Arts & Culture

This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday PS21 in Chatham, NY presents The Rory Block Gospel & Blues Fest.

The festival features The Campbell Brothers, Texas Music Hall of Famer Cindy Cashdollar, a gospel choir fest featuring 4 choirs from area churches, and Rory Block herself – who joins us now.

Rory Block has committed her life and her career to preserving the Delta blues tradition and bringing it to life for 21st century audiences around the world. A traditionalist and an innovator at the same time, she wields a fiery and haunting guitar and vocal style that redefines the boundaries of acoustic blues and folk. The New York Times declared: “Her playing is perfect, her singing otherworldly as she wrestles with ghosts, shadows and legends.”

Linada Lavin
Stephen Sorokoff

Linda Lavin is an American singer and actress. She is known for playing the title character in the sitcom Alice and for her stage performances, both on Broadway and Off-Broadway.

Linda Lavin will return to Club Helsinki in Hudson, NY on July 29 with “My Second Farewell Concert.” In the show, she recalls her roots in the theater, her love of American standards, Steely Dan, and a life-long obsession with the big bands of the 1940’s.

"Taking Steps" at Barrington Stage Company
Barrington Stage Company

Pittsfield, Mass. – The short review for the comedy “Taking Steps,” playing at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Mass through August 5, is:  Go see it – it’s funny.

Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright, Edward Albee, Edward Albee's At Home at the Zoo (Zoo story) delves deep into the complex concept of human loneliness and social disparity. Berkshire Theatre Group presents the show on its Unicorn Stage through August 26th.

Directed by Eric Hill, Edward Albee's At Home at the Zoo (Zoo story) joins Albee's classic play, The Zoo Story (1959), the classic play which launched Albee's sensational career, with its prequel, Homelife written 45 years later. This production features David Adkins and Tara Franklin.

Now in its 8th season, the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice will celebrate all things French at this year’s celebration August 4-6.

Remaining true to its mission of bringing together some of the world’s greatest vocal talent to audiences in the Catskills region, this year’s Festival will host internationally acclaimed performers and composers in a series of unforgettable open-air summer concerts that all share the alluring theme of French culture – including the star event, the beloved opera La Boheme. 

The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice is a one-of-a-kind music event that allows audiences to experience world-class talent, often only seen in metropolitan venues, in a more intimate setting while relishing the stunning beauty of the surrounding Catskills Mountains.

We are joined now by General Director Maria Todaro and Artistic Director, Louis Otey.

Rob Edelman: Get Out...And Stay Out

Jul 24, 2017

Back in 1967-- that would be a half-century ago-- a mainstream Hollywood film came to movie houses. That film was GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER, and its stars are Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, and Sidney Poitier. GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER dealt with a subject that was highly controversial five decades ago. In fact, in some states, it would have been illegal. That subject is intermarriage, and GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER is the story of a black man and white woman who have just met, and have fallen in love and wish to marry. The film charts the responses to this news by both sets of parents, and GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER ends on a hopeful note. At the finale, the characters sit down, relax, and share conversation and a meal-- and the point is that individuals from different races can be friends. They can spend time together and, perhaps, they even might fall in love.

artwork for Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow
Artwork by Ligature Creative

Obie Award winner and Drama Desk nominee Trip Cullman directs Outer Critics Award nominee and Theater World Award Winner Halley Feiffer’s world premiere of Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow: a contemporary adaptation of Chekhov’s Three Sisters. The show runs at The Williamstown Theatre Festival July 26 through August 6.

Thomas Sadoski plays Andrey. Sadoski currently stars on CBS' Life In Pieces. Previous television credits include HBO's The Newsroom, and NBC's The Slap. Broadway credits include Reckless, Reasons to be Pretty, House of Blue Leaves, and Other Desert Cities.

Micah Stock and Joe Donahue
Sarah LaDuke

Our next guest has made quite a splash on Broadway. He made his debut in 2014 in Terrance McNally’s It’s Only a Play starring Nathan Lane. For that role, Micah Stock was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play. He was most recently seen on Broadway in last year’s revival of The Front Page also starring Nathan Lane plus John Goodman and John Slattery.

