7/23/16: Today’s Top Tips: Saturday

July 23rd, 2016, 7:27 am by Greg

MUSIC: Mamadou Kelly & Ban Kai Na @ Freedom Square, Troy. The Malian blues virtuoso and his band bring an encyclopedic knowledge of Mali’s music and new sophistication to the sounds from Niafunke. With free food and arts activities. 5pm. FREE.

FESTIVAL/MUSIC: Bellstock @ East Jewett. It’s Day Three of the 22nd annual music fest in honor of Greg Bell’s birthday with performances by Dr. Jah & the Love Prophets, Mister F, School Bus Yellow, Black Mountain Symphony, the Blind Owl Band, the Hornitz, Ampevene and Brian LaPoint & the Joints. GO HERE for more info and the day-by-day schedule…

MUSIC: Jack & Amanda Palmer @ Basilica Hudson, Hudson. Amanda Palmer and (her father) Jack Palmer celebrate their brand new album You Got Me Singing, featuring covers of tunes from such diverse songbags as Tom T. Hall, Leoneard Cohen and Kimya Dawson. With Thor & Friends. Doors open at 7pm. $20.

MUSIC: White Denim @ the Hollow Bar + Kitchen, Albany. The Austin rockers ride into town in support of their new album, Stiff. With Mirk. 9pm. $20.

MUSIC: Roomful of Blues @ Riverlink Park, Amsterdam. The veteran horn-fueled band has been pumping out swingin’ jump blues and high-voltage R&B for nearly a half century now. 7pm. FREE. GO HERE for more info and the complete concert series schedule…

MUSIC: Jean Rohe & the End of the World @ Caffe Lena at the Grove, Saratoga Springs. With the all-star acoustic trio Haas Kowert Tice. 7pm. $22. GO HERE for an interview and more info…

MUSIC: Bang On a Can Allstars @ MASS MoCA, North Adams. Playing Brian Eno’s ambient music classic, “Music for Airports,” as well as works by Roomful of Teeth’s Caroline Shaw, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Gabriella Smith, Rene Lussier and more. 8pm. $18 & $22; $12 students.

THEATER: “A Kind Shot” @ Bridge Street Theatre, Catskill. An autobiographical one-woman show written and performed by Terri Mateer, a six-foot, one-inch former pro basketball player, model, stripper, designer and actor. 7:30pm. $15; $10 students. Through Sunday.

DANCE: New York City Ballet @ the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs. Performing “A Misummer Night’s Dream at 2pm and the 50th anniversary gala featuring the world premiere of Peck’s “Scherzo Fantastique” and the SPAC premiere of Wheeldon’s “Rhapsody in Blue “at 8pm.

MUSIC: Angels on the Fourth @ Putnam Den, Saratoga Springs. The CD release party for the band’s debut EP, Breaking Skin. With the Black Ships, the End Men and Machete. 9:30pm. $10.

MUSIC: Jackie Greene @ Levon Helm Studios, Woodstock. 8pm. $45. UPDATE: This show is now officially sold out.

FESTIVAL/MUSIC: Hats Off to Saratoga Music Festival @ various locations, Saratoga Springs. Music on six stages throughout downtown including Porch Fire, Fenimore Blues, Sirsy, Erin Harkes Band, the Racing City Chorus and Alan Darcy. 7pm. FREE. GO HERE for more info and the complete schedule…

MUSIC/DANCE: Vanaver Caravan @ PS21, Chatham. “Turn, Turn, Turn: Celebrating Pete Seeger in Song and Dance” is a full-length, multimedia production inspired by Livia & Bill Vanaver’s 40-year relationship with the legendary music maker and activist. 8pm. $30; $15 students.

THEATER: “A Night With Janis Joplin” @ Capital Repertory Theatre, Albany. Kelly McIntyre stars as the electrifying blues-rock singer in the play written and directed by Randy Johnson. 3 & 8pm. Through Sunday, August 7. GO HERE to read review…

FAIR: Saratoga County Fair @ Saratoga County Fairgrounds, Ballston Spa. It’s the first fair of the year! Fried dough, racing pigs, chainsaw sculptors, amusement rides and music by Big Sky Country, John Kribs & Friends and the Spurs USA. 8:30am.

