About Duncan

References & Testimonials

March 4, 2017


Filed under: Business,Events,Features,News,Troy NY — duncan @ 7:01 pm

For Immediate Release

Contact: Duncan Crary, (518) 274-2723

Troy Tub-Thumper Teaches The Art of Small City PR & Spectacle

Author, PR Pro Leads 2-day Course Geared Toward Community Builders & Small Business

MANHATTAN (02/27/17) — A PR professional who helped put a small Hudson River city back on the map is teaching a two-day course at FlowerSchool New York on “The Art of Small City PR & Making Spectacle,” geared toward small business owners, small city advocates and community stakeholders.

“Not long ago, the small American city where I live, Troy, N.Y., had a not-so-nice nickname: ‘The Troylet.’ The place had a PR problem. It had a lot of problems, but bad PR was holding us back,” said Duncan Crary, a media consultant and personality. “Now the place is hopping, and even the ‘New York City People’ are trying to get in on the action.”

Duncan Crary. Photo by Brendan KennedyDuring the past decade, Crary has worked to recast his upstate city in a positive light through scores of media stories appearing in big and small outlets, including NBC News, The New York Times and The New York Daily News. Politico‘s Jimmy Vielkind called him a “publicity artist,” while Joanne Kaufmann of The Wall Street Journal dubbed him “a gregarious public-relations consultant” and “Troy tub-thumper.” His commentary on urbanism has earned the praise of Freaknonomics‘ Stephen Dubner and The Columbia Journalism Review. Closer to home, The Albany Business Review pronounced him “Troy’s Other Mayor,” while Paul Grondahl, Albany’s preeminent reporter, described Crary as a “ginger-haired impresario, who has brought all manner of merriment and boosterish shenanigans to the Collar City.

Now the seasoned media mirth-maker is sharing his process in a seminar-style class this March 30 & 31 that aims to help students combine 21st century social technology with old fashioned marketing techniques to revitalize their community. The targeted audience includes small business owners, Business Improvement Districts (BID), Chamber of Commerce employees, economic development professionals, developers and other stakeholders.

Crary said the takeaway from this course is not limited to those who live, work or play in small cities, however, because even within larger, prosperous places there are underutilized neighborhoods, districts or blocks in need of genuine cheerleading. Most of the strategies and tools he will share will benefit any small business, as well, to help distinguish themselves from their corporate chain competitors.

TroyBot Press Conference. Photo by Erin PihlajaCrary will include case studies from real life, such as the “Mall-ternative” campaign he helped craft with the Downtown Troy Business Improvement District to inspire thousands of holiday shoppers, year after year, to choose the urban boutiques and streets of Troy over the enclosed shopping malls and parking lots of suburbia. He will explain, with great enthusiasm, many of the spectacles he has orchestrated over the years to charm reporters and their readers alike, resulting in memorable stories shared through mainstream and social media.

“The most successful press events I’ve organized are low-budget, endearing spectacles that feel like Middle School theater productions put on by adults in the street,” Crary said. “These are simple displays that communicate a message that stays with you: ‘This place has heart,’ or ‘This business is so creative’ or ‘That’s hilarious, I want to go see that.’”


Good PR, authentic PR, is an art, not a science, Crary said, but there are many tools and easy-to-learn formulas to turn anyone into a competent communications pro.  During the course, Crary will teach students the ability to mentally “paginate” and frame events before they happen by reverse engineering great media coverage.

New York Daily News“Great story telling has always been about good pictures and good words,” Crary said. “Twitter, Instagram, Facebook…. they haven’t changed the fundamentals of communication. When everyone has moved on to the next thing in social media, effective communication will still be about good pictures and good words.”

In spite of what many of his professional peers claim, Crary will make the case that the press release is not dead, and, in fact, reports of its death were greatly exaggerated. And contrary to popular belief (tl;dr), modern humans are capable of paying attention to content that is longer than 140 characters or 3 seconds of film.


Whether the objective is to attract tourists, or developers, residents or customers, Crary said people are either motivated by necessity or rewards, but not punishment.

“If they have a choice, no one is going to patronize your store — or move to your busted up city — because you badger them about their obligation to do so,” Crary said. “If you reward them, they will come. If you provide a positive experience, they’ll be back.”


Eat Crow PartyPart of what has made the Troy, N.Y. “Renaissance” so exciting is the willingness of the shopkeepers, the denizens, the institutions and the politicians to work and play together to positive ends, Crary said.

“Lately, downtown Troy feels like one big party that everyone is invited to,” Crary said. “It’s important for everyone in the community to be ‘in on it’.”

Some of Crary’s most memorable spectacles have included a full-blown courthouse mock trial to determine who really wrote the famous poem ‘”Twas the Night Before Christmas” (which was published anonymously for the first time ever by the Troy Sentinel newspaper), and an annual festival of red haired people complete with a mayoral proclamation dubbing Troy, N.Y. “Ginger City, USA.”


Crary will also encourage students to mine local history for quirky marketing and event ideas, while illustrating his point with several off-the-wall examples like an “everyone eats crow party” and a history pub crawl dedicated to “Bad Boys, Broads & Bootleggers.


“The Art of Small City PR & Making Spectacle” will be held at FlowerSchool New York, located at 213 West 14th Street, New York, on March 30 & 31, from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days. The cost is $550. To register online, visit:


For high resolution photos of Duncan Crary, visit the following dropbox link:


Troy's Other Mayor. Albany Business Review

In 2009, Duncan Crary founded a self-titled boutique public relations firm, Duncan Crary Communications, that strives to make big news for small entrepreneurs. He is best-known as the host of The KunstlerCast, a weekly podcast featuring best-selling author and urban commentator James Howard Kunstler (“The Geography of Nowhere,” “The Long Emergency” and “World Made By Hand”). After more than 250 episodes of that program, Crary authored the book  “The KunstlerCast: Conversations with James Howard Kunstler… the tragic comedy of suburban sprawl,” (New Society Publishers, 2011). His website is


Located in the heart of New York City, FlowerSchool New York is the leader in floral design instruction and is the most prestigious school to begin your education and exploration of contemporary floral design. FlowerSchool New York is dedicated to celebrating great floral design and designers.

FlowerSchool NY is expanding its course offerings to small business training with an aim to to support recent graduates in their endeavors as floral entrepreneurs as well as other local small businesses. FlowerSchool New York is licensed by Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision (BPSS), overseen by New York State Board of Education.

