Arts & Culture

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include a rising star in the comedy world, an acclaimed pianist performing a free solo concert, the kickoff of a new jazz series, and a longstanding favorite of the folk-roots jam scene.

  A dancer’s past. A woman’s future. The seductive and lucrative world of strip clubs sets the stage for Naked Influence, a tale about a charismatic exotic dancer who finds herself engulfed in a doomed relationship with a congressman.

The show opened at Capital Repertory Theatre in downtown Albany and runs through February 14th.

The favorite of last year’s NEXT ACT! New Play Summit 3, Naked Influence showcases author Suzanne Bradbeer’s intelligence in examining contemporary stories ripped from the headlines.

Robert Newman plays Dennis, a congressman with a heart of stone. Newman is familiar from a 28-year run as Joshua Lewis on the longest running program in broadcast history, Guiding Light. A two-time Daytime Emmy Award nominee, Newman recently guest starred on Homeland, Criminal Minds, NCIS, and Law and Order: SVU. He has an extensive off-Broadway and regional theatre resume.

  In 2013, The New Black Fest in New York City commissioned six very diverse playwrights to write 10-minute plays on the topic of Trayvon Martin, race and/or privilege. This commission resulted in a collection of one-acts titled Facing our Truth which continue to be presented around the country, often around February 5th, Trayvon Martin’s birthday. Facing Our Truth's purpose is to spark serious discussion in our collective communities around these urgent issues.

Multicultural BRIDGE, WAM Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Group and Yvette “Jamuna” Sirker are joining together to present a reading of Facing Our Truth on Saturday, February 6 at 7:30PM at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA with a moderated panel and community discussion to follow.

Here to tell us more are Kristen van Ginhoven, Artistic Director of WAM Theatre, and Gwendolyn Hampton-VanSant, CEO and Founding Director of Multicultural BRIDGE.

  Shawn Stone, formerly the Arts Editor of the late Metroland, returns to our show after a brief absence to tell us about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region. 

  The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, NY opened two new exhibitions this month, Norman Rockwell in the 1960s, and 60 from the 60s: Selections from the George Eastman Museum.

The Rockwell show features 21 illustrations and original magazine covers by Rockwell, the Eastman show features photographs – both explore the turbulent decade that marked the generational changes in America during the 1960s.

Erin Coe is the Director of The Hyde Collection.

Art Photograph - The Barn by Gregory Crewdson
Gregory Crewdson

  Photographer Gregory Crewdson’s career has spanned three decades. His work has been exhibited widely in the United States and Europe and is included in many public collections, including The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Brooklyn Museum, The Los Angeles County Museum and The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Crewdson’s newest body of work entitled, Cathedral of the Pines, will premiere at Gagosian Gallery in New York City this Thursday - January 28th.

Comprised of 31 digital pigment prints, this series was made during three productions in and around the rural town of Becket, Massachusetts. 

Any Questions #230

Jan 22, 2016
DJ Jazzy Jeff
DJ Jazzy Jeff

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch sides for a quiz that'll make you think about "Summertime."

Rogovoy Report For January 22, 2016

Jan 22, 2016

This weekend’s cultural highlights in our region include a couple of roots music concerts, an opera workshop, a regional premiere, and a reading by one of my favorite authors.

    In this week's Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani continue their discussion about Igor Stravinsky, hearing a selection from Les Noces.

  The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College is celebrating its Fifteenth Anniversary year with a Spring Opening Celebration on Saturday, February 6th, featuring three new exhibitions and a dialogue about the work and legacy of the artist Alma Thomas, and a concert on Thursday, February 18, featuring the acclaimed Bang on a Can All-Stars in a performance that will include a new work commissioned by Jack Shear and the Tang for the occasion.

The shows opening on 2/6 are Alma Thomas, Borrowed Light: Selections from the Jack Shear Gift, and Elevator Music 30: Critter & Guitari.

Ian Berry is the Dayton Director at The Tang and he joins us now. 

