entertainment

From his rapid-fire stand-up comedy riffs to his starring roles in "Mork and Mindy" and "Good Will Hunting," Robin Williams was an innovative and beloved entertainer -- but as New York Times culture reporter Dave Itzkoff shows in his new biography, "Robin," Williams' comic brilliance masked a deep well of conflicting emotions and self-doubt.

Palace Theatre

A summer movie series for city kids is back for another run at Albany's Palace 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: "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"

Easthampton City Arts will be presenting a program - Grist for the Mill - featuring Michael Musto of the Village Voice & Mickey Boardman, Editorial Director of PAPER Magazine at the Boylston Room in Easthampton on Thursday, April 6th at 8PM.

Kicking off the 3rd annual Easthampton Book Fest, the pair will explore a range of topics including the role of the artist and writer in times of political and cultural shift. Michael Musto joins us this morning to give us a preview.

Musto is a correspondent for the Village Voice, where he wrote the entertainment and nightlife column "La Dolce Musto" for 29 years. He also writes weekly e-columns for Out.com and PAPER Magazine, as well as articles for The New York Times "Styles" section. 

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.

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.

  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.

  There is nothing like a Tanglewood Picnic.

The expansive lawn at the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra brings people together to enjoy some of the best music in the world at one of the most beautiful places in the world and - as if that weren’t perfect enough - when enjoying a concert from the lawn you can bring your favorite food and drink and enjoy it all in the Summer sun or under the stars.

The experience is captured in Gina Hyams new book, The Tanglewood Picnic: Music and Outdoor Feasts in the Berkshires which is published on Gina’s new imprint, Muddy Puppy Media. 

    Obsessively watched and critically ignored, sitcoms were a distraction, a gentle lullaby of a kinder, gentler America—until suddenly the artificial boundary between the world and television entertainment collapsed.

In Sitcom: A History In 24 Episodes From I Love Lucy To Community by Saul Austerlitz, we can watch the growth of the sitcom, following the path that leads from Lucy to The Phil Silvers Show; from The Dick Van Dyke Show to The Mary Tyler Moore Show; from M*A*S*H to Taxi; from Cheers to Roseanne; from Seinfeld to Curb Your Enthusiasm; and from The Larry Sanders Show to 30 Rock.

    Joan Rivers kept audiences laughing through a 50-year career. It was a career that certainly had its bumps: bankruptcy, getting banned from The Tonight Show, and having her husband commit suicide - however, she was a constant presence on the road. She never stopped working and was always reinventing herself.

In this segment we share an archival interview with Joan Rivers and then welcome Susie Essman to the program to talk about what Joan meant to her.

The Knickerbocker Film Festival is under way this week, commemorating five years of presenting emerging filmmakers to New York’s Capital Region.

The festival opened at the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy on Friday: tonight it's back in Albany for four days of screenings at the Madison Theater, the Linda, and Spectrum 8 Theaters.

  From the Coke and Mentos fountain makers who found initial fame via Maker Faire and YouTube (more than 150 million views) comes a collection of DIY science projects guaranteed to inspire a love of experimentation. Their book is How to Build a Hovercraft.

Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz share their favorite projects: a giant air vortex cannon, a leaf blower hovercraft, a paper airplane that will fly forever, and many more.

Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz are the mad scientists behind EepyBird. Best known as "the Coke and Mentos guys," their viral videos have been seen over 150 million times. They experiment with soda and candy, sticky notes, paper airplanes, shampoo, plywood, and more, searching for ways to transform these everyday objects into something new and unforgettable. They are based in Buckfield, Maine. Half of the duo, Stephen Voltz joins us.

The Tonight Show is coming home to New York - the late night program left for California in 1972, but the lure of state tax credits has proven irresistible to the NBC television network. The show is expected to generate more than 100 million dollars in economic benefits for the Empire State. But not everyone supports the film tax credit.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A Cuomo administration official says New York is trying to lure TV shows with its tax credits program and the "Tonight" show would qualify if it decides to move back to Manhattan. 

