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"The audience applauded each title, but "Book of Mormon" was met with loud cheers and "War Horse" with an appreciative intake of breath and impressed murmuring. Later, a trio of actor-puppeteers demonstrated how they bring the title equine, Joey, to life with movements and vocalizations."
Blog Albanycvb.blogspot, Will
The Single Girl’s Got It!
“The nine person cast brings this fun-filled show to life and Cap Rep is the perfect place to premier it”
“Farah Alvin as Harriet the Hygenist (who becomes the Single Girl), is amazing. If you don’t fall in love with her character with the heavy Rhode Island accent, then you’re not seeing the correct show. Get your things, get up quietly, leave, and get to Cap Rep to see her.”
“Susan Mosher as Doris Simkins, the mature-yet sassy secretary, is a real scene stealer. Her characters in the smoking hygiene movies will have you laughing until your side hurts.”
“Go see Single Girls Guide at Cap Rep before its run ends on March 30, the price of a ticket to see it a Cap Rep in the front row is cheaper than the back row of any Broadway theatre and Single Girls Guide has the chops to make it there!”
“…a frothy, fun night of theater.”
“… the show is consistently enjoyable and visually very pleasing, with masterful choreography, costumes, and set design.”
“Kudos to Capital Rep for premiering a musical; it’s always a treat when we get to see a show before any other area does.”
“it’s fun in a frothy kind of way, filled nearly non-stop with a parade of original songs penned by Tommy Newman that resonate with a vintage mid-‘60’s Brill Building vibe without resorting to the temptation of parody”
Behind-the-Scenes of a Legend
WALKING TOUR OF PROCTORS
Sunday, March 17. Free. Public Welcomed.
Featuring Noted Organist
Schenectady, NY – February 27, 2013– Proctors invites area residents and visitors to escape the high-force winds of March and enjoy a free walking tour of the arts and entertainment complex at Proctors in Downtown Schenectady. It all takes place on Sunday, March 17, at 1 PM. Participants are invited to brown-bag the event, enjoy a cozy lunch at the theatre’s refurbished Apostrophe Café or participate in the Schenectady Greenmarket that takes place on three levels at Proctors that day!
At 1 PM on Sunday, March 17th, the free, open-to-the-public informational event will start in front of the Mainstage doors in the Golub Family Arcade and proceed to highpoints within the complex, such as the backstage, dressing rooms and newly-built GE Theatre. The tour of the historic State Street site will include the recently opened Schenectady Heritage Visitors Center, and conclude with an exciting demonstration by popular area organist CARL HACKERT playing Goldie, Proctors own Wurlitzer organ.
The Sunday, March 17th tour includes:
· an informal, narrated history of Frederick Freeman Proctor and his impact on arts and entertainment in the extended Capital Region;
· an overview of the architectural high points of the Proctors complex;
· the new stage-house -- now three times larger than the original stage;
· an insider’s look at backstage;
· the star dressing rooms;
· Proctors museum and
· historic Robb Alley
Carl Hackert is a Crane School of Music graduate and Music Director at St. Gabriel’s Church in Rotterdam. He has been performing on Goldie as well as helping to maintain Proctors famous 3/18 Wurlitzer wonder since 1983.
Mr. Hackert has served a classical keyboardist with area chamber music groups, orchestras and choruses, is a composer and teacher, and a representative for Allen Organ Company. He has played theatre organ programs and silent films throughout the northeast and helps to organize the MVP sponsored monthly Noontime programs for the Hudson-Mohawk chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society (ATOS).
“Goldie” is an 18 rank, three-keyboard instrument that includes a full set of percussion instruments and a grand piano that can be played remotely from the organ console. The Golub Foundation and members of the Golub family gifted the mighty Wurlitzer to Proctors in memory of Bernard and Sunshine Golub. Since the installation of Goldie, Proctors has maintained a chapter of the American Theater Organ Society, which provides the services of the organists who perform Proctors noontime concerts as well as the crewmembers who maintain Goldie.
About the New Schenectady Heritage Area Visitors Center at Proctors
Proctors is now the site of a new Schenectady Heritage Area Visitors Center. Local officials consider Proctors the downtown area’s biggest visitor attraction; Proctors hosted 1,728 events last year, bringing more than 600,000 people to downtown Schenectady.
Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy said of Proctors: “The city is pleased to cooperate fully with this effort to create a Visitors Center that will showcase Schenectady and offer residents and guests information about our heritage and our future as a technology leader.”
“Placing the Visitors Center at Proctors makes perfect sense. Working together we’ve created a new and exciting environment in Schenectady County with Proctors as our centerpiece. This new Center will show all that we have to offer, including thriving businesses, restaurants, and theaters that our residents and visitors can enjoy,” said Judy Dagostino, Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature.
ADIRONDACK Studios, an Argyle, NY firm that has been the fabricator of sets for Disney’s The Lion King as well as sets for the Boston, Los Angeles and New York Opera companies, was commissioned along with Stracher Roth Gilmore Architects of Schenectady to design the new facility that will be located across from the Proctors box office. The 1,200 square foot exhibit area will be easily accessible from the State Street entrance of Proctors entertainment complex.
