Out & About in November 2010

Kathy Griffin attacks the A-list; typewriter art; and PantoLoon tomfoolery arrives for the holidays



Red carpet renegade

Love her or loathe her, comedienne Kathy Griffin is hard to ignore. Her list of past television credits (a full-time role on Suddenly Susan, guest spots on Mad About You, ER, Seinfeld, Ugly Betty; guest cohost of The View, voice work for The Simpsons, her own HBO special) is a mile long. Now the star of the current hit Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, the red-headed Chicago native also does killer stand-up, during which she skewers other celebs (Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Barbara Walters, et al.) about their plastic surgeries, drug and alcohol problems, weight issues, and snobbish attitudes (among other things). But Griffin often turns the tables, poking fun at herself with equal acerbity. Catch her act at the Palace Theatre. Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. $28-$98. 19 Clinton Ave., Albany. 515-465-3334 or www.palacealbany.com

Holiday hilarity

Not to be confused with miming, pantomime is a comedic theater style that became popular in England in the 18th century. Put on during the holiday season, “pantos” are loosely based on children’s stories, but include song and dance, slapstick comedy, cross-dressing, audience participation, and other forms of insanity. Each year, this theater tradition is kept alive by the PantoLoons, a troupe of local actors who perform at the Ghent Playhouse. This season’s show, entitled Lost: The Grimm Years, mixes plot elements from “Hansel and Gretel” and “Little Red Robin Hood” — spiced up with lots of shtick. Nov. 26-Dec. 12. Fri.-Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. $15. Town Hall Rd., Ghent. 518-392-6264 or www.ghentplayhouse.org

Learning from history

It would be difficult to argue that, over the course of our nation’s 234 years, there has been any issue more contentious than slavery. The Karpeles Museum’s current exhibit, Slavery, highlights documents and artifacts — dating from Colonial to modern times — which shed light on this supercharged subject. Included are records from the 1839 Amistad slave ship revolt, original pages from Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, copies of the Emancipation Proclamation and Martin Luther King’s “We Shall Overcome” speech — as well as hand-forged iron wrist and leg shackles, intended for use on African slaves. Thurs.-Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sun. 12-4 p.m. through Nov. 28. 94 Broadway, Newburgh. 845-569-4997 or www.karpeles.com

Untapped ideas

It’s not uncommon for art exhibits to be organized around a specific theme — landscape paintings, for instance, or works that explore a certain topic or emotion. But Courier, now on view at Albany’s University Art Museum, explores art relating to a very unusual subject — typewriters. Employing a range of media from printmaking and video to an actual typewriter itself, 11 contemporary artists use this (now obsolete) machine to comment on historical events, the passage of time, the importance of memory, and (naturally) our reliance on written language. Tues. 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Wed.-Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. 12-4 p.m. through Dec. 4. University at Albany campus. 1400 Washington Ave., Albany. 518-442-4038 or www.albany.edu/museum

don pasqualeSinging siren: Russian soprano Anna Netrebko tackles the role of Norina, a young widow, in the Met’s production of the comic opera Don Pasquale. See it live in HD in Hudson and Poughkeepsie this month

Arias on the airwaves

Hudson Valley opera lovers used to have it tough. Hearing the great works meant schlepping down to Manhattan (and paying those high ticket prices) to catch performances at the Metropolitan Opera. Well, not anymore. Now music aficionados need only travel to Poughkeepsie or Hudson to see and hear opera live in HD. The Bardavon Opera House and Time & Space Limited both offer real-time simulcasts from the Met — this month, you can catch Donizetti’s bel canto comedy Don Pasquale, with soprano Anna Netrebko and bass-baritone John Del Carlo in the featured roles. Nov. 13 at 1 p.m. Call each venue for ticket information. The Bardavon Opera House, 35 Market St., Poughkeepsie; 845-473-6088 or www.bardavon.org. Time & Space Ltd., 434 Columbia St., Hudson; 518-822-8448 or www.timeandspace.org

suzanne farrell ballet

Dance delight

Suzanne Farrell Ballet — the classical dance company founded and directed by the famed prima ballerina who was George Balanchine’s most notable “muse” — takes to the stage at the Performing Arts Center, Purchase College this month. The resident company at Washington’s Kennedy Center, the troupe gives a full-length performance of nine pas de deux choreographed by Balanchine (the dance pioneer who is credited with creating the expressive style of modern ballet). Nov. 7 at 3 p.m. $62.50-$77.50. 735 Anderson Hill Rd., Purchase. 914-251-6200 or www.artscenter.org

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