Sarah LaDuke

Producer

Sarah grew up in Saranac Lake, NY where she worked part time at Pendragon Theatre all through high school and college, primarily backstage as she is a truly superficial [read: bad] actress. She graduated from SUNY Albany in 2006 with a BA in English and started at WAMC a few weeks later as a part-time board-op in the control room. Through a series of offered and seized opportunities she is now the Senior Contributing Producer of The Roundtable.

Ways to Connect

The Grand Opening of PS21’s new Black Box Theater will feature a dance concert with Caleb Teicher and Nic Gareiss. Teicher and Gareiss are two of America’s most elegant interpreters of traditional American dance forms including tap, clogging, flatfooting, Irish step, and contemporary hybrids. The Boston Herald called Nic Gareiss “the most inventive and expressive step dancer on the scene. The nimble Gareiss called forth visions of Fred Astaire.” ArtsAmerica declared that “with his calm and collected cool, Caleb Teicher is ‘suave with a groove’ incarnate.”

The two widely acclaimed dancers typically work separately, Teicher with his own company - Caleb Teicher & Co. There will be a post performance reception with the artists and tours of the new theater.

Victorian dresses on display at The Albany Institute of History and Art
Courtesy of the Albany Institute of History & Art

Spanning more than 250 years, from the mid-eighteenth century to the present, the Albany Institute of History & Arts’ costume collection includes more than 4,000 garments and accessories that were used or worn by upstate New Yorkers of all ages, social classes, economic conditions, and cultural groups.

To celebrate and display some of that collection, they’ve created the exhibition “Well-Dressed in Victorian Albany: 19th Century Fashion from the Albany Institute Collection.”

From wedding gowns to walking suits, the garments featured in the exhibition reflect the changes in styles during the reign of the British monarch, Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1901. “Well-Dressed in Victorian Albany” is on view through May 20. Diane Shewchuk, curator at The Albany Institute, hosts this audio tour.

Mike Birbiglia
Evan Sung

The High Mud Comedy Festival takes over the campus of MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts this Friday and Saturday.

Friday night, Sasheer Zamata hosts “Sasheer Zamata Party Time!” in the Hunter Center. On Saturday, there will be a satire writing workshop by the Reductress, comedian-led gallery tours, and a performance by Nellie McKay.

To close the festival, Mike Birbiglia will present his new one-hour of stand-up, aptly entitled “The New One.” Birbiglia’s previous popular shows include “Thank God for Jokes,” “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend,” and “Sleepwalk with Me.” The latter was adapted into a film co-directed by Birbiglia and his stage-director Seth Barrish. In 2016 Birbiglia wrote and directed “Don’t Think Twice” starring Gillian Jacobs and Keegan-Michael Key.

What do Susan B. Anthony, Alexander Graham Bell, Emily Dickinson, Frederick Douglass, Amelia Earhart, Helen Keller, Leonard Nimoy, Elizabeth Taylor, Sylvia Plath, Dr. Seuss, Sojourner Truth and Kurt Vonnegut all have in common? They have all impacted the historical fabric of the Pioneer Valley in Massachusetts!

The Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton, Mass. will present “The Valley Letters Project: Live on Stage,” a new series celebrating the art of letter writing and its connection to the region’s history. The evening will feature letters by historic people of note connected to the Western Massachusetts/Pioneer Valley region read aloud by contemporary people of note who are currently impacting the Western Massachusetts and the Pioneer Valley landscape.

The event, taking place on Saturday, March 10 at 7:30 p.m., is a fundraiser for The Academy of Music Theatre.

Here to tell us more are Academy of Music Theatre's Development and Marketing Manager Emily Curro, and the Artistic Director of Eggtooth Productions and Academy of Music Theatre Board Member, Linda McInerney.

Andrew Bird
Reuben Cox / http://sacksco.com

Andrew Bird is playing at The Egg in Albany, New York on Monday, March 5 and at UPAC in Kingston, New York on Wednesday, March 7.

The Chicago-born, LA-based film score composer, multi-instrumentalist, master-whistler, and lyricist has been creating music for more than twenty years. Bird’s most recent release, “Echolocations: River,” was recorded as he stood ankle-deep in the Los Angeles River under The Hyperion Bridge. “Echolocations: Canyon” was released in 2015 and was recorded inside the Coyote Gulch canyons of Utah. The recordings are filmed by Tyler Manson.

He joined us to preview his upcoming shows and talk about the unique process he used to create the Echolocations albums.

