Arts & Culture | WAMC

Arts & Culture

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel mark Valentine's Day with a show about hearts.

Rogovoy Report 2/14/20

Feb 14, 2020

The upcoming cultural highlights in our region include lots of jazz, blues, folk, orchestral music, new plays  … plus a whole lot more.

JoAnn Falletta
Brendan Bannon

This Friday, February 14 The Albany Symphony Orchestra will present a romantic evening for classical music lovers at Proctors in Schenectady, New York.

The program will feature Dame Ethel Smyth’s Concerto for Violin, Horn, and Orchestra featuring Jill Levy and Jacek Muzyk; Roussel’s Bacchus et Ariane Suite; and selections from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. Grammy-winning conductor JoAnn Falletta will lead the orchestra as guest conductor.

Falletta serves as Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of the Brevard Music Center and Artistic Adviser of the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra. The New York Times has referred to Falletta as “...one of the finest conductors of her generation.”

    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: "Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn"

Upcoming events:

  • Sheila Jordan’s Valentine’s Concert w/s/g Juke Joint Jazz - Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton, Mass., Thursday 2/13, 7 PM
  • National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine: music of Bortniansky, Saint Saens, Dvorak - Troy Chromatic Concerts, Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Thursday 2/13, 7:30 PM
  • "Moonstruck" - Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Mass., Friday 2/14, 7 PM
  • Valentine’s Day with the Lovestruck Balladeers - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Friday 2/14, 8 PM
  • Hudson Jazz Festival - Amoureuz du Jazz feat. Aimee Allen on Friday 2/14 at 7 PM; Solo Piano Summit with Kevin Hays, Francesca Tanksley, Cidinho Teixeria on Saturday 2/15 at 2 PM; film “I Called Him Morgan” on Sunday 2/16 at 11 AM; Slavic Soul Party on Sunday 2/16 at 4 PM - Hudson Hall, Hudson, Friday 2/14 through Sunday 2/16
  • Kyle Marshall Choreography - University at Albany Performing Arts Center, Albany, Saturday 2/15, 7:30 PM
  • Jaleel Shaw Trio - MASS MoCA, Club B10, North Adams, Mass., Saturday 2/15, 8 PM
  • Saint Motel: The Motion Picture Show - Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park, Saturday 2/15, 8 PM
  • Cartoon Madness: A Plethora of Porky (Pig) - Capitol Theatre, Rome, Monday 2/17 at 3 PM through February 22

New movies: "Downhill," "The Photograph," "Sonic the Hedgehog," "Fantasy Island"

Located in Tivoli, New York, Kaatsbaan is the Hudson Valley’s cultural park for dance. It provides an environment for residency and retreat for professional dancers, choreographers, and the dance community.

Kaatsbann will host a two-day Voguing Extravaganza this Valentine’s Day weekend.

On Thursday, Dr. Richard Move and Jason Rodriguez aka Slim Xtravaganza aka Lemar Wintour from the hit FX TV show “Pose” will present a voguing lecture and workshop; and on Friday, at the Love is Love Ball, Jason Rodriguez and House of Eon will lead a dance party for all with a DJ and commentator.

Richard Move is a choreographer and filmmaker, TED Global Oxford Fellow, Artistic Director of MoveOpolis! and Assistant Arts Professor of Dance at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Move's choreographic commissions include productions for Mikhail Baryshnikov and the White Oak Dance Project; two works for the Martha Graham Dance Company, and many many others. Move’s critically acclaimed performances of 20th Century icon, Martha Graham, received two New York Dance and Performance Awards and tours globally. MoveOpolis! has been presented by New York Live Arts, MASS MoCA, Dance Theater Workshop, The Kitchen, Sitelines/River to River Festival, Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival and on tour internationally.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are "back!"

Rogovoy Report 2/7/2020

Feb 7, 2020

The upcoming cultural highlights in our region include jazz, Bach, Beethoven, 20th century classical, Irish music … plus a whole lot more.

Leading the Oscar nominations is “Joker” with 11. The supervillain origin story is closely followed by three movies: “1917,” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” and “The Irishman,” with 10 nominations each, while “Parasite,” “Marriage Story,” and “Little Women” all picked up six nods.

The question now is: who will take home gold come February 9? So, to discuss who we think could win at this year's Oscars – we welcome Thelma Adams.

Thelma is the author of the bestselling novels: "Bittersweet Brooklyn," "The Last Woman Standing" and "Playdate." Additionally, she is a prominent film critic – having been the in-house film critic for Us Weekly and the New York Post. Her greatest title is that she is an Oscarologist.

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.

Hudson Hall will hold their 3rd Annual Hudson Jazz Festival February 14-16 in Hudson, New York.

The festival will begin with an evening of amour with a concert featuring vocalist Aimée Allen accompanied by a jazz trio featuring Jay Anderson, Jeff Seigel, and our guest and festival curator Armen Donelian.

