Posts Tagged ‘Performing Arts’

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Adirondack Family Activities:Lake George Opera’s Three Little Pigs

This year Lake George Opera’s Opera-To-Go is performing another adaptation by John Davies of Opera Tales. Davies, a bass-baritone has performed with a variety of opera companies such as Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco and Philadelphia as well as many others. Then in the 1990s, as a means to entertain his own children, Davies hit on a combination that worked. He merged classic fairy tales with classic music in a way to engage and entertain children of all ages.

Each Davies children’s opera takes recognizable tunes and pairs them to a story with a lesson, similar to the classic Bugs Bunny cartoon that showcased The Barber of Seville. In this performance one little pig goes to the library as she researches how to build a house. The Three Little Pigs converges with Mozart’s Don Giovanni as the wolf pretends to be a statue and ends up being invited for dinner with a second little pig and trouble commences.

For Liz Giblin, Director of Marketing for the Lake George Opera, Davies’ children’s operas not only take classic operatic ideas and themes but have a strong educational element to them as well. Each year the company performs for schools throughout upstate New York, the Adirondacks and western New England as well as a series of free performances for families.

“The Opera-To-Go program has been going into communities and schools since 1985,” Giblin says. “Children aren’t only exposed to opera but to good lessons within each of the classic fairy tales. The Three Little Pigs shows how everything you need to know is in the library. Last year’s opera was about the danger of talking to strangers. Another opera was about the Golden Rule. Children are not only exposed to opera but also exposed to stories and music. Obviously we are an opera company so want people to know that opera is available to everyone not just an older generation.”

The 45-minute opera of The Three Little Pigs will be held at the Charles R. Wood Theatre in Glens Falls free of charge at 1:00 p.m. on March 27. According to Executive Director Bill Woodward seating for the operatic performance at the Wood Theatre is on a first-come, first-serve basis. The 299-seat theatre will be open a half-hour before show time.

“This a great opportunity for kids to come and see opera where it is reachable. It is a fairy tale and children are mesmerized with the singing. It’s a good way to assimilate them to opera,” says Woodward. “Parents will enjoy it just as much as the kids.”


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Moby Dick and the Adirondacks

Long ago there were whales at the edge of the Adirondacks, but it wasn’t till last year that I saw one myself—the same day our trail was blocked by a bull moose, another creature I’ve yet to see here. This wild kingdom was on Gaspe peninsula, Quebec. The whale left a huge impression, as did Moby Dick. I can’t pretend to have read this engrossing however longass 1851 book, but I listened to it on tape during that trip, and it took another week to finish it. So it was as unexpected as a water spout to spy a poster announcing that Pendragon Theatre, in Saranac Lake, is staging the story this weekend.

Pendragon’s Web site has an explanation. “Moby Dick Rehearsed is a play that attempts to turn the 800-page novel into a two-hour play,” says director Karen Kirkham of Dickinson College. “That in itself is a feat to admire. Orson Welles’s 1955 play is little known. Even less known is Welles’s repeated opinion in interviews later in life that the play ‘is my finest work—in any form.’”

The show is at 7:30 Friday and Saturday, November 20 and 21, at and 2 p.m. Sunday, November 22. Tentative performances in December are Dec. 4 at 7:30 and Dec. 6 at 2 p.m. The production will tour schools and arts centers around the region until March. Tickets are $20 for adults and $16 for seniors and students; $10 for age 17 and under. Pendragon is at 15 Brandy Brook Avenue. For information and reservations, contact Pendragon Theatre (518) 891-1854 or pdragon@northnet.org.

A 1930 edition of Moby Dick illustrated by Rockwell Kent, who lived in Ausable Forks, is credited as a factor in the novel’s rediscovery. You can see Kent’s powerful pen and ink drawings at this link to the Plattsburgh College Foundation and Art Museum, to whom many of Kent’s works were bequeathed by his widow, Sally Kent Gorton. The 1930 printing was first offered as a limited edition of 1,000 copies in three volumes held in metal slipcases. AntiQbook is offering a set for $9,500—something for the Christmas list.

