FREE PERFORMANCE!! ONE TIME ONLY!!
A performance of Friend of a Friend is open to the public through the generosity of the Erie Canal Heritage Corridor on May 18 at 11am at Capital Repertory Theatre
No reservations necessary.
Doors open at 10:30am.
“Red” Now Playing.
This Play Won 6 - Yes 6, Tony Awards. Here’s Why
April 24, 2013
”Red” is not just a play; It’s an experience.”
“It takes you into the mind of an artist, like no production I have ever seen—ever.”
“every word, every symbol, every gesture will leave you wanting more.”
‘RED’ @ Capital Repertory Theatre
April 24, 2013
“But the truth of the matter is that you don’t have to be an art major or even a regular gallery-goer to appreciate the powerful work being done in the spotlight at Cap Rep.”
“It’s brave. It’s funny. It rips out your heart. It makes you think. It makes you feel…”
RED at Capital Rep isn’t what you think it is
April 17, 2013
ALBANY — When most people hear the play “Red” will be performed at Capital Repertory Theatre, they ask, “How did they turn the Warren Beatty film into a play?”
The answer is, they didn’t.
“Red” is a Tony Award-winning play about…
‘Red’ @ Capital Rep, 4/23/13
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
“Red” will be a joyous jolt, like grabbing the terminals of a powerful battery. It leaves the brain tingling, the soul inspired. You might be tempted to punch, or at least shout at, someone who loves it immoderately or, worse, is indifferent.”
“It’s creative passion made manifest, and it’s a thrill to watch.”
Review: 'Red' at Capital Rep is rich, raw
Wednesday, April 24th, 2013
“McGuire is brilliant”
“This is what art is about. It is what good theater is about. And “Red” is really good theater.”
A Communication About the World
The Art of Mark Rothko
By Timothy Cahill
Mark Rothko was the last great artist of passion any of us may see in our lifetimes. The brooding Abstract Expressionist stands in the lineage of Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Goya, Turner, and van Gogh, artists for whom our most powerful human emotions—ardor, ecstasy, suffering, despair—were both the subject and motive of their work. Whether Rothko’s shimmering and somber rectangles of color will achieve the immortality of the masters before him, time will tell. Like those earlier artists, he sought the essence of what it means to be human, and expressed it with a sublime and awesome presence unimaginable in our current age of irony.
There is a moment in Red in which Rothko rages after seeing an exhibition of the artists who followed him, including Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, and Andy Warhol. “They’re trying to kill me!” he declares. “Superficial, meaningless sewage!” The scene is not literally accurate—Andy Warhol did not produce the paintings for which he is famous until a few years after the time frame of the play—but it is emotionally true nonetheless. Warhol and the rest of the innovators of Pop Art (it was called the “New Realism” when it first appeared) were indeed out to discredit, dethrone, and ultimately dismantle what Rothko stood for. And they succeeded, openly mocking their elders’ claims of existential and spiritual purity with an aloof, acidic irreverence and jaded cynicism that embraced the materialism, consumerism, celebrity, flash, and trash of modern culture, an ethos we have inherited. In real life, Rothko was introduced to Warhol on a Greenwich Village sidewalk; he turned and walked away without a word. If we were filming the scene today, where would we point the camera? On the expression of the older master as he composed himself in the throes of contempt, or on the young upstart, watching the old man disappear?
Rothko struggled for his success, experimenting through more than twenty years of successive genres and forms, from grim social narrative to mythic surrealism, before finding his mature style in 1949. His best paintings are triumphs of beauty and intensity, two or three blocks of glowing, soft-edged color stacked in a vertical field. He was widely considered America’s greatest living painter at the time he accepted the commission to paint the Four Seasons murals in 1958. He turned the canvas sideways, creating haunting friezes that seem at once shrouds, portals, and free-floating auras.
The painter once, only half ironically, offered a “recipe” for his art. The ingredients included “intimations of mortality,” “sensuality,” “tension,” “wit and play,” and “the ephemeral and chance.” Rothko often denied his paintings were “abstract,” by which he meant they were neither purely intellectual nor non-representational. Indeed, he most likely viewed his works as utterly literal renderings of the non-material but entirely real psychological awareness he depicted. Painting a picture, he once said, “is a communication about the world.” The last item in his recipe was hope. “Ten percent to make the tragic more endurable.”