  This Friday, the Dogs of Desire, the Albany Symphony’s rock-inspired new-music ensemble, and Music Director David Alan Miller will perform a concert of American composer David Mallamud’s most successful commissions for the ensemble over the past ten years, including his homage to Parisian music hall culture, Last Call at the Folies Bergere, the Glam-Metal Opera Lizardman, Victorian Parlor Songs, a salsa-drenched Latin Daytime Soap “Opera,” and an Irish-inspired piece Immram. The ensemble will also record the music.

Both the public concert and private recording session will take place at Skidmore College’s Zankel Hall in Saratoga Springs, NY with several notable vocalists participating. The public concert is taking place this Friday, January 22, 2016 at 8:00pm.

Kaitlyn Davidson
Credit: Robert Mannis

  Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella is the Tony Award-winning musical from the creators of South Pacific and The Sound of Music that's delighting audiences with its surprisingly contemporary take on the classic tale. This lush production features an incredible orchestra, jaw-dropping transformations and all the moments you love—the pumpkin, the glass slipper, the masked ball and more. The show is at Proctors in Schenectady, NY this week.

The show boasts Rodgers and Hammerstein's most beloved songs, including "In My Own Little Corner," "Impossible/It's Possible" and "Ten Minutes Ago."

Kaitlyn Davidson plays Ella in the musical on the road with Cinderella where she was also part of the Broadway cast. She also starred in Broadway’s Nice Work If You Can Get It and the national tour of White Christmas.

LATHAM – There are few things in theater more satisfying than a mystery.  The good ones keep you engrossed as you try to match wits with the playwright as each new twist and turn leads you down a confusing labyrinth of mystery.   The very best usually have plenty of humor to keep things light.

Rob Edelman: Best Performances

Jan 18, 2016

Oscar nomination or no Oscar nomination, the vast majority of the high-profile performances-- both leading and supporting-- of the recently concluded year were given by actors who have won nominations and statuettes in previous years. This list includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Cate Blanchett, Helen Mirren, Kate Winslet, Saoirse Ronan, Johnny Depp, Michael Fassbender, Rooney Mara, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Shannon, Mark Ruffalo, Eddie Redmayne...and Jane Fonda...and Sylvester Stallone. However, in 2015, a host of non-Oscared performers deservedly earned kudos for their screen work. Some are celluloid novices, while others have been around for decades. 

Any Questions #229

Jan 15, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel stick to the rules this week.

Audrey Kupferberg: BBC Police Procedural RIVER

Jan 15, 2016

In the genre of police procedurals, it is common for one or more of the suspects to be suffering from mental illness.  Crime often is linked to an unbalanced view of the world, a distortion of reality.  In RIVER, the 2015 six-part BBC series that recently became available on Netflix streaming, the tables are turned.  Instead of perps with unbalanced eyes towards their surroundings, it is the police officer who is unhinged.  Detective Inspector John River of the Metropolitan Police in London, a character played with sensitivity and at times even brilliance by Stellan Skarsgard, is the focal point of RIVER.   

Rogovoy Report For January 15, 2016

Jan 15, 2016

This weekend’s cultural highlights in our region include an avant-garde concert of acoustic and electronic music and visuals; a discussion of a classic Norman Rockwell illustration; a neo-vaudevillian circus; several art openings, and a tribute to the king himself, Elvis Presley.

Early 2016 At MASS MoCA

Jan 13, 2016

  We feel very lucky to have MASS MoCA in our region and to have such a good relationship with the incredible visual and live arts presentation venue. 

MASS MoCA's Managing Director of Performing Arts,  Sue Killam, and Director of Communications, Jodi Joseph join us with a preview of upcoming exhibitions, concerts, residencies, and more.

Any Questions #228

Jan 11, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel turn it down to zero.

Rob Edelman: Post-war Pitfall

Jan 11, 2016

Certain vintage films are classic films. They are revered by film connoisseurs and regularly are cited on lists of the all-time-great dramas, comedies, or romances. But some older films, while not deserving of classic status, still are worth discovering because they offer insight into the time in which they were made. Plus, they are solidly entertaining.