  Calf Testicle Festivals in Oklahoma, Lobster Boat Races in Maine, Tall-Bike Jousting in Oregon… Americans will do just about anything to entertain themselves! Travel Channel’s new series "Edge of America,” celebrates the weird and wonderful varieties of entertainment that have developed around regionally unique and historic activities.

Springfield Performing Arts Development Corp

Tina D’Agostino was named this week as the new president of the Springfield Performing Arts Development Corporation. It is a non-profit that manages two live entertainment venues in Springfield Massachusetts; Symphony Hall and City Stage.  D’Agostino was the organization’s marketing director for the last ten years.  She spoke with WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill

We welcome Chris Fryer to the studio and speak with him about Jack Nicholson: The Early Years - a biography he co-wrote with Robert Crane.

Art Along the Hudson

May 7, 2012

Linda T. Hubbard (Chair, Art Along the Hudson), Barbara Galazzo (Co-Chair Art Along the Hudson Kickoff), and Maryann Syrek (Secretary, Garrison Art Center Board) join us to talk about Art Along the Hudson's 9th season kick-off!

The Apprenticeship Project, a collectively-created performance installation, takes place on Wednesday in North Adams. The performance features 34 performers engaged in a variety of activities. We learn more from Arthur Levitt '52 Artist-in-Residence at Williams College, Hana van der Kolk.

Emmy and Obie Award winning actress, Marilyn Sokol, is one of five actors in Old Jews Telling Jokes facing the enjoyable task of paying homage to and reinventing jokes (and performing comic songs) off-Broadway at The Westside Theatre. The show, inspired by the website of the same name, created by Peter Gethers and Daniel Okrent and directed by Marc Bruni, is in previews now and opens on May 20.

We welcome Warren Littlefield, former NBC President of Entertainment, and talk about his book, Top of the Rock: Inside the Rise and Fall of Must See TV .

Mike Birbiglia

Apr 27, 2012
Joan Marcus, copyright 2011

We welcome comedian, writer, and actor, Mike Birbiglia, to the show and speak with him about his two one-man shows (Sleepwalk with Me and My Girlfriend's Boyfriend); the development of his work, and the film adaptation of Sleepwalk with Me.

Mike Birbiglia is bringing My Girlfriend's Boyfriend to The Egg in Albany, NY on 5/2 and The Calvin in Northampton, MA on 5/5.

Screencap from "The Perfect Family"

Star of stage and screen, Kathleen Turner, plays the lead in Anne Renton's film, The Perfect Family. The film is screening on May 5th in Northampton, Massachusetts as the season finale of the Out! For Reel series. Out! for Reel is a popular lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender film series for New England.

We are thrilled to welcome the legendary Joan Rivers to the show prior to her weekend stand-up show at UPAC in Kingston.

JoAnn Falletta

Apr 23, 2012

We welcome JoAnn Falletta, she is guest conducting Carmina Burana with the Albany Symphony Orchestra.

Rachel Maddow

Apr 9, 2012

Rachel Maddow speaks with us about finishing her dissertation, moving to Lesbianville, USA, starting in radio, and how her MSNBC show works.

Last week Michael Kaiser, the President of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, gave a talk at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY entitled, "Great Art, Well Marketed." On his way back to D.C., he stopped by our studio to talk about his past work and future plans.

Kat Koppett (co-director of improve group Mopco, Mark Fleisher (Producing Artistic Director, Adirondack Theatre Festival), Leigh Strimbeck (WAM Theatre co-founder and Artistic Advisor) tell us about the second 24hr Berkshires/Capital Region Theatre Project.

Kevin Costner

Apr 3, 2012
http://kevincostnermodernwest.com

Actor/Director/Musician, Kevin Costner, and his band will play at Northern Lights in Clifton Park, NY on Friday, April 6.

Music:
Kevin Costner and Modern West - "Superman" and "Backyard"

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