Arts & Culture

In 1919 Britain, Mrs. Conway is full of optimism during her daughter’s lavish twenty-first birthday celebration. The Great War is over, wealth is in the air, and the family’s dreams bubble over like champagne. Nineteen years later, though, the Conways’ lives have transformed unimaginably.

"Time and the Conways" is a time-jumping play by J.B. Priestley that takes place at the crossroads of today and tomorrow. Tony winner Rebecca Taichman directs "Time and the Conways" for Roundabout Theatre Company. The production runs through November 26 at The American Airlines Theater.

The play stars Elizabeth McGovern, Anna Camp, and our guests, Steven Boyer and Gabriel Ebert.

Bob Mankoff / The New Yorker

Bob Mankoff, cartoonist and influential cartoon editor for "The New Yorker," submitted more than 500 of his own cartoons to that publication before getting his first acceptance in 1977. He became cartoon editor in 1997, and is credited with nurturing a new generation of talent before retiring this past April.

He currently serves as the Humor and Cartoon Editor at "Esquire." He is the author of the memoir, "How About Never—Is Never Good for You?: My Life in Cartoons."

Mankoff will be in Albany later today with legendary New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast for a New York State Writers Institute seminar at 4:15 this afternoon in the Standish Room at the Science Library on the uptown University at Albany campus. There will be a reading at 8PM tonight in the Huxley Theatre at the New York State Museum in downtown Albany.

The creator of the award-winning TV series "Mad Men" has just written a debut novel - about family, power and privilege.

In "Heather, the Totality," Mark and Karen Breakstone have constructed the idyllic life of wealth and status they always wanted, made complete by their beautiful and extraordinary daughter Heather. But they are still not quite at the top. When the new owners of the penthouse above them begin construction, an unstable stranger penetrates the security of their comfortable lives and threatens to destroy everything they've created.

Matthew Weiner has been entertaining audiences for two decades, most recently as writer, creator, executive producer, and director of "Mad Men," one of television's most honored series. He also worked as a writer and executive producer on "The Sopranos."

On Saturday night at 7:30 pm, Weiner will appear as part of the popular “Yaddo Presents” series. This event will take place in Gannett Auditorium at Skidmore College. Weiner will be interviewed on stage by Elaina Richardson, President of Yaddo, about "Heather, the Totality," which was written at Yaddo.

David Hallberg, the first American to join the famed Bolshoi Ballet as a principal dancer and the dazzling artist The New Yorker described as “the most exciting male dancer in the western world,” joins us this morning to tell us about his new memoir, A Body of Work: Dancing to the Edge and Back.

The book brings us through his artistic life up to the moment he returns to the stage after a devastating injury almost cost him his career.

David Hallberg is a Principal Dancer with American Ballet Theatre in New York. He continues to dance around the world and is a Resident Guest Artist with The Australian Ballet. He has also started the David Hallberg Scholarship, mentoring young aspiring boys in a career in ballet, and the Innovation Initiative, a platform for emerging choreographers, both at American Ballet Theatre. 


  To mark the centenary of women’s suffrage in New York state and the re-opening of the state’s oldest surviving theater, Hudson Hall in partnership with The Millay Colony for the Arts commissioned a new production of Virgil Thomson and Gertrude Stein’s rarely performed opera "The Mother of Us All." Performances take place November 11, 12, 15, 18, and 19 at 4 p.m.

 

Using real and imagined characters, "The Mother of Us All" is about Susan B. Anthony and the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Reimagined as musical theater pageant, performed by a vocal and instrumental ensemble of Hudson Valley residents, and starring the mezzo-soprano Michaela Martens in the lead role, "The Mother of Us All" is directed at Hudson Hall by R. B. Schlather.

 

Schlather is widely recognized as one of the most ambitious, creative, strong, end edgy opera directors working today - having professional relationships with Opera Philadelphia, National Stardust, Wolf Trap Opera, Bard Music Festival, Tanglewood, Glimmerglass and many others.

Bob Goepfert Reviews The Legend of Georgia McBride

Nov 7, 2017
The Legend of Georgia McBride - Curtain Call Theatre - Rocky Bonsal
Amanda Brinke

LATHAM- “The Legend of Georgia McBride” is a piece of fluff with a giant heart.  It’s that heart that redeems and makes pleasant the comedy playing at Curtain Call Theatre in Latham through November 18.

Rob Edelman: Greta Grows Up

Nov 6, 2017

Back in 2012, in a piece on Greta Gerwig, I observed that she was all over movie screens. She recently had appeared in Whit Stillman’s DAMSELS IN DISTRESS and Woody Allen’s TO ROME WITH LOVE, and what was so engaging about her was her naturalistic screen presence. She was appealingly at ease onscreen. Once the cameras rolled, it did not seem as if she was acting. She was just, well, becoming her characters. Most often, they were young women who were approaching or who had approached adulthood and, in a film titled FRANCES HA, which also dates from 2012, her character was, indeed, quintessential Greta Gerwig. Here, she co-scripted with the director, Noah Baumbach, and she played a twentysomething who was flitting through life, attempting to figure out her relationships and where she fits in. Ultimately, she was trying to learn how to be a grown-up. 