For information, call (212) 661-8074, email or visit:


Duncan Crary, (518) 274-2723


May 23, 2016


Filed under: Business,Events,Features,News,Troy NY — duncan @ 2:48 pm

For Immediate Release

Contact: Aaron

Montreal-Trained Circus Headquarters in Troy, NY – Touring Region
Marquise Productions Gives 10 Performances Starting June 10

TROY (5/23/16) — A Montreal-trained circus artist has established the region’s only professional touring contemporary circus company, headquartered in Troy, N.Y.

“Troy has an excitement and a synergy unlike anywhere else in upstate New York,” said Executive Artistic Director Aaron M. Marquise, 24, of Marquise Productions. “We have already demonstrated that there is audience support here for this style of entertainment.”

Marquise wowed hundreds of audience members last winter with his original circus production, “Running,” staring an international cast and performed in South Troy’s awesome gasholder building without heat during painfully frigid temperatures.

Now Marquise, a professionally trained clown and graduate of The National Circus School in Montreal, returns to the gasholder in warmer weather with another original contemporary circus production titled, YOL.

“This is not the circus I think most American audiences are used to. They’ve most likely seen ‘Ringling Bros.’ big top circus. Some might have even seen ‘Cirque du Soleil,’” Marquise said. “But I want to bring the audience in a different direction and push boundaries, or at least the preconceived definition of circus here in the states. So far that goal has been well received.”

The company does not use animals but puts the focus on the incredible capabilities of the human body demonstrated through acrobatics, juggling, and more. The venues, too, are smaller and more intimate than the typical American arena productions where large-scale circus normally occurs.

“There is a well-established history and culture for this style of circus in Europe that isn’t as strong here in the states,” Marquise said. “But the timing couldn’t be better to start a contemporary circus company in Troy. At the same time that this small city is having a renaissance, small contemporary circus is undergoing a renaissance of its own all across the U.S.”


The title of the Marquise’s latest production is YOL, which means “road” or “way” in Turkish. YOL is a mixture of circus and theater that tells the story of one girl on a mystical journey through the afterlife, exploring a path formed by her own curiosity and imagination.

“YOL is about this idea of The Journey or the road we’re going to take in the afterlife,” Marquise said. “This is not a linear story, from A to B, but rather a series of tableaux and images that audiences will walk away from with their own understanding of what they think they saw. I am drawing some inspiration from the beautiful imagery in ‘What Dreams May Come,’ where the afterworld was connected to this life through a painting.”

The seven-member cast of YOL features artists from Quebec, New York City and the Capital Region specializing in music, dance, handstands, juggling, unicycling and acting.

Niskayuna native Shayna Golub stars as the main character in YOL. The 22-year-old dancer graduated from Muhlenberg College, in Allentown, Penn., this morning and immediately headed to Troy to begin rehearsals later today.

“I’m a ballerina who is never going to be a ballerina, but the technique has served me well by helping me with all of the other different styles of dance I’ve trained in,” said Golub who went to school to major in dance. “While at school I discovered aerial acrobatics and said ‘Hey this is really cool.’ Then my friend decided to start a circus and I started to think this is something I’d like to do for the rest of my life!”

This autumn, Golub will continue her education at NECCA, the New England Center for Circus Arts in Brattleboro, Vt. She says her parents are cautiously supportive of her career choice.

“They get a little nervous when they see me doing these dangerous looking things 30 feet up in the air,” Golub said. “But the more they see my performances the more familiar and comfortable they become with it. It’s not as scary as it seems.”

Golub’s performance in YOL will be dance only without aerial work.

The show also features Kristoph DiMaria, a musical clown with local roots. Two years ago, after hitchhiking across the country, DiMaria moved back to Troy, where he was born, and discovered himself as “Ragliacci.” Since then he has collaborated on as many creative efforts as he can in the city. In addition to clowning, he will be composing original music and orchestrating intriguing sounds from across the world for YOL.

“I’m really glad this is happening in Troy and that Aaron is drawing talent from around the world to work with homegrown artists here,” DiMaria said.

“There are now dozens of French circus artists who know of the City of Troy,” Marquise said, amused. “It’s crazy.”

In addition to four performances at the Troy Gas Light Company Gasholder, the circus company will bring the show to the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs, The Round Lake Auditorium in Round Lake, PS 21 in Chatham, and the GE Theater in Proctors in Schenectady.

Marquise said the show will run somewhere between 75 and 90 minutes. The cast will be crafting and fine tuning the scenes starting today as they begin rehearsal and a three-week residency at PS21: Performance Spaces for the 21st Century in Chatham, N.Y.

This unique show will be stimulating and satisfying for all ages, Marquise said.



Troy Gas Light Company gasholder*
1115 5th Avenue, Troy N.Y.
June 10 – 7:30 p.m.
June 11 – 3 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
June 12 – 4 p.m. (after Flag Day Parade)

Saratoga Dance Museum*
99 S Broadway, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
June 17 – 7:30 p.m.

Round Lake Auditorium*
2 Wesley Ave., Round Lake, N.Y.
June 18th – 7:30 p.m.

* Tickets: Adult $20; Students & Seniors $15; Kids Under Age 12 – $10; Age 5 & younger are free on lap of adult
Purchase at the door or online at:

PS21: Performance Spaces for the 21st Century
2980 NY-66, Chatham, N.Y.
June 25– 7:30 p.m.
For ticket information, visit:

GE Theater in Proctors
432 State St, Schenectady, N.Y.
July 1 & 2 – 7:30 p.m.
Ticket info TBA at


Marquise is finishing an eight-week SEED (Small Enterprise Economic Development) program at University at Albany Small Business Development Center. The program is designed to give new business owners the skills and resources to secure funding and manage a successful company.


For information and tickets, visit:

On facebook:


To download a YOL poster and high resolution publicity images of Marquise’s previous circus productions in the gasholder, visit the following dropbox link (use Photo credit upon publication):


Aaron Marquise was born and raised in Round Lake, N.Y. He spent his senior year of high school as an intern at the former New York State Theater Institute in Troy, N.Y. He studied musical theater with a minor in playwriting at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City but he dropped out to enroll as a clown major at the prestigious National Circus School in Montreal, Canada. He graduated there in June 2015. Since joining the Circus world Aaron has performed in Quebec, France, and most recently in Switzerland where he performed with the acclaimed Circus Monti during a six-month tour.


The first venue on the Capital Region tour of YOL is the Troy Gasholder. Built in 1873, the Troy Gas Light Company Gasholder building is one of only a handful of such structures remaining in the U.S. The imposing circular brick building once housed a telescoping iron storage tank for coal gas. The tank has been removed, creating a cavernous space and dirt floor beneath the tin roof. The result, Marquise said, is that the building now resembles something very much like the circus buildings he observed while performing in France.

“When I saw that building my jaw dropped and said ‘I have to see inside,’” Marquise said. “When I saw inside, it confirmed my belief that it is a circus building. It continues to inspire me.”

