comedy

David Sedaris
Ingrid Christie

David Sedaris is the author of the books Let's Explore Diabetes with OwlsSquirrel Seeks ChipmunkWhen You Are Engulfed in FlamesDress Your Family in Corduroy and DenimMe Talk Pretty One DayHolidays on IceNaked, and Barrel Fever. He is a regular contributor to The New Yorker and BBC Radio 4.

The beloved author and humorist will be at Tanglewood on Sunday, August 20 at 8p.m. 

His new book is Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002).

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: The Dark Tower, Atomic Blonde

Upcoming:

Godspell 2012 - Theater Barn, New Lebanon, opens 8/10 (Thursday) at 8 PM, through August 20.

The Philadelphia Orchestra American Classics - SPAC, Saratoga Springs - 8/10 (Thursday), 8 PM, All-Gershwin program featuring Marcus Roberts Trio; 8/11 (Friday), 8 PM, Ives, Metheny & Mays, Dvorak program featuring Christopher Deviney (vibraphone) & She-e Wu (marimba)

Spamalot - Mac-Haydn Theatre, Chatham, opens 8/10 (Thursday) at 2 and 8 PM, through August 20.

Suzanne Vega, the DuPont Brothers - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, 8/11 (Friday), 9 PM

Capitolfest (Vintage Film Festival) highlighting films starring Fay Wray - Capitol Theatre, Rome, 8/11 (Friday) through 8/13 (Sunday)

Tracy Morgan - Funny Bone Comedy Club at Crossgates Mall, Guilderland, 8/12 (Saturday), 7 and 10 PM

The Stick Men featuring Tony Levin - Van Dyck Lounge, Schenectady, 8/12 (Saturday), 6:30 & 8:30 PM

Banjo Revelry VI - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, 8/12 (Saturday), 8 PM

Buddy Guy - The Egg, Albany 8/15 (Tuesday), 7:30 PM

Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet - EMPAC Theater, Troy, 8/16 (Wednesday), 8 PM

New movies: The Glass Castle, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, The Midwife, City of Ghosts, The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature, Annabelle: Creation


  Mischief Theatre’s The Play That Goes Wrong has been doing so on Broadway since March of this year.

 

In the play, it’s opening night of The Murder at Haversham Manor where things are quickly going from bad to utterly disastrous. With an unconscious leading lady, a corpse that can’t play dead, and actors who trip over everything (including their lines) - the mad-cap romp meticulously disintegrates at The Lyceum Theatre on 45th Street.

Winner of the Tony Award for Best Scenic Design of a Play, The Play That Goes Wrong is directed by Mark Bell and written by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, and Henry Shields. Lewis, Sayer, and Shields also star -- and two of the actor/co-creators -- Henry Lewis and Jonathan Sayer - sat down with us in New York City.

Tony Hale as Clark Hill in Brave New Jersey
BONDIT, THE SHOT CLOCK, GRAVITAS VENTURES

In the new film Brave New Jersey, Tony Hale plays Mayor Clark Hill - a sweet and subservient man who finds the drive to pursue what he’s always wanted when Orson Welle’s War of the Worlds radio broadcast in 1938 convinces his town that it may be the last night of their lives.

Hale is best known as the youngest Bluth brother, Buster, on the now-Netflix-formerly-Fox favorite Arrested Development and as Selina Meyer’s personal-aide and bag-man on HBO’s Veep.

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: Maudie, Dunkirk, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Upcoming:

Sweeney Todd - Mac-Haydn Theatre, Chatham, opens 7/27 Thursday (2 and 8 PM) through Aug. 6

Old Salt Union, Chris Kasper - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, 7/27 Thursday, 7 PM

John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous - Palace Theatre, Albany, 7/27 Thursday, 7 and 9:30 PM [7 PM sold out]

Phantogram - The Egg, Albany, 7/27 Thursday, 8 PM

The Capitol Steps were founded in December, 1981 when some staffers for Senator Charles Percy were planning entertainment for a Christmas party. Since then, they’ve been putting the “mock” in democracy in Washington, D.C., on tour, on the radio, and – during the summer – here in Lenox, MA.

The musical satirists call The Cranwell Spa and Golf Resort their summer home – performing here every night except Tuesday through September 1.

CapSteppers Brad Van Grack and Delores Williams join us.