Ultimately, the tragic became unendurable for the artist himself. “One day the black will swallow the red,” Rothko laments in the play. Despair, decline, and death overtake the chromatic splendor of life. Rothko committed suicide in 1970 at age 66; the next year saw the opening of what he considered his greatest creation, the Rothko Chapel in Houston. The chapel holds fourteen paintings in an octagonal museum-cum-mediation center, each of them black, though to say so is somewhat misleading. Embedded in the darkness is an immanence of other hues—brick red, deep red, chestnut-brown, mauve—that give the works depth, movement, mystery. It’s as if, even as the color drained out, Rothko sensed something beyond the void.
Albany has its own Rothko, one of the gems of the Empire State Plaza Art Collection. The untitled 1967 work, on display in the concourse level of the Corning Tower, features a bright blue ground with a large, teal-green square floating above a charcoal rectangle. Like the blacks in the Rothko Chapel, the gray of the Albany Rothko is hardly static. Study it slowly. As your eyes grow used to the dark, the lower rectangle sheds its gloom and feels lit from within. There is no irony in the passionate eloquence of this effect.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Mitchell Burke 518•382•3884 x 179
ALBANY, NY. Capital Repertory Theatre proudly announces the opening of RED, John Logan’s Tony Award® winning biographical drama about Abstract Expressionist painter Mark Rothko and the power of art. Public preview performances begin April 19, with press opening on April 23. Performances continue through May 19.
RED artfully transforms the Capital Rep stage into Rothko’s gritty Manhattan studio in 1958, when the abstract artist was at the height of his fame and began work on a prestigious commission of murals for the elite Four Seasons restaurant in New York’s Seagram Building. Working with an assistant half his age, Rothko comes face to face with his own artistic doubts, professional ethics, and the onslaught of Pop Art, dedicated to tearing down everything he stands for. Creation of the murals becomes a meditation on art, fame, money and the intractable mysteries of life and death.
The New York Times observed that RED, “asks you to feel the texture and shape of thoughts as it captures the dynamic relationship between and artist and his creations.” The Guardian of London said the play “makes you want to rush out and renew acquaintance with Rothko's work.” After an acclaimed run in London, RED opened on Broadway in 2010 and received six Tony® Awards, including Best Play for playwright John Logan. Long a writer for the stage, Logan is more widely known as a screenwriter, having penned the 2012 James Bond mega-hit Skyfall and 2011 Martin Scorsese film Hugo, for which he received an Oscar® nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. Logan’s screenwriting has been nominated Academy Awards in 2000, for Best Picture winner Gladiator, and in 2004 for Scorsese’s The Aviator.
RED is directed by Capital Rep’s Producing Artistic Director, Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill. “This is the hottest play in the United States at the moment and we’re thrilled to be able to create this production for our Capital Region audiences,” said Mancinelli-Cahill. “Kevin McGuire’s return as our Rothko together with John Logan’s words and Mark Rothko’s art and passion generate a rare opportunity for a director. I love this play because it reminds us how artists define our world—that art matters.”
The two-man cast is anchored by Kevin McGuire as Mark Rothko. McGuire just completed a run in Donnybrook! at the Irish Repertory Theater in New York, and this past fall played Ernest Hemingway in Matthew Barney's epic film River Of Fundament. He has appeared on Broadway and in National and International tours of Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, The Secret Garden and Jane Eyre. He was Founding Artistic Director of The Theatre Company at Hubbard Hall in Cambridge. RED marks McGuire’s return to Capital Repertory Theater, where he played Don Quixote in the highly successful 2011 production of Man of La Mancha.
Ken, Rothko’s assistant, is played by David Kenner in his Capital Rep debut. He has appeared in Twelfth Night in Shakespeare in the Park, The Prophet Muhammad: A Musical and Help Yourself at Williamstown Theatre Festival, and Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and Pride and Prejudice with Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, among numerous other roles. The production is highlighted by an extended sequence when Rothko and David, as his assistant Ken, join in wordless interplay to dramatically paint an oversized blank canvas. David brings depth of feeling to his Ken that makes RED about so much more than only Rothko and a painting commission, and proves that he is a young actor to watch.
Preview performances for RED are April 19-21, and the official press opening is April 23. Regular performance continue through May 19, Tuesday¬ through Thursday at 7:30PM; Friday and Saturday at 8:00PM; Saturday matinee 3PM, Sunday matinee 2PM. There will be two Wednesday matinees on May 1 and 15 at 2:00PM. Capital Repertory is located on 111 N. Pearl Street in Albany.
Opening night includes a live lobby musical performance by Amy Shake and complimentary post-show champagne and dessert. The “Chef’s Table” performance on April 30 includes pre-show music by Shake and complimentary hors d’oeuvres from The Merry Monk and The Albany Pump Station, free for ticket holders beginning at 6:30PM in the lobby. A “Behind the Scenes presentation with director and Capital Rep’s artistic director Mancinelli-Cahill takes place on Sunday, May 12, at 1 PM. Complimentary continental breakfast for all ticket holders begins at 12:30 in the theatre lobby.
