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Martina McBride

Last year’s Timeless marked Martina McBride’s eighth full-length release since she and her bright blue eyes popped onto the popular country scene (in 1992 with The Time Has Come), but it was the first record she ever produced herself. An album of classic country tunes, Timeless serves as McBride’s salute to the country-music genre, and to those who came before her.

The Kansas-born songstress has been a fixture in the country charts’ Top 10 lists since “Independence Day,” a domestic-abuse anthem off 1993’s The Way I Am, hit the radio waves. McBride, who brings her current tour to the Pepsi Arena tomorrow (Friday), is a multiplatinum artist who has yet to record anything she has written herself—she has said that she’d rather leave the writing to people who had a natural gift for it, and that she likes to use her creative energy for producing her albums.

Brett and Brad Warren, together known as the (“barely famous,” they proclaim) Warren Brothers, will open the show.

Martina McBride will perform at the Pepsi Arena (51 S. Pearl St., Albany) tomorrow (Friday, April 28); the show will start at 7:30 PM. Tickets for this event are $49.75. For more information or to order tickets, call (800) 30-EVENT or visit www.pepsiarena.com.

The Lark

If you want to challenge and engage teenagers with an historical figure, you could do a lot worse than the Maid of Orleans. Your typical American teen may rethink the usefulness of cable TV, video games and endless snacks if presented with the life of Joan of Arc, the French peasant girl who led the armies of France into battle against the English, got herself roasted at the stake for heresy at 19 and, eventually, was canonized a saint by the Roman Catholic church.

The New York State Theatre Institute is, beginning this Sunday, presenting the Lillian Hellman adaptation of Jean Anouilh’s The Lark, which tells the inspiring, moving, and frightening story of a girl divinely inspired to become a general and martyr. The cast of 25 features Mary Jane Hansen (pictured) as Joan.

The New York State Theatre Institute will present The Lark beginning Sunday (April 30) at 2 PM at the Schacht Fine Arts Center (Russell Sage College, Troy); the production will run through May 13. Tickets are $20 for adults, $16 for seniors and students, and $10 for children 12 and under. For a complete schedule of performances or to purchase tickets, visit www.nysti.org or call 274-3256.

L’Ensemble

It’s that time of the year—the winter and spring concert series are coming to an end, and the schedules for summer programs at Glimmerglass Opera, Tanglewood and the like are flying over the transom almost daily. L’Ensemble, who bill themselves as “not your ordinary chamber group,” will complete their current season at the Egg on Sunday afternoon with the premiere of Lincoln Mayorga’s Louis in New Orleans.

Arranged for violin (Barry Finclair), piano (Mayorga), double bass and voice (Ida Faiella), Louis in New Orleans uses Louis Armstrong’s own words, and is “variously sung, spoken and sung in scat syllables.” As Mayorga has explained, he had long wanted to compose a New Orleans-related piece; jazz’s seminal figure—and current events—provided the inspiration and impetus. Also on the program will be two works by the late Noel Da Costa, I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say (for solo violin) and Two Songs for Julie Ju.

L’Ensemble will premiere Louis in New Orleans on Sunday (April 30) at 3 PM at the Egg’s Swyer Theatre (Empire State Plaza, Albany). Tickets are $20. For more info, call the box office at 473-1845.


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