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

A legendary comedic second banana to a litany of major stars, Curtis is forever cemented in the public imagination as Booger from Revenge of the Nerds. A classically trained actor, Curtis began his incredible 40-year career on stage but progressed rapidly to film and television. He was typecast early and it proved to be the best thing that could have happened.

Born and bred a nerd, he spent his early years between Detroit, a city so nerdy that the word was coined there in 1951, and, improbably, Geneva, Switzerland. His adolescence and early adulthood was spent primarily between the covers of a book and indulging his nerdy obsessions. It was only when he found his true calling, as an actor and unintentional nerd icon, that he found true happiness. With whip-smart, self-effacing humor, Armstrong takes us on a most unlikely journey—one nerd’s hilarious, often touching rise to the middle. He started his life as an outcast and matured into…well, an older, slightly paunchier, hopefully wiser outcast.

Curtis Armstrong has appeared in a variety of films and television shows including Risky Business, Revenge of the Nerds, Moonlighting and New Girl.  

9/15/17 Panel

Sep 15, 2017

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

Today's panelists are Counter-Terrorism Expert Malcolm Nance, Former EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck and Communications Consultant Joe Bonilla.

Frances Moore Lappé - author of her new book - Daring Democracy will be speaking at this weekend’s Earthcare Festival at the Bryant Homestead in Cummington, Massachusetts on Saturday, September 16th. 

In her keynote talk, Lappé will discuss her personal and intellectual journey since her groundbreaking 1971 bestseller, Diet for a Small Planet, and then address global hunger and her vision for democracy as necessary to creating sustainable ways of living and a livable and peaceful planet.

The Earthcare Festival is the third program presented by the Hilltown Chautauqua of Western Massachusetts and has as its theme “Food, Farms, and the Future.”

Though politicians have allocated a tremendous amount of money to invest in pre-K education, parents of young children are strapped and stressed. Millions of mothers and fathers in all income brackets still can’t find spots for their children or have to send their kids to low quality programs.

Many don’t know what to look for even when they do have choices. By combining the stories of struggling parents, committed teachers, and groundbreaking administrators, author Suzanne Bouffard’s new book: The Most Important Year: Pre-Kindergarten and the Future of Our Children looks inside some of the country’s best pre-K programs to expose the surprising ingredients that make them work and give children the skills to improve the trajectory of their lives. 

Suzanne Bouffard is a writer with a background in child development and education.

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: Home Again

Upcoming:

A Celebration of Spoken Word Poetry with Tyehimba Jess
New York State Writers Institute, UAlbany Recital Hall, Albany, Thursday 9/14, 7 PM

The Cat and the Canary
Madison Theater, Albany, Thursday 9/14, 7 PM

FreshGrass Festival featuring Railroad Earth, Brandi Carlisle, Del McCoury Band and many more
MASS MoCA, North Adams, Mass., Friday 9/15 through Sunday 9/17

Hurray for the Riff Raff (aka Alynda Lee Segarra), Xenia Rubinos, Carrie Rodriguez
The Egg, Albany, Friday 9/15, 8 PM

The Garcia Project
Cohoes Music Hall, Cohoes, Friday 9/15, 8 PM

Heather Pierson Acoustic Trio
Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Friday 9/15, 8 PM

Enterprising Waters: New York’s Erie Canal (Phase One)
New York State Museum, Albany, opens Saturday 9/16 (through October 2019)

The Enchanted City Steampunk Faire
Riverfront Park, Troy, Saturday 9/16, 11 AM-5 PM

Pearlpalooza featuring K.Flay, Rubblebucket, Arkells, Colony House, Kimono Dragons and more
North Pearl Street, Albany, Saturday 9/16, 1-9 PM

Randy Newman
Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Saturday 9/16, 8 PM

New Movies: Mother!American AssassinCalifornia Typewriter

9/14/17 Panel

Sep 14, 2017

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

Today's panelists are: Former Daily Freeman Publisher Ira Fusfeld, Communications Consultant Theresa Bourgeois, and Siena College Professor of Political Science Vera Eccarius-Kelly.

