Arts & Culture

Lauren Yee
laurenyee.com

  New York Stage and Film and Vassar College’s Powerhouse Theatre presents an Inside Look Workshop of Lauren Yee’s new play, The Great Leap July 7-9.

The play is set in San Francisco in the Spring of 1989.  Manford Lum, locally renowned on the sidewalk basketball courts of Chinatown, talks his way onto a college team, just before they travel to Beijing for a "friendship" game.  His background is a mystery, but he can sink 100 free throws in a row, so who cares?  When they arrive, China is in the throes of the post-Cultural Revolution era, and Manford must juggle international politics and his own personal history.

A photo of the boat that would be Boaty McBoatface.
The Natural Environment Research Council

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats for the final show of June.

Rogovoy Report 6/30/17

Jun 30, 2017

The fourth of July weekend is typically NOT a big one in terms of cultural events, but this year is an exception, with major art openings, dance performances, and music ensembles playing across the region.

PennDesign Pavillion at Manitoga
Sarah LaDuke

Designer Russel Wright’s home, studio, and woodland garden - collectively called Manitoga - are located in Garrison, NY and will have a Member's Summer Celebration on Saturday, July 8.

Manitoga’s Artist Residency program was initiated in 2014 to foster creative responses to Manitoga that invoke Russel Wright's legacy of creative experimentation and celebration of place. For this year’s Residency, Master of Architecture Students at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design have designed, built and installed a full-scale, site-specific pavilion which will be on view through November 13.

Last year's residency artist, Peter Bynum, also has work on display in the home. (An interview with him can be found here

Executive Director Allison Cross joins us to talk about this season’s plans.

Each July and August the Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) produces Summer School, a series of public programs that teases out new ways of thinking about learning, art, community, and museums. This summer, the series offers a playful taste of college culture taking inspiration from unconventional archives and the quirkiest kinds of libraries. It’s a weekly mashup of mini courses, extracurriculars on WCMA’s patio, a lending library, and pop-up programming in the museum’s Reading Room. 

Each week, Williams faculty and local experts lead hour-long mini courses in the galleries. These talks explore the museum’s collection, exhibitions, and spaces through the lens of libraries and archives.

To tell us more – we welcome Nina Pelaez - Assistant Curator of Public Programs at Williams College Museum of Art. 

Audrey Kupferberg: Early Women Directors

Jun 29, 2017

A few weeks ago, headlines for the opening of WONDER WOMAN read: Patty Jenkins is the first woman to direct a superhero film with a female protagonist. WONDER WOMAN is the first female-directed live-action film to have a $100 million+ budget. WONDER WOMAN opened at $103 million box office, which is the highest US opening for a female director.

Michael McDonald
Timothy White

Classic rock singer-songwriters Boz Scaggs and Michael McDonald will perform in the Koussevitzky Music Shed at Tanglewood in Lenox, MA on Friday at 7pm.

With a career that spans more than four decades, five-time Grammy Award-winner singer-songwriter Michael McDonald made his mark as a member of Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers before launching a successful solo career in the 1980s.

We spoke with him about his band, songwriting, song losing, touring with Boz Scaggs, and his forthcoming album, , which will be released by BMG in September.

The new exhibit: Andrew Wyeth at 100: A Family Remembrance is now open at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, NY through September 4th.

The exhibition celebrates Andrew Wyeth’s 100th birthday as expressed by his granddaughter and guest curator, Victoria Wyeth. It includes objects from Ms. Wyeth’s personal collection, many never-before exhibited, including Andrew Wyeth’s sketches, studies, paintings, artifacts, and ephemera, as well as Ms. Wyeth’s own photographs of her grandfather.

It also includes Andrew Wyeth paintings from public and private collections. The exhibition will share an intimate view of the artist in his role as husband, father, and grandfather, and explore those relationships through art, artifacts, and photographs. On view will be two of Wyeth’s most popular works—Master Bedroom (1965) and The Revenant (1949).

Victoria Wyeth joins us this morning along with Director of Exhibitions at the Fenimore Museum – Chris Rossi.

Teresit Fernandez "Overlook" at Olana
www.brownstoner.com

The new exhibition Overlook: Teresita Fernández Confronts Frederic Church at Olana A collaboration with the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros is now open at Olana State Historic Site. In the exhibition, artist Teresita Fernández examines Frederic Church and his contemporaries’ response to the cultures and landscapes they experienced during their 19th century Latin American travels.

