Sarah LaDuke


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 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.


  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.

  New York Stage and Film and Vassar College's first Powerhouse mainstage show of this summer is Keith Byunin's The Unbuilt City. The production opened last night and runs through July 12th.

The show stars Beth Dixon and Carter Hudson and is directed by Tony Award nominee, Sean Mathias.

Writer, actor, and director, Sean Mathias directed the film Bent and numerous acclaimed plays all over the world - including London, New York City, Cape Town, Sydney, and Los Angeles.

Ky DiGregorio

  Chad strives to find his 15 minutes of fame, and discovers what he is really looking for along the way.

Based on the experience of Steve Rubell, co-owner of the New York City disco, Studio 54, 15 Minutes: A New Musical will be part of this weekend’s Reading Festival at New York Stage and Film and Vassar College’s Powerhouse Theater.

The show has a book by Rick Elice and music and lyrics by Stephen Trask and Peter Yanowitz.

The reading at Powerhouse stars Michael C. Hall, Derek Klena and Tony-Award winner for her portral of Yitzak in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Lena Hall - who joins us to talk about rock, readings, choosing her path, and her love of Stephen Trask.

Sean Thomas /

  Stephen Belber’s new play, The Dizzy Little Dance of Russell DiFinaldi, will be part of New York Stage and Film and Vassar College’s Powerhouse Theater’s Reading Festival this weekend.

A sprawling modern American epic about Russell DiFinaldi and his brother Jerry, two men trying to figure out what it means to do good in the world. David Cromer directs the reading and it stars Finn Wittrock.

Wittrock co-starred on American Horror Story: Freak Show and on HBO’s The Normal Heart. He was also in the most recent Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman.

  Established in 2010, the Solid Sound Festival kicks off at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA tomorrow evening. The art and music festival is curated by Chicago-based rock band, Wilco, and even now they are in the area rehearsing while countless excellent people put the finishing touches on what is sure to be an amazing weekend of eclectic music, eye-popping art, world-class comedy, food, friends, and fun.

Wilco will play a special acoustic set on Friday night, a plugged-in set on Saturday night, and then Jeff Tweedy’s still-pretty-new band, Tweedy, will play a concert with friends to wrap up the festival on Sunday.

Jeff and his son - and skilled drummer - Spencer formed Tweedy last year and released an album, Sukierae, in September. Spencer has also played drums on albums produced by Jeff over the last few years including Mavis Staples’ One True Vine.

I sat down with them in North Adams yesterday to talk with Jeff and Spencer and was struck by their congenial and respectful their relationship is -- and thrilled to also note good-natured ribbing. To borrow a Wilco title - they have The Whole Love - it’s contagious and it’s cool. Just like Solid Sound.

  The next in our series of Solid Sound Festival interviews features Parquet Courts. The indie rock, post-punk band based in Brooklyn, New York formed in late 2010. The band’s members are A. Savage, Austin Brown, Sean Yeaton, and Max Savage.

They’ll perform on Saturday at Solid Sound.

  The Solid Sound Festival returns to MASS MoCA this weekend. The Richard Thompson Trio will play in Joe’s Field on Saturday.

Named by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the Top 20 Guitarists of All Time, Richard Thompson is also one of the world’s most critically acclaimed and prolific songwriters. He has received Lifetime Achievement Awards for Songwriting on both sides of the Atlantic. In 2011, Thompson was the recipient of the Order of the British Empire - personally bestowed upon him by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. Most recently, the Americana Music Honors & Awards nominated him for “Artist of the Year”.

Yesterday his new album, Still, was released yesterday on Fantasy Records. The album was recorded in The Wilco Loft in Chicago and is produced by Wilco front-man Jeff Tweedy.

Joan Marcus

  Hedwig and the Angry Inch is the story of an East German transsexual who moves to America after a botched sex change operation. As the show begins, Hedwig is performing in concert and recounting her life story: childhood abuse, a disastrous marriage to an American soldier and, after being plunked down alone in Kansas, a doomed romantic and songwriting partnership with a Christian teen who becomes a rock star. Hedwig remains obsessed with this former love, Tommy Gnosis, and follows him on the road, accompanied by her loyal new husband, Yitzhak.

Hedwig and The Angry Inch opened on Broadway in April of 2014 with Neil Patrick Harris as Hedwig and Lena Hall as Yitzhak. Both won Tony Awards for their performances and the show won Best Revival of a Musical. The show ran off-Broadway to much acclaim in the late 90s and was made into a movie that was released in 2001.

The book of the show is by John Cameron Mitchell, and the music and lyrics are by Stephen Trask. In the year plus that the show has been running, Hedwig has been played by - in addition to NPH - Andrew Rannells, Michael C. Hall, and the afore John Cameron Mitchell. Hedwig is currently played by Darren Criss, Taye Diggs will take over the role in late July.

Yitzak has been played by the incredible Rebecca Naomi Jones since April of this year. Rebecca’s other Broadway credits include Passing Strange and American Idiot - off-Broadway she appeared in This Beautiful City, Wig Out! and Murder Ballad.

The Solid Sound Festival will take place at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA this coming Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The family-friendly music and art festival is curated by the rock-band Wilco and each day this week on The Roundtable we are speaking with one of the featured artists.

Today, we welcome Terry Adams from NRBQ. The band will play in Courtyard D on Saturday afternoon. NRBQ was founded in 1967. They are known for its live performances, containing a high degree of spontaneity and levity, and blending rock, pop, jazz, blues and Tin Pan Alley styles. With a varied career and many think outside-the-box projects, NRBQ has made music and had fun doing it for almost 50 years.

  This Friday, the 2015 Solid Sound Festival will kick off at MASS MoCA in North Adams MA. The music and art festival is curated by the rock-band Wilco, a Grammy award winning group that has been trying to break your heart and loving you, baby, for 20 years.

On Saturday The Hunter Center at MASS MoCA will host "John Hodgman's Big Time Comedy Thing" with an astounding line-up of amazing comedy acts including Hodgman himself and Tig Notaro, Jessica Williams, improv group Superego and Paul F. Tompkins. (Lest ye fret about comedy not working in the midday summer sun - know that the Hunter Center is indoors and is perfect for stand-up, sketch, and improv.)

Paul F. Tompkins' career launched from writing and acting on HBO’s Mr. Show with Bob and David. His television work includes hosting gigs and guest appearances on just about everything funny and he's the host of the Dead Authors Podcast, a new Earwolf Podcast called Spontaneanation and regularly appears on Comedy Bang Bang and Thrilling Adventure Hour. It's safe to call him a staple of the comedy-podcast genre (which we're here to assure you is a real thing). He hosts No, You Shut Up! on Fusion, and the web-series Speakeasy for Made Man.

  There is nothing like a Tanglewood Picnic.

The expansive lawn at the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra brings people together to enjoy some of the best music in the world at one of the most beautiful places in the world and - as if that weren’t perfect enough - when enjoying a concert from the lawn you can bring your favorite food and drink and enjoy it all in the Summer sun or under the stars.

The experience is captured in Gina Hyams new book, The Tanglewood Picnic: Music and Outdoor Feasts in the Berkshires which is published on Gina’s new imprint, Muddy Puppy Media.