Straitjackets Holiday Party
surf quartet Los Straitjackets (Mexican wrestling masks
to be exact) will make their way through our humble hamlet
yet again—with the world famous go-go trio the Pontani sisters
in tow, no less—to play a holiday show at Savannah’s on
Sunday. Having recently released ’Tis the Season for
Los Straitjackets, chock-full of Christmas ditties done
up surf style, the disguised crusaders are ready to take
on the holiday-loving masses. Where else are you gonna witness
fantastic Ventures-style twang served up by four guys in
Mexican wrestling masks—performing “The Little Drummer Boy,”
Now for the lovely Pontani sisters: With massive headwear—their
feathers and pineapples will certainly mingle with holiday
glitter—and sexy sequined outfits (go to www.pontanisisters.com
and check out their photos), the sisters Pontani shake,
shimmy and shine their way into your heart. Fixtures of
Manhattan’s cabaret scene (and offering go-go robics on
the side), these gals are doing their part to revive burlesque.
You can do your part by joining the Pontani Sisters and
Los Straitjackets for a holiday party at Savannah’s (1 S.
Pearl St., Albany) on Sunday (Dec. 8). Call the club, 426-9647,
for further information.
celebration of Ludwig’s number 232, Capitol Chamber Artists
will throw a Beethoven Birthday Bash on Saturday at the
First Congregational Church in Albany, and Sunday in Benson,
Vt. While the group also will perform Felix Mendelssohn’s
Concerto in D minor for violin, fortepiano and strings,
the centerpiece of the evening will be the U.S. premiere
of C.F. Ebers’ transcription of Beethoven’s Symphony
No. 5 for quintet.
Capitol Chamber Artists are transcription specialists, performing
symphonic works reimagined for a more intimate presentation.
They earned raves for their presentation of a transcription
of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 a few months ago. They
have recorded all 12 Haydn London Symphonies in transcription,
and performed rearranged versions of symphonic works by
No. 5, with its dark opening—eight of the most familiar
notes in western music—and joyous finale, will offer interesting
challenges. Participating musicians will be Kei Ueyama,
fortepiano; Mary Lou Saetta, violin; Irvin Gilman, flute;
Petia Kassarova, cello; and Krassimir Ivanoff, bassoon.
Capitol Chamber Artists will present the Beethoven Birthday
Bash Saturday (Dec. 7) at 8 PM at the First Congregational
Church (405 Quail St., Albany). There will be a preconcert
recital at 7 PM. The program also will be presented Sunday
(Dec. 8) at 3 PM at the Community Hall (Benson, Vt.). The
preconcert recital is at 2 PM. Tickets are $8-$16. Call
458-9231 for reservations and information.
Circle of Christmas
may be titled The Circle of Christmas, but this play
is actually a brand new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ perennial
classic A Christmas Carol. You remember: Scrooge.
Ghosts. Bob Cratchit. Tiny Tim. We know what you’re going
to say: “Yet another Christmas Carol? After Alastair
Sim, Albert Finney, George C. Scott, Lionel Barrymore and
Bill Murray? ‘God bless us everyone,’ again? Bah,
Whoa—take it easy, Ebenezer. Where’s your holiday spirit?
Under the direction of Harriet Nichols, this new production
is being staged by the New York State Theatre Institute,
and was adapted and written by W.A. Frankonis. These are
the same folks that presented the beloved, award-winning
A Tale of Cinderella, and the recent much-acclaimed
production of The Killings Tale. Frankonis wrestled
with the obvious question—Did the world really need another
Scrooge?—before deciding he did have something new to bring
to the story. Frankonis chose to downplay the broader philosophical
aspects of Dickens’ tale in favor of a more personal study
of the contrast between the happiness of the poor Cratchits
and emotional alienation of the wealthy Scrooge. Don’t worry,
however—the ghosts are still in the story.
There will be preview performances of The Circle of Christmas
tomorrow (Friday, Dec. 6) at 10 AM and 8 PM at Russell Sage
College’s Schacht Fine Arts Center (Troy). The opening performance
will be Sunday (Dec. 8) at 2 PM. The play will run through
Dec. 19. Tickets are $19, $10 children through age 12. Senior
and student discounts are available. Call 274-3256 for showtimes,
reservations and information.