The exhibit features five areas that highlight the legacy of Schenectady area and alert visitors to the role that Schenectady plays in green energy and other emerging technologies. The exhibition areas include History, Landmarks, Industry, Culture and Visionaries.
The Visitors Center exhibits employ state of the art digital print and TV technologies. The area will include enhanced lighting to highlight the area – and a new ceiling over and adjacent to the exhibits will create an intimate space to view and participate in the exhibits. The exhibit space will also include display racks to showcase marketing materials on various historic points and places of interest within Schenectady County and the Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway.
A unique feature of the Visitors Center is that it is designed to be a revolving exhibit, enabling Proctors to introduce new subject matter throughout the year. The exhibit panels are designed to be easily and cost effectively updated.
Representatives from numerous organizations came together to develop the content of the exhibit, including the Schenectady County Historical Society, Schenectady Museum, Mabee Farm, local historians, Proctors History Committee, Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway, Revolutionary Byway and the City of Schenectady.
The Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway is a national and state designated byway from Waterford to Schenectady. It connects to the Revolutionary Byway that runs to Port Ontario.
Ray Gillen, Metroplex Chair and Commissioner of Economic Development for Schenectady County, said: “By working together we were able to utilize this grant funding to take a high visibility space within the Proctors complex that was not being utilized and turn it into a resource that will help theater goers and other visitors to downtown learn about everything that Schenectady County has to offer.”
Responding to Visitor Requests
“With more and more visitors coming to downtown Schenectady, it seems only natural to welcome those who have expressed an interest in wanting to know more about this historic place," says Marilyn Sassi, a longstanding member of Proctors History Committee and Volunteer Coordinator of the informal but informative walkabouts.
A Tour to Remember
Proctors is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2009, the League of Historic American Theatres commended Proctors as a theatre of exemplary vision and dedication to its community.
Originally built as a vaudeville house, Proctors has seen its stage graced by such legendary performers as comedians Red Skelton, George Burns and Gracie Allen, magicians Harry Blackstone Sr. & Jr., and bandleaders Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and Glenn Miller.
In recent years, Proctors has hosted beloved entertainers including Tony Bennett, Carol Channing, Tim Conway, Robert Goulet, Carol Burnet, Norah Jones, Brittney Spears, Aretha Franklin and Alice Cooper. Singer Mariah Carey chose Proctors as the site for her first concert special in 1993, and the theatre is featured prominently in the video for her big hit "Hero".
Tours of the restored 1926 Vaudeville palace and our two new theaters are available, led by trained volunteers throughout the year as needed or upon request for private tours. Private tours for groups of fifteen or more can be arranged by calling Proctors Business Office at (518) 382-3884.
Informed, Experienced Guides
Marilyn Sassifacilitates all tours of the Proctors arts and entertainment complex; she schedules and conducts these informational gatherings in concert with a trained corps of committed volunteers.
Although she started her volunteer work as a member of The Theatre Guild at Proctors, over time she opted to combine her rich experience as a seasoned teacher specializing in material culture, architecture and area history with her enjoyment of people and love of Proctors. Ms. Sassi is a proactive contributor to Proctors History Committee.
All tours offer an informal glimpse of the entire facility, including the new Proctors Guild Room and Museum. These gatherings are always informal, fun and informative, says Ms. Sassi. “This informal event is enriched by questions, memories, and interaction. I always suggest that participants bring their friends and a camera.”
· For additional Tour Information, contact Marilyn Sassi, (518) 377-3282; email@example.com
· For more information about Proctors, including a brief history, visit proctors.org.
Michelle Williams in 'Fela' comes to Proctors
Michelle Williams, fresh from her Destiny's Child reunion, stars in 'Fela!' at Proctors
By Michael Eck
New York City
Jan. 23, 2013. A long mirrored rehearsal room in midtown Manhattan, the floorboards gleaming but the corners piled high with walking shoes, backpacks, cellphones and scarves.
A count is called, the drums kick in and bodies begin to move around the room.
It is the last day of dress rehearsals for "Fela!" before the show hits the road, traveling to 16 cities in six months, and the producers (including Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter; Will and Jada Pinkett Smith; and Ruth and Stephen Hendel) have invited the media in for a look.
READ Michael Eck’s full report:
Single Girls Guide at Capital Rep: Sex and Sensibilityby B.A. Nilsson on March 6, 2013 · 1 commentBook by Gordon Greenberg, music and lyrics by T ommy Newman, directed by Gordon Greenberg Capital Repertory Theatre, Through March 30Single Girls Guide is an intimate (nine-actor) musical that romps through the era with a Brill Building sound, which, thanks to skillfully written songs by Tommy Newman, doesn’t imprison itself therein. For every number with period licks and doo-wop echoes, there’s one with a more complex musical-theater construction—such as the opening “Dear Auntie Agatha,” where every needed aspect of time, place and character is nailed even as a trio of housewives pulls off Newman’s tricky cascade of overlapping lyrics. Read Byron Nilsson’s glowing review in METROLAND:http://metroland.net/2013/03/06/sex-and-sensibility/
‘FELA’ in limited engagement at Proctors
By BOB GOEPFERT firstname.lastname@example.org
SCHENECTADY — One of the biggest surprises in this season’s Proctors Theatre schedule is that the musical “Fela!” is at the venue for only three performances — one on Friday and two on Saturday. It could be argued that “Fela!” is the most musically exciting show on the entire schedule, and it certainly has one of the most inspirational stories to tell. The music is joyous and Bill T. Jones’ choreography is staggering — the dancing is so vibrant it often flows off the stage and into the aisles…
Also, the show has star power — Michelle Williams, a member of the pop group Destiny’s Child, is a member of the cast.
