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Boyz II Men

If you remember new jack swing—hell, if you remember the 1990s—you must remember Boyz II Men, the retro vocal group who ruled the airwaves back in the day. Don’t tell us you can’t hum a few bars of “Motownphilly” or “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday?” What about “End of the Road?”

Speaking of back in the day, we remember when Boyz II Men were here a little over a decade ago, at what used to be called the Pepsi Arena. (The opening act was an unknown girl group called Destiny’s Child.) They sounded great then, and we’re hoping they’ll sound great now. Three of the original four guys—Nathan Morris, Shawn Stockman and Wanya Morris—will be on hand for today’s Alive at Five show.

Boys II Men will perform today (Thursday, June 24) at Albany’s Alive at Five. If the sun smiles on us, the show will be at Albany Riverfront Park (Corning Preserve, Albany). If it looks like the clouds are going to open up, the show will be at the Corning Preserve boat launch under I-787. Openers Soul Session will go on on at 5 PM sharp; Boys II Men will follow at around 6:30 PM. Admission is free (but the beer isn’t). For more info, call 434-2032.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Toss the ancient Roman comedies of Plautus together with the door slamming and mistaken identities of classic farce, throw in a hefty dose of bawdy puns, a dash of vaudeville, a pinch of social commentary. Dress the mix in a toga and set it to a hit Sondheim score, and you’ll have the Tony-award winning comedy A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

The rollicking tale of a Roman slave attempting to win his freedom by helping his master woo the lovely lady next door has been a hit on stage and screen, and this summer Williamstown Theater Festival opens its Mainstage season by giving the classic musical an ancient (or, perhaps, modern) twist with an all-male cast.

Featuring musical direction by Gary Alder of Avenue Q and Altar Boyz fame, and starring Tony nominee Christopher Fitzgerald as Pseudolus (a role originated by the legendary Zero Mostel) with a merry band of Broadway veterans, the WTF folks are promising a farcical romp that will be “a paean to the Gods of Comedy.”

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum opens at Williamstown Theater Festival (’62 Center, 1000 Main St., Williamstown, Mass.) on Wednesday (June 30) and runs through July 11. Tickets range from $45 to $60. For more info, showtimes, or to purchase tickets, call (413) 597-3400.

Art on Lark

It’s lofty talk when the Lark Street Business Improvement District calls Lark Street “a premiere destination for entertainment, culture and urban life in the Capital Region,” but we think they’re actually being modest. Home of the two largest street festivals in upstate New York, Lark Street is the warm pulse within Albany’s black heart, the flower busting up through the concrete edifice of the Empire State, the white dove of . . . hell, you get it: We like it here.

This Saturday, Art on Lark (second only to LarkFEST in size) invades Lark Street with hundreds of artists setting up shop to display and sell their work. There will be special one-day installations, a sidewalk chalk contest, the People’s Choice Art Show at the Upstate Artists Guild, a Kids’ Zone, dance and theater performances . . .

And plenty of music. From 10 AM to 4 PM there will be a steady lineup of local musicians performing on two stages: one at the intersection with Washington Avenue and another at Madison. Slated to perform are Ashley Pond, Super 400 (pictured), We Are Jeneric, Railbird, Matthew Carefully, Palatypus, the Rodeo Barons, John Scarpulla, the Musicians of Ma’alwyck, as well as Albany Poets, the Lark Divas Drag Show, the Lark-Ternative Hair Show, and Ethan and Atlas Break Dancing.

Art on Lark will be on Lark Street (Albany) on Saturday (June 26) between 10 AM and 5 PM. Admission is free. Call 434-3861 for more info.


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