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Broadway legend Patti LuPone will appear at two events in the Capital Region this week. 

On Thursday, April 26 she will join Joe Donahue in a Creative Life conversation about Ms. LuPone’s career and devotion to the arts and high standards therein. The conversation will take place at Page Hall on UAlbany's downtown campus at 7 p.m. The Creative Life series is a major arts initiative of the New York State Writers Institute, UAlbany Performing Arts Center and University Art Museum in conjunction with WAMC Northeast Public Radio.

On Friday, April 27, Ms. LuPone will perform "Don't Monkey With Broadway" at Proctors in Schenectady at 8 p.m. "Don’t Monkey with Broadway" features music by the likes of Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, Jule Styne, Stephen Schwartz, Charles Strouse, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Cole Porter and Irving Berlin.

This Saturday, April 28, Linda Lavin and Steve Bakunas will present "Portrait Of An Artist" at 5 p.m. in a benefit performance for the Spencertown Academy Arts Center.

The event features Lavin and Bakunas in a 90-minute intimate evening during which she answers questions about her life and career, posed by her husband, while he paints her portrait on stage. An evening of warmth, romance, humor and nostalgia, the couple has previously performed the program at venues around the country.

Book Cover - My Adventures With God
Amazon

From legendary character actor Stephen Tobolowsky, who currently appears on "The Goldbergs" and HBO’s "Silicon Valley," and Norman Lear’s new "One Day at a Time," author of "The Dangerous Animals Club" and The Tobolowsky Files podcast; "My Adventures with God" is a funny, introspective collection about love, catastrophe, and triumph, all told through the lens of his evolving relationship with the mystery that is “God.”

As Tobolowsky explains, “It’s hard to believe in nothing. Even cats believe in suppertime. As much as we love certainty, we are often shaped by the invisible, the unexplainable—something we call faith. We are inclined to acknowledge the holy. Even if it is only a paper heart we find in an old suitcase.”

Eileen Schuyler, Yvonne Perry, and Brenny Rabine in "Blithe Spirit" at TheRep
Capital Repertory Theatre Facebook page

The classic Noël Coward comedy, Blithe Spirit, is being produced at The REP, through May 6th, directed by Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill, and featuring three of the region's best known Equity actresses: Yvonne Perry, Brenny Rabine and Eileen Schuyler, together on stage for the first time.

In the play, we meet cantankerous novelist Charles Condomine, re-married to Ruth but haunted (literally) by the ghost of his late first wife, the clever and insistent Elvira who has been conjured up by a visiting “happy medium.”

To tell us more – we welcome actors Yvonne Perry (Elvira) and Eileen Schuyler (Madame Arcati).

"Paris Time" At TheRep

Feb 2, 2018

Capital Reparatory Theatre is currently presenting, "Paris Time," a drama that looks behind the headlines at anti-semitism in today’s France. The world premiere production by Steven Peterson is directed by Gordon Greenberg and runs through February 18.

When Deborah, the wife of a successful American executive based in Paris, becomes an activist defending a young Jewish Frenchwoman, Charles gets caught in the corporate hot seat. Company policy demands him to withdraw from the political limelight or lose his career, but if he won’t get involved, he may lose his marriage.

Jenny Ashman plays Reina in the show and Wally Dunn plays Martin and is making his Capital Rep debut in "Paris Time."

John Cariani in "The Band's Visit"
Matthew Murphy / Playbill.com

The new musical, "The Band’s Visit," is currently running at The Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Broadway. Based on the film of the same name, "The Band’s Visit" features music and lyrics by David Yazbek, book by Itamar Moses, and is directed by David Cromer. The New York Times called the show “One of the most ravishing musicals you will ever be seduced by.”

The Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra is traveling from Egypt to play a concert in Petah Tikva, Israel but after language confusion at the border end up in Beit Hatikva - a small city where civic pride is low.

Without a means of transportation out of town until the morning, the band is begrudgingly taken in by the locals.

