LIVE: Maxi Priest @ Empire State Plaza, 6/24/15

June 30th, 2015, 4:00 pm by Greg
Maxie Priest

Maxi Priest

Photographs by Stanley Johnson

WHAT: Capital Concert Series’ Reggae Night
WHO: Maxi Priest
WITH: Morgan Heritage and Jemere Morgan
WHERE: Empire State Plaza, Albany
WHEN: Wednesday, June 24, 2015

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LIVE: Art On Lark @ Lark Street, 6/6/15

June 30th, 2015, 3:00 pm by Greg
Candy Ambulance

Candy Ambulance

Photographs by Timothy Reidy

As recently as just two years ago, Art On Lark hosted a bountiful line-up of 12 bands, a smorgasbord of homegrown Local 518 musical talent. Since then, however, the annual June festival on Albany’s Lark Street has scaled back the musical aspect of the fest, placing the emphasis squarely on the visual artists who exhibit – and often create – their artwork in booths that line both sides of the street.

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T-Shirt Slogans Seen @ Solid Sound 2015

June 30th, 2015, 2:00 pm by Greg

t-shirt

A random sampling of t-shirts spotted at the Solid Sound Festival at MASS MoCA on Saturday & Sunday, June 27 & 28:

Spiritual Gangsta
Knittaz 4 Life
Anderson’s Bookshop
Magnolia Electric Co.
Beastie Boys
Sun Studio
Save Them All
Mac Sabbath
Say Cheese
Bacon Scientist
Fillmore East, March 1968-June 1971
Emma Willard Varsity
David Bromberg Band

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REVIEW: “Moon Over Buffalo” Is a Five-Star Hit at Theater Barn [Berkshire on Stage]

June 30th, 2015, 1:00 pm by Sara
(l to r) Alyssa Chase and Joan Coombs in Moon Over Buffalo at The Theater Barn through July 5, 2015.

(l to r) Alyssa Chase and Joan Coombs in “Moon Over Buffalo” at the Theater Barn through July 5.

Theater Review by Gail M. Burns and Larry Murray

Larry Murray: Set in 1950’s America with nonstop laughs that barely gave its opening night audience at the Theater Barn in New Lebanon a chance to catch its collective breath, Ken Ludwig’s Moon Over Buffalo, which was written in 1995, proves that its timeless combination of satire, slapstick and sight gags still make for an immense crowd-pleaser. His earlier turns at farce – Lend Me a Tenor and Fox on the Fairway – have established him one of the most popular purveyors of light comedy to summer and community theater. Moon Over Buffalo spoofs the theater, television and film, as well as families, sweethearts, egos and even your local weathermen. Nobody escapes his gaze unscathed.

Gail M. Burns: I love how Ludwig’s humor is simultaneously low-brow and literate, and the cast here does a great job of being broadly physical as well as bringing home the speeches from Shakespeare, Rostrand and Coward. George (Phil Rice) and Charlotte Hay (Mary Nichols) are a married couple of B-grade actors. We meet them in Buffalo, NY, touring Noel Coward’s Private Lives and Edmund Rostrand’s Cyrano de Bergerac in rep. Her stone-deaf mother, Ethel (Joan Coombs) is their costume mistress and a bit player, and Paul (Noah Mefford), the man they thought would be their son-in-law, is also an actor/administrator with the company. Their daughter Rosalind (Alyssa H. Chase) has recently left Paul, and the theater, in search of a “normal life” and arrives with a new fiancé, a local TV weatherman named Howard (Caleb John Cushing), in tow. Another interloper amidst the mayhem is Richard (Sky Vogel), a wealthy and successful “lawyer to the stars,” who has come to woo Charlotte away to that fabled land of normalcy. On the day that famed film director Frank Capra is coming to see the matinee to consider George and Charlotte for leads in his new Scarlet Pimpernel movie, George learns he has knocked up the ingénue Eileen (Clara Childress) and goes on a bender. Chaos ensues.

Larry: I don’t know who deserves the lion’s share of the credit for this superb production, the director or the actors, but the entire creative team went the extra mile to make this fast-paced story go by in a flash. It proves that Theater Barn has retro screwball comedy chops. There are no small roles in this play, making casting the key to a good production, which is why Joan Coombs was a real standout for me. She plays the mother-in-law who is deaf as a post, thereby setting up many of the play’s awkward situations as she putters about as wardrobe mistress and bit player. Coombs plays her with steadfast determination and total obliviousness as she picks up the pieces the others leave behind, including Cyrano’s floral trousers which always seemed to end up in two pieces.

But the real trouper in all this is Phil Rice, the show’s director who, due to the illness of the original actor, ended up playing the central role of George as well. And it’s a juicy role, too, the star turn. I had some rare-for-a-critic full belly laughs during his second-act drunk scene in which he gets to drop his drawers, recite Shakespeare and, literally, come out of the closet. The only straight man in the show is the lawyer, Richard (ably and subtly played by Vogel), who tries to woo away Charlotte.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

FREE: Wednesday Night Summer Concert Series @ Lake George’s Shepard Park

June 30th, 2015, 12:00 pm by Greg
Terrance Simien

Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience

Photograph by Fred Rudofsky

The Lake George Arts Project brings the Wednesday Night Summer Concert Series back to Shepard Park in Lake George once again this year. And if you’re a roots music fan, this is the best free concert series in all of Nippertown.

The free concerts take place at 7:30pm on Wednesdays throughout the months of July and August.

