LIVE: Brett Dennen @ The Egg, 10/18/14

October 20th, 2014, 2:00 pm by Greg
Brett Dennon

Brett Dennon

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Pop singer-songwriter Brett Dennen went back to basics for his latest album, Smoke and Mirrors, so it was no surprise that the supporting tour, which made a stop at The Egg’s Swyer Theatre last weekend, was in the same vein – a solo acoustic concert. Accompanying himself on acoustic guitar, the red-head from northern California sported musical influences ranging from Paul Simon to Tom Petty to Neil Young, and the fans in the theater were enthusiastic, to say the least.

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“Stonewall” DIldine and the Mess at Shakespeare & Company [Berkshire on Stage]

October 20th, 2014, 1:00 pm by Sara
Stonewall Dildine’s answer to all questions: “”We don’t discuss personnel matters.”

Stonewall Dildine’s answer to all questions: “We don’t discuss personnel matters.”

By Larry Murray

For more than a week, the board and management of Shakespeare & Company in Lenox have evaded every question about the sudden departure of artistic director Tony Simotes. It has also refused to give any indication of whether this signals a major reorganization of the theatre company, and just who is going to be next on the chopping block. The order to be silent has reverberated throughout the company and many of the founders and long-term members fear that if they open their mouth, they will lose their jobs. It seems that heads are going to roll soon, and that worries me as a veteran theater watcher who has a great love for this venerable company of actors.

Secrecy and stonewalling are a familiar form of corporate politics. Whether white collar workers or actors, using these sorts of wily tactics always backfires, and has already began to erode the company’s years of reputation and audience building.

Oddly, Shakespeare & Company chose to release the news of Simotes departure with hints of more changes to come in an after-hours news release (original story) late on a Friday night. They probably expected that few would print the news, or – most importantly – that few would notice that the popular Simotes was being unceremoniously ushered out months before his contract ends despite promises to the contrary. There were few details, just the usual meaningless niceties that accompany such corporate beheadings. My own attempts to glean more information were rebuffed even when such attempts were done using personal email rather than official ShakesCo email address which were undoubtedly being monitored for leaks.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Albany’s Madison Theatre Opens New Live Music Venue

October 20th, 2014, 12:00 pm by Greg

Move over, movies, and make way for some music…

Albany has a new venue for live music, and it’s at the Madison Theater. Of course, the Madison will continue screening films in its movie theaters, but in addition now there’s also a new 175-seat live entertainment venue featuring theater-style seating and state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, making it a viable venue for concerts, comedy shows, lectures, classic and independent films, and other kinds of public and private events.

In addition, the venue’s second level features a recording studio that can be utilized for both on-stage and studio performances, as well as a VIP balcony that can accommodate up to 40 people.

The debut performance of the new performance space will take place at 8pm on Saturday (October 25) with a jazz concert by the Nancy & Spencer Reed Quartet also featuring tenor saxman Ed Ludwig and drummer Drew Sicilaiano. Doors open at 7:30pm, and admission is $18.

Of course, it’s not the first time that the Madison Theater has hosted concerts. Back in the early ’80s when it was still a single-screen theater, the Madison presented a number of concerts by the likes of British prog-rockers UK, the Byrds’ spin-off McGuinn, Clark & Hillman and, yes, even Talking Heads.

The Classic Movie Schedule for the Palace Theatre Kicks off Tonight

October 20th, 2014, 10:00 am by Greg

Yes, the Classic Movie Series is back on the Palace Theatre’s big screen complete with vintage trailers, cartoons and more movie surprises…

The series kicks off at 7pm tonight with the annual October screening of the participatory cult classic horror/comedy/musical “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” featuring the live shadowcast by The Kids of Albany. Tickets for this special screening are $7.

Tickets for all other movies are $5; $3 for kids. And season passes to see every film in the series can be purchased for half price.

Here’s the Palace’s complete Classic Movie Series schedule for 2014-2015:

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10/20/14: Today’s Tips: Monday

October 20th, 2014, 8:00 am by Greg

Take a look at today’s entertainment options and send it along to anyone who thinks there’s nothing to do in this town. And remember – this is a Monday night…

MUSIC: Ian McLagan @ The Linda, Albany. He’s a genuine, dyed-in-the-wool rock’n’roller, a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer (for both the Small Faces and the Faces) and a bona fide rock Zelig, who has played the Rolling Stones and a long line of rock legends from Bob Dylan to Bruce Springsteen to Paul Westerberg. 8pm. $20.

