Arts & Culture

  Gene Wilder, who regularly stole the show in such comedic gems as “The Producers,” “Blazing Saddles,” “Young Frankenstein,” “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and “Stir Crazy,” died Monday at his home in Stamford, Conn. He was 83 years old.

We spoke with Wilder around a decade ago about his memoir Kiss Me Like A Stranger: My Search for Love and Art. Today we share that interview in memoriam for the actor and comic genius. 

Any Questions #261

Aug 26, 2016
The flad of Chad

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel chad it up this week.

Audrey Kupferberg: London Theater Celebrates Anniversaries

Aug 26, 2016

William Shakespeare died 400 years ago, and theaters all over the world are commemorating the death of the Bard of Avon with productions of his works.  This summer, London venues offered quite a variety of Shakespeare’s plays.  

  Mary Martin was one of the greatest stars of her day. Growing up in Texas, she was married early to Benjamin Hagman and gave birth to her first child, Larry Hagman. She was divorced even more quickly. Martin left little Larry with her parents and took off for Hollywood. She didn't make a dent in the movie industry and was lured to New York where she found herself auditioning for Cole Porter. Six years later, she became the Toast of Broadway when she starred in South Pacific. After that, she flew as Peter Pan, yodeled in The Sound of Music, took Hello, Dolly! on the road and shared a four-poster with Robert Preston in I Do! I Do!.

Her personal life was just as interesting and it's all covered in David Kaufman's book, Some Enchanted Evenings: The Glittering Life and Times of Mary Martin.

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yeuda Hanani continue their conversation about female composers, hearing "Sicilienne" by Maria Theresa von Paradis performed by The Castle String Quartet.

Fresh from a Tony Award-winning revival on Broadway, Dorset Theatre Festival presents playwright Lanie Robertson’s vivid look into the life and times of jazz great Billie Holiday, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill

The time is 1959. The place is a seedy bar in South Philadelphia. The audience is about to witness one of Billie’s last performances, given four months before her death. More than a dozen musical numbers ─ including her signature tunes, “What a Little Moonlight Can Do”, “God Bless the Child”, “Strange Fruit” and others ─ are interlaced with salty, often humorous, reminiscences, revealing a riveting portrait of the lady and her music.

Returning to Dorset Theatre Festival after her power-house performance in last season’s play, Intimate Apparel, actress and singer, Marinda Anderson plays Billie Holiday. Making his debut at the theatre musical director and actor, Kenney Green plays Jimmy, Lady Day’s piano player. 


  Mike Birbiglia is an award winning comedian, writer, actor, and director known for his autobiographical stand-up tours and one-man shows on Broadway. His first feature film, Sleepwalk with Me, was released in 2012.

His second film, Don’t Think Twice, opens this Friday at Spectrum 8 Theatre in Albany, NY and at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck, NY. This story is Birbiglia’s first major work not based on his own life -- in it, an improv group called The Commune has reigned as the big fish in the small pond of their New York improv theater. When not all members of the group start to find success beyond the improv stage -- the group fractures, friendships are strained and feelings are hurt. It’s a funny movie about failure and success -- and how success doesn't always look the way you think it will.

The film is produced by This American Life host and creator Ira Glass, was written and directed by Birbiglia and he stars along with Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, Kate Micucci, Chris Gethard, and Tami Sagher.

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: Florence Foster Jenkins, War Dogs, Pete’s Dragon

Upcoming:

The Addams Family - Mac-Haydn Theatre, Chatham, opens 8/25 Thu at 2 & 8 PM, through Sept. 4

A Night at the Movies, 1916 featuring Charlie Chaplin, an adventure serial, and Dorothy Gish as Gretchen the Greenhorn, live music by Avery Tunningley - Capitol Theater, Rome, 8/25 Thu at 7 PM (10 cents admission)

Nick Offerman & Megan Mullally - Palace Theatre, Albany 8/25 Thu

Troy Night Out (Theme: Troy History & Bicentennial) Music, art, comedy all around Troy - Downtown Troy, 8/26 Fri, 5 to 9 PM

Mary Chapin Carpenter - The Egg, Albany, 8/26 Fri at 8 PM

BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, 8/26 Fri

Dance Heginbotham . . . performing Waltz Ending (music of Scott Joplin), Diamond (music of Darius Milhaud), Twin (music of music of Aphex Twin), Rockefellers (music of Raymond Scott) - PS/21, Chatham, 8/26-27, Fri-Sat at 8 PM

St. Lawrence String Quartet (music of Haydn, Golijov, John Adams) - Tannery Pond Concerts, New Lebanon, 8/27 Saturday, 8 PM

Rubblebucket - MASS MoCA (Courtyard C or Hunter Center), North Adams, Mass., 8/27 Sat at 8 PM

New movies: Mechanic: Resurrection, Equity, Southside With You, Don’t Think Twice, Don’t Breathe, Hands of Stone


  SculptureNow is an organization that presents sculpture exhibitions and sculpture educational programs to the general public, students and vision-impaired visitors.

