Arts & Culture

  What does a ''producer'' actually do? How does one travel from that great idea for a show to a smash hit opening night on Broadway?

John Breglio cannot guarantee you a hit, but he does take the reader on a fascinating journey behind-the-scenes to where he himself once stood as a child, dreaming about the theatre. 

  This morning we talk with a brand new performing arts company in our region. The Berkshire Opera Festival’s inaugural season features a new production that takes a fresh look at Puccini's masterpiece Madama Butterfly. It is timeless love story, featuring beautiful music sung by a world-class cast.

Taking place in an apartment overlooking Nagasaki Harbor, director Jonathon Loy's production moves the action to the 1960s and sets it against the backdrop of Japan's "Golden Sixties" economic boom. Joining us this morning: Artistic Director, Co-Founder and Conductor; John Cheek, bass, singing the Bonze; and Sarah Larsen - mezzo soprano, singing Suzuki.

Rob Edelman: Kirk Douglas

Aug 22, 2016

During my just-concluded trip to London, I was not surprised to find that Kirk Douglas was the cover-boy on the BFI Southbank’s September/October film screening program. He certainly deserves to be feted, and not just because he will be celebrating his 100th birthday on December 9. For Kirk Douglas is one of his generation’s premier movie stars.

Train At Tanglewood

Aug 22, 2016
Train at Tanglewood
Hilary Scott / Boston Symphony Orchestra

It isn’t summer without a visit by the band Train to our region. Train will be at Tanglewood tomorrow night at 7PM along with Andy Grammer. The multi-platinum band Train made its mark on music history with the Grammy Award-winning song "Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)." They also had chart-topping singles like "Meet Virginia" and "Calling All Angels." Train earned its third Grammy in 2011 for the worldwide smash "Hey Soul Sister" from Save Me, San Francisco.

That song was the top-selling single of 2010, "Hey Soul Sister" hit #1 on radio in the United States and in fifteen countries abroad. In 2014, Train released their seventh album, Bulletproof Picasso, which charted in the Top 5 that year. A new album is coming soon. But, before it does – Train comes to Tanglewood tomorrow and we get to chat with the band’s lead singer – Pat Monahan.

Any Questions #260

Aug 19, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for a show all about 500.

Audrey Kupferberg: A Couple Of Down And Outs

Aug 19, 2016

In an age when we have come to believe that any film can be seen leisurely at home if you sit on your sofa long enough, it is particularly exciting to enjoy a cinematheque screening of a film that is not available to the home market in any format, one that has not been shown on home or theater screens for close to 100 years.

Rogovoy Report For 8/19/16

Aug 19, 2016

The weekend’s cultural highlights in the region include several dance concerts; a Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble; a teenage blues sensation; a season-topping performance of Shakespeare; and a whole lot more.

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yeuda Hanani continue their conversation about female composers, discussing Marianna Martines hearing the first and third movements from her Sonata per Cembalo in G Major performed by Nicoleta Paraschivescu.

David Finckel and Wu Han
Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

  Wu Han and David Finckel join us to talk about their performance with The Philadelphia Orchestra at SPAC and the final two concerts this season to be performed by The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in the Spa Little Theater. 

Chase Brock’s "The Song That I Sing; or, Meow So Pretty" - lighting by Kevin Adams
Rosalie O'Connor


  The Chase Brock Experience is the Brooklyn-based contemporary dance company led by choreographer Chase Brock. They will perform at PS21 as part of the Chatham Dance Festival at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

 

Chase Brock is an acclaimed choreographer working in theater, modern dance, ballet, opera, television and video games. He joins us now along with Obie and 4-time Tony Award winning lighting designer, Kevin Adams. Adams has worked extensively on Broadway winning his Tony Awards for The 39 Steps, Spring Awakening, American Idiot, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Kevin Adams has designed the lighting for Chase Brock’s The Song That I Sing; or, Meow So Pretty -- one of 4 pieces being performed at PS21 this week.

