Arts & Culture

Sarah LaDuke and Myra Lucretia Taylor
Joe Donahue


  Mourning the loss of her elder son Myles, Bethea tries to help her younger son Gideon through his grief. But as revelations surrounding Myles’ incarceration and death emerge, both mother and son must decide whether to fight or let go.

Where Storms Are Born is a new play by Harrison David Rivers having its world premiere on the Nikos Stage at The Williamstown Theatre Festival in Williamstown, MA through July 23rd. Rivers was the Williamstown Theatre Festival Playwright-in-Residence in 2016.

The play is directed by Saheem Ali and stars Myra Lucretia Taylor as Bethea Solomon - a woman living in grief and demonstrating love and resilience.

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: Spider-Man: Homecoming

Upcoming:
The Funky Meters - Alive @ Five Rain Site, Corning Preserve Boat Launch, Albany, Thursday 7/13, 5-8 PM
Hans Tutschku: Spatial Audio Performance - EMPAC Concert Hall, Troy, Thursday 7/13, 7 PM
Kids Day with PJ Masks and Pete the Cat - Empires State Plaza, Albany, Saturday 7/15, noon-5 PM
Mad Max, with live score by Morricone Youth - MASS MoCA, North Adams, Saturday 7/15, 8:30 PM
Boston Symphony Orchestra with violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter (Williams, Tchaikovsky, Berlioz) - Tanglewood Shed, Lenox, 7/16 Sunday, 2:30 PM
Parker Quartet (Stravinsky, Aaron Jay Kernis, Brahms) - Maverick Concerts, Woodstock, Sunday 7/16, 4 PM
The Moody Blues: Days of Future Past - SPAC, Saratoga Springs, Sunday 7/16, 8 PM
Find Your Way Home - Palace Theatre, Albany, Monday 7/17, 7:30 PM
Robert Earl Keen - The Egg, Albany, Tuesday 7/18, 7:30 PM
Soul Asylum, Cracker - Empire State Plaza, Albany, Wednesday 7/19, 5-8 PM

New movies: War for the Planet of the Apes, Wish Upon, The Big Sick

Powerhouse Theater
Vassar College/ Tamar M. Thibodeau

Vassar College and New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater Training Program challenges young theatre artists to look at their art in new and meaningful ways while they explore boundaries by living, breathing, and creating theater with peers and professionals alike. To learn more we are joined by Max Reuben and Emily Mendelsohn.

Reuben is a playwright, director, sometimes-actor, and founding member of AGGROCRAG – a Brooklyn-based theater company dedicated to creating original plays. At Vassar he directs and composes Soundpainting -- which is performed Thursdays in July in The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center.

Mendelsohn is a Brooklyn-based director who is adapting and directing William Shakespeare's Hamlet which is running July 14-16 in the Environmental Cooperative at The Vassar Barns.

  

Seagle Music Colony in Schroon Lake, NY presents the first full performances of the new comic opera, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead.

The opera features a score and libretto by composer Herschel Garfein and is based on the play by the renowned Tom Stoppard. The play and the opera expand on the exploits of two minor characters from Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

The action of Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead takes place mainly "in the wings" of Hamlet, with brief appearances of major characters from Hamlet who enact fragments of the original and memorable scenes by The Bard.

Here to tell us more are Seagle Music Colony’s Artistic Director, Darren Woods, composer of Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead, Herschel Garfein.

Bobby Conte Thornton
www.ibdb.com

Bobby Conte Thornton plays Calogero in A Bronx Tale: The Musical at the Longacre Theatre on Broadway. Based on Chazz Palminteri’s life and one-man show, the musical is co-directed by Robert De Niro, who directed the original film, and Jerry Zaks, who directed the one man show on Broadway in 2007.

The show features a book by Palminteri and original music by Alan Menken, and lyrics by Glenn Slater. The cast album is available from Ghostlight Records. A Bronx Tale is Bobby Conte Thornton’s Broadway debut and we spoke with him about working with the show's creative team and what's it's like when your dreams come true.

