MUSIC: Stephin Merritt @ Club Helsinki, Hudson. The bandleader of the illustrious Magnetic Fields (and other ensembles) steps out on his own for a solo evening. With Brian Dewan, a multimedia artist who plays experimental chamber music. 9pm. $18.
OPERA: “An American Tragedy” @ Glimmerglass Opera, Cooperstown. Blinded by ambition, a promising young man makes a series of unfortunate choices culminating in a mysterious death in the Adirondacks. Based on Theodore Dreiser’s novel and inspired by a sensational murder trial in Herkimer, Tobias Picker’s opera explores a small-town boy’s pursuit of his idealized dreams. Conducted by George Manahan and directed by Peter Kazaras. 7:30pm. $26, $70, $95, $122 & $144; $10, $15, $20 & $25 youth 18 & under.
MUSIC: Michael Benedict & Bopitude @ the Daily Grind, Troy. With very special guest Sharel Cassity on alto sax. 7:30pm. $15. NOTE: This concert was originally scheduled for Proctors in Schenectady, but the venue has been changed to the Daily Grind in Troy.
MUSIC: BackBeat @ Canal Square, Cohoes. With Mark Macri and a reunion of the Rogues in celebration of their induction to the Canal Square Wall of Fame. 6pm. FREE.GO HERE for more info and a complete schedule of concerts…
ARTS WALK: Troy Night Out @ various locations, Troy. 5-9pm. FREE.
MUSIC: The Bria Skonberg Band @ the Van Dyck, Schenectady. The jazz trumpeter-vocalist focuses on classic jazz, while creating a style all her own rooted in swampy New Orleans grooves, world percussion and contemporary soul influenced vocals. 8pm. $18.
MUSIC: Aztec Two-Step @ Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs. Taking their name from a Lawrence Ferlinghetti poem, Rex Fowler and Neal Shulman’s first four albums, full of sweet singing and timely lyrics, were staples of FM radio and helped to bring the music of the 1960s into the ’70s. Decades later they continue to impress audiences with intelligent songwriting, dazzling acoustic lead guitar and tributes to the harmonies of Simon & Garfunkel and the Everly Brothers. 7 & 9pm. $29. NOTE: The 7pm show is now officially sold out.
THEATER: “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” @ Capital Repertory Theatre, Albany. The jukebox musical based on the many hit songs of Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller – including “”On Broadway, “Jailhouse Rock,” “Hound Dog,” “Fools Fall in Love?,” “Stand by Me” and “Love Potion #9″ – is directed by Richard J. Hinds. 8pm. $20-$60. Through August 10. GO HERE to read review…
THEATER: “Ring of Fire” @ the Wood Theater, Glens Falls. It’s opening night of the Adirondack Theatre Festival’s production of Richard Maltby’s musical tribute to the late great Johnny Cash. Starring David Lutken, the creator and star of ATF’s hit musical, “Woody Sez.” 7:30pm. $35 & $45 & $50.
THEATER: “Hands On a Hard Body” @ Washington Park’s Lakehouse Amphitheater, Albany. Park Playhouse takes a chance with a new musical theater work with music by Phish’s Trey Anastasio. Directed by Michael LoPorto. 8pm. FREE, $14, $16 & $22; $1 discount for youths & seniors. Through Saturday.
THEATER: “Benefactors” @ the Unicorn Theatre, Stockbridge. Berkshire Theatre Group presents Michael Frayn’s play about an architect who struggles to follow his dream of transforming the slums at Basuto Road into affordable mass-housing projects, while his firm pressures him to design McMansion-style apartments instead. Directed by Eric Hall. 8pm. $48. Through Saturday.
THEATER: “State Fair” @ Clifton Common, Clifton Park. The summer musical performed by the Clifton Park Not So Common Players will take you back to Iowa in 1946 where it will be a “Grand Night for Singing.” 8pm. FREE. Through Sunday. GO HERE for more info and a complete schedule…
THEATER: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” @ Springside Park, Pittsfield. It’s for the inaugural production of Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park, directed by Enrico Spada. Bring blankets and/or lawn chairs. 8pm. FREE. Through Sunday.
READING: Paul Harding @ Skidmore College’s Davis Auditorium, Saratoga Springs. The NYS Summer Writers Institute’s reading series continues with the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and former drummer with Cold Water Flat. With Carl Dennis. 8pm. FREE.
MUSIC: Bob Lord @ Carney’s Tavern, Ballston Lake. 7pm.