Arts & Culture

Jimmy Webb’s words have been sung to his music by a rich and deep roster of pop artists, including Glen Campbell, Art Garfunkel, Frank Sinatra, Donna Summer and Linda Ronstadt. He’s the only artist ever to win Grammy Awards for music, lyrics, and orchestration, and his chart-topping career has, so far, lasted fifty years, most recently with a Kanye West rap hit and a new classical nocturne.

He joined us to talk about his memoir, "The Cake and The Rain." 

Jenny Ashman (Reina) and Kelly Wolf (Deborah) in "Paris Time"
Douglas C. Liebig

Albany – The central issue in “Paris Time,” a play being given its world premiere by Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany, is Anti-Semitism.  With that as a topic how can you say the stakes aren’t high enough for the audience to care about the problems of its characters?

Rob Edelman: Less-Than-Perfect Parenting

Feb 5, 2018

Here are some thoughts on a couple of current, high-profile movies, both of which feature connections between mothers or fathers and their offspring.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel swap spots for the final quiz before the February Fund Drive.

Rogovoy Report 2/2/18

Feb 2, 2018

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include a scion of America’s first family of folk; classical concerts in solo, ensemble, and orchestral formats, playing everyone from Bach to Gershwin to Pärt to Higdon; and an original roots music duo.

"Paris Time" At TheRep

Feb 2, 2018

Capital Reparatory Theatre is currently presenting, "Paris Time," a drama that looks behind the headlines at anti-semitism in today’s France. The world premiere production by Steven Peterson is directed by Gordon Greenberg and runs through February 18.

When Deborah, the wife of a successful American executive based in Paris, becomes an activist defending a young Jewish Frenchwoman, Charles gets caught in the corporate hot seat. Company policy demands him to withdraw from the political limelight or lose his career, but if he won’t get involved, he may lose his marriage.

Jenny Ashman plays Reina in the show and Wally Dunn plays Martin and is making his Capital Rep debut in "Paris Time."

Bob Goepfert Reviews "The Bodyguard" At Proctors

Feb 1, 2018
Deborah Cox as Rachel Marron and Judson Mills as Frank Farmer in "The Bodyguard"
Joan Marcus

SCHENECTADY.  “The Bodyguard” is a musical-adaptation of the film that starred Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner.   Though the film was a major success, it was flawed.   The stage version does not improve the material. 

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

Rogovoy Report 1/26/18

Jan 26, 2018

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include an alt-opera blending Bizet’s Carmen with Olympic figure skating; a festival of new plays; bluegrass; Chinese music; folk-rock harmonies; and collage art.

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: "Phantom Thread"

Upcoming:

  • “The Hustler” - Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Mass., Thursday 1/25, 7 PM
  • Configurations: Anne Francey - Please exit, doors are closing: Tatana Kellner - Arts Center of the Capital Region, Troy, opens Friday 1/26, 5-9 PM, through March 12
  • “Paris Time” - Capital Repertory Theatre, Albany, Friday 1/26 through Feb. 18 (opening night Wed. 1/31)
  • Bill Staines - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Friday 1/26, 8 PM
  • D.L. Hughley - Funny Bone Comedy Club, Guilderland, Friday 1/26 through Sunday 1/28, various times
  • Alicia Hall Moran - MASS MoCA, North Adams, Mass., Saturday 1/27, 8 PM
  • Joey Alexander, piano - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Saturday 1/27, 7:30 PM
  • Donna McKechnie: Same Place, Another Time - Proctors, Schenectady, Saturday 1/27, 7:30 PM
  • State Ballet Theater of Russia’s Swan Lake - Palace Theatre, Albany, Tuesday 1/30, 7:30 PM

New movies: “Maze Runner: The Death Cure,” “Hostiles”

Rob Edelman: The “Other” Donald

Jan 22, 2018

One way in which to market a new film featuring an older star is to hype that star’s presence and performance. This is especially helpful if that star has never earned a competitive Academy Award, or even an Academy Award nomination. So the message here is: Let’s honor this actor. Let’s go see this actor in this film, and then shower this actor with career-defining kudos.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with show all about "V.W."

Character development is essential to the success of a narrative film, particularly when the characters are depictions of real people. Audiences should enter the mind and witness the growth of the character using all the cinematic devices a movie crew can muster. Yet I wonder: Has character development become a secondary aspect of filmmaking in a world that emphasizes action flicks? I, TONYA and ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD are two basically well-made films that are letdowns in the category of character development.

Rogovoy Report 1/19/18

Jan 19, 2018

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include opera, Swedish folk, art openings, multimedia space music, and once again, the circus comes to town.

