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.

  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. 

Paul Kolnik

  Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater grew from a now-fabled performance in March 1958 at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. Led by Alvin Ailey and a group of young African-American modern dancers, that performance changed forever the perception of American dance.

In 2008, a U.S. Congressional resolution designated the Company as "a vital American cultural ambassador to the world" that celebrates the uniqueness of the African-American cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of the American modern dance heritage.

Before his untimely death in 1989, Alvin Ailey named Judith Jamison as his successor, and over the next 21 years, she brought the Company to unprecedented success. Ms. Jamison, in turn, personally selected Robert Battle to succeed her in 2011, and The New York Times declared he "has injected the company with new life."

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will perform at SPAC in Saratoga Springs on July 8th and 9th.

The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College invites the public to its annual Frances Day, a community open house from noon to 6:00 pm Saturday, July 9, full of art, art-making, food, music, and more in honor of the museum's namesake.

Visitors can get an up-close view of what goes on behind the scenes in the Museum's Collections areas, and get a guided look at the exhibitions on view: A More Perfect Union, featuring Mel Ziegler's Flag Exchange, with flags collected from all 50 states; the photography exhibition Borrowed Light: Selections from the Jack Shear CollectionLiz Collins — Energy Field, a community lounge installation featuring a new work by artist E.V. Day; Elevator Music 30: Critter & Guitari, in which visitors can make their own music; and the student-curated exhibition According to What, which explores fact and fiction in contemporary art.

Ian Berry, is the Dayton Director of the Tang.

Even before the Declaration of Independence was signed, the founders established the post office as the circulatory system of America’s body politic. Unlike European postal systems, America’s Post was based on a radical goal: to create an informed electorate by delivering news about public affairs to every citizen.

Winifred Gallagher’s How The Post Office Created America recounts how the U.S. Post was instrumental in developing the national transportation grid, from stagecoach lines to airlines. It organized a wild, rural landscape with roads, villages, towns, and addresses. The postal service was the lifeline that supported the great migration and expansion West. It also enabled America to shift from an agrarian to an industrial economy, and was integral to the development of the publishing industry, consumer culture, and the political party system.

  Election Day is about four months away.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Congressional Quarterly’s David Hawkings and WAMC’s Alan Chartock discuss the presidential race. 

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:Our Kind of Traitor

Upcoming:
Dust Bowl Faeries - Upbeat on the Roof/Tang Teaching Museum & Gallery, Saratoga Springs, Friday 7/8
Boston Symphony Orchestra with violinist Joshua Bell (Opening Night: Prokofiev, Saint-Saens) - Tanglewood, Lenox, Mass., Friday 7/8
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater - SPAC, Saratoga Springs, Friday (8 PM)-Saturday (2 and 8 PM), 7/8-9
Wussy - The Low Beat, Albany, Friday 7/9
The Muppets Take Manhattan - Proctors, Schenectady, Sunday 7/10 (10:30 AM & 1 PM)
The Hydes & Rembrandt - The Hyde Collection, Glens Falls, opens Sunday 7/10 (exhibit continues through 10/2)
Steely Dan, Steve Winwood - SPAC, Saratoga Springs, Sunday, 7/10
Blood Sweat & Tears feat. Bo Bice & Dylan Elise, Super 400 - Empire State Plaza, Albany, Wednesday 7/13 (5-9 PM)
NRBQ - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, Wednesday 7/13
Jim Gaffigan - Times Union Center, Albany, Wednesday 7/13

New Movies: Weiner Dog, The Secret Life of Pets, Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates, The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma & the Silk Road Ensemble

  From renowned social critic, energy expert, and bestselling author James Howard Kunstler,The Harrows of Spring is a moving and gripping novel that completes the story of the quaint upstate New York town of Union Grove, thrown into a future world that in many ways resembles the nineteenth century.

In Union Grove, early spring is a challenging season, known as the “six weeks want,” a time when fresh food is scarce and the winter stores are dwindling. The town is struggling in particular this year as the Hudson River trade route to Albany has been halted by the local plantation tycoon Stephen Bullock, who has deemed it too resource-intensive and is now striving for self-sufficiency.

7/7/16 Panel

Jul 7, 2016

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

  The Music Haven Concert Series presents world-class concerts in Schenectady, NY. All their shows are scheduled to take place in Schenectady's Central Park on the Agnes MacDonald Music Haven Stage – with a rain-site at Proctors in case of inclement weather.

The Music Haven Concert Series continues its tradition of ‘traveling the world one concert at a time’ with their 2016 season of free, open-air concerts in Schenectady’s Central Park. This year’s series is stacked with international touring talent that promises to transport Music Haven audiences to locales such as: Senegal, Nashville, Puerto Rico, Trinidad, Jamaica, Harlem, Ukraine, Macedonia, Cuba and County Sligo, Ireland.

