Arts & Culture

Rogovoy Report For 7/8/16

Jul 8, 2016

The weekend’s cultural highlights in the region include a new music ensemble; a deadpan standup comic; a rock-horror musical comedy; futurist and futuristic puppet theater; the return of a virtuoso violinist; a one-night festival of performance art, and a whole lot more.

  Barrington Stage Company, a professional award-winning Equity regional theatre located in the heart of the Berkshires, in Pittsfield, MA, was founded in 1995. Barrington Stage’s mission is three-fold: to present top-notch, compelling work; to develop new plays and musicals; and to find fresh, bold ways to bringing new audiences into the theatre—especially young people.

On their two stages they present new plays and musicals created by the best theatrical minds working today as well as classics.

Julianne Boyd is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Barrington Stage and she joins us now with an overview of the season.

  Ellen Highstein, Director of the Tanglewood Music Center joins us along with two outstanding TMC fellows.

Cellist Francesca McNeeley - a Graduate of Princeton and Rice University and Mezzo-soprano Fleur Barron was the 1st Prize Winner of the 2013 Liederkranz Competition. In 2016, Fleur was a Palm Beach Opera Young Artist, singing Mercedes and covering the title role in Carmen.

  The Capitol Steps were founded in December, 1981 when some staffers for Senator Charles Percy were planning entertainment for a Christmas party. Since then, they’ve been putting the “mock” in democracy in Washington, D.C., on tour, on the radio, and – during the summer – here in Lenox, MA.

The musical satirists call The Cranwell Spa and Golf Resort their summer home – performing here every night except Tuesday through September 2nd.

We are joined this morning by longtime steppers, Bari Biern and Jack Rowles.

  Seth MacFarlane is the creative force behind TV's Family Guy, American Dad!, and The Cleveland Show. He was also the writer-director of the films Ted, its sequel Ted2, and A Million Ways to Die in the West.

He has also released three successful albums of standards including Music is Better than Words and No One Ever Tells You. MacFarlane's voice has been celebrated for its perfect phrasing, richness, and consistency. He has been nominated for 4 Grammys. 

He has played to sold out audiences as London's Royal Albert Hall, New York's Carnegie Hall, and Symphony Hall in Boston. He will be back with The Boston Pops this Sunday at 2:30pm in The Shed at Tanglewood

  Tanglewood is a name that's recognized around the world. Just about every time we interview a conductor or musician, they mention the venue's reputation and cache.

That doesn't just happen by accident. There's a hard-working team of professionals that keeps Tanglewood on the lips of both audience-members and performers.

And, it is quite a season that gets underway tonight. To give us a State of Tanglewood report – we welcome back our friend Mark Volpe – the Managing Director of the BSO.

  The Boston Cello Quartet was founded in 2010 by the Boston Symphony Orchestra cellists Blaise Dejardin, Adam Esbensen, Mihail Jojatu and Alexandre Lecarme.

Since its acclaimed debut concert, the BCQ has quickly won the hearts of music lovers through their own arrangements of staples of the classical music repertoire, as well as jazz, contemporary works, and even comic medleys, all which showcases the limitless possibilities of the instrument they love.

The Quartet will perform the Tanglewood Family Concert tomorrow afternoon at 2:30PM in Ozawa Hall. 

  The Boston Symphony Orchestra opens its 2016 Tanglewood season tonight at 8PM with an Opening Night at Tanglewood program featuring music by Ravel, Saint-Saëns, and Prokofiev, led by conductor Jacques Lacombe.

Jacques Lacombe is the Principal Conductor of the Bonn Opera in Germany beginning with the coming 2016-2017 season. He served as Music Director of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra for several years. He conducts around the world and we last spoke with him a year ago when he again opened up the Tanglewood season.

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. 