This Saturday - July 15th at 2pm - the Woodstock Film Festival will present a special screening of Story Of A Girl at Upstate Films in Woodstock. The film's director, Kyra Sedgwick, and editor, Sabine Hoffman, will host an in-person Q&A session following the screening. The screening is happening before the film's official television premiere on Lifetime on July 23rd.

The film tells the story of a young girl's loss of innocence and the role of social media in adolescent lives. It is based on Sara Zarr's award winning novel. 

The film is Kyra Sedgwick's directorial debut. She's an actress who has in The Closer and starred in films such as The Woodsman and Personal Velocity.  

The award-winning musical Ragtime is receiving an award-winning revival by Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

Yidstock 2017

Jul 11, 2017

Now in its sixth year, Yidstock: The Festival of New Yiddish Music celebrates the best of Klezmer and new Yiddish music with a wide-ranging lineup of concerts that demonstrate the diversity and breadth of the genre, along with workshops, talks, and other programs.

Yidstock Artistic Director Seth Rogovoy, author of The Essential Klezmer: A Music Lover's Guide to Jewish Roots and Soul Music is here to tell us more along with Lisa Newman – Director of Communications at the Yiddish Book Center.

Rob Edelman: Big Screen Boxing Biopics

Jul 10, 2017

Recently, a spate of biopics about boxers have punched their way onto movie screens. Two were released last year. In BLEED FOR THIS, Miles Teller proves he is a multifaceted actor, playing Vinny Pazienza, an obsessive, loudmouthed pugilist who sustains a broken neck in a car accident but still eventually continues his career in the ring. HANDS OF STONE features Edgar Ramirez, another fine actor who is not as well-known among the masses as he deserves. Here, Ramirez plays cocky, hotheaded Roberto Duran, with Robert De Niro cast as his coach and mentor, Ray Arcel. De Niro, of course, starred as Jake LaMotta in RAGING BULL once upon a time. Deservedly, RAGING BULL remains atop many critics’ lists as the top film of the 1980s.

Leslie Peck / http://www.lpeck.com/gallery.html

The 2017 Open Studios of Washington County will feature a record-breaking 20 artists working across a range of mediums, including painting, photography, clay arts, and sculpture. Since the arts are vital to the cultural diversity and enrichment of the region, the event helps ensure the rich artistic tradition will continue.

The event now happens over four days and will run from July 13th through July 16th. Joining us to tell us all about it, we welcome Sue Sanderson, organizer, Open Studios of Washington County and two of the featured artists, Leslie Peck and Gigi Begin.

S. Epatha Merkerson and Joe Donahue
Sarah LaDuke

The Williamstown Theatre Festival season opener on the main stage is Jen Silverman's new play The Roommate. Directed by Mike Donahue, the show continues through July 16th. The cast is led by Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner S. Epatha Merkerson and Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee Jane Kaczmarek.

Merkerson is cast as Sharon, who is empty-nested and alone in her Midwestern home and takes on a roommate, Robyn (played by Kaczmarek). Before she has even unpacked, Robyn challenges everything about Sharon’s way of life.

S. Epatha Merkerson is best known for her role as Lieutenant Anita Van Buren from 1993 to 2010 on NBC’s Law & Order. She appeared in 391 episodes of the series—more than any other cast member.  She currently stars as Sharon Goodwin, the Chief Administrator of the Gaffney Chicago Medical Center Hospital on NBC’s Chicago Med

The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College has a jam-packed summer of arts and culture – including their 4th annual Frances Day Community Celebration on July 15th, a new season of UpBeat on the roof concerts and great new exhibitions in all the galleries.  Plus a special new book celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Skidmore Summer Jazz Institute and its founder Don McCormack.

Ian Berry, Dayton Director of the Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College and Michael Janairo, the museum’s Assistant Director for Engagement  join us to tell us more.

SARATOGA SPRINGS - Not all opera has to be flamboyant or grand to be successful.  Opera Saratoga is offering “Zemire Et Azor,” a sublime rendering of an almost 250 year old version of the well-known fairy tale, “Beauty and the Beast” that is enormously satisfying.   

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel head to Area 51 for this week's show.

