Joe Donahue

Senior Director of News and Programming

Joe talks to people on the radio for a living. In addition to countless impressive human "gets" - he has talked to a lot of Muppets. Joe grew up in Philadelphia, has been on the area airwaves for more than 25 years and currently lives in Washington County, NY with his wife, Kelly, and their dog, Brady. And yes, he reads every single book. 

Ways to Connect

Frances Young Tang was a businesswoman, philanthropist, and 1961 Skidmore College graduate who died in 1992. In her memory, the Tang family made a substantial donation that led to the Tang Teaching Museum becoming a reality in 2000. Frances Day honors Frances Young Tang’s legacy of creativity and philanthropy with a day of free activities.

The museum’s fifth annual Frances Day, a community open house from 2 to 6 pm is on Saturday, July 14th. Visitors can experience multiple contemporary art exhibitions, art-making activities, tours, food, music, and more. Ian Berry is the Dayton director of The Tang.

7/9/18 Panel

Jul 9, 2018

 The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Executive Editor of the Times-Herald Record Barry Lewis, former NYS Senator and SUNY New Paltz Communications Professor, Terry Gipson, and Communications Consultant Joe Bonilla.

Jamie Bernstein
Steve J. Sherman / Star Tribune

The composer of "On the Town" and "West Side Story," chief conductor of the New York Philharmonic, television star, humanitarian, and inveterate partygoer Leonard Bernstein was a massive celebrity during one of the headiest periods of American cultural life, and perhaps the most talented musician in American history.

To his eldest daughter, Jamie Bernstein, he was all that and more. She writes about her father in the new memoir, "Famous Father Girl."

She joins us to talk about the book, all of the international events celebrating Leonard Bernstein's Centennial this year -- including two very special events at Tanglewood in Lenox, Massachusetts. She’s directing "Trouble in Tahiti" on July 12 and hosting the Young People’s Concert on August 10.

 

Today's special edition of Book Picks come from Matt Tannenbaum from The Bookstore in Lenox.

List:

“On the Road and Off the Record with Leonard Bernstein” by Charlie Harmon

“Famous Father Girl” by Jamie Bernstein

A few by the maestro (Bernstein) himself:

“Joy of Music”

“Infinite Varieties of Music”

“Unanswered Question”

AND:

Peggy Daniels’ “Tanglewood: A Group Memoir”

Moritz Gnann
http://moritzgnann.com

Yu-An Chang, a Taiwanese conductor has been tapped by Boston Symphony Orchestra Music Director Andris Nelsons to be the orchestra’s new assistant conductor with his two-year term beginning later this year.

Yu-An will make his first podium appearance as assistant conductor during the BSO’s 2019 Tanglewood season. He replaces current BSO assistant conductor Moritz Gnann, who joined the BSO at the start of the 2015-16 season and completes his three-year term with the orchestra this summer at Tanglewood.

On July 13, Gnann leads the BSO in a program of music by Wagner, Mozart, and Schumann, featuring pianist Paul Lewis.

 

As you walk along Tanglewood’s meandering paths, it’s easy to miss a series of small wooden shacks nestled amongst the pine trees -- until you hear the sweet music emanating from within. It’s here that the Tanglewood Music Center Fellows hone their craft and learn from the masters.

For decades, talented young musicians from around the country and around the globe have been coming to the Berkshires to study with some of the best musicians in the world.  Today we’re joined by Ellen Highstein – the Director of the Tanglewood Music Center.

As the season hits its stride at Tanglewood, we speak to a man who not only is keeping the plates spinning here, he is also has an eye on Boston and even working on programming for future years here at Tanglewood.

Tony Fogg has been Artistic Administrator of the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 1994 and assists the Music Director in the planning and selection of all BSO concerts and repertoire.

A pianist by training, he is one of our favorites to chat with and it is a great pleasure to welcome Tony back to our Roundtable as he joins us and Mark Volpe for a look at the next several weeks here on the Tanglewood campus.

Mark Volpe
BSO

Managing Director Of The Boston Symphony Orchestra Mark Volpe joins us to discuss opening weekend at Tanglewood, the coming season, and Tanglewood's Bernstein Centennial Summer.

Brandon Victor Dixon, Megan Lawrence, Laura Osnes, and Andy Karl perform ON THE TOWN with the Boston Pops.
Winslow Townson / digboston.com

A collaboration with choreographer Jerome Robbins and the writing team of Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Leonard Bernstein's “On the Town” -the story of three sailors on shore leave in New York City- arrived on Broadway in December 1944, when he was just twenty-six.

