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John Hiatt, North Mississippi All Stars

There’s probably not much we can say about this show that you don’t already know. John Hiatt is an American songwriter of high order, and one of the more consistently engaging performers of the last three-plus decades. He continues to impress, too, turning in strong studio releases about every 18 months to two years, including last year’s Master of Disaster. That album—the cover of which is adorned by a sad-looking fellow in a Mexican wrestling mask—features appearances by Cody and Luther Dickinson, sons to legendary Memphis musician-producer Jim Dickinson and two of the three North Mississippi All Stars, one of the very best country-blues-rock outfits you’re bound to hear anywhere, ever. As luck would have it, Hiatt’s bringing the All Stars along for his Thursday night show; they’ll open the show, then back Hiatt for what should be an explosive evening of music. And remember, Capital Region, you are getting this show for free. Don’t forget to send Jerry a thank-you note.

John Hiatt and the North Mississippi All Stars will perform tonight (Thursday, July 20) at Alive at Five (Albany Riverfront Park, Corning Preserve, Albany). The show begins at 5 PM, and it’s free, free, free! (The rain site is at the Corning Preserve Boat Launch, under the I-787 overpass.) For more information, call 434-2032 or visit

Five Course Love

This saucy, sexy musical comedy about dating—i.e., not for the children—has been winning raves since its debut at the Geva Theatre in Rochester two years ago. Five Course Love is a fast-paced trip through five dates at five different restaurants. According to Capital Repertory Theatre, “each of the stories bears the flavor of the restaurant in which it occurs.” According to director-choreographer Adam Pelty, it’s like “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change meets Mad TV.”

Which, come to think of it, sounds like fun.

In the scene pictured here, we see Sofia (Tracy J. Wholf) meeting on the sly with Gino (Robert B. Cordell) while her jealous, ethically challenged hubby sits in the slammer.

Five Course Love begins tonight (Thursday, July 20) at 7:30 PM at Capital Repertory Theatre (111 N. Pearl St., Albany) with a pay-what-you-will performance; tickets go on sale at 5:30 PM. There will be previews beginning tomorrow (Friday, July 21) through Tuesday (July 25); opening night is Wednesday (July 26) at 7:30 PM, and the play runs through Aug. 19. Tickets are $42-$27. Regular showtimes are Tuesday-Thursday at 7:30 PM; Friday at 8 PM; Saturday at 4 and 8:30 PM; and Sunday at 2:30 PM. For more info, call the box office at 445-7469.

The Greater Good

This new opera is one of Glimmerglass Opera’s more adventurous productions this summer, with music by Stephen Hartke and text by Philip Littell.

The Greater Good is based on a Guy de Maupassant story about a Prussian general (in the not-very-pleasant-for-the-French Franco-Prussian War) who refuses to let a group of French travelers leave an inn until one of their number, a courtesan, uh, gives it up. Sort of a different take on what “the greater good” is, don’t you think?

The Greater Good opens Saturday (July 22) at 8 PM at Glimmerglass Opera (Alice Busch Opera Theater, Cooperstown). There is a matinee performance Monday (July 24) at 1:30 PM; the production continues through Aug. 28. Tickets range from $117-$36, depending on whether it’s a weekend or weekday performance. For performance dates and other information, call (607) 547-2255.

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