There are a ton of good reasons to go to the Dutchess County Fair. The midway, for one. And the animal exhibits. We love the pig races and bull riding, too. And those to-die-for milkshakes. But music fans will want to hightail it to Rhinebeck this year for the fair’s top-notch lineup of grandstand acts, from country music megastar Travis Tritt and up-and-comer Kellie Pickler, to rock favorites REO Speedwagon and crossover rapper/country crooner Uncle Kracker. And many baby-boomers will no doubt throw out their aging spines while attempting to do the Twist with ’60s icon Chubby Checker.
The fair runs from Aug. 23-28. Call or visit Web site for complete schedule of all events and ticket information. Rhinebeck Fairgrounds. Rte. 9, Rhinebeck. 845-876-4000; www.dutchessfair.com
Trodding the boards
Two lively — but vastly different — productions grace the stage at Shadowland Theatre this month. A tribute to the USO entertainers of the 1940s, The Andrews Brothers is the story of three stagehands in drag, who fill in for the famous Andrews Sisters when the girls fall ill and can’t perform. Created by Roger Bean (who also penned last season’s The Marvelous Wonderettes), the show is told through the music of the period, featuring catchy tunes like “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree” (through Aug. 14). Charles Morey’s The Ladies Man is a wild and wacky bedroom farce. A hapless gentleman is (wrongly) accused of infidelity when he declines to have marital relations with his young wife; trouble ensues when his formidable mother-in-law is summoned to set him straight (Aug. 19-Sept. 11).
Thurs.-Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. $30 evenings, $25 matinees. 157 Canal St., Ellenville. 845-647-5511; www.shadowlandtheatre.org
Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973), Le chapeau à fleurs (The Hat with Flowers), 1963 Color linoleumcut. Gift of Virginia Herrick Deknatel, class of 1929 2009.1.18. Photo courtesy of Vassar College Media Relations
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As a rule, small museums don’t usually count works by modern masters — Cézanne, Picasso, Matisse, Stieglitz — among the holdings in their permanent collections. But (luckily for us) that is not the case at Vassar College’s Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center. The museum’s current exhibit, “A Taste for the Modern,” showcases 48 works by these and other well-regarded artists, all of which were donated to the museum by three alumnae of the college. Taken together, these paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, and photographs offer an overview of 20th-century modernism and the movements associated with it.
Through Sept. 4. Tues.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Thurs. to 9 p.m.), Sun. 1-5 p.m. 124 Raymond Ave., Poughkeepsie. 845-437-5237; http://fllac.vassar.edu
Hot on the heels of the highly successful Mountain Jam festival comes Bluestock, a three-day showcase of blues music in all its many variations. Headliners for the show: Gregg Allman, perennial blues singer/guitarist and a founder of the legendary Allman Brothers Band; pioneering Chicago bluesman Buddy Guy, the singer/guitarist who influenced Hendrix and Clapton, among others; and Elvin Bishop, best known for the 1976 hit “Fooled Around and Fell in Love.” Besides continuous music on two stages, the event offers on-site camping, craft vendors, and gourmet eats.
Aug. 26-28 at Hunter Mountain. Call or visit Web site for complete schedule and ticket information. 888-512-7469; www.bluestock.com
Sing, Sing, Sing
In 2010 — its inaugural year — the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice attracted more than 3,000 music lovers, who crowded into the Ulster County hamlet’s churches and public spaces to hear vocal performances of all types. Highlights of this year’s four-day, 18-event celebration of song include gospel music from Rozz Morehead; soprano Vera Slywotzky of the Voices of Distinction; and Middle Eastern sounds — coupled with jazz and other Western music influences — from Palestinian-American composer, violinist, and oud player Simon Shaheen. The centerpiece of the festival, a performance of Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni, features the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Met Opera conductor Steven White.
Aug. 4-7. Call or visit Web site for complete schedule and ticket information. 845-586-3588; www.phoeniciavoicefest.com