Visitors will have the opportunity to explore Fernández’s perspective and respond to her provocative installation in Olana’s Sharp Family Gallery. Combining portraits of indigenous people, dramatic horizon lines, and botanical representations of the natural world, Fernández presents the works through a contemporary lens that prioritizes the individual within the landscape.

Teresita Fernández is best known for her prominent public sculptures and unconventional use of materials. Her work is characterized by an interest in perception and the psychology of looking.

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: Baby Driver, Transformers: The Last Knight

Upcoming:

King Kong vs. Godzilla - Capitol Theatre, Rome, Thursday 6/29, 7 PM

Ragtime - Park Playhouse, Washington Park, Albany, opens Thursday 6/29, 8 PM (thru July 29)

Sara Greenberger Rafferty: Gloves Off - Cameron Martin: Abstracts - University Art Museum, UAlbany, Albany, opens Fri 6/30, 5-7 PM (thru Sept. 9)

Opera Saratoga at the Spa Little Theater, Saratoga Springs - Verdi’s Falstaff, Saturday 7/1, 7:30 PM - Gretry’s Beauty and the Beast, Sunday 7/2, 7:30 PM

Zigtebra - The Low Beat, Albany, Saturday 7/1, 8 PM (music in: “Bay Bay” from Brave)

Water Music New York

Jun 28, 2017

Water Music NY is a cross-regional celebration of the bicentennial of New York’s Erie Canal, developed and presented by the Albany Symphony in collaboration with the New York State Canal Corporation. 

The Albany Symphony will embark on a week-long barge journey on the Erie Canal from July 2 to July 8, performing free concerts in seven canal communities along the way. The Symphony will collaborate with local art groups to debut seven original world premieres by emerging composers, as it stops in Albany, Schenectady, Amsterdam, Little Falls, Baldwinsville, Brockport and Lockport.

Each concert will be conducted by Grammy Award Winning Conductor and ASO Music Director David Alan Miller, who joins us this morning. Also joining us, Director of the NY State Canal Corp. - Brian Stratton.

Carolee Carmello as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd at The Barrow Street Theatre
Joan Marcus

Fans of Stephen Sondheim, Hugh Wheeler, and tonsorial artistry tainted with murder and cannibalism once again have the opportunity to attend the tale of Sweeney Todd in New York City.

In the winter of 2014, The Tooting Arts Club staged the musical masterpiece in London’s oldest pie and mash shop, Harrington’s Pie and Mash. About a year later, for a West End transfer, the show was staged in a recreation of Harrington’s in an old rock club and this past February, it moved to Off-Broadway at The Barrow Street Theatre - also converted to resemble Harrington’s.

 

With a reduced cast glaring, scaring, and performing incredibly; the audience sits at tables and (for certain seats) one can order a meat or veg pie with their ticket. The pies are prepared by The Perfect Pie, in New York City which is run by former White House baker, Bill Yosses (featured on All Things Considered).

 

Norm Lewis is in the role of the man who calls razors friends and his dotty, daring, focused and frazzled buddy in barber-ous bump-offs, Mrs. Lovett, is being played at Barrow Street by three-time Tony Award nominee, Carolee Carmello.

 

An Albany native, Carmello has appeared in 14 Broadway musicals: Tuck Everlasting, Finding Neverland, Scandalous, Sister Act, The Addams Family, Mamma Mia!, Lestat, Urinetown, Kiss Me Kate, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Parade, 1776, Falsettos, and City of Angels.

Schenectady, New York’s Music Haven Concert Series has been traveling the world one concert at a time since 1990. Concerts take place Sundays in the Summer at 7pm in Schenectady’s Central Park on the Agnes McDonald Music Haven Stage. 

Mona Golub is here to tell us about this season’s offerings. She is the Producing Artistic Director of The Music Haven concert series. 

Bob Goepfert Reviews "Nikola Tesla Drops the Beat”

Jun 27, 2017

GLENS FALLS – Adirondack Theatre Festival is opening its season in Glens Falls with a bold production of a world premiere that is dynamic, exciting.  And, as with any new work, is in need of work.

Josh Radnor
Cary Mosier / Vassar College's Flickr

The star of How I Met Your Mother, Josh Radnor, is premiering his new play, Sacred Valley at New York Stage and Film and Vassar College's Powerhouse Theater in Poughkeepsie from June 29th to July 9th.

Sacred Valley is about Narby and Natalie, two lifelong friends. Their friendship becomes tested when Narby takes Natalie’s husband Brian out for his first mushroom trip. The next day, a confused Brian leaves Natalie, an enraged Natalie blames Narby, and three people are forced to ask themselves the deepest questions about love, friendship, and growing up.