Read critic Bob Geopfert’s full report and interview with Michelle Williams:
Single Girl’s Guide
A New Musical
March 1- thru March 30
Broadway, Albany, NY
Capital Rep Theater
“If it’s at The Capital Rep, it’s Got to be Good.”
You wanted a great musical? You got one. And how.
“Dear Emma: I haven’t seen a great musical at the Capital Rep since Man of La Mancha. I have this deep, embedded yearning for a feel- good musical. I know these feelings are not healthy. I know I should be a complete person without needing something or someone else to make me feel whole and complete. Please—what do I do? I need your help. I have no where else to turn. No one seems to understand me.”
“Dear Kim: Rest assured, dearest, you are not alone. You wanted a great five star feel good musical? It is is here. Right now. It’s called Single Girl’s Guide, and it’s just what the Dr. ordered. I do feel your pain.”
‘Single Girl’s Guide’: It’s brand new. It’s at Capital Rep until March 30th. See this play now, so you can say you saw it before it hit Broadway, because that’s where this production is going. There is absolutely nothing to dislike about Single Girl’s Guide, and frankly, like the shark, it was created perfectly the first time around. Single Girl’s Guide is set in the late 1950′s to early 60′s, when equal rights were emerging and barefoot and pregnant was becoming outdated. Take Emma (Kate Loprest) an aspiring advice columnist who works for her father’s (Nick Wyman) newspaper. She tends to be able to solve everyone’s problems except her own, and decides to jump ship to a rival newspaper to launch a column for a Single Girl’s Guide. The mission: To teach women to stay single, and not marry the first man you meet just to get married. No, there’s more to life than saying you’re Mrs. so-and-so, and it’s high time to be an independent woman.
Read all about it from critic Rich DiMaggio:
SINGLE GIRLS GUIDE gentle critique & goofball celebration of 60s feminism By Michael Eck for the Times Unkion “Guide,” written and directed by Gordon Greenberg with songs by Tommy Newman, veers freely from [Jane] Austen’s tale, becoming both a gentle critique and goofball celebration of 60s feminism; tobacco politics; and Truman Capote….Newman’s songs often flow fast enough to make the show feel sung through. They rightly borrow from a plethora of 60s sounds…It was exciting to see a nearly full house at the show’s opening night, and encouraging to see a local audience supporting the creation of new work in its own backyard.If you’re inclined to enjoy something fun, light-hearted and occasionally sassy, do the same.Read all about the new musical at Capital Rep from review by Michael Eck: http://blog.timesunion.com/localarts/single-girls-guide-capital-repertor... GIRLS GUIDE gentle critique & goofball celebration of 60s feminism
After 10 years on the job—a decade in which he has tripled ticket sales—Proctors CEO Philip Morris shows no signs of slowing down. Read Michael DeMasifull report in The Business Review: http://www.bizjournals.com/albany/print-edition/2013/03/01/philip-morris-expands-proctors-empire.html?ana=e_ph&u=lSeEqbvjLISH2osVYnWK5iwpmtb
A WORLD PREMIERE MUSICAL!
Book by Gordon Greenberg Music & Lyrics by Tommy Newman
Musical Direction, orchestrations and additional music by Zachary Dietz
Previews start at Capital Rep on Friday March 1, 2013
Run Continues March 5 – March 30, 2013
(no performance on Easter)
Albany, NY – Feb. 21, 2013 – Capital Repertory Theatre proudly announces the World Premiere of a new musical SINGLE GIRLS GUIDE. It’s the fun and fizzy story of Emma, a spirited newspaper columnist in 1966 Manhattan who wants more out of life and plans to get it by dishing out advice and serving up her own brand of love to men and women everywhere. With a buoyant 60s-inspired pop-rock score by Tommy Newman and a book by Gordon Greenberg, SINGLE GIRLS GUIDE bursts onto the Capital Rep stage after two years in the making. Preview performances start March 1, with official opening on March 5 and a run that continues through March 30.
SINGLE GIRLS GUIDEhas been in development for more than two years since creators, Gordon Greenberg and Tommy Newman, contacted Capital Rep Producing Artistic Director, Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill, to see if she would be interested in developing a new work inspired by the music of the 1960s, Jane Austen’s EMMA, Helen Gurley-Brown and a touch of “Dear Abby.”
Says Mancinelli-Cahill, “The concoction made me smile. I love literature and grew up with the headlines and rising hemlines of the 60s. They were talking my language. That was two years ago with lots of re-writes, feedback and public readings in between. Seeing this delightful show come to life on our stage now is a great thrill.”
