The Roundtable

Weekdays, 9 a.m.

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, listener call-ins, 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

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.

  Fredrick Forsyth has been writing extraordinary novels of intrigue for almost forty years from the groundbreaking The Day of The Jackal to The Kill List.  Now Frederick Forsyth tells the story of his own remarkable life filled with events that, in many cases, inspired his fifteen novels. His new book is The Outsider: My Life In Intrigue.

11/19/15 Panel

Nov 19, 2015

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

  The Roundabout Theatre Company in New York City -- the largest not-for-profit theatre company in America -- is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this season. This week we’re highlighting some of their work.

Early next year, Roundabout will open a revival of She Loves Me. With a book by Joe Masteroff, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and music by Jerry Bock, She Loves Me is an adaptation of the Hungarian play, Parfumerie. The films The Shop Around the Corner and You’ve Got Mail used the same source material as this musical, which was first produced on Broadway in 1963.

In 1993, She Loves Me was the first musical Roundabout ever produced. It was directed by Scott Ellis and earned a Tony Award for Boyd Gaines and a Drama Desk Award for Best Revival of a Musical. Scott Ellis returns to helm this new production boasting a cast that includes Laura Benanti, Zachary Levi, Rene Auberjonois, Jane Krakowski, and Gavin Creel.

Creel originated the role of Jimmy in Thoroughly Modern Millie, for which he earned a Tony nomination. He played Claude in the 2009 revival of Hair, earning another Tony Nomination. He is currently playing Elder Price in The Book of Mormon and he’ll play Stephen Kodaly in She Loves Me.

Listener Essay - Cash Or Cans?

Nov 18, 2015

  Kathryn Allen is a writer who lives in Menands. She is vice-chair of the Unity House board.

Cash or Cans?

In the ramp up to the holiday season, community groups are organizing food drives to provide much needed help to local food pantries. At my gym - Plaza Fitness - the trainers have each put out a huge box for donations. They’ve launched a contest to see which of their client teams will bring in the most food for the City Mission.

At first I looked askance at this. A recent New York Times piece suggested that giving cash to food pantries is a better way to help hungry families. The argument is that food pantries can buy food in bulk at regional food banks for much less than donors pay at their local supermarkets.

What’s a donor to do? Cans or cash?

  David Hare has long been one of England's best known playwrights and dramatists. He's the author of more than thirty acclaimed plays that have appeared on Broadway, in the West End, and the National Theater. He wrote the screenplays for the hugely successful films The Hours, Plenty, and The Reader. Most recently, his play Skylight won the 2015 Tony Award for Best Revival on Broadway.

His new work, The Blue Touch Paper, offers an account of becoming a writer amid the enormous flux of postwar England. He takes us from his university days at Cambridge to the swinging 1960s, when he confounded the influential Portable Theatre in London and took a memorable road trip across America, to his breakthrough successes as a playwright.

  Were President Obama’s executive actions on immigration legal?

In today’s Congressional Corner, Union College political science professor Brad Hays tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock the Supreme Court may have to answer that question.

  Featuring classic songs such as “My Girl” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” the Broadway hit: Motown The Musical is now playing at Proctors in Schenectady through Sunday.

It is the true story of Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson and many more.

We meet two of the stars this morning: Jarran Muse plays Marvin Gaye and Syndee Winters portrays Diana Ross.

  At a time when colleagues were hitting their mid-career strides, Steve Lobel was mired in failure. On the brink of bankruptcy, Lobel had no income, no savings, no job, no career-and, it seemed, no future. The business he had purchased twenty months earlier had collapsed, a misfortune he had brought largely on himself by breaking every rule of sound business.

This was the same man who a few years before had opened the gourmet market Cowan & Lobel in Albany, New York, only to lose the store at the height of its success.

11/18/15 Panel

Nov 18, 2015

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