Arts & Culture

Any Questions #259

Aug 12, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel try to keep cool by switching seats.

Rogovoy Report For 8/12/16

Aug 12, 2016

The weekend’s cultural highlights in the region include a new dance festival; the nephew of a pop-art icon; a film festival gone to the dogs; the meeting of two creative minds; French-American electro-swing; a season-topping performance of Shakespeare; and a whole lot more.


  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yeuda Hanani continue their conversation about female composers focusing on Hildegard von Bingen and sharing her "O viridissima virga" performed by the women’s section of Voices of Ascension.

  The Philadelphia Orchestra will present Sophisticated Ladies on Saturday, August 13th at SPAC. The concert is a celebration of the groundbreaking icons of American popular song, from Ella Fitzgerald to Sarah Vaughan to Dinah Washington and of course, Billie Holiday. Montego Glover, Capathia Jenkins, and N'Kenge will join the orchestra to sing songs like "Strike Up the Band," "Stormy Weather," "Love is Here to Stay," and "Come Rain or Come Shine."<p>

Steven Reineke will conduct and he joins us to talk about the concert.


  Drama League and Drama Desk Award nominee Julia Coffey has joined the company of The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival to take over the roles of Rosalind in As You Like It, and Mariana and Mistress Overdone in Measure for Measure.

Staged in the tent at Boscobel House and Gardens in Garrison, NY and framed by stunning Hudson Valley views, As You Like It runs in rep through August 27th, and the final performance of Measure for Measure’s will be on August 28th.

Gregory Crewdson

  Gregory Crewdson will discuss the making of his most recent body of work in a conversation with acclaimed author Rick Moody at The Mahaiwe on Monday, August 15th at 7pm.

The evening will include the first ever projected slideshow presentation of Cathedral of the Pines in its entirety, set to Yo La Tengo's "Night Falls on Hoboken," remixed specially for this event by Grammy-winning producer/engineer Drew Brown.

Cathedral of the Pines (2013–14) was made during three productions in and around the rural town of Becket, Massachusetts. The work premiered at Gagosian Gallery in New York earlier this year, and will be seen for the first time in Europe, concurrently in Brussels and Paris in September.

Rick Moody is the author of six novels, three collections of stories, a memoir, and a collection of essays on music. His most recent publication is Hotels of North America, a novel. He writes regularly about music at The Rumpus, and writes the column "Rick Moody, Life Coach," for LitHub.

  The puppeteers that brought the world the unforgettable Broadway Musical War Horse will once again amaze audiences as they bring to life the timeless Russian fairytale ballet "The Firebird."

SPAC, along with the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, Ravinia Festival, Sun Valley Summer Symphony, and Hollywood Bowl — has commissioned the South Africa-based puppet company Janni Younge Productions to create a live puppet performance set to Igor Stravinsky’s 1910 masterpiece.

  On August 12th, Matthew and Gunnar of NELSON will take the stage at Daryl's House Club in Pawling, NY to remember their late father who, among other things, had the first number one hit on Billboard with “Poor Little Fool.” Additionally, between 1957 and 1973, the Rock and Roll pioneer, Ricky Nelson, had 53 songs on Billboards Top 100 with hits like “Travelin Man” “Believe What You Say” and “A Teenagers Romance.” Ricky’s flair for rockabilly, natural ability to sing heartfelt ballads, and familial connection to the popular television show The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet allowed him to become a pop icon who received a Golden Globe nomination while co-starring with John Wayne in Rio Bravo.

As the youngest of the only rock and roll dynasty in history to have number one hits for each generation, Matthew and Gunnar Nelson bring their triple platinum selling talent to honor their father in "Ricky Nelson Remembered" - a multi-media and live music tribute.

If you are fortunate enough to find yourself at the Glimmerglass Festival this summer, you will not soon forget the onstage character of a “thieving magpie.”  She makes certain of that from the start – during the best known piece of music in Rossini’s opera of the same name.  This is a stirring, march-like overture, an excellent match for pecking bird.

  Have you ever wondered if one simple interaction could change your life’s trajectory? The infinite question of “what if?” is raised in Nick Payne’s Drama League Award and Tony Award-nominated drama, Constellations.

Directed by Tony Award-nominated Gregg Edelman (and featuring Tony Award-nominated Kate Baldwin and Baldwin’s real life husband, Broadway and television actor, Graham Rowat.

Constellations is a poignant two-character drama follows Marianne, a quirky quantum physicist, played by Kate Baldwin, and Roland, a beekeeper, played by Graham Rowat. Their first encounter is seemingly ordinary—crossing paths at a mutual friend’s barbeque. Exploring the endless possibilities of their budding romance, the characters create their own multi-verse to see how their relationship would play out if they had chosen fate over chance.

