theater

When playwright Kieron Barry and his longtime girlfriend broke up, he was stunned.  It took him a long time to process the ‘why’ and the ‘what did I do wrong’.  To try and sort it out, he wrote. 

The result is The Official Adventures of Kieron and Jade a comedy with its world premiere taking place at Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill tomorrow night. 

And that’s what the play is about. Not the break up, but the pros and cons of writing about the break up.

Barry is best known for his one act comedy, Numbers.  He has also been showcased locally in the enormously successful 2012 production of Tomorrow in the Battle at Stageworks/Hudson. 

We welcome him to The Roundtable this morning along with Bridge Street Theatre founder/co-owner, John Sowle.

Beautiful – The Carole King Musical - Queens College. Julia Knitel 'Carole King' and Liam Tobin 'Gerry Goffin'
Joan Marcus

Long before she was Carole King, chart-topping music legend, she was Carol Klein, Brooklyn girl with passion and chutzpah. She fought her way into the record business as a teenager and, by the time she reached her twenties, had the husband of her dreams and a flourishing career writing hits for the biggest acts in rock ‘n’ roll. But it wasn’t until her personal life began to crack that she finally managed to find her true voice.

Beautiful – The Carole King Musical tells the inspiring true story of King’s remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the way, she made more than beautiful music, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation.

The National Tour of the award-winning musical is at Proctors in Schenectady this week and we are joined now by Julia Knitel who plays Carole King and Liam Tobin who plays Gerry Goffin.

On Saturday, August 19, Shaker Museum Mount Lebanon will hold their annual gala. The event will include a performance featuring Frances McDormand, Suzzy Roche, and Kate Valk presenting an excerpt from The Wooster Group’s Early Shaker Spirituals: A Record Album Interpretation. The piece was originally performed in New York City in 2014.

The Wooster Group is a New York City-based experimental theater company known for creating original dramatic works and Frances McDormand has been an artistic associate and performer with the group for almost 20 years. An accomplished performer for stage and screen, McDormand has won a Tony Award, a Primetime Emmy, and an Academy Award - the latter for her portrayal of Police Chief Marge Gunderson in the Coen brothers 1996 film, Fargo.

Access to the gala event is available now at sponsorship levels. Individual tickets will go on sale after 5/1. For more information visit shakerml.org.

WAM Theatre is currently presenting a limited run remount of the company’s very successful 2013 production of Emilie: La Marquise Du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight, written by Lauren Gunderson and directed by WAM Artistic Director Kristen van Ginhoven.

The production will run through April 9 at Shakespeare & Company’s Tina Packer Playhouse in Lenox, MA.

Marie Curie was the first woman to win a Noble Prize, the first person and only woman to win twice, the only person to win a Nobel Prize in two different sciences, and was part of the Curie family legacy of five Noble Prizes. She was also the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris, and in 1995 became the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in the Pantheon in Paris.

The play Radiance; The Passion of Marie Curie by Alan Alda is a moving chronicle of the years between 1898 and 1911, between Marie’s first and second Noble Awards and a stirring look at the challenges and passions of a scientific pioneer.

The Theatre Institute at Sage is presenting a production of Radiance in the Meader Little Theater on the Russel Sage Campus in Troy, NY April 5th through the 15th.

Here to tell us more are the show’s Director, David Bunce; actor Taylor Hoffman; and the productions Science Advisor, Dr. Donna Heald.

Bedlam’s latest production is Cry Havoc! As the company’s website states: Bedlam creates works of theatre that reinvigorate traditional forms in a flexible, raw space, collapsing aesthetic distance and bringing its viewers into direct contact with the dangers and delicacies of life.

In Cry Havoc! Stephan Wolfert recounts his own experiences of military service, weaving his personal narrative with lines from some of William Shakespeare’s most famous speeches. Pulling from The Bard’s war narratives to work through the trauma of the military experience. The one-actor production is directed by Bedlam co-founder Eric Tucker. Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA presented the show last summer - it is currently running at the New Ohio Theatre Off-Broadway in New York City through April 23rd.

Wolfert and Tucker are both military veterans, and Bedlam’s outreach program invites other veterans to meet - every Monday - to explore the writing and performance Shakespeare - and to be mindful in a shared space with other veterans. To relate their experiences to the literature and drama -- and to each other.

Stephan Wolfert joins us to tell us more about the outreach program and Cry Havoc!


