shook our collective heads in confusion when we first heard
the phrase “Hasidic reggae.” “How exactly is that done?”
we asked. Simple: Matisyahu (Matthew) Miller is a New York-based
reggae-hiphop artist who just so happens to be a devout
Hasidic Jew. Or is it the other way around? Actually, the
two things fly on the same level for Miller—he infuses his
raps and toasts with a deep faith and spirituality to produce
a music unlike anything that has come before. That’s no
boast: When is the last time you heard someone reference
Moshiach, Hashem and the Torah in a pop song, much less
their single? (Matisyahu’s “King Without a Crown”
has saturated the WEQX airwaves of late.)
The sky’s the limit for Matisyahu right now. Miller recently
contributed performances to the upcoming Glen Ballard-produced
album by quasi- Christian, multimillion-selling rap-rockers
P.O.D. (sounds, um, interesting); he and his band
just wrapped a handful of opening dates for former Phish
head Trey Anastasio; and, indicator of indicators, they’ve
sold out Sunday night’s show.
Matisyahu will come with both the God and the Jah this Sunday
(Oct. 16) at Revolution Hall (425 River St., Troy). Tickets
for the 8 PM show would be $22 if there were any left; call
the club (273-2337) to find out if any additional tickets
for a New World
theater groups bring many gifts to their loyal audiences;
these gifts, however, don’t often include works not yet
firmly in the theater/musical theater repertoire. Credit
Schenectady Light Opera Company, then, for taking a chance
in presenting Songs for a New World, a 1995 song
cycle by Jason Robert Brown, in its Capital Region community
Brown, who wrote the music for the Tony Award-winning Broadway
hit Parade, is one of musical theater’s most promising
young(-ish) composers. His songs have been recorded by Audra
McDonald, and he has worked as arranger or orchestrator
for Liza Minnelli and Yoko Ono, and for a number of notable
for a New World is a cycle of 16 songs about change.
“Each of Brown’s songs,” note the SLOC press release, “is
about a time of transition.” The themes are familiar, and
universal: despair, love, heartbreak, religion and war.
The presentation will be cabaret style, with wine, cheese
and assorted desserts served.
SLOC will present Songs for a New World tomorrow
(Friday) and Saturday (Oct. 14-15) at 8 PM, and Sunday (Oct.
16) at 2 PM at the Schenectady Light Opera House (826 State
St., Schenectady). There will be additional performances
Oct. 20-22 at 8 PM and Oct. 23 at 2 PM. Tickets are $18,
$9 children under 13 (children must be accompanied by an
adult). For reservations and information, call 377-5101
or visit www.sloctheater.com.
Breaking Records, Breaking Barriers
illuminate and transform a society. Sports change lives,
affect politics, fuel our economy, and shape our culture.
. . . The greatest champions stand for more than the records
they break. They stand for the barriers they shatter—physical,
social, psychological, racial, cultural—and change the way
we think about our world.”
So wrote Smithsonian curator Ellen Roney Hughes about the
traveling exhibit Sports: Breaking Records, Breaking
Barriers, which opens at the New York State Museum on
Sunday (Oct. 15). The exhibition, which is structured around
35 athletes and 17 sports, is a celebration of achievements
that transcend simple competition. Objects in the exhibit
include Abraham Lincoln’s handball, Roberto Clemente’s batting
helmet and a jersey from the gold medal-winning 1980 U.S.
Olympic hockey team.
Breaking Records, Breaking Barriers opens Sunday (Oct.
15) in the Exhibition Hall of the New York State Museum
(Empire State Plaza, Albany) and continues through Jan.
8, 2006. For more information, call 474-5877.