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Feedback 2002

If you’re wondering what you can do to help less-fortunate families put food on the table this holiday season, and if you like checking out the local music scene, and if you don’t yet have any plans for tomorrow (Friday) evening, then let us make a plan for you: Head on over to Valentine’s for Metroland’s annual local-music showcase to benefit the Food Pantries for the Capital District.

Music will be provided continuously, rotating between the downstairs and upstairs stages, by eight local acts—Kitty Little, the Erotics, Bryan Thomas (pictured), Jump Cannon, Mabel, Bible Study, North Allen, and the Highsocks—along with Boston punk-pop outfit Scamper.

Feedback 2002 will take place tomorrow (Friday, Nov. 15) at Valentine’s, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany. Admission is $5, or $3 with a nonperishable food item. Proceeds and food items to benefit the Food Pantries for the Capital District. For more information, call 432-6572.

Second City National Touring Company

Second City, one of the oldest comedy ensembles around, returns for its ninth visit to the Egg tomorrow (Friday) night. With minimal props and costumes, the troupe will spice up an empty stage with topical comedy sketches and original music.

The Chicago-based comedy group was founded in 1959 and has since helped spawn the careers of countless famous funny people, like John Belushi, Mike Myers, Chris Farley, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and many more. The roots of the group can be traced back to a small group of students in the University of Chicago theater department in the early ’50s who formed the Playwrights’ Theatre Club. Even though the group accumulated 25 production credits, the club closed in ’54. Members of the original group came back together to form what would become Second City.

Today, Second City is more than just an improv group playing Chicago nightclubs. North America is dotted with Second City branches, with training centers and theaters everywhere from Toronto to Los Angeles. Training centers are essentially like comedy colleges, complete with full faculty, comedy classes and performance schedules.

For more than 30 years, Second City has taken its act on the road, performing at colleges, clubs, theaters, festivals, etc. Today, there are numerous branches of the touring company itself. Almost all Second City actors (including comic greats like Bill Murray and Bonnie Hunt) got their start in the touring company.

Second City National Touring Company will appear for a night of comedy and improv at the Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany) tomorrow (Nov. 15) at 8 PM. Tickets are $24 can be purchased at the Egg Box Office and at all Ticketmaster locations. For more information or to reserve tickets, call the Egg at 473-1845.

Hello Hemingway and Madagascar

Fernando Pérez is one of Cuba’s preeminent filmmakers, and the New York State Writers’ Institute will turn the spotlight on his work tonight (Thursday) and tomorrow (Friday) by presenting two of his films. The original intention was to also turn the spotlight on Pérez himself, but the U.S. State Department decided, in its curious and mysterious wisdom, not to provide the director with a visa—apparently, preventing the great Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami from attending the New York Film Festival last September merely whet the government’s appetite for excluding world-class artists on the basis of politics. While there’s no substitute for having an artist discuss his or her work, the Writers’ Institute has truly come through with the next best thing: Ann Marie Stock, Dean of the International Studies Program at the College of William and Mary, will give a presentation on Cuban cinema tonight before the film Hello Hemingway, and will answer questions following tomorrow night’s screening of Madagascar.

Hello Hemingway mixes politics and romance in a story of two young students who fall in love while reading Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. This 1991 film won the best foreign-language film at the Spanish Academy Awards. The 1994 film Madagascar traverses the emotional and generational divide between a mother and daughter in contemporary Havana, and won awards at the Berlin and Sundance film festivals.

Hello Hemingway will be presented tonight (Thursday, Nov. 14) at 7 PM, and Madagascar will be shown tomorrow (Friday, Nov. 15) at 7 PM. Both screenings will be in Page Hall (135 Western Ave., Albany), and are free and open to the public. Call 442-5620 for more information.

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