Arts & Culture

  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: Me Before You, The Lobster

Upcoming:
Little River Band 40th Anniversary Tour - Proctors, Schenectady, Friday, June 17
Dolly Parton - Tanglewood, Lenox, Mass., Friday, June 17
Doug Varone and Dancers (Castles, Strict Love, Lux) - SPAC, Saratoga Springs, Saturday, June 18
Love Jones with Larenz Tate - Proctors, Schenectady, Saturday, June 18
The Remains of the Day with director James Ivory and Peter Biskind - Madison Theater, Albany, Saturday, June 18
Brian Wilson Pet Sounds with Al Jardine & Blondie Chaplin - Tanglewood, Lenox, Mass., Sunday June 19 (2:30 PM)
Celtic Woman (The Destiny Tour) - Proctors, Schenectady, Sunday, June 19 (3 PM)
Dylan LeBlanc, The Pollies - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, Sunday, June 19
Dead & Company feat. Bill Kreutzmann, John Mayer, Bob Weir - SPAC, Saratoga Springs, Tuesday, June 21
Lucius, Margaret Glaspy - Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park, Wednesday, June 22

New movies: Finding Dory, Genius

  Founded by drummer and musical director Tommy Igoe, the Birdland Big Band features the finest musicians in New York City! Every Friday from 5-7pm the band gathers at the historic Birdland Jazz Club to play two swinging big band sets.

This month, the group is celebrating its 10th Anniversary. Rob Middleton and Nathan Childers join us to tell us more.

  The Williamstown Theatre Festival’s 2016 Season, the 62nd Season for the Tony Award-winning theatre company and second under Artistic Director Mandy Greenfield gets underway June 28th.   

The season runs through August 21st with a Main Stage lineup that includes: Tennessee Williams’ Tony Award-winning play The Rose Tattoo featuring Academy Award winner Marisa Tomei; the world premiere of Boo Killebrew’s comedy Romance Novels For Dummies and closes with the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Wendy Wasserstein’s An American Daughter.

The Nikos Stage season kicks-off June 29 with the world premiere of Cost of Living, directed by Obie Award winner Jo Bonney; and also includes the world premiere sci-fi comedy thriller The Chinese Room by Michael West; the world premiere musical Poster Boy and closes out the summer with the American premiere of And No More Shall We Part featuring Tony and Emmy Award nominee Alfred Molina and Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee Jane Kaczmarek.

  Barrington Stage Company’s world premiere production of American Son by Christopher Demos-Brown begins previews in Pittsfield, MA this Friday.

Winner of the prestigious Laurents/Hatcher Award for Best New Play of 2016, the new drama examines our nation’s racial divide through the eyes of an estranged, interracial couple. Over the course of one evening, the couple’s disparate backgrounds collide as they confront an unexpected crisis involving their son, the police, and an abandoned car. Tamara Tunie and Michael Hayden star as Kendra Ellis-Connor and Scott Connor in the production directed by Barrington Stage’s artistic director, Julianne Boyd.

Actor and producer Tamara Tunie played attorney Jessica Griffin on CBS’ As the World Turns, and medical examiner Melinda Warner on NBC’s Law & Order: SVU. She co-produced the original production of Spring Awakening on Broadway and recently won an Obie Award for her work in Familiar at Playwright’s Horizons. Michael Hayden was on the ABC series Murder One. He made his Broadway debut as Billy in the 1994 revival of Carousel and has since starred in many Broadway and Off-Broadway shows.

Sarah S. Kilborne
Jane O’Connor

  The Lavender Blues is a showcase of queer music before World War II. It is music history. It is queer history. It is women's history. It is great entertainment.

With The Lavender Blues, modern cabaret performer Sarah Kilborne brings to light for the first time the quiet, yet powerful emergence between the world wars of songs that spoke about what it was like to be gay or "in the life."

From such legends as Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Gladys Bentley and Josephine Baker, Kilborne performs songs - written almost a century ago - that describe what it is like to be non-binary. The themes in the music are as emblematic of yesterday as they are relevant today, addressing issues of masculinity, femininity, same-sex love, cross-dressing, the desire for freedom from prejudice and more.

Sarah Kilborne is bringing the show to The Linda in Albany, NY on Friday night.

John Cariani is the heart at the center of the hit Broadway’s musical comedy Something Rotten!. The Tony-nominated actor stars as Nigel Bottom, a sensitive, aspiring playwright in 1595 who worships Shakespeare and begins a forbidden love affair with a Puritan beauty by the name of Portia.

But, Cariani is also a playwright – having written Almost, Maine, Love/Sick and Last Gas.

Cariani's third play, Last Gas is now playing at Shadowland Stages in Ellenville. It is its Hudson Valley premiere and runs through June 19th.

Rob Edelman: Donald Trump, Screen Personality

Jun 13, 2016

As we all know, Ronald Reagan was a movie actor before he became the California governor and the United States president. Donald Trump, the billionaire businessman-turned Republican Party presidential contender, has never been toplined onscreen but, for decades, he’s been a celebrity, a recognizable face and name. And so for decades, he’s been directly referenced in film and TV scripts. He’s made cameo appearances onscreen. Plus, even one rather infamous screen villain is based on The Donald.