Rogovoy Report 7/7/17

Jul 7, 2017

The weekend highlights in our region include a pop star singing Dylan; music by Mahler, Paganini, and Schubert; two renowned comedians; three authors reading; folk, funk, jazz, and a whole lot more.

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. 

Hailed as "a funny, affectionate, and revealing tribute to musical theater's greatest living composer and lyricist," the symphonic Sondheim on Sondheim is a retrospective of the life and work of America's finest contemporary musical theater creator -- told through his own words via film, live performers, and his amazing music.

Directed by Sandra Lapine with ​music direction by David Loud, acclaimed Broadway actors Phillip Boykin, Carmen Cusack, Gabriel Ebert, Ruthie Ann Miles and Tanglewood Music Center Vocal Fellows will join Keith Lockhart and The Boston Pops in the ​Koussevitzky Music Shed on Saturday, July 8th at 8pm.

Tamara Hickey and Thomas Brazzle in Cymbeline at Shakespeare & Company
Stratton McCrady / shakespeare.org

We're at Tanglewood this morning and just a few miles away through the Berkshire beauty of Lenox lives another cultural gem, Shakespeare & Company.

Cymbeline is a rarely performed story of intrigue and deception in the face of steely resolve with wild plot twists, mistaken identities, and a heart-rending quest for love.

We are joined now by Tamara Hickey who plays Imogen in Cymbeline; Allyn Burrows, artistic director, at Shakespeare & Company; and Tina Packer, Founding Artistic Director of Shakespeare & Company and Director of Cymbeline. The production also marks a personal milestone for Packer, who, after opening her production of Cymbeline, will have directed all 37 plays in the Shakespeare canon.

Dawn Upshaw
Brooke Irish

There will be a Centennial Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald on Sunday night at 8PM at Tanglewood’s Seiji Ozawa Hall. The Tanglewood Music Center Vocal Concert will feature mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe, Pianist Lee Musiker, musicians of the Boston Pops, TMC Vocal Fellows and our next guest - Dawn Upshaw.

Dawn Upshaw is the Artistic Director of Bard College’s Conservatory of Music as well as the Charles Franklin Kellogg and Grace Ramsey Kellogg Professor of the Arts and Humanities.

She has been at Bard since 2004. The winner of three Grammy Awards; she is featured on more than 50 recordings. She is also the first singer to be named a “Perspectives” Artist by Carnegie Hall. 

Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood
Sarah LaDuke

As you walk along Tanglewood’s meandering paths, it’s easy to miss a series of small wooden shacks nestled amongst the pine trees -- until you hear the sweet music emanating from within. It’s here that the Tanglewood Music Center Fellows hone their craft and learn from the masters.

For decades, talented young musicians from around the country and around the globe have been coming to the Berkshires to study with some of the best musicians in the world.  Today we’re joined by Ellen Highstein – the Director of the Tanglewood Music Center.

Andris Nelsons
Marco Borggreve

Andris Nelsons is Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and is the designated Gewandhauskapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. He made his Boston Symphony debut in March 2011, leading Mahler’s Symphony no. 9 at Carnegie Hall.

In summer 2012, Nelsons made his debut in Tanglewood, and in 2013 at Boston Symphony Hall. And began his tenure as Music Director of the BSO in the 2014/15 season and after one year his contract was extended through the 2021/22 season.

In summer 2015 and spring 2016, the BSO and Nelsons embarked on their first European tours, receiving widespread critical acclaim. It’s Summer 2017 now and Nelsons is back at Tanglewood with The BSO.

As the season begins at Tanglewood, we speak to a man who not only is keeping the plates spinning here, he also has an eye on Boston and is even working on programming for future years here at Tanglewood.

Tony Fogg has been Artistic Administrator of the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 1994 and assists the Music Director in the planning and selection of all BSO concerts and repertoire.

A pianist by training, he is one of our favorites to chat with and it is a great pleasure to welcome Tony back to our Tanglewood Roundtable.

The Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra kicks off its 2017 season under the direction of Andris Nelsons this coming Monday - July 10th. The performance features Swedish trumpeter Håkan Hardenberger, one of Mr. Nelsons' closest artistic collaborators, and Thom Rolfs, BSO principal trumpet and a former TMC Fellow.