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: Spider-Man: Homecoming

Upcoming:
The Funky Meters - Alive @ Five Rain Site, Corning Preserve Boat Launch, Albany, Thursday 7/13, 5-8 PM
Hans Tutschku: Spatial Audio Performance - EMPAC Concert Hall, Troy, Thursday 7/13, 7 PM
Kids Day with PJ Masks and Pete the Cat - Empires State Plaza, Albany, Saturday 7/15, noon-5 PM
Mad Max, with live score by Morricone Youth - MASS MoCA, North Adams, Saturday 7/15, 8:30 PM
Boston Symphony Orchestra with violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter (Williams, Tchaikovsky, Berlioz) - Tanglewood Shed, Lenox, 7/16 Sunday, 2:30 PM
Parker Quartet (Stravinsky, Aaron Jay Kernis, Brahms) - Maverick Concerts, Woodstock, Sunday 7/16, 4 PM
The Moody Blues: Days of Future Past - SPAC, Saratoga Springs, Sunday 7/16, 8 PM
Find Your Way Home - Palace Theatre, Albany, Monday 7/17, 7:30 PM
Robert Earl Keen - The Egg, Albany, Tuesday 7/18, 7:30 PM
Soul Asylum, Cracker - Empire State Plaza, Albany, Wednesday 7/19, 5-8 PM

New movies: War for the Planet of the Apes, Wish Upon, The Big Sick

Voice Theatre is a professional company based at the historic landmark Byrdcliffe Theater in Woodstock, NY. They create new productions and explore relevant dimensions of classic works.

Their production of Thornton Wilder’s The Skin Of Our Teeth opens tonight. In it - the prehistoric world meets Suburbia. The Antrobus family – George and Maggie, their children, Gladys and Henry, and Sabina, a maid who is also George’s mistress – survive the Election, Climate Change and the End of the World. Combining tragedy with comedy, wit, intelligence and imagination the play is one of the defining moments in American Theater.

To tell us more – we welcome actors: Christa Trinler playing Sabina and Phil Mansfield who is playing George Antrobud along with Shauna Kanter - director and artistic Director of Voice Theatre. 

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: The Beguiled

Upcoming:

Cold War Classics: Rocky IV, Red Dawn - Madison Theater, Albany, Thursday 7/6 through Sunday 7/9, various times

Mamma Mia! - Capital Repertory Theatre, Albany, opens Friday 7/7, 8 PM (thru 8/13)

Jonathan Edwards - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Friday 7/7, 8 PM

Michael Winslow - Funny Bone, Crossgates Mall, Guilderland, Friday 7/7 through Sunday 7/9, various times

Opera Saratoga: The Cradle Will Rock - Spa Little Theater, Saratoga Springs, Sunday 7/9, 7:30 PM; Tuesday 7/11, 2 PM

Samantha Farrell - The Clark, Williamstown, Tuesday 7/11, 6:30 PM

Free Film Series: Kung Fu Panda - Palace Theatre, Albany, Tuesday 7/11, 1 PM

Pink Martini - Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Tuesday 7/11, 8 PM

Knights of the Sales Office - Adirondack Theatre Festival, Chas. R. Wood Theater, Glens Falls, opens Tuesday 7/11, 7:30 PM (thru 7/20)

Sam Roberts Band, Rechorduroys - Empire State Plaza, Albany, Wednesday 7/12, 5 PM
 

New Movies: Paris Can Wait, Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Big Sick

Jonny Sun drawing jomny sun
Chris Buck / New York Times


  Jonathan Sun is an architect, designer, engineer, playwright and comedy writer, an artist, illustrator and a doctoral student at MIT and a Berkman Klein Fellow at Harvard -- and the creator of the Twitter persona jomny sun.

 

 

His work across these multiple disciplines is concerned with narratives of human experience. The new book, Everyone's a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too - published by Harper Perennial and available tomorrow - distributes aspects of his personality and observations from his life and education between jomny (an alien visiting Earth) and the creatures jomny encounters while here.

As a small example, in the book jomny has a conversation with a hedgehog who explains the difference between an introvert and an extrovert thusly: “introverts enjoy peopel-watching. extroverts enjoy peopel watching.” [sic]

 

In a blurb on the book jacket, Joss Whedon says of Everyone's a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too: “This book is funny and sad, simple and complex, badly spelled and beautifully written.”

 

We spoke with Jonny Sun about the book, Twitter, his research, and @tinycarebot.