"Smile! You're on Candid Camera!" Over eight different decades, nearly everyone who watches TV can happily relate to that phrase. Now Peter Funt, the show’s host, brings it to life in a show featuring clips, quips and great fun! “Candid Camera’s 8 Decades of Smiles! With Peter Funt,” is coming to the Wood Theater in Glens Falls, NY. The stage comedy is blended with a behind-the-scenes peek at the show’s funniest moments.

Created by Peter’s father, Allen Funt, "Candid Camera" is the only entertainment program to have produced new episodes in each of the last eight decades – from Allen’s start on TV in August, 1948, through Peter’s run on TV Land last year.

Using "Candid Camera’s" vast library, Peter showcases decades of fun and reveals what happened when the cameras weren’t rolling. Peter Funt joins us.

Glimmerglass Film Days

Nov 6, 2017

Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, a film about Jane Jacobs’ grassroots efforts to protect her neighborhood—New York City’s Greenwich Village—from car-centric, post-war development, kicks off the fifth annual Glimmerglass Film Days on Thursday at the Otesaga Hotel in Cooperstown.

Glimmerglass Films Days continues through November 13th with 18 feature length films, 9 shorts, filmmaker talks, receptions, guided walks, a companion art exhibit, and restaurant specials. The films, made in the United States as well as Mexico, the Netherlands, Mongolia, France, New Zealand, China, Turkey, and Italy, all reflect the theme “Home.”

Film Days curator Peggy Parsons, who also directs the Film Program at the National Gallery of Art, joins us for a preview.

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

Rogovoy Report 11/3/17

Nov 3, 2017

The weekend highlights in our region include husband and wife folk-pop; impressionist works on paper; Indian classical vocals; roots-rock-reggae; stars of the dubstep scene, and a whole lot more.

Bob Goepfert Reviews "Fun Home" At Proctors

Nov 2, 2017
Carly Gold as 'Small Alison' in Fun Home
Joan Marcus

SCHENECTADY - “Fun Home” is an achingly beautiful musical, that is marvelously performed at Proctors Theatre.   The show’s dark intensity might not be for everyone, but those who care for complex characters, provocative themes and haunting music you will have a rich experience at the show.

Hari Kondabolu is a Brooklyn-based comedian and writer who The New York Times praises as “one of the most exciting political comics in stand-up today.”

He’s the co-host of the podcast Politically Re-Active with friend/fellow comedian W. Kamau Bell. His new documentary The Problem with Apu will premiere on truTV on November 19 and Hari will perform at Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA on Saturday, November 4.

Rob Edelman: History Comes Alive

Oct 30, 2017

Documentaries come in a range of forms and shapes, and serve a host of purposes. Some of the more absorbing and overlooked highlight images that are nothing more than records of certain aspects of history. Two representative examples may be seen and appreciated on DVD. The first involves arctic exploration, and its title tells all. It is: VISITING WITH THE ESKIMOS OF THE FAR NORTH: SIX HISTORIC FILMS OF GREENLAND BY DONALD B. MACMILLAN, and it was produced by The Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum, located at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.

Breaking the Code, a play by Hugh Whitemore tells the story of computer genius Alan Turing. The play is being staged by Performing Arts of Woodstock for a three-week run beginning November 3rd.

It is only a slight exaggeration to say that the British mathematician Alan Turing saved the Allies from the Nazis and invented the computer and artificial intelligence - all before his suicide at age forty-one.  Breaking The Code tells how Turing's revolutionary ideas laid the foundation for the modern computer, and how he took a leading role in breaking the German Enigma ciphers during WW II, a scientific triumph that was critical to Allied victory.  

This is also the tragic account of a man who, despite his wartime service, was arrested and forced to undergo cruel and humiliating chemical castration -- all for trying to live honestly in a society that defined homosexuality as a criminal office -- gross indecency.

The play is directed by Bette Siler and Wallace Norman and they join us.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with an annual show tradition.

Rogovoy Report 10/27/17

Oct 27, 2017

The weekend highlights in our region include experimental performance; two tributes to the heyday of psychedelic rock; a film festival; folk music; chamber music, and a whole lot more.

Harold Prince
Marc J. Franklin

Harold Prince is the most honored director/producer in the history of the American theater. His new book, Sense of Occasion, gives an insider's recollection of the making of such landmark musicals as West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, Company, Follies, Sweeney Todd, Evita, and Phantom of the Opera.

