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 9 a.m. 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, Lin-Manuel Miranda and lots of other really cool people. Plus, Wilco does our theme song. What more can you ask for?

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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.

Our tech guru Jesse Feiler joins us this morning to set us straight on Apps and their creation.

Jesse Feiler is an app developer, author, and consultant specializing in small business and nonprofit organizations. His most recent books are “The Nonprofit Risk Book: Finding and Managing Risk in Nonprofits and NGOs” written with Gail B. Nayowith and “Learn Computer Science with Swift.” His most recent apps are “CyberContinuity,” a free app to learn about your vulnerabilities and “The Nonprofit Risk App,” a companion to the book.

Alice Hoffman is the author of more than thirty works of fiction, including The Marriage of OppositesPractical Magic, The Red Garden, the Oprah’s Book Club selection Here on EarthThe Museum of Extraordinary Things, and The Dovekeepers.

Her latest is the prequel to her bestseller, Practical Magic, entitled The Rules of Magic.

On November 3rd, The YWCA of the Greater Capital Region and The Arts Center of the Capital Region will present the 3rd Annual BraVa! Fundraiser. The event will showcase local artists reading poems, songs, monologues and essays on the topic of bras in their lives. Last year’s event featured twelve talented writers from around the Capital Region whose pieces touched on the subject of bras from many viewpoints which ranged from the poignant to the hilarious. More than 500 bras were collected last year and were provided to those in need at the YWCA and throughout the greater capital region.

BraVa! was founded by author, editor and educator, Marian Roach Smith. She joins us today along with Daquetta Jones, the executive director of the YWCA

Harold Prince
Marc J. Franklin

Harold Prince is the most honored director/producer in the history of the American theater. His new book, Sense of Occasion, gives an insider's recollection of the making of such landmark musicals as West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, Company, Follies, Sweeney Todd, Evita, and Phantom of the Opera.

Prince writes about his mentor George Abbott and his many celebrated collaborators, including Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins, Stephen Sondheim, John Kander, Boris Aronson, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Angela Lansbury, Zero Mostel, Carol Burnett, and Joel Grey.

10/25/17 Panel

Oct 25, 2017

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

Today's panelists are: WAMC's Alan Chartock, Jenn Smith Community Engagement editor and Staff Reporter at the Berkshire Eagle and Communications Consultants Theresa Bourgeois and political consultant and lobbyist Libby Post.

Celebrated Harvard Business School historian Nancy Koehn's newest book Forged in Crisis, spotlights five masters of crisis: polar explorer Ernest Shackleton; President Abraham Lincoln; legendary abolitionist Frederick Douglass; Nazi-resisting clergyman Dietrich Bonhoeffer and environmental crusader Rachel Carson.

What do such disparate figures have in common? Why do their extraordinary stories continue to amaze and inspire? In delivering the answers to those questions, Nancy Koehn offers a template by which to judge those in our own time to whom the public has given its trust.

WAM Theatre’s fall Mainstage production of The Last Wife by Kate Hennig opened this past weekend to full houses and standing ovations at Shakespeare & Company’s Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre. The run continues weekends through November 5 with an exciting series of post-show conversations planned.

A contemporary reimagining of the compelling relationship between Katherine Parr, Henry VIII’s sixth and final wife, and the King, The Last Wife is a funny, powerful examination of patriarchy, sexual politics, and women’s rights.

The four free post-show conversations take place after their 2 pm matinees and focus on Patriarchy, Women in Power, and Sexual Politics. WAM Artistic Director and co-Founder Kristen van Ginhoven and Director of The Last Wife Kelly Galvin join us.

They will also share information with us about this weekend’s Berkshire Leadership Summit.

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

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

The Visitors by Catherine Burns

Sweet: Desserts from London’s Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi

The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine by Mark Twin, Philip Stead, illustrated by Erin Stead

Red & Lulu by Matt Tavares

Bruce’s Big Move by Ryan T. Higgins

Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years by Stacy McAnulty, illustrated by David Litchfield

Congresswoman Nita Lowey
Courtesy of the Office of Congresswoman Nita Lowey

New York drivers are getting used to a new bridge with a new name.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York representative Nita Lowey continues her discussion with WAMC’s Alan Chartock. 

