WBGO Journal

Saturday 6am - 6:30am

Hosted by Doug Doyle

The WBGO Journal is an award-winning half-hour news magazine that airs Saturdays at 6 am. Reports and analysis, informative interviews and features.

Broadway
Michael Bourne for WBGO

 

It’s time for the theater awards. Theater critic Michael Bourne looks at the nominees for Best New Play on Broadway.

Click above to hear his choices.

Gulliver's Gate
Jon Kalish for WBGO

Times Square has been called the crossroads of the world. A new tourist attraction that opened there this month displays much of the world under one roof in miniature form.

Models of Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas comprise the new exhibit, Gulliver’s Gate.  WBGO's Jon Kalish went to check it out. Hear his report by clicking above.

Alexandra Hill

The city of Newark recently celebrated the opening of the Shani Baraka Women’s resource center for women in crisis, to provide emergency services for women affected by domestic violence. The center has a personal connection to both the city itself and its mayor.

“You never think your going to be that person you never think your going to be that woman.”

28-year-old Newark native Christina Bright is a domestic violence survivor, she says she hopes the center will be able to reach those women who are often afraid or even ashamed to go out and get the help they need.

Jean-Michel Basquiat
Sotheby's and 2017 Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s powerful 1982 painting of a skull brought $110.5 million at Sotheby’s yesterday, to become the sixth most expensive work ever sold at auction.  There were gasps in the crowd when the auction ended.  According to various reports, only 10 other works have broken the $100 million mark.

The painting, “Untitled," was forged from oil stick and spray paint and had been expected to sell for $60 million.  The New York Times reported at least four bidders on the phones and in the room went way beyond that price tag.

Curvy Widow
George Street Playhouse for WBGO

Nancy Opel stars at the George Street Playhouse in Curvy Widow, a musical with a book (from a book) by Bobby Goldman.

Opel returns to GSP after her hilarious, show-stealing performance as Ma/The Mayor in The Toxic Avenger to star in this sassy, frank and witty musical comedy that follows the daily exploits of a feisty fifty-something widow. Her adventures inspire laughter and -- in the least expected places --  reveal unexpected truths about life, love, survival and sex.

Black Infant Mortality
Partnership for Maternal and Child Health of Northern New Jersey

The Partnership for Maternal & Child Health of Northern New Jersey and the SIDS Center of New Jersey will hold a conference next month on Black Infant Mortality (focused specifically on New Jersey). The conference is set for June 2nd at the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark.

It’s been more than 20 years since a Blue Ribbon Panel was created under the former Governor of New Jersey Christie Whitman to address the issue. The Partnership was a part of the panel then and is now leading efforts to resurface this important public health issue.

Hope Boykin
alvinailey.org

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will be completing a coast-to-coast tour at NJPAC for performances on Mother’s Day weekend.

It is especially significant that the Company will be performing 3 works (on Friday evening and Sunday matinee) that celebrates the marriage of modern dance and jazz.

A company premiere and a new production that pay homage to two jazz legends on their birth centennials; Artistic Director Robert Battle’s Ella to the scatting of Ella Fitzgerald and Billy Wilson’s The Winter in Lisbon tribute to Dizzy Gillespie.

Anastasia
Michael Bourne for WBGO

WBGO Theater Critic Michael Bourne reviews Anastasia and has some thoughts on the Tony Award nominations.

Tim Fielding

Chaka Khan is one of the most recognizable names and voices in music history. The Queen of Funk is opening up about her unprecedented career her connection to jazz, her dedication to philanthropy, and her upcoming Mother's Day benefit show.   

Khan has had an eventful and storied career, going back to the early 1970s, when she was front-woman for the funk band Rufus. But before all of that, there was jazz.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Over ten years ago, New Jersey became the first state to enact legislation requiring every new mother to be screened for postpartum depression and anxiety before leaving the hospital.  But only fifteen percent of women are reaching out for help after being discharged.

