Arts & Culture | WAMC

Arts & Culture

Emanuel Ax
Lisa Marie Mazzucco / https://emanuelax.com/

Pianist and Tanglewood mainstay Emanuel Ax made his Boston Symphony Orchestra debut at Tanglewood in 1978. In this modified online season, Ax will perform a Great Performers Recital online on Saturday, July 11 at 8 p.m. The event will be hosted by Nicole Cabell.

Ax will perform music in which he is an acknowledged master - an all-Beethoven program featuring two of the composer’s earlier sonatas. He will also perform in August with friend and collaborator, cellist Yo-Yo Ma. 

Sarah LaDuke

It sounds impossible to believe, but hundreds of thousands of music lovers will not be taking in concerts from the rolling green grass at Tanglewood this summer because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. But, the Boston Symphony Orchestra is taking its acclaimed, months-long music festival into the digital realm.

BSO musicians — along with a wide range of guest artists including cellist Yo-Yo Ma, pianist Emanuel Ax and violinist Joshua Bell — are helping to produce original, pre-recorded performances for the new Tanglewood 2020 Online Festival.

Encore and archival performances are also part of the lineup, in addition to informal conversations with artists and master classes.

According to BSO president and CEO Mark Volpe, more than eight million people have engaged virtually with the organization's output over the past two months and they hope for much more this summer.

TROY – “8:46” is the title of seven short pieces of theater that will be digitally available at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 30.

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WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel make it a "long" weekend.

Two feature films, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and Emma., have some real entertainment value but suffer from a number of shortcomings.

When Bob Dylan finally responded to the Swedish Academy that awarded him the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature with the required lecture, about six months after the fact, he did so with a rambling, recorded monologue that at its best detailed some of his literary and musical influences and at its worst was a parody of an academic lecture, regurgitating Cliff Notes-like commentary about “Moby-Dick,” “All Quiet on the Western Front” and “The Odyssey.” It was, in its own way, a very Dylanesque gesture.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced that it is expanding its efforts to bring more diversity into its membership an its annual Oscar awards.  For much of the past hundred years, the American film industry establishment hasn’t been particularly welcoming to people of color.  Now that there are many actors, directors, writers and technicians of various races making quality films, it will be interesting to see the results of the improvements the Academy is touting.

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WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel swap seats for a possessive program.

TROY – In the world of theater there has hardly been an organization that hasn’t expressed regrets about not having done enough to tell the stories of people of color.

Adirondack Theatre Festival Producing Artistic Director, Chad Rabinovitz, will be here to tell us about their entire season of interactive virtual experiences beginning this September through February 2021. 

The first ever of its kind, these experiences include a from-your-couch cruise, hands-on-insane magic shows, a holiday talent show with live voting, an interactive hunt for a criminal, a film festival, and a “wine and canvas” night gone wrong.

The full season of performances will be branded as IN THE BOX ENTERTAINMENT presented by ATF.  All shows will include a box mailed to the ticket holder prior to the show which will fuel their at-home experience. 

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WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel return the favor with a show whose answers are made up by the letters in "reciprocate."

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WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for a "belated" show.

Bob Goepfert: Actors’ Equity And Social Isolation

May 31, 2020
Mary McColl, executive director the Actors' Equity Association, at a public event
Courtesy of Actors' Equity Association

NEW YORK, NY - There seems to be two types of practices to protect yourself from Coronavirus.

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WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel plot some virtual trips.

Back when I worked relatively full time as a rock critic, I used to joke that I wished I could just set up a live video feed from the nightclubs and concert halls that I frequently attended to review concerts so that I wouldn’t actually have to leave my house. So I wouldn’t actually have to be there.

Audrey Kupferberg: Frankie

May 27, 2020

FRANKIE is a feature released theatrically a few months ago about a film star who is dying of cancer.  It recently was made available to the home viewing market.  I asked myself, who would think to see a film about a dying person during a pandemic?  My answer was simple.  Many people would, because this movie stars the Oscar-nominated, BAFTA-winning French star Isabelle Huppert who played the lead in Michael Haneke’s THE PIANO TEACHER twenty years ago and in Paul Verhoeven’s suspense film ELLE in 2016.  Furthermore, the producers of ELLE brought us FRANKIE.

