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Moving Pictures: American Art in Early Film

This ambitious exhibition, opening Saturday at the Williams College Museum of Art, examines the relationship between American art and cinema at the dawn of the 20th century.

It’s ambitious because it pulls together artworks and film from so many different sources, including MoMA, the National Gallery, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts and the Whitney, and because it’s such a difficult and tricky proposition, considering the grotesquely high percentage of early American cinema that no longer exists. The exhibition will include 100 works and 50 films, “installed side-by-side on the gallery walls to highlight the extraordinary relationship between the two media.” On the “art” side, there are plenty of names you’ll recognize, like Mary Cassatt and John Singer Sargent. Some of the creators of early cinema are less familiar—like, say, W.K.L. Dickson—but are equally relevant.

Moving Pictures: American Art in Early Film opens Saturday (July 16) and continues through Dec. 11 at the Williams College Museum of Art (15 Lawrence Hall Drive, Williamstown, Mass.). For more info, call (413) 597-2429 or visit the museum’s Web site at www.wcma.org.

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

Baby boomers must be feeling some kind of dislocation. (And we should know, as a couple of us are baby boomers.) For years they were the kings and queens of American consumer culture, but that is so over. Popular music has passed them by; TV networks consider their demographic too old; the second boomer president turned out to be more of a reactionary than his WW II-vet dad; and Paul McCartney’s alleged facelift made him look like an old woman. Fear not, however, dear boomers. The theater still cares about your needs.

Starting tonight, Capital Repertory Theatre will present the world-premiere musical Breaking Up Is Hard to Do. Based on the sprightly songs of Brill Building mainstay Neil Sedaka, this ultra-friendly production is set at a Catskills resort in the summer of 1959. While of course there was that Cold War/fear-of-nuclear-annihilation thing in the air, there was also a real sense of innocence: Kindly old Ike was in the White House, American Bandstand was on every afternoon, and girls (and boys) just wanted to have fun. You know, like in Dirty Dancing.

The score is rich with Sedaka’s easily-identifiable tunes. These include his own hits (“Breaking Up Is Hard to Do,” “Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen,” “Calendar Girl”), and the songs made hits by other performers (“Love Will Keep Us Together,” “Where the Boys Are.”) Not a bad soundtrack for a little nostalgic fun, is it?

Breaking Up is Hard to Do will be presented by Capital Repertory Theatre (111 N. Pearl St., Albany) beginning tomorrow (Friday, July 15) through Aug. 14. There is a special pay-what-you-will preview tonight (Thursday, July 14) at 7:30 PM; tickets (limit four per customer) go on sale at 6 PM. Previews start tomorrow and continue through Tuesday (July 19), and the grand-opening night is Wednesday (July 20). For tickets and schedule information, call the Capital Rep box office at 445-7469.

Bruce Springsteen

When Bruce Springsteen takes the stage at the Pepsi Arena this Saturday, he’ll be just one man in front of thousands. That has to be just a bit uncomfortable—with the E Street Band, he at least has a few (like, eight) other folks to cover his ass. But then the Boss’ current acoustic tour is a lot different from the globetrotting two-year jaunt he and the E Streeters embarked on a few years back. The solo thing is in keeping with Springsteen’s latest release, Devils & Dust, a set that has critics raving and fans scratching their heads. Nothing new there: As a follow-up to The River, 1982’s sparse and excellent Nebraska alienated many fans, and The Ghost of Tom Joad barely registered on the pop-culture radar upon its release in ’96. But, if nothing else, the man bounces back: 1984’s Born in the USA sold 15 million copies to Nebraska’s one million, and the Mellencampian Rising (2001) was a blockbuster in comparison to Tom Joad—so don’t be surprised if we get another flag-waving, fist-pumping epic out of him soon.

Bruce Springsteen will perform—solo—at the Pepsi Arena (51 S. Pearl St., Albany) on Saturday (July 16). As of press time, some upper-level tickets—priced at $76—were still available for the 8 PM show. Contact Ticketmaster at 476-1000 for tickets (they’re not available through the Pepsi’s box office), or call the arena for more information (487-2000).


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