There will be a solo piano summit; a film screening; saxophonist Billy Harper will perform with his quintet; a jazz workshop for youth; and Slavic Soul Party! will wrap up the festival with a high-energy show on Sunday, February 16.

For forty years, pianist, composer, pianist, and Fulbright Scholar Armen Donelian has distinguished himself as a performer, recording artist, educator and author. In 25 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle and Far East, he has appeared since 1975 as a featured solo pianist, leader of his own quintet and trio, and with jazz legends including Sonny Rollins, Chet Baker, Mongo Santamaria and Billy Harper.

  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 Gentlemen"

Upcoming:

  • 1st Friday Albany - Albany Institute, African American Cultural Center of the Capital Region, Opalka Gallery, Albany Center Gallery, Friday 2/7, 5-8 PM
  • Cheap Trick - Palace Theatre, Albany, Friday 2/7, 8 PM
  • Southern Avenue - The Hollow Bar + Kitchen, Albany, Friday 2/7, 8 PM
  • Cyrille Aimee - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Saturday 2/8, 8 PM
  • Jump the Line Film Series - "In Our Time" (Studio 1—Goodman); "Luanda-Kinshasa" (Concert Hall); "A Hundred Schools of Thought" (Theater); "What Are We Doing Here Together?" (Theater) - EMPAC, RPI, Troy, Saturday 2/8 through February 14th, various times
  • Dianne Reeves - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Sunday 2/9, 3 PM
  • Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia: "The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Other Eric Carle Favorites" - The Egg, Albany, Sunday 2/9, 3 PM
  • Jeremy Denk, piano: Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1 - Capital Region Classical at Union College, Memorial Chapel, Schenectady, Sunday 2/9, 3 PM
  • ABBA Mania - Calvin Theater, Northampton, Mass., Sunday 2/9, 7 PM

New movies: "Birds of Prey"

Audrey Kupferberg: The Two Popes

Feb 4, 2020

I saw a trailer for The Two Popes a couple weeks ago but couldn’t figure out the storyline.  Then, with the recent announcement that this Netflix film has garnered three Oscar nominations, I decided to pay closer attention.  After all, with Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce in the starring roles, and Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles, whose work includes The Constant Gardener and City of God, at the helm, The Two Popes has prestige credits.  Add to those names, that of writer Anthony McCarten, who penned Bohemian Rhapsody and Darkest Hour, and suddenly The Two Popes landed in my must-see column.

On Feb 29, Musicians of Ma'alwyck are holding a Viennese Ball at 90 State Street in downtown Albany, New York. Titled Schaltjahr Ball (Leap Year in German), it is modeled after the real thing in Vienna.

The Ball will included dancing to a 12 piece Strauss orchestra with conductor; a dinner show with Metropolitan Opera soprano Emalie Savoy, a Czardas played by violinist Teddy Arm, a professional dance by world-ranked ballroom dancers Florin and Natalia Vlad, a galop lesson and much more - including a multi-course dinner.

All of this is part of Musicians of Ma'alwyck 20th anniversary season.

Our guests are Musicians of Ma'alwyck Director Ann-Marie Schwartz and world ranked ballroom dancer and owner of Dance Fire Studio in Niskayuna, New York, Florin Vlad. 

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.”

Rogovoy Report 1/31/20

Jan 31, 2020

The upcoming cultural highlights in our region include South African dance, new age music, Renaissance music, and a whole lot more.

(Left to Right) James Wild, Chris Foster, Michael Lake II
Molly Rose McGrath

“Ben Butler” is a play that will offer a lot of fun to a lot of people during its run at Curtain Call Theatre in Latham, through February 8.

In the book, “Beyond Broadway: The Pleasure and Promise of Musical Theatre Across America,” Stacy Wolf examines the widespread presence and persistence of musical theatre in United States culture.

Those two words: “musical theatre” evoke images of The Great White Way - glitz and glamour on a few short blocks in New York City -- but what truly keeps the art and industry alive is the creating, watching, and listening that happens all over the country in high schools, community theaters, afterschool programs, summer camps, and dinner theaters and regional festivals.

“Beyond Broadway” - it is published by Oxford University Press. Stacy Wolf is Professor in the Program in Theatre in the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University.

Artwork for Mandy Patinkin In Concert: Diaries
Peggy Sirota

Over the last few years award winning stage and screen actor Mandy Patinkin has entered a new phase of recording, working with pianist, singer, and producer Thomas Bartlett (a.k.a Doveman) with the “Mandy Patinkin: Diaries” series. Patinkin’s most recent recent, released last October, is entitled “Children and Art” and features songs from the Diary sessions by Tom Waits, Marc Anthony Thompson, Randy Newman, Laurie Anderson, Stephen Sondheim, Taylor Mac, and others.

Mandy Patinkin In Concert: Diaries with Adam Ben-David on piano will be at Proctors as part of a 30 city tour.

