Arts & Culture

Joseph Dalton: Glimmerglass Opening Weekend

9 hours ago

This is the summer of Bernstein.  Classical music festivals across the region, as well as a theater or two, are celebrating the centennial of Leonard Bernstein, who as a composer, conductor and educator was arguably the most important American musician of the 20th century.

Laila Robins in "A Doll's House, Part 2" at Barrington Stage
Daniel Rader / broadwayworld.com

In the final scene of Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 ground-breaking masterwork, “A Doll’s House,” Nora Helmer makes the shocking decision to leave her husband and children and begin a life on her own. Lucas Hnath’s “A Doll’s House, Part 2” dares to wonder what Nora has been up to since she slammed the door. The play received eight 2017 Tony Award nominations.

Joe Calarco directs “A Doll’s House, Part 2” on Barrington Stage Company’s Main Stage in Pittsfield, MA through July 28. Laila Robins stars as Nora.

Robins appeared in the Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of George Bernard Shaw's “Heartbreak House,” other Broadway appearances include “Frozen” by Bryony Lavery, “The Herbal Bed” by Peter Whelan, and “The Real Thing” by Tom Stoppard, directed by Mike Nichols. Large and small screen credits include “Deception,” “Murder in the First,” “Homeland,” “Bored to Death,” and “Planes, Trains & Automobiles.”

Lauren Lovette in “Romeo + Juliet”
Paul Kolnik


  The New York City Ballet is in residence at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, New York July 17-21.

Lauren Lovette has been a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet since 2015; jeteing from the School of American Ballet to apprentice, to corps de ballet dancer, to soloist and now, principal dancer. She’s performing the role of Juliet in “Romeo + Juliet” at SPAC on July 19, 20, and 21; and she will dance in Warren Carlyle’s tribute to Jerome Robbins’ “Something to Dance About” at SPAC’s New York City Ballet Gala.  She’s also choreographed a work entitled “Not Our Fate” that will be part of SPAC’s 21st Century Choreographers program on July 19.

Rory Block
Sergio Kurhajec

PS21 in Chatham, New York presents Rory Block’s Gospel & Blues Fest Weekend, Friday-Sunday, July 20-22. 

This year the weekend focuses on “Power Women of the Blues.” The three-day festival kicks off this Friday night with an intimate solo concert by living legend Rory Block, followed by powerhouse singer Diunna Greenleaf and her band Blue Mercy on Saturday night, and on Sunday afternoon the Strait Way Ministries Gospel Choir.

Rob Edelman: The Good And Not So Good

Jul 16, 2018

For as long as there have been films, there have been films about young people and their dreams and desires. Will they realize their career goals? Will they fall in love? Will that love last beyond a brief moment in time? Take for example THE INCREDIBLE JESSICA JAMES, an independent American feature that was the closing night presentation at last year’s Sundance Film Festival. Jessica James, energetically played by Jessica Williams, is a twentysomething who resides in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood. Jessica has had romance, and now there is a new guy in her life. One of the issues here is that, in an instant, she may think that she is in love but, in the next, she and her beau just may act like strangers.

The Hoosick Blooms Garden and Farm Tour offers a personal introduction to the beautiful and bountiful countryside of the Hoosick, NY region while benefiting the CiviCure fund to renovate the historic Wood Block Building on Main Street in Hoosick Falls.

This Saturday, July 21 from 9-4 p.m. six private, diverse gardens and farms will welcome visitors on a driving tour and a demonstration as well as presentation by featured artist and botanical illustrator Wendy Hollender, which will be held at the unique Historic Barns of Nipmoose. A boxed lunch option prepared by Brown's Brewing Company's Walloomsac Taproom and served at the Nipmoose Barns will complete this rural community celebration.

CiviCure President Barbara Sussman joins us this morning along with event co-chairs Kelly Brown and Marianne Zwicklbauer.

