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.

Summer movies are about heroes. And in this hyper-sharpened environment of the performance arts, apparently it takes one to know one. This is the season of Hollywood hero movies, which… I mostly skip. What’s Tom Cruise in the Mummy got to say to me? Worse, last week he said he was going to do a Top Gun sequel. He’s 54 now. He was 23 the first time out. What will they call this one, Shogun… or No Gun? Then there’s Transformers: The Last Knight, which I recall vigorously defending first as a toy in 1985 to fellow parents of toddlers and later as a film, 87 installments ago.

Newark Public Library

Life-long Newark resident Richard Cammarieri was a teenager in the city's central ward in 1967.  

"There was a sense that things were quite inferment throughout the 60's if you were paying any attention at all,"  Cammarieri said.  "My father worked in a town not too far from Newark.  I recall drving with him one day to work.  It was probably the second day.  Because we were white, we were able to pass through the road blocks and cross checks without any problem.  Other cars being stopped had black drivers.  Both men and women, old and young, it didn't seem to matter."

atlantictheater.org

Not every New York theatre is a grand palace. WBGO theater critic Michael Bourne is staying busy after the Tony Awards.  You can hear his stories of watching productions in places like churches and warehouses by clicking the link above.  

CHUCK STEWART / COURTESY OF THE ARTIST

Saxophone legend Sonny Rollins is attaching his legacy to Harlem in a big way.  He’s donated a life’s worth of writings, recordings and other materials to The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library.  Rollins recently sat down with Jazz Night In America’s Christian McBride and NPR’s Audie Cornish to talk about it.

hearingisbelievingfilm.com

  

Twenty-three-year-old insrumentalist composer Rachel Flowers has spent the entirety of her life developing an ear for music.  Born 15 weeks premature, Flowers lost her eyesight at birth.  Lorenzo Destefano’s new film ‘Hearing is Believing’ takes us into Rachel Flowers’ world.  

“We shot for 52 days over almost a two-year period.  It got bigger than we expected.  It’s about a little girl, in a little town, in a little house, but we found a big story there we feel,” said Destefano.   “We call her hyper abled, as opposed to disabled.”

Shannon Rouillard
Doug Doyle for WBGO

The Director of the U.S. Open Women's Championship next month at Trump National Bedminister has quite a story to tell.  Shannon Rouillard didn't start playing golf until she was 15.  She was a gymnast before that, but her father told her she needed to pursue a sport that could lead to a scholarship in college.  Golf was the choice.

Shannon was driven to succeed at golf.  She was a walk-on star at the University of Oregon and eventually became the head coach at Oregon for eight seasons.

Julius Caesar
Shakespeare in the Park

Summer means baseball, barbecues, heat -- and free Shakespeare in the Park.  Theater critic Michael Bourne  reviews the first of the plays this summer at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park.

Alexandra Hill / 4323619530

The city of Newark recently celebrated it’s third class of Hire Newark graduates. The unique job readiness program, in partnership with Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and RWJBarnabas Health, that is giving unemployed residents a fresh outlook on life.

“We are so immeasurably different than people think we are by just looking at us.”

Fatima Hargrove is one of 20 graduates of Hire Newark, an employment boot camp and job readiness program that helps chronically unemployed residents re-enter the workforce.

New Jersey's Gubernatorial Race is Set

Jun 9, 2017
Kim Guadagno
The New York Times

The New Jersey Gubernatorial race is now set after Democrat and former Goldman Sachs Executive Phil Murphy and Republican Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno won their respective primaries earlier this week.

Guadagno greeted her party faithful in West Orange on Primary night.  She took her shots at her new opponent and addressed reporters on her first campaign stop after the election.  Guadagno defended why she didn't mention Governor Christie in her victory speech.

Tony Awards
Michael Bourne for WBGO

The Tony Awards will be presented on Sunday.  WBGO Theater Critic Michael Bourne gives us an idea of what we can expect.

Click above to hear Michael's thoughts.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Thomas Chapin’s undeniable talent could have been enough inspiration for an Emmy-Award winning documentarian to make a movie. Stephanie Castillo who has just put the finishing touches on Night Bird Song:  The Incandescent Life of Thomas Chapin has another pretty important reason.  She’s his sister in-law.

The Ballad of Little Jo
Two River Theater for WBGO

Singer-Songwriter and legendary football star Mike Reid is always looking to what's next in his life.  One of the musicals he's written is running at Two River Theater in Red Bank, NJ from June 3rd through June 25th. 

Reid wrote the music for The Ballad of Little Jo in 1997, but he thinks this performance of the show will be the best yet.  The book by Reid, Sarah Schlesinger and John Dias was based on the film The Ballad of Little Joe by Maggie Greenwald.

Next weekend the Tony Awards will be celebrating Broadway, but according to theater critic Michael Bourne, not all of the best shows were nominated.

Whatever the jury, at the 70th  Cannes Film Festival, decided were the films worthy of its top prizes, the festival, which concluded this past week, seemed like a cinematic scrum between the past present and future tenses of storytelling our film critic Harlan Jacobson reports from Cannes. 

bongiornoproductions.com

  

'The Black Monk' is a fiction film inspired by the Anton Chekhov short story. A Newark documentary filmmaker, struggling with sanity, encounters a legendary monk and uncovers the meaning of life and a lost love.

Michael Weintrob / instrumenthead.com

You may have already seen photographer Michael Weintrob’s work on album covers.  His photos have graced the pages of dozens of publications.

“A lot of times in music photography, stylists and make-up artists are hired and they’re creating an illusion.  A lot of times, the musicians don’t like the photos later because it’s not them,” Weintrob said.  “I’m trying to lose the ego and just show the human with their instrument.”

Come From Away
comefromaway.com

Theater critic Michael Bourne selects this season's best musicals. 

Click above to hear Michael's picks.

Bus Huxley
Jon Kalish for WBGO

On YouTube there's a thriving genre in which woodworkers, mechanics, chefs and other makers document the step-by-step process behind their creations.

WBGO’s Jon Kalish went to Waterford, Maine where Gardner Waldeier has been entertaining viewers from the workshop attached to his 18th Century farmhouse.

Click above to hear Jon's feature on Bus Huxley's.

U.S. Women's Open Championship
Doug Doyle for WBGO

The 72nd U.S. Women's Open Championship is coming to New Jersey in mid July.  The USGA held its media day at Trump National Bedminster Wednesday. 

The day included a clinic for young girls featuring three of the top players on the women's tour, reigning U.S. Open Champ Brittany Lang, 2007 U.S. Open Champion Cristie Kerr and the current world number one ranked player Lydia Ko.

The U.S. Women's Open Champion runs from July 13th through July 16th.  WBGO's Doug Doyle gives us an audio postcard from the event as well as a chat with Brittany Lang on the putting green.

Drug users desperate to kick the habit are now turning to some New Jersey police departments for help.

Brick Township police chief James Riccio says about 150 drug users showed up at police stations in Brick and Manchester Township since the Heroin Addiction Response program was launched in January

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.

Ang Santos / WBGO

On the morning of April 19th, 1995, Kathy Sanders dropped off her grandchildren at the daycare center located in the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.  Hours later her life would change forever.

“Twenty-two years ago, the morning of the bombing, I became a victim.  I didn’t have any choice.  When I began to pray for the men who killed my grandchildren, I don’t know what it did for [Timothy] McVeigh or [Terry] Nichols but it began to change my life.”

Kathy Sanders found forgiveness in an unexpected way.

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.

Pages