Our guests for Season One of Vocal Heroes…
Preview of Vocal Heroes
Episode 1. Karen Allen
Peter and Karen met during auditions for Animal House. On the road to that moment? Two hands seen typing all winter through a distant apartment window, a four-hour play in Polish, a road trip to South America, and a widely ignored index card tacked up inside a Manhattan theater school’s front door.
Episode 2. Matthew Goodman
On the set of “The Good Wife” in 2012, Peter told fellow actor Kevin Hogan about his recent fascination with Abraham Lincoln’s favorite Shakespearean, James H. Hackett. “You have to meet my writer pal, Matthew Goodman,” replied Hogan. “You guys both tell amazing stories.” A subsequent lunch sparked years of Peter and Matthew trading favorite historical details. Here, the pair discuss Matthew’s third non-fiction book The City Game, a basketball tale so iconic it’s the reason sportswriters first employed the phrase “A Cinderella Story.”
Episode 3. Rubén Blades
Panamanian-born Rubén may be the most hyphenated person with whom Peter has a conversation this season: musician-composer-politician-actor-activist-singer (not to mention Harvard Law graduate, guy you probably pick first for your post-apocalyptic zombie-hunting dream team, and Minister of Tourism for Panama, emeritus.) They delve into everything from the greatest lessons you can learn as a kid to the perennial search for a true and just “America.”
Episode 4. Carey Perloff
Carey (director, playwright, author, and kickass warrior for cultural excellence) first met Peter when she cast him as the seductively sinister Goldberg in her first New York revival of Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party. The two discuss language, wit, doom, humor, childhood dreams of archaeology, telegrams from “Monty,” and how the communal catharsis of fine theater helps us
all survive catastrophe.
Episode 5. Liz Holtzman
On the eve of Watergate in 1972, 31-year-old Liz Holtzman became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. Defeating Judiciary Committee chair and 50-year-incumbent Emanuel Celler, she hit the ground running. Holtzman became the only Judiciary Committee member gutsy enough to ask Gerald Ford whether he’d pardoned Nixon as a quid pro quo, then filed suit to halt our illegal bombing of Cambodia. Her insights into current political catastrophes are equally keen and incisive. She’s never been one to pull a punch.
Episode 6. Steve and Cassie Schwerner
On June 21 in the “Freedom Summer” of 1964, civil rights workers Michael “Mickey” Schwerner, James Chaney, and Andrew Goodman were murdered by the KKK outside the town of Philadelphia in Neshoba County, Mississippi. (Ronald Reagan became the “dog whistle” poster boy with his 1980 States’ Rights speech at that county’s fairgrounds.) In this episode, Mickey’s brother Steve and niece Cassie talk with Peter about the lasting impact those killings have had on their lives, and how the aims of Freedom Summer have been taken up with renewed passion globally by Black Lives Matter protestors in 2020.