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, 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?

If you would like to be on the show email us at Send your comments or questions for The Roundtable Panel to

The Roundtable is also available as a podcast.  Subscribe today!

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10:50 - Congressional Corner
11:10 - Earth Wise

11:50 - The Slowdown

Book Picks lists are here.

You may also hear Pulse of the Planet and Sound Beat on The Roundtable.

New York State, the fourth most populous state in the country, is divided into eleven different regions. Pair that with the state’s diverse geography – the Catskill and Adirondack Mountains, lowlands, eleven finger lakes, and borders of two great lakes – and one can understand the variety of brewing styles across New York.

As breweries from across NYS are meeting this week at the State Capitol, we meet several brewers from across our region. To discuss all the happening in the industry, we welcome Chris Ericson of Lake Placid Pub and Brewery and Big Slide Brewery and president of the New York State Brewers Association, Author and Culinary Institute of America Professor John Fischer from the Brewery at The Culinary Institute of America, and Kevin Mullen of Rare Form Brewing Company.

The Albany Symphony’s 2019 American Music Festival, Sing Out! New York, is a two-weekend festival and regional tour of musical performances and new art happenings.

Sing Out! New York kicks off on Thursday, May 30 with First Draughts Reading Session & Beer Tasting and runs through Sunday, June 2 in Troy, then embarks on a four-concert tour of the greater Capital Region on Thursday, June 6. Two milestone anniversaries frame the festival: the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote, and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising.

Sing Out! New York draws inspiration from both these events, and celebrates New York’s leading role in championing equal rights, through innovative concerts, close encounters with today’s most adventurous artists and composers, interactive workshops, collaborative community events, film screenings, and artistic happenings.

The festival is curated by GRAMMY® Award-winning conductor and Albany Symphony Music Director David Alan Miller who joins us now along with ASO Executive Director Anna Kuwabara.

Congressman Paul Tonko
Congressman Paul Tonko

Many lawmakers say the opioid crisis is not a partisan issue.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York Congressman Paul Tonko, a Democrat from the 20th district, wraps up his conversation with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

Today, Comfort Food Community is launching their 6th annual "Give Hunger the Boot" campaign. The community-wide campaign will raise funds in support of the non-profit organization based in Greenwich. All proceeds will directly benefit CFC’s program offering including: the Greenwich and Cossayuna Food Pantries, the Yes! Backpack Program in partnership with Greenwich Central School, the Greenwich Community Garden and the Fresh Food Collective.

On Sunday, June 2, the Annual CFC Classic Car Show will be held at the Greenwich VFW from 12-4 p.m.

Proceeds from both events will go directly to Comfort Food Community. We are joined by Devin Bulger, Executive Director of Comfort Food Community and Amanda Willetts, Classic Car Show Event Manager.

5/20/19 Panel

13 hours ago

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

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, former Associate Editor of the Times Union Mike Spain, Vice President for Editorial Development at the New York Press Association Judy Patrick and Albany Law School Professor Sarah Rogerson who directs the Immigration Law Clinic.

Corbin Bleu and Stephanie Styles in the 2019 Broadway revival of "Kiss Me Kate"
Joan Marcus

Roundabout Theatre Company’s revival of Cole Porter’s “Kiss Me Kate” is nominated for four Tony Awards this year - including Best Revival of A Musical.

Based on Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew,” the original Broadway production of “Kiss Me Kate” ran from December 1948 to July 1951. The show features seminal Cole Porter tunes “Another Op'nin' Another Show,” “So In Love,” “Too Darn Hot,” and “Brush Up Your Shakespeare” - among others.

Starring Kelli O’Hara and Will Chase and directed by Scott Ellis, “Kiss Me Kate” features Tony Award nominated choreography by Warren Carlyle and marks the Broadway debut of featured actor, Stephanie Styles in the role of Lois Lane (Bianca in the play-within-the-play). Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Styles has a BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Michigan.

Over 17 seasons in the major leagues, pitcher David Cone experienced the highest highs and the lowest lows. The five-time all-star won the 1994 Cy Young award, earned five World Series rings — four with the Yankees dynasty of the 90s — and threw the 16th perfect game ever in 1999. He also endured multiple surgeries, including for a life-threatening aneurysm, sometimes lost his confidence, and never stopped tinkering as he thought about how to get the next batter out.

2019 Winter Raptor Fest

May 17, 2019

This weekend the Washington County Fairgrounds will host Winter Raptor Fest. The event offers a chance to see and learn about native raptors up close and personal including flight demos, live bird of prey programs and more.

