Lois Reitzes

Host, City Lights, Second Cup Concert, ASO Broadcasts and Spivey Soirée

The distinctive voice of Lois Reitzes has been heard over WABE’s airwaves since 1979. Lois is Atlanta’s favorite classical announcer. As host of the weekday program Second Cup Concert, which airs from 9 a.m. until noon, she selects music especially to complement your morning tasks. In addition to Second Cup, Lois produces and hosts WABE’s Atlanta Symphony Orchestra broadcasts and Spivey Soirée series.  She served as Program Director from 1992-2007, and became Director of Arts and Cultural Programming in 2007. Hosting arts features and interviews is an ongoing joy of her job.  

Lois pursued graduate study at the  Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington. She lists her favorite exercise as reading - preferably while eating! Her favorite island getaway is Manhattan. Lois resides in Atlanta with husband Don, who chairs the Sociology Department at Georgia State University.  The Reitzes’ have two children, Jackie and Michael, and a golden non-retriever named Rex.


City Lights
10:04 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Atlanta Jewish Film Festival Begins Tonight

''My Italian Secret" tells the story of Italians who rescued Jews and other refugees fleeing the Nazis in World War II.
Credit Italy and the Holocast, Inc.

The annual Atlanta Jewish Film Festival begins this evening. For the next few weeks, Atlanta residents can catch screenings of more than 50 feature and short films at different theaters around the metro area.

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10:16 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Finding Yourself Onstage - A Conversation With Kenny Leon

Kenny Leon was awarded the award for best direction of a play for "A Raisin in the Sun" at the 68th annual Tony Awards.
Credit Evan Agostini / Invision/AP

Think back to life before the web, when people wrote letters, and bought tickets from a person behind a window-to see a Picasso, you might have to go to the library or hop on a plane. Never in human history has the way we share information been so dramatically altered in such a short time, so we’re asking leaders in the arts community how they’ve adjusted to the times.

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City Lights
12:03 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Success Through Diversity At The Rialto

Credit Wikipedia

We've asked the leaders of major Atlanta arts organizations to come in and share their thoughts with us for a mini-series we're calling "Arts 2015." The local luminaries shared with us their reflections and forecasts on their particular fields and the unique challenges and benefits of being a leader of the arts in Atlanta.

One of those leaders is Leslie Gordon, director of the Rialto Center for the Arts at Georgia State University. In her ten-plus years at the helm, Gordon has transformed the landscape of the downtown theater. 

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11:46 am
Fri January 16, 2015

With Lewis Black, There's 'One Slight Hitch'

Bekah Medford, Jennifer Alice Acker, Karen Howell, Mark Cabus, and Kelly Criss in "One Slight Hitch" at Georgia Ensemble Theatre.
Credit Dan Carmody/Studio 7

Georgia Ensemble Theatre’s current production is a play by Lewis Black — yes, that Lewis Black: the very angry man who can be caught ranting on "The Daily Show" and in his own stand-up comedy specials. It may surprise some of his fans to discover that not only is Lewis Black a playwright, but that his play, "One Slight Hitch," is a romantic comedy.

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11:23 am
Fri January 16, 2015

Children Invited To 'The Lizard And El Sol' At Alliance Theatre

''The Lizard and El Sol'' is running in Alliance Theatre’s Black Box performance space through Feb. 7.
Credit Alliance Theater

The Alliance Theatre believes in “getting ‘em while they’re young”… in this case, quite literally.

Their program, Theater for the Very Young, is in its fourth season of bringing the performing arts to children.

WABE's Lois Reitzes recently sat down with Rosemary Newcott and Olivia Aston Bosworth from the Alliance, as well as actor Jose Miguel Vasquez, to talk about their current show, "The Lizard and El Sol."

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2:05 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

Gordon Parks' Photographs Tell A 'Segregation Story' At The High

Outside Looking In, Mobile, Alabama, 1956.
Courtesy of and copyright The Gordon Parks Foundation.

This week the New York Times published an article about a photograph by Gordon Parks, the first African-American staff photographer for Life magazine in the early 1950s.

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12:33 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

The Founding, Future Of The New American Shakespeare Tavern

Jeff Watkins, the Creative Director of New American Shakespeare Tavern, has been with the theater company since its inception in a back room of Manuel’s Tavern in 1984.
Credit Frank Carroll / flickr.com/highstrungloner

We've asked the leaders of major Atlanta arts organizations to come in and share their thoughts with us for a mini-series we're calling "Arts 2015." The local luminaries shared with us their reflections and forecasts on their particular fields and the unique challenges and benefits of being a leader of the arts in Atlanta.

