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Arts & Culture

In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani continue their series of conversations about prodigies focusing on Erich Wolfgang Korngold.

The Passport Series brings Music Haven to Proctors and allows audiences to “travel the world one concert at a time.”

For 30 years, the Music Haven Concert Series has presented an amazing array of global sounds in Schenectady’s Central Park, transporting summer seekers to locales like Yemen, Ukraine, Louisiana, Ireland and Peru without ever having to leave their seats.

The Passport Series takes the same beloved world music that patrons of the park series have come to cherish and brings it inside so the party can go all year.

Mona Golub is the Producing Artistic Director of Music Haven.

Bob Goepfert Reviews "Lobby Hero" At Cap Rep

Oct 3, 2019
Kenny Toll and Mark W. Soucy in "Lobby Hero"
Richard Lovrich

Great writing, excellent acting and intelligent direction make “Lobby Hero” a gripping, spellbinding play. The play, which is at Capital Repertory Theatre through October 20, is the kind of work that keeps you hanging on every word.

The Bardavon Opera House in Poughkeepsie, New York and UPAC in Kingston, New York have a very exciting slate of events this autumn.

This coming Sunday, seven-time Grammy Award winner Gladys Knight and her band will perform at The Bardavon’s 150th Anniversary Gala.

Other events this season include: The Mystical Arts of Tibet: “Sacred Music Sacred Dance;” the stage musical “Once;” stand-up comedy from Jay Leno; David Bromberg Big Band with Los Lobos; Dino Light; a play starring John Malkovich; former White House photographer Pete Souza – and so much more.

Bardavon Presents Executive Director Chris Silva joins us.

Hyde Hall dining room
HydeHall.org

Musicians of Ma’alwyck is a flexible-size chamber ensemble based in the greater Capital Region. The ensemble is celebrating the start of its 20th Season with a new commission based on ghost stories.

On Sunday, October 6, Musicians of Ma’alwyck will debut the “Hyde Sextet,” written by composer and pianist Max Caplan. The concert will take place in the drawing room of Hyde Hall in Cooperstown, New York and will also feature spooky works by John Williams, Arthur Foote, Richard Einhorn, Gerald Finzi, and Camille Saint-Saens to open the Halloween Season.

To tell us more about this concert – and other offerings this season – we welcome Musicians of Ma’alwyck founder and violinist - Ann-Marie Barker Schwartz.

      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: "Downton Abbey"

Upcoming:

  • "Moby Dick," performed by Conor Lovett - Hudson Hall, Hudson, Friday 10/4 at 7 PM; Saturday 10/5 at 7 PM; Sunday 10/6 at 5 PM
  • Paula Poundstone - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Friday 10/4, 8 PM
  • Artie Lange - Cohoes Music Hall, Cohoes, Friday 10/4, 8 PM
  • James Franco’s "The Pretenders" - Palace Theatre, Albany, Saturday 10/5, 7 PM
  • GWAR "Use Your Collusion" Tour - Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park, Saturday 10/5, 7:30 PM
  • Kurt Elling - Academy of Music, Northampton, Mass., Saturday 10/5, 7:30 PM - The Egg, Albany, Sunday 10/6, 7:30 PM
  • Laura Love - The Eighth Step at Proctors, Schenectady, Saturday 10/5, 7:30 PM - Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton, Mass., Sunday 10/6, 7 PM
  • Kimbra, Emily Wells - MASS MoCA, Hunter Center, North Adams, Mass., Saturday 10/5, 8 PM
  • Sergei Babayan & Daniil Trifonov, duo piano - Troy Chromatics Concerts, Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Sunday 10/6, 3 PM

New movies: "Joker," "Britt-Marie Was Here"

This month, Drama Desk nominee Lori Wilner revisits her one woman show “Hannah Sanesh,” which she co-created with writer/director David Schechter in 1984.

It is an intimate account of a young Hungarian Jewish girl growing up in 1930’s Budapest. Not particularly religious, she is drawn to investigate her Judaism as she experiences increasing persecution and anti-semitism.

Originally performed Off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theater, Lori received the Goldy Award, DramaLogue Award and Drama Desk nomination for her solo performance and went on to tour extensively in the states, Canada and Israel. Lori will perform the show on Saturday, October 5 at Unison Arts Center in New Paltz, New York.

