Arts & Culture

The Albany Symphony Orchestra’s American Music Festival will take place at EMPAC in Troy, NY today through Sunday.

The festival concludes David Alan Miller’s 25th anniversary season with the ASO. It will include more than 40 new works presented in more than 15 concerts and events – including “This Land Sings,” a song-cycle by Michael Daugherty inspired by the life and times of Woody Guthrie.

Grammy Award-winning conductor David Alan Miller joins us. 

This year's Berkshire International Film Festival will feature a tribute to Academy Award winning actor, Christopher Plummer on June 3 at 6:30 p.m. The acclaimed stage and screen performer will be in conversation with David Edelstein, film critic for NPR’s Fresh Air and CBS Sunday Morning at The Mahaiwe Theater.

A screening of Plummer's new film, The Exception immediately follows the talk. The film is distributed by A24 Films. 

The Exception marks the screen debut of theater director David Leveaux and features Plummer as exiled German Monarch Kaiser Wilhelm II who lives in a secluded mansion in The Netherlands as Germany is taking over Holland.

The Cantilena Chamber Choir will present a performance of King David In Words And Music on Saturday, June 3 at 7:30 p.m. at Trinity Church in Lenox, MA

The concert will feature live readings by Pulitzer Prize winning author Geraldine Brooks. She will be reading from her latest international best-selling novel The Secret Chord about the life of King David as the choir sings music for chorus and full orchestra based on corresponding texts by and about King David.

Geraldine Brooks is the author of five novels, her latest, The Secret Chord, the Pulitzer Prize–winning March and the international bestsellers Caleb’s CrossingPeople of the Book, and Year of Wonders

The Cantilena Chamber Choir is comprised of 24 dedicated singers of the highest caliber, who possess vocal training, excellent sight-reading skills and considerable choral experience. Andrea Goodman is the founder and director of the choir.

We welcome Andrea Goodman and Geraldine Brooks to The Roundtable.

Rob Edelman: The Misuse Of Power

May 29, 2017

ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL is yet one more telling documentary that reflects on the misuse of power in contemporary America, and who specifically gets singled out for the alleged misuse of power. It has just been released theatrically, and it is well-worth seeing and contemplating.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for their 300th show.

Rogovoy Report 5/26/17

May 26, 2017

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include an all-day museum celebration, a folk-rock jam band; a quirky alternative rock band; a vintage rockabilly band; and a whole lot more.

JOE WARDWELL - HELLO AMERICA: 40 HITS FROM THE 50 STATES at MASS MoCA
Sarah LaDuke

  This Sunday, May 28th, MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA will open Building 6 - the Robert W. Wilson Building, to the public. This beyond-grand-opening doubles the vast museum’s exhibition space and features long-term exhibitions and collaborations with global leaders in contemporary art.

In this audio tour, MASS MoCA Curator Denise Markonish tells us about work by Barbara Ernst Prey, Louise Bourgeois, Metabolic Studio/Optics Division, Robert Rauschenberg, Dawn DeDeaux, Lonnie Holley, Laurie Anderson, Gunnar Schonbeck, Mary Lum, Janice Kerbel, and James Turrell; Allie Foradas describes work by Jenny Holzer, and James Wardwell tells us about "Hello America: 40 Hits from the 50 States." 

MASS MoCA's daylong celebration to mark the opening of Building 6 - the Robert W. Wilson Building - including welcoming remarks from museum director Joseph Thompson; a Nick Cave Soundsuit performance, Brooklyn United Marching Band and CAKE in concert on Joe’s Field.

www.dorsettheatrefestival.org

Dorset Theatre Festival opens its 40th Anniversary Season with the World Premiere of Theresa Rebeck's Downstairs, starring brother and sister Tim Daly and Tyne Daly, who will be appearing together for the first time on the stage. Downstairs runs for 16 performances between June 22 - July 8, 2017.

Next up will be Ken Ludwig’s adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery (July 13-29).

Matthew Lopez’s The Legend of Georgia McBride (August 3-19) will be next. The comedy follows a broke Elvis impersonator who becomes a drag queen.

And then - Pulitzer-winning playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis will star alongside Treat Williams in David Mamet’s American Buffalo (Aug. 24-Sept. 2).

We welcome Dina Janis, the artistic director at Dorset Theatre Festival.

