Posts Tagged ‘Troy’

“Spring Awakening” Soars with Youthful Energy in Theatre Institute at Sage College Production [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, April 24th, 2015
L to R Amelia Morgan, Annaleigh Lester, Katie Pedro, Taylor Hoffman, Kelci Loring.

L to R Amelia Morgan, Annaleigh Lester, Katie Pedro, Taylor Hoffman, Kelci Loring.

Review by Larry Murray and Gail M. Burns

Larry Murray: With book and lyrics by Steven Sater and music by Duncan Sheik, the 2006 Tony Award-winning alternative rock musical “Spring Awakening” is now playing at Sage College’s audience-friendly Meader Little Theatre in Troy. Last performance is Sunday (April 26). I am putting all this information up front because this review is more of a “must see” reader advisory: this production with its youthful cast is directed by Leigh Strimbeck and utilizes a functional and ingenious set by Juliana Haubrich.

Gail M. Burns: The Theatre Institute at Sage is a great company that is doing some really great theatre. TIS is only five years old, but it is carrying on the tradition established on its campus by the now defunct New York State Theatre Institute, which utilized Sage facilities, faculty and students to provide quality theatre for schools and the general public from 1974-2010. The connection with Sage was NYSTI’s greatest asset, and in turn the company helped the Sage Colleges develop a robust theatre curriculum. It is not at all surprising to see what talented students select Sage today.

Larry: We haven’t had a chance to see this cutting edge musical much in these parts, the only production I can remember is the one at the University at Albany Department of Theatre which was last year. None of our Equity companies, nor even the Mac-Haydn or Theater Barn have staged it. That may because the music is so important to the whole production, and it requires violin, cello and bass in addition to piano, drums and guitar. Two or three synthesizers will never do the score justice. I was as impressed with the accomplished musicians and Music Director Marcus Schlegel, as with the actors. The cellist, Erin Rousseau, on whom much of the melody line rests, has a vibrato and intonation that infused the songs with real heart.

Gail: I saw a production of the 1890/91 Franz Wedekind play of the same name, upon which this musical is based, at Williams College many years ago. “Spring Awakening” is an ideal college show because you need to have a young cast and a fairly sophisticated audience. Really, the best way to “get away with” staging this fierce and graphic material is to bill it as education. The play has a prominent role in the development of 20th century theater, and, as you mentioned, this musical version has made history, too.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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LIVE: Citizen Cope @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, 4/1/15

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

citizenCope1

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

When Citizen Cope brought his solo acoustic show to the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall earlier this month, we had no idea that it was just the beginning of several concerts that he’s be performing around Greater Nippertown.

But since his Music Hall performance, it’s been announced that he would also be playing with his band at the Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival in Croton Point on Saturday, June 20, in addition to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center with Counting Crows and Hollis Brown on Tuesday, September 1.

But, of course, those shows won’t be anything like the warm, soulful performance at the intimate and acoustically spakling Troy Savings Bank Music Hall…

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EMPAC Madness: Two Conflicting Music Styles Share One Program on Saturday [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015
Architeuthis Walks on Land is Amy Cimini and Katherine Young.

Architeuthis Walks on Land is Amy Cimini and Katherine Young.

By Larry Murray

It’s a bit like beauty and the beast. One is a soloist known for her elegance, grace and precise interpretation of contemporary composition. The other is a fearsome duo, known for their raw improvisational encounters with the extreme ranges of their instruments.

Conventional wisdom tells us that the two should repel one another, forcing both performers and their respective audience back into the safe disciplinary niche from whence they came. But the magic of this fable is that opposites attract and what contrasts also complements. On Saturday (April 25) at 8pm, this premise will be put to the musical test in Studio 2 at EMPAC at RPI in Troy, where Architeuthis Walks on Land will share the stage with Miranda Cuckson.

The viola and bassoon are not typically brandished in the pursuit of free improvisation and noise, but the duo Architeuthis Walks on Land brings fierceness and energy to these typically “orchestral” instruments. By way of extended techniques, bass amplification and rich textures, Amy Cimini and Katherine Young create a space where composition, indeterminacy and immediacy intersect.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

High School Drop-out Paula Poundstone Is One of the Funniest People Ever [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

Paula Poundstone

The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in Troy welcomes comedian Paula Poundstone on Saturday (April 18). 25 years ago, Paula Poundstone climbed on a Greyhound bus and traveled across the country — stopping in at open mic nights at comedy clubs as she went. A high school drop-out, she went on to become one of the great humorists of our time. You can hear her through your laughter as a regular panelist on NPR’s popular rascal of a weekly news quiz show, “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me.” She tours regularly, performing stand-up comedy across the country, causing Bob Zany of The Boston Globe to write: “Poundstone can regale an audience for several hours with her distinctive brand of wry, intelligent and witty comedy.” Audience members may put it a little less elegantly: “I peed my pants.”

