REVIEW: “Some People Hear Thunder” @ Capital Rep [Berkshire on Stage]

May 11th, 2017, 1:30 pm by Sara

(Photo by Douglas C. Liebig)

Review by Barbara Waldinger

Some People Hear Thunder, a musical set in the midst of the Armenian genocide, purports to be something else. The director and star, Kevin McGuire, characterizes it as a “powerful musical love story,” and his co-star Joan Hess, agrees that it is a “triumphant human story” that is decidedly not about the genocide. But this production contradicts their protests, and that is not a bad thing.

Currently on the boards at Albany’s Capital Repertory Theatre, the play was written by Gerson H. Smoger, a human rights lawyer, based on the 1916 recollections of Rev. Dikran Andreasian, an Armenian who managed to survive the massacre of up to 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman government starting in 1915. Tens of thousands were deported, driven hundreds of miles on forced death marches with no food or water. The Ottoman army used the occasion of World War I to decimate their civilian Armenian population, plundering their material wealth and expropriating all of their properties.

To this day, Turkey dismisses the charge of genocide and denies that the deportations and atrocities were part of a deliberate plan to exterminate the Armenians. The U.S. initially refused to get involved as part of our World War I neutrality and has still not referred to the episode as genocide, out of concern for alienating Turkey, a NATO ally and partner in fighting Middle East terrorism. For many years Turkey successfully waged a well-organized campaign to discredit any attempt to recognize the genocide in films, but recently “The Promise,” a film about these events, was able to secure financing outside of Hollywood.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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Albany Civic Theater Presents “A Shot in the Dark” [Berkshire on Stage]

May 1st, 2017, 1:00 pm by Sara

Albany Civic Theater presents A Shot in the Dark by Marcel Achard, adapted by Harry Kurnitz.

Directed by Rachael Sheffer

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE
Pay-what-you-will preview at 7:30pm, Thursday (May 4)
Show dates: Friday (May 5)-Sunday, May 21; 7:30pm Fridays and Saturdays; 3pm Sundays

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

ArtBeat: “The Art of Seating” @ AIH&A [Get Visual]

December 27th, 2016, 1:30 pm by Sara
Synergistic Synthesis XVII sub b1 chair 2003, Kenneth Smythe

Synergistic Synthesis XVII sub b1 chair 2003, Kenneth Smythe

By David Brickman

Amid the hustle and bustle of the holidays, there’s an end-of-year chance to catch a marvelous traveling show at the Albany Institute of History & Art before it moves on after Saturday (December 31).

The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Design was organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville and is a delight for anyone who has ever sat in a chair or wondered what it would be like to try to improve on that experience. Featuring 43 individual specimens in pristine condition, this collection runs the gamut from simply stated wooden rockers to gaudy stuffed confections to space-age sittable sculptures.

Click to read the rest at Get Visual

ArtBeat: “Future Perfect” @ UAlbany’s University Art Museum [Get Visual]

November 30th, 2016, 3:00 pm by Sara
A group of drawings by Alexander Ross as seen in Future Perfect

A group of drawings by Alexander Ross as seen in Future Perfect

By David Brickman

The exhibition Future Perfect: Picturing the Anthropocene at the University at Albany Art Museum is a grand compendium of ideas that handily meets its purpose to “explore and inform,” but falls a bit short simply as an art exhibition.

Curated by Associate Professor Danny Goodwin, Director Janet Riker and Associate Director/Curator Corinna Ripps-Schaming, the show features significant individual pieces or bodies of work in a variety of media by 12 artists, augmented by 11 additional artists whose prints, drawn from the museum’s permanent collection by participants in a class project, create a sidebar exhibition within Future Perfect.

The anthropocene is the label now affixed to our current geological era, so named to reflect the changes to the earth’s climate and ecology that human activity has caused. Much of the work that has been selected to represent this concept here leans toward the futuristic, including animated science fiction film projects by Colin C. Boyd and Jacolby Satterwhite, and colorful, cartoonish critter paintings by Alexander Ross.

Click to read the rest at Get Visual.

ArtBeat: Paul Mauren @ Albany Center Gallery [Get Visual]

October 17th, 2016, 2:00 pm by Sara
Paul Mauren - Speak to Me 2016, assembled mixed materials

Paul Mauren – Speak to Me 2016, assembled mixed materials

By David Brickman

The local art mafia came out in force last Friday night for Paul Mauren’s exhibition Where Things Go at Albany Center Gallery, and with good reason. Yes, many of the seeming hundreds of guests were this longtime College of Saint Rose professor’s colleagues, counterparts, current and former students, friends and fans, but the show alone is an event worthy of major excitement.

