theater

New York Stage and Film Artistic Director Johanna Pfaelzer
Jenny Anderson / broadwayworld.com

Since 1985, Vassar and New York Stage and Film have been partners in the Powerhouse season, a collaboration known for being the springboard for new stories that go on to theaters across the country and around the world. The 2018 season begin this weekend with the first of two Readings Festivals and continues through July 29 bringing some of the most influential theatrical voices working today to Poughkeepsie, NY for fully-staged and workshop productions of new plays and musicals, and readings of other works in progress.

Johanna Pfaelzer is the Artistic Director of New York Stage and Film and she joins us with a preview.

The Dorset Theatre Festival opens its 41st Anniversary Season with Molly Smith Metzler’s "Cry It Out," directed by Marc Masterson, which will begin performances June 21st at the Dorset Playhouse and run through July 14th. The comedy looks at the dilemma of returning to work after childbirth and the ways in which class impacts parenthood and friendship.

The season will also include Dominique Morisseau's "Skeleton Crew" (July 19–August 4), Kate Hamill's "Pride and Prejudice," adapted from the novel by Jane Austen (August 9–25), Holland Taylor’s "Ann," starring Jayne Atkinson (August 29–September 1), and the Pipeline Series: Four New Works in Process - one each by Kate Cortesi, Melissa Ross, Frank Harts, and David Mamet.

Artistic Director Dina Janis joins us.

The Berkshire Theatre Group’s Education Department brings performing arts into the lives of 13,000 schoolchildren in The Berkshires through touring productions, residency programs, internships and assistantships, after-school programming, camps, children’s theatre productions, seasonal employment opportunities, and more.

Many of our schools lack the funds to provide students with arts education. Berkshire Theatre Group’s Education Department strives – all year long – to fill that gap. Their programs offer children the chance to perform, of course, but also to learn, to build confidence, and to collaborate.

We are joined by Travis Daly, BTG’s Artistic Associate of Education (and director of this summer’s production of "Tarzan"); Allison Rachele Bayles, BTG's Administrative Director of Education; and Hanna Koczela who has been involved with BTG Community Productions and Education Programs for the past 10 years and has just graduated from High School.

The Williamstown Theatre Festival’s 2018 summer season gets underway later this month and will feature seven productions running from June 26 to August 19.

The season will kick off with the world premiere of “The Closet” by Douglas Carter Beane. It is a comedy is about a divorced man who is stuck in a dead-end job in Scranton, Pa., and finds solace in his optimistic female co-worker. Matthew Broderick, Jessica Hecht, and Brooks Ashmanskas will star on the Main Stage.

The season continues on the Nikos Stage with the world premiere of Adam Rapp’s “The Sound Inside” which is about an accomplished professor at an Ivy League university who allies herself with a student to tackle a challenge. Mary-Louise Parker will star and David Cromer will direct.

The Williamstown Theatre Festival’s Artistic Director Mandy Greenfield joins us.

The Royal Family of Broadway” is a new musical with a book by Rachel Sheinkin and music and lyrics by William Finn - the award winning team behind “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” Based on the original play by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber and an original adaptation by Richard Greenberg, “The Royal Family of Broadway” is set in the 1920’s and centers around the Cavendish family - who are loosely based on the legendary acting dynasty - The Barrymores.

Barrington Stage Company’s Musical Theatre Lab presents “The Royal Family of Broadway” on BSC’s mainstage through July 7. The production is directed by John Rando and choreographed by Joshua Bergasse.

Sarah LaDuke was joined at The Linda - WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio - by composer and lyricist William Finn, Musical Director Vadim Feichtner, and cast members Harriet Harris, Laura Michelle Kelly, Hayley Podschun, and AJ Shively.

The Adirondack Theatre Festival is about to begin its 24th season – the fourth for Producing Artistic Director, Chad Rabinovitz. He again brings an entire season of major new works to ATF with a team of top-level professional artists.

After a record-breaking season of sold-out performances last year, doubling attendance and subscribership in just the past three years, the 2018 season promises to be even larger. Performances will run June 14 – August 9 at the Charles R. Wood Theater in Downtown Glens Falls, NY.

The season begins June 14th with the musical, "Some Lovers," which follows the story of a couple caught between their present and their past. With an original story by Steven Sater ("Spring Awakening") and all new music from the legendary, Burt Bacharach.

