WXXI AM News

Coming Up On Connections: Friday, July 22nd

Jul 22, 2016

Credit Credit Westlake Reed Leskosky

First hour: Does Rochester need a new downtown performing arts center?

Second hour: A history of Frankenstein narratives

Does Rochester need a new downtown performing arts center? It's a question that has been explored by local arts organizations and city government for 22 years. On Monday, the City of Rochester released the results of a feasibility study that recommends building a 2,850-seat performing arts center at Midtown. The study says the project would cost more than $75 million and would not require public subsidy. Is it time to pursue the project? The Rochester Broadway Theatre League is in favor of a new center, saying a larger theater is necessary for Rochester to remain competitive in attracting hit Broadway shows like Hamilton. But representatives of local theaters say a large downtown center would not help existing arts groups and venues. Mayor Lovely Warren has been pushing for a performing arts center and has extended the deadline for proposals. We'll discuss a number of questions surrounding the project, including who would pay for a new center, who would own it, and what type of facility the city needs...if it needs one at all. Our guests:

  • Arnie Rothschild, chairman of the Rochester Broadway Theatre League
  • Ralph Meranto, artistic director of the JCC CenterStage
  • Jeff Siuda, co-owner of Out of Pocket Productions

In our second hour: "It's alive! It's alive! It's ALIVE!" That iconic moment in which Dr. Frankenstein celebrates his monster's first movements has been seen on stage, on screen, and in pop culture for decades. Countless Frankenstein narratives exist, and their inspiration can all be traced back to Mary Shelley's 1818 novel. While the story of Frankenstein may be well known, readers and viewers may not be familiar with the history surrounding the novel and the narratives. A new book, Monstrous Progeny, explores that history and the evolution and adaptation of the novel's figures and themes. We'll discuss versions of the narrative across genres (including more recent films like Young Frankenstein and The Rocky Horror Picture Show), and we'll talk about the narratives' take on ethics, science, religion, and more. This discussion previews an upcoming event and film screening at the George Eastman Museum. Our guests:

  • Lester D. Friedman, professor and former chair of the Media and Society Program at Hobart and William Smith College, and co-author of Monstrous Progeny
  • Allison B. Kavey, associate professor of early modern history at CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City, and co-author of Monstrous Progeny