Popular Culture

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with Anthony Wilkinson, the writer/creator of "My Big Gay Italian Wedding," a musical comedy that premiered off-Broadway in 2003...and then, eventually, after some revisions...opened on Broadway itself in 2010. This popular play is still staged in NYC, and it's also been presented -- by this point -- at venues all over the glove. It actually opened here in Tulsa last night, the 16th, in a production being offered by the Tulsa-based American Theatre Company through June 26th.

(Note: This interview originally aired in March of this year.) Our guest is the film historian and journalist Mark Harris, who's written for Entertainment Weekly, Grantland, New York Magazine, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other publications.

On this edition of ST, we're discussing an interesting new biography, "Jonas Salk: A Life." Our guest is Dr. Charlotte DeCroes Jacobs, the Shenson Professor of Medicine (Emerita) at Stanford University. Dr. Jacobs -- who's also the author of "Henry Kaplan and the Story of Hodgkin's Disease" -- remembers firsthand the polio scare of the middle 20th century, and thus also remembers Salk's widespread celebrity in this country; her heroic portrait of Salk was hailed as a "treasure trove of facts and stories" by Library Journal.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we are pleased to welcome John Erling, known and appreciated by many local radio listeners for his three decades on the air at KRMG. Five years ago, Erling inaugurated Voices of Oklahoma, an oral history website dedicated to caputing the life stories of Oklahomans from all walks of life. As Erling tells us today, what began as basically a part-time retirement project has now grown into full-blown, ongoing passion for the Tulsa radio icon.

"Don't just do something," goes an old saying that's sometimes attributed to the Buddha, "sit there." On this installment of ST, we speak with the widely acclaimed travel writer and essayist Pico Iyer, whose newest book is called "The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere." It may seem odd to find one of contemporary literature's best travel writers composing a book-lenth essay about not traveling, but Iyer begs to differ.

On this edition of AT, an interesting and far-reaching chat with Dan and Cheryl Foliart -- a husband-and-wife team who are, respectively, a Hollywood composer and a music executive, and who are both currently visiting TU as J. Donald Feagin Guest Artists.

Our guest is the film historian and journalist Mark Harris, who's written for Entertainment Weekly, Grantland, New York Magazine, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other publications.

Our guest today on StudioTulsa is D.T. Max, a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine who's also the author of "Every Love Story is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace," a highly regarded literary biography which first appeared a few years ago.

On this edition of ST, we speak with the writer J.C. Hallman, who was raised in Southern California, studied at the University of Pittsburgh and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and now teaches at Oklahoma State University.

On this edition of ST, we speak by phone with Joseph Malham, a Chicago-based writer and iconographer, who will soon appear here in Tulsa at the Gilcrease Museum. Malham is the author of "John Ford: Poet in the Desert," and he'll speak about the life and work of the legendary filmmaker Ford (1894-1973) tomorrow, Friday the 6th, at noon at the museum.

On this penultimate day of Black History Month, we're talking about the life and work of one of our greatest African American writers, Langston Hughes (1902-1967), the prolific and influential poet, activist, novelist, memoirist, playwright, and newspaper columnist. Our guest on ST is David Roessel, one of the editors of the recently published "Selected Letters of Langston Hughes" (Knopf).

(Please note: This program originally aired in September of last year.) On this edition of ST, an in-depth discussion with David Rose, an award-winning entrepreneur and instructor at the MIT Media Lab who specializes in how digital information interfaces with the physical environment. Rose also founded Ambient Devices, which pioneered the technology used to embed Internet information in everyday objects like lamps, mirrors, and umbrellas.

On this edition of ST, we welcome back Karen York, Director of Collections and Exhibitions at the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art here in Tulsa. York tells us about two interesting exhibits at the museum that will close this coming weekend; the last day to view each show is Sunday the 1st.

On Saturday the 24th, in a performance beginning at 8pm, the highly acclaimed Rastrelli Cello Quartet will return to Tulsa. The concert happens at the Williams Theatre in the Tulsa Performing Arts Center and is presented by Choregus Productions. Our guest is the founder and artistic director of this group, Kira Kraftzoff. As he explains, the Rastrelli has been deliberately focused on -- and enthusiastically passionate about -- what classical music buffs sometimes call "non-traditional programming" since its inception in 2002.

On this edition of ST, we welcome James Warhola (born 1955), an American artist and illustrator who's created more than two dozen children's picture books over the years. Warhola briefly worked at Interview magazine in New York City -- which was established and edited by Andy Warhol, his uncle -- before becoming a science fiction illustrator. As such, beginning in the early 1980s, he did the cover art for hundreds of sci-fi books, and he was later an artist and illustrator for Mad magazine.

From now through February 26th, the nonprofit Living Arts of Tulsa (in the downtown Brady Arts District) will present "Speaking Volumes: Transforming Hate," a striking and wide-ranging exhibition collecting work by sixty different artists that first went on view in Helena, Montana, in 2008.

