Arts & Culture

Outside Mullingar, a play by John Patrick Shanley - the Pulitzer Prize winning author of Doubt – brings us on a journey to the farmlands of Ireland. It is now playing through October 16th at Capital Rep in Albany.

Outside Mullingar is the story of an unlikely romance between two rural, middle-aged neighbors: Anthony, an introverted farmer and Rosemary, the woman who vows to have him – at all costs.

This morning we meet two of the cast-members - Kenneth Kimmins has a major Broadway/West End resume, with stints in The Music Man and the New York and London companies of Company. On television, Ken spent nine years as series regular Howard Burleigh, on Coach. He was also being a semi-regular on Lois And Clark.

Laurie O’Brien has extensive television and film resume includes work on CSI, CSI: Miami, Detroit 1-8-7, ER, and NYPD Blue

Berkshire Theatre Group and WAM Theatre present the American Premiere of The Bakelite Masterpiece, by Kate Cayley at the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, September 29 through October 23.

In keeping with their double philanthropic mission, WAM Theatre will be donating 25% of the box office proceeds from this production to their ninth beneficiary, the Berkshire Immigrant Center and Suzi Banks Baum. 

The show is directed by Kristen van Ginhoven and features David Adkins and Corinna May. 

Ben Neill's Manitoga

Sep 28, 2016

  Ben Neill has been called a “creative composer and genius performer” by Time Out NY and a “musical powerhouse, a serious and individual talent” by Time Out London. Neill’s music blends influences from electronica, jazz, and minimalism.

In 2014 the Hudson Valley resident received a New York State Council on the Arts Individual Artist grant to compose Manitoga - a piece named for, inspired by, and performed at Manitoga - the estate and modernist home of industrial designer Russel Wright in Garrison, NY.

Ben Neill, Mark Boulanger, Jason Covey, James O'Connor, John Charles Thomas, and Peter Zummo will play Neill’s Manitoga with his mutantrumpet and Phonemophone Alphabet Horns by artist Carol Szymanski in Manitoga’s Annual Open Air Performance on October 30th at 3pm.

Stephen Burt
Alex Dakoulas

  Stephen Burt, “one of the most influential poetry critics of his generation” (The New York Times), will read from and discuss his new book, The Poem is You: 60 Contemporary American Poems and How to Read Them on Thursday, September 29 at 8 p.m. in the Huxley Theatre, New York State Museum, Cultural Education Center, Madison Avenue in downtown Albany.

Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m., the author will hold an informal seminar in the Standish Room, Science Library on the UAlbany uptown campus. Free and open to the public, the events are sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and the Friends of the New York State Library.

Rob Edelman: Variety In Toronto

Sep 26, 2016

We now are entering the annual fall film festival season, and an array of Oscar-hopeful features are screening at festivals in anticipation of their theatrical play. This year at the Toronto International Film Festival, the hype involved a host of high profile films and red-carpet-strolling movie stars. Two, for example, star Amy Adams. NOCTURNAL ANIMALS may feature a potentially intriguing storyline and an eye-opening opening sequence. But dramatically, it fell apart for me. On the other hand, ARRIVAL is a sci-fi tale that oozes intelligence and should be a well-deserved Oscar contender.

Steven Wright
Jorge Rios

Academy Award winning and Grammy nominated comedian Steven Wright will perform at The Egg in Albany on October 1st.

With his deadpan style, Mr. Wright has been a staple on the entertainment scene for more than three decades, dating from his first appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1982. He was invited to appear on the show again less than a week later.

Wright’s career expanded to albums, film and television appearances. His 1985 debut album I Have A Pony, earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Comedy Album, and he appeared in his first HBO stand-up special, A Steven Wright Special, later that year.

In 1989, Mr. Wright received an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film for The Appointments of Dennis Jennings, in which he starred and co-wrote.

He was nominated for an Emmy Award as a producer for the hit FX series Louie for the 2014 and 2015 seasons and also appears on Louis CK’s new web series Horace and Pete

Any Questions #265

Sep 23, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with this week's show.

Rogovoy Report For 9/23/16

Sep 23, 2016

The weekend’s cultural highlights in the region include chamber music, a comedy festival, art openings, a ceramics tour, indie-rock, and a whole lot more.