Proceeds benefit Grassland Bird Trust’s work to preserve critical wildlife habitat for endangered and at-risk grassland birds.

We are joined by Kelly Martin, a state licensed raptor rehabilitator and by David deVries, longtime associate/volunteer with The Grassland Bird Trust.

5/17/19 Panel

May 17, 2019

  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, Senior Fellow and Visiting Professor at Bennington College, Founder of Beyond Plastics, former EPA regional administrator Judith Enck, and Siena College Economics Professor Aaron Pacitti. 

Royal, Nebraska: where the church, high school, and post office each stand abandoned, monuments to a Great Plains town that never flourished. But for nearly twenty years, they had a zoo, seven acres that rose from local peculiarity to key tourist attraction to devastating tragedy. And it all began with one man’s outsize vision.

Carson Vaughan writes about it in "Zoo Nebraska: The Dismantling of an American Dream."

The mission of the Hudson River Maritime Museum in Kingston, New York is to preserve and interpret the history of the Hudson River, its tributaries, its industries and its communities. They work closely with other organizations such as Clearwater, Riverkeeper, DEC and Scenic Hudson.

This year marks the museum’s 40th anniversary. Lisa Cline is the Executive Director of the Hudson River Maritime Museum and she joins us along with Ellie Burhans, the museum’s Development and Communications Manager.

The sloop Clearwater turns 50 on Friday. It was launched on May 17, 1969. Pete Seeger, who founded Clearwater and conceived and help build the sloop, was born May 3, 1919, and centennial celebrations for him are ongoing. Clearwater is calling this its "50/100" anniversary. The anniversary is the subject of a long resolution adopted last week by the NYS Senate and Assembly about Pete's legacy and Clearwater's work.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary, Saturday, May 18th, Clearwater is holding two public sails on the sloop (11am and 5pm) plus a free dockside event from 2:30 - 4:30 pm at the Ferry Dock in Beacon NY. There will be live music, tours of the sloop, Hudson River fish and invertebrates, banjo crafting and more.

Coming up in June, 50/100 edition of Clearwater's Great Hudson River Revival takes place June 15 and 16 at Croton Point Park.

Here to celebrate the sloop with us we welcome Betsy Garthwaite, former longtime captain of the Clearwater (also a former chair of Clearwater's board), Manna Jo Greene, Clearwater's environmental director, and Stephen Smith, chair of Clearwater's board.

Congressman Paul Tonko
Congressman Paul Tonko

Every political party contains a range of opinions.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York Congressman Paul Tonko, a Democrat from the 20th district, continues his conversation 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.

Seen: "Hail Satan?"


  • Fence 2019 - Arts Center of the Capital Region, Troy, opens Friday 5/17 through June 7
  • Citizen Cope - Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park, Friday 5/17, 8 PM
  • Black Violin - The Egg, Albany, Friday 5/17, 7:30 PM
  • Dave Attell - Funny Bone Comedy Club, Guilderland, Friday-Saturday 5/17-18, various times
  • Close Encounters With Music: The Escher String Quartet - music of Mozart, Schubert, Barber Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Mass., Saturday 5/18, 6 PM
  • Jonathan Dely - The Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Mass., Saturday 5/18, 7 PM
  • Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Saturday 5/18, 8 PM
  • Soul Science Lab - MASS MoCA, Club B10, North Adams, Mass., Saturday 5/18, 8 PM
  • I Am Cuba (Out After Midnite film series) - Capital Arts Complex, Rome, Saturday 5/18, 9:30 PM
  • Judas Priest, Uriah Heep - Palace Theatre, Albany, Saturday-Sunday 5/18-19, 7:30 PM

New movies: "John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum," "Meeting Gorbachev," "The Sun Is Also a Star," "A Dog’s Journey"

5/16/19 Panel

May 16, 2019

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

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, founding Dean of the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity at the University at Albany Robert Griffin, Vice President for Editorial Development at New York Press Association Judy Patrick, and Siena College Professor of Comparative Politics Vera Eccarius-Kelly.

Jordan Klepper in a scene from "Klepper."
Comedy Central

If you liked Jordan Klepper’s work on "The Daily Show," you’ll probably enjoy his new series “Klepper.” Like a sort of gonzo George Plimpton, Klepper explores some of the darker aspects of American civic life today — like the story of U.S. military veterans who are only welcome back across the border after death, and undocumented college students forced to study underground in Georgia.

