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WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch spots for a baseball-themed show, kind of.

Rogovoy Report 10/12/18

8 hours ago

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include a whole lotta music going on, from early music to old music to recent and contemporary, including classical, folk, jazz, and rock n’ roll, plus a whole lot more.

In the new play, “The Lifespan of a Fact,” the determined young fact checker is about to stir up trouble. The demanding editor has given him a big assignment: apply his skill to a groundbreaking piece by the unorthodox author. Together, they take on the high-stakes world of publishing in this new comedy of conflict. The ultimate showdown between fact and fiction is about to begin – with undeniably delicious consequences.

“The Lifespan of a Fact” is based on the stirring true story of John D’Agata’s essay, “What Happens There,” about the Las Vegas suicide of teenager Levi Presley. Jim Fingal, assigned to fact check the piece, ignited a seven-year debate on the blurred lines of what passes for truth in literary nonfiction.

“The Lifespan if a Fact” is currently in previews at Studio 54 on Broadway starring Daniel Radcliffe, Cherry Jones, and Bobby Cannavale. It opens on October 18. It is directed by our guest, Leigh Silverman.

The Albany Symphony starts a new season this Saturday, led by G award-winning conductor, David Alan Miller. The season begins at the Palace Theatre with a concert & gala program featuring the orchestral premiere of “Re(new)al” by composer, Viet Cuong. Re(new)al is the first of eleven world premieres to be performed this season.

The performance also features the Albany Symphony debut of violinist Stefan Jackiw, performing Brahms’ magnificent Violin Concerto, and closes with operatic selections from Verdi’s “Forza Del Destino,” Bizet’s “Carmen,” and Wagner’s iconic “Ride of the Valkyries.”

The ASO’s opening night gala and concert takes place at The Palace Theatre in Albany, New York on Saturday at 7pm. Joining us today is Maestro David Alan Miller, composer Viet Cuong, and Chairman of the ASO Gala Committee Michael Barnas.

The National Tour of the Broadway musical “Anastasia” is beginning its journey to the past at Proctors in Schenectady, New York. The show features a book by celebrated playwright Terrence McNally and a lush score by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens. It is helmed by Tony Award-winning director Darko Tresnjak.

Inspired by the beloved films with the same title, “Anastasia” transports the audience from the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s, as Anya sets out to discover the mystery of her past aided by conmen Dmitry and Vlad - who attempt to teach Anya how to embody the missing princess, Anastasia Romanov.

Lila Coogan plays Anya in the tour and she joins us now.

Wanda Sykes has been called “one of the funniest stand-up comics” by her peers and ranks among Entertainment Weekly’s 25 Funniest People in America. Her smart-witted stand up has sent her career in many different areas.

Her latest comedy tour is entitled, "Oh Well," which she will bring to the Ulster Performing Arts Center in Kingston, New York on Friday, October 26th at 7:30 PM.

In addition to her standup comedy, Sykes is a writer, producer and actor with projects including television's "Blackish," "Alpha House," "House of Lies," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "The New Adventures of Old Christine" and "The Chris Rock Show” and most recently the reboot of “Roseanne.”

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel say "yes" to a show about Dr. No.

When a letter that was never meant to be seen by anyone other than its author draws anxious high school senior, Evan Hansen, into a family’s grief over the loss of their son, he is given the chance of a lifetime: to belong.

The stage musical, “Dear Evan Hansen,” was nominated for nine Tony Awards in 2017 - and won six, including Best New Musical. The popular and moving show continues to run on Broadway, the National Tour began just last week in Denver, Colorado, and today, Little Brown has published a novelization of the story of inclusion, perspective, family, young romance, and viral content.

Benj Pasek and Justin Paul are the songwriting team behind “Dear Evan Hansen.” They also wrote the songs and lyrics for “A Christmas Story: The Musical,” and the films “La La Land” and “The Greatest Showman.” Playwright Steven Levenson wrote the book for “Dear Evan Hansen” - his latest play, “Days of Rage” begins previews off-Broadway at 2ndStage tonight. Levensen, Pasek, and Paul have entrusted actor, musician, and writer Val Emmich to pen the novel.