Hattie’s Restaurant has been bringing classic Southern cooking to Saratoga Springs, New York, since 1938, when Louisiana native Hattie Gray, then a household cook, saved up enough money to start Hattie’s Chicken Shack.

Now, their traditional and timeless fare is featured in the Hattie’s Restaurant Cookbook, by Hattie’s owner and chef Jasper Alexander. This book traces the restaurant’s history from the beginning to the present through recipes, anecdotes, and photographs. From downhome jambalaya to good old-fashioned fried chicken, Alexander intertwines Hattie’s Southern roots with nostalgic homemade tastes.

Jasper Alexander studied at the Culinary Institute of America and is featured regularly in regional papers. He has also made several guest appearances on local television and radio. In 2006, he appeared on Throwdown with Bobby Flay, where he beat Flay in a chicken-frying contest. 

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani continue their conversation about female composers - focusing on Fanny Mendelssohn.

Tomorrow night, the Albany Symphony will kick off David Alan Miller’s 25th Anniversary Season at the Palace Theatre, celebrating the Grammy award-winning Conductor’s leadership and the orchestra’s world-class musicians. 

Miller, recipient of over 25 ASCAP Awards for adventurous and innovative programming and a 2014 Grammy Award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo, has established a reputation as one of the leading American conductors of his generation and a champion of American symphonic music. 

Miller’s commitment to giving voice to new works by living American composers will be celebrated on September 24, 2016 at 7:00PM with the Capital Region debut performance of “Aria” for Hindustani Soprano and Orchestra by two-time ASCAP Morton Gould Award winner, Reena Esmail. 

The Opening Night performance will also feature internationally acclaimed pianist Natasha Paremski performing, Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G, a three movement concerto inspired by partly by the jazz music Ravel encountered during his 1928 American concert tour; and a centennial performance of Sibelius’ Symphony No. 5, originally composed in 1915 and revised first in 1916.

It is a great pleasure to welcome David Alan Miller to the RT this morning. We are also joined by afore mentioned composer Reena Esmail and Hindustani Vocalist Saili Oak.

  Actor, comedian, writer and producer, Paul Reiser, will headline this year's Fairview Hospital Gala on Saturday, September 24 at 8 p.m.

A seasoned actor, writer, and producer, Paul Reiser continues to add to his list of accomplishments. Having co-created and starred in the critically acclaimed NBC series Mad About You which garnered him multiple Emmy, Golden Globe, American Comedy Award and Screen Actors Guild nominations, Reiser returned to television last year in the FX series Married.

While developing several television projects which he will write and produce, Reiser is currently starring in the Amazon coming-of-age series Red Oaks for producer Steven Soderbergh. It's been a busy time in film for Reiser as well. Following his role in Academy Award winning film Whiplash, and in last year's Concussion, Reiser has a full slate of films coming up. He will be seen in The Darkness with Kevin Bacon, Devil in the Deep Blue Sea with Jason Sudeikis and Maisie Williams, Miles with Molly Shannon, and also in John McDonagh's War on Everyone with Alexander Skarsgard and Michael Pena.

Not one to abandon his roots in stand-up, in between projects Reiser tours the country performing to sold out venues and was recently voted one of Comedy Central's “Top 100 Comedians of All Time."

  Hudson Valley Ruins is a photography and architecture exhibition at The New York State Museum based on the work of Robert Yasinsac and Thomas Rinaldi.

Their 2006 book, Hudson Valley Ruins: Forgotten Landmarks of an American Landscape, studies the region's forgotten cultural treasures. In addition to great river estates, the book profiles sites more meaningful to everyday life in the Valley: churches and hotels, commercial and civic buildings, mills and train stations.

The show is on display at The New York State Museum through December 31st and this Saturday the artists will be on hand for a guided tour and book signing. 

  In June 1980, 19-year-old James McDonnell (known as Slim Jim Phantom) boarded a plane from New York City to London with his childhood friends and bandmates Brian Setzer and Lee Rocker. In less than a year, they went from being homeless, hungry, and living in punk rock squats to the toast of the London music scene.

