Arts & Culture | WAMC

Arts & Culture

Cast, producers and creatives of "A Streetcar Named Desire"
Williamstown Theatre Festival

In March, when it became apparent that live theater would be almost impossible to produce during the Covid-19 pandemic, many theaters either shut down or experimented with streaming platforms.

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Playlist for WAMC Listening Party on December 12th, 2020. 

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WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel trade cards.

Rogovoy Report 12/11/20

Dec 11, 2020

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include a site-specific sound installation, chamber music, Celtic music, folk-pop, Beethoven … plus a whole lot more…

Audrey Kupferberg: "A Kid Like Jake" And "Freak Show"

Dec 9, 2020
Audrey Kupferberg

Films and TV series about LGBTQ+ adults are not uncommon. Most are distributed with a mainstream audience in mind and are quite popular. The recently released feature film version of the Broadway revival of Mart Crowley’s play The Boys in the Band on Netflix is one example of a lively, evocative production centering around a small group of gay men in 1968. Crowley’s play was quite controversial when it opened off-Broadway pre-Stonewall riots when gays were closeted for the most part and shunned by many.

In theater, there is no greater draw than “A Christmas Carol” during the holiday season.   And even though there are no live productions, there are plenty available on various streaming platforms.

There is live theater available for this 2020 Christmas season.  “Holiday Memories”,  being offered by Berkshire Theatre Group weekends through December 20, is an outdoor presentation of two short Truman Capote stories, adapted for the stage by Russell Vandenbroucke.

Rogovoy Report 12/4/20

Dec 4, 2020

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include virtual theater, Iraqi jazz, a site-specific sound installation, a piano recital and a whole lot more.

The Williamstown Theatre Festival has finally released the first production of its 2020 season on Audible. Tennessee Williams’s “A Streetcar Named Desire,” starring Emmy, Grammy, and six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald as Blanche DuBois, is now available to stream via Audible; more plays will be released in upcoming weeks.

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What a "day!" Resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel and WAMC's Ian Pickus switch seats for a show about weekdays.

Last week's challenge
Start with the phrase DARK COMEDY. Change one letter to a U and you can rearrange the result to spell the five-letter title of a movie from the 1970s and the five-letter title of a TV series from the 1970s. What are the titles?
Answer: If you change a D to a U, you can spell Rocky and Maude.

Audrey Kupferberg: The Life Ahead

Nov 30, 2020
Audrey Kupferberg

It would take half this radio piece to explain all the awards that Sophia Loren has received over the decades.  Her film career in Italy and Hollywood blossomed in the 1950s when producer Carlo Ponti changed her name from Scicolone to Loren and redesigned her career.  They married in 1957.

“A Christmas Carol” As A National Fundraiser

Nov 22, 2020
Geffen Playhouse production of "A Christmas Carol"
Chris Whitaker

The ideal situation for any artist is when you can develop a quality product and use it for the good of the community.

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WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel turn on the dark.

Rogovoy Report 11/20/20

Nov 20, 2020

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include chamber music, virtual theater, a site-specific sound installation, jazz fusion … plus a whole lot more…

Analia Saban b. Buenos Aires, 1980; lives and works in Los Angeles  Teaching a Cow How to Draw 2020 Cedarwood Courtesy of the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles
Sarah LaDuke / WAMC

The Clark Art Museum is currently presenting its first outdoor exhibition on the museum’s extensive and bucolic grounds in Williamstown, Massachusetts. “Ground/work” features site-responsive sculptural creations by six different contemporary artists placed around The Clark’s 140 acre campus.

Organized by the Clark, under the leadership of guest curators Molly Epstein and Abigail Ross Goodman, Ground/work is free and open to the public and will be on view into October of 2021.

Book cover for "Singular Sensation"
Simon & Schuster / Simon & Schuster

We welcome New York Post theater columnist Michael Riedel to the Roundtable this morning with the publication of his second book, Singular Sensation: The Triumph of Broadway.

With over 150 insider interviews, Singular Sensation portrays the people, money, and power that created the blockbuster shows and aesthetic spectacle that has dominated not only a couple of acres of real estate in the heart of Manhattan but has also captured the hearts and minds of millions of people around the world.

Michael Riedel has been the theater columnist for the New York Post since 1998. Michael’s first book, Razzle Dazzle: The Battle for Broadway was a New York Times bestseller.

