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

  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.

Leanne Cope and Robbie Fairchild in An American in Paris
Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

  The Broadway musical, An American in Paris, has been running at The Palace Theatre in New York City since March of last year. Based on the Academy Award winning film of the same name and and featuring the music of George and Ira Gershwin, the production is directed and choreographed Tony Award winner Christopher Wheeldon.

Leanne Cope plays - and dances - the role of Lise. She’s been with the show from its workshop stage to it’s out-of-town run in Paris and for the last year, on Broadway - earning a Tony Nomination for her work and having to take a leave of absence from London’s Royal Ballet to pursue the project.

Chris McGarry and Timothee Chalamet in "Prodigal Son" at Manhattan Theatre Club.
Joan Marcus

  Pulitzer Prize winner John Patrick Shanley’s latest play, Prodigal Son, ends its run at Manhattan Theatre Club in New York City tomorrow.  

Written and directed by Shanley, the autobiographical play features a 17-year-old boy from The Bronx who finds himself in a private school in New Hampshire. He’s violent and gifted, with a passion for writing and an intense desire to understand and control the world and his life. Two faculty members, played by Robert Sean Leonard and Chris McGarry wrestle with the dilemma: Is the kid a star or a disaster?

Chris McGarry has worked with John Patrick Shanley a number of times. Here, we speak with McGarry about what working with Shanley has meant to him.


  Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. By drawing upon the talents, resources and generosity of the American theatre community, since 1988 BC/EFA has raised more than $250 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.

Broadway Cares awards annual grants to more than 450 AIDS and family service organizations nationwide and is the major supporter of the social service programs at The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative, the Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic, The Dancers’ Resource and the Stage Managers’ Project.

Their Spring appeal is happening in Broadway houses and across the country right now. The 2016 Easter Bonnet Competition takes place April 25 & April 26 at the Minskoff Theatre in New York City.

Our guest, Tom Viola is the Executive Director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

    This Friday night the new Broadway musical, Waitress, will begin previews at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre in New York City.

Based on the 2007 movie of the same name written and directed by the late Adrienne Shelly, Waitress is the first Broadway musical in history where the traditional four person creative team of book writer, composer, choreographer and director have all been women. Diane Paulus directs, Lorin Latarro choreographs, the music and lyrics are by five-time Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles, and the book is by our guest, Jessie Nelson.

Tony Award winner Jessie Mueller plays Jenna, a pregnant waitress in an abusive marriage. She takes (and makes) comfort by baking inventive pies and pursuing a romance with an unlikely newcomer to her town.

Bookwriter, Jessie Nelson, is the screenwriter of Stepmom, and I am Sam. She wrote, directed, and produced Corinna Corinna starring Whoopi Goldberg and Ray Liotta.

  The current major exhibition at Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA is An Eye for Excellence: Twenty Years of Collecting.

Sterling and Francine Clark began collecting art strictly for pleasure, but their discernment met with international recognition when they opened the Clark Art Institute in 1955. Sixty years later, the exhibition An Eye for Excellence: Twenty Years of Collecting reveals the remarkable story of how the Clark’s collection has grown and become stronger over the past two decades through the museum’s vision and the support of its generous donors. An Eye for Excellence is on view October 25, 2015 through April 10, 2016.

We visited the museum recently and took a tour of the exhibition with Kathleen Morris, Director of Collections and Exhibitions at The Clark.

Comedian Dave Hill
Mindy Tucker

  This Friday and Saturday the inaugural High Mud Comedy Festival comes to MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA and will feature acclaimed national comedians and local stand-up heroes.

Tig Notaro headlines the festival which will also feature Ophira Eisenberg, Sean Patton, and the MASS MoCA return of our guest, comedian, writer, musician, actor, radio host, and man-about-town -- Dave Hill.