Though it never actually was a circus building, the gasholder was owned and used for storage by the “OC Buck Shows,” a mid-century traveling circus in the region. A sign for the OC Buck Shows hangs above the office of Bill Sage, whose Sage Brothers Painting Company purchased the gasholder from OC Buck in 1969 and uses it to store lifts and other equipment.

“We do the best we can to keep up this building. We know it’s one-of-a-kind,” Sage said. “Most everybody who walks in there says ‘wow,’ ‘awesome’… words to that effect. I’m still impressed by it.”

Over the past 45 years, the company has allowed the space to be used for special dance and music performances as a way to give back to the community. Sage’s son Kevin Sage is helping Marquise with the logistics of setting up the space, rigging, etc. and plays a big part behind the scenes.

“Everybody should take the opportunity to see and experience this building,” said Michael Barrett, executive director of the Mohawk Hudson Industrial Gateway. “This type of building is becoming endangered in America, and Troy is very lucky to have one in good condition.”

Contact: Aaron Marquise,

March 9, 2015


Filed under: Business,Features,News,Troy NY — duncan @ 10:59 pm

Contact: Avner Ben-Natan

Spectacular Troy-Made Lamps Take Kickstarter By Storm

Patented “Iris” Design Inspired by Vegetable Steamers

TROY, N.Y. (03/05/15) — A Troy lighting company has raised more than $32,000 so far through Kickstarter to expand its production of unique lamps.

Handmade by Troy-based Lightexture, the “Iris” lamp has two apertures of overlapping metal leaves that can be adjusted to control the amount of light and reflections it casts. The patented design draws inspiration from a stainless steel vegetable steamer.

“At first, we used actual vegetable steamers in our Steam Light series line of lamps,” said Avner Ben Natan, who co-owns Lightexture with his partner Yael Erel. “After years of studying steamers, we developed the Iris shade using 30 stamped metal leaves that are assembled by hand in our Troy studio.”

As one aperture on the Iris lamp opens, the other closes. When the lower aperture is fully open, light shines directly down, casting textured golden light onto the surface below. When the upper aperture is open, patterned light shines upward and bounces off the ceiling to fill the space with a warm, indirect light. The transition between these two provides a variety of reflections and light atmospheres. The Iris lamps give the user the ability to charge the light and create the atmosphere in the room.

Ben-Natan and Erel have developed prototypes of four Iris lamp styles, available in brass or stainless steel: a floor lamp; a desk lamp, a small pendant; and a large pendant. Now the couple is seeking online funders to help take their production to the next level.

From now until March 23, these lamps can be pre-ordered online for a special discounted price through Kickstarter. After the campaign ends, the prices for these incredible lamps will rise 40 to 50 percent.

When fund seekers create Kickstarter campaign, they are required to set a financial goal and deadline. Pledges are only collected if the campaign reaches its goal before the deadline.

In less than two days, the Iris lamp campaign met its $12,000 goal, meaning that all pledges will be collected later this month. Yet supporters can still take advantage of the discounted prices for the next 17 days by visiting and searching for “Iris Lamps.” (Direct link: )

There you can also see photos of the lamps and watch video demonstration of how they work.

The Iris Lamp campaign has been selected as a “Kickstarter Staff Pick.”

“We were very moved by the support this project has been getting,” said Erel. “We never imagined we would reach our goal in only 31 hours.”


Ben-Natan and Erel are an architect and a lighting designer couple that started collaborating by making a lamp out of a vegetable steamer and loved it so much, they founded Lightexture in 2008. Ceramic artist Sharan Elran later joined the company. Lightexture is located at 2501 Fifteenth St. in Troy.

Erel is a licensed architect in New York and registered architect in Israel. She graduated with honors from The Cooper Union School of Architecture in Manhattan. She earned her masters in architecture with an Emphasis on lighting from RPI, and has taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, The Cooper Union, Columbia University and Pratt Institute. She is currently teaching at Rensselaer School of Architecture, where she received the 2015 Brown Travel Fellowship for her research project “Constructing Reflections.”

Ben-Natan has been working with light as material since the early 90′s in his work as a lighting designer in films and television. After he moved to New York, he began to extend the work with light into the design of light fixtures and environments for art and dance installations, residential and commercial projects. He earned a bachelors degree in Sociology and Anthropology from Tel Aviv University.


For information about Lightexture, visit: or call (518) 274-0214.


Later this month, four Lightexture lamps and objects that project “light drawings” will appear in a group exhibition titled “Lit” at the Albany International Airport. The artistic installations are the product of Erel’s graduate research in architecture and light at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Architecture School. The show opens to the public on March 28 with a grand opening on April 10.

More information about Erel’s graduate project “Subliminal Transcriptions,” and a video, visit:


For high resolution images of the Iris lamps, Avner and Yael, visit the following Dropbox link:


Avner Ben-Natan



Filed under: Business,Features,News — duncan @ 10:45 pm

For Immediate Release

Contact: Alana Sparrow

Orvis Stocks Locally-Made Line of Soap for Dogs & People

Alana Sparrow’s Junie B Love Expands from Online to Brick & Mortar

COHOES, N.Y. (03/05/15) — Just months after launching an online store, Cohoes-based Junie B Love is breaking into the brick and mortar retail space with its “Dirty Dog Soap” and “Mountain Dog Soap.”

Dirty Dog Soap by Junie B LoveThe line of all-natural goat milk soaps, for both dogs and people, is custom made in the Rensselaer County Taconic mountains. The soap started appearing on the shelves at the flagship Orvis store in Manchester, Vt. on Feb. 25.

“This is exciting, to be expanding into physical brick and mortar retail,” said Alana Sparrow, owner of Junie B Love. “We are starting with the Manchester store. Then, as our company grows, we plan to expand into other Orvis stores that carry dog products.”

The soaps contain 100 percent raw liquid goat milk and use only essential oils and natural ingredients. There are no added colors, perfumes or fragrances.

As the owner of a Welsh Terrier, named Junebug, Sparrow wanted to create a soap that would be gentle on her dog’s sensitive skin as well as her own. But the special formula has other benefits for both dog and human as well.

Dirty Dog Soap by Junie B Love“Natural soap lathers very well, but it also rinses in about half the time as regular dog shampoo,” Sparrow said. “Dogs love water and swimming, but I don’t think they particularly like the shower spray because they’re not in control. A quicker shower time creates a more pleasant bathing experience for dogs and those who wash them.”

The gentle soap is also ph balanced for sensitive human skin and a bar typically lasts longer than regular soap, she said.

