12 Fantastic Fall Weekends 2008

Art exhibits and food festivals, concerts and comedy and those blazing pumpkins — we’ve got dozens of ways to have fun every weekend right up to Thanksgiving

As the temperature cools down, the Valley’s cultural scene really heats up. Our annual fall events roundup gives you the lowdown on dozens of concerts, plays, art exhibits, food festivals, and other happenings this season — there’s something to do each weekend from now until Thanksgiving. So grab your calendar, gas up the car, and get going!


Friday, September 5

In celebration of their new state-of-the-art exhibition gallery, Boscobel is featuring the exhibit The Glorious Scenery Must Ever Excite: 19th Century American Paintings of the Hudson Highlands. Included are 29 landscapes by Hudson River School artists; adding to the experience, most of the scenes depicted in the paintings are located within 20 miles of the historic site. Wed.-Mon. 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m. through Oct. 1. $15, $12 seniors, $7 children 6-14, under 6 free.
1601 Rte. 9D, Garrison. 845-265-3638 or www.boscobel.org

Staatsburgh State Historic Site has a variety of events this season. Today, you can show off your golf skills at the Shotgun Scramble Golf Tournament and enjoy a day of golf at the historic Dinsmore Golf Course, along with a Continental breakfast, buffet lunch, complimentary favors and prizes (8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.). Later this month, get your Irish up at Celtic Day in the Park (Sept. 28). Also this fall, the site host the family friendly Bird and Bat Festival (Oct. 11) and the 22nd annual Gathering of Old Cars (Oct. 19). Call for registration and/or admission fees.
Old Post Rd., Staatsburgh. 834-889-8851 or www.staatsburgh.org

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Saturday, September 6

Beat the heat with cool jazz at the Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival. Enjoy the late summer scenery while chilling to the auditory talents of several musical guests, including multiple Grammy winner David Sanborn, the solo sax player famous for his work with artists like Stevie Wonder, the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, and Paul Simon. Lots of food and drink will be available, and the day will end with a bang (or rather, a lot of bangs) during a dazzling fireworks display. 12-7:30 p.m.
Albany Riverfront Park Amphitheater. Broadway & Pine St., Albany. 518-434-2032 or www.albanyevents.org

Sunday, September 7

The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art features All Hot and Bothered: Photographs from the Center for Photography at Woodstock. This showcase of recent photographs explores the connection between privacy and expressivity, two distinct states of mind that converge during the balmy summer months. Also at the museum is Noongar Boodja: Contemporary Aboriginal Art, Ecology and Culture. The Noongar are Australian aboriginals whose children were taken by the government in the 19th and 20th centuries. This exhibit features paintings inspired by those “stolen children.” Tues.-Fri. 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 1-5 p.m. through Sept. 28.
1 Hawk Dr., New Paltz. 845-257-3844 or www.newpaltz.edu/museum

For all those who would rather stay home on the couch curled up with a good book: meet others just like you at the Spencertown Academy Arts Center’s annual Festival of the Books. The event features two weekends filled with authors’ readings, panel discussions, and children’s programs. This year’s special guest is Russell Banks, a prize-winning author whose latest novel, The Reserve, is set in the Adirondacks. Sept. 5-14, Fri.-Sun. only. Sept. 5, 6-9 p.m., Sept. 12, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 12-5 p.m.
Rte. 203, Spencertown. 518-392-3693 or www.spencertownacademy.org

Friday, September 12

Halloween will be here before you know it. Get in the spirit by taking part in the annual Harvest Moon Walk. This moonlit romp along the Hudson Valley Rail Trail is a great way to kick off the fall season (and perhaps conquer your fear of the dark). Autumn entertainment lights up the night with a bonfire and storytelling. Festive treats like popcorn, doughnuts, and cider will be served as well. 7-9 p.m. $5, under 6 free.
Hudson Valley Rail Trail, Highland. 845-797-9978 or www.hudsonvalleyrailtrail.net

John Biguenet’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Rising Water hits the stage at the Shadowland Theatre. The play tells the harrowing tale of an older couple struggling to stay alive during Hurricane Katrina. As their home slowly fills with water, the audience learns of their life together and the long-hidden secrets from their past. Thurs.-Sun. from Sept. 12-28. $23-$26. Call for times and ticket information.
157 Canal St., Ellenville. 845-647-5511 or www.shadowlandtheatre.org

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Saturday, September 13

On the boards at Stageworks Mainstage: The American premiere of Falling: A Wake. This comedy concerns a wisecracking retired couple whose chance relationship with a mysterious young man forever transforms their lives. Sept. 10-28. Call for schedule and ticket information.
41 Cross St., Hudson. 518-822-9667 or www.stageworkshudson.org

The annual Peekskill Project celebrates its fourth year of taking art on the town. Artists from around the globe — working with organic materials in a variety of media — showcase their projects in storefronts, parks, and vacant lots throughout downtown Peekskill and at the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art. Sept. 13-14. 12-6 p.m.
1701 Main St., Peekskill. 914-788-0100 or www.hvcca.org

Love sci-fi films? Love them so much you could watch them for 24 hours straight? Then Proctors Theatre’s It Came From Schenectady is the right place for you. This 24-hour sci-fi fest screens classics such as Barbarella and Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. The festival also features live guest appearances, contests, and giveaways. $35 in advance, $45 at the door. 12 noon.
432 State St., Schenectady. 518-346-6204 or www.itcamefromschenectady.com

Sunday, September 14

Today is a big day for lower Valley river towns. Various street festivals, art displays, and even a car show are happening on the same day. But how can Valley residents get to all of them? The Hudson Ferry-Go-Round provides service between the towns of Haverstraw, Peekskill, Ossining, and Sleepy Hollow, transporting people between the music, art, and street festivals in each town. Free bus service is also available from the marinas. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. $10, $5 seniors, under 17 free. Call for directions.
914-232-6583 or www.ferrygoround.com