John Cariani plays Itzik, one of the citizens of Beit Hatikva and he joins us. Cariani’s previous Broadway credits include “Something Rotten!” and the 2004 revival of “Fiddler on the Roof.” He’s also performed at nearly all of the regional theatres in our area you can think of and as a playwright is responsible for the praised and oft-produced plays, “Almost, Maine;” “Last Gas;” “Love/Sick;” and “cul-de-sac.”

John Bolton as Vlad in "Anastasia"
Dave Mack / https://www.franbro.com


  The Broadway musical "Anastasia" features a book by celebrated playwright Terrence McNally and a lush, new score by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens; Tony Award-winning director Darko Tresnjak directs. Inspired by the beloved films with the same title, "Anastasia" transports audiences from the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s, as Anya sets out to discover the mystery of her past aided by conmen Dmitry and Vlad - who attempt to teach Anya how to embody the missing princess, Anastasia Romanov.

 

Vlad is played on Broadway by our guest, John Bolton, whose previous Broadway credits include "Dames at Sea," "A Christmas Story," "Curtains," "Monty Python’s Spamalot," "Contact," "Titanic," "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" and "Damn Yankees."

Broadway Cast Of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater
Sara Krulwich / The New York Times


  The new Broadway adaptation of Roald Dahl’s beloved “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” which opening in New York City last April will end its run on January 14.

 

The show is directed by Jack O’Brien and features a book by David Greig, original music Marc Shaiman, and lyrics by Shaiman and Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman. Kathy Fitzgerald plays Mrs. Gloop - the mother of Augustus one of the ill-fated golden-ticket holding visitors to Mr. Wonka’s fantastical factory.

 

Fitzgerald’s previous Broadway credits include “Swinging on a Star,” “The Producers,” “Wicked,” and “9 to 5.”

Actor Lucas Hedges was nominated for an Academy Award for his work in "Manchester by The Sea" last year. He is in two films currently in theaters, Greta Gerwig's "Lady Bird" and Martin McDonagh's "Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri."

Wilson Bethel and Alex Mickiewicz in The Roundabout Theatre Company production of  "The Last Match"
Joan Marcus

In Anna Ziegler’s new play, “The Last Match,” Tim Porter and Sergei Sergeyev face-off in the semifinals of the US Open: Porter a statesman of the game, Sergeyev an up-and-comer show with unharnessed potential.

Gaye Taylor Upchurch directs “The Last Match” for Roundabout Theatre Company where it runs at The Laura Pels Theatre through December 23rd.

Alex Mickiewicz plays Sergei Sergeyev. His previous work with Roundabout includes the recent Broadway productions of “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” and “Therese Raquin.”

Ward Horton, Jack DiFalco, Michael Urie, Mercedes Ruehl in "Torch Song" at Second Stage Theater
Joan Marcus


  “Torch Song Trilogy” is a collection of three plays by Harvey Fierstein rendered in three acts: “International Stud,” “Fugue in a Nursery,” and “Widows and Children First!” The story centers on Arnold Beckoff, a Jewish homosexual, drag queen, and torch singer who lives in New York City in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In its original incarnation, the trilogy was first produced in those same decades with its Broadway production opening in June of 1982 and running until May of 1985. The show earned Tony Awards for Best Play and Best Actor in a Play for Fierstein.

Fierstein has recently adapted his work into a shorter version entitled “Torch Song” which is running at Second Stage Theatre on 43rd Street in New York City through December 9. The production, directed by Moisés Kaufman, features Jack DiFalco, Roxanna Hope Radja, Michael Rosen, Mercedes Ruehl, Michael Urie, and our guest, Ward Horton.

 

Horton is best known for playing Dr. Scott Strauss on CBS’ “Pure Genius” and was the male lead in the horror film “Annabelle.” He plays Ed in “Torch Song.”

In the new film “Lady Bird,” Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson - played by Saoirse Ronan - fights against but is exactly like her deeply opinionated and strong-willed mom, a nurse working tirelessly to keep her family afloat after Lady Bird's father loses his job.

