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Shemekia Copeland, the Holmes Brothers

Lovers of the blues, listen up: A double bill of renowned blues performers will grace the stage at the Egg this weekend for one special night.

Harlem-born Shemekia Copeland started her remarkable singing career when she was 16, singing backup for her dad (blues guitar great Johnny Copeland) on tour. She began her solo career 10 years ago, when she was 18; since then, she’s garnered five Blues Music Awards, a Grammy nomination, and five Living Blues Awards. She’s released four albums, each one praised to no end by critics. Her most recent one, The Soul Truth, has been hailed the strongest of her career so far.

Copeland also hosts a show (Shemekia Copeland’s Blues Show) on Sirius Satellite Radio’s blues channel on Saturday afternoons, during which she tells stories about playing—and actually plays—the blues.

Billboard calls Copeland an “extraordinary talent. . . . Copeland is a vocalist who knows few stylistic limitations. She’s a true blues diva.”

The Holmes Brothers are currently on tour on support of their critically acclaimed new CD, called State of Grace, which features soulful covers of a diverse selection of acts—from Cheap Trick to Lyle Lovett.

Shemekia Copeland and the Holmes Brothers will perform at the Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany) on Saturday (Feb. 3) at 7 PM. Tickets are $24. For more information or to order tickets, call the Egg’s box office at 473-1845 or visit

Joachim Schmid Photoworks: 1982-2007

Glancing at this photo, you might think it’s some kind of glamour shot: The girl is young and beautiful, and the shot seems perfectly composed. Look closer, because No. 460, Rio de Janeiro, December 1996 is a picture of a homeless teen sleeping on a Rio sidewalk. It’s part of photographer Joachim Schmid’s series “Pictures From the Street,” and is one of numerous images on exhibit at the Tang Teaching Museum and Gallery beginning this Saturday.

According to the folks at the Tang, Schmid “provocatively blurs boundaries between the roles of photographer, artist, historian, critic, and archeologist.” He’s also rarely shown in the United States, so this is a special event.

Also opening at the Tang this weekend is the exhibit Martin Kersels: Heavyweight Champion, which runs from Feb. 3 through June 17.

Joachim Schmid Photoworks: 1982-2007 opens Saturday (Feb. 3) at the Tang Teaching Museum and Gallery (Skidmore College, 815 N. Broadway, Saratoga Springs) and continues through April 29. For gallery hours and information, call 580-8080.

Corpus Christi

When Terrence McNally’s play Corpus Christi opened in New York back in 1998, you may recall there was a firestorm of controversy. While the action takes place in contemporary Texas, it’s also a rewrite of the Passion Play—with the Jesus figure and his friends, er, apostles, portrayed as gay men. (“Sexual jealousy” drives the Judas character to his act of betrayal.) It was both praised and damned.

Now, Confetti Stage will present Corpus Christi at the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy, beginning tonight (Thursday).

Reached by telephone, Corpus Christi director Neilson R. Jones is asked if it was a difficult decision to stage the play. He pauses, then explains, “I actually wanted to do it last year, but it kinda got voted down.”

Interestingly, Jones says, he hasn’t heard negative feedback about this production. Maybe, he wondered, if it’s because this area is “more liberal” than most.

“It speaks to me,” Jones adds. McNally’s play is about prejudice and acceptance, and, Jones explains, is dramatically engaging: “It’s very unconventional how he lays it out.”

This Corpus Christi doesn’t emphasize the Christ angle, either: “I tried not to focus on the religious story . . . [and focus] more on the character development” in the drama.

Like McNally’s other plays, Corpus Christi requires an all-male cast; men play women’s roles, too. This production includes four actresses, however, because, for whatever reason, not enough men showed up for the audition. Jones saw this as a positive opportunity, however. The play is “about acceptance,” Jones notes, and the decision to open up the casting to women was a way of reinforcing this theme.

Corpus Christi opens tonight (Thursday, Feb. 1) at 8 PM in the Joseph L. Bruno Theatre at the Arts Center of the Capital Region (265 River St., Troy), and continues, Thursdays through Sundays, through Feb. 10. Tickets are $10. Call 253-1253 for ticket information and showtimes.

—Shawn Stone

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