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Arts & Culture

Rogovoy Report 8/16/19

Aug 16, 2019

The highlights of the cultural weekend in our region include cutting-edge dance; 19th century music; folk-blues; Shakespeare … plus a whole lot more.

In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, we continue to learn about the composer Gioachino Rossini.

Music played: 3rd movement of Rossini’s Sonata for Strings No 3. In C Major performed by Frankfurt Strings.

Suzan-Lori Parks’ “Topdog/Underdog” won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for drama and was the number-one choice in last year’s New York Times list of “The 25 Best American Plays Since ‘Angels in America.’” The play is now being performed at Shakespeare & Company through September 8th.

In the play: two brothers, Lincoln and Booth, are locked in a battle of wits and struggle to come to terms with their identity and what history has handed them, even their names.

Director Regge Life; actors Deaon Griffin-Pressley and Bryce Michael Wood joined us.

Bill Barclay returns to Tanglewood for a Concert Theatre Works development project in partnership with the Tanglewood Learning Institute.

The object of his creative attention for "Full Tilt" this summer is Joseph Bologne, the Chevalier de Saint-Georges. Bologne was a decorated military officer, champion swordsman, acclaimed violinist, composer, and conductor, a true Renaissance man of the Classical period and an artist of color in 18th-century France.

Director of Music for Shakespeare’s Globe, Bill Barclay’s original music has been performed across the United States, around the world, for President Obama, the British Royal Family, the Olympic Torch, at the UN, in Buckingham Palace, and in refugee camps in Jordan and Calais. He is the founder of the new label Globe Music.

Audrey Kupferberg: Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood

Aug 15, 2019

Quentin Tarantino revolutionized popular culture in the 1990s with his ultra-violent, ultra-talented films RESERVOIR DOGS and PULP FICTION.  Dormitory rooms across the nation were decorated with Tarantino film posters.  Every fan knew certain dialogues by heart. 

Midori Francis and Deirdre O'Connell  in "Before The Meeting"
Jeremy Daneil

It might sound odd to call a play about the pressure of an addict to stay clean – sweet, but that’s a good word to describe “Before the Meeting,” a play being given its world premiere at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.

  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 Farewell"


  • The Philadelphia Orchestra/Jazz at Lincoln Center Orch. with Wynton Marsalis - SPAC Amphitheater, Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs, Thursday 8/15, 8 PM
  • Bridgman Packer Dance - (featuring “Table Bed Mirror,” “Voyeur”) - PS21, Chatham, Friday & Saturday 8/16-17, 8 PM
  • Jupiter & Okwess - MASS MoCA, Dre Pavilion or Club B10, North Adams, Mass., Saturday 8/17, 8 PM
  • Whiskey Myers, The Vagabonds - Pearl Street Night Club, Northampton, Mass., Saturday 8/17, 8 PM
  • Martha Graham Dance Company - The Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Mass., Sunday 8/18, 1 PM
  • Amernet String Quartet - (music of Beethoven, Shostakovich, Dvorak) - Maverick Concerts, Maverick Concert Hall, Sunday 8/18, 4 PM
  • Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company - Freedom Park Concert Series, Freedom Park, Scotia, Sunday 8/18, 7 PM
  • Jonas Brothers: Happiness Begins Tour - Times Union Center, Albany, Monday 8/19, 7:30 PM

New movies: "The Nightingale," "Mike Wallace Is Here," "Blinded By the Light," "Where’d You Go Bernadette," "Good Boys"

Celebrating its 33rd summer season, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival (HVSF) is a critically acclaimed professional, non-profit theater company based in Garrison, New York. The Festival has established a reputation for engaging and highly inventive productions staged under an iconic, open-air Theater Tent overlooking the Hudson River at historic Boscobel House and Gardens.

Jason O’Connell joined us to fill us in on two of HVSF’s current offerings. Returning to HVSF for a tenth season, the actor and playwright is portraying the title character of "Cyrano" in a new adaptation of the classic Edmond Rostand tale, which O’Connell has co-written with Brenda Withers. O'Connell is also playing The Narrator/Mysterious Man in the James Lapine/Stephen Sondheim musical “Into the Woods.”

