Stuff to do this weekend

The forecast for Saturday: Cloudy with a 100% chance of chilly Santas.

Santas in speedos, holiday lights, man-eating plants, and Nutcrackers -- it's going to be a busy weekend in the Capital Region.

After the jump, our weekly (weekend-ly?) list of stuff you might want to try. Got something
planned that you don't see here? Share it with the group.

And have a fantastic weekend.

1st Friday
It's 1st Friday in Albany. Stores and galleries around the city are open late for holiday shopping and browsing. A few things you might want to check out:
Albany Barn's Stage One is hosting Deck Out the Halls, an exhibit of local fashions by designers Jessyka Neitzel and Danielle Breitenbach; the opening reception for the 8th Annual Members Show at Albany Center Gallery; and UAG's handmade Art Bazaar with locally made art and gifts. The post 1st Friday Capital Swing Dance at 8:30 p.m. at 25 South Allen, and The University Club is hosting a 60s holiday cocktail party with futurist trio Off The Record.

Santa Speedo Sprint
santa speedo sprint 2011 start

The annual Santa Speedo Sprint is this Saturday on Lark Street. The sprint is one of our favorite events of the year. It's turned into a fun afternoon -- a big crowd, lots of smiles. And the Albany Society for the Advancement of Philanthropy raises a bunch of money for the Albany Damien Center and the AIDS/HIV programs at Albany Medical Center. As the event's website notes: "It turns out running through the streets in your underwear is a surprisingly socially acceptable activity." Here are photos from last year's sprint.

Registration for the starts at 11 am on Saturday. The sprint down and back Lark Street is at 2 pm.

Winter Wonderlark
Following the Speedo Sprint, merchants, artists and craft vendors will be on and around Lark Street for the annual Winter Wonderlark event. There's a gingerbread decorating shop at UAG, a window decorating contest, a Lark Street scavenger hunt, and cooking demonstrations and food samples from the Chefs Consortium.

More holiday stuff

Nutcracker
The Northeast Ballet's production is at Proctors, which includes two principal dancers from the New York City Ballet. Saturday at 7p.m. and Sunday at 2 pm. There's a lunch with Santa ahead of the Sunday afternoon performance. $20 and up

ASO Magic of Christmas
The Albany Symphony Orchestra's annaul "Magic of Christmas" performance is at The Palace this weekend. It's a full orchestra performance of Christmas music. Saturday at 7:30 pm, Sunday at 3pm - $12.50 and up

Historic Albany Holiday House Tour
Historic Albany's annual holiday house tour is from noon-4 pm on Sunday. Tour between 10 and 15 Albany homes decorated for the holidays. Tickets will be available for sale (and pick up) at the Opalka Gallery at the Sage Albany campus from 11 am-3 pm. $30 / $20 students (with ID)

Candlelight house tour
The Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation is hosting its annual holiday house tour Friday evening. Tours of festively decorated homes on Saratoga's East Side, followed by a reception. The tour begins at 5 pm and ends at 8:30 pm. $50 tour only / $85 tour and reception

Holiday Parade
Ballston Spa's annual holiday parade and tree lighting starts Friday at 6:30 pm on Milton Avenue in the village.

Model trains
miSci (formerly Schenectady Museum) is bringing back its 19x27-foot model train display. Free with admission on Saturday and Sunday.

Capital Holiday Lights in Washington Park
The annual drive-along holiday lights display in Albany's Washington Park continues its season (it runs through January 4). It's open 6-10 pm Friday and Saturday and 6-9 pm Sunday. Admission is $15/car.

Film

J. Hoberman
Film critic J. Hoberman will be at UAlbany Friday as part of the NYS Writers Institute visiting writers series. He'll be talking about this recent book, Film After Film (review), and the future of cinema. 8 pm performing arts center, uptown campus - free

Dear Governor Cuomo
Friday at The Linda: Dear Governor Cuomo, an anti-fracking film. The director will be there, as will Natalie Merchant. 7:30 pm - $10

Miracle on 34th Street
The Ballston Spa Film Festival folks are screening the holiday classic twice on Saturday at Ballston Spa High School (map). At 2 pm they'll show the colorized version and at 6:45 om they'll show the original black and white. Free.

Primal Matter
Choreographer and director Dimitris Papaioannou will be presenting a two-person work at EMPAC Saturday. Blurbage: "Primal Matter is an optical illusion created by two isolated bodies on stage, which are used as the starting point in this exploratory journey of balancing our physical existence (body) with our second nature (soul), at a time when the issue of paramount concern is, ultimately, what is indispensable--what constitutes the essence." Papaioannou was the creative director for opening ceremony of the 2004 Olympics in Athens. 8 pm - free (but seating is limited)

Theater

This Wonderful Life at Capital Rep
Based on the film. "All the pleasure of Frank Capra's classic movie - in only 70 minutes!" Friday at 8 pm, Saturday 3 pm and 8 pm, Sunday 2 pm - $20 and up

Little Shop of Horrors
Because nothing says happy holidays like a musical about a flesh eating plant, SLOC presents its youth production of Little Shop of Horrors. Friday and Saturday at 8 pm, Sunday at 2 pm - $18, $22, $28

Comedy

Spontaneous Broadway
Mop and Bucket Company's Spontaneous Broadway season opens on Friday night, underground at Proctors. Using only suggestions from the audience, the improv company makes up an entire Broadway musical. Friday 8 pm - $14 Adults, $6 Students & Seniors

Local Holiday Shopping

+ The Arkell Museum is hosting its annual holiday gift fair Saturday. There will be music, art, performances, gingerbread cookie decorating, and holiday shopping for unique gifts from artists and crafters. Saturday 11 am-4 pm.

