Arts & Culture

  Alison Brown has achieved success in many areas: a Harvard graduate, record label co-founder and owner, mother, and, the role that most people know her in: banjo virtuoso.

She’ll be at The FreshGrass Bluegrass Festival at MASS MoCA this weekend - involved in workshops, contests, concerts, FreshScores, and The Man in Grass: a bluegrass tribute to Johnny Cash.

  The Woodstock Comedy Festival takes place this weekend and the headliner will be Robert Klein. Klein is a Grammy, Tony, and Emmy-nominated comedian and actor who has appeared in film, theater, and on television for fifty years. 

Born in the Bronx, he was a member of the famed Second City theatrical troupe in Chicago. He was nominated twice for Grammy Awards for "Best Comedy Album of the Year" for his albums Child of the Fifties and Mind Over Matter. He received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor for his performance in the hit Neil Simon musical, They're Playing Our Song.

His memoir, The Amorous Busboy of Decatur Avenue is an affectionate coming-of-age story about growing up in the '50s and '60s before embarking on a show business career.

Robert Klein will be performing on Saturday night at the Bearsville Theatre in Woodstock, NY at 7:30.

  The FreshGrass Bluegrass Festival at MASS MoCA takes place this Friday through Sunday – September 18th-20th.

FreshGrass is rich in both traditional and cutting-edge bluegrass, presented in a wide array of venues. An opportunity for enthusiasts to both appreciate and participate, 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.

  Celebrating 15-years of innovative filmmakers & filmmaking, the Woodstock Film Festival has unveiled its line-up of nearly 150 films, panels, and events, screening Wednesday, September 30th through Sunday, October 4th, in Woodstock NY, and neighboring towns of Rhinebeck, Saugerties, Kingston and Rosendale.

The festival which is featuring 17 world premieres, 5 North American Premieres, 4 US Premieres, 33 East Coast Premieres and 26 New York Premieres. Here are just a few of the headliners: Mary Stuart Masterson, Rose McGowan, Griffin Dunne and Stewart Copeland – just to name a few.

WFF's Co-Founder and Executive Director Meira Blaustein joins us for a preview.

Rob Edelman: Chiwetel Ejiofor

Sep 14, 2015

So many actors who start out on the stage abandon their roots once they hit it big on the big screen. A classic example is Marlon Brando. After becoming a Big Name on Broadway in 1947, originating the role of Stanley Kowalski in Tennessee Williams’ A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, Brando headed for Hollywood and forever left the theater.

  The exhibit - Monet to Matisse at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute in Utica features more than 60 paintings and pastel drawings from the renowned collection of the Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis, Tennessee.

The exhibition includes landscapes, portraits, interiors, and still-lifes by leaders of French Impressionism. Monet to Matisse is an expansive view of nineteenth-century French painting and its influences. It is a story of artistic freedom and the shift from stilted academic historicism to near abstraction.

The exhibit runs through November 29th. Anna D'Ambrosio, Director of the MWPAI Museum of Art joins us.

Any Questions #211

Sep 11, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel swap seats for a quiz all about Baghdad by the Bay.

Greg Haymes
Times Union

It's harvest season, and there's quite a cornucopia of great music festivals on the calendar this month:

Rogovoy Report For September 11, 2015

Sep 11, 2015

This weekend our region boasts new music, old music, noise music, country rock music, and a fusion of salsa and indie-rock.

 Perhaps best known as one-half of the husband-and-wife folk duo, Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion, Johnny Irion actually began his musical career in the midst of the alt-country renaissance of the 1990s. With his new band, U.S. Elevator, Irion returns to his musical roots with a melodic blend of sounds that marry "Tonight's the Night"-era Neil Young to the more psychedelic side of the Beatles.

No stranger to our airwaves, Johnny Irion is here now to tell us about his new project and record and what he calls the “Polaroid approach” to recording.

