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Arts & Culture

Rogovoy Report4/3/20

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Last Friday, Bob Dylan recently released a new song, “Murder Most Foul.” It’s Dylan’s first new song in eight years, and clocking in at 17 minutes, it’s also his longest song ever. You can hear it on all the major streaming services, and what you’ll hear is a spoken-word surreal fever dream about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It’s not only a work of epic genius – formally, structurally, and otherwise – but it veritably demands a close reading in order to comprehend fully what the Nobel Prize-winner hath wrought.

An empty stage sits in an empty brick courtyard with a few people looking at it
Josh Landes / WAMC

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel host a socially distant quiz.

Audrey Kupferberg: Self Made/Madam C.J. Walker

Mar 27, 2020

Netflix recently debuted a new limited series called Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker.  Directed by Kasi Lemmons and DeMane Davis, and executive-produced by LeBron James, the four-part series is a tribute to the first female millionaire entrepreneur in the United States.  Madam C.J. Walker was an African-American woman born just two years after the end of slavery into a family of slaves-turned-sharecroppers.  She manufactured and sold hair restorers and beauty products made specifically for women of color.

Rogovoy Report 3/27/20

Mar 27, 2020

Today I want to tell you about my visit to the pharmacy this past Wednesday. It was in several ways the highlight of my week. Wednesday was the day I had long feared and dreaded – when I would have to break down and walk into a pharmacy to get my prescription for, of all things, my anti-anxiety medication.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel do a show based on an event that has since been canceled, but they have fun anyway!

Rogovoy Report 3/20/20

Mar 20, 2020

As you probably know by now, concerts have all been cancelled. Movie theaters are closed. Performing arts venues of all kinds are shuttered. So what’s a culture vulture to do?

Audrey Kupferberg: Wild Nights With Emily

Mar 19, 2020

Wild Nights with Emily sounds like a film about a rebellious teen who spends her nights at raves and overnight orgies.  It is not.  Wild Nights with Emily, which was released on DVD and other home-viewing formats this month, is an unusual independent feature film about Emily Dickinson, whom we grew up knowing as a prim recluse, a spinster-poet who didn’t socialize or have a very real passionate love in her lifetime, a woman who wrote of death and immortality.  It certainly is true that she was a homebody. She hid many of her works even from her family, and only a small portion of her 1800 poems were published during her lifetime.

BTG PLAYS! 2019-2020 Touring Show is "Magic Tree House: Pirates Past Noon," based on the book "Magic Tree House: Pirates Past Noon" by Mary Pope Osborne. This musical features a book by Jenny Laird and Will Osborne, lyrics by Randy Courts and Will Osborne and music by Randy Courts, with direction by Travis Daly.

Magic Tree House: Pirates Past Noon is an adaptation of the fourth of Mary Pope Osborne's award-winning fantasy adventure books from the Magic Tree House book series, which has sold more than 100 million copies and is available in more than a hundred countries around the world.

BTG PLAYS! Touring Show is a part of Berkshire Theatre Group’s year-round education program, which reaches 13,000 school children annually. Beginning in October and running through the school year, this production is appropriate for elementary and middle school aged children and family audiences, and is designed to introduce students to the excitement of live theatre.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel swap seats for a show on -ologies.

Gina-Simone Pemberton in "Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grille"
Richard Ruotolo

If ever a show deserved to be termed a “tragic musical,” its “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grille.”  

Michael Farrell

It’s common to call a puzzling mystery a head scratcher.

“Switzerland” is a mystery, playing at Curtain Call Theatre in Latham through March 14.   The play centers about famed mystery writer Patricia Highsmith.    It’s a head scratcher in a way that is not entirely complimentary.

Ferrin Contemporary is presenting "Nature/Nurture," a group exhibition of twelve contemporary female artists invited to explore the influence of gender and its impact on their practice. The show was organized in honor of Women's History Month in conjunction with FOREFRONT2020, a symposium on women in the visual arts taking place on the MASS MoCA campus.

The exhibition explores these ideas that range from direct interpretations of the natural world to more abstract notions, such as the construction of gender and the endowed role of women within their personal and professional careers. Works in clay range in form from individual vessels to composed still lifes and figural and abstract sculpture.

Considering the impact that the #MeToo movement is having on all professions, artists were asked to pause and reflect on the role gender plays in their artistic practice and to consider the nurturing experiences that have shaped them. To tell us more, we welcome Senior Curator of Visual Arts at MASS MoCA Susan Cross, an artist featured in Ferrin Contemporary's "Nature/Nurture" group exhibition Anina Major, and director of Ferrin Contemporary and curator of Nature/Nurture Leslie Ferrin.

Danny Burstein and the company of Moulin Rouge on Derek McLane's set
http://www.derekmclane.com/


  Derek McLane is an award-winning production and set designer for stage and screen. He’s designed for The Academy Awards, NBC’s live musical productions, and nearly countless theatrical productions around the country - including on and Off-Broadway.

 

His work is currently represented on Broadway in the opulent Bohemian-Parisian spectacular of the set for “Moulin Rouge!” at the Hirschfeld Theatre and in Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of “A Soldier’s Play” at The American Airlines Theatre.

