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27ndpicHUDSONThis weekend at PS21 in Chatham, Hudson Air Radio Theater will return you to those thrilling days of yesteryear, when radio drama didn’t mean Ira Glass or a true-crime podcast, but instead legitimate drama performed live by actors, sound-effects artists and musicians.

It’s a “patriotic salute to America’s literary past” with performances of works by Mark Twain, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Booth Tarkington, and George Ade, along with original scripts by Lora Lee Ecobelli and Byron Nilsson (who also act in the show) and a special adaptation of Jean Shepherd’s rousing saga Leopold Doppler and the Orpheum Gravy Boat Riot. Other actors include James Occhino, Nancy Rothman, and Andrew Joffe, who also works the sound-effects table. Live music is provided by award-winning pianist and composer Lincoln Mayorga.

Hudson Air Radio Theater will perform tomorrow (Friday, July 3) at 8 PM, and Sunday (July 5) at 2 PM at PS 21 (2980 Route 66, Chatham). Tickets are $20, $15 members and $10 students), and may be purchased either at ps21chatham.org or at the door. For more info, call 392-6121.

 

 

27ndpicANGELSHow’s this for heavenly: Calling All Angels, an ongoing series titled after the hit song by ethereal singer Jane Siberry, will feature Siberry with Catherine Russell, Amy Helm, and Simi Stone for its stop in Woodstock tonight (Thursday). Siberry’s exquisite voice has been described as a cross between Kate Bush and Laurie Anderson—which doesn’t quite do justice to its emotional sensitivity—so to hear her in the rarified company of Catherine Russell (daughter of legendary pianist and bandleader Luis Russell), a Grammy-winning jazz and blues vocalist known for getting inside the melody of American standards and bringing out every emotional nuance, will be like walking on clouds indeed. But making the performance truly celestial is the addition of Amy Helm (daughter of Levon Helm, with whom she performed for many years) formerly of the roots band Ollabella. Helm’s soon-to-be-released solo debut highlights the power of her soaring, soulful vocals.

Adding another pair of wings to this bill of exceptional female artistry is violinist Simi Stone from Woodstock, whose songwriting style has become known as “mountain Motown,” and her voice highly praised for its Detroit-swing-style energy.

Calling All Angels: An Evening of Duets will be performed at the Bearsville Theater (291 Tinker St., Woodstock) tonight (Thursday, July 2) at 8 PM. Tickets are $25 to $75. For more info, call the theater at (845) 679-4406.

 

 

27artboxpicWorks by artists from across the country (as well as Canada and Europe) will be featured beginning Wednesday at the first annual juried Adirondack National Pastel Exhibition. It is sponsored by the Shirt Factory Gallery and the Adirondack Pastel Society, and the juror for the exhibit will be nationally recognized plein air artist Susan Story. Artists in the show will include Round Lake’s Takeyce Walter.

Pictured is Beth Varkala’s Piggy Sue.

Adirondack National Pastel Exhibition opens Wednesday (July 8) and will remain on view through Aug. 8 at the Shirt Factory Gallery (Lawrence and Cooper streets, Glens Falls). The opening reception and presentation of awards will be July 11 from 5 to 7 PM. For more info, call the gallery at 636-5939.

 

 

27theaterboxpicThe great MGM movie musical Singin’ in the Rain was one of the first properties to travel successfully from screen to stage; for decades, the process worked almost exclusively in the opposite direction. And with its great songs by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed and a witty book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, it couldn’t miss.

This summer, Albany’s beloved Park Playhouse will open their two-show season with Singin’ in the Rain. So come out under the stars and enjoy this comedy about the chaos that ensued when the movies learned to talk. The director is Michael LoPorto, with choreography by AshleySimone Kirchner and musical direction by Brian Axford; Andrew Boetcher heads up the cast.

Park Playhouse’s production of Singin’ in the Rain will be presented at the Washington Park Lakehouse (Washington Park, Albany) through July 25. Performances are Tuesday through Sunday at 7:30 PM. Seats are $18 and $16; lawn seating is free. For more info and to make seat reservations, call 434-0776.

 

 

26notepicMLClassically trained Melora Creager and her goth chamber-pop ensemble Rasputina are credited with pioneering the use of cello chamber music in rock and being a formative influence on the steam-punk aesthetic. While their live shows include theatrical, quasi-historical costuming, the band have serious chops behind their bewitching vocal harmonies. Before Rasputina, Creager, the band’s lead songwriter and vocalist (and Hudson resident) began with the Ultra Vivid Scene and toured with Nirvana; she also releases highly original solo EPs distinguished by her knack for fantastical storytelling. Here, she is performing with pianist, composer, and multi-octave vocalist Luis Mojica. Ryder Cooley, who has collaborated with Creager, will open with the Dust Bowl Faeries.

