Posts Tagged ‘Proctors’

DANCE: “Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty: A Gothic Romance” @ Proctors, 10/15/13

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty: A Gothic Romance @ Proctors

Review by Greg Haymes

Like all good fairy tales, “Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty” begins with “Once upon a time,” and it ends with “They all lived happily ever after.”

In between, plenty happens that the Brothers Grimm, Tchaikovsky and even Walt Disney never saw coming.

Now, I don’t know bupkis about dance, and I’m certainly not about to pretend that I do, so if you’re looking for a more dance-centric evaluation of the production that runs through Sunday at Proctors in Schenectady, I suggest that you look elsewhere. (Scroll to the bottom of this review for second opinions.)

As an evening of theater, however, “Sleeping Beauty” will definitely not put you to sleep. British director-choreographer-writer Matthew Bourne had a bold, brash vision for this fairy tale, and his 24-member New Adventures dance company breathe eye-popping life into it onstage. This is a ballet for people who think that they don’t like ballet. It’s a stunning visual feast – especially the sumptuous sets and costume designs of Lez Brotherston. Just sit back, and let it all wash over you.



LIVE: “Cirkopolis” @ Proctors, 8/7/13

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Cirque Eloiz: Cirkopolis

Review by Greg Haymes

No, it’s not really a circus. But it’s not really a theater piece, either.

Cirque Eloize’s “Cirkopolis” is more of a themed dance performance that incorporates a variety of traditional circus skills – feats of strength and balance, juggling, acrobatics, aerial work and a bit of clowning.

The 12-member troupe from Montreal launched its inaugural summer residency at Proctors in Schenectady on Wednesday (August 7) with the North American premiere of “Cirkopolis,” co-directed by Jeannot Painchaud and choreographer Dave St-Pierre.

There’s not much of an actual narrative woven into the 85-minute show, which concerns the desire to break away from the soul-crushing drudgery of menial, mundane office work. To assert yourself as an individual. To set your soul free. Or as David Crosby once put it so succinctly, “Let your freak-flag fly.” In fact, the entire “plot” can be summed up in about a minute (as Apple did with their iconic Super Bowl commercial).


POSTPONED: Josh Roseman & Line of Swords at Proctors

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

The concert by Brooklyn-based trombonist Josh Roseman & Line of Swords – which was originally slated for Proctors’ GE Theatre in Schenectady on Saturday night (May 25) – has been postponed.

The performance was scheduled to be the third and final concert of the Party Horns NYC series.

No new date has been announced yet. Stay tuned for any upcoming details…

LIVE: Schenectady JAM Concert @ Proctors’ Robb Alley, 4/14/13

Monday, April 29th, 2013
Schenectady Mayor McCarthy and Tim Coakley

Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy and Tim Coakley

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu
A JazzApril story

The Annual Schenectady JAM (Jazz Appreciation Month) concert was held this year at Robb Alley at Proctors with the theme of celebrating a hard-woking, multi-talented local jazz hero. This year’s hero is longtime drummer and WAMC-FM jazz radio host Tim Coakley. Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy presented a proclamation naming April 15 as Tim Coakley Day honoring him for all of his many contributions to the Local 518 jazz scene.


Friday Night Circus: Cirque vs. Cirque

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Yes, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus marches into the Times Union Center for an eight-show stand following next Thursday’s (May 2) elephant parade, but for those of us who prefer an animal-free circus experience, it’s time for a flip of the coin on Friday night (April 26).

WHAT: Cirque Zuma Zuma puts an African spin on circus skills.
WHERE: Proctors’ Mainstage, Schenectady.
THE BLURB: “Acrobats, tumblers, lion dancers, contortionists, singers and gymnasts band together for the high-flying, off-the-wall spectacle of rhythmic music and pulse-pounding movement that could only be Cirque Zuma Zuma. Skilled youngsters from 16 African nations present this extraordinary display of circus skills and nonstop action that will thrill you to the edge of your seat.”
WHEN: 8pm Friday
HOW MUCH: $20, $40, $45 & $50

WHAT: Cirque Shanghai puts an Asian spin on circus skills.
WHERE: Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington
THE BLURB: “A visually spectacular production combing astounding Chinese acrobatics, fast-paced action, and contemporary staging. Dating back to the Han Dynasty more than 2,000 years ago, Chinese acrobatic spectacles were first called “bai xi,” meaning “100 amazing acts,” in reference to the performers’ seemingly limitless skills. Today, “Bai Xi” brings this on-stage wonder to 21st century audiences via aerial acrobatics, plate spinning, contortion, balancing acts, hoop diving, martial arts and more.
WHEN: 7pm Friday
HOW MUCH: $35; ages 12 and under $25.