FilmColumbia 2017 marks 18 years of “small town, big movies” in Chatham, NY, through October 29th. The festival presents eight extraordinary days of screenings of more than 40 world-class independent and international films, plus post-screening Q&As with acclaimed artists, special tributes, and the annual screenwriting workshop, all presented by The Chatham Film Club. Screenings take place at the Crandell Theatre and Morris Memorial in Chatham.

The festival is programmed by Peter Biskind, the executive and co-artistic director of FilmColumbia 2017 and co-artistic director Laurence Kardish.

Peter Biskind joins us along with Calliope Nicholas, the Managing Director of the festival.

10/24/17 Panel

Oct 24, 2017

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

Today's panelists are: WAMC's Alan Chartock, Times Union Associate Editor Mike Spain, the Empire Report’s J.P. Miller and investigative journalist Rosemary Armao. 

The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve explores the enduring story of humanity’s first parents. Comprising only a few ancient verses, the story of Adam and Eve has served as a mirror in which we seem to glimpse the whole, long history of our fears and desires, as both a hymn to human responsibility and a dark fable about human wretchedness.

The biblical origin story, Stephen Greenblatt argues, is a model for what the humanities still have to offer: not the scientific nature of things, but rather a deep encounter with problems that have gripped our species for as long as we can recall and that continue to fascinate and trouble us today.

Stephen Greenblatt is Cogan University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University. He is the author of thirteen books, including his newest novel: The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve.

Beowulf Sheehan

  Lucy Kaplansky, Richard Shindell and Dar Williams have revived their celebrated folk-pop collaboration - Cry Cry Cry - for their first performances in nineteen years. Cry Cry Cry’s 1998 album was a collection of 12 mostly cover songs and was a sort of tribute to fellow singer-songwriters. Their tour will bring them to The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall on October 27th.

Dubbed by the New Yorker as "one of America's very best singer-songwriters," Dar Williams has made her career not in stadiums, but touring America's small towns. She has played their venues, composed in their coffee shops, and drunk in their bars. She has seen these communities struggle, but also seen them thrive in the face of postindustrial identity crises.

In her book, What I Found in a Thousand Towns: A Traveling Musician's Guide to Rebuilding America's Communities—One Coffee Shop, Dog Run, and Open-Mike Night at a Time, Williams muses on why some towns flourish while others fail, examining elements from the significance of history and nature to the uniting power of public spaces and food. Drawing on her own travels and the work of urban theorists, Williams offers real solutions to rebuild declining communities.

Congresswoman Nita Lowey
Courtesy of the Office of Congresswoman Nita Lowey

Recovery in Puerto Rico is going to take a long time.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York representative Nita Lowey speaks with WAMC’s Alan Chartock. They talked a day before she left for a Congressional trip to the island.

10/23/17 Panel

Oct 23, 2017

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

Today's panelists are: WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Albany County District Attorney David Soares and Communications Consultant Theresa Bourgeois. 

Ray Graf hosts the first portion of today's Roundtable Panel.

Sandra Boynton's latest release, Hog Wild!: A Frenzy of Dance Music, features eleven all-out musical tracks in an array of dance styles performed by Scott Bakula, Kristen Bell, Darcy Boynton, Raúl Esparza and Madeleine Lodge, Falls Mountain Cowboys and Caitlin McEwan, Five For Fighting, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Lanegan, Stanley Tucci, Patrick Wilson, Laura Linney and "Weird Al" Yankovic.

Boynton joins us to talk about writing the songs, getting the talent, and how it all fits in with her other work.

Sheri Bauer-Mayorga and Thomas Chulak from Chatham Bookstore in Chatham, NY join us with this week's Book Picks.

What I Found in a Thousand Towns by Dar Williams (Hachette)

Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks (Knopf)

The World Is Not a Rectangle: A Portrait of Architect Zaha Hadid by Jeanette Winter (Simon & Schuster)

Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers & Shawn Harris (Chronicle)

World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech by Franklin Foer (Penguin)

Paris in the Present Tense by Mark Helprin (Norton)

Congressman Joe Courtney

U.S. environmental policy is in a time of transition.

In today’s Congressional Corner, WAMC’s Alan Chartock wraps up his discussion with Connecticut Representative Joe Courtney, a Democrat from the 2nd district.

Gabriel Kahane's Instagram feed

  Gabriel Kahane’s 8980: Book of Travelers is a new collection of songs inspired by the two-week train trip he took across the United States last November. He left on his un-plugged  journey the day after the 2016 election to meet and converse with dozens of strangers.

