Kodo brings Japanese drumming, movement spectacle to Proctors

Kodo brings Japanese drumming, movement spectacle to Proctors
By Michael Eck
Times Union

The troupe of Japanese drummers, which comes to Proctors on Friday, has become legendary for its sinuous, synchronized taiko performances, which meld traditional drumming with modern dance elements and contemporary rhythms to create hypnotic, thrumming displays of power and grace.

But to become a member of Kodo, apprentices must live together in an old schoolhouse on...




Audiences are invited to discover the magic of the two-time Emmy Award winning and two-time Tony® Award nominated production: Cathy Rigby is PETER PAN!  Families and fans have their chance to ‘fly’ into Proctors with this magical production, running April 9-14.  Tickets available via Tickets by Proctors at (518) 346-6204 or online at proctors.org.

PETER PAN is a unique, family friendly attraction of spectacle and fantasy.  The thrill of flying, timeless magical moments and a captivating hook will mesmerize young and old alike.  The legend you thought you knew, is now the adventure you never dreamed possible…Cathy Rigby is PETER PAN!

Joining the Tony® Award nominee Cathy Rigby is Broadway’s Brent Barrett as Mr. Darling/Hook.  Brent has entertained millions of fans around the world from Broadway to the West End, concerts halls, recording studios, film and television.  Kim Crosby (Cinderella in the original Into the Woods, Guys and Dolls (Sarah Brown), Jerry’s Girls) returns to play Mrs. Darling.

PETER PAN is produced by McCoy Rigby Entertainment, Nederlander Presentations, and Albert Nocciolino in association with Larry Earl Payton, Michael Filerman, Heni Koenigsberg and La Mirada Theatre For The Performing Arts.  Direction by Glenn Casale who directed the 1999 Tony® Award nominated and Emmy winning PETER PAN starring Cathy Rigby.  Mr. Casale has been a resident at the California Musical Theatre for almost 23 seasons where he has directed over 550 shows.  The flying sequence choreographer, Paul Rubin, "The Fly Guy", has choreographed some of the most memorable flying sequences from the Tony® Award winning Broadway production of Wicked to Cathy Rigby's Emmy Award winning DVD of PETER PAN.  He has flown Cathy in over 1500 performances and choreographed flying sequences in over 300 different productions of Peter Pan in more than 10 countries.  The creative team includes Patti Colombo (Choreographer), Bruce Barnes (Musical Director), Julia Flores (Casting Director), Emmy Award winner for art direction of the A&E broadcast of PETER PAN John Iacovelli (Scenic Designer), Shigeru Yaji (Costume Designer), Michael Gilliam (Lighting Designer), Julie Ferrin (Sound Designer), Mitchell Hale (Wig and Hairstyle Designer) and Sean Boyd (Fight Director).

McCOY RIGBY ENTERTAINMENT (Tom McCoy & Cathy Rigby - Executive Producers) Tom McCoy and Cathy Rigby are in their 19th season as Executive Producers of the McCoy Rigby Entertainment Series at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts. Since the 1994/95 Season, McCoy Rigby has produced over 75 plays, musicals, concerts, dramas, and comedies. MRE has also produced several Broadway productions and National Tours including Peter Pan, Seussical the Musical both starring Cathy Rigby, Jesus Christ Superstar starring Carl Anderson, Camelot formerly starring Michael York and through 2008, starring Lou Diamond Phillips, and Happy Days, The Musical.

Since 1990, Peter Pan starring Cathy Rigby has made 4 stops on Broadway, garnering four Tony Nominations including Best Revival of a Musical and Best Actress in a Musical.  Other credits include the A&E Television Network Premiere of “Peter Pan,” which received 4 Emmy Award Nominations and one Emmy Award; “The Historic All Star Concert for Pope John Paul II” at the Los Angeles Coliseum, and the award-winning documentary on balancing wellness, titled “Faces of Recovery.” www.mccoyrigby.com

“PETER PAN sparkles with fairy dust!  Rigby has mastered the boy who wouldn’t grow up.” – Washington Post.


Schenectady, NY – March 25, 2013 – Japan’s most critically acclaimed performing arts ensemble, KODO, comes to Proctors Mainstage on Friday, March 29 at 8pm. 

Kodo One Earth Tour 2013: Legend features the limitless possibilities of the traditional Japanese drum, the taiko, and is influenced by the group’s musical vision, shaped by its home of Sado Island. Kodo’s percussive fireworks and unique lifestyle reflect the ancient, complex traditions of the Japanese drum and the group harnesses its power to create something beyond music. To see Kodo is to witness the evolution of hundreds of years of Japanese performing arts reinterpreted and honed by a group of consummate artists who have made this their life’s work for the past three decades.

The group has also nurtured a new approach to staging and set design, which conjures the spirit of Kodo’s wooden rehearsal hall to the world’s stages. Instead of hiding the drums backstage until needed, most of the instruments remain in view, much as they do in the wooden hall where the group creates its music. This brings a fresh vigor to the performance, highlighting the simple but beautiful forms created by drum, musician, and empty space, drawing the audience into the Kodo community.