Performing Arts of Woodstock will present the award-winning play Still by Jen Silverman beginning June 1st through the 18th. In the play, a child is stillborn. The play explores those affected, including the stillborn son, who wanders through the play seeking his mother and joyfully and painfully learning about life as he fades back into the ether.

Sande Shurin is director of Still and joins us via phone. Here in the studio - we welcome actor Ron Morehead and PAW Board Member and Business Manager Farrell Reynolds. 

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: Alien: Covenant

Upcoming:
Mothra - Madison Theater, Albany, Thursday-Sunday, 5/25-28, various times
Fence Salon (The Fence Show): Opening Reception - Arts Center of the Capital Region, Troy, Friday 5/26, 5-9 PM
Mid-Year Medley Art Show - Clement Art Gallery, Troy, Friday 5/26, 5-9 PMM
Graham Tichy Band: The Beatles Lennon vs. McCartney - Sand Lake Center for the Arts, Averill Park, Friday 5/26, 8 PM
Lara Hope & the Ark Tones - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, Friday 5/26, 9 PM
Elysia Crampton + Russell E.L. Butler - EMPAC, Troy, Friday, 5/26, 9 PM
The Figgs - The Low Beat, Albany, Friday-Saturday, 8 PM
Sawyer Fredericks - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Friday-Sunday, 5/26-28, SOLD OUT
Cake - Ommegang, Cooperstown, NY, Friday 5/26, 8 PM; MASS MoCA, North Adams, Mass., Sunday 5/28, 8 PM

New movies: Baywatch, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales The Lovers

Barrett Doss in Groundhog Day at The August Wilson Theatre
http://www.groundhogdaymusical.com/

Groundhog Day is something of an American fable - I mean that equally of the February 2nd holiday and the 1993 movie directed by Harold Ramis, written by Ramis and Danny Rubin, and starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell.

What do you get when you combine the film with the British sensibilities of Tim Minchin and Matthew Warchus? You get an Olivier Award Winning and 7-time Tony Award nominated stage musical.

After an incredibly well-received run in London, Groundhog Day - directed by Matthew Warchus, with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin and a book by Danny Rubin, is currently running at The August Wilson Theatre on Broadway -- starring Andy Karl as cynical egotistic weatherman, Phil Connors, and Barrett Doss as Rita Hanson.

Doss recently appeared in the Broadway revival of You Can’t Take It With You, she’s a recurring character on the Netflix and Marvel series Iron First, and for you comedy TV minutia lovers out there - she played Liz Lemon’s great-granddaughter in the last 20 seconds of the last episode of the NBC series 30 Rock.

Rob Edelman: Lost Cities On Screen

May 22, 2017

In recent years, so many filmmakers establish themselves by writing and directing eye-opening independently-funded films that are issue-oriented, or that feature challenging characters and top-notch storytelling. Inevitably, some-- but not all-- graduate to big-budget Hollywood product that are loaded with special effects. Why does this happen? Is it because these filmmakers are film artists who yearn to expand their creativity? Or is it all about money? These days, the high-profile special effects-laden films that sacrifice storytelling and character development are the ones that usually lasso in more viewers and bigger bucks during their theatrical play. A film in which storytelling is king, no matter how well-reviewed that film is, will at best draw in a fraction of viewers.

The new exhibit - Face Them - at the Lichtenstein Gallery for the Arts in Pittsfield, MA opens June 2nd and will be up through June 24th.

Face Them is an opportunity to gather artistic intelligence through several mediums in one gallery. By placing pertinent topic images of today before the viewer that may make one feel moved not of our imagination, but of our reality.

The topics are big ones: Global Warming, Population Explosion, Gun Control, Human Trafficking, and Animal Abuse.

To tell us more – we welcome National Geographic Photographer John Stanmeyer and Barbara Arpante – Curator of Face Them and a Collage Artist.

Building 6 (Robert W. Wilson Building) at MASS MoCA
Sarah LaDuke

MASS MoCA opens its newly renovated Building 6 this Sunday, giving the North Adams Campus – catch this - more gallery space than any other contemporary art museum in the country. The campus has always been big in scale and rambling. Now, we get more of a great thing.

Building 6 adds 105-Thousand square feet of gallery space – consisting of three floors of galleries, production studios, virtual reality galleries, event and performance space.