This week's Book Picks come from Kira Wizner of Merritt Bookstore.

List:

All for Nothing” by Walter Kempowski, translated by Anthea Bell

Freshwater” by Akwaeke Emezi

The Friend, A Novel” by Sigrid Nunez

Eternal Life: A Novel” by Dara Horn

The Great Alone: A Novel” by Kristin Hannah

I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death” by Maggie O'Farrell

Catnip: A Love Story” by Michael Korda

The YES Brain” by Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson

The Big Bed” by Bunmi Laditan, illustrated by Tom Knight

John Cariani in "The Band's Visit"
Matthew Murphy / Playbill.com

The new musical, "The Band’s Visit," is currently running at The Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Broadway. Based on the film of the same name, "The Band’s Visit" features music and lyrics by David Yazbek, book by Itamar Moses, and is directed by David Cromer. The New York Times called the show “One of the most ravishing musicals you will ever be seduced by.”

The Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra is traveling from Egypt to play a concert in Petah Tikva, Israel but after language confusion at the border end up in Beit Hatikva - a small city where civic pride is low.

Without a means of transportation out of town until the morning, the band is begrudgingly taken in by the locals.

John Cariani plays Itzik, one of the citizens of Beit Hatikva and he joins us. Cariani’s previous Broadway credits include “Something Rotten!” and the 2004 revival of “Fiddler on the Roof.” He’s also performed at nearly all of the regional theatres in our area you can think of and as a playwright is responsible for the praised and oft-produced plays, “Almost, Maine;” “Last Gas;” “Love/Sick;” and “cul-de-sac.”

John Bolton as Vlad in "Anastasia"
Dave Mack / https://www.franbro.com


  The Broadway musical "Anastasia" features a book by celebrated playwright Terrence McNally and a lush, new score by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens; Tony Award-winning director Darko Tresnjak directs. Inspired by the beloved films with the same title, "Anastasia" transports audiences from the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s, as Anya sets out to discover the mystery of her past aided by conmen Dmitry and Vlad - who attempt to teach Anya how to embody the missing princess, Anastasia Romanov.

 

Vlad is played on Broadway by our guest, John Bolton, whose previous Broadway credits include "Dames at Sea," "A Christmas Story," "Curtains," "Monty Python’s Spamalot," "Contact," "Titanic," "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" and "Damn Yankees."

The original Broadway production of Kander and Ebb’s “Chicago: The Musical” opened in 1975. Set in Prohibition-era Chicago, the musical is a satire on corruption in the administration of criminal justice and the concept of the celebrity criminal. The show is eternally --and correctly-- associated with Bob Fosse who served as co-author, original director, and choreographer.

“Chicago” was revived on Broadway in 1996 and holds the record as the longest-running musical revival and the longest-running American musical in Broadway history. It is the second longest-running show in Broadway history, behind only “The Phantom of the Opera.” Walter Bobbie directed the revival and it was choreographed in the style of Bob Fosse by Ann Reinking.

The National Tour of “Chicago: The Musical” is bringing the ol' razzle-dazzle to Proctors in Schenectady this weekend – opening tonight and running through Sunday.

Broadway vet and friend-of-the-show, Jeff McCarthy, stars as silver tongue prince of the courtroom, Billy Flynn.

Will Hermes is a writer and contributing editor for Rolling Stone, a frequent contributor to NPR’s All Things Considered and author of “Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever.” His upcoming book is a biography of the late Lou Reed.

He joins us this time every year to share his picks for the best music released in the last 12 months.

The list of the songs played here is available on today's Roundtable playlist. You can listen to these songs and others he's chosen from 2017 on Will's year-end Spotify playlist.

Shawn Stone joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

Seen: "Star Wars: The Last Jedi"

Upcoming:

  • NRBQ - The Hangar on the Hudson, Troy, Friday 12/29, 8 PM
  • Twiddle - Palace Theatre, Albany, Saturday 12/30 at 7:30 PM; Sunday 12/31 at 8 PM
  • Berkshire Bach Ensemble: Bach at New Year’s - Academy of Music, Northampton, Mass., Saturday 12/30, 7:30 PM; Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Mass., Sunday 12/31, 6 PM; Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Monday 1/1, 3 PM
  • MOPCO’s New Year’s Eve Family Show & Ball Drop - MOPCO, Schenectady, Sunday 12/31, 7 PM
  • Byron Nilsson & Malcolm Kogut’s Songs to Amuse: It’s Lonely at the Top - Steamer NO. 10 Theatre, Albany, Sunday 12/31, 7 PM
  • New Year’s Eve with Mirk, The Late Shift - The Hollow, Albany, Sunday 12/31, 8 PM
  • Glenn David Andrews - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, Sunday 12/31, 9 PM
  • First Night of Funny (Clean) - The Egg, Albany, Sunday 12/31, 9 PM
  • First Night of Funny (“Blue”, aka Uncensored) - Cohoes Music Hall, Sunday 12/31, 8 PM The Egg, Albany, Sunday 12/31, 8:30 PM
  • First Night of Funny (Unknown) - Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield, Mass., Sunday 12/31, 8 PM Proctors, Mainstage, Schenectady, Sunday 12/31, 8 PM