Cover of the 1930 Chicago, Lakeside Press edition of Moby Dick, illustrated by Rockwell Kent


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Adirondack Music Scene: Irish Fest, Hobo Fest, Rock and Roll Musical

The end of summer is arriving fast and the musicians are in tune to say farewell! With several festivals this weekend I don’t know how one can catch all of the other events but it’s always worth a try.

This weekend is the last chance to see Smokey Joe’s Cafe at The Depot Theater in Westport. Performances are tonight, tomorrow and Sunday starting at 8 pm. The show is all Stroller and Lieber songs which are rock and roll tunes such as “Jailhouse Rock” and “Yakety Yak.”

So, the first day of the Irish Festival gets into full swing starting Saturday at 11 am at the Ski Jumps in Lake Placid. On Saturday favorite piper Michael Cooney starts playing at 12:10 pm. Also in the lineup is P.V. O’Donnel,an Irish fiddler from Donegal. Martha Gallagher will be there too she’s our own skilled harpist with a strong voice. Mike McHale a wooden flute player will be up from the Catskills. He doesn’t have a website but his resume is extensive and he was inducted into the Traditional Irish Music Hall of Fame in 2000. There all sorts of other activities including irish dancing, contests and storytelling. It’s going to be a great 2 days.

Saturday in Bolton Landing pianist Eric Trudel will be giving a recital of the 24 Preludes of Rachmaninoff. The recital starts at 7:30 pm and tickets are $25. This is the season ender for The Sembrich concerts this summer. I wish I’d known of it earlier as the list of performances was impressive. Eric Trudel happens to have been the true pianist in the movie The Pianist.

Saturday night at the Waterhole in Saranac Lake Sven Curth is going to be performing. Sven writes very good songs and is one heck of a guitar player (and what a pretty guitar it is!). He’s appreciated around the park as a solo performer and singer/songwriter for the popular band Jim. The only thing I’d like to change about his performances is that sometimes they are too loud. He’s so good he doesn’t need too much volume.

Sunday: HoboFest is happening in Saranac Lake at 28 Depot Street (behind Stewarts) and 7444 Gallery.
So many great musicians all day for FREE!!!! One act that you can catch all day is the recycled drums drum corp – a group of cool people have made all of their own percussion instruments and will be welcoming incoming trains – these are very good drummers Kyle Murray,Colin Dehond, Eric Van Yserloo to name the ring leaders. Big Slyde is playing – I’m a huge fan of their sound which includes cellist Chris Grant, multi instrumentalist John Doan, fantastic guitarist Mikey Portal and the fabulous voice of John’s daughter, Hannah Doan. Another wonderful local musician is Steve Langdon playing his great versions of old blues songs mixed with a few originals – I hope. The Startlights sing oldies with great energy and beautiful harmonies. Their song choice often inspire audience participation. Also featured will be Just Jills a new all female band consisting of two very different voices, mandolin, and fiddle. These ladies are new to performing but have an excellent repertoire – I’m looking forward to whatever train hobo related songs they’ve come up with. Then you have the big acts: John Cohen , an original New Lost City Rambler, is a wonderful addition to the line up. A true legend, he was at Newport when Dylan went electric and ticked everyone off. Brian Dewan is fascinating. I’ve seen him a few times and he always comes up with the most interesting obscure songs. He plays the accordion, autoharp and sings. Last we will be treated to Frankenpine a very good band from Brooklyn. These folks do excellent covers of old time songs and have some very special originals as well. Former resident Ned P. Rauch wrote a beautiful fun tune for one of our newest locals – Lila – who’s proud parents are sure to have her there for the public debut of this happy sing-a-long. On top of all this planned music there will be open jam times so you may be hearing people who just pop in to sing a train song or two – maybe you’ll be one of them?

