Arts & Culture

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with show all about "V.W."

Character development is essential to the success of a narrative film, particularly when the characters are depictions of real people. Audiences should enter the mind and witness the growth of the character using all the cinematic devices a movie crew can muster. Yet I wonder: Has character development become a secondary aspect of filmmaking in a world that emphasizes action flicks? I, TONYA and ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD are two basically well-made films that are letdowns in the category of character development.

Rogovoy Report 1/19/18

Jan 19, 2018

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include opera, Swedish folk, art openings, multimedia space music, and once again, the circus comes to town.

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.”

This morning we learn about the new exhibit at the Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, NY. "Alphonse Mucha: Master of Art Nouveau" is on display through March 18th.

"Alphonse Mucha: Master of Art Nouveau" examines how Mucha exploited the advertising poster to create a new movement in art. His work helped shape the aesthetics of French art at the turn of the twentieth century and formed the cornerstone of the international Art Nouveau movement.

Jonathan Canning, Director of Curatorial Affairs and Programming, joins us.

Piff The Magic Dragon will be performing at the Funny Bone in Albany tonight – Saturday, January 20th as part of his all-new 2018 tour The Dog Who Knows.

If the name doesn’t immediately conjure up an image of a grumpy-yet-hilariously-entertaining-English-comedian dressed in what looks like a handmade dragon costume (who performs magic tricks with his doggie in tow) then you simply don’t have your finger on the pulse of the comedy scene.

Piff rose to fame as the stand out star of season 10 of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” earning high praise from judges Howie Mandel and Howard Stern before reaching the top 10 in the finals.

Since then, Piff has made Las Vegas his home, where he has a residency at The Flamingo casino on a regular basis.

  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: "The Post"

Upcoming:
Tracy Grammer: CD Release Show - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Thursday 1/18, 7 PM
Town of Great Barrington W.E.B. Du Bois 150th Festival Kickoff - Featuring the one-man play, “W.E.B. Du Bois: A Man for All Times” - Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Mass., Friday 1/19, 6 PM
Susan Werner - The Eighth Step at Proctors, Schenectady, Friday 1/19, 7:30 PM
"Love, B: The Letters of Lt. Basil Beebe Elmer" – Dramatic Reading - (related to the exhibit "A Spirit of Sacrifice: New York State in the First World War”) - New York State Museum Huxley Theater, Albany, Saturday 1/20, 1 PM
Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Saturday 1/20, 8 PM
Quindar (Mikael Jorgensen & James Merle Thomas) - MASS MoCA Hunter Center, North Adams, Mass., Saturday 1/20, 8 PM
Dust Bowl Faeries - Helsinki Hudson Ballroom Stage, Hudson, Sunday 1/21, 6 PM
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure - Palace Theatre, Albany, Monday 1/22, 7 PM
Ephraim Asili: Inheritance (Work in Progress) - EMPAC Theater, RPI, Troy, Tuesday 1/23, 7 PM

New movies: "Phantom Thread," "12 Strong," "Den of Thieves"

Zankel Center at Skidmore College
robertdavisllc.com

The Battenkill Chorale opens its 23rd season with Giuseppe Verdi’s monumental Requiem for soloists, chorus, and 48-piece orchestra with two performances on Saturday and Sunday, January 20th  and 21st at 3pm at Skidmore College’s Zankel Music Center in Saratoga Springs, NY.

The Battenkill Chorale, a 110-voice unauditioned chorus from six counties in New York, Massachusetts, and Vermont, was founded twenty-three years ago by Artistic Director Janet McGhee.

Founded in 1970, the New York State Summer School of the Arts (NYSSSA) is a highly-competitive summer arts residential program funded by the New York State Education Department and student tuition. The four week, pre-professional summer curriculum includes individual and group instruction designed to help each student explore and develop their talents in ballet, choral studies, modern dance, visual arts, media arts, orchestral studies, or theatre.

Molly Hennighausen is the Executive Director of the New York State Summer School of the Arts.

Rob Edelman: Middle-Eastern Cinema

Jan 15, 2018

Films that come out of the Middle East do not just center on Arab-Israeli relations and conflicts or the hows and whys of individuals who become terrorists. They tell a range of stories and deal with a range of issues. Plus, they are made by filmmakers who are transcending borders and earning some well-deserved international acclaim.

Mark Messier
Brendan Lee, Flickr

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch spots for a quiz about famous promises.

Rogovoy Report 1/12/18

Jan 12, 2018

Things are picking up in our region, culturally speaking, with a new-music festival, a theater festival, a reading by the author of one of last year’s big books, “Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine,” and a birthday bash for Elvis Presley.

  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: "I, Tonya" and "The Shape of Water"

Ray Padgett founded the blog Cover Me in 2007 and has run it ever since, growing it into the largest blog devoted to cover songs on the web, with 80,000 individual readers a month.

His new book, "Cover Me," is packed with insight, photography, and music history. Each of the chapters investigates the origins of a classic cover and uses it as a framework to tell the larger story of how cover songs have evolved over the decades. 

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel kick off 2018 with a golden quiz.

Rogovoy Report 1/5/18

Jan 5, 2018

It’s a quiet weekend in the region, culturally speaking, so we’ll take a look at a few events that are happening this weekend and then look ahead over the next few weekends.

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."

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani continue their series of conversations about quoting, sampling, borrowing in music.

The original Broadway production of Kander and Ebb’s “Chicago: The Musical” opened in 1975. Set in Prohibition-era Chicago, the musical is a satire on corruption in the administration of criminal justice and the concept of the celebrity criminal. The show is eternally --and correctly-- associated with Bob Fosse who served as co-author, original director, and choreographer.

