The Roundtable

Weekdays, 9 a.m.

Credit Peter Steiner

  WAMC's The Roundtable is an award-winning, nationally recognized eclectic talk program. The show airs from 9am to noon each weekday and features news, interviews, in-depth discussion, music, and much (much) more! Hosted by Joe Donahue and produced by Sarah LaDuke, The Roundtable tackles serious and lighthearted subjects, looking to explore the many facets of the human condition with civility, respect and responsibility.

The show's hallmark is thoughtful interviews with A-list newsmakers, authors, artists, sports figures, actors, and people with interesting stories to tell. Since hitting the airwaves in May of 2001, The Roundtable has interviewed the likes of Arthur Miller, Kurt Vonnegut, Maya Angelou, Madeleine Albright, Jimmy Carter, John McCain, Bob Dole, Bill O'Reilly, Steve Martin, James Taylor, Stephen King, Melissa Etheridge and lots of other really cool people. Plus, Wilco does our theme song. What more can you ask for?

If you have any questions or you'd like to be on the show, email us at roundtable@wamc.org

10:25 - The Writer's Almanac
11:10 - Earth Wise
Book Picks lists are here.
You may also hear Pulse of the Planet and Sound Beat on The Roundtable.


  Michael Mayer is the Tony-Award winning director of plays, musicals, opera, and film and television who helmed the Broadway revival of Hedwig and The Angry Inch, and the original runs of the musicals of Everyday Rapture, American Idiot, Spring Awakening, and Thoroughly Modern Millie. He’s also directed revivals of A View From the Bridge, The Lion in Winter, After the Fall, and ‘night Mother. His breakthrough of sorts was Side Man.

 

Side Man had an early production in Poughkeepsie, NY at Vassar College and New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater -- it moved to off-Off-Broadway and then to Broadway winning the Tony Award for Best Play in 1999.

 

Michael Mayer has been coming back to Poughkeepsie in the summer for 20 years, working on shows in various stages of development and recently joining the New York Stage and Film board of directors.

He was in the Hudson Valley this summer working on a new musical entitled Head Over Heels which blends Sir Philip Sidney’s The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia with the music of seminal 80s girl-group, The Go-Go’s. Jeff Whitty is writing the book and Tom Kitt will provide musical supervision.

  Obie-Award winning performance group, The Secret City, will be playing their third annual gathering in Woodstock, NY this Sunday - July 31st at 12 noon. The theme will be PLAY.

The Secret City is the brainchild of impresario and Byrdcliffe Resident, Chris Wells, who moved to Woodstock three years ago and felt the small town with its cultural history, inclusiveness and love of community were a perfect setting for this tribal art gathering.

The Secret City combines art, food, music, storytelling, meditation, singing, performance and community interaction in an event that is part tent revival, part ceremony, part salon.

For their Woodstock gathering they’ll present musical guest Eric Redd, visual art by Jacinta Bunnell, roller derby troupe The Hudson Valley Horrors, food offering by LaGusta of New Paltz, a performance by Percussion Orchestra of Kingston and Energy Dance Company, a reading by Martha Frankel, songs by The Secret City Singers and The Secret City Band and a story by Chris Wells. We welcome Chris and artist Jacinta Bunnell.

  In today’s Congressional Corner, Matt Funiciello, the Green Party candidate in New York’s 21st district, concludes his discussion with WAMC’s Alan Chartock. 

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

  The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice promotes the human voice as an instrument of healing, peace and artistic expression through presenting world class performances in Phoenicia, New York and surrounding areas.

This year’s festival - running August 4th through the 7th – celebrates Shakespeare and the British Isles.

We are joined by world renowned opera singers, Executive Director Maria Todaro and Artistic Director Louis Otey. 

7/28/16 Panel

4 hours ago

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

  Poster Boy is a new American musical inspired by actual events surrounding the 2010 suicide of Tyler Clementi, a college student who brought national attention to cyber-bullying, In the show, a community of gay men in an online chat room come together to discover what drove one of their own to take his life.

Directed by Olivier Award-nominee Stafford Arima with movement by Danny Mefford, Poster Boy, is in its world premiere production on the Nikos Stage at the Williamstown Theatre Festival through August 7th.

Composer and lyricist, Craig Carnelia and bookwriter Joe Tracz join us.

