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 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.

Metroland 9/17/2015

Sep 17, 2015

 Shawn Stone, the Arts Editor of Metroland, lets us know what is coming to area stages and screens this week.

  Alison Brown has achieved success in many areas: a Harvard graduate, record label co-founder and owner, mother, and, the role that most people know her in: banjo virtuoso.

She’ll be at The FreshGrass Bluegrass Festival at MASS MoCA this weekend - involved in workshops, contests, concerts, FreshScores, and The Man in Grass: a bluegrass tribute to Johnny Cash.

  Fresh off celebrating their 30th anniversary as one of the most beloved bands in alt-rock history, Yo La Tengo is releasing Stuff Like That There on Matador Records. The album comes out this week and the band will go on tour next month, starting September 23rd at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall.

Stuff Like That There is a conceptual sequel to YLT’s 1990 album, Fakebook. The fourteen song record features two new tunes, three re-arranged and recorded Yo La Tengo songs, and nine covers.

The trio of Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley and James McNew reunite with former member Dave Schramm on electric guitar and the album is produced by Fakebook’s producer, Gene Holder.

Ira Kaplan and James McNew join us.

  Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1 (Portrait of the Artist's Mother) by James McNeill Whistler is one of the most renowned works of art by an American artist. It is considered by many to be the most important American painting not on American soil.

Better known as Whistler’s Mother, the painting has been owned by the French state since 1891 and is in the collection of the Musée d'Orsay in Paris. The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, presents the painting as the centerpiece of an exhibition on view at the Lunder Center at Stone Hill through September 27th.

Jay Clark, The Clark’s Manton Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs takes us on a tour of the exhibition.

Ted Leo At MASS MoCA

Aug 21, 2015

  From his early adventures in the hardcore scene of 1980s NYC, to his beloved band Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, to his recent duo project with Aimee Mann called The Both, Ted Leo has distinguished himself as a unique presence in the indie music world: a cerebral punk with an ear for power pop, equally at home ripping into a crunchy-guitared anthemic call to arms, or belting out a sweet melody.

Ted Leo will play a solo show at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA tonight at 8 o'clock.

HIROYUKI ITO/GETTY / www.newyorker.com

  Nico Muhly is a composer of chamber music, orchestral music, sacred music, opera, ballet, and music for collaborators across a variety of fields.

Earlier this year The Philadelphia Orchestra, under the direction of Yannick Nezet-Seguin premiered a commissioned piece from Muhly entitled “Mixed Messages.”

They will be playing it this Saturday night at SPAC in a program that also includes works by Glazunov, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, and Tchaikovsky.

Dirty Sugar Photography

  The CENTER for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck will present Alice Ripley in concert this Saturday at their annual gala. Jennifer Damiano will join her.

The Tony-Award winning actress is a true Broadway icon whose credits include the original casts of The Who’s Tommy, Sunset Boulevard, Side Show, and the Pulitzer Prize winning musical, Next to Normal (for which she won her Tony Award).

We speak with her here about those shows and more.

  The final mainstage production of this summer’s Williamstown Theatre Festival line-up began previews last night. Artistic Director Mandy Greenfield’s inaugural season ends with Eugene O’Neill’s final masterpiece, A Moon for the Misbegotten. The show will run in Williamstown through August 23rd.

Gordon Edelstein, Artistic Director at the Long Warf Theatre in New Haven, is directing and brings years of O’Neill experience to this invigorating look at what he calls “one of the great sad love stories in modern dramatic literature.”

A Moon for the Misbegotten stars Audra McDonald as Josie Hogan and Will Swenson as James Tyrone Jr. Married couple McDonald and Swenson are two of the best and most in-demand actors working today. Swenson recently left the Broadway revival of Les Miserables after playing Javert for more than a year, other New York credits include Murder Ballad, Little Miss Sunshine, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and the acclaimed Public Theater production of Hair which ran off-broadway, moved to Broadway for a summer of love, and toured the country. Will was nominated for a Tony Award for his portrayal of Berger. He is also a film director.

Audra McDonald has won a record 6 Tony Awards - one for her work in each of the following: Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun, Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, and Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill. She is the only person to have won one in each acting category. She’s also a television and film actress, featured in the new Meryl Streep movie, Ricki and the Flash, written by Diablo Cody and directed by Jonathan Demme.

Shervin Lainez

  Duncan Sheik and Kyle Jarrow’s new musical, Noir, is the final Martel Musical of New York Stage and Film and Vassar College’s Powerhouse Theater season. Sheik and Jarrow previously worked together on the musical Whisper House.

Noir tells the tale of a heartbroken man in LA who discovers and involves himself in a mystery unfolding just beyond his paper-thin walls.

Duncan Sheik joins us to talk about Noir; the Deaf West Theatre production of Spring Awakening (his Tony Award winning show penned with Steven Sater) coming to Broadway in the fall and about his musical version of American Psycho (with book by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa) which comes to Broadway early in 2016.

  Yesterday marked the 125th anniversary of the death of artist Vincent van Gogh.

For van Gogh, nature was the defining subject of his art. Over the course of his short but intense working life, Van Gogh studied and depicted nature in all its forms and there is a fantastic and extensive exhibition of this work at The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown Massachusetts through September 13th.