The Taste of New Paltz returns this month, providing visitors with samples of food and drink from a host of local restaurants, caterers, bakeries, wineries, and other shops. This popular event has live music, a local arts display, and a Kid’s Expo with face painting and games to entertain the little ones. If you’re looking for a bottle of Chardonnay, a piece of hand-crafted jewelry, or a homemade apple pie, you’ll likely find it here. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. $5, under 13 free.
Ulster County Fairgrounds. Libertyville Rd., New Paltz. 845-255-0243 or www.newpaltzchamber.org

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Need more twang in your life? The first annual Hudson Valley Country Music Festival — with performances by chart-topper Trace Adkins, along with Kellie Pickler, Andy Griggs, Cowboy Crush, and Sarah Johns — should do the trick. 3 p.m. $49-$75, children under 12 free (but must be accompanied by an adult).
Dutchess Stadium. 1500 Rte. 9D, Wappingers Falls. 845-838-0094 or www.hvcountryfest.com

Friday, September 19

Fall Crafts at Lyndhurst is the season’s hot spot for high-end arts and crafts. More than 300 artists and crafters show off their goods, which range from handmade jewelry and furniture to ceramics and other crafts. Specialty foods, live music, and children’s activities make this an event the whole family can enjoy. Through Sept. 21. Fri.-Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. $10, $9 seniors, $4 children 6-16, under 6 free.
Lyndhurst. Rte. 9, Tarrytown. 914-631-4481 or www.artrider.com

Saturday, September 20

PS/21 continues its season of music, film, dance, and theater events. Do you love cello music? Tonight’s “Cellobration” showcases talented young string players and virtuoso cellist Yehuda Hanani (6 p.m.). In the mood for modern dance? The Jamal Jackson Dance Company gives performances and workshops on the fusion of the African and American styles (Sept. 13). If you can’t get enough Bach, the Berkshire Bach Ensemble with violinist Eugene Drucker performs the Violin Concerto No. 2 and Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue, among other works (Sept. 20). Call for ticket information.
2980 Rte. 66, Chatham. 518-302-6121 or www.ps21chatham.org

Lark Street — Albany’s “village in the city” — hosts a day of outdoor fall festivities during their annual LarkFest street fair. Now in its 27th year, the eight-block party features four stages of live music and entertainment, a wide variety of vendors, food from local restaurants, and an expanded activity area for the kiddies. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Lark St., Albany. 518-434-3861 or www.larkstreet.org

Sunday, September 21

Performance artist Laurie Anderson showcases her latest work, “Homeland,” at the Egg. This piece uses a series of songs and stories to create a poetic and political portrait of contemporary America (7:30 p.m. $34.50). Also at the Egg: British folk-rock legend Richard Thompson appears in a solo performance (Oct. 24). Call for ticket information.
Empire State Plaza, Albany. 518-473-1845 or www.theegg.org

Everyone is German at Bear Mountain’s annual Oktoberfest! Whatever your heritage, all can gather lakeside for Bavarian-style food, beer, and entertainment. Weekends from Sept. 15-Oct. 22 and Columbus Day Monday. 12-6 p.m. $6 parking.
Bear Mountain State Park. Rte. 9W, Bear Mountain. 845-786-2731 or www.rockland.org

Friday, September 26

Ever wonder what could be done with that pile of old clothes? A fabric artist and couture designer, Lila Hollister Smith’s unusual textile creations are adorned with everything from feathers to the occasional three-dimensional fabric vegetable. Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. 12-5 p.m. through Sept. 27.
Catskill Gallery. 327 Main St., Catskill. 518-943-3400 or www.gcca@greenearts.org

Golden Globe Award-winning actor Alec Baldwin comes to Riverspace this fall as a part of the Conversation Series. In an Actor’s Studio-like dialogue, Baldwin speaks with Elliott Forrest about entertainment and politics. He joins a growing list of famous folks who have taken part in the series, including actors Bill Irwin and Kathleen Turner, playwright Edward Albee, and comedian Lewis Black. Other events at Riverspace include a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Oct. 25), concerts by original Beatles drummer Pete Best (Sept. 13) and children’s musician Dane Zanes and Friends (Sept. 19), and Miche Braden in The Devil’s Music, a musical about the life of blues legend Bessie Smith (Sept. 20-21). Call for times and ticket information.
119 Main St., Nyack. 845-348-0741 or www.riverspace.org

Saturday, September 27

If you would rather have fine wine than dine, there are plenty of vintages to choose from at the Microbrew and Wine Festival. Breweries and wineries from throughout the Valley (and beyond) are on hand with samples of their best products. Arts and crafts, a farmers market, and specialty food are also offered. Sept. 27-28. Free admission, $20 a day for beer and wine sampling (includes a souvenir beer or wine glass). Call for times.
Hunter Mountain. Rte. 23A, Hunter. 1-800-486-8376 or www.huntermtn.com

From the Shadows They Dance, a composition by Valley resident Daniel McCarter, opens the season for the Greater Newburgh Symphony Orchestra. The varied program also features works by Aaron Copland, Richard Strauss, and Carl Neilsen. 8 p.m. $25 reserved, $20 general admission, $15 seniors, $10 students, under 7 free.
Newburgh Free Academy auditorium. 201 Fullerton Ave., Newburgh. 845-913-7157 or www.newburghsymphony.org

Whether you’re a donkey or an elephant, you’re sure to get a kick out of “One State, Two State, Red State, Blue State.” Chicago City Limits, known for their comedy series Reel News, makes light of the upcoming presidential election using sketch comedy, musical theatre, and some improvisation (with a little help from the audience). 8 p.m. $20, $17 students & seniors, $12 children under 13.
Academic Arts Center, Westchester Community College. 75 Grasslands Rd., Valhalla. 914-606-6262 or www.sunywcc.edu

