Blogs > The Arts Whisperer

Offering a fresh way of helping you keep up with art and entertainment happenings around the Capital District.

Friday, May 14, 2010

so much theater - so little time

It's fast approaching Memorial Day which means things are going to be moving outdoors. So this might be the weekend to stay inside and watch a good play. Certainly there are plenty available.

Cohoes Music Hall just opened the musical "Singin' in the Rain," a staged version of the 1952 film that starred Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O'Connor. It also made famous Kelly's memorable dance in a rain shower.

The good news is thanks to the magic of theater and Matt Fick's technical skills it does rain on the Cohoes stage and makes for a great dance number. It's only one of the happy moments in the Cohoes production. A new choreographer (to the Hall) Christopher George Patterson uses his young talent to create several great tap dance numbers. This is light-hearted fun that will offer a good time

Another musical "Parade" is offered by Spotlight Players at Columbia High School in East Greenbush and continues through Sunday. It's the deal of the weekend as admission is free. Even if there was a charge, I would recommend the show. Don't go expecting fluff as this is a very serious musical.

It tells the story of Leo Frank, a Jewish factory manager in Georgia who in 1913 was accused of raping and killing a 13 year old girl who worked in the factor. After a fixed trial, it became so obvious that Frank was railroaded because of his religion, the governor commuted his sentence. A mob stormed the jail and hung Frank.

Parade tells about this sad chapter in American history, but also pays attention to the love story between Leo and his wife. It's a mature tale of two people falling deeper in love after their marriage. The music is eclectic, the performances are excellent and the staging helps to make sense of a very complicated story. It's free and should be seen. It's a great show to bring teenagers

Albany Civic Theatre is offering Thornton Wilder's classic play "Our Town." It's hard to believe that this staple of American theatre was once considered strange and cutting edge. I believe it is one of the 10 best American plays and touches on everything a person would want to know about life and relationships.

Circle Theater in West Sand Lake is presenting another classic - "The Hound of the Baskervilles." This classic Sherlock Holmes mystery is guaranteed to be a lot of fun. It's at Sand Lake Center for the Arts this weekend and next.

Schenectady Civic Players is in the final weekend of their run of the Kaufman and Hart comedy "You Can't Take It With You." It's a wild comedy about an eccentric but loving family who accepts the fiancee of one of their members - even though she's normal and rich.

Up north at Hubbard Hall in Cambridge there is the "Incorruptible," "a dark comedy about the dark ages." It has a great premise that involves monks selling the bones of average people as relics of saints in the hope of getting the pilgrim tourist trade. We all know how funny the Middle Ages were.

So much to do and so little time.


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