holiday

  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"

Upcoming:

  • 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"

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.

Big Gay Hudson Valley presents “Hung With Care: A Queer Holiday Burlesque Spectacular” on Friday, November 29th at The Linda in Albany, New York and on Saturday, November 30th at The Rosendale Theatre in Rosendale, New York. The show will also be performed twice in early December at 3 Dollar Bill in Brooklyn.

The 7th annual shows feature performances from New York City’s premier cabaret artists with specialties ranging from burlesque to dance to circus acts and more.

We are joined by New York city nightlife legend and singer Shelly Watson and Big Gay Hudson Valley Co-Founder Stephan Hengst.

Christmas In The Movies

Dec 21, 2018

Nothing brings the spirit of the season into our hearts quite like a great holiday movie. "Christmas films" come in many shapes and sizes and exist across many genres. Some, like "It's a Wonderful Life" and "A Christmas Story," are perennials, while others, such as "Die Hard," have only gradually become yuletide favorites. But they all have one thing in common: they use themes evoked by the holiday period - nostalgia, joy, togetherness, dysfunction, commercialism, or cynicism - as a force in their storytelling.

Film historian Jeremy Arnold’s new book, "Christmas in the Movies: 30 Classics to Celebrate the Season," showcases the very best among this uniquely spirited strain of cinema. Each film is profiled on what makes it a "Christmas movie," along with behind-the-scenes stories of its production, reception, and legacy.

Jeremy Arnold is a film historian, commentator, and author of "Turner Classic Movies: The Essentials and Lawrence of Arabia: The Fiftieth Anniversary."

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: "Vox Lux," "Mary Poppins Returns"

Upcoming:

  • "It’s a Wonderful Life" - Palace Theatre, Albany, Friday 12/21, 7 PM - Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Mass., Friday 12/21, 7 PM
  • An Evening with Artie Lange - Comedy Works, Saratoga Springs, Friday 12/21, 9:30 PM
  • Frank Vignola Hot Jazz Guitar Trio - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Saturday 12/22, 8 PM
  • John Pizzarelli & Jessica Molasky Radio Deluxe Live - Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Mass., Saturday 12/22, 8 PM
  • "The Wizard of Oz: Live on Stage" - Proctors, Schenectady, Saturday 12/22 at 8 PM, Sunday 12/23 at 2 PM

New movies: "Aquaman," "Bumblebee," "Vice," "Welcome to Marwen," "Second Act," "Mary Queen of Scots," "Ben is Back"

Laced with humor, rich historical detail from Charles Dickens’ life, and clever winks to his work, Samantha Silva's "Mr. Dickens and His Carol" is a new take on a cherished classic.

For more than 45 years, Tony Trischka’s banjo music has inspired a whole generation of bluegrass and acoustic musicians with the many voices he has brought to the instrument.

A native of Syracuse, New York, Trischka's interest in banjo was sparked by the Kingston Trio's "Charlie and the MTA" in 1963.

Tony presents the seasonal concert, “Of A Winter’s Night,” at three venues in our region this weekend. He’ll be at Towne Crier in Beacon, New York on Friday, December 14; at PS21 Theater in Chatham, New York on Saturday, December 15; and at The Ashokan Center in Olivebridge, New York on Sunday, December 16.

“Of A Winter’s Night” is a banjo-driven celebration of the season where Trischka turns his considerable melodic inventiveness loose on Bluegrass and Americana music for the holidays.

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: "Ralph Breaks the Internet"

Upcoming:
Dr. Seuss’ "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" - Proctors, Schenectady, Thursday 12/6 at 1:30 and 7 PM, through Sunday 12/9
Jerry Seinfeld - Stanley Theatre, Utica, Thursday 12/6, 7 PM
Soweto Gospel Choir: Songs of the Free in honor of Nelson Mandela Centennial - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Thursday 12/6, 7:30 PM
1st Friday Albany - Lark Street Area, Albany, Friday 12/7, 5-9 PM
"A Christmas Story" - Home Made Theater, Spa Little Theater, Saratoga Springs, Friday 12/7 at 7:30 PM through Dec. 16
John Scofield’s Combo 66 - The Egg, Albany, Friday 12/7, 8 PM
Close Encounters With Music: Mozart and Schubert—Marzipan and the “Trout” - Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Mass., Saturday 12/8, 6 PM
Jonathan Biss, piano (performing Haydn, Beethoven, Mozart and Schumann) - Union College Concert Series, Memorial Chapel, Schenectady, Sunday 12/9, 3 PM
Josh White, Jr. Christmas Spirit - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Sunday 12/9, 7 PM
"The Muppet Christmas Carol" - Palace Theatre, Albany, Monday 12/10, 7 PM

