two-month-long festival seems to get bigger—and artistically
richer—every year. Through the end of August, Bard Summerscape
will be presenting two operas (Marc Blitzstein’s Regina
and Aaron Copland’s The Tender Land), a revival of
an Odets play, a William Wyler film series, jazz concerts,
a vintage Broadway musical (The Golden Apple), late-night
cabaret shows and the Bard Music Festival (built around
the works and life of Copland). And it all kicks off this
weekend with three performances by the Martha Graham Dance
This highly anticipated (because the company just emerged
from a multiyear legal nightmare) series of shows will feature
the company performing Cave of the Heart (music by
Samuel Barber), Hérodiade (music by Paul Hindemith)
and, of course, Appalachian Spring (Copland). Aaron
Sherber will conduct the American Symphony Orchestra, and
Bard alumna Blythe Danner will read from the Copland-Graham
The Martha Graham Dance Company will perform tomorrow (Friday)
and Saturday (July 8-9) at 8 PM, and Sunday (July 10) at
3 PM in the Sosnoff Theater (Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson).
Tickets are $55, $40 and $25. For reservations and information,
call (845) 758-7900.
it’d be a stretch to bill Albany as a tropical paradise,
the recent humid snap has certainly given us an equatorial
ambience; Park Playhouse’s production of the Rodgers and
Hammerstein musical South Pacific, beginning Tuesday,
seems the perfect choice for such a suddenly sultry clime.
Based on James Michener’s Tales of the South Pacific,
this Pulitzer Prize-winning light opera tells of two love
relationships that develop on a small island during the
Second World War: that of an American nurse who falls for
a wealthy French expatriate, and an American serviceman
who becomes the objective of an island woman eager to marry
off her young daughter. In some of the most famous songs
of American musical theater (“There is Nothing Like a Dame,”
“Some Enchanted Evening,” “I’m Going to Wash That Man Right
Out of my Hair,” and “Carefully Taught” among them) the
story of cross-cultural romance unfolds against a backdrop
of geopolitical strife, militaristic nationalism and the
When the play debuted in 1949, Rodgers and Hammerstein were
riding high on the recent successes of Oklahoma! and
Carousel, but South Pacific just exploded.
It was a phenomenal hit, both popularly and critically:
Richard Watts Jr. called it a “thrilling and exultant musical
play, an utterly captivating work of theatrical art.”
Pacific will be staged at the Washington Park Lakehouse
beginning Tuesday (July 12) and running through Aug. 14.
Performances are at 8 PM, Tuesday through Sunday. Tickets
for reserved seating are $12 and $10. All amphitheater seating
is free. For more information, call 434-0776.
of America Blues Festival
there’s one generalization to be made about the Capital
Region—and we’re sure we could think of a few others, if
pressed—it’s that we love our blues. Which is why the annual
two-day Blues Festival at the Empire State Plaza, now sponsored
by the Bank of America, is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
And why not? The plaza’s groovy in its weird modernist way,
the vendors are varied and the artists are first-rate. The
fun begins tomorrow (Friday) at 5 PM; the acts will include
the Jim Weider Band and the Foy Brothers. On the main stage
on Saturday, you’ll find the legendary Buddy Guy (pictured),
Shemekia Copeland, Omar and the Howlers, Toni Lynn Washington
and our own Ernie Williams. There are two more stages, too:
the north stage and an acoustic stage. So get your damn
blues on, already.
The Bank of America Blues Festival will be held tomorrow
(Friday, July 8) beginning at 5 PM and Saturday (July 9)
from noon to 8 PM at the Empire State Plaza (Albany). It’s
free as the wind, but you’ll have to buy your own refreshments.
For more info, call 474-3899.