Also Sunday in Bolton Landing Mike and Ruthie are playing at 12 noon. They are part of the Fabulous Folk Festival happening at the Roger’s Memorial Park Bandstand. All you have to do is listen on their lovely website and you won’t want miss this wonderful duo. Dan Berggren will also be there. Amazingly all of this is free to all who show up.

photo: Michael Cooney playing the uilleann pipes


Monday, August 31, 2009

Typhoid Mary in Saranac Lake Tonight

The Adirondack Center for Writing (ACW) will end its annual Summer Program Series with the one-woman performance of Irish writer and actor Eithne McGuinnes as Typhoid Mary. The event, which will be held at Bluseed Studios in Saranac Lake tonight, August 31 at 7pm is free and open to the public.

About Typhoid Mary (from an AWC Press Release) – In 1907, Mary Mallon, an Irish immigrant, who had, ‘worked her way up from nothing’, to cook for New York’s finest, was seized from her place of work by the NY Board of Health. Accused of being the carrier of typhoid fever, Mary was imprisoned without a trial on an island in the middle of the East River. Totally isolated, a mere ten minute ferry ride from her former home in the Bronx, Mary became a scapegoat; sacrificed to quell the rising public fear that a typhoid epidemic could spread beyond the poor. She became a pawn in the larger ambitions of George Soper; health official who was desperate to identify the first human typhoid carrier in North America. Was Mary maligned? Could she, as the authorities insisted, have carried typhoid, if she herself had never been ill with the disease? Here is the captivating story of a brave Irish peasant who fought tooth and nail for her freedom and took on the very powerful state of New York.

Eithne McGuinnes is an Irish writer and actor. Her plays include: Miss Delicious, workshopped at Abbey Theatre, Dublin 2007; Tin Cans, commissioned by Dublin City Council, 2006; Limbo, Dublin Fringe Festival, 2000 and 2001; A Glorious Day, public reading, Abbey Theatre, 2000; and Typhoid Mary, Dublin Fringe Festival, 1997, broadcast on RTE Radio, 1998 and revived in 2004. Published short stories: Feather Bed (Scéalta), Anthology of Irish Women Writers, Telegram Books, 2006. The Boat Train, Something Sensational to Read on the Train, Lemon Soap Press, 2005. Her favorite acting roles include: Mary Mallon, Typhoid Mary, 2004 and 1997; Sr.Clementine, The Magdalene Sisters (Golden Lion 2002), Gracie Tracy, Glenroe (RTE Television). Recent theatre: Meg, The Hostage, Wonderland, Dublin, 2009; Olive, Dirty Dusting, Tivoli Theatre, Dublin; and Earth Mother, Menopause the Musical, 2008. Recent TV: The Roaring Twenties, No Laughing Matter, 2008. Other theatre includes: The House of Bernarda Alba, 2002 and The Marriage of Figaro, 1997, at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin. Cell, best production, Dublin Theatre Festival 1999 and Dublin Trilogy, Passion Machine – best new play, DTF 1998.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Adirondack Family Activities: Long Lake Opera

We have no set standard for musical appreciation in our family. We have always run the gamut from Broadway soundtracks to jazz, classical to rock. We are (thankfully) well past the refrains that require an “oink, oink here and an oink, oink there.” Though each childlike step through those mind numbing repetitive refrains did serve its purpose whether to learn what happens as the wheels turn on a bus or learn all the sounds the animals at Old MacDonald’s Farm.

As parents of young children we do have ultimate control of the car stereo and able to intersperse nursery rhymes with an eclectic mix of music. From The Grateful Dead to Marcia Ball and Cole Porter to Pavarotti, our kids are being exposed to a variety of musical tastes. I’ve always used music as a means to set the mood whether we are dancing around the house, quietly working or keeping the peace.

My daughter knows our wedding song while I am, much to my chagrin, prolific at singing and performing the Hannah/Miley “Hoe-down/Throw-down.” Listening to classical music is one thing but going to the opera is not an everyday occurrence for this family. Perhaps it should be.

George Cordes, an operatic bass, has performed a variety of roles while with the New York City Opera, Metropolitan Opera and other operatic companies. He will be accompanied by his wife and pianist Elizabeth as they perform at the Long Lake Town Hall at 7:00 p.m. this Saturday. The husband and wife team are of the newly formed High Peaks Opera Studio of Tupper Lake. The Cordeses will perform musical cocktail ranging from the Great American Songbook to scores from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Operettas.

