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Weekend Picks: Poetry, Animation, And Louis Armstrong06:34

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If you don't have any weekend plans yet, Radio Boston's arts producer Amory Sivertson has some suggestions.

Weekend Pick #1: Performance Poetry

What: Saul Williams performs from his latest book, "Chorus: A Literary Mixtape," which is a collection of poems submitted by aspiring writers and fans.
Saul Williams' latest book, "Chorus: A Literary Mixtape" (Courtesy)
Where: Brighton Music Hall in Allston

When: Thursday, September 6

How much: $20 admission, $30 for admission and the book

More: Saul Williams can be described as a renaissance man — he feels called to poetry, music and acting for different reasons. He calls poetry "the clearest and most direct expression of how he thinks," he says he writes music because he can't rely on other artists to and "express the unsaid" in the way that he needs, and he says acting exposes him to aspects of his character he didn't know existed, so he prefers the general term "artist" these days.

Weekend Pick #2: Japanese Animation

What: Castles in the Sky: Miyazaki, Takahata, and the Masters of Studio Ghibli, a major retrospective of animated films from the Japanese film studio, Studio Ghibli.

Where: The Brattle Theatre in Cambridge

When: Friday, August 31 to Thursday, September 13

How much: $6.75 to $12

Weekend Pick #3: The Story Behind Louis Armstrong

What: Shakespeare & Company's "Satchmo at the Waldorf," a one-man biography play about Louis Armstrong

Where: Tina Packer Playhouse in Lenox

When: August 22 to September 16

How much: $24 to $50

More: Listen to playwright Terry Teachout and actor John Douglas Thompson in their interview on WAMC.

Teachout described how the play reveals an Armstrong many of us don't know:

If you only know Armstrong from having heard the records, maybe seen on television if you're older, seen his films — this other side of him, this tougher side, which is the other side of the coin. They're both sides of the same coin: the real man. But it's going to surprise you. It may actually startle you; I hope that it startles you.

And Thompson reflected on the challenge of playing such an iconic figure:

I'm not out there trying to imitate Armstrong. I'm trying to capture his essence. And then the hope is that the audience that's there sees that, feels that, and gets Armstrong. Because I couldn't imitate him; I don't think anybody could.

This segment aired on September 6, 2012.

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