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The longtime Swiss theatre troupe Mummenschanz brings its masks and props to Proctors in Schenectady tonight. WAMC’s Jesse King sat down with the co-founder and Artistic Director for a preview.

Tony-winning director Bartlett Sher and the team behind “South Pacific,” “The King and I” and 2017 Tony-winning Best Play “Oslo,” bring a fresh and authentic vision to “Fiddler on the Roof” a beloved theatrical masterpiece from Tony winner Joseph Stein and Pulitzer Prize winners Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick – now on tour at Proctors in Schenectady, New York through Sunday.

The original production won ten Tony Awards, including a special Tony for becoming the longest-running Broadway musical of all time. This new production features movement and dance from acclaimed Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter, based on the original staging by Jerome Robbins.

A wonderful cast and a lavish orchestra tell this heartwarming story of fathers and daughters, husbands and wives, and the timeless traditions that define faith and family.

Maite Uzal plays Golde in the production. As Tevye’s wife of twenty-five years and mother of his five daughters, Golde is an efficient helpmate and traditionalist, faced with changes of a “new world.”

JoAnn Falletta
Brendan Bannon

This Friday, February 14 The Albany Symphony Orchestra will present a romantic evening for classical music lovers at Proctors in Schenectady, New York.

The program will feature Dame Ethel Smyth’s Concerto for Violin, Horn, and Orchestra featuring Jill Levy and Jacek Muzyk; Roussel’s Bacchus et Ariane Suite; and selections from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. Grammy-winning conductor JoAnn Falletta will lead the orchestra as guest conductor.

Falletta serves as Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of the Brevard Music Center and Artistic Adviser of the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra. The New York Times has referred to Falletta as “...one of the finest conductors of her generation.”

The New Colossus” tells the true stories of twelve refugees from twelve different time periods, fleeing from violence and oppression in a journey toward freedom. In the play -- which will be at Proctors in Schenectady, New York on Friday, February 7 and Saturday, February 8 -- a group of actors from all over the world tell their ancestors' stories, all woven into a single narrative about escaping their homeland and coming to America.

“The New Colossus is co-written by The Actors’ Gang Ensemble and their Artistic Director and Co-Founder Tim Robbins who also directs. The Actors’ Gang was founded in 1981 and is based in Culver City, California.

Academy Award winning actor, Tim Robbins is best known for his films “Bull Durham,” “The Hudsucker Proxy,” “Mystic River,” and “The Shawshank Redemption.” He directorial film credits include “Cradle will Rock” and “Dead Man Walking.”

Artwork for Mandy Patinkin In Concert: Diaries
Peggy Sirota

Over the last few years award winning stage and screen actor Mandy Patinkin has entered a new phase of recording, working with pianist, singer, and producer Thomas Bartlett (a.k.a Doveman) with the “Mandy Patinkin: Diaries” series. Patinkin’s most recent recent, released last October, is entitled “Children and Art” and features songs from the Diary sessions by Tom Waits, Marc Anthony Thompson, Randy Newman, Laurie Anderson, Stephen Sondheim, Taylor Mac, and others.

Mandy Patinkin In Concert: Diaries with Adam Ben-David on piano will be at Proctors as part of a 30 city tour.

Patinkin won a Tony Award for originating the role of Che in “Evita” and was nominated for playing George in the Broadway run of “Sunday in the Park with George.” His film credits include “Yentl,” “Dick Tracy,” “The Princess Bride,” and “Wonder.” He’s played many notable roles on television including his multiple-time Emmy nominated turn as Saul on the Showtime series “Homeland.” The show’s eighth and final season will premiere next month.

Additionally, Patinkin has been passionately involved in volunteer work with various NGOs throughout his life, and currently is an ambassador with the International Rescue Committee.

The Tour of The Tony-Award winning revival of the musical “Once on this Island” will be at Proctors in Schenectady, New York on Friday, January 17 and Saturday, January 18.

The Lynn Ahrens/Stephen Flaherty musical, directed by Michael Arden and choreographed by Camille A. Brown, tells the story of the orphaned Ti Moune and four competitive Gods who make a wager over her life and her love. “Once on this Island” is a celebration tinged with sadness that emphasizes the importance of telling everyone’s stories.

Tyler Hardwick joined us. He plays Daniel and he joins the tour after playing a storyteller and understudying roles during the show’s Broadway run.

In “The Band’s Visit,” The Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra is traveling from Egypt to play a concert in Petah Tikva, Israel but after language confusion at the border end up in Beit Hatikva - a small city where civic pride is low. Without a means of transportation out of town until the morning, the band is taken in by the locals.

Based on the 2007 movie of the same name, “The Band’s Visit” features music and lyrics by David Yazbek, a book by Itamar Moses, and is directed by David Cromer. The show won ten Tony Awards in 2018, including Best Musical and The North American tour is at Proctors in Schenectady, New York through January 5.

