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Home Free, also known as the Home Free Vocal Band, is a country-tinged a cappella group formed in 2000 in Mankato, Minnesota, when its members were still in their teens.

Sep 26

Sep 26

Doors open at 7:00 pm Starts at 8:00 pm All ages

Price: $25-$100

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When country a cappella band Home Free was crowned Season 4 Champions of NBC's The Sing-Off this past December, their victory was by no means the beginnings of a career for the five country stars from Minnesota… rather it was a satisfying culmination of nearly a decade of hard work and commitment to a vocal craft growing in popularity.

Founded by brothers Chris and Adam Rupp during their college years in the early 2000s, Home Free had been perfecting their live show for years prior to The Sing-Off--performing together for crowds in countless State and County Fairs, on college campuses, in Fortune 500 companies, and in theaters all across the country. It was their experience on the road that carried them to a Sing-Off victory, swelling their fan base and bringing their homegrown country style into a national spotlight.

Home Free continues to entertain audiences with their high-energy show peppered with quick-witted humor that meshes Nashville standards with pop hits dipped in country flavor. This spring they continue their journey as they take part in the 32-city, 36-show Sing-Off Tour Live! on the heels of their Columbia Records debut release, Crazy Life, in stores now.

“At the top of her game…” (San Francisco Chronicle) “Never been funnier…” (Boston Globe) “Insightful, thought-provoking humor… (Chicago Tribune)

Oct 3

Oct 3

Doors open at 7:00 pm Starts at 8:00 pm All ages

Price: $25-$35

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“At the top of her game…” (San Francisco Chronicle)


“Never been funnier…” (Boston Globe)


"Insightful, thought-provoking humor… (Chicago Tribune)