U.S. Elevator will be at Club Helsinki in Hudson, NY tomorrow night and Johnny joins us in studio.

www.anthampton.com

    

The “fourth wall” is the imaginary barrier that separates the actors from the audience in a traditional theater production. When it’s broken, the audience is shocked into an awareness of the role they play in supporting the spectacle at hand.

In British artist Ant Hampton’s new production, The Extra People, the fourth wall is so thin as to be nearly imperceptible, with the line between performer and audience equally unclear. The Extra People was commissioned by EMPAC and will premiere in the space where it was developed via the artist-in-residence program.

The piece will begin at 7 pm tomorrow and cycle on the half hour until 10 pm. Ant Hampton joins us to tell us more.

Rob Edelman: London Movie-Going, British Noir

Sep 7, 2015

Whenever I’m in London-- and that is as often as possible-- one of my favorite haunts is BFI Southbank, formerly known as the National Film Theatre. One of the highlights of my most recent trip: Attending a screening of Orson Welles’ CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT, also known as FALSTAFF, which dates from 1966. Before the screening, Simon Callow, actor/director/Welles scholar extraordinaire, was on hand to discuss Welles’ career in the theater. Callow did not so much lecture as perform, and it was a special treat to listen to this witty, articulate man and soak in his vast knowledge of Orson Welles. In addition, Keith Baxter, one of the surviving cast members, was there to introduce the film and take post-screening questions and answers.

Any Questions #210

Sep 4, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel prove that they can count to five.

Rogovoy Report For September 4, 2015

Sep 4, 2015

Dance music, cabaret, literary celebrations, jazz and Broadway stars – it may be Labor Day weekend, and cookouts may be first on the menu – but there are still plenty of reasons to get out and about in our region this weekend.

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock speaks with Yehuda Hanani about his busy summer in the Catskills and in China.

  For the fourth straight year, Basilica Hudson’ s Founders and Creative Directors Melissa Auf der Maur and Tony Stone are working in collaboration with Pitchfork Managing Editor Brandon Stosuy and Brian DeRan of Leg Up Management to program Basilica SoundScape.

Basilica SoundScape is a carefully curated weekend that’s been called “the anti­festival” for offering of a thoughtful mix of music, visual art, and literature.

SoundScape runs from September 11th through 13th at Basilica Hudson. Melissa Auf der Maur and Brandon Stosuy join us this morning to tell us more. In addition to his work on Basilica SoundScape - is Managing Editor at Pitchfork, a Music Curator for MoMA/PS1.

http://www.concordmusicgroup.com/

  Tony and Emmy Award winning star Kristin Chenoweth will perform with The Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra in The Koussevitzky Music Shed at Tanglewood.

Chenoweth most recently wowed audiences in Roundabout Theatre Company's production of On the Twentieth Century. During that run she co-hosted the Tony Awards. Other Broadway credits include You're A Good Man Charlie Brown and Wicked. On television she's popped up often, notably on Glee, The Good Wife, and Pushing Daisies.

Rob Edelman: Female Sexuality

Aug 31, 2015

THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL, new to theaters, offers a take on teen sexuality that is, well, different. So many films that spotlight the growing pains and yearnings of high school-age youngsters center on males, with their female counterparts presented as little more than stereotypically unobtainable trophies. In other words, the only teens with sex drives are the boys. The girls too often are the fantasy figures. They either are pretty virgins who do little more than smile sweetly or sluts with large breasts who are the personal property of the school football star.

Any Questions #209

Aug 28, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel will be right back.

Rogovoy Report For August 28, 2015

Aug 28, 2015

As sure is there is a chill now in the evening air, the summer cultural season in our region is winding down. You still have a few chances to catch “His Girl Friday” at Barrington Stage in Pittsfield, and Shakespeare & Company in Lenox has a few shows in rotation this weekend. But the summer theater season is pretty much over with.

Audrey Kupferberg: London Stage

Aug 27, 2015

With so many exciting events going on in London’s West End theater scene, Benedict Cumberbatch has been grabbing the headlines.  His star turn as HAMLET at London’s Barbican Centre has been drawing attention for the past few weeks. 

