Arts & Culture

Before the rise of basic cable, Saturday mornings for many children in America were spent watching cartoons on one of three available television channels. From 1958 through the 1980s, a majority of those cartoons bore the Hanna-Barbera imprint. Creating scores of popular series such as The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Jonny Quest, Scooby-Doo, Super Friends, and The Smurfs, Hanna-Barbera was an animation powerhouse.

Hanna-Barbera: The Architects of Saturday Morning is the first museum exhibition on the world’s most successful animation partnership. It opens tomorrow at the Norman Rockwell Museum and runs through May 29th.

LATHAM - If you haven’t yet had your fill of vile people engaging in political backstabbing - you will be happy to know that “Farragut North” continues at  Curtain Call Theatre in Latham through November 26.

Shawn Stone, Digital Editor of The Alt (launching 11/15), joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

The 6th annual Made in the Berkshires festival features cutting-edge theatrical works performed as staged readings, live music, film, short stories and dance in a festival atmosphere like no other. New and innovative pieces as well as established work will be presented by local Berkshire County playwrights, actors, directors, musicians and performers.

Featured as performance blocks, Made in the Berkshires will allow audiences to enjoy the breadth and depth of the artistic talent that has landed in Berkshire County while celebrating the best in the visual and performing arts.

Professional artists and artists-in-the-making gather to share their talent with the Berkshire community. The festival will once again be curated by Hilary Somers Deely and Barbara Sims; two local artists who have helped create the rich cultural tapestry that permeates the Berkshires.

We are joined by Hilary and Barbara as well as Berkshire Theatre Group’s Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire.

Rob Edelman: Arrival

Nov 7, 2016

These days, so many science fiction films either dazzle viewers with special effects or terrify them with doomsday-laden end-of-the-world scenarios. So it is a happy surprise to find one that is genuinely intelligent, emotionally powerful-- and one of the best films of the year. Such a film is ARRIVAL, directed by Denis Villeneuve, which presently is arriving in movie theaters.

Any Questions #271

Nov 4, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats for their last show before Election Day.

A Bronx Tale: The Musical begins previews on Broadway at the Longacre Theatre tomorrow night. The new musical features a book by Academy Award nominee Chazz Palminteri, music by Oscar, Grammy, and Tony Award winner Alan Menken, and lyrics by Grammy Award winner and Oscar and Tony Award nominee Glenn Slater. The show is co-directed by two-time Oscar winner Robert De Niro and four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks, with choreography by Tony nominee Sergio Trujillo.

Based on the one-man show written and performed by Chazz Palminteri that inspired the now classic film, this streetwise musical will takes the audience to the stoops of the Bronx in the 1960s—where a young man is caught between the father he loves and the mob boss he’d love to be. Featuring an original doo-wop score, this is a tale about respect, loyalty, love, and above all else: family.

The musical premiered at the Tony Award-winning Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ to critical and popular acclaim earlier this year and officially opens on Broadway on December 1st.

Alan Menken joins us.

Audrey Kupferberg: Denial

Nov 1, 2016

DENIAL, a newly-released film, relates a very important true story, one that actually drew headlines 16 years ago.  The focus of the plot is a lawsuit that worked its way through English courts from 1996 into the 21st century.  In this suit, self-proclaimed historian David Irving sued Penguin Books and Deborah Lipstadt, an eminent American scholar on Holocaust Studies, for libel for characterizing some of his writings and public statements as Holocaust denial.

johnny Irion
Fionn Reilly

Our friend Johnny Irion is opening two concerts in our region this week.

On Thursday he’ll be at Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA with Good Friends, a new musical project from Ian O'Neil & Dennis Ryan of Deer Tick. Johnny will start the evening  with a solo set followed by Ian & Dennis in one of the first live gigs for Good Friends project, They will all play a few at the end of the show together.

On Saturday he’ll be at Helsinki Hudson, opening for Raleigh, N.C.-based Chatham County Line.


  Nick Cave is an American fabric sculptor, dancer, and performance artist. He is best known for his Soundsuits: wearable fabric sculptures that are bright, whimsical, and otherworldly.

In his new work, “Until,” Cave uses MASS MoCA’s football field-sized space to create his largest installation to date, made up of thousands of found objects and millions of beads, which will make viewers feel as if they have entered a sensory tapestry, like stepping directly inside the belly of one of his iconic Soundsuits.

For the piece Nick Cave and his curators and assistants have gathered 16,000 wind spinners; millions of plastic pony beads; thousands of ceramic birds, fruits, and animals; 1 crocodile; 17 cast-iron lawn jockeys -- and so much more.

We visited MASS MoCA during the installation of “Until” - which opened on October 15th and will be on view in North Adams, MA through early September of next year.

Nick Cave and curator Denise Markonish lead us through the exhibition.

Any Questions #270

Oct 28, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel return to one of their old favorites this week.

Rogovoy Report For 10/28/16

Oct 28, 2016

The weekend’s cultural highlights in the region include a film festival, a world-renowned violinist, an orchestra, a performance artist, a folk-blues legend, and a whole lot more.