32 years ago Paula Poundstone climbed on a Greyhound bus and traveled across the country -- stopping in at open mic nights at comedy clubs as she went. A high school drop-out, she went on to become one of the great humorists of our time. You can hear her through your laughter as a regular panelist on NPR’s popular rascal of a weekly news quiz show, Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me. She tours regularly, performing standup comedy across the country, causing Bob Zany with the Boston Globe to write: “Poundstone can regale an audience for several hours with her distinctive brand of wry, intelligent and witty comedy.” Audience members may put it a little less elegantly: “I peed my pants.” While there is no doubt that Poundstone is funny, the thing that separates her from the pack of comics working today and that has made her a legend among comics and audiences alike is her ability to be spontaneous with a crowd. Poundstone says: “No two shows I do are the same. It's not that I don't repeat material. I do. My shows, when they're good, and I like to think they often are, are like a cocktail party. When you first get there, you talk about how badly you got lost and how hard it was to find parking. Then you tell a story about your kids or what you just saw on the news. You meet some new people and ask them about themselves. Then, someone says, "Tell that story you used to tell," and then someone on the other side of the room spills a drink, and you mock them. No one ever applauds me when I leave a party, though. I think they high five.” Paula's interchanges with the audience are never mean or done at a person’s expense. She even manages to handle politics without provoking the pall of disapproval less artful comics have received. Paula’s touring schedule is rigorous. She performs an average of 75 dates per year, mostly in Performing Arts Centers and Theatres. For those who don’t have a chance to see her live, they can listen to her brilliance on her CD’s or read her in print: Her newest comedy CD, I HEART JOKES: Paula Tells Them in Boston was recorded during a performance at the historic Wilbur Theatre in the heart of the city and released on April Fool’s Day 2013. It follows her first CD, I HEART JOKES: Paula Tells Them in Maine (November 2007), recorded at the world-famous Stone Mt. Arts Center in none-other than, Maine! Both are available for sale thru Paula’s website at www.paulapoundstone.com, on Amazon, CDbaby, Itunes, and if you are there, at Paula’s shows! Paula is also an accomplished writer. Her first hard cover book, There is Nothing In This Book That I Meant To Say, with a forward by Mary Tyler Moore, was published in 2006 by Harmony Books, a division of Random House. It is still in release on audio (Highbridge) and in paperback. Paula is hard at work on her second book, this one for Algonquin Press. Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me is now the most popular show on NPR, having reached #1 status in 2014. Listeners can test their knowledge against some of the best and brightest in the news and entertainment world while figuring out what's real news and what's made up. Paula quickly goes on record about how much she loves being part of the show saying: “I am a proud member of the endorphin production industry. They allow me to say whatever I want on Wait, Wait…Don't Tell Me. The panelists are unscripted, so it's perfect for me. I feel like I'm a batter in a batting cage. I get lobbed topics. Sometimes I just watch them go by, but every now and then I get a piece of one. If the others didn't cheat, it would be an almost perfect work experience.” The show is also heard internationally on NPR Worldwide and on the Internet via podcast. In May 2013 the show was Cinecast to movie theatres across the country.Paula was on the show, as was Steve Martin. Paula recently did commentary on CBS Sunday Morning. Her editorial pieces can be heard on NPR's All Things Considered. An avid reader, Paula signed on as the National Spokesperson for the American Library Association’s (ALA) United for Libraries in 2008 – a role she continues to this day! United for Libraries is a national citizen’s support group that works to raise funds and awareness for their local libraries. Said Paula, when she was chosen, “It’s funny that we think of libraries as quiet demure places where we are shushed by dusty, bun-balancing, bespectacled women. The truth is libraries are raucous clubhouses for free speech, controversy and community. Librarians have stood up to the Patriot Act, sat down with noisy toddlers and reached out to illiterate adults. Libraries can never be shushed.” As part of her duties, Paula recorded a public service announcement for United for Libraries and helps raise funds. For the last four years she has also been the headline panelist at the ALA’s annual conference for their “Laughs On Us” panel of writers. To quote Sally Reed, the ALA Nat'l Director: "...you'd have to come to one of these events to see how adored Paula is by librarians. We love her and it's never repetitive." Paula's incredible spontaneous humor is the perfect fit for the voracious appetite of the social networks: Follow her on: Twitter@twitter.com/paulapoundstone; Facebook: facebook.com/PaulaPoundstone. And enjoy her website: www.paulapoundstone.com Paula grew up in Sudbury, Massachusetts, and began performing at open-mic nights in 1979. Over the span of her career, she has amassed a list of awards and accolades that stretch the length of a great big tall guy’s arm. She not only shot through the glass ceiling, she never acknowledged it was there. She was never one to stereotype herself as a ‘female comedian’ or limit herself to comedy from a ‘female’ point of view. In the early 90’s she was the first woman to win the cable ACE for Best Standup Comedy Special and the first woman to be invited to perform standup at the prestigious White House Correspondents dinner where she joined the current President as part of the evening’s entertainment. Paula starred in a self-titled series for HBO in ’93 (for which she won her second Cable ACE Award for Best Program Interviewer) and moved the show to ABC which was short-lived, but applauded for its break from convention. Paula had her own comedy specials on HBO and BRAVO. In fact, she starred in several comedy specials on HBO, including “Paula Poundstone Goes to Harvard,” the only time the elite university has allowed their name to be used in the title of a television show. If it means anything to anyone, Paula is recognized as one of Comedy Central's 100 greatest stand-ups of all time. She won an American Comedy Award for Best Female Standup Comic, and in 2010 she was one of a select group voted into the Comedy Hall of Fame. Late-night America roared when Paula served as "official correspondent" for The Tonight Show during the 1992 Presidential race. This was followed by her extremely successful backstage commentary during the 1993 Emmy telecast. She has made numerous appearances on all the late night talk shows, including David Letterman, and a regular stint with Craig Ferguson. She has also appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America, and guested several times on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion. In 2000, when a syndicated version of the popular game show To Tell The Truth came calling for Paula to be one of the panelists, she found another perfect showcase for her razor-sharp humor and spontaneous wit. Beginning in 1997, Paula voiced the character of Judge Stone on the acclaimed ABC-TV Saturday morning animated series Science Court (a.k.a. “Squigglevision”) for three years. In 1999 (the premiereseason) she added to her repertoire the voice of the Mom, ‘Paula’ in what is still considered a renownedcult show, Home Movies (UPN and The Cartoon Network). Paula guest starred on the CBS series Cybill, which led to a recurring role during the show’s final season, and also appeared on PBS favorites such as Sesame Street and Storytime. She won a local Emmy Award for her field pieces on the erudite “Life & Times” for PBS station KCET. She appeared on several network television specials including A Salute to The President from Fords Theatre on ABC when President Clinton was in office, and performed on every Comic Relief Special on HBO. These specials were heralded for the hundreds of thousands of dollars raised for the homeless and the lineup of stars. Paula has also enjoyed success as a Host of many events, including the Art Directors Guild Awards, an unprecedented 4 times, Logically Paula is almost always included in any compendium – be it film, television or print, noting comedic influences of the 20th/21st century. They include Why We Laugh Too: Women of Comedy (Lions Gate feature-length documentary, Showtime, 2013); We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy (Sarah Crichton Books, 2012.) One of Paula’s quotes is even included in a new beautifully illustrated coffee table book on cats alongside quotes by notable authors and artists including W. H. Auden, Mark Twain, and Henry David Thoreau (Chronicle Books, 2015). Paula’s other writing credits include the back page column for Mother Jones from 1995-1998, the “Sunday Calendar” section for the Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly, and Glamour magazine. In 2006 Paula authored a series of three math books with her high school Math teacher, Faye Ruopp: The Sticky Problem of Parallelogram Pancakes: And Other Skill-Building Math Activities, Grades 4-5; Venn Can We Be Friends?: And Other Skill-Building Math Activities, Grades 6-7; You Can't Keep Slope Down: And Other Skill-Building Math Activities, Grades 8-9. These are all available thru Amazon. Paula has three children, Toshia, Allison, and Thomas E. Poundstone. The family lives in Santa Monica, California.