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It’s the Weekend!

July 22nd, 2016, 4:00 pm by Greg
Hmmm...I wonder where I left my hubcap diamond star halo.

Hmmm...I wonder where I left my hubcap diamond star halo.

The work week is over, and it’s time to chill out and have some fun.

But before we head out for the weekend, we’d like to send a great big thank-you to everyone who dropped by this week to add encouragement, support, proof-reading and, yes, criticism, too. And thanks for helping to spread the word about Nippertown.com.

Of course, we couldn’t possibly cover the wide, wonderful scope of art and entertainment offerings around Nippertown without a dedicated bunch of wonderful writers, photographers, artists, tipsters and other assorted enablers who continually enrich us all with their contributions. So a big salute goes out to this week’s community contributors:

Steve Nover
Don Wilcock
Andrzej Pilarczyk
Timothy Reidy
Rudy Lu
Lawrence White
Martin Benjamin
Stanley Johnson
Macey Levin
Gail M. Burns
Larry Murray

Please consider adding your name to this list. Just send us something – a review, preview, interview, photo, list, rant, crayon drawing or whatever’s on your mind. Remember, Nippertown is your hometown, and we can’t possibly do this without your help.

And thanks to all of the folks from the area venues and organizations who were gracious enough to provide us with review tickets and/or photo passes for their events:

The Egg, Albany
Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs
The Van Dyck, Schenectady
Lake George Elvis Festival, Lake George
Step Up Presents, Albany
Williamstown Theatre Festival, Williamstown
Shakespeare & Company, Lenox
New York State Office of General Services, Albany
Oldcastle Theatre Company, Bennington

Thanks for keeping Nippertown alive… and lively,

Sara Ayers
Greg Haymes

“Or,” Takes a Look at the First Female Playwright @ Shakespeare & Co [Berkshire on Stage]

July 22nd, 2016, 3:00 pm by Sara
Tod Randolph (photo:  Kevin Spragu

Tod Randolph (photo: Kevin Sprague)

In Lenox, Shakespeare & Company presents Liz Duffy Adams’ playful comedy Or, based on the real life of Britain’s first female playwright Aphra Behn. Directed by Alice Reagan and featuring actress Tod Randolph, the in-the-round production begins previews on Saturday (July 23), officially opens on Friday, July 29 and runs through Sunday, September 4 in the Tina Packer Playhouse.

“The play is bittersweet,” says director Reagan. “We know that Aphra Behn would be forgotten and rediscovered many times in the more than 300 years since her death. And yet, the plot keeps moving, the world keeps spinning, and lovers will love. Or, is the story of one woman’s artistic beginnings and a larger story of a permissive, exciting moment in history when the culture shifted an inch or two, and a woman slipped in the door.”

Aphra Behn, known to history as the first credited female playwright, has one opportunity to have her play produced and fulfill her desperate desire to leave the spy trade behind her. The catch? She must finish and deliver her play by morning all while fighting off distracting romantic temptations, attempting to win a pardon, and trying to save the life of royalty. Her hectic antics unfold into a night of hilarity, passion and self discovery that tells a story that transcends time.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage

LIVE: The Boogie Wonder Band @ Empire State Plaza, 7/4/16

July 22nd, 2016, 2:00 pm by Greg


Photographs by Timothy Reidy

How do you celebrate Independence Day at Albany’s Empire State Plaza? With a red-white-and-blue, star-spangled disco band, that’s how!

Capping off New York State’s official, day-long Fourth of July celebration earlier this month was the Boogie Wonder Band, who lived up (or down, as the case may be) to their claim of being “the most disco-loving band in the land.”

Happy birthday, America!

