00:00:00 | 3:02:50




During last night’s Republican presidential debate, Donald Trump’s opponents finally went into full attack mode. But is Trump unstoppable at this point? Then, we remember Irene Larsen, one of the founders of Hollywood’s Magic Castle. She died yesterday at 79. After that, Madeleine speaks to the director of one of the short films nominated for an Oscar at this Sunday’s awards. And finally, in our regular Friday film segment, our critics round up the latest big screen releases.

Image: Donald Trump at the Feb. 25, 2015, Republican presidential debate on CNN.

Unstoppable Trump? 15 MIN, 19 SEC

Presidential candidate Donald Trump reiterated his melange of talking points at the beginning of last night’s Republican debate. His opponents went into feeding frenzy mode pretty much right after that. This morning, the headlines spoke: “Rubio, Cruz tag-team Trump at fiery GOP debate,” “Rivals gang up on Donald Trump in wildest GOP debate yet,” “Rubio finds his fire.”

The question many pundits had was, “What took so long?” But perhaps the bigger question is, does it even matter? At this point, is Donald Trump unstoppable?

Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone (@mtaibbi)

Remembering L.A.’s Magic Ambassador 8 MIN, 32 SEC

The Magic Castle is one of Hollywood’s weirdest treasures. It’s a hulking old Victorian mansion that serves as a campy, magic-themed country club. There are magic shows there every night, and you have to be invited by a member,  or become one yourself, to get in. The Magic Castle was created more than 50 years ago by a German-born woman named Irene Larsen, along with her husband and brother-in-law. For decades, Larsen was at the center of L.A.’s magic subculture. Besides co-founding the Magic Castle, she also turned her own house in Hancock Park into a kind of magic salon. She died there yesterday at age 79. We remember her with a friend and Magic Castle member.

Chris Nichols, Los Angeles magazine (@ChrisNicholsLA)

‘A Girl in the River’ 14 MIN, 23 SEC

When 19-year-old Saba Qaiser fell in love and ran off to marry her boyfriend, her family was not happy. That might have been the end of it if Saba was from Paris or Toronto. But she’s Pakistani, and there’s a tradition of honor killings in that country. Saba’s father and uncle beat her, shot her and dumped her body in a river. Miraculously, she survived. This is not an isolated case. Honor killings are still a common occurrence in many parts of the world, and now a short documentary about Saba has been nominated for an Academy Award.

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Director (@SOCFilms)

Friday Film 13 MIN, 32 SEC

The Oscars are this Sunday. But instead of looking back, we’ll look to the present and talk about three new movies for our regular Friday film segment. We start with the new cop thriller Triple 9.

Amy Nicholson, host of the podcast The Canon (@theAmyNicholson)
Grae Drake, Rotten Tomatoes (@graedrake)

Subscribe to the 5 Things To Do newsletter

Never miss the best of what to do with your free time.


More From Press Play with Madeleine Brand


Latest From KCRW

View Schedule


View All Events


Player Embed Code