Arts & Culture

Lake George Opera, now Opera Saratoga, began with a production of "Die Fledermaus" at the Diamond Point Theatre on July 5, 1962, playing to an audience of 230 people. The company now calls Saratoga Springs home and performs for more than 25,000 people annually.

This season, Opera Saratoga presents productions of “The Merry Widow,” “The Consul,” and a double-header with the American Premier of “Rocking Horse Winner,” and the World Premiere of a chamber version of “Vinkensport, or The Finch Opera.”

The season runs through July 15. Opera Saratoga's Artistic and General Director Lawrence Edelson joins us.

Each July and August the Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) produces a public program series that offers a playful taste of the academic experience. This summer the series titled "Ologies" is digging into some of the quirkiest fields of study.

Also on WCMA’s summer agenda is the exhibition “Dance We Must: Treasures from Jacob’s Pillow, 1906-1940” which explores the contributions of Jacob's Pillow founder Ted Shawn and the iconic Ruth St. Denis to American modern dance.

Gathering over 350 materials, the exhibition contextualizes the pioneering work of Shawn and St. Denis within the scope of American art history through artifacts that have never been seen before.

Checkpoint Charlie in 1963
Roger Wallstadt on Wikipedia Commons

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are "swapping spots" this week for a show about alliteration.

Audrey Kupferberg: Hefty Roles For Mature Women!

Jun 22, 2018

Women and their societal problems are getting lots of attention these days.  One aspect of women growing older in the United States is the invisibility factor.  In general, when a young woman walks into a store, the clerks see her as a consumer and pay attention.  When an older woman walks into the store, she is ignored.  In so many venues, she is invisible.

Rogovoy Report 6/22/18

Jun 22, 2018

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include folk-pop, New Orleans, Broadway, ballet, dance, contemporary jazz, and a whole lot more.

The Creative Life series is produced by UAlbany’s University Art Museum, NYS Writers Institute, and the UAlbany Performing Arts Center in collaboration with WAMC. The series features leading figures from a variety of artistic disciplines in conversation about their creative inspirations, their craft and their careers. At 11am we will air Joe Donahue’s candid conversation with Tony Award winning Broadway star, Patti LuPone.

Two-time Tony and Grammy Award winner Patti LuPone was most recently seen on Broadway in the musical ”War Paint.”

A graduate of the first class of the Drama Division of New York’s Juilliard School and a founding member of The Acting Company in which she toured the country for four years, LuPone went on to be a Broadway superstar for more than 30 years – starting with her Tony-winning performance in “Evita.” 

Sally Taylor, daughter of James Taylor and Carly Simon, curates "Come to Your Senses" in MASS MoCA’s Kidspace gallery and art-making studio, which will include new music by both of her parents. A program of Taylor’s long-running "Consenses" project, "Come to Your Senses" asks visual artists, poets, dancers, musicians, perfumers, chefs, and sculptors to use one another’s art as a catalyst to create their own work.

At Kidspace, the initial works of art, through which all other works were inspired, were created by 5th grade students in North Adams and Northern Berkshire schools. Come to Your Senses is the capstone of Kidspace’s “Art 4 Change” project. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, June 23, at from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Kidspace.

To celebrate the opening of "Come to Your Senses," Sally Taylor will present an intimate one-night-only concert in The Hunter Center at MASS MoCA at 7 p.m.

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.

Harry Connick Jr.
Gavin Bond

Harry Connick Jr.'s career has exemplified excellence across multiple platforms in the entertainment world. He has received Grammy and Emmy awards as well as Tony nominations for his live and recorded musical performances, his achievements in film and television and his appearances on Broadway as both an actor and a composer.

The foundation of Connick's art is the music of his native New Orleans, where he began performing as a pianist and vocalist at the age of 5 and he will bring his New Orleans Tricentennial Celebration Tour to Tanglewood in Lenox, MA on Saturday, June 23.

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 Seagull"

Upcoming:

  • Alive at Five: Matisyahu, MIRK - Jennings Landing at the Corning Preserve, Albany, Thursday 6/21, 5 PM
  • Goodnight Moonshine - Caffè Lena, Saratoga Springs, Thursday 6/21, 7 PM
  • Old Songs Festival - Altamont Fairgrounds, Altamont, Friday 6/22 through Sunday 6/24
  • Aimee Mann - Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Mass., Friday 6/22, 8 PM
  • Tempest Trio: Alon Goldstein, piano; Ilya Kaler, violin; Amit Peled, cello - music of Beethoven, Amy Beach, Mendelssohn - Tannery Pond Concerts, New Lebanon, Saturday 6/23, 8 PM
  • Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival - SPAC, Saratoga - Saturday 6/23 (feat. Herbie Hancock, Chris Botti) and Sunday 6/24 (feat. Jon Batiste with the Dap-Kings, Mavis Staples), opens both days at 10 AM
  • Boston Pops and Audra McDonald - Tanglewood Shed, Lenox, Mass., Sunday 6/24, 2:30 PM
  • 16MM Classic Fantastic Vintage TV Party: "The Outer Limits" (pilot), "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (2 episodes) - Proctors, Schenectady, Monday 6/25, 7 PM
  • David Blaine Live - Palace Theatre, Albany, Tuesday 6/26, 8 PM

