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Arts & Culture

Rogovoy Report 12/27/19

Dec 27, 2019

This upcoming cultural highlights in our region include blues, folk, rock, pop, chamber music … plus a whole lot more.

As a writer on "Late Night with David Letterman," Steve Young’s duties included scouring through record bins in search of potential subjects for the show’s “Dave’s Record Collection” segments. Little did he know, his hunt for offbeat vinyl would thrust him into the world of Broadway-style “industrial musicals” put on by such companies as General Electric, McDonald’s, Ford, and Xerox at their annual sales meetings in the ’50s through the ‘80s.

These productions dazzled and motivated their only intended audience, each company’s sales-force, which was regaled with lavish productions such as "Lipton on the Move," "Lucite, You and ’72," and "The Bathrooms Are Coming."

The documentary, "Bathtubs Over Broadway," follows Young’s odyssey as he tracks down these shows’ souvenir albums, finds kindred fanatics, interviews the performers, songwriters and directors, and discovers rare performance footage of songs such as “My Bathroom” and “Everything’s Coming Up Citgo.” Bathtubs over Broadway is now streaming on Netflix. The film is directed by Dava Wisenant.

One of the most powerful films of the year is Marriage Story, a feature film written and directed by Noah Baumbach, which can be streamed on Netflix or seen in theaters.  The plot follows the dissolution of a marriage between an intellectual stage director and his actress wife.  The versatile Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson star. 

The Berkshire Bach Society presents “Bach at New Year’s” with a program of all six of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Brandenburg Concerti at three locations in our region: Monday, December 30 at 3 p.m. at the Academy of Music in Northampton, Massachusetts; Tuesday, December 31 at 6 p.m. at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, Massachusetts; and Wednesday, January 1 at 3 p.m. at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in Troy, New York.

Berkshire Bach Ensemble Director and soloist, Eugene Drucker, violinist and Co-Founder of the Emerson String Quartet joined us.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel wrap up another year.

Lately I have been seeing films and theatrical works that are based on history and current events.  Without spending hours reading reliable published works about various historical figures and their actions, it is a matter of using blind faith in judging their accuracy, or simply allowing for dramatic license.

Rogovoy Report 12/20/19

Dec 20, 2019

This weekend’s cultural highlights in our region include blues, avant-garde public sound art, folk music, chamber music … 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 Clara Schumann.

Comedian and actor Colin Quinn will bring his "The Wrong Side of History" stand-up tour to The Egg in Albany, New York on Saturday, December 21.

Quinn's most recent one-man-show "Red State, Blue State" ran at The Minetta Lane Theatre in New York City earlier this year and then premiered on CNN as the network's first comedy special in May. It is now streaming on Netflix.

"Red State Blue State" followed a successful off-Broadway run of "Colin Quinn: The New York Story," directed by Jerry Seinfeld, and "Colin Quinn: Long Story Short," for which he earned a Drama Desk Award nomination. As an actor, Quinn appeared on HBO's "Girls" and "Crashing" and in the film "Trainwreck." He was the host of SNL's Weekend Update for the last few years of the 20th Century.

Elizabeth Nestlerode
Doug Liebig

If you love the Frank Capra film, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” (and who doesn’t?) you will truly appreciate the staged radio version of the material playing at Capital Rep in Albany through December 22.

  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: "Frozen 2," "Ford v Ferrari"


  • Madison Theater Re-opening Block Party with Skeeter Creek - Madison Theater, Albany, Thursday 12/19, 4 PM (films start running at 6 PM)
  • Michaela Anne - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Thursday 12/19, 7 PM
  • Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Times Union Center, Albany, Thursday 12/19, 7:30 PM
  • The Silos, Coal Palace Kings - Hangar On the Hudson, Troy, Thursday 12/19, 8 PM
  • "It’s a Wonderful Life" - Palace Theatre, Albany, Friday 12/20, 7 PM; Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Mass., Friday 12/20, 7 PM; Capitol Theatre, Rome, Friday 12/20, 7 PM; Saturday 12/21, 2:30 & 7 PM
  • Sing Solstice! Kim & Reggie Harris and Magpie - The Eighth Step at Proctors, The Addy, Schenectady, Saturday 12/21, 7:30 PM
  • Colin Quinn: Wrong Side of History - The Egg, Albany, Saturday 12/21, 8 PM
  • The Sweetback Sisters’ Country Christmas Sing-Along - Academy of Music, Northampton, Mass., Sunday 12/22, 3 and 7 PM

New movies: "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," "Bombshell," "Little Women," "Spies in Disguise"

Cast of "Greetings" - Ryan Palmer, Chad Reid, Sarah Wasserbach, Susan Dantz, & Steve Leifer
Michael Farrell

LATHAM – “Greetings” is a holiday play that is not a typical holiday play.  Yes, it takes place on Christmas Eve, there’s a Christmas tree in the living room, and there’s a lot of talk about religion.   However, despite the trappings, the play has little to do with the holidays.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel still need to buy some holiday gifts.

