First edition of Celebration of Rhythm closes with a bang!

The Times Union praises master percussionist Brian Melick's Celebration of Rhythm series.

The third and final installment in Proctors’ “Celebration of Rhythm” series Thursday evening showcased the bright and sunshiny sounds of two fabulous area ensembles. Appreciation goes to percussionist and composer Brian Melick for putting together this “in our own backyard” homage to multicultural music.
Thursday’s performance featured sets by composer/pianist Elizabeth Woodbury Kasius and her band Heard, based in the Capital Region; and the Berkshire Bateria, directed by Jim Weber and headquartered in Great Barrington, Mass. The two groups were perfect complements—the former infuses classical jazz with world beat from Africa and South America, while the latter brings a wide range of Brazilian samba styles to the stage, inflected by bossa nova.

Metroland readers vote Proctors tops!

We thank the readers of Metroland for voting Proctors "Best Live Theater Venue" in this week's Readers' Poll 2014.

We're flattered and determined to make good on that honor for many years to come!

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Kathy Griffin talks Proctors on Huffington Post Live

Kathy Griffin pumped up Proctors recently on Huffington Post Live. Chatting with host Caitlyn Becker, Griffin riffed in her usual style about coming to Schenectady as part of her current tour.

ADVISORY: Before you click on the link below, please consider that the wide-ranging conversation contains frank language that may not be appropriate for work or for children.

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A few minutes with Crystal Aikin of Gospel Jubilee at Proctors

Nippertown's Don Wilcock chats with "superstar nurse" Crystal Aikin, who will appear at the Fourth Annual Gospel Jubilee…
“I think nursing and singing have a great partnership to some degree because whether it’s the mind or the body, it’s the person’s soul. They all come from a person who is compassionate and who is caring about the individual to whom they are having to offer service."

‘Next Move: Festival of Modern Dance’ returns to Proctors

Stacey Morris writes about Next Move in The Record:
Talk about a splendid pairing: Modern dance and Proctors Theatre go so well together that they’re teaming up again for the fourth consecutive year in “Next Move: Festival of Modern Dance” on Saturday evening.
Curated by Ellen Sinopoli, this year’s festival features three companies with differing styles performing on various expressions of movement: Lior Schneior, the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company and Project 44.

Proctors unveils Broadway series

From The Times Union:
The Broadway lineup for the 2014-15 season at Proctors includes three of the most acclaimed new works on Broadway in recent years, a pair of revivals of beloved classics and the return of "Jersey Boys," which played to more than 48,000 people when it first visited Proctors two years ago.
The slate of six touring productions, officially called the Key Private Bank Broadway Series, was unveiled Thursday night at a sold-out, invitation-only preview at Proctors. Hosted by Time Warner Cable news anchor and reporter Karen Tararache, the event featured a Vaudeville-style variety show of scenes, songs, artists and other elements from each show in the upcoming season.

'Kinky Boots' among coming shows—Daily Gazette

From the Daily Gazette:

“Kinky Boots” is coming to Proctors, and while that may have been the big news at Thursday night’s Key Private Bank Broadway Series Bash, the 2013 Tony Award winner for Best Musical is still more than a year away.

“Newsies,” meanwhile, is just around the corner.

The winner of two Tonys in 2012 (it lost Best Musical to “Once”), “Newsies” will be at Proctors Oct. 11-17 to kick off the 2014-15 Broadway Series. Nominated for eight Tonys, “Newsies,” like “Kinky Boots,” is still running on Broadway. “Kinky Boots,” winner of six Tonys in all, will come to Proctors June 16-21 in 2015.

“We’re so pleased to present these amazing shows to the community,” said Proctors CEO Philip Morris. “There will be magic on our stage.”

Along with the two new shows, Proctors’ schedule includes the return of “Jersey Boys,” as well as two of the biggest Broadway musicals in history, “Annie” and “Pippin.” Rounding out the season will be “The Illusionists: Witness the Impossible.”

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Jim Belushi and pals funny, creative at Proctors

Steve Barnes says:

The peculiar, particular and zany humor that is improv comedy was most evident Wednesday night at Proctors when two burly guys bumped their bellies while singing a spontaneously created song called “Me and That Beaver,” set to a salsa melody, and one of them rhymed “muy caliente” with “really felt me.”

The guys were Larry Joe Campbell and Joshua Funk, and the scenario for improv scene they were in, using song titles and musical styles suggested by the audience, was the opening and closing night of a new musical, the title for which, “The Prince of Central Park,” also came from the audience. The fake musical, with titles and suggestions controlled from the side of the stage by the evening’s star, Jim Belushi, also included a polka-inflected “I Got Girls, One a Day” and a reggae love song, “Nothing Wrong with Two Men Cuddling.”

