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Ready for a close-up . . . and a long shot: photographer Bob Neudal.

HEY OLDSMOBILE, SAY CHEESE: Bring your Brownie to the Saratoga Auto Museum, in the Saratoga Spa State Park, this Saturday (Feb. 19). From 2-3 PM, Albany photographer Bob Neudal (pictured) will host the presentation How To Photograph Your Car. (Yes, it’s trickier than one would think.) After the seminar, you can wander around the museum and try out your new skills on their excellent collection of vintage and classic cars; the museum helpfully suggests the Automobiles of Carroll Shelby exhibit, currently on view in the main gallery. Admission to the event is free to members, but $5 (plus museum admission) to everyone else. For more information, call the museum at 587-1935.

FOR THE KITTIES: It’s benefit time at Valentine’s (17 New Scotland Ave., Albany) this Tuesday evening (Feb. 22). This P.R.O.P.A.G.A.N.D.A. event, hosted by poet R.M. Engelhardt, will raise money for the Whiskers Animal Benevolent League. You know, the good folks who take such fine care of all kinds of cats and kittens. The evening will begin at 7 PM with an art showing, followed by the performances at 8 PM. The scheduled performers include artist-photographer (and Metroland contributing photographer) Alicia Solsman, poet the Poet Essence, musician Kelly Maguire and Engelhardt. And . . . there will also be an open mic for “musicians and poets.” Admission is a measly $4, but don’t be afraid to kick in a larger donation for such an excellent cause.

WRITTEN FOR THE SCREEN: Believe it or not, all aspiring screenwriters do not live in Southern California. (Although, almost everyone in Southern California is an aspiring screenwriter. Ponder that one for a minute.) Do you want to learn the nuts and bolts of story structure, and the basics of the screenplay form? Well, the Spencertown Academy is offering a screenwriting workshop with Courtney Hunt. Hunt, who has an MFA in film from Columbia, wrote and directed Althea Faught, which was shown on PBS’ American Playhouse, and has written three other screenplays. She will take would-be screenwriters through the basics, including an introduction to the “elements of dramatic writing from Aristotle to Syd Field.” (If you don’t know who Field is, you’re new to the whole how-to-write-a-screenplay thing.) The class will be held on Wednesdays from 6 to 8 PM from Feb. 23 through March 30, and it costs $180 ($160 for Academy members). For more information, call 392-3693 or visit

GONE, GONE, GONE: As of last week, Timothy Cahill is no longer an arts critic employed by the Times Union. Everyone is in complete agreement about that. “He doesn’t work for us anymore,” explained TU executive arts editor Steve Barnes. Cahill himself confirmed this with sources here at Metroland. Nobody, however, is talking about why Cahill is no longer working at the TU’s imposing fortress on Albany Shaker Road—at least on the record, anyway. Off the record, it’s a pretty interesting situation. (Well, as interesting as insidery-journalist gossip goes.) This story, dear reader, must unfortunately wait for another day.

—Shawn Stone

THAT’LL SHOW FIDEL: The performance by Dance Cuba, originally scheduled for tomorrow (Friday, Feb. 18) at the Egg, was canceled because the all-woman company was not issued travel visas by the U.S. State Department. I saw this vigorous company last year at the New Victory Theater on 42nd Street in New York City. (Ella Baff, director of Jacob’s Pillow, was in the audience, too.) What happened to our government’s relations with Cuba between that day and this? Why do we permit the silencing of artists and the consequent diminishing of our own spirits? When did dance shoes become political? Ticket refunds are available at the point of purchase. For more information, call the Egg box office at 473-1845.

—Mae G. Banner


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