He is spending his summer in the Berkshires starring in not one, but two productions at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. He just finished up a run in Jason Kim's The Model American. Next up, he plays Tuzenbach in Halley Feiffer's Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow (as in Costco) - a contemporary adaptation of Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters opening July 26th on the Nikos Stage.

Joe Donahue and Cristin Milioti
Sarah LaDuke

Cristin Milioti has had a cool and varied career split between TV, movies and theater over the past decade. Her breakout role came with Once, a Broadway production that won the Tony for Best Musical in 2012, earned her a Tony Nomination for Best Actress and won her a Grammy for Best Musical Theatre Album.

Before that, she'd already had bit roles in The Sopranos30 Rock and Nurse Jackie. She played Leonardo DiCaprio's wife in The Wolf of Wall Street and became the ill-fated mom in How I Met Your Mother. Most recently, she appeared in David Bowie's off-Broadway musical Lazarus and in Season 2 on FX’s Fargo.

She is now playing Masha in Halley Feiffer's Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow - a contemporary adaptation of Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters opening July 26th on the Nikos Stage at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.

A curse for a playwright who becomes successful is that sometimes producers seek out earlier plays to generate sales solely on a playwright’s name.  They can be embarrassments.

I was a bit apprehensive about attending a performance of the play Children of a Lesser God. Certainly, I was aware of the positive reviews and awards it had received, both on Broadway in 1980 and as a motion picture in 1986. But, I wondered: could this work capture the attention of today’s audience with its main actors communicating in sign language? Could their emotions as well as words be truly conveyed?

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch spots for a show about space movies.

Audrey Kupferberg: The Beguiled

Jul 21, 2017

Ever wish that you could remake one of those offensive anti-women macho dramas of the early screen career of Clint Eastwood?  Instead of yelling down the sexist male aggression in scene after scene, you could start from zero, rewrite the screenplay, and present the story from a more gender-balanced or even from a female point of view. PLAY MISTY FOR ME is a classic example -- and so is THE BEGUILED.

Rogovoy Report 7/21/17

Jul 21, 2017

The weekend highlights in our region include a not one but two soul music legends; a new music festival; a literary birthday party for a 90-year-old poet; and a whole lot more.

Two-time Tony Award nominee Jayne Atkinson and Tony Award nominee Jessica Hecht stars in Sarah Ruhl’s The Clean House, a 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist. In the whimsical play, a physician (played by Jayne Atkinson) discovers that her sister (Jessica Hecht) and not her Brazilian cleaning woman has been cleaning her home.

The Williamstown Theatre Festival Main Stage Production is directed by Rebecca Taichman – who just won a Tony for directing the play, Indecent. The Clean House runs through July 29th.

Jayne Atkinson is best known on television for her long-running roles in 24Criminal Minds, and the current Netlix original series House of Cards. She made her Broadway debut in a revival production of Arthur Miller's All My Sons. Broadway credits also include The RainmakerOur TownEnchanted April and Blithe Spirit

Jessica Hecht has been on television in such shows as Friends, Seinfeld, Breaking Bad and The Good Wife. Hecht was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress for her role in A View From The Bridge on Broadway. Other recent productions include Harvey, Golde in Fiddler on the Roof, and she just finished a run in Arthur Miller’s The Price with Mark Ruffalo and Danny DeVito. 

Rebecca Taichman and Joe Donahue
Sarah LaDuke

Last Month at the Tony’s, for the seventh time in the history of the Tony Awards, a woman’s name was announced as the winner of Best Director of a Play and that woman was Rebecca Taichman, who directed and co-created, along with playwright Paula Vogel, Indecent

Indecent also marked Rebecca’s Broadway debut, after years of directing at major Off-Broadway and regional theatres including her frequent collaborations with playwrights like Sarah Ruhl.

Even though Taichman won the Tony, the show was set to close June 25th. But in a rare turnaround, the producer, citing an outpouring of public support for the show, decided to keep “Indecent” open through August 6th at the Cort Theatre.

Now, she is in Williamstown, MA to direct Jayne Atkinson and Jessica Hecht in The Clean House by Pulitzer Prize finalist Sarah Ruhl. The show opens July 19th and runs through July 29th on the Main Stage. 

