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Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, Nneena Freelon Quintet

Dancing is an integral part of the jazz tradition; Saturday night’s performance at the Egg is a (more formal) continuation of this rich history.

The Ronald K. Brown/Evidence company will dance, and the Grammy-nominated Nneena Freelon Quintet will play, two works dedicated to a couple of great jazz divas: Billie Holiday and Nina Simone. The centerpiece of the evening is the tribute to Lady Day, Blueprint of a Lady: The Once and Future Life of Billie Holiday.

There will be a pre-performance talk at 7:15 PM.

Ronald K. Brown/Evidence and the Nneena Freelon Quintet will perform Saturday (Jan.31) at 8 PM at the Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany). Tickets are $28, $24 seniors and $14 children. For more info, call 473-1845 or visit

The Pretenders

We thought it was going to be a quick snap of nostalgia, but damn, this ’80s reanaisance has had some freaky-deaky staying power. Don’t know if you’ve noticed, but every third girl between the age of 15 and 25 within a 2000 mile radius of Williamsburg seems to be rocking the bangs and eyeliner. Yes, now that there are entire strores in the mall devoted to retro ’80s fashion, it’s safe to say that we’re living in a time of pretenders. Lucky for us, Chrissie Hynde’s gonna be in town to show us how it’s done—with a capital P.

When the Pretenders come to the Palace tonight, they’re gonna use their arms, legs, style, fingers and all the rest to make you, make you, make you notice, but it shouldn’t really take all that because their new disc Break Up the Concrete has got critics drooling all over Hynde’s high-heeled boots. It will be, after all, the tour’s opening night.

Give them your attention tonight (Thursday, Jan. 29) at 8 PM at the Palace Theatre (19 Clinton Ave., Albany). Tickets are $30 or $35. Call 465-3334 for more info.

Toulouse-Lautrec and Paris

Even if you’re not a lifelong art lover, you probably remember learning about Henri Toulouse-Lautrec in middle school. There was something mysterious and alluring about the post- impressionist painter, printmaker, and art nouveau illustrator, always seen with heavy beard and bowler hat, who walked with a cane—his legs stopped growing at age 13 because of a genetic disorder caused by a long line of aristocratic inbreeding—and died young. If his peculiar story wasn’t enough, Toulouse-Lautrec’s work is vibrant, bold and sexy: can-can girls and stockings and brothels and circuses and the Moulin Rouge. Forget the gardens, cathedrals and ballet of the impressionists. This was art to invigorate adolescents.

Perhaps you’ve forgotten your art lessons, but have carried those swirling skirts and swaths of red in the recesses of your memory. Perhaps they sparked your lasting love of art. Perhaps you have yet to discover Paris through the eyes of this curious artist. Whatever your story, the Clark Art Institute is offering, for the first time in more than 15 years, an exhibition of nearly their entire collection of Toulouse-Lautrec’s work in all its racy splendor, including more than 80 oil paintings, posters, photographs, drawings and lithographs, by Toulouse-Lautrec and his Parisian contemporaries.

Toulouse-Lautrec and Paris opens at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute (225 South St., Williamstown, Mass.) to the public on Sunday (Feb. 1) and runs through April 26. Admission to the Clark is free through May 31. On Saturday (Jan. 31), the Pleasures of Paris Winter Gala offers a preview of the exhibition, along with a feast of French food and wine and a cabaret performance. Tickets to the gala are $55, $45 for members. For more info, or to purchase tickets, call (413) 458-0524.

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