Saoirse Ronan is a two-time Academy Award nominee; receiving a Best Supporting Actress nomination for “Atonement,” and a Best Actress nomination for “Brooklyn.” “Lady Bird” was written and directed by Greta Gerwig has already been named one of the best films of the year. It opens locally today. 

In 1919 Britain, Mrs. Conway is full of optimism during her daughter’s lavish twenty-first birthday celebration. The Great War is over, wealth is in the air, and the family’s dreams bubble over like champagne. Nineteen years later, though, the Conways’ lives have transformed unimaginably.

"Time and the Conways" is a time-jumping play by J.B. Priestley that takes place at the crossroads of today and tomorrow. Tony winner Rebecca Taichman directs "Time and the Conways" for Roundabout Theatre Company. The production runs through November 26 at The American Airlines Theater.

The play stars Elizabeth McGovern, Anna Camp, and our guests, Steven Boyer and Gabriel Ebert.

He has dazzled audiences of theater, television and film for decades and has earned two Tony Awards, two Daytime Emmy Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and numerous other accolades and nominations. The incomparable Nathan Lane will be live on stage for an evening of conversation and Q&A at Proctors on November 10th. 

The evening will begin with a showing of one of his most defining and hilarious films, "The Birdcage," followed by a live moderated discussion.

Alan Alda At Proctors

Nov 7, 2017

Alan Alda is an actor, director, screenwriter, author and seven-time Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award winner. He is widely known for playing Captain Hawkeye Pierce in the TV series "M*A*S*H," hosting "Scientific American Frontiers," and playing Arnold Vinick on "The West Wing."

A lifelong lover of science, Alda would like everyday people and science to shake hands. Just as he knew to get to a doctor, because of what his body was telling him, Alda believes that people should have an easier time understanding and relating to science. So aside from hosting PBS specials for over two decades, Alda has helped found the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, where scientists learn the communicative skills to help the world understand science better without all the jargon.

Alan Alda will be at Proctors in Schenectady, NY on Thursday, November 9 presenting a program entitled "Getting Beyond A Blind Date with Science."

Kate Shindle in Fun Home
Joan Marcus

The musical Fun Home has been called “groundbreaking,” “exquisite” and “unforgettable” - winning five 2015 Tony Awards including Best Musical and making history along the way. 

Based on Alison Bechdel’s best-selling graphic memoir, Fun Home introduces us to Alison at three different ages as she explores and unravels the many mysteries of her childhood.

Kate Shindle is a former Miss America, the current President of Actor’s Equity and is now starring as Alison Bechdel in the touring production of Fun Home - now playing at Proctors through November 5th.


  It’s summer on Sway Lake, the most glamorous lake in the Adirondacks - former playground of the jazz-age New York aristocracy. Music collector Ollie Sway recruits his only friend, a rowdy Russian drifter, to help him steal a 78 record from his own family’s estate. Ollie believes that this mysterious piece of music was hidden for him by his father before his suicide. The boys’ mission should be as easy, but the arrival of the Charlotte “Charlie” Sway - Ollie’s Grandmother - changes everything.

 

Directed by Ari Gold and co-written by Gold and Elizabeth Bull, The Song Of Sway Lake will screen at The Woodstock Playhouse as part of The Woodstock Film Festival on Sunday at 2:15.

 

Mary Beth Peil plays Charlie Sway and she joins us now. Piel is a venerated actor of stage and screen. She started her career in opera and currently plays The Dowager Empress in Anastasia on Broadway.

Griffin Dunne
Chronogram Magazine

Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold is a biographical documentary featuring the life of influential American writer, Joan Didion. Directed by Joan's nephew, Griffin Dunne, the film enlightens the viewer with an unprecedented, intimate perspective on Joan's life and career accomplishments.

The film features interviews from Joan herself, as well as close family and friends, interwoven with contextual archival footage/stills to visualize Joan's astute writing. Joan, famous for bringing order to disorder through her words, exposes, examines and divulges the most pivotal events in American history, making her one of the most recognizable and influential voices within the literary world. The story of this film not only considers Joan Didion the writer, but gives light to Joan Didion, the individual. 