James Rana plays Simon in “The Band’s Visit” – and joins the North American Tour having been part of the original Broadway cast. He is also the stand-by for the lead character, Tewfiq. He joined us to talk about his journey with the show.

Caroline Bowman as Elsa and Caroline Innerbickler as Anna in the National Tour of "Frozen"
Matt Murphy / Murphy Made

For the last several weeks, crews have been busy at Proctors in Schenectady working on the national broadway tour of the Disney and Broadway hit, “Frozen.”

“Frozen” begins two weeks of performances at Proctors on Sunday, November 10 and runs there through November 24.

Based on the animated film of the same name, “Frozen” has been melting hearts on Broadway in an all-new production created for the stage which features songs from the original film plus an expanded score with a dozen new numbers. The music and lyrics are by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, the book is by Jennifer Lee. The show is directed by Michael Grandage with choreography by Rob Ashford.

Caroline Innerbichler plays Anna and F. Michael Haynie plays Olaf.

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.

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.

In the musical, “Waitress,” we meet Jenna, a waitress and expert pie-maker who dreams of a way out of her small town and rocky marriage. Pouring her heart into her pies, she crafts desserts that mirror her topsy-turvy life such as “The Key (Lime) to Happiness Pie” and “Betrayed By My Eggs Pie.” When a baking contest in a nearby county and a satisfying encounter with someone new show Jenna a chance at a fresh start, she must find the courage to seize it.

Brought to life by a groundbreaking, all-female creative team, this Tony Award-nominated hit features original music and lyrics by 7-time Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles, a book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson and direction by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus.

"Waitress" is on stage at Proctors in Schenectady through Sunday, June 16th. This morning we welcome two members of the company - Christine Dwyer plays Jenna and Melody Betts plays Becky.

Philip Morris is celebrating is in his 17th year as CEO of Proctors. He arrived in the Capital Region in early 2002, after 25 years as executive director of the Chautauqua County arts council, in western New York.

Under Morris' leadership, Proctors has spent $42 million on expansion and renovation, which included a dramatically larger stage house and backstage facilities for the main theater, new box office and cafe, and the 440-seat GE Theatre at Proctors.

With major partnerships with Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany and Universal Preservation Hall in Saratoga Springs, Proctors has been a leader in seeing the arts from a regional perspective. Philip joins us this morning to talk the Tonys, grants, and getting ready for "Hamilton."

The New York Times calls it “the best musical of this century.” The Washington Post says, “It is the kind of evening that restores your faith in musicals.” And Entertainment Weekly says, “Grade A: the funniest musical of all time.” Jimmy Fallon of The Tonight Show calls it “Genius. Brilliant. Phenomenal.”

“The Book of Mormon,” won nine Tony Awards in 2011, including Best Musical. The national tour is now playing at Proctors in Schenectady, New York through Sunday, May 19. The show’s book, music, and lyrics are by Robert Lopez, Matt Stone, and Trey Parker.

To tell us more we welcome two men who play the role of Elder Cunningham in the show. Jordan Matthew Brown is rejoining the National Tour straight from the Broadway company of “The Book of Mormon!” And just in case something happens – he bought his stand-by with him. Jacob Ben-Shmuel is Jordan’s understudy and is making his national tour debut. He recently graduated from UCIrvine with his BFA in Music Theatre.

Eva Tavares in "The Phantom of the Opera"
Matthew Murphy

Cameron Mackintosh's spectacular new production of "The Phantom of the Opera" is now on stage at Proctors in Schenectady, New York through May 5. The show features a new scenic design by Paul Brown, Tony Award-winning original costume design by Maria Björnson, lighting design by Tony Award winner Paule Constable, new choreography by Scott Ambler, and new staging by director Laurence Connor.

The production, overseen by Matthew Bourne and Cameron Mackintosh, boasts many exciting special effects including the show’s legendary chandelier.

Eva Tavares plays Christine Daaé. Previous credits include: Maria in "West Side Story," Anne in "A Little Night Music" and most recently, the world premiere "Sousatzka" starring Victoria Clark. Eva is active in the dance community, most recently choreographing "Die Fledermaus" for Vancouver Opera.

Following sold-out runs in Los Angeles and a critically acclaimed, sold-out run in New York City, the new musical "Cruel Intentions: The ’90s Musical" (a stage adaptation of Roger Kumble’s 1999 cult-hit film, created by Jordan Ross, Lindsey Rosin and Roger Kumble) will launch its first national tour at Proctors in Schenectady, New York on March 29. The production will play over 18 cities this Spring.

Producer Eva Price joins us to tell us more.

Through the jungles of Rwanda to the savannas of Australia, Jungle Jack Hanna has explored the corners of the globe as one of the most visible and respected animal ambassadors. He is bringing his stage show, Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild Live!, to Proctors in Schenectady tomorrow night.

