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The Village People

They may not be young men anymore, but that’s no need to feel down (sorry). What can we say? Disco may have died, but the Village People apparently will not. Not that we’re complaining. We’ve marched through our halls to “In the Navy.” We’ve roller-skated around the gym in knee socks and short shorts, making the “C” backwards every time. We’ve flexed in front of the mirror, singing “Macho Man” into a hairbrush just like everybody else (right?).

You might say that the hand of fate touched French producer-composer Jacques Morali in the late ’70s, when he saw Felipe (aka the Indian) dancing in full Native American regalia for a crowd in Greenwich Village. Morali was instantly inspired to start a “disco concept group,” putting together a band of village icons from different American social factions. The rest is the stuff of legends: They sold more than 65 million records by 1987. They were featured in The Guinness Book of Hits (our guess is for having the most unassailably awesome sense of style), American Bandstand, Soul Train, Time, People, Playgirl and Playboy. Now, the Indian, the Soldier, the Cop, the Construction Worker, the Biker and the Cowboy are back again. Their disco-dance-party train is “sweeping the globe.” And, lucky for us, it’s stopping in Saratoga!

The Village People will perform tonight (Thursday, Dec. 13) at 8 PM at Vapor (Saratoga Gaming and Raceway, Crescent Avenue, Saratoga Springs). Tickets are $30. To make reservations, call (800) 595-4849.

It’s a Wonderful Life

One of the most affecting of all holiday-themed movies, Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life really gets under your skin. Chalk it up to what wags once called “Capra-corn,” but the film’s power is more subtle than that. Remember, this is one story in which the bad guy doesn’t get caught, or punished. In It’s a Wonderful Life, despite the title, people aren’t even essentially good; instead, it takes one extraordinary man’s self-sacrifice to keep an entire town from falling into economic, and spiritual, slavery.

And it is still enormously entertaining. From Jimmy Stewart’s emotional rollercoaster of a performance to Lionel Barrymore’s delicious scene-stealing as the evil Mr. Potter, there isn’t a moment of bad acting in the film. Barrymore gets the film’s best line, too, in response to Stewart’s George Bailey wishing him a Merry Christmas: “Happy New Year to you—in jail!”

It’s a Wonderful Life will be screened tomorrow (Friday) at 7 PM at the Palace Theatre (19 Clinton Ave., Albany). All seats are $5. For more info, call 465-3334.

Albany Symphony Orchestra

This tripleheader of Albany Symphony concerts, titled Memories of the Old Country, features ace cellist Matt Haimovitz performing the first Shostakovich cello concerto and Stephen Danker’s Out of Endless Yearnings: A Klezmer Rondo for Cello and Orchestra. Danker wrote the work for Haimovitz, who is as famous for his club dates as his symphony guest shots; his most recent regional performances were at Caffe Lena and Club Helsinki.

Maestro David Alan Miller will also conduct the ASO on works by Schubert and Bartók.

The ASO will perform tonight (Thursday, Dec. 13) at 7:30 PM at the Canfield Casino (Congress Park, Saratoga Springs). Tickets are $27. Call 465-4755 or 584-4132 for reservations. They will perform tomorrow (Friday, Dec. 14) at 8 PM at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall (2nd Avenue and State Street, Troy). Tickets are $29 and $32. Call 273-0038 for reservations. They will perform Saturday (Dec. 15) at 7:30 PM at the Colonial Theatre (111 South St., Pittsfield). Tickets are $27. For reservations, call (413) 997-4444.


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