“Chicago” was revived on Broadway in 1996 and holds the record as the longest-running musical revival and the longest-running American musical in Broadway history. It is the second longest-running show in Broadway history, behind only “The Phantom of the Opera.” Walter Bobbie directed the revival and it was choreographed in the style of Bob Fosse by Ann Reinking.

The National Tour of “Chicago: The Musical” is bringing the ol' razzle-dazzle to Proctors in Schenectady this weekend – opening tonight and running through Sunday.

Broadway vet and friend-of-the-show, Jeff McCarthy, stars as silver tongue prince of the courtroom, Billy Flynn.

Pamela Tatge, Jacob’s Pillow artistic director
Hayim Heron/Jacob’s Pillow Dance

Jacob's Pillow has announced their full season lineup for Festival 2018, including U.S. company debuts, world premieres, International Artists, newly commissioned work, rich historic Festival connections, and the formal presentation of work developed through the organization's growing residency program at the Pillow Lab.

Jacob's Pillow is the longest-running dance festival in the United States, a National Historic Landmark, a National Medal of Arts recipient, and has recently expanded to become a year-round center for dance research and development. Festival 2018 opens on June 20, engaging visitors and community members from throughout the region and beyond, on and off-site, through August 26.

They aren’t resting during the winter months - Jacob's Pillow Director Pamela Tatge joins us.

  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: "Darkest Hour," "All the Money in the World"

Upcoming:
Anders Parker and Cloud Badge - The Low Beat, Albany, Thursday 1/4, 8 PM
Slambovian Circus of Dreams - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Friday 1/5, 8 PM
Josh Gondelman - The Comedy Works, Saratoga Springs, Friday 1/5 & Saturday 1/6 at 7:30, 9:30 PM
"Chicago: The Musical" - Proctors, Mainstage, Schenectady, Friday 1/5 through Sunday 1/7, various times
"Cinderella Tales" - Steamer No. 10 Theatre, Albany, Friday 1/5 at 7 PM; Saturday-Sunday 1/6-7 at 3 PM; thru Jan. 15
Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band - The Egg, Albany, Saturday 1/6, 8 PM
Albany Symphony Orchestra: Beethoven’s Fifth with Richard O’Neill, viola - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Saturday 1/6 at 7:30 PM, Sunday 1/7 at 3 PM
Black Label Society - Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park, Sunday 1/7, 8 PM

New movies: "I, Tonya," "Molly’s Game," "Insidious: The Last Key"

Rob Edelman: Three Performances

Jan 1, 2018

Denzel Washington is one of the contemporary cinema’s great actors. Yet not all the films in which he appears are great films. One example is ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ., which recently arrived in movie theaters. Washington plays the title character, a lawyer who is a product of the political activism of the 1970’s. He now is well into middle age, and has devoted his career to shunning the big bucks while embracing his activism. But 2017 is on so many levels a lifetime away from 1977 and, on so many levels, Roman J. Israel, Esq.’s dedication is not at all appreciated by those in his midst.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel wrap up another year with the seventh installment of leftover questions.

Rogovoy Report 12/29/17

Dec 29, 2017

It’s New Year’s Eve weekend, so as one might expect there are a lot of concerts and events celebrating the New Year, most of which take place on Sunday night, New Year’s Eve itself.

Will Hermes is a writer and contributing editor for Rolling Stone, a frequent contributor to NPR’s All Things Considered and author of “Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever.” His upcoming book is a biography of the late Lou Reed.

He joins us this time every year to share his picks for the best music released in the last 12 months.

The list of the songs played here is available on today's Roundtable playlist. You can listen to these songs and others he's chosen from 2017 on Will's year-end Spotify playlist.

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: "Star Wars: The Last Jedi"

Upcoming:

Rob Edelman: Dunkirk Redux

Dec 25, 2017

Not every very best 2017 film is an instant Academy Award contender that debuted at the September film festivals. One is the deservedly heralded DUNKIRK, which premiered theatrically in July and has just arrived on home entertainment. Given its overall quality, it was not surprising that, even though it had already played theatrically, DUNKIRK was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival as an extra-special event. This screening was held to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of IMAX, with Christopher Nolan, its director-writer-co-producer, in attendance and in a post-screening conversation.

A Christmas tree
wikipedia commons

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are getting into the Christmas spirit with a holiday-inspired show.

Rogovoy Report 12/22/17

Dec 22, 2017

The region’s cultural highlights this weekend and next mostly include holiday jazz, holiday funk, holiday avant-garde, holiday New Orleans and holiday classical music.

Astrid Van Wieren
broadway.com


  On March 12th of this year the new musical “Come From Away” opened at the Schoenfeld Theatre on Broadway. The show, written by David Hein and Irene Carl Sankoff went on to earn 7 Tony Award nominations - including Best Musical - and to win one for Best Direction of a Musical for Christopher Ashley.

 

"Come from Away" is based on true events that took place in Gander, Newfoundland, Canada on September 11th, 2001. 38 planes were diverted from their original paths and forced to land in Gander. The planes carried passengers from all over the world; scared, confused, and all-but cut off from their loved ones the accidental visitors - or “come-from-aways” as the Newfoundlanders call them - nearly doubled the population of the region for the better part of a week. The locals opened their doors, pantries, hearts, and minds until the airspace was reopened.

 

The 12 actors in "Come From Away" each play multiple Newfoundlanders and "plane peple" and we are joined today by Astrid Van Wieren who has been with the show - as much of the cast has - since its early development.

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