television

The creator of the award-winning TV series "Mad Men" has just written a debut novel - about family, power and privilege.

In "Heather, the Totality," Mark and Karen Breakstone have constructed the idyllic life of wealth and status they always wanted, made complete by their beautiful and extraordinary daughter Heather. But they are still not quite at the top. When the new owners of the penthouse above them begin construction, an unstable stranger penetrates the security of their comfortable lives and threatens to destroy everything they've created.

Matthew Weiner has been entertaining audiences for two decades, most recently as writer, creator, executive producer, and director of "Mad Men," one of television's most honored series. He also worked as a writer and executive producer on "The Sopranos."

On Saturday night at 7:30 pm, Weiner will appear as part of the popular “Yaddo Presents” series. This event will take place in Gannett Auditorium at Skidmore College. Weiner will be interviewed on stage by Elaina Richardson, President of Yaddo, about "Heather, the Totality," which was written at Yaddo.

"Smile! You're on Candid Camera!" Over eight different decades, nearly everyone who watches TV can happily relate to that phrase. Now Peter Funt, the show’s host, brings it to life in a show featuring clips, quips and great fun! “Candid Camera’s 8 Decades of Smiles! With Peter Funt,” is coming to the Wood Theater in Glens Falls, NY. The stage comedy is blended with a behind-the-scenes peek at the show’s funniest moments.

Created by Peter’s father, Allen Funt, "Candid Camera" is the only entertainment program to have produced new episodes in each of the last eight decades – from Allen’s start on TV in August, 1948, through Peter’s run on TV Land last year.

Using "Candid Camera’s" vast library, Peter showcases decades of fun and reveals what happened when the cameras weren’t rolling. Peter Funt joins us.

Hari Kondabolu is a Brooklyn-based comedian and writer who The New York Times praises as “one of the most exciting political comics in stand-up today.”

He’s the co-host of the podcast Politically Re-Active with friend/fellow comedian W. Kamau Bell. His new documentary The Problem with Apu will premiere on truTV on November 19 and Hari will perform at Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA on Saturday, November 4.

A legendary comedic second banana to a litany of major stars, Curtis is forever cemented in the public imagination as Booger from Revenge of the Nerds. A classically trained actor, Curtis began his incredible 40-year career on stage but progressed rapidly to film and television. He was typecast early and it proved to be the best thing that could have happened.

Born and bred a nerd, he spent his early years between Detroit, a city so nerdy that the word was coined there in 1951, and, improbably, Geneva, Switzerland. His adolescence and early adulthood was spent primarily between the covers of a book and indulging his nerdy obsessions. It was only when he found his true calling, as an actor and unintentional nerd icon, that he found true happiness. With whip-smart, self-effacing humor, Armstrong takes us on a most unlikely journey—one nerd’s hilarious, often touching rise to the middle. He started his life as an outcast and matured into…well, an older, slightly paunchier, hopefully wiser outcast.

Curtis Armstrong has appeared in a variety of films and television shows including Risky Business, Revenge of the Nerds, Moonlighting and New Girl.  

The longtime host of Donahue, Phil Donahue established the modern daytime talk show format with his focus on audience participation and hot-button social issues. In 1967 he began hosting The Phil Donahue Show. The show lasted nearly 3-decades and both the host and host won numerous Emmy Awards.

In a WAMC exclusive, Phil Donahue joins us for a special extended interview discussing his long career, politics, the media and even religion.

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.

As a veteran broadcast journalist and the co-anchor of CNN’s New Day, Alisyn Camerota knows a little something about the fast-paced world of cable news.

In her debut novel Amanda Wakes Up, she offers a fictional behind-the-scenes peek at this one-of-a-kind job - a blur of breaking news, big scoops, and colorful personalities.

S. Epatha Merkerson and Joe Donahue
Sarah LaDuke

The Williamstown Theatre Festival season opener on the main stage is Jen Silverman's new play The Roommate. Directed by Mike Donahue, the show continues through July 16th. The cast is led by Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner S. Epatha Merkerson and Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee Jane Kaczmarek.

Merkerson is cast as Sharon, who is empty-nested and alone in her Midwestern home and takes on a roommate, Robyn (played by Kaczmarek). Before she has even unpacked, Robyn challenges everything about Sharon’s way of life.

S. Epatha Merkerson is best known for her role as Lieutenant Anita Van Buren from 1993 to 2010 on NBC’s Law & Order. She appeared in 391 episodes of the series—more than any other cast member.  She currently stars as Sharon Goodwin, the Chief Administrator of the Gaffney Chicago Medical Center Hospital on NBC’s Chicago Med

Josh Radnor
Cary Mosier / Vassar College's Flickr

The star of How I Met Your Mother, Josh Radnor, is premiering his new play, Sacred Valley at New York Stage and Film and Vassar College's Powerhouse Theater in Poughkeepsie from June 29th to July 9th.

