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

Universal Collection: A Mark Dion Project
Chip Porter / Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College

  This Spring, the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY has hosted Mark Dion as Vassar artist-in-residence.

Dion is a New York and Pennsylvania-based visual artist known for his “cabinets of curiosities” that incorporate found objects into site-specific installations.

He co-taught a course with anthropology professor Anne Pike-Tay, culminating in a work comprised of items drawn from the collections of the Art Center, Special Collections, and Vassar College Artifacts Project. This wealth of resources includes materials as diverse as nineteenth-century scientific instruments, Native American objects, examples of taxidermy, sculpture, geological specimens, and antique books.

Universal Collection: A Mark Dion Project will be on view at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY through December 11th.

  Vermont's Weston Playhouse Theatre Company is turning 80 and their summer 2016 season boasts a line-up that includes groundbreaking partnerships, collaborations with major stars, and the Vermont Premiere of one of Broadway's longest-running hits.

Producing Artistic Director, Steve Stettler, joins us now to tell us all about it.

Shakespeare & Company was founded in 1978 and since then they’ve been presenting world-class classical and contemporary theater with a focus on none other than The Bard of Avon in Lenox, MA.

The season includes three Shakespeare plays: The Merchant of Venice, The Two Gentlemen of Verona and Twelfth Night, plus Regional Premieres by three women playwrights: of Or, by Liz Duffy Adams; The Taming by Lauren Gunderson and Ugly Lies the Bone by Lindsey Ferrentino, a bracing drama fresh from an acclaimed Off-Broadway production.

Additional titles include Sotto Voce by Pulitzer Prize-winner Nilo Cruz, and the return of Stephan Wolfert in Cry "Havoc!", and a new adaption of Aphra Behn’s Emperor of the Moon by Jenna Ware.

Ariel Bock and Jonathan Croy are serving as co-interim Artistic Directors at Shakespeare & Company. They join us along with Daniella Varon who is directing Ugly Lies the Bone

Tony Award-winning Fiorello! is a big-hearted look at Mayor La Guardia and his battle for the people of New York City. With music and lyrics by Tony Award-winners Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick and book by Tony Award and Drama Desk-Winner George Abbott and Jerome Weidman, the Berkshire Theatre Group production is directed by Playwrights Horizons founder, Bob Moss. Fiorello! is one of only nine musicals to have been awarded the esteemed Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Berkshire Theatre Group presents Fiorello! through July 23rd on their Unicorn Theater in Stockbridge.

Cast members Katie Birenboim and Austin Lombardi join us now. They play Marie and the title character, Fiorello, respectively. 

  Founded by drummer and musical director Tommy Igoe, the Birdland Big Band features the finest musicians in New York City! Every Friday from 5-7pm the band gathers at the historic Birdland Jazz Club to play two swinging big band sets.

This month, the group is celebrating its 10th Anniversary. Rob Middleton and Nathan Childers join us to tell us more.

  Barrington Stage Company’s world premiere production of American Son by Christopher Demos-Brown begins previews in Pittsfield, MA this Friday.

Winner of the prestigious Laurents/Hatcher Award for Best New Play of 2016, the new drama examines our nation’s racial divide through the eyes of an estranged, interracial couple. Over the course of one evening, the couple’s disparate backgrounds collide as they confront an unexpected crisis involving their son, the police, and an abandoned car. Tamara Tunie and Michael Hayden star as Kendra Ellis-Connor and Scott Connor in the production directed by Barrington Stage’s artistic director, Julianne Boyd.

Actor and producer Tamara Tunie played attorney Jessica Griffin on CBS’ As the World Turns, and medical examiner Melinda Warner on NBC’s Law & Order: SVU. She co-produced the original production of Spring Awakening on Broadway and recently won an Obie Award for her work in Familiar at Playwright’s Horizons. Michael Hayden was on the ABC series Murder One. He made his Broadway debut as Billy in the 1994 revival of Carousel and has since starred in many Broadway and Off-Broadway shows.

  Over the past three decades, Jane’s Ice Cream, founded by sisters Jane and Amy Keller, has grown from their humble beginnings as a street side lunch spot in Phoenicia, NY, into a regional ice cream powerhouse.

Jane’s Ice Cream supplies the Tri-state area, Massachusetts, and some of New York City’s toniest hotels and restaurants, including the New York Palace Hotel and the Carlyle Hotel.

