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Lift Up Our Hearts

In case you hadn’t heard about it in a while, Historic Albany Foundation has been working hard to raise funds for the restoration of that Albany gem, St. Joseph’s Church. You remember: That’s the architectural and spiritual Arbor Hill landmark we almost lost a few years ago.

To this end, on Saturday afternoon, the Lift Up Our Hearts concert will be presented in St. Joseph’s to raise money for the church’s restoration. Featuring the acclaimed Albany Ensemble—(l-r) guest vocalist Nina Woodward, baritone Tom Torebka, mezzo-soprano Mary Warr Cowans, soprano Andrea Schultz and soprano/director Mimi O’Neill—the program will include sacred works by the likes of Puccini and Bernstein, as well as selections from operas by Gershwin, Mechem and Bernstein and traditional spirituals.

Lift Up Our Hearts: A Concert of Renewal and Celebration featuring the Albany Ensemble will be held Saturday (Sept. 15) at 4 PM at St. Joseph’s Church (Ten Broeck and First streets, Albany). Admission is $30. For more information, call 465-0876 or 432-0949.

Hamlet

“The play’s the thing” this weekend, when the Prince of Denmark comes to Hudson. Shakespeare’s proverbial tale of mystery, death, desire and political subterfuge is hauntingly relevant today. More than 400 years after the tragedy was penned, Hamlet’s struggle remains poignant, reminding each of us of our daily choice “to be, or not to be.” His quest for right, clarity, and courage offers much-needed reflection, and sounds a call to action in our tumultuous times. Of course, along with all that profundity, the Bard spins his unique brand of black comedy and even tosses in a few ghosts, pirates, swordfights and murders to lighten things up a bit.

A collaboration by Walking the Dog Theatre, Shakespeare Alive!, and the Actors’ Ensemble, Hamlet is being presented at Stageworks/Hudson. The production opens tomorrow (Friday, Sept. 13) at 7:30 PM at Stageworks/Hudson (41-A Cross Street, Hudson) and continues through Sept. 30. Regular ticket prices are $16-$20; on Wednesdays all tickets are $10. For more information, or to make reservations, call the box office at 1-800-838-3066 or visit www.wtdtheatre.org.

Suzanne Vega

Suzanne Vega’s new album Beauty & Crime is so good we almost couldn’t believe how good it is. After we listened to it once, we had to immediately listen again. The songs are filled with the insinuating melodies and sharp observations—about passion, sex, and especially New York City—that are the hallmarks of her best writing. The arrangements are the kind of crisp pop-rock that marked her great albums of the 1990s, 99.9 F and Nine Objects of Desire. (We aren’t the only ones who dig Beauty & Crime: Billboard, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly all gave it great reviews.) So, naturally, we took special note when we saw that she would be performing at the Mahaiwe.

Vega has gigged solo (or with bassist Mike Visceglia) a few times around the region over the last few years, but this time she’s got a band. And since we’ve seen Vega before, we can safely say this show is a must-see.

Suzanne Vega will perform Sunday (Sept. 16) at 7 PM at the Mahaiwe Theater (14 Castle St., Great Barrington, Mass.). Tickets are $38 and $30. For more info, call the box office at (413) 528-0100.


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