  The Berkshire Theatre Group is presenting the World Premiere of playwright Shem Bitterman’s The Stone Witch at the Fitzpatrick Main Stage in Stockbridge, MA. It is directed by Drama Desk and Humanities Award-winning theatre & television director Steve Zuckerman and features Tony Award, Golden Globe Award, Emmy Award and Obie Award-winning actor Judd Hirsch.

In the play, Peter, an aspiring children’s book author, is sent to the cabin of his idol, Simon, played by Hirsch, a reclusive award-winning author and illustrator of children’s books, to help him finish what might be his last book. Desperate to save his own career, Peter hopes to discover the secret of Simon’s genius, but first he must accept the impossible task: helping Simon confront the monsters that populate the woods inside his mind.

We are joined by actors Judd Hirsch, Rupak Ginn, and Kristin Griffith.

  Tip O’Neill said all politics is local.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Zephyr Teachout, the Democratic candidate in New York’s 19th House district, talks taxes with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

The unmistakable voice filled with raw emotion and tinged with Southern Comfort made Janis Joplin a must-see headliner from Monterey to Woodstock.

A Night with Janis Joplin, now running at Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany, NY, is a musical journey celebrating Janis and her biggest musical influences.

The show is created, written and directed by Randy Johnson and stars Kelly McIntyre as Janis Joplin. 

The Carey Institute for Global Good and Yehuda Hanani have teamed up to produce the 6th Annual Catskill High Peaks Music Festival which will take place from August 8th-18th at the Carey Institute. The Festival combines a Residency program for 50 hand-picked emerging artists from around the world with evenings of classical music concerts for the public.

The mission of Catskill High Peaks Festival is to infuse students with love and enthusiasm for their musical vocation, instill a spirit of musical adventure and discovery, and imbue an appreciation for past traditions.

To tell us more, we are joined this morning by cellist and Artistic Director Yehuda Hanani and Hannah Hannani - Vice President of Close Encounters with Music and co-founder of the Catskill High Peaks Festival.

7/27/16 Panel

Jul 27, 2016

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

Basilica Hudson, in partnership with the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) will host the first READ & FEED this Saturday, July 30th. The event brings together artisanal makers of food with artisanal makers of literature.

This inaugural “mini-festival” will feature panel discussions bringing together writers, farmers and chefs, cooking and mixology demonstrations, a marathon reading of John Cage Diary: How to Improve the World (You Will Only Make Matters Worse), and a marketplace featuring more than twenty small press publishers and artisanal food makers, plus spectacular eats and drinks.

Here to tell us more are: Jeffrey Lependorf, CLMP’s Executive Director; Lisa Pearson, publisher of Siglio Press and the John Cage Diary: How to Improve the World (You Will Only Make Matters Worse); and Michael Albin, proprietor of Hudson Wine Merchants.

Rachel Martin
Katie Burk/NPR

This week and last on WAMC we’ve been bringing you special coverage of the national political conventions from our partners at PBS and NPR. Rachel Martin has been in the thick of it — on the floor talking to delegates in the midst of stirring convention speeches. Martin is heard each week on these airwaves as host of Weekend Edition Sunday, and she joins us now from Philadelphia. 

There’s a big difference between the executive and legislative branches.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Zephyr Teachout, the Democratic candidate in New York’s 19th House district, continues her discussion with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

(Left to right) Stacey Yen, Nance Williamson and Maria-Christina Oliveras in Macbeth
T. Charles Erickson


  Fair is foul, and foul is fair -- more fair than usual in the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival’s production of Macbeth - now running in repertory at Boscobel House and Gardens in Garrison, NY.  The fairer for having a cast of only three actors, and all three -women.

Lee Sunday Evans directs Maria-Christina Oliveras, Nance Williamson, and Stacey Yen in the production and we are joined by two-thirds of the trio, Maria-Christina and Stacey, to talk about the production.

  

This week's Book Picks come from Connie Brooks and Kate Reid of Battenkill Books in Cambridge, NY.