The Stray Cats developed a signature sound and style that swept across the world, released multiplatinum albums, and were embraced and befriended by classic rock acts like the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin, as well as original punk heroes such as the Sex Pistols, the Damned, and the Clash, and rock-and-roll originators Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis. After ten years of marriage to actress Britt Ekland, Slim Jim moved down the hill to Sunset Strip, where his son was raised and he owned the world-famous rock-and-roll bar Cat Club while continuing to play with a host of well-known musicians.

Slim Jim Phantom's memoir is A Stray Cat Struts: My Life as a Rockabilly Rebel.

Rob Edelman: Snowden

Sep 19, 2016

There are two approaches to viewing SNOWDEN, the latest Oliver Stone film, which has just opened theatrically. One is to comment on the film’s artistry and cinematic aesthetic, and compare it to its creator’s previous work. The other is to reflect on what Stone is telling us about Edward Snowden, the controversial National Security Agency contractor who became a fugitive upon revealing America’s illegal surveillance of its citizens. And also, what is this film telling us about our world in 2016: our values, our feelings about privacy, and the manner in which a government can control the flow of information to its citizens?

  Susie Essman has played the sassy Susie Greene for all 8 seasons of HBO’s critically acclaimed and award-winning Curb Your Enthusiasm, her hilarious bouts of withering sarcasm and uninhibited insults her character’s trademark. She is also an accomplished stand-up. 

She will host Laughingstock! at the 4th Annual Woodstock Comedy Festival on Friday, September 23. The evening will feature stand-up from Karen Bergreen, Kendra Cunningham, Jaye McBride, and Liz Miele.

Laughingstock! is a benefit for Family of Woodstock and for the Polaris Project.

Any Questions #264

Sep 16, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothangel spend a night at the opera.

Audrey Kupferberg: Florence Foster Jenkins

Sep 16, 2016

Have you seen the advertising stills and posters for FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS, the late summer release from director Stephen Frears?   In just about every image, the three major characters smile in a carefree, bubbly fashion as though they just tasted the most delicious champagne.   There are Florence herself played by Meryl Streep, her husband St. Clair Bayfield played by Hugh Grant, and highly talented Simon Helberg from THE BIG BANG THEORY appearing as her piano accompanist. 

Rogovoy Report For 9/16/16

Sep 16, 2016

The weekend’s cultural highlights in the region include a huge, 3-day bluegrass and roots music festival; a solo piano recital by a renowned virtuoso; a scion of Afrobeat; an alternative rock and arts festival; dance works; and a whole lot more.

  The regional premiere of the Donald Margulies play Time Stands Still opens tonight and runs through October 15th at the Curtain Call Theater in Latham, NY.  

After barely surviving a bomb blast in Iraq, photojournalist Sarah Goodwin finds herself caught in a tug of war between her career and the quiet of domestic life.

Returning home into the care of her long-time lover, James, Sarah is caught off-guard by James’ desire for family and by the simple domestic life pursued by Richard, her editor, and his much younger girlfriend, Mandy. Two of the cast-members join us this morning – Amy Lane and Tom Templeton. 

Rana Santacruz
Erin Patrice O'Brien

  Rana Santacruz, a Mexican musician and bandleader who lives in Brooklyn -- his music is a kind of Mexican bluegrass, Irish mariachi, folk alternativo mash-up.

Rana Santacruz and his band will play the FreshGrass Festival at MASS MoCA this Saturday.

  Stephen King has called him “a national treasure,” comedian and actor Gilbert Gottfried is known for his trademark squinting and screeching...and hilarious observations.

He started his stand-up career at the age of 15, and in 1980 he joined the cast of Saturday Night Live. He came to fame doing a series of memorable promo bits for MTV, and over the years he's appeared in numerous films, including Beverly Hills Cop II and The Aristocrats.

In addition, Gottfried regularly appeared on Late Night With David Letterman, Hollywood Squares, The Howard Stern Show and The Tonight Show. He is also the creator and host of the very successful podcast Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast where he talks with the show business legends, icons and behind-the-scenes talents who shaped his childhood and influenced his comedy.

Gilbert will be headlining the Woodstock Comedy Festival next weekend on September 24th at the Bearsville Theatre in Woodstock at 8PM.

Lau At FreshGrass

Sep 15, 2016

  Lau is a British folk band from both Scotland and England, formed in 2005. They are playing at The FreshGrass Festival at MASS MoCA on Saturday.