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:Our Kind of Traitor

Upcoming:
Dust Bowl Faeries - Upbeat on the Roof/Tang Teaching Museum & Gallery, Saratoga Springs, Friday 7/8
Boston Symphony Orchestra with violinist Joshua Bell (Opening Night: Prokofiev, Saint-Saens) - Tanglewood, Lenox, Mass., Friday 7/8
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater - SPAC, Saratoga Springs, Friday (8 PM)-Saturday (2 and 8 PM), 7/8-9
Wussy - The Low Beat, Albany, Friday 7/9
The Muppets Take Manhattan - Proctors, Schenectady, Sunday 7/10 (10:30 AM & 1 PM)
The Hydes & Rembrandt - The Hyde Collection, Glens Falls, opens Sunday 7/10 (exhibit continues through 10/2)
Steely Dan, Steve Winwood - SPAC, Saratoga Springs, Sunday, 7/10
Blood Sweat & Tears feat. Bo Bice & Dylan Elise, Super 400 - Empire State Plaza, Albany, Wednesday 7/13 (5-9 PM)
NRBQ - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, Wednesday 7/13
Jim Gaffigan - Times Union Center, Albany, Wednesday 7/13

New Movies: Weiner Dog, The Secret Life of Pets, Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates, The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma & the Silk Road Ensemble

  The Music Haven Concert Series presents world-class concerts in Schenectady, NY. All their shows are scheduled to take place in Schenectady's Central Park on the Agnes MacDonald Music Haven Stage – with a rain-site at Proctors in case of inclement weather.

The Music Haven Concert Series continues its tradition of ‘traveling the world one concert at a time’ with their 2016 season of free, open-air concerts in Schenectady’s Central Park. This year’s series is stacked with international touring talent that promises to transport Music Haven audiences to locales such as: Senegal, Nashville, Puerto Rico, Trinidad, Jamaica, Harlem, Ukraine, Macedonia, Cuba and County Sligo, Ireland.

Mona Golub is the Music Haven Concert Series producing artistic director and she joins us to tell us about their schedule for this summer that runs Sundays at 7PM beginning this Sunday, July 10th.

  Voice Theatre in Woodstock, NY creates new productions and explores relevant dimensions of classic works. From play development readings and in-school workshops, to full-scale productions and international tours, Voice Theatre cuts through barriers of ethnicity, language and nationality, bringing together diverse peoples seeking mutual respect because of their shared experiences of humanity.

They join us to talk to talk about their Summer Youth Workshop which creates a fun supportive environment for young people to explore skills that develop confidence, social skills, focus, independent inquiry and collaboration while having fun in a creative environment.

We are joined by Voice Theatre artistic director Shauna Kanter and ensemble member Christa Trinler.

  The Green River Festival, Western Massachusetts' favorite music and hot air balloon festival will take place July 8, 9, and 10 on the grounds of Greenfield Community in Greenfield, MA.

Presented by the record label, Signature Sounds, the first Green River Festival took place in 1986 as a free one day headlined by NRBQ, who are returning to the festival this year to help celebrate its 30th anniversary.

Headliners include Dawes, Tedeschi-Trucks Band, Shovels & Rope, and Shakey Graves. There will be music on three stages, family events, hot air balloon rides, a new sustainability partnership with Klean Kanteen and more.

Jim Olsen is the President of Signature Sounds and he joins us to tell us more about this weekend’s Green River Festival. 

Rob Edelman: Two Views Of New York

Jul 4, 2016

New York City is a city of vast extremes. On the one hand, you have celebrities. You have glitter. You have Big Money and Manhattan Towers. You have the power and influence that emanates from Wall Street and Madison Avenue.

Leave it to Julianne Boyd…founder and Artistic Director of Barrington Stage Company…to make her mark early in the summer theater season – a tradition that audiences in and around Pittsfield, Massachusetts, have enjoyed throughout the decade since she resettled her regional company there.

Rogovoy Report For 7/1/16

Jul 1, 2016

First things first. For anyone out there planning on going to see Bob Dylan at Tanglewood on Saturday night, as I am, I do want to let you know what you are in for, so you don’t come complaining to me after the fact. You will be hearing almost no songs you associate with Bob Dylan. In fact, unless you’re a hardcore fan, you may only recognize one or two of the 20 songs he will probably play on Saturday night. All together, only four songs – only 20 percent of the concert – were originally recorded by Bob Dylan in the 20th century. Fully 1/3 of the songs Dylan will sing are his renditions of pre-rock pop standards typically associated with Frank Sinatra. Fully one-quarter – five songs – of the set will be taken from Dylan’s most recent album of original songs, “Tempest,” recorded four years ago. The concert will feature only two songs Dylan recorded in the 1960s – “Blowin’ in the Wind” and one called “She Belongs to Me.”  “Tangled Up in Blue” is the only song Dylan recorded in the 1970s that he will sing. Nor will he so much as touch a guitar. He’ll spend most of the concert singing microphone in hand, crooner style. This will be Bob Dylan like you have never seen or heard him before. Consider yourselves warned.

