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The Four Sides of 40

It’s been a weird decade. Pink is the new black. Big is the new small. 40-something is the new 30 Something.

Lucky for us, that last idea was scooped up by a bunch of stand-up comedians before some producer could turn it into a reality TV show (is real the new fake?). On New Year’s Eve (tonight!), comedians Lenny Marcus (the bachelor), Patty Rosborough (the divorcee), Al Ducharme (the newlywed), and Eric McMahon (the husband and father) offer their own hilarious take on life as a 40-something.

The Four Sides of 40 come to the Palace Theatre (19 Clinton Ave., Albany) tonight (Thursday, Dec. 31) at 8 PM. Tickets are $35. Call 465-3334 for more info.

First Night Saratoga

We’ve always kinda wondered why cities refer to their New Year’s Eve celebrations as “First Night,” because, technically, isn’t it the last night of the calendar year that’s in question? Even if the merriment continues long into the AM hours of January 1st, it’s still more accurate to call the event “first morning” . . . but we digress.

Saratoga Springs doesn’t trouble itself with such semantic quandries, as it’s been known to throw the biggest First Night celebration in upstate New York. This year, the 14th annual First Night Saratoga has been dubbed “Starry Starry Night” for the wide array of events happening under the (hopefully) clear night sky. With a $15 button and free CDTA shuttle bus service, you can drift from concerts to art shows, dance performances and plenty of kids events.

Opening ceremonies kick things off with a performance by the USO and a 5K run. From there it’s a nonstop itinerary of music (Saratoga Springs Youth Orchestra, Union Fire Marching Band, Joey Thomas, Keith Pray, Brian Patneaude, Hair of the Dog, Adirondack Baroque Consort, Ernie Williams, etc.), dance (Ellen Sinopoli, Turtle Clan Dancers, Saratoga City Ballet’s Nutcracker, zydeco, belly dancing), jugglers, magicians, comedians, storytellers, a human boom box, a reptile show, and a robotics demo.

First Night Saratoga runs from 5 PM tonight (Thursday, Dec. 31) to 1 AM Friday (Jan. 1) in downtown Saratoga Springs. Buttons are $15 and can be purchased at a number of downtown locations. Children 5 and under are free. Call 583-9622 Ext. 134 for more info.

Berkshire Bach Society

We’re not going to debate this. J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos are among the most sublime music ever written. Which is why, over the years, the Berkshire Bach Society has performed some or all of them over the New Year’s holiday.

Taking a page from the venue-hopping hijinks of other local orchestras and ensembles, the BBS are performing Bach’s masterpieces in three venues in three days: tonight in Great Barrington, tomorrow afternoon in Pittsfield, and Sunday in Troy.

The BBS will perform tonight (Thursday, Dec. 31) at 6 PM at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center (14 Castle St., Great Barrington, Mass.); the tickets are $35 to $55. For more info, call (413) 528-6415. They will perform tomorrow (Friday, Jan. 1) at 3 PM at the Colonial Theatre (11 South St., Pittsfield, Mass.). Tickets are $17 to $37; for more info call (413) 997-4444. Finally, they will perform Saturday (Jan. 2) at 4 PM at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall (2nd and State streets, Troy). Tickets are $30 to $45; call 273-0038.

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