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.

Linda
Manhattan Theatre Club

Theater Critic Michael Bourne reviews Linda and How to Transcend a Happy Marriage.

Click above to hear his thoughts on the shows.

Bad Jews
George Street Playhouse for WBGO

Two of the stars of the George Street Playhouse production of Bad Jews are newcomers to the theater in New Brunswick, New Jersey.  Alec Silberblatt and Amos VanderPoel also sat down with WBGO's Doug Doyle to talk about the show. 

The smash hit comedy Bad Jews is making its New Jersey premiere, directed by Jessica Stone.

Applause for "Come From Away" & "Significant Other"

Mar 24, 2017
Come From Away
Michael Bourne for WBGO

Theater Critic Michael Bourne reviews the new musical Come From Away and the new play Significant Other.

Click above to hear Michael's thoughts on the two shows.

Should New York Raise the Age for Child Marriages?

Mar 24, 2017
Safia Mahjebin
Topher Forhecz for WBGO

The New York State legislature is considering raising the legal age of marriage from as young as 14-years-old to 17-years-old. Advocates say child marriages are forced and can lead to abuse.    Safia Mahjebin grew up in a Bangladeshi community in Brooklyn… She says the idea of marriage was always there.

"As far as a child has a memory I can remember marriage being in the air. If anyone in the community wanted good for me, they would say I hope you marry a doctor. I hope he takes care of you." 

Major League Baseball Backs New Indie 'Landline'

Mar 23, 2017
Freestyle Digital Media

For all of Bruce Fretts' career, he has been writing about the entertainment industry, but for the first time in his life he will become apart of it. 

Landline, an independent film, that premieres April 4th, on Video On Demand, was written, directed, produced and stars Matthew Aaron. This will be Aaron's third independent film since 2015, but his first that has included a role for Fretts.

Alexandra Hill

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka delivered his third annual State Of The City address earlier this week. Baraka focused his speech on changing perceptions about New Jersey’s largest city, as a city plagued by violence and poverty, to a place of growth and innovation.

Women in Media - Newark
Pamela Morgan

Women in Media-Newark will hold its eighth annual International Film Festival March 28th through April 6th in celebration of Women’s History Month. Working in conjunction with Rutgers University–Newark, its major partner, Pamela Morgan's WIM-N will host the film festival over nine days at six venues. All events are free and open to the public.  Two of the film makers came to WBGO to talk about the festival and their respective projects.

The Modern Side of Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor

Mar 13, 2017
Merry Wives of Windsor
Two River Theater

Featuring only three actors—Nicole Lewis, Jason O’Connell, and Zuzanna Szadkowski—this production of The Merry Wives of Windsor explores the darker undercurrent of one of Shakespeare’s silliest comedies. In the play, the lecherous buffoon John Falstaff decides to seduce both Mistress Page and Mistress Ford, respectable married women of Windsor. When the two women immediately see through Falstaff’s plot, they decide to turn the tables on him and devise a plot of their own.

Coach Christiansen
Berkeley College Athletics for WBGO

The Berkeley College Men's Basketball team in New York City won 53 games in a row to claim it's third consecutive USCAA Division 2 Championship.  Berkeley defeated Penn State-York 80-76 in overtime to grab the title.

Coach Chris Christensen sat down on the bench when it appeared their opponents only had to make a free throw to win the championship game.  It was the first time the coach had taken a seat the entire contest.  He says divine intervention may have led to another victory:

Workers install solar panels at project being constructed at Delaware Valley Regional High School in Frenchtown.
Phil Gregory

Nationwide employment in the solar industry increased 25 percent last year, but solar employment in New Jersey fell 15 percent. There are still plenty of projects underway in the Garden State, but a slowdown may be on the way.

You can see solar panels on many rooftops, utility poles, and in fields in New Jersey.

There are 66,000 solar installations in the state that generate 2 gigawatts of electricity.

And more are being put up.