"Lobby Hero" At TheRep

Oct 2, 2019

Penned nearly 20 years ago and debuting off Broadway just prior to the 9/11 tragedy, Kenneth Lonergan’s "Lobby Hero" is rife with proto-memes of #MeToo, Black Lives Matter, police brutality, workplace harassment, bullying and the millennial urge to save the world without actually doing much about it. It is now running at Capital Repertory Theatre through Oct. 20th, directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian.

In the play: Jeff is a blabbermouth. He’s not a doorman he will repeatedly tell you, but a security guard. Your secrets are not safe with him. Just ask William, his superintendent whose brother has been accused of a heinous crime. Or Bill, the veteran beat cop who has a standing tryst with a fading flower upstairs. Or Dawn, the new rookie Bill is preening despite the fact that three months into her new gig she’s already been called up on assault charges.

Kenny Toll plays Jeff, the self-imagined lobby hero whose mouth can’t stop flapping long enough for his brain to take over.

Reflecting Pool at Saratoga Spa State Park
photo provided

The Saratoga Performing Arts Center has completely reimagined their Saratoga Wine and Food Festival – happening this coming weekend. The festival will feature a collaboration between renowned regional chefs and international culinary talent including UK farm-to-table chefs.

Adding to the ambiance of the festival will be a sculpture garden presented by The Hyde Collection featuring works by artist John Van Alstine, considered one of America’s most important sculptors, in addition to live music curated by Caffè Lena, and photographic works of art created from compostables by Terri-Lynn Pellegri.

The festival is set around the Spa State Park reflecting pool, slated for October 4-5. We are joined by President & CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center Elizabeth Sobol and Caffè Lena Executive Director Sarah Craig.

The Springfield Symphony Orchestra has been part of the cultural landscape of the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts since 1944 and performs a series of classical and popular music concerts at Springfield Symphony Hall.

The orchestra kicks off its 76th season with an opening night gala concert on October 5 featuring works by Rachmaninoff, Dvořák, and Strauss. Pianist John Novacek joins the orchestra to play the romantic Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 1.

Conductor Kevin Rhodes is celebrating twin 18th Anniversary Seasons as Music Director of Massachusetts’ Springfield Symphony Orchestra and Michigan’s Traverse Symphony Orchestra and his ninth season as Principal Conductor of the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra in Boston.

Glorious Strings will bring three internationally acclaimed Stradivari Society violinists together for a one-night-only performance at Helsinki Hudson in Hudson, New York on October 6. Augustin Hadelich, Tim Fain, and Francisco Fullana will be joined on stage by Grammy-nominated pianist Robert Koenig.

The concert has been organized to support the Preservation League of New York State’s mission of promoting historic preservation across the state.

We welcome Preservation League of New York State President Jay DiLorenzo.

A jukebox at Ed Liss' home in Somers.
Lucas Willard

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats for a show about the top albums of this century, so far.

“The Great Society,” the sequel to Robert Schenkkan's 2014 Tony-winning epic “All the Way,” began its Broadway run at the Vivian Beaumont Theater on September 6. Bill Rauch, who helmed "All the Way," also directs the new work which officially opens on October 1 for a limited run through November 30. Brian Cox stars in the production as President Lyndon Baines Johnson.

Capturing Lyndon B. Johnson's passionate and aggressive attempts to build a great society for all, the new play follows his epic triumph in a landslide election to the agonizing decision not to run for re-election just three years later.

Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute is a fine arts center in Utica, New York dedicated to serving diverse audiences by advancing the appreciation, understanding, and enjoyment of the arts.

The art institute aims to promote interest and participation in the arts and stimulate artistic self-expression and personal creativity. MWPAI continues to assume a leadership and advocacy role for the arts in Utica, NY.

Founded in 1919, the institute is celebrating its 100th Anniversary and to tell us more we welcome Institute President and CEO Anna D'Ambrosio.

The Woodstock Film Festival’s 20th Anniversary will be taking place from October 2–6 in Woodstock, Rhinebeck, Kingston, Saugerties, and Rosendale, New York.

Widely acknowledged for showcasing passionate, creative and thought-provoking work by some of today's most promising and accomplished independent filmmakers, this year’s festival will showcase more than 50 features from around the world, as well as many short films, and will include panels, live performances, and other special events.

The festival has become one of the foremost regional independent film festivals. Establishing itself as a ground-breaking festival that offers a unique platform for filmmakers around the globe, the Woodstock Film Festival has been named among the top 50 film festivals worldwide.