ATF Producing Artistic Director, Chad Rabinovitz joins 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: "Solo: A Star Wars Story"

Upcoming:

  • Birthday Celebration for Walt Whitman: Readings from “Song of Myself” - Robert Burns Statue, Washington Park, Albany, Thursday 5/31, 6 PM
  • Marcia Ball - The Upper Room, Albany, Friday 6/1, 7 PM
  • "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" - Capitol Theatre, Rome, Friday 6/1 at 7 PM and Saturday 6/2 at 2:30 PM
  • "The Importance of Being Ernest" - Circle Theatre Players, Sand Lake Center for the Arts, Averill Park, opens Friday 6/1 at 8 PM; through June 10
  • "Places Please" with Larry Keigwin & Nicole Wolcott - PS 21, Chatham, Saturday 6/2, 7 PM
  • Albany Symphony Orchestra’s American Music Festival from Wednesday 5/31 through Sunday 6/3
  •      Dogs of Desire, EMPAC Theater, Friday 6/1, 7:30 PM
  •      ASO 2018 Festival Concert, EMPAC Concert Hall, Saturday 6/2, 7:30 PM
  •      Fanfare to Joan Tower, Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Sunday 6/3, 1 PM
  •      The River Sings, Troy’s Riverfront Park, Sunday 6/3, 7:30 PM (Free)
  • The Suitcase Junket - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Sunday 6/3, 7 PM
  • Next Act New Play Summit #7:
  •      “Showpony” at the GE Theatre at Proctors, Schenectady, Sunday 6/3, 5 PM
  •      “The Way North” Capital Repertory Theatre, Albany, Monday 6/4, 7:30 PM
  • National Ballet of Cuba: Giselle - SPAC, Saratoga Springs, Wednesday 6/6, 8 PM; also 6/7 at 2 PM & 6/8 at 8 PM

New movies: "Adrift," "Upgrade"

"Typhoid Mary" - a new play by Mark St. Germain - is playing at Barrington Stage Company's St. Germain Stage in Pittsfield, MA through June 16.

The play tells the true story of Mary Mallon, one of the most infamous women in America, she was incredibly stubborn, ambitious, and in fierce denial of any wrongdoing. Master storyteller Mark St. Germain ("Freud’s Last Session" and "Dancing Lessons") has captured the woman behind the myths while exploring the battle between science and religion.

St. Germain has another play running in our region. "Relativity" is running at Penguin Rep Theatre in Stony Point, NY through June 10.

   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: "Deadpool 2," "Pope Francis: Man of His Word"

Upcoming:

  • "Don’t Dress for Dinner" - Curtain Call Theatre, Latham, Thursday 5/24 at 7:30 PM; through June 16
  • Mama’s Broke - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Thursday 5/24, 7 PM
  • NorthEast Theatre’s production of Chekhov’s "The Seagull" - Mabee Farm Historic Site, Rotterdam Junction, Friday 5/25 at 7 PM; Saturday 5/26 at 2 & 7 PM; Sunday 5/27 at 2 PM
  • Kevin Hart: The Irresponsible Tour - Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, Friday 5/25, 8 PM
  • Primus, Mastodon - Cool Insuring Arena (aka Glens Falls Civic Center), Glens Falls, Friday 5/25, 7 PM
  • Soul Rebels - MASS MoCA, Hunter Center or Courtyard C, North Adams, Mass., Saturday 5/26, 8 PM
  • Apocalyptica (Metallica for 4 Cellos) - The Egg, Albany, Sunday 5/27, 8 PM
  • Sir Sly - Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton, Mass., Wednesday 5/30, 8:30 PM
  • "On Your Feet!" - Proctors, Schenectady, Wednesday 5/30 at 7:30 PM, through June 2

New movies: "Solo: A Star Wars Story," "Beast," "Let the Sun Shine In"

The  company  of  Harry  Potter  and  the  Cursed  Child
Manuel Harlan

What happens inside the Lyric Theatre stays inside the Lyric Theare.   

That’s what the producers of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” request from the audience.  As you leave the theater they hand you a button that reads  “Keep the secrets.”

"Fragile Explosion: Nina Simone" is a world premiere production by Passing the Torch Through the Arts.

Nina Simone, known as The High Priestess of Soul, was a pop star and celebrity in the 1960s. Her career was up-ended because of her key role in the Civil Rights movement. “Fragile Explosion” follows Simone from her beginnings in North Carolina to international stardom, through successes and personal failures, and through her struggle with and triumph over mental illness.