Rogovoy Report 12/13/19

Dec 13, 2019

This week’s cultural highlights in our region include chamber music, swing dance, folk, blues, jazz … plus a whole lot more.

To celebrate 103 years of movies on Spring Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts, Images Cinema will present An Evening with Charlie Chaplin, featuring three classic Chaplin shorts with live musical accompaniment from Donald Sosin and Joanna Seaton, on Monday, December 16 at 8pm. This will be the third time Sosin and Seaton have performed at Images to celebrate the theater’s anniversary.

Donald Sosin is one of the foremost silent film composers in the world, he’s spent decades performing at major film festivals and archives all over the world. Actor and singer Joanna Seaton has been a performer for just about her entire life.Her acting credits include leading roles in over 80 productions of musicals and plays in New York City and at regional and stock theatres across the country.

Dan Tepfer - Natural Machines
Nicolas Joubard '18

On Saturday, December 14 at 7 p.m., Catskill Jazz Factory presents Dan Tepfer: Natural Machines at Hudson Hall in Hudson, New York.

Pianist-composer, Dan Tepfer is a recipient of the Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a MacDowell Colony Fellow. Born in France to American parents, Tepfer received a bachelor's degree in astrophysics from the University of Edinburgh and a master's degree in jazz piano performance from the New England Conservatory in Boston. He’s performed to great acclaim all over the world.

Audrey Kupferberg: Where's My Roy Cohn

Dec 10, 2019

Currently playing theatrically is a documentary feature called Where’s My Roy Cohn?.  As most of us will recall, the film title is a quote from Donald Trump, as published in the NY Times in early 2018.  While this documentary doesn’t dwell on the relationship between Trump and his lawyer/fixer Cohn, it is quite content to take advantage of the commercial value of that particular quote as its title.  It calls out to all liberals, saying – without actually really saying – “if you dislike Trump, you will love this movie.”

Caroll Spinney and Big Bird, early 1970s
Robert Fuhring /

  Caroll Spinney, puppeteer, cartoonist, author and speaker most famous for playing Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on “Sesame Street” from its inception in 1969 until 2018, died on Sunday, December 8, 2019 at the age of 85.


In 2016, Joe Donahue spoke with the legendary Muppeteer in advance of a screening of the documentary about Spinney’s career entitled “I am Big Bird.” We share portions of that interview today, in memoriam.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel add some trivia to their life.

Rogovoy Report 12/6/19

Dec 6, 2019

There are plenty of holiday-oriented programs around the region this weekend and next, but I’m here to fill you in on the non-holiday-related cultural events, including Caribbean party music, chamber music, big-band jazz, hard-bop, indie-rock … plus a whole lot more.

Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany, New York presents “It’s a Wonderful Life: Live from WVL Radio Theatre” through Dec. 22.

Adapted from the classic Frank Capra film by W.V.R. Repoley this story comes to life as a live, 1940s radio broadcast. Five actors give voice to all the memorable Bedford Falls characters, accompanied by sound effects and music created live on stage.  

We are joined by actor Wynn Harmon.

In this week's Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani continue their series of conversations about prodigies, focussing on jazz pianist Joey Alexander and sharing "Evidence,"  a track from his album "Joey. Monk. Live!"

On Saturday and Sunday evening the Albany Symphony will be at The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall presenting a program featuring Pachelbel’s Canon in D, Barber’s “Knoxville: Summer of 1915” featuring acclaimed soprano Talise Trevigne, Andre Myers “Studies in Hope: Frederick Douglass,” and Mozart’s “Linz” Symphony.

Myers’ piece was commissioned by The Albany Symphony for The Dogs of Desire and this weekend the piece will be performed by the Albany Symphony with the Albany High School Choir under the direction of Brendan Hoffman, sopranos Chelsea Fingal and Paule Aboite, and two student hip hop emcees from Albany High School.