  Chester Theatre Company is getting ready to start their 27th season since the theater was founded in 1990 and the first under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Daniel Elihu Kramer. The four-play season will run from June 30th through August 28th at the Chester Town Hall in Chester, MA.

The season starts with a show, written by Kramer, My Jane, a world premiere
 adapted from the novel by Charlotte Brontë. It’s Kramer’s newest play, his second for CTC, following Pride@Prejudice in 2011. My Jane weaves Jane’s romantic story with the lives of her readers, all of whom have their own beloved “Jane.”

Daniel Elihu Kramer, joins us this morning along with Camila Canó-Flaviá who is playing Jane in the Chester Theatre production.

  Earth Wind & Fire, America's seventh top-selling musical group of all-time, was born in Chicago in 1969 and is still going strong in its fifth decade, making music that crosses years and decades and now connects the 20th and 21st centuries.

Inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, Earth Wind & Fire has earned eight Grammy Awards and four American Music Awards alongside numerous other accolades including the prestigious Soul Train Legend Award.

Verdine White of Earth Wind and Fire joins us now prior to their upcoming concert at Tanglewood.

Any Questions #250

Jun 10, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel bring their "A" game.

Rogovoy Report For 6/10/16

Jun 10, 2016

The cultural highlights in our region in coming days include superstars of indie-rock; an exhibition of nudes by Old Masters; a chamber concert featuring early works of musical modernism; a soulful rock singer songwriter; poetry and fiction, plus a whole lot more.

Rob Edelman: Film Noir Restorations

Jun 6, 2016

These days, it seems, everybody is fascinated by film noir. Of all the  “older” film genres or sub-genres, plenty of my students are most-intrigued by film noir. And not all film noirs are like DOUBLE INDEMNITY, THE KILLERS, or OUT OF THE PAST. Not all are bona-fide classics.

Any Questions #249

Jun 3, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel look for joy in Mudville.

Rogovoy Report For 6/3/16

Jun 3, 2016

The cultural highlights in our region in coming days include an international film festival; a rock festival featuring living legends; novelists paying tribute to Edith Wharton; a soul singer from Nashville, and a whole lot more.

  The Albany Symphony’s American Music Festival is week-long festival of new and innovative music by some of the biggest names in orchestral music today. Audiences will hear thrilling new works by living American composers as David Alan Miller and the Albany Symphony give life to their music for the first time.  

This year’s festival presents 5 days of concerts, and 35 new and recent works by 33 American Composers, including world premieres commissioned by the Albany Symphony and GE Renewable Energy.

Maestro David Alan Miller join us with a preview.

LATHAM  -  “Bakersfield Mist” is an imperfect play that overcomes its limitations to provide a pleasant night of theater.  It continues at Curtain Call Theatre in Latham through June 11.


  On June 11th, acclaimed and well-loved alt-rock band, The National, are playing a concert in Joe’s Field at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA that will benefit the museum and the Hawthorne Valley Association in New York’s Hudson River Valley. This concert is the band’s only date in the northeast this year.

 

The Ohio-raised, Brooklyn-based band, which consists of vocalist Matt Berninger, plus two pairs of brothers: Aaron Dessner (guitar, bass, piano) and Bryce Dessner (guitar), and Scott Devendorf (bass, guitar) and Bryan Devendorf (drums), have landed on every “best of” list in print.

The Dessners recently created, curated and produced Day of the Dead -- a compilation  featuring 59 Grateful Dead covers performed by a slew of incredible musicians including - but not limited to - Flaming Lips, Bruce Hornsby, Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo, Jenny Lewis, Perfume Genius, Vijay Iyer, Lucius, and Bela Fleck. Bob Weir even appears on the album performing both with Wilco and with The National.

Aaron Dessner joins us to talk about the concert and the new compilation.

Gabriel Ebert, Matt Ryan, and Keira Knightley in Roundabout Theatre Company's 'Thérèse Raquin'
Sara Krulwich/The New York Times


  Tony Award winning scenic designer, Beowulf Boritt received his third Tony nomination last month for his design for the Roundabout Theatre Company production of Thérèse Raquin.

 

His previous designs for Broadway include Rock of Ages, Sondheim on Sondheim, The Scottsboro Boys, Chaplin, and Act One -- for which he won his Tony Award.

He also designed The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and On The Town at Barrington Stage in Pittsfield, moving those designs to Broadway. He’ll return to BSC this summer, designing their production of The Pirates of Penzance.

Barbara Walsh and Michael Rupert in Presto Change-O at Barrington Stage
Scott Barrow

  Presto Change-O, a new musical with book and lyrics by Eric Price and music by Joel Waggoner, is running on Barrington Stage Company’s St. Germain Stage through June 11th. Directed by Marc Bruni, choreographed by Chris Bailey, the show features a credit not usually seen in your everyday playbill -- illusions by Joseph Waternerchaney.