Astrid Van Wieren
broadway.com


  On March 12th of this year the new musical “Come From Away” opened at the Schoenfeld Theatre on Broadway. The show, written by David Hein and Irene Carl Sankoff went on to earn 7 Tony Award nominations - including Best Musical - and to win one for Best Direction of a Musical for Christopher Ashley.

 

"Come from Away" is based on true events that took place in Gander, Newfoundland, Canada on September 11th, 2001. 38 planes were diverted from their original paths and forced to land in Gander. The planes carried passengers from all over the world; scared, confused, and all-but cut off from their loved ones the accidental visitors - or “come-from-aways” as the Newfoundlanders call them - nearly doubled the population of the region for the better part of a week. The locals opened their doors, pantries, hearts, and minds until the airspace was reopened.

 

The 12 actors in "Come From Away" each play multiple Newfoundlanders and "plane peple" and we are joined today by Astrid Van Wieren who has been with the show - as much of the cast has - since its early development.

Broadway Cast Of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater
Sara Krulwich / The New York Times


  The new Broadway adaptation of Roald Dahl’s beloved “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” which opening in New York City last April will end its run on January 14.

 

The show is directed by Jack O’Brien and features a book by David Greig, original music Marc Shaiman, and lyrics by Shaiman and Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman. Kathy Fitzgerald plays Mrs. Gloop - the mother of Augustus one of the ill-fated golden-ticket holding visitors to Mr. Wonka’s fantastical factory.

 

Fitzgerald’s previous Broadway credits include “Swinging on a Star,” “The Producers,” “Wicked,” and “9 to 5.”

Wilson Bethel and Alex Mickiewicz in The Roundabout Theatre Company production of  "The Last Match"
Joan Marcus

In Anna Ziegler’s new play, “The Last Match,” Tim Porter and Sergei Sergeyev face-off in the semifinals of the US Open: Porter a statesman of the game, Sergeyev an up-and-comer show with unharnessed potential.

Gaye Taylor Upchurch directs “The Last Match” for Roundabout Theatre Company where it runs at The Laura Pels Theatre through December 23rd.

Alex Mickiewicz plays Sergei Sergeyev. His previous work with Roundabout includes the recent Broadway productions of “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” and “Therese Raquin.”

Ward Horton, Jack DiFalco, Michael Urie, Mercedes Ruehl in "Torch Song" at Second Stage Theater
Joan Marcus


  “Torch Song Trilogy” is a collection of three plays by Harvey Fierstein rendered in three acts: “International Stud,” “Fugue in a Nursery,” and “Widows and Children First!” The story centers on Arnold Beckoff, a Jewish homosexual, drag queen, and torch singer who lives in New York City in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In its original incarnation, the trilogy was first produced in those same decades with its Broadway production opening in June of 1982 and running until May of 1985. The show earned Tony Awards for Best Play and Best Actor in a Play for Fierstein.

Fierstein has recently adapted his work into a shorter version entitled “Torch Song” which is running at Second Stage Theatre on 43rd Street in New York City through December 9. The production, directed by Moisés Kaufman, features Jack DiFalco, Roxanna Hope Radja, Michael Rosen, Mercedes Ruehl, Michael Urie, and our guest, Ward Horton.

 

Horton is best known for playing Dr. Scott Strauss on CBS’ “Pure Genius” and was the male lead in the horror film “Annabelle.” He plays Ed in “Torch Song.”

Carl Sprague
Sarah LaDuke

Tomorrow night at 6:30, Carl Sprague will give an artist lecture at The Opalka Gallery at The Sage Colleges. The Artist Lecture Series is co-sponsored by the Opalka Gallery and the Department of Art + Design.

Sprague is a Berkshire-based Production Designer, Art Director, and Concept Illustrator for film, theater, and advertising. He’s designed sets for the Berkshire Theatre Group, Shakespeare & Company, Oldcastle Theatre, any many other regional theaters in the Berkshires and around the country.