  Vassar and New York Stage and Film’s first Musical Workshop of this Powerhouse season is a brand-new adaptation of The Roar of the Greasepaint - The Smell of the Crowd. The production involves a commissioned by The Roundabout Theatre Company in New York City and is directed by Scott Ellis - responsible for Roundabout’s recent productions of She Loves Me and On the Twentieth Century.

The show will keep its original score by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley -- but replace the duo’s book with a new one by Santino Fontana.

Fontana co-stars as Greg on the CW’s musical television comedy, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. He was the voice of Hans in that tiny-little Disney movie, Frozen. Broadway and off-Broadway credits include: The Fantasticks, Sunday in the Park with George, Billy Elliot: The Musical, Brighton Beach Memoirs, A View from the Bridge, The Importance of Being Earnest, Sons of the Prophet, Act One, and Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella.

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, we learn bit about Yma Sumac "The Peruvian Songbird" - who lived from 1922 to 2008.

  Vassar and New York Stage and Film’s first main stage Powerhouse production this season is Lucy Thurber’s Transfers.

As two young men from the Bronx vie for acceptance to an elite college, their shared past threatens to overshadow their bright futures. Class, ambition, and expectations are called into question when higher education – and its life-changing potential – is just within reach.

Thurber is a Lilly Award winner and won a 2014 OBIE Award for her theatrical cycle, The Hill Town Plays. She was also a member of the influential Obie-winning playwrights’ collective, 13P.

Powerhouse Theater
Vassar College/ Tamar M. Thibodeau


  This month, Vassar College and New York Stage and Film’s summer Powerhouse season in Poughkeepsie, NY will present two fully staged productions, three Musical Theater workshops, two Inside Look workshops, and a number of readings. In addition to all of that, their training program is in full swing.

Ed Cheetham is the Producing Director of Powerhouse Theater at Vassar.

Poiwerhouse Theater
Vassar College/ Buck Lewis


  Since 1985, Vassar and New York Stage and Film have been partners in the Powerhouse season, a collaboration known for being the springboard for new stories that go on to theaters across the country and around the world. This year’s Tony Award winning and nominated shows The Humans, Bright Star, and Hamilton, can all claim incubation periods at Powerhouse.

 

The 2016 season began with a reading festival last weekend and its first main stage show, Transfers by Lucy Thurber, opened last night and runs through July 10th.

>Johanna Pfaelzer is the Artistic Director of New York Stage and Film and she joins us to talk about the 2016 season.

Bob Goepfert Reviews "The Marriage of Figaro"

Jun 30, 2016
Principal Artists of The Marriage of Figaro
Susan Bardack / Buzz Media Solutions

Troy Record theater reviewer Bob Goepfert takes a look at Opera Saratoga's production of "The Marriage of Figaro."  

MOMIX At The Mahaiwe

Jun 30, 2016

  Illusionist dance company MOMIX, under the direction of Moses Pendleton, will make their third appearance at the The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, MA this Saturday and Sunday.

Based in Washington, Conn., this innovative dance company seemingly defies categorization as easily as its dancer-illusionists defy gravity. Their show, VIVA MOMIX, features a collection of company and audience favorites.

Artistic Director Moses Pendleton has been one of America’s most innovative choreographers and directors for over 40 years.

  Shadowland Stages in Ellenville, NY began this summer season with John Cariani’s Last Gas. The are currently presenting the Hudson Valley premiere of John Logan’s RED – and the season to come includes Miracle on South Division St., 8-Track: Songs of the 70’s, and God of Carnage all of that and the Acting Academy at the Shadowland Stages is entering its ninth year.

Brendan Burke is the Artistic Director at the Shadowland Stages and he joins us. 