Based on his popular ballet collaboration with Robbins, “Fancy Free,” it was not only his first musical, it was a first for Comden and Green, who would become Broadway and Hollywood legends in their own right. Hit songs include "New York, New York" and "Some Other Time."

Keith Lockhart leads the Boston Pops in a complete, semi-staged performance of Bernstein's hit musical, "On the Town," tomorrow night in the shed featuring an all-star cast.

To tell us more, we welcome actor Andy Karl, Music Director, David Chase and Director Kathleen Marshall.

Chita Rivera
Laura Marie Duncan

The incomparable Broadway icon Chita Rivera performs a one-night-only solo concert, benefiting Williamstown Theatre Festival's New Play & Musical Development Initiative.

The two-time Tony Award winner and recipient of a special honor for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre at the 2018 Tony Awards (last seen at WTF starring in "The Visit" and its subsequent Broadway transfer) will recreate moments from her legendary career, showcasing the artistry and history that has made her a star of the Great White Way and beyond.

She will be accompanied by her long-time trio, Michael Croiter (Music Director/Percussion/Guitar), Gary Adler (Associate Music Director/Piano), and Jim Donica (Bass).

David DeSteno is a professor of psychology at Northeastern University, where he directs the Social Emotions Group. He is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and the American Psychological Association, for which he serves as editor-in-chief of the journal Emotion.

His book, "Emotional Success" provides an accessible and powerful path to grit: our prosocial emotions. These feelings – gratitude, compassion and pride – are easier to generate than the willpower and self-denial that underpin traditional approaches to grit. And, while willpower is quickly depleted, prosocial emotions actually become stronger the more we use them. These emotions have another crucial advantage: they’re contagious.

Set over the course of one week in June of 1939, the new novel The World of Tomorrow by Brendan Mathews is a story about siblings, the joys of music, love (mutual and unrequited), and the meaning of home.

It is a New York novel, but also one of the world, of big dreams and big love and what it means to be willing to pay any price for your family. 

This episode was recorded at The Mount in Lenox, Massachusettes. 

Kathleen Bershad has fifteen years of experience in the food and wine industry and has honed the art of matching people with wine. Through her company, Fine Wine Concierge, she advises clients on building wine collections and organizing their cellars.

In her book, "The Wine Lover's Apprentice," she acknowledges the importance of tossing out the rules about wine and taking a relaxed approach to storing and serving everyday bottles. She delves into the nitty-gritty details of winemaking and takes a look at the world’s major wine regions to give readers a quick understanding of the world of wine.

Debra Jo Rupp in Bekah Brunstetter's The Cake at Barrington Stage Company.
Carolyn Brown

Faith, family and frosting collide in the touching and timely new comic drama by Bekah Brunstetter, "The Cake," starring actress Debra Jo Rupp and directed by Jennifer Chambers. The play is running at Barrington Stage Company's St. Germain Stage through July 15.

Rupp plays Della. Della makes cakes, not judgment calls - those she leaves to her husband, Tim. But when her best friend's daughter comes home to North Carolina to get married, Della's life gets turned upside down when she realizes there's not just one bride, but two. She can't really make a cake for such a wedding, can she?

For the first time in her life Della has to think for herself, forcing her to re-examine some of her deeply-held beliefs, as well as her own marriage.

Debra Jo Rupp has been a regular at Barrington Stage Company in "Love Letters;" "Kimberly Akimbo;" "Dr. Ruth, All the Way;" "To Kill a Mockingbird" and many more. Her film credits include "Big," "Clockwatchers," and "Sgt. Bilko" and over 300 television appearances, most notably on "That ‘70s Show," "Seinfeld," "Friends" and currently recurring on "This Is Us" and "The Ranch" with Sam Elliot.

Suzanna Hermans from Oblong Books and Music joins us with this week's Book Picks list.

List:

We Don't Eat Our Classmates” by Ryan T. Higgins
Be Prepared” by Vera Brosgol
Midnight Without a Moon” by Linda Williams Jackson
Bob” by Wendy Mass & Rebecca Stead
Spy School” by Stuart Gibbs
Scythe” by Neal Shusterman
Piecing Me Together” by Renee Watson
Neverworld Wake” by Marisha Pessl 

"What to Read and Why" by Francine Prose - Book launch 7/6 at Oblong Books in Rhinebeck, and The White Hart Speaker Series 7/12
"The Seas" by Samantha Hunt - Book re-launch 7/10 at Oblong Books in Rhinebeck

7/3/18 Panel

Jul 3, 2018

   The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Political Consultant Libby Post, Associate Editor of The Times Union Mike Spain, and publisher of The Empire Report, J.P. Miller.

