The National Comedy Center in Jamestown has announced the acquisition of the archive of comedian Shelley Berman, who passed away in September 2017 at the age of 92.
The donation was formally announced during a tribute attended by Larry David, Dr. Demento, Cheryl Hines, Laraine Newman, Howard Storm, David Steinberg, Fred Willard, and Alan Zweibel, hosted by Lewis Black and presented by the National Comedy Center on Tuesday, January 30th at the Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, California. Continue reading
The Players Theatre in Manhattan has announced that they will host the performance, One Nation, One Mission, One Promise – An American Story, a unique off-Broadway play heading for a 5-week limited run, beginning January 12, 2018.
The play celebrates America’s diverse citizenship by bringing alive the heroes who strove to create “a more perfect union” for all its people. In the play Thomas Jefferson, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Martin Luther King share the stage for the first time, while Frederick Douglas attends a Town Hall meeting with Ellen DeGeneres. Continue reading
The 77th NY Regimental Balladeers, featuring local talent Gisella Montanez-Case, will present a multi-media concert at U.S. Grant Cottage State Historic Site on Saturday, August 12 at 4 pm.
The performance, entitled “Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier: 1776-1976,” is a music and film tribute honoring all who served. Attendees will experience America’s wartime story through song, still images, film, verse and several sing-a-long segments. Continue reading
Hudson Hall at the historic Hudson Opera House has announced the first full season of programming since reopening the 1855 building following major restoration. The season runs from July to December and features performances, exhibitions, readings, artist talks and free community workshops.
Hudson Hall’s opening season celebrates the return of New York State’s oldest surviving theater to public use for the first time in over 55 years with exhibitions, workshops, performances and events that highlight Hudson’s vibrant artistic community, including a new staging of Virgil Thompson and Gertrude Stein’s The Mother of Us All. This rarely performed opera is based on Susan B. Anthony, who spoke twice at the Hudson Opera House. Conceived by the visionary young stage director and Hudson resident, R. B. Schlather, the production stars mezzo soprano Michaela Martens and a vocal and instrumental ensemble of over 30 Hudson Valley residents. Continue reading
This week on “The Historians” podcast, Bob Cudmore and Dave Greene discuss two of Bob’s Daily Gazette columns — one on Amsterdam, NY, opera singer Albert Sochin DaCosta and the other on late 19th century folk artist Kris Vogt, a homeless man who made sketches of the homes of others.
Listen to the podcast here. Continue reading
The Kurpil Family Fiddlers will perform at the Time and the Valleys Museum on St. Rt. 55 in Grahamsville, Sullivan County, on Sunday, April 30 at 2 pm.
They will perform fiddle music while intermingling local fiddle music history, song history and the origins of fiddling. Continue reading
The site of New York State’s oldest surviving theater, the Hudson Opera House has completed the final phase of a major restoration project begun in April of 2016. The re-opening of the historic theater is accompanied by a name change: the Hudson Opera House will be renamed Henry Hudson Hall. Continue reading
For millions of people, holidays are all about going home, returning to one’s roots of family and friends. That concept was epitomized by a North Country man who attained great fame in Hollywood, but to his great credit never forgot the home folks — and to their credit, the home folks never forgot him. Whenever he returned to the North Country, or old friends visited him in California, there was always an exchange of love, admiration, and deep appreciation.
He was born in northern Michigan in 1916 as Harold John Smith, about as anonymous a name as one can imagine, and likely one that stirs no sense of recognition. But if Otis Campbell were mentioned, many would instantly recall Mayberry’s affable town drunk from The Andy Griffith Show. Continue reading
This week on The Historians Podcast, Peter Ames Carlin, author of Homeward Bound: The Life of Paul Simon. (Henry Holt, 2016) Born in New Jersey, Simon grew up in Queens, New York. Carlin sees Simon’s upbringing in the context of the Jewish immigrant experience in America. You can listen to the podcast here. Continue reading
On the west side of Lower Manhattan in New York City, Greenwich Village has long been home to progressive thinkers and artists of all types, as well as ground zero for several movements. In the 1950s and 60s, it was a mainstay of the nation’s bohemian culture, hosting beatniks, folk music originals, the strong counter-culture movement, and the Beat Generation, with such icons as Maya Angelou, Truman Capote, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and Rod McKuen.
The coffeehouse scene flourished at that time, when a remarkable alternative to commercial theater was developed: Off-Off-Broadway, where productions ran the gamut from scripted to impromptu, and venues ranged from old warehouses to small cafes. At the heart of this historic movement was a little-known North Country actress and writer who was widely respected in the New York City arts community.
Mary Elizabeth Boylan was born in Plattsburgh, New York, in February 1913. Her father, John, was a mainstay of the community, serving as district deputy of the Knights of Columbus for four years, president of the chamber of commerce for two years, and general manager of the Mountain Home Telephone Company. In 1924, when Mary was 11, the family moved to Rochester, New York, where her dad became president of the Rochester Telephone Company three years later. Continue reading