10 cool things to do this summer for free

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  • When: 7 p.m. Friday, June 8
  • Where: Upbeat on the Roof, the roof of the Tang Museum, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs
  • Why: Though Railbird’s website says the band is based in Brooklyn, Capital Region residents know the band is led by Saratoga Spring’s own Sarah K. Pedinotti, the daughter of the owners of the restaurant-nightspot One Caroline. Since 2008, when the Sarah Pedinotti Band became Railbird, the band has been performing and released its debut album, “No One,” last year and then toured the country, supported by a Kickstarter fundraising campaign. This Upbeat on the Roof show launches the free weekly series at the Tang, but is also in conjunction with the Saratoga Arts Fest. Here’s your chance to catch, or re-catch, homegrown talent on the rise
  • Info: (518) 580-8080; http://tang.skidmore.edu

— Michael Janairo, arts and entertainment editor

Collins at 
Alive at Five

  • Where: Albany Riverfront Park amphitheatre at the Corning Preserve
  • When: 5-8 p.m. Thursday, June 14
  • Why: Collins rose to prominence in the late 1960s with James Brown and with Parliament-Funkadelic in the 1970s. He is known for his bass playing and funk sound, which redefined popular music. Collins became one of the leading names in funk and a music industry legend who earned a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with other members of Parliament-Funkadelic in 1997. He has chart-topping songs such as “Bootzilla” and “The Pinocchio Theory.”
  • Info: 533-5331; 

— Hina Tai, intern

Albany Father’s Day Concert

  • Where: Albany Riverfront Park amphitheatre at the Corning Preserve
  • When: 6:30-9:30 p.m. June 17
  • Why: As a Father’s Day gift to Capital Region dads, military musical groups, including The USO Liberty Bells, The Army Materiel Command Band’s Tennessee River Ramblers, The AMC Band’s Brass Machine Band, and the 94th Army Pop-Rock Band will be playing to salute the U.S Armed Forces and celebrate the Army’s 237th birthday this June. These groups will feature a number of musical styles ranging from jazz, pop, and rock to New Orleans-style hip-hop and funk. The concert will be followed by a fireworks show over the Hudson River.
  • Info: 434- 2032; 

— H.T.

2012 Artists of Mohawk Hudson Region Juried Exhibition

  • When: Opening reception: 5-8 p.m Thursday, June 28; hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. The show runs from June 28 through Sept. 8.
  • Where: University Art Museum, University at Albany, 1400 Washington Ave., Albany
  • Why: The 76th annual regional exhibition is the longest-running regional in the country. It is sponsored by the University Art Museum, University at Albany, the Albany Institute of History & Art and The Hyde Collection. This year’s juror for the exhibition is Nato Thompson, the chief curator for the New York-based public arts institution Creative Time. The exhibition showcases a range of current art work made by people who live within a 100-mile radius of the Capital Region. Always a must-see show.
  • Info: 518-442-4035; http://www.albany.edu/museum

— M.J.

Fence Salon and Fence Select

  • When: Fence Salon opening reception 5-9 p.m. Friday, June 29, with show running through July 15; Fence Select opening reception 5-9 p.m. Friday, July 27, with show running through Aug. 31.
  • Where: Arts Center of the Capital Region, 265 River St., Troy
  • Why: Though the Fence show is limited to members of the Arts Center, lots of people throughout the region are members. That means the Fence Salon allows any member to submit work to be hung or installed in the center’s main gallery. The exhibition is often gloriously crowded and unwieldy, but that is one of the things that makes it so much fun. The Fence Select show is a juried exhibition based on the work in the salon show, in which work that isn’t selected is taken away, removing the visual clutter and revealing something of the juror’s point of view. This year’s juror is Jim Richard Wilson, director of the Opalka Gallery and Art History Lecturer for The Sage Colleges.
  • Info: 518-273-0552; http://www.artscenteronline.org/

— M.J.

New York State’s Fourth of July Celebration

  • Where: Empire State Plaza
  • When: 2 p.m.- 10 p.m. July 4
  • Why: The festivities will include live music featuring Tommy James and the Shondells (“Mony Mony,” “Crimson in Clover”) and family-friendly activities. The hourlong Albany fireworks show will be visible from the Empire State Plaza.
  • Info: 474-3899; http://www.ogs.ny.gov

— H.T.

‘Cabaret’ by Park Playhouse

  • When: July 6 to 29; 8 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday
  • Where: Lakehouse Amphitheatre, Washington Park, Albany
  • Why: The iconic Kander and Ebb music, about a seedy nightclub in 1930s Berlin, tells the story of the love affair between an American writer and a British cabaret singer. Among the familiar faces in the production are busy local actress Shannon Rafferty as singer Sally Bowles and Jason Jacoby, so winning as Leo Bloom in “The Producers” at Park Playhouse last summer, playing the pansexual Emcee.
  • Info: 434-0776; http://www.parkplayhouse.com

— Steve Barnes, senior writer

‘Twelfth Night’ by Saratoga Shakespeare Company

  • When: July 17 to 29; 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday
  • Where: Alfred Z. Solomon Stage, Congress Park, Saratoga Springs
  • Why: For its 10th season, Saratoga Shakespeare is offering the Bard’s festive comedy about mistaken identity. After being shipwrecked, a woman named Olivia assumes a male identity and becomes ensnared in romantic intrigue. A comic subplot involves a pair of characters with the delightful names Sir Toby Belch and Sir Andrew Aguecheek.
  • Info: 209-5514; http://www.saratogashakespeare.com

— S.B.

C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band

  • When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 18
  • Where: Shepard Park, Lake George
  • Why: C.J. Chenier is a prince of zydeco music; after all, his late father, Clifton Chenier, was known as the “king of zydeco.” Chenier’s latest album, 2011’s “Can’t Sit Down,” was nominated for a Grammy Award in the best regional-roots category. Although the band has “Louisiana” in its name, not all the band members hail from Cajun country. What makes that album — and the upcoming show — notable is the presence of Rotterdam percussionist David Macejka. This is sure to be a rockin’ show.
  • Info: 518-668-2616; http://www.lakegeorgearts.org/

— S.B.


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