Discussion Night for RED, with the director and actors, will take place after each Wednesday evening performance.
RED is sponsored by Nixon Peabody LLP and Omni Development Company, Inc.
Ticket prices range from $20-$65. Students with valid ID: $16 all shows. For tickets and information, call TICKETS BY PROCTORS, (518) 445-SHOW or online at www.capitalrep.org.
RED FACT SHEET
PRODUCTION: RED by John Logan
WHERE: Capital Repertory Theatre, 111 N. Pearl St., Albany, NY
Previews: April 19–21
Press Opening: April 23
Runs thru: Tuesday-Sunday through May 19
Sat mat: 3PM Sun mat: 2PM
Wed mat: May 1 and 15, 2PM
Kevin McGuire as Mark Rothko
David Kenner as Ken
Director: Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill
Set Designer: Roman Tatarowicz
Lighting Designer: Stephen Quandt
Sound Designer: Steve Stevens
Costume Designer: Thom Heyer
Painting Consultant: Tony Iadicicco
- April 23/Opening Night: curtain 7:30PM, pre-show music by Amy Shake begins at 6:30PM. Post-show complimentary desserts and champagne toast with cast
- April 30/Chef’s Table: Complimentary hors d’oeuvres by The Merry Monk and The Albany Pump Station and pre-show music by Amy Shake in lobby 6:30PM; curtain: 7:30PM
- May 3/First Night: New Paintings, works by Tony Iadicicco, in the lobby.
- May 12/Behind the Scenes: pre-show discussion with artistic director, complimentary continental breakfast. Food service starts 12:30PM, Presentation: 1:00- 1:30PM, curtain: 2PM.
- Discussion Nights: Every Wednesday immediately following the evening performance
TICKETS BY PROCTORS 518•445•SHOW
Online: www.capitalrep.org Prices: $20 - $65 Students with valid ID: $16 all shows
Underground Railroad play graduates from school to Proctors
By Bill Buell
There are thousands of compelling accounts relating to the Underground Railroad in the two to three decades before the Civil War, but few of them can match the drama and suspense found in the stories of Solomon Northup and Charles Nalle.
Northup, who lived much of his life in Saratoga Springs, and Nalle, who made Troy his home after escaping to freedom in 1858, have the kind of life history that, according to Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill and Jill Rafferty-Weinisch, was made for the theater. Ten years ago, the two women put their heads together to come up with “A Friend of a Friend,” and this week, after touring area schools for nine years, their play about the Capital Region’s role in the Underground Railroad will be presented at Proctors’ GE Theatre on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“The story of Solomon Northup is absolutely one of the most compelling I’ve ever read,” said Mancinelli-Cahill, producing artistic director at the Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany. “If it weren’t true, you wouldn’t believe it. Along with the Erie Canal and the women’s suffragette movement, New York has an amazing legacy, and being from the West I never realized how much of that history had to do with the Civil War and the Underground Railroad. These are great stories.”
“A Friend of a Friend” was written for Capital Rep’s education program, which in 2003 was led by Rafferty-Weinisch, now the youth director for Equinox Inc. in Albany.
‘A Friend of a Friend’
WHERE: GE Theatre at Proctors, 432 State St., Schenectady
WHEN: 10 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday
HOW MUCH: $12-$9
MORE INFO: 382-3884, ext. 139, www.proctors.org
A GOOD FIT
“We needed something that could fit into the classroom and one class period, and there aren’t that many 45- to 50-minute plays out there,” said Rafferty-Weinisch. “We also discovered some of our material wasn’t always ideal because it didn’t quite fit the school’s curriculum exactly, so we decided to write our own play. Maggie was quite experienced at adapting material for the stage, and I came at it from the educator’s angle. I understood what schools needed.”
The playwriting team of Mancinelli-Cahill and Rafferty-Weinisch got a big assist from Jennifer Lee, an intern at Capital Rep in 2003. Lee combed the Internet looking for Underground Railroad stories relating to New York’s history and searched the collections of the New York State Archives and the Albany Institute of History & Art.
“We wanted this play to be document-based, and we wanted the words to be words that the people actually said,” said Mancinelli-Cahill. “Our researcher did a lot of great work for us, and we took a lot of material from ‘The Northern Star,’ an abolitionist newspaper printed by Stephen and Harriet Myers, two African-Americans and abolitionists right here in Albany.”