MUSIC: Sarah Jarosz & the Milk Carton Kids @ The Egg, Albany. The Grammy-nominated folk/bluegrass/Americana artists the Milk Carton Kids and Sarah Jarosz (with Alex Hargreaves, Samson Grisman and Nathaniel Smith) all gather ’round one microphone for a genuinely collaborative, all-star, acoustic music throwdown. 7:30pm. $30.

MUSIC: Ramblin Jug Stompers @ McGeary’s Pub, Albany. 7pm. FREE. UPDATE: This concert has been cancelled due to scheduling conflicts.

MUSIC: Stick Men @ the Bearsville Theater, Woodstock. Fresh off their monster King Crimson reunion tour, Chapman Stick-man Tony Levin and drummer Pat Mastelotto are joined by former Crimson ProjeKCt guitarist Markus Reuter. Oh boy… 8pm. $15.

MUSIC: Bobby Previte @ Club Helsinki, Hudson. The master jazz drummer is a regular at Helsinki with his Voodoo Orchestra North, but this time around he’s celebrating the release of his new album, Terminals. And he’s bringing along some special guests who played on the album with him – John Medeski and So Percussion. This should be a wild night… 8pm. $18.

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10/19/14: Today’s Tips: Sunday

October 19th, 2014, 8:00 am by Greg

MUSIC: Janis Ian @ the Eighth Step at Proctors, Schenectady. She’s won two Grammy Awards – the first in 1975 for her song “At Seventeen” and the second in 2013 for Best Spoken Word Album, for her autobiography, “Society’s Child,” nearly 40 years later. The always outspoken and entertaining singer-songwriter steps into the spotlight at the Eighth Step in support of her latest album, Strictly Solo. 7:30pm. $30 & $50.

MUSIC: The Drive-By Truckers @ The Egg, Albany. Boasting a mix of Southern pride, history, folklore, politics and character studies into their songs, one of today’s foremost alt country-rock bands make their debut at The Egg in support of their new, critically acclaimed album English Oceans. 7:30pm. $29.50.

EVENT: Felix Iavarone’s Rock n Roll Expo @ the Albany Marriott, Colonie. Dealers from throughout the northeast offer a wide array of records, CDs, comics, DVDs, video games and other pop culture collectibles. Local authors John Gabriel and Don Rittner will be on hand to sell and sign copies of their books. And in addition, Tom Raider of Hey Jude…The Tribute will serve as the emcee, hosting live rockin’ performances by the Last Conspirators and Kyle Ripp Rock. 10am-5pm. $5.

DANCE: Abraham.In.Motion @ MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center, North Adams. Choreographer and MacArthur “Genius” Fellow Kyle Abraham and his ensemble of phenomenal dancers perform his newest work, “The Watershed,” which commemorates 150 years since Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and 20 years since the abolition of apartheid in South Africa. 3pm. $26, $32 & $38; $18 students. GO HERE for more info…

MUSIC: Dianne Reeves @ the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington. The four-time Grammy Award-winning jazz vocalist is accompanied by a crack band featuring Gerald Clayton, Romero Lubambo, James Genus and Terreon Gully. 7pm. $32, $52 & $82.

FILM/MUSIC: “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” @ the Albany Public Library, Albany. The Silent Film Spectacular is not just on Wednesdays anymore. With live, original music by Time Travel Book Club (Ryan Stewart, Andrew Siskind and guests) performs their new original score to accompany the screening of the the 1916 interpretation of Jules Verne’s sci-fi classic. 2pm. FREE.

MUSIC: Erin McKeown @ Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs. She’s a great guitarist, gifted songwriter and dynamic performer with an emphatically activist streak. Her music is clever, catchy, substantial and subversive. And her performances are big fun. With Saratoga’s own sublime singer-songwriter MaryLeigh Roohan. 7pm. $20.

