Arts & Culture

On February 11th, Empire State Youth Orchestras signature Youth Orchestra will take the Proctors stage with Fireworks Ensemble, a cross-over classical music ensemble that was lauded by the New York Times for its “hell-for-leather arrangements” and “show-stopping solos.”

Together, the two groups will share an evening of music that will include the world-premiere of a piece written by Fireworks Ensemble member and composer Brian Coughlin commissioned by ESYO called Play.

Empire State Youth Orchestra Music Director Helen Cha-Pyo and Fireworks Ensemble member and composer Brian Coughlin join us. 

I fell in love with the movies many years ago.  Going to see a film – even a sad drama – somehow left me with a feeling of empathy or a shared moment of humanity.  But a number of the art-house films of late 2016 with their emphasis on sadness and disillusionment simply leave me emotionally wrung out.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for a show about twins.

Rogovoy Report 1/13/17

Jan 13, 2017

The weekend’s cultural highlights in the region include new and old play readings; a new music festival; photographs of Hudson’s garages and alleyways; Moroccan trance-dub music; a literary reading; the circus comes to town; and a whole lot more.

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, we conclude our series about the music of Thea Musgrave.

Danielle Krysa is the writer/curator behind the contemporary art website The Jealous Curator, and the author of Creative Block and Collage.

Her new book is Your Inner Critic Is a Big Jerk: And Other Truths About Being Creative.

Shawn Stone, Digital Editor of The Alt joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

Seen: Hidden Figures, Jackie

Upcoming:

·         Rock Docs Film Series: This Is Spinal Tap - Madison Theater, Albany, Thu 1/12, 7 PM

·         Sean Rowe - The Hangar On the Hudson, Troy, Fri 1/13, 8 PM

·         The Lustre Kings Elvis Birthday Show - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Fri 1/13, 8 PM

·         Dial “M” for Murder - Curtain Call Theatre, Latham, opens Fri 1/13, 8 PM (through 2/11)

·         Bindlestiff Family Circus Cabin Fever Cabaret - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, Fri 1/13, 9 PM

·         Hypno Hype with Assad Mecci - Proctors, Schenectady, Sat 1/14, 3:30 and 7:30 PM

·         Evan LeRoy Johnson & Mikael Eliasen: Schubert’s Die Schoen Mullerin - Union College Memorial Chapel, Schenectady, Sun 1/15, 3 PM

·         Metropolis with live organ score by Avery Tunningley - Proctors, Schenectady, Mon 1/16, 7 PM

New movies: Elle, Patriots Day, Silence, Live by Night

The critically acclaimed musical comedy Something Rotten!, directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw, ended its Broadway run on New Year’s Day at the St. James Theatre. It had been nominated for 10 Tony Awards and played 742 performances.

The show now is going on the road and the first stop is Schenectady and Proctor’s Theatre. It opened their last night and will run through Sunday.

Set in 1595, Something Rotten tells the story of Nick and Nigel Bottom, two brothers who are desperate to write a hit play. When a local soothsayer foretells that the future of theatre involves singing, dancing and acting at the same time, Nick and Nigel set out to write the world’s very first musical. The man who plays that soothsayer joins us this morning.

Blake Hammond plays Nostradamus. He has been seen on Broadway in Living on Love, First Date, Sister Act, Elf, Billy Elliot, Hairspray, The Lion King and The Music Man.

Rob Edelman: Hot Docs

Jan 9, 2017

I’ve said it before and I certainly will say it again: These days, an endless number of new documentaries examine a rainbow of subjects. Here are a few just-released or about-to-be-released-to-home-entertainment documentaries that have especially intrigued me. 

He was the Wicked Wilson Pickett, the legendary soul man whose forty-plus hits included "In the Midnight Hour," "Land of 1000 Dances," "Mustang Sally," and "Don't Let the Green Grass Fool You." Remarkably handsome and with the charisma to match, Wilson Pickett was considered by many to be the greatest, the most visceral and sensual of the classic 1960s soul singers, and as a man who turned screaming into an art form, the most forceful of them all. He was the living embodiment of soul.
 

More than that, Wilson Pickett's journey reads like a guide to popular black American music in the late 20th century.  

For this first-ever accounting of Wilson Pickett's life, bestselling biographer Tony Fletcher interviewed members of the singer's family, friends and partners, along with dozens of his studio and touring musicians. Offering equal attention to Pickett's personal and professional life, with detailed insight into his legendary studio sessions and his combative road style, In the Midnight Hour: The Life and Soul of Wilson Pickett is the essential telling of an epic life.

First Night Saratoga marks the New Year.
Lucas Willard / WAMC

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats for the first show of 2017.

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, we continue to learn about the music of Thea Musgrave.

