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The Woodstock Film Festival is announcing its 2020 lineup of screenings and events that will be held virtually and at area drive-ins, including a pop-up drive-in at Andy Lee Field in Woodstock.

The 21st annual festival is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 30, through Sunday, Oct. 4. This year's festival will be a "reformatted virtual edition," due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with in-person screenings limited to drive-in venues in Woodstock, Greenville and Poughkeepsie.

Festival Executive Director and Co-founder Meira Blaustein joins us this morning to tell us more. 


  Berkshire Theatre Group presents “An Intimate Performance with Brian Stokes Mitchell” on September 5 at 8 p.m. at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

 

Stokes is a Tony Award winning actor whose Broadway credits include “Ragtime,” “Kiss Me Kate,” “Man of La Mancha,” and “Shuffle Along.” Television credits include Trapper John, MC and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Glee, Mr. Robot, Billions, and The Good Fight - among many others.

He is serving his 16th term as The Chairman of The Board of The Actors Fund and is a co-founder of the Black Theatre United Coalition.

John Waters is an iconic filmmaker, actor, and author whose credits include "Pink Flamingos," "Hairspray," "Crybaby," "A Dirty Shame" and best selling books including "Role Models, and "Carsick."

His new book is just out in paperback. It's called "Mr. Know-It-All." It's a collection of essays where Waters reflects on everything from overcoming unexpected respectability to becoming a rebel in the autumn of your years.

While you may not immediately recognize the name François Clemmons, you certainly may know him from his groundbreaking role as Officer Clemmons, a recurring character on "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" with Fred Rogers.

Clemmons overcame a difficult childhood of discrimination to become a musician, a noted choir director, and to serve as a positive image of a black American at a time when racial tensions in the United States were very high.

As he writes in his new memoir, he found a family in Fred Rogers, a friend and mentor. He writes about his life and his deep friendship with Rogers in his new memoir "Officer Clemmons."

Tony-winning director Bartlett Sher and the team behind “South Pacific,” “The King and I” and 2017 Tony-winning Best Play “Oslo,” bring a fresh and authentic vision to “Fiddler on the Roof” a beloved theatrical masterpiece from Tony winner Joseph Stein and Pulitzer Prize winners Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick – now on tour at Proctors in Schenectady, New York through Sunday.

The original production won ten Tony Awards, including a special Tony for becoming the longest-running Broadway musical of all time. This new production features movement and dance from acclaimed Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter, based on the original staging by Jerome Robbins.

A wonderful cast and a lavish orchestra tell this heartwarming story of fathers and daughters, husbands and wives, and the timeless traditions that define faith and family.

Maite Uzal plays Golde in the production. As Tevye’s wife of twenty-five years and mother of his five daughters, Golde is an efficient helpmate and traditionalist, faced with changes of a “new world.”

Orson Bean
AXELLE/BAUER-GRIFFIN/GETTY IMAGES

Actor Orson Bean, a staple guest on game shows in the 1960s died yesterday after a car accident in the Venice section of Los Angeles, California. He was 91.

Bean was born in Burlington, Vermont and in 2008, The Roundtable did a remote broadcast from The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington and we included an interview with Orson Bean, who had just turned 80 years old. We aired that conversation today, in memoriam.

Barrington Stage Company’s ninth annual 10X10 New Play Festival will have performances February 13 through March 8 at BSC’s St. Germain Stage in the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The new play festival is part of Pittsfield’s 10X10 Upstreet Arts Festival.

The new play festival is part of the 2020 10X10 Upstreet Arts Festival which is a collaborative effort spearheaded by Barrington Stage Company and the City of Pittsfield, and coordinated through a steering committee that includes the Beacon Cinema, Berkshire International Film Festival, Berkshire Museum, Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, and the City of Pittsfield.

Actor Peggy Pharr Wilson is performing in 5 of the 10 news plays on offer this year. She has acted often at Barrington Stage - as well as at many other theaters - and is one of Barrington Stage’s newest Artistic Associates.

The New Colossus” tells the true stories of twelve refugees from twelve different time periods, fleeing from violence and oppression in a journey toward freedom. In the play -- which will be at Proctors in Schenectady, New York on Friday, February 7 and Saturday, February 8 -- a group of actors from all over the world tell their ancestors' stories, all woven into a single narrative about escaping their homeland and coming to America.

