Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me
you listen to a lot of news on National Public Radio, then
you know that NPR has a certain reputation for earnestness.
While it may not be strictly true anymore—have you heard
the new host of All Things Considered Sunday, Andrea
“Giggles” Seabrook?—this reputation preceeds any program
This show is the hilarious weekly news quiz (heard Saturday
mornings at 11 AM on WAMC) Wait, Wait . . . Don’t Tell
Me, which will be taping this week’s show tonight (Thursday)
at Proctors in Schenectady. Recently, this writer had a
chance to talk with host Peter Sagal (pictured here, in
a sidecar next to Carl Kasell in the driver’s seat) by phone.
Visiting Schenectady isn’t part of a tour: “We don’t do
tours.” What they do, he says, is take the show away from
its Chicago home base once a month or so. “It’s too bad,
though,” he says, because “we could have really, really
cool black tour shirts.”
Sagal is just as quick with the wisecracks off-air as on.
Listening to the show on the radio, I explain that I imagine
it being presented on an elaborate Match Game ’74-style
set. Sagal reacts, chuckling, “And I’ve got that long, strange,
wand-like microphone that I point at everybody?”
Alas, this is not the case. “We really don’t have much of
a set,” he explains. “We’ve some concessions to the fact
that some people can see us—i.e., I wear a suit now”—but
the set is simple.
One of the most popular parts of the show is the “not my
job” segment featuring off-the-wall questions posed, by
phone, to various famous and infamous celebrities, from
Stephen King to Jane Curtin. (Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell
proved to have an amazing knowledge of Madonna movies, for
example.) I ask him how they get people like ex-Saturday
Night Live actress Curtin, who avoided doing interviews
with anyone for decades, to come on the show.
do occasionally get people who don’t do other media, or
don’t do much,” he says. “The best example of this was Patrick
Fitzgerald, the U.S. attorney who had prosecuted Scooter
Libby. He simply wouldn’t talk to anybody.”
But he did appear, in front of thousands of people in a
Chicago park. Fitzgerald had a personal incentive, Sagal
says: “We have heard through the grapevine that his fiancée
is a big fan of the show.”
Sagal didn’t say which of the three regular panelists will
visit Schenectady with the show, but it’s worth the wait.
Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me will be presented tonight (Thursday,
May 8) at 8 PM at Proctors Theatre (432 State St., Schenectady).
Tickets are $20 to $33. There will be a TheatreTalk discussion
for ticketholders at 6:30 PM. For more info, call 346-6204.
tulip beds in Washington Park are all abloom, dogs are splashing
in the Moses fountain, it’s time for picnics and Frisbee,
and of course, Tulip Fest. We in Albany like to kick spring
off in style, with a weekend full of music, food, art, and
festivities. And since this year marks the 60th anniversary
of Albany’s favorite springtime jamboree, it’s promising
to be even more festive than usual.
For those of you who are wondering what incredible spectacle
could possibly make this year’s Tulip Fest more, well, spectacular
than the 59 Tulip Fests that came before, we give you Night
Fire. This year, dear readers, Tulip Fest makes its
mark with a dramatic art installation: a 15-foot-tall steel
tulip, afloat on the lake. On fire.
It’s gonna be hard to beat that. But we all know how much
fun Tulip Fest is, so have faith. Saturday and Sunday, as
always, are jam-packed with fun. With more than 100 artists
and artisans, offering everything from hot sauce and handbags
to jewelry and bonsai, you’re bound to find a treasure (all
you procrastinators can pick up something for Mother’s Day).
This year’s eclectic music lineup is 24 acts strong, and
has something for everyone. Highlights include horn-powered
rockers the Rustic Overtones, New Orleans-based trombonist
Delfeayo Marsalis, singer-songwriter Vonda Shepard, Grammy-nominated
jazz vocalist Pheobe Snow, and the Spin Doctors, who will
rock us all back to 1991.
And, as always, there will be the annual street scrubbing,
the coronation of a new Tulip Queen, and the KidZone, featuring
kid-friendly music, face painting, caricaturists, local
sports heroes, and arts and crafts activities.
Tulip Fest kicks off in Washington Park (Albany) at 11 AM
on Friday (May 9) and runs all weekend. Admission is free—just
wander on over. For a full schedule of events, visit albanyevents.org/tulip_festival.