The Penitent
Michael Bourne for WBGO

WBGO's Theater Critic Michael Bourne reviews David Mamet's The Pentinent, which is running off-Broadway at the Atlantic Theater.

Zachary Carter
NYC Law Department for WBGO

Recently when Mayor Bill de Blasio was asked by reporters how he planned to defend the city’s law abiding undocumented immigrants from President Trump he turned to his top lawyer Zachary Carter, the city’s Corporation Counsel to explain the city’s legal strategy. WBGO’s Bob Hennelly has this one on one with Carter who also has the distinction of being the first African-American to serve as the US Attorney for New York’s Eastern District, where he prosecuted the NYPD officers who were involved with the brutal assualt of Abner Louima.

Ang Santos / WBGO

An influential music venue set to close in New York City is moving to a revamped performance space at the New School’s College of Performing Arts.

The Stone was founded by multi-instrumentalist composer John Zorn, an experimental music extraordinaire who’s saxophone stylings have graced the stage alongside thousands of musicians over the last twelve years.  He opened the East Village hub so musicians wouldn’t need to depend on venue income to get booked.

Hudson Theatre
Michael Bourne for WBGO

Theater critic Michael Bourne enjoys the Broadway revival of Sunday in the Park with George now playing at the revamped Hudson Theatre.

Roger Sherman: In Search of Israeli Cuisine

Mar 2, 2017
Roger Sherman
Roger Sherman for WBGO

Roger Sherman has produced a documentary that makes an extraordinary journey through Israeli kitchens, restaurants and vineyards. The movie, In Search of Israeli Cuisine, explores the ancient and modern farming and cooking techniques created by the polyglot of people who migrated to Israel or never left.  The film will open March 24th at the Lincoln Plaza Cinema in New York and in theaters around the country.

Sherman says he found a wealth of tasty treasures in Israel:

Ang Santos / WBGO

There wasn’t much love for President Donald Trump from the hundreds of people who came to Republican Congressman Leonard Lance’s town hall meeting at Raritan Valley Community College.  A little ironic considering Trump’s Bedminster golf course sits only a few miles away.

“We actually have gone to his office his office to demand a town hall meeting, and it was kind of nice because a couple of days later there’s a town hall meeting.  I like to feel that we had something to do with it but I don’t think so,” said Michelle de Mico, a constituent of Lance’s.

Immigration
William Alatriste/NYC CIty Council

In the first several weeks of Donald Trump's presidency one of the hottest controversies has been sparked by the President's use of executive orders to make good on his campaign promises to crack down on illegal immigration here in the United States. How is New York City, a sanctuary city that has historically welcomed immigrant , responding?

Academy Awards
oscarwinners2017.com

A recent Hollywood Reporter poll, however, shows that 66% of Trump voters turn off the show when it goes political, but 43% of Clinton voters want speechifyers to slam Trump. And 60% of the country can’t name one best picture nominee. Well I can, and that’s Barry Jenkin’s Moonlight, and it’s the film of the year. Superbly made, with pitch perfect performances, in a script that began as a play and continually plays with our notions of black life and character.

The Future of NYC's Homeless Hotels

Feb 24, 2017
Hotel
Topher Forhecz for WBGO

New York City and its mayor Bill de Blasio are sending mixed signals over plans to end the controversial practice of renting out hotel rooms to house its homeless population. This comes as the number of people sleeping in city shelters reached record numbers last year. De Blasio says he wants to end the practice, which critics call disruptive and expensive.  Documents show the city may continue the practice for up to nine years.

Glenn Close Shines Again in Revival of Sunset Boulevard

Feb 24, 2017
Glenn Close
Michael Bourne for WBGO

WBGO Theater Critic Michael Bourne reviews the revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber's revival "Sunset Boulevard."  Glenn Close returns to Broadway to star in the role she wowed audiences 23 years ago.

