Arts & Culture

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: "A Wrinkle In Time"

Upcoming:

  • Lunasa with special guest vocalist Natalie Merchant - The Egg, Albany, Thursday 3/15, 7:30 PM
  • "A Night at the Opera" - Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Mass., Thursday 3/15, 7 PM
  • The 40th Annual Photo Regional: Effects That Aren’t Special - Opalka Gallery, Albany, Thursday 3/15 through April 21; opening reception Friday 3/16, 6 to 8 PM
  • Paramount’s Laser Spectacular presents The Music of Pink Floyd - Times Union Center, Albany, Friday 3/16, 7:30 PM
  • Thrash for McGrath - Pauly’s Hotel & The Low Beat, Albany, Saturday 3/17, 7 PM
  • Rolston String Quartet: Haydn, Debussy, Tchaikovsky - Friends of Chamber Music, Emma Willard School/Kiggins Hall, Troy, Saturday 3/17, 7:30 PM
  • Performing Artists in Residence Concert performing Brahms, Hugo Wolf, Robert Khan, Jules Massenet Edward Arron, cello; Jeewon Park, piano; Hyunah Yu, soprano; Jeffrey Multer, violin - The Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Mass., Sunday 3/18, 2 PM
  • "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" - Palace Theatre, Albany, Monday 3/19, 7 PM
  • The National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba - Troy Chromatics Concerts/Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Monday 3/19, 7:30 PM
  • Restless NYC's "This Was the End" - Opening performance Monday 3/19, 7:30 PM; Installation Tuesday 3/20, 1 to 5 PM - EMPAC Studio 1—Goodman, Troy

New movies: "Tomb Raider," "Entebbe," "Love Simon"

Louie Anderson is an iconic comedian, Emmy award winner, one of the country’s most adored comics and named by Comedy Central as “One of 100 Greatest Comedians.” He currently co-stars with Zach Galifianakis in the hit FX series, “Baskets,” Anderson’s extraordinary role as Christine Baskets, the matriarch of the Baskets clan won him his third Emmy Award.

He will perform at The Bardavon in Poughkeepsie, NY on Sunday, March 18.

Mike Birbiglia
Evan Sung

The High Mud Comedy Festival takes over the campus of MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts this Friday and Saturday.

Friday night, Sasheer Zamata hosts “Sasheer Zamata Party Time!” in the Hunter Center. On Saturday, there will be a satire writing workshop by the Reductress, comedian-led gallery tours, and a performance by Nellie McKay.

To close the festival, Mike Birbiglia will present his new one-hour of stand-up, aptly entitled “The New One.” Birbiglia’s previous popular shows include “Thank God for Jokes,” “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend,” and “Sleepwalk with Me.” The latter was adapted into a film co-directed by Birbiglia and his stage-director Seth Barrish. In 2016 Birbiglia wrote and directed “Don’t Think Twice” starring Gillian Jacobs and Keegan-Michael Key.

The 13th Annual Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival, presented by the Springfield Jewish Community Center, runs March 15 – 27 with 25 film screenings at 18 community venues across Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin Counties in Massachusetts.

Year after year, PVJFF presents critically acclaimed films that not only entertain, but also provide opportunities for reflection, discussion, and a deeper understanding of our complex, diverse world.

We are joined by Festival Director Deb Krivoy and by director of communications for the Yiddish Book Center, Lisa Newman. The Yiddish Book Center is one of the Pioneer Valley Film Festival’s venues.

Rob Edelman: War...

Mar 12, 2018

JOURNEY’S END, a new and just-released British film, is a property with a storied history. This tale of survival among a cluster of British soldiers in the trenches of World War I originated as a play. Its author is R.C. Sherriff, and it premiered on the London stage at the tail-end of 1928. One of its stars, by the way, was a 21-year-old actor by the name of Laurence Olivier, and it ran on the West End for two years. The success of JOURNEY’S END resulted in stage productions mounted across the globe. Its first screen version, a U.S.-UK co-production, dates from 1930. It is the first feature directed by James Whale, who momentarily guided Boris Karloff to horror film immortality in FRANKENSTEIN. Intriguingly, a German remake of JOURNEY’S END came out a year later. This of course was pre-Adolph Hitler. Plus, it has been revived on-stage across the decades. I saw it a number of years ago in a West End production.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with a show about Rays.

