Out & About in May 2010

The Sultan of Swing sashays into Albany, Hawkins’ dancers return to Rhinebeck

Guitar Hero

A rare treat for the region’s rock-music fans: Mark Knopfler, legendary guitarist and cofounder of the influential (and successful) band Dire Straits, brings his “Get Lucky” tour to Albany. It was Knopfler’s smart lyrics and trademark guitar riffs that helped make songs like “Sultans of Swing” and “Money for Nothing” into huge hits for Dire Straits. Since the band’s 1995 breakup, Knopfler has gone on to have a successful solo career, as well as composing soundtracks for the films Local Hero and The Princess Bride (among others), collaborating with folk singer Emmylou Harris and country star Chet Atkins, and releasing half a dozen studio albums. Get Lucky, the most recent CD, explores Knopfler’s musical roots, mixing Celtic-folk, country blues, and pop influences.
May 9 at 7:30 p.m. $51.50-$81.50. Palace Theatre. 19 Clinton Ave., Albany. 518-465-3334

mark knopflerMoney for nothin’: Former Dire Straits guitarist Mark Knopfler brings his solo tour to Albany this month

albany tulip festival

In Full Flower

A springtime tradition for more than 60 years, the Albany Tulip Festival is an apropos way to celebrate our region’s Dutch roots (not to mention Mother’s Day, with which it coincides). Upwards of 200,000 tulip bulbs — buried in the ground last fall — are due to burst into multicolored bloom in the city’s Washington Park. Craft and food vendors, a fine-arts exhibit, kid’s zone play area, and several stages offering live entertainment (this year’s headliners: OK Go) are all part of the fun. But the tulips are the star of this show — they are spectacular.
May 8-9. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Madison Ave. & Willet St., Albany. 518-434-2032 or www.albanyevents.org

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School Girls

Thomas Cole, Frederic Edwin Church, Asher B. Durand: Art lovers in the Valley — and elsewhere — are all too familiar with the works of these iconic painters, all of whom were members of the Hudson River School. Names like Julia Hart Beers, Evelina Mount, and Susie Barstow are less recognizable — but that is about to change. Remember the Ladies: Women Artists of the Hudson River School, an exhibit of approximately two dozen paintings, photographs, drawings, and other works by 19th-century female artists, opens this month at Thomas Cole’s former home in Catskill. Due to social constraints, exploring the outdoor landscape was difficult for these artists, but the high-quality works they produced are on a par with those created by their male counterparts.
May 8-Oct. 31. Thurs.-Sun. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $9, $7 seniors & students. Thomas Cole National Historic Site. 218 Spring St., Catskill. 518-943-7465

Tiny Temptations

We Valleyites love our festivals; have you noticed how many of them are dedicated to food? We’ve got RibFest in New Paltz, Warwick’s AppleFest, and let’s not forget the Garlic Festival in Saugerties. Now there’s a (relatively) new face-feeding event: the Gardiner Cupcake Festival. In just its second year, this celebration is described by its organizers as an “old-fashioned street party,” offering live music, shopping opportunities, samples of local food and drink — and yes, cupcakes galore.
May 8 from 1-6 p.m. (rain date May 9). Main St., Gardiner. 845-256-1122

erick hawkins dance company

Fancy Footwork

The Erick Hawkins Dance Company — founded by the first male to perform with the troupe established by Martha Graham (whom he later married) — has been touring the world for the last 40 years. Influenced by Native American dance and Zen thinking (among other things), the late Hawkins was renowned for revamping traditional dance technique, having his dancers perform to live music, and incorporating sets specially designed by artists and sculptors. The company returns to the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck in a reprise of their sold-out appearances there last year.
May 28-30. Fri.-Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 3 p.m. $20, $15 seniors & students. Center for Performing Arts. 661 Rte. 308, Rhinebeck. 845-876-3080

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