Sunday, September 28

Budding bookworms have the chance to meet some of their favorite authors and illustrators on Children’s Book Day at Sunnyside. The fairytale setting of Washington Irving’s riverside cottage is an ideal spot to enjoy the festival, where more than 60 well-known authors and illustrators meet their fans. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. $12, $10 seniors, $6 children 5-17, under 5 free.
89 W. Sunnyside Lane, Tarrytown. 914-591-8763 or www.hudsonvalley.org

This fall, the Eisenhower Hall Theatre at West Point has a fun and diverse lineup of performances to help you laugh (or dance) your way into those dreary winter months. Since the late ’60s Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons have crooned their way up the Billboard chart with hits like “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Sherry” (Sept. 14, 5 p.m.). Comedian Paul Rodriguez has lent his comic styling to many a television show and Hollywood movie, and has been called “the Richard Pryor and George Carlin of original Hispanic comedy” (Sept. 26, 8 p.m.). Did your heart break when *NSync broke up? Well then rush to Ike Hall for Altar Boyz, the satirical Off-Broadway musical comedy about a Christian boy band with all the moves and faith to spare (Oct. 4, 8 p.m.). The knights who no longer say “nee” now sing — with, dare I say, glee. Monty Python’s Tony Award-winning musical Spamalot (based on the cult classic film Monty Python and The Holy Grail) is a silly tour-de-force not to be missed (Oct. 18, 8 p.m.). Not since Sister Act have you seen nuns have this much fun on stage. Nunsense is an over-the-top musical about a peculiar group of nuns in a ridiculous bind. The production stars Sally Struthers (Oct. 26, 3 p.m.). The Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker lights up the stage as it pirouettes across America on a 70-city tour. World-class ballet, Russian classical dance, post-Impressionist inspired sets, and the whimsy of the story all converge in this epic rendition (Nov. 22, 2 p.m.).
U.S.M.A. campus, West Point. 845-938-4159 or www.eisenhowerhall.com

Tensions rise — as does the water — in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Rising Water, at Shadowland Theatre

Feel the burn: Catch your favorite futuristic flicks — including Fonda in Barbarella — at Proctors Theatre’s 24-hour sci-fi marathon

The Taste of New Paltz brings together local arts organizations, businesses, and restaurants

Sunday, September 28
Since his debut on NPR over 15 years ago, writer David Sedaris has captured the morbid curiosity (and tickled the funny bone) of millions with his trademark self-deprecating nostalgia. The award-winning author of seven essay collections, including Me Talk Pretty One Day, Naked, and Barrel Fever, Sedaris is a regular contributor on Ira Glass’ This American Life. This year sees the release of Sedaris’ highly anticipated seventh book, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, and brings Sedaris to Albany’s Palace Theater.

The genius of Sedaris lies in his ability to maximize his own bizarre life experience into insightful social commentary about the human condition. And it is funny. No memory is off limits. Readers of Naked have no doubt giggled out loud as Sedaris shares such gems of recollection as his childhood struggle with obsessive compulsive disorder, masterfully recounting one particularly unfortunate day where his licking — of the classroom light switch and his shoe, alternately — finally became too much for his teacher. Anecdotes that would make the average person cringe to recall are just the thing Sedaris likes to expound upon. Those who have read the author over the years no doubt feel they are intimately familiar with the sardonic ex-patriot (he now lives in France) and his five siblings (including sister and comedienne Amy Sedaris), food hoarding father, chain-smoking late mother, melancholy grandmother named Yaya, his partner Hugh, and the veritable circus of characters and opportunities that have crossed his path.

Having been called “a caustic mix of J.D. Salinger and John Waters,” Sedaris is best described by the New York Times as “nobody’s hypothetical love child but his own.” An Evening with David Sedaris promises to make you laugh, and probably cry, as this master of irony takes to the stage. And if you can get past the blatant humor, you might just learn something. (Sedaris also performs at the Bardavon on Dec. 12.)
8 p.m. $38.50. 19 Clinton Ave., Albany. 518-465-4663 or www.palacealbany.com

Sunday, September 28
Twenty years and still going strong, the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival returns to Saugerties this month for some deliciously pungent fun. Visitors learn how to grow and use garlic in all types of dishes, peruse booths lined with items like garlic teddy bears and sweaters, and sample unique delicacies such as garlic flavored fudge, cotton candy, and ice cream. Sept. 27-28. Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $5 in advance, $7 at the door, under 12 free.
Cantine Field. Washington Ave. Extension, Saugerties. 845-246-3090 or www.hvgf.com


Friday, October 3

Bernardo Bertolucci’s Last Tango In Paris, the notorious risqué film starring Marlon Brando, is one of 12 movies featured in United Artists at 90, this month’s series at the Jacob Burns Film Center (Oct. 3 & 9). You can also catch showings of classics like Annie Hall, The Great Escape, Midnight Cowboy, Some Like It Hot, and Raging Bull. Other series this season include a Fritz Lang retrospective (Sept. 12-25) and a celebration of female filmmakers (Sept. 24 & Oct. 20). Call for complete schedule and ticket information.
364 Manville Road, Pleasantville. 914-773-7663 or www.burnsfilmcenter.org

Recently hailed by the New Yorker as “the world’s reigning male chorus,” Chanticleer leads off the Pawling Concert Series’ 35th season (8 p.m. $35, $17 students). The series continues with the trio of Ani Kavafian, Andre-Michel Schub, and David Shifrin (Nov. 14).
Gardiner Theater, Trinity Pawling School. Rte. 22, Pawling. 845-855-3100 or www.pawlingconcertseries.org