Rogovoy Report 3/9/18

Mar 9, 2018

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include stars of Afropop, art-rock, New Orleans funk, opera, and a whole lot more.

In this week’s "Classical Music According to Yehuda," Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani continue a series of conversations about fakes, forgeries, and misattributions - sharing music by Fritz Kreisler from the album "Kreisler Plays Kreisler."

Bob Goepfert Reviews "The Humans" At Proctors

Mar 8, 2018
Richard Thomas, Pamela Reed, Daisy Eagan, Luis Vega and Therese Plaehn
Julieta Cervantes

SCHENECTADY – “The Humans” is 90-minutes long, without an intermission.  For the first 75 minutes of the production it is a very funny play that touches on the serious issues of family life.  For the final 15-minutes, it is powerful, heartbreaking theater that gives clarity to the entire play.

Still from "A Fantastic Woman"
Sony Pictures Classics

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: The Oscars, "Death Wish"

Upcoming:

  • Ellen Arkbro - EMPAC, Studio 1—Goodman, Troy, Thursday 3/8, 7:30 PM
  • An Acoustic Evening with Lyle Lovett & Shawn Colvin - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Thursday 3/8, 7:30 PM
  • Ladysmith Black Mambazo - Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield, Mass., Friday 3/9, 8 PM
  • Cedric The Entertainer - Funny Bone Comedy Club, Guilderland, Friday-Saturday 3/9-10, various times
  • Albany Symphony Orchestra: Kennedy Center Debut Preview Performance - Music of Joan Tower, Michael Daugherty, Dorothy Chang, Michael Torke - Palace Theatre, Albany, Saturday 3/10, 7:30 PM
  • Eli Young Band - Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park, Saturday 3/10, 8 PM
  • Chip Taylor - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Saturday 3/10, 8 PM
  • Dumpstaphunk - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, Saturday 3/10, 9 PM
  • Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Tashi Dorji - MASS MoCA, North Adams, Mass., Saturday 3/10, 8 PM
  • The Chieftans - Proctors, Schenectady, Tuesday 3/13, 7:30 PM

New movies: "A Wrinkle in Time," "Gringo," "Thoroughbreds," "A Fantastic Woman"

Stephen Karam’s “The Humans” is an uproarious, hopeful, and heartbreaking play that takes place over the course of a family dinner on Thanksgiving. Breaking with tradition, Erik Blake has brought his Pennsylvania family to celebrate and give thanks at his daughter’s apartment in Lower Manhattan. As darkness falls outside the ramshackle pre-war duplex and eerie things start to go bump in the night, the Blake clan’s deepest fears and greatest follies are laid bare. Our modern age of anxiety is keenly observed, with humor and compassion, in this new American classic that won the 2016 Tony Award® for Best Play.

Directed by Joe Mantello, the National Tour of “The Humans” is at Proctors in Schenectady this week.

Richard Thomas plays Erik Blake. Thomas’ most recent stage appearance was in the Broadway revival of “The Little Foxes,” for which he received a Tony Award Nomination. He is an Emmy award winner and a TV icon for creating the role of John-Boy in “The Waltons.”

Pamela Reed is a veteran character actress who has over 60 film and TV credits. She is known for her roles in “The Right Stuff,” “Kindergarten Cop,” “Junior,” and “Proof of Life.” Her TV credits include “Parks and Recreation,” “NCIS: LA” and her portrayal of Jack Tanner's campaign manager, T.J. Cavanaugh in Robert Altman's “Tanner '88.”

Few television shows revolutionized comedy as profoundly or have had such an enormous and continued impact on our culture as "In Living Color." Inspired by Richard Pryor, Carol Burnett, and Eddie Murphy, Keenen Ivory Wayans created a television series unlike any that had come before it.

Along the way, he introduced the world to Jamie Foxx, Jim Carrey, David Alan Grier, Rosie Perez, and Jennifer Lopez, not to mention his own brothers Damon, Marlon, and Shawn Wayans. In Living Color shaped American culture in ways both seen and unseen, and was part of a sea change that moved black comedy and hip-hop culture from the shadows into the spotlight.

