the event we didn’t think would pull through this year:
Larkfest. We also never thought we’d see downtown Albany’s
Lark Street as the bustling and quaint artery of the Center
Square Neighborhood again either. We were aghast when all
of the trees were taken out, and the construction seemed
endless. But, lo and behold, the transformation took place
as scheduled, and it actually looks good. Trees have been
planted (yes, they’re smaller), the sidewalks and roadways
are new, the crosswalks have cobblestones, and, in the “if
you build it they will come” vein, Lark Street appears to
be hopping again.
There were rumors that Larkfest, an annual festival of arts
and music, would be held somewhere other than its namesake.
Perhaps in order to avoid the trouble of renaming the popular
event, the city hustled to finish the project—so let the
Larkfest commences Saturday at 10:30 AM, and at 11:30 there
will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the mayor marking
the reopening of Lark Street. It takes place on the world-music
stage at the corner of Lark and Madison Avenue. Speaking
of music, plenty will be ringing through the streets. On
the aforementioned stage, the Costa Rican sensation Mandorico
will headline (3:45). They like to blend rock and hiphop
with African, Cuban and Caribbean influences. Also on that
stage are the George Boone Blues Band, Ricky Husbands and
Blue Illusion starting things off (noon).
The rock stage (at Lark and Spring streets) features rootsy-bluesy
pop-rock act Sirsy headlining (4 PM), and Funkshop Loomis,
Third to None, Public Access and the Velmas (11:15 AM) preceding.
The third music stage, the acoustic stage (at the Trinity
Methodist Church parking lot), features Mitch Elrod’s CountrySoulHouse
headlining (4:25 PM), preceded by MotherJudge, No Outlet,
Maria Zemantauski & Alegria, Katie Haverly, Erin Harkes,
Steve Candelin and Michael Eck (taking the stage at 11 AM).
There will also be a kids’ stage (at Lark Street and Hudson
Avenue), with storytellers, dancers, jugglers and musicians,
and, as always, plenty to eat, drink and purchase. Larkfest
takes place Saturday (Sept. 13) from 10:30 AM until 5 PM.
Graham Dance Company
New York, the Egg’s seasonlong series of six dance performances,
kicks off with the Martha Graham Dance Company tomorrow
(Friday). Martha Graham, who died in 1991 at age 96, founded
her company in New York in 1926, making it one of the oldest
and most celebrated contemporary dance companies still around.
Due to a long court battle between Graham’s sole heir, Ronald
Protas, and the dance center she founded over rightful ownership
of more than a half-century’s worth of her dances, it has
been legally impossible of late for her company to perform
her works. With a recent court decision that awarded the
center ownership of most of Graham’s choreographies, the
company is now free to perform the works once again.
Under the direction of principal dancers Terese Capucilli
and Christine Dakin, the Martha Graham Dance Company will
perform Maple Leaf Rag (with live piano accompaniment),
Errand Into the Maze, Diversion of Angels,
and Sketches From Chronicle. The performance will
be held at the Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany) tomorrow
(Friday, Sept. 12) at 8 PM. Tickets are $28 for adults,
$22 for seniors, and $14 for children. For more information
and tickets, call 473-1845.
the musical modernists consigned romanticism to the dustbin
of history—sometime around the middle of the last century—Cecile
Chaminade ended up on the same heap with her now better-remembered
male contemporaries. Fame is indeed fleeting: In the early
nineteen-aughts, French composer Chaminade was highly regarded.
Her works, which included a few concertos, a ballet, a symphony
and hundreds of songs, enjoyed international popularity.
She was consistently praised for what one historian calls
her “typically French wit and color.” There were Chaminade
clubs across the United States, and her 1908 stateside tour
was a great success.
Self-described lyric-comic soprano Alaina Warren Zachary
(pictured) has dedicated herself to bringing Chaminade back
into prominence. She recorded an album of some of Chaminade’s
most memorable songs (Mon Coeur Chante! The Songs of
Cecile Chaminade, on the Brana label), and has created
Chez Chaminade, a celebration of the composer’s life and
songs. Zachary will bring this program—which features Zachary,
in character as Chaminade, offering anecdotes along with
the melodies—to the Spencertown Academy on Saturday evening.
Zachary, a Broadway veteran of the original productions
of Grease and Nine, has since dedicated herself
to performing the classical repertory. She’ll be accompanied
by well-known, locally based Lincoln Mayorga on piano.
Chez Chaminade will be presented Saturday (Sept. 13) at
8 PM at the Spencertown Academy (790 Route 203, Spencertown).
Tickets are $15 general admission and $12 for members. For
reservations and information, call 392-3693, or visit www.spencertown.org.