LaChanzeas “Diva Donna,” Ariana DeBose as “Disco  Donna,” Storm Lever as “Duckling  Donna” and  company
Joan Marcus, 2018

There are some people who should be permitted to just let their work speak for them.  Donna Summer, who passed away in 2012, is one of those people.

Bob Goepfert Reviews "The King And I" At Proctors

May 3, 2018
The cast of Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King and I.
Matthew Murphy

Listening to the overture of “The King and I” playing Proctors through Sunday, you realize there are probably more memorable songs in this one show than in all the new shows that opened on Broadway in the past decade.  “Hello Young Lovers,” “I Whistle a Happy Tune,”  “Getting to Know You” and “Something Wonderful”  are but a few.

Glenda Jackson, Alison Pill and Laurie Metcalf in Three Tall Women
Brigitte Lacombe

The mark of a great play is that it can mutate and change without really altering the playwright’s original intent.

Voice Theatre in Woodstock, NY creates new productions and explores relevant dimensions of classic works.

They join us to today to talk about their Spring Reading Series at the Golden Notebook on May 3, 10, and 17 at 7p.m. They will also tell us about the Voice Theatre refugee program with high school students and undocumented, unaccompanied refugee kids aged 12-17.

Shauna Kanter, Wally Carbonne and Maryanne DiPalma join us.

Bob Goepfert Reviews "Saint Joan"

Apr 26, 2018

“Saint Joan,” is the “prestige event” of the Broadway season.  

It’s kind of a “can’t lose” situation.  Even if the production is weak, (and it is)the idea of bringing George Bernard Shaw’s version of the tragic story of Joan of Arc to Broadway gets points just for being a bold choice.

Broadway legend Patti LuPone will appear at two events in the Capital Region this week. 

On Thursday, April 26 she will join Joe Donahue in a Creative Life conversation about Ms. LuPone’s career and devotion to the arts and high standards therein. The conversation will take place at Page Hall on UAlbany's downtown campus at 7 p.m. The Creative Life series is a major arts initiative of the New York State Writers Institute, UAlbany Performing Arts Center and University Art Museum in conjunction with WAMC Northeast Public Radio.

On Friday, April 27, Ms. LuPone will perform "Don't Monkey With Broadway" at Proctors in Schenectady at 8 p.m. "Don’t Monkey with Broadway" features music by the likes of Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, Jule Styne, Stephen Schwartz, Charles Strouse, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Cole Porter and Irving Berlin.

S. Trevellyan / http://ps21chatham.org/ps21-new-theater/

PS21: Performance Spaces for the 21st Century in Chatham, New York is opening a new state-of-the-art black box theater this Saturday, April 14.

The black-box is the all-weather portion of the new Pavilion Theater which will open this summer.

The festive evening celebrating the future of PS21 will feature a ribbon cutting ceremony, champagne toast and a dance concert with the delightful Caleb Teicher and Nic Gareiss!  There will be a post-performance reception with the artists and tours of the new theater.

PS21 was founded under the leadership of PS21’s Board President Judy Grunberg in 1999 to bring world-class performances to New York’s Columbia County and adjacent counties. Judy joins us to tell us more about the new space and their upcoming season.

Eileen Schuyler, Yvonne Perry, and Brenny Rabine in "Blithe Spirit" at TheRep
Capital Repertory Theatre Facebook page

The classic Noël Coward comedy, Blithe Spirit, is being produced at The REP, through May 6th, directed by Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill, and featuring three of the region's best known Equity actresses: Yvonne Perry, Brenny Rabine and Eileen Schuyler, together on stage for the first time.

In the play, we meet cantankerous novelist Charles Condomine, re-married to Ruth but haunted (literally) by the ghost of his late first wife, the clever and insistent Elvira who has been conjured up by a visiting “happy medium.”

To tell us more – we welcome actors Yvonne Perry (Elvira) and Eileen Schuyler (Madame Arcati).

The Theatre Institute at Sage presents "Tribes," Nina Raine’s award-winning play, directed by David Baecker. The production will run April 13 - 22 at the James Meader Little Theater in Troy, NY.

Billy was born deaf into a hearing family. He has adapted brilliantly to their unconventional ways, but they’ve never bothered to return the favor. It’s not until he meets Sylvia, a young woman on the brink of deafness, that he finally understands what it means to be heard.

Our guests for The Theatre Institute at Sage's production of "Tribes" are David Baecker professor at Sage who is directing, and Sage student Francesca Volpe who is playing Sylvia.