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: My Cousin Rachel, Wonder Woman, Citizen Jane: Battle for the City

Upcoming events:

In a career spanning more than thirty years, David Letterman redefined the modern talk show with an ironic comic style that transcended traditional television. While he remains one of the most famous stars in America, he is a remote, even reclusive, figure whose career is often widely misunderstood.

In his new book – Letterman: The Last Giant of Late Night - Jason Zinoman, the first comedy critic in the history of the New York Times, mixes reporting with unprecedented access and critical analysis to explain the unique entertainer’s titanic legacy.

Moving from his early days in Indiana to his retirement, Zinoman goes behind the scenes of Letterman’s television career to illuminate the origins of his revolutionary comedy, its overlooked influences, and how his work intersects with and reveals his famously eccentric personality.

Jason Zinoman writes the “On Comedy” column for the New York Times

Comedian Don Rickles has died at age 90 of kidney failure at his Los Angeles home.

For more than half a century, "Mr. Warmth" headlined casinos and nightclubs from Las Vegas to Atlantic City. N.J., and appeared often on late-night TV talk shows.

Rickles managed to shock his audiences without cutting social commentary or truly personal self-criticism. He operated under a code as old the Borscht Belt: Go far — ethnic jokes, sex jokes, ribbing Carson for his many marriages — but make sure everyone knows it's for fun.

To remember Don Rickles on The Roundtable this morning, we go into the audio vault (or a shoebox in Joe's basement) to play my interview from March 2001 when Don Rickles was promoting an upcoming appearance in Kingston, NY.

This election cycle was so absurd that celebrated political satirist, journalist, and die-hard Republican P. J. O’Rourke endorsed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. 

In How the Hell Did This Happen?, P.J. brings his critical eye and inimitable voice to some seriously risky business.

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

Seen: Wilson

Upcoming:


  The new film, Speech & Debate, directed by Dan Harris, tells the story of three “outsider” teenagers frustrated by the hypocrisy they see in their parents, teachers, and their entire school board in Salem, Oregon. The film deals with issues of homophobia, First Amendment rights, and censorship alongside trust, friendship, coping with high school. In order to find a way to make their voices heard in their community, Diwata, Solomon, and Howie revive their school’s defunct Speech & Debate team.

 

The screenplay was adapted by Stephen Karam from his play of the same name. Karam is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and his three most recent plays, Speech & Debate, Sons of the Prophet, and The Humans - the latter of which won the Tony Award for Best Play last year - have all been produced in New York City by Roundabout Theatre Company.

Sarah Steele plays Diwata in the film - reprising her role in the Off-Broadway stage production in 2007. Other credit’s include Brigid in The Humans, the 2004 film Spanglish, CBS’s The Good Wife and its spin-off for CBS All-Access, The Good Fight -- on which she plays Marissa Gold.

Steele’s Speech & Debate character, Diwata, is the quintessential High School Drama kid. She sees her life through the lens of whichever play was most recently put up in her school’s auditorium. She’s impulsive -- but she means well. Sarah Steele joins us.

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

Seen: Garth Brooks at the TUC (Sunday)

Upcoming:

·         Blue Velvet - Madison Theater, Albany, Thursday 3/16-Sunday 3/19, various times

·         Photography Regional Select - Albany Center Gallery, opening reception Friday 3/17, 5-9 PM, through April 21

·         David Lindley, Chris Smither - The Egg, Albany, Friday 3/17, 7:30 PM

·         Brian Regan - Palace Theatre, Albany, Friday 3/17, 8 PM

·         Shawn Wayans - The Funny Bone, Albany, Friday 3/17, 7:30 & 10 PM; Sat 3/18, 7 & 9:45 PM

·         Lunasa - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Saturday 3/18, 8 PM

·         Jimmy Webb: The Glen Campbell Years - Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield, Mass., Saturday 3/18, 8 PM

·         Barbara Nissman (pianist; Ginastera, Prokofiev, Liszt, Bartok) - Troy Chromatic Concerts/Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Sunday 3/19, 3 PM

·         Albany Symphony Orchestra: Captain American, Musical Avenger - Palace Theatre, Albany, Sunday 3/19, 3 PM

·         The Red Shoes - GE Theatre at Proctors, Monday 3/20, 1:30, 4:15 and 7 PM