The show runs through August 27th at the Berkshire Theatre Group’s Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. To hear more, we welcome Kate Baldwin and Graham Rowat.

  Jane Kaczmarek stars alongside Alfred Molina in the American premiere of And No More Shall We Part on the Nikos Stage at The Williamstown Theatre Festival. The play, written by Tom Holloway and directed by Anne Kaufman, opens this week and runs through August 21st. When Pam (Kaczmarek) becomes terminally ill, she and her husband Don (Molina) must face the most difficult decision yet in their long and loving marriage. With passion, fear, strength and even humor, they grapple with how, and if, to say goodbye.

On August 22nd, Kaczmarek will participate in a Selected Shorts presentation entitled "Unforgettable Journeys" at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, MA. Jane Curtin and Robert Sean Leonard will also read that evening in the Berkshires.

In THE THIN BLUE LINE, a landmark documentary from 1988, filmmaker Errol Morris conclusively proves that a man named Randall Adams was wrongly convicted of murder and dispatched to prison. Adams is victimized by a corrupt justice system in Dallas County, Texas, and, as a direct result of Morris’s investigative skills, he wins his freedom. Such is the power of filmmaking at its very best.

Rob Burnett
BAFTA/David Beyda

  Rob Burnett spent 30 years working for David Letterman, rising from intern to executive producer, before directing Paul Rudd and Selena Gomez in the new Netflix release The Fundamentals of Caring.

Rob Burnett joins us this morning to talk about the film, his life at Letterman’s side and other adventures in television.


  Friend of the show and acclaimed stage actor and singer, Jason Danieley is back in the Berkshires for the summer after playing Billy Flynn in Kander and Ebb’s Chicago on Broadway earlier this year. He is playing Timber Tucker in the Williamstown Theatre Festival production of Wendy Wasserstein’s An American Daughter, running on the mainstage in Williamstown through August 21st.

Tonight he will perform in Pittsfield at Barrington Stage Company with his wife, Marin Mazzie in a concert entitled Broadway and Beyond: Reprise Edition.

Herbert Wolff Reviews "The Crucible" At Glimmerglass

Aug 7, 2016

I have to apologize for this review of the opera The Crucible…now having an outstanding presentation at Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, New York.

Herbert Wolff Reviews "Sweeney Todd" At Glimmerglass

Aug 6, 2016

There are various ways to differentiate musical theater from opera.  But when one encounters Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, simplistic labeling doesn’t apply.  Sweeney Todd is a crossover of both genres.  There are songs, arias, duets that segue into quartets and quintets…full chorus numbers that move the story along.  This is a total work of musical art that engages the eye, the ear and the mind.  The result is an intriguing theater experience, now being presented at Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, New York. 

Any Questions #258

Aug 5, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are hoping to pass with flying colors.

LAKE GEORGE:  There are many different ways to measure the success of a theatrical production.  Some people look for profound material, others love spectacle on stage, and still others look for the poetry and verse of playwrights like William Shakespeare.

Rogovoy Report For 8/5/16

Aug 5, 2016

The weekend’s cultural highlights in the region include an all-female mariachi band; a French ensemble performing Algerian street dance; a sympathetic Shylock; Puccini; sacred steel, and a whole lot more.

  Led by co-Artistic Directors David Finckel and Wu Han, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center returns to the Spa Little Theater at SPAC for six innovative and diverse programs that get underway on Sunday.

The first concert – Sunday at 3PM – is entitled: Symphonic Spirit and will feature the music of Ravel, Haydn, Copeland and Schubert. This morning for a preview we welcome two of the musicians taking part in the program. We welcome Bassoonist Marc Goldberg and Clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein. 

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani begins a series of conversations about female composers.

  Marc Summers is an icon of a generation. You may know him from his time hosting Nickelodeon’s Double Dare and Food Network’s Unwrapped, or as the Producer of hits like Dinner: Impossible and Restaurant: Impossible, but through his new show at the Adirondack Theatre Festival, you get the chance to meet the real Marc Summers – a man who’s led a fascinating life of fame and frustration.

Everything In Its Place: The Life & Slimes Of Marc Summers is a guided tour through Marc’s life, from an early obsession with magic to his notable television career to his appearance on Oprah announcing his ongoing battle with OCD. Marc stars in this tell-all about his life, his disorder, and taking the physical challenge.

