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.

A perilous romance. A tragic history. An infamous wager.

Shakespeare’s most controversial yet poignant play, The Merchant of Venice, offers a visceral display of courtship, prejudice, money and revenge, ending ultimately in a choice between life and death.

Shakespeare & Company’s Founding Artistic Director Tina Packer reunites with longtime Company member Jonathan Epstein as Shylock, the Bard’s most memorable and highly charged outsider. Tamara Hickey plays Portia in the production. 

This summer, The Williamstown Theatre Festival brings together professional theatre artists with Berkshire residents to create and perform new work. Born of the belief that theatre is central to understanding, building and maintaining community, this initiative invites the people of Western Massachusetts to be a part of the Festival’s creative process — not just as audience members, but on stage!

Obie Award-winning playwright Lucy Thurber puts a new spin on the Orpheus myth, set in Western Massachusetts. When Orpheus, a teenage girl, realizes that something is amiss in her neighborhood, she embarks on a treacherous journey to save her hometown.

Helmed by Festival Associate Director Laura Savia, and developed in collaboration with community partners, this World Premiere features a cast of 75 Berkshire residents performing alongside Festival actors. Performances are July 14-16 at 7:30PM and July 17 at 5PM.

  Ahead of the conventions, it’s anyone’s guess who will be tapped for the presidential tickets.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Massachusetts Representative Richard Neal tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock about his favorite. 

The technological marvel of its age, the Erie Canal grew out of a sudden fit of inspiration. Proponents didn't just dream; they built a 360-mile waterway entirely by hand and largely through wilderness. As excitement crackled down its length, the canal became the scene of the most striking outburst of imagination in American history.

The Erie Canal made New York the financial capital of America and brought the modern world crashing into the frontier. Men and women saw God face to face, gained and lost fortunes, and reveled in a period of intense spiritual creativity.

The new book: Heaven's Ditch by Historian Jack Kelly illuminates the spiritual and political upheavals along this "psychic highway" from its opening in 1825 through 1844. 

Jack Kelly will be at Oblong Books in Rhinebeck July 14, at the Schenectady Canal Festival at Mabee Farm Historic Site July 16, and at Northshire Books in Saratoga July 17. 

  When Diana Nyad arrived on the shore of Key West after fifty-three hours of grueling swimming across an epic ocean, she not only set a world record—becoming the first person to swim the shark-infested waters between Cuba and Florida with no cage for protection—she also succeeded in fulfilling a dream she first chased at age twenty-eight and at long last achieved when she was sixty-four.  

Her memoir, Find a Way: The Inspiring Story of One Woman's Pursuit of a Lifelong Dream, is now available in paperback.

7/13/16 Panel

Jul 13, 2016

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


  Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance will swashbuckle and sing their way onto Barrington Stage’s Boyd-Quinson Mainstage in Pittsfield, MA July 15th through August 13th.

 

The production is directed by John Rando, choreographed by Joshua Bergasse  and stars David Garrison as Major General Stanley, Kyle Dean Massey as Frederic, Scarlett Strallen as Mabel, and Will Swenson as The Pirate King.

These talented and lauded performers joined us at The Linda along with Musical Director Darren Cohen and Barrington Stage Company’s Artistic Director, Julianne Boyd to talk about the show and perform a few songs.

Yidstock 2016

Jul 12, 2016

Now in its 5th year, Yidstock celebrates the best of klezmer and new Yiddish music with a wide-ranging lineup of concerts that demonstrate the diversity and breadth of the genre, along with workshops, talks, and other programs.

Headlined by the legendary Klezmatics, this year’s lineup also includes the Klezmer Conservatory Band, the Eleanor Reissa Trio, the Yidstock All-stars, and Sklamberg & the Shepherds and many more.

Yidstock Artistic Director Seth Rogovoy, author of The Essential Klezmer: A Music Lover's Guide to Jewish Roots and Soul Music is here to tell us more along with Lisa Newman - Director of Communications at the Yiddish Book Center. 