In addition to the Manchester Orvis store, the soap is available for purchase online now at:


Dirty Dog Soap by Junie B LoveEstablished this winter, Junie B Love is an online marketplace, headquartered in Cohoes, N.Y., that features handmade, organic and recycled items for dogs and those who love them. (The name Junie B Love is an homage Sparrow’s dog, Junebug.)

All of the items for sale are repurposed and/or handcrafted in order to reduce post-consumer waste, advance reuse and provide a sustainable livelihood for artisans around the world. More than 300 items include: fashionable doggie scarves, leashes, collars, beds, jewelry and natural deer antler dog chews. Products are made around the country and in locations including the United Kingdom.

A portion of all sales on Junie B Love benefits the Welsh Terrier Cares Rescue Services, a rescue service for lost Welsh Terriers.

“I like to describe our store as ‘Fine Fido ‘n Fem Freperie,’” Sparrow said. “In celebrating fashion, fun and the frivolous we are also connecting conscientious craft makers with conscientious customers.”


Alana Sparrow & Junebug

Alana Sparrow is a designer, artist and socially minded entrepreneur. She is an avid collector of vintage scarves, and a lover of dogs, with a particular fondness for Welsh Terriers.

Sparrow is also co-owner with her husband of The Foundry for Art Design + Culture a cultural enterprise in New York, that serves to inspire economic opportunities for individuals working in the creative sectors. The Foundry provides professional creative services including branding, print and web design, videography and photography, marketing, curatorial services and art leasing to corporate clients and works with artists and businesses to expand opportunities for creatives in order to fuel the creative economy.


For high resolution publicity images of “Dirty Dog Soap” and “Mountain Dog Soap,” Alana Sparrow and her Welsh Terrier Junebug, and more, visit:


For information visit:


Contact: Alana Sparrow


February 3, 2015


Filed under: Business,Events,Features,News,Troy NY — duncan @ 3:16 pm

For Immediate Release

Contact: Aaron Marquise,

Montreal Circus Enlivens Two Historic Troy Spaces

FAQ Circus Performs Feb. 7 at Frear Atrium, Feb. 20 & 21 at Gasholder Building

TROY/MONTREAL (2/2/15) — A Montreal-based circus group will perform in two magnificent historic spaces in Troy this month.

F.A.Q. Circus. Photo by Renald Laurin
(Photo by RenaldLaurin)

This Saturday, Feb. 7, F.A.Q. Circus will perform three free 20-minute preview shows in the Frear’s Troy Cash Bazaar atrium and three 55-minute ticketed shows on Friday Feb. 20 & Saturday Feb. 21 in the Troy Gas Light Company gasholder.

“Troy has a synergy unlike anywhere else in upstate New York,” said Aaron M. Marquise, 23, artistic director of F.A.Q. “I believe there is audience support in Troy for this style of entertainment.”

Founded in 2012, F.A.Q. Circus is a collective of contemporary circus performers who push the boundaries of what Americans typically think of as a circus. The company does not use animals or feature large bright colored costumes. Instead, their focus is on the incredible capabilities of the human body demonstrated through contortion, gymnastics and juggling. The venues, too, are smaller and more intimate than the typical American arena productions where large-scale circus normally occurs.

“So many other countries throughout the world have an incredibly rich circus culture and respect for the art. The United States is just beginning to discover modern circus,” said Marquise, a finishing student at The National Circus School in Montreal. “We are bringing what we have learned from studying circus arts abroad back to our home country.”

For Marquise, the effort to bring contemporary circus to Troy is personal. From age 8 to 18, Marquise studied at The New York State Theater Institute including his entire 2008-2009 senior year.

F.A.Q. Circus made their Troy debut in the summer of 2013 when they performed at Theatre Institute at Sage, with another performance there in 2014. In October, F.A.Q. Circus returned to the Collar City for its first performance in the Troy Gas Light Company gasholder building during a Breast Cancer Awareness Month benefit called “Light up Troy.” That show marked Marquise’s first time as director/producer.

F.A.Q. Circus performs in Troy Gasholder Oct. 2014. Photo by Douglas C. Liebig
(Photo by Douglas Liebig, Optimum Exposure Photography)

This month, the circus collective returns to the gasholder with a 55-minute show, titled “Running,” produced by F.A.Q and Sage Brothers Painting Co. Inc. and co-sponsored by Circus Theatricks. Directed and created by Marquise, “Running” explores what it means to leave behind the familiar and explore the unknown.

“This show is about running from the mundane to explore the unknown, to leave the familiar—running toward an alternative reality, free to forge a new identity,” Marquise said. “Our performers will help the audience imagine starting a new life.”

Contemporary costumes will resemble what one would need to wear if running away — not too tight, not too loose, Marquise said. The show will feature hoop diving, acrobatics, juggling, hula hoops and a clown. One performer will manipulate her body using a “German Wheel,” fashioned from two giant metal hula hoops. Another act includes an acrobatic ladder.

The emphasis in “Running” will be on ground acts, because the gasholder building is not outfitted for trapeze rigging at the moment.


Troy Gasholder Before Oct. 2014 F.A.Q. Circus Event Built in 1873, the Troy Gas Light Company Gasholder building is one of only a handful of such structures remaining in the U.S. The imposing circular brick building once housed a telescoping iron storage tank for coal gas. The tank has been removed, creating a cavernous space and dirt floor beneath the tin roof. The result, Marquise said, is that the building now resembles something very much like the circus buildings he observed while performing in France.

“When I saw that building my jaw dropped and said ‘I have to see inside,’” Marquise said. “When I saw inside, it confirmed my belief that it is a circus building. It continues to inspire me.”

Though it never actually was a circus building, the gasholder was owned and used for storage by the “OC Buck Shows,” a mid-century traveling circus in the region. A sign for the OC Buck Shows hangs above the office of Bill Sage, whose Sage Brothers Painting Company purchased the gasholder from OC Buck in 1969 and uses it to store lifts and other equipment.

“We do the best we can to keep up this building. We know it’s one-of-a-kind,” Sage said. “Most everybody who walks in there says ‘wow,’ ‘awesome’… words to that effect. I’m still impressed by it.”

Over the past 45 years, the company has allowed the space to be used for special dance and music performances as a way to give back to the community. Sage’s son Kevin Sage is helping Marquise with the logistics of setting up the space, rigging, etc. and plays a big part behind the scenes.

“Everybody should take the opportunity to see and experience this building,” said Michael Barrett, executive director of the Mohawk Hudson Industrial Gateway. “This type of building is becoming endangered in America, and Troy is very lucky to have one in good condition.”