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City Lights
10:00 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Tenor Matthew Polenzani Makes His Spivey Hall Debut This Saturday

Tenor Matthew Polenzani
Credit Photo: Sim Cannety-Clarke, Courtesy of Polenzani Management

Tenor Matthew Polenzani has performed in front audiences at the Metropolitan opera, Deutsche Oper, La Scala and the Lyric. 

This Saturday, audiences in Atlanta will also be able to enjoy his singing, when he makes his debut at Spivey Hall.

City Lights host Lois Reitzes reached him over the phone to discuss his upcoming recital with pianist Julius Drake.

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10:25 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Rain Pryor Comes to Town With 'Fried Chicken and Latkes'

Rain Pryor is the daughter of legendary comedian Richard Pryor.
Credit camelcitydispatch.com

Rain Pryor is the daughter of legendary comedian Richard Pryor. Her mother was Jewish and growing  up with a mixed cultural and racial heritage was not always easy.

Her search for identity led her to produce a one-woman show named "Fried Chicken and Latkes." She’ll be performing it here in Atlanta this weekend. "City Lights" host Lois Reitzes recently spoke with her about the idea behind the production.

More information on the event may be found on Atlanta PlanIt.

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Downton Abbey
12:30 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Christmas at 'Downton Abbey'

John Lunn, renowned for his work on "Downton Abbey," conducts the show's theme in Los Angeles.
Credit Vince Bucci / Invision/AP

Fans of the public television series "Downton Abbey" have certainly been through a lot with the Crawleys over the past four years.

Viewers have witnessed the sinking of the Titanic and other historic events through the eyes of the fictional aristocratic English family. "Downton Abbey's" audience has also endured the sometimes sudden departure of beloved cast members.

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Alliance Theatre to Benefit
1:10 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Woodruff Arts Center To Receive A $38 Million Facelift

Artist's drawing of the upgrades to the Alliance Theatre.
Credit Alliance Theatre

The Woodruff Foundation has awarded a $38 million grant to the Woodruff Arts Center.  They say it will go to support a range of artistic, educational and capital improvements across the Woodruff Campus. It is the is the largest gift in the organization’s 46-year history. 

A good portion of the funds will go to the Alliance Theatre, as WABE's David Barasoain explained to host John Lemley on City Cafe today.  

You can read the whole press release about the grant here.

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12:31 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Comedian David Koechner Brings his Characters to Atlanta Improv

Lois Reitzes and David Koechner in WABE's Studio 4
Credit Jason Parker / WABE

David Koechner may not be a household name, but his face – or better yet, his characters – certainly are. He's the actor behind Champ Kind, the chauvinist sportscaster in the "Anchorman" movies, and Todd Packer, the boorish brute to Steve Carell's bumbling nice guy Michael Scott from NBC's "The Office."

Our own Anchorlady, Lois Reitzes, spoke with Koechner about his craft, and his comedy.   

David Koechner performs Thursday through Saturday night at Buckhead's Atlanta Improv Comedy Club.

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1:27 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Comedian Wyatt Cenac On His Career, The Art Of Stand-Up, And Puppets

Wyatt Cenac at One Night Only: An All-Star Tribute To Don Rickles in New York.
Credit Charles Sykes / Invision/Associated Press

You may know comedian Wyatt Cenac for his time as a correspondent for The Daily Show on Comedy Central. Cenac was on the show from 2008 to 2012. He is also a stand-up comedian, and he has a new Netflix special called Brooklyn.

He’ll be performing  at the Laughing Skull lounge this weekend. Cenac recently spoke with WABE’s Lois Reitzes about the art of stand-up and his career trajectory.

Web Extra: Wyatt Cenac on his love of puppetry and his visit to the Center For Puppetry Arts. 

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12:10 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Brenda Bynum on the Strange Fruit of Lillian Smith

Lillian Smith's name has slipped from the pantheon of Southern writers, but now her story has been adapted into a one-woman show by Atlanta actor Brenda Bynum.
Credit C. M. Stieglitz / Library of Congress

You may not have heard of Georgian author Lillian Smith.  She was one of the first prominent white southerners to speak out publicly against racial segregation in the 1930s and 1940s. Already seen as somewhat of a radical, it was her book Strange Fruit which brought Smith the most controversy.