WFF's Co-Founder and Executive Director Meira Blaustein joins us for a preview.

If nothing else, attending “The SpongeBob Musical,” which is at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady through Saturday, offered me some feelings of vindication.

Most weeks, Shawn Stone joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

His segment was preempted this week for special news coverage of Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire testifying before the House Intelligence Committee. 

Here is his list:

Seen: "Downton Abbey"

Upcoming:

  • "The Last Picture Show" - Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Mass., Thursday 9/26, 7 PM
  • Troy Night Out: All About Animals (& Pets) with pet friendly welcomes at galleries, shops & restaurants; new exhibit at the Rensselaer County Historical Society; receptions at the Arts Center of the Capital Region, Photographer Center of the Capital Region, much more. -- Downtown Troy, Friday 9/27, 5-9 PM
  • The Figgs - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Friday 9/27, 8 PM
  • Kenneth Lonergan’s "Lobby Hero" - Capital Repertory Theatre, previews Friday 9/27 at 8 PM through 9/29; opens 10/1 at 7:30 PM
  • Duke Robillard - The Van Dyck, Schenectady, Saturday 9/28, 6:30 & 8:30 PM
  • Graham Nash & Band: Songs for Beginners, Wild Tales, more - The Egg, Albany, Saturday 9/28, 8 PM (also at Academy of Music, Northampton, Oct. 4)
  • Kandace Springs - Massry Center for the Arts, College of Saint Rose, Albany, Saturday 9/28, 8 PM
  • The Way Back featuring Boyd Tinsley - Putnam Place, Saratoga Springs, Saturday 9/28, 9 PM
  • Glens Falls Symphony Orchestra: Flamenco!, featuring music of Chabrier, Rimsky-Korsakov, De Falla; with flamenco dancers and mezzo-soprano Tascha Anderson - Glens Falls High School, Glens Falls, Sunday 9/29, 4 PM
  • Storm Large - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, Sunday 9/29, 8 PM

New movies: "Judy," "Abominable"

The World Premiere of the new play, “American Underground,” by Brent Askari and directed by Julianne Boyd opens at Barrington Stage Company’s Boyd-Quinson Mainstage in Pittsfield, Massachusetts on October 2 and runs through October 20.

In the not-so-distant future, an interracial couple enjoys a visit from their college-aged son when a young Muslim woman arrives at their back door. She’s looking for safe passage via a new Underground Railroad as Muslims are being detained and imprisoned.

Suddenly, a government official knocks on their door wreaking havoc on the family. They must decide how much to risk to save an innocent woman.

To tell us more we welcome the playwright Brent Askari and Artistic Director of Barrington Stage Company Julianne Boyd.

Audrey Kupferberg: L’Argent And Fragment Of An Empire

Sep 24, 2019

Two films from the late 1920s, the end of the silent era – which is considered by many to be the height of silent filmmaking -- have been restored and now are available for home viewing through streaming, DVD, and Blu-ray.  The finest of silent films constitute a poetry branch of motion pictures.  The artfulness of these films takes its audience beyond storytelling.  By the mid-late 1920s, moving camerawork – the unchained cameras – provided thrilling moments of drama, confusion, automotive and technological activity, modernity, and even inner workings of mental and emotional processes. Editing is fast-moving and clever.

Twenty-five years after its first season aired, "Friends" remains incredibly popular. If it were counted in the Nielsen ratings as a new show, it would rank at #9. Even after all this time, the "Friends" phenomenon continues to grow and evolve, attracting a new generation of younger fans, who weren’t alive when the show premiered.

For the twenty-fifth anniversary of the pilot episode, in his new book, "Generation Friends: An Inside Look at the Show That Defined a Television Era," pop culture writer and NYU professor of writing and comedy history Saul Austerlitz shares a nostalgic, fascinating look at how the show was created, cast, and filmed, analyzing the best episodes, plot points, and themes; and provides insight into why the show that defined 1990s television has a popularity and legacy that has endured beyond anyone’s wildest expectations.

Adam Rapp’s play “The Sound Inside” is currently in previews on Broadway produced by Jeffrey Richards and co-produced by Lincoln Center at Studio 54, directed by David Cromer. It stars Mary Louise Parker as Bella Lee Baird, a Creative Writing professor at Yale University, and Will Hochman as Christopher Dunn - one of her students. It had its world premiere production with the same cast and director at The Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2018.