  Fresh off celebrating their 30th anniversary as one of the most beloved bands in alt-rock history, Yo La Tengo is releasing Stuff Like That There on Matador Records. The album comes out this week and the band will go on tour next month, starting September 23rd at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall.

Stuff Like That There is a conceptual sequel to YLT’s 1990 album, Fakebook. The fourteen song record features two new tunes, three re-arranged and recorded Yo La Tengo songs, and nine covers.

The trio of Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley and James McNew reunite with former member Dave Schramm on electric guitar and the album is produced by Fakebook’s producer, Gene Holder.

Ira Kaplan and James McNew join us.

  You may have seen our next guest on your Twitter or Facebook feeds a few weeks back when he appeared on The Tonight Show as President Obama and gave debate advice to Jimmy Fallon’s Donald Trump.

Dion Flynn brings a new level of comedy to the highest office in the land. The Mop & Bucket Co., Proctors’ improv company in residence, presents the Schenectady premiere of Flynn's new one-man show, The Only Brown Kid In The Trailer Park on Sunday night.

Flynn's autobiographical show is the story of his journey from growing up the only bi-racial kid in a trailer park- where he quickly developed a sense of humor - to appearing as the first black President on national television.

Metroland 8/27/15

Aug 27, 2015

  Shawn Stone, the Arts Editor of Metroland, lets us know what is coming to area stages and screens this week.

  Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1 (Portrait of the Artist's Mother) by James McNeill Whistler is one of the most renowned works of art by an American artist. It is considered by many to be the most important American painting not on American soil.

Better known as Whistler’s Mother, the painting has been owned by the French state since 1891 and is in the collection of the Musée d'Orsay in Paris. The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, presents the painting as the centerpiece of an exhibition on view at the Lunder Center at Stone Hill through September 27th.

Jay Clark, The Clark’s Manton Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs takes us on a tour of the exhibition.

  This week, Albany Civic Theater opens a production of Patrick Hamilton’s suspenseful drama, Angel Street.

Angel Street tells the story of the Manninghams who live on Angel Street in 19th Century London. As the curtain rises, all appears the essence of Victorian tranquility. It is soon apparent however, that Mr. Manningham, a suavely handsome man, is slowly, intentionally, driving his devoted wife, Bella, to the brink of insanity.

Inspector Rough from Scotland Yard is convinced that Manningham is a homicidal maniac.

Gradually the inspector restores Bella's confidence in herself and as the evidence against Manningham unfolds, theater goers are treated to some of the most brilliant, suspenseful sequences in modern theater

The production at Albany Civic Theater is directed by Jennifer Van Iderstyne who joins us now along with Kevin MacNamara who plays Jack Manningham in Angle Street and John Sutton who plays Inspector Rough.

Rob Edelman: Best Of The Summer

Aug 24, 2015

It’s been my experience this summer that genuinely challenging or just-plain enjoyable newly-released films have been pretty scarce. There are exceptions here. Among them are LOVE & MERCY, MISTRESS AMERICA, and THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL. Still, as the season nears its end, one must wait in anticipation for the fall releases that either premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this spring or momentarily will be debuting at the Toronto, Venice, and Telluride festivals.

Any Questions #208

Aug 21, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel dust off their calculators.

Audrey Kupferberg: Salt Of The Earth

Aug 21, 2015


These days, documentary films are in fashion.  As recently as a decade ago, if you were at a cocktail party and began talking about a documentary you had just seen, your friends or colleagues would have moved towards the buffet table to avoid hearing what you had to say.  Documentaries were considered boring.  With the exception the films of Michael Moore, or Al Gore’s AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, that could inspire some exciting political conversation, the majority of factual films took a back seat to fiction films.

Rogovoy Report For August 21, 2015

Aug 21, 2015

This week’s cultural highlights in our region include experimental theater, indie-punk, modern dance, bossa nova, and more.

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