The Dorset Theatre Festival in Dorset, VT continues its 40th Anniversary Season with the Regional Premiere of Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery under the direction of Jen Wineman runs through July 29.

In Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson must crack the mystery of “The Hound of the Baskervilles” before a family curse dooms its latest heir.

The ensemble cast is led by Liz Wisan whose portrayal of Sherlock Holmes will lend a fresh twist to the much-beloved sleuth. She is joined by Dave Quay as Dr. John Watson, the detective’s trusted confidant. 

Jacque Metheny - Tree with Spheres; SculptureNow at The Mount
Sarah LaDuke

This summer SculptureNow and The Mount are proud to present NEXUS a new, juried exhibition featuring 30 large-scale, outdoor sculptures placed throughout the grounds of The Mount.

The exhibition is on display now through Halloween.

The show includes regionally, nationally and internationally recognized artists. To tell us more we welcome Ann Jon, Executive Director of SculptureNow and for all things at Edith Wharton, we welcome Susan Wissler, Executive Director at Edith Wharton’s The Mount. 

Joseph Dalton Reviews "Porgy And Bess" At Glimmerglass

Jul 20, 2017

From start to finish the new production of “Porgy and Bess” at the Glimmerglass Festival is a strong and handsome evening of music and theater.  The show is full of beautiful music and has more than a few hit songs by George Gershwin.  Conductor John DeMain keeps things moving.  And with typical good taste and efficiency, director Francesca Zambello has things moving to the right places. 

Buck Lewis

Good Men Wanted brings to life the incredible true stories of renegade women who disguised themselves as men to fight in the Civil War.

In a searing drama punctuated by explosive dance sequences set to contemporary pop music, five women of vastly different backgrounds become warriors and spies, endure prison camps and midnight raids, and ultimately intersect at America's most storied battlefield, Gettysburg. These unsung heroes circumvented the limitations of their time, with a boldness that speaks loudly to our own.

Good Men Wanted runs at Vassar College and New York Stage and Film's Powerhouse Theatre through July 30th.

Asia Kate Dillon play Albert Cashier. Cashier, born Jennie Irene Hodgers in 1843, was an Irish-born immigrant who served in the Union Army. Dillon is best known for Netflix's Orange is the New Black and Showtime's Billions.

Good Men Wanted at Vassar and New York Stage and Film's Powerhouse Theatre
Buck Lewis

Vassar College and New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theatre’s second mainstage show this summer is Good Men Wanted. The new play is about women who - for varied reasons and to varied ends - disguised themselves as men to fight in the Civil War.

The drama punctuated by explosive dance sequences - choreographed by Ani Taj and set to contemporary pop music. They play is written by Kevin Armento and directed by Jaki Bradley who joins us.

Basilica Hudson, in partnership with Community of Literary Magazines and Presses will once again have its celebration of literature and food: Read & Feed, which will take place from 12PM - 5PM this Sunday.

The festival includes a celebration of legendary Hudson-based poet John Ashbery’s 90th birthday, acclaimed food writers and chefs presenting demonstrations and interactive discussions, a superstar collection of authors offering literary performances and novel conversations, a marketplace featuring some of America’s most intriguing small literary publishers and artisanal food makers.

Melissa Auf der Maur, Co-founder and Director of Basilica Hudson, and Jeffrey Lependorf, CLMP’s Executive Director, join us.

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: War for the Planet of the Apes