Rob Edelman: Redford

Oct 8, 2018

Robert Redford... This combination actor/director/producer and guiding force of the Sundance Institute and Sundance Film Festival is a textbook American success story. Other actors/directors/producers who raise eyebrows among the film-going masses are here one moment before disappearing into oblivion. But not Robert Redford. His most recent film in front of the camera, one which reportedly will feature his final acting role, is THE OLD MAN & THE GUN, a fact-based tale in which he offers one of his better performances as a career robber. His character, whose name is Forrest Tucker, is not to be confused with the actor Forrest Tucker, of F TROOP fame. Plus, he is not the lone “old man” or “old woman” in the film. He is surrounded by a veteran cast, among them Danny Glover, Keith Carradine, and Sissy Spacek.

Rogovoy Report 10/5/18

Oct 5, 2018

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include the glorious sounds of a brass band, a folk music legend, a cutting-edge jazz bandleader, a classic American play, and a whole lot more.

Ben Schnetzer and Heather Lind in MTC's "The Nap
Joan Marcus

“The Nap” is a new play by Richard Bean, now running on Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club’s Friedman Theater. In the play, which is directed by Daniel Sullivan, Dylan Spokes, a fast-rising young snooker star, arrives in his hometown for a championship tournament only to be confronted by the authorities warning him of the repercussions of match fixing. Before he knows it, Dylan’s forced into underhanded dealings with a cast of wildly colorful characters.

Heather Lind plays Eleanor in “The Nap” and she joins us now.

Lind was previously seen on Broadway in “The Merchant of Venice,” starring Al Pacino, this past summer she played Desdemona in The Public Theatre’s Shakespeare in the Park production of “Othello” starring Chukwudi Iwuji and Corey Stoll. She was on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” and AMC’s “Turn: Washington’s Spies” -- and she grew up in the Capital Region.

Daniel Rader

Barrington Stage Company’s production of Tennessee Williams’ "The Glass Menagerie" is now in previews and officially opens October 7 with performances through October 21 on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

Directed by Julianne Boyd, "The Glass Menagerie" stars Caitlin O’Connell as Amanda and BSC Associate Artist Mark Dold as Tom.

Tennessee Williams’ autobiographical memory play centers on frustrated writer Tom, his mother Amanda, who is fighting for her children's future while lost in memories of her Southern belle past, and his painfully shy sister Laura. Reality and illusion collide when a rare visit from a gentleman caller upsets the balance of the Wingfield family in one of the greatest American plays of the 20th century.

Joining us today is Caitlin O’Connell and Mark Dold.

Nobel Prize-winner Luigi Pirandello’s “Naked,” in a new version by Nicholas Wright, is currently running on The Larry Vaber Stage at Berkshire Theatre Group’s Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

The play delves deep into the struggle of self-identity, and the tendency to skew reality to benefit desires of the heart.

Directed for BTG by Eric Hill, “Naked” follows the story of a woman, in the midst of questioning her existence, as the men around her impose their view of her into the world.

Hill joins us now along with actors Tara Franklin and James Barry.

Adam Nadal

Ping Chong + Company will present their non-fiction, documentary style production - “Beyond Sacred: Voices of Muslim Identity” on October 14 and 15 at UAlbany Performing Arts Center on the main campus of the University at Albany.

Written by Chong, Sara Zatz, and Ryan Conarro in collaboration with the performers, the work illuminates the daily experiences of five young Muslim Americans who have come of age in a post-9/11 society and are building their lives in a time of continued fear and violence towards Muslims. The cast members are from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds and reflect a wide range of Muslim identities, including: those who have converted to Islam, those who were raised Muslim but have since left the faith, those who identify as “culturally” Muslim and those who are observant on a daily basis.

We welcome Maha Syed, featured in “Beyond Sacred;” Sara Zatz, the co-author & co-director of “Beyond Sacred;” and Paul Grondahl, Director of the New York State Writers Institute.

The 2018 Woodstock Film Festival will showcase 9 World Premieres, 4 North American Premieres, 1 US Premiere, 12 East Coast Premieres and 8 New York Premieres on October 10-14th

The iconic Woodstock Film Festival was created in the year 2000. Since then, it has become one of the foremost regional independent film festivals. Establishing itself as a ground-breaking festival that offers a unique platform for filmmakers around the globe, the Woodstock Film Festival has been named among the top 50 film festivals worldwide.

WFF's Co-Founder and Executive Director Meira Blaustein joins us for a preview.

In her documentary film “Hot to Trot,” Hudson Valley based filmmaker, Gail Freedman, brings her audience into the world of same-sex ballroom dancing -- and into the lives of several dancers.