“The New Colossus is co-written by The Actors’ Gang Ensemble and their Artistic Director and Co-Founder Tim Robbins who also directs. The Actors’ Gang was founded in 1981 and is based in Culver City, California.

Academy Award winning actor, Tim Robbins is best known for his films “Bull Durham,” “The Hudsucker Proxy,” “Mystic River,” and “The Shawshank Redemption.” He directorial film credits include “Cradle will Rock” and “Dead Man Walking.”

Celia Keenan-Bolger photographed for broadway.com
Photographs by Caitlin McNaney | Styling: Sarah Slutsky | Hair: Morgan Blaul | Makeup: Rachel Estabrook / broadway.com

Celebrating its 18th season, Modfest 2020 is Vassar College’s annual exploration of the arts of the 20th and 21st centuries. This year’s theme, “reflect to project,” looks backward to move forward. All events are free and open to the public.

On Saturday, February 1 at 3 p.m., Modfest 2020 presents “Reflect: An Artist’s Life, Onstage and Off” featuring Tony Award-winner Celia Keenan-Bolger sharing stories about Broadway, acting, and art. This event is sponsored by The Capotorto-Mulas Family Lecture Fund and will take place in The Martel Theater at the Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film on the Vassar campus in Poughkeepsie, New York. Keenan-Bolger will be in conversation with actor and Vassar Drama Professor Shona Tucker.

Celia Keenan-Bolger’s works includes both plays and musicals, on and off-Broadway. She made her Broadway debut as Olive Ostrovsky in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” earning her first Tony Award nomination. Her other Broadway credits include Eponine in “Les Miserables,” Molly in “Peter and the Starcatcher,” Laura in “The Glass Menagerie,” Varya in “The Cherry Orchard,” and, most recently, Scout in “To Kill a Mockingbird.” She won her first Tony Award for her portrayal of the willful and reflective Scout Finch and was also nominated for “The Glass Menagerie” and “Peter and the Starcatcher.”

Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany, New York is currently presenting the East Coast premiere of Meridith Friedman’s “Your Best One,” directed by Gordon Greenberg.

Eight-years since the death of their beloved matriarch, the Hoffman family rallies together – and against each other – when one of their own is confronted by a sudden health crisis. With their trademark wit and inherited neurosis, they wage battles over health insurance, child custody, inheritance, and superfoods.

Kate Wetherhead plays Laura in “Your Best One.” Wetherhead is the co-creator, writer, director and star of the popular theater-based web series "Submissions Only." She has appeared on and off Broadway in shows such as "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," "Legally Blonde" and "Ordinary Days." Kate has also performed regionally at theaters like the Guthrie, Paper Mill Playhouse, Goodspeed Opera House, George Street Theater and the Dallas Theater Center.

Hubbard Hall Center for the Arts and Education in Cambridge, New York presents “Stupid F*%king Bird,” a new adaptation of Chekhov's “The Seagull” by Aaron Posner, weekends January 24 through February 2. The show is produced in partnership with Bennington College.

An aspiring director rampages against the art created by his mother’s generation. A young actress wrestles with an aging Hollywood star for the affections of a renowned novelist. And everyone discovers just how disappointing love, art, and growing up can be.

We were joined by Director Kirk Jackson, actor Jesse Pennington, and Executive and Artistic Director of Hubbard Hall David Snider.

The Tour of The Tony-Award winning revival of the musical “Once on this Island” will be at Proctors in Schenectady, New York on Friday, January 17 and Saturday, January 18.

The Lynn Ahrens/Stephen Flaherty musical, directed by Michael Arden and choreographed by Camille A. Brown, tells the story of the orphaned Ti Moune and four competitive Gods who make a wager over her life and her love. “Once on this Island” is a celebration tinged with sadness that emphasizes the importance of telling everyone’s stories.

Tyler Hardwick joined us. He plays Daniel and he joins the tour after playing a storyteller and understudying roles during the show’s Broadway run.

Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany, New York presents “It’s a Wonderful Life: Live from WVL Radio Theatre” through Dec. 22.