Dave Hill fast facts: he hosts The Goddamn Dave Hill Show on WFMU and contributes to This American Life. His band, Valley Lodge, tours globally and performs the theme song for HBO’s Last Week Tonight. He often competes - if that’s the word for it - on @midnight on Comedy Central. His first book is entitled Tasteful Nudes (St. Martin's Griffin) and his upcoming book is Dave Hill Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (Blue Rider Press). His first comedy album came out last June on aspecialthing records and is called Let Me Turn You On.

Kaki King playing guitar with light projecctions mapped onto the instrument
Darragh Dandurand

  Visionary guitarist Kaki King has been hailed by Rolling Stone as “a genre unto herself.” Over the past 10 years the Brooklyn-based artist has released six extraordinarily diverse and distinctive albums, performed with Foo Fighters, Timbaland, and The Mountain Goats and more, and has contributed to a variety of film and TV soundtracks.

She will be at The Egg in Albany, NY to perform her provocative, moving, beautiful, The Neck Is A Bridge To The Body – a groundbreaking new multi-media performance that uses an innovative projection mapping technique as her guitar seemingly takes on a living, breathing existence of its own.

  It might be a silly week to talk about the other "Star" franchise, but actor Michael Dorn has appeared in more Star Trek episodes as the same character than any other actor; playing Worf, son of Mogh of the Klingon House of Martok on both The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine.

The Seth McFarlane movie Ted 2 is out on DVD, BluRay, and for digital download this week and in it Michael Dorn has a memorable role as the lover of Patrick Warburton's character, both of whom cosplay at New York Comic-Con as the real-life geek properties they’re best known for -- The Tick and Worf.

  Alice Walker’s The Color Purple is an unforgettable story of enduring love and triumph over adversity.

Based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel and the Warner Bros. / Amblin Entertainment motion picture, the musical version of The Color Purple is adapted for the stage by Pulitzer Prize and Tony award winner Marsha Norman, with music and lyrics by Grammy award winners Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray.

The John Doyle directed Broadway revival of The Color Purple opens tomorrow night after a month of previews and boasts a fresh, joyous score of jazz, ragtime, gospel and blues. The cast includes Cynthia Erivo as Celie, Jennifer Hudson as Shug Avery, Danielle Brooks as Sofia, and our guest, Isaiah Johnson as Mister.

Photograph of Robert Battle
Andrew Eccles

  Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, recognized as a vital “American Cultural Ambassador” to the world and New York City Center’s Principal Dance Company, returns to the New York City Center stage for the 45th consecutive year from December 2 (that’s today) through January 3rd. Led by Robert Battle in his fifth season, Ailey’s renowned artists will bring to life an expansive repertory of two dozen works by some of America’s most celebrated dance-makers during this annual season.

Dancer and choreographer Robert Battle became Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater after being personally selected by Judith Jamison, making him only the third person to head the Company since it was founded in 1958.

My Story, My Dance: Robert Battle’s Journey to Alvin Ailey is a children’s picture book about Robert’s life. It is published by Simon & Schuster.

  The Ford Foundation recently announced that they’re changing the way they fund U.S.-based and international organizations. They are directing more attention toward operating support rather than providing smaller grants for individual programs.

Locally, the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region and the Troy Savings Bank Charitable Foundation are also working to educate donors and other funding organizations that it’s no longer realistic to simply fund programs without accounting for the operating costs of nonprofit organizations.

All of this is part of a national movement to educate donors – especially now during this charitable time of year.

Chris Cardona, the Program Officer for Philanthropy at The Ford Foundation joins us along with Karen Bilowith, President and CEO of The Community Foundation and Leslie Cheu, Executive Director of the Troy Savings Bank Charitable Foundation.

  Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings have just released a new record, It’s A Holiday Soul Party. Their previous album, Give the People What They Want was nominated for a Grammy Award. The new Christmas album features soul revivals of holiday classics and original songs like “There Ain’t No Chimneys in the Projects” and “8 Days (of Hanukkah).”

Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings are performing at The Egg in Albany, NY this Saturday, December 5th at 7:30pm -- bringing their inimitable energy and sound to the stage of The Hart Theatre. They are also guests on “Michael Bublé’s Christmas in Hollywood” which will air on NBC on December 10th. The Dap Kings blast and blare, side-step and put on a great show at the center of which is the incredible vigor of Sharon Jones - providing lead vocals and more power than seems possible.

  Whether we’re ready or not -- the holiday season is upon us. Time for family visits, parties with friends and co-workers, and attempts at general merriment. These are also the weeks and months when the best films of the year start showing up on movie theater screens.

Tim Federle’s newest mixology book combines those two interests: cocktails and movies. Gone with the Gin: Cocktails with a Hollywood Twist follows Federle’s Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist and Hickory Daiquiri Dock: Cocktails with a Nursery Rhyme Twist.

Federle is also the author of the best-selling Better Nate Than Ever and Five Six Seven Nate. His kids book is called Tommy Can’t Stop. Before he was an author he was a dancer, performing on Broadway in Gypsy, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Little Mermaid, and Billy Elliot: The Musical.

  Following a near-fatal car accident, a world-famous novelist finds himself in a strange house being nursed back to health by his doting, self-proclaimed Number One Fan. But as her love for his work turns to dangerous obsession, he realizes he must plot his greatest story yet: how to escape with his life.

Stephen King’s novel, Misery, was adapted for the screen in 1990 directed by Rob Reiner and starring James Caan as Paul Sheldon and Kathy Bates as Annie Wilkes in an Academy Award and Golden Globe hobbling -- ahem, winning -- performance.

Misery is back in a new Broadway adaptation written by two-time Academy Award winner William Goldman with action film star Bruce Willis making his Broadway debut as Paul Sheldon and Laurie Metcalf picking up Annie Wilke’s bottles of Novril ... and sledgehammer.

Will Frears directs the production which is running at the Broadhurst Theatre in New York City through February 14th.

  Roundabout Theatre Company is celebrating its 50th Anniversary and today we wrap up a week-long series of interviews with Roundabout artists discussing this special season.

Next month, The American Airlines Theatre will become home to a host of backstage antics and slamming doors in Michael Frayn’s superb farce, Noises Off.

Jeremy Herrin directs a cast featuring Andrea Martin, Campbell Scott, Tracee Chimo, Daniel Davis, David Furr, Kate Jennings Grant,Rob McClure, Jeremy Shamos, and Megan Hilty.

Megan Hilty played Glinda in Wicked (on tour and on Broadway) and originated the role of Doralee Rhodes in the musical adaptation of 9 to 5. She has a great and growing concert career and portrayed Ivy Lynn, the upcoming diva that viewers loved to loathe on NBC’s Broadway musical series, Smash. She wil play Brooke Ashton in Noises Off.

Actors Gabriel Ebert, Matt Ryan, and Keira Knightley on stage in a small rowboat. The boat is in a pool of water upstage which makes it look like they are in a boat on a river.
Joan Marcus


  The Roundabout Theatre Company is celebrating its 50th Anniversary and this week we’re exploring its season with a series of interviews about current and shortly upcoming shows.

Matt Ryan plays Laurent in Thérèse Raquin which is currently running at Studio 54. The play is adapted by Helen Edmundson from the novel of the same title by Emile Zola. Evan Cabnet directs a cast that in addition to Matt Ryan features Tony Award winners Judith Light and Gabriel Ebert, and Keira Knightley making her Broadway debut.

  The Roundabout Theatre Company in New York City -- the largest not-for-profit theatre company in America -- is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this season. This week we’re highlighting some of their work.

Early next year, Roundabout will open a revival of She Loves Me. With a book by Joe Masteroff, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and music by Jerry Bock, She Loves Me is an adaptation of the Hungarian play, Parfumerie. The films The Shop Around the Corner and You’ve Got Mail used the same source material as this musical, which was first produced on Broadway in 1963.

