Erin Wright | WABE 90.1 FM

Erin Wright

Radio Producer

Erin Wright produces "City Lights" and "Strike Up the Band." After studying viola, German and Musicology at UGA, Erin began working at Public Broadcasting Atlanta in 2011. 

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cover credit HarperCollins; photo credit Eva Blue

Novelist and “Bad Feminist” author Roxane Gay is out with a new book called “Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body.”

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In this deeply personal memoir, Gay writes about her complicated relationship with her weight and self-image, while drawing parallels to our larger cultural obsession with appearance and presence, especially when it concerns women.

Matt Sayles / Invision for PEN Center USA/AP Images

Thursday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Murray Becker / Associated Press

Wednesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Courtesy of William Ransom

Each summer as the temperatures and humidity increase, the mountains of western North Carolina offer Atlantans relief from the heat amidst beautiful scenery.

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For music lovers, the perfect complement to the awe-inspiring vistas is the annual Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival. The festival is a summer-long celebration of jazz and classical music, often in informal and intimate settings.

photo courtesy Alan Alda, cover image courtesy Random House

Good actors are good communicators, and no actor may understand that more thoroughly than Alan Alda.

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In his new book, "If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?: My Adventures on the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating," Alda shares fascinating and powerful lessons on communication, written with his trademark ease and humor.

The Woodruff Arts Center is home to the High Museum, the Alliance Theatre and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
Alison Guillory / WABE

Doug Shipman is the new CEO of the Woodruff Arts Center, effective July 18.

He’s taking over for Virginia Hepner, who’s been the Center’s CEO since 2012. The WAC houses three flagship institutions of the visual and performing arts in the South: the High Museum of Art, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Alliance Theatre.

The structure of the Woodruff is unusual. More than just a campus, the Woodruff has its own board overseeing the operations of the entire institution, as well as the boards of its member organizations.

Amy Schroeder

The Harlem Quartet is on a mission: to advance diversity in classical music.

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But the Quartet – comprised of violinists Ilmar Gavilán and Melissa White, violist Jaime Amador and cellist Felix Umansky – quickly learned that in order to diversify the audience for classical music, they first needed to diversify their own repertoire.

Evan Agostini / Invision/AP

Caroline Rhea may be best known for her role as Aunt Hilda on the 90s sitcom “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” but she’s built her career in stand-up clubs.

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In fact, as Caroline Rhea told Lois Reitzes on “City Lights,” this is her 28th year as a touring comedian.

Raymond Jones

Kim Severson writes about food.

“That means I work a lot, write a lot, eat a lot,” Severson joked with Lois Reitzes on an interview for “City Lights.”

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Her body of work—and the accolades she’s garnered—speak to her expertise on culinary culture: Kim Severson has won four James Beard Awards for food writing, and her bibliography includes “The New Alaska Cookbook.”

Todd Rosenberg / courtesy Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

A dreamy Debussy Nocturne, a 20th century flute concerto and a peaceful Requiem round out this weekend's Atlanta Symphony Orchestra concerts.

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The all-French program is lead by principal guest conductor Donald Runnicles. The orchestra's principal flutist, Christina Smith, is center stage as the featured soloist. She'll be accompanied by the orchestra in André Jolivet's Flute Concerto, a piece closely associated with 20th-century superstar flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal.

Haylee Anne Kitties

A new short film pairs two beloved Atlanta arts institutions – Dad’s Garage and Jerry’s Habima Theatre.

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Dad’s Garage is best known for their scripted and improvised stage work, but they are increasingly getting noticed for their web-based project, Dad’s Garage TV. Jerry’s Habima is Georgia’s only theater company produced by professionals and featuring actors with special needs.

Joseph Guay

Five of Atlanta’s most recognizable and prolific dancers have started their own dance company, the Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre.

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Until recently, those dancers–John Welker, Tara Lee, Christian Clark, Rachel van Buskirk and Heath Kill–owed their recognition to their tenures at the Atlanta Ballet. All either retired or resigned from, or were let go by, the ballet.

Courtesy of Historic Oakland Foundation

The Greek myth of Persephone is an origin story of the seasons, and it's temptingly ripe with symbolism. Saturday night — and for one night only — the historic Oakland Cemetery will host an ethereal evening of art inspired by the Persephone myth.

For the Cemetery's third annual "Arts at Oakland" event, artist Sanithna Phansavanh created 10 life-size murals that will be installed throughout the Victorian garden grounds. Improvisational music and movement collective Flight of Swallows will also perform throughout the evening.

Huge Galdones

After five consecutive years and five consecutive nominations, Miller Union Executive Chef Steven Satterfield is now, officially, the Best Chef in the Southeast.

That’s according to the James Beard Foundation – the most distinguished and respected authority on American cuisine. The Chef joined Lois Reitzes in a live interview on “City Lights,” which you can hear in the audio posted above.

Caitlin Cunningham

On Sunday evening, The Breman Museum will host a taping of “From the Top,” NPR’s long-running weekly program showcasing the country’s finest young classically-trained musicians.

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This episode is particularly special because it doubles as the latest installment of the Breman’s Molly Blank Concert Series. The program is a celebration of Jewish contributions to classical music and will feature music by Jewish composers, Jewish themes in music and young Jewish musicians.

