Posts Tagged ‘Proctors’

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.



Lou Christie, What Was the First Album You Ever Bought?

Thursday, October 24th, 2013
Lou Christie

Lou Christie

“My parents were very into music. The whole family was musical, really. So I remember playing my mother’s big heavy 78 records of Peggy Lee, Bing Crosby and Perry Como.

Then I graduated to 45s and listened to the Four Lads, the Aces and lot of R&B, that were called race records back then.

But as far as albums go, I think that one of the first 12-inch records that I ever bought was by the Platters. I love that album cover, and to this day, I can still see it – the way they were posed in that photograph.

That was one of the first albums I bought, and I learned all of the vocal parts on that record. So besides the lead vocals, I also sang all of the background parts along with my sister.

And then I bought records by the Everly Brothers, the Del Vikings and thing like that.

You know, I think I still have those albums up in the attic of my mother’s house.”

Lou Christie – whose hits include “Lightning Strikes,” “Rhapsody in the Rain,” “The Gypsy Cried” and “Two Faces Have I” – performs at the Golden Oldies Spectacular at Proctors in Schenectady at 7pm on Saturday (October 26). The line-up also includes Kenny Vance & the Planetones, Charlie Thomas’ Drifters, Sonny Turner (former lead singer of the Platters), Nicole Ortiz and the Oldies Show (with special guest Trish Anderson). Tickets are $36.75, $44.75 & $51.75.

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.


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