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March of the Dinosaurs

Let’s begin with the numbers: The six bands playing SPAC over the next two nights have combined worldwide album sales of more than 150 million. It is highly likely that you own at least one record (probably more) by at least one of these bands (probably more). And despite the fact that not one of them has had significant chart success in 15 or more years, they remain consistent concert draws year after year.

Here’s why: “Rock of Ages,” “Talk Dirty to Me,” “Roll With the Changes,” “Come Sail Away,” “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” “I Want You to Want Me,” “Lady,” “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” “Hold on Loosely,” “Surrender,” “Can’t Fight This Feeling,” “Caught Up in You,” “Nothin’ but a Good Time,” “Photograph”—need we go on? You could program an entire classic-rock station around just these acts’ hits.

And with the runaway Broadway success of the comedy-musical Rock of Ages—which is soundtracked almost entirely by this music—an entire new generation is getting in the mood for rock & roll. Can you blame ’em? These are the bands that make us throw the devil horns and raise our Bic lighters.

So don’t feel the least bit ashamed when you roll up to Saratoga tomorrow (Friday) or Saturday (or both) because we’re all in this together. Let’s rock!

Def Leppard (pictured), Poison, and Cheap Trick play the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs) on Friday (July 3) at PM. Tickets range from $39 to $125 inside, $29.50 on the lawn; and a number of VIP packages and other ticket bundles are available.

On Saturday (July 4), celebrate Independence Day at SPAC with REO Speedwagon, Styx and .38 Special. Tickets are $40 and $60 inside and $25 on the lawn, and LiveNation is again offering a lawn-seat four-pack at a discounted price.

Call the SPAC box office at 587-3330 or visit for tickets or more information on either show. (Or both.)

Ballet Maribar

We were skeptical; Radiohead are one of those bands you might call “influential,” but, for the most part, their influence has yet to stray from the realm of rock. And Shakespeare—well, Bill’s work doth been runneth into the mire by many a day-brained, base-court snudge, forsooth.

So, the idea of a ballet based on Romeo and Juliet, set to a soundtrack by Radiohead, performed by a Slovenian ballet, is risky to say the least. But the folks at Jacob’s Pillow don’t dither in knotty-pated knavery (God bless Elizabethan curse generators). Nay, after watching the preview of Radio and Juliet on their site (jacobs, it’s safe to say they’ve put “Everything in Its Right Place.”

Ballet Maribar will perform Radio and Juliet at the Ted Shawn Theatre at Jacob’s Pillow (358 George Carter Road, Becket, Mass.) tonight (Thursday, July 2) through July 5. Performances are at 8 PM Thursday through Saturday, with 2 PM matinees on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $59.50. For more info, call (413) 243-0745.

Lake George Opera at Saratoga

The Spa Little Theater comes alive with opera classics this week, as the Lake George Opera will open productions of two favorites, Madama Butterfly and Don Pasquale.

The tragedy of Puccini’s Japanese “butterfly” Cio Cio San, who has a lot more faith in the honor of her American husband than is merited, and the comedy of Donizetti’s old fool, Don Pasquale, are the yin and yang of LGO’s summer season. Yunah Lee will sing the role of Cio Cio San in Butterfly; Kyle Pfortmiller, who pleased LGO audiences in the 2006 production of The Barber of Seville, will sing the role of the wily Malatesta in Pasquale.

There will be free pre-performance talks for ticket holders one hour before each performance in the Spa Little Theater.

Lake George Opera at Saratoga will perform Madama Butterfly today (Thursday, July 2) at 7:30 PM, Sunday (July 5) and Wednesday (July 8) at 2 PM; and will perform Don Pasquale tomorrow (Friday, July 3) at 7:30 PM and Tuesday (July 7) at 2 PM at the Spa Little Theater (Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs). Tickets are $25 to $80. For more info, call the box office at 584-6018.

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