Arts & Culture

High wire artist Philippe Petit visits the University at Albany as part of The Creative Life: A Conversation Series at UAlbany by the New York State Writers Institute, on Thursday, October 3, 2019.
Patrick Dodson

Philippe Petit has performed on the high wire more than 80 times around the world; he is also a magician, street juggler, visual artist, builder, lecturer, writer and subject of the Academy Award-winning documentary "Man on Wire."

Petit’s first “coup” was walking between the towers of Notre Dame in Paris in 1971. He followed with a walk between the pylons of the Sydney Harbor Bridge, setting the stage for “the artistic crime of the century,” his Twin Towers walk a quarter of a mile above the sidewalks of New York in 1974.

We spoke with Petit on stage on October 3 as part of UAlbany’s Creative Life series. The Creative Life is created and produced by the New York State Writers Institute, University Art Museum, and UAlbany Performing Arts Center in collaboration with WAMC Northeast Public Radio.

The New Pornographers and album cover for "In the Morse Code of Brake Lights"
Ebru Yildiz

Indie-rock band The New Pornographers will play the Hunter Center at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA on Thursday, November 14. Their new album, "In the Morse Code of Brake Lights," was released in September and is receiving critical acclaim and Billboard chart success.

Carl Newman joins us. In addition to Newman, current band members are Kathryn Calder, Neko Case, John Collins, Todd Fancey, Joe Seiders, Simi Stone, and Blaine Thurier.

The New Pornographers have previously released seven studio albums including their most recent, 2017’s Whiteout Conditions. The first album released on their own imprint, Collected Works Records, in partnership with Concord Records. 

Craig Ferguson’s "Hobo Fabulous" is six half hour episodes which are an amalgam of stand up special and rock tour documentary filmed during his recent 50-date tour of the USA and Canada.

Craig Ferguson is an actor, writer and comedian, who as the host of CBS' "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" set all-time viewer records during his ten-year run as host, which earned him a Primetime Emmy nomination and the 2009 Peabody Award for Excellence in Broadcasting for his interview with Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Ferguson was also the host of the syndicated game show, "Celebrity Name Game," in which he was awarded the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Game Show Host two years in a row. Ferguson is also an acclaimed standup comedian.

"Hobo Fabulous" is available on Comedy Dynamics.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back, hear?

Rogovoy Report 11/8/19

Nov 8, 2019

The highlights of the cultural weekend in our region include Louisiana roots music, musical comedy, classical and contemporary music, rockabilly, blues … plus a whole lot more.

Caroline Bowman as Elsa and Caroline Innerbickler as Anna in the National Tour of "Frozen"
Matt Murphy / Murphy Made

For the last several weeks, crews have been busy at Proctors in Schenectady working on the national broadway tour of the Disney and Broadway hit, “Frozen.”

“Frozen” begins two weeks of performances at Proctors on Sunday, November 10 and runs there through November 24.

Based on the animated film of the same name, “Frozen” has been melting hearts on Broadway in an all-new production created for the stage which features songs from the original film plus an expanded score with a dozen new numbers. The music and lyrics are by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, the book is by Jennifer Lee. The show is directed by Michael Grandage with choreography by Rob Ashford.

Caroline Innerbichler plays Anna and F. Michael Haynie plays Olaf.

TINA: The Tina Turner Musical” opens tonight at The Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on Broadway. The biographical jukebox musical features a book by award-winning playwright Katori Hall and is directed by Phyllida Lloyd. It tells the story of Anna Mae Bullock of Nutbush, Tennessee’s life and growth into Tina Turner - living legend and international Queen of Rock and Roll. Adrienne Warren plays Turner -she’s earned raves in the West End production - and an Olivier Award nomination - and gathering early buzz during Broadway previews.

Daniel J. Watts plays Ike Turner. Watts is the creator of a long-running and evolving solo-show entitled “The Jam.” His previous Broadway credits include “The Color Purple,” “In the Heights,” “Memphis,” “Motown: The Musical,” and “Hamilton.” He’s often jumped from stage to screen and plays “Felony” in the comedy series “The Last OG” on TBS starring Tracy Morgan and Tiffany Haddish.

Watts was just nominated for an L.A. Stage Alliance Ovation Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical category for his West Coast performance as Sammy Davis, Jr. in Lights Out: Nat “King” Cole. Daniel J. Watts' “The Jam: Only Child” will be at Joe's Pub in New York City in January.

Berkshire based songwriter and performer Wes Buckley will mark the release of his new album, “Dancing the Bliss,” at The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts in Pittsfield, Massachusetts on Friday, November 8. The concert will feature special guest Erin Durant.