ALBANY - Park Playhouse has, in recent years, earned a reputation for offering musicals that were a bit dark, kind-of daring and always entertaining.  Works like “Ragtime,” “Chicago” and “Cabaret” built a reputation for Park Playhouse as the summer place to see challenging theater.  Better yet, many seats are offered free of charge in the Washington Park outdoor space.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with a "land"-based show.

Rogovoy Report 7/13/18

Jul 13, 2018

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include blues, folk-punk, klezmer, mariachi, Leonard Bernstein, and a whole lot more.

Ann Harada is best known for the musical "Avenue Q," in which she originated the role of Christmas Eve, the heavily accented Japanese therapist who had such winning numbers as "The More You Ruv Someone" and "Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist."

She has also starred on Broadway in "Les Miz," "Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella" and TV’s "Smash." She is at The Williamstown Theatre Festival starring in Douglas Carter Beane’s “The Closet” as Brenda, the office worker nobody quite likes or trusts but who is always ready to launch into a show tune.

Matthew Broderick will forever be linked to the cinematic classic of 1986, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." However, before doing that at age 24 – he had already won a Tony Award for Neil Simon’s "Brighton Beach Memoirs" and had starred in Simon’s follow-up "Biloxi Blues." All of this after making his stage debut in Harvey Fierstein’s "Torch Song Trilogy."

Now, Broderick stars in this world premiere comedy by Douglas Carter Beane, "The Closet," as Martin O’Reilly who is stuck in Scranton, PA in a dead-end job at a religious supply company, his marriage is over, and his son won’t return his calls. Then a stranger, played by Tony nominee Brooks Ashmanskas, sashays into his world and drags Martin and everyone around him out of their respective closets.

"The Closet" runs through Saturday night on the Main Stage at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.


"Fun Home" is a groundbreaking five-time Tony Award winning musical based on Vermont author and illustrator Alison Bechdel’s acclaimed graphic memoir. The show features a book by Lisa Kron and music by Jeanine Tesori. As the show unfolds, you meet Bechdel at three different life stages as she grows and grapples with her uniquely dysfunctional family, her sexuality, and her father’s secrets.

"Fun Home" runs on Weston Playhouse's Second Stage at Walker Farm through July 28.

Director Malcolm Ewen and Caitlin Kinnunen (Medium Alison) join us.

GLENS FALLS - The new musical “Loch Ness,” playing at Adirondack Theatre Festival in Glens Falls through July 14, is like a new puppy.   You love spending time with it because it is filled with energy and eager to please.  However, you know you’re going to like it better when it is older, calmer and has more discipline.

Julia Wolfe
Peter Sterling / juliawolfemusic.com

Three decades ago, composers Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe noticed something missing in the universe of music: a zone between rock, jazz, classical, and folk where new forms of musical expression could find new audiences and new players. So they invented a new world of music, and called it Bang on a Can.

The annual Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts includes daily performances in the museum galleries, a concert with the Bang on a Can All-Stars, and concludes with a six-hour blow-out Marathon Concert performed by the festival ensembles and special guests.

The festival also features workshops, late-night concerts, free events in North Adams, and more. This year features special festival guest composer Steve Reich.

Pulitzer Prize winning composer and Bang on a Can co-founder Julia Wolfe joins us.

Halley Feiffer
Kirk McCoy / LA Times

Halley Feiffer is a writer and actor. Her plays include "I'm Gonna Pray For You So Hard," "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center of New York City," and "How to Make Friends and Then Kill Them." Her play "Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow" had its world premiere at The Williamstown Theatre Festival last summer. She has appeared on Broadway in "The Front Page" with Nathan Lane and "The House of Blue Leaves" with Edie Falco. 

Tomorrow afternoon at 3 o'clock there will be a Fridays@3 reading of Feiffer's new play, "Saying Goodbye to the People I Love From My Bathtub." Fridays@3 readings take place at The Clark Auditorium.