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 Death of Stalin"

Upcoming:

  • "Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb" - Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Mass., Thursday 4/5, 7 PM
  • "Little Shop of Horrors" - Park Playhouse production at Cohoes Music Hall, Cohoes, opens Thursday 4/5 at 8 PM, through April 15
  • An Evening with Buckethead - Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park, Thursday 4/5, 8 PM
  • "Blithe Spirit" - Capital Repertory Theatre, Albany, opens Friday 4/6 at 8 PM, through May 6
  • Daughtry - Palace Theatre, Albany, Saturday 4/7, 8 PM
  • Bettye Lavette - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, Saturday 4/7, 9 PM
  • Rafal Blechacz, piano: Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Chopin - Union College Concert Series, Schenectady, Sunday 4/8, 3 PM
  • Joan Shelley - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Sunday 4/8, 7 PM
  • Cowboy Junkies - Academy of Music, Northampton, Mass., Sunday 4/8, 7 PM
  • New Worlds: Bill Murray, Jan Vogler, and Friends - Proctors, Mainstage, Schenectady, Monday 4/9, 7:30 PM

New movies: "The Leisure Seeker," "A Quiet Place," "Chappaquiddick," "Blockers"

Stephen Karam’s “The Humans” is an uproarious, hopeful, and heartbreaking play that takes place over the course of a family dinner on Thanksgiving. Breaking with tradition, Erik Blake has brought his Pennsylvania family to celebrate and give thanks at his daughter’s apartment in Lower Manhattan. As darkness falls outside the ramshackle pre-war duplex and eerie things start to go bump in the night, the Blake clan’s deepest fears and greatest follies are laid bare. Our modern age of anxiety is keenly observed, with humor and compassion, in this new American classic that won the 2016 Tony Award® for Best Play.

Directed by Joe Mantello, the National Tour of “The Humans” is at Proctors in Schenectady this week.

Richard Thomas plays Erik Blake. Thomas’ most recent stage appearance was in the Broadway revival of “The Little Foxes,” for which he received a Tony Award Nomination. He is an Emmy award winner and a TV icon for creating the role of John-Boy in “The Waltons.”

Pamela Reed is a veteran character actress who has over 60 film and TV credits. She is known for her roles in “The Right Stuff,” “Kindergarten Cop,” “Junior,” and “Proof of Life.” Her TV credits include “Parks and Recreation,” “NCIS: LA” and her portrayal of Jack Tanner's campaign manager, T.J. Cavanaugh in Robert Altman's “Tanner '88.”

Jenny Ashman (Reina) and Kelly Wolf (Deborah) in "Paris Time"
Douglas C. Liebig

Albany – The central issue in “Paris Time,” a play being given its world premiere by Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany, is Anti-Semitism.  With that as a topic how can you say the stakes aren’t high enough for the audience to care about the problems of its characters?

"Paris Time" At TheRep

Feb 2, 2018

Capital Reparatory Theatre is currently presenting, "Paris Time," a drama that looks behind the headlines at anti-semitism in today’s France. The world premiere production by Steven Peterson is directed by Gordon Greenberg and runs through February 18.

When Deborah, the wife of a successful American executive based in Paris, becomes an activist defending a young Jewish Frenchwoman, Charles gets caught in the corporate hot seat. Company policy demands him to withdraw from the political limelight or lose his career, but if he won’t get involved, he may lose his marriage.

Jenny Ashman plays Reina in the show and Wally Dunn plays Martin and is making his Capital Rep debut in "Paris Time."

  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: "I, Tonya" and "The Shape of Water"

Upcoming:

  • Neko Case - The Academy of Music, Northampton, Mass., Thursday 1/11, 8 PM; The Egg, Albany, Monday 1/15, 7 PM
  • "Fit to Kill" - Curtain Call Theatre, Latham, preview Thursday 1/11 at 7:30 PM; opens Friday 1/12 at 8 PM; through February 10
  • The Elvis Birthday Bash with Mark Gamsjager & The Lustre Kings - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, Friday 1/12, 9 PM
  • Chris Smither - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Friday-Saturday 1/12-13 at 8 PM
  • All Stars: High School Artists in Saratoga, Fulton, Montgomery Counties - Saratoga Arts, Main Gallery, Saratoga Springs, opens Saturday 1/13 reception 3-5 PM, through February 10
  • WAR - The Egg, Albany, Saturday 1/13, 8 PM
  • Schenectady Symphony Orchestra: Winter Dances - Featuring music of David Keen w/an original silent film; Georges Bizet; Edward Green - Proctors, Mainstage, Schenectady, Sunday 1/14, 3 PM
  • Kapwani Kiwanga’s Afrogalactica - EMPAC Theater, RPI, Troy, Tuesday 1/16, 7 PM
  • Walk the Moon - Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park, Wednesday 1/17, 8 PM
  • David Brooks - Proctors, Mainstage, Schenectady, Wednesday 1/18, 7:30 PM

