Arts & Culture

Elizabeth Sobol, a veteran of the classical music and recording industry, is spending her first summer as the President and CEO of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. She joins us this morning to tell us what is happening on stage and behind-the-scenes at SPAC over the coming weeks.

She comes to Saratoga Springs from Miami Beach, where she was president and CEO of Universal Music Classics. Before that she spent nearly three decades at IMG Artists as its managing director.

After a successful with the NYC Ballet, she is here to tell us about the Philadelphia Orchestra coming to SPAC tonight as well as SPAC on Stage and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Coopertown Summer Music Festival poster for 2017
Milton Glaser

The Cooperstown Summer Music Festival began with three events in 1999, and since then has offered the region more than 100 performances, from classical to contemporary, jazz to bluegrass, cabaret to kids’ concerts.

Linda Chesis, founder and artistic director of the Cooperstown Summer Music Festival, has been hailed by critics on three continents as one of the most exciting and dynamic flutists of her generation. She joins us now to tell us more about the amazing  concerts taking place in Cooperstown this month. 

Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood
Sarah LaDuke

Bramwell Tovey is the Grammy and Juno award-winning Music Director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. As a guest conductor he works internationally with some of the world’s most prestigious orchestras.

During 2015/16 his guest appearances include the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, the Boston, Chicago, Montreal, Melbourne and Sydney Symphonies.

Bramwell Tovey will conduct Copland's Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, with soloist Garrick Ohlsson, on Tanglewood on Parade tonight.

The Carriage House at Tanglewood
Sarah LaDuke

Charles Dutoit is one of the most successful conductors working today. But, 58-years ago, he was here attending the Tanglewood Music Center.

Since that time, he has been very close to Tanglewood and the BSO. He made his conducting debut here in 1981 and has returned most years since, annually since 2002, and last year was named the Koussevitzky Artist, an honorary title given by the BSO in recognition of his commitment to the 2016 Tanglewood season and longtime contributions to the BSO and other orchestras around the world.

Tonight, he will be conducting Hary Janos Suite by Zoltan Kodaly .

James Burton at Symphony Hall in Boston.
Michael Blanchard

There is a new face here on the Tanglewood campus. James Burton joined the team earlier this year as the next Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. In addition, Burton takes on the newly established title of BSO Choral Director, a role in which he will explore new opportunities to enhance the orchestra's choral activities. 

Burton is only the second conductor to be appointed director of the TFC since its founding in 1970; he follows in the footsteps of John Oliver, founder and director of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and who currently holds the title Founder and Conductor Laureate. He joined us last time and we begged him to come back. 

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. 

View at Tanglewood
Sarah LaDuke

Moritz Gnann became the new assistant conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in fall 2015. He made his successful Tanglewood debut with the BSO conducting Mahler's First Symphony. His November 2016 concerts mark his subscription series debut. In addition to his activities in Boston, Gnann continues to appear as a guest conductor with Deutsche Oper Berlin.

In tonight's Tanglewood on Parade gala concert in The Shed, he will be conducting Mendelssohn’s Overture, The Hebrides (Fingal's Cave)

David Lang
Peter Serling

The Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA is underway and runs through August 6th. 

The festival is dedicated entirely to adventurous contemporary music. We will spend three weeks immersed in today's most exciting music. Composers will have their new works performed. Players will perform in ensembles sitting alongside their teachers. The Festival includes daily performances in the museum galleries, free with museum admission, and concludes with a six-hour blow-out Marathon Concert performed by the Festival ensembles and special guests. 

The Festival also features  African and Latin music workshops, electronics and music business seminars, free events in the community, and more. To tell us more, we welcome Pulitzer Prize winning composer and Bang on a Can co-founder, David Lang.

Bob Goepfert Reviews "Mamma Mia" At Proctors

Jul 30, 2017
Kara Mikula, Lyn Philistine, Carla Woods in a scene from Mamma Mia
Richard Lovrich

If you need proof that “Mamma Mia” is an indestructible piece of entertainment, look no further than the Capital Repertory Theatre production which continues at the Albany theater until August 13.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for a show all about 23.