Tim Conway, the impish second banana to Carol Burnett who won four Emmy Awards on her TV variety show, starred aboard "McHale's Navy" and later voiced the role of Barnacle Boy for "Spongebob Squarepants," has died. He was 85.

Besides his Emmys with Burnett, Conway got two more for guest appearances on "Coach" and "30 Rock." He also had a modest but steady movie career, appearing in such films as "The Apple Dumpling Gang."

We spoke with Conway in 2010, in advance of a performance at Proctors in Schenectady.

The New York Times calls it “the best musical of this century.” The Washington Post says, “It is the kind of evening that restores your faith in musicals.” And Entertainment Weekly says, “Grade A: the funniest musical of all time.” Jimmy Fallon of The Tonight Show calls it “Genius. Brilliant. Phenomenal.”

“The Book of Mormon,” won nine Tony Awards in 2011, including Best Musical. The national tour is now playing at Proctors in Schenectady, New York through Sunday, May 19. The show’s book, music, and lyrics are by Robert Lopez, Matt Stone, and Trey Parker.

To tell us more we welcome two men who play the role of Elder Cunningham in the show. Jordan Matthew Brown is rejoining the National Tour straight from the Broadway company of “The Book of Mormon!” And just in case something happens – he bought his stand-by with him. Jacob Ben-Shmuel is Jordan’s understudy and is making his national tour debut. He recently graduated from UCIrvine with his BFA in Music Theatre.

Congressman Paul Tonko
Congressman Paul Tonko

Democrats in the House are growing frustrated with the White House.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York Congressman Paul Tonko, a Democrat from the 20th district, speaks with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

The new musical “The Prom” tells the story of four all-but-washed-up narcissistic Broadway stars, played by Brooks Ashmanskas, Beth Leavel, Christopher Sieber, and Angie Schworer, who are in need of a positive image boost. To fix their personal PR - they travel to Indiana, where Emma, a high school student played by Caitlin Kinnunen, has been banned from attending her prom with her same-sex partner. They make things worse before making them better and everyone learns something along the way.

The big-hearted Broadway hit, running since last autumn, is nominated for seven Tony Awards this season including Best Musical. The show features music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Chad Beguelin, and a book by Beguelin and Bob Martin. We are joined two of the show’s Tony nominees. Matthew Sklar and Beth Leavel. This interview was recorded in March.

Composer, Matthew Sklar, is a Tony, Emmy and Drama Desk Award-nominated composer of the Broadway musicals “Elf” and “The Wedding Singer.”

Beth Leavel plays Dee Dee Allen in The Prom - her thirteenth Broadway show. She won a Tony, Drama Desk, OCC, L.A. Drama Critics award winner for her performance as the title role in "The Drowsy Chaperone."

5/15/19 Panel

May 15, 2019

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

Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, Berkshire Eagle Reporter Jenn Smith, Times Union Columnist Chris Churchill, at RPI, and SUNY New Paltz Communications Professor, Terry Gipson.

Deanna Fox is an award-winning food and agriculture journalist who writes for the Times Union, The Daily Gazette, USA Today, The Washington Post, Beer Advocate, Eater, The Kitchn and many more.

She is also the owner of Albany Cooking School, which hosts cooking classes inside of Different Drummer's Kitchen in Albany, NY.

This morning she joins us for a bonus Book Picks – her list features all cookbooks.

  This week's Book Picks come from Green Toad Bookstore in Oneonta, NY 


  • “The Skin Artist” by George Hovis
  • “Daisy Jones & The Six” by Taylor Jenkins
  • “The Den” by Abi Maxwell
  • “Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and The Last Trial of Harper Lee” by Casey Cep
  • “Spying on the South” by Tony Horwitz
  • “The Heartland: An American History” by Kristin L. Hoganson

Attorney General Bill Barr and Congressman Jerry Nadler at are odds. In today’s Congressional Corner, Union College political science professor Brad Hays wraps up his conversation with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

On Wednesday, May 15, Pulitzer Prize-winning architectural critic Paul Goldberger will talk with Oblong Book and Music's Dick Hermans about "Ballpark: Baseball in the American City."

The book is a new look at the history of baseball: told through the stories of the vibrant and ever-changing ballparks at the heart of our cities--where dreams are as limitless as the outfields.

5/14/19 Panel

May 14, 2019

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

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, The Empire Report’s J. P. Miller, political consultant and lobbyist Libby Post, and Vice President for Editorial Development at the New York Press Association Judy Patrick.