Stories will abound - from brushing a hippo’s teeth to eating with wombats – as well as footage from his worldwide adventures. Of course, there will also be an array of animals such as cheetahs, kangaroos, penguins and many more.

Recognized around the country as America’s favorite zookeeper, Jack has made countless television appearances since 1983 on shows such as Good Morning America, The Late Show with David Letterman, and CNN. He is the host of TV’s Emmy award winning Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild and Jack Hanna’s Wild Countdown and is the Director Emeritus of the famed Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

The second floor of UPH under construction
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Construction work is underway and a multi-million dollar fundraising goal is nearing completion for a long-awaited music and arts space in Saratoga Springs.

The Albany Symphony returns to Proctors Theatre in Schenectady to perform Britten’s Moving War Requiem with Albany Pro Musica. The piece is being performed to commemorate the Armistice Centennial and hear this monumental work performed in the Capital Region for the first time in over 40 years.

Sunday, November 11th, 2018 marks the end of World War I. The ASO’s performance is on Saturday night at 7:30 PM.

Leading up to the performance of Britten’s War Requiem, audiences can explore the “War to End all Wars” through films, lectures, and performances presented in collaboration with the Musicians of Ma’Alwyck, Proctors, Schenectady County Historical Society, Discover Schenectady, and the New York State Museum. Armistice Centennial events started October 16 and run through Veteran’s Day – this -- weekend.

We are joined by Albany Symphony Conductor David Alan Miller, Met Opera soprano and Capital Region native, Emalie Savoy, and violinist and director of Musicians of Ma'alwyck Ann-Marie Barker Schwartz. .

The National Tour of the Broadway musical “Anastasia” is beginning its journey to the past at Proctors in Schenectady, New York. The show features a book by celebrated playwright Terrence McNally and a lush score by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens. It is helmed by Tony Award-winning director Darko Tresnjak.

Inspired by the beloved films with the same title, “Anastasia” transports the audience from the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s, as Anya sets out to discover the mystery of her past aided by conmen Dmitry and Vlad - who attempt to teach Anya how to embody the missing princess, Anastasia Romanov.

Lila Coogan plays Anya in the tour and she joins us now.

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

The Passport Series at Proctors 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 joins us to tell us more.

This morning we meet the forces behind the Upstate Alliance for the Creative Economy. At its heart, ACE is about strengthening the Capital Region’s creative economy to drive business development, increasing jobs, and driving tourism.

ACE, a collaborative, cross-sector group has come together to strengthen support for creative freelancers, creative organizations, and individuals involved in creative work.

The creative economy is defined as the enterprises and people involved in the origination, production, and distribution of goods and services in which artistic and cultural content gives the product or service value in the marketplace.

Maureen Sager is the Project Director at ACE and she joins us this morning along with Carmen Duncan is CEO, Chief Coach and Founder of Mission Accomplished Transition Services, an Albany-based not-for-profit organization that coaches, develops and supports millennials to become visionary professional and global leaders.

The National Tour of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “The King and I” is at Proctors in Schenectady, New York this week. The Tony Award winning Lincoln Center Theater revival features such beloved songs as “Getting To Know You,” “I Whistle a Happy Tune,” “Hello Young Lovers,” “Shall We Dance” and “Something Wonderful.”

Set in the early 1860s, newly widowed Anna Leonowens and her son, Louis, set sail from their native England for Bangkok, Siam where Anna has taken a position as the schoolteacher for the royal offspring of the King of Siam. The King is determined to usher Siam into the modern world but not immediately willing to make changes to his customs and traditions.

We are joined by Anna and The King, actors Elena Shaddow and Jose Llana.

Broadway legend Patti LuPone will appear at two events in the Capital Region this week. 

On Thursday, April 26 she will join Joe Donahue in a Creative Life conversation about Ms. LuPone’s career and devotion to the arts and high standards therein. The conversation will take place at Page Hall on UAlbany's downtown campus at 7 p.m. The Creative Life series is a major arts initiative of the New York State Writers Institute, UAlbany Performing Arts Center and University Art Museum in conjunction with WAMC Northeast Public Radio.

On Friday, April 27, Ms. LuPone will perform "Don't Monkey With Broadway" at Proctors in Schenectady at 8 p.m. "Don’t Monkey with Broadway" features music by the likes of Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, Jule Styne, Stephen Schwartz, Charles Strouse, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Cole Porter and Irving Berlin.

Some world class musicians across the region are teaming up to present a new concert series highlighting classic albums performed by local artists. Capital Records Live debuts at 7:30 p.m. this Friday, March 23rd at the GE Theatre at Proctors.

