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.

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  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.

http://www.broadwayworld.com/

  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 / vogue.com

  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.

parquetcourts.wordpress.com

  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. 

roundabouttheatre.org

  In Joshua Harmon’s new play, Significant Other, Jordan Berman would love to be in love, but until he meets Mr. Right, he wards off lonely nights with his trio of close-knit girlfriends. But as singles’ nights turn into bachelorette parties, Jordan finds that supporting the ones you love can be just as impossible as finding love itself. The play takes an often funny and alternately heartbreaking look at what it’s like to be single when all of your close friends are marrying themselves off (and even worse than that - sometimes having destination weddings that you attend, even though it destroys your budget).

The Roundabout Theatre Company production of Significant Other, directed by Trip Cullman, has been in previews for a few weeks and officially opens at The Laura Pels Theatre in New York City this coming Thursday night.

Roundabout Theatre Company’s relationship with Joshua Harmon began when his play Bad Jews was selected for the inaugural Roundabout Underground Reading Series for Emerging Playwrights in February 2012. The play then premiered at Roundabout Underground’s Black Box in Fall 2012, in a sold-out extended run and then moved upstairs to the 420-seat Laura Pels Theatre - where Significant Other is performed now.

We spoke with Joshua Harmon and Trip Cullman recently about Roundabout, the play, and working together.

  Every summer, Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, MA kicks off their main stage season with a musical.

This year, they present Man of La Mancha - book by Dale Wasserman, lyrics by Joe Darion and music by Mitch Leigh. It is adapted from Wasserman's non-musical 1959 teleplay I, Don Quixote, which was in turn inspired by Cervantes and his seventeenth-century masterpiece Don Quixote. The original Broadway production opened 50 years ago (1965) won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

The Barrington Stage production of Man of La Mancha is directed by fantastic BSC Artistic Director, Julianne Boyd with music direction by the incomparable Darren R. Cohen and features choreography by Greg Graham.

The show begins previews tonight and runs through July 11th. We are joined this morning by Julianne Boyd, Darren Cohen and cast members Jeff McCarthy, Felicia Boswell, and Tom Alan Robbins.

  The Mask You Live In follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America’s narrow definition of masculinity. The film debuted at Sundance this year.

The film will screen at The Berkshire International Film Festival on Saturday at 3pm at The Mahaiwe.

Jennifer Siebel Newsom is a CEO, filmmaker, and advocate. She wrote, directed, and produced the 2011 award-winning documentary Miss Representation and then launched The Representation Project, a non-profit organization established to awaken people’s consciousness, inspire individual and community action and ultimately, transform culture.

curiousonbroadway.com

 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is nominated for 6 Tony Awards including Best New Play. It’s been called “the most inventive new show on Broadway.” The acclaimed National Theatre production of the show won 7 Olivier Awards. It opened in New York in October and a national tour was recently announced.

Tony Award winner Marianne Elliott directs an adaptation by two-time Olivier Award winner Simon Stephens. Based on Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel, the drama follows Christopher — a 15-year-old mathematics savant with an often crippling antisocial disorder — as he pieces together clues to solve a neighborhood mystery and comes to a greater understanding of his own family.

  Berkshire based folk duo, Oakes and Smith, will play a concert this Saturday, May 30th at 4 p.m. at Ashintully Gardens in Tyringham, MA as a benefit for the Trustees of Reservations. Pianist, Zack Cross will join the duo.

Robert Oakes and Katherine Smith’s debut album, First Flight was mixed by Grammy-winning engineer Oz Fritz and released in November 2013.

BIFF - The Paper Trail

May 28, 2015

  The Paper Trail is screening at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, MA as part of the Berkshire International Film Festival on Sunday, May 3st at 1:30pm.

The documentary is about writers and people in the literary world talking about what they do, how they do it, what it means to them - and the future of writing and publishing. The talking-head style doc features luminaries and authors who are just starting out.