David Peisner is a freelance writer based in Decatur, Georgia. He has been writing about music, film, television, books, politics, technology, sports, and world affairs for a wide array of publications for nearly twenty years.

David Peisner is a freelance writer based in Decatur, Georgia. He has been writing about music, film, television, books, politics, technology, sports, and world affairs for a wide array of publications for nearly twenty years. His new book is "Homey Don't Play That!: The Story of In Living Color and the Black Comedy Revolution."

What do Susan B. Anthony, Alexander Graham Bell, Emily Dickinson, Frederick Douglass, Amelia Earhart, Helen Keller, Leonard Nimoy, Elizabeth Taylor, Sylvia Plath, Dr. Seuss, Sojourner Truth and Kurt Vonnegut all have in common? They have all impacted the historical fabric of the Pioneer Valley in Massachusetts!

The Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton, Mass. will present “The Valley Letters Project: Live on Stage,” a new series celebrating the art of letter writing and its connection to the region’s history. The evening will feature letters by historic people of note connected to the Western Massachusetts/Pioneer Valley region read aloud by contemporary people of note who are currently impacting the Western Massachusetts and the Pioneer Valley landscape.

The event, taking place on Saturday, March 10 at 7:30 p.m., is a fundraiser for The Academy of Music Theatre.

Here to tell us more are Academy of Music Theatre's Development and Marketing Manager Emily Curro, and the Artistic Director of Eggtooth Productions and Academy of Music Theatre Board Member, Linda McInerney.

Rob Edelman: Appreciating What You Have

Mar 5, 2018

In recent years, so many American films have centered on characters who for a range of reasons are dissatisfied with their lives. They question the world around them. They view themselves as losers, as failures and, at their core, they also are self-involved.

New Jersey's state seal
New Jersey

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats for a show about the Garden State.

Rogovoy Report 3/2/18

Mar 2, 2018

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include a folk-pop singer-songwriter, an exhibition of emerging and rising artists from the area, an avatar of Americana, a concert of protest songs, a wild and wacky trombone recital, and a whole lot more.


  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani begin a series of conversations about fakes, forgeries, and misattributions.

 

In this segment we hear Trumpet Voluntary Suite in D Major by Jeremiah Clarke (recorded by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra) which was long attributed to Henry Purcell for years.

Andrew Bird
Reuben Cox / http://sacksco.com

Andrew Bird is playing at The Egg in Albany, New York on Monday, March 5 and at UPAC in Kingston, New York on Wednesday, March 7.

The Chicago-born, LA-based film score composer, multi-instrumentalist, master-whistler, and lyricist has been creating music for more than twenty years. Bird’s most recent release, “Echolocations: River,” was recorded as he stood ankle-deep in the Los Angeles River under The Hyperion Bridge. “Echolocations: Canyon” was released in 2015 and was recorded inside the Coyote Gulch canyons of Utah. The recordings are filmed by Tyler Manson.

He joined us to preview his upcoming shows and talk about the unique process he used to create the Echolocations albums.

Thelma Adams is an established figure in the entertainment industry. For two decades, she has penned celebrity features and film criticism for high-profile publications. 

She joins us to discuss the 90th Academy Awards which will take place this Sunday. Her greatest title is that she is an Oscarologist and we welcome her to the program this morning.

Echo/Archive At EMPAC

Mar 1, 2018
George MacLeod
George MacLeod / echo-archive.com

A big premiere is happening Friday night at EMPAC.

Choreographer Elena Demyanenko and filmmaker Erika Mijlin’s collaboration Echo/Archive, which has been developed in residence over this past year, is a live dance and film project which features female performers across three generations and focuses on “bodily heritage,” or the way that movements are stored and communicated between bodies. Both artists teach at Bennington College. 

Filmmaker (and the lead video artist on Echo/Archive) Erika Mijlin and EMPAC’s Curator of Theater and Dance Ashley Ferro-Murray join us.

Ray Padgett founded the blog Cover Me in 2007 and has run it ever since, growing it into the largest blog devoted to cover songs on the web, with 80,000 individual readers a month.

