Radiotopia Live East Coast Tour Recap

Maggie Taylor
PRX Official
Published in
4 min readMay 16, 2018


Radiotopia just wrapped its East Coast tour, where throughout the week we performed live to sold-out crowds in Atlanta, Durham, DC, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Boston. We were overwhelmed by the amount of love we got from fans and attendees! To give you a taste, we gathered some enthusiasm here, plus some pictures taken by the PRX team from the road, and these amazing photos from our DC show, shot by Gevar Bonham. Read on for a full performance recap.

We kicked off the tour at Center Stage in Altanta, GA. Each show was opened by fan favorite Ear Hustle, who also welcomed us back intermission with a performance from Maserati E.

This was followed by a piece from Roman Mars and 99% Invisible Digital Director Kurt Kohlstedt called “Fröebel’s Gifts”, about a failed architect, Friedrich Fröbel, the inventor of kindergarten.

Next, The Kitchen Sisters Present performed a piece called “Nobody Can Soldier Without Coffee”, about the key role coffee played in the Civil War, featuring a live bugler and an audience-driven coffee grinding scene.

Kitchen Sister Nikki Silva was unable to join the tour, so each night Davia Nelson was accompanied by a new co-host, including Kim Severson, a food correspondent for the New York Times; Andrea Reusing, the executive chef of The Durham Hotel in North Carolina; Mara Liasson, NPR’s National Political Correspondent; and Jill Lepore, an American History professor at Harvard University.

The Kitchen Sisters (left) and Joe Richman (right)

Joe Richman of Radio Diaries continued the show with a shocking piece about an explosion at a nuclear missile silo in Damascus, AR. The segment featured incredible animation from Dusty Studio and a guest appearance from one of the blast survivors.

The band!

We also had a house band that accompanied many of the pieces including 99% Invisible and Radio Diaries. The band included 99% Invisible staff composer Sean Real, Martin Zaltz Austwick, Dannie Murrie and Ash Clayton.

Helen Zaltzman from The Allusionist presented a special piece in four of the cities, “WPM”, which gave a history of typing competitions and chronicled the fastest typists in the world, set to music from her husband Martin.

Benjamen Walker (left) and Helen Zaltzman (right)

Alongside his giant algorithmic plant, Theory of Everything host Benjamen Walker continued his quest to interrogate the real versus the fake, telling a story of how computers think and create, and what it means to be human.

Andy Zaltzman presented a special episode of The Bugle, accompanied by his sister Helen, with a different editon of his audio newspaper in each city. He explored recent political highlights, and offered satirical suggestions for new local museums.

Andy Zaltzman (left) and Phoebe Judge (right)

We rounded out the show with an uproarious piece from Criminal about an infamous, international streaker, told by Phoebe Judge and produced by Lauren Spohrer.

Radiotopians on our day off in DUMBO (far left) and our marquee in Boston (far right)

Huge thank you to everyone who came out and supported us on our live tour! It’s so nice to be able to conect with our listeners in person, and to bring new audio stories to life on stage. Want to keep up with Radiotopia until our next live performance? Sign up for our monthly newsletter, The Citizen, here. And for those who couldn't attend, we may offer ways to watch the show later this fall.