Catch Aretha Franklin at Bardavon Gala

You may have missed it, in the daily onslaught of craziness out of Washington, DC, but in early February, Aretha Franklin told a Detroit radio station that 2017 “will be my last year in concert. This is it.” The Queen of Soul announced one more forthcoming album, to be co-produced by Stevie Wonder, followed by a cessation of touring and recording, except for the occasional “special appearance.”

It would be manifestly ungrateful to begrudge this peerless American musical icon the chance to sit on her laurels after such a long and illustrious career. The lady is 74 years old and has been singing for her living since 1960. But it’s still disheartening to think that we might never get a chance to see her perform live ever again.

Oh, but…wait a minute…there’s the Bardavon Gala 2017 coming up next Sunday, March 12. And Aretha herself will be gracing the stage, right here in Poughkeepsie! Granted, Gala tickets are expensive: $275 for premier seating plus a post-show party at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel, featuring food, drink and the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus; $225 for just the concert. But it’s for a good cause (especially with government funding for the arts in immediate peril).

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Better make your move fast, though; a lot of other people are bound to be thinking the same thing. Purchase your tickets at the Bardavon 1869 Opera House box office at 35 Market Street in Poughkeepsie, (845) 473-2072, or via Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com. The show starts at 7 p.m. For more info, visit www.bardavon.org.

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