“The stigma, the shame, the failure you’re already feeling while in the throes of this illness prevents you from admitting and asking for help,” said Lisa Tremayne, Program Director at The Center for Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders at Monmouth Medical Center.

The Public Theater
The Public Theater

This season on Broadway has been, to say the least, active. Same for off-Broadway, says WBGO Theater Critic Michael Bourne, especially downtown on Lafayette Street.

The Circle Premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival

Apr 30, 2017
Emma Watson
Harlan Jacobson for WBGO

The Tribeca film Festival ends this weekend, after a pretty full 10 days of some 104 films, plus TV and immersive media experiences and celebrity chats. 

The highest profile premiere at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival is The Circle, directed by James Ponsoldt from Dave Eggers screenplay of his own novel. Which conjures up a techno information gigantum that looks a lot like a cross between Google and Apple corporate cultures, with Tom Hanks as the Steve Jobs-like Eamon Bailey at the head of it all, backed up by Patton Oswalt his enforcer, Tom Stenton.

Yadira Arroyo
DC 37 Local 2507

Last month's violent line of duty death of 44-year old FDNY EMT Yadira Arroyo has thrown a spotlight on the vast pay disparity between what members of the FDNY’s Emergency Medical Service are paid versus every other uniform agency including the Department of Sanitation.

Giving Back Through Baking Birthday Cakes

Apr 28, 2017
MSU students
Human Needs Food Pantry

Can high schoolers make a difference in their community by baking a cake?  A group of Montclair High School students are trying to do just that.

On a Friday afternoon in April, while other students are fleeing Montclair High School, about fifteen young women assembled in a second floor classroom with a cake and brownies. But they weren’t having a party.

Instead, they were making plans for an upcoming bake sale. The club is called “Baking for a Change,” and they discussed where they want to donate the money they raise – the local animal shelter or a conservation project.

Holocaust Survivor Recalls an Act of Kindness

Apr 25, 2017

The bottom line at Auschwitz is, eighty percent of the people who were sent from Hungary, Jews, upon arrival in the gas chambers.  The other twenty percent will be sent to slave labor camps all over Nazi occupied areas.  I see people dying all around me.  They’re dying of hunger, dying from diseases, accidents on the work sites from really hard labor.  They’re going to kill you.  One morning we are standing at attention when an S.S.

Broadway's Indecent Brings Up Painful Memories

Apr 21, 2017
Indecent
Michael Bourne for WBGO

A play now on Broadway tells the story of a play that became a scandal a hundred years ago — in Yiddish.  Theater Critic Michael Bourne reviews Indecent.A play now on Broadway tells the story of a play that became a scandal a hundred years ago — in Yiddish.   Theater Critic Michael Bourne reviews Indecent.

Mesh Network
Jon Kalish for WBGO

For many Americans a broadband connection to the internet is an essential necessity of 21st Century life. And yet there are some who can't afford it. A small town in Vermont is the latest in a series of efforts to organize a wireless network that offers high-speed internet access at a price that low-income people can afford. WBGO's Jon Kalish reports on the wireless mesh movement.

Click above to hear Jon's report on the WBGO Journal.

Theresa Fowler Pittius
Doug Doyle for WBGO

A Broadway veteran and Monmouth County native is training local kids and adults to follow in her footsteps on stage.  Saturday (April 22) marks the launch of Red Bank Performance Prep, and education division of the long-time downtown Red Bank events and entertainment company, Flipping Fun.

Theresa Fowler Pittius was an original cast member of Cameron Mackintosh's highly acclaimed, International Broadway Touring Production of Oliver.  She's been involved with many other Broadway projects and is now giving back to the community that helped make her dreams come true.

Mike Nichols
Daniella Gutierrez for WBGO

The Third Annual Mike Nichols Charity Hockey Game this Friday, April 21st at Prudential Center will benefit spinal cord research and quality of life initiatives. 