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THEATER REVIEW: “The Chinese Room” @ Williamstown Theatre Festival [Berkshire on Stage]

July 22nd, 2016, 1:00 pm by Sara
(L to R): Sue Jean Kim, Brían F. O’Byrne and Carson Elrod (photo: Daniel Rader)

(L to R): Sue Jean Kim, Brían F. O’Byrne and Carson Elrod (photo: Daniel Rader)

Theater review by Macey Levin

In Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Miranda, the wizard Prospero’s teen-age daughter, upon seeing men other than her father for the first time, says, “Brave new world that has such people in ‘t.” Prospero responds, “’Tis new to thee.” The world premiere of Michael West’s play The Chinese Room currently at the Williamstown Theatre Festival explores a probable new world for the 21st century.

It is believed that in time computers will be virtually human; not only will they be able to think but also feel. The Chinese Room was part of an experiment by John Searles in opposition to this theory of artificial intelligence. An English-speaking subject would be placed in a room with several batches of Chinese writings and symbols with instructions in English. The subject would “translate” the material into English. A party outside the room, reading the translation, would think the subject actually knew Chinese. The intent was to show that one can be trained to do and say things but would not have intrinsic knowledge of what he or she was actually doing and, in all probability, did not have the emotional structure possessed by humans.

In the play, Frank McClintock (Brian F. O’Byrne) is fighting with the use of electronic devices, including holograms and the Cloud, to maintain power over the firm he founded while facing an attempt to wrest control from him by his old friend Hal. He is determined to keep all the firm’s information so that he can use it to return his wife Lily (Laila Robins), who is suffering from dementia, to the woman she was before her mind started to deteriorate. After rebooting Susannah (Sue Jean Kim), a droid he created, urging his son Zack (Elliot Trainor) to go to bed and then placating the confused Lily, Frank is visited by Daniel (Carson Elrod), another droid he designed, who has been sent by the firm to retrieve all the records and devices in Frank’s possession. Daniel is focused on his assignment and has no regard for Frank’s pleas or emotional state. Thus begins the drama of the exploration of the Chinese Room theory.

LIVE: Lake George Elvis Festival @ Lake George Forum, 6/1-5/16

July 22nd, 2016, 12:00 pm by Greg

Congratulations go out to Tim E. Hendry, who was named the Grand Champion at the 2016 Lake George Elvis Festival.

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HOT READS: Nippertown’s Top 10 Stories of the Week

July 22nd, 2016, 11:00 am by Greg
Joey Alexander

Joey Alexander @ Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival at SPAC, 6/25/16 (Day One)

Photograph by Rudy Lu

Yes, we’ve heard all the complaints that some of you simply don’t have the time to read all of the Nippertown.com news as fast as we write it. And, yes, there sure was a whole lot of A&E news to write about this week.

So for all of you casual, once-or-twice-a-week readers, here’s a summary of the Top 10 most-viewed stories from Nippertown during the past week, in case you’re playing catch-up:

1. Palace Theatre Announces Another New Concert (by Staff)

2. COMIN’ SOON: New Concert Announcements (by Greg Haymes)

3. The Palace Theatre Announces New Concert (by Staff, Andrzej Pilarczk)

4. New Concert Announced for Times Union Center (by Staff)

5. Troy Savings Bank Music Hall Announces New Show (by Staff)

6. THEATER REVIEW: “A Night With Janis Joplin” @ theREP (by Greg Haymes)

7. FREE FEST: Hats Off to Saratoga Music Festival (by Staff)

8. A FEW MINUTES WITH… Lawrence White (by Andrzej Pilarczyk, Lawrence White)

9. FEST: Bellstock Returns to East Jewett This Week (by Staff)

10. LIVE: Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival @ SPAC, 6/25/16 (Day One) (by Steve Nover, Andrzej Pilarczyk, Rudy Lu)

New Video from Phantogram: “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore”

July 22nd, 2016, 9:30 am by Greg

Phantogram’s new album Three isn’t slated for release til September 16, but this week Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter served up this mighty stunning new music video to tide you over til then…

Holly & EvanCaffe LenaCartoonist John CaldwellAdvertise on Nippertown!Hudson SoundsBerkshire On StageAlbany PoetsArtist Charles HaymesLeave Regular Radio BehindThe LindaKeep Albany BoringArtist GG Roberts