  Senator Bernie Sanders and his Democratic presidential primary rival Hillary Clinton are due to rally together next hour.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Massachusetts Congressman Richie Neal discusses the state of the race with WAMC’s Alan Chartock. This conversation was recorded before today’s rally was announced.

 Brian Kenny is an Emmy Award­–winning broadcaster and host for the MLB Network. The foremost proponent of analytics on sports television, he founded the first and only TV program devoted to sports analytics, Clubhouse Confidential. He currently hosts the daily panel shows MLB Now and MLB Tonight, and is a columnist for Sports on Earth.

In his new book, Ahead of the Curve: Inside the Baseball Revolution, he uses stories from baseball’s present and past to examine why we sometimes choose ignorance over information, and how tradition can trump logic, even when directly contradicted by evidence.

Dianne Ortmann and Carrie Knudsen from Chatham Bookstore in Chatham, NY join us with this week's Book Picks.

List:
HHhH by Laurent Binet
Underground Airlines by Ben Winters
All Things Cease to Appear by Elizabeth Brundage
Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer by Arthur Lubow
Lion Lessons by Jon Agee

Upcoming author events:
LIFE Story by Gerald Moore
Passed and Present: Keeping Memories of Loved Ones Alive by Allison Gilbert

7/12/16 Panel

Jul 12, 2016

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

  This Summer, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival presents productions of The Bard’s Measure for Measure, As You Like It, and Macbeth in repertory in the tent at Boscobel House and Gardens in Garrison, NY.

Davis McCallum and Annie Purcell join us.

Davis is Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival’s Artistic Director, he has been in the position for two full seasons. The award winning director has also directed this summer’s production of Measure for Measure -- which stars Annie Purcell as Isabella. Her Broadway credits include The Coast of Utopia, Dividing the Estate, and Awake and Sing!.

Emma K. Rothenberg-Ware / Berkshire Theatre Group


  This is the final week to see Berkshire Theatre Group’s production of the Tennessee Williams classic Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in Stockbridge, MA. It ends it’s run this coming Saturday.

Jim Beaver plays the doomed patriarch of the family, Big Daddy. Beaver is an actor best known for his roles on The CW’s Supernatural and HBO’s Deadwood -- where he played  Ellsworth - a prospector with a good heart and (like everyone else on that show) an incredible affinity for creative cursing. He also recurred on FX’s Justified and several other shows and has appeared in film and on stage. He is playwright, a film historian, and a television and film writer.

  In his new book, AlmightyWashington Post Reporter Dan Zak reexamines America’s love-hate relationship with the bomb, from the race to achieve atomic power before the Nazis did to the solemn 70th anniversary of Hiroshima.

This life-or-death issue is unraveled in Zak’s account, with a cast that includes the biophysicist who first educated the public on atomic energy, the prophet who predicted the creation of Oak Ridge, and the Washington bureaucrats and diplomats who are trying to keep the world safe. 

Zak shows that our greatest modern-day threat remains a power we discovered long ago. Dan Zak is a reporter for the Washington Post. He has written a wide range of news stories, narratives, and profiles while on local, national, and foreign assignments, from Oscar night in Los Angeles to the US military drawdown in Iraq.

Photo of Congressman Peter Welch
http://www.welch.house.gov/about-peter/

  Senator Bernie Sanders and his Democratic presidential primary rival Hillary Clinton are due to rally together tomorrow.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Vermont representative Peter Welch tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that he thinks Senator Sanders is going to help Democrats unify the party. This conversation was recorded before tomorrow's rally was announced.

  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.

Today we are going to learn about The Independent Living Center of the Hudson Valley. We are joined by Executive Director Denise Figueroa and Director of Development, Barbara Devore.

  In the early sixties, Calvin Trillin got his start as a journalist covering the Civil Rights Movement in the South.

Over the next five decades of reporting, he often returned to scenes of racial tension. Now, for the first time, the best of Trillin’s pieces on race in America have been collected in one volume: Jackson, 1964: And Other Dispatches from Fifty Years of Reporting on Race in America.