+ The Tight Knit holiday craft market will be open in The Atrium in Troy on Saturday during the Troy Farmer's Market. Saturday 9 am to 1 pm.

+ The Foundry in Cohoes is hosting its first "Made by Hand Invitational." It's a one-day, indoor designer craft market featuring Capital Region artisans, 13 jury-selected artists and designers from across the region with works in ceramics; silver, bronze, and copper; mixed media; decorative and wearable fiber; jewelry; paper; wood; and glass. Saturday 11 am-5 pm. Free admission

+ Still looking for local gift ideas? Here are a few.

Music

Friday: Joy Kills Sorrow at Caffe Lena
Bluegrass from a "bold young Boston-based string band." 8 pm - $15 ahead / $17 at door

Friday: Simone Felice at Helsinki Hudson
Original member of the Felice Brothers. With: Simi Stone. 9 pm - $18

Friday: Ruthie Foster at The Egg
Blues woman. 8 pm - $24

Friday: Break Science and Michal Menert at Valentine's
Electronic. 8 pm - $14

Friday: Young Guns at Upstate Concert Hall
Pop alt rock from the UK. With: Fort Rooster, Frank Palangi. 7:30 pm - $10

Friday: Que Caro and Bear Grass at More Bread and Jam
You know, in Cohoes. 7 pm - free

Friday: Get Wrapped at Bayou Albany
Many acts, including MIRK, Stellar Young, and Goldtooth. 6 pm - $10 ($5 with an unwrapped toy)

Saturday: Natalie MacMaster at The Egg
"Widely considered one of the finest fiddlers in the world..." 7:30 pm - $29.50

Saturday: Patty Larkin and Rory Block at Proctors
Folk and blues. An 8th Step show. 7:30 pm - $28

Saturday: Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby at The Ale House
Been making music for a long time, now making it together. 9 pm - $10

Saturday: Jacqueline Schwab at Caffe Lena
Pianist who's played on soundtracks for Ken Burns. 8 pm - $16 ahead / $18 at door

Saturday: Eastbound Jesus, Lucky Jukebox Brigade, Yellow School Bus at Bayou Albany
A holiday show. 8 pm - $10

Albany Lindy and Blues
A whole weekend of music, dances, and dance workshops is scheduled at the Albany Lindy and Blues Exchange, 25 South Allen Street and the First Universalist Church on Washington Avenue in Albany. $5-$95.

The end, again
PhD and MFA students from RPI's electronic arts program will be presenting newest works Sunday from 4-7 pm. Exhibitions and performances start at 4 pm, screenings at 6 pm. West Hall, RPI - free

Next Phase
Seniors from UAlbany and Saint Rose are exhibiting photography, sculpture, painting, drawing, performance and video installations at Collar Works Gallery. There's an opening reception on Saturday from 5-8 pm. Free

Get a tree
If you're looking to cut your own Christmas Tree, here are some places you can try.

Ice Skating
The Empire State Plaza ice skating rink is open daily from 11 am to 8 pm. Live holiday music on Friday from 6-8 pm. Skating is free. Skate rental is free every Friday. The rest of the week it's $4 for adults and $3 for kids.

Pick up a holiday skill
The December skill share at the Oakwood Community Center in Troy is on Sunday. It includes workshops in wreath making, cookie baking, beeswax candles, glazed walnuts, wrapping and more. 3-6 pm.

The Troy Music Hall, MopCo, the Arkell, the ASO, and Capital Rep advertise on AOA. And AOA is a media sponsor of the Santa Speedo Sprint

Comments

Friday 8pm @ Red Square in Albany: The Big Takeover, a reggae/ska/roots band that is very fun to see live. The Veins & Oobleck are the openers.

Funk and Reggae @ Red Square tonight with The Veins, Oobleck & The Big Takeover

And tomorrow is the Village of Valatie Winter Walk from 4-9, with a parade starting at 5, hayrides, traveling entertainers, and typical holiday fare.

I am playing at Desolation Road Studios in Altamont at 7 pm on Friday. Acoustic singer songwriter music, mellow but not folky, songs and stories. $5 cover.

Glens Falls Shirt Factory is having another open house - great handmade, local gift possibilities!!

Join us Saturday, 12/8, for a Miracle tomorrow at the Ballston Spa High School...not located on 34th Street, though.

FREE screenings at 2pm & 6:45pm. 2pm screning will be the colorized version followed by a visit by Santa while the 6:45 screening will be the original b&w version.

Visit www.BSpaFilm.org for more information and to sign-up to receive future emails about free classic movies!

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