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Bob Edwards Weekend

February 2011

February 5-6, 2011


Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Maraniss wrote the best-selling biography When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi. Now there’s a new Broadway play based on his book.  Maraniss joins Bob to talk about the book and its adaptation for the stage. Then, Bob talks with Dan Lauria and Judith Light, the stars of Lombardi, the new play about the legendary NFL coach.  

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Lee Reeves.  She embodies a line from the Gershwin tune, “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” — she sings off-key. But when her daughter was born with a serious illness and needed hours of motherly attention, Reeves learned to sing with abandon, ignoring wrong notes and focusing on the love she was expressing.


Andrew Alexander is an innovative and influential theatre, film, and television producer, known most widely for his leadership of The Second City theatre company and the hit television show SCTV. Alexander talks with Bob about the business of being funny. Then, Bob talks with Tim BaltzTim Mason, andAmanda Blake-Davis, three actors at Second City. They describe the process of writing a new show and the excitement of performing improv comedy in front of an audience.


February 12-13, 2011


After 18 years in America, Tony and Janina Wasilewski’s family is torn apart when Janina is deported back to Poland, taking their 6 year old son Brian with her. Set on the backdrop of the Chicago political scene, and featuring Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez at the heart of the immigration reform movement, this film follows the family’s three year struggle to be reunited, as their senator, Barack Obama, rises to the Presidency. Bob talks with director Ruth Leitman about her documentary Tony and Janina’s American Wedding.

Bob and Dan Gediman talk about the new book, This I Believe: On Love.  Gediman and his colleagues combed through tens of thousands of essays they have received over the past five years to find 60 for this book. Those represent a wide spectrum of what it means to love a husband, a mother, a child, and even a house.

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Louise V. Gray.  Happily ever after was not the ending of Gray’s story of young love. Over many years, she and her boyfriend came close to marriage, fell apart, reconciled, and eventually grew distant. Gray writes about the gifts of this difficult love, and what it taught her to look for in a soulmate.


Mark Pendergrast’s new book, Inside the Outbreaks, is a history of the Epidemic Intelligence Service, the front-line disease detectives of the CDC.  It covers an amazing array of medical mysteries all over the world, from an insider’s perspective. Pendergrast spent more than five years researching and writing the book.

Beloved children’s book writer Norton Juster is the author of classics like The Phantom Tollbooth andThe Dot and The Line.  He recently teamed up again with friend and illustrator Jules Feiffer for a new book, titled The Odious Ogre. Juster talks with Bob about his career, his new book and his collaboration with illustrators. 


February 19-20, 2011 


For 50 years, Amnesty International has been working to draw attention to human rights abuses around the world and demand justice for those whose rights have been violated. To coincide with the 50th anniversary of the organization’s founding, Amnesty International has released Freedom. The book is a collection of thirty short stories, each a reflection on one of the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Larry Cox, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA talks with Bob about the organization’s history, accomplishments and future.

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Savannah Lengsfelder.  She came to Washington DC as a Congressional assistant, expecting to be repulsed by an up-close view of government at work. Instead, she grew to appreciate the work of elected representatives, and the diversity of ideologies. Lengsfelder is now a law student working in South Africa on human rights cases.


No one has a voice like Ken Nordine, and there’s nothing quite like Word Jazz, the audio art he created. It mixes atmospheric sound effects, free-form jazz and Nordine’s unique rumbling bass voice, pondering philosophical questions, plumbing the depths of his id, or simply wondering what’s in the fridge. In December, Bob visited the 90 year-old Nordine at his house in Chicago, which he’s lived in for more than half a century. We’ll tour his home studio and hear about his early days in radio, collaborations with The Grateful Dead and Tom Waits, and how he created Word Jazz. 


February 26-27, 2011


In 2007, photojournalist Tim Hetherington and writer Sebastian Junger embedded with an American platoon in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley, a strategic passage wanted by the Taliban and al-Qaeda, and one of the deadliest pieces of terrain in the world for U.S. forces.  Restrepo, a chronicle of the soldiers’ experiences, is nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

English character actor Timothy Spall may be best-known as the groveling Peter Pettigrew in the Harry Potter series, but this classically trained thespian has been playing nuanced characters on stage and screen for years.  He can currently be seen in the Oscar nominated film The King’s Speech as Winston Churchill. 

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Madhukar Rao. As a child, Rao had to learn to fit in to new communities. He was born in India, but grew up in Massachusetts. His family moved again when he was in high school and his new community was racially segregated. Rao learned the power that humility and simple questions have in an emotionally charged confrontation.


Bob talks with Lyle Lovett about his love of horses, his Texas roots, his dalliances with acting and his music career, which includes his latest CD titled Natural Forces.