Adapted from the classic Frank Capra film by W.V.R. Repoley this story comes to life as a live, 1940s radio broadcast. Five actors give voice to all the memorable Bedford Falls characters, accompanied by sound effects and music created live on stage.  

We are joined by actor Wynn Harmon.

A photo of Berkshire Theatre Group's A Christmas Carol
Emma K. Rothenberg-Ware

The Berkshire Theatre Group presents its adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” on stage at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Massachusetts December 7 -21.

A holiday classic, “A Christmas Carol” celebrates the import of empathy and community connection – and BTG’s production of the story does the same.

The story was adapted for the stage by Eric Hill, who stars as the miser-who-makes-good, Ebenezer Scrooge.

Eric Hill joined us along with BTG’s Artistic Associate of Education Travis Daly, who directs “A Christmas Carol” and actor and high school student, Kate Goble – who plays Belle.

Nehal Joshi, Scott Stangland, Peter Dinklage, and Jasmine Cephas Jones in "Cyrano"
Monique Carboni

Jasmine Cephas Jones is starring opposite Peter Dinklage in The New Group’s “Cyrano” which is running at the Daryl Roth Theatre in New York City through December 22.

In the new musical version of “Cyrano de Bergerac,” the 1897 play-in-verse by Edmond Rostand, Dinklage plays the brilliantly eloquent and love-struck cadet Cyrano, pining after Cephas Jones’ beautiful and willful Roxanne - who in turn loves the handsome and witless Christian.

This new version is adapted from the original and directed by Erica Schmidt and features original music by Aaron and Bryce Dessner of the rock band The National with lyrics by Matt Berninger (also of The National) and Carin Besser.

Jasmine Cephas Jones originated the dual roles of Peggy and Maria Reynolds in Hamilton at The Public and subsequently on Broadway, earning widespread recognition and acclaim along with her castmates, and a Grammy Award for the cast recording. She co-starred in the film “Blindspotting” which starred and was written by her “Hamilton” co-star Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal. A television series based on the movie is in development. In addition to being an actor and performer, Cephas Jones writes music and will have an EP of her original music coming out soon.

Sean Penn won Academy Awards for Best Actor for his performances in “Mystic River” and “Milk.” He is also a novelist. His debut novel was “Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff” and he’s followed it up with the sequel “Bob Honey Sings Jimmy Crack Corn,” where he follows the exploits of Bob Honey, a septic tank entrepreneur turned international mallet-wielding assassin.

Paul Reiser and Joe Donahue on stage at Page Hall in Albany New York
Patrick Dodson

Comedian, actor, television writer, author and musician Paul Reiser co-starred as Paul Buchman in the decade-defining 1990s comedy, "Mad About You." Other starring roles include Michael Taylor in 60 episodes of "My Two Dads," Doug Getty in "Red Oaks," and Dr. Sam Owens in "Stranger Things." His films include: "Diner," "Beverly Hills Cop" 1 & 2, "Aliens" and "Whiplash."

Reiser is also the author of three bestsellers about family life, including "Couplehood," "Babyhood" and "Familyhood." This Creative Life conversation was recorded on April 4, 2019.

Chita Rivera
Laura Marie Duncan

On November 16, Helsinki on Broadway in association with Gary DiMauro presents “Chita: A Legendary Celebration” at Helsinki Hudson in Hudson, New York. The one-and-only Chita Rivera will perform songs from her Tony Award winning Broadway career with her longtime trio at 7 and 9:30 p.m. At Helsinki Hudson she’ll perform songs from “West Side Story,” “Sweet Charity,” “Chicago,” “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” ”Bye, Bye, Birdie,” “The Rink,” “The Visit,” and more.

Theatrical icon and living legend of the stage, Rivera is among the most nominated performers in Tony Award history and received the 2018 Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre. Among her many honors through a lifetime of performance and activism, Rivera was awarded The Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2009 and received a Kennedy Center Honor in 2002.

Our tech-guru Jesse Feiler is an author and developer who focuses on small business and nonprofits along with iOS technologies. He has recently added book publisher to his roles: his Champlain Arts business has published apps for a number of years, and has recently added books. Uta Hagen’s memoir "Sources" is back in print through ChamplainArts.com.