Here’s the complete 2015 schedule for of 2015:

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FEST: Built4BBQ’s Star Spangled Bonanza @ the Low Beat & Pauly’s Hotel on Saturday

June 30th, 2015, 11:00 am by Greg
Kimono Dragons

Kimono Dragons (photo by Timothy Reidy)

Local 518 record collective Built4BBQ presents its second annual Star Spangled Bonanza on Saturday (July 4) at both the Low Beat and Pauly’s Hotel. The dual-stage, nine-band blowout is a celebration of homegrown DIY in the USA.

The Star Spangled Bonanza line-up includes a barrage of Nippertown favorites of all musical stripes, including all-star cover band extravaganza Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, twang-punks the Slaughterhouse Chorus, face-melting rockers Charmboy, power-pop darlings Party Boat, country-blues madman Henry’s Rifle, surf-fuzz sensations the Kimono Dragons and Wrestlemania punk rockers the Savage Randys.

In addition, the celebration features return of Brooklyn blues-rock heavy hitters the End Men (fresh from their European tour in support of their new album, Terms and Conditions) and long-running Boston punk the Radicals, playing their last Local 518 show before parting ways in August.

Doors open at 6pm on Saturday, and the rockin’ commences at 7pm. The $6 ticket includes admission to both venues.

Here’s the complete schedule for the Star Spangled Bonanza on the Fourth of July:

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FREE: East Greenbush Community Library’s Summer Music Series

June 30th, 2015, 10:00 am by Greg
Skip Parsons' Clarinet Marmalade Trio

July 8: Skip Parsons’ Clarinet Marmalade Trio

The East Greenbush Community Library is hosting its free Summer Music Series again this summer, and the series is different from all of the other summer concert series because it’s held indoors in the library’s community room.

The concerts take place at 7pm on Wednesdays throughout the month of July. And although admission is free, capacity is limited, and perspective concertgoers are encouraged to reserve seats for the shows.

Here’s the schedule of concerts for the 2015 summer concert season at the East Greenbush Community Library:

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6/30/15: Today’s Top Tips: Tuesday

June 30th, 2015, 7:59 am by Greg

MUSIC: The Gary Bartz Quartet @ Skidmore College’s Zankel Music Center, Saratoga Springs. The trail-blazing alto saxman first started playing with Art Blakey and later played with such greats as Max Roach, Charlie Parker and Miles Davis. The Grammy Award-winning musician has recorded more than 40 solo albums. 8pm. $8; $5 seniors; FREE students & children.

MUSIC: Ryley Walker @ BSP Lounge, Kingston. In support of his recently released album, Primrose Green (our favorite album of the year so far), the phenomenal guitarist-singer-songwriter heads to Kingston after a mindblowing performance with his band at the Solid Sound festival. With Elijah Wolf and Liv Carrow. 8:30pm. $10. GO HERE for a recent concert review…

MUSIC: David Crosby @ The Egg, Albany. From the Byrds to CSN, the two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Famer has long, impressive resume. Tonight he’ll play a solo acoustic show. 8pm. $40.50, $50.50 & $60.50. UPDATE: This concert is now officially sold out.

MUSIC: Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga @ Tanglewood, Lenox. Lady Gaga is slated to make her Nippertown debut, sharing the stage with the venerable jazz-pop vocalist Tony Bennett, in support of their duet album, Cheek to Cheek. 8pm.

THEATER: “Shining City” @ Barrington Stage Company’s Blatt Center, Pittsfield. Actor Mark H. Dold (stunning in last year’s production of “Breaking the Code”) returns in Conor McPherson’s drama about a Dubliner who seeks help from a counselor after claiming to have seen the ghost of his recently deceased wife. As their sessions unfold, secrets are exposed in this thriller where a simple tale turns out to be anything but. 7:30pm. Through July 11. GO HERE for more info…

MUSIC: The Hair of the Dog @ Cook Park, Colonie. 6:30pm. FREE. GO HERE for more info and a complete schedule…

MUSIC: The Refrigerators @ Brunswick Family Community Center Lawn, Troy. The Brunswick Summer Concert Series kicks off with the horn-fueled favorites. 6:30pm. FREE. GO HERE for more info and a complete schedule…

THEATER: “Man of La Mancha” @ Barrington Stage Company, Pittsfield. Director Julianne Boyd puts a fresh spin of the musical tale about tilting at windmills and dreaming the impossible dream, starring Jeff McCarthy. 7pm. Through Saturday, July 11. GO HERE to read review…

FILM: “The Yes Men Are Revolting!” @ Proctors’ GE Theatre, Schenectady. At a time when corporate forces have bought and sold democracy, the Yes Men – Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno – ask how we can effect real change… Followed by a Q&A with environmental and anti-corporate activist Bonanno after the 7:30pm screening. 3:30, 5:30 & 7:30pm. $5. Also on Wednesday.

MUSIC: The Yankee Doodle Band @ Town Park, Schodack. 6pm. FREE. GO HERE for more info and a complete schedule…

THEATER: “Thoreau or, Return to Walden” @ the Unicorn Theatre, Stockbridge. In the world premiere, playwright-actor David Adkins takes the stage as New England Transcendentalist, poet and philosopher as he battles with himself, with his own thirst for blood and for the soul of our American conscience. 7pm. $50. Through July 11. GO HERE for more info…

OPEN MIC: Open Mic with Cameron & Ryder @ Club Helsinki, Hudson. Sign-up at 6pm; show at 7pm. FREE.

Cartoonist John CaldwellCaffe LenaHolly & EvanJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantAdvertise on Nippertown!Albany PoetsBerkshire On StageThe LindaCapital District Habitat For Humanity