'The Mountaintop' at Capital Rep imagines Martin Luther King Jr.'s final night
by Joe Dalton
“The two-person drama imagines an extended conversation between King and a maid named Camae that takes place on the night before he is assassinated in Memphis in 1968.”
"It's grounded in historical fact, but presents him as a human being," explains director Nick Mangano. "We see a side that we've never seen before. The writing is beautiful and humanizes him in many ways. It's about a man who thinks he still has a lot to accomplish, even though he's done so much."
"It's very poetic with themes of redemption and forgiveness," explains Mangano. "There's also a wonderful surprise in the play. He meets the hotel maid and they begin a dialogue but you don't know who she really is. Is she planted there by someone? Is she with the FBI? That's something he had reason to worry about throughout his lifetime."
Controversial Play Brings a New Humanity to MLK
Vermont News Guide
by Susan Robinson
" ‘The Mountaintop’ imagines the man Martin Luther King, grappling with faith, fame and the future on the last night of his life."
"playwright Katori Hall has an idea of what happened that rainy night in the hours between Martin Luther King, Junior’s stirring speech for sanitation strikers at the Mason Temple and the moment he was shot on the balcony outside his second-floor room."
1/21/-2/9–The Mountaintop brings Martin Luther King, Jr. back to life in Controversial New Play
“Hall’s brilliant language and fearless mind create a scene that bristles with possibility, hums with humanity and—veering towards a shimmering magical realism—haunts with her own vision of truth. Is it any wonder she’s been called one of “Theater’s hottest new voices.” “
'Mountaintop’ Explores MLK Jr.
by Bob Goepfert
“This is a look at the man, not the legend. The play shows him as a human being, not god-like. He has a hole in his sock; his feet give off an odor, he worries about how his mustache looks and even expresses doubts about his accomplishments.”
“The work permits us to check in with ourselves to understand great people are human just like us.”
The Record writes:
If for no other reason the stagecraft for the production of “War Horse,” makes it one of the most special shows to play Proctors in years.
The oft and sometime overly used term “magical” is appropriate for “War Horse” as the life-sized puppets of the horses easily become real animals and the puppeteers inside and alongside quickly become invisible. Adding to this illusion is the lights, sound and special effects that permit a bare stage to become battlefields, front yards, open fields and various other locations.
Without question “War Horse” is a marvel of stagecraft at its best and most wondrous. It is brilliant, well-executed theater.
A Saratoga County organization that uses horses to assist veterans suffering from psychological wounds has received a donation from Proctors from ticket proceeds. Saratoga WarHorse, a Wilton-based nonprofit, received an $8,900 donation from Proctors. The money is a portion of the ticket sales to the play War Horse, which premiered on the Schenectady stage January 15th.
The Daily Gazette says, "War Horse' at Proctors not to be missed"
Proctors' presentation of the National Theater of Britain and Lincoln’s Center Theater’s “War Horse” is an epic theatrical treat that is not to be missed…What makes “War Horse” a must-see event is its brilliant use of the powers of live theater — a story with universal themes; performers who surrender completely to the story; outstanding design; lighting that enhances and surprises; and music that places time and emotion with perfect grace.
By Steve Barnes
SCHENECTADY — A gripping drama fueled by theatrical magic, “War Horse” is also often an astonishing stage spectacle. The tour production, playing at Proctors through Sunday night, is at its best when you succumb the illusion that the life-size horse puppet, operated by three visible people, is a living, aware creature named Joey. The puppeteers who bring Joey alive — Danny Yoerges, Patrick Osteen and Dayna Teitzen, guided by the original horse choreography of Toby Sedgwick — give the animal subtlety, nuance and personality. His ears swivel, his tail flashes, he makes equine vocalizations and gusty snorts, always avoiding the hokiness that sometimes happens with puppets.