Tech aside this morning, Jesse is here to tell us about a two night event next week at SUNY Plattsburgh entitled: "The Artistry and Politics of Uta Hagen - A Centennial Celebration of Her Life."

Uta Hagen was a renowned American actress and teacher. Her Broadway career began in 1938 and spanned more than six decades, garnering her three Tony Awards. In 1947, she began teaching acting at HB Studio in Greenwich Village. She established herself as one of the most influential acting teachers of the 20th century. Her acting books, "Respect for Acting" (1973) and "A Challenge for the Actor" (1991), are considered two of the most important acting books of the 20th century.

Jesse joins us along with Ted Brunetti - producer, director, acting coach, teacher, and actor. Ted created the role of “Frankie Coffee Cake” in the Broadway Production of “A Bronx Tale: The Musical.” He was a long-time colleague and protégé of Uta Hagen.

Actor Barry Bostwick is one of the stars of the 1975 cult classic "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." On Monday, October 21, he will be part of a screening of the film at The Palace Theatre in Albany, New York with "shadow cast" The Kids of Albany. The Palace Theatre and The Kids of Albany have been doing these screenings for 10 years.

The event will begin with a pre-show meet-and-greet with Bostwick for holder of VIP tickets and he will introduce the film and do a Q&A with the whole audience.

On October 10, “Linda Vista,” a new play by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Tracy Letts, directed by Dexter Bullard, opens at Second Stage’s Helen Hayes Theater in New York City.

In the play, Wheeler is a 50-year-old divorcee in a mid-life spiral. Just out of his ex-wife’s garage and into a place of his own, Wheeler starts on a path toward self-discovery. Full of opinions and short on self-examination, Wheeler navigates blind dates, old friends, and new love while reconciling the man he has become with the man he wants to be.

“Linda Vista” premiered at Steppenwolf in Chicago. It went on to have its Los Angeles premiere at Center Theatre Group in the Mark Taper Forum in February 2019 - and now it’s on Broadway.

For each of the productions, Letts’ fellow Steppenwolf ensemble member Ian Barford has played Wheeler. Barford also originated the role of Little Charles in Letts's “August: Osage County,” Ray in “Mary Page Marlowe,” and Mr. Carp “The Minutes.” Other Broadway credits include “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime” and “The Rise and Fall of Little Voice.”

This month, Drama Desk nominee Lori Wilner revisits her one woman show “Hannah Sanesh,” which she co-created with writer/director David Schechter in 1984.

It is an intimate account of a young Hungarian Jewish girl growing up in 1930’s Budapest. Not particularly religious, she is drawn to investigate her Judaism as she experiences increasing persecution and anti-semitism.

Originally performed Off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theater, Lori received the Goldy Award, DramaLogue Award and Drama Desk nomination for her solo performance and went on to tour extensively in the states, Canada and Israel. Lori will perform the show on Saturday, October 5 at Unison Arts Center in New Paltz, New York.

"Lobby Hero" At TheRep

Oct 2, 2019

Penned nearly 20 years ago and debuting off Broadway just prior to the 9/11 tragedy, Kenneth Lonergan’s "Lobby Hero" is rife with proto-memes of #MeToo, Black Lives Matter, police brutality, workplace harassment, bullying and the millennial urge to save the world without actually doing much about it. It is now running at Capital Repertory Theatre through Oct. 20th, directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian.

In the play: Jeff is a blabbermouth. He’s not a doorman he will repeatedly tell you, but a security guard. Your secrets are not safe with him. Just ask William, his superintendent whose brother has been accused of a heinous crime. Or Bill, the veteran beat cop who has a standing tryst with a fading flower upstairs. Or Dawn, the new rookie Bill is preening despite the fact that three months into her new gig she’s already been called up on assault charges.

Kenny Toll plays Jeff, the self-imagined lobby hero whose mouth can’t stop flapping long enough for his brain to take over.

The Spongebob Musical” National Tour sets sail at Proctors in Schenectady, New York on September 22 and will anchor there through September 28.

Conceived and directed by Tina Landau with a book by Kyle Jarrow, orchestrations by Tom Kitt, and choreography by Christopher Gattelli, “The Spongebob Musical” features songs by Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, The Flaming Lips, Lady Antebellum, John Legend, Panic! At The Disco, They Might Be Giants, David Bowie, Brian Eno - and more.