John Cariani in "The Band's Visit"
Matthew Murphy / Playbill.com

The new musical, "The Band’s Visit," is currently running at The Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Broadway. Based on the film of the same name, "The Band’s Visit" features music and lyrics by David Yazbek, book by Itamar Moses, and is directed by David Cromer. The New York Times called the show “One of the most ravishing musicals you will ever be seduced by.”

The Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra is traveling from Egypt to play a concert in Petah Tikva, Israel but after language confusion at the border end up in Beit Hatikva - a small city where civic pride is low.

Without a means of transportation out of town until the morning, the band is begrudgingly taken in by the locals.

John Cariani plays Itzik, one of the citizens of Beit Hatikva and he joins us. Cariani’s previous Broadway credits include “Something Rotten!” and the 2004 revival of “Fiddler on the Roof.” He’s also performed at nearly all of the regional theatres in our area you can think of and as a playwright is responsible for the praised and oft-produced plays, “Almost, Maine;” “Last Gas;” “Love/Sick;” and “cul-de-sac.”

This morning we learn about the new exhibit at the Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, NY. "Alphonse Mucha: Master of Art Nouveau" is on display through March 18th.

"Alphonse Mucha: Master of Art Nouveau" examines how Mucha exploited the advertising poster to create a new movement in art. His work helped shape the aesthetics of French art at the turn of the twentieth century and formed the cornerstone of the international Art Nouveau movement.

Jonathan Canning, Director of Curatorial Affairs and Programming, joins us.

Piff The Magic Dragon will be performing at the Funny Bone in Albany tonight – Saturday, January 20th as part of his all-new 2018 tour The Dog Who Knows.

If the name doesn’t immediately conjure up an image of a grumpy-yet-hilariously-entertaining-English-comedian dressed in what looks like a handmade dragon costume (who performs magic tricks with his doggie in tow) then you simply don’t have your finger on the pulse of the comedy scene.

Piff rose to fame as the stand out star of season 10 of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” earning high praise from judges Howie Mandel and Howard Stern before reaching the top 10 in the finals.

Since then, Piff has made Las Vegas his home, where he has a residency at The Flamingo casino on a regular basis.

  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 Post"

Upcoming:

  • Tracy Grammer: CD Release Show - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Thursday 1/18, 7 PM
  • Town of Great Barrington W.E.B. Du Bois 150th Festival Kickoff - Featuring the one-man play, “W.E.B. Du Bois: A Man for All Times” - Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Mass., Friday 1/19, 6 PM
  • Susan Werner - The Eighth Step at Proctors, Schenectady, Friday 1/19, 7:30 PM
  • "Love, B: The Letters of Lt. Basil Beebe Elmer" – Dramatic Reading - (related to the exhibit "A Spirit of Sacrifice: New York State in the First World War”) - New York State Museum Huxley Theater, Albany, Saturday 1/20, 1 PM
  • Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Saturday 1/20, 8 PM
  • Quindar (Mikael Jorgensen & James Merle Thomas) - MASS MoCA Hunter Center, North Adams, Mass., Saturday 1/20, 8 PM
  • Dust Bowl Faeries - Helsinki Hudson Ballroom Stage, Hudson, Sunday 1/21, 6 PM
  • Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure - Palace Theatre, Albany, Monday 1/22, 7 PM
  • Ephraim Asili: Inheritance (Work in Progress) - EMPAC Theater, RPI, Troy, Tuesday 1/23, 7 PM

New movies: "Phantom Thread," "12 Strong," "Den of Thieves"

Zankel Center at Skidmore College
robertdavisllc.com

The Battenkill Chorale opens its 23rd season with Giuseppe Verdi’s monumental Requiem for soloists, chorus, and 48-piece orchestra with two performances on Saturday and Sunday, January 20th  and 21st at 3pm at Skidmore College’s Zankel Music Center in Saratoga Springs, NY.

The Battenkill Chorale, a 110-voice unauditioned chorus from six counties in New York, Massachusetts, and Vermont, was founded twenty-three years ago by Artistic Director Janet McGhee.

Founded in 1970, the New York State Summer School of the Arts (NYSSSA) is a highly-competitive summer arts residential program funded by the New York State Education Department and student tuition. The four week, pre-professional summer curriculum includes individual and group instruction designed to help each student explore and develop their talents in ballet, choral studies, modern dance, visual arts, media arts, orchestral studies, or theatre.

Molly Hennighausen is the Executive Director of the New York State Summer School of the Arts.

Rob Edelman: Middle-Eastern Cinema

Jan 15, 2018

Films that come out of the Middle East do not just center on Arab-Israeli relations and conflicts or the hows and whys of individuals who become terrorists. They tell a range of stories and deal with a range of issues. Plus, they are made by filmmakers who are transcending borders and earning some well-deserved international acclaim.