Troy Gasholder Tin Roof From Inside (Gasholder circus photos by Douglas Liebig, Optimum Exposure Photography)


The F.A.Q. Circus free preview performances on Feb. 7 will also occur in an equally impressive space that few get the chance to glimpse, the atrium of Frear’s Troy Cash Bazaar. The spectacular open space dates to 1897, and features a double marble stairway with ornate cast iron railings, all beneath a huge glass skylight. The building is currently owned by Bryce Properties.

The performances will occur during the Troy Winter Farmers Market, which is held in the adjacent Uncle Sam Atrium. Market shoppers are encouraged to catch the shows. The Frear atrium is accessible via the second level of the Uncle Sam Atrium.


F.A.Q. Circus Preview
Feb. 7 at 10:30 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 1 p.m.
Duration: 20 min.
Frear’s Troy Cash Bazaar Atrium
Corner Fulton and Third Street
(Enter via Uncle Sam Atrium 2nd Level)

Feb. 20 at 7:30 p.m.,
Feb. 21 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Duration: 55 min.
Troy Gas Light Company gasholder
1115 5th Avenue, Troy NY
Tickets: Adults $15, Students $10
Purchase at the door or online at:

* NOTE: This is a standing event. However, if you require or prefer seating, please bring foldable seating and aim to arrive at least 30 minutes before the show starts. “Running” is performed inside a minimally heated historic venue. It is STRONGLY advised that attendees dress in warm winter clothes. (i.e. hats, scarves, gloves, large jackets, long-johns, etc.).


For High Resolution publicity images of F.A.Q. Circus and of their Oct. “Light up Troy” performance in the gasholder, visit

F.A.Q. Circus. Photo by Roland Lorente


For information, email or visit: or


Aaron Marquise,


January 5, 2015


Filed under: Business,Events,Features,News,Troy NY — duncan @ 11:46 pm

For Immediate Release

Contact: Duncan Crary, 518-274-2723

Mayor Proclaims Enjoy Troy Day Jan. 6

Citizens Kickoff Troy 200th Anniversary

1789 Newspaper Advertisement for Naming of Troy, NYCeremony Celebrates 1789 Naming of Troy
Citizen Proposal: Enjoy Troy Business Route

TROY, N.Y. (1/5/15) — On the evening of Jan. 5, 1789, a group of “Freeholders” on the eastern banks of the Hudson River met in a tavern to officially rename the place “TROY.”

This Tuesday, Jan. 6, at Noon, a group of Troy citizens, business owners and city officials will commemorate the historic event on the second floor of Troy’s newest “old” tavern, Peck’s Arcade at 217 Broadway.


Mayor's Proclamation: Enjoy Troy DayDuring the ceremony, the Mayor will present a proclamation for Enjoy Troy Day, commemorating Jan. 6 as the first day that Troy NY had its name and honoring Linda Passaretti, creator of the “enjoy troy.” symbol and her business partner Tom Reynolds of The Enjoy Troy Co.

Passaretti and Reynolds will present a special “enjoy troy. 1816-2016″ symbol that may be used by community members planning events to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the city’s incorporation. The symbol will be available for download at

(Note: The place name “Troy, NY” pre-dates the formation of the city by 27 years. )

Enjoy Troy 1816-2016 Symbol

Troy writer Duncan Crary will present a “citizen’s proposal” for an “Enjoy Troy Business Route.” The Business Route would offer an alternative to the Hoosick Street corridor for those travelling from New York to Vermont and The Berkshires. Crary will propose that the Business Route includes signs featuring the proprietary “enjoy troy.” symbol, which The Enjoy Troy Co. has given permission for.

Proposed Enjoy Troy Business Route

Those attending the ceremony will be afforded a sneak peek (Noon till 12:45 p.m.) at Peck’s Arcade, a new restaurant owned by Vic Christopher and Heather LaVine at 217 Broadway in downtown Troy. The 50 seat casual-fine dining restaurant and cocktail bar is set to open on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. It is located in an historic four-story, 10,900 square foot building that began as a boarding house, called Clark House, constructed in 1876. In 1883, the building was home to a ground-floor department store named “Peck’s Arcade.” Reservations for Peck’s Arcade are strongly encouraged. Email


Photo and video opportunities include:

- Mayor presenting Enjoy Troy Day Proclamation to Linda Passaretti and Tom Reynolds of The Enjoy Troy Co.

- The Enjoy Troy Co. unveiling “enjoy troy. 1816 – 2016″ symbol on enlarged signboard.

- Duncan Crary unveiling proposed “Enjoy Troy Business Route” on enlarged signboard

- Enjoy Troy Co. will distribute free “enjoy troy.” lapel pins

- Sneak peek at Peck’s Arcade, two-story restaurant and cocktail bar


Historic Advertisement for Peck's Arcade“Hosting this ceremony in our city’s newest ‘old’ tavern space is symbolic because our founders first held a vote in a tavern, Ashley’s Inn, to adopt the name Troy,” said Duncan Crary, who organized the event. “Our founders were ambitious and optimistic in their choice of place names: Troy, the great city from ancient Greek history and mythology. As we prepare for the 200th anniversary of our city’s formation, I would like us to renew that spirit of ambition and optimism.”

Crary said he is proposing The Enjoy Troy Business Route for the community to consider, “crowd source,” and hopefully implement by 2016. He has secured permission from The Enjoy Troy Co. to use their proprietary “enjoy troy.” symbol for signage should the route be established. The route directs travelers to take the Green Island Bridge through downtown Troy and then to Rt. 2, which eventually hooks back up with Rt. 7 farther out in the country.

“Loads of people travel through Troy on their way to Vermont and The Berkshires and only ever see Hoosick Street,” Crary said. “What they see there is no different than what you see on the outskirts of most cities. If we invite them to pass through our beautiful downtown, instead, I know they would feel more positively about our community. And while this alternative route is longer, it can actually be quicker at times. And the transition from urban to rural is much more abrupt.”

Not everyone is going to want to explore Troy while en route to New England, Crary admits, but some will and that’s a start. As “proof of concept” Crary cites Patrick and Denise McAvey, a New Jersey couple who purchased a house in Troy after taking a detour off of Hoosick Street and falling love with the place. The McAvey’s are unable to attend Tuesday’s ceremony but they are available to speak to reporters by phone or in person on Thursday.


The following was written by Patrick McAvey for use in this press release:

McAveys Troy House“One early Saturday morning about 10 years ago, Denise and I headed out on a trip from New Jersey to Vermont. It was a familiar ride that we had been taking for years. From 87 North and 787 we would take exit 9 E across the bridge to 7 E and then creep along Hoosick Street until the green country opened up again.

“However, this morning was different. When we crossed onto 7 E, cars were backed up by a traffic incident, and so we decided to exit onto 6th Avenue in Troy and perhaps find a way back going east. After all the years driving by it, we would finally see what the city was about.

