Out & About

Campus culture: Art and theater abound at Vassar, SummerScape breezes into Bard. Delightful diversions for children of all ages.

Out & About


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Singing candlesticks in Elmsford, lying photos in Woodstock, July 4th frolics


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By Polly Sparling


Culture on campus



For a double dose of theater and visual art, head to Vassar College this month. The 24th season of the acclaimed Powerhouse Theater features the debut of 1+1, a new play by Eric Bogosian (author of off-Broadway’s Talk Radio and a star of TVs Law & Order: Criminal Intent). New works by Broadway veterans John Patrick Shanley (Doubt), Eve Ensler (The Vagina Monologues), and Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik (Spring Awakening) — as well as free outdoor performances of classic plays — round out the season. Through Aug. 3. Call for complete schedule and ticket information (845-437-7235/5599 or http://powerhouse.vassar.edu). Across campus at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, catch Facebook: Images of People in Photographs from the Permanent Collection. Fifty works trace the development of portrait photography from the 19th century through today. Included are images by well-known artists (Richard Avedon, Walker Evans, Diane Arbus) as well as less-familiar talents; subjects range from laborers in rural settings to lively views of vacationers enjoying the summer at Coney Island. Tues.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 1-5 p.m. through Aug. 10. 124 Raymond Ave., Poughkeepsie. 845-437-5632 or http://fllac.vassar.edu


Festival fever, Part I


The preponderance of arts festivals — featuring music, theater, dance, or a combination of the three — is a hallmark of summer in the Valley. In Chatham, the nonprofit organization PS/21 offers more than 70 different events, from classical music with the Columbia Festival Orchestra (July 26-27) and dance performances by the renowned Parsons Dance Company (July 11-12) to Free Movie Tuesdays and Swing Dance Fridays. Performances are held in a concert tent; the group eventually hopes to build a permanent performing arts facility on the site. Through Sept. 20. Call for exact schedule and ticket information. Rte. 66, one mile north of the village of Chatham. 518-392-6121 or www.ps21chatham.org


Festival fever, Part II


And speaking of arts festivals: Bard SummerScape, arguably the region’s most innovative and wide-ranging fest, is back for its sixth season, which celebrates the music of Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev. It’s impossible to list the seemingly endless number of concerts, films, dance and cabaret performances on tap, but here are several noteworthy highlights. The festival begins with the Mark Morris Dance Group world premiere of Romeo & Juliet, on Motifs of Shakespeare. Morris’s new ballet is based on Prokofiev’s original (and never-before-heard) score for the work, which was censored by Stalin in the 1930s. A double bill of two short operas by Polish composer (and Prokofiev friend) Karol Szymanowski, the political satire Of Thee I Sing (with songs by George and Ira Gershwin), and Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya are other not-to-be-missed performances. July 4-Aug. 17. Call for schedule and ticket information. Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson. 845-758-7900 or www.fishercenter.bard.edu


Telling tales


The Center for Photography at Woodstock’s second Regional Triennial of the Photographic Arts showcases nine local artists whose cunning and deceptively complex works push the boundaries of truth in photographic imagery. Entitled The Camera Always Lies, the exhibit features a variety of methods, from John Dugdale’s 19th-century aesthetic style to Ion Zupco’s modernist views using folded paper. Taken together, these works demonstrate that the camera, the “mirror with a memory,” is not as trustworthy as you might think. Wed.-Sun. 12-5 p.m. through Aug. 17. 59 Tinker St., Woodstock. 845-679-9957 or www.cpw.org




Celebrate the Glorious Fourth — 19th-century style — at two of Historic Hudson Valley’s period sites. It’s 1808 at Van Cortlandt Manor, where guests and costumed “residents” read the Declaration of Independence, take part in a parade, sing patriotic songs, and drill with the local militia (535 S. Riverside Ave., Croton-on-Hudson; 914-271-8981). Washington Irving’s Sunnyside plays host to a circa 1858 fete featuring rousing speeches, country dancing, a game of “town ball,” and ice cream demos (89 W. Sunnyside Lane, Tarrytown; 914-591-8763). July 4 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $12, $10 seniors, $6 children 5-17 (hours and fees the same at both sites). For more info, visit www.hudsonvalley.org


Be their guest


If your children were born after 1985, it’s a good bet you’ve seen Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. This family film was later transformed into a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, a version of which is currently playing at the Westchester Broadway Theatre. The classic French fairy tale features the lovely Belle; the misunderstood Beast, a handsome prince doomed to ugliness until he can prove he’s found true love; and a plethora of servants-cum-household objects. Alan Menken’s score (with clever lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice) includes songs that were not featured in the film. Through Aug. 2. Call for schedule and ticket information. 1 Broadway Plaza, Elmsford. 914-592-2222 or www.broadwaytheatre.com


