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The Lustre Kings’ Elvis Birthday Bash

By our calculations, Elvis Presley would have been, let’s see, 173 years old on January 8. (You might want to check the math on that.) And even though Kurt Cobain recently unseated him as the No. 1 money-earning dead celebrity, we’re fairly certain that nobody will be staging Nirvana tributes to mark Cobain’s birthday 20 years from now. Elvis, he gets that kind of thing. Because he is one of our most cherished American icons. Because we still tear up every time we hear “In The Ghetto.” And because he’s the King.

Capital District rockabilly aces Mark Gamsjager and the Lustre Kings will pay tribute to Elvis on occasion of what would have been his birthday this Saturday (Jan. 6) at the WAMC Performing Arts Studio (339 Central Ave., Albany). Tickets for the 8 PM show are $22. To reserve tickets, call the box office at 465-5233 ext. 4.

The Manchurian Candidate

Actually, this should be The Manchurian Candidates. On Sunday afternoon, the Palace Theatre will host a double feature of the original 1962 film, which is a masterpiece of Cold War skullduggery, and its 2004 remake, which is a thoroughly entertaining update to our paranoid age of Persian Gulf adventures and multinational corporate evil.

John Frankenheimer’s original, which starred a startlingly vulnerable Frank Sinatra and an ingratiatingly repulsive Laurence Harvey (pictured here), is taut and funny. It moves smoothly from political comedy to murderous horror, enhanced by the wit of George Axelrod’s script. It also has Angela Lansbury, stealing the picture as the most purely evil mother in cinema history.

Jonathan Demme’s remake has formidable leads, too, in Denzel Washington (at his best, as always, playing characters at the breaking point) and Meryl Streep, who plays the villainous mom as if Hillary Clinton’s soul had been replaced by Barbara Bush’s. The plotting isn’t as elegant, but the tension and wit are sharp and effective. The remake also sports a stellar cast, including Liev Schreiber, Kimberly Elise, Jeffrey Wright and Bruno Ganz.

The Palace Theatre (19 Clinton Ave., Albany) will screen the 1962 version of The Manchurian Candidate at 1 PM on Sunday (Jan. 7). The 2004 remake will be screened at 3:30 PM. Tickets are $5 and cover both halves of the double feature. For more info, call 465-4663.

High School Musical: The Concert

Concerts don’t get much more fresh-faced than this one, as High School Musical stars Vanessa Hudgens (“Gabriella,” pictured), Monique Coleman (“Taylor”), Ashley Tisdale (“Sharpay”), Corbin Bleu (“Chad”) and Lucas Grabeel (“Ryan”) sing all your favorite songs from the smash TV hit.

If “you” are over 21, however, “you” probably have no idea what High School Musical is. That is, unless you’re old enough to be parents of the kind of Disney Channel-watching teens and tweens who made the made-for-TV movie High School Musical a worldwide ratings smash. The success spread to the charts—the soundtrack went triple platinum in 2006—and DVD, too. Which is why much of the original cast is probably going to pack the Pepsi Arena—oops, we mean the Times Union Center—on Sunday night.

High School Musical: The Concert will be presented Sunday (Jan. 7) at 7 PM at the Times Union Center (formerly the Pepsi Arena, 51 S. Pearl St., Albany). Tickets are $57.50 to $37.50. For reservations and information, call 487-2000.

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