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Don't-Miss List: Watergate, Steve Martin and More

See it! Hear it! Read it! Do it! The best of movies, TV, music, books and beyond

By Pamela Miller | April 18, 2013
Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford in
Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford in "All the President's Men: Revisited" airing April 21 on Discovery
Courtesy of Discovery Channel

TELEVISION

All the President's Men Revisited, 8 p.m. Eastern time, April 21, Discovery

These days, the shelf life of a political scandal rarely exceeds a news cycle or two. But the granddaddy of them all — Watergate — is as compelling now as it was when it dominated headlines four decades ago. This documentary explores the lasting impact of the break-in that led to the downfall of Richard Nixon and inspired an Oscar-winning film. Produced and narrated by Robert Redford, the Discovery special assesses the legacy with a Who’s Who of TV journalists, pundits and insiders, including James Carville, Mary Matalin, Tom Brokaw, Rachel Maddow, Jon Stewart, former Nixon aides and the granddaughter of Deep Throat, the insider who famously advised Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein to "follow the money."

MUSIC

Love Has Come for You, Steve Martin and Edie Brickell

If a banjo-picking comic sounds like shtick, you’ve never heard Steve Martin pluck. For this, his third roots music record – the first scored him a Grammy — Martin collaborated with Edie Brickell (Mrs. Paul Simon) on 13 compositions that combine his inventive five-string banjo work with her heart-tugging vocals. NPR says, “Martin's got the chops to hang with some serious bluegrass veterans — and those guys don't mess around.”

MOVIES

The Big Wedding

For those who find wedding farce flicks irresistible, The Big Wedding hits all the requisite dysfunctional family function marks. With Robert DeNiro and Diane Keaton as the estranged parents of the groom, Susan Sarandon as DeNiro’s former mistress (his then-wife’s then-best friend), and Robin Williams as the priest, the hijinks are sure to be hyperbolic.

BOOKS

Last Friends, Jane Gardam

Each book in Jane Gardam’s “Old Filth trilogy” is told from the perspective of one member of an end-of-Empire love triangle. The first focused on Sir Edward Feathers, a Raj orphan who ended up in Hong Kong as a wealthy judge in a loveless marriage. The second was devoted to Betty, his dutiful-but-cheating wife. Now, in Last Friends, we learn the sordid background of Betty’s lover Sir Terence Veneering. Readers will find Gardam’s take on aging as affecting as her vivid prose. “The author provides an unsentimental but oddly hopeful vision of old age,” The New York Times says. “As they struggle to maintain old ties and assert themselves in a world that has blown past them, these 'last friends' are still very much alive.”

WORTH THE TRIP

Viva Florida 500, vivaflorida.org for schedule

A weekend in the Sunshine State is perpetually enticing, but this statewide celebration adds a bit of extra incentive. In commemoration of the 500th anniversary of Ponce de León's arrival, Florida is holding a something-for-everyone array of historic and cultural activities, from an air show at Fort Lauderdale Beach to a Jackson Symphony Orchestra performance of Spanish-style symphonic music in St. Augustine. But perhaps the most spectacular event, sure to lure history buffs, is a Viva Florida 500 Voyage on El Galeón. The ship is a 170-foot, 495-ton wooden replica of a Spanish sailing vessel used in early Colonial times. Available through June 3, the voyage will include calls at ports in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Cape Canaveral and St. Augustine.

Pamela Miller is a freelance writer who lives in Los Angeles.