“Hot to Trot” will screen at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck, New York on October 6 and at the Rosendale Theatre in Rosendale, New York on October 21. Gail Freedman will be in attendance for both screenings.

In more than 20 years as an award-winning filmmaker, Freedman has produced, directed and written dozens of documentaries on a wide range of subjects, through her company, Parrot Productions. She has also taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Among her films is Making the 9/11 Memorial, a primetime special for The History Channel, which aired on the 10th anniversary of September 11th, when the Memorial opened. Her creative output encompasses independent projects, as well as extensive work for PBS, network television, cable, syndication and the Internet, along with educational and non-profit films.

Rob Edelman: Michael And Donald

Oct 1, 2018

The latest feature from documentarian-satirist Michael Moore is just arriving in movie theaters. It is titled FAHRENHEIT 11/9. Even though it touches on a range of contemporary issues, from gun violence in America to the poisoning of water in Flint, Michigan, which is Moore’s hometown, it primarily-- and unsurprisingly-- works as a condemnation of Donald Trump. Simply put, in FAHRENHEIT 11/9, Moore likens our president to Adolph Hitler. He links Trump’s rise to political power to that of Hitler in Germany in the 1930’s. The film’s title is directly connected to November 9, 2016: the date in which it was officially announced that Trump bested Hillary Clinton in the most recent presidential election. It was assumed that Hillary would win, hands down. But the moral of that story is: Never assume!   

The Broadway musical, “Mean Girls” tells the story of Cady Heron as she and her parents move from Africa to America where Cady will leave behind potentially dangerous animal encounters and learn to navigate the emotionally perilous habitat of High School. In true bildungsroman fashion, Cady loses her way; falling in with a superficial clique, lead by alpha-female Regina George, before she rediscovers her moral center and learns about true friendship.

The musical is adapted from the 2004 film of the same name, which was written by Tina Fey (adapted from Rosalind Wiseman‘s book “Queen Bees and Wannabes”). Fey returns to write the book of the musical, which features music by Jeff Richmond, lyrics by Nell Benjamin, and direction and choreography by Casey Nicholaw.

The show was nominated for 12 Tony Awards last season - a number that should make even a plastic proud. October 3 is Mean Girls Day - and there will be events all over New York City to celebrate. To join in on the fun, we spoke with Erika Henningsen, who plays Cady Heron.

For nearly 30 years, the Music Haven Concert Series has presented an amazing array of global sounds in Schenectady’s Central Park, transporting audiences to locales like Yemen, Ukraine, Louisiana, Ireland and Peru without ever having to leave their seats.

The Passport Series at Proctors takes the same beloved world music that patrons of the park series have come to cherish and brings it inside so the party can go all year.

Mona Golub joins us to tell us more.

Any Questions #370: Keys

Sep 28, 2018

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back to unlock a show about keys.

Bob Goepfert Reviews "The Royale" At Cap Rep

Sep 28, 2018
- Jeorge Bennett Watson, Jonathan Louis Dent and Thomas Silcott in The Royale
Capital Repertory Theatre

There is something special taking place at Capital Repertory Theatre over the next few weeks.

“The Royale,” a play that uses boxing to tell a socially relevant story plays the Albany theater through October 14.   It’s an engaging and emotionally powerful production that manages to be entertaining and thought-provoking at the same time.   

Rogovoy Report 9/28/18

Sep 28, 2018

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include a new play, an indie-rock guitar legend, an art exhibition peering into the near future, an abundance of chamber music, and a whole lot more.

Jason Butler Harner and Janet McTeer in Roundabout Theatre Company's "Bernhardt/Hamlet"
Joan Marcus

Last night, The Roundabout Theatre Company opened a new play by Theresa Rebeck at The American Airlines Theatre in New York City. Directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel, “Bernhardt/Hamlet” is set just before the turn of the 20th Century when the acclaimed and adored Sarah Bernhardt stages a production of William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” with herself in the title role of the halting and hesitant Prince of Denmark.

In “Bernhardt/Hamlet,” the divine Sarah is inhabited by Golden Globe, Tony, and Olivier Award-winning actress, Janet McTeer. Bernhardt as penned by Rebeck is having an affair with poet and playwright, Edmond Rostand who is played by our guest, Jason Butler Harner.

