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Photo: Lanny Nagler

The Lady With All the Answers

For 40 years, the two most popular newspaper advice columns were written by Midwestern, Jewish twin sisters, rivals who wrote under the pen names Abigail Van Buren and Ann Landers. David Rambo’s “chatty” (per the The New York Times) play The Lady With All the Answers is about Ann Landers (real name, Eppie Lederer), whose barbed wit and sympathetic advice on sex, marriage, and current events was syndicated in more than 1,200 newspapers.

While the fun and drama of writing Landers’ column would in itself provide enough material for a one-woman show, this play’s dramatic hook is appropriately personal: It’s set on the eve of the columnist writing about her own crumbling marriage.

Ms. Landers will be brought to life by Broadway and TV vet Charlotte Booker, whose performance in the Connecticut production of the play (the same one being presented at Capital Repertory Theatre) earned warm praise from The New York Times: “Under the direction of Steve Campo, Ms. Booker captures Ms. Lederer’s appealing mixture of corny good humor and hardheaded good sense.”

Wake up and smell the coffee with The Lady With All the Answers at Capital Repertory Theatre (111 N. Pearl St., Albany). Previews begin tomorrow (Friday, April 16) at 8 PM, and continue Saturday (April 17) at 3 and 7:30 PM, Sunday (April 18) at 2:30 PM, and Tuesday (April 20) at 7:30 PM. Opening night is Wednesday (April 21) at 7:30 PM, and the show runs through May 9. Tickets are $31 to $46. For more info, call the box office at 445-7469.

Jakob Dylan and Three Legs

When it comes to musical pedigree, the surname “Dylan” is like a royal title. But, just as great power carries great responsibility, being the son of a legendary musician comes with lofty expectations for greatness.

For Jakob Dylan, early-’90s Los Angeles was his proving ground. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, his band the Wallflowers scored two Grammys for Bringing Down the Horse in 1996, but quickly disappeared into ’90s marginalia like tourmates Toad the Wet Sprocket and the Spin Doctors. It wasn’t until 2007 that Dylan got behind his namesake and released a bona fide solo debut, but it’s his latest, Women and Country, that’s being touted as making good on the Dylan promise. Despite the big guns he’s hired this time around—producer T Bone Burnett and back-up singers Neko Case and Kelly Hogan—the songs are direct, not unlike those of another familiar Dylan.

Jakob Dylan and Three Legs come to the Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany) on Saturday (April 17) at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $33. Call 473-1845 for more info.


The Visitors

This month’s installment of WAMC’s Food for Thought socially relevant film series takes a harsh look at the New York state prison system with a screening of The Visitors. The award-winning 2009 documentary examines the impact that our flawed legal system has on underserved poor and minority populations by following the weekly bus pilgrimage of visitors from New York City to see loved ones incarcerated in prisons upstate.

“Every Friday night about 800 people, mostly women and children, almost all of them African American and Latino, gather at Columbus Circle in Manhattan and board buses for the north,” says director Melis Birder on the film’s Web site. “Depending on the destination, the whole visiting trip can take up to 25 hours.” And she would know. She began making the grueling trip not to make a film, but to visit her fiancé at Clinton Correctional Facility near the Canadian border.

Following the screening, there will be an open discussion with guest panelists Dennis Mosley, Alison Coleman, Judith Brink and Charles LaCourt. Between them, the panelists have put in decades of work as prisoner advocactes and activists.

The Visitors will be screened at the Linda, WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio (339 Central Ave., Albany), tonight (Thursday, April 15). The reception, which features a sampling of foods from Honest Weight Food Co-op, kicks off at 6 PM, followed by the feature film and panel discussion at 7 PM. Tickets are $6. For more info, call 465-6233 ext. 4.

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