  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.

The Academy of Music Theatre is mounting a new work by playwright Carol Carpenter entitled Sweet, Sweet Spirit on March 24th and 25th at 7:30 p.m.  The play addresses gay bashing and child abuse within a West Texas conservative family whose gay teenage son is beaten into a coma by his father.

Carpenter takes her audience deeper into an exploration of a family struggling with their own fear and heart.  The son, Tyler, who is described as “different,” but not referred to by his family members as gay, affects each of the members of this Southern Christian family in disparate ways.

We are joined Debra J'Anthony, Academy of Music Theatre's Executive Director and Sheila Siragusa, director of Sweet, Sweet Spirit.

Mark Ruffalo and Jessica Hecht in The Roundabout Theatre Company revival of 'The Price'
Joan Marcus

  Last night in New York City, the Roundabout Theatre Company revival of Arthur Miller’s The Price opened on Broadway at the American Airlines Theatre. It will run through May 14 (it was scheduled to run through May 7 and was extended).

 

The Price deals with familial resentment, lies, misunderstandings and the lasting generational repercussions of The Great Depression through Miller’s signature and definitive playwriting.

Terry Kinney directs the four actor cast -- Mark Ruffalo, Tony Shaloub, Danny Davito (making his Broadway debut), and friend of WAMC, Jessica Hecht.

This Friday and Saturday, The Theatre Institute at Sage will present a staged reading of the rarely-produced play Greenwood: An American Dream Destroyed by Celeste Bedford Walker. The reading is directed by Lynnie Godfrey, the inaugural artist of the Scrimshaw Distinguished Visiting Artist Fund. Godfrey, an actress, singer, director and producer based in New York City, is at Sage for a week-long residency thanks to the generous support of the fund established by The Sage Colleges President Susan Scrimshaw.

Greenwood: An American Dream Destroyed is a drama that tells the story of events surrounding the 1921 race disaster in Greenwood, Oklahoma. Greenwood, the premier Black Boomtown of its era, was referred to as the “Negro Wall Street”, and had successfully achieved complete economic independence from its neighbor Tulsa, Oklahoma. That all ended when 14 blocks of the town were burned down in one night. Follow the progress, success, joy and prosperity of the township of Greenwood and eventually the story of its demise.

Here to tell us more are aforementioned director Lynnie Godfrey and Theare Institute at Sage Artistic Director, Leigh Strimbeck. 


  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.

Creative License was founded by Capital Region theater artists Aaron Holbritter and Casey Polomaine in March of 2014.

Their current production – opening tomorrow at The Albany Barn – is The Picture of Dorian Gray, a theatrical adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s famous novel by Roberto Aquirre-Sacasa.

We are joined by the production’s director, Aaron Holbritter, producer Casey Polomaine, and actor Ian LaChance who plays the title character.

The show runs March 10-April 1.

Wicked, the smash-hit musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Winnie Holzman is at Proctors in Schenectady through March 12th.

Based on the 1995 novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Albany’s own Gregory Maguire, Wicked brings the audience to Oz and asks “What made the Wicked Witch wicked?” Wicked opened on Broadway in 2003 and since then has dazzled audiences in New York and all over the world.

We are joined today by Isabel Keating who plays Madame Morrible. Morrible begins as Head Mistress at Shiz University and becomes Press Secretary to The Wizerd of Oz.

Keating garnered a Tony Award nomination and won the Drama Desk award for The Boy from Oz. Other Broadway credits include Hairspray, Enchanted April, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, and It’s Only A Play.

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: The LEGO Batman Movie, John Wick Chapter 2

Shakespeare & Company has announced its lineup for the 2017 summer season, which includes three Shakespeare plays: Cymbeline, The Tempest, and A Midsummer Night's Dream; plus two Edith Wharton comedies, Roman Fever and the newly adapted The Fullness of Life.

Additional titles include the Obie Award winning 4,000 Miles by Amy Herzog; New York Drama Critics Circle and the Outer Critics Circle Recipient, Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage; and Tony Award Winner, God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza.

This year marks the 40th Season at Shakespeare & Company -represents an opportunity to celebrate the company’s legacy. To tell us more we welcome Artistic Director Allyn Burrows and Shakespeare & Co. Founder, Tina Packer. 