Remix: an installation of 29 contemporary sculptures is on view through October 31st at Edith Wharton’s The Mount - a National Historic Landmark in Lenox, MA.

Artist and SculptureNow’s Executive Director Ann Jon takes us around the show.


  Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally’s Summer of 69: No Apostrophe Tour will be at The Palace in Albany, NY tomorrow night at 8. The PG-at-least-13 show displays in song and conversation the couple’s lauded comedic chops and their incredible attraction to each other.

Megan Mullally is a two-time Emmy award winning actress - well known for her work as the boozy and shrill-larious Karen on Will & Grace. She’s also a stage actress having most recently appeared on Broadway in Terrence McNally’s It’s Only a Play.

Nick Offerman grumbled into celebrity as the multilayered feminist Libertarian lover of meat and privacy Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation. Offerman is also a stage actor, author, woodworker, and writer.

 

He joins us to talk about his varied and satisfying resumé, his wife, Jeff Tweedy, and his one episode of HBO's Deadwood.

  What does a ''producer'' actually do? How does one travel from that great idea for a show to a smash hit opening night on Broadway?

John Breglio cannot guarantee you a hit, but he does take the reader on a fascinating journey behind-the-scenes to where he himself once stood as a child, dreaming about the theatre. 

  This morning we talk with a brand new performing arts company in our region. The Berkshire Opera Festival’s inaugural season features a new production that takes a fresh look at Puccini's masterpiece Madama Butterfly. It is timeless love story, featuring beautiful music sung by a world-class cast.

Taking place in an apartment overlooking Nagasaki Harbor, director Jonathon Loy's production moves the action to the 1960s and sets it against the backdrop of Japan's "Golden Sixties" economic boom. Joining us this morning: Artistic Director, Co-Founder and Conductor; John Cheek, bass, singing the Bonze; and Sarah Larsen - mezzo soprano, singing Suzuki.

Rob Edelman: Kirk Douglas

Aug 22, 2016

During my just-concluded trip to London, I was not surprised to find that Kirk Douglas was the cover-boy on the BFI Southbank’s September/October film screening program. He certainly deserves to be feted, and not just because he will be celebrating his 100th birthday on December 9. For Kirk Douglas is one of his generation’s premier movie stars.

Train At Tanglewood

Aug 22, 2016
Train at Tanglewood
Hilary Scott / Boston Symphony Orchestra

It isn’t summer without a visit by the band Train to our region. Train will be at Tanglewood tomorrow night at 7PM along with Andy Grammer. The multi-platinum band Train made its mark on music history with the Grammy Award-winning song "Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)." They also had chart-topping singles like "Meet Virginia" and "Calling All Angels." Train earned its third Grammy in 2011 for the worldwide smash "Hey Soul Sister" from Save Me, San Francisco.

That song was the top-selling single of 2010, "Hey Soul Sister" hit #1 on radio in the United States and in fifteen countries abroad. In 2014, Train released their seventh album, Bulletproof Picasso, which charted in the Top 5 that year. A new album is coming soon. But, before it does – Train comes to Tanglewood tomorrow and we get to chat with the band’s lead singer – Pat Monahan.

Any Questions #260

Aug 19, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for a show all about 500.

Audrey Kupferberg: A Couple Of Down And Outs

Aug 19, 2016

In an age when we have come to believe that any film can be seen leisurely at home if you sit on your sofa long enough, it is particularly exciting to enjoy a cinematheque screening of a film that is not available to the home market in any format, one that has not been shown on home or theater screens for close to 100 years.

Rogovoy Report For 8/19/16

Aug 19, 2016

The weekend’s cultural highlights in the region include several dance concerts; a Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble; a teenage blues sensation; a season-topping performance of Shakespeare; and a whole lot more.

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yeuda Hanani continue their conversation about female composers, discussing Marianna Martines hearing the first and third movements from her Sonata per Cembalo in G Major performed by Nicoleta Paraschivescu.

David Finckel and Wu Han
Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

  Wu Han and David Finckel join us to talk about their performance with The Philadelphia Orchestra at SPAC and the final two concerts this season to be performed by The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in the Spa Little Theater. 

Chase Brock’s "The Song That I Sing; or, Meow So Pretty" - lighting by Kevin Adams
Rosalie O'Connor


  The Chase Brock Experience is the Brooklyn-based contemporary dance company led by choreographer Chase Brock. They will perform at PS21 as part of the Chatham Dance Festival at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

 

Chase Brock is an acclaimed choreographer working in theater, modern dance, ballet, opera, television and video games. He joins us now along with Obie and 4-time Tony Award winning lighting designer, Kevin Adams. Adams has worked extensively on Broadway winning his Tony Awards for The 39 Steps, Spring Awakening, American Idiot, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Kevin Adams has designed the lighting for Chase Brock’s The Song That I Sing; or, Meow So Pretty -- one of 4 pieces being performed at PS21 this week.

