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Top 10 Best, Not to Be Missed Things to Do in Albany (Week of October 24-30, 2011)

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Top 10 Best, Not to Be Missed Things to Do in Albany, October 24-30, 2011

Albany Events: Halloween, Live Music, Poetry, Dracula, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”

It’s the week before Halloween, so things are bound to get a little scary with some Thrilling record breaking, Haunted House Tours, histories and hypotheses. Celebrate with good music and even better costumes (and some drag, too). It’s the Top 10 Best, Not to Be Missed Things to Do in Albany for the Week of October 24-30, 2011…

1. Haunted History: The Dark Side of Center Square

Center Square, the aptly named square-shaped area between Washington Park and Empire Plaza is Albany’s most affluent neighborhood as well as home to some of Albany’s most historic homes. Beyond the cobblestoned streets and brownstones lie many secrets; a darker side of the neighborhood’s history filled with murders, kidnappings and untimely deaths. Starting Monday and through Friday (October 24-28), the Historic Albany Foundation and the University Club will be holding walking tours from 6-7:30pm. Tickets are $15 and reservations are required. The narrative will be “R-rated” and include graphic material not suitable for children. Hear some real life horror stories and learn some interesting history in the meantime. To reserve a spot call 518-465-0876.

2. The Food Origins of Monster Myths at The NYS Museum

Museum Curator and Mad Scientist Dr. Roland Kays of the NYS Museum takes a crack at how zombies, vampires and witches originated, chalking it up to something they all ate. Wednesday night (October 26) at the museum, Dr. Kays will explain the science behind these three and their possible human-food interactions that made them the way they are. The Food Network’s David Britton will be on hand to cook up the hypothetical recipes and dine on the delicacies at your own risk. Reservations are required; call 518-474-1569 to secure a spot. The lecture runs from 7-8:30pm and tickets are $5.

Bela Lugosi3. Dracula: Movie Screening and Discussion

At the Guilderland Public Library on Wednesday night (October 26), join Professor Emeritus of film studies, Arthur Lennig for a special screening of the 1931 classic film, Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi. Lugosi was a Hungarian actor best known for his portrayal as Dracula, and the subject of Professor Lennig’s book, The Immortal Count: The Life and Films of Bela Lugosi. Enjoy a night watching one of the first horror films with a man who knows it best. After the movie a discussion will be held, where questions will be answered and fun facts revealed. FREE Admission, movie starts at 7pm. Call (518) 456-2400 for more info.

4. Haunted Mansion 2011

If you really want to be scared of your own city, after you explore the stories of Center Square, head over to Albany’s mansion row for Ten Broeck Mansion’s Haunted Mansion 2011. Perhaps, in the spirit of Halloween it’s customary to open the mansion’s doors for a night of spooky fun, but, only a few short months ago the Tri-City NY Paranormal Society recorded what is believed to be some ghostly interactions. Using Electric Voice Phenomenon (EVP) in the mansion’s “hot spots” during the wee hours of the morning, investigators claim to have picked up a man and child’s voice. Claims of the Broeck Mansion being haunted are by no means new, and for years visiting mediums and other clairvoyants too, have felt a presence. It’s creepy to be in an old, huge mansion whether you’re a skeptic or believer, so whatever you believe, the Haunted Mansion tour and discussion should all be in good fun this upcoming Halloween weekend. Friday, October 28 from 6pm-9pm and Saturday, October 29 from 4pm-7pm. Tickets are $5 for adults, $15 for a group of 4 and children 12 and under are $3. Call 518-436-9826 for more info.

5. EQX’s Halloween Party at Jillian’s

EQX has once again teamed up with Jillian’s of Albany to throw the best Halloween parties of 2011. Kick off your Halloween weekend at Jillian’s with live music by Twiddle and special guests Sly Fox and the Hustlers and Bootleg on Friday night and Ten Year Vamp on Saturday night. Party both nights in your most creative/wacky/sexy costume, because Friday night $500 goes to best costume, and Saturday night $1000 goes to best costume and $500 for sexiest. When you’re planning to have an extremely awesome night, remember to party responsibly, so if you’re a little farther than cab fare distance or just want to host the best after party, the Holiday Inn Express is offering a four occupancy night’s stay, with free Jillian’s admission, transportation to and from and breakfast in the morning for only $99. To make room reservations call 518-434-4111 and for more info visit

Philip Schultz6. Author Philip Schultz at UAlbany

Philip Schultz is the author and Pulitzer-Prize-winning poet and founder/director of the Writers Studio, (a private school for fiction and poetry writing based in NYC), among many other prestigious awards. At his upcoming appearance on Tuesday, October 25th as a part of the NYS Writers Institute, Schultz will be reading from, and talking about his new memoir My Dyslexia, which is a “first-hand exploration of the mind’s ability to triumph over its own disabilities,” something Schultz has struggled with in the past. In a NYT article last month Schultz admitted that he still has trouble transforming words into sounds. His lecture and readings should make for a really interesting night. As always admission is FREE; at the uptown campus center room 375 at 8pm. Call (518) 442-3300 for more info.