In 1993, She Loves Me was the first musical Roundabout ever produced. It was directed by Scott Ellis and earned a Tony Award for Boyd Gaines and a Drama Desk Award for Best Revival of a Musical. Scott Ellis returns to helm this new production boasting a cast that includes Laura Benanti, Zachary Levi, Rene Auberjonois, Jane Krakowski, and Gavin Creel.

Creel originated the role of Jimmy in Thoroughly Modern Millie, for which he earned a Tony nomination. He played Claude in the 2009 revival of Hair, earning another Tony Nomination. He is currently playing Elder Price in The Book of Mormon and he’ll play Stephen Kodaly in She Loves Me.

Joan Marcus

  The Roundabout Theatre Company in New York City is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year and we are highlighting its work this week.

Roundabout produces work both on and Off-Broadway and at its Off-Broadway theater, The Laura Pels, Roundabout is currently presenting The Humans, a new play by Stephen Karam. Directed by Joe Mantello the show has announced a move from off to on Broadway next Spring -- with its current ensemble cast intact.

In the play, we join The Blakes - a solid Scranton family - as they celebrate Thanksgiving in their youngest daughter’s apartment in New York City. The family dynamic is strained and real. Karam’s writing is crisp, emotional, flip, and funny. The matriarch and patriarch of the family are played by Jane Houdyshell and Reed Birney, respectively.

  The Roundabout Theatre Company in New York City is celebrating its 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. It reaches 700,000 theatergoers, students, educators and artists across the country and around the world every year.

This week, we’ve teamed up with Roundabout for a series of interviews about its 50th Anniversary Season. We begin today with Todd Haimes, the company’s Artistic Director.

Haimes joined Roundabout in 1983 working as Executive Director until 1990 when he became Artistic Director. We speak with him here about hits, misses, longevity, and legacy.

  This Sunday, November 15th, The Paul Green Rock Academy will play a benefit concert for Maddie’s Mark at Bearsville Theater in Woodstock, NY. Doors are at 6 and the show is at 7.

Maddie’s Mark Foundation was established in early 2012 to honor Madeline Musto - a vibrant 5 year old who died after developing an inoperable brain stem tumor. The foundation's mission is to spread Madeline's spirit by providing opportunities, creating environments, and enabling children and families live a life of 'best days ever'. The foundations organizes a ‘best day ever’ -- a family's opportunity to see something, visit someone or go somewhere with their child that may not be possible without the organization’s help.

The Paul Green Rock Academy benefit this weekend will feature Gibby Haynes, Kate Pierson, the Paul Green Rock Academy Showband, and musician and actor, Fred Armisen. Ana Dooley is a girl from Kingston, NY -- and a fan of the IFC series, Portlandia. Through Maddie’s Mark Foundation, she had a “best day ever” experience meeting Armisen last year.

Fred Armisen was a stalwart and side-splitting cast member on Saturday Night Live from from 2002 until 2013 with more than 20 recurring characters including original characters and impressions of Prince, Barack Obama, Ira Glass, and David Paterson. He is the co-creator, with Carrie Brownstein, of the Peabody Award winning, Portlandia, and is the bandleader on Late Night with Seth Meyers.

Hudson State Park at Midnight
Paul Gallo

  There is a new Constellation in the night sky over the Hudson Highlands State Park.

On Pollepel Island about 1,000 feet off the shores of Beacon, NY and across the Hudson River from Storm King Mountain, the Bannerman Castle ruin - a property of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation - has inspired Beacon-based artist, Melissa McGill, to create and install "Constellation" - a sculpture and light creation made up of 17 40-80 foot poles with a solar-powered LED light globe at the top of each. As the sun sets each night for the next two years, McGill's Constellation will fade-in over Bannerman - joining the natural stars in the sky.

The companion book Constellation accompanies the installation, both as an extension and artifact of the project. The book is a visual and literary dialogue between artist Melissa McGill and several celebrated writers and poets, using the artwork as a springboard for inspiration and collaboration. Melissa will do a book talk and signing at The Cold Spring General Store in Cold Spring, NY on November 13th.