His new book, "Cover Me," is packed with insight, photography, and music history. Each of the chapters investigates the origins of a classic cover and uses it as a framework to tell the larger story of how cover songs have evolved over the decades. 

Duckweed Palace, mixed media 2006-2010
Robert Hite

The Albany International Airport is presenting "Above the Fray," its newest exhibition which features sculptures and photographs from Hudson Valley artist, Robert Hite. The show will join Hite’s already existing large-scale sculpture, "Migration House," currently on view at the airport.

Growing up in the rural South during the Civil Rights Movement, Hite explores the relationship between environment and disenfranchisement in his work, and focuses on themes of poverty, functionality, resilience, and community.

He is specifically interested in the meaning of the home, which can provide refuge from the elements and serve as a protective space for aspirations. Hite’s sculptures — described as “hand-made habitations” — are constructed out of found materials like reclaimed wood and metal.

Rob Edelman: The Best Of The Best

Feb 26, 2018

Five excellent and provocative films have earned nominations for Best Documentary Feature Academy Awards. One of them is FACES PLACES. Its co-director is Agnes Varda and it just may win, if only to honor this legendary eighty-something filmmaker. However, one in particular stands out. It is ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL. I cited it in a review this past spring when it opened theatrically and it is well-worth re-focusing on, given its quality and its content.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel return for a quiz about orange things.

Rogovoy Report 2/23/18

Feb 23, 2018

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include a global funk concert, a festival of new short plays, early music, Romantic music, feminist art, and two stars of alternative cabaret.


  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani conclude their series of conversations about quoting, sampling, borrowing in music, discussing a time when Franz Schubert stole from himself.

Bob Goepfert Reviews "Les Miserables" At Proctors

Feb 22, 2018
The company of LES MISÉRABLES performs “Master of the House” with J Anthony Crane as ‘Thénardier’ and Allison Guinn as ‘Madame Thénardier.’
Matthew Murphy

SCHENECTADY – The production of “Les Miserables” at Proctors is like spending time with a good friend whom you haven’t seen in a long time. 

(Airs 2/22/18 @ 1 p.m.)  On this program, WAMC's Alan Chartock and Historian Dr. Richard Pfau discuss President Harry Truman's Truman Doctrine speech. In addition, listeners will have an opportunity to actually hear the speech as it was delivered on March 12th, 1947.

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: "Black Panther"

Upcoming:

  • Troy Night Out: The Amazing Race Trivia Night - Downtown Troy, Friday 2/23, 5-9 PM
  • Mile Twelve - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Friday 2/23, 8 PM
  • Shemekia Copeland - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, Friday 2/23, 9 PM
  • Shelby Lynne, Teddy Thompson - The Egg, Albany, Saturday 2/24, 8 PM
  • Sinkane - MASS MoCA, Club B10, North Adams, Mass., Saturday 2/24, 8 PM
  • Pretty Much the Best Comedy Show: Adrienne Iapalucci - Proctors, Schenectady, Saturday 2/24, 8 PM
  • Soovin Kim, violin; Paul Watkins, cello; Gloria Chen, piano - (Beethoven, Brahms, Pierre Jalbert) - Union College Memorial Chapel, Schenectady, Sunday 2/25, 3 PM
  • Dropkick Murphys, Agnostic Front, Bim Skala Bim - Albany Capital Center, Albany, Sunday 2/25, 7:30 PM
  • "Casablanca" - Palace Theatre, Albany, Monday 2/26, 7 PM
  • Staatskapelle Weimar with pianist Sunwook Kim - (Beethoven, Brahms, Wagner, Richard Strauss) - Troy Chromatics Concerts, Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Wednesday 2/28, 7:30 PM

New movies: "Annihilation," "Game Night," "Happy End," "Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool"

Known as the king of the rant, Lewis Black uses his trademark style of comedic yelling and animated finger-pointing to skewer anything and anyone that gets under his skin. His comedic brilliance lies in his ability to make people laugh at the absurdities of life, with topics that include current events, social media, politics and anything else that exposes the hypocrisy and madness he sees in the world.

His new tour "The Joke's On Us" comes to UPAC in Kingston, New York, on Saturday, February 24.

Pages