Lamoureux
USA Hockey for WBGO

Many refer to two-time Olympic silver medalists Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux as just "The Twins."  They seem to be okay with that even though they are both married now.  They realize people will group the Team USA hockey players together for obvious reasons, especially since they've been teammates all their lives.  The twins from Grand Forks, North Dakota joined Hilary Knight and Meghan Duggan on a recent promotional tour of New York City.

Ang Santos / WBGO

It’s been over twenty years since the state took control of Newark Public School’s because of low graduation rates and overall poor student performance.  It’s been a rocky road for the city’s education system since, and many residents believe not much has changed over the course of time.

At First Avenue School in Newark’s North Ward, about 100 city residents gathered to hear Mayor Ras Baraka’s latest updates on regaining local control of schools.  They had their own concerns.

Indian Head
Luna Stage for WBGO

Indian Head is a provocative play by Obie Award-Winner Nikkole Salter.   Indian Head was commissioned in partnership with the NJPAC Stage Exchange, a program of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.  It is currently wowing audiences at Luna Stage in West Orange, New Jersey.

UNCF's Vaughn McKoy chats with WBGO's Alexandra Hill about the organization's efforts to address the current crisis in black education, and their ongoing mission to provide college scholarships and opportunities to African-American students. 

Hilary Knight
Fox Sports

The USA Women’s National Hockey team is now less than a year away from the Winter Olympics in Pyeonchang, South Korea.  The team's goal is clear, WIN THE GOLD MEDAL. Two-time Olympic silver medalists Hilary Knight and twins Monique and Jocelyne Lamoureux sat down with me during their media tour of NYC last week…Meghan Duggan was also on the trip.

Ang Santos / WBGO

When the city of Newark announced the Mulberry Commons Project last month, transforming lot and warehouse space on Prudential Centers Mulberry St. side into a 22-acre park, was it possible for something to outshine the ambitious project.  I guess that depends on if you like music more than shops and recreational activity.  The Grammy Museum Experience will use 8,000 square feet of Prudential Center space to bring its history to New Jersey.  Daniel Cherry is the Chief Marketing Innovation Officer for the New Jersey Devils.  He says they’re a perfect match.

Mark Krasovic
Doug Doyle for WBGO

The 37th annual Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series is February 18th at the Paul Robeson Campus Center at Rutgers University-Newark.  The series was founded by the late Dr. Clement A. Price and Giles Wright. 

This year's MTW is once again being put together by Mark Krasovic, an assistant professor of history and American Studies at Rutgers University-Newark.  Krasovic is also the interim director of the Clement A. Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience.

The theme of this year's one-day event is City Moves: Black Urban History Since 1967.

John Bolger and Suzzanne Douglas
Doug Doyle for WBGO

Stage and screen stars Suzzanne Douglas and John Bolger return to George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, NJ for the award-winning play American Son, which runs through February 26th.

Douglas is returning to GSP for the sixth time.  She plays Kendra Ellis-Connor.  Bolger plays her estranged husband, Scott Connor.  Their son Jamal's car has been pulled over in the middle of the night and the Connors can't get any answers about his whereabouts. 

Douglas says her character fights like a tiger to save her son:

Chapter & Verse

Feb 3, 2017
Chapter and Verse Partners, LLC

The film is directed by 64 year-old Jamal Joseph, a former Black Panther who is now a professor at Columbia University. Joseph spent several years behind bars himself after being convicted of a variety of crimes including the sheltering of members of the Black Liberation Army and Weather Underground involved in the infamous Brinks robbery and murders in 1981. During a prison stint in Kansas he became a playwright and has been active in film and theater since he was freed. His focus has very much been on the plight of black men in America.

Ang Santos / WBGO

With the tolling of flag poles all around, and a backdrop of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, top lawmakers from New York and New Jersey huddled together in opposition to President Trump’s travel ban.

“My name is Senator Michael Gianaris.  I’m from New York, not New Jersey but we’re happy to be here on the New Jersey side today.”

Gianaris is the deputy democratic leader of the New York State Senate and author of legislation that would prevent the Port Authority from using its resources to support Trump’s Executive Order.

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