New movies: "Schindler’s List" 25th Anniversary

Lea DeLaria seems to have achieved overnight stardom with her three-time, SAG Award–winning, stand-out role as Carrie “Big Boo” Black in the Netflix hit series "Orange is the New Black." However, DeLaria’s multifaceted career as a comedian, actress, and jazz musician has, in fact, spanned decades. DeLaria holds the distinction of being the first openly gay comic on American television which led to countless television and film roles portraying police lieutenants, PE teachers and the lesbian who inappropriately hits on straight women.

Returning to Bard Fisher Center after sell-out performances at the SummerScape Spiegeltent, DeLaria performs an extra-sassy concert of holiday favorites with her all-female jazz ensemble. "Oh F*ck It’s Christmas" will be performed in the Sosnoff Theater on Saturday, December 8 at 7:30 p.m.

You can make your spirits (the alcoholic kind) brighter with some imagination and dazzling drink recipes, including martinis, punches, eggnog, and so many more seasonal favorites.

Chris Weld from Berkshire Mountain Distillers is here to tell us how to make some awesome cocktails for the Holidays.

Established in 2007, Berkshire Mountain Distillers (BMD) has created a line of award-winning artisanal spirits including Ethereal Gins, Ragged Mountain Rum, Ice Glen Vodka, Berkshire Bourbon and New England Corn Whiskey.

A Life In Ornaments

Dec 20, 2017
Brandywine Bear ornament
Bob Eisenhardt

First highlighted in the New York Times, Bonnie Mackay’s annual Christmas tree showcases a lifetime collecting almost 3,000 ornaments. 

Now, through beautiful photography and illuminating vignettes, Tree of Treasures shares the heartfelt stories behind a hundred of those cherished possessions, whether it’s the story of a family member, like Mackay’s grandfather, a well-known vaudeville performer; long-held relationships with friends and colleagues in the international community of Christmas crafts makers; a memory of a beloved pet; and much more. 

Another classic way to celebrate the holiday season is with the Albany Symphony Orchestra. The Albany Symphony Orchestra’s Magic of Christmas concert will be performed this Sunday afternoon at 3PM at the Palace Theatre in downtown Albany.

And then next weekend - In one remarkable year, 1786, masterwork after masterwork would flow from the pen of Mozart:  the “Prague” Symphony, “The Marriage of Figaro”, and three of music’s greatest Piano Concertos. In two different programs over one weekend at Troy Music Hall, the orchestra will present the genius of Mozart.  

To tell us more we welcome Albany Symphony Orchestra maestro, David Alan Miller to tell us more. 

Small Business Saturday

Nov 22, 2017

We did Book Picks yesterday, but wanted to give a double dose this week to talk about Small Business Saturday and give you some more book picks as well.

Amy Lane of Open Door Bookstore and Gift Gallery on Jay Street in Schenectady, NY joins us.

The Friends of the Poughkeepsie Public Library District will hold its annual Holiday Book Sale from Friday, November 17 through Sunday, November 19 at Locust Grove, the Samuel Morse Historic Site on Route 9 in Poughkeepsie, NY.

The Friends Book Store, at the Boardman Road Branch Library will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 17 and 18 as well.

The Holiday Book Sale features gift-quality books and media, sorted into multiple categories. This year’s sale, with the most books ever in the history of our Holiday Sale, includes a large selection of needlework and crafts books, as well as fine arts and arts-instruction books and manuals.

There will be a separate room for individually priced vintage items, coffee-table books, books of local interest, collectible books and books signed by authors.

The Friends of the Poughkeepsie Public Library District is an all-volunteer organization that supports the district’s programs and services and Mark Nelson and Patricia Breen join us. 

Matt Haig is a British author for children and adults. His memoir Reasons to Stay Alive was a number one bestseller, staying in the British top ten for 46 weeks. His children's book A Boy Called Christmas was a runaway hit in his own country and is translated in over 25 languages.

We also speak with him about Reasons to Stay Alive - his memoir about how he came through crisis, triumphed over an illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again. 

