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Event Previews


40concertboxpicWhen Shania Twain returns to the Times Union Center on Wednesday, it will be as part of her first tour in 11 years. But no worries that the country-music sex symbol and five-time Grammy winner will be rusty: She recently finished a smash headlining run at Caesar’s Palace. Though it may be true that much of Twain’s success as one of the biggest-selling country artists of all time—a record-breaking 1990s hit-singles streak including “Honey I’m Home,” “You’re Still the One”—was due to her husband, rock producer “Mutt” Lange (the couple divorced in 2009), Twain’s voice, pop hooks, and sex-kitten showmanship are all her own. Meanwhile some of her catalog, especially 1997’s Come On Over, gained critical respect after fading from total radio dominance. And going by her publicity photos, she could probably get her old job back as the face of Revlon cosmetics any time she wants. Grammy-nominated country-rock singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw will open.

Shania Twain will perform at the Times Union Center (51 S. Pearl St., Albany) at 7:30 PM on Wednesday (Oct. 7.).

Tickets are $46 to $136. For more info, call the box office at 487-2000.


40danceboxpicEllen Sinopoli and her company established their high reputation with performing and choreographic excellence, inspired collaborations with artists across media, and with imaginative community outreach. They’re celebrating their 25th anniversary this weekend with a special performance at their home base, the Egg.

The retrospective program will include Pierre’s Words (1997, with music by Joel Chadabe); Solo Flight (2013), which was created at a residency at Kaatsbaan in Tivoli; Betrothed (2002); Zarmina (2012), with music by Cornelius Dufallo; and an excerpt from 2013’s Blue(s), with music by Don Byron.

Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company will perform Sunday (Oct. 4) at 7:30 PM at the Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany).

Tickets are $25. For more info, call the box office at 473-1845.



40ndpicCODEDelmar native Mark Netter is bringing his technological horror thriller Nightmare Code home to the Capital Region tonight (Oct. 1) at the Spectrum 8 Theatres.

In a recent e-mail, Netter said that “I’m a guy from Delmar [who] used to go to movies at the Palace and Madison and then the Cine 7, went off to college, moved to L.A., and finally I’m releasing my first feature film as director/co-writer/producer.” (Bonus local connection: His co-writer, M.J. Rotondi, grew up in Troy.)

Nightmare Code, which uses innovative cinematic techniques to tell its dark tale of a blooming technological dystopia, won the Philip K. Dick award at the Philip K. Dick Science Fiction and Supernatural Film Festival earlier this year. As one critic put it, the film captures “a tense, sporadic voyeurism that draws you into each scene as you are always left wanting to see more. Only in the final few fraught exchanges do you really get a sense of who or what is exactly where and this mystery adds to the creeping malevolence of the film .”

The film’s realistic tech-world milieu is based on personal experience. As Netter explained in a recent interview with the Austin Chronicle, “I’d worked in the video-game business and I knew how programmers talk to each other, and I worked in a start-up and saw how the discussions went when time is running out and the money is running out.”

Netter’s title isn’t just an allusion to computer code from hell; it’s a nod to the classic noir Nightmare Alley, in which a savvy con man ends up as a circus geek. So, the filmmaker knows from dark.

Nightmare Code will be screened tonight (Thursday, Oct. 1) at the Spectrum 8 Theatres (290 Delaware Ave., Albany) at 6:30 PM. Visit spectrum8.com for details.



40classicalboxpicFiddler Bruce Molsky and Anonymous 4 received raves for their latest album, a collection of Civil War-era songs that married the quartet’s glorious harmonies with Molsky’s inspired violin work. On Friday, their farewell tour will bring them to the stage of the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall.

When B.A. Nilsson reviewed 1965 last February, he strongly suggested that listeners see Anonymous 4 and Molsky as soon as possible: “My suggestion is to gather wherever this ensemble take this program during their current tour. [They’re] at the height of their game.”

Anonymous 4 will perform with Bruce Molsky tomorrow (Friday, Oct. 2) at 8 PM at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall (2nd and State streets, Troy). Tickets are $27 and $36. For more info, call the box office at 273-0038.



40filmboxpicThis rollicking documentary about notorious, infamous—legendary?—Cannon Films takes its title from one of the company’s more notorious mainstream efforts, Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo. Most of the output of this crashed-and-burned indie cinema juggernaut, however, consisted of quickly made and wholly exploitative actioners. If it was the 1980s and the picture starred Chuck Norris or Charles Bronson, it was probably from Cannon.

Cannon was the brainchild of cousins Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, two Israeli outsiders who became “the kings of Cannes” with their international dealmaking prowess. Their enthusiasm outstripped their taste, however. They declined to be in this doc, but the people who worked with them, from Dolph Lundgren and Bo Derek to Richard Chamberlain, tell hilarious stories about their Cannon experiences, and the documentary is loaded with clips from their cinematic oeuvre.

Electric Boogaloo: The Wild Untold Story of Cannon Films will be screened tomorrow (Friday, Oct. 2) 7:05 and 9:20 PM; Saturday (Oct. 3) at 2 PM; and Tuesday through Thursday (Oct. 6-8) at 4:20, 7:05 and 9:20 PM at the Madison Theater (1036 Madison Ave., Albany). Tickets are $5. For more info, call 438-0040.