This year they’ve even connected with the only thing currently more popular than ice cream – Hamilton: An American Musical.

Jane’s is run by husband and wife team Amy Keller and Bob Guidubaldi and they join us this morning.


  On June 11th, acclaimed and well-loved alt-rock band, The National, are playing a concert in Joe’s Field at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA that will benefit the museum and the Hawthorne Valley Association in New York’s Hudson River Valley. This concert is the band’s only date in the northeast this year.

 

The Ohio-raised, Brooklyn-based band, which consists of vocalist Matt Berninger, plus two pairs of brothers: Aaron Dessner (guitar, bass, piano) and Bryce Dessner (guitar), and Scott Devendorf (bass, guitar) and Bryan Devendorf (drums), have landed on every “best of” list in print.

The Dessners recently created, curated and produced Day of the Dead -- a compilation  featuring 59 Grateful Dead covers performed by a slew of incredible musicians including - but not limited to - Flaming Lips, Bruce Hornsby, Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo, Jenny Lewis, Perfume Genius, Vijay Iyer, Lucius, and Bela Fleck. Bob Weir even appears on the album performing both with Wilco and with The National.

Aaron Dessner joins us to talk about the concert and the new compilation.

Gabriel Ebert, Matt Ryan, and Keira Knightley in Roundabout Theatre Company's 'Thérèse Raquin'
Sara Krulwich/The New York Times


  Tony Award winning scenic designer, Beowulf Boritt received his third Tony nomination last month for his design for the Roundabout Theatre Company production of Thérèse Raquin.

 

His previous designs for Broadway include Rock of Ages, Sondheim on Sondheim, The Scottsboro Boys, Chaplin, and Act One -- for which he won his Tony Award.

He also designed The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and On The Town at Barrington Stage in Pittsfield, moving those designs to Broadway. He’ll return to BSC this summer, designing their production of The Pirates of Penzance.

Barbara Walsh and Michael Rupert in Presto Change-O at Barrington Stage
Scott Barrow

  Presto Change-O, a new musical with book and lyrics by Eric Price and music by Joel Waggoner, is running on Barrington Stage Company’s St. Germain Stage through June 11th. Directed by Marc Bruni, choreographed by Chris Bailey, the show features a credit not usually seen in your everyday playbill -- illusions by Joseph Waternerchaney.

That’s right - the majority of actors in the piece has to - on top of acting, singing, and dancing - perform parlor and platform magic.

Presto Change-O is a World Premiere from BSC’s acclaimed Musical Theatre Lab and we are joined by actors Barbara Walsh and Michael Rupert - both of whom originated roles in the original Broadway run of Falsettos and have numerous other Broadway, Off-Broadway, Regional, and Television and Film credits on their resumes.

  The documentary feature film, Life, Animated, will be The Berkshire International Film Festival’s opening night film in Pittsfield, MA at The Beacon Theatre on Friday, June 3rd at 7pm.

Life, Animated tells the story of how Owen Suskind, who is autistic, found a pathway through Disney animation to language and a framework for making sense of the world. This emotional coming-of-age story follows Owen as he graduates to adulthood and takes his first steps toward independence. Owen’s father, Ron Suskind, wrote a book of the same name to tell his family’s story of losing Owen.

The film interweaves classic Disney sequences with verite scenes from Owen’s life, the film explores how identification and empathy with characters like Simba, Jafar, and Ariel forge a conduit for him to understand his feelings and interpret reality.

Life, Animated won the Directing Award for a U.S. Documentary at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and director, Roger Ross Williams, join us now. Roger Ross Williams is an Academy Award winning documentarian -- winning in 2010 for the Documentary Short Subject, Music by Prudence.

  Kentucky singer-songwriter, Joan Shelley, will perform at Helsinki Hudson in Hudson, NY on June 9th at 8pm. She has been praised by Rolling Stone, NPR and Pitchfork, and the New York Times recently wrote that "her music is folky and pastoral, with a sense of scale that makes her humble about her place in mankind and the universe, and her songs are serene but never complacent."

Her latest album, Over and Even, is a collaboration with guitarist Nathan Salsburg and is available on No Quarter Records.

www.cirquedusoleil.com/paramour


  Cirque du Soleil's Paramour combines Cirque’s signature spectacle with Broadway's story-telling and song in a brand new production that opened this week at The Lyric Theatre in New York City. Set in the world of Golden Age Hollywood, the show spins the tale of a beautiful young poet forced to choose between love and art.