New movies: Beauty and the Beast, The Sense of an Ending

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

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

Seen: Paterson, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

Upcoming:

  • Palissimo Company - University at Albany Performing Arts Center, Friday 2/3, 7:30 PM
  • Molsky’s Mountain Drifters - Old Songs, Voorheesville, Friday 2/3, 7:30 PM
  • The Last Waltz at 40 featuring Warren Haynes, Michael McDonald, Don Was - Palace Theatre, Albany, Friday 2/3, 8 PM
  • Alash Ensemble - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Friday 2/3, 8 PM
  • Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild Live - Proctors, Schenectady, Friday 2/3, 7:30 PM
  • Bella’s Bartok - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, Friday 2/3, 9 PM
  • Amazing China/National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts - The Egg, Albany, Saturday 2/4, 3 PM
  • Wild Adriatic - Putnam Den, Saratoga Springs, Saturday 2/4, 9 PM
  • Saratoga Chamber Players: Susan Rotholz and Margaret Kampmeier - Filene Recital Hall, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, Sunday 2/5, 3 PM
  • 42nd Street - Proctors, Schenectady, Monday 2/6, 3, 5 and 7 PM
  • Three Stooges Film Festival - Palace Theatre, Albany, Monday 2/6, 7 PM

New movies: The Space Between Us, Rings, The Comedian

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

Seen: John Cleese at Proctors, Elle, Patriots Day

Upcoming:

  • Radical Kingdoms opening reception - Mandeville Gallery, Union College, Schenectady, Thursday, 1/26, 5-6:30 PM
  • Now Ensemble + San Fermin - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Thursday, 1/26, 7:30 PM
  • Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company - Massry Center for the Arts, Albany, Friday, 1/27, 7:30 PM
  • Assisted Loving - Capital Repertory Theatre, Albany, previews open Friday, 1/27, 8 PM (through 2/19)
  • Gilbert Gottfried - The Comedy Works, Saratoga Springs. Friday, 1/27, 7:30 and 9:30 PM
  • Charles Atlas’ Tesseract - EMPAC Theater, RPI, Troy, Friday-Saturday, 1/27-28, 8 PM
  • Rock and Roll High School - Madison Theater, Albany, Friday-Sunday, 1/27-29, various times
  • Captured Moments: 170 Years of Photography from the Albany Institute - Albany Institute of History & Art, Albany, opens Saturday, 1/28 (through 5/21)
  • Los Lobos - The Egg, Albany, Sunday, 1/29, 7:30 PM
  • Why Be Good? - Proctors, Schenectady, Monday 1/30, 3, 5 and 7 PM

New movies: Paterson, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, Sleepless, A Dog’s Purpose

The critically acclaimed musical comedy Something Rotten!, directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw, ended its Broadway run on New Year’s Day at the St. James Theatre. It had been nominated for 10 Tony Awards and played 742 performances.

The show now is going on the road and the first stop is Schenectady and Proctor’s Theatre. It opened their last night and will run through Sunday.

Set in 1595, Something Rotten tells the story of Nick and Nigel Bottom, two brothers who are desperate to write a hit play. When a local soothsayer foretells that the future of theatre involves singing, dancing and acting at the same time, Nick and Nigel set out to write the world’s very first musical. The man who plays that soothsayer joins us this morning.

Blake Hammond plays Nostradamus. He has been seen on Broadway in Living on Love, First Date, Sister Act, Elf, Billy Elliot, Hairspray, The Lion King and The Music Man.

Joan Rivers was more than a legendary comedian; she was an icon and a role model to millions, a fearless pioneer who left a legacy of expanded opportunity when she died in 2014.

Her life was a dramatic roller-coaster of triumphant highs and devastating lows: the suicide of her husband, her feud with Johnny Carson, her estrangement from her daughter, her many plastic surgeries, her ferocious ambition and her massive insecurities.

The Joan Rivers story is told in the new biography, Last Girl Before Freeway: The Life, Loves, Losses, and Liberation of Joan Rivers, by Leslie Bennetts. Bennetts is a veteran journalist who was the first woman ever to cover a presidential campaign for The New York Times and was a contributing editor for Vanity Fair for nearly 25-years.

Saratoga Arts Presents First Night 2017: A Night of Magic! on  Saturday, December 31st 2016: 6pm to midnight.

As one of the oldest and largest First Night celebrations in the country, First Night presents over seventy regional and touring performing groups in thirty venues throughout Historic Downtown Saratoga Springs. 

