Arts & Culture

Barbara Cook

Aug 9, 2017

We re-ran a portion of this interview in memoriam on The Roundtable this morning. Barbara Cook died yesterday, she was 89.

Barbara Cook is performing with John Pizzarelli at The Mahaiwe this Saturday. We speak with the Broadway, concert, and recording star.

Music - "Till There Was You" and "Glitter And Be Gay"

YOUARENOWHERE
Maria Baranova


  Performer, writer, and interactive-electronics artist Andrew Schneider presents his Obie Award-winning show YOUARENOWHERE. This rapid-fire and witty theater performance cycles through expressions of laughter, surprise, and angst. Its dialogue traverses quantum mechanics and parallel universes, missed connections and YouTube videos in an existential meditation on time and presence. The New York Times lauds the show as “A chaotic mix of personal revelation and relativity theory, enhanced by some alarming and splendid visual effects...”

Andrew Schneider has been working in residence at EMPAC to create the follow-up to YOUARENOWHERE, which will receive its World Premiere at EMPAC this September.

He joins us now along with Ashley Ferro-Murray - Curator of Theater and Dance at EMPAC.

Sarah LaDuke and Lonny Price
Joe Donahue

The third Main Stage production of the Williamstown Theatre Festival’s 2017 season is A Legendary Romance. Written by Timothy Prager and Geoff Morrow and starring Jeff McCarthy and Lora Lee Gayer, A Legendary Romance is directed by Emmy Award winner and Tony Award nominee, Lonny Price.

Price played Charley in the ill-fated original production of Merrily We Roll Along on Broadway -- an experience which he has lately translated into an acclaimed documentary film The Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened (which is now available to stream on Netflix).

He’s an award winning director who helmed the recent Broadway revival of Sunset Boulevard starring Glenn Close. Other directorial credits include Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill starring Audra McDonald -- which is running in London this summer -- and episodes of the television programs 2 Broke Girls and Desperate Housewives and the screen-via-stage favorites Great Performances and Live from Lincoln Center. He’s also a writer and was nominated for a Tony Award in 2001 for the book of A Class Act. As an actor he has a number of theatrical credits after Merrily and several films, including The Muppets Take Manhattan and Dirty Dancing.

Jeff McCarthy, Sarah LaDuke, Geoff Morrow, Cody Owen Stine
Photo: Joe Donahue / Artwork by Ligature Creative


  The new musical, A Legendary Romance is The Williamstown Theatre Festival’s third and final Main Stage show this season. The show will run in Williamstown August 3rd through the 20th.  

With a book by Timothy Prager and Music and lyrics by Geoff Morrow, A Legendary Romance is directed by Emmy Award winner and Tony Award nominee Lonny Price and stars Jeff McCarthy as Joseph Lindy - a filmmaker blacklisted by the House Un-American Activities Committee and struggling to restore his personal and professional legacy.

For a preview of the production, we were joined at The Linda by Jeff McCarthy who plays Joseph Lindy, Geoff Morrow, and, playing piano, Cody Owen Stine - Associate Music Director for A Legendary Romance and WTF’s Cabaret Director.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with some summer tunes.

Rogovoy Report 8/4/17

Aug 4, 2017

The weekend highlights in our region include a minimalist marathon; new dance; a fusion of jazz and R&B; Grammy Award-winning folk-rock; a rarely performed 19th century opera; and a whole lot more.

A Midsummer Night's Dream - The BSO
Winslow Townson

On Saturday, August 5 at Tanglewood, The Boston Symphony Orchestra presents one of the best-known musical works inspired by Shakespeare - Mendelssohn’s incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream - in a specially designed production adapted by stage director Bill Barclay, first performed with the BSO at Symphony Hall in Boston in early 2016 as part of the BSO’s three-week Shakespeare celebration honoring the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death.

Bill Barclay joins us to tell us more.