Kid’s Korner


With summer in full swing, the Valley is teeming with loads of fun outdoor activities for children of all ages — from nocturnal nature hikes to rockin’ concerts 

By Elizabeth Stein


BOSCOBEL Afternoon Tea with Mrs. Elizabeth Dyckman July 6: Put on your Sunday best and join Elizabeth Dyckman, portrayed by local actress Eileen Charboreau, for an elegant afternoon at this historic mansion. Mrs. Dyckman takes you on a personal tour of her home, followed by a formal tea — complete with lessons on table manners and etiquette of early 19th-century America. A delight for girls eight to 12 years old. Purchase tickets in advance. 3 p.m. $20, $15 children under 13. u 1201 Rte. 9D, Garrison. 845-265-3638 or www.boscobel.org


RHINEBECK CENTER FOR PERFORMING ARTS Wildman Jack’s World of Reptiles July 12: Get acquainted with the natural history of all your favorite animals. Wildman Jack DiMuccio educates the little ones on the survival of reptiles — such as crocodilians, lizards, snakes, and turtles — using lots of audience participation and hands-on activities. Sleeping Beauty by Tanglewood July 19: A master puppeteer brings to life Tanglewood’s beautifully hand-crafted marionettes to portray the dramatic events of this beloved tale. Children of all ages will be on the edge of their seats as they watch the wicked witch place a curse on Princess Aurora and wonder if it will come true — and whether or not someone with a “true heart” will appear. The Pied Piper by Kids On Stage July 26: When a town becomes overrun by rats, its residents enlist the help of a stranger who, when he plays a magical tune on his pipe, drives away the pesky rodents. But when the piper isn’t rewarded for his efforts, the townspeople discover that not only rats are drawn to his magical melody. All shows 11 a.m. $9, $7 children. u 661 Rte. 308, Rhinebeck. 845-876-3080 or www.centerforperformingarts.org


MOHONK PRESERVE Toddlers on the Trail — Stream Walk July 15: Take a one-and-a-half-mile hike with local naturalist Debbie Biltonen and her toddler and discover what’s along the stream on a hot summer day. Recommended for ages two to six. 10 a.m.-noon. Music at the Pavilion: Soul Purpose July 19: “This band is guaranteed to make your mama dance.” Bring the whole family for an easy one-mile hike to the Slingerland Pavilion and enjoy the summer sounds and joyous music. Reservations are required. 6:30-8 p.m. $8, $3 children 12-18, under 12 free. u Rte. 44/55, New Paltz. 845-255-0919 or www.mohonkpreserve.org


MID-HUDSON CHILDREN’S MUSEUM Hudson River Food Chain July 12: Children don imaginative costumes and carry colorful props as they take part in an interactive story about the Hudson River’s food chain. Participants also sing songs and tell Native American tales about the local geography. 1 p.m. $2. u 75 N. Water St., Poughkeepsie. 845-471-0589 or www.mhcm.org


MUSEUM VILLAGE Self-guided Tours July 5-Aug. 29: Visit the place where “history comes alive.” Take a self-guided tour, make a wax candle, and learn about the log cabin and one-room school house. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. $8, $6 under 13. u 1010 Rte. 17M, Monroe. 845-782-8248 or www.museumvillage.org


ORANGE COUNTY LAND TRUST Butterflies for Beginners July 12: Don’t forget your binoculars! Well-known nature artist John Yrizarry leads a spectacular butterfly expedition through the bucolic fields of the Orange County Land Trust. The 50-acre preserve contains beautiful meadows of wildflowers that attract these fascinating creatures. Be sure to wear covered shoes, long pants, and apply bug repellent. 10 a.m. u Jared Rd., Middletown. 845-343-0840 or www.oclt.org


NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM The Museum Goes to the Parks July 12: Visit the museum for a day of outdoor fun. Museum researchers and collection specialists take you on explorations throughout the John Boyd Thacher State Park, providing you with a biological, anthropological, and geological understanding of the surroundings. Discuss major morphological and behavioral adaptations of insects, check live mammal traps, and learn about the ecology of fish and crayfish. When the sun goes down, join museum entomologists as they explore nocturnal insect activity by using special light traps. Registration required by July 7. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. u Rte . 157, Albany. 518-473-7154 or www.nysm.nysed.gov


Captions: Intimate imagery by Stone Ridge’s John Dugdale, at CPW


True colors: Independence Day parade at Van Cortlandt Manor




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