Bob Goepfert: Folk Music

May 26, 2020

ALBANY – Two events happened last Thursday that brought me into the world of folk music. 

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WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel swap seats for a car sale.

Audrey Kupferberg: Becoming

May 22, 2020

Higher Ground Productions, Barack and Michelle Obama’s media production company for distribution through Netflix, has released a new documentary about the 44th First Lady.  It is called Becoming, the same title as her best-selling biographical and philosophical memoir. 

Audrey Kupferberg: A Place To Call Home

May 19, 2020

Back in the 1950s and 1960s, my mother often turned down invitations to go for a ride or have a late lunch with friends and family.  Her excuse?  She had to watch her soap operas.  We always laughed off her addiction to these melodramas that presented romance, dysfunctional families, crimes, secrets, and lies.

One of my greatest adjustments during this forced-stay-at-home period is transitioning from live theater to streaming productions.

Audrey Kupferberg: Inspector Morse

May 15, 2020

I believe that most of us have hit a point in our stay-at-home lifestyles where a key element of our existence is comfort. That might mean adding more pillows to the sofa, eating mac-and-cheese more often than usual, or watching the movies and TV shows that we love the most.  These may be programs or films that go back to our happy youth or the first years of our marriage.  They may be entertainments that we almost know by heart. 

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WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel continue to socially distance.

Sarah LaDuke

Thirty years after the untimely loss of Muppets creator Jim Henson, four legendary Muppets performers will reunite online Saturday, May 16, in a livestream event to help raise funds for frontline workers who have battled the Covid-19 virus.

Bill Barretta, Fran Brill, Dave Goelz and Frank Oz will take part in the live discussion, which also invites fans to submit questions in advance that may be answered during the event. The reunion of the Muppet performers, who also appeared in Oz’s acclaimed documentary "Muppet Guys Talking: Secrets Behind the Show the Whole World Watched," is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. Eastern Time.

The event is free and open to anyone around the world who remains inspired by Henson and his unique brand of creativity, entrepreneurship and leadership. While there is no charge to participate, virtual attendees will be encouraged to make a donation to a selected Covid-19-related cause.

Joe Donahue speaks with Frank Oz - whose indelible characters include Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Cookie Monster and Grover.

Audrey Kupferberg: Blinded By The Light

May 13, 2020

With so many folks staying at home these days, families are planning weekly movie nights.  They are searching for films that appeal to all ages and spark lively conversation after viewing.  One such film is Blinded by the Light, a 2019 release, the story of a teen-aged Pakistani-British teenager in 1987 who becomes obsessed with the works of Bruce Springsteen.

Bob Goepfert: Loss Of Community

May 10, 2020

Should you be interested in knowing the state of live entertainment, the quick answer is - everything is either cancelled or postponed.  In fact, the notices are still coming in.    This week, Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown cancelled their summer season.  At SPAC, the Freihofer Jazz Festival, scheduled for June 27-28, was cancelled and the July 10 Dave Matthews Band concert was postponed until 2021.

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WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel try to reassess the meaning of time.

Rogovoy Report 5/8/20

May 8, 2020

SO here we are, almost two months into the shutdown. It’s actually been over two months for me, because I like to get a head start on things. I’m perpetually and chronically early to a fault. So when in early March it began to seem that we were heading in this direction, I pretty much shut down my life before the order to do so came. I even cancelled my own 60th birthday party at a time when people were still traveling and getting together for social gatherings. Within a week of that, the order came down to stay home, so in retrospect I didn’t feel like such an alarmist.

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WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats, but try to remain A-1.

Audrey Kupferberg: The Golem And The Great Leap

Apr 29, 2020

Kino Classics has released two films from the golden age of German cinema – films from the Weimar Republic, a particularly rich period for the arts that lasted from the end of World War I until the rise of Hitler.

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