Arts & Culture | WAMC

Arts & Culture

Bill Maher
Bill Maher

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel have a "real" good "time."

Bob Goepfert Reviews "10 x 10" At Barrington Stage

Feb 21, 2020

If the cabin fever that tends to hit hardest in February has you in its grip, there is a two-hour remedy waiting for you at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Mass. Their production of “10 X 10”, which consists of ten 10-minute plays is pure escapism fun.  

Rogovoy Report 2/21/20

Feb 21, 2020

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include chamber music, folk, country, jazz, comedy … plus a whole lot more.

Chie Fueki, Super, 2004, acrylic, ink, graphite and glitter on paper on board, courtesy of Shoshana Wayne Gallery
tang.skidmore.edu

The Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College’s latest exhibition, "FLEX," opens tomorrow.

"FLEX" continues the Tang’s tradition of faculty-curated exhibitions. It brings together contemporary and historical art and material culture to consider how classical ideals, muscular physiques and heroic images intersect, and how muscled bodies represent changing notions of bravery, beauty, and health.

The exhibition will feature plaster casts of ancient sculptures juxtaposed with comic books, superhero figurines, bodybuilder photographs, and work by contemporary artists such as Nick Cave, Lucy Kim, Nancy Spero, and Andres Serrano.

Tonight in conjunction with the exhibition, the Tang’s Dunkerley Dialogue series features exhibiting artist Andres Serrano in conversation with Skidmore Professor of photography Robert ParkeHarrison.

We are joined by Ian Berry, the Dayton Director of the Tang, and two Skidmore College faculty members who co-curated "FLEX:" Dan Curley, of the Classics Department, and Gregory Spinner, of the Religious Studies Department.

Audrey Kupferberg: Pain And Glory/Meeting Gorbachev

Feb 20, 2020

Today in art house cinemas, professional film programmers link together films that complement one another –a kindred theme, a particular star or director.  However, home streaming habits often involve off-the-cuff double bills – based on whims, whimsy, or whatever titles most recently were released by Hulu, Amazon Prime, or Netflix.

If you asked a random sampling of theatergoers to name a list of their top ten favorite musicals, there is little doubt that “ Fiddler on the Roof” would be named on every ballot. 

In celebration of Black History Month, the Palace Theatre in Albany will be presenting an evening of art, music and spoken word by some of the most talented Black artists in the Capital Region.

The Black History Month Celebration on Sunday night at 6 p.m. is a free show and open to all to attend. Music will be provided by DJ Trumastr and there will be a special performances by the Black Upstate Theatre Troupe.

To tell us more we welcome Palace Theatre Director of Community Engagement and Signature Events Karen Dyer, Palace Theatre Director of Marketing Sean Allen, and local actor, director, playwright performing at the Black History Month Celebration, Aaron Moore.

  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: "Downhill"

Upcoming:

  • "Magic" - GE Theatre at Proctors, Schenectady, Thursday 2/20, 7 PM
  • Low Lily - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Thursday 2/20, 7 PM
  • "Jerry Lee Lewis vs Jerry Lee Lewis" - Cohoes Music Hall, Cohoes, opens Thursday 2/20, 8 PM through March 8
  • The National Reserve - Hangar on the Hudson, Troy, Friday 2/21, 8 PM
  • Kamasi Washington, Honeycomb - Calvin Theater, Northampton, Mass., Saturday 2/22, 8 PM
  • Bindlestiff Family Cirkus - Helsinki Hudson, Saturday 2/22, 9 PM
  • Jennifer Frautschi, violin, Jeewon Park, piano, Edward Arron (cello) - music of Schumann, Kodaly, Debussy, Beethoven - Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Mass., Sunday 2/23, 2 PM
  • Trixie Mattel - The Egg, Albany, Sunday 2/23, 8 PM
  • "The Princess Bride" - Palace Theatre, Albany, Monday 2/24, 7 PM

New movies: "The Assistant," "The Call of the Wild," "The Lodge," "Olympic Dreams"

Lewis Black is a Grammy Award-winning stand-up comedian and his 2020 tour, ‘It Gets Better Every Day’ is coming to UPAC in Kingston, New York on February 22.

Known as the king of the rant, Black returns to UPAC with his trademark style of comedic yelling and animated finger-pointing, skewering anything and anyone that gets under his skin.

Is it possible that a man is in prison for the murder of his wife -- when an owl actually committed the crime? What is a very special bourbon going for on the black market -- and why? How does a seemingly typical person get roped into counterfeiting money by their boyfriend? “Criminal” is an award-winning true-crime podcast, distributed by PRX and Radiotopia, with episodes devoted to these stories and many others.

On Saturday, February 22 “Criminal” will be in The Hunter Center at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts. “Criminal” launched January of 2014 and is hosted by Phoebe Judge, who co-created the show with Lauren Spohrer. Judge attended the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, her work has won multiple Edward R. Murrow and Associated Press awards. Previously, she was a host at WUNC North Carolina Public Radio, a producer for The Story with Dick Gordon, and a reporter based in the gulf coast of Mississippi. She covered the BP oil spill and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina for Mississippi Public Broadcasting and National Public Radio.

Tony-winning director Bartlett Sher and the team behind “South Pacific,” “The King and I” and 2017 Tony-winning Best Play “Oslo,” bring a fresh and authentic vision to “Fiddler on the Roof” a beloved theatrical masterpiece from Tony winner Joseph Stein and Pulitzer Prize winners Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick – now on tour at Proctors in Schenectady, New York through Sunday.

The original production won ten Tony Awards, including a special Tony for becoming the longest-running Broadway musical of all time. This new production features movement and dance from acclaimed Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter, based on the original staging by Jerome Robbins.

A wonderful cast and a lavish orchestra tell this heartwarming story of fathers and daughters, husbands and wives, and the timeless traditions that define faith and family.

Maite Uzal plays Golde in the production. As Tevye’s wife of twenty-five years and mother of his five daughters, Golde is an efficient helpmate and traditionalist, faced with changes of a “new world.”

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.

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