Arts & Culture


  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani continue their conversation about female composers - focusing on Maria Agata Szymanowska.

Yehuda’s Close Encounter with Music series begins their new season on October 15th with the Chamber Orchestra Kremlin in a program of Haydn, Tchaikovsky, and Shostakovich.

  Tomorrow at 8pm, film composer and singer-songwriter Peter Salett and illustrator Michael Arthur will be at MASS MoCA in North Adams to perform Suite for the Summer Rain and Dance of the Yellow Leaf --two related song-cycles that will be accentuated and elevated through a collaboration of the artists that melds the live music performance with live illustration projected behind the band.

Bette Gordon is a director and independent filmmaker best known for her film Variety (1984), Luminous Motion (2000), and Handsome Harry (2010) Toronto. She has been the subject of retrospectives at IFC Cinema, Anthology Film Archives and The Walker Art Center.

Josh Charles is an actor best known for his work in Dead Poets Society, Sports Night, and The Good Wife.

They join us to discuss their new film The Drowning, directed by Gordon and starring Charles along with Julia Styles, and Avan Jogia. The thriller will screen twice at this year's Woodstock Film Festival

Bob Goepfert Reviews "Disenchanted" At Proctors

Oct 6, 2016

SCHENECTADY -  I’m not sure very many people ever left one of Walt Disney’s animated films thinking that the princess in the piece – you know, the one who marries her Prince Charming and lived happily ever after -knew they weren’t portrayed accurately.  Few cared.  They went to the films for entertainment.

ALBANY - It is difficult to conceive of anyone not enjoying the romantic comedy “Outside Mullingar” that is playing at Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany through October 16.

The O+ Festival is a celebration of art and music that creates a bridge to access health care for artists. O+ fosters complete physical, mental and social well-being by connecting artists directly with a coalition of health care providers and health resources, in a shared vision to nurture the individual and the community.

O+ was founded in 2010 in Kingston, NY – the idea has caught on and festivals have now taken place in cities all across the country. This year’s festival in Kingston takes place October 7th, 8th, and 9th.

To tell us about this year's highlights – we are joined by: Nurse-in-charge Shannon Light, pop-up clinic director; Rocket Scientist Micah Blumenthal, creative director and co-curator of music; and Art Witch Denise Orzo, art director.

Rob Edelman: One More New Documentary

Oct 3, 2016

For quite a while now, a wide range of superior documentaries have examined a wide range of issues. Among the latest is THE RUINS OF LIFTA, a thoughtful, multi-layered depiction of contemporary Israeli-Palestinian relations that has just opened theatrically in Manhattan and will be doing so momentarily in Los Angeles.

Any Questions #266

Sep 30, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel head back to the farm.

The play “Southern Comforts” confirms that the cliché “opposites attract” pertains to all people who fall in love - no matter your age.  

Rogovoy Report For 9/30/16

Sep 30, 2016

The weekend’s cultural highlights in the region include comedy, a legend of glam-rock, Chinese dance, a theatrical premiere, Jewish-jazz fusion, and a whole lot more.

Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox presents contemporary Top 40 hits slipped through a time machine – rearranged and performed in styles like swing, do-wop, ragtime, Motown, jazz, torch ballads, bluegrass, and more.

From Bradlee’s living-room via YouTube videos to world tours and (soon) Radio City Music Hall in just a few years – the rotating collective of musicians and vocalists present a very fun show.

Postmodern Jukebox is playing at The Palace Theatre in Albany, NY tonight and Scott Bradlee joins us.

The Teaching Gallery at Hudson Valley Community College presents Floating World, an exhibition of paintings by New Lebanon artist Maggie Mailer, on view through October 22nd.

The paintings in Mailer’s Floating World are richly layered, ambiguous landscapes that bravely embody the artist’s willingness to trust her viewers. Mailer says the title refers to the “floating world” of 18th century Japanese Ukiyo-e prints, a worldview based on hedonism, pleasure and escapism. It was a world envisioned to be safe from danger, sadness or disasters, both real and imagined.

Mailer’s painting process is an intentionally unscientific combination of instinct, skill, accident and trust. Upon close inspection, any particular moment of a painting might contain layers of sheer, luscious color, references to classical masterworks, day-glow colors seemingly thrown down or scumbled, or thin layers that barely cover the canvas.

Maggie Mailer and Founding director of the Teaching Gallery Tara Fracalossi  join us. 

Outside Mullingar, a play by John Patrick Shanley - the Pulitzer Prize winning author of Doubt – brings us on a journey to the farmlands of Ireland. It is now playing through October 16th at Capital Rep in Albany.

Outside Mullingar is the story of an unlikely romance between two rural, middle-aged neighbors: Anthony, an introverted farmer and Rosemary, the woman who vows to have him – at all costs.

This morning we meet two of the cast-members - Kenneth Kimmins has a major Broadway/West End resume, with stints in The Music Man and the New York and London companies of Company. On television, Ken spent nine years as series regular Howard Burleigh, on Coach. He was also being a semi-regular on Lois And Clark.