Sacred Valley is about Narby and Natalie, two lifelong friends. Their friendship becomes tested when Narby takes Natalie’s husband Brian out for his first mushroom trip. The next day, a confused Brian leaves Natalie, an enraged Natalie blames Narby, and three people are forced to ask themselves the deepest questions about love, friendship, and growing up.

Aside from playing Ted on How I Met Your Mother, Radnor has written and directed two films, Happythankyoumoreplease, and Liberal Arts

Can you live your life by what The Twilight Zone has to teach you? Yes, and maybe you should. The proof is in this lighthearted collection of life lessons, ground rules, inspirational thoughts, and stirring reminders found in Rod Serling’s timeless fantasy series.

Written by veteran TV critic, Mark Dawidziak, this unauthorized tribute is a celebration of the classic anthology show, but also, on another level, a kind of fifth-dimension self-help book, with each lesson supported by the morality tales told by Serling and his writers.

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

http://ajwnews.com


  Ne’imah Jewish Community Chorus will perform their 25th Anniversary Concert this Sunday June 11 at 7 p.m. at The Massry Center for the Arts at the College of Saint Rose.

 

This year’s concert is entitled Sterling Sounds and the special guest will be Cantor Meir Finkelstein. Born in Israel, the son of the late Cantor Zvi Finkelstein, Meir showed outstanding musical abilities, and at an early age began accompanying his father and older brother at services. In 1982 Meir became Cantor of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, California, which he served for 18 years.

 

He has composed over 150 settings for the liturgy and has written music for film, television, and concerts. He also produces and arranges music for recordings and live performance. He is currently the cantor at Congregation Beth Yeshurun in Houston, TX.

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.


  Off-Broadway at The Laura Pels Theatre, Roundabout Theatre Company is currently presenting Steven Levenson’s If I Forget. The play is the latest in Roundabout’s ongoing devotion to producing new plays by young playwrights with bold creative voices. Levenson is the acclaimed writer of Dear Evan Hansen and Roundabout’s The Language of Trees.

 

The show is directed by Daniel Sullivan and co-stars Kate Walsh. Walsh is best known for her television role as Dr. Addison Montgomery first on the Shonda Rhimes helmed hits, Grey’s Anatomy and then its spin-off, Private Practice.Walsh began her acting career in Chicago where she studied at the renowned Piven Theatre Workshop. She went on to star in multiple theater productions at the Shakespeare Repertory. She’s worked primarily in film in television in recent years and joins us now to discuss If I Forget and what about it made her want to get back on stage.

If I Forget runs through April 30th. 13 Reasons Why premiers on Netflix on March 31st.

David Bianculli is a guest host and TV critic on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross. A contributor to the show since its inception, he has been a TV critic since 1975. From 1993 to 2007, Bianculli was a TV critic for the New York Daily News.

Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his.

Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, how it got that way. In tracing the evolutionary history of our progress toward a Platinum Age of Television - our age, the era of The Sopranos and Breaking Bad and Mad Men and The Wire and Homeland and Girls—he focuses on the development of the classic TV genres. In each genre, he selects five key examples of the form, tracing its continuities and its dramatic departures and drawing on exclusive and in-depth interviews with many of the most famed auteurs in television history.

David Thomson is a film critic and frequent contributor to the New York Times, the Guardian, and more. He is the author of The Biographical Dictionary of Film, now in its sixth edition, and Moments that Made the Movies.

His latest book, Television: A Biography celebrates and analyzes the stories being told on the small screen.

Jon Else joins us this morning to tell us tell the inside story of Henry Hampton’s 1987 landmark multipart television series Eyes on the Prize, one of the most important and influential TV shows in history.

His new book is True South: Henry Hampton and Eyes on the Prize, the Landmark Television Series That Reframed the Civil Rights Movement. Jon Else was Hampton’s series producer and cinematographer for Eyes on the Prize.

The book focuses on the tumultuous 18 months in 1985 and 1986 when Eyes was created. True South is being published on the 30th anniversary of Eyes’ initial broadcast on PBS, which reached 100 million viewers. 

Kenneth Clark's thirteen-part 1969 television series, Civilisation, established him as a globally admired figure. Clark was prescient in making this series: the upheavals of the century, the Cold War among others, convinced him of the power of barbarism and the fragility of culture. He would burnish his image with two memoirs that artfully omitted the more complicated details of his life.

Now, drawing on a vast, previously unseen archive, James Stourton reveals the formidable intellect and the private man behind the figure who effortlessly dominated the art world for more than half a century: his privileged upbringing, his interest in art history beginning at Oxford, his remarkable early successes.

At 27 he was keeper of Western Art at the Ashmolean in Oxford and at 29, the youngest director of The National Gallery. During the war he arranged for its entire collection to be hidden in slate mines in Wales and organized packed concerts of classical music at the Gallery to keep up the spirits of Londoners during the bombing. WWII helped shape his belief that art should be brought to the widest audience, a social and moral position that would inform the rest of his career.

