Arts & Culture

Rob Edelman: Presidents And Movies, Part 1

May 9, 2016

Crooked senators, lying governors, and sleazy political kingpins may be found in endless Hollywood films produced across the decades. One could spend hours citing examples-- and one need not wonder why celluloid politicians have long been collectively depicted as crooks and liars.  

Grace Kelly
www.gracekellymusic.com

  Berkshires Jazz presents a memorial concert in honor of the late alto saxophonist Phil Woods in Pittsfield, MA on Saturday, May 14 at 8 p.m. The tribute will be performed by the NEA Jazz Master’s quintet, with Brian Lynch on trumpet, Bill Mays on Piano, Steve Gilmore on bass and Bill Goodwin on drums, along with Woods’ protégé Grace Kelly on alto saxophone.

Woods introduced the 14-year-old saxophone prodigy Grace Kelly to Berkshires audiences at the second annual Pittsfield CityJazz Festival in 2006, when he was guest soloist with the U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors big band. Having mentored Kelly at a jazz workshop, Woods invited her to the stage, an event that has become part of jazz lore.

Fast forward and Kelly has headlined more than 700 shows in 30 countries and is part of the house band, Stay Human, for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Any Questions #245

May 6, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are off to France for this week's show.

Rogovoy Report For 5/6/16

May 6, 2016

The cultural highlights in our region in coming days include a concert by an all-star jazz lineup at MASS MoCA; a folk-rock legend at the Mahaiwe; an indie-pop artist from Austin at Helsinki Hudson; klezmer in Spencertown, and a whole lot more.

  The Capital region has long appreciated the Battenkill Chorale for the quality of their singing and also for the originality of the music they sing. Mozart and Haydn and Brahms all certainly have their place for the Chorale but so do contemporary Norwegian compositions, South African freedom songs and music performed by prisoners in Nazi concentration camps.

On May 7 and 8, the Chorale - now in their twenty-first year - will sing a Bluegrass mass. Banjos and mandolins will be featured along with melodies inspired by the Bluegrass tradition of Appalachia and Bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe himself. The Chorale will be joined by the acclaimed bluegrass quintet, Monroe Crossing.

The chorale will perform: Carol Barnett's, "The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass” at the Immaculate Conception church in Hoosick Falls. Janet McGhee is Conductor and Artistic Director of the Battenkill Chorale and she joins us .

  Gary Cole stars in the new independent movie Divine Access -- the film is equal parts comedy and drama. Set in the South, it’s a road movie, a buddy picture and an often sweet, thought-provoking story of redemption. It will be released in theaters on May 13th and available on VOD on May 17th. 

Cole is an actor most will recognize from his work in film and television. Selected credits include Office Space, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Veep, Pineapple Express, Entourage, The West Wing, and The Good Wife -- which will have its series finale this Sunday night on CBS.

  Manitoga/The Russel Wright Design Center is the House, Studio and Woodland garden of mid-century designer Russel Wright. It is a National Historic Landmark, an Affiliate Site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and a World Monuments Watch Site.

Manitoga’s Artist Residency program was initiated in 2014 to foster creative responses to Manitoga that invoke Russel Wright's legacy of creative experimentation and celebration of place.

This year’s residency artist, Peter Bynum, is known for his light-infused sculptural paintings and large-scale installations. He creates his work by pressing paint between sheets of glass - allowing it to spread, span, and split according to its own plan. He then layers these branched paintings over each other and illuminates them from behind. The effect is singular.

Bynum’s work has been exhibited all over the world. His residency exhibition, Ecstatic Light, presents a site-specific installation of several pieces in Russel Wright’s House and Studio, marking Manitoga’s first presentation of a contemporary artist within the interiors of the property.

  Derek McLane is a Tony and Emmy Award-winning production designer for stage and screen. He designed the last four consecutive Academy Awards telecasts and all three of NBC’s recent LIVE musical events: The Sound of Music, Peter Pan, and The Wiz. He was the production designer for the HBO documentary, Becoming Mike Nichols and the European tour, Hans Zimmer Revealed.