"The Picture Book Odysseys of Peter Sís" is on display at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts. It showcases more than 90 original illustrations from 26 picture books, ranging from Sís’s exquisitely detailed paintings of historical narratives to the bold graphics of his early readers. A selection of painted objects and public art projects showcase other facets of his award-winning career.

Born in Czechoslovakia, Peter Sís transports readers to the ancient city of Prague in "The Three Golden Keys" and explores its political past in "The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain." He chronicles his father’s two-year odyssey in the Himalaya Mountains in "Tibet Through the Red Box," and creates a modern-day fairytale in "Madlenka."

Catherine Combs and Thom Sesma in "Ghost"
Jeremy Daniel

There is no question the Norwegian Henrik Ibsen, who wrote in the late 1800’s, was a great and prophetic playwright. This is especially true of his plays, “A Doll’s House” and “Hedda Gabler,”which featured strong independent women who were generations ahead of their time.

NFL football

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel trade offense for defense for a show about NFL stadium food.

Rogovoy Report 8/9/19

Aug 9, 2019

The highlights of the cultural weekend in our region include cutting-edge dance; 19th century music; American opera; new music; folk music, early music…plus a whole lot more.

In this week's Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani continue to talk about Rossini - this time in terms of his relationship with Paganini. 

Music: Variations on a Theme from Rossini's "Moses" by Paganini from the album "Dazzle and Nostalgia: Cello Favorites." 

The National Comedy Center in Jamestown, New York celebrates the centennial year of legendary comedy innovator Ernie Kovacs with the acquisition and display of never-before-seen material and rare artifacts courtesy of the comedian’s estate.

Estate executive Josh Mills joins us to talk about the exhibition and a special centennial re-issue of "The Ernie Kovacs Album" (Omnivore Recordings).

The cast of "Beau" at Adirondack Theatre Festival
Jim McLaughlin

Glens Falls – There are musicals that entertain you.  There are other shows that touch you emotionally. And, there are those shows that demand discussion on the way home.

“I Loved Lucy” is an autobiographical play by Lee Tannen about his friendship with entertainment icon Lucille Ball during the final years of the comedy legend’s life.

After receiving a warm reception in London, the play will have its New York premiere performances in the Hudson Valley this month presented by Gary DiMauro at Helsinki Hudson in Hudson, New York on August 24, and at The Woodstock Playhouse in Woodstock, New York on August 31.

In this production, Lee Tannen will play himself opposite Sandra Dickinson as Lucy.

Accomplished stage and screen actor, Sandra Dickinson is best known for her work in Birds Eye Beefburger TV advertisements directed by Alan Parker in the early 1970s, and as Trillian in the 1981 television adaptation of “The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.” She’s often works as a voice-actor for animated series.

Matt McGrath, Alyse Alan Louis, Sam Heldt, Ellen Harvey star in "Fall Springs" at Barrington Stage Company August 9-31
Bill Wright

The next mainstage show of Barrington Stage Company’s 25th Anniversary Season is “Fall Springs” -- a World Premiere Musical from Barrington Stage Company’s Musical Theatre Lab. It will run on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage in Pittsfield, Massachusetts from August 9 to August 31.

The town of Fall Springs is cash-strapped but sits directly on top of America’s largest reserve of cosmetic essential oils. It has big dreams but at what cost? With new fracking techniques being recklessly implemented, the ground beneath Fall Springs is crumbling.

The new musical, directed by Stephen Brackett, features Music and Lyrics by Niko Tsakalakos and Book and Lyrics by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb. They joined us at The Linda along with actors Felicia Finley, Ellen Harvey, Sam Heldt, Alyse Alan Louis, Matt McGrath, and Eliseo Román.