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10/18/14: Today’s Tips: Saturday

October 18th, 2014, 8:00 am by Greg

MUSIC: Shawn Colvin @ Club Helsinki, Hudson. The multiple Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter returns for an intimate concert at Hudson’s premier showcase club. 9pm. $45 & $60.

MUSIC: The Empire Jazz Orchestra @ the Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield. Schenectady’s own big band is joined by a trio of special guest saxophonists – Sharel Cassity, Ada Rovati and Claire Daily – in the feature concert of the Pittsfield CityJazz Festival. 8pm. $20-$35.

MUSIC: No Outlet @ the Ale House, Troy. Kevin Maul, Dale Haskell and Tony Markellis celebrate the release of their new CD, No Outlet – Live. 9pm. GO HERE for more info…

MUSIC/DANCE: “An Evening of Music and Dance” @ Skidmore College’s Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs. Composer David Lang, Skidmore faculty member and choreographer Debra Fernandez, and the musical group So Percussion present an evening of dance and song inside the “I was a double exhibition” space. 5pm. FREE, but tickets are required. Call 518-580-8080 for reservations.

FESTIVAL/MUSIC/FUNDRAISER: Brown’s Oktoberfest @ Brown’s Brewing Co., Troy. Brown’s is hosting their annual Oktoberfest to benefit the Rensselaer Land Trust with plenty of Brown’s Wholly Moses!, Great Pumpkin Ale, Oktoberfest Lager and German Fare. Hand-rolled cigars on the deck from Habana Premium Cigar Shoppe. And live music all day from Flood Road (1pm), Annie in the Water (3:30pm) and the reunion of Jericho Joe (6pm). 1-9pm. $10 donation.

MUSIC: Albany Symphony Orchestra @ the Palace Theatre, Albany. Pianist Joyce Yang joins the ASO for Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, and David Alan Miller leads the symphony in Tchaikovsky’s most famous work, “Pathetique.” 7:30pm. $19-$59.

FESTIVAL/MUSIC/FOOD/FUNDRAISER: Soup ‘r Bands @ Roaring Brook Ranch, Lake George. The sixth annual fundraiser for the Upstate Autism Alliance features soups from more than 30 restaurants, a silent auction and music by 11 bands – the Audiostars, Black Mountain Symphony, Funkalicious, Radio Junkies, Dirt Cheap, James Hood, Austin Barosi, Chris Ballini, Saving Atlantis, Tim Wechgelaer & Friends and Sugar Pill. 6pm. $25.

FESTIVAL/MUSIC/FUNDRAISER: LODGE @ Riedlbauer’s Resort, Round Top. A benefit for WGXC-FM featuring DJs Chris Bishop, Spike Priggen, Tim Livingston and Lunar Moss from 2-7pm (FREE) and bands Bishop Allen, Palm, Dirty River and Slow Collins at 7pm ($20). GO HERE for more info…

MUSIC: Rosanne Cash @ the Bardavon Opera House, Poughkeepsie. She was magnificent with her husband-guitarist John Leventhal at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall back in March. Now see her with the full band. 8pm. $54 & $74.

COMEDY/FUNDRAISER: John Waters @ Basilica Hudson, Hudson. The iconoclast, filmmaker and strange mind behind “Cry Baby,” “Pink Flamingos,” “Polyester,” “Female Trouble,” “Hairspray” and other films perform his one-man show, “This Filthy World, Volume 2,” as a benefit for Basilica Arts and the AIDS Council of Northeastern New York. 8pm. $125 & $175; $50 students.

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It’s the Weekend!

October 17th, 2014, 4:00 pm by Greg

It's the weekend!

Congrats for making it through yet another week, so now it’s time to get out there and soak up some of that weekend 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

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:

Fred Rudofsky
Andrzej Pilarczyk
Larry Murray
Gail M. Burns
Timothy Reidy
Michael Kats
Rudy Lu
Erin Harkes

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
Proctors, Schenectady
Guthrie Bell Productions, Albany
City Office of Special Events, Albany
Barrington Stage Company, Pittsfield
College of St. Rose’s Massry Center, Albany
A Place for Jazz, Schenectady
The Hollow Bar + Kitchen, Albany

Thanks for keeping Nippertown alive… and lively,

Sara Ayers
Greg Haymes

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