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Bizarre, whimsical, uncanny, and fantastic: These are the adjectives to describe the works in the new show at Troy’s Clement Art Gallery, when the human form is depicted alongside various animal creatures in 30 paintings, drawings and sculptures.

The artists whose work is in the show include Claus Brusen, Jon Christopher Gernon, Russell Gordon, Igor Grechanyk, Caitlin Hackett, Spring Hofeldt, Steven Kenny, Richard A. Kirk, Jennifer Knaus, Scherer & Ouporov, Benjamin Vierling, Jeff Wigman and Rodney Wood. Pictured is Knaus’ Kohlrabbi & Garlic Scapes.

Of Beauties and Beasts opens Friday (July 25) with a Troy Night Out reception from 6 to 9 PM at the Clement Art Gallery (201 Broadway, Troy). The show will remain on view through Sept. 20. For more info, call the gallery at 272-6811.



As Paul McCartney proved earlier this month, if an artist has a great back catalog, a greatest-hits show can be a potent experience. We’re not saying Lionel Richie is another McCartney, but his songbook is pretty darn impressive. And when he takes the stage at SPAC Friday night, he’s going to play your most-wanted hits.

From the Commodores era, expect “Three Times a Lady,” “Easy” and “Brick House.” From his solo heyday, count on hearing him sing “Hello,” “All Night Long,” “Dancing on the Ceiling” and many more.

As the critic for the Arizona Republic wrote in a review of Richie’s June 8 Phoenix show, “It was hard not to be impressed by how easy the 64-year-old made the whole thing look.”

CeeLo Green will open with his own potent brand of neo-soul; prepare to give him a hearty “Fuck You.”

Lionel Richie and CeeLo Green will perform Friday (July 25) at 7:30 PM at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs). Tickets are $25 (lawn) to $125. To order tickets, call (800) 745-3000.



In past years, the Saratoga Choral Festival has featured works by some of the European greats. This year however, the festival will be taking a slightly more star-spangled route.

Works by American composer Aaron Copland will highlight the bill this Sunday, followed by music from one of the most acclaimed American conductor-composers, Leonard Bernstein. Copland’s Old American Songs will be heard in their entirety with setting for chorus and full orchestra. This rarely heard collection will be followed by songs from Leonard Bernstein’s Tony Award-winning musical Wonderful Town.

The Saratoga Choral Festival will be held Sunday (July 27) at 3 PM at the Saratoga Springs United Methodist Church (175 Fifth Ave., Saratoga Springs). Tickets are $25. For more information, go to saratogachoralfest.org or call 852-4851.



The times have changed: One dance critic has pronounced that “Circa has reinvented circus the way Cique du Soleil did decades ago . . . but the young company is way cooler.”

You can judge for yourself when the Australian company return to Jacob’s Pillow beginning Wednesday, performing their new work S in the Ted Shawn Theatre.

A Seattle-based critic described a March performance in glowing terms: “Moments of stillness were given the same weight and attention as moments of gravity-defying terror and precisely controlled displays of strength—and all of it produced wild responses from the crowd.”

Circa will perform Wednesday (July 30) through Aug. 2 at 8 PM and Aug. 3 at 2 PM in the Ted Shawn Theatre at Jacob’s Pillow (358 George Carter Road, Becket, Mass.). Tickets are $39 to $65, with special youth discount tickets also available. For more info, call the box office at (413) 243-0745.



Beginning Wednesday, the Berkshire Theatre Group will give a sly, sophisticated look at romance with Nöel Coward’s romantic comedy-a-trois Design for Living. It’s about an artist, a playwright and an interior designer who decide to mix friendship, love and sex in ways that are both funny and, occasionally, poignant.

Design for Living is directed by Tom Story and stars Ariana Venturi, Chris Geary and Tom Pecinka; the three actors all appeared in BTG’s hit 2013 production of The Cat and the Canary.