LIVE: “Gospel Jubilee” @ Proctors, 4/19/13

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013
The Gospel Jubilee Mass Choir

The Gospel Jubilee Mass Choir

Review by Valerie Medeiros
Photographs by Rudy Lu

The second annual “Gospel Jubilee” at Proctors in Schenectady was a roof-raiser from the start. The Jubilee Mass Choir and the Emmanuel Baptist Church Praise Dancers opened with ”My Faith Looks Up to Thee,” a traditional song delivered powerfully by the 60-odd voices and band. The choir was rewarded with immediate audience participation, including enthusiastic hand clapping along with the choir. Several energetic young members of the EBC Praise Dancers left the stage and took to the aisles, jumping, dancing, clapping and waving colorful banners, bringing the audience to their feet.

Pastor Annetta Dix-Howard delivered an invocation encouraging all to praise The Lord, and the audience responded resoundingly, “Praise The Lord!” Producer Sara Hill asked for a moment of silence for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, then gave free rein to emcee Mark Thompson, Pastor of the New Day Christian Empowerment Center in Schenectady, and musical director the Rev. Elgin Joseph Taylor Sr. of the Sweet Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church in Albany.

Soloist Annette Harris joined the Jubilee Mass Choir for “Psalm 145, He’s Greatly to be Praised,” an uptempo number with the church band – two keyboards, organ, drums and a rockin’ electric bass – which set the tone for an evening where worship and performance were a simultaneous experience for both the performers and audience.


LIVE: Outer Borough Brass Band @ Proctors, 4/12/13

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

The Outer Borough Brass Band @ Proctors, 4/12/13 (photo by Rudy Lu)

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Rudy Lu
A JazzApril story

“Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans?” Louis Armstrong made that song famous in 1947, but the question itself still hangs heavy. Unlike my friends who made Jazzfest an annual thing, I’ve only been to NOLA once, and there are days when I miss it like fire. So what happens when you’re actually FROM the Crescent City, but you’re doing business in the Empire State? You find yourself some like-minded souls, boil up a sumptuous gumbo that mixes NOLA classics with surprising covers and home-cooked originals, and then drop it on unsuspecting Noo Yawkers!

That’s what the Outer Borough Brass Band is about, and they brought big fun with them last Saturday night when they played the second installment of Proctors’ “Party Horns NYC” concert series.

Just like you’d expect, OBBB came out of the blocks fast and hard, with their killer three-man horn blowing up the intro to Smokey Johnson’s “Ain’t My Fault.” Pianist Alison Leyton-Brown, trumpeter Ivan Rosenberg and bass drummer Moses Patrou didn’t sing the words as much as they let them loose. You know how you just want to shout “Thank God THAT’S over” at the end of the week, and it feels so good when you do? That was the clear message on the players’ faces as they barked out the lyrics with smiles all around, and the smiles ran up into the audience as Rosenberg and tenorman Scott Bourgeois took turns blowing us all down. Patrou and snare player Jason Isaac kept the tune a bopping march (with the emphasis on “bopping”), while Leyton-Brown banged out the goodness on her Nord keyboard. It was a major release for all concerned, and we were howling for more when it was all done.


Be Here Now: Gospel Jubilee @ Proctors, 4/19/13

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Gospel Jubilee (photo by Rudy Lu)

Story and photographs by Rudy Lu

Based upon the recent choir rehearsal held at Union College’s Memorial Chapel, the second annual Gospel Jubilee will certainly be a roof-raising evening at Proctors in Schenectady on Friday night. The Jubilee Mass Choir is composed of singers from a variety of local churches, while Union College’s Heavenly Voices Gospel Choir will perform under the direction of the Reverend Elgin J. Taylor Sr. of Sweet Missionary Baptist Church of Albany.


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