  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: Free State of Jones

Upcoming:
Twyla Tharp Dance - (Country Dances, Brahms Paganini, premiere of Beethoven Op. 130/String Quartet No. 13) - SPAC, Saratoga Springs, Thursday 6/30
Tom Russell - Eighth Step at Proctors, Schenectady, Thursday 6/30
1st Friday - (Albany Institute of History & Art, Upstate Artists Guild, Romaine Brooks Gallery etc.) Downtown Albany, Friday 7/1 (5-9 PM)
Upbeat on the Roof with Olivia Quillio - Tang Teaching Museum & Art Gallery, Saratoga Springs, Friday 7/1
Simi Stone - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, Friday 7/1
Bob Dylan, Mavis Staples - Tanglewood, Lenox, Mass., Saturday 7/2
Chicago - Park Playhouse - July 1-30 - Tuesday through Saturday at 8pm
Jupiter String Quartet with pianist Ilya Yakushev (music of Beethoven, Ligeti, Schubert, Shostakovich) Maverick Concert Hall, Woodstock, Sunday 7/3 (4 PM)
James Taylor - Tanglewood, Lenox, Mass., Monday 7/4
New York State’s 4th of July at the Plaza - Empire State Plaza, Albany, Monday 7/4 (event starts at 3 PM; Boogie Wonder Band at 8 PM; fireworks at 9:15 PM)
Summer in the City free movies present Wreck-It Ralph - Palace Theatre, Albany, Tuesday 7/5 (noon)

New movies: Our Kind of Traitor, Les Cowboys, The BFG, The Legend of Tarzan

  The Felice Brothers' new album, Life in the Dark, is out on Yep Roc records and they’re heading out on a huge tour this summer.

We’re lucky to have them playing several spots in the greater WAMC listening region -- they’ll be at Green River Fest in Greenfield, MA on 7/9; Troy Riverfront Park on 7/20, The Catskill Brewery in Livingston Manor, NY on 8/6; and the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in Hillsdale, NY on 8/7.

We were very excited to have them stop by The Linda to talk about what’s new and play some tunes.

Mississippi plantation owner, the cantankerous Big Daddy, is celebrating his 65th birthday. His family has returned for the occasion, including his favorite son, the masculine Brick, and Brick’s wife, the lonely and longing Maggie.

Brick and Maggie’s strained marriage plagues Big Daddy’s mind, and he demands answers to why they haven’t given him a grandchild yet.

However, Big Daddy’s family holds a powerful secret, and an ulterior motive as to why they have returned to the plantation. The families’ troubled relationships and emotional lies become exposed in the timeless American treasure by Tennessee Williams, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

Berkshire Theatre Group presents Cat on a Hot Tin Roof as part of their season this summer. The show opened on Saturday after a few previews and runs through July 16th.

We are joined this morning by Rebecca Brooksher and Michael Raymond-James – who play Maggie and Brick on BTG’s Fitzpatrick Stage.

GLENS FALLS – “Island Song,” a musical which opens Adirondack Theatre Festival’s season, is an exciting production with a lot of talent on stage and behind the scenes.  It plays at the Wood Theater in Glens Falls through July 2 and I guarantee you will remember the show and be proud that you saw these actors before they became well-known.

Barrington Stage Company’s second St. Germain stage production of this season is Kimberly Akimbo by Pulitzer Prize winner, David Lindsay-Abaire.

Starring Debra Jo Rupp and set in the wilds of suburban New Jersey, Kimberly Akimbo is a hilarious and heartrending play about a teenager with a rare condition causing her body to age faster than normal.

When she and her family flee Secaucus under dubious circumstances, Kimberly is forced to reevaluate her life while contending with a hypochondriac mother, a rarely sober father, a scam-artist aunt, her own mortality and, most terrifying of all, the possibility of first love.

Debra Jo Rupp was last seen at Barrington Stage in Dr. Ruth: All the Way and will return to the St. Germain stage later this season to perform in Love Letters with Mark H. Dold. 

Rob Edelman: Germans...And Jews...And Brigitte Helm

Jun 27, 2016

Given the reality of the Holocaust-- and this truth is forcefully examined in SON OF SAUL, the 2015 Best Foreign Film Academy Award winner-- one might wonder why there presently is a rapidly-growing Jewish population in Berlin. Granted, over seven decades have passed since the end of World War II but, still, by settling in Berlin, are Jews somehow ignoring that country’s less than stellar history?

Any Questions #252

Jun 24, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel return with a St. John-themed show.

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