In Arsenic & Old Lace, good-hearted drama critic, Mortimer Brewster appears to lead a normal, happy life. Recently engaged to be married, Mortimer plans a trip to visit his charming, spinster aunts, Abby and Martha Brewster. However, shortly after Mortimer’s arrival, he discovers that his innocent aunts have a deadly secret buried in the basement—about a dozen older gentlemen.

Berkshire Theatre Group presents the play, by Joseph Kesselring directed by Gregg Edelman, on the Fitzpatrick Mainstage through August 19th.

The production stars Harriet Harris as Abby, Mia Dillon as Martha, and Graham Rowat at Mortimer.

Otis Redding remains an immortal presence in the canon of American music on the strength of such classic hits as “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay,” “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” “Try a Little Tenderness,” and “Respect,” a song he wrote and recorded before Aretha Franklin made it her own.

As the architect of the distinctly southern, gospel-inflected style of rhythm & blues associated with Stax Records in Memphis, Redding made music that has long served as the gold standard of 1960s soul. Yet an aura of myth and mystery has always surrounded his life, which was tragically cut short at the height of his career by a plane crash in December 1967.

Jonathan Gould is author of the new book: Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life – a major new biography of The King of Soul, timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Redding's iconic performance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival.

Jonathan Gould will be at: The Inquiring Mind Bookstore in Saugerties on August 12th; The Spencertown Academy Festival of Books on September 2nd.

The Berkshire Botanical Garden encompasses 15 acres of cultivated land in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

This summer, BBG has an exhibition entitled “PlayDate!” which features 11 distinctly unique play house structures ranging from the traditional "Kid's Cottage" made from recycled cedar fence to a fascinating structure called "Living from the Outside In," an outdoor mirrored room posing the question, "where does the outside end, and the inside begin?" The playhouses are on the grounds through September 24.

The Grow Show is Berkshire Botanical Garden’s annual "You Grow it and We Show it" event, this year held on August 12-13.

To tell us about these things, Animals in August, and  a recent grant from Berkshire United Way for Roots Rising – we are joined by Garden Executive Director Mike Beck and Director of Horticulture Dorthe Hviid. 

Dan Bakkedahl As Reverend Ray Rogers in Brave New Jersey
BondIt, The Shot Clock, Gravitas Ventures

Dan Bakkedahl is an actor and improvisational/sketch comedian from Chicago's Second City. He is best known for starring as Tim Hughes on the CBS sitcom Life in Pieces, as Steve Nugent in the FX comedy series Legit and as Congressman Roger Furlong on the HBO series Veep. Prior to that, he was a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart from 2005 to 2007.

In the new film, Brave New Jersey, Bakkedahl plays Reverend Ray Rogers. At the outset of the film, the small town's spiritual leader is hardly spiritual and barely a leader until  the fear of alien attack inspires. 

Tony Hale as Clark Hill in Brave New Jersey
BONDIT, THE SHOT CLOCK, GRAVITAS VENTURES

In the new film Brave New Jersey, Tony Hale plays Mayor Clark Hill - a sweet and subservient man who finds the drive to pursue what he’s always wanted when Orson Welle’s War of the Worlds radio broadcast in 1938 convinces his town that it may be the last night of their lives.

Hale is best known as the youngest Bluth brother, Buster, on the now-Netflix-formerly-Fox favorite Arrested Development and as Selina Meyer’s personal-aide and bag-man on HBO’s Veep.

Brave New Jersey

Aug 3, 2017

The new movie – Brave New Jersey – is a comedy about the small New Jersey town of Lullaby on the night of Orson Welles' legendary 1938 "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast, which led millions of listeners to believe the U.S. was being invaded by aliens.

The film is co-written by Berkshire based screenwriter and playwright Michael Dowling and Jody Lambert. Lambert also directs. Having had a successful tour of film festivals, the movie opens in select cities nationwide tomorrow.  

Brave New Jersey will run in the Berkshires at the Cinema at the Berkshire Museum from August 18 to August 21.

Elizabeth Sobol, a veteran of the classical music and recording industry, is spending her first summer as the President and CEO of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. She joins us this morning to tell us what is happening on stage and behind-the-scenes at SPAC over the coming weeks.