Admission for the event is only $5.00 while children 12 and under are free. If the low cost doesn’t get you to come then the offer of dessert and refreshments should. My children are excited to see someone who performed on stage. I’m glad to oblige.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Adirondack Center for Writing Announces Summer Series

The Adirondack Center for Writing (ACW) has announced its annual Summer Program Series events which will showcase acclaimed authors and performers from around the Adirondacks and Vermont in a variety of venues throughout the North Country during the month of August. Programs and presenters are listed below.

Tom Lewis
Curator’s Tour of Lives of The Hudson Exhibition (from a North Country Perspective) and A Reading from The Hudson: A History
Friday, August 14, 7pm at the Tang Teaching Museum, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs.

Tom Lewis, professor of English at Skidmore College, celebrates publication of his fifth book, The Hudson: A History. Among his previous books are Divided Highways: The Interstate Highway System and the Transformation of American Life and Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio, both of which became award-winning documentaries. Lewis also co-curated with Ian Berry, Malloy Curator of the Tang, Lives of the Hudson, at the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College. The interdisciplinary exhibition celebrating the river’s significance to American art, architecture, history, and culture celebrates the observance of the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s 1609 voyage of discovery up the river bearing his name. The exhibition remains on view July 18, 2009 through March 14, 2010. Lewis will give a curator’s tour from a “North Country” perspective, including logging tales and history of the acclaimed photographer Seneca Ray Stoddard, followed by excerpts from his most recent book.

Joe Bruchac

Family Friendly Reading & Performance Including Native American Music, History, and A Reading from March Toward the Thunder
Tuesday, August 18, 7pm
Hancock House in Ticonderoga
Moses Circle, Ticonderoga, NY

Joe Bruchac, with his wife, Carol, is founder and co-director of The Greenfield Review Press. He has edited a number of highly praised anthologies of contemporary poetry, including Songs from this Earth on Turtle’s Back and Breaking Silence (winner of an American Book Award). His poems, articles and stories have appeared in over 500 publications, from American Poetry Review to National Geographic. He has authored more than 120 books for adults and children and his honors include a Rockefeller Humanities fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Writing Fellowship for Poetry, the Hope S. Dean Award for Notable Achievement in Children’s Literature and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas. Although his American Indian heritage is only one part of an ethnic background, those Native roots are the ones by which he has been most nourished. He, his younger sister Margaret, and his two grown sons, James and Jesse, continue to work extensively in projects involving the understanding and preservation of the natural world, Abenaki culture, Abenaki language and traditional Native skills. They also perform traditional and contemporary Abenaki music together. He often works with his son James teaching wilderness survival and outdoor awareness at the Ndakinna Education Center, their 90-acre family nature preserve.

Paige Ackerson-Kiely & M. Dylan Raskin

Poetry & Memoir Reading
Thursday, August 20, 7pm
The Amos & Julia Ward Theatre
Route 9N, On the Village Green, Jay, NY

Paige Ackerson-Kiely is the author of In No One’s Land, judged by DA Powell as winner of the 2006 Sawtooth Poetry Prize. She has also received awards and fellowships from Poets & Writers, Vermont Community Foundation, The Willowell Foundation and The Jentel Artist Residency program, among others. Her second book of poems, The Misery Trail, is forthcoming from Ahsahta Press, and she has a novel, Place No Object Here, nearing completion. Paige lives with her family in rural Vermont, where she works at a Wine Store and edits the poetry magazine A Handsome Journal.

M. Dylan Raskin, called a strikingly original and unforgettable narrative voice by the Library Journal, is author of two memoirs, the celebrated Little New York Bastard and Bandanas And October Supplies. Equal parts road story, elegy, and hallucinatory bildungsroman, Bandanas and October Supplies is a bittersweet love story that is like no other book ever written about death, life, and the complex devotion between a mother and a son. The 31-year old author, said to dissect his generation with cool precision, is from Queens, NY.

