Next Week on the Show



Monday, May 16, 2011  

Jonathan Fox is the founder of Playback Theater, an improvisational experience in which members of the audience tell personal stories, and witness performers act out those stories on the spot. Playback troupes often visit community organizations and schools, where the performances act as drama therapy, helping audience members deal with difficult moments in their lives. Human rights groups, organizations that help the homeless, and disaster recovery groups have all hosted Playback performances. Playback Theater began in 1975, and now there are troupes all over the world, including the United States, Germany, Australia, Britain, Japan, and Brazil.  Then we’ll hear part of a performance of a Playback Theater company in Memphis. That city struggles with racial and economic segregation, and on a recent evening, Playback visited a community center that seeks to build bridges between different groups. We’ll hear from audience members and performers about the ways Playback helps a troubled community heal.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011 

Mike Sacks’ book Your Wildest Dreams Within Reason is a collection of short, unique humor pieces he originally wrote for publications like The New Yorker and McSweeney’s. It’s a hodgepodge of comic treats – fake Craigslist ads, tweets from a groom during his wedding,  Anne Frank’s rejection letter from a book agent, and lots of lists: Reasons You’re Still Single includes “Hug amusement-park mascots” and “Have a ferret on your shoulder, and you’re at the mall.” And from Icebreakers to Avoid:  “Sit back, relax, and allow me to explain the importance of composting.”  Sacks also works on the editorial staff of Vanity Fair. Then, Upside-Down Town is the latest release from singer-songwriter Greg Trooper.  His sound is a mix of soul, folk and roots-rock, reflecting what Trooper says is the “holy musical trinity,” Otis Redding, Bob Dylan, and Hank Williams.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011   

In desperate situations, fear can give us the adrenaline we need for survival, or drive us to total terror and impede our ability to think clearly.   Science writer Jeff Wise, columnist for Popular Mechanics, examines how and why we respond to fear in his book Extreme Fear: The Science of Your Mind in Danger, now out in paperback.  Wise returns to talk about how fear influences political decisions and drives social norms as terrorism becomes more and more prevalent in our world.


Thursday, May 19, 2011  

Film and stage legend Julie Andrews is one of the English-speaking world’s most beloved entertainers.  First gaining critical and popular success as Eliza Doolittle in the 1956 Broadway production of My Fair Lady, Andrews went on to star in Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Victor Victoria and many others films and Broadway productions.  In recent years, Andrews has become a prolific children’s book author, often partnering with her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton.  Their most recent book is The Very Fairy Princess Takes the Stage.  Then, the hit HBO program True Blood was based on a wildly popular series of detective novels by author Charlaine Harris. She joins Bob to discuss the “Sookie Stackhouse” series, its devoted readers and her new book Dead Reckoning.


Friday, May 20, 2011  

Doyle McManus, Washington Bureau Chief for the Los Angeles Times joins Bob to talk about politics and other news. Next, English writer Andrea Levy won the Whitbread Book of the Year and the Orange Prize for Fiction for her novel Small Island, which was later made into a PBS Masterpiece series in 2009.  Her most recent book, The Long Song, is told by Miss July, a former slave who lived in Jamaica through the Baptist War and end of slavery.  The Long Song was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2010 and is now out in paperback. Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Michele Weldon.  She has three sons who have many fathers. After Weldon’s ex-husband disappeared from the family, she says teachers and coaches stepped into the void, becoming father figures. Those relationships have helped guide her sons through adolescence, and have shown them that they are worthy of being loved.