The Egg, Albany, Wednesday, 1/18, 7:30 PM
Jazz guitar legend Pat Metheny returns to town Wednesday night with a show that’s officially called “An Evening with Pat Metheny with Antonio Sanchez, Linda Oh and Gwilym Simcock.” These are, respectively, a drummer, a bassist and a pianist. (Oh, and drummer Sanchez? He’s the guy who created the Birdman score.) The Guardian raved about this line-up in concert in 2016: “This was a tour de force of a live show, refreshing one of the most-recycled repertoires in contemporary jazz in constantly diverting ways. . . .”
Albany Center Gallery, Albany, Wednesday, 1/18, 5-9 PM
The good folks at Albany Center Gallery have been diligently working to get their bright new space ready in the Arcade Building at 488 Broadway (entrance on Maiden Lane)–we’ve seen them, brushes in hand, painting the walls and trim. And now the new ACG is ready for its debut this Wednesday with the 2017 Members Show. Over “175 artists, showcasing a variety of styles and mediums” will be featured in the exhibition. Take our word for it, you’ll like the new space. Pictured is Peter Leue’s Loving (Albany), Cup, mixed woods.
John Cleese with Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Proctors, Schenectady, Thursday, 1/19, 7:30 PM
This is a rare pleasure: comedy legend John Cleese will be live, on stage and in person, to introduce a screening of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. He will answer questions about the film, and tell amusing stories about his life and career. Remember, there is such a thing as a stupid question. If you ask one, Mr. Cleese just might make sport of it–and you’ll love it. Please note that if you do not address him as “Mr. Cleese,” a man with a napkin on his head named “Mr. Gumby” will hit you with a brick. (OK, that last bit isn’t true. But it should be.)
Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Friday, 1/20, 8 PM
The fully renovated–renewed?–Caffe Lena is open, and it’s a hit. If you don’t believe us, go back and read W.B. Belcher’s story in last week’s paper. (We’ll wait.) On Friday, the Philadelphia-based father-and-son duo Beaucoup Blue will bring their tasty blend of folk, jazz, rhythm & blues and country blues back to Lena’s new-and-improved stage, where they’ve been welcome performers since the early aughts.
Urinetown The Musical
Schenectady Light Opera Company, Schenectady, Opens Friday, 1/20, 8 PM
If you like your musicals darkly funny and your satire strong, then Urinetown The Musical is just your cup of poison. This 2002 Tony Award-winner for Best Original Score, Best Book and Best Direction, tells the grim tale of a town ruined by drought, greed and cruelty. The UGC (Urine Good Company) controls everyone’s right to pee, and if you don’t pay, you’re shipped off to the unspeakable Urinetown, never to return. But love enters, and rebellion and the hope of humanity. SLOC’s production is directed by Marc Christopher.
Together Until the End: Schenectady in World War I
Schenectady County Historical Society, Schenectady, Opens Saturday, 1/21, 2-4 PM
“Devastating, morbid, and totally unprecedented, World War I changed our world entirely and redefined modernity.” This statement, from the exhibit notes, sets the table for SCHS’ Together Until the End: Schenectady in World War I. Photographs, posters and vintage items will paint a picture of what happened when a world war–America’s first–touched the lives of Schenectady residents. Dr. Richard Fogarty, an authority on 20th century war and society, and an associate professor at UAlbany, will speak at Saturday’s opening reception. For more info, visit schenectadyhistorical.com.
Cohoes Music Hall, Cohoes, Saturday, 1/21, 8 PM
Multi-instrumentalist Americana artist Amy Helm made her solo debut with the 2015 album Didn’t It Rain, but she wasn’t exactly a newcomer. After a decade playing in her late father’s Midnight Ramble Band (Dad was Levon Helm) and three albums with Ollabelle, Helm emerged with with familiar yet fresh rootsy sound. The New York Times was impressed: “Where Ms. Helm truly excels—as she has proved in Rambles past and with the gospel-folkish group Ollabelle—is in the mining of emotional subtleties within a song.” She’s in Cohoes on Saturday, check her out for yourself.
Monster Jam featuring AT3M
Times Union Center, Albany, Saturday and Sunday, 1/21, 7PM; 1/22, 1 PM
We can’t top what Monster Jam says about Monster Jam: “Monster Jam features high octane spontaneous entertainment and intense competition, featuring the most recognizable trucks in the world.” And get this: “Each Monster Jam truck is approximately 10.5 feet tall, 12 feet wide, 17 feet long and weighs 10,000 pounds.” Admit it: Your kids are already drooling at the prospect of monster trucks. (So are you.) And get this: There will be “pit parties” on both days, on Saturday from 4:40-6:30 PM and Sunday from 10:30 AM to noon. These are separately ticketed events, available at the TUC box office and Ticketmaster.
Albany Symphony’s Finding Do-re (and Mi)
Zankel Music Center, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, Sunday, 1/22, 3 PM
Maestro David Alan Miller and the Albany Symphony Orchestra will take a page from Pixar with Sunday afternoon’s family concert at Skidmore College. With the help of “four brilliant young singers,” the ASO will help “Do-re” find her voice in an undersea adventure scored to music of Mozart, Rossini, Verdi and Puccini. There will be a special “musical instrument petting zoo” before the concert (at 2 PM). Oh, and one more thing: adult admission is $15, kids get in free. Call the ASO office at 465-4755 for ticketing details.
Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, Sunday, 1/22, 8 PM
Nellie McKay’s wide-ranging curiosity has led her into some strange corners. In addition to her own songs, the singer-songwriter-actress-artist recorded a lovely tribute to Doris Day, and made the 1960s sound fresh on her album My Weekly Reader. Her new project is A Girl Named Bill: The Life and Times of Billy Tipton, and that’s the show she’s bringing to Hudson on Sunday evening. And who was Billy Tipton? A 20th-century jazz musician and bandleader who, when he died in 1989, was discovered to have been born a woman. We’re intrigued with what McKay will do with this amazing life story.
The Low Beat, Albany, Monday, 1/23, 6 PM
We’re gonna let Hawthorne Heights frontman JT Woodruff speak for himself: “Do you really need to read this? I love to write music and perform songs live. I’m not into covering pop songs. I’m not into lighting kits. I hate drums. Love JT.” Well all right then. Woodruff will be visiting beautiful downtown Albany as part of the InVogue Records Unplugged Tour. (Dude did say he hates drums.) Also on the bill: In Her Own Words (who are actually four dudes), Boston-based indie rockers Woven In Hiatus (also four dudes), and Hazing (five dudes).
Proctors, Schenectady, Monday, 1/23, 2, 4:30 and 7 PM
Proctors is kicking off an intriguing film series this Monday (Proctors at 90: Nine Decades of Cinema) with Chicago, the salacious story of murderess Roxie Hart and the efforts of a slick lawyer to keep her out of the electric chair. But this isn’t the musical; it’s the 1927 version, which is harder-hitting and measurably sleazier than the remake. Phyllis Haver’s Roxie is pretty as a picture and wild as a feral cat. An uncredited Cecil B. DeMille likely directed; he eschewed credit because his Biblical epic King of Kings was in theaters at the same time. The score by The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra is a delight.