We are joined by the film’s director, Kelly Carty, and the co-director,  writer, and producer, Jonathan Bee.

  The Ne'imah Jewish Community Chorus 23rd annual concert will take place at The Linda on Sunday, June 7th at 7:30pm.

The title of this year’s concert is “Modern Traditions – A Salute to Contemporary Jewish Music” - and along that theme, contemporary Jewish composer, Noah Aronson will be on hand to perform solo and with the chorus. Noah’s music is now sung in progressive communities worldwide and has been included as part of the cantorial curriculum at the Hebrew Union College Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music.

Metroland 5/28/15

May 28, 2015

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

Jimmy Chin

  In the high-stakes game of big-wall climbing, the Shark’s Fin on Mount Meru may be the ultimate prize. Sitting at the headwaters of the sacred Ganges River in Northern India, the Shark’s Fin has seen more failed attempts by elite climbing teams over the past 30 years than any other ascent in the Himalayas.

The layout of the 21,000-foot mountain’s perversely stacked obstacles makes it both a nightmare and an irresistible calling for some of the world’s toughest climbers. Hauling over 200 pounds of gear up 4,000-feet of technical, snowy, mixed ice and rock climbing is actually the simple part of this endeavor. After crossing that gauntlet you reach the Shark’s Fin itself: 1,500 feet of smooth, nearly featureless granite. There are few pre-existing fissures, cracks or footwalls. It is simply a straight sheet of overhanging rock.

Joan Marcus

  Nominated for 10 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Something Rotten! tells the story of playwright brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom played by Brian D’Arcy James and John Cariani, who live in the shadow of that Renaissance rockstar known as “The Bard” - Christian Borle as a strutty Shakespeare who renders everyone he encounters utterly star-struck.

In his effort to overshadow Shakespeare, Nick Bottom seeks out a soothsayer (played by Brad Oscar) who foretells that the future of theater involves singing, dancing and acting at the same time, Nick and Nigel set out to write the world’s very first musical!

John Cariani  - a playwright and actor who has worked often in our region - steals Something Rotten! with his endearing nerdiness - his character is a sincere, sweet, Shakespeare fan-boy.

Terry Shapiro

  The National Tour of Pippin is at Proctors in Schenectady this week - opening tonight and running through Sunday. The 2013 Tony Award winner for Best Musical Revival with a beloved score by Tony nominee Stephen Schwartz tells the story of a young prince on a death-defying journey to find meaning in his existence.

This production is directed by Tony winner Diane Paulus and features sizzling choreography in the style of Bob Fosse and breathtaking acrobatics by Les 7 Doigts De La Main.

John Rubinstein plays Charlemagne in the production - he played the title role of Pippin in the original Broadway production in 1972. Rubinstein is a film, stage, and television actor and director and a composer of film and theatre music. He does it all and he joins us to talk about returning to Pippin's corner of the stage.

Joan Marcus

In The Way We Get By, a new play by Neil LaBute, Beth and Doug wake up after a hook up and deal with the conversation and consequences that sometimes entails. The show is running At the Second Stage Theater in New York City through June 21st.*

Thomas Sadoski plays Doug. Sadoski is a stage and screen actor - in 2011 he originated the role of 'Trip Wyeth' in Jon Robin Baitz's Other Desert Cities for which he won an Obie Award and Lucille Lortel Award. He’s worked often on and off-Broadway in New York, as well as appearing all over the country and the world - including in our backyard at New York Stage and FIlm’s Powerhouse season at Vassar and return engagements at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. On screen, recent credits include - HBO’s The Newsroom and the film, Wild.

Thomas Sadoski speaks with us about returning to the work of certain playwrights, pre-performance energey on stage and on screen, and about his love of the Williamstown Theatre Festival.

  Brandi Carlile is playing the Palace Theatre in Albany on May 23rd. Her indie debut with longtime collaborators, The Hanseroth twins, The Firewatcher’s Daughter was released March 3rd on ATO Records.