“We pulled into the parking lot of The Rensselaer Hotel on 6th Avenue (now a refurbished living space for RPI students) and walked up Broadway to Third Street where we turned right and then left on River Street. What struck us then was the fact that we were not just looking at isolated, and individual historic houses, but rows and rows of them — streets full of them. And now River Street opened into the City’s Square — a grand room whose walls were lovely examples of 19th Century architecture. In the center stood a tall, elegant monument dedicated to the sacrifices made in history by local soldiers. In one corner, a white, angular, modern structure of crumbling concrete was, because of its setting, an iconic example of poor planning and bad taste.

“But there was so much to be awed by as we continued down River Street past the Rice Building into ‘the antique section’ with its strong and stately buildings forming a curve protecting the neighborhood from the winds off the Hudson. Then it was back to Monument Square where Devane Realty in the Cannon building had posted a list of jewels for sale.

Patrick & Denise McAvey“Sitting on a bench in Monument Square, Denise and I questioned why we had not gotten off the regular path to visit earlier. The answer we think lies with us and the City of Troy. While we were always focused on reaching our destination, the City never extended an invitation to travelers passing through. Had we ever seen a sign of one, we would have gladly accepted and gone to enjoy those hidden parts.”


High resolution images of The Mayor’s Enjoy Troy Day proclamation, the “enjoy troy. 1816 – 2016″ symbol, Crary’s “Enjoy Troy Business Route” proposal, historic Peck’s Arcade advertisements, and the McAveys and their Troy home are available for download and reproduction at:


The Enjoy Troy Co.

Peck’s Arcade


Duncan Crary, 518-274-2723


December 9, 2014


Filed under: #TroyCrazy,Business,Events,Features,Troy NY — duncan @ 12:26 pm

For Immediate Release

Contact: Jim Lewis 518-429-3909

Dec. 11: Troy Open Studio Raises Icarus to the Pantheon

Furniture Maker Celebrates Name Change from “Icarus” to “Springwood” With Theatrical “Fractured Fairy Tale”

TROY, N.Y. (12/9/14) — An internationally acclaimed Troy furniture studio will celebrate its new name and ownership with a ceremony of mythological proportions.

Rosebud Snow, plywood dome by Jim LewisIcarus Furniture is now Springwood Studios, an artisanal woodworking shop specializing in high quality hand-made furniture and wood sculpture. To mark the change in name and focus, owner Jim Lewis, 63, will be “Releasing Icarus to the Pantheon” in what he calls a theatrical “Fractured Fairy Tale” in the streets.

“It’s a Greek tradition that if you live in a place that is sacred to a mythological figure, you get to tell the story however you want,” said Lewis. “Our workshop in Troy, N.Y. was originally named in honor of Icarus, so we get to tell our own myth about him. In our version, he finally retires from Troy and reaches the Gods.”

On Thursday, Dec. 11 at 3:30 p.m., Troy officials, neighbors and friends will congregate outside the studio at 154 Fourth St. Lewis will clip wings onto a toga-wearing Icarus idol (baby doll) and hoist it by pulley and line to the skies. A lightning bolt wielding Zeus (in the form of a Springwood intern) will receive Icarus at the top of his flight, and thus the boy who flew too close to the sun will finally enter the pantheon of Gods. If satisfied by the offerings presented to him, Zeus will then “magically” transform the studio sign from “Icarus Furniture” to “Springwood Studios.”

The ceremony is a playful nod to studio’s former name Icarus, inspired by the ancient mythological character. It is also the latest in a trend of increasingly theatrical alternative “ribbon cutting” ceremonies in Troy (including sausage links, quesadilla and board cuttings, as well as a miniature cannon blast ceremony).

An open studio at Springwood will follow, from 3:30 p.m. till 8 p.m. with catering by Carmen’s Cuban Cafe. The studio will showcase several pieces — some new, some old favorites — including a five-petal oak and wenge table in the form of a morning glory; a sculptural desk that looks decidedly like a jellyfish; and a model of Red Bud, a 12 foot-tall dome sculpture that was once in display in Albany’s Tricentenniel Park. Photos of Lewis’ architectural size plywood domes based on natural forms — seashells, mushrooms, fruit and flowers and even cabbages — will be on display during the open studio.


Rosebud Snow, plywood dome by Jim LewisIn 1977, Lewis co-founded Icarus Furniture in Troy. In 2010, he bought out his partner and officially changed the studio name. But a major five-year project to create furnishings and a carved mural for Sacred Heart Church in Edinburg, Texas took up most of his focus. After completing that commission, Lewis has been renovating his shop and working with Carmen Gonzalez on her restaurant, Carmen’s Cafe. Now, Lewis says, it’s time to formally “hang out a shingle” for Springwood Studios.

“One of the reasons for changing the studio name is that I’m slightly adjusting what I do,” Lewis said. “I still want to do liturgical and home furnishings, but my focus will be more on the sculptural. My work is furniture that shapes the space. I’m sort of straddling the line between furniture and sculpture, and sometimes touching on architecture.”

Lewis’ high quality, solid wood furniture has received multiple design awards from Modern Liturgy Magazine and praise from Architectural Digest. He has designed and built pieces for about 80 churches, chapels, synagogues and meditation spaces across the country — though many are located in the Capital Region.

Due to the large scope of his projects, most of his shows have been in his studio, where he exhibits projects before they are installed.


A native of Lancaster County, Pa., Lewis grew up on Springwood Farm where his family raised sheep and ducks. He moved to Troy in 1971 and fell in love with the historic architecture.

“There seems something wonderfully classic historic about Troy — living history. You can feel that it was founded on neoclassical idealism,” Lewis said. “It’s not just the Victorian but the earlier federal stuff, which seems to refer to an era when you could stop a man on the street and discuss the classics with him.”

One Troy figure inspires Lewis in particular: a cabinet maker named Elijah Galusha, who was one of the pioneers of plywood and veneer construction, whose work rivaled the best of his contemporary craftsmen in New York City.

“I like to think I channel Elisha and keep up his tradition,” Lewis said, noting that Galusha lived in a house four blocks from Springwood Studios.


For Information, visit: or


For photographs of Lewis’ work, visit:

For higher resolutions, contact Jim Lewis.

Contact: Jim Lewis 518-429-3909


October 31, 2014


Filed under: Business,Features,Troy NY — duncan @ 11:40 pm

For Immediate Release

Contact: Linda Passaretti, 518-461-9159

Tom Reynolds, 518-669-9713

Enjoy Troy Co. Launches Internet Store in Time For Holidays

Homegrown “enjoy troy.” Symbol Promotes Laid Back Renaissance in Troy, New York

TROY, N.Y. (11/03/14) — If you’ve spent any time in Troy during the past decade, you’ve seen it all over town: a cheerful oval around the words “enjoy troy.”