  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: Suicide Squad, Anthropoid 

Upcoming:

• The Hudson: River at Risk, plus Q&A w/director Jon Bowermaster - Madison Theater, Albany, 8/18 Thursday, 7 PM

• The Big Takeover - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, 8/19 Friday

• Pretty Much the Best Comedy Show: Nore Davis - Underground at Proctors, 8/20 Saturday

• Dawes, Basia Bulat - The Egg, Albany, 8/20 Saturday

• Buster Keaton’s Sherlock Jr. (and cartoons, including Felix the Cat) with live music by the BQE Project - MASS MoCA, 8/20, Saturday, 8 PM

• Borromeo String Quartet (Haydn, Beethoven & Russell Platt’s Mountain Interval, a world premiere)

• Maverick Concerts, Woodstock, 8/21 Sunday, 4 PM

• Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center at the Spa Little Theater, Saratoga Springs

    “Classical Legacy,” Mozart, Schumann & Mendelssohn, 8/21 Sunday, 3 PM

    “Russian Fireworks,” Gliere, Moszkowski, Rachmaninoff & Tchaikovsky, 8/23 Tuesday 8 PM

• Goo Goo Dolls, Collective Soul, Tribe Society - SPAC, Saratoga Springs. 8/21 Sunday

• Celtic Thunder - Palace Theatre, Albany, 8/23 Tuesday

 New Movies: Ben Hur, Hell or High WaterKubo and the Two StringsOur Little Sister

Renée Fleming
Decca/Andrew Eccles

  This Thursday at 8pm the Philadelphia Orchestra, under the baton of its music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, will take the stage at SPAC and be joined - for her first time at that venue - by opera star, Renée Fleming.

Ms. Fleming joins us to discuss that concert, travel, language, and her role as Kennedy Center Artistic Partner.

Maverick Concerts

Aug 16, 2016

Maverick Concerts, America’s oldest continuous summer chamber music festival and winner of the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, thrives on the love of great music and the spirit of its unique site in the unspoiled woods. The rustic 1916 concert hall is ideally suited to chamber music and the intimacy of live performance.

This is Maverick’s 101st season and we will hear about the remainder of their season including this weekend’s Chamber Orchestra Concert featuring the Maverick Concert Players. We welcome Maverick Concerts Music Director and Conductor, Alexander Platt.

Rob Edelman: Westerns New And Old

Aug 15, 2016

Given its title and storyline, LES COWBOYS-- a new film that has been released theatrically here in the U.S.-- has to be categorized as a Western. This is so even though LES COWBOYS was made in France, is set in non-American locales, and unfolds not in the 19th century American West but in more contemporary times.

  The Philadelphia Orchestra's Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Musical America’s 2016 Artist of the Year and newly appointed Music Director of The Metropolitan Opera, returns to SPAC for the final week of the orchestra's summer residency. 

He joins us to talk about this week's concerts in Saratoga.

**Correction - in the audio introduction of this interview it is said that Andre Watts will perform - sadly he has had to cancel. The opening concert will feature Czech pianist Lukas Vondracek.

  Legendary singer-songwriter and two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, inducted as a member of both the iconic folk-rock band The Byrds — with whom he first rose to stardom — and the iconic Woodstock era-defining group Crosby, Stills & Nash.

At The Bardavon on August 20th, Crosby will play songs from throughout his storied career, and will be joined by his son James Raymond on piano.

Any Questions #259

Aug 12, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel try to keep cool by switching seats.

Rogovoy Report For 8/12/16

Aug 12, 2016

The weekend’s cultural highlights in the region include a new dance festival; the nephew of a pop-art icon; a film festival gone to the dogs; the meeting of two creative minds; French-American electro-swing; a season-topping performance of Shakespeare; and a whole lot more.


  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yeuda Hanani continue their conversation about female composers focusing on Hildegard von Bingen and sharing her "O viridissima virga" performed by the women’s section of Voices of Ascension.

  The Philadelphia Orchestra will present Sophisticated Ladies on Saturday, August 13th at SPAC. The concert is a celebration of the groundbreaking icons of American popular song, from Ella Fitzgerald to Sarah Vaughan to Dinah Washington and of course, Billie Holiday. Montego Glover, Capathia Jenkins, and N'Kenge will join the orchestra to sing songs like "Strike Up the Band," "Stormy Weather," "Love is Here to Stay," and "Come Rain or Come Shine."<p>

Steven Reineke will conduct and he joins us to talk about the concert.

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