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Kid Stuff: Great Toys From Our Childhood

Get ready for a Tonka-truck load of nostalgia with the Berkshire Museum’s new exhibit. Kid Stuff is an exhibit of dolls, blocks, and other things with which your parents preoccupied you before the days when TV became the go-to babysitter. Remember your little red Radio Flyer wagon? Your Easy Bake Oven? Your Mr. Potato Head, which actually required a potato (pictured)? Find these artifacts, along with vintage Barbies, Wiffle balls, Silly Putty, Matchbox cars and more at this popular exhibit, which has traveled the country and Canada, and now is back home in the Berkshires (the Berkshire Museum originally put this show together in 1999).

Kid Stuff: Great Toys From Our Childhood is open now, and will run through Sept. 3. For more information, call the museum at (413) 443-7171 or visit

Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca

Congo-born Ricardo Lemvo and his band Makina Loca will perform this weekend as part of Schenectady’s Music Haven Concert Series. Lemvo, who is known for using the Cuban clave rhythm, has made a career out of combining Latin and African elements of music (specifically, salsa and soukous). He moved to the United states when he was 15 to pursue his studies (eventually earning a degree in political science) and formed Makina Loca while he was living in Los Angeles in 1990. Time Out New York has said, “Whether they’re kicking out Cuban jams or taking afro-pop to the bridge, Lemvo and company will make you sweat.”

Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca will perform at the Music Haven (Central Park, Schenectady) on Sunday (July 8) at 7 PM. Admission to the Music Haven Concert Series is free. For more information, visit

Glimmerglass Opera

In this, his first year as artistic director of Glimmerglass Opera, Paul Kellogg has picked four operas linked to the Orpheus myth—four operas never before staged at Glimmerglass.

Orpheus, you may recall, was the greatest musician around in those days. (“Those days” meaning that mythical period invented by the ancient Greeks.) He so loved Eurydice that, when she died from multiple poisonous snake bites (after being chased by a god, of course), he followed her into the underworld, convincing Hades and Persephone to let her return. They relented, but—let’s just say the story didn’t end happily.

Comic-opera bad boy Jacques Offenbach turned this myth on its ear in his tres tongue-in-cheek Orpheus in the Underworld. In this, Eurydice dies because she can’t stand her hubby’s “fiddle playing.” Fellow French composer and enfant terrible—seriously, he was batshit crazy—Hector Berlioz, apparently, took this as the 19th-century equivalent of being served. Berlioz revamped Christoph Gluck’s 18th-century opera Orphée et Eurydice as a touching, romantic riposte.

As the saying goes, “the French, they are a funny race.”

Glimmerglass is staging both of these works, along with Orpheus-themed operas by Philip Glass and Claudio Monteverdi (both of which open at the end of July). Seems like the new director is off to a fine start.

Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld opens Saturday (July 7) at 8 PM and continues through Aug. 26; Gluck’s (via Berlioz) Orphée et Eurydice opens Sunday (July 8) at 2 PM and continues through Aug. 28 at Glimmerglass Opera (Route 80 South, Cooperstown). Tickets range from $41 to $117, depending on day and time of performance; subscription-series tickets are also still available. For more info, visit or call (607) 547-2255.

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