7/11/16 Panel

Jul 11, 2016

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

Roundtable Music 7/11

Jul 11, 2016

  Nadine Sierra makes her debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and her first appearance at Tanglewood tomorrow night as part of the festival’s opening weekend concerts. Tomorrow night’s concert will hear the American singer in her acclaimed account of the soprano soloist’s role in Orff’s Carmina Burana. Jacques Lacombe will conduct the performance.

Praised for her vocal beauty, seamless technique, and abundant musicality, Sierra is being hailed as one of the most promising emerging talents in the opera world today. She is already making a name for herself through her performances with top opera companies and symphony orchestras around the world.

  Barrington Stage Company, a professional award-winning Equity regional theatre located in the heart of the Berkshires, in Pittsfield, MA, was founded in 1995. Barrington Stage’s mission is three-fold: to present top-notch, compelling work; to develop new plays and musicals; and to find fresh, bold ways to bringing new audiences into the theatre—especially young people.

On their two stages they present new plays and musicals created by the best theatrical minds working today as well as classics.

Julianne Boyd is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Barrington Stage and she joins us now with an overview of the season.

  Ellen Highstein, Director of the Tanglewood Music Center joins us along with two outstanding TMC fellows.

Cellist Francesca McNeeley - a Graduate of Princeton and Rice University and Mezzo-soprano Fleur Barron was the 1st Prize Winner of the 2013 Liederkranz Competition. In 2016, Fleur was a Palm Beach Opera Young Artist, singing Mercedes and covering the title role in Carmen.

  The Capitol Steps were founded in December, 1981 when some staffers for Senator Charles Percy were planning entertainment for a Christmas party. Since then, they’ve been putting the “mock” in democracy in Washington, D.C., on tour, on the radio, and – during the summer – here in Lenox, MA.

The musical satirists call The Cranwell Spa and Golf Resort their summer home – performing here every night except Tuesday through September 2nd.

We are joined this morning by longtime steppers, Bari Biern and Jack Rowles.

  Seth MacFarlane is the creative force behind TV's Family Guy, American Dad!, and The Cleveland Show. He was also the writer-director of the films Ted, its sequel Ted2, and A Million Ways to Die in the West.

He has also released three successful albums of standards including Music is Better than Words and No One Ever Tells You. MacFarlane's voice has been celebrated for its perfect phrasing, richness, and consistency. He has been nominated for 4 Grammys. 

He has played to sold out audiences as London's Royal Albert Hall, New York's Carnegie Hall, and Symphony Hall in Boston. He will be back with The Boston Pops this Sunday at 2:30pm in The Shed at Tanglewood

  Tanglewood is a name that's recognized around the world. Just about every time we interview a conductor or musician, they mention the venue's reputation and cache.

That doesn't just happen by accident. There's a hard-working team of professionals that keeps Tanglewood on the lips of both audience-members and performers.

And, it is quite a season that gets underway tonight. To give us a State of Tanglewood report – we welcome back our friend Mark Volpe – the Managing Director of the BSO.

  The Boston Cello Quartet was founded in 2010 by the Boston Symphony Orchestra cellists Blaise Dejardin, Adam Esbensen, Mihail Jojatu and Alexandre Lecarme.

Since its acclaimed debut concert, the BCQ has quickly won the hearts of music lovers through their own arrangements of staples of the classical music repertoire, as well as jazz, contemporary works, and even comic medleys, all which showcases the limitless possibilities of the instrument they love.

The Quartet will perform the Tanglewood Family Concert tomorrow afternoon at 2:30PM in Ozawa Hall. 

  The Boston Symphony Orchestra opens its 2016 Tanglewood season tonight at 8PM with an Opening Night at Tanglewood program featuring music by Ravel, Saint-Saëns, and Prokofiev, led by conductor Jacques Lacombe.

Jacques Lacombe is the Principal Conductor of the Bonn Opera in Germany beginning with the coming 2016-2017 season. He served as Music Director of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra for several years. He conducts around the world and we last spoke with him a year ago when he again opened up the Tanglewood season.

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. 

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