Tom Reynolds & Linda Passaretti Enjoy TroyNow the creators of this beloved icon of civic pride have launched an online store in time for the holidays, with a complete line of merchandise sporting the laid back message.

The website,, features stickers, glasses, coffee mugs, t-shirts, hats, pins, patches and plaques sporting the now classic “enjoy troy.” symbol. It also includes a blog, a brief history of the symbol and information about the various retail locations in downtown Troy that carry an expanded line of merchandise.

“Enjoy Troy is sort of a counter culture response to branding,” said Linda Passaretti, who created the symbol in 2003. “It is a mandate. It’s an order: enjoy troy period.”

Though it is ubiquitous throughout Troy — on banners, brochures, business plaques and on storefront windows — few people actually know where the “enjoy troy.” symbol came from, or who created it.

“That’s about as grassroots as it gets,” Passaretti said, comparing her creation to a “meme,” which is a term coined by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins to describe “an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.” And like most memes, this one took off by surprise.


Enjoy Troy Merchandise at ArtcentricIn 2003, Passaretti needed a theme for a small party in Troy’s Washington Park neighborhood. But she had no money for decorations. So she printed sheets of address labels with the statement “enjoy troy.” on them, then stuck them on plastic cups and other items around her house. It was a hit.

After that, she designed more professional-looking oval decals that she passed out around town to friends and business owners. Next, people started asking for hats and shirts with the symbol on them, so she had those made, too.

A few years later, Passaretti partnered with Tom Reynolds to establish The Enjoy Troy Company. A commercial lending officer, Reynolds is the craftsman behind the company’s handmade plaques, custom tables and other specialty items featuring the “enjoy troy.” symbol.

“As soon as I saw the sticker, I wanted to help spread this message,” said Reynolds. “Even the font that Linda chose is a happy font.”

But, while the “enjoy troy.” design is officially trademarked and the company’s array of merchandise is available through the website and at Artcentric Gallery at 266 River St, the partnership isn’t motivated by money.

“This has always been about making something to bind and build the community,” Passaretti says. “When all these people start to see this community as worthy, that is my payment.”


It’s impossible to know what effect “enjoy troy.” has had on the city’s rebirth, but perceptions of Troy have changed since Passaretti first arrived in 1980 as a freshman at Emma Willard School.

Enjoy Troy Symbol“People were down on Troy when I was a kid,” she said. “Everybody at school would say Troy was the armpit of the world.”

Now the city’s renaissance-in-progress is the talk of the region and was recently reported on by the New York Daily News in 2013.

“Ten years ago, Troy didn’t have the same offerings,” she said. “But in terms of the quality of the people who are trying to make the city go, it’s been here all along — people who’ve committed their lives to making the city work in a positive way.”


One of the top selling products of The Enjoy Troy Co. has an ironic twist: handmade wooden “Troylet” bathroom plaques. Starting in the 1960s, the expression “Troylet” (a combination of the words “Troy” and “toilet”) was a common put down for the city and people who lived there. But during the past two decades, as the downtown Troy resurgence is becoming a role model for urban revitalization, many residents repeat the pejorative today with tongue in cheek, and chuckle at those who didn’t see the charm that was there all along.

Enjoy Troy Merchandise at Artcentric


For high resolution publicity images of Linda Passaretti, Tom Reynolds and an extensive line of “enjoy troy.” merchandise, visit:

For information, visit:


Linda Passaretti, 518-461-9159

Tom Reynolds, 518-669-9713


September 18, 2014


Filed under: #TroyCrazy,Business,Events,Features,News,Troy NY — duncan @ 4:02 pm

For Immediate Release


Contact: Duncan Crary, 518-274 2723

Mayor Proclaims: Troy NY is “Ginger City, USA” Oct. 1

League of Extraordinary Red Heads Summons All Carrot Tops to Upstate City

TROY, N.Y. (Sept. 18, 2014) — A small upstate city will have a new moniker this fall, by mayoral proclamation: on Oct. 1, Troy, NY shall be known as “Ginger City, USA.”

Night of the Walking Red 2 PosterThe date marks the second annual “Night of the Walking Red” event at Brown’s Brewing Co. designed by The League of Extraordinary Red Heads, a highly visible collective of red-haired denizens headquartered in the small Hudson River city.

“The City of Troy embraces its diverse population and fun-loving characters,” said Mayor Lou Rosamilia. “We do seem to have an unusually high number of red heads in our midst here, and they certainly brighten up the place.”

The fiery festivities of Oct. 1 feature an autumnal rite at Brown’s Brewing Company, known as the “Toast of Coppertops,” during which members of The League of Extraordinary Red Heads raise glasses of locally crafted Pumpkin Ale from the first batch of the season. As is their custom, the League will also discuss the items on their concise meeting agenda: “1) Us. 2) Them.”

Though the highly visible group assembles suddenly in public spaces, not much is known of the inner workings or its true purpose. It purports to be “a social get-together for those with reddish hair” and those who love them, but some suspect it may be a secret society with plans for world domination. These conspiracy theories are bolstered by the fact that red heads comprise only 2 percent of the human population, and yet — for scientifically unexplained reasons — their ranks include a disproportionally high number of prominent figures, including world leaders, famous authors and celebrity actors.

“Because we always stand out, red heads can never hide in a crowd or at the back of the classroom,” said Duncan Crary, founder of The League of Extraordinary Red Heads. “So we learn to have fun under scrutiny. Some people call that being ‘fiery,’ and we do tend to be an excitable bunch. That may be the reason why so many prominent figures in history have had crimson locks.”

The League of Extraordinary Red Heads formed in a flash in Troy on Jan. 30, 2013 and quickly earned the rank of No. 7 in the world for “Best Redheaded Gatherings of 2013″ according to social media website, BuzzFeed. Crary said each of the League’s previous three gatherings attracted more than 120 red-haired participants. Gatherings are always social, though one featured Scotland-based filmmaker Scott Harris for a screening of his smash hit documentary film “Being Ginger” in April, 2014.


Night of the Walking Red 2013This Oct. 1, The League hopes to attract the largest attendance yet.

“If a thousand gingers descend upon dear old Troy, we’ll be ready for them in ‘Ginger City, USA,’” Crary said.

