Arts & Culture

Creative License was founded by Capital Region theater artists Aaron Holbritter and Casey Polomaine in March of 2014.

Their current production – opening tomorrow at The Albany Barn – is The Picture of Dorian Gray, a theatrical adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s famous novel by Roberto Aquirre-Sacasa.

We are joined by the production’s director, Aaron Holbritter, producer Casey Polomaine, and actor Ian LaChance who plays the title character.

The show runs March 10-April 1.

  Shawn Stone, Digital Editor of The Alt joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

Seen: Logan, Wampum World: An Art Installation by Renée Ridgway at AIHA

Upcoming:

  • 8 Borders, 8 Days with filmmaker Amanda Bailly - Madison Theater, Albany, Thursday 3/9, 7 PM
  • Riverdance - Stanley Theatre, Utica, Thursday 3/9, 7:30 PM
  • Ladysmith Black Mambazo - Zankel Music Center/Skidmore College, Thursday 3/9, 7:30 PM
  • Into The Woods - Schenectady Light Opera Company, opens Friday 3/10, 8 PM, through 3/19
  • Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood - Times Union Center, Albany, Fri-Sun, 3/10-11-12, 7 PM
  • Red Baraat - The Egg, Albany, Saturday 3/11, 7:30 PM
  • Cosy Sheridan & Sloan Wainwright - The Eighth Step at Underground at Proctors, Saturday 3/11, 7:30 PM
  • Marc Maron - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Saturday, 3/11, 8 PM
  • The Sting - Palace Theatre, Albany, Monday, 3/13, 7 PM
  • The High Kings - The Egg, Albany, Tuesday, 3/14, 7:30 PM

New movies: Kong: Skull Island, Kedi (aka Nine Lives: Cats in Istanbul)

South Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo was launched into international spotlight when they sang with Paul Simon on his 1986 Graceland album. The group has been nominated 17 times, won five Grammy Awards, and has warmed the hearts of audiences worldwide with uplifting vocal harmonies, signature dance moves and charming stage presence. 

They will perform at Skidmore College's Zankel Music Center in Saratoga Springs, NY on March 9th at 7:30 p.m.

Albert Mazibuko has been a member of Ladysmith Black Mambazo since 1969 and he joins us to discuss the music, Paul Simon, and the late Nelson Mandela.

LATHAM  –  It’s difficult to define “Skin Deep,” a play that runs at Curtain Call Theatre in Latham through March 25.    It’s a sweet and tender play about two people who need to be loved but it’s hard to determine if it’s a play with a lot of humor or a comedy with a lot of heart.

Rob Edelman: Tom Hanks, 2016

Mar 6, 2017

Among actors who are decades past their twentysomething years, Tom Hanks remains a popular and even iconic movie star. Last year, Hanks toplined three mainstream films, each directed by a name filmmaker. None were outstanding. None were Academy Award-worthy. Two were at best nicely done and one was hugely disappointing but, taken together, all three offer thoughtful reflections of our world and our culture in 2016 and the new year.

Bob Goepfert Reviews "Wicked" At Proctors

Mar 5, 2017

SCHENECTADY –“Wicked” is one of those Broadway musicals that lives up to its hype.  It’s a big, flashy show that tells an intriguing and clever story.  It’s doesn’t have a score filled with commercial hits, but there are several individuals numbers – like “Popular” and “Defying Gravity” that bore worm holes in your brain and will stay there for days.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats for the first show of March.

Rogovoy Report 3/3/17

Mar 3, 2017

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include Golden Age Dutch painting; new ceramics; several orchestral concerts; Grammy Award-winning Americana; and a whole lot more.

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani continue their series of discussions about women who influenced classical composers. Today we hear their final conversation about Beethoven.

Wicked, the smash-hit musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Winnie Holzman is at Proctors in Schenectady through March 12th.

Based on the 1995 novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Albany’s own Gregory Maguire, Wicked brings the audience to Oz and asks “What made the Wicked Witch wicked?” Wicked opened on Broadway in 2003 and since then has dazzled audiences in New York and all over the world.

We are joined today by Isabel Keating who plays Madame Morrible. Morrible begins as Head Mistress at Shiz University and becomes Press Secretary to The Wizerd of Oz.

Keating garnered a Tony Award nomination and won the Drama Desk award for The Boy from Oz. Other Broadway credits include Hairspray, Enchanted April, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, and It’s Only A Play.

Shawn Stone, Digital Editor of The Alt joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

Photograph of a portion of Tanja Hollander's "Are You Really My Friend?" at MASS MoCA
MASS MoCA's Instagram


  How often do you get a friend request on Facebook from someone whose name you don’t recognize? You have mutual friends. You check those names -- and then you aren’t sure exactly who some of those people are either - or how you know them. Imagine telling someone 15 years ago that you have friends you don’t know -- and not in that “a stranger is a just a friend you haven’t met yet” optimistic way.

Tanja Hollander’s new exhibition Are You Really My Friend? is currently on view at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA. The show explores, through portraits and paraphernalia, what friendship means to Tanja and what friendship means today - in the age of social media and easy surface relationships. She set out to connect with and photograph her 626 Facebook friends.

I spoke with Tanja and curator Denise Markonish at the museum recently and began by asking Tanja when and where she had the idea for the project.