With 17 sparkling new songs, SINGLE GIRLS GUIDE rocks, pops and bossa novas onto the stage, following the stylish world of 1966 Manhattan, where beloved newspaper columnist Emma Woodhouse is still single and about to turn 30. As her father urges her to marry the first available man and her editor -- the handsome-but-preoccupied, Nick Knightley -- urges her to toe the line, Emma begins to transform her household advice column into a platform for change, encouraging readers to drop their casseroles, question the nature of marriage and demand sexual freedom. In a Helen Gurley Brown inspired move, Emma recruits Harriet, her first ‘Single Girl’ and vows to overhaul her life, setting into motion a chain of events that culminates in hilarious calamity at Truman Capote’s famous Black and White Ball. In the end, love may conquer all, but as Emma learns, along with her protégé, ‘when it’s right, it’s never perfect.’
The creators, Gordon Greenberg (book) and Tommy Newman (music and lyrics) worked together previously on BAND GEEKS, a musical which was therecipient of NEA and NAMT grants for development and production at Goodspeed Musicals in 2010. Greenberg, an accomplished director who has numerous NYC and regional credits, including the recent acclaimed national tour of GUYS AND DOLLS, is no stranger to Capital Rep, having directed some of the theatre’s most beloved productions, including SONG OF SINGAPORE, JACQUES BREL IS ALIVE AND WELL AND LIVING IN PARIS (which went on to a year-long run in NYC), EDGES: THE MUSICAL and 33 VARIATIONS. He was also the creative force and director for the world premiere of Neil Sedaka’s BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO at Capital Rep. Newman, who makes his Capital Region debut with SINGLE GIRLS GUIDE, has received numerous awards for his songwriting, including the ASCAP Foundation Cole Porter Award, Frederick Loewe Award and has also been named an O’Neill Theatre Center Fellow for his work in musical theatre.
“I started thinking about the notion of turning Jane Austen's EMMA into an advice columnist who had all the answers for the people in her life – but couldn't seem to figure out her own,” says Gordon Greenberg, SINGLE GIRLS book writer and director. “It was an idea that resonated strongly for me, surrounded by smart perennially single people in New York. The mid-1960's seemed like the right period for reinventing the story - a time when marriage and gender roles were being redefined, music had a vibrant distinct sound, and personal style signified liberation.
“Truman Capote's legendary Black and White Ball quickly became the centerpiece of the show, where all the stories collided. And of course, Helen Gurley Brown, who forged a brand new path with 'Sex And The Single Girl,' became the final piece of the inspirational puzzle. She became the role model for our Emma – a woman who embraces being single, recreates her life with style, and inspires great changes in the world around her.”
Tommy Newman, the show’s composer and lyricist, came on board inspired by the variety of style and rhythms that were emerging in the 60s. Says Newman, “The explosion of music in the 60s provides such a deep well for a composer. It was a time of enormous change – radios blasting with everything from James Brown to Barbra Streisand. And I love that stuff! In any musical, keeping the story and emotional life of the characters going is key – but being given the opportunity to achieve that in a fresh way with all the energy of the 60s is not only a challenge, but a gift.”
The stellar cast includes veterans from New York and regional theatre, lead by Kate Loprest as Emma, most recently seen on HBO’s BOARDWALK EMPIRE and on Broadway in WONDERLAND. Jonathan Rayson, who plays Emma’s handsome love interest, has been on Broadway in LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, the national tour of A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD and several Off-Broadway shows, including I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE. Knightley’s rival is played by Kelsey Kurz, a recent Julliard School graduate, who recently performed in the Broadway production of MERCHANT OF VENICE with Al Pacino.
Nick Wyman, a veteran of 16 Broadway musicals, including CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, LES MIS, and PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, plays Henry Woodhouse, Emma’s father. In addition his extensive resume of plays and musicals, Mr. Wyman has the distinction of being the President of Actors Equity Association, the professional actors union.
Farah Alvin, last seen at Capital Rep in the World Premiere of EDGES: THE MUSICAL, portrays Harriet, Emma’s first makeover project. In addition to several Broadway credits, Ms. Alvin has been nominated for a Drama Desk Award for her role in Off-Broadway’s THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES and was the recipient of the 2011 NYMF Outstanding Actress Award for her performance in Sycamore Trees. Playing Harriet’s Rhode Island true love is ROBB SAPP, whose credits include SHREK and WICKED on Broadway and numerous roles Off Broadway, including the recent the revival of ENTER LAUGHING.
Rounding out the cast is Susan Mosher as Miss Simpkins and Truman Capote; and Victoria Cook and Gwen Hollander as Emma’s office colleagues.
The cast joins a veteran design team including Michele Lynch, choreographer, Jo Winiarski, sets; Jeffrey Croiter and Corey Pattak, lights; Dane Lavery, costumes and David Thomas, sound.
SHOW TIMES, TICKETS
Previews for SINGLE GIRLS GUIDE start on March 1 with opening night on Tuesday, March 5 with a run that concludes on Saturday, March 30. (There is no show on Easter).
Regular performances times are Tuesday-Thursday 7:30PM, Friday/Saturday 8PM, Saturday 3PM and Sunday 2PM. There is a Wednesday matinee at 2PM on March 13.