  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: Sword of Trust


  • Tom Segura - Palace Theatre, Albany, Thursday 8/8, 7 PM
  • Tracy Bonham - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Friday 8/9, 8 PM
  • Harry Connick Jr. - The Egg, Albany, Thursday 8/8 & Friday 8/9, 8 PM
  • Capitolfest - featured: films starring Frances Dee & Joel McCrea; silent film accompaniment by Ben Model - Capitol Theatre, Rome, Friday 8/9 through Sunday 8/11
  • "A More Perfect Union: New Works by Scout" - Thompson Giroux Gallery, Chatham, opening reception Saturday 8/10, 4-6 PM, exhibit through 9/22
  • Laurie Anderson Presents: Lou Reed Drones with Stewart Hurwood - MASS MoCA, Hunter Center, North Adams, Mass., Saturday 8/10, 8 PM
  • Steve Gorn & Friends: Indian Ragas/Tribute to Ravi Shankar - Maverick Concerts, Maverick Concert Hall, Woodstock, Saturday 8/10, 8 PM
  • Hudson Jazz Works Concert with Armen Donelian, Marc Mommaas, Billy Drewes - Hudson Hall, Hudson, Sunday 8/11, 4 PM
  • Savion Glover with OUT’KNiGHTz - Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Mass., Sunday 8/11, 7 PM
  • Beck, Cage the Elephant - SPAC Amphitheater, Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs, Monday 8/12, 6 PM

New movies: "Maiden," "Them That Follow," "The Art of Racing in the Rain," "Dora and the Lost City of Gold," "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark," "Brian Banks"

The final Mainstage show of the 2019 Williamstown Theatre Festival season is a new translation of Henrik Ibsen's "Ghosts" by Paul Walsh, directed by Carey Perloff.

With great happiness, Mrs. Alving (Uma Thurman) welcomes her painter son Oswald (Tom Pecinka) home from years of living abroad. But when he starts to flirt with the family maid (Catherine Combs), she must intercede to save her son and herself from scandals present and past. Mrs. Alving struggles to find joy in a life bound by the strictures of Pastor Manders (Bernard White) and the spectral chains of mistakes from long ago.

Bernard White joins us to talk about the production.

Actor Deirdre O’Connell joins us to discuss her work in the World Premiere of Adam Bock's "Before the Meeting," which is currently running on The Nikos Stage at The Williamstown Theatre Festival. The production is directed by Trip Cullman.

Every day, Gail (O’Connell) and the regular members of her early morning group set up for their meeting in the exact same way: Nicole makes the coffee, Gail arranges the chairs, and Ron complains. As they forge a path toward sobriety and well-being, they come to rely on the routine and each other. But when Gail’s estranged granddaughter reopens old wounds, Gail knows it will take more than coffee, chairs, and companionship to keep her life from falling apart.

A few of O'Connell's credit include Broadway's "The Front Page" and "Magic/Bird;" television's "Nurse Jackie," "The Closer," and "Six Feet Under," and the films "A Dog Year," "What Happens in Vegas." and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind."

 **Note: This interview was recorded before yesterday’s announcement that Philadelphia Orchestra Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin to withdraw from tonight and tomorrow’s orchestra performances at SPAC. The performances will go on with Philadelphia Orchestra Assistant Conductor Kensho Watanabe stepping in.**

The Philadelphia Orchestra's three-week residency is underway at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, New York. The season is and has been highlighted by premieres ranging from classical masterpieces to innovative contemporary compositions, marking a record number of pieces that have never before been performed on SPAC’s stage. Performances run through August 17.

Beginning tonight, the season showcases two weeks under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Music Director of both The Philadelphia Orchestra and The Metropolitan Opera. Nézet-Séguin will conduct the closing night performance of Mozart’s Requiem. The remainder of the Orchestra’s season also features a line-up of acclaimed and emerging artists appearing at SPAC for the first time including the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and classical pianist Christian Blackshaw; making their SPAC debuts in 2019 are Jan Lisiecki and Peruvian conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya.

Elizabeth Sobol, President and CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center joins us.

The arts are already in Sharon Springs, New York and the surrounding communities; the need and the interest are already present. The value to individuals, businesses, and tourism seems already established.

Klinkhart Hall Arts Center has been working with the community to deliver high-quality, diverse arts programming that will attract a year-round audience from across our region. Now, they are working on making a home.

To tell us more about the Klinkhart Hall Arts Center, we welcome Vice-President John Townsend.

Based on the Oscar-Winning DreamWorks Animation film, “Shrek The Musical” is a Tony Award-Winning fairy tale adventure, featuring songs from Jeanine Tesori and a book by David Lindsay-Abaire. “Shrek” brings all the beloved characters you know from the film to life on stage.