Aside from playing Ted on How I Met Your Mother, Radnor has written and directed two films, Happythankyoumoreplease, and Liberal Arts

http://markmorrisdancegroup.org


  The Mark Morris Dance Group will conclude their 2016-17 season with the world premiere of Mark Morris’ Numerator at Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Tanglewood Music Festival for Lou 100: In Honor of the Divine Mr. Harrison, an entire Lou Harrison program performed with the Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center.

 

Composer Lou Harrison - who is widely believed to have created America’s first important body of multicultural music - lived from 1917 to 2003. This year marks what would have been his 100 birthday -- an occasion celebrated around the world on May 14th.

Mark Morris has been hailed by the New York Times as the “the most successful and influential choreographer alive, and indisputably the most musical.” In addition to creating over 150 works for the Mark Morris Dance Group, he conducts orchestras, directs opera, and choreographs for ballet companies worldwide.

On Sunday, July 2nd at 7pm singer-songwriter Natalie Merchant will make her Tanglewood debut on the Koussevitzky Music Shed in Lenox, MA. Prior to that, on June 30th – she’ll play a concert at The Bardavon in Poughkeepsie, NY.

So to be perfectly clear: one of our favorite people is playing concerts at two of our favorite places!

Our dear Natalie began her career with the alternative-rock band 10,000 Maniacs in 1981.

Her recent solo-album is Paradise Is There: The New Tigerlily Recordings. The record a collection of all-new recordings revisiting Merchant's multi-platinum solo debut Tigerlily. There is also a new 10-CD Natalie Merchant Collection available this month.

Representatives from Food and Water Watch will join Natalie on this tour.

Berkshire Theatre Group presents the Tony Award-winning Children of a Lesser God, directed by Tony Award-winner, Kenny Leon. The play opened Saturday night and runs through July 22nd at The Fitzpatrick Main Stage in Stockbridge, MA.

In the play - after joining the staff at a school for the deaf, speech therapist with an unorthodox approach to education, James -- played by Joshua Jackson -- becomes infatuated by Sarah, a vivacious, yet delicate, deaf woman, played by Lauren Ridloff. James tries to help Sarah, a school dropout, navigate her way through the hearing world, however Sarah finds solace in her sphere of silence.

We are thrilled to welcome the play’s director Kenny Leon who won a Tony Award for A Raisin in the Sun with Denzel Washington. He also directed Holler if Ya Hear Me on Broadway and The Wiz and Hairspray LIVE productions on TV.

Also here – the stars of the show - Lauren Ridloff - recently seen in the film Wonderstruck and a former Miss Deaf America – she is joined by ASL translator Candace Broecker Penn. And Joshua Jackson is in the house. He is currently starring in Showtime’s The Affair and is well-known for his roles in Dawson’s Creek & Fringe

Jonny Sun drawing jomny sun
Chris Buck / New York Times


  Jonathan Sun is an architect, designer, engineer, playwright and comedy writer, an artist, illustrator and a doctoral student at MIT and a Berkman Klein Fellow at Harvard -- and the creator of the Twitter persona jomny sun.

 

 

His work across these multiple disciplines is concerned with narratives of human experience. The new book, Everyone's a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too - published by Harper Perennial and available tomorrow - distributes aspects of his personality and observations from his life and education between jomny (an alien visiting Earth) and the creatures jomny encounters while here.

As a small example, in the book jomny has a conversation with a hedgehog who explains the difference between an introvert and an extrovert thusly: “introverts enjoy peopel-watching. extroverts enjoy peopel watching.” [sic]

 

In a blurb on the book jacket, Joss Whedon says of Everyone's a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too: “This book is funny and sad, simple and complex, badly spelled and beautifully written.”

 

We spoke with Jonny Sun about the book, Twitter, his research, and @tinycarebot.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel return for their trivia fix.

Rogovoy Report 6/23/17

Jun 23, 2017

There’s a veritable explosion of performing and visual arts in our region this weekend. Here’s only a sampling of what’s out there.

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani begin a series of conversations about quoting (sampling, borrowing) in music.

Corey Cott in Bandstand
Jeremy Daniel


  The Broadway musical Bandstand -- currently running at the Jacobs Theatre in New York City, brings the swing-fueled, against-all-odds story of singer/songwriter Donny Novitski and his band of mismatched fellow vets brilliantly to the stage.