Ryan Vona - who was most recently seen on Broadway in Once - plays Joey - in Paramour. We spoke with him a few weeks ago - before the show began previews.

  The Ne’imah Jewish Community Chorus’ 24th annual concert will take place at The Linda in Albany, NY this Sunday, May 22nd, at 7:30 p.m. This year’s program is entitled “Jewish Musical Gems: Old, New and Different” and their special guests will be Cantor Elias Rosemberg and his accompanist, David Sparr.

The Cantor at Temple Emmanuel of Newton, Massachusets, Rosemberg personifies the theme of the concert, singing from a varied and unique repertoire that includes Opera, Israeli, Cantorial, Yiddish, Ladino and Broadway selections, including a Yiddish Tango – an homage to his Argentinian roots.

  18-year-old Diggy Lessard's Senior Project at Woodstock Day School is entitled Modern Vaudeville -- it will tell the story of James Hurst’s "The Scarlet Ibis" through music, dance, and comedy in a one-night only variety show at BSP Lounge in Kingston, New York on May 22nd. Diggy’s project was to schedule, promote, and produce the show which will benefit Woodstock Day School’s music programs. (Joe Donahue interviewed Diggy and his dad, Stefan Lessard from Dave Matthews Band earlier this week.)

One of the participating acts is comedian, Bobby Tisdale. Tisdale is an film and television actor and provides the voice for Zeke on Bob’s Burgers on Fox.


  Comedian, musician, and radio-host, Dave Hill has a new collection of humorous essays out from Blue Rider Press entitled: Dave Hill Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.

The follow-up to 2012’s Tasteful Nudes: ...and Other Misguided Attempts at Personal Growth and Validation, Dave Hill Doesn’t Live Anymore explores his increasingly close relationship with his recently widowed father -- and also shares his stories of baffling excitement and comic horror while visiting a Mexican prison, getting a bottle or urine thrown at him by a homeless person, and working for Donald Trump for a day.

  The Roundabout Theatre Company in New York City is celebrating it’s 50th Anniversary this year. The largest non-for-profit theatre company in America, Roundabout has grown from a small 150-seat theatre in a converted supermarket basement to operating five stages on and off Broadway.

Education at Roundabout is a branch of the organization that connects with students and teachers through customized school partnerships, residency programs, mentorships and workshops, internships, apprenticeships, backstage tours, talkbacks and pre-show workshops. For each Roundabout production, Education also creates Upstage guides, which include interviews, contextual information, teacher resources and activities, and presents a post-show Lecture Series -- reaching 22,000 students and teachers each year.

Jennifer DiBella is the Director of Education at Roundabout.

Education at Roundabout’s 6th Annual Student Theatre Arts Festival will take place on May 16th.

  Manitoga/The Russel Wright Design Center is the House, Studio and Woodland garden of mid-century designer Russel Wright. It is a National Historic Landmark, an Affiliate Site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and a World Monuments Watch Site.

Manitoga’s Artist Residency program was initiated in 2014 to foster creative responses to Manitoga that invoke Russel Wright's legacy of creative experimentation and celebration of place.

This year’s residency artist, Peter Bynum, is known for his light-infused sculptural paintings and large-scale installations. He creates his work by pressing paint between sheets of glass - allowing it to spread, span, and split according to its own plan. He then layers these branched paintings over each other and illuminates them from behind. The effect is singular.

Bynum’s work has been exhibited all over the world. His residency exhibition, Ecstatic Light, presents a site-specific installation of several pieces in Russel Wright’s House and Studio, marking Manitoga’s first presentation of a contemporary artist within the interiors of the property.

  Derek McLane is a Tony and Emmy Award-winning production designer for stage and screen. He designed the last four consecutive Academy Awards telecasts and all three of NBC’s recent LIVE musical events: The Sound of Music, Peter Pan, and The Wiz. He was the production designer for the HBO documentary, Becoming Mike Nichols and the European tour, Hans Zimmer Revealed.

McLane’s most recent design to open on Broadway is for Fully Committed written by Becky Mode, directed by Jason Moore, and starring Jesse Tyler Ferguson. A selection of previous Broadway show’s on his resume are: Noises Off, Beautiful, the Carole King Musical, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, Follies, Anything Goes, How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, and 33 Variations -- for which he won his Tony Award in 2009.