The film will be screened at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck, NY on October 13th at 5:45pm as part of the Woodstock Film Festival with a Q & A to follow with Griffin Dunne. 


  The 2017 Woodstock Film Festival begins tomorrow and will feature documentary and narrative films, panels, and parties in the Hudson Valley through the 15th. The new musical film, Stuck, directed by Michael Berry, will screen at the Woodstock Playhouse tomorrow at 7pm and at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck on the 14th at 9:30pm.

 

In Stuck, six strangers trapped together on a stalled New York City subway car confront their assumptions of one another under the scrutinizing eye of Lloyd, a mysterious homeless man, played by Giancarlo Esposito.

 

Esposito is likely best known for his roles in Spike Lee films such as Do the Right Thing, School Daze, and Mo' Better Blues. Other notable films include Fresh, The Usual Suspects, and King of New York. He plays Gustavo “Gus” Fring on Breaking Bad and its spin-off Better Call Saul.

When Ethan, a hotshot twenty-something blogger ends up snowed-in at a Bed and Breakfast with failed novelist Olivia, sparks fly! One thing leads to another, as these two writers both discover what they really want — but in the morning….things are not quite what they seemed to be the night before.  Soon it becomes clear that this passionate weekend will change both of their lives.

Laura Eason’s Sex With Strangers, directed by Stephen Nachamie is running at the Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany, NY through October 15th.  

Jenny Strassburg, who stars as Olivia, returns to CapRep for the first time since 2013, when she played Vanda in Venus in Fur.

A legendary comedic second banana to a litany of major stars, Curtis is forever cemented in the public imagination as Booger from Revenge of the Nerds. A classically trained actor, Curtis began his incredible 40-year career on stage but progressed rapidly to film and television. He was typecast early and it proved to be the best thing that could have happened.

Born and bred a nerd, he spent his early years between Detroit, a city so nerdy that the word was coined there in 1951, and, improbably, Geneva, Switzerland. His adolescence and early adulthood was spent primarily between the covers of a book and indulging his nerdy obsessions. It was only when he found his true calling, as an actor and unintentional nerd icon, that he found true happiness. With whip-smart, self-effacing humor, Armstrong takes us on a most unlikely journey—one nerd’s hilarious, often touching rise to the middle. He started his life as an outcast and matured into…well, an older, slightly paunchier, hopefully wiser outcast.

Curtis Armstrong has appeared in a variety of films and television shows including Risky Business, Revenge of the Nerds, Moonlighting and New Girl.  

Treat Williams in American Buffalo at Dorset Theatre Festival
Gerry Goodstein

Actor Treat Williams is currently starring in the Dorset Theatre Festival production of David Mamet’s American Buffalo. The show takes a fresh look at a trio of misguided misfits who are a little out of luck and way out of their league as they plot the theft of a rare coin collection. 

Treat is the star of major motion pictures such as Hair and Prince of the City, he recently concluded filming the second season of Chesapeake Shores for the Hallmark Channel. 

American Buffalo runs through September 2.

James Ludwig and Aaron Tveit in Company at Barrington Stage
Daniel Rader

This week, Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, MA announced an extension of its production of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s Company, directed by Julianne Boyd. The show was scheduled to play on The Boyd-Quinson Mainstage through September 2nd, and now Bobby will be side-by-side with his friends, driving his dates crazy, and waiting through the 10th.

Aaron Tveit plays Bobby at Barrington Stage. On Broadway he’s appeared in Hairspray, Wicked, Next to Normal, and Catch Me If You Can. He played Enjolras in the film of Les Miserables starring Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe, television credits include Gossip Girl, Graceland, FOX’s Grease Live - and other programs not starting with "G".

The Dorset Theatre Festival production of The Legend of Georgia McBride runs through Saturday.

He’s young, he’s broke, his wife is having a baby. And now, Casey has lost his gig as an Elvis impersonator. When his club brings in a drag act led by Miss Tracy Mills, Casey is given the opportunity to trade one sequined outfit for another.

We are joined now by David Turner who plays Miss Tracy Mills and Vasthy Mompoint who plays Jo. 

