News

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 proctors.org.

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
power,
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.”

ctatheband.com

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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Newsies is coming (WNYT looks at "teching" process)

WNYT's Benita Zahn offers an impressive package about Disney building NEWSIES for the road, right here at Proctors.

In addition, Zahn features a handful of interviews with cast and creative team, shot at a New York City rehearsal complex.

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Proctors marquee unveiled

On Monday, September 15, we presented our refurbished marquee, which now boasts state-of-the-art digital panels that honor the history behind the sign while bringing it entirely up-to-date.

The Daily Gazette did a wonderful job of summarizing the event and what the "new" marquee means to downtown.

"The new Proctors marquee was unveiled Monday afternoon, and it didn’t disappoint.

The marquee got a makeover from Olson Signs & Graphics of Scotia and featured new digital panels that highlighted the theater’s upcoming show, “Newsies.”

Philip Morris, CEO of Proctors, said he’s thrilled with the new marquee. “I love that we restored it,” he said during the marquee’s unveiling. “It’s almost like building a city. Now we’re finally working on the pretty parts.”

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Crews remove iconic Proctors marquee

CBS6 reports on Olson Signs and Graphics' removal of the Proctors marqee, which will be taken to the company's Scotia workshop for full renovation and an upgrade to digital sign boards. We expect the project—which began with the July 8 takedown—to take approximately four to eight weeks.

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Proctors marquée renovation

You may have heard that Proctors is having its State Street marquee renovated. It's true! The iconic 1983 marquee has been temporarily removed from the building and is now at Olson Signs and Graphics in Scotia. Olson fabricated the marquee over 30 years ago and they are now renovating it—repainting, repairing and refreshing it, too. Upon its return, the marquee will feature new digital signboards, each fully capable of displaying the classic black block letters you've come to love. We'll also be refreshing the Stratton Plaza "Vaudeville" marquee in place, and adding digital signboards on the rear of the building and above Apostrophe Cafe. 

We expect the project, which began with the removal of the marquee on July 8, to take about four to eight weeks.

Here's a nice series of photos from Times Union photographer Skip Dickstein.

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The Phantom of the Opera: Phantastic. Phun. And Simply Phanomenal!

Didyouweekend? raves about The Phantom of the Opera:
 
Our favorite Phantom is back, and is he better than ever. The newest, brightest production by Cameron Mackintosh is bigger and better than ever before. It is an apocalyptic theater experience not to be missed. Yes, this show is that good...no matter what you pay for your ticket, this is value at its best. No seat in this house wasn’t worth the cost of admission.

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