It debuted in the Top 10 on the Billboard 200, NPR Fresh Air deemed it “her best yet," and it garnered raves from the NY Times, LA Times, Billboard, and more.

Here we share portions of a number of songs from the album and speak with Brandi about songwriting, touring, the Looking Out Foundation, and meeting the President.

  On the Twentieth Century is a luxurious madcap musical with book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green and music by Cy Coleman - The Roundabout Theatre Company production of which is currently running at The American Airlines Theatre in New York City starring Kristin Chenoweth, Peter Gallagher, Mark Lin Baker, Michael McGrath, Mary Louise Wilson, and our guest, Andy Karl. The new Broadway cast recording was released this week on P.S. Classics.

Joan Marcus / AP

  The Audience is a play written by Peter Morgan, directed by Stephen Daldry, and starring Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth the II. It opened in the West End in 2013 earning Olivier Awards for Mirren and one of her co-stars, Richard McCabe. McCabe portrays Harold Wilson who was a British Labour Party politician and served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1964 to 1970 and 1974 to 1976.

In The Audience, Peter Morgan has written imagined conversations between the Queen and her Prime Ministers during their weekly private meetings in Buckingham Palace. The play floats from year to year and decade to decade making use of theatre and costume quick-change magic and, of course, the skill of tremendous performers.

The Audience, now running on Broadway through June 28, is nominated for three Tony Awards - one for Dame Mirren, one for Bob Crowley for his costume design, and one for our guest, Richard McCabe.

Joan Marcus

  Airline Highway, by Lisa D’Amour, is an ode to the outcasts that make life a little more interesting. In the parking lot of The Hummingbird, a once-glamorous motel on New Orleans’ infamous Airline Highway, a group of friends gather. A rag-tag collection of strippers, hustlers and philosophers have come together to celebrate the life of Miss Ruby, an iconic burlesque performer who has requested a funeral before she dies.

Directed by Joe Mantello, Manhattan Theatre Club’s presentation of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s production of Airline Highway is running at the Samuel J. Friedman theatre in New York City through June 7th.

The play co-stars K. Todd Freeman as Sissy Nana. Freeman has been a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago since 1993. The Obie Award winning theatre, television, and film actor has earned a Tony Award nomination - his second - for Best Performance for an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play for his performance.

  Signature Sounds' first CD came out in 1995 and the lable has seen over 150 releases since then, moving into show promoting, opening a venue in Northampton, MA, overseeing frequent collaborations between its artists, and taking over the long-running music and hot air ballooning gathering of the Green River Festival.

Earlier this Spring they released “Signature Sounds 20th Anniversary Collection: Rarities from The Second Decade” - an album of previously unreleased songs from Signature Sounds artists - a mix-tape lovingly prepared for you by the label. Jim Olsen is the President of Signature Sounds and he joins us to talk about the label's history and future.

Andrew Eccles

  Last week, God finally came to Studio 54 in New York City as the new comedy An Act of God began previews. For the play, God has take the form or four-time Emmy and Golden Globe Award winning actor, Jim Parsons.

Based on the critically acclaimed book The Last Testament: A Memoir by God, this new play was written by David Javerbaum (who also wrote the book and runs @TheTweetofGod Twitter account) and directed by two-time Tony Award winner Joe Mantello. It features God and two of his angels (Michael and Gabriel - in the forms of Christopher Fitzgerald and Tim Kazurinsky).

David Javerbaum is a 13-time Emmy-winning former head writer and executive producer of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He is also a Tony-nominated lyricist whose collaborations with songwriter Adam Schlesinger include the Broadway musical Cry-Baby and the Grammy-winning songs for Stephen Colbert's Christmas special The Greatest Gift of All. He created the talk show No, You Shut Up! with Henson Studios, hosted by Paul F. Tompkins for Fusion and he is currently a producer for CBS’ The Late Late Show with James Corden.

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