New movies: "Proud Mary," "The Commuter," "The Post," "Call Me By Your Name," "Paddington 2"

John Bolton as Vlad in "Anastasia"
Dave Mack / https://www.franbro.com


  The Broadway musical "Anastasia" features a book by celebrated playwright Terrence McNally and a lush, new score by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens; Tony Award-winning director Darko Tresnjak directs. Inspired by the beloved films with the same title, "Anastasia" transports audiences from the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s, as Anya sets out to discover the mystery of her past aided by conmen Dmitry and Vlad - who attempt to teach Anya how to embody the missing princess, Anastasia Romanov.

 

Vlad is played on Broadway by our guest, John Bolton, whose previous Broadway credits include "Dames at Sea," "A Christmas Story," "Curtains," "Monty Python’s Spamalot," "Contact," "Titanic," "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" and "Damn Yankees."

Bob Goepfert Reviews Farinelli And The King

Dec 19, 2017
Iestyn Davies, Mark Rylance, Huss Garbiya and Melody Grove in the Shakespeare's Globe production of Farinelli And The King
(c) Joan Marcus

New York, N.Y.  – “Farinelli and the King,” one of the most anticipated plays of the Broadway season, opened Sunday evening.   Indeed, a sign of its popularity is that even before it opened scalpers were charging Hamilton-type prices for tickets.  Little should change.  This is a must-see show for anyone who loves theater.

Broadway Cast Of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater
Sara Krulwich / The New York Times


  The new Broadway adaptation of Roald Dahl’s beloved “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” which opening in New York City last April will end its run on January 14.

 

The show is directed by Jack O’Brien and features a book by David Greig, original music Marc Shaiman, and lyrics by Shaiman and Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman. Kathy Fitzgerald plays Mrs. Gloop - the mother of Augustus one of the ill-fated golden-ticket holding visitors to Mr. Wonka’s fantastical factory.

 

Fitzgerald’s previous Broadway credits include “Swinging on a Star,” “The Producers,” “Wicked,” and “9 to 5.”

Wilson Bethel and Alex Mickiewicz in The Roundabout Theatre Company production of  "The Last Match"
Joan Marcus

In Anna Ziegler’s new play, “The Last Match,” Tim Porter and Sergei Sergeyev face-off in the semifinals of the US Open: Porter a statesman of the game, Sergeyev an up-and-comer show with unharnessed potential.

Gaye Taylor Upchurch directs “The Last Match” for Roundabout Theatre Company where it runs at The Laura Pels Theatre through December 23rd.

Alex Mickiewicz plays Sergei Sergeyev. His previous work with Roundabout includes the recent Broadway productions of “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” and “Therese Raquin.”

Ward Horton, Jack DiFalco, Michael Urie, Mercedes Ruehl in "Torch Song" at Second Stage Theater
Joan Marcus


  “Torch Song Trilogy” is a collection of three plays by Harvey Fierstein rendered in three acts: “International Stud,” “Fugue in a Nursery,” and “Widows and Children First!” The story centers on Arnold Beckoff, a Jewish homosexual, drag queen, and torch singer who lives in New York City in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In its original incarnation, the trilogy was first produced in those same decades with its Broadway production opening in June of 1982 and running until May of 1985. The show earned Tony Awards for Best Play and Best Actor in a Play for Fierstein.

Fierstein has recently adapted his work into a shorter version entitled “Torch Song” which is running at Second Stage Theatre on 43rd Street in New York City through December 9. The production, directed by Moisés Kaufman, features Jack DiFalco, Roxanna Hope Radja, Michael Rosen, Mercedes Ruehl, Michael Urie, and our guest, Ward Horton.

 

Horton is best known for playing Dr. Scott Strauss on CBS’ “Pure Genius” and was the male lead in the horror film “Annabelle.” He plays Ed in “Torch Song.”

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