He’s worked on design elements of films with Steven Spielberg, Nora Ephron, Ron Howard, David Mamet, David Fincher, Steve McQueen - and Wes Anderson. He was a concept illustrator for Anderson’s "The Grand Budapest Hotel" and worked on the upcoming stop-motion film, "Isle of Dogs."

In 1919 Britain, Mrs. Conway is full of optimism during her daughter’s lavish twenty-first birthday celebration. The Great War is over, wealth is in the air, and the family’s dreams bubble over like champagne. Nineteen years later, though, the Conways’ lives have transformed unimaginably.

"Time and the Conways" is a time-jumping play by J.B. Priestley that takes place at the crossroads of today and tomorrow. Tony winner Rebecca Taichman directs "Time and the Conways" for Roundabout Theatre Company. The production runs through November 26 at The American Airlines Theater.

The play stars Elizabeth McGovern, Anna Camp, and our guests, Steven Boyer and Gabriel Ebert.


  To mark the centenary of women’s suffrage in New York state and the re-opening of the state’s oldest surviving theater, Hudson Hall in partnership with The Millay Colony for the Arts commissioned a new production of Virgil Thomson and Gertrude Stein’s rarely performed opera "The Mother of Us All." Performances take place November 11, 12, 15, 18, and 19 at 4 p.m.

 

Using real and imagined characters, "The Mother of Us All" is about Susan B. Anthony and the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Reimagined as musical theater pageant, performed by a vocal and instrumental ensemble of Hudson Valley residents, and starring the mezzo-soprano Michaela Martens in the lead role, "The Mother of Us All" is directed at Hudson Hall by R. B. Schlather.

 

Schlather is widely recognized as one of the most ambitious, creative, strong, end edgy opera directors working today - having professional relationships with Opera Philadelphia, National Stardust, Wolf Trap Opera, Bard Music Festival, Tanglewood, Glimmerglass and many others.

Hari Kondabolu is a Brooklyn-based comedian and writer who The New York Times praises as “one of the most exciting political comics in stand-up today.”

He’s the co-host of the podcast Politically Re-Active with friend/fellow comedian W. Kamau Bell. His new documentary The Problem with Apu will premiere on truTV on November 19 and Hari will perform at Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA on Saturday, November 4.


  Bill Yosses was the White House Pastry Chef from 2007-2014, hired by First Lady Laura Bush and baking under The Obamas -- working with First Lady Michelle Obama on her Let’s Move! Campaign - specifically by increasing the use of fresh, natural ingredients and decreasing the portion size and amount of refined sugar.

 

Since leaving Washington DC, Yosses has operated The Perfect Pie in New York City and since February he’s provided the pre-show pies for the Off-Broadway production of Sweeney-Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street in New York City.

 

The Sweet Spot: Dialing Back Sugar and Amping Up Flavor is a new cookbook, co-written by Yosses and Peter Kaminsky and featuring wonderful photographs by Evan Sung.

Beowulf Sheehan


  Lucy Kaplansky, Richard Shindell and Dar Williams have revived their celebrated folk-pop collaboration - Cry Cry Cry - for their first performances in nineteen years. Cry Cry Cry’s 1998 album was a collection of 12 mostly cover songs and was a sort of tribute to fellow singer-songwriters. Their tour will bring them to The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall on October 27th.

Gabriel Kahane's Instagram feed


  Gabriel Kahane’s 8980: Book of Travelers is a new collection of songs inspired by the two-week train trip he took across the United States last November. He left on his un-plugged  journey the day after the 2016 election to meet and converse with dozens of strangers.

Created in collaboration with director Daniel Fish and designer Jim Findlay, 8980: Book of Travelers is a song cycle and solo stage show that will officially premiere at The Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival later this fall. Tonight, In a kind of sneak-peek, Kahane will take the stage in The Hunter Center at MASS MoCA - where he’s been working on the piece in residency for about two weeks.


  Singer-songwriter and visual artist, Natalia Zuckerman, will perform at Helsinki Hudson this Sunday, October 22nd as part of The Rogovoy Salon.

 

Zuckerman’s parents are renowned musicians, flutist Eugenia Zuckerman and violinist Pinchas Zuckerman. Natalia is a whiz with most things string: including acoustic and electric guitar, slide guitar, dobro, lap steel and banjo.

 

Her performance at Club Helsinki, The Women Who Rode Away: Songs and Portraits, will feature visual art alongside portrait songs about and inspired by women.