Mark Nizer is one of the greatest entertainment comedians and jugglers performing today. His wild exploits have landed him on MTV, HBO’s Just for Laughs, Arsenio Hall, Bob Hope and Other Young Comedians, Comic Strip Live and LA Law. All ages.

Oct 4

Oct 4

Doors open at 1:00 pm Starts at 2:00 pm All ages

Price: $8-$15

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Don’t miss the combination of original comedy, world class juggling, movement, music and technology that promises a spellbinding evening. Whether juggling laser beams at 1000 rpms, or five ping pong balls being thrown 20 feet in the air using only his mouth; or even juggling a burning propane tank, a running electric carving knife and a 16-pound bowling ball, you’ll discover for yourself that Mark Nizer is truly “the juggler your mother warned you about.” Or if she didn’t, she should have.

Grammy-award winning singer and songwriter. The long-awaited, new studio album American Kid is now available. All ages.

Oct 9

Oct 9

Doors open at 7:00 pm Starts at 8:00 pm All ages

Price: $25-$45

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Singer/songwriter from Maine, renowned for her poignant and melodic folk-tinged tunes, including songs that have been covered by many pop artists. Show starts at 8pm. All ages. 

In the classic tradition, The Machine explores collective improvisation paralleling and even rivaling that of an early 1970’s Pink Floyd mentality. All Ages.

Oct 10

Oct 10

Doors open at 7:00 pm Starts at 8:00 pm All ages

Price: $25-$35

The work of Scott Bradlee & Postmodern Jukebox has been viewed on the ensemble’s YouTube channel well over a hundred million times. Most of those doing the viewing, however, are not fully aware of the method to Bradlee’s madness.