Audrey Kupferberg: London Theatre

Jul 28, 2017

A few years ago, the college-aged daughter of friends of mine informed me that she goes to the theater for fun. Nothing more.  I disagreed.  Theater can be fun, but a person should attend theater to become educated, to illuminate aspects of life and clarify our emotional responses to the various worlds in which we live.  In the past month, I have been on a theater spree in London and New York City, seeking out plays and musical shows which range from lovely bits of fluff to full-blown political and humanist statements.  The musical shows offered the kind of fun my young friend craved, but also managed to touch upon more weighty themes. 

Rogovoy Report 7/28/17

Jul 28, 2017

The weekend highlights in our region include up and coming Gaga; classic rock dada; two blues music festivals; a rarely performed 19th century opera; and a whole lot more.

Musicians of the Boston Symphony Orchestra as well as friends and family of longtime BSO Principal Cellist Jules Eskin will gather to pay tribute to their beloved colleague and friend during a special performance at Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, on Sunday, July 30, at 7 p.m.

Jules Eskin, who led the BSO cello section for an unparalleled 53 years, passed away at his home in Brookline, Massachusetts, on November 15, 2016, after a long struggle with cancer.

A brief overview of Mr. Eskin's long and accomplished career appears below, followed by a program listing for the July 30 tribute concert. The public, un-ticketed event is open to anyone who wishes to celebrate the life and legacy of Mr. Eskin.

We are joined by BSO violist Mark Ludwig, who organized the event. 

Since the opening of the Fisher Center at Bard, Leon Botstein and the American Symphony Orchestra have been responsible for championing and restoring to the stage a growing number of important but long-neglected operas.

This year’s Bard SummerScape festival features the long overdue American premiere of Antonín Dvořák’s Dimitrij in an original new staging by award-winning director Anne Bogart. Dimitrij runs for five performances between today and August 6.

Dvořák’s work includes no fewer than twelve operas but his grand opera, Dimitrij, is rarely staged outside the Czech Republic.

Here to tell us more is Choral Director, James Bagwell. 

A scene from "Buyer & Cellar"
Curtain Call Theater

Summer is for relaxing.   If you are looking for a relaxing theater experience, “Buyer & Cellar” playing at Curtain Call Theatre in Latham is the ideal show.  Think of it as the theater equivalent of a beach-read book. 

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: Maudie, Dunkirk, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Upcoming:

Sweeney Todd - Mac-Haydn Theatre, Chatham, opens 7/27 Thursday (2 and 8 PM) through Aug. 6

Old Salt Union, Chris Kasper - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, 7/27 Thursday, 7 PM

John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous - Palace Theatre, Albany, 7/27 Thursday, 7 and 9:30 PM [7 PM sold out]

Phantogram - The Egg, Albany, 7/27 Thursday, 8 PM


  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.

This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday PS21 in Chatham, NY presents The Rory Block Gospel & Blues Fest.

The festival features The Campbell Brothers, Texas Music Hall of Famer Cindy Cashdollar, a gospel choir fest featuring 4 choirs from area churches, and Rory Block herself – who joins us now.

Rory Block has committed her life and her career to preserving the Delta blues tradition and bringing it to life for 21st century audiences around the world. A traditionalist and an innovator at the same time, she wields a fiery and haunting guitar and vocal style that redefines the boundaries of acoustic blues and folk. The New York Times declared: “Her playing is perfect, her singing otherworldly as she wrestles with ghosts, shadows and legends.”

Linada Lavin
Stephen Sorokoff

Linda Lavin is an American singer and actress. She is known for playing the title character in the sitcom Alice and for her stage performances, both on Broadway and Off-Broadway.

Linda Lavin will return to Club Helsinki in Hudson, NY on July 29 with “My Second Farewell Concert.” In the show, she recalls her roots in the theater, her love of American standards, Steely Dan, and a life-long obsession with the big bands of the 1940’s.

"Taking Steps" at Barrington Stage Company
Barrington Stage Company

Pittsfield, Mass. – The short review for the comedy “Taking Steps,” playing at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Mass through August 5, is:  Go see it – it’s funny.

Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright, Edward Albee, Edward Albee's At Home at the Zoo (Zoo story) delves deep into the complex concept of human loneliness and social disparity. Berkshire Theatre Group presents the show on its Unicorn Stage through August 26th.

Directed by Eric Hill, Edward Albee's At Home at the Zoo (Zoo story) joins Albee's classic play, The Zoo Story (1959), the classic play which launched Albee's sensational career, with its prequel, Homelife written 45 years later. This production features David Adkins and Tara Franklin.