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

Seen: "Ant-Man and the Wasp," "Sicario: Day of the Soldado"

Upcoming:

  • Big Daddy Kane, plus DJ Trumastr, Und3standing, DJ Supreme - Alive at 5, Jennings Landing at the Corning Preserve, Albany, Thursday 7/12, 5 PM
  • Miranda Sings Live . . . No Offense with Colleen Ballinger - The Egg, Albany, Friday 7/13, 7:30 PM
  • Chuck Prophet & the Mission Express - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, Friday 7/13, 9 PM
  • Frances Day ( A community open house) - Tang Teaching Museum & Gallery, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, Saturday 7/14, 2-6 PM
  • Gabacho Marco - Agnes MacDonald Music Haven, Central Park, Schenectady, Sunday 7/15, 7 PM
  • Imani Winds with Andrew Russo: Bastille Day in Paris—Celebrating the World of Josephine Baker - Maverick Concerts, Woodstock, Saturday 7/14, 8 PM
  • New York City Ballet: All Balanchine - Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, Tuesday-Wednesday 7/17-18, 8 PM
  • Toots and the Maytals, with special guests Victory - Empire State Plaza, Albany, Wednesday 7/18, opens 5:30 PM

New movies: "Sorry to Bother You," "Leave No Trace," "Three Identical Strangers," "Skyscraper," "Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation"

The Green River Festival has hosted dozens of legendary performers from many genres of music from folk to indie rock, reggae to Cajun & Zydeco, Alt. Country to blues and everything in between.

This year’s festival takes place July 13-15 at Greenfield Community College and hosts a celebration of world class music, great local food, beer and wine, a handmade craft fair, family games and activities, and four hot air balloon launches and a balloon glow.

Jim Olsen is the President and co-founder Signature Sounds Presents.

Note: Full-festival and Saturday passes are sold out but there are tickets available for Friday and Sunday.

Bob Goepfert Reviews "The Cake" At Barrington Stage

Jul 10, 2018
Nemuna Ceesay and Debra Jo Rupp in a scene from "The Cake" at Barrington Stage
Carolyn Brown

Pittsfield, Mass. – “The Cake,” which is playing at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Mass. through July 15 is a really smart play about a complicated topic.   

Yidstock 2018

Jul 10, 2018

Now in its seventh year, Yidstock: The Festival of New Yiddish Music celebrates the best of Klezmer and new Yiddish music with a wide-ranging lineup of concerts that demonstrate the diversity and breadth of the genre, along with workshops, talks, and other programs.

Yidstock takes place, rain or shine, at The Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Massachusetts July 12-15. Yidstock Artistic Director Seth Rogovoy, author of The Essential Klezmer: A Music Lover's Guide to Jewish Roots and Soul Music is here to tell us more along with Lisa Newman – Director of Communications at the Yiddish Book Center.

Rob Edelman: Direct To DVD, Etc.

Jul 9, 2018

More and more these days, A-list Hollywood stars of yesteryear are bringing their latest releases not to the local mall or art house but directly to the Internet. This list only begins with Jane Fonda, Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler, and Chris Rock.

Voice Theatre's main stage production of “All My Sons” runs July 12th through the 29th at the Byrdcliffe Theater in Woodstock, NY.

“All My Sons” is a gripping drama written by one of the greatest playwrights of the 20th Century - Pulitzer Prize-winner Arthur Miller responsible for such great American plays as “Death of a Salesman,” “The Crucible” and “A View from the Bridge.”

Has right and wrong lost its value in America? A monstrous swindle catapults the Keller family, revealing their truths of profit and greed, love and shame.

Leigh Strimbeck plays Kate Keller, Ryan Feyk plays Chris Keller and Shauna Kanter directs.

Frances Young Tang was a businesswoman, philanthropist, and 1961 Skidmore College graduate who died in 1992. In her memory, the Tang family made a substantial donation that led to the Tang Teaching Museum becoming a reality in 2000. Frances Day honors Frances Young Tang’s legacy of creativity and philanthropy with a day of free activities.

The museum’s fifth annual Frances Day, a community open house from 2 to 6 pm is on Saturday, July 14th. Visitors can experience multiple contemporary art exhibitions, art-making activities, tours, food, music, and more. Ian Berry is the Dayton director of The Tang.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for another crack at one of their stranger categories.