Sabrina Gschwandtner, American (born 1977) Elizabeth Keckley Diamond, 2014 16mm polyester film, polyester thread, and lithographic ink in a light box, 15 7/8 × 16 13/16 × 3 1/16in. Museum Purchase, 2017.19
https://www.mwpai.org/

The new exhibition “Celebrating Suffrage” at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute in Utica, New York marks the 100-year anniversary of Congress’s ratification of women’s suffrage, the right for American women to vote in all government elections.

Women found unique creative outlets before and after they were officially recognized as full citizens of the United States. This exhibition explores the role of art as a vehicle for women, as individuals or in groups, to reflect, reform, or challenge social beliefs and political practices of their era.

“Celebrating Suffrage” examines how women created their place within the larger art community, adding an important vision that has often been overlooked or undervalued. This anniversary presents the opportunity to celebrate the contributions to subject matter, materials, and means of expression that women have made to the visual arts in the United States.

Miranda Hofelt is Curator of 19th-Century American Art at MWPAI.

"Fiddler: A Miracle Of Miracles" poster
"Fiddler: A Miracle Of Miracles"

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel play defunct football league categories.

Rogovoy Report 3/6/20

Mar 6, 2020

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include indie-pop, comedy, indie-folk, bluegrass, cabaret … plus a whole lot more.


  The ornamental motif known as arabesque has ancient sources and first appeared in Islamic cultures as a form of sacred writing. It figures in key movements in European art, bridging cultures and materials, arabesque did not settle into a single form or style.

 

The nineteenth-century flowering of this motif is featured in the Clark Art Institute exhibition “Arabesque,” on view at the Williamstown, Massachusetts museum through March 22.

 

Anne Leonard, the Manton Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, and curator of the exhibition, takes us on an audio tour and discusses several of the featured works.

Bob Goepfert Previews Proctors/Cap Rep Seasons

Mar 5, 2020
Buyi Zama (Rafiki) - The Lion King
Deen van Meer / ©Disney

It’s difficult to top last season during which the musical “Hamilton” played in your theater for two weeks.  

Matt Haimovitz, Ashley Bathgate, Mike Block, and Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company
provided

J.S. Bach composed his Six Suites for Solo Cello around 1720 and they remain the Everest of the cello repertoire to this day.

There will be a celebration concert on Saturday night at 7:30 at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in Troy, New York will which will feature a complete Bach Cello Suite, contemporary works inspired by and composed in tribute to Bach, and the world premiere of a dance in homage to Bach choreographed by the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company.  

Three exceptional cellists, Matt Haimovitz, Mike Block, and Ashley Bathgate, will play a captivating and illuminating variety of solo, duet and trio pieces that underscore the deep influence of J.S. Bach’s Cello Suites on them and how that music fuels their artistry today.

Marc Violette and Margaret Lanoue are President and Vice President of Bach Cello Suites Workshop.

  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: "Seberg"

Upcoming:

  • Nellie McKay - Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton, Mass., Thursday 3/5, 7 PM; Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, Sunday 3/8, 8 PM
  • "The Irish and How They Got That Way" - Capital Repertory Theatre, Albany, opens Friday 3/6 at 8 PM through April 5
  • Peter Asher & Jeremy Clyde - The Egg, Albany, Friday 3/6, 8 PM
  • Caroline Rose, Good Baby - The Hollow Bar + Kitchen, Albany, Friday 3/6, 9 PM
  • Eddie Griffin - Funny Bone Comedy Club, Guilderland, Friday 3/6 at 7:30 & 10 PM; Saturday 3/7 at 7 & 9:45 PM
  • Bach Cello Suites at 300: Then & Now with Matt Haimovitz - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Saturday 3/7, 7:30 PM
  • Chris Pureka - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Saturday 3/7, 8 PM
  • Robert Cray - Turning Stone, Showroom, Verona, Sunday 3/8, 7 PM; Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Tuesday 3/10, 7:30 PM
  • "Key Largo" - Palace Theatre, Albany, Monday 3/9, 7 PM

New movies: "Emma," "Portrait of a Lady on Fire," "Onward"

Gin Blossoms will be performing at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, Massachusetts on March 6 at 8 p.m.

In the late 1980’s, Gin Blossoms started to grow a huge following as the #1 local music draw in Phoenix and were the hometown heroes of their favorite hang, Tempe, Arizona. Gin Blossoms indelible jangle-pop sound was evolving during radio’s diverse mix of hair bands and grunge music superstars like Nirvana. After the Phoenix New Times chose them the cities best rock band, they qualified to play at the South By Southwest Music Festival in Austin Texas in 1989. That same year, College Music Journal dubbed them the “Best Unsigned Band in America” and added an invitation to perform on MTV’s New Music Awards in New York City.

Taking their name from a caption on a W.C. Fields photo, Gin Blossoms signed a record deal with A&M and recorded their first EP “Up And Crumbling” in 1991. But, it was not until their breakout record “New Miserable Experience” in 1992 that their rise to fame began. “New Miserable Experience” kept the band on the charts for almost 3 years with singles “Hey Jealousy,” “Allison Road,” “Until I Fall Away,” “Mrs Rita,” and “Found Out About You.” The album took the airwaves by siege and held MTV hostage with multi crossover hits in 4 different radio formats. It was this record that rocketed the band into the mainstream going on to sell over 5 million copies making the band a 90’s radio mainstay.

