Since the 1977 release of his critically acclaimed LP My Aim Is True, Elvis Costello has been a constant presence on the popular music scene. Known best for hit singles like “Pump It Up” and “Everyday I Write the Book,” this eclectic Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has also recorded with the classical Brodsky Quartet, R&B great Allen Toussaint, and jazz pianist Marian McPartland; Wise Up Ghost, his album with the hip hop/soul group the Roots, came out in September. Costello makes solo appearances at three Valley venues: the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall (Nov. 6; 518-273-0038 or www.troymusichall.org), the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester (Nov. 11; 914-937-4126 or www.thecapitoltheatre.com) and the Ulster Performing Arts Center in Kingston (Nov. 14; 845-339-6088 or www.upac.org). All shows begin at 8 p.m., call or visit Web sites for ticket information.
The Tangent Theatre Company mounts its third annual NEWvember New Plays Festival. After spending most of the last two months reading more than 300 submissions sent in by promising playwrights from across the globe, the group has selected six works, each of which will be presented in dramatic readings during the four-day fest. Although the list of featured plays was not available at press time, theatergoers can expect a lineup of highly original works with strong story lines — such as John Cariani’s romantic comedy Love/Sick, which closed out the 2012 festival and then went on to have a successful run at Ellenville’s Shadowland Theatre this past summer. Nov. 7-10. Thurs.-Fri. 8 p.m., Sat. 2 & 8 p.m., Sun. 2 & 6 p.m. $15. Call or visit Web site for exact schedule and list of plays. The Carpenter Shop Theater. 60 Broadway, Tivoli. 845-230-7020; www.newvemberfestival.com or www.tangent-arts.org
Big bang: Photos from the Hubbell Space Telescope accompany the HVP’s SkyFest concert
Last spring, the Bardavon kicked off its Four Seasons of the Hudson Valley Festival — a yearlong celebration of local arts and culture — with “Serious Laughs,” a program of comedy shows. SkyFest, the autumnal installment of the fest, began last month; this series spotlights the relationship between astronomy and the arts with a boatload of special events. Throughout November, you can gaze at the moon and stars through the Vassar Observatory’s telescope every Wednesday evening from 9-11 p.m. Poughkeepsie’s Barrett Art Center and Adriance Memorial Library both host art exhibits based on the intergalactic theme. Woodstock astronomer Bob Berman offers a lively lecture entitled “Light and Color in the Universe” at the Bardavon (Nov. 19, 7 p.m. $5 suggested donation). And the Hudson Valley Philharmonic performs Gustav Holst’s popular orchestral suite The Planets while images captured by the Hubbell Space Telescope are projected on the theater’s big screen (Nov. 23 at 8 p.m. $32-$55). Call or visit Web site for complete schedule of events. 35 Market St., Poughkeepsie. 845-473-2072 or www.bardavon.org
Irish iconoclast: Sinead O’Connor brings her “American Kindness” tour to Tarrytown
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Ireland’s Sinead O’Connor — a multiple Grammy winner best-known for her cover version of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” — is playing venues on both coasts as part of her “American Kindness” tour. While the singer/songwriter’s political and religious views are certainly controversial — she is infamous for tearing up a photo of Pope John Paul II on Saturday Night Live in 1992 — few would argue that her music is anything but world class: During her 25-year career, she’s collaborated with the likes of Peter Gabriel, Roger Waters, Mary J. Blige, Roger Daltrey, and Dolly Parton. Her latest album, 2012’s How About I Be Me (And You Be You) has gotten positive press from Rolling Stone and the New York Times. O’Connor takes the stage at the Tarrytown Music Hall on Nov. 13 at 8 p.m. $58-$115. 13 Main St., Tarrytown. 877-840-0457 or www.tarrytownmusichall.org
Roger McGuinn comes to the Egg for a solo performance this month. As a founding member of the influential 1960s band the Byrds, the singer/songwriter/guitarist notched a number of hits — “Mr. Tambourine Man,” “Eight Miles High,” and Pete Seeger’s “Turn! Turn! Turn!” among them. He also was responsible for developing a style of electric guitar playing known as “jingle-jangle,” a technique which became quite popular with other folk-rock groups. More recently, he established the Folk Den, a Web site that showcases a different folk song — recorded by McGuinn and (often) a guest soloist — each month; a CD collection of these recordings grabbed a Folk Album Grammy when it was released in 2002. Catch this Rock and Roll Hall of Famer on Nov. 9 at 8 p.m. $34.50. Empire State Plaza, Albany. 518-473-1845 or www.theegg.org