Rob Cohen & Mary Kathryn Jablonski
Fiction & Poetry Reading
Thursday, August 27, 7pm
Saratoga Arts Center
320 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY

Rob Cohen, author of the recently released Amateur Barbarians, is also the author of three previous novels, Inspired Sleep, The Here and Now, and The Organ Builder, and a collection of short stories, The Varieties of Romantic Experience. His awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Pushcart Prize, and a Lila Wallace Writers’ Award. His short fiction and essays have appeared in Harper’s, the Atlantic, Paris Review, Ploughshares, The New York Times Magazine, Slate, and other magazines. Cohen has taught fiction writing at the Iowa Writers Workshop, the University of Houston, Harvard University, and the Bread Loaf Writers Conference. He currently teaches at Middlebury College.

Mary Kathryn Jablonski is a visual artist/poet who has served as a gallerist at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY since 2002 and is programs consultant to the Adirondack Center for Writing. Her poems have appeared in the Beloit Poetry Journal, The Healing Muse, and Chronogram Magazine, among others. She is the author of the chapbook To the Husband I Have Not Yet Met, and is completing final edits on her first book-length collection of poems. Her poetry was also recently published in Germany by painter/publisher Christoph Ruckhäberle, as it related to a collection of his portraits, in a book coordinating with a January 2009 Berlin exhibition of his work.

Eithne McGuinnes

In A One Woman Performance of Typhoid Mary
Monday, August 31, 7pm
Bluseed Studio
24 Cedar Street, Saranac Lake, NY

Eithne McGuinnes is an Irish writer and actor. Her plays include: Miss Delicious, workshopped at Abbey Theatre, Dublin 2007; Tin Cans, commissioned by Dublin City Council, 2006; Limbo, Dublin Fringe Festival, 2000 and 2001; A Glorious Day, public reading, Abbey Theatre, 2000; and Typhoid Mary, Dublin Fringe Festival, 1997, broadcast on RTE Radio, 1998 and revived in 2004. Published short stories: Feather Bed (Scéalta), Anthology of Irish Women Writers, Telegram Books, 2006. The Boat Train, Something Sensational to Read on the Train, Lemon Soap Press, 2005. Her favorite acting roles include: Mary Mallon, Typhoid Mary, 2004 and 1997; Sr.Clementine, The Magdalene Sisters (Golden Lion 2002), Gracie Tracy, Glenroe (RTE Television). Recent theatre: Meg, The Hostage, Wonderland, Dublin, 2009; Olive, Dirty Dusting, Tivoli Theatre, Dublin; and Earth Mother, Menopause the Musical, 2008. Recent TV: The Roaring Twenties, No Laughing Matter, 2008. Other theatre includes: The House of Bernarda Alba, 2002 and The Marriage of Figaro, 1997, at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin. Cell, best production, Dublin Theatre Festival 1999 and Dublin Trilogy, Passion Machine – best new play, DTF 1998.

About Typhoid Mary – In 1907, Mary Mallon, an Irish immigrant, who had, ‘worked her way up from nothing’, to cook for New York’s finest, was seized from her place of work by the NY Board of Health. Accused of being the carrier of typhoid fever, Mary was imprisoned without a trial on an island in the middle of the East River. Totally isolated, a mere ten minute ferry ride from her former home in the Bronx, Mary became a scapegoat; sacrificed to quell the rising public fear that a typhoid epidemic could spread beyond the poor. She became a pawn in the larger ambitions of George Soper; health official who was desperate to identify the first human typhoid carrier in North America. Was Mary maligned? Could she, as the authorities insisted, have carried typhoid, if she herself had never been ill with the disease? Here is the captivating story of a brave Irish peasant who fought tooth and nail for her freedom and took on the very powerful state of New York.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Performing Arts Return to Scaroon Manor Amphitheater

The Adirondack Shakespeare Company will celebrate its inception by presenting Hungry Will’s Variety Hour at the historical Scaroon Manor Amphitheater on the west shore of Schroon Lake at 3 PM this Saturday, August 1, 2009. The 500-seat outdoor Greek style amphitheater, which has been dormant for the past 50 years, is located on the grounds of the Scaroon Manor Day Use Area which reopened to the public in 2006. According to a DEC it’s the “first new recreational facility constructed in the Adirondack Forest Preserve since 1977.”