The trio is Kris Drever, Martin Green, and Aidan O'Rourke. Lau are fearless innovators a lauded band that never stands still. They are creating some of the best music being made anywhere in any genre. Vocalist and guitar player Kris Drever joins us.

FreshGrass At MASS MoCA

Sep 15, 2016

  FreshGrass is MASS MoCA’s three-day festival of bluegrass and roots music. This year’s festival is this weekend - September 16-18 in North Adams, Massachusetts.

FreshGrass is a family-friendly festival, brimming with bright talent on four stages, and also in MASS MoCA’s galleries, brick-lined courtyards, and grassy field. It is produced in partnership by MASS MoCA, the FreshGrass Foundation, and No Depression.

This year’s line-up of world-class talent includes Glen Hansard, Rosanne Cash, Old Crow Medicine Show, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Aoife O’Donovan, and many more.

Here with a preview and to point out other highlights we welcome Chris Wadsworth, FreshGrass Founder and Producer and Publisher of No Depression and Jodi Joseph, MASS MoCA’s Director of Communications. 

    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: Sully (IMAX), Complete Unknown


Animal Crackers 4K restoration - Cinema Capitol/Capitol Theatre, Rome, Thu-Wed 9/15-21

Time Stands Still - Curtain Call Theatre, Latham, opens Fri 9/16 (through 10/15)

Jim Breuer - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Fri 9/16

Alex Skolnick Trio - Van Dyck Restaurant & Lounge, Schenectady, Fri 9/16

Vieux Farka Toure - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, Fri 9/16

John Mayall - The Egg, Albany, Fri 9/16

3 Doors Down, Pop Evil, Red Sun Rising - Palace Theatre, Albany, Fri 9/16

FreshGrass Festival - MASS MoCA, Fri-Sun 9/16-18 - Friday (starts 6 PM): Glen Hansard, The Devil Makes Three; Saturday (starts 11:30 AM): Old Crow Medicine Show; Sunday (starts 11:30 AM): Rosanne Cash, Ricky Skaggs

Les Dudek - Putnam Den, Saratoga Springs, Sat 9/17

“Weird Al” Yankovic - Proctors, Schenectady, Sat 9/17

Fame The Musical - Stanley Theatre, Utica, Tue-Wed 9/20-21

New movies: Snowden, Bridget Jones’s Baby, Lo and Behold, Mia Madre, Blair Witch

  With eleven No. 1 country singles since 1981, Rosanne Cash is a veritable country music icon. She comes to FreshGrass at MASS MoCA this weekend – on Sunday afternoon - joined by her husband John Leventhal, with whom she co-wrote her GRAMMY award-winning album The River & The Thread.

The record is a self-described “mini-travelogue of the South, and of the soul,” based on a series of road trips the two took together. It travels through centuries of American history and weaves together tidbits of family lore into an “exquisitely profound” whole.

Rob Edelman: “Politically Correct” History

Sep 12, 2016

In countless films that are produced in the present but whose stories are reflections of the past, “politically correct” depictions have increasingly been the norm. And so a film set during World War II will feature black GIs fighting side-by-side with whites, even though the American military at the time was segregated. For that matter, a scenario set at any time in history just may feature an integrated cast, characters from a range of races, and relationships between these characters-- even though such intermingling does not represent the facts of history.

  Splendor, Myth, and Vision: Nudes from the Prado is the current exhibition at The Clark in Williamstown, MA.

The exhibition features twenty-eight Old Master paintings from the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid by Titian, Peter Paul Rubens, and many others. The exhibition explores the role of the nude in European painting in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and the collecting and display practices of the Spanish royalty.

We are taken on a tour of the exhibition by The Clark's Kathleen Morris, Sylvia and Leonard Marx Director of Collections and Exhibitions and curator of decorative arts; and Lara Yeager-Crasselt, interim curator of paintings and sculpture.

Any Questions #263

Sep 9, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel try out a new category.

Rogovoy Report For 9/9/16

Sep 9, 2016

The weekend’s cultural highlights in the region include several chamber concerts; 19th century political cartoons; 20th century music; a bluegrass festival; a solo piano virtuoso; a Pulitzer Prize winner; and a whole lot more.