Arts & Culture

Thelma Adams is an established figure in the entertainment industry. For two decades, she has penned celebrity features and film criticism for high-profile publications. 

She joins us to discuss the 90th Academy Awards which will take place this Sunday. Her greatest title is that she is an Oscarologist and we welcome her to the program this morning.

Echo/Archive At EMPAC

Mar 1, 2018
George MacLeod
George MacLeod /

A big premiere is happening Friday night at EMPAC.

Choreographer Elena Demyanenko and filmmaker Erika Mijlin’s collaboration Echo/Archive, which has been developed in residence over this past year, is a live dance and film project which features female performers across three generations and focuses on “bodily heritage,” or the way that movements are stored and communicated between bodies. Both artists teach at Bennington College. 

Filmmaker (and the lead video artist on Echo/Archive) Erika Mijlin and EMPAC’s Curator of Theater and Dance Ashley Ferro-Murray join us.

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. 

Duckweed Palace, mixed media 2006-2010
Robert Hite

The Albany International Airport is presenting "Above the Fray," its newest exhibition which features sculptures and photographs from Hudson Valley artist, Robert Hite. The show will join Hite’s already existing large-scale sculpture, "Migration House," currently on view at the airport.

Growing up in the rural South during the Civil Rights Movement, Hite explores the relationship between environment and disenfranchisement in his work, and focuses on themes of poverty, functionality, resilience, and community.

He is specifically interested in the meaning of the home, which can provide refuge from the elements and serve as a protective space for aspirations. Hite’s sculptures — described as “hand-made habitations” — are constructed out of found materials like reclaimed wood and metal.

Rob Edelman: The Best Of The Best

Feb 26, 2018

Five excellent and provocative films have earned nominations for Best Documentary Feature Academy Awards. One of them is FACES PLACES. Its co-director is Agnes Varda and it just may win, if only to honor this legendary eighty-something filmmaker. However, one in particular stands out. It is ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL. I cited it in a review this past spring when it opened theatrically and it is well-worth re-focusing on, given its quality and its content.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel return for a quiz about orange things.

Rogovoy Report 2/23/18

Feb 23, 2018

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include a global funk concert, a festival of new short plays, early music, Romantic music, feminist art, and two stars of alternative cabaret.

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani conclude their series of conversations about quoting, sampling, borrowing in music, discussing a time when Franz Schubert stole from himself.

Jonny Sun drawing jomny sun
Chris Buck / New York Times

  Jonathan Sun is an architect, designer, engineer, playwright and comedy writer, an artist, illustrator and a doctoral student at MIT and a Berkman Klein Fellow at Harvard -- and the creator of the Twitter persona jomny sun.



His work across these multiple disciplines is concerned with narratives of human experience. The new book, "Everyone's a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too" - published by Harper Perennial - distributes aspects of his personality and observations from his life and education between jomny (an alien visiting Earth) and the creatures jomny encounters while here.

As a small example, in the book jomny has a conversation with a hedgehog who explains the difference between an introvert and an extrovert thusly: “introverts enjoy peopel-watching. extroverts enjoy peopel watching.” [sic]


In a blurb on the book jacket, Joss Whedon says of Everyone's a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too: “This book is funny and sad, simple and complex, badly spelled and beautifully written.”


We spoke with Jonny Sun about the book, Twitter, his research, and @tinycarebot.

Bob Goepfert Reviews "Les Miserables" At Proctors

Feb 22, 2018
The company of LES MISÉRABLES performs “Master of the House” with J Anthony Crane as ‘Thénardier’ and Allison Guinn as ‘Madame Thénardier.’
Matthew Murphy

SCHENECTADY – The production of “Les Miserables” at Proctors is like spending time with a good friend whom you haven’t seen in a long time. 

(Airs 2/22/18 @ 1 p.m.)  On this program, WAMC's Alan Chartock and Historian Dr. Richard Pfau discuss President Harry Truman's Truman Doctrine speech. In addition, listeners will have an opportunity to actually hear the speech as it was delivered on March 12th, 1947.

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: "Black Panther"


  • Troy Night Out: The Amazing Race Trivia Night - Downtown Troy, Friday 2/23, 5-9 PM
  • Mile Twelve - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Friday 2/23, 8 PM
  • Shemekia Copeland - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, Friday 2/23, 9 PM
  • Shelby Lynne, Teddy Thompson - The Egg, Albany, Saturday 2/24, 8 PM
  • Sinkane - MASS MoCA, Club B10, North Adams, Mass., Saturday 2/24, 8 PM
  • Pretty Much the Best Comedy Show: Adrienne Iapalucci - Proctors, Schenectady, Saturday 2/24, 8 PM
  • Soovin Kim, violin; Paul Watkins, cello; Gloria Chen, piano - (Beethoven, Brahms, Pierre Jalbert) - Union College Memorial Chapel, Schenectady, Sunday 2/25, 3 PM
  • Dropkick Murphys, Agnostic Front, Bim Skala Bim - Albany Capital Center, Albany, Sunday 2/25, 7:30 PM
  • "Casablanca" - Palace Theatre, Albany, Monday 2/26, 7 PM
  • Staatskapelle Weimar with pianist Sunwook Kim - (Beethoven, Brahms, Wagner, Richard Strauss) - Troy Chromatics Concerts, Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Wednesday 2/28, 7:30 PM

New movies: "Annihilation," "Game Night," "Happy End," "Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool"

Known as the king of the rant, Lewis Black uses his trademark style of comedic yelling and animated finger-pointing to skewer anything and anyone that gets under his skin. His comedic brilliance lies in his ability to make people laugh at the absurdities of life, with topics that include current events, social media, politics and anything else that exposes the hypocrisy and madness he sees in the world.