ADK Shakespeare is a company conceived by Patrick Siler and Tara Bradway to bring professional productions of classic plays to the Adirondack region. Hungry Will’s Variety Hour will feature a select group of actors drawn from across the country performing scenes, songs, and speeches from Shakespeare and other great dramatic authors.

ADK Shakespeare utilizes an approach to classical performance where all non-essentials are stripped away and the language of the playwright takes center-stage. Actors prepare their roles individually, and with only one day of rehearsal, present the full production. “Because even the company is unsure of exactly what will happen, the performances are authentic, dynamic, compelling, and unlike most anything you are used to seeing in the theater,” according to Siler. “Our goal is to discover the play for the first time with the audience present, and together create a world by mixing the raw materials of the author’s language with the catalyst of the audience’s imagination”.

There will be one performance only: Saturday, August 1 at 3:00 p.m. with a rain-date of Sunday, August 2. This event is FREE with paid admission to the Scaroon Manor Day Use Facility, although donations are appreciated. Reservations are not necessary, but can be made by emailing info@adkshakes.org.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Last Week of Adk Theatre Festival’s ‘Leaving Iowa’

This is the last week of the Adirondack Theatre Festival’s family road trip comedy Leaving Iowa by Tim Clue and Spike Manton at the Charles R. Wood Theater in downtown Glens Falls. The show runs through Saturday, August 1. All performances are at 8:00pm. Tickets are $29 plus applicable service fees and may be purchased online at www.ATFestival.org, over the phone at 518-874-0800, or in person at the Wood Theater Box Office.

Laughable memories of family road trips fill this sentimental comedy about a man returning home to find a final resting place for his father’s ashes. As he searches for the perfect spot to scatter the ashes, he relives the boyhood summer vacations he and his sister spent trapped in the family station wagon headed to uninteresting historical sites with their determined and well-meaning father.

The Chicago Sun-Times called the show “a comedy with a surprisingly deep soul.” Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune says Leaving Iowa has “genuine charm and humility. It knows what it is — a simply structured homegrown comedy and a celebration of the oft-unappreciated parenting skills of the so-called Greatest Generation.”

ATF Producing Artistic Director, Mark Fleischer, says he selected the script because of its universal appeal and connection to summer in our area. “Our region is a vacation destination and everyone has spent time as a kid trapped in the back seat of the family car wondering when they would reach their intended destination. Others have been the parents in the front seat answering that constant inquiry, ‘are we there yet?’

The cast includes: Martin LaPlatney (Dad), Dan Colman (Don), Susan Wands (Mom), Sarah Marcus (Sis), Bill Bowers (multiple character guy) and Stephanie Cozart (multiple character gal).

ATF’s production is headed by director Scott Illingworth. The design team includes Michael Locher (sets), Antonia Ford-Roberts (costumes), Ryan Gastelum (sound) and Jason Kantrowitz (lighting). Kantrowitz, a Broadway and international lighting designer originally from Glens Falls, has returned home for the third summer in a row to design lights for ATF.

Attached photos by James Shubinski featuring Dan Coleman (Don), Martin LaPlatney (Dad), Sarah Marcus (Sis) and Susan Wands (Mom)


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Adk Theatre Festival To Stage Readings of Adirondack Play

Adirondack Theatre Festival will present a staged reading of Hal Corley’s new play, Brush the Summer By on Sunday July 19 and Monday, July 20 at 8pm at the Charles R. Wood Theater, 207 Glen Street (Rte. 9) in downtown Glens Falls. Corley will actively solicit feedback from the audience during a post-show discussion moderated by ATF producing artistic director, Mark Fleischer. The public discussion will help shape the script as it moves towards a full production. Tickets are $20 plus service fees and may be purchased online at www.ATFestival.org or by calling the Wood Theater Box Office at 518-874-0800.