7. La Cage Aux Folles at Proctors

La Cage Aux Folles is the winner of three Tony Awards including the award for Best Musical Revival and it’s coming to Proctors’ stage this week starting Wednesday, October 26th. La Cage tells the story of Georges, the owner of a glitzy nightclub in Saint-Tropez, and his partner Albin, who moonlights as the glamorous chanteuse Zaza. When Georges’ son brings his fiancée’s conservative parents’ home to meet the pair, hilarity ensues. George Hamilton, orange spray tan and all will be coming to Schenectady as the one and only Georges, (a role that previously belonged to Kelsey Grammer). Tickets vary from $20-$70, for times and full info visit

8. Francis and the Lights at EMPAC

Francis Farewell Starlite is a singer/songwriter/pianist who has been hard at work creating a “pop music spectacle” during his recent residency at EMPAC. To give you an idea as to what Starlite’s music sounds like, he has performed at Coachella, opened for MGMT, Ke$ha, La Roux, Mark Ronson and toured with rapper Drake. Although he’s played with some big names Starlite is still somewhat of a recluse as far as pop stars go. At his upcoming shows this Friday and Saturday night he’ll be aided with 900 yards of white fabric to create The White Room- which references the small, environmentally controlled chamber NASA astronauts used to access the spacecraft. The show should be jaw-dropping, and something you wouldn’t expect to see at EMPAC. It’s so mainstream, that it’s not. Tickets both nights are $18; show starts at 8:30pm-

Michael Jackson's "Thriller"9. Thrill in the 518

Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” is on the top of my list as far as music videos go. It’s on a lot of others’ lists as well– in 2006 the Guinness Book of World Records listed it as “the most successful music video,” and it’s been inducted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress, the first music video to ever receive this honor, for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Albany are preparing to break a world record for the Largest Simultaneous Dance to MJ’s “Thriller.” Thousands of people in cities around the world will learn the “Thriller” dance and perform it precisely at the same time. In Albany that time is 10pm on Saturday. It’s YOUR time to shine. You know dinner, break a world record, movie. For more information on how you can help make history call 518-462-5528.

10. SwordPaw & B3nson Present: The 4th Annual Halloween Freak-Out

SwordPaw Music and The B3nson Recording Co. have teamed up again this year to bring you the 4th Annual Halloween Freak-Out. This dynamic duo claims this is “one hell of a show not to be missed…[they] pride themselves on having the very best possible time to be had each and every Hallow’s Eve.” This year Disposable Rocket Band, The Loom, Goldtooth, Sea of Trees, Cosmonauts and Walking X-Ray will be rocking the night away. Costumes are encouraged and the wackier the better, it is a Freak-Out after all. It all goes down at Valentine’s, (it’s a tradition!) and starts promptly at 7:30pm on Saturday, October 29th. Tickets are $7. For more info call 518-432-6572.

This Just In

The Occupy Albany protest began this Friday. All Over Albany was there and talked to the locals doing their part. See what they had to say…

Jesse Eisenberg, the actor who is known for his role as Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network, will be in the Capital Region on Monday to participate in two performances of Theater of War. The project includes dramatic readings of ancient Greek plays as a catalyst for town hall discussions about the challenges faced by service members, veterans, their families, caregivers and communities

Need a new place to pick up your pick-me-up? On Jay Street in Schenectady, The Happy Cappuccino has arrived. There was a soft opening on Sept. 30 and the ribbon cutting will be next month, Tuesday Nov. 15. But you don’t have to wait that long to try them out!

Aubree Cutkomp is an Assistant Editor for The Free George.

The Free George is the online magazine and visitors’ guide of Upstate NY, covering things from Albany to Lake Placid, including Saratoga, the Lake George region and the Adirondacks. Check out our City Blogs section for our extended coverage areas as well.

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