the Village People
all seen more than our fair share of not-quite-final farewell
tours—hell, the Who have done four or five now. So, it’s
gotten kind of tough to take them seriously. On her first
run through the ritual, Cher is either being cheekily ironic
or just straight-up practical by naming this, her “last”
jaunt arount the nation, her Never Say Goodbye Tour.
The uncertain finality of this farewell is only reiterated
by the selection of opening act, who serve as reminder that,
in pop music, if the paycheck is there the band will be
there; or as is the case with the Village People, three
of the original members of the band will be there, along
with some more recently recruited talent to fill in the
gaps. (If you’re keeping tabs, the originals are the soldier,
the construction worker, and the Indian . . . er, rather,
the Native American; the newbies are the cop, the cowboy,
and the leatherman . . . er, that is, the biker.)
Which is not to say that we aren’t looking forward to the
show: In the pop pantheon, few types of performer hit the
high points like the Outspoken Diva of Long Standing (check
Bette Midler, if you’ve got any doubt). In a phrase, Cher
ain’t no Ashlee Simpson.
And the Village People? C’mon. Even in the Red States it
ain’t actually a party until “Y.M.C.A.” blares.
Cher and the Village People will perform at the Pepsi Arena
(51 S. Pearl St., Albany) on Wednesday (Nov. 24). Tickets
for the 7:30 PM show are $48.75-$78.75. For more information,
Is Here: Emergency Medical Services in New York
recently on Eagle Street near Madison Avenue in Albany:
a beautifully preserved, early-1960s-era ambulance on a
flatbed truck headed toward the New York State Museum. This,
and 14 other such vehicles, will be on display beginning
Saturday, in the museum’s new exhibit Help Is Here: Emergency
Medical Services in New York. (Pictured: a steam-powered
White-model ambulance used by the Kings County Hospital,
The purpose of the exhibit is to trace the history of emergency
services. After all, as the NYSM notes point out, hospitals
as we know them didn’t exist until the late 19th century.
There will be vehicles, memorabilia, photographs and “historic
medical equipment used in the field” on display. And though
it’s not stated, we suspect the subtext for the exhibit
is the importance of “first-responders” in the post-Sept.
Is Here opens Saturday (Nov. 20) and continues through
Sept. 11, 2005, at the New York State Museum (Empire State
Plaza, Albany). For information, call 474-5877.
FBI in Action
with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear. And we
really mean it. Back in the day, when WGY-AM was owned by
General Electric and happened to be one of the greatest
radio stations in the Northeast, the station regularly broadcast
The FBI in Action, a locally produced and written
radio drama. We’ve never heard it—do any episodes survive?—but
we’re reasonably sure it was an action-packed, two-fisted
drama about G-Men busting up Nazi spy rings and slapping
down bank robbers, white slavers and two-bit hoodlums.
Well, tonight (Thursday) the New York State Writers Institute
is cosponsoring a live performance of an original 1940s
episode of The FBI in Action on the UAlbany uptown
campus. The cast will include members of the original cast
and students from the UAlbany theater department. You can
even close your eyes if you’d like, to re-create the original
FBI in Action will be presented tonight (Thursday, Nov.
18) at 7 PM at the UAlbany Performing Arts Center’s Recital
Hall (1400 Washington Ave., Albany). Admission is free—just
like listening to the radio used to be. For more information,