“Shrek” tells the tale of an unlikely hero who finds himself on a life-changing journey alongside a wisecracking donkey and a feisty princess who resists her rescue. Throw in a short-tempered bad guy, a cookie with an attitude and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits, and you’ve got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero. Luckily, that’s where Shrek comes in.

The Berkshire Theatre Group production runs through August 17 at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. We are joined this morning by Director Travis Daly and actor Alex Getlin who plays Fiona.

The American League logo
WikiMedia Commons

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with an all-American show.

Rarely does anyone get “King Lear” perfect.   It’s that tough a play.  Even lavish productions with the biggest stars often fall short.  Just ask Glenda Jackson.

The Cooperstown Summer Music Festival began with three events in 1999, and since then has offered the region more than 100 performances, from classical to contemporary, jazz to bluegrass, cabaret to kids’ concerts.

The festival will present a concert each Sunday this month and Artistic Director Linda Chesis joins us with a preview.

Audrey Kupferberg: They Shall Not Grow Old

Aug 1, 2019

Most audiences are familiar with New Zealand-born filmmaker Peter Jackson for his work on THE LORD OF THE RINGS and THE HOBBIT Trilogies.  Sometimes Jackson steps outside the boundaries of mainstream cinema to create highly unusual films. 

Barrington Stage Company

I have to admit that whenever I have attended a production of “Hamlet”, never have I wondered about the sexual relationship between Hamlet’s mother Gertrude and her husband’s brother, Claudius.

  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: "Once Upon a Time In Hollywood"


  • Marco Benevento, CTRL Control - Alive at 5, Jennings Landing, Corning Preserve, Albany, Thursday 8/1, 5 PM
  • The Regrettes - The Hollow Bar + Kitchen, Albany, Thursday 8/1, 8 PM
  • The Philadelphia Orchestra: Songs of the Sea, featuring pianist Janice Carissa - (music of Britten, Ravel, Debussy) - SPAC Amphitheatre, Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs, Friday 8/2, 8 PM
  • Black Arts & Cultural Festival featuring Mya, DJ Brian B, Gedeon Luke and the People, more - Empire State Plaza, Albany, Saturday 8/3, 2-7 PM
  • Sweet Honey in the Rock - Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Mass., Saturday 8/3, 8 PM
  • HMT To Go: "The Beauty Queen of Leenane" - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Sunday 8/4 at 3 and 7 PM
  • Thornetta Davis, Tas Cru & His Band of Tortured Souls - Agnes MacDonald Music Haven, Central Park, Schenectady, Sunday 8/4, 7 PM
  • Herb Alpert & Lani Hall - The Egg, Albany, Sunday 8/4, 7:30 PM
  • Disney’s "Newsies" - Park Playhouse, Washington Park, Albany, opens Tuesday 8/6, 7:30 PM, through Aug. 24
  • “Just for Kids” Free Summer Movies Series: "Night at the Museum" - Cohoes Music Hall, Cohoes, Wednesday 8/7, 1 PM

New movies: "The Farewell," "Sword of Trust," "Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw"

Jane Kaczmarek, Mark Feuerstein, and Mark Blum in "Tell Me I'm Not Crazy" at Williamstown Theatre Festival
Joseph O'Malley

Actress Jane Kaczmarek is best known for playing the character of Lois on the hit television series “Malcolm in the Middle.” She is a three-time Golden Globe and seven-time Emmy Award nominee. Currently she is starring in the Williamstown Theatre Festival production of Sharyn Rothstein’s “Tell Me I’m Not Crazy.”

Forced into retirement and unsettled by the changing world around him, Sol buys himself a gun and his family is up in arms. His wife Diana (Kaczmarek) thought they’d spend more time together and with the grandkids, but Sol’s new hobby puts a bullet in that plan.

Meanwhile, their son Nate is trying to be a good stay-at-home dad while his wife is climbing the corporate ladder, and school is calling with concerns about their kid.

“Tell Me I’m Not Crazy” is a world premiere comedy playing on the festival’s Nikos Stage though August 3.