Starting with the 5k roadrace at Skidmore College at 5:30pm, culminating with the fireworks in Congress Park at midnight and packed full of live music, dance, and comedy. 

Here to tell us more Alix Jones, Director of First Night Saratoga with Saratoga Arts and First Night headliners SIRSY, the rock and soul duo made up for Melanie Krahmer and Rich Libutti.

Rob Burnett
BAFTA/David Beyda

  Rob Burnett spent 30 years working for David Letterman, rising from intern to executive producer, before directing Paul Rudd and Selena Gomez in the new Netflix release The Fundamentals of Caring.

Rob Burnett joins us this morning to talk about the film, his life at Letterman’s side and other adventures in television.

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

Seen: Passengers

Upcoming:

·         Cliff Brucker and Full Circle featuring Leo Russo - The Van Dyck, Schenectady, 12/22, Thu, 7 PM

·         North By Northwest, Dial “M” for Murder - Time + Space Limited, Hudson, 12/22-23, Thu-Fri, 6 PM (North), 8:15 PM (Dial)

·         Richie Redding - Funny Bone Comedy Club, Albany, 12/22, Thu at 7:30 PM; 12/23, Fri at 10 PM

·         Frosty the Snowman & Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - Madison Theater, Albany, 12/22-24, Thu-Sat, various times

·         Spontaneous Broadway - MOPCO (Mop and Bucket Company), Schenectady, 12/23, 8 PM

·         It’s a Wonderful Life - Palace Theatre, Albany, 12/23, Fri, 7 PM

·         Racquette River Rounders’ Annual Boxing Day Concert - Caffe Lena at the Parting Glass Pub, Saratoga Springs, 12/26, Mon, 7 PM

·         The Jungle Book - Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, 12/27, Tue, 4 PM

New movies: Lion, La La Land, Fences, Why Him?

Candid Camera’s 8 Decades of Smiles! with Peter Funt will be presented at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington on Friday night. Peter’s stage comedy is blended with clips, quips and behind-the-scenes tales from the show’s funniest moments.

Candid Camera holds a unique place in entertainment history as the only show to have produced new episodes in each of the last eight decades – from Allen Funt’s debut in 1948 through Peter’s recent run on TV Land.

The stage show incorporates the best Candid Camera clips in a fast-paced, laugh-filled romp through the decades. Peter’s topical humor is blended with audience participation and special surprises to make the show a great night of fun.

Peter joined his dad as co-host in the 1980s and took over as host in the 90s. His syndicated newspaper column appears regularly in the Berkshire Eagle.

Today the Borscht Belt is recalled through the nostalgic lens of summer swims, Saturday night dances, and comedy performances. But its current state, like that of many other formerly glorious regions, is nothing like its earlier status. Forgotten about and exhausted, much of its structural environment has been left to decay.

The new book, The Borscht Belt: Revisiting the Remains of America's Jewish Vacationland, presents Marisa Scheinfeld's photographs of abandoned sites where resorts, hotels, and bungalow colonies once boomed in the Catskill Mountain region of upstate New York.

The Borscht Belt presents a contemporary view of more than forty hotel and bungalow sites. From entire expanses of abandoned properties to small lots containing drained swimming pools, the remains of the Borscht Belt era now lie forgotten, overgrown, and vacant.

Scheinfeld has two book events in Albany this week -- one at the Colonie Library tonight sponsored by SUNY Albany Judaic Studies and another on Friday evening as part of a special presentation for the NYS History Conference at the NYS museum from 6:30 – 8:30 PM. 

It was 1987 when the “Doonesbury” comic strip first imagined a Donald Trump presidential run. Since then, Trump has been a recurring character in cartoonist Garry Trudeau’s Pulitzer Prize-winning comic.

Over the years “Doonesbury” has taken on everything from Trump’s hair to his ego to his rampant use of insults. Those cartoons have just been collected in a new book titled Yuge!: 30 Years of Doonesbury on Trump.

Garry Trudeau, the iconic cartoonist who created Doonesbury and has been skewering our political lives for over four decades has also worked in theater and television.

In an event last night, presented by Oblong Books and Music at The White Hart Inn in Salisbury, CT, we spoke with Trudeau about his career, politics, and his new book is Yuge!: 30 Years of Doonesbury on Trump.

  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."

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