Saturday, October 4

Travel back in time to get a glimpse of different architectural styles during the annual Historic House Tour at Grand View. Explore the interiors of homes dating back to the 18th century while getting a taste of Rockland county history. These unique buildings are of all sizes, shapes, and styles — from a 1790 colonial cottage, to a classic Second Empire revival, to an 1860s brownstone. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $35 in advance, $40 on the day.
The Historical Society of Rockland County. 20 Zukor Rd., New City. 845-634-9629 or www.rocklandhistory.org

Film lovers can sit back, relax, and enjoy the show at the ninth annual Woodstock Film Festival. This “fiercely independent” nonprofit event turns Woodstock into Hollywood for a week. More than 150 films, panel discussions, concerts, and special events take place at venues in Woodstock and the neighboring towns of Rhinebeck, Kingston, and Rosendale. Already confirmed are two movies with Hudson Valley ties. The documentary Guest of Cindy Sherman, a look inside the life of the model turned avant garde artist, was directed by Dutchess County’s Tom Donahue. The romantic drama Natural Causes was written, produced, and directed by a pair of Bard College graduates. Oct. 1-5. Call for exact schedule and ticket information.
845-679-4265 or www.woodstockfilmfestival.com

Eclectic percussion group Ethos performs at the Rockland Center for the Arts. These skilled musicians use instruments from around the world and perform a mixture of traditional rhythms from India, West Africa, and the Middle East. 8 p.m. $15.
27 S. Greenbush Rd., West Nyack. 845-358-0877 or www.rocklandartcenter.org

Sunday, October 5

Nothing says autumn like a trip to Oktoberfest. From the beautiful fall foliage to the bountiful farmers market, there’s something for everyone. Experience German culture by sampling beer or apple strudel, and enjoying the talents of the energetic Schuhplattler dancers. For the young ones, there are free crafts and pumpkin painting along with puppet shows and pony rides. Oct. 4-5, 11-12. Call for hours and fees.
Hunter Mountain. Rte. 23A, Hunter. 1-800-486-8376 or www.huntermtn.com

Enjoy music written by two legendary composers, J.S. Bach and J.P. Telemann, as it was meant to be heard — on period instruments. A favorite of both the New York Times and National Public Radio, the ensemble REBEL features authentic baroque violin, viola, cello, and even recorder. 4 p.m. $35, $30 seniors, $10 students. Call for reservations.
Bedford Presbyterian Church. 44 Village Green, Bedford. 914-734-9537 or www.rebelbaroque.com

Friday, October 10

Haunted houses, stormy nights, and the supernatural are all found in Penguin Rep’s new thriller The Woman In Black. The spooky scenario — the tale of a grieving lawyer who believes his family has been cursed — comes just in time for Halloween. Oct. 10-Nov. 2. $32, $16 under 30. Call for schedule and ticket information.
7 Crickettown Rd., Stony Point. 845-786-2873 or www.penguinrep.org

Saturday, October 11

Are you an Italian-American? Even if you’re not, join “la familia Italiana” at Albany’s 17th annual Columbus Parade. After the parade, explore the Italian fest’s many forms of entertainment, including crafts, children’s activities (such as pony rides), and a special musical tribute to Bobby Darin, Frank Sinatra, and Dean Martin. Last (but certainly not least), enjoy traditional Italian foods from tortellini to tiramisu. Mangia! 1-5 p.m.
Washington Park. Madison & New Scotland Ave., Albany. 518-641-7511 or info@columbusdayalbanyny.com

This month, the Westchester Philharmonic begins its first full season under the direction of famed violinist Itzhak Perlman. Tonight, pianist (and Kennedy Center honoree) Leon Fleisher joins the orchestra for Beethoven’s Concerto No. 5, known as the Emperor Concerto; also on the bill is Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony. In November, Perlman does double duty: he’ll simultaneously conduct and perform in pieces by Bach, Brahms, and Mozart. Oct. 11-12. Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 3 p.m. $25-$75.
Performing Arts Center, Purchase College. 735 Anderson Hill Rd., Purchase. 914-682-3707 or www.westchesterphil.org

Sunday, October 12

Score! The Sports in Rockland — 100 Years of Cheers exhibit is a great opportunity for sports fans to brush up on their local history. Old-timers can relive the glory days by writing their Rockland sports memories in the Sports Memories Corner. Rookies can see for themselves what it takes to be a major-leaguer by examining the memorabilia of famous athletes, all of whom have ties to the county. Tues.-Sun. 1-5 p.m. through Oct. 12. $7, $3 children.
The Historical Society of Rockland County. 20 Zukor Rd., New City. 845-634-9629 or www.rocklandhistory.org

Follow the clues at this weekend’s Trail Tales scavenger hunt, held at Poughkeepsie’s Locust Grove Historic Site. Parents and children alike can walk the site’s carriage trails and piece together a history-based mystery, while participating in activities such as leaf rubbings, face painting, and other crafts. When players are done, they return to the museum pavilion, where local story-teller Lorraine Hartin-Gelardi reveals the true story. Oct. 11-12. 10:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. $7. u 2683 South Rd., Poughkeepsie. 845-454-4500 or www.lgny.org

Browse the booths of over 200 vendors at this year’s Rhinebeck Antiques Fair. Now in its 32nd year, the two-day event features a variety of items — from folk art to classic American furniture and decorative accessories. Oct. 11-12. Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Call for details. u Dutchess County Fairgrounds. Rte. 9, Rhinebeck. 845-876-1989 or www.rhinebeckantiquesfair.com
Friday, October 17
This place is no flea market. The Westchester Craft Show is celebrates its 15th year with a display of specialty, limited-edition, and one-of-a-kind arts and crafts. Over 115 vendors show off their handmade masterpieces, which include blown glass, jewelry, handbags, furniture, and clothing. Oct. 17-19. Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. $12, $10 seniors. u Westchester County Center. 198 Central Ave., White Plains. 914-995-4050 or www.craftsamericashows.com

