Constance Crawford | (916) 278-8955
Sacramento, Calif. – June 30, 2016: New show from American Public Media is a smart, fast and funny roundup of everything excellent in culture, food, conversation and more
Beginning Saturday, July 2 at 7 p.m., Capital Public Radio invites listeners to The Dinner Party Download, public radio’s arts and leisure show from American Public Media. Hosted by Rico Gagliano and Brendan Francis Newnam, The Dinner Party Download gives listeners the edge to sparkling conversation at the next social gathering. Originally launched as a podcast in 2008, the show quickly grew and became beloved by fans for its spontaneity, thoughtful interviews and exuberance. It was lauded by Wallpaper magazine as one of the “Top 40 Reasons to Live in America” and hosts Gagliano and Newnam were named to Food & Wine magazine’s “40 Big Thinkers Under 40” list.
The Dinner Party Download is the only show where you’ll hear Jon Hamm expound on “dark matter,” Oscar-nominee Michelle Williams teach us the word “melliferous,” discover Emmy-winner Allison Janney’s love of rap music and hear Molly Ringwald bark like a dog. (Yes, it’s quite impressive.) You can also expect winning conversations with folks like astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, conductor Gustavo Dudamel, and rock legend Patti Smith.
Capital Public Radio Chief Content Officer Joe Barr says the show has the elements of an ideal Saturday evening, "delightful conversations with interesting people, wonderful food and drink...and some surprises. It's the perfect bridge between This American Life and Blue Dog Jam.”
The show unfolds like a dinner party, kicking off with “The Icebreaker”— a joke to warm things up. Next comes “Small Talk,” in which top journalists share their favorite odd news story of the week. The party then flows with “Cocktails”, featuring a true historical tale that inspires a handcrafted cocktail recipe. Later, musicians share their party playlists and listeners get their burning etiquette questions answered. In the marquee segment, the “Guest of Honor” interview, hosts Gagliano and Newnam catch up with some of the most fascinating celebrities and routinely get them to talk about the most unexpected, dinner-party-worthy subjects. Recent guests have included: Steve Martin and “Portlandia” duo Fred Armisen & Carrie Brownstein; actors Brie Larson, Viola Davis, and Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o; musicians Pharrell Williams and Dave Navarro; filmmakers Wes Anderson and Errol Morris; authors Margaret Atwood and Gary Shteyngart; and “Project Runway” fashion mentor Tim Gunn.
About the hosts
Rico Gagliano has worked in public radio for over a decade. His pieces have been heard on All Things Considered, Weekend America, The Savvy Traveler and other series, but he was best known as a reporter on Marketplace, for which he filed stories from England, Ireland, Sweden, The Netherlands, India, South Korea and across the good ol’ USA. He also penned and performed many of the show’s “Marketplace Players” comedy sketches. Prior to radio, Rico worked as a TV writer on shows for MTV, ABC, Fox Family and The Cartoon Network… and as a freelance print reporter for LA Weekly, the Village Voice, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and others. He continues to contribute pieces to Dwell magazine. Rico co-created, performed and wrote for the circus-like L.A. sketch comedy troupe The Ministry Of Unknown Science, which at various times required him to drop his pants on stage, stand fully clothed in frigid ocean waves for half an hour, and stand way too close to the explosion caused by detonating a sex doll filled with propane. The troupe had a top-10 video podcast on iTunes and filmed pilots for Spike TV and the SyFy Network. Rico holds an MFA from the American Film Institute. He’s been a fan of dinner parties since childhood, when it meant he got to eat in his parents’ bedroom and watch TV all night while the grownups sat around in the dining room getting wine-tipsy.
Brendan Francis Newnam has been winning dinner parties since first taking a seat at the kid’s table at his family’s holiday gatherings. Granted, by then he was in his 20s and had graduated from Rutgers at the top of his class while the rest of his tablemates were toddlers, but, still, a victory is a victory, even if you make a 5-year-old cry. A long time foodie, during the height of America’s cupcake craze, Brendan sought refuge in Europe, where he wrote and edited travel guides, music reviews and celebrity profiles for various websites and magazines, including Vice and Blackbook, and delivered lectures on the ontology of the gin martini. But even la dolce vita gets old, and he returned to America to embark on a career in law. But after earning a JD and spending a summer fighting for prosecutorial reform in Bulgaria, he was seduced by public radio’s siren call. (Or maybe that was the sound of corduroy rubbing?) Before launching The Dinner Party Download, he produced and reported for national public radio shows including Marketplace, Marketplace Money, Fresh Air, and Weekend America, and, in his spare time, created and produced Audiovant, one of the first music interview podcasts. Though he now has a stable income and is chipping away at his law school debt, Brendan continues to freelance for various outlets, including Dwell, Modern Farmer, Saveur, and CNN.com, where, in 2011, he penned a series of travel tales called “The State I’m In.” Brendan is also a past Knight Media Fellow, and lest you think he has a face for radio, the national fashion website Racked named him a “style icon,” and that’s without even knowing about his tattoo of the word “tattoo.”
The show is available online at capradio.org and in the CapRadio mobile app. Or, tune in to Capital Public Radio News Stations: 90.9 FM Sacramento ∙ 90.5 FM Tahoe/Reno ∙ 91.3 FM Stockton/Modesto ∙ 88.1 FM Quincy