Patinkin won a Tony Award for originating the role of Che in “Evita” and was nominated for playing George in the Broadway run of “Sunday in the Park with George.” His film credits include “Yentl,” “Dick Tracy,” “The Princess Bride,” and “Wonder.” He’s played many notable roles on television including his multiple-time Emmy nominated turn as Saul on the Showtime series “Homeland.” The show’s eighth and final season will premiere next month.

Additionally, Patinkin has been passionately involved in volunteer work with various NGOs throughout his life, and currently is an ambassador with the International Rescue Committee.

This Saturday, February 1 at 2 p.m., the Albany Institute of History & Art will host a special program in honor of Black History Month entitled “Teaching Black History through Theater.”

The program will feature re-enactors Donald Hyman, Penny Meacham, Walter Simpkins, and Clifford Oliver portraying prominent local and national African Americans; a performance by the gospel choir from Israel AME Church in Albany; and a dance performance by Estreja Turner.

Even organizer, re-enactor and educator Donald Hyman joined us along with fellow re-enactor Walter Simpkins, Executive Director of Community Fathers Inc.

This group of re-enactors has been performing and imparting important historical stories in the Capital Region for more than ten years and will receive commendations for their work at Saturday’s event.

The Opalka Gallery presents a 25-year survey of the work of JoAnne Carson in an exhibition entitled “JoAnne Carson: Rise Up and Shine!”

Carson’s work is on view in the gallery now and there will be an opening reception and artist talk on Friday, February 7.

Carson, who is a Professor of Studio Art and Graduate Director Art & Art History at UAlbany has established a unique artistic voice that merges references to the natural world with unexpected materials and colorful world-building.

She has received many awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Louise Bourgeois Residency from Yaddo, and an artist grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

JoAnne Carson joins us along with the Director of The Opalka Gallery, Judie Gilmore.

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.

Jeff Snyder is a composer, improviser and instrument-designer. He is the founder and lead designer of Snyderphonics, for which he designs and builds unusual electronic musical instruments. In 2009, he co-founded an experimental music record label, Carrier Records. In 2011, he received a doctorate with distinction in Music Composition from Columbia University. He is now the Director of Electronic Music at Princeton University, as well as Director of PLOrk , Princeton's Laptop Orchestra.

At Vassar, Snyder will present an open rehearsal of “Opposite Earth” on Wednesday, February 5 (a collaboration between Modfest and THinCs [The Humanities in Cognitive Science]) and on Thursday, February 6 he will give a lecture and performance entitled “Build, Destroy, Build: Spontaneous Creation of Structure.”

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.”

James Lloyd Reynolds, Jake Goodman, Michael McCorry Rose & Kate Wetherhead
Richard Lovrich

“Your Best One,” which is playing at Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany, through February 9, is the kind of play that almost makes you long for the days when theater was not only about making huge profits.

Rogovoy Report 1/24/20

Jan 24, 2020

The upcoming cultural highlights in our region include folk-pop, comedy, Chinese classical music, a Latin dance party, theater, and a whole lot more.

The brand new LIFT Concert Series at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall will feature four performances of new, independent music that all take place on Wednesday nights with both the audience and performers on stage at the historic hall. The series kicks off with cellist Ashley Bathgate on January 29.

The LIFT Concert series is curated by Sophia Subbayya Vastek and Sam Torres.

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.

On January 19, The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, New York opened two new exhibitions: “Francisco Goya: The Caprichos Etchings and Aquatints” and “Dox Thrash, Black Life, and the Carborundum Mezzotint.”

The exhibitions celebrate the works of two innovative printmakers from different eras and will be on view through March 22.

Jonathan Canning is the Director of Curatorial Affairs and Programming at The Hyde Collection and he joined 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: "Bad Boys for Life"

Upcoming:

  • We Banjo 3 - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Thursday 1/23, 5 and 7:30 PM
  • National Geographic Live - "Spinosaurus: Lost Giant of the Cretaceous" - Proctors, Mainstage, Schenectady, Thursday 1/23, 7 PM
  • Eclectic Rock Showcase featuring Brasskill, The Wild Weeeds, Burt Murder - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, Thursday 1/23, 8 PM
  • Ben Butler - Curtain Call Theatre, Latham, preview Thursday 1/23 at 7:30 PM; through Feb. 8
  • The Lawn Sausages 30th Anniversary - Hangar On the Hudson, Troy, Saturday 1/25, 5 PM
  • Courtney Barnett w/s/g Hachiku - Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton, Mass., Friday 1/24, 7 PM Levon Helm Studios, Woodstock, Saturday 1/25, 8 PM
  • M.A.K.U. Soundsystem - MASS MoCA, Club B10, North Adams, Mass., Saturday 1/25, 8 PM
  • The Lift Concert Series: Cellist Ashley Bathgate - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Wednesday 1/29, 6 PM
  • Greensky Bluegrass - The Egg, Albany, Wednesday 1/29, 7 PM

New movies: "The Gentlemen," "Les Miserables," "The Turning," "The Last Full Measure"

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.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel make amends.

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