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Does Marriage Need an Update?

Very Biggest Questions

Originally Aired: Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Pixabay / Pexels


The Greene Space launches our new series, Very Biggest Questions, with a discussion on marriage — the institution, the lifelong dream, the ball-and-chain; the mystery and, for some, ultimate endeavor.

Radiolab‘s Molly Webster hosts Rutgers Professor Alison Lefkovitz, Associate Professor at Queens College Kristin Celello, and Reverend angel Kyodo williams, to dissect and examine the baggage that marriage has picked up along its over 4,000 years of existence: How has it endured, through thick and thin? What’s working in the current version? And what could use some retooling?

Very Biggest Questions will feature a performance by comedy duo Your Love, Our Musical. Comedians Rebecca Vigil and Evan Kaufman select a real couple out of their audience, interview them on stage, and create an original musical about the couple’s love story.


Your Love, Our Musical is an award-winning, interactive improvised musical experience about your love story. Starring two of New York City’s finest musical improvisers, YLOM starts with an upbeat interview portion in which Rebecca and Evan ask their volunteer couple a series of questions about their love story. Then, using their unique comedic chemistry, vocal skill, and improvisational abilities, R+E transform audiences’ simple meet-cutes into bombastic choruses, their Tinder swipes into epic dance numbers, and their relationship snafus into chopped and screwed hip hop epics.

Alison Lefkovitz teaches history in the Federated History Department at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers University-Newark. Her first book, Strange Bedfellows: Marriage in the Age of Women’s Liberation is available from University of Pennsylvania Press.

Twitter: @alefkovi

Kristin Celello is Department Chair and an Associate Professor in the History Department at Queens College, City University of New York. She is the author of Making Marriage Work: A History of Marriage and Divorce in the Twentieth-Century United States (University of North Carolina Press, 2009) and the co-editor of a volume titled Domestic Tensions, National Anxieties: Global Perspectives on Marriage, Crisis, and Nation (Oxford University Press, 2016). Her current book project is After Divorce: Parents, Children, and the Modern American Family.


Once called “the most intriguing African-American Buddhist” by Library Journal, and “one of our wisest voices on social evolution” by Krista Tippett, Rev. angel Kyodo williams Sensei, is an author, maverick spiritual teacher, master trainer and founder of Center for Transformative Change. She has been bridging the worlds of personal transformation and justice since the publication of her critically-acclaimed book, Being Black: Zen and the Art of Living With Fearlessness and Grace. Her new co-authored book, Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love & Liberation, is a powerful wake-up journey that is igniting communities — activist, Buddhist and beyond — to have the conversations necessary to become more awake and aware of what hinders liberation of self and society.

Twitter: @zenchangeangel

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