Along with going over Lee’s hard work, Mancinelli-Cahill and Rafferty-Weinisch talked to Paul and Mary Liz Stewart of the Underground Railroad Project of the Capital District.
“Jennifer was a wonderful intern, and we also met with Paul and Mary Liz Stewart, and they put us on the trail of the more interesting stories connected to this area,” said Rafferty-Weinisch. “They told us of the stories that are important to tell, and that’s what the theater is all about. The more we looked into the stories the more compelling they became.”
Much of “A Friend of a Friend” centers on the story of Northup, a free-born black man from Saratoga Springs who was kidnapped into slavery in 1841 while on a trip to Washington, D.C. Northup was taken to Louisiana and held in bondage for 12 years before finally being freed with the help of New York state and a law passed in 1840 designed to return free blacks who had been abducted into slavery.
When Northup returned to the area in 1853, he wrote a book, “Twelve Years a Slave,” and spent much of his time lecturing in support of the abolitionist cause while also working on the Underground Railroad. His later years are a bit of a mystery, and historians are uncertain of just when Northup died, suggesting it was sometime between 1864 and 1875.
ESCAPE TO TROY
Nalle, meanwhile, was born a slave in 1821 in Stevensburg, Va., and escaped north to Troy in 1858. Hired on by wealthy Troy resident Uri Gilbert as a coachman, Nalle seemed safe and secure in his new life before Blucher Hansbrough, his slave master and also his half-brother, hired a slave catcher with the intent of tracking down Nalle and taking him back to Virginia. On April 27, 1860, while on an errand for Mrs. Gilbert, Nalle was arrested by the slave catcher with the aid of a federal deputy marshal, and taken away in handcuffs to the Troy jail at First and State streets.
Nalle, however, had plenty of friends, black and white, and included in that group was famous abolitionist Harriet Tubman, who just happened to be visiting relatives in Troy. With a large crowd waiting outside the jail to help, Tubman disguised herself as an old woman looking to comfort Nalle with prayer, and got entrance into the jail. As Nalle was being moved from the building, Tubman sprang into action as did the crowd outside, and the prisoner was whisked away by his supporters to the nearby Hudson River where a boat was waiting for him. Officials were waiting for Nalle on the other side of the river in South Troy and arrested him, but once again Tubman and a large crowd came to his support and Nalle escaped, this time to Niskayuna. His friends eventually raised enough money to give Nalle his freedom and he returned to Troy.
PLAYS FOR KIDS
The shows are directed at students in grades 4-8, and Mancinelli-Cahill is hoping to come up with a few more original productions based on New York history.
“Our goal, our commitment, is to provide quality productions based on the New York school curriculum,” she said. “We want to tour throughout the entire Erie Canal corridor, and we’re going to add to our repertory by commissioning a few new plays.”
Capital Rep partners with Proctors to produce the plays, and previous original productions include “Petticoats of Steel,” about the women’s suffragette movement, and “The Remarkable and Perplexing Case of Henry H,” about the discovery of New York and the Hudson River.
Originally, Capital Rep invited schools to attend a production at its theater on South Pearl Street in Albany. That still happens, but now the Capital Rep education program takes its shows on the road.
“This show will be in 20 different locations, and Proctors will be one of them,” said Mancinelli-Cahill. “With schools going through budget crises these days, it’s not also easy for them to bus their students to Albany. So that’s why we’ve been taking the show on the road, and we’re also very excited to be putting on two productions at Proctors in the beautiful GE Theatre.”
There are three actors making up the cast of “A Friend of a Friend.” They are Kevin Craig West, Bianca Stinney and Cornelius Geaney. Terry Rabine of the Lake George Dinner Theatre is directing. There will be a 15-minute preshow discussion of the play, as well as a postshow discussion.
“The nine person cast brings this fun-filled show to life and Cap Rep is the perfect place to premier it”
“Farah Alvin as Harriet the Hygenist (who becomes the Single Girl), is amazing. If you don’t fall in love with her character with the heavy Rhode Island accent, then you’re not seeing the correct show. Get your things, get up quietly, leave, and get to Cap Rep to see her.”
“Susan Mosher as Doris Simkins, the mature-yet sassy secretary, is a real scene stealer. Her characters in the smoking hygiene movies will have you laughing until your side hurts.”
“Go see Single Girls Guide at Cap Rep before its run ends on March 30, the price of a ticket to see it a Cap Rep in the front row is cheaper than the back row of any Broadway theatre and Single Girls Guide has the chops to make it there!”
Blog Albanycvb.blogspot, Will
The Single Girl’s Got It!
Read more: http://albanycvb.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-single-girls-got-it.html