Events: Out & About in March 2014

Musicals off Broadway, (wood)winds of change, circus fun for grownups

Latin flair

Poughkeepsie’s Bardavon Opera House welcomes Ballet Hispanico. Self-described as “the foremost dance representative of Hispanic culture in the United States,” this 44-year-old troupe has performed its unique fusion of Latin, classical, and contemporary dance for more than two million people in 11 countries. The company’s repertoire includes works created by choreographers in Central and South America, as well as Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Spain; the dancers’ performance is made up of equal parts theatricality and passion. March 15 at 8 p.m. $20-$60. 35 Market St., Poughkeepsie. 845-473-2072 or

Of knights and missionaries

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Valleyites willing to take a short drive up the Thruway can catch the national touring productions of not one, but two hit Broadway musicals at Proctors in Schenectady. First up: Don Quixote tilts at windmills and chases the impossible dream in Man of La Mancha, the Tony-winner based on Miguel de Cervantes 17th-century novel about a slightly dotty nobleman who believes he can revive chivalry in Spain (March 8 at 2 & 8 p.m. $20-$70). The creators of TV’s irreverent South Park and Broadway’s Avenue Q join forces to poke fun at both organized religion and musical theater in The Book of Mormon. A pair of naive Mormon missionaries attempt to convert downtrodden villagers in Uganda; despite the unlikely plot line, the New York Times compared the show favorably to The Sound of Music. March 11-16; call or visit Web site for exact schedule and ticket information. 432 State St., Schenectady. 518-346-6204 or

ballet hispanicoDynamic dance: Ballet Hispanico takes the stage at Poughkeepsie’s Bardavon Opera House
imani windsBlow away: The Imani Winds quintet visits the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall

Music in the wind

Since its founding in 1997, Imani Winds — a woodwind quintet whose members are of African-American and Latino descent — has made a name for itself in the music world. Besides playing classical compositions written for wind instruments, the ensemble is renowned for exploring contemporary pieces and working with big-name artists. Case in point: They regularly collaborate with superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and have premiered pieces written by jazz composers Paquito D’Rivera and Wayne Shorter. One reviewer says the group’s performances combine the “big, rich sound” of classical music with “a swinging jazz combo.” March 6 at 7:30 p.m. $20-$28. Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. 30 Second St., Troy. 518-273-0038 or

bindlestiff family cirkusClowning around: The Bindlestiff Cirkus performs their unique style of cabaret in Hudson

Under the big top

Looking for some out-of-the-ordinary entertainment? The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus Winter Cabaret would certainly fit the bill. A combination of circus, sideshow, vaudeville, and burlesque, this uniquely oddball show has its roots in street theater and New York City’s underground club scene. At any given performance, the lineup might include acts from Cirque du Soleil, clowns and other physical comedians, magicians, contortionists, trapeze artists — even sword swallowers — all accompanied by live music composed for the show. But — unlike the Bindlestiff appearances at Bard’s SummerScape — this performance is strictly for adults only (although a family matinee version takes place on March 30). March 29 at 9 p.m. $20 (or $15 if you wear a costume or clown makeup). Club Helsinki. 405 Columbia St., Hudson. 518-828-4800 or

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Words and images

Those who love good books, and good films, rejoice: The Visiting Writers and Classic Film Series returns to the University at Albany. This two-pronged series features readings and lectures by top-shelf fiction and nonfiction writers, as well as screenings of movies that are often linked in some way to the visiting authors. March highlights: a lecture by 2013 Tony-winning playwright Christopher Durang (March 10 at 8 p.m.); and a March 25 reading by Walter Kirn — whose 2001 novel, Up in the Air, was made into the acclaimed 2009 film starring George Clooney and screens at the college on March 7. The series runs through May 2. Call or visit Web site for exact schedule, locations, and ticket information. 518-442-5620 or


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