 

Starring Laura Osnes and Corey Cott and directed and choreographed by Andy Blankenbeuler -- who won a Tony Award this month for his incredible choreography, Bandstand features music and lyrics by Richard Oberacker and book and lyrics by the Capital Region’s own Robert Taylor.

 

The original Broadcast cast recording is available today from Broadway Records.

 

We spoke with intensely talented leading man, Corey Cott, in New York a couple of months ago -- right after the show opened and while they were recording the album.  Cott’s previous Broadway roles include Jack in Disney’s Newsies and Gaston in the 2015 revival of Gigi.

 

wikipedia.com

Chris Botti will perform with The Boston Pops Orchestra (with very special Guest Conductor Lawrence Loh) at Tanglewood in Lenox, MA on Saturday, June 24.

Since the release of his 2004 critically acclaimed CD "When I Fall In Love", Chris Botti has become the largest-selling American instrumental artist. His success has crossed over to audiences usually reserved for pop music and his ongoing association with PBS has led to four #1 jazz albums, as well as multiple Gold, Platinum and Grammy Awards.

Most recently, his latest album "Impressions" won the Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Album at the 2013 55th Grammy Awards. Performing worldwide and selling more than four million albums, he has found a form of creative expression that begins in jazz and expands beyond the limits of any single genre.

Nels Cline
nelscline.com

  The Solid Sound Festival - Wilco’s music and arts festival - takes place this weekend at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA and Nels Cline - one of Rolling Stones’ top 100 guitarists of all time - will perform at least 3 times -- twice with Wilco and once with Julian Lage, Scott Colley and Tom Rainey in a quartet called The Nels Cline Four.

The Campi by Melissa McGill installed at Studio Scatturin, a privately owned masterpiece by the great Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa. Sculptural sound box Campo Box (Santa Maria Formosa) shown here with corresponding archival pigment print, Campo Santa M
Luca Marella


  Melissa McGill has been exhibiting her artwork internationally since 1991 including one-person exhibitions at White Cube, London; Power House, Memphis; and CRG Gallery, New York. She is a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design.

 

The Beacon-based artist has joined us previously on The Roundtable to discuss Palmas, a work created for Manitoga in Garrison, New York and Constellation - a light and sculpture installation now in it’s last summer of exhibition on The Bannerman Castle ruin in The Hudson River.

 

Her most recent project is entitled The Campi - which was inspired by and installed during La Biennale di Venezia this year.

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: My Cousin Rachel, Wonder Woman, Citizen Jane: Battle for the City

Upcoming events:

Tony Award-winning jukebox musical, and epic night of rock 'n roll, Million Dollar Quartet brings you into the recording studio with icons, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Based on a true story, set on December 4, 1956, Million Dollar Quartet follows the tale of these four legendary musicians, as they come together for one monumental night of music at Sun Records in Memphis.

The Berkshire Theatre Group is presenting Million Dollar Quartet at its Unicorn Theatre through July 15th.

Directed and with music direction by James Barry the musical includes classic tunes such as: "Blue Suede Shoes,” "Fever,” "Walk the Line,” "Sixteen Tons,” "Who Do You Love?,” "Great Balls of Fire,” "Folsom Prison Blues,” "Hound Dog,” and more.

We are joined by Brycen Katolinsky who plays Elvis Presley; Ben Nordstrom who plays The Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll and founder of Sun Records, Sam Phillips; and Christy Coco who plays aspiring singer and Elvis’s girlfriend Dayanne.  

John Watson / jazzcamera.co.uk

Jacob Collier is recognized as one of the world’s most distinctive, inventive and prodigious young musicians. Based in London, UK, Jacob has been inspired by many sounds – his music combines elements of Jazz, A cappella, Groove, Folk, Trip-hop, Classical music, Brazilian music, Gospel, Soul and Improvisation (to name a few), which culminate to create the world of "Jacob Collier."

He is performing on Saturday night at Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival at SPAC

The Dorset Theatre Festival opens its 40th Anniversary Season with the World Premiere of Theresa Rebeck’s Downstairs, under the direction of Resident Director Adrienne Campbell-Holt. The production opens Thursday and runs through July 8th.

Theresa Rebeck is a widely produced playwright throughout the United States and abroad. She is the screenwriter and director of the upcoming film Trouble, starring Anjelica Huston, Bill Pullman, and David Morse. Adrienne Campbell-Holt is the Associate Director of the Tony award-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen and was also the assistant director of Dead Accounts.

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