We were joined by Albany Symphony Music Director and Conductor David Alan Miller and by “Studies in Hope: Frederick Douglass” composer, Andre Myers.

Ancram Opera House in Ancram, New York is mounting an original musical theatre adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen.” The staged reading will have performances December 7-15.

The production features book and lyrics by Barbara Wiechmann, music by Lisa Dove, and is directed by Jeffrey Mousseau.

A photo of Berkshire Theatre Group's A Christmas Carol
Emma K. Rothenberg-Ware

The Berkshire Theatre Group presents its adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” on stage at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Massachusetts December 7 -21.

A holiday classic, “A Christmas Carol” celebrates the import of empathy and community connection – and BTG’s production of the story does the same.

The story was adapted for the stage by Eric Hill, who stars as the miser-who-makes-good, Ebenezer Scrooge.

Eric Hill joined us along with BTG’s Artistic Associate of Education Travis Daly, who directs “A Christmas Carol” and actor and high school student, Kate Goble – who plays Belle.

  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: "Knives Out," "The Irishman"


  • Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker - Palace Theatre, Albany, Thursday 12/5, 7 PM
  • Anne Heaton & Natalia Zukerman - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, Thursday 12/5, 8 PM
  • Lunasa Christmas from Ireland - The Eighth Step at Proctors, GE Theatre, Schenectady, Friday 12/6, 7:30 PM
  • Delsonido - MASS MoCA, Club B10, North Adams, Mass., Saturday 12/7, 8 PM
  • Bill Kirchen’s Honky Tonk Holiday - Hangar On the Hudson, Troy, Saturday 12/7, 8 PM
  • The Joy Formidable - The Hollow Bar + Kitchen, Albany, Saturday 12/7, 8:30 PM
  • John Pizzarelli Big Band - Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Mass., Saturday 12/7, 8 PM
  • Roman Rabinovich, pianist; music of Stravinsky, Gershwin, Debussy, Satie, more - Union College Concert Series, Memorial Chapel, Sunday 12/8, 3 PM
  • "March of the Wooden Soldiers" - Palace Theatre, Albany, Monday 12/9
  • Bleecker Consort: Medieval & Renaissance Music - Music at Noon Concerts, Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Tuesday 12/10, noon

New movies: "Dark Waters," "Waves," "Playmobil: The Movie"

Helsinki Hudson presents Anne Heaton and Natalia Zukerman: An Evening of Songs and Stories on December 5 at 8pm.

The multimedia evening will feature excerpts from Zukerman's latest show "The Women Who Rode Away" and from Heaton's new album and storybook "To the Light"

Natalia Zukerman's “The Women Who Rode Away” melds her talents as a songwriter, painter, and storyteller as she recounts the journey of finding her voice through the stories of the women in her life and in history that paved the way. 

Anne Heaton’s “To the Light” is a celebration of collaboration and connection. Heaton is the Founder of Soul Songs School.

The Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, New York is associated with summer in our region, but over the last few years, SPAC has begun offering programming year-round through collaboration with other community venues and organizations.

Over the next few weeks, SPAC will present “The Nutcracker” by Salzburg Marionette Theatre, an Orchestra St. Luke’s concert of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, and British vocal ensemble VOCES8.

Elizabeth Sobol is the President and CEO of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Over the past five decades, John Mauceri has conducted symphonies, operas, ballets, musicals, and film music around the world, and served as music director of four opera companies and three orchestras, as well as hosted television and radio programs. He has more than seventy albums to his name, and is the recipient of a Grammy, a Tony, a Billboard, two Diapasons d'or, three Emmys, and four Deutschen Schallplattenkritik awards. He is the author of "Maestros and Their Music: The Art and Alchemy of Conducting," and has written for The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Times of London, and The Huffington Post, among other publications.

His new book is "For the Love of Music: A Conductor's Guide to the Art of Listening."

Brick dwelling at Hancock Shaker Village

Hancock Shaker Village, a living history museum on 750 acres in the heart of the Berkshires, is located in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

A National Historic Landmark, the property includes twenty historic Shaker buildings, and the oldest working farm in the Berkshires. The museum is home to more than 22,000 artifacts, making it one of the premier Shaker collections in the world.

Hancock Shaker Village presents its “Thanksgiving on the Farm” tradition on the three days following Thanksgiving. The Village will be open all three days from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Then, the first weekend in December, HSV presents "Hancock Holidays."

We are joined by Hancock Shaker Village’s President and CEO, Jennifer Trainer Thompson.