Kate Hamer is the author of The Girl in the Red Coat, which was a Costa First Novel Award finalist, a Dagger Award finalist, an Amazon Best Book of the Year 2016 and a winner of the ELLE Lettres Readers’ Prize. Her new book is The Doll Funeral.

Far from a typical music festival, Basilica SoundScape features live concert performances, conceptual sound performances, author readings, installations, collaborations, curated local vendors and artisans, on-site activities and more, creating an immersive, innovative weekend of art, music, and culture.

Basilica SoundScape 2017 – taking place this Friday through Sunday – will feature a lineup of some of the most innovative and genre-pushing musicians, visual artists and writers working today, with unique collaborations across disciplines.

Melissa Auf der Maur is the Co-Founder and Director of Basilica Hudson.

Randy Newman
randynewman.com

Randy Newman is a legendary songwriter with hits that run the gamut from heartbreaking to satirical and a host of unforgettable film scores. He has used his many talents to create musical masterpieces widely recognized by generations of audiences.

He has a new album, Dark Matter, out from Nonesuch and he'll be at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall on Saturday, September 16th at 8 p.m.

9/13/17 Panel

Sep 13, 2017

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

Today's panelists are University at Albany’s School of Criminal Justice professor Frankie Bailey, Communications Consultant Theresa Bourgeois and Political Consultant, Libby Post.

Dr. Atul Gawande helped transform the conversation about aging and death in his book, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End.

He is a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, a professor at Harvard Medical School, and a staff writer at The New Yorker.

The mission of the Academy of Music is to enrich greater Northampton’s quality of life by offering first class performing arts and film presentations in an historic theatre of national significance, and encouraging the use of the venue for social, educational and professional events.

Academy of Music kicks of their 2017-18 season with the New England premiere of Building the Wall, the newest play by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award – winning playwright Robert Schenkkan. It’s the very near future, and the Trump administration has carried out his campaign promises to round up and detain millions of immigrants. 

This week's Book Picks from Amy Lane at The Open Door Bookstore and Gift Gallery in Schenectady, NY.

Survivor Cafe: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory by Elizabeth Rosner

My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent

Ranger Games: A Story of Soldiers, Family and an Inexplicable Crime by Ben Blum

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Miss D and Me: Life with the Invincible Bette Davis by Kathryn Sermak with Danelle Morton

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling

The Antlered Ship by written by Dashka Slater, illustrated by The Fan Brothers

Smoot: A Rebellious Shadow written by Michelle Cuevas, illustrated by Sydney Smith 

Tom Schachtman will be at The White Hart Inn in Salisbury, CT tonight to read from and discuss his new book, How the French Saved AmericaThe White Hart Speaker Series is presented in collaboration with Oblong Books & Music & Scoville Memorial Library

Americans today have a love/hate relationship with France, but in this illuminating new history, Tom Shachtman shows that without France, there might not be a United States of America.

To the rebelling colonies, French assistance made the difference between looming defeat and eventual triumph. Even before the Declaration of Independence was issued, King Louis XVI and French foreign minister Vergennes were aiding the rebels. After the Declaration, that assistance broadened to include wages for our troops; guns, cannon, and ammunition; engineering expertise that enabled victories and prevented defeats; diplomatic recognition; safe havens for privateers; battlefield leadership by veteran officers; and the army and fleet that made possible the Franco-American victory at Yorktown. 

Mario Cantone is back for another hilarious night of comedy and music at Bearsville Theater on September 16th as part of the 5th Annual Woodstock Comedy Festival. From Liza Minnelli to Julia Childs, come see Mario's best impressions, stories, music and all new jokes. 

Mario is a Tony nominated comedian who is best known for his role as Anthony on the hit HBO series Sex and the City is also an accomplished stage actor and singer. He has performed on Broadway in Shakespeare’s The TempestLove! Valor! Compassion!Assassins, and his one-man show, Laugh Whore.