Adam Rapp is an award-winning playwright and director. He is the author of numerous plays including “Red Light Winter” which was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. “The Sound Inside” is the first of his plays to be produced on Broadway.

In “The Sound Inside” Bella, 53, conducts her life in solitude and work. Early in the play, we find out she’s been diagnosed with aggressive stomach cancer. As a college freshman, Christopher Dunn is alienated by his peers and societal expectations. The two meet and connect over a shared interest in writing and the profound capability of literature to inspire.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel urge you not to touch that dial.

Alessandro Moreschi (c. 1900)
wikipedia.org

In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani begins a series of conversations about prodigies.

In this segment we hear Castrato Alessandro Moreschi perform "Ave Maria."

The Spongebob Musical” National Tour sets sail at Proctors in Schenectady, New York on September 22 and will anchor there through September 28.

Conceived and directed by Tina Landau with a book by Kyle Jarrow, orchestrations by Tom Kitt, and choreography by Christopher Gattelli, “The Spongebob Musical” features songs by Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, The Flaming Lips, Lady Antebellum, John Legend, Panic! At The Disco, They Might Be Giants, David Bowie, Brian Eno - and more.

In the show, Nickelodeon’s popular right-angled aquatic invertebrate and his town of Bikini Bottom face catastrophe - until an unexpected hero rises to take center stage.

We are joined by the actors playing best friends SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star: Lorenzo Pugliese and Beau Bradshaw.

Audrey Kupferberg: American Factory

Sep 19, 2019

A well-made documentary is never hard to find, because there are fair-minded filmmakers out there who can sniff out a good story and tell it in an intelligent manner.  Sometimes, a documentary is really outstanding.  That is the case with American Factory, the new project by veteran documentary filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar.

FreshGrass At MASS MoCA

Sep 19, 2019

This year’s FreshGrass Music Festival takes place this Friday through Sunday in North Adams, Massachusetts. The festival is produced in partnership by MASS MoCA, the FreshGrass Foundation, and No Depression and is a family-friendly festival, featuring established, acclaimed, and new talent on four stages and in MASS MoCA’s galleries.

The line-up includes Mavis Staples, Greensky Bluegrass, Steep Canyon Rangers, Calexico and Iron & Wine, Andrew Bird, Sam Amidon, Amy Helm, Alison, Brown, The Mammals, Tony Trischka and Bruce Molsky, Johnny Irion & Friends, Jade Bird, The Gibson Brothers, Tinariwen, inaugural Artist-in-Residence Aoife O’Donovan, and more!

We are joined by MASS MoCA’s Performing Arts Director Sue Killam and Communications Director Jodi Joseph.

David Margulies is a writer whose plays offer a burning insight into contemporary relationships.   Many of his plays, like his Pulitzer Prize winning “Dinner With Friends,” tend to focus on couples struggling to hold on to a passion that once bonded them like glue.  

Lauren Hauser dancing Serenade, 1977
Steven Caras

The photographic work of acclaimed dancer and photographer Steven Caras will be on display at Vassar in Poughkeepsie, New York as the college hosts an exhibition of his work and an artist reception and lecture. All three events are open to the public.

Steven Caras was raised in New Jersey where he began studying ballet at the age of fifteen. Three years later, he was invited to join the New York City Ballet where an enthusiasm for photography joined his passion for dance.

As part of his lecture, “Survival Instinct: A Dancer’s Story of Self-Reinvention,” Caras will show PowerPoint slides and talk about his personal and professional milestones and setbacks.

Constance Shulman in "The Rose Tattoo" at The Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2016
Daniel Rader

This week, the Roundabout Theatre Company production of Tennessee Williams’ “The Rose Tattoo” begins previews on Broadway at The American Airlines Theatre, directed by Trip Cullman and starring Marisa Tomei. A version of the production premiered at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2016. Much of the cast has changed between the two stagings, but our next guest, Constance Shulman, has remained a part of the play. She plays The Strega.

Shulman is best known as Yoga Jones on the Netflix series “Orange is the New Black” and as the voice of Patti Mayonnaise on the Nickelodeon cartoon, “Doug.” Her theatre credits include originating the role of Annelle in the first production of “Steel Magnolias” Off-Broadway.

Brian Linden as Ben and Montana Lampert Hoover as Emily.
John Sowle

It’s an open secret that most of the truly exciting and adventurous summer theater takes place in the second stages of the major theater festivals. 

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