Christopher Lloyd in "Our Town" at Weston Playhouse
Hubert Schriebl

In the small town of Grover’s Corners, ordinary people lead extraordinary lives. The Pulitzer Prize winning "Our Town" is a simple yet profound story of a community, brought to life by Thornton Wilder’s singular voice.

Christopher Lloyd is playing The Stage Manager in Weston Playhouse's production of "Our Town" through July 7.

Lloyd is a beloved American character actor, best known for his work on "Taxi" and in the "Back to the Future" film franchise.

This season the Weston Playhouse presents productions of "Anne of Green Gables," "Our Town," "Fun Home," "West Side Story," "A Doll's House, Part 2," "Million Dollar Quartet," and "Two Trains Running" on its two stages in Weston, Vermont. 

Steve Stettler is Weston's Producing Artistic Director.

The Flying Deer Nature Center in New Lebanon, New York is a wilderness school and community dedicated to mentoring children, adults, and families in deep connection to nature, self, and others.

Their educators guide people of all ages in nature immersion and education. Michelle Apland is the Executive Director of Flying Deer Nature Center.

Hanford Mills Museum will hold its annual Independence Day Celebration on Wednesday, July 4. Activities include a kids’ fishing derby on the Mill Pond, frog jumping contests, live music, local food, and steam-power and water-power demonstrations in the Museum’s historic sawmill, gristmill and woodworking shop.

Visitors can sample ice cream made on steam-powered churn chilled with ice cut during February’s Ice Harvest Festival. Visitors also can bring a picnic. The Hanford Mills String Band, featuring Peter Blue will perform in the Mill Yard.

The Independence Day Celebration on July 4 runs from 10 am to 4 pm, with the Museum site open until 5 pm. Liz Callahan is the Museum’s Executive Director.

The 29th annual Music Haven Concert Series will journey nearly 36,000 miles, from North Africa to South America, and cross from the North Sea to the Gulf of Mexico, in search, as always for the hottest traditional and contemporary global sounds.

Recent improvements to Music Haven’s house and hill have increased the venue’s comfort and capacity and become the impetus for longtime producing artistic director Mona Golub to expand and broaden the program.

Concerts take place Sundays in the Summer at 7pm in Schenectady’s Central Park on the Agnes McDonald Music Haven Stage. Mona Golub is the Producing Artistic Director of Music Haven Concert Series.

7/2/18 Panel

Jul 2, 2018

    The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Albany County District Attorney David Soares, Political Consultant Libby Post, and Associate Editor of The Times Union Mike Spain.

Bard SummerScape 2018

Jun 29, 2018
Jack Ferver as Tinker Bell in “Peter Pan” at Bard SummerScape festival. (Credit Lauren Lancaster for The New York Times) -- and Kathleen Chalfant (credit - playwrightshorizons.org)
Lauren Lancaster for The New York Times (Peter Pan); playwrightshorizons.org (Chalfant)

The fifteenth annual Bard SummerScape festival features seven weeks of world-class opera, theater, dance, cabaret, film, and music, including the 29th annual Bard Music Festival, “Rimsky-Korsakov and His World.”

Gideon Lester, Director of Theater and Performance Programs at Bard and Artistic Director for SummerScape Dance's “Four Quartets” is here along with acclaimed actress Kathleen Chalfant, who is performing in “Four Quartets” as the narrator reading T.S. Eliot's poems.

"Four Quartets" is a World Premiere/SummerScape Commission with poetry by T. S. Eliot, choreography by Pam Tanowitz, music by Kaija Saariaho performed by The Knights, and images by Brice Marden.

We will also learn about a new production of Leonard Bernstein's Peter Pan.

Let us now travel to Cooperstown, NY where the Fenimore Art Museum’s new exhibit: “Thomas Cole and the Garden of Eden” is now on display. The exhibition centers on Cole’s masterwork “Expulsion from the Garden of Eden,” lent by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and explores his aspirations for landscape painting at the start of his career in the 1820s and early 1830s.

Sixteen original works, including paintings from the Fenimore’s collection and loans from more than a dozen other institutions and private collectors survey the themes of the Garden of Eden. The exhibition also reveals artists that influenced Cole early in his career, such as Asher B. Durand and Thomas Doughty.