  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: Suicide Squad, Anthropoid Upcoming:• The Hudson: River at Risk, plus Q&A w/director Jon Bowermaster - Madison Theater, Albany, 8/18 Thursday, 7 PM• The Big Takeover - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, 8/19 Friday• Pretty Much the Best Comedy Show: Nore Davis - Underground at Proctors, 8/20 Saturday• Dawes, Basia Bulat - The Egg, Albany, 8/20 Saturday• Buster Keaton’s Sherlock Jr. (and cartoons, including Felix the Cat) with live music by the BQE Project - MASS MoCA, 8/20, Saturday, 8 PM• Borromeo String Quartet (Haydn, Beethoven & Russell Platt’s Mountain Interval, a world premiere)• Maverick Concerts, Woodstock, 8/21 Sunday, 4 PM• Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center at the Spa Little Theater, Saratoga Springs    “Classical Legacy,” Mozart, Schumann & Mendelssohn, 8/21 Sunday, 3 PM    “Russian Fireworks,” Gliere, Moszkowski, Rachmaninoff & Tchaikovsky, 8/23 Tuesday 8 PM• Goo Goo Dolls, Collective Soul, Tribe Society - SPAC, Saratoga Springs. 8/21 Sunday• Celtic Thunder - Palace Theatre, Albany, 8/23 Tuesday New Movies: Ben Hur, Hell or High WaterKubo and the Two StringsOur Little Sister

Renée Fleming
Decca/Andrew Eccles

  This Thursday at 8pm the Philadelphia Orchestra, under the baton of its music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, will take the stage at SPAC and be joined - for her first time at that venue - by opera star, Renée Fleming.

Ms. Fleming joins us to discuss that concert, travel, language, and her role as Kennedy Center Artistic Partner.

Maverick Concerts

Aug 16, 2016

Maverick Concerts, America’s oldest continuous summer chamber music festival and winner of the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, thrives on the love of great music and the spirit of its unique site in the unspoiled woods. The rustic 1916 concert hall is ideally suited to chamber music and the intimacy of live performance.

This is Maverick’s 101st season and we will hear about the remainder of their season including this weekend’s Chamber Orchestra Concert featuring the Maverick Concert Players. We welcome Maverick Concerts Music Director and Conductor, Alexander Platt.

Rob Edelman: Westerns New And Old

Aug 15, 2016

Given its title and storyline, LES COWBOYS-- a new film that has been released theatrically here in the U.S.-- has to be categorized as a Western. This is so even though LES COWBOYS was made in France, is set in non-American locales, and unfolds not in the 19th century American West but in more contemporary times.

  The Philadelphia Orchestra's Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Musical America’s 2016 Artist of the Year and newly appointed Music Director of The Metropolitan Opera, returns to SPAC for the final week of the orchestra's summer residency. 

He joins us to talk about this week's concerts in Saratoga.

**Correction - in the audio introduction of this interview it is said that Andre Watts will perform - sadly he has had to cancel. The opening concert will feature Czech pianist Lukas Vondracek.

  Legendary singer-songwriter and two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, inducted as a member of both the iconic folk-rock band The Byrds — with whom he first rose to stardom — and the iconic Woodstock era-defining group Crosby, Stills & Nash.

At The Bardavon on August 20th, Crosby will play songs from throughout his storied career, and will be joined by his son James Raymond on piano.

Any Questions #259

Aug 12, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel try to keep cool by switching seats.

Rogovoy Report For 8/12/16

Aug 12, 2016

The weekend’s cultural highlights in the region include a new dance festival; the nephew of a pop-art icon; a film festival gone to the dogs; the meeting of two creative minds; French-American electro-swing; a season-topping performance of Shakespeare; and a whole lot more.


  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yeuda Hanani continue their conversation about female composers focusing on Hildegard von Bingen and sharing her "O viridissima virga" performed by the women’s section of Voices of Ascension.

  The Philadelphia Orchestra will present Sophisticated Ladies on Saturday, August 13th at SPAC. The concert is a celebration of the groundbreaking icons of American popular song, from Ella Fitzgerald to Sarah Vaughan to Dinah Washington and of course, Billie Holiday. Montego Glover, Capathia Jenkins, and N'Kenge will join the orchestra to sing songs like "Strike Up the Band," "Stormy Weather," "Love is Here to Stay," and "Come Rain or Come Shine."<p>

Steven Reineke will conduct and he joins us to talk about the concert.


  Drama League and Drama Desk Award nominee Julia Coffey has joined the company of The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival to take over the roles of Rosalind in As You Like It, and Mariana and Mistress Overdone in Measure for Measure.

Staged in the tent at Boscobel House and Gardens in Garrison, NY and framed by stunning Hudson Valley views, As You Like It runs in rep through August 27th, and the final performance of Measure for Measure’s will be on August 28th.

Gregory Crewdson

  Gregory Crewdson will discuss the making of his most recent body of work in a conversation with acclaimed author Rick Moody at The Mahaiwe on Monday, August 15th at 7pm.

The evening will include the first ever projected slideshow presentation of Cathedral of the Pines in its entirety, set to Yo La Tengo's "Night Falls on Hoboken," remixed specially for this event by Grammy-winning producer/engineer Drew Brown.