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The High Museum
2:41 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

High Museum Director to Retire

MIchael Shapiro.
Credit The High Museum

The director of the High Museum of Art has announced his retirement.  Michael Shapiro has been working with the High's leadership team for the past 20 years, and as the High's Nancy and Holcombe T. Green Jr. Director for the past 15 years.

His official last day will be July 31, 2015. He sat down with WABE's Lois Reitzes to talk about his departure.  She began by asking him, "Why now?"


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Second Cup
12:00 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

A New Season, a New Edge with the Atlanta Opera's Tomer Zvulun

Still from Lorin Maazel's 2014 Castleton Festival production of "Madama Butterfly." Directed by Tomer Zvulun, set design by Erhard Rom, lighting by Robert Wierzel.
Ray Boc Castleton Festival

Perhaps no one is more enthusiastic about the Atlanta Opera’s new season than Tomer Zvulun. And rightfully so — it’s his first planned season as the company’s General and Artistic Director. Zvulun’s planned three new productions for this Atlanta Opera Season — "Madama Butterfly," "Rigoletto," and a contemporary opera, "Three Decembers." Mozart's classic "The Marriage of Figaro" rounds out the 2014-2015 season. Lois Reitzes spoke with Mr. Zvulun and asked how he chose these particular operas:

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12:35 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

How August Wilson Learned What He Learned - True Colors Stages Playwright's Final Work

Eugene Lee in True Colors Theatre Company's How I Learned What I Learned
Josh Lamkin Photography

Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theater is staging the Atlanta premier of playwright August Wilson’s final work—a biographical reenactment of his life told in a one-man show. Called How I Learned What I Learned, the show shares some of the origins of Wilson’s critically-acclaimed plays—shows such as “Fences,” “The Piano Lesson,” and “Radio Golf.”

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Second Cup
12:00 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Artists at their Best: Spivey Hall's Sam Dixon on their New Season

Beatrice Rana was the Silver Medalist and Audience Award winner at the 2013 Van Cliburn Competition. She opens Spivey Hall's 2014-15 season.
Credit Spivey Hall

Spivey Hall, located 25 minutes south of Atlanta on the campus of Clayton State University, is an intimate performance venue well-known for its superior acoustics. Classical and jazz artists love to perform here because "they know they can do their best work at Spivey Hall." That's according to Sam Dixon, the Hall's Executive and Artistic Director. Dixon is responsible for booking the Spivey Series concerts, and his keen ear is appreciated by performers and audience alike. Lois Reitzes recently spoke with Dixon and asked him how he curates each new Spivey season.

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12:26 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Bending Theater to Serve Poetry - Native Guard at the Alliance

Natasha Trethewey and Susan Booth

A Pulitzer Prize-winning work will take to the Alliance Theater stage this week. The theater is presenting Native Guard by former US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, in what they’re calling a “theatrical installation.” WABE’s Lois Reitzes spoke with the poet and with the Alliance’s Artistic Director Susan Booth about their approach to the work.

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Second Cup
12:00 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

A "Melody Faucet:" Michael Kurth, Composer

Michael Kurth is Composer-in Residence for the Riverside Chamber Players, as well as a section bassist for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Lois Reitzes recently sat down with Kurth to talk about his writing process, and the story behind his "Mean Old Pony Tango."

The Riverside Chamber Players perform Sunday, September 21 at Roswell United Methodist Church. The program includes Kurth's "signature piece" as well as Paul Salerni's string quartet arrangement of Mendelssohn's "Song Without Words."

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Second Cup
12:00 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

25 Years at the Opera with Walter Huff

Walter Huff and Lois Reitzes in WABE's Studio 4
Credit Erin Wright / WABE

The Atlanta Opera kicks off their new season this weekend, but they're not opening with an opera. The company's Chorus Master — Walter Huff — celebrates 25 years with the Atlanta Opera this year, and what better way to celebrate than in song? WABE's Lois Reitzes recently sat down with Mr. Huff for a little reflection, and a toast to another 25 years.

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11:45 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Charles DeRamus: An Atlanta Bassist In Sweden

Used with permission of Charles DeRamus.

The Gothenburg Symphony is known around the world for its recordings of composers, such as Tchaikovsky, Sibelius and Nielsen.  

But there’s a reason why Atlantans, specifically, might appreciate the Northern European symphony: its double bassist, Charles DeRamus, is an Atlanta native.

He sat down with Second Cup Concert host Lois Reitzes last time he was in town to talk about his work with the orchestra.

