Still emanating fumes from their drag race to the top of the bluegrass scene, Grammy-nominated group The Grascals inspires infectious toe tapping and hand clapping during impassioned performances. Building on roots that trace back more than two decades, the tightly spun sextet fuses harmonious, twang-packed vocals with the plucks of a banjo, fiddle, and mandolin. Light-hearted, jovial jams peppered among soul-searching ballads and dramatic diary readings work together to weave a wondrous catalog–an effort that has led to collaborations with country legends such as Dolly Parton and Hank Williams Jr. This year, the group continued their blitz on the bluegrass genre with four more award nominations from the International Bluegrass Music Association. Local favorites the Ramblin Jug Stompers lay the groundwork for an evening of two-steps, as they carry on the tradition of American string bands and air-harmonica solos of the 1960s.
The Theatre Institute at Sage's kid-friendly productions complement its mission of bringing classic stories into the community via intrepid student performers. One of William Shakespeare's most celebrated comedies, Much Ado About Nothing weaves the tale of two pairs of lovers navigating the romantic labyrinths of unrequited desire, mistaken identity, and planning a wedding in iambic pentameter. The show's all-female cast neatly reverses the Elizabethan tradition of men playing women's roles and women playing stage props, filling the redbrick Schacht Fine Arts Center with a girl-powered spin on the play's inimitable blend of high jinks and high art.
Surviving in the wilderness can be challenging?especially during the zombie apocalypse. Courses focus purely on the practical aspects of survival, such as building a shelter, finding wild edible plants, purifying water, and learning how to roundhouse kick the wings off pesky mosquitoes.
Since 1981, Lorraine-Michaels Dance Centre's cast of passionate instructors has been helping students of all ages and abilities confidently express themselves through the art of dance. They lead these students through sashays, shimmies, and kicks with an exhaustive roster of dance and fitness classes that ranges from ballroom dancing to Hip Hop to kickboxing. During dance classes, they teach students to perform fundamental moves with confidence and musicality, covering a variety styles—including the Argentine tango, waltz, swing, and salsa—tending to bites from the dancing bug or disgruntled dance partners. They motivate students into performance shape in dance-inspired fitness classes such as Zumba, a regimen of easy-to-follow dance moves set to high-energy Latin tunes. In kickboxing sweat sessions, they inspire students to kick and punch their way toward their fitness goals, effectively toning muscles and scaring away the ghosts of gladiators past, while pole dancing classes build strength and teach students how to spin and climb.
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.
Since opening with a Frank Sinatra performance in 1990, the stadium now known as Times Union Center has seen more than 15 million guests pass through its turnstiles. That’s only slightly smaller than the population of the Netherlands and roughly equal to the number of people worldwide who enjoy candy corn. Besides attracting such entertainment titans as the Rolling Stones, U2, Disney’s “On Ice” series, and the Harlem Globetrotters, the multifunction arena is also home to the AHL’s Albany Devils and college basketball’s Siena Saints.