Besides his acting career, he has conquered the comedy scene performing as a standup and impressionist in venues like Carnegie Hall.

9/12/17 Panel

Sep 12, 2017

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

Today's panelists are: Investigative Journalist Rosemary Armao, Times Union Associate Editor Mike Spain and the Empire Report’s J.P. Miller.

FreshGrass At MASS MoCA

Sep 11, 2017

It’s safe to say it’s been a big summer for our friends at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA. They opened a new building of gallery space in May, hosted the Solid Sound festival in June and numerous other live events throughout the summer, broke attendance records, and presented groundbreaking and globally recognized contemporary art.

Never one to rest on their laurels, MASS MoCA will present the 7th Annual FreshGrass Festival this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Sept 15-17.

FreshGrass is a family-friendly festival, brimming with bright talent on four stages, and also in MASS MoCA’s galleries, brick-lined courtyards, and grassy field. The festival is produced in partnership by MASS MoCA, the FreshGrass Foundation, and No Depression.

This year’s festival features Brandi Carlile, Railroad Earth, The Del McCoury Band, The Wood Brothers, Del and Dog, The Suitecase Junket, Crooked Still, and many more artists – along with awards, workshops, tributes, FreshScores, and more!

Here to tell us all about it are Joe Thompson, Director of MASS MoCA and Jodi Joseph, the museum’s Director of Communications.

In 1989, Ken Follett published the historical epic The Pillars of the Earth, a departure for the bestselling writer which was praised for its ambitious scope and unforgettable cast of characters. It reached #1 on bestseller lists around the world, and has since become Follett’s most popular novel.

Ten years ago, Oprah selected The Pillars of the Earth for her Book Club, and Follett published the second book in the Kingsbridge series, World Without End.  The two books in the series have sold 38 million copies.

The saga now continues with Follett’s new epic, A Column Of Fire, coming tomorrow, which will introduce readers to a world of spies and secret agents in the sixteenth century, the time of Queen Elizabeth I. 

A Column Of Fire begins in 1558 where the ancient stones of Kingsbridge Cathedral look down on a city torn apart by religious conflict. As power in England shifts precariously between Catholics and Protestants, high principles clash bloodily with friendship, loyalty, and love. We can read the book tomorrow – we talk with best-selling author Ken Follett this morning. 

  

Our Falling into Place series spotlights the important work of -and fosters collaboration between- not-for-profit organizations in our communities; allowing us all to fall into place.

Falling Into Place is supported by The Seymour Fox Memorial Foundation, Providing a helping hand to turn inspiration into accomplishment. See more possibilities … see more promise… see more progress.

Robin Christenson is executive director of Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar. Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar is the only college access and success program in the area. The program assists low-income, academically promising students to prepare for college success starting in the 10th grade. 

9/11/17 Panel

Sep 11, 2017

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

Today's panelists are Political Consultant Libby Post, Communications Consultant Theresa Bourgeois, and Albany County District Attorney David Soares.

Drum Boogie logo
Milton Glaser

The Drum Boogie Festival is a free, one-day, family-oriented, multi-cultural arts and educational event, celebrating and promoting the many styles of high quality percussion music found throughout the world.

The festival strives to keep a balance of entertainment, enlightenment, excitement and equality. All performances highlight percussion instruments and percussion performers while sometimes including other instrumentalists, dancers and singers. 

Garry Kvistad, founder and CEO of Woodstock Chimes, is a professional musician and creator/Executive Director of the Drum Boogie Festival and he joins us.

Our dear friend and colleague Paul Elisha passed away two years ago at the ago of 92. Now, his friends have joined together to publish Neap Tide - a collection of his unpublished poems.

Paul's passions and endeavors included: Veteran and military historian, poet and musician, radio host, longtime state government public relations person and civic volunteer and civil rights activist. But, here on WAMC, much of our audience knew Paul for his incisive commentaries, music programming and host of the poetry program, A Bard’s Eye View.

Paul’s friends Stu Bartow and Barbara Ungar worked with the family to collect unpublished poems together for the new collection. 