You can also listen to excerpts of the orchestra's performances:

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1:29 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

The Alliance Collides With Grapes of Wrath

The students of 2012's Collision Project at the Alliance Theater
Credit Alliance Theater

The Alliance Theatre’s Collision Project assembles a diverse group of 20 teenagers from metro Atlanta to explore and unpack a classic text under the guidance of a professional playwright and director—to “collide” with a piece of writing and with each other, so to speak.

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City Café
12:59 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Kenny Leon Returns to Atlanta Stage after Tony Win

Chris Coleman (from left), Lois Reitzes, and Kenny Leon in WABE's Studio 4
Jennifer Dwyer McEwen WABE

True Colors Theatre Company Artistic Director Kenny Leon is fresh off winning a Tony Award for directing his revival of "A Raisin in the Sun."

Now he's jumping back into work, but this time he's on stage. Leon asked his longtime friend — and co-founder of Actor's Express — Chris Coleman to direct him in "Same Time Next Year."

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Second Cup
12:00 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Student Musicians to Perform Alongside the Pros

Student musicians rehearse and perform side by side with Atlanta Symphony professionals.
Credit Jeff Roffman / Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

On Saturday, June 14 at 8 p.m. in Symphony Hall, music students from all over Atlanta will play side by side with their Atlanta Symphony counterparts. The "Side-By-Side" concert marks the end of an intensive week-long orchestral workshop. The students participate in special coaching sessions with ASO musicians and sit next to ASO members in rehearsals. WABE's Lois Reitzes sat down with Kenn Wagner, an ASO violinist, and his longtime student, James Pinder. In the audio clip, we'll hear from Kenn first:

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Atlanta Chamber Players
11:54 am
Tue May 13, 2014

"A Very Supreme Experience" - Paula Peace on Chamber Music and Retirement

Paula Peace (seated, center) and members of the Atlanta Chamber Players. Peace is retiring after 38 years with the group.
Credit Atlanta Chamber Players

Paula Peace has announced her retirement after 38 years with the Atlanta Chamber Players. Peace is the co-founding Artistic Director of the Players and served as pianist for the group. She joined WABE's Lois Reitzes for a conversation about her retirement and to look back at starting the Chamber Players almost four decades ago.

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Second Cup
11:55 am
Fri April 18, 2014

What Makes a Mezzo a Mezzo? A Conversation with Irene Roberts

Irene Roberts is Rosina in the Atlanta Opera's production of Rossini's "The Barber of Seville."
Credit Kristin Hoebermann / irenerobertsmezzo.com

If you've ever wondered what the difference is between a mezzo-soprano and a soprano, Irene Roberts has your answer. Roberts, a mezzo-soprano, will be singing the role of Rosina in the Atlanta Opera's upcoming production of "The Barber of Seville." Lois Reitzes sat down with Irene and began by asking her how she got into music.

"The Barber of Seville" opens April 26 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

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Second Cup
11:00 am
Wed April 16, 2014

"Power and Seduction" in ASO's 2014-15 Season

ASO Music Director Robert Spano
Credit Angela Morris / Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Lois Reitzes recently sat down with Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Music Director Robert Spano and Principal Guest Conductor Donald Runnicles. The maestros revealed the ASO's 2014-15 season, highlighting concerts of "sumptuous tone poems," a truly creative partnership with Emory University and an all-star season finale.

Season tickets are on sale now on the ASO's website.

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12:45 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Kevin Young on his New Collection, 'Book of Hours'

Poet Kevin Young reads from 'Book of Hours' Monday, April 7 at 7:00 pm at the Carter Presidential Library and Museum Theater.
Credit Ayca Christman


Multiple-award winning poet Kevin Young reads from his new book Book of Hours tonight at the Carter Presidential Library and Museum Theater. Young’s eighth poetry collection finds him at a personal place, chronicling his grief following the death of his father, his sense of wonder following the birth of his son, and the echoes that pass between one event and the other.

WABE’s Lois Reitzes sat down with Kevin Young to talk about the book and the life events that led him to write it.

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Second Cup
10:00 am
Wed February 5, 2014

A "Young" Conductor for the ASO

Credit www.josephfyoung.com

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has had a vacant Assistant Conductor position since 2009. It’s a job where many young conductors make a name for themselves.

After several rounds of auditions, the ASO has selected Joseph Young – a truly “young” man of only 31.

Maestro Young was born in Charleston and graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2004 and the Peabody Conservatory in 2009.

He’s also a trumpet player, music educator and former resident conductor of the Phoenix Symphony. 

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