In our region he’s worked at The Williamstown Theatre Festival and is designing Barrington Stage Company’s Musical Theatre Lab World Premiere of Presto Change-o, which opens later this month in Pittsfield. He’s a busy guy - that list includes less than half of what he’s done and we didn’t even mention everything he’s working on this week.

Will Gallacher (Tin Man puppeteer), James Ortiz (the Tin Man/Nick Chopper) and Eliza Martin Simpson as Nimmee, the object of the Tin Man’s affection
Matthew Murphy

  The critically acclaimed Off-Broadway re-telling of how Oz's Tin Man lost his heart features James Ortiz as the star, creator, puppet designer, co-director and writer in The Woodsman, a beautiful imaginative theatrical experience by Strangemen & Co.

The show is currently running at New World Stages in New York City.

Becky Mode, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Jason Moore
Walter McBride / Getty Images

  Fully Committed starring Jesse Tyler Ferguson opens tonight at the Lyceum Theatre in New York City.

The play, written by Becky Mode, follows a day in the life of Sam. His job is to man the red-hot reservation line at Manhattan's number-one restaurant. Jesse Tyler Ferguson (best known for his Emmy nominated work as Mitchell on ABC’s Modern Family) plays all 40 characters, acting out the coercion, threats, bribes, and histrionics of both the would-be patrons and the staff at the very chic eatery.

Jason Moore directs this production which is scheduled for a limited run through July 24th. Moore directed the films Sisters, starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, and Pitch Perfect. For Broadway he's directed Shrek The Musical and the Tony Award winning production of Avenue Q.

  Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, MA is open for the with Baby Animals on the Shaker Farm, running daily, 10 am to 4 pm, through Sunday, May 8.

Home to several hundred Shakers from the 1780s to 1960, Hancock Shaker Village is now an outdoor-history museum dedicated to preserving the Shaker legacy.

Right now, the barns are full of chicks, ducklings, lambs, kids, and calves.

We went to Hancock Shaker Village earlier this week and spoke with Shawn Hartley Hancock, Director of Marketing and Communications. After oooing and awwwing at the baby animals, including two lambs born within half an hour our my arrival, we parked ourselves on one side of the round stone barn and talked about what is going on at the Village now - and about some things upcoming over the course of the summer.

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

  Comedian and actor, Colin Quinn will headline a comedy benefit for Woodstock Land Conservancy at The Woodstock Playhouse this Saturday, April 16th at 7 p.m.

The Woodstock Land Conservancy is committed to the protection, preservation, and stewardship of open lands, forests, wetlands, scenic areas and historic sites in Woodstock and the surrounding areas.

Colin Quinn was on Saturday Night Live from 1995 to 2000, hosting "Weekend Update" for a few of his years there. He recently wrapped up an Off-Broadway run of his one man show, Colin Quinn: The New York Story which ran at Cherry Lane Theatre and was directed by Jerry Seinfeld. Last summer he played Amy Schumer’s characters father in the hit film, Trainwreck. His meta Law & Order parody webseries, Cop Show, is streaming on YouTube and at lstudio.com.

Frank Langella and Hannah Cabell in the American premiere of The Father at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.
Joan Marcus

    Now 80 years old, André was once a tap dancer. He lives with his daughter Anne and her husband Antoine. Or was he an engineer whose daughter Anne lives in London with her new lover, Pierre? The thing is, he is still wearing his pajamas, and he can’t find his watch. He is starting to wonder if he’s losing control.

Manhattan Theatre Club  presents The Father, a play by Florian Zeller that The Guardian called “an astonishingly unguarded play about the cruelties of love and the limits of patience.” Christopher Hampton’s translation is directed for MTC by Doug Hughes and stars 3-time Tony Award winner Frank Langella as André. The show opens Thursday, April 15th.

Hannah Cabell plays Laura. She worked with Hughes and Langella previously on Broadway in Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of A Man for All Seasons. Her Off-Broadway credits inclue Men on Boats, Major Barbara, Grounded, Collapse, 3C, Compulsion, Zero Hour, Pumpgirl, Jane Eyre, Gentleman Caller, and Mark Smith.

Jason Danieley
Justin Patterson

  This coming fall, Chicago, Kander and Ebb’s merry-murderess musical, will have been running on Broadway for 20 years.