McLane’s most recent design to open on Broadway is for Fully Committed written by Becky Mode, directed by Jason Moore, and starring Jesse Tyler Ferguson. A selection of previous Broadway show’s on his resume are: Noises Off, Beautiful, the Carole King Musical, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, Follies, Anything Goes, How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, and 33 Variations -- for which he won his Tony Award in 2009.

In our region he’s worked at The Williamstown Theatre Festival and is designing Barrington Stage Company’s Musical Theatre Lab World Premiere of Presto Change-o, which opens later this month in Pittsfield. He’s a busy guy - that list includes less than half of what he’s done and we didn’t even mention everything he’s working on this week.

Coming Up At The Linda

May 5, 2016
The Linda Logo
The Linda

Graeme McKenna joins us each week with a preview of what is coming up at The Linda: WAMC's Performing Arts Studio

  CENTERstage Productions hosts Warrior Productions and The Second Annual Short Play Festival at The CENTER for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck May 6, 7 & 8.

Eight short plays of new and original works will be showcased and we are joined by Elaine Fernandez, playwright and President and Founder of Warrior Productions; and playwrights Marianna Boncek and Nadeen Currie.

The heyday of the silent cinema ended almost nine decades ago. But the very best silent films still are visual feasts. They are pleasures to discover and pleasures to enjoy-- and I am not just referring to the classic comedies of the legendary Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Harold Lloyd. Films like F.W. Murnau’s SUNRISE, NOSFERATU, and THE LAST LAUGH; King Vidor’s THE CROWD; Fritz Lang’s METROPOLIS; E.A. Dupont’s VARIETE; and so many others have long been personal favorites.

  In the summer of 1925, The New Yorker was struggling to survive its first year in print. They took a chance on a young cartoonist who was about to give up his career as an artist. His name was Peter Arno, and his witty social commentary, blush-inducing content, and compositional mastery brought a cosmopolitan edge to the magazine’s pages—a vitality that would soon cement The New Yorker as one of the world’s most celebrated publications.

Alongside New Yorker luminaries such as E.B. White, James Thurber, and founding editor Harold Ross, Arno is one of the select few who made the magazine the cultural touchstone it is today.

In his new biography of one of The New Yorker’s first geniuses, New Yorker cartoonist Michael Maslin dives into Arno’s rocky relationship with the magazine, his fiery marriage to the columnist Lois Long, and his tabloid-cover altercations involving pistols, fists, and barely-legal debutantes.

Michael Maslin’s cartoons have been appearing in The New Yorker for nearly forty years. He is the author or coauthor of eight books of cartoons. His new biography is: Peter Arno: The Mad, Mad World of The New Yorker's Greatest Cartoonist.

  Five new exhibits are open at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center.

The new exhibits showcase the work of contemporary artists confronting well-known masterpieces from art history and self-taught artists harnessing their personal experiences with autism and other developmental disorders. They reveal one artist's quest to capture the essence of water in motion and another's desire to stimulate fleeting moments of mindfulness among drivers barreling down the highway.

Danny Lichtenfeld is the Director of the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center.

Any Questions #244

Apr 29, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats at the wedding reception.

Bob Goepfert Reviews "Calendar Girls"

Apr 29, 2016

Saratoga Springs – “Calendar Girls,” which is at Home Made Theater in Saratoga Springs through May 1, is that rare theater event – a play about female empowerment.   

Bob Goepfert Reviews "The Trip To Bountiful"

Apr 29, 2016

ALBANY:  “The Trip to Bountiful, currently at Capital Repertory Theatre through May 15, is an American fable.  It’s filled with people we feel we know, or ought to, and tells a sentimental story at a leisurely pace.