Gin Blossoms lead singer Robin Wilson joins us.

Peter Asher met the Beatles in the spring of 1963, the start of a lifelong association with the band and its members. He had a front-row seat as they elevated pop music into an art form, and he was present at the creation of some of the most iconic music of our times - including seminal works by James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt.

Asher is also a talented musician in his own right, getting his start as half of the duo Peter and Gordon - he will join forces with Jeremy Clyde of Chad and Jeremy for an evening of music and memories featuring songs and stories from their '60s hey-day on Friday, March 6 at 8 p.m. at The Egg in Albany, New York. 

His book, "The Beatles from A to Zed," grew out of his popular radio program "From Me to You" on Sirius/XM's The Beatles Channel where he shares memories and insights about The Fab Four.  

Penguins logo
wikipedia.org

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel refill their "pens."

COHOES – There are  musicals like “Hello Dolly” that exist for pure entertainment.  There are other musicals like “Jersey Boys” and “Beautiful,” that combine a compelling story with terrific music. 

Rogovoy Report 2/28/20

Feb 28, 2020

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include indie-pop, avant-garde, soul, Celtic, old-time string-band music … plus a whole lot more.

Emmy Award-winning musician, author and philanthropist Peter Buffett has been performing "A Concert and Conversation" all over the United States, Canada, and China since 2010.

He will be performing on Tuesday March 3 at 5:30 p.m. at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York – he’ll sing and play piano accompaniment by cellist Michael Kott.

Peter tells stories about growing up, career choice, and philanthropic learning while taking questions from the audience throughout the show.

The Berkshire Theatre Group has announced its 2020 summer theatrical season, with a casting sneak-peek. And Kate Maguire - Artistic Director, CEO, and new WAMC panelist – is here to tell us more.

The 2020 season – which marks ten years since the announcement of the merger between The Colonial Theatre and Berkshire Theatre Festival – includes classics, three world premieres, and plenty in between.

Audrey Kupferberg: Broken Barriers

Feb 27, 2020

Fiddler on the Roof is one of the most beloved stage and screen musicals of the last fifty-plus years.  You will recall, it’s a touching story of a poor dairyman, Tevye, and his wife and daughters, as they struggle to eke out a living in the Ukrainian village of Anatevka. Fiddler is based on the Tevye the Dairyman stories by the most famous of all Yiddish-language writers, Sholem Aleichem.  A portion of the stories involvies Chava, the daughter who is a reader and potentially an intellectual.  In the written story, Chava runs off to marry a handsome educated man who worships the writings of Maxim Gorky and longs to share his love and his knowledge with Chava.  But this man was born into the rites of his Church -- a non-Jew, so the issue of inter-marriage is the theme of the Chava story. 

The Hart Cluett Museum’s ‘The Way We Work(ed)’ exhibit, will open to the public tomorrow at 5:00 p.m.The exhibit was organized by The Hart Cluett Museum in collaboration with the Smithsonian as part of a pilot project to develop a unique humanities-based exhibition about local work history. The museum is one of just 10 museums in the United States chosen through a competitive selection process.

The exhibit is divided into four sections: “Where We Work,” “How We Work,” “Who Works?” and “Why We Work.” An advisory panel consisting of more than two dozen area professionals from widely different facets of the region’s workplaces was assembled to provide a contemporary perspective on the ever-changing nature of work. The panel included experts from backgrounds in technology, construction, agriculture, education and workforce development, among others.

Stacy Pomeroy Draper, the Curator of the Hart Cluett Museum joins us this morning.

  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 Assistant"

Upcoming:

  • Michelle Ellsworth: Work in Progress - EMPAC, Studio 1 - Goodman, RPI, Troy, Thursday 2/27, 7 PM
  • Air Supply: The Lost in Love Experience - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Thursday 2/27, 7:30 PM
  • "Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill" - Cohoes Music Hall, Cohoes, opens Thursday 2/27 at 8 PM, through March 15
  • FLEX AVE. - The Egg, Albany, Friday 2/28, 7:30 PM
  • Annie & The Hedonists - The Van Dyck Lounge, Schenectady, Friday 2/28, 8 PM
  • Blue Man Group - Proctors, Mainstage, Schenectady, Friday 2/28 at 8 PM; Saturday 2/29 at 2 & 8 PM; Sunday 3/1 at 2 PM
  • Sam Evian - MASS MoCA, Club B10, North Adams, Mass., Saturday 2/29, 8 PM
  • Caitlin Canty, w/s/g Corey Laitman - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Sunday 3/1, 7 PM
  • Jennifer Block, author “Everything Below the Waist: Why Health Care Needs a Feminist Revolution” in conversation with Elisa Albert - NYS Writers Institute, New York State Museum Huxley Theatre, Albany, Tuesday 3/3, 7:30 PM

New movies: "Seberg," "The Invisible Man," "Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band," "The Traitor"

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