Performing selections from The Beatles "White Album" and "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" in its entirety, six unique acts: Bryan Brundige Collective, Clear Mind, Eastbound Jesus, Girl Blue, Let's Be Leonard and Wild Adriatic will come together on stage to celebrate the work of the Fab Four.

Jim Murphy, Director of Marketing and Publicity at Proctors, joins us.

Stephen Karam’s “The Humans” is an uproarious, hopeful, and heartbreaking play that takes place over the course of a family dinner on Thanksgiving. Breaking with tradition, Erik Blake has brought his Pennsylvania family to celebrate and give thanks at his daughter’s apartment in Lower Manhattan. As darkness falls outside the ramshackle pre-war duplex and eerie things start to go bump in the night, the Blake clan’s deepest fears and greatest follies are laid bare. Our modern age of anxiety is keenly observed, with humor and compassion, in this new American classic that won the 2016 Tony Award® for Best Play.

Directed by Joe Mantello, the National Tour of “The Humans” is at Proctors in Schenectady this week.

Richard Thomas plays Erik Blake. Thomas’ most recent stage appearance was in the Broadway revival of “The Little Foxes,” for which he received a Tony Award Nomination. He is an Emmy award winner and a TV icon for creating the role of John-Boy in “The Waltons.”

Pamela Reed is a veteran character actress who has over 60 film and TV credits. She is known for her roles in “The Right Stuff,” “Kindergarten Cop,” “Junior,” and “Proof of Life.” Her TV credits include “Parks and Recreation,” “NCIS: LA” and her portrayal of Jack Tanner's campaign manager, T.J. Cavanaugh in Robert Altman's “Tanner '88.”

David Brooks
CNN

David Brooks has a gift for bringing audiences face-to-face with the spirit of our times with humor, insight and passion. He is an observer of the American way of life and a savvy analyst of present-day politics and foreign affairs.

He holds several positions as a commentator, including bi-weekly Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times, and regular analyst on PBS "NewsHour" and NPR’s "All Things Considered."

David’s newest book, "The Road to Character," explains why selflessness leads to greater success. He tells the story of ten great lives that illustrate how character is developed, and how we can all strive to build rich inner lives, marked by humility and moral depth.

David Brooks will be at Proctors on Wednesday, January 17th at 7:30 p.m.

The original Broadway production of Kander and Ebb’s “Chicago: The Musical” opened in 1975. Set in Prohibition-era Chicago, the musical is a satire on corruption in the administration of criminal justice and the concept of the celebrity criminal. The show is eternally --and correctly-- associated with Bob Fosse who served as co-author, original director, and choreographer.

“Chicago” was revived on Broadway in 1996 and holds the record as the longest-running musical revival and the longest-running American musical in Broadway history. It is the second longest-running show in Broadway history, behind only “The Phantom of the Opera.” Walter Bobbie directed the revival and it was choreographed in the style of Bob Fosse by Ann Reinking.

The National Tour of “Chicago: The Musical” is bringing the ol' razzle-dazzle to Proctors in Schenectady this weekend – opening tonight and running through Sunday.

Broadway vet and friend-of-the-show, Jeff McCarthy, stars as silver tongue prince of the courtroom, Billy Flynn.

John Davidson as Charles Frohman/Captain James Hook
Hartford Courant

The winner of Broadway.com’s Audience Choice Award for Best Musical, this breathtaking smash “captures the kid-at-heart,” says TIME Magazine. Vogue cheers, “It’s a must-see you’ll remember for years to come!”

Directed by visionary Tony®-winner Diane Paulus and based on the critically-acclaimed Academy Award® winning film, FINDING NEVERLAND tells the incredible story behind one of the world’s most beloved characters: Peter Pan. Playwright J.M. Barrie struggles to find inspiration until he meets four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother. Spellbound by the boys’ enchanting make-believe adventures, he sets out to write a play that will astound London theatergoers. With a little bit of pixie dust and a lot of faith, Barrie takes this monumental leap, leaving his old world behind for Neverland, where nothing is impossible and the wonder of childhood lasts forever.

John Davidson, a veteran of Broadway’s Wicked and State Fair and television’s Hollywood Squares, plays the role of Charles Frohman/Captain James Hook and joins us in studio today. 

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Downtown Schenectady, anchored by Proctors, has a new arts space. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports from the opening of a new center that is meant to foster the next generation of performers.  

Alsarah & the Nubatones advertisement
Proctors

Schenectady, New York’s Music Haven Concert Series has been traveling the world one summer concert at a time since 1990. 

The Passport Series is a new Music Haven presentation at Proctors which will bring world-class world music to the GE Theatre at Proctors throughout this fall and winter.

Tonight, Alsarah & the Nubatones will share their East African via Brooklyn retro-pop.

Mona Golub is the Producing Artistic Director of Music Haven and she joins us to tell us more about The Passport Series – Music Haven at Proctors. 

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