  On the centennial of his birth, the defining wunderkind of modern entertainment  -- Orson Welles -- gets his due in Young Orson: The Years of Luck and Genius on the Path to Citizen Kane Hardcover by Patrick McGilligan.

In the history of American popular culture, there is no more dramatic story—no swifter or loftier ascent to the pinnacle of success and no more tragic downfall—than that of Orson Welles. The tales of his youthful achievements were so colorful and improbable that Welles, with his air of mischief, was often thought to have made them up.

McGilligan sorts out fact from fiction and reveals untold, fully documented anecdotes of Welles’s first exploits and triumphs.

Rogovoy Report For January 8, 2016

Jan 8, 2016

This weekend’ s cultural highlights in our region include a festival of contemporary music, an album release concert by a jazz trio, a reading by three authors, an art opening, and a nightclub show by an up-and-coming riot grrrl.

  In this week's Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani continue their conversation about Stravinsky, hearing "The Augurs of Spring" from The Rite of Spring.

  William Cameron Menzies defined and solidified the role of art director as having overall control of the look of the motion picture, collaborating with producers like David O. Selznick and Samuel Goldwyn; with directors such as D. W. Griffith, Raoul Walsh, Alfred Hitchcock, Lewis Milestone, and Frank Capra. And with actors as varied as Ingrid Bergman, W. C. Fields, Cary Grant, Clark Gable, John Barrymore, Barbara Stanwyck, Ronald Reagan, Gary Cooper, Vivien Leigh, Carole Lombard, Mary Pickford, Gloria Swanson, and David Niven.

In his new book, William Cameron Menzies: The Shape of Films to Come, film historian James Curtis creates a portrait of a man in his time that makes clear how the movies were forever transformed by his startling, visionary work.

  Michael Riedel has been a theater columnist for the New York Post since 1998. He worked at the Daily News for five years before returning to the Post, he is the cohost of Theater Talk with PBS.

In his first book, Razzle Dazzle, he pulls back the curtain on Broadway's stars, producers, and mega-hits to reveal all the shocking drama, intrigue, and power plays that happened off stage.

Razzle Dazzle is a provocative, no-holds-barred narrative account of the people and the money and the power that re-invented an iconic quarter of New York City, turning its gritty back alleys and sex-shops into the glitzy, dazzling Great White Way—and bringing a crippled New York from the brink of bankruptcy to its glittering glory.

These days, animated films are especially popular among younger audiences, and so it is no surprise that movie theaters are flooded with a range of feature-length cartoons. But not all animated works are fashioned for young children. In fact, two of the very best not only are clever and challenging and way beyond the reach of grade schoolers, but they fit right in on any cineaste’s ten-best films list for the just-concluded year.

Any Questions #227

Jan 1, 2016

 

For WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel, it must have been the roses.

Rob Edelman: Chimes At Midnight And Orson Welles

Dec 28, 2015

Back in September, I reported the following in my film commentary: “Whenever I’m in London-- and that is as often as possible-- one of my favorite haunts is BFI Southbank, formerly known as the National Film Theatre. One of the highlights of my most recent trip was attending a screening of Orson Welles’ CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT, also known as FALSTAFF, which dates from 1966. Before the screening, Simon Callow, actor/director/Welles scholar extraordinaire, was on hand to discuss Welles’ career in the theater. Callow did not so much lecture as perform, and it was a special treat to listen to this witty, articulate man and soak in his vast knowledge of Orson Welles. And in addition, Keith Baxter, one of the surviving cast members, was there to introduce the film and take post-screening questions and answers.”

Bob Goepfert Reviews "White Christmas" At Proctors

Dec 26, 2015
Kevin White

  Yes, the musical does open on Christmas Eve 1944 on a battlefield in Europe and the first songs you hear are “Happy Holidays” and the title song.”  Too most of the show takes place at Christmastime at a Vermont inn.  Also the production ends, a decade later, with the cast gathered about a large Christmas tree reprising the song “White Christmas,” while inviting the audience to sing along as snowflake fall at the rear of the stage.

Any Questions #226

Dec 25, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel celebrate an annual tradition on the show: clearance.

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