Impassioned Images: German Expressionist Prints — currently at Vassar College’s Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center — highlights the work of 20th-century German painters and printmakers such as Vassily Kandinsky and George Grosz. Many of the 50 works on view were created in response to the expanding industrialism and materialism manifested between the wars. Through Oct. 26. Call for hours. u 124 Raymond Ave., Poughkeepsie. 845-437-5632 or http://fllac.vassar.edu

Saturday, October 18
Take care not to lose your head — the Headless Horseman rides again at Philipsburg Manor’s Legend Weekend. As you wander this spookified landscape, beware of the ghoulies, ghosties, and other long-legged beasties — and, of course, the Horseman himself. If you’re not too scared, you can enjoy the scenery (lit by lanterns and bonfires) or a scary tale performed by Valley storyteller Jonathan Kruk. Oct. 18-19, 25-26. Call for hours and ticket information. u 381 N. Broadway (Rte. 9), Sleepy Hollow. 914-631-8200 or www.hudsonvalley.org

Searching for family fun? Look no further than Prospect Hill Orchard’s annual Johnny Appleseed Cider Festival. Festivalgoers can crank their own cider, build scarecrows, and enjoy a hayride. Freshly baked pies, cookies, and doughnuts are available for purchase, and be sure to scour the fields for the perfect pumpkin. At the orchard’s Kid’s Day celebration, young’uns learn to weave by hand and create critters from gourds. Oct. 27-28. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. u Prospect Hill Orchards. 40 Clarke’s Lane, Milton. 845-795-2383 or www.prospecthillorchards.com

You’ve heard it in movies. You’ve heard it on the radio. Now hear it live: 20th-century composer Carl Orff’s famous choral and symphonic opus, Carmina Burana, as performed by Westchester’s New Choral Society. Based on a series of 24 medieval poems, this remains one of the most popular musical works used in films, television, and radio shows. 8 p.m. $25, $15 seniors & students. u Hitchcock Presbyterian Church. 6 Greenacres Ave., Scarsdale. 914-725-1678 or www.newchoralsociety.org

Sunday, October 19
Fans of the Rhinebeck Chamber Music Society are in for a treat when the Attacca String Quartet plays this month. Known for their love of contemporary music, the group formed at the Juilliard School and has performed at the Spoleto Festival in Spain, among other places (4 p.m. $25, $5 students). Also appearing this fall is the American Brass Quintet (Nov. 15). u The Church of the Messiah. 6436 Montgomery St., Rhinebeck. 845-876-2870 or www.rhinebeckmusic.org

Il Trovatore is presented by the Taconic Opera at the Yorktown Stage. Verdi’s timeless opera tells the story of a gypsy and the spell she places on the family of a count. This lush production features a full orchestra and will be sung in Italian with English supertitles. Oct. 18-19. Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. $32-$42. u 1974 Commerce St., Yorktown Heights. 914-245-3415 or www.taconicopera.org

Friday, October 24
Mystery, suspense, intrigue, and music come together in the Ghent Playhouse’s fun-filled production of Clue — The Musical. Audience members beware — you might be chosen to participate in the show. Oct. 10-26. Also on tap this fall is the fractured fairy tale adventure Jack and the Beanstalk (Nov. 28-Dec. 14). Fri.-Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Call for ticket information. u 2306 Rte. 66, Ghent. 518-392-6264 or www.ghentplayhouse.org

The 19th annual Bard Music Festival presents Prokofiev in America and Russia, a musical weekend featuring works by the famed Russian composer. Included are concerts entitled From Chicago to Moscow and The Uneasy Rivalry: Prokofiev and Stravinsky, as well as a panel discussion about the influence of government on artistic expression. Oct. 24-25. Call for ticket information. u Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson. 845-758-7900 or www.fishercenter.bard.edu

Saturday, October 25
With all the ghosts and witches flying about, the young ones may need some Halloween fun that’s safely kid-friendly. They can find just that at Sunnyside’s Legend Weekend. This daytime event includes picnic food, puppet shows, and 19th century-style magic acts. And if you reserve your ticket ahead of time, you can take a stroll through the woods while listening to ghost stories (including Washington Irving’s “The Devil and Tom Walker”). Oct. 25-26. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $12, $10 seniors, $6 children 5-17, under 5 free. u 89 W. Sunnyside Lane, Tarrytown. 914-631-8200 or www.hudsonvalley.org

The works of 31 artists from 14 countries converge in Origins. As the name implies, the artwork on display at this exhibition is composed of natural materials like clay, ash, fiber, wood and soil; some of the pieces have been specifically crafted for the show. Sat.-Sun. 12-6 p.m. through July 2009. $5, $1 students & children. u Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art. 1701 Main St., Peekskill. 914-788-0100 or www.hvcca.org

Sunday, October 26
Three generations of the influential Suckley family — including Daisy Suckley, Franklin Roosevelt’s close friend and confidante — lived in the opulent, Queen Anne-style mansion, Wilderstein. This year, the home hosts Art Of, For and By Women, an exhibition depicting the lives of Hudson Valley women over a period of 200 years. Their stories are reflected through paintings, drawings, heirlooms, and craftworks. Thurs.-Sun. 12-4 p.m. through Oct. 31. u 330 Morton Rd., Rhinebeck. 845-876-4818 or www.wilderstein.org

Friday, October 31
Featuring over 3,000 hand-carved, candle-lit pumpkins, the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze at the 18th-century Van Cortlandt Manor is not your average haunted house. Enhanced by the use of spooky music, sound effects, and lighting, the beautiful carvings range from ghosts and spider webs to dinosaurs. Finish up at the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze shop, which includes many cool gifts from glowing jewelry to themed clothing. All in all, this event is more treat than trick, but be sure to order tickets ahead before the other boys and ghouls get them. Oct. 4-5, 10-13, 17-19, 23-31. $14-$16, $10-$12 children 5-17, under 5 free. Call for hours and tickets. u 525 S. Riverside Ave., Croton-on-Hudson. 914-631-8200 or www.hudsonvalley.org