Audrey Kupferberg: Mr. Jones

Nov 18, 2020
Audrey Kupferberg

Born in Warsaw shortly after World War II, filmmaker Agnieszka Holland has had a prolific career writing and directing for film and television. Her parents were journalists who fought in the resistance.  She’ll be remembered for her works centering on the horrors of World War II, particularly Europa, Europa in 1990 and In Darkness in 2011.  She also directed several episodes of House of Cards.

Artwork for "The Thanksgiving Play" presented by WAM Theatre
provided / provided

WAM Theatre will be presenting the second digital production of their re-imagined fall season beginning later this week, the wickedly funny satire "The Thanksgiving Play" by Larissa FastHorse, directed by Associate Artistic Director Talya Kingston. The production will be available online November 19-22.

The play is fast-paced satire where good intentions collide with absurd assumptions, as a troupe of white Liberal teaching artists scramble to devise a grade school theatre performance that somehow manages to celebrate Turkey Day, while also honoring Native American Heritage Month.

To tell us more, we welcome Director Talya Kingston and actress Molly Parker Myers.

Book cover, "A Few Things Before I Go"
Bob Goepfert

Almost everyone has a person who intersects their life at unexpected, random moments.   For some reason, intermittent personal contact can be as strong as it is with a person with whom you have had a strong single bonding experience.

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WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats to honor a trivia forebear.

Rogovoy Report 11/13/20

Nov 13, 2020

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include a sound installation, chamber music, literary readings, dramatic readings, more chamber music … plus a whole lot more…

Book cover for "Made Men"
Hanover Square Press / Hanover Square Press

For the thirtieth anniversary of its premiere, film critic Glenn Kenny has written an immersive history behind Martin Scorsese’s signature film "Goodfellas," hailed by critics as the greatest mob movie ever made.

Live Summer Theater Gets A Million Dollar Reward

Nov 10, 2020
(l-r) Storm Lever, Alexandra Silber and Alysha Umphress were featured in "The Hills Are Alive with Rodgers and Hammerstein."
Daniel Rader Photo

BERKSHIRES – There was once a television series called “The Millionaire.” The concept was that one unassuming person who lived a humble but exemplary life was given a million dollars by a mysterious benefactor.

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Playlist for WAMC's A.M. Listening Party as aired on Saturday, November 7th, 2020.

Rogovoy Report 11/6/20

Nov 6, 2020

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include visual art, online theater, a live screening of a classic rock music documentary, chamber music … plus a whole lot more…

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WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel swap seats for an altered Halloween show.

Rogovoy Report 10/30/20

Oct 30, 2020

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include virtual theater, online orchestral music, a tribute to the Grateful Dead, a real-life in-person Halloween burlesque show … plus a whole lot more…

Audrey Kupferberg: Hamlet

Oct 29, 2020
Audrey Kupferberg

I was just reading a book about an evil younger brother who conspires to destroy the life of his weaker older brother in order to seize the elder’s more powerful position. The child of the brother who has been destroyed speaks out, revealing the sins of the younger brother.  No, I wasn’t reading Hamlet; I was reading Mary Trump’s book, Too Much and Never Enough.

Artwork for "Typhoid Mary" at Barrington Stage
Barrington Stage Company /

As the pandemic continues into its eighth month in the U.S. and an administration rails against the fact-based findings of doctors and medical advisors, the Barrington Stage Company is revisiting Mark St. Germain’s play, "Typhoid Mary," where arguments between God and science take center stage.

The virtual reading of "Typhoid Mary," a play by BSC Associate Artist Mark St. Germain, stars two-time Tony Award winner Judith Ivey as Mary Mallon aka ‘Typhoid Mary.’ The reading also features actors: Frances Evans, T.R. Knight, Kate Mac Cluggage and Joe Morton. The production is directed by Matthew Penn.

This is the true and turbulent story of Mary Mallon, known better as Typhoid Mary. As one of the most infamous women in America, her career as a cook left deaths in her wake. A carrier of typhoid, Mary refused to believe she was responsible, citing God’s will and the lies of science instead. Imprisoned on North Brother Island, the conflicts between her and the doctors were as impassioned then as they are today.

The reading will be available to stream on October 30 & 31 at 7:30 pm. Judith Ivey won two Tony Awards as Best Featured Actress in a Play for "Steaming" in 1983 and "Hurlyburly" in 1985. She was also nominated for "Park Your Car in Harvard Yard" in 1992 and a revival of "The Heiress" in 2013.

ALBANY -  Next week is the end of Daylight Savings Time.  In a normal year, I can hardly find anyone who is happy about losing an hour of daylight.  In the time of Covid, the negative responses are even more emphatic.