WHAT: THE ADIRONDACK INDEPENDENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL, a two-day tribute band fest WHERE: Wood Park’s Festival Space, Lake George WHEN: Friday & Saturday (July 3 & 4), gates open at 3pm both days HOW MUCH: $20 per day; $30 for a two-day pass; FREE kids under age 10 WITH food & craft vendors, beer & wine garden, children’s activities, mechanical bull, fireworks and lots of live music WELCOME: Blankets and lawn chairs
Here’s the complete line-up of bands for the Adirondack Independence Music Festival:
MUSIC: C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band @ Shepard Park, Lake George. Kicking off the Lake George Arts Project’s annual summer concert series, it’s the second generation accordionist-vocalist and his zydeco combo bringing the music of the great Clifton Chenier into the 21st century. 7:30pm. FREE. GO HERE for more info and a complete schedule…
MUSIC: The Wiyos @ the Empire State Plaza at The Egg, Albany. Michael Farkas leads the acoustic music combo as they mine the timeless popularity of early swing, jazz, rural folk, old-time blues and Appalachian music. 12noon. FREE. GO HERE for more info and a complete schedule…
MUSIC: Almost Queen @ Riverfront Park, Troy. Rockin’ On the River welcomes back the Queen tribute band. With Yellow Dog. 5pm. FREE. GO HERE for more info and a complete schedule…UPDATE: This show has been postponed due to weather concerns. New date TBA…
MUSIC: Swirlies @ the Half Moon, Hudson. Led by founding members Damon Tutunjian (guitar/vocals), Seana Carmody (guitar/vocals) and Andy Bernick (bass/keyboards), the ’90s American shoegaze icons celebrate their 25th anniversary. 8pm.
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…
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 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… 3:30, 5:30 & 7:30pm. $5.
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. 2 & 7pm. Through Saturday, July 11. GO HERE to read review…
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.
A random sampling of t-shirts spotted at the Solid Sound Festival at MASS MoCA on Saturday & Sunday, June 27 & 28:
Knittaz 4 Life
Magnolia Electric Co.
Save Them All
Bacon Scientist Fillmore East, March 1968-June 1971
Emma Willard Varsity
David Bromberg Band
(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’sMoon 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.