This coming weekend, on both Saturday the 10th and Sunday the 11th, Tulsa Opera will present Tulsa Youth Opera’s production of composer Susan Kander's "The Giver." This piece, as noted at the Tulsa Opera website, is "an opera for young people based on the bestselling novel by Lois Lowry. 'The Giver' tells the story of a seemingly utopian society free from pain or strife, but also devoid of color and memory.

(Note: This program originally aired in December of 2013.) On this edition of ST, we tap into the unmistakable holiday cheer that's currently wafting through our offices like so much thick fog in a John Durkee crack-of-dawn weather report. In other words, we sit down with a few of our co-workers here at Public Radio Tulsa to chat about which Christmas songs matter most to them and why. Please note, however, that due to certain music-rebroadcast-rights-related issues, we are not able to offer an online "stream" of this particular show.

From "American Sniper," "Into the Woods," and "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" to "Wild," "The Imitation Game" (shown here), and "Boyhood," we're dishing on this installment of StudioTulsa about several of the notable movies that arrived (or else will soon arrive) in theaters in 2014. Our guest is Michael Smith, film critic at The Tulsa World.

Alfred Hitchcock's longtime collaborator, Alexander Graham Bell's assistant, Vladimir Nabokov's wife, Muhammad Ali's first coach, Ernest Shackleton's right-hand man, John Wayne's stunt man, and the little-known sixth member of The Rolling Stones -- on this installment of ST, we're talking about some of the great "sidekicks" of modern history. Our guest is Julia Rothman, one of the editors of a new book called "The Who, the What, and the When: 65 Artists Illustrate the Secret Sidekicks of History," which is just out from Chronicle Books.

(Note: This program originally aired earlier this year.) The Internet is, of course, bringing massive changes to our lives -- and bringing them rapidly -- but how often do we really consider what these changes mean, or how they will affect us? In the not-too-distant future, for example, no one will remember what life was actually like before the Internet. What does this unavoidable fact mean? What lessons can we draw from it?

On this presentation of ST, we speak with Marja Mills, a former reporter and feature writer with The Chicago Tribune. Mills is also the author of a bestselling memoir, "The Mockingbird Next Door," which details the time she spent getting to know novelist Harper Lee -- the author, of course, of the immortal "To Kill a Mockingbird" -- as well as Lee's older sister, Alice. Mills will discuss this recently published book (its origins, its development, its major findings, and so on) tonight, Monday the 8th, at 6:30pm at a Book Smart Tulsa event at the Circle Cinema.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we listen back to an interview that we first aired earlier this year with the author, essayist, and cultural critic Chuck Klosterman. At that time, we chatted with Klosterman about his essay collection, "I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined)," which is an often funny and highly entertaining exploration of why we as a society are so attracted to -- yet also, of course, repelled by -- villains both fictional and nonfictional.

On this Veterans Day edition of StudioTulsa, we're talking about a certain classic novel that came out of World War I, "The Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse" by the Spanish author Vicente Blasco Ibáñez, and about a silent-film epic, from 1921, which had the same title, and which was based on this novel -- and which also introduced audiences around the globe to an unknown actor named Rudolph Valentino.

On this edition of ST, we're pleased to welcome the widely popular and bestselling nonfiction author Bill Bryson. Appreciated for his likable tone, his sly humor, his love of travel, and his gifts as both a storyteller and a history buff, Bryson is the author of "A Walk in the Woods," "Notes from a Small Island," "A Short History of Nearly Everything," "Made in America," and so forth.

Tomorrow (Thursday the 30th) at the DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Tulsa, The Tulsa Area Human Resources Association will present its Return on Inclusion (or ROI) Summit. It's the largest professional diversity and inclusion conference held in this state, and it happens from 9am to 2pm. Our guest on ST today is an expert on the "the business imperative for inclusion in today's workplace" -- and she's also scheduled to be the keynote speaker at tomorrow's conference: Lenora Billings-Harris.

On this edition of our show, we learn about "Mother Road," which is "an exploration of Route 66 by artist Jessica Harvey" that will be on view at the AHHA space (in the Brady Arts District in downtown Tulsa) through November 23rd. Harvey, who's originally from Chicago, has exhibited throughout the United States, and is currently in residence at the AHHA Creative Studios, is our guest on ST today.

(Note: This program originally aired in July.) On this edition of our show, we offer a how-does-society-affect-our-mental-health discussion with Joel Gold, who, with his brother Ian, is one of the authors of "Suspicious Minds: How Culture Shapes Madness -- The Truman Show Delusion and Other Strange Beliefs." Dr. Joel Gold is a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine and was an attending psychiatrist in the department of psychiatry at Bellevue Hospital Center for nine years.

The Department of Theatre here at TU will soon present one of the greatest plays of the modern American stage, "The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams. It's the play that made Williams a household name in the mid-1940s -- a clearly autobiographical drama, set in Depression-era St. Louis, in which an aging and rather unstable Southern Belle longs for her youth and dreams of a better life for her children: the restless would-be poet, Tom, who narrates this memory play, and the shy if not reclusive Laura, Tom's elder sister.

The Internet is changing life itself, and it's doing so rather quickly, and we all know this. But how is it changing...us? We speak with Luciano Floridi, Professor of Philosophy and the Ethics of Information at the University of Oxford.

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