In the show, Nickelodeon’s popular right-angled aquatic invertebrate and his town of Bikini Bottom face catastrophe - until an unexpected hero rises to take center stage.

We are joined by the actors playing best friends SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star: Lorenzo Pugliese and Beau Bradshaw.

Constance Shulman in "The Rose Tattoo" at The Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2016
Daniel Rader

This week, the Roundabout Theatre Company production of Tennessee Williams’ “The Rose Tattoo” begins previews on Broadway at The American Airlines Theatre, directed by Trip Cullman and starring Marisa Tomei. A version of the production premiered at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2016. Much of the cast has changed between the two stagings, but our next guest, Constance Shulman, has remained a part of the play. She plays The Strega.

Shulman is best known as Yoga Jones on the Netflix series “Orange is the New Black” and as the voice of Patti Mayonnaise on the Nickelodeon cartoon, “Doug.” Her theatre credits include originating the role of Annelle in the first production of “Steel Magnolias” Off-Broadway.

Hershey Felder in "George Gershwin Alone"
Mark Garvin

The celebrated one-man play, “George Gershwin Alone,” features acclaimed actor, playwright and accomplished pianist, Hershey Felder rendering an intimate portrait of George Gershwin’s personal life and artistic genius.

Widely regarded as the man who brought jazz into the concert hall, Gershwin changed the musical landscape forever. Packed with Gershwin’s legendary songbook, “George Gershwin Alone” features delightful classics such as “I Got Rhythm,” “Someone to Watch Over Me,” songs from “Porgy and Bess” and “An American in Paris,” and a complete performance of “Rhapsody in Blue.”

Berkshire Theatre Group presents “George Gershwin Alone” at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Massachusetts through August 31.

Edward Albee’s classic “Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?” is being performed at the Weston Playhouse in Weston, Vermont through August 31. The production is directed by Mike Donahue.

In the play, it’s two o’clock in the morning when George and Martha return home from a college faculty party, but the night has only just begun. An evening of fun and games takes a dark turn as the line between reality and illusion blurs.

Three cast members from Weston join us this morning. Andrew Garman (George), Kristin Villanueva (Honey) and Jeffrey Omura (Nick).

Suzan-Lori Parks’ “Topdog/Underdog” won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for drama and was the number-one choice in last year’s New York Times list of “The 25 Best American Plays Since ‘Angels in America.’” The play is now being performed at Shakespeare & Company through September 8th.

In the play: two brothers, Lincoln and Booth, are locked in a battle of wits and struggle to come to terms with their identity and what history has handed them, even their names.

Director Regge Life; actors Deaon Griffin-Pressley and Bryce Michael Wood joined us.

Celebrating its 33rd summer season, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival (HVSF) is a critically acclaimed professional, non-profit theater company based in Garrison, New York. The Festival has established a reputation for engaging and highly inventive productions staged under an iconic, open-air Theater Tent overlooking the Hudson River at historic Boscobel House and Gardens.

Jason O’Connell joined us to fill us in on two of HVSF’s current offerings. Returning to HVSF for a tenth season, the actor and playwright is portraying the title character of "Cyrano" in a new adaptation of the classic Edmond Rostand tale, which O’Connell has co-written with Brenda Withers. O'Connell is also playing The Narrator/Mysterious Man in the James Lapine/Stephen Sondheim musical “Into the Woods.”

“I Loved Lucy” is an autobiographical play by Lee Tannen about his friendship with entertainment icon Lucille Ball during the final years of the comedy legend’s life.

After receiving a warm reception in London, the play will have its New York premiere performances in the Hudson Valley this month presented by Gary DiMauro at Helsinki Hudson in Hudson, New York on August 24, and at The Woodstock Playhouse in Woodstock, New York on August 31.

In this production, Lee Tannen will play himself opposite Sandra Dickinson as Lucy.

Accomplished stage and screen actor, Sandra Dickinson is best known for her work in Birds Eye Beefburger TV advertisements directed by Alan Parker in the early 1970s, and as Trillian in the 1981 television adaptation of “The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.” She’s often works as a voice-actor for animated series.

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