Proctors announces 2015-16 Broadway lineup (Times Union)

Times Union Arts and Entertainment writer Amy Biancolli spoke with representatives from shows in our upcoming 2015-2016 Key Private Bank Broadway Series and filed a great story about what’s sure to be a great season.
“Motown, Matilda, a murder and yet more Mormons are en route to Proctors in Schenectady, which unveiled its 2015-2016 Broadway lineup in a Monday night season preview staged as a spangly variety show complete with purple sequins.
Among the productions heading to Schenectady in the Key Private Bank Broadway Series are touring versions of "Motown The Musical" (Nov. 17-22), the Roald Dahl adaptation "Matilda the Musical" (Dec. 8-13), "Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella" (Jan. 19-24, 2016), a big-stage iteration of the little Irish movie "Once" (May 10-15) and Disney's returning "The Lion King" (March 22–April 17). The lineup also includes two non-subscription add-ons: "Irving Berlin's White Christmas" (Dec. 22-27) and the return of "The Book of Mormon" (Oct. 20-25).
Opening the season: the 2014 Tony-winning "A Gentleman's Guide To Love & Murder," which will run its technical rehearsals and launch its tour at Proctors Sept. 19-26. The musical comedy, based on a 1907 novel about a lady-killing serial killer, features music by Steven Lutvak and book and lyrics by Robert L. Freedman.”

Blue Man Group is a hit!

Didyouweekend says "If the fun got any funner, I'm not sure where Proctors would put it all."

Editor Rich DiMaggio is a long time Blue Man Group fan, and he raves about the current tour, which hit Proctors March 10 and 11.

"This show sizzles over and over again, and reminds the world what can be done with some household pipes and a whole lot of imagination. You sit, watch in awe, and let the notes scream at you. And the finale? Like nothing you have ever, ever seen."

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The legendary Martin Charnin talks Annie with Troy Record

Martin Charnin, one the creators of Annie and the director of the current ntaional tour, spent some time chatting about the classic show with the Capital Region's senior drama critic, Bob Goepfert.

It’s hard to believe that the Broadway musical “Annie” has been around for 37 years. If you didn’t see the original on Broadway or in its early touring days, Martin Charnin guarantees the production playing Proctors Tuesday through March 8 will be as close to that experience as is possible.

“It’s my goal to bring back the emotional and artistic integrity that audiences loved about the original. I want to maintain the heart and soul of the show that has been lost,” he says.

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House manager Cindy LaRoe and Proctors incredible volunteers help out during power outage

The Daily Gazette features Proctors volunteers in a story about the recent power outage, which happened during a perforance of Annie (the show was not effected):

“LaRoe sprang into action after getting the call from the garage. She enlisted about 25 volunteer ushers who already had the only emergency equipment they would need: flashlights. The ushers went out to the garage, lit it up by turning on their car lights, then stationed themselves around the garage, using flashlights to guide theater patrons up the stairs because the elevators weren’t working and the garage was pitch black, she said.”

“They need the flashlights to seat people once the show starts, so all the ushers had to carry flashlights,” she said. “It seemed like the fastest way to help, and they were great.”

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Didyouweekend loves Rain

At Didyouweekend, writer Linda Regina raves about Rain, which brought the music of The Beatles to life at Proctors.

"The band made it clear that they were not trying to be The Beatles," she wrote, "but that they were paying a tribute to The Beatles. At one point, one of the band members thanked the audience for “Keeping The Beatles’ music alive”, but one couldn’t help but silently thank them for doing the same."

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Times Union reviewer Steve Barnes ends up on stage with The Illusionists

At the Wednesday evening performance of The Illusionists: Witness the Impossible, Jeff Hobson, The Trickster, strolled into the audience to choose a volunteer for a dazzling card trick. Who did he happen to pick, but Times Union arts reviewer and food blogger Steve Barnes! The writer was game and participated in both the wonder and the comedy of the magician's effect. Every night is a special night with The Illusionists!

Click on the link to see his review.

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CTA brings classic Chicago sound to Proctors

Legendary Chicago drummer Danny Seraphine brings his high-powered California Transit Authority, featuring fellow Chicago veteran Bill Champlin, to Proctors for a night of classic rock and roll—including fan favorites like “Make Me Smile,” “Saturday in The Park” and “25 or 6 to 4”—8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31.

Tickets are $20-$50 and are available at the Box office at Proctors, 432 State Street, Schenectady; by phone at 518.346.6204; and online at

At the dawn of the hard-rocking 1970s, Chicago—propelled by co-founder Danny Seraphine’s deft stickwork—blew out of the Windy City to populate the pop charts for the next several decades, earning its rightful place in rock ‘n’ roll history. Back then a “horn band” was a new idea, and the group’s wide-ranging brand of “jazz rock” carved out a whole new sub-genre. With searing guitar, blaring brass, a dead-on vocal blend, killer
songs and an unstoppable
rhythmic drive, the adventurous
spirit and freewheeling musicality of those early Chicago recordings have never quite been matched.

Until now.

Say hello to CTA. Based in
Los Angeles and fueled by Seraphine’s creative
passion and pure percussive
CTA is all about a man—and a band—on a mission.
With the release of its landmark
sophomore CD, Sacred Ground, CTA
accomplishes that mission and a whole lot more.

Working side-by-side with acclaimed guitarist Marc
Bonilla, whose co-production, playing and co-writing are front-and-center throughout the project, Seraphine and
CTA throw down the musical gauntlet with a collection of songs that takes the music full circle and lays a new cornerstone for the jazz/rock genre.