“Dancing the Bliss” is a full length album recorded at The Stationery Factory's Honor Roll Sessions and produced by Johnny Irion. Recorded to a Studer tape machine, the album contains a collection of songs that are snapshots of several different relationships between two people. Mother and daughter, two lovers, two friends, radio and listener, two dancers, two adolescents, and more.

Wallace Norman is directing the Performing Arts of Woodstock production of Will Eno’s "The Realistic Joneses." The play takes place in the rural Southwest.

Shortly after one couple moves into town, they meet their neighbors who share the same last name. As their lives intertwine they learn that they share much more as the two couples struggle to survive in their imperfect worlds.

The show will runs at the Mescal Hornbeck Community Center in Woodstock, New York from November 15 through December 1.

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: "Where's My Roy Cohn?"

Upcoming:

  • "Jezebel" - Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Mass., Thursday 11/7, 7 PM
  • Parsons Dance - (6 works: Round My World, Hand Dance, Microburst, Nascimento, Caught, Eight Women) - The Egg, Albany, Friday 11/8, 8 PM
  • Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys - Helsinki Hudson, Friday 11/8, 9 PM
  • "A Night at the Opera," plus Laurel & Hardy, The Three Stooges shorts - Capitol Theatre, Rome, Saturday 11/9, 2:30 & 7 PM
  • On a Winter’s Night with Christine Lavin, John Gorka, Cheryl Wheeler, Patty Larkin, Cliff Eberhardt - The Eighth Step at Proctors, GE Theatre, Schenectady, Saturday 11/9, 7:30 PM
  • Dallas Brass - Massry Center for the Arts, College of Saint Rose, Albany, Saturday 11/9, 8 PM
  • Marcelle Davies-Lashley: Liberian Girl in Brooklyn - MASS MoCA, Club B10, North Adams, Mass., Saturday 11/9, 8 PM
  • Russian Ballet Theatre: Swan Lake - Palace Theatre, Albany, Tuesday 11/12, 7 PM
  • Patty Griffin w/s/g Rose Cousins - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Tuesday 11/12, 7:30 PM
  • Art & Politics Film Series: "The Gleaners and I" - Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Mass., Wednesday 11/13, 6 PM

New movies: "Midway," "Last Christmas," "Doctor Sleep," "Playing With Fire," "Pain & Glory"

The WCI Film Festival in Albany, New York features “Food on Film.” Their Food Symposium will be held November 7 on UAlbany’s Downtown Campus. Guests include authors, artists, podcasters, cosplayers, business owners, and professors.

Then, from November 8-10 at The Linda they will screen a diverse selection of international films, short lectures, open discussions, artistic creations, and other events including Tony Shalhoub, Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner and star of "Wings," "Monk," "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," and "Big Night," who will be the keynote guest.

Professor Rae Muhlstock of the Writing and Critical Inquiry Program at the University at Albany is the festival organizer.

A globe
wikipedia.org

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for another show.

Rogovoy Report 11/1/19

Nov 1, 2019

The highlights of the cultural weekend in our region include Scottish fiddle tunes, poetry, African dance, Indian music … plus a whole lot more.

Bob Goepfert Reviews "Spamilton" At Proctors

Oct 29, 2019
Robert Mastrioianni

If you love Broadway musicals, you should experience “Spamilton,” which continues at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady through November 2. For theater buffs, it’s 90-minutes of pleasant entertainment. Actually, it’s a good time for just about anyone.

Troy Foundry Theatre and Die-Cast of Philadelphia are teaming up to create a new immersive theatrical experience inspired by classic horror stories from the Victorian era.

“Yellow” will take place at The Trojan Hotel in Troy, New York. It upends the traditional haunted house and invites audiences to walk through interwoven tales of dread and terror.

“Yellow” will be performed on October 30 through November 9.

We are joined by Troy Foundry Theatre Artistic Director David Girard, Troy Foundry Theatre Associate Artistic Director Ethan Botwick, and Die-Cast co-Founder and director of “Yellow” Brenna Geffers.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel revive an annual tradition.

Rogovoy Report 10/25/19

Oct 25, 2019

The highlights of the cultural weekend in our region include indie-jazz, theater, chamber music, chamber opera, Irish fiddle tunes … plus a whole lot more.

In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani continue their series of conversations about prodigies, focussing on Shirley Temple and sharing her performance of "On the Good Ship Lollipop" in the 1934 film "Bright Eyes."

To learn about upcoming events in Yehuda’s Close Encounters with Music series – including this Sunday’s American Premiere of Andre Hajdu’s Masterpiece “Kohelet” – narrated by Sam Waterson – visit cewm.org.

