rock, folk, jazz, alt-country, operetta. . . . Name a genre
of music, and it’s likely that Linda Ronstadt has done it,
or at least tried to do it. Ronstadt has had perhaps the
most forays into the worlds of country and rock, collaborating
with artists like the Eagles, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris,
James Taylor, Elvis Costello, and many others. Her lush,
honey voice as her instrument, Ronstadt has been a major
musical player for four decades. Over Ronstadt’s long career
she’s released dozens of albums, and as a result, has been
nominated for dozens of Grammys, a few of which she’s won.
As Ronstadt nears her 60th birthday (July 15, for those
who are curious), she’s still at it. Last month saw the
release of The Best of Linda Ronstadt: The Capitol Years,
a compilation that includes some previously unreleased material.
Catch the voice that’s made her a star all these years when
she stops in Schenectady this week.
Linda Ronstadt will perform at Proctor’s Theatre (432 State
St., Schenectady) on Monday (June 5) at 8 PM. Tickets to
the show are $19.75 to $59.75. For more information or to
order tickets, call 346-6204, or visit www.proctors.org.
Cat, the Sun and the Mirror
New York State Theatre Institute ends their current season
with yet another world premiere musical, The Cat, the
Sun and the Mirror. Directed by Ed. Lange, with a book
by Robert A. Anderson, and music and lyrics by Edward C.
Sullivan, The Cat is the story “of a feline detective’s
search for a missing ‘person’—the Sun—who has withdrawn
from her place in the sky because of self-doubt and the
feeling she is no longer appreciated.”
case you haven’t guessed, or you don’t watch much anime
on Cartoon Network, it’s based on a Japanese folk tale.
(The prominence of the cat is the dead giveaway.)
Cat, the Sun and the Mirror opens Sunday (June 4) with
a 2 PM performance at the New York State Theatre Institute
(Schacht Fine Arts Center, Russell Sage College, Troy).
The play continues through June 16 with a variety of morning,
matinee and evening performances; call the box office at
274-3256 for showtimes. Tickets are $20-$10. For more info,
wouldn’t be surprising if this Saturday is the Capital Region’s
last chance to catch Kevin James doing stand-up live at
the Palace Theater. This is not some sort of inside tip;
the guy blew up last year co-starring with Will Smith in
a little movie called Hitch. So why would he bother
with li’l old Albany? It would seem like a good bet that
James will soon be too busy filming movies alongside Smith,
Adam Sandler, and Jim Carrey—and counting his money—to spend
to James, however, it may not be such a good bet after all,
because he says stand-up is not something he’ll soon give
up. “It’s just something I enjoy doing,” he says. “I don’t
need to do it. No, I just really enjoy doing stand-up. I
love getting up there in front of a live audience. So, you
know, that’s basically it. That’s why I love it, and that
theater [the Palace] is awesome.”
James’ success with Hitch has eclipsed the live-action
comedy success of his mentor Ray Romano, the man who gave
James’ career the start that led from guest spots on Everyone
Loves Raymond to James’ own show, King of Queens.
I ask James, “You think you might teach Ray something about
making movies?” “Uh, he’s doing a . . . OK,” he replies,
half laughing, “He had a rough one with Mooseport.
That didn’t go too well, but his animated films are doing
well. He could teach me a few things there.”
James says that despite the fact that he broke onto the
comedy scene through appearances on Star Search,
he has not been paying much attention to this generation’s
TV talent search, American Idol. “I haven’t watched
it that much. I haven’t had the time,” he says. He pauses,
and then sarcastically intones, “I hear it’s sweeping the
He pauses again and says, “It’s weird. . . . It gives new,
talented people a shot, but yet when a rock star is born
on there it’s got this syrupy sweet . . . I don’t know.
. . . I picture a rock star being born . . . working crappy
pubs and clubs and dark, smoky rooms. You know what I’m
saying? I don’t picture them winning American Idol.
But that doesn’t make ’em any less talented.”
Wondering if perhaps James would consider his own darker
version of a talent search, I ask, “Would you consider,
down the road when you’re taking down 20 mill a picture,
starting your own Star Search thing for comedians?
Let’s say with a darker edge than Idol?” He quickly
responds, “Not just for comedians. I’ll just get up there
and sing! I don’t give a crap!”
While it may be a bad bet to assume James will soon give
up stand-up comedy, it is a good bet that James will soon
be a ginormous Hollywood player. James has been and will
be working with the biggest names in comedy. He says this
fall he begins filming a movie called I Now Pronounce
You Larry and Steve with Adam Sandler, and is in the
soon-to-be-released animated feature Barnyard. Of
his success in film, James insists, “Adam and Will [Smith]
are as big as you get. So I’ve been very fortunate in that
arena. It does not get bigger than those guys, and I’m just
In the face of so much success, it is hard to believe that
James will have time to bother touring cities like Albany
again. But he banishes the idea. “The last time we were
there it was such an awesome, awesome audience. The Palace
Theater is designed for comedy,” he declares. “So, you know,
when you get to pick and choose these audiences and crowds
and the venue and when it’s the right venue, it just explodes!
And that’s why we are just lucky to go back.”
Kevin James will be at the Palace Theater in Albany on Saturday
(June 3) at 8 PM. Tickets are $38, $48 and $58. To purchase
tickets, call 465-4334.