  Earlier this week the New York premiere of Vietgone, opened at Manhattan Theatre Club in New York City. Written by Qui Nguyen and directed by May Adrales, the comedy tells the love story of two refugees from the Vietnam War who have settled in a relocation camp in Middle America - where their “new life” isn’t anything near what they’d hoped.  

 

They play isn’t what you might imagine based on that description either - for instance - one of the bios in the Playbill is for Rap Consultant, Miriam Hyman.

 

Miriam is a 2016 Leonore Annenberg Fellowship recipient for Performing Arts. She is a 2012 graduate of Yale School of Drama where she earned her MFA in acting and a 2011 Princess Grace recipient of the George C. Wolfe award in Theater. Since graduating she’s worked in film, television, regional, and Off-Broadway Theaters including LaMaMa, The Public, Manhattan Theater Club, and Lincoln Center.

 

Under her moniker, Robyn Hood, she will soon release an EP entitled For Higher.

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

Music - a portion of Lili Boulanger’s Psalm 130 - Du fond de l’amibe recorded by  American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon Bostein.

The Creative Life: A Conversation Series at UAlbany is a new initiative of the New York State Writers Institute, UAlbany Performing Arts Center, and University Art Museum, along with WAMC to converse with artists of national and international prominence about their creative inspiration, their craft, their careers, and the demands of sustaining an artistic practice over time. 

Savion Glover is a Tony award-winning choreographer and considered “the greatest tap dancer to ever lace up a pair of tap shoes.” At the age of 10 he starred in the Broadway musical The Tap Dance Kid, which earned seven Tony Award nominations including Best Musical. At the age of 15, he received a Tony nomination for his role in Black and Blue and, three years later, a Drama Desk Award nomination for his role in Jelly’s Last Jam.

He both starred in and choreographed the musical Bring in ’da Noise, Bring in ’da Funk, for which he received the Tony for choreography. In 2016, he earned another Tony nomination for choreography for Shuffle Along. He also performed the live capture dance moves for “Mumble,” the penguin in the Disney film Happy Feet and its sequel. 

This interview was recorded at Page Hall at UAlbany on October 16th. .  Later that night, Glover premiered his latest work New Soundz, at The Egg in Albany. 

Rob Edelman: Barry/Barack/Michelle

Oct 24, 2016

Films about real American presidents and first ladies currently are playing in film festivals and earning theatrical play. Two that were screened at the Toronto International Film Festival are LBJ, featuring Woody Harrelson as Lyndon Baines Johnson, and JACKIE, with Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy. And as his eight years in the White House fade into history, Barack Obama is a central character in two celluloid biopics which deal with his pre-presidency. One, titled BARRY, also was screened in Toronto. Another, titled SOUTHSIDE WITH YOU, came to theaters at the end of August.

Two of the most progressive voices in American jazz piano join forces for a performance that blurs the line between composition and improvisation.

Vijay Iyer and Craig Taborn have each risen to prominence within the jazz scene by expanding the boundaries of the genre and establishing a highly personalized approach to improvisation. Together, the two will draw on an evolving sketchbook of compositional ideas, developed through earlier iterations of the project, to continue a musical conversation that defies the notion of completion.

They will perform at EMPAC in Troy, NY this Saturday, October 29th at 8 p.m.

Any Questions #269

Oct 21, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are "back" again.

Audrey Kupferberg: Death Fantasies In The Movies

Oct 21, 2016

Throughout the history of the movies, there have been realistic portrayals of death.  But there also have been many instances where death is handled as eerie fantasy.  As we move towards Halloween, stories featuring death and its supernatural elements are dominating home screens.

Rogovoy Report For 10/21/16

Oct 21, 2016

The weekend’s cultural highlights in the region include a film festival, a modern pop-cabaret legend, a groundbreaking performance artist, a reading by a former Village Voice critic, and a whole lot more.

Rob Edelman: Hot-Off-The-Presses Holocaust Films

Oct 17, 2016

It’s been said before and it is well-worth repeating: As time passes, the world is becoming increasingly separated from World War II and the Holocaust. The youngest concentration camp survivors now are senior citizens and Elie Wiesel, one of the most justifiably celebrated survivors, recently passed away. His death at age 87 serves as a sobering reminder of the passage of time and the fear that the Holocaust just may fade into history.

Any Questions #268

Oct 14, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch spots for the last show before WAMC's Fall Fund Drive.

Rogovoy Report For 10/14/16

Oct 14, 2016

The weekend’s cultural highlights in the region include the opening of a huge new art installation, a concert by a Mercury prize winner, an old country-folk legend, a new country-folk star, and a whole lot more.


  To Keep the Light is written and directed by Erica Fae, who also stars as Abbie -- the wife of a lighthouse keeper in Northern Maine in the late 1800s. Inspired by true stories of women lighthouse keepers, working in isolation and under extreme conditions, women who inherited their jobs from infirm or deceased husbands or fathers and were trailblazers, embodying feminism long before the word existed.

The film will screen twice at the Woodstock Film Festival - today at 1:30 at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck, NY and Sunday at 2:15 at Upstate Films in Woodstock.