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‘Rhythm of the Dance’ Taps into Proctors to a Standing Ovation

Didyouweekend? loved Rhythm of the Dance!
"This show, brilliantly executed and choreographed to the tee, fused Irish history with dance and song. The singing was five star, and treated the audience to all its Irish favorites including "Molly Malone" and "Danny Boy." Mix in the dancing we all came to see, and what a show!"

Earn Credits to see shows at Proctors

Proctors is seeking a volunteer for 2-3 hours early Monday mornings.

Clean, organize, and stock the candy stand. Able to lift up to 10 lbs. Each hour volunteered will result in one credit redeemable toward selected Proctors performances. (10 credits required per performance)

Please email resume to Paul Kazee, No phone calls please.

Metheny, band deliver dazzling show at Proctors

The Daily Gazette loved Pat Metheny's recent stop at Proctors:
Instantly recognizable guitar sound? Check. Steam-punk instrument-bots? Check. Fresh songs? Check. Four ace collaborators? Double-check!
Pat Metheny packed the whole deal onto Proctors Mainstage Thursday.
Some 40 years ago, Metheny was jazz’s young fresh face. Now there’s gray in the big hair framing that mostly grimacing face, but Metheny seemed youthfully energetic and creatively restless, retracing the steps from hot new kid to still-hot, very experienced and authoritative eminence.

Gypsy’s at its Best at Cap Rep!

News Subject: 

Gypsy A Musical Fable at theREPDiscover Albany
by Will Gallagher

"If Patti LuPone was born to play Rose, Capital Rep was meant to put it on"

"Cap Rep has not only brought in their largest cast ever with 23 members, but one of their most powerful too."

"Get tickets to this absolutely amazing production, you may have seen Gypsy but you’ve never seen it like this!"


‘Gypsy’ triumphant at Capital Rep

News Subject: 

Gypsy A Musical Fable at theREPTimes Union
by Steve Barnes

"when staged expertly, as it is at Capital Rep by the company’s producing artistic director, Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill, “Gypsy” is deeply satisfying"

"But what you’ll remember is Callanan’s version of “Everything’s Coming Up Roses.” Often sung with braying bravado, here it’s big, to be sure, but it’s also window into Mama Rose’s obsession, and that’s much deeper and more lasting."

"Freddy Ramirez’s choreography is shown off in fine display, and key actors give  nuanced, carefully drawn performances."

"Mary Callanan plays Rose with the relentlessness of a steam train and the voice of a clarion. Nothing puts her off track"


Times Union—‘Book of Mormon’ brilliant fun at Proctors

The Times Union raves about The Book of Mormon:

"The smash-hit musical, playing at Proctors through Sunday, at once savages Broadway conventions while bear-hugging them. It is both sacrilegious and and devout, snarky and earnest, foul-mouthed yet ultimately wholesome. It wants to offend and to be loved, and miraculously, it manages all of that while still being wildly funny, tuneful and visually engaging."

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Itzhak Perlman—"a concert sparkling with life"

In the Times Union, Composer Priscilla McLean raves about about Itzhak Perlman's performance at Proctors.

"Itzhak Perlman is practically a household name, and the appearance of this most famous violinist at Proctors Theatre Saturday night drew an enthusiastic yet reverently quiet crowd. With his longtime collaborator, pianist Rohan de Silva, he presented a concert sparkling with life and ranging from programmed music to a variety of repertoire chosen in the moment and announced orally, like a jazz concert.

Disabled from polio at a young age, Perlman zoomed onto the stage in his motorized scooter and performed in it, while occasionally beaming at the audience and using facial expressions. Unable to emote while dancing around the stage like some violinists, Perlman focuses all his energies on the violin, employing amazing dexterity and extremely clean rhythms and intonation."

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‘Sing-Off’ Live an evening of a-capella aces at Proctors

The Times Union's Steve Barnes certainly enjoyed The Sing Off Live tour at Proctors.

"Home Free, the a-capella country group that won the fourth season of the NBC vocal competition “The Sing-Off” in December, is a vital, exciting and entertaining ensemble. Although it’s existed in its current form for only a year, the five-man group sounds professional and polished, and the guys have an easy, loose rapport with one another and their audience.

They started their version of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” Wednesday night at Proctors, during a stop of “The Sing-Off” Live Tour with two other acts from the show, on a semicircle of high stools, taking the song slowly and burnishing the harmonies behind a lead sung by the rumbling basso-profundo of Texan Tim Foust. He handed off to Austin Brown, who’s got a piping high tenor of clarity and strength, and the song became jaunty, even playful."