Laurie O’Brien has extensive television and film resume includes work on CSI, CSI: Miami, Detroit 1-8-7, ER, and NYPD Blue

Berkshire Theatre Group and WAM Theatre present the American Premiere of The Bakelite Masterpiece, by Kate Cayley at the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, September 29 through October 23.

In keeping with their double philanthropic mission, WAM Theatre will be donating 25% of the box office proceeds from this production to their ninth beneficiary, the Berkshire Immigrant Center and Suzi Banks Baum. 

The show is directed by Kristen van Ginhoven and features David Adkins and Corinna May. 

Ben Neill's Manitoga

Sep 28, 2016


  Ben Neill has been called a “creative composer and genius performer” by Time Out NY and a “musical powerhouse, a serious and individual talent” by Time Out London. Neill’s music blends influences from electronica, jazz, and minimalism.

In 2014 the Hudson Valley resident received a New York State Council on the Arts Individual Artist grant to compose Manitoga - a piece named for, inspired by, and performed at Manitoga - the estate and modernist home of industrial designer Russel Wright in Garrison, NY.

Ben Neill, Mark Boulanger, Jason Covey, James O'Connor, John Charles Thomas, and Peter Zummo will play Neill’s Manitoga with his mutantrumpet and Phonemophone Alphabet Horns by artist Carol Szymanski in Manitoga’s Annual Open Air Performance on October 30th at 3pm.

Stephen Burt
Alex Dakoulas

  Stephen Burt, “one of the most influential poetry critics of his generation” (The New York Times), will read from and discuss his new book, The Poem is You: 60 Contemporary American Poems and How to Read Them on Thursday, September 29 at 8 p.m. in the Huxley Theatre, New York State Museum, Cultural Education Center, Madison Avenue in downtown Albany.

Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m., the author will hold an informal seminar in the Standish Room, Science Library on the UAlbany uptown campus. Free and open to the public, the events are sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and the Friends of the New York State Library.

Rob Edelman: Variety In Toronto

Sep 26, 2016

We now are entering the annual fall film festival season, and an array of Oscar-hopeful features are screening at festivals in anticipation of their theatrical play. This year at the Toronto International Film Festival, the hype involved a host of high profile films and red-carpet-strolling movie stars. Two, for example, star Amy Adams. NOCTURNAL ANIMALS may feature a potentially intriguing storyline and an eye-opening opening sequence. But dramatically, it fell apart for me. On the other hand, ARRIVAL is a sci-fi tale that oozes intelligence and should be a well-deserved Oscar contender.

Steven Wright
Jorge Rios

Academy Award winning and Grammy nominated comedian Steven Wright will perform at The Egg in Albany on October 1st.

With his deadpan style, Mr. Wright has been a staple on the entertainment scene for more than three decades, dating from his first appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1982. He was invited to appear on the show again less than a week later.

Wright’s career expanded to albums, film and television appearances. His 1985 debut album I Have A Pony, earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Comedy Album, and he appeared in his first HBO stand-up special, A Steven Wright Special, later that year.

In 1989, Mr. Wright received an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film for The Appointments of Dennis Jennings, in which he starred and co-wrote.

He was nominated for an Emmy Award as a producer for the hit FX series Louie for the 2014 and 2015 seasons and also appears on Louis CK’s new web series Horace and Pete

Any Questions #265

Sep 23, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with this week's show.

Rogovoy Report For 9/23/16

Sep 23, 2016

The weekend’s cultural highlights in the region include chamber music, a comedy festival, art openings, a ceramics tour, indie-rock, and a whole lot more.

Hattie’s Restaurant has been bringing classic Southern cooking to Saratoga Springs, New York, since 1938, when Louisiana native Hattie Gray, then a household cook, saved up enough money to start Hattie’s Chicken Shack.

Now, their traditional and timeless fare is featured in the Hattie’s Restaurant Cookbook, by Hattie’s owner and chef Jasper Alexander. This book traces the restaurant’s history from the beginning to the present through recipes, anecdotes, and photographs. From downhome jambalaya to good old-fashioned fried chicken, Alexander intertwines Hattie’s Southern roots with nostalgic homemade tastes.

Jasper Alexander studied at the Culinary Institute of America and is featured regularly in regional papers. He has also made several guest appearances on local television and radio. In 2006, he appeared on Throwdown with Bobby Flay, where he beat Flay in a chicken-frying contest. 

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani continue their conversation about female composers - focusing on Fanny Mendelssohn.

Tomorrow night, the Albany Symphony will kick off David Alan Miller’s 25th Anniversary Season at the Palace Theatre, celebrating the Grammy award-winning Conductor’s leadership and the orchestra’s world-class musicians. 

Miller, recipient of over 25 ASCAP Awards for adventurous and innovative programming and a 2014 Grammy Award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo, has established a reputation as one of the leading American conductors of his generation and a champion of American symphonic music. 