Created in collaboration with director Daniel Fish and designer Jim Findlay, 8980: Book of Travelers is a song cycle and solo stage show that will officially premiere at The Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival later this fall. Tonight, In a kind of sneak-peek, Kahane will take the stage in The Hunter Center at MASS MoCA - where he’s been working on the piece in residency for about two weeks.

10/20/17 Panel

Oct 20, 2017

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

Today's panelists are: WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Former EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck, Communications Consultant Theresa Bourgeois, and Siena College Economics Professor Aaron Pacitti.

Since Donald Trump’s presidential nomination, Keith Olbermann has emerged as one of the web’s most popular anti-Trump screedists—each installment of his GQ web series The Resistance receives nearly 4 million views, and his fiercely progressive monologues have garnered a new generation of fans and followers.

With over 100 individual essays adapted from his wildly popular online GQ commentaries, including new up-to-the-minute material, Olbermann’s new book is Trump is F*Cking Crazy.

Olbermann has been an award-winning national sports and political commentator, reporter, and writer for the last 38 years. Now the host of GQ's web series The Resistance, he spent 10 years at MSNBC as host of The Big ShowThe White House In Crisis, and Countdown and its primary anchor for election night, inauguration, and breaking news coverage. He co-anchored the seminal edition of ESPN's SportsCenter from 1992-97, and post-season baseball coverage for three networks. 

Husband-and-wife team Cynthia and Sanford Levinson take readers back to the creation of this historic document and discuss how contemporary problems were first introduced—then they offer possible solutions. Think Electoral College, gerrymandering, even the Senate. Many of us take these features in our system for granted. But they came about through haggling in an overheated room in 1787, and we’re still experiencing the ramifications.

Each chapter in this timely and thoughtful exploration of the Constitution’s creation begins with a story—all but one of them true—that connects directly back to a section of the document that forms the basis of our society and government. From the award-winning team, Cynthia Levinson, children’s book author, and Sanford Levinson, constitutional law scholar, Fault Lines in the Constitution will encourage exploration and discussion from young and old readers alike.

The W.E. B. Du Bois Educational Series-Great Barrington will stage its first event of the 2017-2018 school year October 24th when co-authors of Jefferson’s Children: The Story of One American Family, Shannon Lanier and Jane Feldman, give an interactive, multimedia presentation that explores the meaning of race, its influence on personal identity and our interrelatedness as Americans.

The event will take place at Monument Mountain Regional High School in Great Barrington, starting at 7:00 PM and begin with a spoken word arrangement by poet Ted Thomas performed by Monument Mountain, Pittsfield and Taconic High School students.  The event is free and open to the public.

Lanier, a sixth great grandson of Thomas Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemings, and Feldman will expand from their award-winning book that recounts in the style of a family photo album Lanier’s travels across the country to meet his relatives, both those descended from Jefferson’s wife Martha and those descended from Hemings. 

Congressman Joe Courtney

The president’s tax overhaul proposal is being met with skepticism from Democrats.

In today’s Congressional Corner, WAMC’s Alan Chartock speaks with Connecticut Representative Joe Courtney, a Democrat from the 2nd district.

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

SeenFaces Places

The Legend of Georgia McBride
Curtain Call Theatre, Latham, Thursday 10/19 at 7:30 PM through November 18

Peppa Pig’s Surprise
Stanley Theater, Utica, Thursday 10/19, 6:30 PM

Andrea McArdle
Proctors, Schenectady, Friday 10/20, 7:30 PM

Actress + Toxe
EMPAC Studio 1—Goodman, Friday 10/20, 9 PM

Close Encounters With Music: The Titans—Schumann & Brahms Piano Quintets
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Mass., Saturday 10/21, 6 PM

The Homecoming Concert: Cardi B, YFN Lucci, Charly Black, Famous Dex & Lil Pump
Times Union Center, Albany, Saturday 10/21, 8 PM

Elvis Perkins
Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, Saturday 10/21, 9 PM

Paco Pena, with special guest Rafael Montilla
Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Sunday 10/22, 3 PM

Carlo Aonzo Trio
Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Sunday 10/22, 7 PM

Rickie Lee Jones
Cohoes Music Hall, Cohoes, Wednesday 10/25, 8 PM

New Movies: Breathe, Loving Vincent, Boo 2! A Madea Halloween, Geostorm, Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House, Take Every Wave