Saturday, October 4
“Olga Kern’s Rachmaninoff is the stuff of legend,” gushes Hudson Valley Philharmonic conductor Randall Craig Fleischer. “It is absolutely electrifying.” Russian pianist Kern returns to the Bardavon to perform with the Valley’s orchestra, led by Fleischer. In addition to Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, the concert will include pieces by Stravinsky and Borodin.
In 2001, Kern became the first woman in three decades to win the prestigious Van Cliburn Competition; her competition piece was Rachmaninoff. “As she’s Russian, she has a natural and effortless feeling for that music. And in addition to her technical ability, she has such stage presence,” says Fleischer.
Since her Carnegie Hall debut in 2004, Kern has wowed audiences and critics alike with her breathtaking talent. She first appeared at the Bardavon in March 2006, with a performance of the Rachmaninoff concerto that made her famous. Of the two, the Los Angeles Times has said: “If Rachmaninoff’s fabled third concerto is a tour de force, his Concerto No. 2 in C minor is a challenge of a different, more delicate sort, whose familiar contours demand a keen ear and facile hands to enliven. Kern invested unstrained care and measured passion… [demonstrating] the highly musical stuff that may well pave the way for a solid career.” — Shannon Gallagher
uBardavon Opera House. 35 Market St., Poughkeepsie. 845-473-2072 or www.bardavon.org

Scope out unique works of art and home décor at the Westchester Craft Show

On a grand scale: Taconic Opera offers fully staged versions of classic operas, complete with a full orchestra


Saturday, November 1
You don’t have to travel west to appreciate the beautiful scenery of the Colorado Plateau. Just visit the Woodstock School of Art to see the exhibit Painted Journeys on the Plateau. Vibrant colors, finely detailed realism, and soft impressionism (respectively) characterize the works of Katharine L. McKenna, Judy Abbott, and Eva van Rijn. Oct. 18-Nov. 1. Wed.-Sat. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. u Rte. 212, Woodstock. 845-679-2388 or www.woodstockschoolofart.org

Sunday, November 2
Go organic at the Rosendale Farmers’ Market. Every Sunday of the season, local vendors show off their home-grown fruits, vegetables, and tasty baked goods at this traditional shopping venue. It won’t be long before winter comes, so get these fresh munchies while you can. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. through Nov. 9. u Rosendale Recreation Center. Rte. 32, Rosendale. 845-658-3467 or www.rosendalefarmersmarket.com

Friday, November 7
The Neuberger Museum of Art has been displaying African art since it opened in 1974. Recently, the museum refurbished their exhibition space; their latest exhibit, African Art and Culture: Selections from the Collection, features displays of masks, wooden statues, headdresses and other pieces. Oct. 12-Dec. 31. Tues.-Sun. 12-5 p.m. $5, $3 seniors & students. u 735 Anderson Hill Rd., Purchase. 914-251-6100 or www.neuberger.org

Saturday, November 8
Brahms buffs will delight in the opening concert of the Westchester Chamber Orchestra’s 12th season. Internationally renowned pianist Alon Goldstein joins the ensemble in a rendition of the composer’s Concerto No. 1. 8 p.m. $40, $35 seniors, $15 students. u Murphy Auditorium, Iona College. Corner of Summit & North Ave., New Rochelle. 914-654-4926 or www.westchesterchamberorchestra.org

Sunday, November 9
After traveling around the world to perform with such groups as the Boston Symphony, the Berlin Philharmonic, and the London Symphony pianist Stephen Hough performs at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. Known for his intellect and imagination (not to mention his skill at the piano), he presents works by Bach, Faure, Franck, and Chopin (3 p.m. $25-$35). Also on tap, acoustic country from Travis Tritt and Marty Stuart (Nov. 16); Chicago City Limits’ politically tinged humor (Oct. 25); and Peter Yarrow — of Peter, Paul and Mary fame — with folk duo Bethany & Rufus (Oct. 24). Call for schedule and ticket information. u 30 Second St., Troy. 518-273-0038 or www.troymusichall.org

Friday, November 14
The Ellen Spinoli Dance Company performs Dancing Before the Snow Flies VIII. In this vibrant show, the troupe’s complex dance patterns imitate snowflakes forming and falling to earth. Nov. 14-15. 8 p.m. $6, $5 students & seniors. u James L. Meader Little Theater, Russell Sage College. 45 Ferry St., Troy. 518-244-2248 or www.sage.edu

Music of the Ballet Russes, the third concert of the Albany Symphony Orchestra’s season, includes works by Debussy, Stravinsky, and Ravel. Cellist and area native Kenneth Olsen also performs the world premiere of Nijinsky’s Last Dance, a piece by contemporary composer David Mallamud. 8 p.m. $25-$49. u Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. 30 Second St., Troy. 518-273-0038 or www.albanysymphony.com

Saturday, November 15
Mel Brooks’ Tony Award-winning musical The Producers comes to the Westchester Broadway Theatre. This zany play tells the tale of two con artists whose plan to make money off a Broadway flop goes hilariously awry (through Nov. 15). A Wonderful Life, the heartwarming musical version of the classic movie about George Bailey’s struggle to find life’s meaning on Christmas Eve, ushers in the holiday season (Nov. 20-Feb. 7). Call for complete schedule and ticket information. u 1 Broadway Plaza, Elmsford. 914-592-2222 or www.broadwaytheatre.com