Chris Rossi is the Director of Exhibitions at the Fenimore Art Museum.

Seymour Hersh's fearless reporting has earned him fame, front-page bylines in virtually every major newspaper in the free world, honors galore, and no small amount of controversy.

Now in this memoir, "Reporter," he describes what drove him and how he worked as an independent outsider, even at the nation's most prestigious publications.

6/29/18 Panel

Jun 29, 2018

        The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Siena College Economics Professor Aaron Pacitti, Berkshire Eagle reporter Jenn Smith, and Corporate Attorney Rich Honen.

The global advertising industry, the invisible fuel powering media and commerce, is in crisis. Of all the industries impacted by the digital age, few have changed as dramatically as advertising and marketing.

Today’s consumers are distracted, glued to mobile devices, and accustomed to dodging ads. And those vying for their attention, advertising agencies, tech companies, and clients of both, have formed a web of frenemies that compete, cooperate, and distrust one another all at the same time.

As Madison Avenue and Silicon Valley wrangle for influence, bestselling author and veteran New Yorker columnist Ken Auletta lifts the veil on this industry in flux. "Frenemies: The Epic Disruption of the Ad Business (and Everything Else)" is the story of a world whose fate is imperiled and why that fate matters to us all.

brightly colored kimono - Symphony of Light: The Universe U/ Deep Space (1999) tie-dyeing, ink painting, embroidery and gold leaf on silk crepe (chirimen) with gold wefts 198x139 cm (IKMC-076)
mwpai.org

”Kimono! The Artistry of Itchiku Kubota,” a spectacular exhibition of 48 kimono, will be on view at the Museum of Art, Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute through September 16.

In this exhibition, kimono are presented as contemporary interpretations of traditional Japanese clothing. MWPAI is the exclusive United States venue for this exhibition, which is accompanied by an illustrated catalog.

“Kimono!” illuminates the immeasurable creative spirit of Itchiku Kubota (Japanese, 1917-2003) who began his textile training as an apprentice and studied numerous fabric-decorating techniques in addition to Japanese-style landscape painting and portraiture.

Anna Tobin D'Ambrosio is the President and CEO of the Museum of Art, Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute.

Shawn Stone joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

Seen: "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom"

  • Water Ski Show and Americana Fireworks night featuring Rusticator - Freedom Park, Scotia, Friday 6/29, 7 PM (water ski show), 8 PM (music)
  • Opera Saratoga’s "The Merry Widow" (season opener) - Spa Little Theater, Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs, opens Friday 6/29, 7:30 PM
  • "Damn Yankees" - Park Playhouse, Albany, opens Friday 6/29, 8 PM
  • Tuck & Patti - Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton, Mass., Friday 6/29, 7 PM; Van Dyck Lounge, Schenectady, Saturday 6/30, 6:30 PM
  • Steely Dan & The Doobie Brothers - SPAC, Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs, Saturday 6/30, 7:30 PM
  • Opening Night Celebration and Revue - Vanaver Caravan Dance, accordionist Guy Klucevsek, comedian Hilary Chaplain, Parsons Dance, more - PS21, Chatham, Saturday 6/30, 8 PM
  • Ry Cooder featuring The Hamiltones, Emmylou Harris, plus local opener Hayley Sabella Tanglewood Shed, Lenox, Mass., Sunday 7/1, 2:30 PM
  • Trio Con Brio Copenhagen - music of Beethoven, Per Norgard, Tchaikovsky - Maverick Concert Hall, Woodstock, Sunday 7/1, 4 PM
  • New York State’s 4th of July Celebration - Smash Mouth, NYS Army National Guard Color Guard, Moriah Formica, Soft Spoken - Empire State Plaza, Albany, Wednesday 7/4, 3 to 10 PM (fireworks 9:15-ish)

New movies: "Hearts Beat Loud," "Sicario: Day of the Soldado," "Uncle Drew"

This season, Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Massachusettes will be exploring themes of Delight, Deceit, and Desire. The season includes three Shakespeare plays: “Macbeth,” “As You Like It,” and “Love's Labor's Lost;” plus the New England Premiere of “Morning After Grace” by Carey Crim; “Creditors” by August Strindberg adapted by David Greig; “Heisenberg” by Laurence Olivier Award winner Simon Stephens; “Mothers and Sons” by Tony Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally; and “HIR” by Pulitzer Prize finalist Taylor Mac.

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