She comes to Saratoga Springs from Miami Beach, where she was president and CEO of Universal Music Classics. Before that she spent nearly three decades at IMG Artists as its managing director.

After a successful with the NYC Ballet, she is here to tell us about the Philadelphia Orchestra coming to SPAC tonight as well as SPAC on Stage and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Coopertown Summer Music Festival poster for 2017
Milton Glaser

The Cooperstown Summer Music Festival began with three events in 1999, and since then has offered the region more than 100 performances, from classical to contemporary, jazz to bluegrass, cabaret to kids’ concerts.

Linda Chesis, founder and artistic director of the Cooperstown Summer Music Festival, has been hailed by critics on three continents as one of the most exciting and dynamic flutists of her generation. She joins us now to tell us more about the amazing  concerts taking place in Cooperstown this month. 

Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood
Sarah LaDuke

Bramwell Tovey is the Grammy and Juno award-winning Music Director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. As a guest conductor he works internationally with some of the world’s most prestigious orchestras.

During 2015/16 his guest appearances include the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, the Boston, Chicago, Montreal, Melbourne and Sydney Symphonies.

Bramwell Tovey will conduct Copland's Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, with soloist Garrick Ohlsson, on Tanglewood on Parade tonight.

The Carriage House at Tanglewood
Sarah LaDuke

Charles Dutoit is one of the most successful conductors working today. But, 58-years ago, he was here attending the Tanglewood Music Center.

Since that time, he has been very close to Tanglewood and the BSO. He made his conducting debut here in 1981 and has returned most years since, annually since 2002, and last year was named the Koussevitzky Artist, an honorary title given by the BSO in recognition of his commitment to the 2016 Tanglewood season and longtime contributions to the BSO and other orchestras around the world.

Tonight, he will be conducting Hary Janos Suite by Zoltan Kodaly .

James Burton at Symphony Hall in Boston.
Michael Blanchard

There is a new face here on the Tanglewood campus. James Burton joined the team earlier this year as the next Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. In addition, Burton takes on the newly established title of BSO Choral Director, a role in which he will explore new opportunities to enhance the orchestra's choral activities. 

Burton is only the second conductor to be appointed director of the TFC since its founding in 1970; he follows in the footsteps of John Oliver, founder and director of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and who currently holds the title Founder and Conductor Laureate. He joined us last time and we begged him to come back. 

Likely the final piece that William Shakespeare penned alone, The Tempest tells the story of Prospero, a betrayed duke and magician bent on justice and revenge until he sees, through his daughter Miranda, the power of love and forgiveness. The events of the story unfold amidst the elements of the island, a perfect fit for a Berkshire evening in the open air of the Roman Garden Theatre.

Shakespeare & Company Artistic Director Allyn Burrows directs The Tempest and it marks the inaugural production in the new Roman Garden Theatre. Here to tell us more are company members Nigel Gore, Tamara Hickey and Josh Aaron McCabe. 

View at Tanglewood
Sarah LaDuke

Moritz Gnann became the new assistant conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in fall 2015. He made his successful Tanglewood debut with the BSO conducting Mahler's First Symphony. His November 2016 concerts mark his subscription series debut. In addition to his activities in Boston, Gnann continues to appear as a guest conductor with Deutsche Oper Berlin.

In tonight's Tanglewood on Parade gala concert in The Shed, he will be conducting Mendelssohn’s Overture, The Hebrides (Fingal's Cave)

David Lang
Peter Serling

The Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA is underway and runs through August 6th. 

The festival is dedicated entirely to adventurous contemporary music. We will spend three weeks immersed in today's most exciting music. Composers will have their new works performed. Players will perform in ensembles sitting alongside their teachers. The Festival includes daily performances in the museum galleries, free with museum admission, and concludes with a six-hour blow-out Marathon Concert performed by the Festival ensembles and special guests. 