Tickets for SINGLE GIRLS GUIDE range from $16 (students) to $70. For tickets and information, call TICKETS BY PROCTORS at (518) 445-SHOW (7469) or online at www.capitalrep.org.
Capital Repertory Theatre is located at 111 N. Pearl Street, Albany, NY.
Production sponsors for SINGLE GIRLS GUIDEat Capital Repertory Theatre are Hampton Inn & Suites - Albany Downtown, and The Monroe Apartments.
SINGLE GIRLS GUIDE
At a Glance
Play: SINGLE GIRLS GUIDE
Authors: Book by Gordon Greenberg Music & Lyrics by Tommy Newman
Musical Direction, Orchestration and Additional Music by: Zachary Dietz
Producer: Capital Repertory Theatre, 111 N. Pearl St. Albany, NY 12207\
Dates: March 1 – March 30
Directed by: Gordon Greenberg
Choreographed by: Michele Lynch
Kate Loprest………………………… Emma Woodhouse
Jonathan Rayson…………………… Nick Knightley
Kelsey Kurz………………….………. T.R. Elton
Nick Wyman……………………….… Henry Woodhouse
Farah Alvin…………………………... Harriet
Robb Sapp…………………………… Marvin
Susan Mosher………………………. Miss Simpkins, Truman Capote
Victoria Cook……………………….. Joanne, Eunice, Mary
Gwen Hollander…………………….. Gladys, Flo
Jo Winarski…………........................ Set design
Corey Pattak/Jeffrey Croiter……… Lighting design
Dane Laffery………………………… Costume design
David Thomas……………………… Sound design
SPECIAL EVENTS FOR SINGLE GIRLS GUIDE
Tuesday, March 5– OPENING NIGHT - 6:30PM: Patrons are invited before the show to enjoy live music entertainment with soprano Amy Shake accompanied by pianist Rebecca Benjamin. 7:30pm curtain. Post show: All patrons are invited for desserts and champagne reception in the café to meet the cast and crew.
Tuesday, March 12-Chef’s Table – 6:30PM All ticket-holders are invited to enjoy live music entertainment with soprano Amy Shake accompanied by pianist Rebecca Benjamin in the lobby and free hors d'oeuvre(compliments of La Serre andTaste restaurants).
Wednesdays, March 13, 20 - Post Show Discussionwith cast and Artistic Director, Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill and the cast of SINGLE GIRLS GUIDE
Sunday, March 24,BEHIND THE SCENES, “The Creative Process: How New Work is Created.” 12:45PM – Complimentary continental breakfast for all patrons. 1:10 - 1:30PM - Pre-show presentation.
~ THE PEKING ACROBATS® ~
Twenty-Seventh North American Tour
More than 2,000 years of tradition, perfection, spectacle & awesome entertainment for
One performance only, 8 PM, Feb. 21 at Proctors
Schenectady, NY – Feb. 18, 2013-- THE PEKING ACROBATS®, a troupe of China's most gifted tumblers, contortionists, jugglers, cyclists, and gymnasts complemented by live musicians playing traditional Chinese instruments will bring their 2,000-year-old tradition of acrobatics to North America for an extensive tour. Their Twenty-Seventh North American Tour will begin in January 2013 and continue through March 2013.
THE PEKING ACROBATS will appear at
Proctors arts and entertainment complex
for one performance only at 8 PM on Thursday, Feb. 21.
Tickets On Sale Now
Tickets to THE PEKING ACROBATS at Proctors are $20, $30 & $35/subject to change and are available at Proctors Box Office, 432 State Street, Schenectady, NY 12305; by phone (518) 346-6204; and online at proctors.org.
THE PEKING ACROBATShave played to sold-out houses and earned rave reviews during their previous twenty-six headline Theatre Tours from 1986 through 2012. When THE PEKING ACROBATSreturned to Broadway in New York City, they made headlines. Their sold-out three-week engagement thrilled audiences of all ages. The reviews said it all, with virtually every word of these glowing articles quotable, here are a few highlights:
“The things these kids can do before breakfast...seem to push the envelope of human possibility. If daring and dexterity turn you on, this is a show that will probably twist you around in your seat...it’s amazing and exciting!” ~ Clive Barnes, New York Post
“Amazing! Zounds! The vocabulary of exclamation seeks expression as the medium of awed and surprised reaction to the wondrous feats of THE PEKING ACROBATS! In their graceful efforts...these brightly costumed tumblers, acrobats, cyclists, jugglers and clever clowns provide 90 minutes of family fun that infuses springtime in New York with an extra measure of joy.” ~ Lawrence van Gelder, New York Times
“The physical feats of THE PEKING ACROBATS seem almost...surreal, defying laws of body mechanics and physics. It’s like watching Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon LIVE, without camera tricks creating special effects. All the members of this troupe are amazing athletes with grace and charisma in addition to their razor-sharp precision...everything entertainment should be, uplifting, awe- inspiring and an exploration of the full extent of human potential. When a show can fill you with the wonder of a 10 year-old, you know you have had a good time...that’s success!” ~ Angela Jones, Dance Insider
THE PEKING ACROBATShave been the featured performers on numerous television shows and celebrity-studded TV Specials including appearances on THE WAYNE BRADY SHOW as well as NBC’s RING IN THE NEW YEAR HOLIDAY SPECIAL, NICKELODEON’S UNFABULOUS and ELLEN’S REALLY BIG SHOW, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres.