New movies: "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" "American Animals"

The Woodstock Film Festival in collaboration with Upstate Films: Woodstock will present a special screening of “Leave No Trace” on June 23 at 8:15 p.m. at Upstate Films Woodstock with director Debra Granik present for a Q&A following the film.

In the film, Ben Foster plays a veteran named Will who lives off the grid on public land near Portland, Oregon with his teenage daughter Tom, played by Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie. They live a minimalist survivalist existence separate from society apart from occasional trips into town. When their camp is discovered they are absorbed into social services. Well-meaning people attempt to integrate them into society, but Will can’t adjust and he and Tom run away from the housing and job where they have been placed.

The film is adapted by Granik and Anne Rosellini and based on the novel “My Abandonment” by Peter Rock which was inspired by a true story. Debra Granik directed and co-wrote “Winter’s Bone,” which was nominated for four Academy Awards. Her other films include “Down to the Bone” and the documentary, “Stray Dog.”

Laura Michelle Kelly and Ensemble
Daniel Rader / Barrington Stage Company

Pittsfield, Mass. – “The Royal Family,” a 1927 play by George F. Kaufman and Edna Ferber is a beloved backstage look at the Cavendish clan, an egomaniacal acting family that is thinly based on the famous Barrymores.    

Rob Edelman: Inspirational Documentaries

Jun 18, 2018

So many documentaries explore serious subjects. These docs are downbeat if not downright depressing and, given their subjects, they very well should be. But other documentaries focus on individuals whose life stories are inspirational. They are role models, genuine heroes and heroines, individuals who deserve endless praise. Three current documentaries chart the lives of three unique individuals. They are Fred Rogers, Pope Francis, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and their titles are respectively WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?, POPE FRANCIS: A MAN OF HIS WORD, and RBG. Each is well-worth seeing. Each refreshingly offers an enlightening, full-bodied portrait of its subject, and how each came to be much more than a famous name. And the bottom line is: You do not have to be Catholic, or a youngster, or a woman, to savor POPE FRANCIS..., WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?, and RBG.

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.

Jon Batiste
Sasha Isreal

On Sunday, June 24th Jon Batiste will perform with The Dap-Kings at the Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival at SPAC.

Batiste was born into a musical family in Louisiana, he studied at Julliard, attended the Skidmore Jazz Institute, his band, Stay Human, is the house band for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert -- and he’s the Co-Artistic Director at-large for the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.

A horse
Jim Levulis / WAMC

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back in the saddle again.

Audrey Kupferberg: The Ancient Law

Jun 15, 2018

In the mid 1980s, an archivist at the Deutsche Kinemathek worked on the restoration of a 1923 silent film by the esteemed director E.A. Dupont.  The film is titled DAS ALTE GESETZ which is translated as THE ANCIENT LAW.  It tells the dramatic story of Baruch, a young shtetl Jew, the son of a Rabbi, who leaves his family and community, seeking a secular career as a stage actor. 

Rogovoy Report 6/15/18

Jun 15, 2018

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include psychedelic chamber pop, classic rock, theater, dance, and a whole lot more.

Like every great organization, there are board members who are the heart and soul of the operation at the Berkshire Theatre Group.

Lee Perlman is BTG's Board Executive Vice President and Treasurer and President of the Greater New York Hospital Association and on the Board of Trustees/Advisory Committee for the American Theater Wing.

Scott Kirchner is a BTG Executive Board Member and owner of Mad Macs, Inc. We also welcome back our host, Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire.

Berkshire Theatre Group presents Emmy Award-winner Lee Kalcheim’s World Premiere, “Coming Back Like a Song!” on The Fitzpatrick Main Stage in Stockbridge, Massachusetts June 28 through July 21.

In the play, It’s 1956, and three of America’s great songwriters, Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen and Jimmy Van Heusen, are at a crossroads in their lives; rock ‘n roll is now king, and their careers could be over.

Directed by Tony Award-nominee Gregg Edelman, “Coming Back Like a Song!” features Tony Award-nominee David Garrison as Irving Berlin, Philip Hoffman as Harold Arlen and David Rasche [rah-shee] as Jimmy Van Heusen.