The all female singer-songwriter tour, Steady On: Celebrating Lilith Fair at 20 will come to The Linda - WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio on Saturday at 8pm.

Sharon Goldman, Lara Herscovitch, Amy Soucy, and Sloan Wainwright will play songs made famous at Lilith Fair in the late 90s along with their own music. Sharon Goldman and Sloan Wainwright join us.


  It’s summer on Sway Lake, the most glamorous lake in the Adirondacks - former playground of the jazz-age New York aristocracy. Music collector Ollie Sway recruits his only friend, a rowdy Russian drifter, to help him steal a 78 record from his own family’s estate. Ollie believes that this mysterious piece of music was hidden for him by his father before his suicide. The boys’ mission should be as easy, but the arrival of the Charlotte “Charlie” Sway - Ollie’s Grandmother - changes everything.

 

Directed by Ari Gold and co-written by Gold and Elizabeth Bull, The Song Of Sway Lake will screen at The Woodstock Playhouse as part of The Woodstock Film Festival on Sunday at 2:15.

 

Mary Beth Peil plays Charlie Sway and she joins us now. Piel is a venerated actor of stage and screen. She started her career in opera and currently plays The Dowager Empress in Anastasia on Broadway.

In the documentary film, The Rape of Recy Taylor, Nancy Buirski reconstructs events from 1944, when Recy Taylor, a twenty-four-year-old black woman in Abbeville, Alabama, was abducted on her way home from church by six white men who then raped her. Though Taylor identified her attackers, a local grand jury did not indict anyone for the crime. The NAACP mobilized a national campaign on Taylor’s behalf, sending Rosa Parks, its leading rape investigator to Abbeville. She and others recognized that, if justice could be served, it would be the result of reporting outside the immediate area. They nationalized the case yet the perpetrators remained uncharged, and the case slipped into oblivion.

The film will screen in Woodstock on Saturday at 10 a.m. as part of the Woodstock Film Festival and Nancy Buirski will be there for a Q&A following.

Leland Sundries
Sara Feigin

Leland Sundries, a band from New York led by Nick Loss-Eaton, is playing at Ör Gallery and Tavern in Hudson, NY tomorrow night. The New York TImes describes Leland Sundries’ music as “scrappy Americana [that] will get you longing for empty two-lane highways and kudzu-encased back porches.”

Nick Loss-Eaton joins us.


  The 2017 Woodstock Film Festival begins tomorrow and will feature documentary and narrative films, panels, and parties in the Hudson Valley through the 15th. The new musical film, Stuck, directed by Michael Berry, will screen at the Woodstock Playhouse tomorrow at 7pm and at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck on the 14th at 9:30pm.

 

In Stuck, six strangers trapped together on a stalled New York City subway car confront their assumptions of one another under the scrutinizing eye of Lloyd, a mysterious homeless man, played by Giancarlo Esposito.

 

Esposito is likely best known for his roles in Spike Lee films such as Do the Right Thing, School Daze, and Mo' Better Blues. Other notable films include Fresh, The Usual Suspects, and King of New York. He plays Gustavo “Gus” Fring on Breaking Bad and its spin-off Better Call Saul.

Wesley Stace
Ebet Roberts

This Wednesday, October 11th, author/musician Wesley Stace, aka John Wesley Harding, will bring his Cabinet of Wonders revue to Club Helsinki Hudson in a program to benefit Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon. The show will feature musicians Tracy Bonham, Juliana Hatfield, Stephin Merritt and Suzzy Roche; novelist Charles Bock; author Daniel Mendelsohn; and comedian Dave Hill.

 

Wesley Stace joins us along with Executive Director of Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon, Lacy Shutz.


  If you look for it - you can find a lot of pretty swell life advice in musicals. For instance: you gotta get a gimmick, don’t throw away your shot, and whenever you feel afraid - hold your head erect and whistle a happy tune.

 

Tim Federle’s new book, available from Running Press, shares advice he’s learned not from the lyrics in shows - but from performing in musicals on Broadway, around the U.S. and abroad. Life is Like a Musical: How to Live, Love, and Lead Like A Star features chapters entitled “Be a Good Scene Partner,” “Go Where the Love Is,” “Put on a Happy Face,”  and 47 others for a total of 50 tips pulled from years of theater experience.

 

Federle is the best-selling author of cocktail books Tequila Mockingbird and Gone with the Gin and the novels Better Nate Than Ever and The Great American Whatever.

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