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Counting Crows, Maroon 5, Sara Barreiles

There are just three short weeks left in SPAC’s rockin’ summer concert schedule, and this week’s big ticket spans more than a decade of alt-rock glory, paring Counting Crows with Maroon 5, and featuring “special guest” Sara Barreiles.

In case you can’t recall that far back, Counting Crows hit the big time back in 1993, after their debut album August and Everything After swept the airwaves, pacifying the nation with the placid droning of Adam Duritz (pictured) and the band’s calm original melodies—the man can croon about Omaha for god’s sake! Well, Counting Crows have kept at it, racking up four more albums and an Academy Award nomination over the past 10 years.

They’re joined in Saratoga by Grammy Award-winning alt-pop-rockers Maroon 5, whose two albums have both gone multi-platinum. And they’ve had three years to hone their sound since they snagged the Best New Artist Grammy in 2005.

Sara Barreiles, who rocketed to mainstream success earlier this year with her No.1 Billboard single, “Love Song,” rounds out the full ticket of California-based artists.

The trio of bands hits the SPAC stage (108 Avenue of the Pines, Saratoga Springs) on Tuesday (Aug 12) at 7 PM. Tickets range from $126 for super-primo “Golden Circle” indoor seating to $30.50 for a spot on the lawn. For more info, call 583-3045.

Worlds of Shakespeare

This weekend marks 2008 Family Weekend for the folks at Albany Civic Theater, and they’re offering up a family-friendly introduction to Shakespeare’s plays to celebrate.

Worlds of Shakespeare, created in 1963 by Marchette Chute and Ernestine Perrrie, which compiles 12 scenes from 10 of the Bard’s great plays, was originally intended for performance by only two actors. Albany Civic Theater shakes things up a bit, casting 12 actors who will cycle through the scenes, weaving memorable moments from history, tragedy, comedy and romance into a dynamic family performance.

From Othello to King Lear to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, kids can encounter manageable doses of Shakespearian magic, and adults can be reminded of the power and poetry of the Bard’s impassioned iambs.

Worlds of Shakespeare plays at Albany Civic Theater (235 Second Ave., Albany) tomorrow (Friday, Aug. 8) and Saturday (Aug. 9) at 8 PM, and Sunday (Aug. 10) at 3 PM. It is a pay-what-you-will performance, no reservations are needed. For more info, all ACT at 462-1297.

Bard Music Festival

Bard Summerscape has been in full swing for weeks—in fact, back in the theater-review section of this issue, there’s a review of a musical presented as part of this summer’s elaborate goings-on down at Annandale-on-Hudson. This weekend, however, is the heart of all this cultural activity: the Bard Music Festival.

This year, the focus is on the musical works and life of 20th-century Russian (then Soviet) composer Sergei Prokofiev. Prokofiev (pictured) is certainly one of the best-loved and most listened-to composers of his generation; even if you’re not sure if you’ve heard his music, believe us, you have. It’s hard to explain it, but there’s an unmistakable wit, bordering on what we, today, would call snark, behind almost every note.

This weekend, there are concerts tomorrow (Friday, Aug. 8), Saturday (Aug. 9) and Sunday (Aug. 10) in the Richard B. Fisher Center, plus additional concerts and lectures in Olin Hall (Bard College, Annandale on Hudson) both Saturday and Sunday. Performers will include the Chiara String Quartet (pictured), the American Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Leon Botstein, and assorted guests. For a detailed listing of events, see the classical music listings in this issue, visit, or call (845) 758-7412.

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