Prince writes about his mentor George Abbott and his many celebrated collaborators, including Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins, Stephen Sondheim, John Kander, Boris Aronson, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Angela Lansbury, Zero Mostel, Carol Burnett, and Joel Grey.

Rob Edelman: Clooney In Suburbia

Oct 23, 2017

SUBURBICON, directed and co-scripted by George Clooney, actually is two films in one. It is a portrait of a post-World War II suburban America that is superficially ideal. Quite literally, it presents itself as heaven on earth. Its ever-smiling citizens are savoring a post-war and post-Depression prosperity. But of course they are Caucasian, and heaven forbid if an African-American family dares to intrude on their space simply by moving into their community.

Beowulf Sheehan


  Lucy Kaplansky, Richard Shindell and Dar Williams have revived their celebrated folk-pop collaboration - Cry Cry Cry - for their first performances in nineteen years. Cry Cry Cry’s 1998 album was a collection of 12 mostly cover songs and was a sort of tribute to fellow singer-songwriters. Their tour will bring them to The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall on October 27th.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for the "latest piece" of their show.

Audrey Kupferberg: Dawson City - Frozen Time

Oct 20, 2017

Up until now, filmmaker Bill Morrison has been known for his art film DECASIA, which imdb.com rightly describes as “a meditation on the human quest to transcend physicality, constructed from decaying archival footage and set to an original symphonic score.”

Gabriel Kahane's Instagram feed


  Gabriel Kahane’s 8980: Book of Travelers is a new collection of songs inspired by the two-week train trip he took across the United States last November. He left on his un-plugged  journey the day after the 2016 election to meet and converse with dozens of strangers.

Created in collaboration with director Daniel Fish and designer Jim Findlay, 8980: Book of Travelers is a song cycle and solo stage show that will officially premiere at The Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival later this fall. Tonight, In a kind of sneak-peek, Kahane will take the stage in The Hunter Center at MASS MoCA - where he’s been working on the piece in residency for about two weeks.


  Singer-songwriter and visual artist, Natalia Zuckerman, will perform at Helsinki Hudson this Sunday, October 22nd as part of The Rogovoy Salon.

 

Zuckerman’s parents are renowned musicians, flutist Eugenia Zuckerman and violinist Pinchas Zuckerman. Natalia is a whiz with most things string: including acoustic and electric guitar, slide guitar, dobro, lap steel and banjo.

 

Her performance at Club Helsinki, The Women Who Rode Away: Songs and Portraits, will feature visual art alongside portrait songs about and inspired by women.

Rob Edelman: Taviani’s Rainbow

Oct 16, 2017

Remember the Taviani brothers? More to the point: Whatever happened to the Taviani brothers? In recent years, what have Paolo and Vittorio Taviani been up to?

Resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel and WAMC's Ian Pickus try to hit one out of this world.

The all female singer-songwriter tour, Steady On: Celebrating Lilith Fair at 20 will come to The Linda - WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio on Saturday at 8pm.

Sharon Goldman, Lara Herscovitch, Amy Soucy, and Sloan Wainwright will play songs made famous at Lilith Fair in the late 90s along with their own music. Sharon Goldman and Sloan Wainwright join us.


  It’s summer on Sway Lake, the most glamorous lake in the Adirondacks - former playground of the jazz-age New York aristocracy. Music collector Ollie Sway recruits his only friend, a rowdy Russian drifter, to help him steal a 78 record from his own family’s estate. Ollie believes that this mysterious piece of music was hidden for him by his father before his suicide. The boys’ mission should be as easy, but the arrival of the Charlotte “Charlie” Sway - Ollie’s Grandmother - changes everything.

 

Directed by Ari Gold and co-written by Gold and Elizabeth Bull, The Song Of Sway Lake will screen at The Woodstock Playhouse as part of The Woodstock Film Festival on Sunday at 2:15.

 

Mary Beth Peil plays Charlie Sway and she joins us now. Piel is a venerated actor of stage and screen. She started her career in opera and currently plays The Dowager Empress in Anastasia on Broadway.

A scene from Park Playhouse's production of "Always, Patsy Cline"
Park Playhouse

COHOES – If you are a Patsy Cline fan you will love “Always, Patsy Cline” which plays at the Cohoes Music Hall through Sunday.  If you never heard of the country singer who was killed in a plane crash in 1963, you’ll probably leave the show a big fan.

Leland Sundries
Sara Feigin

Leland Sundries, a band from New York led by Nick Loss-Eaton, is playing at Ör Gallery and Tavern in Hudson, NY tomorrow night. The New York TImes describes Leland Sundries’ music as “scrappy Americana [that] will get you longing for empty two-lane highways and kudzu-encased back porches.”

Nick Loss-Eaton joins us.

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