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Metropolis

If you’ve ever taken the slightest pleasure in watching epic films, you owe it to yourself to see Fritz Lang’s sci-fi landmark Metropolis on the big screen. And this Sunday and Monday, Proctors is affording you this special opportunity. Metropolis is a delirious doozy of a film, set in a city that’s a technological paradise for everyone except the workers who built and maintain it. (Sound familiar?) Made at Ufa, the only studio in Europe that could rival Hollywood’s technical capabilities, it has something for everyone. There are the still stunning, ultra-“modern” sets and special effects. There’s the fever dream of a plot, which mixes up class warfare with pagan and Christian mysticism in a way that, well, Germans should generally avoid—but is hugely entertaining. There’s a mad scientist named Rotwang (the majestically evil Rudolf Klein-Rogge), who sports a mechanical arm and holds a deep-seated grudge against the world; a workers’ savior named Maria (Brigitte Helm); and a sexy robot double for Maria who dances half-naked and gives the camera the most lascivious wink in cinema history.

This is, give or take a few frames, the complete version of the film as it was premiered in Berlin in January 1927. It was restored from recently discovered prints in Argentina and New Zealand. The live organ score will be played by Avery Tunningly, a first-class musician well-known for his performances at vintage-film festivals.

Metropolis will be screened Sunday (Sept. 26) at 2 PM and Monday (Sept. 27) at 7:30 PM at Proctors (Mainstage, 432 State St., Schenectady). Tickets are $12, $10 seniors and students. For more info—and to view the excellent trailer for the film—visit proctors.org. For tickets, call 346-6204.

LarkFEST

Forget fancy-pants pedestrian crossing signals; you know what would solve the quality-of-life issues at the intersection of Madison and Lark? A concert stage. Put another one at Washington and Lark, ban cars, pump the whole corridor full of music, beer, food, and vendors, and for one day Center Square is the most livable neighborhood in the state.

LarkFEST is not only a last-chance opportunity to enjoy Lark Street before the cold weather sets in, but the most anticipated event on the Lark Street BID’s calendar. Much of this has to do with the high-caliber musical acts booked to the festival’s two stages. This year’s headliners include roots-rockers Backyard Tire Fire, Spin Doctors frontman Chris Barron, Tommy Tutone founder Jim Keller, retro-soul renaissance man Eli “Paperboy” Reed (pictured), pop duo Kaiser Cartel, and Harper Blynn. And as always, there will be plenty of local acts, including the Charlie Watts Riots, Sirsy, Rich Ortiz, Skadee, Tom Mc-Watters, and the Ill Funk Ensemble.

Smack-dab in the middle, Bombers will host a “silent disco” where participants are given a wireless headset and the choice of two DJs, audible only to those with headphones, to tune in to. All afternoon, local DJs battle for the biggest dance party.

LarkFEST is on Lark Street (Albany) on Saturday (Sept. 25) from 10 AM to 5:30 PM. Admission is free. Go to larkstreet.org for more info.

Play by Play: Blue Moons

The folks at Stageworks/Hudson have built a reputation for producing cutting-edge new work in their candle-factory-cum-theater, and nothing proves their dedication to “move to the forefront of new play development” better than their annual Play by Play festival of new one-acts.

The 14th round of Play by Play is themed “Blue Moons, and the six new one-act plays featured examine “those once in a blue moon events that can change our lives forever,” through the work of leading contemporary dramatists.

As usual, all six plays will be performed by four actors—Dan Fenaughty, Lauren Murphy, Tod Randolph and regional favorite Jonathan Epstein. It’s just the kind of whirlwind theatrical experience that Stageworks excels at. In fact, the festival was declared in these very pages to be “the best new theater in the region: bold, brave and ballsy, always.” So check it out, and see what’s brewing on the cusp of the theater world.

Play by Play: Blue Moons opens at Stageworks/Hudson (41-A Cross Street, Hudson) on Wednesday (Sept. 29) and runs through Oct. 10. Tickets range from $18 to $29. For more info, or to purchase tickets, call the Stageworks box office at 828-7843.


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