Posts Tagged ‘Schenectady’

LIVE: Line of Swords @ Proctors’ GE Theatre, 2/21/14

Monday, March 3rd, 2014
Line of Swords

Line of Swords

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Rudy Lu

One look at Line of Swords’ personnel and you knew the first night of Proctors’ “Party Horns NYC” series was going to be next-level. What nobody could have expected was the near-relentless, utterly mind-blowing assault on both the ears and the senses of the audience. If these horns were playing a “party,” then somebody spiked the punch with a few tabs of Owsley’s finest.

It all started innocently (and curiously) enough when trombonist/leader Josh Roseman put his ‘bone to his mouth, obviously preparing to blow us away. Instead, we got lots of hiss, lots of air, and a faraway sound that might have been a horn. Roseman continued playing in the clear, bopping to the beat in his head, offering a meditation in breath as he filled the space with organic “static” that could have easily fit into a Radiohead tune. What wouldn’t have fit was the explosion of sound that finally came from guitarist Ben Monder and drummer Rudy Royston, with Monder ripping up his instrument’s bottom end, while Royston just ripped it up.

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LIVE: Betty & the Baby Boomers @ the Eighth Step at Proctors, 2/1/14

Thursday, February 6th, 2014
Betty and the Boomers

Betty and the Boomers

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

Betty & the Baby Boomers, stalwarts of the Hudson Valley Folk Scene, once again brought their beautiful voices and harmonies to the Eighth Step at Proctors in Schenectady to kick off the February concert calendar.

This visit was especially poignant as the four original members of the group – Paul Rubeo, Jean Valla-McAvoy, Betty Boomer and Steve Stanne – are closely associated with the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater Inc., a special project founded by late Pete Seeger dedicated to cleaning up the Hudson River.

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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.

LIVE: Michael-Louis Smith Quintet @ A Place for Jazz, 11/15/13

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013
Michael Louis Smith and Stacy Dillard

Michael Louis Smith and Stacy Dillard

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Rudy Lu

Although Michael-Louis Smith has officially graduated from the Greater Nippertown jazz scene, the talented guitarist’s enduring links to the Capital Region – and to his birthplace of Schenectady, in particular – are strong enough to grandfather him into A Place for Jazz’s annual local-artist show. Besides, between his springtime drop party at The Linda and the trio he brought to the Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival’s Downtown BID Competition, Smith has definitely been around enough this year to re-acquaint him with the Local 518 scene. For this show, though, we got to experience the full MLS band, and that experience definitely left a mark.

And a mark would have to be made, as the closing show on APFJ’s always-too-short calendar is really the last time until April when area jazz fans will consider attending a show without asking, “How far is it? How cold is it? Is it going to snow?” The slight chill in the air was another reminder that climate change isn’t keeping winter away. But when Smith started his in-the-clear opening riff to “Up in the Air” and his cohorts literally slid into the tasty groove that pushes the tune, the approaching season went right down the memory hole – and a lid was put firmly on that hole when the tune turned on a dime and hit us with a big dose of sharp, blistering bop.

This group’s sound (both individually and collectively) is rooted in jazz tradition: Smith plays hollow-body guitar with minimal effects, Victor Gould’s crisp piano lines evoke early acoustic Herbie Hancock, and it’s not hard to hear Sonny Rollins in saxman Stacey Dillard’s massive attack. But their overall sound comes at you like a tailing curveball, bending your mental knees as the ball blows right by you and smacks into the catcher’s glove. Smith’s lines are high and taut, with none of the soft resonance associated with the hollow-body, and Dillard’s sensational forays outside the box take Rollins’ warm sound and add a level of complexity that is thoroughly modern and undeniably brilliant.

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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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