Caroline Shaw wrote the score for To Keep The Light. Shaw is a Grammy-winning singer in Roomful of Teeth and a violinist in ACME (American Contemporary Music Ensemble). In 2013 she became the youngest ever winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music, for her composition Partita for 8 Voices. Recent and current projects include commissions for the the Cincinnati Symphony, the Guggenheim Museum Works & Process Series, and the Folger Library, as well as collaborations with Kanye West.   

Amber Tamblyn’s directorial debut, Paint it Black, will screen twice at the Woodstock Film Festival - tonight at 6:30 at the Woodstock Playhouse in Woodstock and Sunday at the Orpheum Theatre in Saugerties at 5:30 p.m. She will also participate in the festival’s "Women in Film and Media" panel on Saturday October 15 at the Kleinert James Art Center in Woodstock. Other participants in the panel are Bette Gordon, Catherine Hardwicke, and Mary Stewart Masterson. The panel is moderated by Thelma Adams.

Based on the novel of the same name by Janet Fitch, Paint it Black explores and explodes the confusion of grief when Josie’s boyfriend, Michael, commits suicide and his death brings her into the orbit of his powerful and powerfully cold and heartbroken mother, Meredith. Their strained relationship circling around who knew Michael better, who loved him more, and what can they get from - and do to - each other now that he is gone.

Tamblyn co-wrote the adaptation with Ed Dougherty. It stars Alia Shawkat as Josie and Janet McTeer as Meredith.

Savion Glover In Albany

Oct 14, 2016
Savion Glover
Lois Greenfield

Savion Glover is a Tony award-winning choreographer and “the greatest tap dancer to ever lace up a pair of tap shoes” (Gregory Hines). At the age of 10 he starred in the Broadway musical The Tap Dance Kid, which earned seven Tony Award nominations including Best Musical. At the age of 15, he received a Tony nomination for his role in Black and Blue and, three years later, a Drama Desk Award nomination for his role in Jelly’s Last Jam.  He both starred in and choreographed the musical Bring in ’da Noise, Bring in ’da Funk, for which he received the Tony for choreography. In 2016, he earned another Tony nomination for choreography for Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed.

Glover will premiere his latest work New Soundz, at The Egg on October 15 at 8:00 p.m. and earlier that day, he will be in conversation with Joe Donahue at Page Hall on UAlbany's Downtown Campus as a The Creative Life event -- an exciting new initiative presented by the New York State Writers Institute, UAlbany Performing Arts Center, and University Art Museum.

As a founding member of The Beach Boys, Mike Love has spent an extraordinary fifty-five years, and counting, as the group's lead singer and one of its principal lyricists.

The Beach Boys, from their California roots to their international fame, are a unique American story -- one of overnight success and age-defying longevity; of musical genius and reckless self-destruction; of spirituality, betrayal, and forgiveness -- and Love is the only band member to be part of it each and every step.

Love’s story has never been fully told, of how a sheet-metal apprentice became the quintessential front man for America's most successful rock band, singing in more than 5,600 concerts in 26 countries. He writes about it all in his new memoir: Good Vibrations: My Life as a Beach Boy. 

One of William Kennedy's acclaimed novels has been transformed into an amazing opera. Roscoe: An American Grand Opera is tragic, comic, and poignant and it will be performed with the Albany Symphony Orchestra at the Palace Theatre in Albany on Saturday Night at 7:30PM. Evan Mack is the composer, Josh McGuire the librettist, Maestro David Alan Miller conducts the symphony with special guests Deborah Voigt (Soprano) and Jeffrey Williams (Baritone).

Roscoe Conway, after years as the motor of Albany's political machine, longs to retire. But just when he thought he was out, things pull him back in. The opera features the radiant voice of opera superstar Deborah Voigt.

Deborah Voigt joins us along with the composer of Roscoe, Evan Mack.

The Department of Theatre Arts at SUNY New Paltz presents Belfast Blues, a one-woman play written and performed by Geraldine Hughes and directed by Carol Kane, with performances on Oct. 14th and 15th at 8:00 p.m. in McKenna Theatre on the New Paltz campus.

Belfast Blues is a tapestry of stories told from Hughes’ perspective as a little girl coming of age in the war-torn Belfast of the 1980s. Passionate, riveting, often humorous, these stories bear insightful witness to the many faces of “trying to live a normal life” amidst the violence born of the longstanding grudge between Catholics and Protestants.

Nick Barr is the host of WAMC’s Bluegrass Time. He celebrates 50 years in bluegrass music this Saturday at a special show at The Linda in Albany called, appropriately enough, Nick Barr 50 Years In The Making.

It’s a night of great music and grand reunions! Featuring members from Nick’s first band the "Foggy Mountain Still-Lickers" The show will see the Reuniting Bluegrass Samurai/Blue Moon. Also appearing, the WAMC's Saturday night radio line-up: Wanda Fischer, Nick Barr & Tim Coakley.

The show will also feature local favorites: Al & Kathy Bain, Marty Wendell & more and a special appearance of the Barr Brothers. 

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