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Midday

Jeremy Daniel

Thursdays are for theater here at Midday, and theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck is here as always to review a local production. This week, she's discussing "Finding Neverland" at the Hippodrome Theatre. Directed by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus, "Finding Neverland" delves into the life of J.M. Barrie, the creator of one of the world's most beloved stories, Peter Pan. Barrie's relentless battle to find inspiration for a new play leads him to a single mother and her four children, whose imaginative spirits shape Barrie's stories and awaken his inner child.

"Finding Neverland" runs at the Hippodrome through July 2, 2017. 

Courtesy Penguin Random House

Today, Tom is joined by writer Daniel Mark Epstein for a discussion of his latest book, The Loyal Son: The War in Ben Franklin’s House.

Epstein is a prize-winning poet, playwright and biographer whose writing career spans nearly 50 years.  In addition to his nine books of poetry, he has written several plays plus acclaimed biographies of an eclectic group of historic figures including Aimee Semple McPherson, Nat King Cole, Bob Dylan, and Abraham Lincoln.

His new book examines the complex relationship between Ben Franklin and his only son, William. Benjamin Franklin was one of the most revered Founding Fathers of the country and an aid in drafting both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution; William Franklin, however, remained loyal to the British crown throughout and after the revolutionary war. The Loyal Son is a fascinating read about the turmoil within one prominent family during the struggle for American independence. Epstein makes use of previously unknown source material to place a saga of loves won and lost, illegitimate children, and family intrigue in the context of our nascent country’s formative first years.

Daniel Mark Epstein will be reading from his book  tonight at the Ivy Bookshop in North Baltimore at 7pm.

There's no shortage of think pieces exploring the ways Millennials, that is - folks born between 1981 and 1996, differ from older generations. Those pieces often paint a picture of a generation of entitled, lazy, participation trophy babies, but some experts say that perception is wrong and informed by our society's misunderstanding of Millennials and their relationships to technology. 

Courtesy AP Photo

The Senate version of healthcare legislation is the topic on most people’s minds on Capitol Hill. Senate leadership wants to replace the Affordable Care Act with The Better Care Reconciliation Act.  As of this moment, passage of the Senate health care bill appears somewhat in doubt. Yesterday’s CBO score, and a chorus of critics, say the Senate bill will cause at least 15 million Americans to lose their health insurance by next year. It remains to be seen what effect passing the bill would have on patients, doctors, hospitals, insurers, and public health agencies, although there are plenty of people from each of those groups who have criticized McConnell’s “discussion draft” of the bill.

On today’s edition of Healthwatch, our monthly conversation about health and well-being in Baltimore with Baltimore City Health Commissioner, Dr. Leana Wen, we’ll talk about the impact the Senate bill might have on our city’s most vulnerable populations, and the ongoing fight to quell the growing opioid epidemic. 

Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun)

Last month, the Sinclair Broadcasting Group purchased dozens of TV stations from Tribune Media in a $3.9 billion deal. Based in Hunt Valley, Sinclair operates over 200 local television stations across the country. With their latest acquisition, Sinclair now holds stations in seven of the nation’s 10 biggest markets. The owners of Sinclair appear to lean conservative, as evidenced by the station’s robust and unchecked broadcasts of Donald Trump’s interviews throughout his presidential campaign. Sinclair’s conservative slant has left Washington insiders wondering whether Sinclair is trying to give Fox News a run for its money.

Tom is joined by David Folkenflik, the media correspondent for NPR and author of Murdoch's World: The Last of the Old Media Empires; and Hadas Gold, a reporter covering media and politics for POLITICO. 

Senate Republicans unveiled their health care bill yesterday. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says there will be a vote next week. Democrats are predictably, not happy, citing the bill’s deep cuts to the Medicaid program. Senator Chuck Schumer called the bill heartless. At least four republican senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and Ron Johnson have said they hope to get to yes, but they’re not there yet.

Former Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez was found not guilty of all charges in connection to the 2016 shooting death of Philando Castile during a traffic stop. Castile’s girlfriend Diamond Reynolds live streamed on Facebook the moments immediately after he was shot. A dashcam video of the shooting was released after the verdict, but it's left many people wondering how the officer was acquitted? 

Members of post-punk band Natural Velvet join Tom in-studio to talk about their latest album Mirror to Make YouThree of the four members of the Baltimore based band attended Maryland Institute College of Art. Their latest album, the second released on Friends Records, takes on feminine rage and what it means to be a feminist and independent thinker. 

Corynne Ostermann is the band's lead vocalist and bassist. Spike Arreaga is a gutiarist. They join Tom to talk about their new music and the process of creating an album.

What Ya Got Cookin'?: Creative Summer Grilling

Jun 22, 2017
Tookapic

One of the great joys of the summer season, of course, is cooking and dining outdoors. So today, we’re metaphorically firing up the grill.  Whether you have a traditional charcoaler or one of those gleaming gas ranges, we’ll talk about those fabulous flame-licked creations we make when we have meat or fish or veggies, and even fruit, and we bring on the heat.

Today, Tom hosts a roundup of great ideas for the backyard grill with  Midday's resident foodies: chef John Shields of Gertrude’s Restaurant, and Sascha Wolhandler of Sascha’s 527 Café.  In this installment of What Ya Got Cookin? John and Sascha share some of their favorite recipes for fabulous flame-cooked meals, and offer tips on getting the most out of your summer grilling experience.  Plus, we take your calls, emails and tweets on the subject.

Sascha says the best recipe for the mysterious hotdogs she offers Tom in the studio can be found here.

And here's the grilled chicken recipe Sascha describes during the show:

Photo by Britt Olson-Ecker

Midday theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck joins Tom for our regular Thursday focus on the region's thespian happenings. Today, she reviews the Single Carrot Theatre and STEREO Akt world premiere production of Promenade: Baltimore.

Not your conventional stage production, Promenade: Baltimore invites its audience to board an actual bus and travel around the city, passing through neighborhoods familiar to some, and unknown to others. Audience members watch from their bus as actors on the street perform scenes portraying various aspects of life in Baltimore, accompanied by a live-mixed soundtrack of music, narration, and stories inspired by and, in some cases told by, neighborhood residents.  

Know Your Neighbors: A Promenade Post-Show Roundtable, Thursday, June 22, following the 6:30pm performance.  See the Single Carrot Theatre website for details on this and other post-show events.

Promenade: Baltimore continues at Single Carrot Theatre through Sunday, July 2nd.

Photo courtesy the Brookings Institution

Last night was a long night for Democrats, who lost two more special elections to fill vacancies created by congressional Republicans who left for jobs in the Trump administration.  In Georgia’s hotly-contested 6th congressional district, Republican Karen Handel beat newcomer Democrat Jon Osoff by 4 points, a comfortable margin of victory in what most considered a close race.  And in South Carolina, Republican Ralph Norman defeated Democrat Archie Parnell by about the same margin, which was considered much closer than most people had expected.

That makes it 4-0 for the Republicans in Special Elections since President Trump took office.   

Tom discusses the significance of these election results, and  the state of the body politic, with E.J. Dionne, a syndicated columnist for the Washington Post and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.  He is also a university professor at Georgetown University, and the author of several books, including Why the Right Went Wrong: Conservatism – From Goldwater to Trump and Beyond.  His newest book, due out in September, is called One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported, which he has co-authored with Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein.

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