Thirty-five cats! One dog! Five clowns! Complete with death-defying balancing acts, dancing and acrobatics, the Lycian Centre for the Performing Arts presents the Moscow Cats Theatre — an action-packed, fun-filled family event (Nov. 15). Also on tap: the Capitol Steps, a group of former Senate staffers who got together to satirize their government employers (Sept. 28); and Satisfaction, A Tribute to the Rolling Stones, a musical look at the iconic band’s history (Oct. 3). Call for times and ticket information. u 1351 Kings Highway, Sugar Loaf. 845-469-2287 or www.lyciancentre.com

A contemporary of the Ashcan School, Tarrytown-born realist Rockwell Kent’s art depicts the harsh and bleak in nature, as inspired by his expeditions to the Adirondacks, Alaska, and beyond. Browse the most complete compilation of his works (including prints, books, dinnerware, and photographs) at the New York State Museum’s exhibition Rockwell Kent: This is My Own (through May 17, 2009). Ealier this fall, the museum commemorates the centennial of Nelson A. Rockefeller’s birth with Rockefeller at 100, a four-part exhibit that includes such diverse offerings as campaign memorabilia, an Andy Warhol portrait, and the former governor’s official Lincoln Lehmann-Peterson limousine. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. daily through Oct. 12. u Empire State Plaza, Albany. 518-474-5877 or www.nysm.nyed.gov

Sunday, November 16
The Howland Chamber Music Circle presents the Calder String Quartet. Blending traditional chamber music with more avant-garde styles, the quartet’s program includes pieces by Mozart, Bela Bartok, and minimalist composer Terry Riley. Also: The Bretano String Quartet opens the season on Sept. 14, baritone Thomas Meglioranza sings a program that includes works by Schubert and Poulenc on Oct. 5, and Bulgarian percussionist and marimba player Svet Stoyanov performs on Oct. 26. 4 p.m. $30, $10 students. u Howland Cultural Center. 477 Main St., Beacon. 845-297-9243 or www.howlandmusic.org

Despite the pre-winter chill, the Bardavon Opera House will be burning up when Tango Fire — a sultry group of sensuous Spanish dancers — takes the stage (7 p.m., $38). Also this fall: concerts by Susan Tedeschi, a musician who combines blues, rock, folk, R&B, and gospel (Oct. 10); the sophisticated and multitalented jazz artist Chris Botti (Oct. 18); the legendary British guitar player and songwriter Richard Thompson (Oct. 23); and the urban-folk stylist Ani DiFranco (Nov. 24). Call for times and ticket information. u 35 Market St., Poughkeepsie. 845-473-5288 or www.bardavon.org

Friday, November 21
Interested in Impressionism? We’ve got the exhibit for you. Albany’s Institute of History and Art hosts Impressionist Giverny this fall. The hometown of famed artist Claude Monet, Giverny also attracted many American artists. The exhibit showcase a more than 50 oil paintings that depict the American influence in rural France between 1885 and 1915. Wed.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m, Sun. 12 a.m.-5 p.m. through Jan. 4. $8, $6 seniors & students, $4 children 6-12, under 6 free. u 125 Washington Ave., Albany. 518-463-4478 or www.albanyinstitute.org

Saturday, November 22
The Towne Crier Café welcomes folk singer-songwriter Livingston Taylor. A member of one of America’s most renowned musical families (he’s the brother of James), Livingston has been performing for over 30 years. His newest album, There You Are Again, is an eclectic mix of folk, pop, and gospel (9 p.m. $40-$45). This season also features Irish band Solas (Sept. 19), the Maria Muldaur Band (Oct. 5), and folk-rocker Steve Forbert with special guest Anthony da Costa (Nov. 8). Call for times and tickets. u 130 Rte. 22, Pawling. 845-855-1300 or www.townecrier.com

Jazz and pop singer Michael Franks performs at the Tarrytown Music Hall. Having recorded over 16 albums during his 33-year career, Franks hits include “Popsicle Toes,” “Monkey See-Monkey Do,” and “The Lady Wants To Know” (8 p.m. $38-$58). Other shows at the hall: Hot Tuna with special guest David Lindley performs (Sept. 6), the Taj Mahal Trio (Oct. 3), Manhattan Transfer (Nov. 8), and Richard Shindell (Nov. 14). Call for ticket information. u 13 Main St., Tarrytown. 877-840-0457 or www.tarrytownmusichall.org

Sunday, November 23
Get an early start on your holiday shopping at the Holiday in the Mountains show, hosted by the Greene County Council on the Arts. With a variety of vendors offering handmade pottery, quilts, jewelry, clothing, toys, and other gifts for sale, you’re sure to find a gift for everyone on your list. Nov. 8-Jan. 3. Fri.-Mon. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. u Mountaintop Gallery. 5348 Main St., Windham. 518-734-3104 or www.greenearts.org

Through November 15
With over 500 acres of rolling country landscape designated for the display of outdoor sculpture, Storm King Art Center in Mountainville was a natural choice for Maya Lin’s third and final wavefield earthwork sculpture. The largest of Lin’s wavefields (the others are in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the other in Miami, Florida), the installation features four acres of undulating waves inspired by gentle ocean landscapes; each wave of varying length stands 10 to 14 feet tall and is shaped from gravel and topsoil, then planted with indigenous grasses to blend with surrounding farm fields.

“Storm King created our landscape by moving earth, so it was apropos to do an earth sculpture at some point,” Director David Collens explains. Though many artists, particularly in the ’70s, proposed earthworks for the property, the Storm King Wavefield is the center’s first. “Lin is very hands-on. She saw the Storm King landscape and wanted to react to it,” says Collens. An old gravel pit particularly inspired Lin, who is renowned for her architectural art. By renovating the site and reappropriating the gravel for use in the sculpture, the wavefield became an environmental reclamation project in compliance with the New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation. Taking the environmental aspect one step further, Lin plans to incorporate indigenous trees to offset the carbon footprint of the work, which she carefully tracked through all stages of construction. “It’s a very different project for us,” Collens enthuses. “Entirely inspirational.”