While there is no doubt that Poundstone is funny, the thing that probably separates her from the pack of comics working today and that has made her a legend among comics and audiences alike is her ability to be spontaneous with a crowd. Poundstone says: “No two shows I do are the same. It’s not that I don’t repeat material. I do. My shows, when they’re good, and I like to think they often are, are like a cocktail party. When you first get there, you talk about how badly you got lost and how hard it was to find parking. Then you tell a story about your kids or what you just saw on the news. You meet some new people and ask them about themselves. Then, someone says, “Tell that story you used to tell,” and then someone on the other side of the room spills a drink, and you mock them. No one ever applauds me when I leave a party, though. I think they high five.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

LIVE: Ryder Cooley & Hazel @ the Tavern Bar at Peck’s Arcade, 2/27/15

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Photographs and video by Timothy Reidy

At last month’s Troy Night Out, Ryder Cooley (of the Dust Bowl Faeries) inaugurated the Tavern Bar at Peck’s Arcade in Troy with a performance of her new multimedia work, “Revival,” which combined live music, film, recorded sound, projections, shadows and movement. Further enlivening the evening’s festivities was Richard Lovrich with his offbeat, short short stories.

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LIVE: Dustin Mele Memorial Concert @ Revolution Hall, 3/21/15

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015
Johnny Rabb

Johnny Rabb

Photographs by Gene Sennes

Brown’s Brewing Company’s Revolution Hall was jam packed with an all-star line-up of Local 518 musicians and plenty of their fans last Saturday (March 21) for the second annual Dustin Mele Memorial Concert. And, yes, even some heavyweight politicos stopped by to lend their support for the benefit concert for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Dustin’s father, ace guitarslinger Joe Mele, led the charge onstage with veteran rockers Emerald City, and the roster of musicians donating their time and talent to the cause read like a who’s-who of the Nippertown music scene – Super 400, Johnny Rabb, Luke McNamee, Matt Mirabile, Tony Perrino’s Killer B, Jocamo, Blue Machine, Roland Gendron & Jeff Dooley, the El Dorados and soooo many others…

The final tally of funds raised is still TBA, but there was certainly plenty of fun raised. GO HERE if you couldn’t make it to the concert but would still like to donate to the cause.

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Be Here Now: The Second Annual Dustin Mele Memorial Concert @ Revolution Hall on Saturday

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015
(1-r): Deputy Mayor Peter Ryan, Joe Mele, Laura Marks, Patti Quade

After last year’s inaugural Dustin Mele Memorial Concert, Dustin’s parents, Joe Mele and Patti Quade, presented a check to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Capital Region NY Area Director Laura Marks at Troy’s City Hall with Deputy Mayor Peter Ryan in attendance (1-r): Deputy Mayor Peter Ryan, Joe Mele, Laura Marks, Patti Quade

In a benefit for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the second annual Dustin Mele Memorial Concert will be held at 6pm on Saturday (March 21) at Revolution Hall at Brown’s Brewing Co. in Troy.

In an effort to bring attention to and raise funds for suicide awareness, and celebrate Dustin’s life, the annual memorial concert was conceived last year by Dustin’s father, veteran Nippertown guitarslinger Joe Mele. Fellow musicians, family, friends and a contingent of local businesses rallied around the event last year and promise to make it a truly memorable event again on Saturday.

Minimum donation at the door is $10. If you can’t attend the concert but would like to donate, GO HERE.

Here’s the line-up of Local 518 musicians and bands shceduled to perform, all of whom are donating their time and talent:

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LIVE: Caladh Nua @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, 3/11/15

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Review by Brett Williams
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
Videos and photographs by Timothy Raab

As she finished an a cappella passage during the first set of Caladh Nua’s Wednesday night show at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, lead singer Lisa Butler looked slowly, wonderingly up from her microphone, apparently delighted by the legendary acoustic quality of the Capital Region’s most under-appreciated venue. Though she probably couldn’t see it, staring back at Ms. Butler was an audience equally delighted with the performance put on by one of Ireland’s best young traditional music ensembles.

Midway through a tour of the Midwest and Northeast, quintet Caladh Nua became the latest installment of the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall’s annual pre-St. Patrick’s traditional Irish music concert which has, in recent years, featured the likes of the Chieftains and Danú. And while Caladh Nua – which translates roughly to “New Haven” – may lack the stateside name-recognition of those other acts, that takes nothing away from their playing, which was as technically good as it was stirring – by turns lilting and melancholy, contemplative and rousing. Everything, in short, traditional Irish music should be.

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