An all-day celebration will celebrate the grand opening for the new building, which will showcase installations by art-world stars such as Jenny Holzer, Laurie Anderson, Robert Rauschenberg, Louise Bourgeois, and James Turrell. Museum director Joe Thompson is here to tell us more. 

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel take a turn in the moshpit.

HOME FIRES is an ITV series about British villagers who fight World War II in Cheshire—with an emphasis on the woman’s role in fighting war on the home front.  Season two recently completed airing on American PBS stations.  The episodes of seasons one and two reportedly drew good ratings here and abroad.  And why not?  The scripts favor strong characters—particularly strong female characters—and there is plenty of action and emotional turmoil which escalates from episode to episode. 

Rogovoy Report 5/19/17

May 19, 2017

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include a museum exhibition showcasing the guitar; a play about a radical defense lawyer; early music; classical music; Bob Dylan; and a whole lot more.

Formed as a somewhat antagonistic answer to grunge, CAKE bounded onto the scene in the mid-nineties with songs like “Rock n’Roll Lifestyle,” “The Distance,” and a perhaps unexpectedly effective cover of Gloria Gaynor’s disco hit, “I Will Survive.”

In their 20+ years, John McCrea and company -- including signature trumpeting by Vince DiFiore -- have released 6 albums and toured all over the world.

They are playing two shows in our region over Memorial Day Weekend. First at Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, NY on Friday, May 26 and then at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA on Sunday, May 28.

choreographer with dancers
http://chasebrockexperience.com/


  The Chase Brock Experience is a Brooklyn-based contemporary dance company founded by choreographer Chase Brock. CBE has premiered 29 dances (to music from Beethoven to David Yazbek to Nellie McKay) and six commissioned scores (from composers like Joshua Rosenblum and Michael John LaChiusa.)

The dance company has been in residence at Catskill Mountain Foundation and will perform at Orpheum Film & Performing Arts Center in Tannersville, NY this Saturday at 7:30pm.

Chase Brock joins us now. In addition to choreographing for his own company, Brock as provided his talents and expertise to various Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional and international productions including Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark; Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame; and HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

Richard Thomas in The Little Foxes at MTC
Joan Marcus

Actor Richard Thomas is best known for his leading role as budding author John-Boy Walton in the CBS drama The Waltons, where he won an Emmy Award. That series began in 1972 and ran for 9-seasons.

Thomas is still acting on stage and on TV. He recently starred in the FX drama series The Americans. And he was just nominated for a Best Featured Actor Tony award for his role as Horace in the Manhattan Theatre Club’s production of Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes with Cynthia Nixon and Laura Linney.

The Little Foxes follows Regina Giddens and her ruthless clan, including her sister-in-law Birdie, as they clash in often brutal ways in an effort to strike the deal of their lives. The Little Foxes runs at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on Broadway through July 2nd.

Rob Edelman: Five Came Back

May 15, 2017

Once upon a time-- 1939, to be exact-- FIVE CAME BACK was the title of a now-long-forgotten melodrama about a bunch of plane crash survivors who are stranded in a jungle. One of its cast members was a very pre-I LOVE LUCY Lucille Ball.

William Kunstler was an American radical lawyer and civil rights activist, known for his politically unpopular clients. He was an active member of the National Lawyers Guild, a board member of the American Civil Liberties Union and the co-founder of the Law Center for Constitutional Rights. Kunstler's defense of the Chicago Seven from 1969–1970 led The New York Times to label him "the country's most controversial and, perhaps, its best-known lawyer."

Starting later this week, Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, MA will present The Creative Place International/And Theatre Company production of Kunstler starring Jeff McCarthy in the title role. The show will run on BSC’s St. Germain Stage through June 10th. It is directed by Meagen Fay.

Jeff McCarthy is a Tony Award nominated actor and Associate Artist at Barrington Stage and he joins us.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back in action, hoping the quiz takes flight.

Rogovoy Report 5/12/17

May 12, 2017

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include the unveiling of a new outdoor arts space; an acoustic solo concert by a jam-band legend; Portuguese jazz; vintage jazz; dream-pop; and a whole lot more.

Bob Goepfert Reviews "Cabaret" At Proctors

May 11, 2017
Leigh Ann Larkin as Sally Bowlesand Benjamin Eakeley as Clifford Bradshawin in CABARET
Joan Marcus

SCHENECTADY  -  The national touring production of “Cabaret,” that is at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady through Sunday, is proof the show is one of the all-time great musicals.  

