Out & About

Putnam’s secret gardens open their gates, offbeat art, and a musical melange in New Paltz.

Out & About

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Off-center art, graceful gardens, music from A to zydeco

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By Polly Sparling



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Child’s play


Although the Empire State Youth Orchestra includes nine performing groups and more than 300 student musicians from 75 schools, they have a decidedly Hudson Valley bent. Twenty-three of the players hail from the Valley; Helen Cha-Pyo, the Youth Orchestra’s conductor, is a graduate of Poughkeepsie High School. This month, the orchestra and percussion ensemble team up for a concert at Bard College’s renowned Fisher Center. The varied program includes works by Adams, Barber, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Hindemith, as well as the premiere of a new work by Richard Albagli (the principal percussionist with the Albany Symphony). And don’t let their tender years fool you: these talented teens play at  SUNY Albany’s annual Contemporary Music Festival, and have appeared on NPR’s From the Top. June 3 at 4 p.m. $15, $10 seniors & students. Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson. 518-382-7581 or www.esyo.org




By the book


Van Gogh had sunflowers, Warhol soup cans. For Dover Plains painter Richard Deon, a textbook called Visualized Civics (found in a dumpster in the 1970s) served as the inspiration for his large-scale works. The human figures in these acrylic paintings — often businessmen, teachers, and other authority figures — are modeled after those found in the pages of the old-fashioned text. The cartoon-like works seem to be telling a story — except the stories don’t quite add up. Why, for instance, is Abraham Lincoln dressed like a Roman emperor? And why are Native Americans sitting around a “campfire” of government office workers? Deon calls his works “Social Surrealism”; we call them thought-provoking and amusing. See Paradox and Conformity: The Paintings of Richard Deon at the Hudson Opera House. Daily 12-5 p.m. from June 16-July 14. 327 Warren St., Hudson. 518-822-1438 or www.hudsonoperahouse.org



On the move


Richard Kuperberg, the founder of Komotion movement theater, has some pretty heady credentials. He trained as a mime in Paris with Etienne Decroux (who also taught Marcel Marceau), studied modern dance with the Jose Limon Company, and learned clowning from Avner the Eccentric. Komotion tells stories without words, using instead mime, clowning, dance and other universally understood body movements. Combined with imaginative props, costumes, and music, the show is perfect for children — and Kuperberg’s accomplished physical skills should please adults as well. June 3-5. Call for times and ticket information. The New York State Theatre Institute. Schacht Fine Arts Center. Russell Sage College, Troy. 518-274-3256 or www.nysti.org



Musical melange


You might say it’s music month in New Paltz. The Unison Arts and Learning Center, along with SUNY New Paltz, present a trio of concerts featuring performers with very different sounds and styles. Catch folk and blues icon Odetta at SUNY’s McKenna Theatre on June 2. Pink Martini, a 12-piece band that mixes classical, Latin and pop elements, appears in the same venue on June 16. And Lil’ Malcolm and the Zydeco House Rockers, an authentic five-man zydeco band from Louisiana, plays a free gig in New Paltz’s Hasbrouck Park on June 30 at 7 p.m. Call the arts center for other times and ticket information. 845-255-1559 or www.unisonarts.org



Heavy hitters


Peekskill’s Paramount Center for the Arts is calling in the big guns for two fund-raising events this month. Falsetto vocalist Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, whose 1962 mega-hit “Sherry” launched a storybook career chronicled in the current Broadway smash Jersey Boys, take the stage on June 16. On the 30th, the Neville Brothers bring their eclectic fusion of New Orleans-style R&B, funk, rock, and blues to the recently remodeled (and acoustically superior) center. Call for times and ticket information. 1008 Brown St., Peekskill. 914-739-2333 or www.paramountcenter.org



Garden variety


Can you keep a secret? Luckily for us, the folks at the Putnam ARC can’t. Their Secret Garden Tour throws open the gates to a dozen private gardens located in Mahopac, Kent, Carmel, Garrison, and Cold Spring. The self-guided driving tour features formal and water gardens, perennial flowering landscapes, open fields, beautiful roses, even herb and vegetable plots. Special events — including a farmers’ market in Cold Spring and a plant cutting sale in Garrison — round out the day. Profits from the tour support programs for local people with disabilities. June 16 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance (845-278-PARC, ext. 287 or www.putnamarc.org), $25 on the day (available at Cold Spring Farmers’ Market, Rte. 9D, Cold Spring; and D’Agostino’s Nursery, Rte. 6, Mahopac). 



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