Kodo’s Artistic Director Tamasaburo Bando says of the show, “In this production, I wanted to create a performance that pays homage to the profound expressions of Kodo to date, adds splendor and levity, and harmonizes all elements into a single flow that undulates throughout the program. I have also composed new pieces in the hopes that they will be passed on to future generations.”

To purchase tickets to KODO, call Tickets by Proctors at 518-346-6204 or visit proctors.org.


Schenectady, NY – March 26, 2013 – Proctors proudly presents world-renowned musician Arturo Sandoval on Proctors Mainstage, Friday, April 5. The show will begin at 8 pm.

Vivacious, talented and charismatic, Arturo Sandoval has traveled the world touting his own blend of infectious, mind-blowing jazz that has earned him Grammy® and Billboard Awards, an Emmy and thousands of fans the world over. For one night only, Arturo Sandoval will be bringing his talents to Proctors to share his music with the Capital Region.

A protégé of the legendary jazz master Dizzy Gillespie, Sandoval was born in Artemisa, a small town in the outskirts of Havana, Cuba on November 6, 1949, just two years after Gillespie became the first musician to bring Latin Influences into American Jazz. Sandoval began studying the classical trumpet at the age of twelve, and has since evolved into one of the world’s most acknowledged guardians of jazz trumpet and flugelhorn, as well as a distinguished classical artist, pianist, and composer.

He is one of the most dynamic and vibrant live performers of our time, and along with 9 Grammy® Awards, 17 Grammy® nominations, 6 Billboard Awards and an Emmy that he has received for his performances as an artist, he has also collaborated with artists such as Alicia Keys, Celine Dion, Justin Timberlake, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Rod Stewart, and many others.

Sandoval over the span of his life in music has performed with many artists and groups. The group, Irakere, of which Sandoval was a founding member, exploded onto the scene creating a sensation in the music world with their stylistic mixture of jazz, classical, rock and traditional Cuban music. Since his time with Irakere, Sandoval has performed with the London Symphony Orchestra, and continues to make appearances with John William’s with the Boston Pops. He has established himself as a composer producing much of his own music and scores for Orchestra around the world.

When speaking of Arturo Sandoval’s virtuoso technical ability or his screaming high notes that many musicians can only dream of hitting, his ability to lyrically improvise a ballad on the piano, or the diversity of his music, from his compositions of the most straight ahead jazz, Latin Jazz or classical, you must mention that he is one of the most prominent, brilliant, multifaceted and renowned musicians of our time.

To purchase tickets, call Tickets by Proctors at 518-346-6204 or visit proctors.org.

The Single Girl’s Got It! - Albanycvb.blogspot, Will

News Subject: 

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!”

Read more: http://albanycvb.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-single-girls-got-it.html

Michelle Williams, fresh from her Destiny's Child reunion, stars in 'Fela!'

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.

From upstage, Michelle Williams begins to sing, sending a shiver through an atmosphere, as downtowner Richard Hell once remarked, "so packed with cash."

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: You've Come a Long Way Baby!

News Subject: 

Single Girls Guide at Capital Rep: Sex and Sensibility

by B.A. Nilsson on March 6, 2013 · 1 comment

Book by Gordon Greenberg, music and lyrics by T ommy Newman, directed by Gordon Greenberg Capital Repertory Theatre, Through March 30

Single 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:


‘FELA’, limited engagement! should sell out, says Goepfert

‘FELA’ in limited engagement at Proctors


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 GIRLS GUIDE: You wanted a great musical? You got one. And how!

News Subject: 

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

News Subject: 

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


News Subject: 


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.


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.


At a Glance


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

Design Team:

Jo Winarski…………........................             Set design

Corey Pattak/Jeffrey Croiter………         Lighting design

Dane Laffery…………………………           Costume design

David Thomas………………………            Sound design


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: 2,000 years of awesome entertainment

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, Oceans 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!

- 30 - 

Review: 'Priscilla' at Proctors a memorable roadtrip

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:


Priscilla: one of the funniest, warmest, feel- good plays you’ll ever, ever see!

thru 2/17-Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical (Review)

thru 2/17-Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical (Review)


Priscilla! (Review)

At Proctors

State Street, Schenectady


2/13 thru 2/17

I had a dream to go where no drag queen has gone before.”

Really?  Where?”


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.



PRISCILLA, Queen of the Desert. . Wow. Wow. Wow, says Times Union

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert @ Proctors, 2/13/13


By Michael Eck

SCHENECTADY – You have not lived until you’ve seen an impossibly tall, impeccably pec-ed man in a dress made of day-glo flip flops. You just haven’t.

And it seems there’s only one cure. Get thee to “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.”

The traveling show — and it lives up to every mental image you have of that phrase —  is at Proctors through Sunday.

“Priscilla” is the musical based on the 1994 film, “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.”

Read Michael Eck's rousing revew for the Times Union at:


Proctors’ Zebulon Schmidt Appointed to Board of ACMNY

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,
845-528-7420, arrien@optonline.netwww.acmny.org
ACM North East Region Page: www.acm-ne.org
·      Contact: Zebulon Schmidt, OSM at Proctors. 518-382-3884, x 311, zschmidt@proctors.org.