40ndpicLOUDON“The strangest story ever told/Was how I got to be this old.” That’s the opening couplet from the opening song on Loudon Wainwright III’s 2012 CD release Older Than My Old Man Now. The 69-year-old singer-songwriter-actor began his musical career at the beginning of the 1970s with a pair of acoustic albums on the Atlantic label, and turned up (with his guitar) on a few episodes of the TV series MASH.

As his starkly confessional songs attest, he grew up in posh Westchester County, the son of the same-named Life magazine columnist. “I think it’s natural for people to escape or even surpass their parents,” Wainwright says, speaking by phone from his home in California. “It’s a normal stage of development.” But it was a struggle for him as each of his parents died.

His album History, from 1992, documented his own challenges as a dad, with songs like “Hitting You” and “A Father and a Son,” and, in “A Handful of Dust,” set lyrics by his own father. The song “Surviving Twin,” which first appeared on the 2001 album Last Man on Earth, is a kind of reconciliation with his dad.

Loudon Wainwright Jr. has figured more and more frequently in his son’s songwriting and performances, and Surviving Twin now titles the show the younger Wainwright brings to the Egg on Friday. It’s been gestating in recent shows. “During the last two years, when I’ve done shows, I’ve occasionally read some of his columns, but this is the show in its completion,” he explains. “It includes seven selections of his writing, 11 of my songs, a little film and also some other visual elements.”

He gave us a preview three years ago at the Egg, when his setlist included his father’s 1971 essay “Another Sort of Love Story,” about as poignant a piece of writing as you’re likely to encounter. “He was a great writer,” says Wainwright. “I feel that the things that I’ve chosen to include in the show are some of his best work. He was a very graceful, very strong and powerful writer.

“He’s been dead for over 25 years now, so this is an opportunity to keep getting to know him. And I’m really enjoying celebrating his work and collaborating with him, albeit posthumously.”

As a public figure—Wainwright has been in the movie Knocked Up and the TV series Parks and Recreation and Person of Interest—he attracts his share of public comments, and some of his fans are given to online grumbling when the live performances don’t comprise old favorites. “Yes, it’s different from what I normally do, and that’s my intention. I want to do something that’s interesting to me, and that I hope will be interesting to my fans. But I also do regular shows every night where I don’t do the songs that people want to hear. Time marches on!”

Loudon Wainwright III will perform at 8 PM Friday (Oct. 2) at the Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany). Tickets are $34. For more info, call 473-1845.



40notepicLHThese two quintessential American singer-songwriters have been performing together on and off for years, so Tuesday’s acoustic show in Troy isn’t going to be exactly surprise-filled. And that’s all right. Lovett and Hiatt will alternate solo performances with duets, banter with the aplomb of two old pros and thoroughly delight the audience with one terrific song after another.

Hiatt’s most recent album was released last year and Lovett’s two years before that, but these guys aren’t here to hustle product. They’re here to entertain.

(Oct. 6, 8 PM, $38-$78, 2nd and State streets, Troy, 273-0038)



40notepicDELMHFor Strange Conversation, Boston (via Brooklyn) folk luminary Kris Delmhorst set the words of 19th-century poets to music; she’s also recorded an album of Cars covers with the band’s keyboardist, Greg Hawkes, and contributed vocals, fiddle, and cello for artists ranging from Chris Smither to Loreena McKennitt. But mostly the singer-songwriter (who also plays piano, bass, and viola) creates songs that are spare yet dynamic in their delicacy, as she does on her latest, Blood Test, which “moves between triumph and heartbreak.” Says No Depression of a recent live show: “You can also feel her music as it weaves in and out of your experiences. This is what she does so effortlessly and perfect.” Dietrich Strauss will open.

(Oct. 4, 7 PM, $22, 47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs, 583-0022)



40notepicGROBA lyric baritone “with a few high notes up his sleeve,” Josh Groban began his luminous career at an early age—and originally intended to focus more on acting than on music. A theater graduate of L.A. County High School for the Arts, he was four months into a dramatic education at Carnegie Mellon when he was offered a recording contract and chose, instead, to pursue his singing career. This seems to have been a good choice: His first four solo albums went multi-platinum and he has become one of the best-selling vocal artists worldwide. He has stood in for Andrea Bocelli, performed with Sarah Brightman and Charlotte Church, recorded songs with Kelly Clarkson and Barbra Streisand and made myriad appearances in film and on television. His songwriting and musical choices make Groban a favorite with the ladies, so this might be a good show to take a date you’re trying to impress. Or 14 of your closest girlfriends. (Oct. 3, 8 PM, $51-$151, 19 Clinton Ave., Albany, 465-3334)



henry_butler.tifBlinded by glaucoma at birth, this acclaimed keyboard “magician” has been playing the piano since he was six years old; he was arranging, composing, and performing professionally as early as 12. Heavily influenced by his New Orleans heritage (his home in the diverse Gentilly neighborhood was devastated during Hurricane Katrina), the classically-trained virtuoso plays a rich blend of blues, jazz, pop, R & B, Caribbean, boogie-woogie and classical music.

The New York Times wrote that Butler “revels in fluency and facility, splashing chords all over the keyboard and streaking through solos with machine-gun articulation.” Classic New Orleans cocktails provided by Small Batch America will be served during the show, complementing this musical homage to Crescent City culture.

(Oct. 3, 8 PM, $25, 87 Marshall St., North Adams, Mass., 413-664-4481)