THE PEKING ACROBATSset the world record for the Human Chair Stack on Fox’s GUINNESS BOOK PRIMETIME where they astounded television audiences with their bravery and dexterity as they balanced six people precariously atop six chairs, 21 feet in the air, without safety lines!
THE PEKING ACROBATSmade the Hollywood scene on the silver screen as company members were featured in director Steven Soderbergh’s hit film Ocean’s 11,playing with Hollywood’s elite such as Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, and George Clooney. Qin Shaobo, an alumnus of THE PEKING ACROBATS, appeared in that film’s two blockbuster sequels, Ocean’s 12, and Ocean’s 13.
THE PEKING ACROBATSstill enjoy great success from the release of their first DVD. Their performance, filmed in High Definition format, has aired numerous times on HDNet television. THE PEKING ACROBATSare excited and honored to have been selected by HDNet to be among the first performing ensembles of their kind to participate in such an innovative technology as high definition television, reaffirming THE PEKING ACROBATS’ commitment to bringing their unique and ancient art form into the 21st Century!
THE PEKING ACROBATS’ DVD’s are currently available for purchase by the public at their performances and on the internet at www.iaipresentations.com.
THE PEKING ACROBATShave performed with some of the most prestigious Symphony Orchestras in North America today. These include the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Ravinia Festival Orchestra featuring members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. In the fall of 2008,
In May of 2011, THE PEKING ACROBATSperformed in sold-out Symphony Concerts with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in Canada. These concerts marked the first time THE PEKING ACROBATShave performed with Canadian Symphony Orchestras, expanding their reach to yet another concert going audience. No doubt, these engagements will lead to many other such performances with Symphony Orchestras across North America and, in between their theatre tours, THE PEKING ACROBATScontinue to bring their unique artistry to a completely new audience of theatrical patrons.
In December of 2009, THE PEKING ACROBATSreturned to Europe for their Fifth European Tour where they visited many cities in Holland and Belgium. In October 2012, they began their Sixth European Tour, this time adding Portugal to the long list of European countries they have visited on their tours. On this same tour, they returned to the Netherlands and Belgium in November 2012 through January 2013. Here, again, are more triumphs for THE PEKING ACROBATSas they share their incredible talents, abilities, and culture with ever-widening audiences, building their reputation as the finest Chinese acrobatic troupe in the world! It is no surprise that they are asked to return there by popular demand. The warmth and appreciation of the European people makes THE PEKING ACROBATSfeel right at home and the future holds many more such successful tours for THE PEKING ACROBATS, much to the delight of their growing numbers of European fans!
THE PEKING ACROBATS’ability to perform the astounding is rooted in centuries of Chinese history and folk art. Records of acrobatic acts can be found as early as the Ch'in Dynasty (221 B.C. - 207 B.C.). In fact, the name China is actually derived from the Ch’in Dynasty. According to Fu Qifeng, author of Chinese Acrobatics Through the Ages, acrobatics originated from the people's daily life, drawing from their experiences in work, war, and sacrificial rites. During the Warring States Period, acrobatics became widespread. It was believed that practicing acrobatics could steal people's will, increase their physical strength and the accuracy of their movements.
During the Han Dynasty (207 B.C. - 220 A.D.), acrobatics flourished, and this wide variety of juggling, tumbling, and magic acts came to be known as the "Hundred Entertainments." It was at this time, according to historian Fu Qifeng, that Emperor Wu Di of the Han Dynasty presented the first grand acrobatic performance at the Imperial Court. The Emperor Wu Di invited a number of important foreign dignitaries, thus making this performance the first time in Chinese history that acrobatic art was presented for diplomatic purposes. The foreign guests were so impressed by what they saw that they agreed to enter into military and trade alliances with the Han Emperor.
Continuing the tradition of Chinese acrobatics inspiring confidence and impressing one’s guests, THE PEKING ACROBATSalso have been expanding their reach in the Corporate and Special Events milieu. They have performed for such prestigious clients as Johnson & Johnson Medical in Beijing, China; the Unisys Corporation in Macau, China; the Smithsonian Institute Associates in Washington, DC; the International Monetary Convention in Beijing, China; Ferrari/Maserati in Beverly Hills, California; Lucent Technologies and Pepsi-Cola in Hawaii; at Walmart’s 2010 Shareholder’s Meeting in Fayetteville, AR.
In addition to these engagements, they have been the featured entertainment at private events at such prestigious venues as the American Museum of Natural History and the Lotos Club, in New York City, the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Energy Solutions Arena and the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, among many others. These private performances are a logical outgrowth of the tradition of Chinese acrobatics, which began centuries ago as entertainments designed to impress Heads of State and dignitaries in ancient times.