Richard McGregor, a former Financial Times Beijing bureau chief, has just written a behind-the-headlines guide to the history and current state of our country’s relations with the two most powerful nations in East Asia, Japan and China.

In Asia’s Reckoning: China, Japan, and the Fate of U.S. Power in the Pacific Century, McGregor unpacks the old, toxic rivalries between U.S., Japan, and China, and looks to the future as it changes and redefines the world order in the 21stcentury.

Richard McGregor is a journalist and an author with extensive experience in reporting from East Asia and Washington. 

9/8/17 Panel

Sep 8, 2017

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

Today's panelists are: Communications Consultant Theresa Bourgeois, Counter-Terrorism Expert Malcolm Nance, and Aaron Pacitti -Associate Professor of Economics at Siena College.

The Saratoga Performing Arts Center is presenting the 17th Annual Saratoga Wine & Food Festival taking place September 8th & 9th. Over the course of the weekend, patrons will indulge in a variety of premier wines, spirits and exhibitors from across the country, while enjoying mouthwatering cuisine from some of the finest restaurants in the Capital Region. The goal of the Festival is to help raise funds for the Saratoga Performing Art’s Center Children’s Education Program.

The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall and the Madison Theatre have teamed up to present works from two very different artists.

Randy Newman performs at the Hall on Saturday, September 16 at 8 PM.  The Madison will play Cars 3 over the weekend of September 8, and on September 9 play Pleasantville.  Randy Newman scored both and is well known not only for his film scores (The Natural, Awakenings, Ragtime, all three Toy Story pictures, Seabiscuit, James and the Giant Peach, A Bug’s Life, Disney/Pixar’s Monsters Inc., Monsters University), but has a list of hits, both serious and satirical.  The Hall is not equipped to show movies and so approached The Madison.

The Madison will play Searching for Sugar Man on Friday, September 22, and Rodriguez will play at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall that Monday, September 25.  

Theatre On The Road

Sep 7, 2017

Theatre on the Road is the creation of Frank and Kristen Marquette. They have been producing public and private theatrical events since 1998.

Under the name Murder Café, the Marquettes had an 11 year run in Las Vegas where they specialized in corporate entertainment with an emphasis on comedy murder mysteries. Frank and Kristen returned to their native New York State in 2009 and brought Murder Café with them.

Since returning to New York, the Maruqettes created Theatre on the Road to bring educational performances to schools, historic sites, and local theaters.

Theatre on the Road’s performance venues include The Vanderbilt House in Philmont, The Beekman Arms in Rhinebeck, Bannerman Island Castle, the Pride of the Hudson in Newburgh, Dutch’s Spirits in Pine Plains, Columbia-Greene Community College in Hudson, and Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz.

Their fall shows include Whiskey Women and War of the Worlds.

9/7/17 Panel

Sep 7, 2017

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

Today's panelists are: WAMC's Alan Chartock, writer Joe Bruchac, and Communications Consultant Theresa Bourgeois.

Paul Theroux is the author of many highly acclaimed books. His novels include The Lower River and The Mosquito Coast, and his renowned travel books include Ghost Train to the Eastern Star and Dark Star Safari.

Mother Land is a piercing portrait of how a parent’s narcissism impacts a family. While the particulars of this tale are unique, Theroux encapsulates with acute clarity and wisdom a circumstance that is familiar to legions of readers.

Mark Lukach is a teacher and freelance writer. His work has been published in the New York Times, The Atlantic, Pacific Standard, Wired, and other publications. He is currently the ninth grade dean at The Athenian School, where he also teaches history.

Mark and Giulia’s life together began as a storybook romance. They fell in love at eighteen, married at twenty-four, and were living their dream life in San Francisco. When Giulia was twenty-seven, she suffered a terrifying and unexpected psychotic break that landed her in the psych ward for nearly a month. One day she was vibrant and well-adjusted; the next she was delusional and suicidal, convinced that her loved ones were not safe.

Mark recounts their experience in My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward: A Memoir.

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