Berkshire Theatre Group will perform Design for Living in the Unicorn Theatre (6 East St., Stockbridge, Mass.) beginning Wednesday (July 30) at 7 PM. The play will run through Aug. 16. Tickets are $48. Call the box office for shows and times at (413) 298-5576.



The Bolshoi Ballet will make their SPAC debut this week with four performances of Don Quixote on the amphitheater stage.

The legendary Russian company will be accompanied by a full orchestra (which The New York Times praised as glorious), and each show will be preceded by an artist talk. The cast features Maria Alexandrova and Vadislav Lantratov in the principal roles.

The Bolshoi Ballet and Orchestra will perform Tuesday (July 29) through Aug. 1 at 8 PM at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs). Tickets are $15 (lawn) to $85. For more info, call the box office at 587-3330.



It’s hard to say which local rock celeb contributes most to Hudson’s growing cultural cachet: Tommy Stinson, Meshell Ndegeocello, Melissa Auf der Maur . . . the list continues to grow. And Magentic Fields frontman Stephin Merritt is quietly doing his part.

Merritt’s Friday set at Helsinki Hudson will register as a hometown gig for the famously bummed-out singer-songwriter, who tends to juggle a few different recording configurations. Last year, he released Partygoing with his group Future Bible Heroes. The Magnetic Fields put out Love at the Bottom of the Sea the year prior. This appears to be a solo set, however, for which his last release, Obscurities, came in 2011.

Brian Dewan will open.

Stephin Merritt will play Helsinki Hudson (405 Columbia St., Hudson) on Friday (July 25) at 9 PM. Tickets are $18. Call 828-4800 for more info.



Cage the Elephant fill some long-lost niche in music that’s lain dormant for quite some time, and frontman Matt Schultz cross-dresses in a fashion Iggy Pop would be proud of. The Kentucky-bred band Cage the Elephant like to trip out and intrigue, giving off Nirvana-esque vibes but with weirder music videos and no cult following (though there should be). Their reputation for outlandish and energetic live performances certainly makes their show at Upstate Concert Hall this week sound like an appealing way to kill a night. (July 27, 8 PM, $25, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)



Seventy years of living, eating, breathing and performing the blues does not have James Cotton down. Cotton will be in Schenectady this Sunday, sure to blow away his woes on his renowned harmonica. Cotton and his harp have had many tales to tell: They’ve worked with many Grammy Award winners, Cotton was awarded one himself in 1996 for Best Traditional Blues Album, which paid tribute to blues artists such as Muddy Waters, Percy Mayfield and Sonny Boy Williamson. Cotton will be joined by the guitar ballads of Matt Mirabile. (July 27, 7 PM, free, Iroquois Park, Schenectady, 382-5151)



Dustin Lynch will headline Alive at Five’s country night tonight (Thursday) down by the river (5 PM, free, 434-2032). . . . Critical alt-darlings Wussy will return to the Low Beat tonight (8 PM, $10, 432-6572). . . . Consider the Source will headline the Hollow tomorrow (Friday) with Ampvene (426-8550). . . . Hard Soul will host happy hour at the Low Beat on Friday along with Gusto (5 PM, 432-6572). . . . It’s a Jazz Guitar Summit at the Van Dyck on Saturday (7 and 9:30 PM, $22, 348-7999). . . . Party Boat share the Hollow Bar stage with Kimono Dragon and Henry’s Rifle on Saturday (8 PM, 426-8550). . . . Catskill soul chanteuse Simi Stone (left) returns to Club Helsinki on Saturday (9 PM, $15, 828-4800). . . . The Egg will welcome the Subdudes back on Saturday (8 PM, $35, 473-1845). . . . Marc Cohn will make the long walk from Memphis to Club Helsinki on Sunday (8 PM, $35, 828-4800). . . . Eastbound Jesus will play Troy’s Rockin on the River on Wednesday with the Blind Owl Band (5 PM, free, 279-7997).