Now in its 8th season, the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice will celebrate all things French at this year’s celebration August 4-6.

Remaining true to its mission of bringing together some of the world’s greatest vocal talent to audiences in the Catskills region, this year’s Festival will host internationally acclaimed performers and composers in a series of unforgettable open-air summer concerts that all share the alluring theme of French culture – including the star event, the beloved opera La Boheme. 

The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice is a one-of-a-kind music event that allows audiences to experience world-class talent, often only seen in metropolitan venues, in a more intimate setting while relishing the stunning beauty of the surrounding Catskills Mountains.

We are joined now by General Director Maria Todaro and Artistic Director, Louis Otey.

Rob Edelman: Get Out...And Stay Out

Jul 24, 2017

Back in 1967-- that would be a half-century ago-- a mainstream Hollywood film came to movie houses. That film was GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER, and its stars are Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, and Sidney Poitier. GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER dealt with a subject that was highly controversial five decades ago. In fact, in some states, it would have been illegal. That subject is intermarriage, and GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER is the story of a black man and white woman who have just met, and have fallen in love and wish to marry. The film charts the responses to this news by both sets of parents, and GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER ends on a hopeful note. At the finale, the characters sit down, relax, and share conversation and a meal-- and the point is that individuals from different races can be friends. They can spend time together and, perhaps, they even might fall in love.

artwork for Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow
Artwork by Ligature Creative

Obie Award winner and Drama Desk nominee Trip Cullman directs Outer Critics Award nominee and Theater World Award Winner Halley Feiffer’s world premiere of Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow: a contemporary adaptation of Chekhov’s Three Sisters. The show runs at The Williamstown Theatre Festival July 26 through August 6.

Thomas Sadoski plays Andrey. Sadoski currently stars on CBS' Life In Pieces. Previous television credits include HBO's The Newsroom, and NBC's The Slap. Broadway credits include Reckless, Reasons to be Pretty, House of Blue Leaves, and Other Desert Cities.

Micah Stock and Joe Donahue
Sarah LaDuke

Our next guest has made quite a splash on Broadway. He made his debut in 2014 in Terrance McNally’s It’s Only a Play starring Nathan Lane. For that role, Micah Stock was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play. He was most recently seen on Broadway in last year’s revival of The Front Page also starring Nathan Lane plus John Goodman and John Slattery.

He is spending his summer in the Berkshires starring in not one, but two productions at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. He just finished up a run in Jason Kim's The Model American. Next up, he plays Tuzenbach in Halley Feiffer's Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow (as in Costco) - a contemporary adaptation of Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters opening July 26th on the Nikos Stage.

Joe Donahue and Cristin Milioti
Sarah LaDuke

Cristin Milioti has had a cool and varied career split between TV, movies and theater over the past decade. Her breakout role came with Once, a Broadway production that won the Tony for Best Musical in 2012, earned her a Tony Nomination for Best Actress and won her a Grammy for Best Musical Theatre Album.

Before that, she'd already had bit roles in The Sopranos30 Rock and Nurse Jackie. She played Leonardo DiCaprio's wife in The Wolf of Wall Street and became the ill-fated mom in How I Met Your Mother. Most recently, she appeared in David Bowie's off-Broadway musical Lazarus and in Season 2 on FX’s Fargo.

She is now playing Masha in Halley Feiffer's Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow - a contemporary adaptation of Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters opening July 26th on the Nikos Stage at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.

A curse for a playwright who becomes successful is that sometimes producers seek out earlier plays to generate sales solely on a playwright’s name.  They can be embarrassments.

I was a bit apprehensive about attending a performance of the play Children of a Lesser God. Certainly, I was aware of the positive reviews and awards it had received, both on Broadway in 1980 and as a motion picture in 1986. But, I wondered: could this work capture the attention of today’s audience with its main actors communicating in sign language? Could their emotions as well as words be truly conveyed?

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch spots for a show about space movies.

Audrey Kupferberg: The Beguiled

Jul 21, 2017

Ever wish that you could remake one of those offensive anti-women macho dramas of the early screen career of Clint Eastwood?  Instead of yelling down the sexist male aggression in scene after scene, you could start from zero, rewrite the screenplay, and present the story from a more gender-balanced or even from a female point of view. PLAY MISTY FOR ME is a classic example -- and so is THE BEGUILED.

Pages