Howard Pollack is the John and Rebecca Moores Professor of Music at the University of Houston. He will be speaking next Wednesday, October 30th at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York about as part of the college's Jacob Perlow Series. Pollack's subject is “American Musical Theater and the Legacy of Jewish Emigration: From Show Boat to Fiddler on the Roof.”

Jewish American composers, many of them children of Russian-Jewish immigrants, in collaboration with Jewish lyricists and librettists, played an extraordinary role in the creation of the classic Broadway and Hollywood musicals of the twentieth century, as well as American opera of the same period - composers that include Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Aaron Copland, Richard Rodgers, Marc Blitzstein, and Harold Arlen.

Pollack will focus on how the legacy of Jewish immigration impinged itself dramatically on American musicals and operas by looking at the ways in which themes of migration, departure, arrival, assimilation, and utopia inform this repertoire.

      Shawn Stone joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region. And Joe reviews David Byrne's "American Utopia" on Broadway. 

Seen: "Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice," "Zombieland: Double Tap"

Upcoming:

  • Taldans: Dolap - EMPAC, Lobby, RPI, Troy, Thursday 10/24, 7:30 PM
  • Pink Martini - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Thursday 10/24, 7:30 PM
  • The Glenn Miller Orchestra - Capitol Theatre, Rome, Friday 10/25, 7 PM
  • All Rise: Nick Offerman American Humorist - Palace Theatre, Albany, Friday 10/25, 8 PM
  • Philadanco - The Egg, Albany, Friday 10/25, 8 PM
  • Kansas: Point of Know Return Tour - Palace Theatre, Albany, Saturday 10/26, 8 PM
  • Aqueous - Putnam Place, Saratoga Springs, Saturday 10/26, 9 PM
  • Close Encounters With Music: U.S. Premiere of Andre Hajdu’s Kohelet; cello quartet led by Yehuda Hanani, with narrator Sam Waterston - Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Mass., Sunday 10/27, 5 PM
  • Jenny Lewis, The Watson Twins - Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park, Monday 10/28, 8 PM
  • The Bad Plus - Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton, Mass., Wednesday 10/30, 7 PM

New movies: "The Lighthouse," "Black and Blue," "Countdown," "The Current War"

Emily Fenandes and Sky Vogel in "The Outsider"
Curtain Call Theatre

You have to see it to believe it.   Curtain Call Theatre in Latham is presenting a comedy that is really a comedy.  You might remember the type – one where you actually laugh out loud instead of just offering a chuckle or a wry smile?

The production of “Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” playing at Cohoes Music Hall through November 3, makes the 40 year old musical fresh and exciting.   It’s a must see production.

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.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats for a local LCS.

Bob Goepfert Reviews HMT's Production of "Mamma Mia"

Oct 18, 2019

The musical “Mamma Mia” is as close to a guaranteed good time in the theater as you could ask.

Rogovoy Report 10/18/19

Oct 18, 2019

The highlights of the cultural weekend in our region include jazz, choral music, avant-garde, symphonic, folk, cabaret, a film festival … plus a whole lot more.

Trenton Doyle Hancock and Frank Oz at MASS MoCA
Sarah LaDuke

It is the final two weeks to visit and inhabit artist Trenton Doyle Hancock’s world of characters seen in drawings, paintings, and installations at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts. Hancock has transformed his childhood love of comic books, toys, and superhero culture into his own creation myth. That mythology and the multimedia iterations that it has sparked are on display in the exhibition "Mind of the Mound: Critical Mass." The exhibition is curated at MASS MoCA by Denise Markonish.

Hancock tells the story of the Mounds protected by Torpedo Boy, and their enemies, the Vegans. These narratives explore good and evil, authority, race, moral relativism, and religion, all while creating a truly unique body of visual art.

Imani Winds
Pierre Lidar

The Albany Symphony will return to the stage for the grand opening of its new season this Saturday, October 19th at the Palace Theatre in downtown Albany with a gallery of works that includes Maurice Ravel’s orchestration of Mussorgsky’s "Pictures at an Exhibition," Bernstein’s Suite from the Academy Award-winning film, “On the Waterfront,” and "Phenomenal Women," an inspiring musical portrait of powerhouse women by composer Valerie Coleman featuring Imani Winds.

This program is the first of 20 unique concerts, each curated by Grammy Award-winning conductor David Alan Miller, featuring phenomenal women in music, encounters with thrilling new music, and masterworks that have withstood the test of time.

David Alan Miller joins us along with Imani Winds’ musicians Brandon Patrick George and Toyin Spellman-Diaz.

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.

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