Will Pullen and Khris Davis in Sweat
Joan Marcus

Playwright Lynn Nottage made history last month as the first woman to win two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama. Her play Sweat — her first to be produced on Broadway — was awarded the honor. She received her first Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for Ruined, which was produced off-Broadway.

Sweat first premiered and was co-commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Washington, D.C.’s Arena Stage. After a sold-out run at off-Broadway’s prestigious Public Theater, the play moved to Broadway where it is now running at Studio 54 and is nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play.

Directed by Kate Whoriskey, Sweat takes place in Reading, PA and features characters whose way of life is falling apart after the decline of the manufacturing, steel, and coal industries. They work together and they drink together - and when layoffs and picket lines begin - they find themselves fighting each other in the hard fight to keep going.

We are joined now by actors Khris Davis and Will Pullen - they play best-friends, Chris and Jason in Sweat. (To learn more about Davis and Pullen - their bios are below.)

The Roundabout Theatre Company production of Kander and Ebb’s classic Tony Award winning musical drama, Cabaret, is at Proctors this week. This touring production was directed by Sam Mendes and co-directed and choreographed by Rob Marshall.

To set the stage:

1930s, Berlin: The Kit Kat Klub is a seedy cabaret, a place of decadent celebration. The Klub's Master of Ceremonies, or M.C., is joined by the cabaret girls and headliner-of-sorts, Sally Bowles.

In a train station, Cliff Bradshaw arrives, a young American writer coming to Berlin to work on his new novel.

At Proctors this week, Jon Peterson plays the Emcee and Benjamin Eakeley plays Cliff.

Jeremy Daniel

Based on the 2007 movie of the same name, the hit Broadway musical Waitress was directed by Diane Paulus and was nominated for 4 Tony Awards last year. The show has a book by Jessie Nelson and the music and lyrics are by Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles.

Bareilles is currently making her Broadway debut as Jenna -- a pregnant diner waitress and inventor of pies who needs to stop burying her hope and unhappy marriage in creative ingredients and make a change.

The other half of that unhappy marriage is Earl, the kind of guy who peaked in high school and never got over it. Earl is handsome but gruff, disconsolate, short tempered, beer-soaked -- and currently being played on Broadway by Will Swenson. His last performance at the pie-scented Brooks Atkinson Theatre will be on June 11th. (Sara Bareilles will leave then, too and Betsy Wolfe will begin performances as Jenna on June 13.)

Swenson’s recent Broadway credits include Disaster!, Les Misérables, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and Hair -- for which he was nominated for a Tony Award. In the summer of 2015 he played Jamie Tyrone in Eugene O’Neill’s A Moon for the Misbegotten at the Williamstown Theatre Festival - opposite is wife Audra McDonald; and last summer he served up a boisterous and bodacious Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance at Barrington Stage.

Bob Goepfert Reviews "Bandstand"

May 9, 2017

NEW YORK, NY – A new and rather special musical, “Bandstand,” just opened at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on 44th Street in Manhattan.  It’s an uplifting work about soldiers returning home after World War II. It’s a show that is filled with music and dance but never depreciates the challenges facing veterans returning from war. Indeed, it’s just the opposite. This is a work that honors all veterans, and its d it balances traditional music theater with a topic rarely addressed by and it’s accomplished with pandering.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

The Thomas Cole National Historic Site in Catskill is now open for its 2017 season and features two new landmark exhibitions. 

“The Parlors” is an immersive installation that combines technology and meticulous historic restoration of the two parlors of Cole's 1815 Home, the rooms where America's first major art movement was born. It features a stunning discovery revealed during the restoration: the earliest-known, interior decorative painting by an American artist. 

Also, “Sanford R. Gifford in the Catskills” is an exhibition of Catskills paintings of Sanford Robinson Gifford (1823-1880), a leading member of the Hudson River School of landscape painting, who credited Cole’s works with stimulating his interest in landscape painting. Gifford grew up in Hudson, and this is the first such show of this magnitude to take place in the region that inspired Cole and Gifford.

Betsy Jacks, Executive Director of the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, joins us this morning to discuss the opening these two exhibitions and their importance to the history of the region. 

Pages