  On a hot summer day some twenty years after he was famously converted to kindness, Ebenezer Scrooge still roams the streets of London, spreading Christmas cheer, much to the annoyance of his creditors, nephew, and his employee Bob Cratchit. However, when Scrooge decides to help his old friend and former partner Jacob Marley, as well as other inhabitants of the city, he will need the assistance of the very people he’s annoyed. He’ll also have to call on the three ghosts that visited him two decades earlier. By the time they’re done, they’ve convinced everyone to celebrate Christmas all year long by opening their wallets, arms, and hearts to those around them.

Written in uncannily Dickensian prose, Charlie Lovett’s The Further Adventures of Ebenezer Scrooge is both a loving and winking tribute to the Victorian classic, perfect for readers of A Christmas Carol and other timeless holiday tales.

"A Christmas Carol" at BTG - 2016
Emma Kate Rothenberg-Ware

It is an absolute Christmas Classic. And at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield – it is tradition.

It is the timeless holiday tradition of A Christmas Carol with the whole family, and revel in the joy and redemptive power of Christmas as told in the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, the infamous miser who is shown the error of his ways and reformed by four spirits.

We are able to journey back to Victorian England and experience the classic story filled with holiday carols and the wonderment of the season.

Joining us – like ghosts in the night – Berkshire Theatre Group Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire, Travis Daly – director of the show and Scrooge himself – Eric Hill. 

The Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, MA is a nonprofit organization working to tell the whole Jewish story by rescuing, translating, and disseminating Yiddish books and presenting innovative educational programs that broaden understanding of modern Jewish identity.

Lisa Newman, Director of Communications at the Yiddish Book Center joins us this morning for a great selection of Hanukkah books.

List:

Modern Jewish Cooking: Recipes and Customs for Today's Kitchen by Leah Koenig 

Stars in The Ring: Jewish Champions in the Golden Age of Boxing by Mike Silver 

The Parakeet Named Dreidel by Isaac Bashevis Singer

The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story by Lemony Snicket

Ben Shahn's New Deal Murals: Jewish Identity in the American Scene by Diana L. Linden

The Abandoned Book and Other Yiddish Stories: An Anthology of Pakn Treger Translations edited by Eitan Kensky

Have I Got A Story For You: More Than a Century of Fiction from the Forward edited by Ezra Glinter

Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking by Michael Solomonov

In Those Nightmarish Days: The Ghetto Reportage of Peretz Opoczynski and Josef Zelkowicz edited by Samuel D. Kassow and translated by David Suchoff

Molly on the Range: Recipes and Stories from An Unlikely Life on a Farm by Molly Yeh

Shawn Stone, Digital Editor of The Alt joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

Melissa Etheridge is one of rock music’s great female icons. Her critically acclaimed debut album was certified double platinum.

She will bring her Holiday Trio tour to The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, MA on 12/9 at 8 p.m.

  Through dark forests, over tall mountains, and across a desert of ice, the Polar Express makes its way to the city atop the world, where the boy will make his Christmas wish.

For millions of readers worldwide, Chris Van Allsburg's mysterious journey to the North Pole has become a beloved classic and there is a new 30th anniversary edition this year with a new jacket design and expanded interior layout. The book also includes an author’s note, downloadable audio read by Liam Neeson, and golden "All Aboard" ornament.

  Mannheim Steamroller’s Christmas is a very popular holiday tradition. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the group's annual tour. They have a new album out as well.

Grammy Award-winner Chip Davis has created a show that features the beloved Christmas music of Mannheim Steamroller along with dazzling multimedia effects performed in an intimate setting. The spirit of the season comes alive with the signature sound of Mannheim Steamroller music.

Chip Davis has sold over 40 million records - 27 million in the Christmas genre - making the group one of the top 50 biggest selling musical artists of all time and the biggest selling Christmas artist of all time.

  Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings have just released a new record, It’s A Holiday Soul Party. Their previous album, Give the People What They Want was nominated for a Grammy Award. The new Christmas album features soul revivals of holiday classics and original songs like “There Ain’t No Chimneys in the Projects” and “8 Days (of Hanukkah).”

Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings are performing at The Egg in Albany, NY this Saturday, December 5th at 7:30pm -- bringing their inimitable energy and sound to the stage of The Hart Theatre. They are also guests on “Michael Bublé’s Christmas in Hollywood” which will air on NBC on December 10th. The Dap Kings blast and blare, side-step and put on a great show at the center of which is the incredible vigor of Sharon Jones - providing lead vocals and more power than seems possible.