Mauren, a stalwart of the regional arts scene (and beyond) for several decades, has operated under the radar for the most part. Still, he has built up a presence through steady inclusion in important shows – going back to the 1979 Mohawk Hudson Regional, a 1981 solo at Emma Willard’s Dietel Gallery, and the seminal Water Works exhibition, held in 1982 in an Albany public bath house that eventually met the wrecker’s ball.

Click to read the rest at Get Visual.

ArtBeat: Masterworks @ AIHA [Get Visual]

August 31st, 2016, 1:00 pm by Sara
This 1817 map of the proposed Erie Canal is part of Masterworks: Paper

This 1817 map of the proposed Erie Canal is part of Masterworks: Paper

By David Brickman

With trips to all the summer shows winding down, I’d like to recommend a really worthy exhibition closer to home. Actually, this is a pair of exhibitions with the unifying theme of a deep exploration of the collections of the now-225-year-old Albany Institute of History & Art, entitled Masterworks: 225 Years of Collecting and Masterworks: Paper.

These shows were mounted during the past year to celebrate the Institute’s anniversary and its own history, with the larger, more inclusive exhibition featuring a thoughtfully constructed timeline of the organization, punctuated with compelling artifacts and objects such as grandfather clocks, a book of wool samples, paintings from three centuries, marvels in glass and silver, a fire bucket, travel posters, etc.

The richness of the AIHA’s holdings is well displayed here, and would be difficult to exaggerate. Though I am biased toward contemporary art, I can enjoy a sumptuously festooned French-style bed as much as the next guy, along with almost absurdly decorative cast-iron stoves, Americana in the form of elaborately incised powder horns, ceramics from near and far, and plenty of earlier fine art.

Click to read the rest at Get Visual.

ArtBeat: Swan Song [Get Visual]

August 24th, 2016, 11:00 am by Sara
Installation view of Staying Power - photos provided by Albany International Airport Gallery

Installation view of Staying Power – photos provided by Albany International Airport Gallery

By David Brickman

It’s entirely appropriate that the final exhibition organized and installed by outgoing Director Sharon Bates at the Albany International Airport Gallery expresses the value of its title, “Staying Power.” Bates has the same qualities as the 11 venerable artists she has assembled for this excellent, elegant show – and she will no doubt amply demonstrate that in the next chapter of her life, when she sets forth in retirement as a full-time artist.

Her swan song is a paean to perseverance, a celebration of agelessness, a fascinating collection of excellence and diversity. The artists presented here have but two things in common: They are all located in the greater Capital Region; and they all have been at it for quite some time. Oh, and they’re all darn good. Naturally, I have my favorites among them, but I am reluctant to sully the unified purpose of this show by picking and choosing.

Instead, here’s an overview:

One feature of the show (which will hang through Monday, January 2, 2017) is a series of video interviews with the artists that has been placed on monitors in several spots throughout the gallery, as well as in a larger projection room. It underscores the purpose of the show to not only display the work these artists have created, but also to plumb their minds and their motives, as they discuss matters within the lifelong pursuit of an artistic career.

Click to read the rest at Get Visual.

“The Comedy of Errors” Comes to Ten Broeck Mansion [Berkshire on Stage]

August 5th, 2016, 2:00 pm by Sara
Poster designed by Scot Seguine, AlohaVictory.com

Poster designed by Scot Seguine, AlohaVictory.com

Antipholus of Ephesus is having a really bad day. First, his faithful servant Dromio of Ephesus reports on strange requests he never made, and then his wife barricades him out of his mansion. Before long, the police are after him, and an overzealous exorcist is flinging holy water in his face. Could it be that dark supernatural forces are at work? Or could it be that Antipholus of Syracuse, his long-lost twin brother, has arrived in town with his own servant Dromio – who also happens to be the twin of his brother’s servant – and is causing all sorts of mayhem around town?

Is your head spinning yet? Don’t worry, it’s all part of the fun in Confetti Stage’s production of The Comedy of Errors, the show widely believed to be the first play written by William Shakespeare. Presented in the style and of classic slapstick comedy, this tale of the bard is sure to have audiences laughing hard during its run at Albany’s Ten Broeck Mansion Garden, beginning at 7:30pm tonight (Friday, August 5).

As a special treat for the community, performances at 2pm on Sunday (August 7) and 7:30pm on Thursday (August 11) will be free to everyone. There will be light refreshments available to purchase at all performances. Tickets for all other performances are $15; students and children age 12 and under get in for just $8.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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