Jeff McCarthy, Sarah LaDuke, Geoff Morrow, Cody Owen Stine
Photo: Joe Donahue / Artwork by Ligature Creative


  The new musical, A Legendary Romance is The Williamstown Theatre Festival’s third and final Main Stage show this season. The show will run in Williamstown August 3rd through the 20th.  

With a book by Timothy Prager and Music and lyrics by Geoff Morrow, A Legendary Romance is directed by Emmy Award winner and Tony Award nominee Lonny Price and stars Jeff McCarthy as Joseph Lindy - a filmmaker blacklisted by the House Un-American Activities Committee and struggling to restore his personal and professional legacy.

For a preview of the production, we were joined at The Linda by Jeff McCarthy who plays Joseph Lindy, Geoff Morrow, and, playing piano, Cody Owen Stine - Associate Music Director for A Legendary Romance and WTF’s Cabaret Director.

In Arsenic & Old Lace, good-hearted drama critic, Mortimer Brewster appears to lead a normal, happy life. Recently engaged to be married, Mortimer plans a trip to visit his charming, spinster aunts, Abby and Martha Brewster. However, shortly after Mortimer’s arrival, he discovers that his innocent aunts have a deadly secret buried in the basement—about a dozen older gentlemen.

Berkshire Theatre Group presents the play, by Joseph Kesselring directed by Gregg Edelman, on the Fitzpatrick Mainstage through August 19th.

The production stars Harriet Harris as Abby, Mia Dillon as Martha, and Graham Rowat at Mortimer.

Dan Bakkedahl As Reverend Ray Rogers in Brave New Jersey
BondIt, The Shot Clock, Gravitas Ventures

Dan Bakkedahl is an actor and improvisational/sketch comedian from Chicago's Second City. He is best known for starring as Tim Hughes on the CBS sitcom Life in Pieces, as Steve Nugent in the FX comedy series Legit and as Congressman Roger Furlong on the HBO series Veep. Prior to that, he was a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart from 2005 to 2007.

In the new film, Brave New Jersey, Bakkedahl plays Reverend Ray Rogers. At the outset of the film, the small town's spiritual leader is hardly spiritual and barely a leader until  the fear of alien attack inspires. 

Tony Hale as Clark Hill in Brave New Jersey
BONDIT, THE SHOT CLOCK, GRAVITAS VENTURES

In the new film Brave New Jersey, Tony Hale plays Mayor Clark Hill - a sweet and subservient man who finds the drive to pursue what he’s always wanted when Orson Welle’s War of the Worlds radio broadcast in 1938 convinces his town that it may be the last night of their lives.

Hale is best known as the youngest Bluth brother, Buster, on the now-Netflix-formerly-Fox favorite Arrested Development and as Selina Meyer’s personal-aide and bag-man on HBO’s Veep.

Likely the final piece that William Shakespeare penned alone, The Tempest tells the story of Prospero, a betrayed duke and magician bent on justice and revenge until he sees, through his daughter Miranda, the power of love and forgiveness. The events of the story unfold amidst the elements of the island, a perfect fit for a Berkshire evening in the open air of the Roman Garden Theatre.

Shakespeare & Company Artistic Director Allyn Burrows directs The Tempest and it marks the inaugural production in the new Roman Garden Theatre. Here to tell us more are company members Nigel Gore, Tamara Hickey and Josh Aaron McCabe. 


  Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man is about a con-man who ultimately does good by a community. Harold Hill's heart opens up through the course of one of America's most beloved musicals.

 

Berkshire Theatre Group is currently presenting the Tony Award-winning musical at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA through August 6th.

 

Directed by Travis G. Daly with music direction by Mark Gionfriddo, the BTG production of The Music Man features over 100 talented Berkshire youth along with Rylan Morsbach as neck-or-nothing, rip-roarin', every-time-a bull's-eye salesman Harold Hill and Haley Aguero as Marian “Madam Librarian” Paroo.

 

We are joined this morning at The Linda by the aforementioned Rylan Morsbach, Haley Aguero, Mark Gionfriddo, and Travis G. Daly.

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