SPAC stage will be adorned with more Kevlar than the Space
Shuttle this Sunday, when Queens native Curtis Jackson—better
known by his nom de rhyme, 50 Cent—headlines a star-studded
hiphop bill that also features Ludacris, Lil Jon and the
East Side Boyz, Mike Jones, and Ciara.
50 Cent has one of the most well-documented success stories
of the last several years. A quick recap: He was born in
1975 to an absent, crack-addicted father and a drug-dealing
mother (who died when Jackson was 8 years old); became a
drug dealer himself at an early age; met Jam Master Jay
and cut some demos; got signed to Columbia Records; got
shot a bunch of times and dropped by Columbia the same summer;
met Eminem; signed to the Shady/Aftermath label; released
the fastest-selling debut album ever (Get Rich or Die
Tryin’); and rose to the elite level of marginally talented
superstars. In case you didn’t follow all that, Fitty’s
hard at work on a movie based on his story (also called
Get Rich or Die Tryin’), due out in November. If
nothing else, the revenue from the film should ensure that
crack-rock peddling is excised from the Jackson-family resume
for generations to come.
The big guns (some real, some not) of hiphop will roll into
the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (Saratoga Spa State
Park, Saratoga Springs) this Sunday night (Aug. 21), beginning
at 7 PM. Tickets are $49.50 for inside seating, $25 for
lawn, and are available through Ticketmaster (476-1000).
listen to political commentators, you might get the impression
that physical barriers were erected cordoning off whole
sections of Middle America after the 2004 presidential election.
The Red State-Blue State metaphor has become a convenient,
reductive means of glossing over issues of American class,
culture and political motivation: Here, we’re good; over
there, they’re bad. But in the documentary The Congregation,
filmmakers Alan and Susan Raymond tackle some of these
same issues at a much more nuanced level by examining the
conflict within a single church congregation.
The First United Methodist Church of Germantown, Pa., is
a “racially mixed urban church with a commitment to a ministry
of social justice.” It’s a representative church of the
politically progressive mainline Protestant tradition. However,
in recent years, such churches have suffered significant
losses in membership in an increasingly conservative culture.
This challenge to the faith’s historical liberalism is highlighted
at First United when their progressive minister steps down
after 37 years, and is replaced by a traditionalist pastor.
The documentary presents a “microcosm” of the struggle within
Protestantism, but also offers provocative insight into
the general plight of American political progressivism.
Congregation will be screened at Time & Space Limited
on Saturday (Aug. 20) at 7:30 PM. Directors Alan and Susan
Raymond will be in attendance. The film will be shown again
on Aug. 28 at 5 PM. Tickets for the screenings are $4-$10.
For more information, call 822-8322.
Emperor’s New Clothes
summer long, Mac-Haydn Theatre has been staging productions
for the youthful drama enthusiast on Friday and Saturday
mornings. Plays such as Wilbur the Not-So-Big, Not-So-Bad
Wolf, Alice in Wonderland and Rodney, the
Reluctant Dragon have been welcome alternatives to the
usual weekend-morning fare of animated destruction and sugar-cereal
commercials. Starting tomorrow (Friday), Mac-Haydn will
present its final children’s theater production of the season,
The Emperor’s New Clothes.
This classic fable boasts fun, kid-friendly political intrigue
and romance, and a healthy message of ethical independence
and skepticism. Now, tell me that junior is gonna get that
Mac-Haydn Theatre presents The Emperor’s New Clothes
beginning tomorrow (Friday, Aug. 19), running through Aug.
27. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 11 AM. Tickets
are $8. For more information, call 392-9292.