Jamie Bernstein
Steve J. Sherman / Star Tribune

The composer of "On the Town" and "West Side Story," chief conductor of the New York Philharmonic, television star, humanitarian, and inveterate partygoer Leonard Bernstein was a massive celebrity during one of the headiest periods of American cultural life, and perhaps the most talented musician in American history.

To his eldest daughter, Jamie Bernstein, he was all that and more. She writes about her father in the new memoir, "Famous Father Girl."

She joins us to talk about the book, all of the international events celebrating Leonard Bernstein's Centennial this year -- including two very special events at Tanglewood in Lenox, Massachusetts. She’s directing "Trouble in Tahiti" on July 12 and hosting the Young People’s Concert on August 10.

Andris Nelsons
Marco Borggreve

Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra open their 2018 Tanglewood season with a gala performance featuring global superstar pianist Lang Lang tonight at 8pm.

The Maestro will then be off and running, conducting a program of Brahms and Shostakovich on Sunday and many other concerts as the season progresses.

BSO Music Director and Conductor Andris Nelsons is leading thirteen programs throughout the summer and will play a major role in Tanglewood's Bernstein Centennial Summer, leading twelve works either composed by Bernstein or strongly associated with his life as a conductor and pianist.

Moritz Gnann
http://moritzgnann.com

Yu-An Chang, a Taiwanese conductor has been tapped by Boston Symphony Orchestra Music Director Andris Nelsons to be the orchestra’s new assistant conductor with his two-year term beginning later this year.

Yu-An will make his first podium appearance as assistant conductor during the BSO’s 2019 Tanglewood season. He replaces current BSO assistant conductor Moritz Gnann, who joined the BSO at the start of the 2015-16 season and completes his three-year term with the orchestra this summer at Tanglewood.

On July 13, Gnann leads the BSO in a program of music by Wagner, Mozart, and Schumann, featuring pianist Paul Lewis.

 

As you walk along Tanglewood’s meandering paths, it’s easy to miss a series of small wooden shacks nestled amongst the pine trees -- until you hear the sweet music emanating from within. It’s here that the Tanglewood Music Center Fellows hone their craft and learn from the masters.

For decades, talented young musicians from around the country and around the globe have been coming to the Berkshires to study with some of the best musicians in the world.  Today we’re joined by Ellen Highstein – the Director of the Tanglewood Music Center.

Mark Volpe
BSO

Managing Director Of The Boston Symphony Orchestra Mark Volpe joins us to discuss opening weekend at Tanglewood, the coming season, and Tanglewood's Bernstein Centennial Summer.

Brandon Victor Dixon, Megan Lawrence, Laura Osnes, and Andy Karl perform ON THE TOWN with the Boston Pops.
Winslow Townson / digboston.com

A collaboration with choreographer Jerome Robbins and the writing team of Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Leonard Bernstein's “On the Town” -the story of three sailors on shore leave in New York City- arrived on Broadway in December 1944, when he was just twenty-six.

Based on his popular ballet collaboration with Robbins, “Fancy Free,” it was not only his first musical, it was a first for Comden and Green, who would become Broadway and Hollywood legends in their own right. Hit songs include "New York, New York" and "Some Other Time."

Keith Lockhart leads the Boston Pops in a complete, semi-staged performance of Bernstein's hit musical, "On the Town," tomorrow night in the shed featuring an all-star cast.

To tell us more, we welcome actor Andy Karl, Music Director, David Chase and Director Kathleen Marshall.

Tyler Nelson as Paul in Rocking Horse Winner
Gary David Gold

SARATOGA SPRINGS - Opera Saratoga is doing local audiences a great favor by offering two short contemporary operas. It offers an opportunity to have a strong dramatic experience, hear haunting music and see youthful talent at its best. The two pieces on display at the Little Theatre on the grounds of SPAC might not be everyone’s taste, but they are the future of opera.

Pages