Mona Golub is the Music Haven Concert Series producing artistic director and she joins us to tell us about their schedule for this summer that runs Sundays at 7PM beginning this Sunday, July 10th.

  Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-ass Wit of Molly Ivins is a staged reading with Nancy Rothman at PS21 in Chatham on Friday night at 8PM.

It’s an election year, so what better time to enjoy a play based on the famous witticisms of political columnist and humorist Molly Ivins? Her satirical insights into the American political system still ring true today, and twin-sister journalists Margaret and Allison Engel have written a very funny show celebrating Ivins’ courage and tenacity.

Nancy Rothman has acted on stages in NYC, regionally and abroad, as well as on film, television and radio. She is also a favorite with local audiences, and has graced the PS21 stage on numerous occasions. Nicola Sheara is directing Nancy in the reading and we welcome them both to The Roundtable.

  Voice Theatre in Woodstock, NY creates new productions and explores relevant dimensions of classic works. From play development readings and in-school workshops, to full-scale productions and international tours, Voice Theatre cuts through barriers of ethnicity, language and nationality, bringing together diverse peoples seeking mutual respect because of their shared experiences of humanity.

They join us to talk to talk about their Summer Youth Workshop which creates a fun supportive environment for young people to explore skills that develop confidence, social skills, focus, independent inquiry and collaboration while having fun in a creative environment.

We are joined by Voice Theatre artistic director Shauna Kanter and ensemble member Christa Trinler.

  Who will wind up on the presidential tickets?

In today’s Congressional Corner, Congressional Quarterly’s David Hawkings and WAMC’s Alan Chartock play the veepstakes game.

  The Green River Festival, Western Massachusetts' favorite music and hot air balloon festival will take place July 8, 9, and 10 on the grounds of Greenfield Community in Greenfield, MA.

Presented by the record label, Signature Sounds, the first Green River Festival took place in 1986 as a free one day headlined by NRBQ, who are returning to the festival this year to help celebrate its 30th anniversary.

Headliners include Dawes, Tedeschi-Trucks Band, Shovels & Rope, and Shakey Graves. There will be music on three stages, family events, hot air balloon rides, a new sustainability partnership with Klean Kanteen and more.

Jim Olsen is the President of Signature Sounds and he joins us to tell us more about this weekend’s Green River Festival. 

Judy Blume

Jul 6, 2016
Judy Blume
Sigrid Estrada

  In her new novel, Judy Blume, the New York Times #1 best-selling author of Summer Sisters and of young adult classics such as Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, creates a richly textured and moving story of three generations of families, friends and strangers, whose lives are profoundly changed by unexpected events.

She joins us to talk about the new novel, her magnificent career, and how much she likes working in her bookstore.

7/6/16 Panel

Jul 6, 2016

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

  Andy Lazris, MD, is a practicing primary care physician who experiences the effects of Medicare policy on a daily basis. As a result, he believes that the way we care for our elderly has taken a wrong turn and that Medicare is complicit in creating the very problems it seeks to solve. Aging is not a disease to be cured; it is a life stage to be lived

His new book is Curing Medicare: A Doctor's View on How Our Health Care System Is Failing Older Americans and How We Can Fix It.

The Iroquois Indian Museum in Howes Cave, NY is celebrating its 35th anniversary and has many exciting and educational events going on this season including: artist demonstrations, a fall exhibition, A Soldier's Heart a Sister's Hands: Haudenosaune [ho deh neh show nee] Women Veterans, Iroquois storytelling and the Iroquois Festival on Labor Day weekend.

They will be hosting a party on July 9th to celebrate 35 years with vendors, live music, children's activities, silent auction and more. 

Here to tell us more are Dr. Christina Hanks, Founding Director of the museum and Stephanie Shultes, Current Director.

  Donald Trump has a big choice to make.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Congressional Quarterly’s David Hawkings and WAMC’s Alan Chartock continue their discussion about the veepstakes.

Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks.
Tedeschi Trucks Band

It’s hard to believe that Tedeschi Trucks Band has only been around for six years, because they’re the kind of group that sounds permanent. The blues and rock juggernaut released its third album Let Me Get By in January, and it quickly earned popular and critical praise. And if it’s summer, it means Derek Trucks, widely considered one of the greatest guitarists in the world, is on the road. Trucks joined the Allman Brothers Band as a teen and has toured and collaborated with a who’s who of the music industry in the years since.

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

List:
All Things Cease to Appear by Elizabeth Brundage
The Only Rule Is It Has to Work by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller
Free Days with George by Colin Campbell
How to Set a Fire and Why by Jesse Ball
The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer
A Child's First Book of Trump written by Michael Ian Black, Illustrated by Marc Rosenthal

7/5/2016 Panel

Jul 5, 2016

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

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