The show opens August 10th through the 13th and we are joined by the man himself, Marc Summers and the Director of the show and Producing Artistic Director of ATF – Chad Rabinovitz.

    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:Café Society, Jason Bourne

  Internationally acclaimed composer Michael Torke has been commissioned by SPAC, Charles and Candace Wait and The Adirondack Trust Company to create an orchestral work for The Philadelphia Orchestra to premiere during the 2016 anniversary celebration.

Torke's longtime connections to SPAC and Saratoga are deeply personal as he is a nine-time resident of Yaddo, an artists' community providing an opportunity for artists to work without interruption in a supportive environment located on a 400-acre estate in Saratoga Springs, New York.

The piece is entitled Unconquered and will be performed --for the first time-- on Friday, August 5 performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra and conducted by Stéphane Denève.

  On August 3, 2016, Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) will present Hannibal Lokumbe’s work for full orchestra, soloists and choir, “One Land, One River, One People,” on the Opening Night of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s SPAC residency.

Vocal accompaniment for The Philadelphia Orchestra’s performance will be provided by soprano Laquita Mitchell, tenor Rodrick Dixon, and combined choirs of Morgan State University and Albany Pro Musica. Conductor Stéphane Denève will lead the performance.

We are joined by Albany Pro Musica's Artistic and Executive Director, Dr. José Daniel Flores-Caraballo, and bass singer, Frank Leavitt.

  On August 3, 2016, Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) will present Hannibal Lokumbe’s work for full orchestra, soloists and choir, “One Land, One River, One People,” on the Opening Night of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s SPAC residency. SPAC’s program will be only the second complete performance of the work which was commissioned by The Philadelphia Orchestra. The work had its world premiere in November 2015 at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.

Described by the composer Hannibal Lokumbe as a “spiritorio,” a term that encompasses the work’s libretto and choir elements and its influences from blues, jazz and spirituals, the work speaks to the universality of human struggle, injustice and ultimately, spirituality.

Vocal accompaniment for The Philadelphia Orchestra’s performance will be provided by soprano Laquita Mitchell, tenor Rodrick Dixon, and combined choirs of Morgan State University and Albany Pro Musica. Conductor Stéphane Denève will lead the performance.

  The Seagle Music Colony in Schroon Lake is presenting the world premiere production of a new opera by composer Evan Mack and librettist Joshua McGuire based on the novel Roscoe by Pulitzer Prize winning author William Kennedy.

With music that draws from many popular 20th-century styles, the story follows the character Roscoe Conway, a king-pin in the mid 1940’s Albany political machine, as he navigates his way through a multitude of political and personal challenges, both past and present.

Performances take place from August 3rd through the 6th. To tell us more we welcome composer Evan Mack, librettist Joshua McGuire, Seagle Music Colony Artistic Director Darren Woods and Pulitzer Prize winning author William Kennedy. 

 

The Arkell Museum at Canajoharie, NY is presenting the exhibition Circus Circus through October 16th featuring paintings of the American circus by artists from the 1920s and 1930s alongside circus-themed marketing materials used by the Beech-Nut Packaging Company in the 1930s.

 

The circus coming to town was a highly anticipated event in small towns across America, and many artists in the twenties and thirties painted the spectacle of the parade as the circus arrived, and the excitement under the big top. The exhibition includes paintings by Jon Corbino, Ogden Pleissner and Everett Shinn.

 

Images of circus cars, animals and acrobats were also used to market food products during the 1930s. The Beech-Nut Packing Company was one of the companies to use the excitement and nostalgia of the circus to sell its products. They created magazine ads with clowns and circus animals to sell their gum.

 

This circus-themed marketing campaign culminated in the creation of Beech-Nut miniature circuses that traveled across the country in busses, and a miniature circus was displayed in their pavilion at the New York World’s Fair in 1939.

To tell us more about the exhibit we welcome Art Historian Karal Ann Marling and Museum Director and Curator Diane Forsberg.

Any Questions #257

Jul 29, 2016

It's weekly quiz time for the Pickus-Nothnagel clan.

Paul Lewis
Molina Visuals

  Renowned English pianist Paul Lewis joins Andris Nelsons and the instrumental Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra on Sunday, July 31, for the annual Leonard Bernstein Memorial Concert. The all-Brahms program opens with the Piano Concerto No. 1.

Tonight at 6 p.m. in Ozawa Hall, Mr. Lewis will perform Schubert’s Fantasia in F minor for piano four hands with pianist Jonathan Biss, and Mozart’s Piano Quartet No. 2 during a prelude concert with members of the BSO. Prelude concerts are free to ticket holders for the evening’s program.  

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