Miller’s commitment to giving voice to new works by living American composers will be celebrated on September 24, 2016 at 7:00PM with the Capital Region debut performance of “Aria” for Hindustani Soprano and Orchestra by two-time ASCAP Morton Gould Award winner, Reena Esmail. 

The Opening Night performance will also feature internationally acclaimed pianist Natasha Paremski performing, Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G, a three movement concerto inspired by partly by the jazz music Ravel encountered during his 1928 American concert tour; and a centennial performance of Sibelius’ Symphony No. 5, originally composed in 1915 and revised first in 1916.

It is a great pleasure to welcome David Alan Miller to the RT this morning. We are also joined by afore mentioned composer Reena Esmail and Hindustani Vocalist Saili Oak.

  Actor, comedian, writer and producer, Paul Reiser, will headline this year's Fairview Hospital Gala on Saturday, September 24 at 8 p.m.

A seasoned actor, writer, and producer, Paul Reiser continues to add to his list of accomplishments. Having co-created and starred in the critically acclaimed NBC series Mad About You which garnered him multiple Emmy, Golden Globe, American Comedy Award and Screen Actors Guild nominations, Reiser returned to television last year in the FX series Married.

While developing several television projects which he will write and produce, Reiser is currently starring in the Amazon coming-of-age series Red Oaks for producer Steven Soderbergh. It's been a busy time in film for Reiser as well. Following his role in Academy Award winning film Whiplash, and in last year's Concussion, Reiser has a full slate of films coming up. He will be seen in The Darkness with Kevin Bacon, Devil in the Deep Blue Sea with Jason Sudeikis and Maisie Williams, Miles with Molly Shannon, and also in John McDonagh's War on Everyone with Alexander Skarsgard and Michael Pena.

Not one to abandon his roots in stand-up, in between projects Reiser tours the country performing to sold out venues and was recently voted one of Comedy Central's “Top 100 Comedians of All Time."

  Hudson Valley Ruins is a photography and architecture exhibition at The New York State Museum based on the work of Robert Yasinsac and Thomas Rinaldi.

Their 2006 book, Hudson Valley Ruins: Forgotten Landmarks of an American Landscape, studies the region's forgotten cultural treasures. In addition to great river estates, the book profiles sites more meaningful to everyday life in the Valley: churches and hotels, commercial and civic buildings, mills and train stations.

The show is on display at The New York State Museum through December 31st and this Saturday the artists will be on hand for a guided tour and book signing. 

  In June 1980, 19-year-old James McDonnell (known as Slim Jim Phantom) boarded a plane from New York City to London with his childhood friends and bandmates Brian Setzer and Lee Rocker. In less than a year, they went from being homeless, hungry, and living in punk rock squats to the toast of the London music scene.

The Stray Cats developed a signature sound and style that swept across the world, released multiplatinum albums, and were embraced and befriended by classic rock acts like the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin, as well as original punk heroes such as the Sex Pistols, the Damned, and the Clash, and rock-and-roll originators Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis. After ten years of marriage to actress Britt Ekland, Slim Jim moved down the hill to Sunset Strip, where his son was raised and he owned the world-famous rock-and-roll bar Cat Club while continuing to play with a host of well-known musicians.

Slim Jim Phantom's memoir is A Stray Cat Struts: My Life as a Rockabilly Rebel.

Rob Edelman: Snowden

Sep 19, 2016

There are two approaches to viewing SNOWDEN, the latest Oliver Stone film, which has just opened theatrically. One is to comment on the film’s artistry and cinematic aesthetic, and compare it to its creator’s previous work. The other is to reflect on what Stone is telling us about Edward Snowden, the controversial National Security Agency contractor who became a fugitive upon revealing America’s illegal surveillance of its citizens. And also, what is this film telling us about our world in 2016: our values, our feelings about privacy, and the manner in which a government can control the flow of information to its citizens?

  Susie Essman has played the sassy Susie Greene for all 8 seasons of HBO’s critically acclaimed and award-winning Curb Your Enthusiasm, her hilarious bouts of withering sarcasm and uninhibited insults her character’s trademark. She is also an accomplished stand-up. 

She will host Laughingstock! at the 4th Annual Woodstock Comedy Festival on Friday, September 23. The evening will feature stand-up from Karen Bergreen, Kendra Cunningham, Jaye McBride, and Liz Miele.

Laughingstock! is a benefit for Family of Woodstock and for the Polaris Project.

Any Questions #264

Sep 16, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothangel spend a night at the opera.

Audrey Kupferberg: Florence Foster Jenkins

Sep 16, 2016

Have you seen the advertising stills and posters for FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS, the late summer release from director Stephen Frears?   In just about every image, the three major characters smile in a carefree, bubbly fashion as though they just tasted the most delicious champagne.   There are Florence herself played by Meryl Streep, her husband St. Clair Bayfield played by Hugh Grant, and highly talented Simon Helberg from THE BIG BANG THEORY appearing as her piano accompanist. 

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