In China today, professional acrobatic troupes have many outlets for displaying their talents. Some appear on Chinese television shows as the broadcast industry in China has expanded to include several television channels featuring diverse programming. Some travel throughout China bringing their own unique costumes, stage props, and acrobatic styles to factories, villages, army units, remote areas, and frontier outposts. Still others have formed joint ventures with Theme Parks as an economically thriving China has fostered the growth of its own family entertainment industry, where they perform seasonally as part of the theme park’s entertainment, much like here in the U.S.
As time goes by, it is telling that the Chinese Acrobatic tradition just gets stronger, due to the continued innovation of the artists and the endless enthusiasm from their adoring public.
"THE PEKING ACROBATS regularly passed from the seemingly impossible to the virtually unbelievable." - Chris Pasles, Los Angeles Times
THE PEKING ACROBATShave performed the world over for more than twenty-five years to standing ovations and packed houses, including such far-reaching corners of the globe as Australia, Europe, throughout the Americas, the Middle East, Africa, and numerous Asian countries.
Ready to be amazed by THE PEKING ACROBATS? You will be!
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Review: 'Priscilla' at Proctors a memorable roadtrip
SCHENECTADY — “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” is a sweet story wrapped in a great big ball of glitz.
The big, big, big musical that’s playing at Proctors through Sunday just has to be seen to be believed. If you like big productions, big sentiments and big disco numbers, you have to experience “Priscilla.”
It’s a show that is always screaming for attention and everyone works hard to assure they get it.
Read the full review by critic BOB GOEPFERT:
State Street, Schenectady
2/13 thru 2/17
“I had a dream to go where no drag queen has gone before.”
Let me make it simple: Priscilla is one of the funniest, warmest, feel- good plays you’ll ever, ever see. It’s also one of the best musicals we’ve seen in ages. You will laugh from start to finish, taking breaks only to wipe the tears from your eyes and clap your hands together to non-stop disco action from the 70′s thru favorites of today. Take your attitudes and shoes and leave them at the door, because this is one show you’ve got to see. The singing is done by three of the loveliest ladies you ever did lay eyes on, not to mention angels that come down from the ceiling and a cast that was simply super. This cast can sing, but this time, they can all sing. And they are singing you’re favorite songs, tightly woven around messages that continue to need to be heard.
Priscilla is the fuzzy and hilarious story of a trio of drag queens who find themselves on one of the coolest buses to ever bless the stage, traversing the desert somewhere in the land down under. Ah, yes, there is a mission in store, one we learn in the very beginning: Tick (Wade McCullom) receives a call from his wife Marion (Christy Faber). Just so happens she runs a casino in Alice Springs on the other side of the desert, and needs performers to help the show out. There is one other detail: Tick will finally meet the son he had with Marion, who is now asking for daddy to read him books and tuck him in at night. Can dad step up to fatherhood? What will his son think of him? We are tempted to compare this toLa Cage, but we can’t: La Cage was a ground-breaking statement when it was introduced. Priscilla is a musical in and of itself.
READ ALL ABOUT IT!
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert @ Proctors, 2/13/13
Proctors’ Zebulon Schmidt Appointed to Board
Of NY Chapter of Alliance for Community Media
Sharing a vision of civic engagement through community media
Schenectady, NY – Feb. 10, 2013 -- Zebulon (“Zeb”) Schmidt, Station Manager of Open Stage Media (OSM) at Proctors will join the Board of the NY Chapter of the Alliance for Community Media, effective immediately. In his new role as ACMNY Board Member, Mr. Schmidt is expected to emphasize ACM’s local and national mission of promoting civic engagement through community media, a function that he has spearheaded on behalf of Proctors for the past three years.
According to Maryann Arrien, ACMNY Chair, “The North East Region of the ACM recently awarded a prestigious Grassroots Scholarship to Zeb Schmidt to attend the ACM North East ‘Conference by the Sea’ in Plymouth, MA. Every year the Region likes to recognize and invest in one or two great human resources for Community Media within the region,” she said. “Zeb was picked in 2012.
“It was actually later that the ACMNY Board discovered that Zeb had already instinctively reached out to help the fledgling ChannelAlbany, even to the point of providing additional original programming to help the understaffed new station meet its requirements for Stage 2 funding. Zeb Schmidt was already so much in tune with our mission to help foster the growth of Community Media in New York State. We noted his conspicuous outreach to Albany when we unanimously voted to add Zeb to the ACM New York Board.”
Proctors’ designation as manager and operator of public, education, and government access cable television by the City of Schenectady in December 2009 spurred the creation of Open Stage Media (OSM) at Proctors (formerly SACC-TV) and in line with that charge, OSM at Proctors provided community organizations with enhanced opportunities to share opinions, ideas, and interests through three public access broadcast streams: Channel 16: Public Access; Channel 17: Education; and Channel 18: Government.
“Zeb’s knowledge of public access television from his tenure at SACC-TV -- coupled with his talent and personal vision were critical to the expansion of OSM at Proctors over the past four years,” said Proctors CEO Philip Morris.
“Just as important,” added Morris, “is Zeb’s ability to work well with others to achieve established goals. This was critical both in the transition from SACC to Open Stage Media at Proctors and in establishing OSM as the premiere distribution hub for public access throughout the region.”
