen and directed by Dominic Cooke, a four-time Olivier [...]

  • Tina Turner The Musical

    How 'Tina: The Tina Turner Musical' Tells the Icon's Traumatic Story

    It wasn’t the response Tali Pelman had hoped to receive. The group creative managing director of Stage Entertainment had traveled to Küsnacht, Switzerland, with one goal in mind: Convince Tina Turner that her life could be the stuff of a successful stage musical. “We walked in the door,” Pelman remembers. “Tina was already there, and she greeted [...]

  • Ben McKenzie

    'Gotham' Star Ben McKenzie to Make Broadway Debut in 'Grand Horizons'

    “Gotham” star Ben McKenzie will make his Broadway debut in Bess Wohl’s “Grand Horizons.” He joins a cast that includes Oscar nominees Jane Alexander (“Kramer vs. Kramer,” “The Great White Hope”) and James Cromwell (“Babe,” “L.A. Confidential”). The show has a strictly limited 10-week run and begins previews on Dec. 23, 2019, before officially opening [...]

  • The Great Society review

    Listen: Brian Cox on 'Succession,' Shakespeare, and the Crisis We're In

    Brian Cox is having a pop-culture moment with “Succession,” the buzzy HBO series in which he stars. But he’s also an accomplished theater actor with plenty of experience doing Shakespeare — and it serves him well in both “Succession” and in his current Broadway show, “The Great Society.” Listen to this week’s podcast below: Cox [...]

  • Scooby Doo Ella Louise Allaire Martin

    Scooby-Doo Live Theater Tour Is Goofy Dane's Latest Adventure

    From its 1969 start as a Saturday morning kids mystery cartoon series “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” starring its titular, talking Great Dane and his four teenaged friends, has made adventure its staple. Once Hanna-Barbera’s successor, Warner Bros. Animation, took the leash, Scooby and company became a comic book, a board game, a series of video [...]

  • Tootsie Santino Fontana

    'Tootsie' Ending Broadway Run in January

    “Tootsie,” the critically acclaimed musical adaptation of the 1982 classic film comedy, will play its final Broadway performance on Jan. 5, 2020. When it wraps up its run, the show will have logged 293 regular and 25 preview performances at the cavernous Marquis Theatre, where it sometimes labored to draw big crowds. Last week, “Tootsie” [...]

  • Laurel Griggs

    Laurel Griggs, Broadway and 'SNL' Actress, Dies at 13

    Laurel Griggs, who starred in Broadway’s “ONCE the Musical” as Ivanka, has died. She was 13. An obituary posted to Dignity Memorial indicates she died on Nov. 5, and Griggs’ grandfather wrote on Facebook that her death was due to a massive asthma attack. Griggs made her Broadway debut when she was six years old [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content