Harner’s previous Broadway credits include “The Crucible” and “The Coast of Utopia.” He’s performed Off-Broadway, as well, earning OBIE and Drama Desk nominations. His major film debut came in Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-nominated film “Changeling” and he currently stars on the Netflix series “Ozark.”

Rob Edelman: Trivializing Tragedy?

Sep 24, 2018

Near summer’s end, the ads for one particular film were invading TV stations. That film is OPERATION FINALE, set in the very early 1960’s: a fact-based thriller that centers on the effort to capture Adolph Eichmann, the infamous Nazi criminal, who had escaped to Argentina. Eichmann was responsible for the extermination of millions of Jews and, for sure, OPERATION FINALE is a sobering subject. It does acknowledge that anti-Semitism still was thriving in all its ugliness a decade-and-a-half after the end of World War II. But primarily, OPERATION FINALE is a by-the-numbers thriller. It stars a couple of name actors: Oscar Isaac, as an Israeli agent, and Ben Kingsley, as Eichmann. Back in 1982, Kingsley earned an Academy Award playing the title role in GANDHI, which proves that talented actors can wrap themselves around any real-life role.

The Troy Foundry Theatre, a professional theatre company in Troy, NY, presents “Catastrophe Carnivale: An Evening Of Beckett Shorts” in the historic Gasholder building in Troy, NY through September 30th.

The company is celebrating the unique character of the City of Troy through the celebrated work of award-winning playwright Samuel Beckett and this quintessentially Troy Carnivale being performed at the historic Gasholder Building in Troy, NY.

To tell us more, we welcome: Troy Foundry Theatre Artistic Director David Girard; Troy Foundry Theatre Producing Executive Director Emily Curro; and actors John Romeo and Raya Malcolm.

"Grant & Twain" At PS21

Sep 24, 2018

"Grant & Twain," a new play by playwright Elizabeth Diggs will have its debut at PS21Chatham this Thursday, September 27th. The play tells the story of a remarkable friendship.

At age 62, Ulysses Grant is bankrupted in a Wall Street swindle. His only hope to restore his honor and save his family is an offer to write his memoirs of the war. News of Grant’s calamity brings his friend Mark Twain to his side. Twain is infuriated by the terms offered by the prestigious publisher.

He makes an audacious proposal: he himself will publish Grant’s book and make it the biggest bestseller in American history. When Grant finally agrees, he is faced with a double enemy: he is diagnosed with terminal cancer and writes in a race with death, and he discovers an enemy close to home.

To tell us more, we welcome playwright Elizabeth Diggs and actor Michael Sean McGuiness who is playing Ulysses Grant in the production.

Garlic bulbs with faces drawn on them
hvgf.org

Let’s celebrate garlic! It is the 30th anniversary of the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival! The festival will be held on Saturday, September 29th from 10 am till 6 pm and on Sunday, September 30th from 10 am till 5 pm.

Follow your nose to Cantine Field in Saugerties, NY for acres of garlic farmers selling this year’s harvest, food vendors with scrumptious garlic offerings (including garlic ice cream and coffee!) and craft vendors galore. There will be day-long entertainment and special demos by chefs and garlic growers.

This morning we welcome Festival Chairperson Richard Kappler and Publicity Committee member Pat Praetorius.

Exhibition photo: "Picturesque and Sublime: Thomas Cole’s Trans-Atlantic Inheritance" in Cole’s New Studio
Peter Aaron/OTTO / thomascole.org

The 2nd annual Hudson River Skywalk Arts Festival is on Sunday, September 30 at the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, and Olana.

This is the 200th Anniversary of Thomas Cole's arrival in America, which is a pivotal moment for the birth of American art, as is reflected in the major exhibition of Cole's work, organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is now on view at the National Gallery, London. The Thomas Cole site also has two exhibitions on display “Picturesque and Sublime: Thomas Cole’s Trans-Atlantic Inheritance” and “SPECTRUM.”

To tell us more we welcome Betsy Jacks, Executive Director of the Thomas Cole National Historic Site in Catskill, and Kate Menconeri, Curator at the Cole Site.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for a show about people with last names starting with "O."

Bob Goepfert Reviews "The True"

Sep 21, 2018
Michael McKean, Edie Falco and Peter Scolari in "The True"
Monique Carboni


NEW YORK - In its purest form, the political machine can serve individuals, but ultimately it neuters the democratic process.  At least that’s what playwright Sharr White says in his new play “The True.”

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