The Festival also features  African and Latin music workshops, electronics and music business seminars, free events in the community, and more. To tell us more, we welcome Pulitzer Prize winning composer and Bang on a Can co-founder, David Lang.

Bob Goepfert Reviews "Mamma Mia" At Proctors

Jul 30, 2017
Kara Mikula, Lyn Philistine, Carla Woods in a scene from Mamma Mia
Richard Lovrich

If you need proof that “Mamma Mia” is an indestructible piece of entertainment, look no further than the Capital Repertory Theatre production which continues at the Albany theater until August 13.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for a show all about 23.

Audrey Kupferberg: London Theatre

Jul 28, 2017

A few years ago, the college-aged daughter of friends of mine informed me that she goes to the theater for fun. Nothing more.  I disagreed.  Theater can be fun, but a person should attend theater to become educated, to illuminate aspects of life and clarify our emotional responses to the various worlds in which we live.  In the past month, I have been on a theater spree in London and New York City, seeking out plays and musical shows which range from lovely bits of fluff to full-blown political and humanist statements.  The musical shows offered the kind of fun my young friend craved, but also managed to touch upon more weighty themes. 

Rogovoy Report 7/28/17

Jul 28, 2017

The weekend highlights in our region include up and coming Gaga; classic rock dada; two blues music festivals; a rarely performed 19th century opera; and a whole lot more.

Musicians of the Boston Symphony Orchestra as well as friends and family of longtime BSO Principal Cellist Jules Eskin will gather to pay tribute to their beloved colleague and friend during a special performance at Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, on Sunday, July 30, at 7 p.m.

Jules Eskin, who led the BSO cello section for an unparalleled 53 years, passed away at his home in Brookline, Massachusetts, on November 15, 2016, after a long struggle with cancer.

A brief overview of Mr. Eskin's long and accomplished career appears below, followed by a program listing for the July 30 tribute concert. The public, un-ticketed event is open to anyone who wishes to celebrate the life and legacy of Mr. Eskin.

We are joined by BSO violist Mark Ludwig, who organized the event. 

Since the opening of the Fisher Center at Bard, Leon Botstein and the American Symphony Orchestra have been responsible for championing and restoring to the stage a growing number of important but long-neglected operas.

This year’s Bard SummerScape festival features the long overdue American premiere of Antonín Dvořák’s Dimitrij in an original new staging by award-winning director Anne Bogart. Dimitrij runs for five performances between today and August 6.

Dvořák’s work includes no fewer than twelve operas but his grand opera, Dimitrij, is rarely staged outside the Czech Republic.

Here to tell us more is Choral Director, James Bagwell. 

A scene from "Buyer & Cellar"
Curtain Call Theater

Summer is for relaxing.   If you are looking for a relaxing theater experience, “Buyer & Cellar” playing at Curtain Call Theatre in Latham is the ideal show.  Think of it as the theater equivalent of a beach-read book. 

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: Maudie, Dunkirk, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Upcoming:

Sweeney Todd - Mac-Haydn Theatre, Chatham, opens 7/27 Thursday (2 and 8 PM) through Aug. 6

Old Salt Union, Chris Kasper - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, 7/27 Thursday, 7 PM

John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous - Palace Theatre, Albany, 7/27 Thursday, 7 and 9:30 PM [7 PM sold out]

Phantogram - The Egg, Albany, 7/27 Thursday, 8 PM


  Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man is about a con-man who ultimately does good by a community. Harold Hill's heart opens up through the course of one of America's most beloved musicals.

 

Berkshire Theatre Group is currently presenting the Tony Award-winning musical at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA through August 6th.

 

Directed by Travis G. Daly with music direction by Mark Gionfriddo, the BTG production of The Music Man features over 100 talented Berkshire youth along with Rylan Morsbach as neck-or-nothing, rip-roarin', every-time-a bull's-eye salesman Harold Hill and Haley Aguero as Marian “Madam Librarian” Paroo.

 

We are joined this morning at The Linda by the aforementioned Rylan Morsbach, Haley Aguero, Mark Gionfriddo, and Travis G. Daly.

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