On TV


“Inside Out: The People’s Art Project” debuts May 20 on HBO. (HBO)
May 18, 2013
On TV

A sampling of fine arts on television for the week of May 19-25

Sunday, May 19
Smithsonian Channel, 7-8 a.m. “Smithsonian Spotlight: 100 years of Natural History” looks at the fine art, dinosaurs and millions of specimens housed at the museum over its lifetime.
MPT2, 11-11:30 a.m. “Invitation to World Literature” explores the Popol Vuh, the Mayan book of creation, with commentary from archaeologist Richard Hanson, humorist Mo Rocca and Guatemalan artist Shuni Giron.
C-SPAN2, 11 a.m.-noon “Book TV in Columbia, South Carolina” tours literary sites and interviews authors from the city.
MPT2, noon- 12:30 p.m. “Artworks” visits a stage production of “The Kite Runner” and interviews “Goosebumps” author R.L. Stine and photographer Daniel Rebert.
WETA, 2:30-5 p.m. “Great Performances at the Met: Rigoletto” presents director Michael Mayer’s new production of the Verdi tragedy, set in Las Vegas in 1960. Piotr Beczala stars as the womanizing Duke, Zeljko Lucic as his sidekick Rigoletto, and Diana Damrau as Rigoletto’s daughter, Gilda.
WHUT, 3-4 p.m. “Fake or Fortune?” investigates whether a painting in a London museum is genuine or a Han van Meergeren forgery.
C-SPAN2, 6-6:30 p.m. “Book TV in London” interviews Hermione Lee about the process of writing biographies on Virginia Woolf and Edith Wharton.
Monday, May 20
HBO, 9-10:15 p.m. The documentary “Inside Out: The People’s Art Project” follows Paris-based street artist JR’s Inside Out Project, on display at insideoutproject.net, in which he prints and sends to places around the world giant versions of photographic portraits that people send him.
WETA and MPT, 9-10 p.m. “Mel Brooks: Make a Noise” profiles the comic writer and film director behind the classics “Blazing Saddles” and “Young Frankenstein,” whose adaptation of “The Producers” was a hit on Broadway, with interviews with Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Cloris Leachman, Carl Reiner and Joan Rivers.
Tuesday, May 21
HBO2, 6:30-8 p.m. Three half-hour episodes of “Young Arts Masterclass” visit performing arts classes with actress Patti LuPone in New York at 6:30 p.m., musician Bobby McFerrin in Baden-Baden, Germany, at 7 p.m. and playwright John Guare in Rome at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 23
MPT, 8:30-9 p.m. “Artworks” visits Highclere Castle, where “Downton Abbey” is filmed; the workshop of Allen Christian; and interviews opera tenor Aaron Casey and best-selling romance writer Nora Roberts.
MPT2, midnight- 12:30 a.m. “Theater Talk” makes predictions for the June 9 Tony Awards.
Friday, May 24
WETA, 9:30- 10:30 p.m. “Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings” profiles the Honolulu-born ukulele virtuoso and goes on tour with him.
MPT, 10-11 p.m. On “Audra McDonald In Concert: Go Back Home,” the “Live from Lincoln Center” host stages her own concert special, singing personal favorites.
WETA, 10:30- 11:30 p.m. “One Voice” tells the story of the Kamehameha Schools Song Contest in Hawaii through the experiences of the high school students chosen to lead their peers in singing Hawaiian music.
MPT, 11 p.m.-midnight “Broadway: The American Musical” highlights 1980 to the present, focusing on “Cats,” “Les Miserables,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “The Lion King” and “The Producers.”

— Christian Hettinger

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