Proceeds from the game featuring many former and current NHL stars will go to the Nichols Family Trust to provide for Mike's medical needs, as well as the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, which is dedicated to curing spinal cord injuries by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for individuals living with paralysis.

Sally Cook
Doug Doyle for WBGO

Author, former Associated Press reporter and New York resident Sally Cook returns to SportsJam with Doug Doyle to talk about her latest book, How to Speak Soccer: From Assist to Woodwork - An Illustrated Guide to Pitch-Perfect Jargon.

Tony Meneses
Doug Doyle for WBGO

Playwright Tony Meneses feels right at home at Two River Theater in Red Bank.  He's excited about the world premiere of The Women Of Padilla.   Meneses was also the playwright of one of Two River's most adored shows Guadalupe in the Guest Room.

The Women of Padilla characters are linked by their marriages to eight brothers and their shared last name, Padilla.   The eight very different sisters-in-law connect through the power of food, faith, laughter and each other while their husbands are away at war.

The Lost CIty of Z
Harlan Jacobson for WBGO

Film Critic Harlan Jacobson has three ways to embark on adventure at the movies.  Harlan reviews The Lost City of Z, Tommy's Honour and Graduation.

Kevin Kline
Michael Bourne for WBGO

WBGO Theater Critic Michael Bourne is not complaining about the abundance of plays and musicials on Broadway recently, especially when three stars have returned with outstanding performances.  Bourne loves his old friend and former college roommate Kevin Kline in Present Laughter as well as Patti Lupone and Christine Ebersole in War Paint.

Ang Santos / WBGO

People were competing for video game supremacy by pumping quarters into arcades on boardwalks, laundromats, and their local VHS rental stores since the 1980’s.  And before that on a little old video game console called Atari.  But gamers making a real living playing them, that’s a different story.  Adam Fletcher is director of communications at The Coalition, the studio that develops content for the popular XBOX One title Gears of War 4.

Alexandra Hill

In the wake of the numerous deaths of young black men at the hands of police, the rise of the black lives matter movement, and the mass incarceration epidemic, tensions have been at an all time high in recent years. A new program being launched in the city of Newark is working to change all that. The All Star Project’s Cops and Kids program is working to break the stereotypes that often lead to tension between young people and the police.

“Their cousins, their family members, fathers have been locked up before so it makes them have that negative outlook.”

Mildred Antenor
David Tallacksen for WBGO

WBGO commentator Mildred Antenor wants to know what's the next step for those who participated in the historic march one day after President Trump's inauguration in D.C.

Miss Saigon
Michael Bourne for WBGO

WBGO's Theater Critic Michael Bourne reviews the new musical Amelie, musical revival Miss Saigon and play revival The Price.

Ang Santos / WBGO

  

Knights of New Jersey explores four essential parts of the Renaissance Faire.  Honor, Courage, Loyalty, and Turkey Legs.  Lots of Turkey Legs.  It does so through the comedic life of fictional Renaissance Faire performers Sir Robert of Arden Dale and his mostly trusty squire Tom.  Director Michael Hadley says Knights of New Jersey started with a visit to Medieval Times in East Rutherford.

“I thought, what would it be like to have that as your day job?  To actually punch a clock, swing a sword, and that got me thinking about that lifestyle,” said Hadley.

Steve Colson
Doug Doyle for WBGO

A collection of stellar artists will gather this Friday night for the spirited premiere of Adegoke Steve Colson's jazz-flavored tribute, commissioned by NJPAC in honor of Newark's 350th anniversary. 

Colson's piece Here Is the Place, Our City is dedicated to two of his closest friends who have passed, beloved historian and Rutgers University-Newark educator Dr. Clement Price and world-renowned poet Amiri Baraka.

The concert at NJPAC's Victoria Theater is set for 8pm on April 7th.

Many jazz purists may not see the genre of hip-hop music as a viable artform, but one female lyricist may change all that. Grammy nominated platinum selling rapstress Rah Digga says if it wasn’t for her roots in hip hop she may have never discovered jazz.

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