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Thursday, 31 October 2013 13:01

heArt beat

What off season? Two pages of coverage this week from the fabulous Trina Lucas and so many events in the region upcoming, I defy you to find time for them all.

Seeing Quadruple

SALEM — We start off with a trip out to the Fort Salem Theater (11 East Broadway, Salem (518) 854-9200, www.fortsalemtheater.com) where CBS6 anchor Jerry Gretzinger kicks off the theater’s cabaret series with a new revue on Saturday, November 2 at 8 p.m. which encompasses three people named Jerry Gretzinger (Jerry himself, his dad and son) as well as Saratoga Springs singer Brendan Dailey, who portrayed, you guessed it, news anchor Jerry Gretzinger in Fort Salem’s No Boundaries last summer. No Boundaries featured Gretzinger’s fellow “singing anchors,” Jessica Layton Catalon and Benita Zahn. 

This new revue is titled Jerry Gretzinger: Jerry Times Four. All four “Jerry’s” boast impressive performance credentials, with Jerry (that would be the news anchor Jerry) performing in a range of musicals including You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, The Producers and Chicago in addition to regular rounds as a singing anchor and of course, even more regular rounds as a speaking anchor on CBS6’s five o’clock newscast with Liz Bishop.

Dessert and coffee are served and included in the $25 ticket. More information is available online at fortsalemtheater.com or by calling the Fort’s box office at (518) 854-9200.

I have no doubt that the four Jerry’s will be very good. I am curious about how they will sort out the dressing rooms, however.

A 25 Year Tribute to Tacky

LAKE GEORGE — Also on Saturday, November 2 the annual Black Velvet Art Party will be held from 7 to 11 p.m. dockside aboard the Lake George Steamboat Company’s Lac du St. Sacrement. Proceeds from the event help fund the Lake George Arts Project and its gallery exhibition series. 

This invigorating gathering of the local art scene, celebrating its 25th year is renowned for its out-of-the ordinary presentation of black velvet art and over-the-top apparel. 

The competition promises to be as fierce as ever, as fashionistas compete for the coveted Joan Reid award for most inappropriate attire, while artists vie for the Velveeta award for outstanding cheesiness, amongst other treasured accolades.

The party also features a silent auction of original black velvet art, a limbo contest and dance music with The Bad Chaperones. 

A typical year will have over 40 black velvet art entries available to bid on and take home. This year’s theme is “Shine!” 

Tickets are $25 and are available at the door. For more information call the Lake George Arts Project at (518) 668-2616 or visit www.lakegeorgearts.org.

All Aboard!

SARATOGA SPRINGS—The Saratoga & North Creek Railway has announced that they will be installing decorated “Santa Mail Boxes” in strategic locations in Albany, Saratoga, Glens Falls and Lake George. Children may download a blank Santa Letter from the train’s website or use their own and place the letters in these mailboxes.  

Letters “mailed” into these mailboxes by November 10 will be gathered up and loaded onto a specially scheduled Saratoga & North Creek Railway train car at the Saratoga Springs Train Station, 26 Station Lane, Saratoga Springs on Monday, November 11 at an event to be held at 1 p.m.   

Children and their families will meet cast members from the popular Polar Express Train while the Polar Express conductor hoists the Santa mail bags onto the train and then everyone waves bye-bye as it departs for the North Pole. Children (12 and younger) attending the event will be given one complimentary North Pole coloring book, while supplies last.

Mail box locations and updates on additional locations are being listed on the railway company website at www.SNCRR.com.

Auditional Information

SARATOGA SPRINGS — This week Home Made Theater (HMT) is having open auditions for their 2014 productions of Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution and Marc Camoletti’s Boeing Boeing

Auditions for Witness will be held at the Spa Little Theater in Saratoga Spa State Park on Sunday, November 3 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. and Monday, November 4 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. The courtroom mystery is said to be Christie's own personal favorite. The cast consists of at least seven males and at least six females. Production dates are on weekends from February 7 to 23. Rehearsals will begin January 2.

Auditions for Boeing will be held at the theater on Tuesday, November 5 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. and Wednesday, November 6 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. The cast consists of two males and four females.

The play is set in the 1960s and swinging bachelor Bernard couldn’t be happier with a flat in Paris and three gorgeous stewardesses all engaged to him without knowing about each other. But Bernard’s perfect life gets bumpy when a new and speedier Boeing jet throws off all of his careful planning. Soon all three stewardesses are in town simultaneously and catastrophe looms. Production dates are weekends on April 18 to May 4. Rehearsals will begin March 2.

No appointments are necessary for these auditions. Actors should bring a current photo and resume. Photos cannot be returned. Actors will read from provided excerpts from the play. For a detailed flyer with character descriptions, contact HMT at (518) 587-4427 or visit www.homemadetheater.org.

You Kiddin’ Me, Pal?

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Those old enough to remember “The Morton Downey Jr. Show” a syndicated talk (or, more often yelling) show that ran from 1987–1989  recall it either as a populist forum for the working class to vent its frustration or as the beginning of the end of civilization as we know it. 

Before Jerry Springer, Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh and other histrionic shriek fests, there was the chain-smoking, loud-mouthed Downey, blowing smoke in the face of guests and bellowing his catchphrases like “pablum puking liberal” and “zip it!”

During his brief reign, Downey had a rabid cult following, but also earned the title of “Father of Trash TV.” His popularity was short-lived, but his legacy lives on as the Saratoga Film Forum screens Évocateur – an unflinching look at the mercurial Downey, combining interview footage with Herman Cain, Pat Buchanan, Gloria Allred, Sally Jessy Raphael, Alan Dershowitz and Curtis Sliwa with never-before-seen footage that documents Downey’s behind-the-scenes fistfights and foibles.

Was he really like this—or was it an elaborate performance? Was he a TV genius ahead of his time—or a raving lunatic? 

Évocateur screens at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 2 at the Saratoga Arts Center, 320 Broadway, Saratoga Springs. General admission is $7, $5 for Film Forum members and students. For more information go to www.saratogafilmforum.org or call (518) 584-FILM.

ArtsFest Accepting Applications

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Finally, on a more genteel note, we remind all our artiste`s in the audience that the phase one deadline for the eighth annual SaratogaArtsFest is fast approaching.  

There are different application forms for performing and visual artists and both of these documents can be found at www.SaratogaArtsFest.org. 

Applications should be filed online. Supporting materials may be sent by mail to SaratogaArtsFest, c/o Skidmore College, Box 2460, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866-1632.

The deadline for review in phase one of the selection process is November 15. 

Letters of notification will be sent to artists in March and hopefully you will see me applauding you from the stage at one of ArtsFest’s many venues during its scheduled eighth annual citywide celebration from June 12-15. 

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