Over the past few years, Proctors has become an important destination for Broadway shows readying for the road. The 2017–2018 Key Private Bank Broadway Series at Proctors will continue that tradition with the Tony Award-winning revival of The Color Purple, which will tech in Schenectady before traveling the rest of the country.

Proctors announced their upcoming season with shows including, the 2015 Tony Award winning Best Musical Fun Home, Finding Neverland, The Bodyguard, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I and On Your Feet! Plus, much, much more. We learn more about that from Peter Hughes; Heidi Nathanielsz and Michael Eck. 

The Manhattan Theatre Club's current Broadway production of August Wilson's Jitney, directed by Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson, is the only work from the late two-time Pulitzer Prize winner's American Century Cycle that had never previously been seen on Broadway. The play has received rave reviews and plays at the Samuel Friedman Theatre through March 12th.

Set in the early 1970s, the play follows a group of men trying to eke out a living by driving unlicensed cabs, or jitneys. When the city threatens to board up the business and the boss' son returns from prison, tempers flare, potent secrets are revealed and the fragile threads binding these people together start to come undone.

We welcome this morning - three-time Tony Award-winning producer and actor Ron Simons, to discuss his role in producing the Broadway debut of August Wilson's Jitney.

Ron Simons is a leading Broadway producer with a list of credits that include the Tony-award winning revival of Porgy and Bess, the all-black Broadway production of A Street Car Named Desire starring Blair Underwood, and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, which won the Tony award for "Best New Play."

What would you do if your 80-year-old father dragged you into his search for new romance after 50 years of marriage? David, a resolute bachelor learns more about love than he bargained for and as his father's wingman and screener, sees some things he'd like to forget. It is the subject of the play Assisted Loving: True Tales of Double Dating With My Dad, now at The Rep through February 19th.

Based on Bob Morris’s award winning memoir, it is a heartfelt and hilarious true tale of a year of dating dangerously. Here to tell us more – we welcome Director Gordon Greenberg and author Bob Morris.

Encore: Proctors At 90

Jan 23, 2017

When Proctors opened its doors in Schenectady, N.Y., in December 1926, it was the jewel in a chain of 50 vaudeville houses spanning the East Coast from Delaware to Maine; the greatest of gilded movie palaces in a bustling, industrial city packed with nearly two-dozen theatres. Within a half-century, it was the last hall standing, nearly derelict, presiding over a deserted downtown, another symbol of American blight.

The new book Encore: Proctors at 90 presents photographs and essays to construct a narrative of renewal and rebirth, a tale of a city and a theatre taking turns saving each other. Rescued by a hardy group of citizens, and nurtured by smart leaders, Proctors began its true resurrection at the turn of this century to become much more than a playhouse.

The commerative book Encore: Proctors at 90 is now out and we welcome the authors Michael Eck and Richard Louvrich to The Roundtable.

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.

"A Christmas Carol" at BTG - 2016
Emma Kate Rothenberg-Ware

It is an absolute Christmas Classic. And at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield – it is tradition.

It is the timeless holiday tradition of A Christmas Carol with the whole family, and revel in the joy and redemptive power of Christmas as told in the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, the infamous miser who is shown the error of his ways and reformed by four spirits.

We are able to journey back to Victorian England and experience the classic story filled with holiday carols and the wonderment of the season.

Joining us – like ghosts in the night – Berkshire Theatre Group Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire, Travis Daly – director of the show and Scrooge himself – Eric Hill. 

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.

Simon McBurney in The Encounter
Robbie Jack

The Encounter - conceived of, directed by, and starring, Simon McBurney is currently running at the Golden Theater in New York City. McBurney is a multi-Olivier Award-winning, Tony and SAG Award-nominated actor, writer, director and one of Europe’s most original theater makers. He is co-founder and artistic director of Complicite.

The one-man play tells the true story of National Geographic photographer Loren McIntyre in 1969 - lost in Brazil as he encounters the Mayoruna - a remote people whose ancient traditions are uninfluenced by the western world. In The Encounter, McBurney also shares the story of the creation of this unique piece of theater.

Molding and stretching the classic artform of storytelling, McBurney and The Encounter team use specific and immersive binaural audio technology and sound design. Each member of the audience wears headphones which create an experience that uses their ears to trick their brain into telling their body and comprehension that events are happening that - in reality - aren’t; a voice from over your shoulder, a mosquito in your face, a fire nearby, a warm breath a little too nearby.

