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The Avett Brothers

If Chris and Rich Robinson of the Black Crowes are still the bad boys revered for reviving good-time bluesy hard rock, then Scott and Seth Avett are their folk-rock counterparts. The brothers from Concord, N.C., forged a musical bond in 1998, playing in the rock band Nemo. Dedicating their Tuesday nights to plucking bluegrass on their acoustic guitars and drinking with friends, they quit Nemo and gave birth to this folk-rock group, the Avett Brothers. In 2002, they released their debut album, Country Was.

While folk music may be stereotyped as bearded mellow-fellows sitting on stools, this trio—featuring Bob Crawford on bass and backing vocals—have become notorious for barn-stomping live shows that send audiences into a hoedown frenzy. The members kick, sweat, and twirl their guitars, banjos and bass around on stage like punks while belting out passionate poetry that audience members (drunkenly) sing along with, word-for-word.

The Avett Brothers have embarked on an extensive summer tour in anticipation of their July 22 release, The Gleam II, and will roll in to Revolution Hall (421-425 River St., Troy) tonight (Thursday, July 3). Doors open at 7 PM. Tickets are $18. For more information, call 274-0553.

Pageant Play

Berkshire Theater Festival celebrates its 80th anniversary this year with a challenging and diverse season that runs the gamut from classic to contemporary to brand-spanking-new. Part of the festival’s mission is to provide “a home for the next generation of the American theatre’s creative artists,” and they’re doing just that this weekend when they present the world premiere of Pageant Play in the 100-seat Unicorn Theatre.

Penned by actor-playwright Mark Setlock of Fully Committed, which won rave reviews in the pages of Metroland and on the international field, Pageant Play is described as “an outrageous new satiric comedy about the twisted world of child pageants.” We’re willing to bet the ironic title wasn’t an accident, and that, wound through the comedy, there just might be an critical examination of what we hold sacred nowadays. But don’t take our word for it, see for yourself.

Pageant Play is currently open for preview. Opening night is Saturday (July 5) at 8 PM with a reception following the performance. Tickets are $39 to $44. For more info, or to purchase tickets, call the BTF box office at (413) 298-5576.

Uncle Vanya

The theme of this year’s Bard Summerscape is Russian in flavor—specifically, the life and times of composer Sergey Prokofiev. There will be ballets, concerts, movies, cabaret and theater. The theater arrives this week, in the form of a modern-dress production of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya directed by Erica Schmidt, and starring Peter Dinklage (pictured) in the title role.

Chekhov’s epic-in-subject play is an “indelible tale of squandered dreams and tenacious survival,” something that Prokofiev knew quite a little about, too.

Previews of Uncle Vanya will be presented Wednesday (July 9) and July 10 at 8 PM in Theater Two of the Richard B. Fisher Center (Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson); opening night is July 11, and the production runs through July 19. Tickets are $45. For a complete listing of shows and times, visit fishercenter.bard.edu. For reservations and info, call (845) 758-7412.


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