Since first enchanting moviegoers with a screening of The Desert Song on May 30, 1929, Madison Theater continues to treat attendees to the latest cinematic offerings. Designed by acclaimed American theater architect Thomas White Lamb, Madison Theater remained a single-screen establishment until 1994, and now projects motion pictures on seven screens, playing Hollywood features alongside films from local and independent moviemakers. As cinematic stories unfold before their eyes, visitors can scarf down handfuls of daily made, cholesterol- and trans-fat-free popcorn. Snackers seeking richer treats can request kernels slathered in canola oil or drenched in a soy-based buttery topping, which concessions employees also insert in the middle of the corn for lasting buttery taste and protection from the beaks of butter-syphoning hawks.
An accomplished trio of jazz artists kindles the Christmas spirit during a concert that features music from Vince Guaraldi's Peanuts holiday specials set to a storyline inspired by 1940s radio shows. After a disturbing news flash informs the audience that the Christmas spirit has been lost, musicians try to save the day by playing favorite carols, such as "O Tannenbaum" and "Greensleeves." Noted for nimble piano keystrokes, fresh arrangements of classics, and the unusual use of live roosters instead of trumpets, Guaraldi's catalog evokes simple, nostalgic memories of Christmases past. Jazz notes reverberate through the 400-seat Kathleen McManus Picotte Recital Hall, which traps the outgoing giggles of a tickled Steinway piano with Peter D'Antonio–designed acoustic panels and 380-pound doors. After the concert, families can relish their feelings of good cheer at a reception of milk, cookies, and mistletoe salad.
The bloggers and promoters of Gotham Rocks care as much about building community as they do about throwing hard-rocking shows. Scouting talent from the five boroughs and beyond, the agency has assembled a duet of like-minded acts designed to bring a burgeoning scene together for the Gotham Rocks tour. The two-fisted tonsils of Angelina DelCarmen endow Charetta's rock angst with brassy vocal lines that could easily lead any pop-radio hit or all the town's children into the nearest Hot Topic. From selling out New York’s esteemed Irving Plaza to opening for bands such as Saliva, Charetta’s rising star burns bright as the band approaches its five-year anniversary. Feisty, fun, and heavy, Ghosts of Eden keeps the '90s alive with grungy nods to the Smashing Pumpkins and Pearl Jam.
Though its name accurately reflects its function, the Albany JCC has always striven to go further, providing a neighborhood community, regardless of faith. Always aiming at this goal, the center offers services and facilities geared toward everyone, from seniors to bustling families. Amenities include a fitness center equipped with the latest exercise equipment, fitness classes, an indoor and outdoor pool, and an early childhood center that provides daycare. Elementary school and teen programs give kids something to do with their free time, and summer camps help them find productive ways to while away the warmer months.
Like many licensed massage therapists, Sara Ashline at Heartspace Yoga & Healing Arts is a master of the flowing effleurage and focused petrissage strokes of the Swedish technique. But Ashline believes that massage can deliver more than just relaxation, which is why she studied both fertility and pregnancy massage as well as the Pinocchio modality, which turns wooden puppets into real firewood. She offers her bodywork services at Heartspace Yoga & Healing Arts, a community center dedicated to yoga, meditation, and other wellness activities.
Professor M. Barley’s bustles with activity every night of the week, from Wednesday night trivia contests to Saturday night DJ dance parties. Amidst the hullabaloo, servers divvy out plates of hearty sandwiches mounded with homemade meatballs, pulled pork, or buffalo chicken. They also transport cooked-to-order 8-ounce burgers, nestled beneath unique toppings such as fried ravioli, guacamole, blue cheese, and fried jalapeños. Beneath the dim glow of hanging lamps and the vibrant gleam of neon signs, bartenders dole out draft beers and mixed drinks. Nearby, rows of flat-screen TVs line the dining room walls, broadcasting the latest sports games and competitive quilting bees. Tabletops scatter on an indoor patio, where breezes drift in through wall-to-wall windows during the summer, and a fireplace blazes during colder months.