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10 of the Coolest Things to Do in the Hudson Valley This February

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A film screening in Pleasantville and a concert in Hudson add color to the Valley.

Superpowerful

Likarion Wainaina’s film Supa Modo follows Jo, a young girl living in a small Kenyan village who wants to become a superhero. But when a terminal diagnosis seems to put her dreams out of reach, her village comes together to make her wildest fantasies a reality. It premiered at the 68th Annual Berlin International Film Festival, and was Kenya’s official selection for Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.

Feb 15, Jacob Burns Film Center, Pleasantville, 914.747.5555

Photo courtesy of Towne Crier

Celtic Creativity

Beloved by traditional music fans, Cherish the Ladies play a lighter, more nostalgic brand of Irish music, with a heavy focus on the tin whistle and less so on the pesky intrusions of rock music. Joanie Madden and company’s mix of originals and standards, highlighted on Mom’s-CD-collection-standbys like The Girls Won’t Leave the Boys Alone, is perfect for a relaxed, sentimental night out. They will be touring behind 2018’s Heart of the Home, and fresh off a tour of the old country.

Feb 29, Towne Crier Café, Beacon, 845.855.1300

Science and Showbiz

Circus skills, original songs, miming gags, and audience participation are all part of Garry Krinsky’s acclaimed Toying with Science show, which has toured since the mid-’90s with the aim of instructing children in basic scientific principles. Fulcrums, levers, and other basic mechanics are explored through feats of balance and comic bits. First commissioned by the Boston Museum of Science, this show has brought Krinsky to the Today show, Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, and now, Mamaroneck. A lifelong love of science just might STEM from this show.

Feb 1, Emelin Theatre for the Performing Arts, Mamaroneck, 914.698.0098

Photo by Jeff Fasano

A Maniacal Time

Folk-rockers 10,000 Maniacs first made their mark over 25 years ago, releasing albums like In My Tribe and The Wishing Chair to significant critical acclaim and, over time, plenty of commercial success. Though songwriter and frontwoman Natalie Merchant split after 1992’s double-platinum Our Time in Eden, the band has carried on just fine without her, and fans can expect the current iteration, led by Mary Ramsey, to cover every phase of the band’s nearly 30-year-long career.

Feb 27, Daryl’s House Club, Pawling, 845.289.0185

Photo courtesy of Hudson River Museum

Ringing in the Lunar New Year

The Hudson River Museum celebrates the Year of the Rat with crafts, demonstrations, food, and more as part of its Lunar New Year Festival. Teaching Artist-in-Residence Jia Sung will lead a workshop in which participants can create a visual representation of their zodiac animal for display in a communal mural, Evergreen Club members will teach origami, and, later, there will be performances of Chinese folk dance and dulcimer music by artist Ariane Kuo.

Feb 9, Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, 914.963.4550

Picturesque

Human and Nature: the Art and Wit of Rodney Smith covers the output of the late photographer, who, prior to his death in 2016, created a substantial body of bold, at times whimsical images, depicting strange and even absurd matter with the soft touch of natural light. His besuited and bespoke characters traipse through natural environments, realistic and yet somehow strange.

Through Mar 8, Edward Hopper House Museum, Nyack, 845.358.0774

Bro Time

Bassist Chris Wood, one-third of the world-star jam-funk trio Medeski Martin and Wood, founded The Wood Brothers with his brother, songwriter, and guitarist Oliver. Together with Jano Rix, they make a slightly “roots-ier” racket, focusing on the kinds of blues and folk records that the brothers bonded over as kids, performed with significant virtuosity and flair. They are touring behind January’s self-released Kingdom in My Mind.

Feb 8, Palace Theatre, Albany, 518.465.4663

Photo courtesy of the Estate of Jan Sawka

Remembrance of Works Past

Jan Sawka was born in Poland in the immediate aftermath of World War II, and, before his death in 2012, he became a painter of worldwide renown, applying his imagistic, occasionally surreal visions to everyday reality in his High Falls studio. For its exhibition The Place of Memory (The Memory of Place), the Dorsky Museum has highlighted Sawka’s works dealing with human consciousness, in particular the phenomenon of memory, which the painter depicts as an accidental thing, where emotions, connections, and relationships form almost by chance. The exhibit will also feature works related to the Hudson Valley.

Feb 8-July 12, Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, New Paltz, 845.257.3844

Right: Photo courtesy of Hudson Jazz Festival. Left: Photo courtesy of Aimee Allen

Swing Street

Now in its third year, the annual Hudson Jazz Festival has become a local tradition, presenting some of the world’s best working jazz musicians in the historic environs of Hudson Hall. This year’s lineup, curated by the Hudson-based pianist Armen Donelian, includes vocalist Aimée Allen, saxophonist Marc Mommaas, and the Saturday afternoon Piano Summit, which brings together Kevin Hays, Francesca Tanksley, and Cidinho Teixeira on the keys. A headlining set by the Billy Harper quintet will be followed, on Sunday morning, by a screening, hosted by Harper, of the documentary I Called Him Morgan, about the trumpeter Lee Morgan.

Feb 14-16, Hudson Hall at the Historic Hudson Opera House, Hudson, 518.822.1438

Photo courtesy of Newburgh Symphony Orchestra

Giants of Classical

The Newburgh Symphony Orchestra will highlight the works of Mozart, Beethoven, and Prokofiev with its Concert of Concertos. Directed by Maestro Russell Ger, expect bravura perfomances of the clarinet and piano concertos, each highlighting a special soloist. Presented in partnership with the Philadelphia-based nonprofit Moxart, Inc.

Feb 1, Aquinas Hall at Mount Saint Mary College, Newburgh, 845.913.7157

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