The Tony-Award winning play: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime begins its run at Proctors in Schenectady this afternoon and goes through Sunday, November 27th.

Hailed as “One of the most fully immersive works ever to wallop Broadway” by The New York Times, this new play is by Simon Stephens, adapted from Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel and is directed by Tony winner Marianne Elliott.

Fifteen-year-old Christopher has an extraordinary brain; he is exceptionally intelligent but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. When he falls under suspicion for killing his neighbor’s dog, he sets out to identify the true culprit, which leads to an earth-shattering discovery and a journey that will change his life forever.

Benjamin Wheelright played the role of Christopher on Broadway and is one of the actors playing his on the road. 

Between stressing about his theater friends and reconciling his complicated feelings about an inconsistently wonderful New York City, Tony Award–winning playwright and Pulitzer finalist Richard Greenberg also maintains a reputation for being something of a hermit.

In Rules for Others to Live By, he shares lessons from his highly successful writing career, observations from two long decades of residence on a three-block stretch of Manhattan, and musings from a complicated and occasionally taxing social life.

His new play, The Babylon Line, is in previews at the Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center, it will open on December 5.

Shawn Stone, Digital Editor of The Alt (launching 11/15), joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

The 6th annual Made in the Berkshires festival features cutting-edge theatrical works performed as staged readings, live music, film, short stories and dance in a festival atmosphere like no other. New and innovative pieces as well as established work will be presented by local Berkshire County playwrights, actors, directors, musicians and performers.

Featured as performance blocks, Made in the Berkshires will allow audiences to enjoy the breadth and depth of the artistic talent that has landed in Berkshire County while celebrating the best in the visual and performing arts.

Professional artists and artists-in-the-making gather to share their talent with the Berkshire community. The festival will once again be curated by Hilary Somers Deely and Barbara Sims; two local artists who have helped create the rich cultural tapestry that permeates the Berkshires.

We are joined by Hilary and Barbara as well as Berkshire Theatre Group’s Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire.


  Earlier this week the New York premiere of Vietgone, opened at Manhattan Theatre Club in New York City. Written by Qui Nguyen and directed by May Adrales, the comedy tells the love story of two refugees from the Vietnam War who have settled in a relocation camp in Middle America - where their “new life” isn’t anything near what they’d hoped.  

 

They play isn’t what you might imagine based on that description either - for instance - one of the bios in the Playbill is for Rap Consultant, Miriam Hyman.

 

Miriam is a 2016 Leonore Annenberg Fellowship recipient for Performing Arts. She is a 2012 graduate of Yale School of Drama where she earned her MFA in acting and a 2011 Princess Grace recipient of the George C. Wolfe award in Theater. Since graduating she’s worked in film, television, regional, and Off-Broadway Theaters including LaMaMa, The Public, Manhattan Theater Club, and Lincoln Center.

 

Under her moniker, Robyn Hood, she will soon release an EP entitled For Higher.

The Department of Theatre Arts at SUNY New Paltz presents Belfast Blues, a one-woman play written and performed by Geraldine Hughes and directed by Carol Kane, with performances on Oct. 14th and 15th at 8:00 p.m. in McKenna Theatre on the New Paltz campus.

Belfast Blues is a tapestry of stories told from Hughes’ perspective as a little girl coming of age in the war-torn Belfast of the 1980s. Passionate, riveting, often humorous, these stories bear insightful witness to the many faces of “trying to live a normal life” amidst the violence born of the longstanding grudge between Catholics and Protestants.

The award-winning, dance-filled Gershwin musical An American in Paris ended its critically acclaimed Broadway run on Sunday at the Palace Theatre - having played 623 performances.

The musical's national tour will open at Proctor’s Theatre in Schenectady on Friday, starring Garen Scribner and Sara Esty.

The new stage incarnation of the classic Gershwin film arrived on Broadway after a Paris world premiere. The new musical, inspired by the Oscar-winning film of the same name, features a score by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin and a book by Craig Lucas.

 

An American in Paris received 12 Tony nominations, winning awards for Best Choreography, Best Orchestrations, Best Set Design and Best Lighting Design.

 

We are thrilled to have Stuart Oken with us this morning. He leads Elephant Eye Theatrical whose projects have included The Addams Family, Saved and Venice. As Executive VP at Disney Theatrical, he produced The Lion King and Aida. He produced the motion pictures About Last Night, Impromptu, and Queens Logic.

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