Producing Artistic Director Mark Fleischer will direct the reading. Featured in this two person script are the New York City actors Stephen Bradbury and Peggy Scott. Local audiences may remember Scott from her performance in ATF’s 2003 production of The Unexpected Man by Yazmina Reza.

In Corley’s play, a Southern divorcee on a leaf watching trip to the Adirondacks is shocked when she stumbles across a man sunbathing in the nude. Through subsequent encounters, she reluctantly succumbs to his charms. With equal parts comedy and drama, Corley explores the joy and danger of living in the moment, the challenges and rewards of forgiveness and the power and need of memory. The script addresses mature themes.

Hal Corley has developed his plays with major regional theaters, including Atlanta’s Alliance, the Dallas Theater Center, Seattle Rep, and in NYC with The Abingdon, Cherry Lane, Ensemble Studio Theater, and Urban Stages. Two plays, An Ounce of Prevention and Finding Donis Anne, have been widely performed (Syracuse Stage, Philadelphia’s Walnut Street, NYC’s Westbeth, and in LA, Boston and Charlotte, NC). Hal’s more recent productions include: Peoria, Theatre Artists Studio, Scottsdale, AZ, where he was guest-artist-in-residence in January 2009; ODD, winner of the 2007 Premiere Stages Competition, co-produced with NJ’s Kean University; The Death Bite, Theatre Artists Studio, AZ; Easter Monday, Pendragon, Saranac Lake, NY; Legion, San Francisco’s New Conservatory Theater Center; Mama and Jack Carew, Key West Theatre Festival, and In the Charge of an Angel, Stageworks, Hudson NY.

The “play-in-progress” slot has been a regular part of ATF’s summer seasons since its inception in 1995. Fostering new work is at the heart of ATF’s mission. According to Fleischer, “ATF has a long history of developing new works of theatre. While some view these projects as risky ventures with unknown titles and creators, I view this commitment to new work as a research and development. Some of our new shows have become hits, others haven’t. But no matter the success of the show at the box office, providing a stage and a forum for emerging writers and artists has helped to strengthen new voices of the American theatre.” Many of the shows ATF has helped to develop have gone on to perform in theatres not only across America, but across the globe. These shows have included Becky Mode’s Fully Committed, Bill Bower’s It Goes Without Saying and Deb Filler’s Filler Up!


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Theatrical Exploration of the Champlain Quadricentennial

The Adirondack History Center Museum in Elizabthetown is presenting the annual Bits and Pieces Festival, From the Center of the World: A Celebration of Lake Champlain, beginning Friday, July 17 at 11:00 am. An inter-generational group of actors takes on 400 years of history with reflections on the Quadricentennial. Five production dates are scheduled: three Fridays at 11:00am on July 17, 24, 31 and two Sundays at 4:00pm on July 26 and August 2.

The performance project has been created in collaboration with the Depot Theatre, the Westport Central School and the Westport Heritage Festival. It focuses on seven pivotal moments in Lake Champlain history that have global significance. The moments are depicted through fictional characters using soliloquies to explore their personal connections to each event, the changing landscape, and the curious process of human “discovery.” The production moves the audience through and around the museum. » Continue Reading.


Monday, June 29, 2009

Lake George Theater Lab Announces 2009 Season

The 2009 season of the Lake George Theater Lab (LGTL) in Bolton Landing has been announced. The LGTL, now in its fifth season, does new American productions in bare-bones style that feature Broadway and off-Broadway talent (and according to them, “way off-off-Broadway pay”). Two of the shows are free, and their main stage is only $15 (plus discounts for students and seniors).

The season kicks off on July 9 with LGTL’s annual free outdoor Shakespeare: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” directed by Daniel Spector, with a cast drawn from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Classical Studio. “Midsummer,” one of Shakespeare’s most performed plays, will take over Rogers Park, on Route 9N in central Bolton Landing, on July 9-11, at 7:30 PM. Bring a blanket and picnic.