Cathedral of the Pines (2013–14) was made during three productions in and around the rural town of Becket, Massachusetts. The work premiered at Gagosian Gallery in New York earlier this year, and will be seen for the first time in Europe, concurrently in Brussels and Paris in September.

Rick Moody is the author of six novels, three collections of stories, a memoir, and a collection of essays on music. His most recent publication is Hotels of North America, a novel. He writes regularly about music at The Rumpus, and writes the column "Rick Moody, Life Coach," for LitHub.

  The puppeteers that brought the world the unforgettable Broadway Musical War Horse will once again amaze audiences as they bring to life the timeless Russian fairytale ballet "The Firebird."

SPAC, along with the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, Ravinia Festival, Sun Valley Summer Symphony, and Hollywood Bowl — has commissioned the South Africa-based puppet company Janni Younge Productions to create a live puppet performance set to Igor Stravinsky’s 1910 masterpiece.

  On August 12th, Matthew and Gunnar of NELSON will take the stage at Daryl's House Club in Pawling, NY to remember their late father who, among other things, had the first number one hit on Billboard with “Poor Little Fool.” Additionally, between 1957 and 1973, the Rock and Roll pioneer, Ricky Nelson, had 53 songs on Billboards Top 100 with hits like “Travelin Man” “Believe What You Say” and “A Teenagers Romance.” Ricky’s flair for rockabilly, natural ability to sing heartfelt ballads, and familial connection to the popular television show The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet allowed him to become a pop icon who received a Golden Globe nomination while co-starring with John Wayne in Rio Bravo.

As the youngest of the only rock and roll dynasty in history to have number one hits for each generation, Matthew and Gunnar Nelson bring their triple platinum selling talent to honor their father in "Ricky Nelson Remembered" - a multi-media and live music tribute.

If you are fortunate enough to find yourself at the Glimmerglass Festival this summer, you will not soon forget the onstage character of a “thieving magpie.”  She makes certain of that from the start – during the best known piece of music in Rossini’s opera of the same name.  This is a stirring, march-like overture, an excellent match for pecking bird.

  Have you ever wondered if one simple interaction could change your life’s trajectory? The infinite question of “what if?” is raised in Nick Payne’s Drama League Award and Tony Award-nominated drama, Constellations.

Directed by Tony Award-nominated Gregg Edelman (and featuring Tony Award-nominated Kate Baldwin and Baldwin’s real life husband, Broadway and television actor, Graham Rowat.

Constellations is a poignant two-character drama follows Marianne, a quirky quantum physicist, played by Kate Baldwin, and Roland, a beekeeper, played by Graham Rowat. Their first encounter is seemingly ordinary—crossing paths at a mutual friend’s barbeque. Exploring the endless possibilities of their budding romance, the characters create their own multi-verse to see how their relationship would play out if they had chosen fate over chance.

The show runs through August 27th at the Berkshire Theatre Group’s Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. To hear more, we welcome Kate Baldwin and Graham Rowat.

  Jane Kaczmarek stars alongside Alfred Molina in the American premiere of And No More Shall We Part on the Nikos Stage at The Williamstown Theatre Festival. The play, written by Tom Holloway and directed by Anne Kaufman, opens this week and runs through August 21st. When Pam (Kaczmarek) becomes terminally ill, she and her husband Don (Molina) must face the most difficult decision yet in their long and loving marriage. With passion, fear, strength and even humor, they grapple with how, and if, to say goodbye.

On August 22nd, Kaczmarek will participate in a Selected Shorts presentation entitled "Unforgettable Journeys" at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, MA. Jane Curtin and Robert Sean Leonard will also read that evening in the Berkshires.

In THE THIN BLUE LINE, a landmark documentary from 1988, filmmaker Errol Morris conclusively proves that a man named Randall Adams was wrongly convicted of murder and dispatched to prison. Adams is victimized by a corrupt justice system in Dallas County, Texas, and, as a direct result of Morris’s investigative skills, he wins his freedom. Such is the power of filmmaking at its very best.

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.


  Friend of the show and acclaimed stage actor and singer, Jason Danieley is back in the Berkshires for the summer after playing Billy Flynn in Kander and Ebb’s Chicago on Broadway earlier this year. He is playing Timber Tucker in the Williamstown Theatre Festival production of Wendy Wasserstein’s An American Daughter, running on the mainstage in Williamstown through August 21st.

Tonight he will perform in Pittsfield at Barrington Stage Company with his wife, Marin Mazzie in a concert entitled Broadway and Beyond: Reprise Edition.

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