Rob Edelman: Robert De Niro, Comedian

Feb 27, 2017

I was initially intrigued by the idea of seeing and hopefully enjoying THE COMEDIAN, the latest Robert De Niro film, in which he plays an aging, foul-mouthed insult comic. Other bonuses surely would be its attractive supporting cast, from Danny De Vito to Cloris Leachman, Charles Grodin to Edie Falco to Patti LuPone. Not to mention Harvey Keitel, who appeared with De Niro an eternity ago in MEAN STREETS and TAXI DRIVER. And then there are the famous faces and names-- the most prominent is Billy Crystal-- who show up as themselves.

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

Rogovoy Report 2/24/17

Feb 24, 2017

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include psychedelic pop, Electric Latin soul; jazz; dance for social justice; Americana; and a whole lot more.

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani continue their series of discussions about women who influenced classical composers. This week’s composer is Ludwig van Beethoven.

It’s usually a toss-up as to which genre is more popular with theater audiences – comedies or mysteries?   Home Made Theater in Saratoga Springs is trying to appeal to both with its current production of “The Games Afoot.”    It’s a comedy by Ken Ludwig that incorporates the plot of a mystery.

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 writes a weekly column for the New York Observer.

She joins us to discuss the 89th Academy Awards which will take place this Sunday.

  In Identity Unknown, Donna Seaman brings to life seven forgotten female artists, among the best of their day: Gertrude Abercrombie, with her dark, surreal paintings and friendships with Dizzy Gillespie and Sonny Rollins; Bay Area self-portraitist Joan Brown; Ree Morton, with her witty, oddly beautiful constructions; Loïs Mailou Jones of the Harlem Renaissance; Lenore Tawney, who combined weaving and sculpture when art and craft were considered mutually exclusive; Christina Ramberg, whose unsettling works drew on pop culture and advertising; and Louise Nevelson, an art-world superstar in her heyday but omitted from recent surveys of her era.

Donna Seaman is Editor, Adult Books, Booklist, a member of the advisory council for the American Writers Museum, and a recipient of the James Friend Memorial Award for Literary Criticism and the Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award. 

She will be at Oblong Books and Music in Rhinebeck on Saturday, February 25.

Shawn Stone, Digital Editor of The Alt joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

 Japanese Impressions: Color Woodblock Prints from the Rodbell Family Collection is the first exhibition at the Clark to focus on the Institute’s permanent collection of Japanese prints. The exhibition spans more than a century of Japanese color woodblock printing as represented by three generations of artists who produced prints from the 1830s to the 1970s.

We went to The Clark in Williamstown recently to check out the exhibition with Jay A. Clarke, the Manton Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at the museum.

Rob Edelman: Oscars and Journalists

Feb 20, 2017

Momentarily, the latest Academy Award ceremony will be at center stage. Combine this with a new U.S. president who has declared war on the media, and it is well-worth recalling that the Best Picture Oscar winner from just a year ago celebrates the importance of journalism in a free society. That film is SPOTLIGHT, and it is the fact-based tale of reporters who doggedly knock on doors and ask questions, all in a search for truth. The bottom line in SPOTLIGHT is that, if not for the tenaciousness of the Boston Globe journalists presented in the film, would we ever have known about the long, distressing history of a massive scandal involving the sexual abuse of children and its cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese?

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are stuck in the middle with each other.

Audrey Kupferberg: Hidden Figures And 20th Century Women

Feb 17, 2017

In so many ways, we look at feature films as means of expressing our aspirations.  We want films to mirror the best in us.   People of various philosophies differ in which character traits they want defined in films.  As a woman with a feminist philosophy, I relish films that depict independent-thinking women who strive to lead full and meaningful lives.  

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani continue their series of discussions about women who influenced classical composers. This week’s composer is Ludwig van Beethoven.

The African American Cultural Center of the Capital Region, Inc., (AACCCR) is proud to present, for the third year in a row, The African American History Month Celebration at the Palace Theatre on Friday, February 24th at 7:00pm.

The annual celebration features the best and brightest talent in the region. This year’s theme is “Where Do We Go From Here?” focusing on participating in grass roots activism for social change. Bervin Harris, co-founder and CEO of the Renaissance Youth Group, will be the keynote speaker.

To give us a preview, we welcome Angela O’Neal – Executive Director of the African American Cultural Center of the Capital Region and Holly Brown – Executive Director of the Palace Theatre. 

Shawn Stone, Digital Editor of The Alt joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

Seen: The LEGO Batman Movie, John Wick Chapter 2

The Creative Life: A Conversation Series at UAlbany is an initiative of the New York State Writers Institute, UAlbany Performing Arts Center, and University Art Museum, all of which are housed and function on the main campus of the University at Albany. Guests in this inaugural year of the series have included author Joyce Carol Oates and dancer/choreographer Savion Glover who appeared in September and October 2016, respectively.

Jay Rogoff is the author of six books of poetry. His latest full-length collection, Enamel Eyes, A Fantasia On Paris, 1870, a lyrical sequence with the breadth and depth of a historical novel, considers the events of "the terrible year" through multiple perspectives.

The Franco-Prussian War, the siege of Paris, and the Commune come alive through the eyes and voices of a variety of historical figures who witnessed and participated in the events.

Jay Rogoff will have a poetry reading on Friday night at the Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga to celebrate his new collection, Enamel Eyes, A Fantasia on Paris, 1870. 

Rob Edelman: Withdrawn

Feb 13, 2017

Purely by chance, the first 2017 film I happened to view in the new year just may be a portrait of our world in 2017. And it is not a pretty picture. The film is titled WITHDRAWN. It is a low-budget independent production from Canada, and it was screened at the Slamdance Film Festival.

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