Guild Basket Raffle winners
Wine Basket - Pinkey Segatiz
Sondra's Fine Jewelry Basket - Hugh Phillips
Dining Basket - Hope Deroise
Wine Festival Brunch and Grand Tasting - Donna Smith
Broadway Blockbuster Tickets - Laurie Goldberg
Lottery Tree - Betty
Steve Barnes hails the current production of "A Christmas Carol" as heartwarming and electrifying.
"Even the humbuggiest among us seems sure to have his heart thawed or her mind electrified by Patrick Barlow’s adaptation of “A Christmas Carol,” which is receiving a superb production from Capital Repertory Theatre this holiday season."
Will Gallagher at Discover Albany gives a thoughtful take on the multiple facets that make Capital Repertory Theatre's current production of "A Christmas Carol" of note.
"To add to the brilliance the actors not only play many characters, they also play the part of objects, such as a clock or coat rack. Perfect examples of how little Scrooge sees in others."
Richard DiMaggio at Didyouweekend affirms that "If it's at Capital Rep it's got to be good, then it's also true that if Kevin McGuire is in it, it's got to be great."
" ‘A Christmas Carol’ breezed into Capital Rep just in time for the holiday season. No season is complete without ‘A Christmas Carol’, and in this rendition, you are introduced to a slightly non-traditional piece presented by British comedian and playwright Patrick Barlow. The essence is to bring humor back into the original piece, but no doubt an unstated purpose is also to make a play that requires a large stage to be adaptable to smaller stages; The actors here all play many different roles."
Didyouweekend? puts its fist in the air for We Will Rock You and its witty combination of sci-fi antics, rock and roll humor and those sweet, sweet Queen hits.
"We Will Rock You– Words that hardly need an introduction. Add the words, “Queen and Ben Elton’s Smash Hit Musical” and we want to know: Is this a Queen Sing a Long concert or is it a play? The answer is yes. There’s enough here to satisfy the most ardent of Queen fans, but there’s a bit of a plot nicely interwoven into your sing-a-long favs to make it a genuine musical."
In a recent news story on planned development for lower State Street in Schenectady, Albany Business Review writer Michael DeMasi singled out Proctors for its contributions to the ongoing revitalization of the "the Proctors block," just east of Broadway, saying, "Proctors played a huge part in the turnaround on that section of State Street."
Kim DiMaggio of DidYouWeekend? says the tuneful parody of the E.L. James erotic fiction franchise is a hoot.
"50 Shades! is a wickedly good time. It is filthy fun at its finest, and a guaranteed laugh a minute. Don’t over analyze this show with psychodrama about bondage and S&M. Last night was girls’ night out, with a few s/o’s along for one reason: To laugh and have fun. And while they’re at it, they heard some wonderful singing, saw some wonderful acting, and heard some great songs I guarantee they’ve never heard before and probably will never hear again, like the show stopper, “I’ve got a Hole to Fill...”
Capital Rep offers fresh take on Dickens classic
The Daily Gazette
By Bill Buell, Gazette Reporter
“This is the best version of “A Christmas Carol” I’ve ever read,” said McGuire, who plays Ebenezer Scrooge, while Bush, the director, offered this praise: “This the freshest, most inventive version I’ve ever seen.”
The Daily Gazette's David Singer spoke highly of trumpeter Chris Botti's recent performance at Proctors, citing the "serious, new sounds" created by the leader and his crack band.
He also referenced Botti's reverence for Miles Davis, stating, "He talked a bit about Miles Davis’ 1959 band, before playing “Flamenco Sketches” for about 15 minutes, each band member taking several rounds of solo. 'This song changes every night,' Botti said, noting how Davis designed a simple five-chord structure for musicians to explore with minimal obstruction. The band was probably best during this tune, quite aware it was their moment to venture technically and emotionally. Botti, who references Davis a lot, ironically blows a full, fat, aggressive horn, rather than Davis’ muted, more subtle style."
“Cirkopolis is a wonder.”
So says the Montreal Gazette!
Our wonderful friends with Cirque Eloize have just opened Cirkopolis—which made its North American premiere at Proctors in August—in the troupe’s home city of Montreal. The reviews are now coming in, and they are glowing.