We are joined by playwright Lee Kalcheim, Director Gregg Edelman, and actor David Garrison.

Hailed as “crackling, resonant, humorous” by NPR and written by Emmy Award-nominated Jason Odell Williams, “Church & State” is a provocative, fast-paced and witty look at the life of a politician, whose belief system gets shaken to the core three days before his bid for re-election.

Directed by Charlotte Cohn founding producer of the New York Music Theatre Festival and Mainstreet Musicals, “Church & State” intends to have you talking and Tweeting long after the curtain closes – which is why all shows feature a talkback following the performance.

“Church & State” runs through June 30th at the Unicorn Theatre and features: Judy Jerome, Keira Naughton, Graham Rowat, and Andy Talen.

We welcome Graham Rowat, Director Charlotte Cohn and playwright Jason Odell Williams.

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.

Part of what keeps a theater festival running for 90 years is the devotion of its contributing artists. It’s the dedication of returning actors, directors, designers -- and countless others -- that keeps an endeavor like The Berkshire Theatre Group on its feet.

What is it about Berkshire Theatre Group that inspires collaboration from world-class creators and interpreters season after season?

To answer that question, we are joined by actor Tara Franklin; actor and Director of BTG’s Acting Intern Program David Adkins; and Resident Composer/Sound Designer Scott Killian. 

Kate Maguire
Jim Levulis / WAMC

The Berkshire Theatre Festival began producing world class theatre 90 years ago. Now, as The Berkshire Theatre Group (BTG), this season is celebrating and continuing that tradition.

BTG Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire and Director/Actor Eric Hill join us.

This morning we meet the forces behind the Upstate Alliance for the Creative Economy. At its heart, ACE is about strengthening the Capital Region’s creative economy to drive business development, increasing jobs, and driving tourism.

ACE, a collaborative, cross-sector group has come together to strengthen support for creative freelancers, creative organizations, and individuals involved in creative work.

The creative economy is defined as the enterprises and people involved in the origination, production, and distribution of goods and services in which artistic and cultural content gives the product or service value in the marketplace.

Maureen Sager is the Project Director at ACE and she joins us this morning along with Carmen Duncan is CEO, Chief Coach and Founder of Mission Accomplished Transition Services, an Albany-based not-for-profit organization that coaches, develops and supports millennials to become visionary professional and global leaders.

This summer the Saratoga Performing Arts Center will present perennial favorites like The Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival, the New York City Ballet, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and Opera Saratoga; and new series like the Out of this World Festival, SPAC @ Caffè Lena, SPAC on Stage, and Freihofer’s Live at the Jazz Bar.

SPAC President Elizabeth Sobol is here to give us an overview of what the next few months have to offer.

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.

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: "First Reformed," "Hotel Artemis," and "Ocean's 8"

Upcoming:

  • Valerie June - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Thursday 6/14, 7 PM
  • Albert Lee & His Electric Band - Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton, Mass., Thursday 6/14, 7 PM
  • Young Dr. Jekyll: A New Musical - Proctors “The Addy,” Schenectady, Thursday 6/14 at 7 PM through Saturday 6/16
  • Kidz Bop Live! - Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, Friday 6/15, 7 PM
  • Imani Winds (part of the Mostly Modern Festival) - Zankel Music Center, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, Friday 6/15, 7:30 PM
  • Night Riots - The Hollow Bar + Kitchen, Albany, Saturday 6/16, 8 PM
  • Janis Claxton Dance - Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Mass., Sunday 6/17, 2 PM (Free)
  • Ani DiFranco - Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Mass., Sunday 6/17, 7 PM
  • Spotlight on Agnes Varda: Cleo from 5 to 7 - Images Cinema, Williamstown, Mass., Tuesday 6/19, 7 PM

New movies: "Incredibles 2," "The Gospel According to Andre," "The Seagull," "SuperFly," "TAG"

David Crosby
Anna Webber / davidcrosby.com

Folk rock pioneer and two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee David Crosby will perform in the Koussevitzky Music Shed at Tanglewood in Lenox, Massachusetts with singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter and Americana duo Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen on Saturday, June 16 at 7 p.m.

Crosby joins us to discuss the show, the current state of the music industry, and his method for coping with upsetting news cycles.

The Burnt Hills Oratorio Society is a non-profit community chorus whose goal is to nourish our community with the transformative power of music. In their next concert, The Burnt Hills Oratorio Society and the Oratorio Orchestra offer three dramatic musical presentations that explore “The Gift of Life.”

The concert will take place on June 15 at Church of the Immaculate Conception in Glenville, New York and features works by John Rutter, Gustav Holst, and Benjamin Britten. We are joined by Burnt Hills Oratorio Society Artistic Director and Conductor William Jon Gray and President of the Board of Directors Dave Johnson.

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