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The Top 10 Best, Not to Be Missed Things to Do in Albany (Week of March 26-April 1, 2012)

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The Top 10 Things to Do in Albany (Week of March 26-April 1, 2012)

Lord of the Dance, Kimchee and The Northeast LGBT Conference

Lord of the Dance returns to the area to keep the St. Patty’s Day spirit lingering, there’s talk about books, Victorian culture, alternative energy and LGBT issues, and after you’ve heard it all you can conquer kimchee at Different Drummer’s Kitchen. Relive those summer nights in the Catskills and sing along to all of Guster’s songs…  These are just a few of the things to do this week in the Capital Region. It’s the Top 10 Best, Not to Be Missed Things to Do in Albany (For the Week of March 26, 2011)…

1. Lord of the Dance at The Palace Theatre

St. Patrick’s Day celebrations aren’t over until Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance comes to town. Although THE lord of the dance (Flatley) is no longer on the stage, his vision continues to be. This isn’t your regular run-of-the-mill Irish step-dancing show– watch the traditional story based upon mythical Irish folklore play out over 21 scenes of “precision dancing, dramatic music, colorful costumes and state-of-the-art staging and lighting. Ticket prices vary from $29.50 and up; Monday, March 28th at 7:30pm;

2. Writer Lauren Groff at UAlbany

I’m jealous of Lauren Groff. The 33-year old Cooperstown native has already had a New York Times bestselling novel, The Monsters of Templeton, and her latest work, Arcadia, which will be released this month, has received a lot of advance praise, again from those people over at the NYT. This talk is a part of UAlbany’s visiting writer’s series. Assembly Hall uptown campus; Tuesday, March 28th at 8pm; free and open to the public;

3. Victorian Culture at Skidmore

Skidmore professor Catherine Golden is an expert on Victorian culture, and she wants to share her plethora of the period. This Thursday evening, March 29th in Skidmore’s Gannet Auditorium, Golden will gush about how “Victorian decorative objects illuminate the politics, etiquette, communications, aesthetics, gender and social class of 19th-century Britain.”  The lecture is free and open to the public. Visit for more info.

Kimchee4. Korean Barbecue Class at Different Drummer’s Kitchen

The talented people over at Different Drummer’s Kitchen keep impressing the heck out of me. Perhaps it’s because no matter how carefully I follow a recipe it always tastes burnt, salty or just wrong. I challenge them (and you can too) to prove us wrong at their next class: Korean Barbecue. Chef Jamie Ortiz will explore Korean barbecue from Kimchee, Beef Bulgogi, Beef Galbi, Chicken Buldak and Gochujang Pork Bulgogi. Visit for a spot in class; Tuesday, March 27th from 6-8:30pm; $69.

5. The Borscht Belt Films at The Linda

The UAlbany Center for Jewish Studies presents Catskills Cinema: Glimpses of Borscht Belt Life on Film at the Linda this Thursday, March 29th. The free program will explore the culture of Jewish New Yorkers’ summer respites in the Catskills during the first six or seven decades of the twentieth century. Clips from Billy Crystal’s Mr. Saturday Night, Dirty Dancing and Having Wonderful Time with Ginger Rogers will be shown. 7pm;

6. Guster at The Egg

Guster, the alt-rock band from Boston will be playing at The Egg this Wednesday, March 28th. The band is known as much for their live performances as their activism. Lead singer Adam Gardner and his wife co-founded Reverb, the non-profit environmental organization that has garnered support from a slew of artists from John Mayer to The Beastie Boys. Guster played a concert at my college and halfway through the power went out, and they rocked the rest of their hour set acoustically. Hopefully you’ve already snagged your tickets because the show is sold out. 8pm;

Bill Burr7. Bill Burr at The Troy Music Hall

Stand-up comedian Bill Burr is coming to town and he’ll be at the Troy Music Hall this Saturday night, March 31st doing what he does best. But he’s not just a funny guy– since 2007 he has recorded a weekly one-hour podcast (which is one of the most downloaded comedy podcasts on iTunes) and he may be most recently recognized as his appearance on FX’s Breaking Bad’ as Kuby. Referred to many in the industry as a “comedian’s comedian”, see why this weekend. 8pm; ticket prices vary from $25-$50;

8. The Northeast LGBT Conference at Sage

This weekend at Sage College is the Northeast LGBT Conference, a student conference focused on LGBT issues. There will be a number of talks (that are open to the public), and Daniel Hernandez will be holding one of them. If you don’t automatically recognize his name, he was Congresswoman Gabby Giffords’ intern, who helped her the day she was shot. Hear what he has to say, as well the other speakers (like Kate Clinton) this Friday and Saturday, March 30th and 31st. Ticket prices vary depending on the talk; visit for more event info.

9. Alternative Energy Lecture at the Schenectady Museum

It’s okay with me that “green is in”– have you ever wondered where our power will be coming from in the next few decades? Dr. Walter Robb will explore the basics of alternative energy and options to meet our future energy consumption needs during this free, informative talk on Friday, March 30th. Robb is the former Senior Vice President and Chief Technical Officer of General Electric, and is presently applying his time to helping start companies in a variety of renewable energy fields. This isn’t a talk geared towards local scientists, it’s geared towards Us. 5:30-7:30pm;  Visit for more info.

My Barbarian10. My Barbarian at RPI

The LA-based troupe My Barbarian will be at RPI this Friday, March 30th, presenting their latest collaborative work. Their show will evoke a number of theatrical styles from Baroque spectacle to camp drag, and the entire piece will “present the absurdities of the American financial crisis as a performance of wastefulness, trashiness, and class warfare. The night will play out as a play-within-a-game- within-a-play and is a “decoupage of detoured theater texts, ornate musical numbers, and masked interactions.” Sounds cool…and confusing, but the night is looking to be fun nonetheless. Read more about My Barbarian or visit RPI’s website for further info. West Hall Auditorium @ 7:30-8:45pm; free and open to the public.

See you next week!!!


*This Just IN–

*Police and bar owners in Saratoga have been getting together to discuss issues facing the city’s nightlife. There’s been violent behavior and brawls in recent years and officials are blaming it on New York State’s bar closing time (4am). Could closing time be cut short? Do you think this will curb some of the rowdy behavior?

*The Albany Medical Center is offering a $25,000 reward for information leading directly to the arrest and conviction of the person (or persons) responsible for planting mercury in the hospital’s cafeteria on Friday, March 2nd. Think YOU can help?

*Uncle Bill’s Tavern opened at Broadway and Lawn this past Friday. The new establishment is a friendly and casual “neighborhood tavern” with a reasonably priced menu and more than 25 beer and wine choices. Read on about Uncle Bill’s…

*Calling all Blues Musicians! The City of Albany and the Downtown BID will be holding a Blues Music Competition on Friday, May 4 from 5-9pm. The competition will take place in several downtown venues, and the winners will be chosen by audience members. If you think you have the chops, you can get an application here. They must be completed and submitted by 3:00pm on Friday, April 6th, along with two songs (mp3 files) and a promotional photo (jpeg format.) Call 518-465-2143 for more details.

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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