Mark Messier
Brendan Lee, Flickr

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch spots for a quiz about famous promises.

Rogovoy Report 1/12/18

Jan 12, 2018

Things are picking up in our region, culturally speaking, with a new-music festival, a theater festival, a reading by the author of one of last year’s big books, “Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine,” and a birthday bash for Elvis Presley.

  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: "I, Tonya" and "The Shape of Water"

Upcoming:

  • Neko Case - The Academy of Music, Northampton, Mass., Thursday 1/11, 8 PM; The Egg, Albany, Monday 1/15, 7 PM
  • "Fit to Kill" - Curtain Call Theatre, Latham, preview Thursday 1/11 at 7:30 PM; opens Friday 1/12 at 8 PM; through February 10
  • The Elvis Birthday Bash with Mark Gamsjager & The Lustre Kings - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, Friday 1/12, 9 PM
  • Chris Smither - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Friday-Saturday 1/12-13 at 8 PM
  • All Stars: High School Artists in Saratoga, Fulton, Montgomery Counties - Saratoga Arts, Main Gallery, Saratoga Springs, opens Saturday 1/13 reception 3-5 PM, through February 10
  • WAR - The Egg, Albany, Saturday 1/13, 8 PM
  • Schenectady Symphony Orchestra: Winter Dances - Featuring music of David Keen w/an original silent film; Georges Bizet; Edward Green - Proctors, Mainstage, Schenectady, Sunday 1/14, 3 PM
  • Kapwani Kiwanga’s Afrogalactica - EMPAC Theater, RPI, Troy, Tuesday 1/16, 7 PM
  • Walk the Moon - Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park, Wednesday 1/17, 8 PM
  • David Brooks - Proctors, Mainstage, Schenectady, Wednesday 1/18, 7:30 PM

New movies: "Proud Mary," "The Commuter," "The Post," "Call Me By Your Name," "Paddington 2"

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel kick off 2018 with a golden quiz.

Rogovoy Report 1/5/18

Jan 5, 2018

It’s a quiet weekend in the region, culturally speaking, so we’ll take a look at a few events that are happening this weekend and then look ahead over the next few weekends.

John Bolton as Vlad in "Anastasia"
Dave Mack / https://www.franbro.com


  The Broadway musical "Anastasia" features a book by celebrated playwright Terrence McNally and a lush, new score by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens; Tony Award-winning director Darko Tresnjak directs. Inspired by the beloved films with the same title, "Anastasia" transports audiences from the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s, as Anya sets out to discover the mystery of her past aided by conmen Dmitry and Vlad - who attempt to teach Anya how to embody the missing princess, Anastasia Romanov.

 

Vlad is played on Broadway by our guest, John Bolton, whose previous Broadway credits include "Dames at Sea," "A Christmas Story," "Curtains," "Monty Python’s Spamalot," "Contact," "Titanic," "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" and "Damn Yankees."

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

The original Broadway production of Kander and Ebb’s “Chicago: The Musical” opened in 1975. Set in Prohibition-era Chicago, the musical is a satire on corruption in the administration of criminal justice and the concept of the celebrity criminal. The show is eternally --and correctly-- associated with Bob Fosse who served as co-author, original director, and choreographer.

“Chicago” was revived on Broadway in 1996 and holds the record as the longest-running musical revival and the longest-running American musical in Broadway history. It is the second longest-running show in Broadway history, behind only “The Phantom of the Opera.” Walter Bobbie directed the revival and it was choreographed in the style of Bob Fosse by Ann Reinking.

The National Tour of “Chicago: The Musical” is bringing the ol' razzle-dazzle to Proctors in Schenectady this weekend – opening tonight and running through Sunday.

Broadway vet and friend-of-the-show, Jeff McCarthy, stars as silver tongue prince of the courtroom, Billy Flynn.

Pamela Tatge, Jacob’s Pillow artistic director
Hayim Heron/Jacob’s Pillow Dance

Jacob's Pillow has announced their full season lineup for Festival 2018, including U.S. company debuts, world premieres, International Artists, newly commissioned work, rich historic Festival connections, and the formal presentation of work developed through the organization's growing residency program at the Pillow Lab.

Jacob's Pillow is the longest-running dance festival in the United States, a National Historic Landmark, a National Medal of Arts recipient, and has recently expanded to become a year-round center for dance research and development. Festival 2018 opens on June 20, engaging visitors and community members from throughout the region and beyond, on and off-site, through August 26.

They aren’t resting during the winter months - Jacob's Pillow Director Pamela Tatge joins us.

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