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Daily Gazette: ‘Sister Act’ delivers satisfying songs and shenanigans

Paul Lamar raves: "If Audra McDonald ever gets sick, call on Ta’rea Campbell. She has pipes and over-the-footlights charisma. But Campbell also delivers when she tones it down, showing a real and earnest young woman in slightly over her head wherever she is. Maybe Campbell won’t have to wait for McDonald: This tour ought to pave the way for even more opportunities of her own."

The Times Union calls Sister Act "an irresistible good time."

Steve Barnes raves:

“Sister Act” is about as crowd-pleasing and exuberant a stage version as it’s possible to imagine being made from the hit 1992 movie of the same name.

Full of eye-popping production numbers, catchy and infectious songs by Alan Menken (“Little Shop of Horrors,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast”) and anchored by a star performance by Ta’Rea Campbell in the Whoopi Goldberg role, the touring musical, playing at Proctors through Sunday, is an irresistible good time.

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Benita Zahn and other local favorites join Broadway veterans for Capital Repertory Theatre’s Gypsy: A Musical Fable

News Subject: 

Benita Zahn and other local favorites join Broadway veterans for Capital Repertory Theatre’s Gypsy: A Musical Fable

ALBANY, N.Y.—Feb. 3, 2014—Capital Repertory Theatre announces that Benita Zahn, popular anchor and health reporter for WNYT, will join other local favorites and a brace of Broadway veterans in the company’s upcoming production of Gypsy: A Musical Fable, book by Arthur Laurents, music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Directed by theREP’s Producing Artistic Director Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill, choreographed by Freddy Ramirez and assisted by Susan Caputo, Gypsy opens March 18 and runs through April 13.

Described by critics as one of the most important titles in the American musical theatre canon, Gypsy chronicles the rags to riches story of burlesque queen, Gypsy Rose Lee. Mary Callanan, fresh from her role in the Broadway revival of Annie, will head the cast as Rose. She will be joined by Broadway mainstay Bob Walton in the role of Herbie, the candy salesman who helps Rose and her brood survive the waning days of Vaudeville.

In addition to her turn as Mrs. Pugh in Annie, Callanan counts national tours of Big, Mamma Mia!, Damn Yankees, The Sound Of Music and Cinderella among her credits—along with a list of regional theatre roles that read like the American songbook. A favorite in her hometown of Boston, Callanan brings an established fan base for her recordings and cabaret appearances to the role of Rose, which has defined the meaning of “stage mother” for generations.

Walton, Callanan’s accomplished co-star, was last seen on Broadway in The Drowsy Chaperone, following appearances in 42nd Street, The Ziegfeld Follies Of 1936, Showboat, City Of Angels and Once Upon A Mattress with Sarah Jessica Parker. His wide-ranging career encompasses experience as an actor, director and musical director, working with greats like Mickey Rooney and Ginger Rogers.

Other New York pros include Kelsey Crouch as Louise (who transforms into the magnificent “First Lady of Burlesque,” Gypsy Rose Lee), LoriAnn Frieda as Tessie Tura, Hillary Parker as Mazeppa, Matt Gibson as Tulsa, John T. Wolfe as Yonkers and Connor Russell as Angie.

Zahn, who has trod the boards at many local theatres, takes on her Capital Repertory Theatre debut in the role of Electra, the sparkling stripper who helps teach Louise her trade. Ramirez, a Troy resident and Broadway veteran who toured the country in West Side Story, will portray L.A. Other top area actors, several taking their first bows at theREP, also decorate the cast.

Amelia Rose Allen stars as Baby Louise with Alexis Papaleo as her little sister, Baby June. Taking on the task of teenage Louise is Cara O’Brien, an Albany resident and graduate of NYU, last seen on the theREP’s stage in James Joyce’s The Dead. Emily Louise Franklin makes her downtown debut as the tap-dancing Dainty June. She was last seen as the grown up Princess Fiona in Park Playhouse’s critically-acclaimed Shrek.  Franklin’s brother George, who starred in Broadway’s A Christmas Story, also appears. And local favorites Tony Pallone and Joe Phillips will portray a variety of male characters in the play.

Other members of the 22 actor ensemble include Katherine Delaney Buddenhagen, Heather-Liz Copps, Sophie Elise Meisner, Morgan Przekurat, Whitney Wilson and Sara Wolf.

Preview performances for Gypsy: A Musical Fable take place March 14-16. Opening night is Tuesday, March 18. Regular performances continue through Sunday, April 13. Performance times: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; and 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday—with matinees 3 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday; and 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 26. Capital Repertory Theatre, 111 N. Pearl Street, Albany, N.Y. Tickets range from $20 to $65. For tickets and information, call TICKETS BY PROCTORS, (518) 445-SHOW (7469) or visit

Gypsy: A Musical Fable is sponsored by M&T Bank; with sub-sponsors Greenberg Traurig LLP.


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