"The Lemon Jell-O Syndrome" cover courtesy Unbridled Books; photo credit Mattie Bell

A new novel from Atlanta author Man Martin manages to be both incredibly informative on matters of trivia ranging from grammar to neurology — as well as just plain funny.

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Victoria and Albert Museum, London

You can tell a lot about a person by their shoes. And, as it turns out, you can learn a lot about world history and culture by looking at shoes too.

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A new exhibit now open at the SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film explores that very history and creativity with more than 200 pairs of shoes from ancient Egypt to contemporary Disney films.

Dan Burke / NPR

On May 11, 1987, NPR first broadcast a program that has become synonymous with public radio: "Fresh Air." Or rather, "Fresh Air" as we know it today.

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Jeff Roffman

This weekend's Atlanta Symphony Orchestra program is as warm and charming as their guest conductor, Nicholas McGegan.

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He's been in front of the ASO several times, but today was his first live interview with Lois Reitzes on "City Lights." Reitzes and McGegan listened to recordings of music featured on this weekend's concerts and discussed the fascinating lives of composers like Mozart and Haydn.

Al Such / WABE

“City Lights” got a little “wibbly wobbly, timey wimey” today.

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That was thanks to a visit from Colin Baker, who portrayed the sixth incarnation of the Doctor from the popular BBC series "Doctor Who," from 1984 to 1986. He’s in Atlanta for WHOlanta, an annual science fiction convention celebrating all things "Doctor Who" and British pop culture.

cover credit Simon & Schuster; photo credit Jim Britt

Stephen Tobolowsky may well be among your favorite actors, but you don’t necessarily associate his name with his face. Maybe that’s because he becomes his characters, which is the essence of a great character actor.

On the big screen, Tobolowsky memorably portrayed insurance salesman Ned Ryerson in “Groundhog Day.” His television credits include roles in “Glee,” “The Goldbergs,” “The Mindy Project” and “Heroes.” Currently, you may recognize him as Jack Barker on HBO’s tech start-up send-up, “Silicon Valley.”

Epix

"Relax. It's good. You're doing fine." 

That's advice imparted from Tom Papa, a stand-up comedian and actor performing this evening at City Winery. Though he's not yet a household name, Papa is well-known and admired among his colleagues. He's a veteran of the stand-up circuit and has opened for blockbuster names like Jerry Seinfeld.

Tom Papa prioritizes civility in his humor, which is perhaps why he does not take on politics.

photo of Kenny Leon (left) courtesy True Colors Theatre Company, photo of Paul Conroy credit Tyler Ogburn

Earlier this year, ArtsATL columnist Gail O'Neill launched a 12-part series recognizing the artists elevating our city's arts and culture landscape. It's called the Legacy Series, and the latest profile is of True Colors Theatre Company co-founder and artistic director Kenny Leon.

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Matthew Kaminski, the Atlanta Braves organist, during a game against the Washington Nationals.
Pouya Dianat / Atlanta Braves/Getty Images

At 7:35 p.m. Friday, the Atlanta Braves host the San Diego Padres in their first home game of the new season, and in a brand new stadium to boot.

Now in his ninth season, Matthew Kaminski is the official organist of the Braves, no matter where the team calls home. Matthew joined Lois Reitzes on "City Lights" to discuss his brand-new, state-of-the-art suite at SunTrust Park ahead of tonight's game.

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Courtesy of the Vega Quartet

Shakespeare and Beethoven come together on one program Tuesday evening at Emory University's Carlos Museum.

Will Ransom, Artistic Director of the Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta, previewed the celebration of the Bard's words and Beethoven's music with guest pianist Julie Coucheron on "City Lights."

Isadora Pennington

Mice is the plural of mouse, geese is the plural of goose and celli is the plural of cello.

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Here in Atlanta, Celli is also a group of four female cellists who had so much fun playing together in groups like the Savannah Philharmonic that they decided to form their own ensemble. 

Courtesy of Life in a Kilt Podcast

Five years ago, Rick Baldwin decided to wear a kilt every day for one year. It was a self-described "goofy experiment" in celebration of his 50th birthday.

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"I’d never even touched a kilt,” Baldwin told Lois Reitzes on “City Lights.” “It was weird when I started.”

Blue Delliquanti / Iron Circus Comics

Cooking and eating insects is nothing new, but it’s an idea that makes the Western palate squeamish.

No matter how you approach the concept — environmental impact, deforestation, soil acidification, food insecurity, malnutrition, even over-nutrition — the case for adding insects to our diet is strong.

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Maria Abou Nassar

Nemr is a Lebanese-American stand-up comic credited with establishing the stand-up comedy scene not only in his home country of Lebanon, but in the entire Middle East region.

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He’s performed his sets in English to hundreds and sometimes thousands of people and has two comedy specials. He was even on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine’s Middle East edition.

Julian Mignot / Warner Classics

On Saturday evening, Spivey Hall welcomes the Ebène Quartet for a concert of music featuring string quartets by Mozart and Debussy.

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Lois Reitzes spoke with Ebène Quartet cellist Raphaël Merlin about the ensemble's evening of classical, jazz and crossover arrangements. Merlin told Reitzes that when it comes to approaching seemingly disparate styles of music, he cites the wisdom of (fellow classical/jazz/crossover musician) Nigel Kennedy:

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