OSM at Proctors has shown itself to be deft at integrating and linking the legacy assets of the former Schenectady public access television with the front-running multi-venue Proctors entertainment complex, its evolving pool of intellectual property, as well as its reservoir of creative talent and technological innovations.
Schmidt is proud of his association with both Proctors and OSM: “Being on the public stage and really pushing myself and OSM toward the high standards that the residents of Schenectady have come to expect of Proctors has been an exciting challenge,” he said.
“Managing three television/internet station(s) under the Proctors brand has made me strive to drive that hallmark of excellence even higher, always aiming beyond what’s expected. That goal keeps me sharp, focused and driven.”
Under Schmidt’s leadership, OSM has enriched community information sharing and entertainment through such programs as MasterMinds, Green Talk, Carla Page Show, movie planet, Scopitones, OSM presents, BlueTV and many others.
A graduate of Schenectady County Community College, Schmidt says he has explored the professional landscape between Philadelphia and Boston, but remains proud to call Schenectady – and Proctors -- home.
He has been involved with public access since 2005 and with Proctors since 2009, drawn by the combination of free-speech and limitless creativity of public access.
What does he enjoy most about his professional life: “When people compliment me and my work – and I know they really mean it, he says. “I also enjoy producing forgotten and mostly odd filmstrips such as Scopitones or Avant-Garde Cinema -- and re-packaging them into shows. Knowing that people will enjoy them and learn from them gives me a solid sense of fulfillment “
He is also excited about producing an upcoming "big table" show titled Capital District Political Watch.
Asked about his most challenging project to date, Schmidt says that he is about to become a new dad: “I have an untitled project due in March -- and expect it to last the rest of my life!” he said.
Schmidt says that he eagerly looks forward to his new role at ACMNY and contributing to its stated vision of an ever increasing array of media channels, with communities demanding relevant, factual and hyperlocal content from respected sources. The Alliance for Community Media will be a recognized contributor, aggregator and leader in that movement.
“ACM’s guiding principles are akin to those that have shaped my own professional development: promote free speech, expand civic engagement through local media, collaborate with others, and act with one voice. The goals and aspirations of the Alliance closely mirror his own as station manager of Open Stage Media at Proctors, says Mr. Schmidt
Founded in 1976, the Alliance represents more than 3,000 Public, Educational and Governmental (PEG) access organizations and community media center throughout the country. The ACM works to protect the interests of these access centers and those who use PEG facilities and equipment to advance their causes through cable television and the Internet. The Alliance also represents local community groups, public schools, religious institutions, colleges and universities, Government officials, and second language communities.
For more information on ACM:
· Contact: Maryann Arrien, Chair: NY Chapter, Alliance for Community Media,
· Contact: Zebulon Schmidt, OSM at Proctors. 518-382-3884, x 311, email@example.com.
‘Priscilla’ a busload of fun at Proctors
Published: Wednesday, February 06, 2013
By BOB GOEPFERT
SCHENECTADY — There are those who say “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” is one of the best family musicals to come to Proctors.
One of those people is Joe Hart, who calls the musical “honest and heart-warming.” He plays Bob, a conservative, middle-aged man who joins three drag performers on a bus journey across the Australian outback.
Also on the bus is the young son of one of the cross-dressing men who, for the first time in his life, is spending time with his father. Over the course of the trip, the father and son bond and Bob falls for Bernadette, one of the cross-dressing male performers.
As family fare goes, “Priscilla” is more Bette Midler than Mary Poppins.There is no question about the show’s popularity. It was a hit in London and has been selling out on Broadway since it opened in 2011.
READ ALL THAT BOB GOEPFERT HAS TO SAY ABOUT PRISCILLA at PROCTORS:
What: Priscilla, Queen of the Desert — The Musical
Where: Proctors Theatre, 432 State St., Schenectady
When: Feb. 13 through 17
Tickets: (518) 346-6204 or go to www.proctors.org
'Priscilla, Queen of the Desert' brings disco beat to Proctors
Actor brings worldly view to role in return to Proctors in 'Priscilla, Queen of the Desert'
By Michael Eck
More than a quarter of a century ago, actor Scott Willis stepped off a plane to find himself.
He'd finished a gig in Tokyo and signed up for a TWA travel plan with hopes of spending a year circumnavigating the globe, but he cut his trip short after just four months, realizing that his job would, in due time, take him just about anywhere he wanted to go.
But in that four months, he did find some pretty exotic locales. And when that plane landed in Australia, Willis had one thing on his mind: Ayers Rock.
Willis backpacked a truly epic distance through the dry, dusty Outback before finally standing beside what the Anangu Aborigines still call Uluru.
When he stood on top of the monolithic sandstone formation, looking out at vast, flat plains, he understood himself a little better, too.
Willis brings knowledge of that life-altering experience to "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert," which opens Wednesday at Proctors.
READ MICHAEL ECK'S FULL PROFILE OF SCOTT WILLIS before you see PRISCILLA at Proctors!
At a glance
"PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT"
When: Opens 8 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Proctors, 432 State St., Schenectady
Continues: 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, through Saturday, Feb. 16; 2 p.m. Feb. 14, 16, 17
Info: 346-6204; http://www.proctors.org