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The Egg, Empire State Plaza Concourse Level (tel. 518/473-1845; www.theegg.org), is the funky spherical half-egg on the plaza; its two theaters inside are nearly as cool as the exterior. It hosts a diverse range of entertainment, from the modern dance of Mark Morris and classical music to comedy, theater, international performers including Cesária Évora, and the guitar riffs of rock bands like Cheap Trick. The Palace Performing Arts Center, 19 Clinton Ave. (tel. 518/465-3664; www.palacealbany.com), is a gorgeously restored, grand 1931 movie theater that now hosts top-level talent, including pop concerts (such as Billy Joel and Sum 41), comedy (Jerry Seinfeld), and the Albany Symphony Orchestra and the Albany Berkshire Ballet. It also handles a number of children's theater performances during the school year. The Pepsi Arena, 51 S. Pearl St. (tel. 518/487-2000; www.pepsiarena.com), is the big place in town for large rock and country-music concerts in addition to sporting events. The Capital Repertory Theatre, 111 N. Pearl St. (tel. 518/462-4531; www.capitalrep.org), features Broadway and Off-Broadway touring musicals and dramatic theater. Outside of town, the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, 7 State St., Troy (tel. 518/273-0038; www.troymusichall.org), a wonderfully preserved concert hall in a former 1823 bank, hosts some of the area's best jazz concerts as well as chamber music and other performances; there's almost always something interesting scheduled, and it's just 8 miles from downtown Albany. Its heritage includes performances by such musical eminences as Ella Fitzgerald and Yo-Yo Ma.

Bars and pubs worth visiting include Wolff's Biergarten, 895 Broadway (tel. 518/427-2461) in North Albany (also known as the Warehouse District, Albany's best impersonation of NYC's Meat-Packing District), a modern and stylish take on a German beer garden that's housed in an old firehouse (they have a great selection of German, Belgian and Czech beers); Albany Pump Station, 19 Quackenbush Sq. (tel. 518/447-9000), a brewpub within a historic pump station; Riverfront Bar & Grill, Corning Riverfront Park (tel. 518/426-4738), which you can access by crossing the Hudson River Way pedestrian bridge; and the Waterworks Pub, 76 Central Ave. (tel. 518/465-9079), with a large dance floor and DJs spinning tunes. Movie theaters include Hoyt's at Crossgates Mall (tel. 518/452-6440) and Spectrum 7 Theaters, 290 Delaware Ave. (tel. 518/449-8995).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.