List:
The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
You’ll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein
Leaving Lucy Pear by Anna Solomon
The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon
Real Food/Fake Food: Why You Don't Know What You're Eating and What You Can Do About It by Larry Olmsted
Bogs & Fens: A Guide to the Peatland Plants of the Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada by Ronald B. Davis
Invisible Kingdom by Rob Ryan
My Favorite Pets (by Gus W. for Mrs. Smolinski’s Class) by Jeanne Birdsall, illustrated by Harry Bliss
Nobody Likes a Goblin by Ben Hatke

7/26/16 Panel

Jul 26, 2016

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

  Death is something we all confront ― it touches our families, our homes, our hearts. And yet we have grown used to denying its existence, treating it as an enemy to be beaten back with medical advances.

We are living at a unique point in human history. People are living longer than ever, yet the longer we live, the more taboo and alien our mortality becomes. Yet we, and our loved ones, still remain mortal. People today still struggle with this fact, as we have done throughout our entire history. What led us to this point? What drove us to sanitize death and make it foreign and unfamiliar?

In Death's Summer Coat: What the History of Death and Dying Teaches Us About Life and Living, Brandy Schillace shows how talking about death, and the rituals associated with it, can help provide answers.

  The 16th annual Saratoga Choral Festival takes place at the Spa Little Theater in Spa State Park - this Sunday, July 31st, at 3:00 PM. The festival will present a concert of music for children featuring a semi-staged production of the popular Magic Tree House: The Musical. 

The Magic Tree House: The Musical is based on the popular series of children’s books by Mary Pope Osborne. This show has seen sold out performances for its national tour. Several musical selections have been adapted for chorus, and special guest performers from the Saratoga Children’s Theater will provide extra speaking roles and also sing with the choir.

Also included on the program - Never-Ending Song, a Young Person’s Guide to the Choir. Originally premiered by the Vancouver Chamber Choir in 2001, the Never-Ending Song takes children through a brief history of choral singing through music.

The Saratoga Choral Festival began in the summer of 2001 and we are joined by Festival Director, Andrea Goodman, and by chorus members Mira DeGregory and Jackson Cherry. 

  Who will be the next Congressperson from New York’s 19th district seat?

In today’s Congressional Corner, Zephyr Teachout tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock why she believes she’s the right choice.

  In The Highest Glass Ceiling, best-selling historian Ellen Fitzpatrick tells the story of three remarkable women who set their sights on the American presidency. Victoria Woodhull (1872), Margaret Chase Smith (1964), and Shirley Chisholm (1972) each challenged persistent barriers confronted by women presidential candidates.

Their quest illuminates today’s political landscape, showing that Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign belongs to a much longer, arduous, and dramatic journey.

  Water scarcity is on everyone's mind. Long taken for granted, water availability has entered the realm of economics, politics, and people's food and lifestyle choices. But as anxiety mounts - even as a swath of California farmland has been left fallow and extremist groups worldwide exploit the desperation of people losing livelihoods to desertification - many are finding new routes to water security with key implications for food access, economic resilience, and climate change.

Water does not perish, nor require millions of years to form as do fossil fuels. However, water is always on the move. In Water in Plain Sight, Judith D. Schwartz presents a refreshing perspective on water that transcends zero-sum thinking.

7/25/16 Panel

Jul 25, 2016

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

  Singer songwriter Josh Ritter performs along with The Royal City Band tonight at The Egg in Albany in support of his new album Sermon on the Rocks.

Two years after Beast in its Tracks, an emotional breakup album, the singer-songwriter is back with his eighth full-length album. Sermon on the Rocks 12 songs were recorded over two weeks at New Orleans’ The Parlor Recording Studio.

As its title suggests, the album is Ritter's foray into what he calls "messianic oracular honky-tonk." We were thrilled to have Josh Ritter join us at The Linda. 


  Alan Ayckbourn’s The Norman Conquests is a brilliant comic trilogy telling the same story from the point of view of three different rooms: Living Together follows the romp in the living room; Table Manners times perfectly to show what happens in the dining room, and Round and Round the Garden depicts desperately funny activities in the garden.

Each play stands completely on its own, but together, they are a triumph of theatrical imagination.

Audience members have traveled from Northern Stage to Dorset Theatre Festival to see the first two plays. Now, Weston Playhouse in Weston, Vermont presents the third. Richard Gallagher has played Norman in all three productions and he joins us now.

Richard’s Broadway credits include The Lyons and Roundabout Theatre Company’s The Importance of Being Earnest, directed by Brian Bedford.

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