John Corigliano
johncorigliano.com

"Worthless," declared the composer's friends. "Impossible to play." But Tchaikovsky refused to change a note of what became history's most romantic and popular piano concerto. The Albany Symphony Orchestra’s New Year begins as piano virtuoso Sergei Babayan plays Tchaikovsky’s immortal First Piano Concerto on Saturday night at the Palace Theatre in Albany.

Also on the program - the moving Symphony No. 1 “Of Rage & Remembrance” by Grammy Award-winning composer, John Corigliano, a memorial inspired by the AIDS Quilt to those loved and lost. John Corigliano joins us this morning along with ASO maestro David Alan Miller to tell us more. 

Rob Edelman: Bring Out The Old, Bring In The Old

Jan 2, 2017

Welcome to the New Year! And given an event that is set to occur in a few weeks-- on January 20th, to be exact-- this is as good a time as any to cite a film that came to theaters near the end of what now is last year. This film is scripted and directed by Warren Beatty, who also stars. Beatty soon will be celebrating his 80th birthday, and it is his first film in 15 years. The title is RULES DON’T APPLY and, given its central character, RULES DON’T APPLY is a perfect description for this film and its central character.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with a show including leftover questions from throughout 2016.

Rogovoy Report 12/30/16

Dec 30, 2016

The weekend’s cultural highlights in the region include chamber music, soul music, a rock ‘n’ roll New Year’s Eve, and a whole lot more.

  From the beloved host and creator of NPR’s All Songs Considered and Tiny Desk Concerts comes an essential oral history of modern music, told in the voices of iconic and up-and-coming musicians, including Dave Grohl, Jimmy Page, Michael Stipe, Carrie Brownstein, Smokey Robinson, and Jeff Tweedy, among others—published in association with NPR Music.

Is there a unforgettable song that changed your life?

NPR’s renowned music authority Bob Boilen posed this question to some of today’s best-loved musical legends and rising stars.

An encore 2011 Power of Words. On this program, WAMC's Alan Chartock and Historian Dr. Christopher Breiseth discuss FDR's Four Freedoms Speech. In addition, listeners will have an opportunity to  hear the speech as it was delivered on January 6th, 1941.

Will Hermes is a Contributing Editor and Senior Critic at Rolling Stone and the author of Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever.

He joins us with his selections for the best music of 2016.

David Bowie - “Blackstar” - Blackstar
Leonard Cohen - “You Want it Darker” - You Want It Darker
Solange - “Cranes in the Sky” - A Seat at the Table
Bon Iver - “33 “GOD”’ - 22, A Million
Nas, Dave East, Lin-Manuel Miranda & Aloe Blacc - “Wrote My Way Out” - The Hamilton MIxtape
Lori McKenna - “Giving up on Your Hometown” - The Bird & the Rifle
Miranda Lambert - “Ugly Lights” - The Weight of These Wings
Blood Orange - “Love Ya” - Blood Orange
ANOHNI - “Drone Bomb Me” - HOPELESSNESS
Angel Olsen - “Shut Up Kiss Me” - MY WOMAN
Wilco - “Normal American Kids” - Schmilco
The Roots (feat. Common & Ingrid Michaelson) - “Who Tells Your Story” - The Hamilton Mixtape

Shawn Stone, Digital Editor of The Alt joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

Seen: La La Land

Upcoming:

  • Hayes Carll, Allison Moorer - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, Thursday, 12/29, 8 PM
  • Trading Places - Madison Theater, Albany, Thursday-Saturday, 12/29-31, various times
  • theNEWDEAL, Leila - Putnam Den, Saratoga Springs, Friday, 12/30, 8 PM
  • Songs To Amuse: Byron Nilsson & Malcolm Kogut - Steamer No. 10 Theatre, Albany, Saturday, 12/31, 7 PM
  • Twiddle - Palace Theatre, Albany, Saturday, 12/31, 7:30 PM
  • First Night of Funny: Steve Caouette, Kelly McFarland, Joe Bronzi, Jaye McBride - The Egg, Albany, Saturday, 12/31, 7:30 (clean) and 8 PM (blue)
  • Roxxi Tart’s New Year’s Eve 1920s Speakeasy Burlesque Revue - North Albany Studios (448 N Pearl), Albany, Saturday, 12/31, 9 PM
  • Berkshire Bach Ensemble: Complete Brandenburg Concerti - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Sunday, 1/1, 3 PM

Favorite (not top 10) films seen in 2016:
Arrival
A Bigger Splash
The Bronze
Christine
Florence Foster Jenkins
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Miles Ahead
The Nice Guys
Pete’s Dragon

Saratoga Arts Presents First Night 2017: A Night of Magic! on  Saturday, December 31st 2016: 6pm to midnight.

As one of the oldest and largest First Night celebrations in the country, First Night presents over seventy regional and touring performing groups in thirty venues throughout Historic Downtown Saratoga Springs. 

Starting with the 5k roadrace at Skidmore College at 5:30pm, culminating with the fireworks in Congress Park at midnight and packed full of live music, dance, and comedy. 