Earlier this year we met Melissa McGill and Bannerman Castle Trust member Tom Johnson at The Cornwall Yacht Club and we visited the island where we spoke with Melissa about this special celestial sculpture.

  Comedian, writer, and artisanal pencil sharpening entrepreneur, David Rees, is a Beacon, NY resident and the second season of his TV show, Going Deep with David Rees, will premiere on the Esquire Network this Wednesday at 10pm.

Going Deep is (to borrow from the opening sequence of the show) a how-to show for the things you think you already know how to do. The first season taught how to make an ice cube, tie your shoes, dig a hole, flip a coin, swat a fly, open a door, throw a paper airplane, light a match, climb a tree, and shake hands.

This season will bring us how to pet a dog, do the dishes, make toast, take a nap, sign your name, eavesdrop, and get punched.

  Each region of the country has its own distinctive history and culture that set it apart from others. The Capital Region of New York—consisting of Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady, and Saratoga Counties— is no different.

Last month, The Albany Institute of History and Art opened an exhibition celebrating the heritage of this area. The Capital Region in 50 Objects will be on view through April 3rd.

The exhibition was planned in partnership with the Times Union and was made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts. Additional funding was provided by the New York Council for the Humanities and the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area.

The Albany Institute of History and Art is just down the road from our studio in Albany. I went there to talk about the exhibition with Chief Curator Doug McCombs and Curator Diane Shewchuk.

  Experimental performance artist, composer and musician, Laurie Anderson’s new film, Heart of a Dog, will screen twice as part of FilmColumbia this weekend and will begin a run at Time and Space Limited in Hudson on November 6th.

The film is a meditation on life, perception, and stories. It talks about the loss of a much beloved pet and a less beloved parent. 

  The National Tour of The Book Of Mormon opens tonight at Proctors in Schenectady.

Hailed by The New York Times as "the best musical of this century" and the winner of nine Tony Awards, The Book of Mormon is the blockbuster Broadway smash from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and the Oscar-winning composer of Disney's Frozen and Avenue Q, Bobby Lopez.

David Larsen plays Elder Price in the show and he joins us to talk about the tour and his career.

FilmColumbia is a weeklong festival dedicated to showing world-class independent and international films. Hosted by Chatham Film Club, the festival consistently offers their audience early looks at films that go on to win critical approval and awards.

This year’s festival kicks-off on Monday, October 19th and runs through October 25th with films screening in Chatham and Hudson, NY.  Peter Biskind is the Executive Director and Co-programmer of FilmColumbia, he joins us now along with festival Director, Calliope Nicholas.

  The Cocoon Theatre’s Beckett Festival will take place in Poughkeepsie, NY October 16 - 25 and will include a production of Samuel Beckett’s "Happy Days" and two public symposia - "Why Beckett? Why Now?" on October 18 and a student symposium "Why Study the Arts?" on October 25.

Beckett scholar, David Tucker, will participate in the "Why Beckett? Why Now?" Symposium. He is a Research Fellow at the University of Chester where he has been working on a performance history project on Beckett and British drama.

  Tomorrow evening in the Recital Hall at the University at Albany, Morning Edition host David Greene and NPR reporter Yuki Noguchi will co-host an NPR Family Matters event, presented by WAMC and WMHT.

Together with Michelle Singletary, a nationally-syndicated personal finance columnist for The Washington Post, and financial planner Louis Barajas [lew-iss buh rah hass], they’ll tackle a number of topics, like paying for college, buying a home and saving for retirement. The event is free and open to the public.

  Joe Albany was a critically acclaimed but little known jazz pianist - one of the few white musicians to play bebop with Charlie Parker. His story is told in the film, Low Down - based on a memoir by Amy-Jo Albany, his daughter.

The film tells the story of a man torn between his musical ambition, his devotion to his teenage daughter, and his suffocating heroin addiction.

On Monday, September 28th at 7pm Amherst Cinema will present a screening of the film as part of their Jazz a la Mode film series.

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