Upcoming:
Phil Tippett and Lucy Raven: Starship Troopers - EMPAC Concert Hall, Thursday 7/20, 7 PM
Airport - Capitol Theatre, Rome, Thursday 7/20, 7 PM
Ziggy Marley - The Egg, Albany, Thursday 7/20, 8 PM
Che Malambo - SPAC, Saratoga Springs, Thursday 7/20, 8 PM
Gene Bertoncini Trio - Van Dyck Lounge, Schenectady, Friday 7/21, 8 PM
Annual Summer Undercover Show: Local artists as Patsy Cline, Bikini Kill, Britney Spears, Grace Jones, etc. - The Low Beat, Albany, Saturday 7/22, 6 PM
Rod Stewart, Cyndi Lauper - SPAC, Saratoga Springs, Saturday 7/22, 7:30 PM
Ronnie Spector & the Ronettes - Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Saturday 7/22, 8 PM
Simone Dinnerstein, pianist, performing the Goldberg Variations - PS 21, Chatham, Saturday 7/22, 8 PM
The Boy in the Bathroom - Adirondack Theatre Festival, Charles R. Wood Theater, Glens Falls, opens Wednesday 7/26, 7:30 PM (through August 4)
Taina Asili y la Banda Rebelde, Girl Blue - Rockin On the River, Riverfront Park, Troy, Wednesday 7/26, 5-8:30 PM

New movies: Dunkirk, Valerian and the City of Lost Planets, Maudie

Following the launch of her new book, Low Relief, artist Lucy Raven and special-effects legend Phil Tippett will present an excerpt of their in-progress moving-image work, Coming Attraction at EMPAC in Troy, NY tomorrow at 7PM.

Tippett will discuss his collaboration with Raven, and offer an in-depth look at the making of the 1997 sci-fi cult classic Starship Troopers, including an edit of footage made by Tippett during the Troopers location scout in the badlands of Wyoming.

Under a staircase in his Berkeley visual-effects studio Tippett recently unearthed over 12 hours of VHS tapes, including the location scout and behind-the-scenes recordings made on-set during the shoot, an edit of which will be screened at this presentation. 

The evening will end with a screening of Starship Troopers, directed by Paul Verhoeven. Tippett’s career in visual effects has spanned more than 30 years and his selected filmography includes: The Twilight Films, RoboCop 1, 2 and 3Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Empire Strikes Back and the original Star Wars.

Rob Edelman: An Inconvenient Truth, Part 2

Jul 17, 2017

It is at once unsurprising and refreshing that, just as President Trump trumpeted his decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement, announcement came of the upcoming release of a sequel to what arguably is the most celebrated and influential climate change documentary. That film is AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, and it was released in 2006.

Vermont’s award-winning Weston Playhouse Theatre Company is having a blockbuster continuation of its 81st summer season, continuing its tradition of “celebrating the classics and nurturing the new.”

Next on the Main Stage is Neil Simon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Lost In Yonkers. It is a heartfelt coming-of-age story by one of America’s greatest comic playwrights. Performances run July 20th to July 29th.

Meanwhile on Weston’s Other Stages is the Vermont Premiere of Tenderly – telling the story of beloved actress/singer Rosemary Clooney who delighted America for nearly five decades. The play is now open and runs through August 5th.

We welcome Susan Haefner, who originated the role of Rosemary Clooney in the premiere of the new musical Tenderly at Cincinnati Playhouse and is playing it in Weston; Davy Raphaely, who will play the lovable gangster uncle Louie in Lost in Yonkers in a Weston cast including Tony winner Elizabeth Franz; and Steve Stettler is the Producing Artistic Director at the Weston Playhouse.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with their latest show.

Nippertown's Greg Haymes' July Music Selections

Jul 14, 2017
Greg Haymes
Times Union

Nippertown's Greg Haymes is back with his July music selections.

Rogovoy Report 7/14/17

Jul 14, 2017

The weekend highlights in our region include an experimental theater premiere; the return of a legendary modern dance troupe; a festival of klezmer and Yiddish music, and a whole lot more.

Triple Self Portrait
Norman Rockwell

Two of America’s most important visual communicators, Norman Rockwell and Andy Warhol embraced populism, created enduring icons, shaped national identity, and opened new ways of seeing during the twentieth century.

This summer and fall, Norman Rockwell Museum will present the first exhibition to examine the artistic and cultural influence of these celebrated image-makers and the continued influence of their indelible legacies—Inventing America: Rockwell and Warhol is on view at Norman Rockwell Museum from June 10 through October 29th.

To tell us about the exhibit and all things Norman Rockwell, we welcome the Director/CEO of the Norman Rockwell Museum - Laurie Norton Moffatt. Laurie Norton Moffat celebrated her 40th anniversary with the museum in June.

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