Nov 8

Nov 8

Doors open at 7:00 pm Starts at 8:00 pm All ages

Price: $25-$35

Event Information

The work of Scott Bradlee & Postmodern Jukebox has been viewed on the ensemble’s YouTube channel well over a hundred million times. Most of those doing the viewing, however, are not fully aware of the method to Bradlee’s madness. On the surface, the method is video – clips of full-band performances (that’s Bradlee on piano) shot in the bandleader’s living room with a single stationary camera. The madness: pop hits of the present performed à la pop hits of the past. Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” assayed as a doo- wop number; Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop” tricked out in flapper jazz; Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” rendered a 1940s big-band standard. In fact, Bradlee’s method runs deeper. He’s educating his audience about 20th-century song styles; he’s commenting on the elasticity of the pop form; he’s confounding cultural context; he’s uniting generations; he’s breaking the rules. He’s manifesting postmodernist ideas in his approach to production and business as well as music. But as far as the fans are concerned, it’s just fun (and sometimes funny). Bradlee himself will tell you, simply, “I reimagine a song in another style because I want to hear it that way.” Clearly, so does everyone else, as evidenced by PMJ’s presence on concert stages (stateside and abroad) and Billboard’s Jazz Albums chart, where its self-released 2014 opus “Historical Misappropriation” landed in the Top 10 alongside John Coltrane’s “Offering: Live at Temple University” and “All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller.” This proximity of Bradlee’s outfit to Waller is particularly fitting; the former, a self-taught jazz pianist, considers the latter, an innovator of the Harlem stride style who helped lay the groundwork for modern jazz piano, a key influence, as is Jellyroll Morton, James P. Johnson and Art Tatum. Which isn’t to discount the importance to Bradlee’s development of Michael Jackson’s “Bad,” the vinyl incarnation of which was, he says, “the first album I ever loved.” That was when he was six, growing up in Pattenburg, New Jersey, where he moved at four from Nesconset, New York. He took piano lessons, but they didn’t take. Then, at age 12, Bradlee heard “Rhapsody in Blue” and was forever changed. “I got the sheet music and taught myself how to play it,” he recalls. “I started wondering, ‘Where does this come from? What else sounds like this?’” Asked what appealed to him about the popular music of the 1920s, ragtime especially, he says, “I could play it fast and loud. It was brash. And it had contempt for rules, which really appealed to me.” Bradlee began his career as a jazz pianist during high school with a standing gig at a local eatery; he began his career as a pop-cultural provocateur during high school with a “this might be cool” ragtime medley of classic rock songs. “Not much has changed,” he says of the lyrical content of pop music. “In the 1920s, in the ’60s and ’70s, today – it’s still about love and drinking and dancing.” He pursued Jazz Studies at the University of Hartford, then moved to New York to become a starving artist. He booked gigs, but as he puts it, “Jazz pianists are a dime a dozen in New York City.” So he moved to Astoria to save on rent and, in 2009, started making videos. “There was this niche on YouTube where people were doing experimental, interesting, funny things with music,” he notes. “It was another way to reach an audience.” Bradlee’s first video was straight-up jazz. He didn’t have much footage of himself, however, so he decided to try a video experiment of his own: a ragtime medley of ’80s pop. He managed to amass 100 views. But through one of those viewers, Neil Gaiman discovered him. The author tweeted Bradlee’s flying fingers to his millions-strong Twitter following. Within a week, Bradlee reports, “more people had seen that video than had seen me play live my entire life.” Things went viral from there, affording Bradlee and the coalescing Postmodern Jukebox a receptive online crowd. Among Scott Bradlee & Postmodern Jukebox’s subsequent hits are a New Orleans-flavored take on Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child o’ Mine” – 4+ million views; the “grandpa-style” reiteration of “Thrift Shop” – 6+ million views; and “We Can’t Stop” – 11.6 million views. Media coverage, including the likes of “Good Morning America” and NPR, ensued. How does he come up with this stuff? “A lot of pop songs are constructed of elements that lend themselves to a certain feel,” he points out. “The simple progression of the bass line in ‘Blurred Lines,’ for instance, reminded me of bluegrass. ‘Sweet Child’ sounds like an old blues song – the structure, the way the chorus repeats ...” With Cyrus, it was more an instance of tongue-in- cheeky cultural criticism: “She’d gained all that notoriety from her 2013 VMA appearance. I had to recast her song for the ’50s, which everyone thinks of as this squeaky-clean era.” Then there were the gifts from the pop-music gods, like Meghan Trainor’s #1 hit “All About That Bass.” Bradlee knew a musiciansinger named Kate Davis. “I’d wanted to do something with Kate for a while,” he reveals, “but I was waiting for the right song to come along.” Check the PMJ video for “All About That Bass” and you’ll find Davis singing – and playing stand-up bass. If you do click there, you’ll be in good company: 10 million views and counting. The mashup of Davis and Trainor is some good old-fashioned A&R. The repertoire Bradlee selects for PMJ’s vocal artists has furnished a platform for some very talented but previously littleknown performers. And it’s not just the eyeballs afforded by YouTube; Bradlee provides an intuitive musical context for the singular gifts of these singers that allows them to be seen in a new light – it’s as if he’s somehow cracked the code to their essential appeal. Take Puddles. “Last week, a seven-foot clown dropped by my apartment to sing an epic cover of Lorde’s ‘Royals.’ NBD,” Bradlee blogged in November of 2013. Puddles the Clown (née Michael Geier), frontman for Puddles Pity Party, is possessed of a dramatic baritone that has thrilled cabaret-goers for years – but it wasn’t until Bradlee asked Puddles to cover “Royals” in his signature style that he clicked with a mainstream audience. The reinterpretation of Lorde’s chart-topper, just one of Puddles’ collaborations with PMJ, has been viewed more than nine million times. Discovering talent and knowing what to do with it is fundamental to the business of music. Bradlee is something of a postmodernist here, too, having achieved renown doing everything himself, mostly online, “with no budget” (i.e. using the recording equipment he’d had since college). His adherence to the DIY ethos also suggests the decidedly postmodern form of punk rock. “I was a struggling jazz pianist sitting in my basement apartment in Queens,” he attests, “but I just figured it out and made it happen.” That said, punk rock is likely not top of mind for those attending a Scott Bradlee & Postmodern Jukebox show. The scene is more reminiscent of a speakeasy, with swells in vintage threads swilling Prohibition-era cocktails. “It’s a variety show, a musical revue featuring special guests,” Bradlee illuminates. “Coming to a PMJ show is like time-traveling back to Old Hollywood – it’s an experience.” Creating that for audiences appears to be PMJ’s ultimate mission.

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State Theatre of Ithaca Inc. is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization that owns and operates Tompkins County’s last remaining historic theatre. Our mission is to enhance the cultural life of Ithaca and the Finger Lakes by preserving, operating and promoting the historic State Theatre as an active venue for national, international and community performances and programming.

107 West State Street
(607) 277-8283
Ithaca, NY 14850

Summer Box Office Hours Starting June 8th: Tues-Fri 10am-5pm.

The Box Office will be CLOSED this July for Renovations. Extended summer hours will continue August 1st. On show days the Box Office will be open 2 hours before advertised door time in addition to our normal hours.