His new tour "The Joke's On Us" comes to UPAC in Kingston, New York, on Saturday, February 24.

Rob Edelman: Black Panther

Feb 19, 2018

Upon initially hearing that a new film titled BLACK PANTHER soon would be coming to a theater near you, my gut response was: “Oh no, I really hope this film will not be a rehash of the highly controversial Black Panther Party of the late-1960’s and ‘70’s. Who would be cast as Huey Newton? Who would play Bobby Seale? How would they be presented?”

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back, baby.

Audrey Kupferberg: Overlooked And Forgotten Films Of 2017

Feb 16, 2018

With all the Oscar buzz this month, one might think that fewer than twenty feature films were made during 2017. THREE BILLBOARDS, THE SHAPE OF WATER, THE PHANTOM THREAD, LADY BIRD, GET OUT, DARKEST HOUR…

Rogovoy Report 2/16/18

Feb 16, 2018

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include a jazz festival, a festival of new short plays, early music, late music, and one of the world’s most famous comedians and comic actors. All that, plus the circus comes to town.

Rob Edelman: Not “Fake News”

Feb 12, 2018

Two current, high-profile films tell fact-based stories that are set in decades past, but each offers sobering truths about our present-day culture. Both feature characters who are well-known, who are name brands. Some are good guys: individuals who are honorable and responsible, and are deserving of our utmost admiration. Others, meanwhile, are out-and-out villains: individuals who are deeply, sadly flawed. They are self-absorbed. They are greedy. They are, at their core, not to be envied. In this regard, both films reflect on some real-world truths.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for a post-Fund Drive quiz.

Rogovoy Report 2/9/18

Feb 9, 2018

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include jazz, classical, trip-hop, pulp fiction and a celebration of Mardi Gras.

Jimmy Webb’s words have been sung to his music by a rich and deep roster of pop artists, including Glen Campbell, Art Garfunkel, Frank Sinatra, Donna Summer and Linda Ronstadt. He’s the only artist ever to win Grammy Awards for music, lyrics, and orchestration, and his chart-topping career has, so far, lasted fifty years, most recently with a Kanye West rap hit and a new classical nocturne.

He joined us to talk about his memoir, "The Cake and The Rain." 

Jenny Ashman (Reina) and Kelly Wolf (Deborah) in "Paris Time"
Douglas C. Liebig

Albany – The central issue in “Paris Time,” a play being given its world premiere by Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany, is Anti-Semitism.  With that as a topic how can you say the stakes aren’t high enough for the audience to care about the problems of its characters?

Rob Edelman: Less-Than-Perfect Parenting

Feb 5, 2018

Here are some thoughts on a couple of current, high-profile movies, both of which feature connections between mothers or fathers and their offspring.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel swap spots for the final quiz before the February Fund Drive.

Rogovoy Report 2/2/18

Feb 2, 2018

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include a scion of America’s first family of folk; classical concerts in solo, ensemble, and orchestral formats, playing everyone from Bach to Gershwin to Pärt to Higdon; and an original roots music duo.

"Paris Time" At TheRep

Feb 2, 2018

Capital Reparatory Theatre is currently presenting, "Paris Time," a drama that looks behind the headlines at anti-semitism in today’s France. The world premiere production by Steven Peterson is directed by Gordon Greenberg and runs through February 18.

When Deborah, the wife of a successful American executive based in Paris, becomes an activist defending a young Jewish Frenchwoman, Charles gets caught in the corporate hot seat. Company policy demands him to withdraw from the political limelight or lose his career, but if he won’t get involved, he may lose his marriage.

Jenny Ashman plays Reina in the show and Wally Dunn plays Martin and is making his Capital Rep debut in "Paris Time."

Bob Goepfert Reviews "The Bodyguard" At Proctors

Feb 1, 2018
Deborah Cox as Rachel Marron and Judson Mills as Frank Farmer in "The Bodyguard"
Joan Marcus

SCHENECTADY.  “The Bodyguard” is a musical-adaptation of the film that starred Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner.   Though the film was a major success, it was flawed.   The stage version does not improve the material. 

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with a show about "rocky' things.

Rogovoy Report 1/26/18

Jan 26, 2018

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include an alt-opera blending Bizet’s Carmen with Olympic figure skating; a festival of new plays; bluegrass; Chinese music; folk-rock harmonies; and collage art.

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: "Phantom Thread"


  • “The Hustler” - Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Mass., Thursday 1/25, 7 PM
  • Configurations: Anne Francey - Please exit, doors are closing: Tatana Kellner - Arts Center of the Capital Region, Troy, opens Friday 1/26, 5-9 PM, through March 12
  • “Paris Time” - Capital Repertory Theatre, Albany, Friday 1/26 through Feb. 18 (opening night Wed. 1/31)
  • Bill Staines - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Friday 1/26, 8 PM
  • D.L. Hughley - Funny Bone Comedy Club, Guilderland, Friday 1/26 through Sunday 1/28, various times
  • Alicia Hall Moran - MASS MoCA, North Adams, Mass., Saturday 1/27, 8 PM
  • Joey Alexander, piano - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Saturday 1/27, 7:30 PM
  • Donna McKechnie: Same Place, Another Time - Proctors, Schenectady, Saturday 1/27, 7:30 PM
  • State Ballet Theater of Russia’s Swan Lake - Palace Theatre, Albany, Tuesday 1/30, 7:30 PM

New movies: “Maze Runner: The Death Cure,” “Hostiles”