Three years in the making, Sacred Ground takes Seraphine and Bonilla’s vision to the next level. Aided and abetted by Seraphine’s former Chicago bandmate, Bill Champlin (and his son, acclaimed vocalist Will Champlin), along with an A-team of L.A. touring and studio veterans, CTA’s skin-tight arrangements and pure musicianship maximize the impact of the album’s hook-laden songs.

With a funky backbeat and a signature horn line, the album’s title cut—featuring a career-high performance from the younger Champlin—gets things off to an auspicious start, musically and thematically. CTA and company take the opportunity to stretch out on take-no-prisoners instrumentals like “Primetime” and “In The Kitchen,” displaying a versatility and a virtuosity that feels like a breath of fresh, creative air across today’s over-programmed radio landscape.

“It’s taken me a while to get here, but I feel like CTA is in a very good place,” Seraphine says. “I’m very proud of this band, and I feel like we’ve made a record that will stand up for generations to come.”

Oh, what a night—‘Jersey Boys’ is a memorable, nostalgic evening

From the Daily Gazette:

“Oh, what a night!” Lyrics from the Four Seasons’ hit “December, 1963,” the song that opens “Jersey Boys” and serves as an encore that had Tuesday night’s full house on its feet.

And it’s what you’ll be saying to your friends the next day at work.

Oh, what a long night, too, but this tribute musical to the quartet is satisfyingly packed with a straight-ahead telling of the career of these four Italian boys from New Jersey.

There’s spot-on singing of songs hard-wired in your brain, even if you can’t remember what you had for lunch yesterday.

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Elf the Musical comes to Proctors for Christmas

The Daily Gazette's Bill Buell spoke with hometown boy Connor Gallagher about choreographing Elf the Musical. Gallagher's excited about being back home and we're all thrilled about Elf.

Here's an excerpt:

While his work has been praised in major cities such as New York, Washington and Chicago, Connor Gallagher thinks next week’s production of “Elf” at Proctors in Schenectady will be one of the high points of his brief but busy career as a professional choreographer.

“It was great being on stage at the Kennedy Center and looking up at the president’s box, and I’ve worked at many of the other landmark theaters in the country,” said Gallagher, a 2002 Shenendehowa graduate.

“But Proctors is where I grew up watching theater. It’s where I fell in love with the theater, so it really is so exciting for me. Oh gosh, it’s going to be wild.”

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Evil Dead—will you be sitting in the Splatter Zone?

The Daily Gazette's Bill Buell chats with Evil Dead—The Musical co-creator Christopher Bond.
“We do the show year-round, but the audience at Proctors should definitely be in the spirit of the thing,” said Bond, a native of North York, Ontario. “When we’re in Schenectady it will be near Halloween, so that should add to the excitement.”

Johnny Mathis speaks with the Daily Gazette

Johnny Mathis took some time to chat with the Daily Gazette about his life, his music and the sports career he turned down for a life of song. Writer Bill Buell gets to the heart of the matter with the legnedary 80-year-old singer wno visits Proctors, Friday, Oct. 24.

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Newsies star Dan DeLuca chats with Daily Gazette

Dan DeLuca plays Jack Kelly in Disney's Newsies, which launches at Proctors, Oct.11-17.

Peter Pan inspired Dan DeLuca to forge a life in the theater, and Charlie Brown and other characters like him have kept the 22-year-old actor from the Pittsburgh area very busy.

But last year, suddenly, something was missing.

“I loved playing Charlie Brown and other vulnerable, underdog roles like him, but this past year I got tired of it,” said DeLuca, who plays the lead, Jack Kelly, in the national touring production of “Newsies” coming to Proctors for a week-long run beginning Saturday.

“I wanted to be the young hero. I wanted to be Prince Charming. Who doesn’t want to play the lead and get the girl at the end?”

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The Times Union talks Disney's Newsies

Times Union reporter Steve Barnes talked with Newsies lyricist Jack Feldman in New York and came back with a fascinating story about the launch of Disney's newest show at Proctors.

"How often in life do you have a chance for a do-over, a chance to go back and improve something you really cared about but didn't have time to polish the first time around? That's what makes 'Newsies' so special for me."

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Albany Business Review looks at renovation project

Megan Rogers, of the Albany Business Review, recently spent time chatting with Proctors CEO Philip Morris and Jed Ellis of EverGreene Artchitectural Arts about renovations at Proctors.

"EverGreene is a decoration and restoration firm based in New York City," Rogers says. "The team will return next summer to restore the front of the balcony in the main theatre and complete the work in the mezzanine, says Jed Ellis, site supervisor for the project."

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Times Union calls Blaguards, "a superbly entertaining evening"

Times Union reviewer Steve Barnes calls A Couple of Blaguards, which plays through Oct. 5, "a superbly entertaining evening."

"The McCourt brothers Frank and Malachy were a remarkable pair, men with generous talent and even more generous spirit despite, or perhaps because of, the squalor and privation of their youth.

That upbringing in Limerick, Ireland, where they moved from their native Brooklyn while both still toddlers, is most widely known from the brothers’ respective memoirs — Frank’s massively best-selling “Angela’s Ashes,” published in 1996, and Malachy’s “A Monk Swimming,” released two years later — and their sequels. But both men’s books were inspired by “A Couple of Blaguards,” an autobiographical 1985 play they co-wrote and starred in.

It is being presented this weekend and next at the GE Theatre at Proctors in an excellent, often hilarious touring production by a pair of actors who have performed it together for more than a decade. Howard Platt, a familiar face from TV series including “Sanford and Son” and “Evening Shade,” directs and plays Malachy, born 11 months after Frank, played by Jarlath Conroy."

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