Next in the schedule is a world premiere by Jesse McKinley, a national correspondent (and former Broadway reporter) for The New York Times: “The Theory of Everything,” a paean to true love, the Thea-tah, and the beauty of the Adirondacks. A comedy with heart – and a mystery or two — “The Theory of Everything,” directed by Mark Schneider, runs July 16-18, 8:00 PM, Bolton Central School, 26 Horicon Avenue, Bolton Landing. Reservations: 518-207-0143. $15.

Then “Belle of Amherst”, William Luce’s celebrated 1976 solo piece about Emily Dickinson, will be performed as a co-production with LGTL’s frequent artistic partner, the Marcella Sembrich Opera Museum. “Belle” will star LGTL artistic director Lindsey Gates in the role that won Julie Harris a Tony Award as the reclusive poet. A one night only event directed by Michael Barakiva, “Belle” will be on July 25, at 7:30 PM, the Opera Museum, 4800 Lake Shore Drive, Bolton Landing. Reservations: 518-644-2431. $25. Ms. Gates will also join her mother, Toni Gates, to present a family-friendly performance of “Stone Soup,” at Bolton Free Library, Route 9N, Central Bolton Landing, July 29th, at 7 P.M. A classic about making something from nothing, “Soup” is ideal for kids of all ages (and adults, too), and is free.

Finally, the premiere of “Rest, In Pieces” by Steve Bluestein, in association with Ted Seifman, Silverwood Films, Susi Adamski, and the Charles Wood Theater. A comedy about a family finding themselves through death, “RIP” stars Marcia Wallace (“The Bob Newhart Show”) and Richard Kline (“Three’s Company”) and is directed by John Bowab. At the Wood Theater, 207 Glen Street, Glens Falls, NY, “RIP” runs from August 27-September 6, 8 PM. (Sundays at 2 PM.) Reservations: 518-874-0800. $30.

Photo: Drew Cortese, Jose Febus, Jenny Maguire, Mary Lou Wittmer performing “Leo” by Daniel Heath in 2008.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

ADK Music Scene: A Mix of Pros and Amateurs

This weekend boasts an interesting mixture of professionals and amateurs. From an All-Star Open Mic to an African drumming and dance troupe, both incorporate experienced and inexperienced performers. Often jams and sessions have that kind of mix too – in this way everyone learns something. Amateurs learn to improve their skills and pros learn to improve their patience.

But first . . . there is nothing amateur about the band Atlantic Crossing, which will be at The Amos and Julia Ward Theater in Jay on Friday at 7 pm. They play a mixture of traditional songs and instrumentals from New England, the Celtic British Isles and French Maritime Canada. Music to get your feet tapping and spirits soaring.

On Saturday June 6 you have a choice:

The All-Star Open Mic Night, at BluSeed in Saranac Lake; all the winners and some of the hosts of the past season will be performing, the Dust Bunnies and the Starlights among them. What fun – you get to hear an eclectic mix of poetry and songs. Performers travel from all around the region for these democratic events. Some of the newer performers have a chance to let go of some of their first time stage-fright jitters because this will be their second time in front of an audience – they’re pros now, right? Since this is also a chance to support BluSeed the cover charge will be $6 instead of the usual $3. The performances start at 7:30 pm and will be well worth it.

At the Amos and Julia Ward Theater in Jay there will be a performance by Wulaba Drumming and Soma Beats Dancing. Show starts at 6:30 pm. I saw these folks doing their thing at the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Rotary Show this year and it was great – very energetic and uplifting, made me want to join the class. Admission is $5.

Sunday June 7:

There is a recital to be given by the students of the accomplished Saranac Lake multi-instrumentalist Sue Grimm – obviously it’s not professional but so cute! It’s being held at BluSeed at 2 pm. You never know, you might see a future star just starting to shine.

In Long Lake at The Quakenbush Long View Lodge on Deerland Road there will be an open jam held from 4 – 6 pm. Call (518) 624-3879 for details.


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