To celebrate, six-time Tony Award-winning costume designer William Ivey Long will be revising some of his Tony-nominated designs for the show, there will be a special SummerStage concert in Central Park in August, and Takarazuka, the all-female Japanese musical revue troupe, will celebrate the centennial of their founding with its first appearance in New York in over 25 years with "Takarazuka Chicago," marking the first time ever that two identical productions in two different languages will be running at the same time in NYC. That’s happening in July.

Right now, the role of Billy Flynn, the silver-tongued solicitor and suave defender of Roxy Hart, is being played by Jason Danieley. On Broadway, Jason played Candide in the 1997 revival of Candide, Malcolm MacGregor in The Full Monty, Aaron Fox in Curtains, and Frederich Kuhn in The Visit.

Roundabout Theatre Company's The Robber Bridegroom - Leslie Kritzer, center
Joan Marcus

  Based on the short story by Eudora Welty, The Robber Bridegroom is the Southern-fried Robin Hood tale of Jamie Lockhart, a dangerous, handsome, backwoods rogue who’s a gentleman by day and bandit by night. When he falls for the beautiful daughter of a wealthy planter, his world and code of ethics are turned upside down.

Roundabout Theatre Company in New York City has a rustic romp of a ‘Robber Bridegroom’ running at The Laura Pels Theatre. Director Alex Timbers brings his incomparable imagination to the show with book by Alfred Uhry and music by Robert Waldman.

The show stars Steven Pasquale, Andrew Durand, Evan Harrington, Greg Hildreth, Ahna O’Reilly, Nadia Quinn, Lance Roberts, Devere Rogers, and , our guest, Leslie Kritzer, as Salome.

Leslie made her Broadway debut in Hairspray, following that she was Serena in Legally Blonde, and then Jane Hurley in A Catered Affair. She was In Sondheim on Sondheim and played Jovie in the stage musical adaptation of Elf. In addition to numerous Off-Broadway and regional credits she received critical acclaim, a TimeOut New York Award, and a Special Achievement MAC Award, for Leslie Kritzer Is Patti LuPone at Les Mouches, a re-creation of Patti LuPone’s famed nightclub act. She is currently playing Ray Romano’s wife on the HBO show Vinyl.

  Taylor Mac is a playwright, actor, singer-songwriter, performance artist, director and producer who is currently creating a 24-hour durational concert called, “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music.”

6 hours of the project, representing the six decades between 1836 and 1896, will be performed at MASS MoCA in North Adams Massachusetts this Saturday, April 9th from 4 to 10pm. Audience members are encouraged to come and going during the performance.

Taylor Mac was recently name-checked in a New York Magazine article about why New York Theater is thriving and The New York Times said “Fabulousness can come in many forms, and Taylor Mac seems intent on assuming each and every one of them.”

Laura Benanti in She Loves Me
Joan Marcus

  As part of its 50th Anniversary season, Roundabout Theatre Company is currently presenting a revival of She Loves Me. The musical, with a book by Joe Masteroff, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and music by Jerry Bock, was the first musical Roundabout ever produced. That production opened in 1993 and was directed by Scott Ellis who returns to helm the show currently sparkling in jewel tones at Studio 54.

The musical is an adaptation of the play Parfumerie by Hungarian playwright Miklos Laszlo. The films The Shop Around the Corner and You’ve Got Mail boast the same source material. The cast includes Zachary Levi, Jane Krakowski, Gavin Creel and, our guest, Tony Award-winner Laura Benanti who plays Amalia Balash.

Laura Benanti won a Tony for her performance as Louise in Gypsy (with Patti LuPone as Rose); and she was nominated for Swing, Into the Woods, and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Her television credits include Supergirl, Nashville, Nurse Jackie, Royal Pains, Law & Order: SVU, and Go On.

  Bedlam theatre company in New York City has created a production of Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility that The New York Times called an “enchanting romp of a play … [with] buoyant spirits, cunning stagecraft and enlivening insights …”

Adapted for the stage by Kate Hamill and directed by Eric Tucker, Bedlam’s lively Sense & Sensibility may appeal to those who don’t usually like Jane Austen, but the production doesn’t betray its source material - emphasizing the values, society, proprietary, and human frailties.

Andrus Nichols is the Producing Director & Co-Founder of Bedlam, she plays Elinor Dashwood in Sense & Sensibility and she joins us to talk about the show, the company, and her connections to the WAMC area.

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