That’s right - the majority of actors in the piece has to - on top of acting, singing, and dancing - perform parlor and platform magic.

Presto Change-O is a World Premiere from BSC’s acclaimed Musical Theatre Lab and we are joined by actors Barbara Walsh and Michael Rupert - both of whom originated roles in the original Broadway run of Falsettos and have numerous other Broadway, Off-Broadway, Regional, and Television and Film credits on their resumes.

  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: A Bigger Splash, X-Men: Apocalypse, The Nice Guys

BIFF 2016 - Bruce Dern

Jun 1, 2016

  Bruce Dern has acquired the reputation of being one of the most talented and prolific actors of his generation. He turns 80-years old on Saturday – the same day he will be honored with a tribute at the Berkshire International Film Festival.

He will be in conversation with famed film director Douglas Trumbull, who directed Dern in the 1972 classic, Silent Running. Their talk will be followed by a screening of the Oscar nominated Nebraska at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington at 7PM.

  The documentary feature film, Life, Animated, will be The Berkshire International Film Festival’s opening night film in Pittsfield, MA at The Beacon Theatre on Friday, June 3rd at 7pm.

Life, Animated tells the story of how Owen Suskind, who is autistic, found a pathway through Disney animation to language and a framework for making sense of the world. This emotional coming-of-age story follows Owen as he graduates to adulthood and takes his first steps toward independence. Owen’s father, Ron Suskind, wrote a book of the same name to tell his family’s story of losing Owen.

The film interweaves classic Disney sequences with verite scenes from Owen’s life, the film explores how identification and empathy with characters like Simba, Jafar, and Ariel forge a conduit for him to understand his feelings and interpret reality.

Life, Animated won the Directing Award for a U.S. Documentary at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and director, Roger Ross Williams, join us now. Roger Ross Williams is an Academy Award winning documentarian -- winning in 2010 for the Documentary Short Subject, Music by Prudence.

  From the director of the Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet from Stardom; The Music of Strangers, tells the extraordinary story of the renowned international musical collective created by legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

The feature-length documentary follows The Silk Road Ensemble -- a group of diverse instrumentalists, vocalists, composers, arrangers, visual artists and storytellers -- as they explore the power of music to preserve tradition, shape cultural evolution and inspire hope.

The Music of Strangers is the Berkshire International Film Festival's opening night film at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, MA on June 2nd at 7 p.m. Yo-Yo Ma will participate in a Q&A following the film.

PITTSFIELD, Mass – Once to be a triple treat in theater meant being able to act, sing and dance.  In the charming musical, “Presto Change-O,” playing at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Mass., triple threat means to act, sing and perform slight-of-hand magic.

Peter Frampton

May 31, 2016

  Lynyrd Skynyrd and Peter Frampton will be at The Times Union Center in Albany, NY (with special guest Jack Broadbent) on June 3rd.

Here, Joe Donahue speak with Frampton about his career; his seminal live album, Frampton Comes Alive!; and his relationship with David Bowie.

Rob Edelman: Two New Documentaries

May 30, 2016

Documentaries can be powerful visual records. For after all, they are reflections of real life. You can watch a fiction film and always tell yourself “Oh, it’s only a movie” when a character is shown to suffer. If there is graphic violence, you know that at one point during the filming the director yelled “Cut” and all the actors and extras stood up, wiped away the fake blood, and went off into the night. But you do not have this option while watching a documentary.

Any Questions #248

May 27, 2016

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel try not to be a boar.

  Kentucky singer-songwriter, Joan Shelley, will perform at Helsinki Hudson in Hudson, NY on June 9th at 8pm. She has been praised by Rolling Stone, NPR and Pitchfork, and the New York Times recently wrote that "her music is folky and pastoral, with a sense of scale that makes her humble about her place in mankind and the universe, and her songs are serene but never complacent."

Her latest album, Over and Even, is a collaboration with guitarist Nathan Salsburg and is available on No Quarter Records.

www.cirquedusoleil.com/paramour


  Cirque du Soleil's Paramour combines Cirque’s signature spectacle with Broadway's story-telling and song in a brand new production that opened this week at The Lyric Theatre in New York City. Set in the world of Golden Age Hollywood, the show spins the tale of a beautiful young poet forced to choose between love and art.

Ryan Vona - who was most recently seen on Broadway in Once - plays Joey - in Paramour. We spoke with him a few weeks ago - before the show began previews.

  When a group of 20-something theatre professionals, spearheaded by David Turner, Martha Banta and David King, decided to found a summer theatre in 1994, they wanted to take “the road less traveled” and focus on new work.

Each summer the Adirondack Theatre Festival produces a six week season of theatre for an audience of more than 6,000 using professional artists from New York City and across the country. 

Their 2016 Season begins next month.

Chad Rabinovitz is the Producing Artistic Director of ATF and he joins us now for a preview of their season.

Pages