Here to tell us more Alix Jones, Director of First Night Saratoga with Saratoga Arts and First Night headliners SIRSY, the rock and soul duo made up for Melanie Krahmer and Rich Libutti.

Rob Burnett
BAFTA/David Beyda

  Rob Burnett spent 30 years working for David Letterman, rising from intern to executive producer, before directing Paul Rudd and Selena Gomez in the new Netflix release The Fundamentals of Caring.

Rob Burnett joins us this morning to talk about the film, his life at Letterman’s side and other adventures in television.

Rob Edelman: American War Films

Dec 26, 2016

Times change and the world changes but, in certain cases, nothing really changes. And this just may relate to the content of a film that has come to theaters this fall, and which offers a heartfelt ode to the American soldier in World War II. The film in question is HACKSAW RIDGE, directed by Mel Gibson, the fact-based tale of Desmond Doss, played by Andrew Garfield: a U.S. Army medic and conscientious objector who earned the Medal of Honor for his derring-do during World War II’s Battle of Okinawa.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for a quiz about numbers.

Shawn Stone, Digital Editor of The Alt joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

Seen: Passengers

Upcoming:

·         Cliff Brucker and Full Circle featuring Leo Russo - The Van Dyck, Schenectady, 12/22, Thu, 7 PM

·         North By Northwest, Dial “M” for Murder - Time + Space Limited, Hudson, 12/22-23, Thu-Fri, 6 PM (North), 8:15 PM (Dial)

·         Richie Redding - Funny Bone Comedy Club, Albany, 12/22, Thu at 7:30 PM; 12/23, Fri at 10 PM

·         Frosty the Snowman & Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - Madison Theater, Albany, 12/22-24, Thu-Sat, various times

·         Spontaneous Broadway - MOPCO (Mop and Bucket Company), Schenectady, 12/23, 8 PM

·         It’s a Wonderful Life - Palace Theatre, Albany, 12/23, Fri, 7 PM

·         Racquette River Rounders’ Annual Boxing Day Concert - Caffe Lena at the Parting Glass Pub, Saratoga Springs, 12/26, Mon, 7 PM

·         The Jungle Book - Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, 12/27, Tue, 4 PM

New movies: Lion, La La Land, Fences, Why Him?

Kenneth Clark's thirteen-part 1969 television series, Civilisation, established him as a globally admired figure. Clark was prescient in making this series: the upheavals of the century, the Cold War among others, convinced him of the power of barbarism and the fragility of culture. He would burnish his image with two memoirs that artfully omitted the more complicated details of his life.

Now, drawing on a vast, previously unseen archive, James Stourton reveals the formidable intellect and the private man behind the figure who effortlessly dominated the art world for more than half a century: his privileged upbringing, his interest in art history beginning at Oxford, his remarkable early successes.

At 27 he was keeper of Western Art at the Ashmolean in Oxford and at 29, the youngest director of The National Gallery. During the war he arranged for its entire collection to be hidden in slate mines in Wales and organized packed concerts of classical music at the Gallery to keep up the spirits of Londoners during the bombing. WWII helped shape his belief that art should be brought to the widest audience, a social and moral position that would inform the rest of his career.

Rob Edelman: Cinerama Spectacular

Dec 19, 2016

These days, not all home entertainment is rented, downloaded, streamed... Some consumers and film lovers still purchase DVDs and Blu-rays and, if you are looking for an unusual holiday gift, might I suggest two new-to-DVD and Blu-ray titles from Flicker Alley.

Audrey Kupferberg: Children Of Divorce

Dec 16, 2016

Flicker Alley, in partnership with the Blackhawk Films Collection, has just released the Blu-ray/DVD world premiere of a 1927 Hollywood feature, CHILDREN OF DIVORCE.  Working with preservationists from the Library of Congress, which holds the original nitrate negative and protection material on this title, and having these materials scanned in 4K resolution, Flicker Alley has presented the film in its very best form.  Plus, there is a new musical score by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra.


  Cirque du Soleil's Paramour combines -- for the first time - Cirque’s signature spectacle with Broadway's story-telling and song in a production currently running at The Lyric Theatre in New York City. Set in the world of Golden Age Hollywood, the show spins the tale of a beautiful young actress named Indigo who is forced to choose between success and true love.

Ruby Lewis made her Broadway debut in Paramour when it opened in May.

"A Christmas Carol" at BTG - 2016
Emma Kate Rothenberg-Ware

It is an absolute Christmas Classic. And at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield – it is tradition.

It is the timeless holiday tradition of A Christmas Carol with the whole family, and revel in the joy and redemptive power of Christmas as told in the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, the infamous miser who is shown the error of his ways and reformed by four spirits.

We are able to journey back to Victorian England and experience the classic story filled with holiday carols and the wonderment of the season.

Joining us – like ghosts in the night – Berkshire Theatre Group Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire, Travis Daly – director of the show and Scrooge himself – Eric Hill. 

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