The exhibition is curated by Richard Kendall - our guide on this audio tour.

  At their childhood home after their mother’s funeral, Nate gets high and Jeremy focusses on work waiting for him in the city -- both brothers trying to send their minds anywhere but where they are.

This is the starting point of A Little More Alive - a Musical Theatre Lab production currently running on Barrington Stage Company’s St. Germain Stage in Pittsfield, MA through August 8th.

The musical, directed by Sheryl Kaller and featuring actors Van Hughes, Daniel Jenkins, Nicolette Robinson, Michael Tacconi, and Emily Walton, tells the story of dealing not only with the devastation of loss but the revelation that the person who has died had a secret. A secret that warps all of their memories of her and both monumental and mundane moment in their lives.

Nick Blaemire wrote the show - book, music, and lyrics. We speak with him here about the process.

  The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice promotes the human voice as an instrument of healing, peace and artistic expression through presenting world class performances in Phoenicia, New York and surrounding areas.

This year’s festival - running July 29-August 2 - will be a Celebration of the Diverse Voices of America. We are joined by world renowned opera singers, Executive Director Maria Todaro and Artistic Director Louis Otey. 

Paul Fox / courtesy Williamstown Theatre Festival

  

In a haunting new musical created by writer Daniel Goldstein, Obie Award-winning composer Michael Friedman, and director Trip Cullman, Ellen Rabinowitz sets out to understand her past after she discovers an enigmatic photograph while cleaning out her deceased grandmother’s home in Troy, NY.

As she chases the truth about the soldier featured in the photo, Ellen is drawn into a tangle of historical facts and mysteries that lead her to surprising love stories and unexpected truths.

The world premier musical, Unknown Soldier, will run on The Nikos Stage at The Williamstown Theatre Festival in Williamstown, MA July 30th through August 9th.

We are joined at The Linda by cast-members Lauren Worsham, Jessica Phillips, and Clara Young as well as composer and lyricist, Michael Friedman and Music Director, Marco Paguia.

Bill Westermoreland

  Jim Caruso made his Broadway debut alongside Liza Minnelli in the smash hit Liza’s At The Palace! The show was honored with a 2009 Tony Award for Best Special Event and the recording was nominated for a Grammy.

For his nightclub work, Caruso has won six MAC Awards and two BackStage Magazine Bistro Awards for sold-out shows all over New York City.

  Now through August 2nd, New York Stage and Film and Vassar College’s Powerhouse theatre presents The Light Years, a new play by award-winning play-making company The Debate Society.

Spanning 40 years and set at the Chicago World’s Fair, The Light Years has been developed over several years through the unique collaboration process The Debate Society Members writer/performer Hannah Bos, writer/performer Paul Thureen, and director/developer Oliver Butler.

Oliver Butler’s recent directing credits include Will Eno’s The Open House at the Signature Theatre Company - for which he won an OBIE Award for Direction; the New York City Center Encores! Off-Center production of Jonathan Larson’s Tick, Tick, Boom starring Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr. and Karen Olivo and the world premieres of Daniel Goldfarb’s Legacy at the Williamstown Theatre Festival - which was part on their Nikos Stage mere days ago.

He joins us to talk about The Light Years, what is required from a director for a quick switch between projects, and audiences' intense reaction to musicals.

  Tonight through Sunday, Vassar & New York Stage and Film's Powerhouse Theater presents a staged-reading of Rain - a new musical with book by Sybille Pearson and music and lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa. The musical is based on a 1920s short-story by Somerset Maugham and is directed by Barry Edelstein. Two stars of this weekend’s performances join us now - Jennifer Westfeldt and Jason Danieley.

Jennifer Westfeldt is a Tony Award nominee for her work in Wonderful Town. She’s also the writer and star of the indie-hit film Kissing Jessica Stein and the writer, director, and star of the film Friends with Kids. In addition to performing in Rain while in Poughkeepsie, Jennifer is also mentoring as part of Powerhouse’s eight-day Filmmakers' Workshop.

Jason Danieley played Frederich Kuhn in the recently closed Kander and Ebb musical The Visit on Broadway - a role he also played last summer at The Williamstown Theatre Festival. His other Broadway credits include Next to Normal, Curtains!, Full Monty, and Candide. Jason also frequently performs as a soloist with the nation’s leading orchestras.

  Matilda: The Musical - based on the book by Roald Dahl, opened at The Shubert Theatre in April of 2013. There have been over 900 Broadway performances of Tim Minchin’s delightfully dense lyrics and memorable melodies. The book of the musical is by Dennis Kelly and it’s directed by Matthew Warchus.

Christopher Sieber vaulted into the role of the horrible, nasty headmistress, Miss Agatha Trunchbull in April of 2014.

Sieber’s previous Broadway credits include Beauty and The Beast, Chicago, Triumph of Love, Thoroughly Modern Millie, the 2002 revival of Into the Woods, Spamalot, Shrek: The Musical, the 2010 revival of La Cage aux Folles, and the most recent revival of Pippin. He earned Tony Award nominations for Shrek and Spamalot.

He’s appeared in films and on television - though notably not on any incarnation of Law & Order. He frequently works with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, performing in Broadway Bares and emceeing at The Broadway Flea Market. He’ll be at this year’s Broadway Barks on July 11th.

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