Highlighting the program are two concertos written for Hardenberger by acclaimed English composer Mark-Anthony Turnage. Hardenberger is soloist in the 2004 concerto From the Wreckage, an emotional journey transporting listeners from a spiky introduction to the calm plateau of its final resolution.

Hardenberger is joined by Thom Rolfs for Turnage's 1995 double trumpet concerto Dispelling the Fears. Mark-Anthony Turnage's music has been performed frequently at Tanglewood since he was a TMC Fellow in 1983.

An encore 2011 Power of Words. On this program, WAMC's Alan Chartock and Historian Dr. Christopher Breiseth discuss FDR's Four Freedoms Speech. In addition, listeners will have an opportunity to  hear the speech as it was delivered on January 6th, 1941.

Voice Theatre is a professional company based at the historic landmark Byrdcliffe Theater in Woodstock, NY. They create new productions and explore relevant dimensions of classic works.

Their production of Thornton Wilder’s The Skin Of Our Teeth opens tonight. In it - the prehistoric world meets Suburbia. The Antrobus family – George and Maggie, their children, Gladys and Henry, and Sabina, a maid who is also George’s mistress – survive the Election, Climate Change and the End of the World. Combining tragedy with comedy, wit, intelligence and imagination the play is one of the defining moments in American Theater.

To tell us more – we welcome actors: Christa Trinler playing Sabina and Phil Mansfield who is playing George Antrobud along with Shauna Kanter - director and artistic Director of Voice Theatre. 

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 Beguiled

Upcoming:

Cold War Classics: Rocky IV, Red Dawn - Madison Theater, Albany, Thursday 7/6 through Sunday 7/9, various times

Mamma Mia! - Capital Repertory Theatre, Albany, opens Friday 7/7, 8 PM (thru 8/13)

Jonathan Edwards - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Friday 7/7, 8 PM

Michael Winslow - Funny Bone, Crossgates Mall, Guilderland, Friday 7/7 through Sunday 7/9, various times

Opera Saratoga: The Cradle Will Rock - Spa Little Theater, Saratoga Springs, Sunday 7/9, 7:30 PM; Tuesday 7/11, 2 PM

Samantha Farrell - The Clark, Williamstown, Tuesday 7/11, 6:30 PM

Free Film Series: Kung Fu Panda - Palace Theatre, Albany, Tuesday 7/11, 1 PM

Pink Martini - Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Tuesday 7/11, 8 PM

Knights of the Sales Office - Adirondack Theatre Festival, Chas. R. Wood Theater, Glens Falls, opens Tuesday 7/11, 7:30 PM (thru 7/20)

Sam Roberts Band, Rechorduroys - Empire State Plaza, Albany, Wednesday 7/12, 5 PM
 

New Movies: Paris Can Wait, Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Big Sick

Kathleen Tagg and David Krakauer
Jill Steinberg / krakauertaggduo.com

The Cooperstown Summer Music Festival is now in its 19th season. On July 9th Grammy nominated clarinetist David Krakauer and acclaimed South African pianist Kathleen Tagg perform their collaborative project called "Breath and Hammer: Clarinet, Piano and Beyond."

Enhanced by an immersive video feed, the performance features Krakauer and Tagg’s arrangements of works by composers as diverse as New York-based visionary John Zorn and Cuban percussionist Roberto Rodriguez, as well as original compositions by Krakauer and Tagg, with influences ranging from interlocking African drumming patterns to romantic symphonic music to minimalism to Klezmer. 

David Krakauer, Kathleen Tagg and Festival Artistic Director Linda Chesis join us.

Seventy-year-old "Chick" Chicarella has one prized possession, a 1967 Jaguar that is in desperate need of repair. When his son, "Bone", suggests that they finish the car and sell it off, old family wounds and failures rise to the surface.

That's the story behind The Jag by Gino DiIorio, now playing at Shadowland Stages in Ellenville, NY through July 16th. The Jag stars Dan Grimaldi - best known for his roles as twins Philly and Patsy Parisi  on HBO’s The Sopranos.

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.

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