  In this week's Classical Music According to Yehuda​, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani continue their exploration of Jewish music, sharing a performance of Ravel's Kaddish from the DECCA album, Ravel: The Complete Edition

On Sunday, May 1st The Thomas Cole National Historic Site will unveil the inaugural art exhibition to be held in its “New Studio” building. The reconstruction of this majestic Italianate building enhances the Historic Site, home of Thomas Cole – the founder of the Hudson River School – the first major art movement of the United States.

The New Studio, built in 1846, was designed by Cole and demolished in 1973 before the historic site became a museum. The new space provides the Site with museum-quality climate-controlled space for displaying art.

Albany, NY – ALBANY, NY (WAMC) - (4/28/16 @ 1p.m.) -- WAMC and the New York State Archives Partnership Trust New York Archives Partnership Trust present The Power of Words -- a year-long series of programs that follows American History through some of the most memorable political speeches of our time. On this program, WAMC's Alan Chartock and Historian Harold Holzer discuss President Lincoln's 2nd Inaugural - delivered by Academy Award Winning Actor F. Murray Abraham.

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

Coming Up At The Linda

Apr 28, 2016
The Linda Logo
The Linda

Graeme McKenna joins us each week with a preview of what is coming up at The Linda: WAMC's Performing Arts Studio

Will Gallacher (Tin Man puppeteer), James Ortiz (the Tin Man/Nick Chopper) and Eliza Martin Simpson as Nimmee, the object of the Tin Man’s affection
Matthew Murphy

  The critically acclaimed Off-Broadway re-telling of how Oz's Tin Man lost his heart features James Ortiz as the star, creator, puppet designer, co-director and writer in The Woodsman, a beautiful imaginative theatrical experience by Strangemen & Co.

The show is currently running at New World Stages in New York City.

Rob Edelman: Sally And Jake

Apr 25, 2016

Two new films are worth a look not because they are particularly good films. Each one is seriously flawed. But they are worth seeing because of the presences and performances of their stars.

Becky Mode, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Jason Moore
Walter McBride / Getty Images

  Fully Committed starring Jesse Tyler Ferguson opens tonight at the Lyceum Theatre in New York City.

The play, written by Becky Mode, follows a day in the life of Sam. His job is to man the red-hot reservation line at Manhattan's number-one restaurant. Jesse Tyler Ferguson (best known for his Emmy nominated work as Mitchell on ABC’s Modern Family) plays all 40 characters, acting out the coercion, threats, bribes, and histrionics of both the would-be patrons and the staff at the very chic eatery.

Jason Moore directs this production which is scheduled for a limited run through July 24th. Moore directed the films Sisters, starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, and Pitch Perfect. For Broadway he's directed Shrek The Musical and the Tony Award winning production of Avenue Q.

Any Questions #243

Apr 22, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel hold a "spelling" bee.

Rogovoy Report For 4/22/16

Apr 22, 2016

The cultural highlights in our region in coming days include a work-in-progress showing of a dance based on Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road”; a 24-hour festival of the drone; a world-renowned string quartet in a free concert; a Tex-Mex celebration; and an up-and-coming avant-jazz quartet.

Yun-Fei Ji: The Intimate Universe is currently on display at the Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY.

The show is the Beijing-born artist’s largest solo exhibition to date in the United States, featuring a selection of work from 2006 to the present, including new scrolls, sculptures, and drawings never before exhibited.

Taking on the thousand-year-old practice of Chinese scroll painting, Yun-Fei Ji employs ink on paper as his primary medium and landscape as his central subject. However, rather than adopting the idealism characteristic of traditional scroll painting, Ji’s work presents the gritty reality of life in China today.

Tracy Adler is the Director of The Wellin Museum and she joins us now.

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda - Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani continue their exploration of Jewish music, sharing a recording of Hebrew Melody by Joseph Achron.

This month, Turner Classic Movies is paying tribute to the 20th Century’s “royal family of Broadway,” the Barrymores.  Lionel, Ethel, and John Barrymore, that is, three siblings whose artful work brightened the stage and screen throughout the first half of the century. 

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

Pages