Peak Joel McHale

Dec 13, 2016

For years, Joel McHale’s stand-up performances have sold out venues across the country, and his role in the beloved cult series Community and as the host of E!’s The Soup have made him a household name in comedy and pop culture.

He currently stars in the new CBS comedy The Great Indoors which is about an adventure reporter for an outdoor magazine when he becomes the desk-bound boss to a team of millennials in the magazine's digital department. 

McHale's submission to the vast world of celebrity tell-all books is Thanks for the Money: How to Use My Life Story to Become the Best Joel McHale You Can Be.

In his new show at The Lionheart Gallery in Pound Ridge, N.Y., “Kings & Queens of Late Night,” running through January 2nd, “recovering lawyer” Geoffrey Stein paints collage portraits of an all-star cast of network and cable comedy and punditry.

Stein’s Lionheart Gallery lineup of the late night heroes who wield wit and humor like surgical scalpels includes Jon Stewart, Jay Leno, Amy Schumer, Jimmy Fallon, Chelsea Handler, Samantha Bee, Larry Wilmore, Bill Maher, John Oliver, Trevor Noah, Stephen Colbert and David Letterman.

Examples from this exhibit include Jon Stewart’s portrait made with the 9/11 Responders’ act he championed, Amy Schumer done with her cousin Chuck Schumer’s Gun Control bill, Jimmy Fallon created from thank you cards, and John Oliver done with USA Today and the London Tube Map.

Stein, who lives and works in New York City, received an MFA from the Slade School of Fine Art in London and has been painting full-time since 2000. 

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.

Before the rise of basic cable, Saturday mornings for many children in America were spent watching cartoons on one of three available television channels. From 1958 through the 1980s, a majority of those cartoons bore the Hanna-Barbera imprint. Creating scores of popular series such as The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Jonny Quest, Scooby-Doo, Super Friends, and The Smurfs, Hanna-Barbera was an animation powerhouse.

Hanna-Barbera: The Architects of Saturday Morning is the first museum exhibition on the world’s most successful animation partnership. It opens tomorrow at the Norman Rockwell Museum and runs through May 29th.

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.

Alan Cumming is an award-winning actor, writer, activist, and photographer.

In his new book, You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams, he shares real life stories of late-night parties; backstage anecdotes; cross-country road-trips with his dog, Honey; and poignant memories of his life, loves, family, fellow actors, and friends. 

National Geographic Channel - Hopper Stone

Tim Matheson (Animal House, The West Wing) is playing President Ronald Reagan in National Geographic's Killing Reagan (based on the Bill O’Reilly book series). Cynthia Nixon portrays Nancy Reagan.

The TV movie will premiere this Sunday, October 16th.

   David Simon is best known as creator of HBO's The Wire which chronicled the story of Baltimore's police department and its gangs. A former reporter for The Baltimore Sun, Simon is also known for his NBC police procedural Homicide: Life on the Streets. The show was based on his book, Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets.

This week he spoke at Williams College, presenting a lecture entitled "The Audacity of Despair."

  Scott Woolley's new book, The Network: The Battle for the Airwaves and the Birth of the Communications Age is the origin story of the airwaves - the foundational technology of the communications age - as told through the forty-year friendship of an entrepreneurial industrialist and a brilliant inventor.

  The movies you watch, the TV shows you adore, the concerts and sporting events you attend — behind the curtain of nearly all of these is an immensely powerful and secretive corporation known as Creative Artists Agency. Started in 1975, when five bright and brash employees of a creaky William Morris office left to open their own, strikingly innovative talent agency, CAA would come to revolutionize the entertainment industry, and over the next several decades its tentacles would spread aggressively throughout the worlds of movies, television, music, advertising, and investment banking.

In Powerhouse, James Andrew Miller draws on unprecedented and exclusive access to the men and women who built and battled with CAA, as well as financial information never before made public.

  Award winning stage and screen actress Mary-Louise Parker’s new book - Dear Mr. You – shows the singular arc of her life through letters composed to the men, real and hypothetical, who have informed the person she is today.

Beginning with the grandfather she never knew, the letters range from a missive to the beloved priest from her childhood to remembrances of former lovers.


  Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally’s Summer of 69: No Apostrophe Tour will be at The Palace in Albany, NY tomorrow night at 8. The PG-at-least-13 show displays in song and conversation the couple’s lauded comedic chops and their incredible attraction to each other.

Megan Mullally is a two-time Emmy award winning actress - well known for her work as the boozy and shrill-larious Karen on Will & Grace. She’s also a stage actress having most recently appeared on Broadway in Terrence McNally’s It’s Only a Play.

Nick Offerman grumbled into celebrity as the multilayered feminist Libertarian lover of meat and privacy Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation. Offerman is also a stage actor, author, woodworker, and writer.

 

He joins us to talk about his varied and satisfying resumé, his wife, Jeff Tweedy, and his one episode of HBO's Deadwood.

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