While poor weather slowed the wavefield’s construction, Storm King is preparing to open the sculpture to the public in spring 2009. Until then, Collens strongly urges the visiting public to respect the fences that surround the sculpture-in-progress. “Footprints damage the texture of the surface, but also weakens the root structure.” In conjunction, the museum facility will house an exhibition of models and visual explanations of the sculpture’s construction, from environmental, architectural, and artistic perspectives. — Shannon Gallagher

Old Pleasant Hill Rd., Mountainville. Through Nov. 1: Wed.-Sun. 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Nov. 2-Nov. 15: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. $10, $9 seniors & college students, $7 students K-12. 845-534-3115 or www.stormking.org

Since the ’60s, musician Arlo Guthrie has held a special place in the canon of American folksingers. His candor is not surprising, though his optimism is refreshing. At a time when most feel bleak at best about the world and its future, Guthrie takes the glass-half-full view, injecting a timely and welcome dose of hope into his socially conscious music. Though politics are often cited when describing Guthrie’s music, the man himself begs to differ. “I’m not a political writer,” he insists “but hopefully awake.”

Though Guthrie’s upcoming tour — which includes tonight’s performance at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall — is entitled “Lost World,” he perceives very little to be lost. “These are great times,” he says without the slightest note of irony. “They’re certainly inspirational. The response from young people during a presidential campaign is better than in decades. To see so many young people see that this is their world, and they can affect change, it’s a great time. People are looking forward to a different future, they’re willing to take a chance and do something different. Doesn’t mean they’re right, but it’s exciting.”

Even the most pessimistic or politically apathetic of Guthrie fans will have a lot to be excited about this year. The tour is the first in roughly 30 years with a record attached to it. “We did it a bit backwards,” Guthrie says, referring to the route of production he has chosen for his new CD, also entitled Lost World, which began with a theme and some artwork, rather than some songs. And, after touring solo for most of 2006-2007, the Lost World tour reunites Guthrie on stage with his son Abe and Binghamton’s own Burns Sisters. While Abe has been a fixture on his father’s tours for years, the Burns Sisters started working with Guthrie on a fund-raiser tour for musicians in post-Katrina New Orleans. “They’re great vocalists, a lot of fun,” says Guthrie who is looking forward to seeing this performance dynamic shape up. “I like it organic,” he admits of touring. “I don’t like a lot of rehearsals. You find out what works and what doesn’t work on the stage, and after a few weeks you figure it out. It’ll be great by Troy!” The tour kicks off October 10 in Massachusetts. — Shannon Gallagher
30 Second St., Troy. 518-273-0038 or www.troymusichall.org

Saturday, November 15
In November, Hal Holbrook, who recently became the oldest actor ever nominated for an Emmy (for his supporting role in Sean Penn’s Into the Wild), takes the stage of the Paramount Center for the Arts as one of America’s most treasured literary icons — Mark Twain. In Mark Twain Tonight, Holbrook presents his audience with choice work from Twain’s lesser-known political writings. “The thing that distinguishes this show is the unexpected connection to what’s happening now,” Holbrook says. “It’s almost like he’s talking about something that happened in the paper this morning.”

Mark Twain Tonight is entirely of Holbrook’s invention, and was first performed off-Broadway in 1967. To maximize the show’s effectiveness, Holbrook changes up his material, performing a varying selection of essays from Twain’s extensive repertoire. On this tour, Holbrook is pleased to revisit the insightful “War Prayer,” which he claims he has avoided for the past decade with good intentions. “I didn’t want to do anything critical of the men and women who are overseas, who are doing a thankless job. But at this point, Mark Twain would roll in his grave if I didn’t say anything.” Holbrook, like many Americans, feels that civilization has reached a critical point. While he is quick to criticize the methodology and intention of the government and its auxiliaries, he is also hopeful, citing Pearl Harbor and the country’s involvement in World War II as evidence that “this country can turn things around.

“At Mark Twain Tonight you’re listening to an old man with a big head telling the truth,” Holbrook chides. “But when someone gets up and tells the truth, it’s funny.” Truth, the actor feels, is what’s missing from American politics, and always has been. No stranger to politically charged roles, Holbrook’s TV and movie credentials include The West Wing, Lincoln, and Toast of the Town (back in 1948). He is keen on the concept that history repeats itself, and that the perilous challenges our society now face are nothing new, though increasingly dire. “Nothing really ever changes. We go in a circle — we may think we’ve cleaned up our act, but we haven’t.” So what is an actor to do? “I’m not beating people over the head with it,” Holbrook states of the powerful message in his chosen material. “I’m laying these ideas out, the audience listens, and they make the connections.” While he admits it’s not much, Holbrook feels as though he’s doing what he can. “Having this show, it’s a release.” — Shannon Gallagher
8 p.m. $35-$55. 1008 Brown St., Peekskill. 914-739-2333 or www.paramountcenter.org

Saturday, November 1
Prepare to be enchanted! The Shangri-La Chinese Acrobats perform a show at UPAC unlike any you would see under the big top. Amazing acts of flexibility, balance, and strength — embellished with beautiful costumes and lights — make this a show capable of bridging any cultural gap. (2:30 & 7:30 p.m. $25, $10 under 13). Also performing at UPAC on Sept. 24 are the Indigo Girls, a pair of folk-rockers known for their hit singles “Galileo,” “Peace Tonight,” and “Dear Mr. President” (which featured pop rocker Pink). uUlster Performing Arts Center. 601 Broadway, Kingston. 845-454-3388 or www.upac.org

Girls, girls, girls: Mel Brooks’ zany musical The Producers dances its way into Westchester

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