(June 27, 8 PM, $17, 47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs, 583-0022)

 

26notepicBOTTIAfter four previous nominations, Chris Botti finally won a Grammy in 2013 for Best Pop Instrumental Album (Impressions). And maybe you still don’t know who he is.

A jazz trumpeter whose specialty lies in the corner of “smooth” or “chill” jazz (though critics argue that those labels downplay his talent), Botti picked up the instrument at age 9, committed to it at age 12 when he heard Miles Davis play “My Funny Valentine,” and by 17 convinced his high school in Portland, Ore., let him finish his credits at a local college so he could play clubs at night. He has performed and/or recorded with Frank Sinatra, Buddy Rich, Paul Simon, Aretha Franklin, Sting, Kathrine McPhee . . . and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Botti is talented, stylish, and in demand.

(June 26, 8 PM, $59.50-$79.50, Empire State Plaza, 473-1845)

 

25ndpicBALLIN“This film made me proud to live in Albany. It includes the authentic voices of men working to do what’s right—for themselves, their families, and for the larger community. If you want to better understand our city’s character and come away feeling good about it, this film is a must-see.”

The film in question is the pick-up basketball documentary Ballin’ at the Graveyard; the film’s enthusiast is none other than Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan.

On Monday, Mayor Sheehan will take part in a Q&A with filmmakers and featured players following a special free screening at Albany’s showplace movie house, the Palace Theatre. In the three years since Ballin’ first hit the screen at the Spectrum 8 Theatres, it has traveled to film fests far and wide, earning acclaim and generating interesting conversations. Why? Because it’s engaging, thought-provoking and entertaining.

As our critic wrote at the time of the film’s initial release in July 2012, Ballin’ “manages, on a purely entertainment level, to celebrate sports; it also takes audiences into a subculture many probably never knew existed. It then ties this subculture into the larger Capital Region community. Ballin’ at the Graveyard is a genuine eye-opener, and, best of all, it’s a hell of a lot of fun.”

Ballin’ at the Graveyard will be screened Monday (June 22) at 7 PM at the Palace Theatre (19 Clinton Ave., Albany). Tickets are free. For more info, call the box office at 465-4663 or visit www.palacealbany.com.

 

 

He’s got a gal in Kalamazoo.

Adirondack Theatre Festival will open their 2015 season this week with Kalamazoo, a romantic comedy about a 70-something Irish Catholic bird lover named Peg meeting a 70-something Jewish metal-detector enthusiast named Irving through an online dating service. They hook up, drink margaritas, get tattoos, and all heck breaks loose.

Think of it as Abie’s Aging Irish Rose.

Kate Braun stars as Peg and Ken Farrell is Irving; ATF’s new producing director Chad Rabinovitz also directs the production, with a set and lighting by Lee Burckes, sound by Scott O’Brien and costumes by Chris Rhoton.

Adirondack Theatre Festival’s production of Kalamazoo opens Tuesday (June 23) at 7:30 PM and will continue through July 3 at the Charles R. Wood Theater (207 Glen St., Glens Falls). All performances are at 7:30 PM, with an additional, special matinee on July 1 at 2 PM. Tickets are $26 to $40. For tickets and info, visit atfestival.org or call 480-4878.

 

 

 

25ndpicGORDONAttention all Phish-heads: Mike Gordon will perform tomorrow night (Friday) at the Egg. He’s on the road following up on his 2014 solo album and tour, Overstep.

To say that the album and subsequent tour were well-received is an understatement. Reverb’s critic, in a review of a 2014 Boulder show, wrote that band seemed like anything but a Phish side project: “Side projects are hobbies. . . . Caroming between classic rock, reggae, calypso, pop, folk and ambient dance tunes, Gordon’s crew displayed the nimble prowess of a venerable band.”

Mike Gordon will perform tomorrow (Friday, June 19) at 8 PM at the Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany). Tickets are $31.25. For more info, call 473-1845.

 

 

25filmboxpicTime & Space Limited will show one of the greatest of all documentaries—heck, of all films—tomorrow night, Dziga Vertov’s Man With a Movie Camera. A symphony of Soviet life in the late 1920s, the film challenges the way we look at movies: “Designed to destroy habitual movie watching by revealing the ways in which the camera and film editor construct reality,” wrote critic J. Hoberman, “Vertov’s masterpiece had the remarkable effect of encouraging the spectator to identify with the filmmaking process. . . . There had been nothing like it.”

The special treat with this screening will be the live musical score composed and performed by Claudia Bruce, Bryce Courbois and Ogden Courbois.

Man With a Movie Camera will be screened tomorrow (Friday, June 19) at 8:30 PM at Time & Space Limted (434 Columbia St., Hudson). Tickets are $10. For more info, visit www.timeandspace.org or call 822-8448.