Posts Tagged ‘Proctors’

LIVE: The Ed Palermo Big Band @ Proctors’ GE Theatre, 4/18/14

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014
The Ed Palermo Big Band

The Ed Palermo Big Band

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Rudy Lu

Yowza!

I can’t remember the last time that a concert left me so breathless. The 17-piece Ed Palermo Big Band rolled into Proctors’ GE Theatre in Schenectady last Friday night, making their Nippertown debut as the third and final concert of 2014 Party Horns NYC series. And what a party it was. They kicked off the night with sections of “Call Any Vegetable” and “Zomby Woof” (which was the connective tissue that ran through the entire concert) before stomping into “Willie the Pimp.”

And on and on they went, dashing through a sprawling 40-minute suite, taking a huge batch of the late great Frank Zappa’s already impossibly complex instrumental songs and melding them into a magnificent, mountainous medley. All without pausing to take a breath. Under the watch of the indefatigable Palermo and his hyper, two-fisted conducting, the band sliced and diced Zappa’s catalog into delirium, cutting and pasting Mothers of Invention gems into a seamless string of sizzling shards that seemed almost beyond comprehension.

Yes, it was a big band tribute to the irreverent iconoclast Frank Zappa. That’s what Palermo does, and he’s got four albums worth of stellar recordings – the latest, Oh No, Not Jazz, is a double CD, so that actually makes it five – to prove it. But there was none of the sophomoric, pee-pee-doo-doo stuff that Zappa sometimes indulged in. No, this band was focused on his vast catalog of rich, sophisticated instrumental compositions – and they performed them with an undeniable sense of playfulness and a genuine love for the material.

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A Few Minutes With… Crystal Aikin of Proctors’ Gospel Jubilee

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Interview and story by Don Wilcock
Photograph of Jubilee Mass Choir by Rudy Lu

The switch from being a night nurse in a Tacoma, Washington hospital to touring gospel singer wasn’t as drastic a transition for Crystal Aikin as she might have thought. “Sometimes you realize in order to heal the natural body, you have to heal the soul and the spiritual man,” says the headliner at Friday’s (April 11) third annual Gospel Jubilee at Proctors in Schenectady. “I definitely miss the (nursing) field. It was definitely challenging to leave, but I also knew there was a wonderful future ahead to change lanes and to actually start healing with singing and finding out that music, as well as medicine, is a powerful medium for healing.”

In December, 2008, Aikin won the grand prize in BET’s “Sunday Best” singing competition. She had already recorded with the Washington-based Soul for Trinity Records, the gospel arm of a record label run by Jimi Hendrix’s sister. But this was the African American gospel equivalent to “American Idol.” “It was a great experience where you’re looking at Kirk Franklin standing next to you, and like my life has changed. Oh, my God. I remember (judges) Be Be Winans and the girls Mary Mary. They were saying my full name, and I said, ‘Wow! If they’re saying my name, people in their homes are saying that.’ It was a huge paradigm shift to just be a girl that is local in Tacoma working in the hospital ER to all of a sudden be the mainstream from BET on the stage such as ‘Sunday Best.’ All of a sudden you’re in everybody’s home on television on Thursday and Sunday nights. So it was a paradigm shift, but I wasn’t even thinking about that at the time. Something I ultimately had to learn was over, but I’m telling you, my heels were shaking.”

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Proctors Announces Its 2014-2015 Broadway Season of Shows

Friday, April 4th, 2014

The 2013 Tony Award-winning Best Musical, “Kinky Boots,” is headed to Proctors in Schenectady as part of the theater complex’s 2014-1015 season.

On Thursday evening (April 3), Proctors revealed its upcoming schedule of musicals and big shows in front of a crowd of more than 2,500 invite-only subscribers, members, group leaders and supporters. The announcements were emceed by Time Warner Cable News’ Karen Tararache.

“Typically we do five shows in a season,” said Proctors CEO Philip Morris. “Last season, we added a sixth show to our Key Private Bank Broadway Series. It was popular with our subscribers, so we’re doing it again; there is no better value in Capital Region entertainment. We’re so pleased to present these amazing shows to the community. There will be magic on our stage this season. Join us!”

