Out of the Box
museums have been giving our inner 8-year-old a real treat
this month. First, the Schenectady Museum went all robot-crazy,
and now the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield is unveiling
Bug Out of the Box: Contemporary Art, Science and History
of Bugs, an entire exhibit dedicated to our little insect
friends. (Spiders, too!) The title of the exhibit is a play
on the idea that insects are typically displayed matter-of-factly,
in neat rows of little boxes. In Bug Out of the Box,
the titular bugs are not only the subject, but sometimes
the medium—for instance, Jennifer Angus’ room installations
feature “wallpaper” made entirely from insect exoskeletons.
Creepy, sure, but also really freakin’ cool, right?
Other works include Hillevi Baar’s 8-inch drawing Cocoon,
an 8-foot metal praying mantis by sculptor Don Jones, Louise
Bourgeois’ Spider VI (pictured, 2002), and Catherine
Chalmers’ photographs of roaches. And who doesn’t love roaches?
Out of the Box: Contemporary Art, Science and History of
Bugs opens at the Berkshire Museum (39 South St., Pittsfield,
Mass.) this Saturday (July 8). The exhibit will remain on
display through October 29. For more information, call (413)
and the Beast
Playhouse, that groovy summer explosion of free musical
theater in Albany’s Washington Park, celebrates its 18th
season with a production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
The folks at Park Playhouse are crowing over something else
notable, too: The production is being directed by Owen M.
Smith, a graduate of the Park Playhouse II Youth Theatre
Washington Park is one of the great resources of the city,
and the Lakehouse is a great setting. Yes, there are some
paid reserved seats available, but most of the seats are
free. The location is beautiful. The mood is usually convivial.
And there’s food for sale, too.
And the plays? Impressively produced, family-friendly fare,
of which Beauty and the Beast is a prime example.
A successful, Oscar-nominated animated movie-musical for
the whole family, transformed into a theatrical smash.
and the Beast opens Tuesday (July 11) at 8 PM at the
Lakehouse (Washington Park, Albany), and continues through
Aug. 20. Shows are Tuesday through Sunday at 8 PM. Admission
is free, but there are some paid, reserved seats in front
of the stage. For reservations, call 434-0776.
you haven’t had enough excitement at Empire State Plaza
what with the Fourth of July Fest and all, make a trip back
to the plaza this weekend for the two-day Allstate Bluesfest.
This free festival will feature three stages, each with
a packed schedule of blues performers—everyone from local
faves like Matt Mirable and Alison Jacobs to headliners
Chicago Blues Reunion. In addition to the performances,
there will be artists’ workshops on Saturday with musicians
like Joe Price, Diunna Greenleaf and more.
The Northeast Blues Society’s Colossal Contenders Contest
comes to an end tomorrow (Friday) night with its finalists
battling it out for the win, which will be announced (directly
after their performances) at 10 PM. There’s also a rare
acoustic set with bluesman Rhett Tyler (pictured). The winner
goes on to represent the Northeast Blues Society to compete
in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Make sure
you get out there to support your favorite local act.
The Allstate Bluesfest will take place this weekend (Friday-Saturday,
July 7-8) at the Empire State Plaza (Albany). Free parking
is available in the east garage and in the visitor’s lot.
More information (and a full schedule of performers) is
available at www.ogs.state.ny.us/plaza, or call (877) 659-4ESP.