    W. Bruce Cameron's The Dogs of Christmas is a charming and heartwarming holiday tale that explores the power of love, trust, and a basket full of puppies.

While nursing a broken heart, Josh Michaels is outraged when a neighbor abandons his very pregnant dog, Lucy, at Josh’s Colorado home. But Josh can’t resist Lucy’s soulful brown eyes, and though he’s never had a dog before, he’s determined to do the best he can for Lucy—and her soon-to-arrive, bound-to-be-adorable puppies.

W. Bruce Cameron's other books include A Dog's Purpose, A Dog's Journey, and 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter.

Book Cover - Does Santa Exist?

    Metaphysics isn’t ordinarily much of a laughing matter. But in the hands of acclaimed comedy writer and scholar Eric Kaplan, a search for the truth about old St. Nick becomes a deeply insightful, laugh-out-loud discussion of the way some things exist but may not really be there. Just like Santa and his reindeer.

  Albany Pro Musica – a community chorus performing at a professional level - was founded in 1981 by Dr. David Griggs-Janower who remained the group’s Artistic Director until he passed away in August 2013. This season coincides with the debut of APM’s newly appointed Artistic Director José Daniel Flores-Caraballo.

  Now entering its 34th season, Albany Pro Musica is known for its mastery of intimate a cappella works while also being recognized for its presentation of large scale choral orchestral works. In addition to performing a series of subscription concerts each year, Albany Pro Musica participates in civic, educational and community musical events, regularly partnering with local high schools as well as the Albany Symphony Orchestra and the Cathedral of All Saints Music Series.

Albany ProMusica was recently named the “chorus-in-residence” at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall and they’ll present a concert entitled Christmas Around the World on Dec. 13 and 14 at the Carondelet Hospitality Center in Latham, NY. With a lot to talk about we are joined by Albany Pro Musica’s new Artistic Director José Daniel Flores-Caraballo.

Listener Essay - Thanksgiving Conversations

Nov 25, 2014

  Diane Cameron is a public intellectual who writes and speaks about her private life with courage, compassion and humor from the Albany, NY area.

Basilica Farm & Flea

Nov 21, 2014

  Farmers, artisans, vintage collectors, and makers of handmade and quality goods will converge at the 2nd annual Basilica Farm & Flea, the large-scale farm-stand and flea market taking place over Thanksgiving Weekend at Basilica Hudson in Hudson, NY.

A local, artisan alternative to big box and mall shopping, Basilica Farm & Flea showcases fantastic wares made by regional and very talented people.

The weekend kicks off with the Black Friday Soirée from 5 to 9pm on Friday, Nov 28th - which will offer attendees local food, music, and fun.

Here now to tell us more are Melissa Auf der Maur, creative director of the Basilica Hudson, Farm & Flea’s farmer coordinator Lauren Giambrone (a farmer herself and maker of Good Fight Herb Co.), and Hudson River Exchange organizer Stella Yoon.

http://momfilter.com

  In Holland, the event, “Sinterklaas” has ushered in the season of joy and sharing and created childhood memories for centuries. And in colonial times, it was the one shared celebration that took place annually in New Amsterdam (now New York).

Drawing on the Hudson Valley’s Dutch roots, Sinterklaas in the Hudson Valley is entering its seventh year as a unique, community-built cultural event. It now takes place over two weekends in Kingston on Saturday, November 29th and December 6th in Rhinebeck.

Joining us on the Roundtable this morning to talk about Sinterklaas Hudson Valley, we welcome co-chair Susan Linn and Artistic Director of Sinterklass - Jeanne Fleming.

What Is Cinco De Mayo?

May 5, 2014

    

  Cinco de Mayo has become a big deal in the U.S. in recent years. But it is not a major holiday in Mexico. It is the commemoration of a Mexican military victory over France.

It was actually a marketing push by Corona beer that created the Cinco de Mayo we know today, filled with parties, food and, of course, lots of drink. St. Patrick's Day has a similar disconnect between the holiday in the home country and the way it is celebrated in America.

Here now to speak about how the U.S. appropriates ethnic and cultural holidays from other countries are Culinary Institute of America Professors Beth Forrest and Deirdre Murphy.

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