Broadway Series subscription renewals are on sale now. New public subscriptions will go on sale on Tuesday, May 6.

Here’s the newly announced schedule for Proctors:

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Amazing Visual of How Joey Comes to Life in “War Horse” @ Proctors, Jan. 15-19 [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, January 16th, 2014
In performance, Joey’s movements are so real you forget that the horse is a giant puppet.

In performance, Joey’s movements are so real you forget that the horse is a giant puppet.

If you use your browser to enlarge the image below, you will be able to read all about how Joey was conceived for the central character in War Horse, part of the Key Private Bank Broadway Series. The National Touring Company is visiting Proctors in Schenectady through Sunday (January 19): 8 p.m. tonight (Thursday) through Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday; Matinees at 1:30 p.m. today (Thursday), 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. Proctors, 432 State Street, Schenectady, (518) 346-6204, www.proctors.org.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

England’s National Theatre Production of “War Horse” Is Live on Stage at Proctor’s, Jan. 15-19 [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, January 13th, 2014
Albert and Joey  (photo: Brinkhoff/Mögenburg.

Albert and Joey (photo: Brinkhoff/Mögenburg)

War Horse is a stunning play about the pure love and loyalty of a lad for his horse in a time when the unspeakable horrors of war are unleashed on the world. This edition of the play won five Tony Awards during its record-breaking run at Lincoln Center in New York, and this is the national production that was born from it, on stage for only eight performances, January 15-19 at Proctors in Schenectady.

With a special kind of theatrical magic, War Horse puts live actors on stage alongside spectacular, beautifully-designed horse puppets to tell the epic story of Joey, a farm horse that is sold into the cavalry in World War I. Albert, the boy who trained and bonded with Joey on the farm, embarks on a treacherous journey to rescue the beloved animal from behind enemy lines.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

So Who Were the Mystery Country Stars at Proctors Last Night?

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Secret Star Jam

Proctors in Schenectady played host to a unique concert on Sunday evening (November 24).

The show was titled “WGNA-FM’s Secret Star Acoustic Jam,” and it featured three country music stars. WGNA-FM’s website explained it like this: “The stars are introduced one by one, each taking a moment to interact with the crowd, then performing one of their many hit songs. Once all three stars are on stage, they each take a turn performing their hits and interacting with you, the audience, in a very unique setting.”

The hitch? WGNA wouldn’t say just who it was who would be stepping into the spotlight, and ticket-buyers wouldn’t find out who they were, either, until they hit the stage.

As it turned out, the three country stars were Joe Nichols, Craig Morgan and Jerrod Niemann – not a bad line-up for an $18.50 ticket price.

GO HERE to check out some photos from the show…

Five Firsts: Danny Young of “We Will Rock You”

Monday, November 25th, 2013
Danny Young

Danny Young

NAME: Danny Young
BAND AFFILIATION: Queen and Ben Elton’s musical, “We Will Rock You”
INSTRUMENT: Drum Set

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … Wow, this is a tough one! I believe the first albums I ever bought were either The Buddy Rich Big Band or Lionel Hampton’s Wailin’ at the Trianon. Not really typical albums to buy as a 13 year old, but my dad really pushed us to listen to classical and jazz growing up (and my pushed, I mean only let us listen to classical or jazz). No complaints here though. The first two albums my parent gave me were Buddy and Krupa, and Dave Brubeck’s Take Five; both amazing drumming albums which both influence and shaped my entire drumming career. So I guess I should send a big thank you out to my mom and dad!

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LIVE: “Celebration of Rhythm” @ Proctors, 11/7/13

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
The Drums of Ghana

The Drums of Ghana

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

Proctors in Schenectady debuted a new concert series last week. Produced by Local 518 master percussionist Brian Melick, “Celebration of Rhythm” explores the musical and cultural diversity of Nippertown through the magic of world percussion.

The series opened with Denise Watso and other members of the Abenaki Nation who presented “Here to Stay,” a multi-media narrative of the history of the Abenakis here and throughout Northeastern US and Canada.

The second half of the evening featured percussionist Zorkie Nelson leading the Drums of Ghana. This was also a multi media presentation, featuring dancing, as well as drumming.

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