One downtown hotel, Franklin Square Inn and Suites, is even offering a special $99 room rate for redheaded travelers on Oct. 1. (Ask for the Red Head Rate.) And participating local businesses will be offering “Ginger Discounts” for those brandishing League of Extraordinary Red Heads “Member” cards (which are distributed free during events). Brown’s Brewing Co. will be serving “Wholly Moses Pumpkin Ale” brewed locally with pumpkins from the Moses Farm (as in the family of the late American painter “Grandma Moses”) of Eagle Bridge, N.Y. There will be a special ginger and pumpkin themed menu. Other features will be added and announced on the fly.

Those planning to attend are encouraged to “join” the facebook event so organizers can better prepare for the expected crowd.


The League of Extraordinary Red Heads Presents:
“Night of the Walking Red” & “Toast of the Coppertops”
An Autumnal Rite with “Wholly Moses Pumpkin Ale”
Oct. 1, 2014 | 5:30 p.m. Start | Free Admission
Brown’s Brewing Co. 417 River Street, Troy NY


High resolution photo graphs, logos and League related publicity images can be downloaded here:



Proclamation Ginger City

WHEREAS The City of Troy embraces its diverse population, and the contributions of its characters; and

WHEREAS the City equally, and without grudging hesitation, embraces its red head denizens as among some of the most colorful characters in our midst — both in the hue of their fiery follicles as well as in their soulful personalities; and

WHEREAS, red hair can be found sprouting from the scalps and chins of folks around the globe, regardless of race, nationality or creed; and

WHEREAS only a mere 2 percent of the human population is naturally red haired, yet their gloriously blazing ranks include some of the greatest leaders in our history such as George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Kris Kringle, Lucy Ricardo (née Lucille Esmeralda McGillicuddy), Carol Burnett, Agent Dana Scully, Bozo the Clown, and, of course, Helen of Troy; and

WHEREAS, with their skin so fair and easily pinked by the sun, red heads have been fallaciously believed to be on the verge of extinction; though we all joyously know the contrary; and

WHEREAS the City of Troy is home to the esteemed international headquarters of The League of Extraordinary Red Heads, whose highly visible gatherings brighten our streets, public houses and retinas; and whose annual autumnal rites include a public Toast of Pumpkin Ale, locally crafted by Brown’s Brewing Company; and

WHEREAS said League embraces the terms “Ginger,” “Coppertop” and “Daywalker” with glowing pride and cites them as affectionate and favorable monikers befitting their illuminating personas;

Now, therefore, I, Lou Rosamilia, Mayor of the City of Troy, do hereby proclaim that, on Oct. 1, 2014, our fair city shall also be known on this day as GINGER CITY, USA, a Shangri-La or Brigadoon for red heads around the world to visit and “kick back in,” not be kicked.

Signed: Louis A Rosamilia
Date: Oct. 1, 2014

[ To view a scan of the original, visit: ]

Contact: Duncan Crary, 518-274-2723


September 4, 2014


Filed under: Business,Events,Features,Troy NY — duncan @ 1:40 pm

For Immediate Release


Michael Burns, (518) 248-7430

Night of Improv at Lucas Confectionery Sept. 10

Grilled Cheese, Beer and Laughs at Troy Wine Bar

TROY, N.Y. (9/4/14) — A Troy wine bar will host an evening of improvisational laughs, grilled cheese and beer next Wednesday.

MopCo at Lucas ConfectioneryThe Mop & Bucket Company (MopCo) is the Capital Region’s premiere improv comedy group. On Wednesday, Sept. 10, the group will play at two-act show in the garden patio of Lucas Confectionery.

Audiences can expect an evening of short form improv games and scenes and music based off of suggestions they write down or call out. They will also be able to create Play-Doh figures for a Play-Doh theater segment that works like shadow puppets on a screen. Michael Burns, artistic director of The Mop & Bucket Company describes the skit as “television you won’t get on your cable box.”

Improv has gained mainstream popularity with shows like “Who’s Line Is It Anyway?” but the performance art form is also the most accessible and communal theater, according to Burns.

“We’re co-creating an evening of laughter with our audience,” said Burns. “We’re saying ‘Yes’ to their ideas, and delighting with them with the results of our collaboration.”

MopCo will perform two sets on the garden patio at Lucas Confectionery, on September 10 at 6:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. Both unique shows are free, and patrons are welcome to attend one or both sets, but seating is limited and on a first come, first seated basis. The indoor/outdoor space has a retractable glass roof, and connects to the Lucas Confectionery wine bar at 12 Second St. and The Grocery at 207 Broadway. Patrons will be able to order wine, beer and food from either business but are encouraged to arrive early for “Grilled Cheese and Beer Night” at The Grocery, starting at 5 p.m.


Vic Christopher, co-owner of the Lucas Confectionery, The Grocery and the in-progress Tavern Restaurant, said the improv performance is a good fit for the venue, which is constructed using reclaimed materials in an improvisational style.

“Spiritually, improv is a good fit for our space because it’s all about working with what you’ve got and making it up on the fly. That’s pretty much our construction style through the use of reclaimed materials,” said Christopher.

Christopher and his wife Heather LaVine opened Lucas Confectionery at 12 Second St. in November 2012 as a community gathering space featuring rare and unique wines by the glass and bottle; along with craft beer, artisan coffee, cheeses, small plates, confections and desserts. In November 2013, the couple opened The Grocery, in an adjacent building at 207 Broadway. The Grocery is a micro neighborhood grocery shop featuring artisanal cheeses, meats, fresh local produce and draft beer. Wednesday nights at The Grocery feature grilled cheese and beer specials.


In the tradition of Second City, the skilled improvisers of The Mop & Bucket Company create stories, scenes and songs based on audience suggestions. Think “Whose Line is it Anyway?” Because the ideas come from the audience, each show is totally fresh.

MopCo delights audiences every Friday night at the Underground at Proctors in Schenectady. The company also teaches classes on improv for performance, business, writers and educators and for creativity in everyday life.

[Note: This Sept. 18 through Oct. 9, The Mop & Bucket Company will be teaching Improv basics in a weekly Thursday night class at The Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy. ]

What people are saying about MopCo:

“If you’ve never seen a mop & bucket performance, be assured they’re laugh-to-you-cry funny.” — Kristi L. Gustafson, Times Union

“From its humble beginnings, this troupe has morphed and grown into a top-notch unit capable of all kinds of theatrical gamesmanship, much of their own invention.” — Michael Eck, Albany Times Union

“I have seen improv before and I’m sure you have too, but these actors are ready for prime-time. Have you ever watched a performance so brave that you wanted to shake the performer’s hand or kiss her cheek after the show? That’s how i felt…” — Susan Arbetter, WCNY radio

For information about The Mop & Bucket Company, visit

For information about Lucas Confectionery & The Grocery, visit:


To download high resolution publicity images, visit:


Michael Burns, (518)248-7430,