Events: Polly’s Editor’s Picks in April 2014

Senior Editor Polly Sparling lists her top event picks for April 2014

With bold geometric shapes and vivid colors, the art created in the 1980s has an unmistakable look. But do the asymmetric lines and Day-Glo colors suggest a deeper message than simply artistic playfulness? 1980s Style, currently on view at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, highlights prints, photographs, and jewelry from the museum’s collection by a number of artists, such as Judy Pfaff, Richard Bosman, and Andy Warhol. Taken together, the works reveal a measure of artistic activism — as well as emotional turmoil. Wed.-Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. through July 13. SUNY New Paltz campus. 1 Hawk Dr., New Paltz. 845-257-3844 or

Folk-rock doyennes the Indigo Girls play the Tarrytown Music Hall this month. These high-school friends turned Grammy-winning musicians are known for hits in the early ’90s like “Closer to Fine” and “Galileo”; the duo’s signature vocal harmonies are often wrapped around songs with a serious political or social message. Apr. 20 at 8 p.m. $48-$75. 13 Main St., Tarrytown. 877-840-0457 or

Improv meets musical theater in Broadway’s Next Hit Musical. This unscripted two-act show begins with a fictitious awards ceremony (think the Tonys), during which four songs from the “Best Musical” nominees — based on titles suggested by the audience — are conceived and performed by the cast. The audience then votes for its favorite ditty, which in Act Two is transformed into a full-blown — but completely improvised — musical. Apr. 25 at 8 p.m. $20-$28. Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. 30 Second St., Troy. 518-273-0038 or

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The 1971 police drama The French Connection broke cinematic ground for its gritty, realistic look at New York’s drug trade. Based on a true story, the film follows a pair of narcotics detectives (Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider) as they track down a heroin smuggler from Europe. The flick earned five Oscars, including Best Picture (the first R-rated film ever to be so honored); the car chase — some of the near-collisions were real, not staged — and Hackman’s humorous Poughkeepsie mention are legendary. Apr. 18 at 7:30 p.m. $6. The Bardavon Opera House. 35 Market St., Poughkeepsie. 845-473-2072 or

Fans of Pink Floyd — the progressive British band known for hugely successful concept albums like The Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall — will no doubt cheer the appearance of Brit Floyd at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center. Dubbed the Discovery World Tour 2014, this tribute band’s new show includes songs from all 14 of Pink Floyd’s LPs — from 1967’s The Piper at the Gates of Dawn to 1994’s The Division Bell — as well as the band’s signature arch and circle light show. Apr. 5 at 8 p.m. $29-$39. 14 Civic Center Plaza, Poughkeepsie. 845-454-5800 or

Quirky composer and multi-instrumentalist Michael Hearst — along with a five-piece band — performs his composition, Songs for Unusual Creatures, at the Hudson Opera House. This 16-movement piece is dedicated to the blobfish, the Australian bilby, the magnapinna squid, and various other strange and exotic animals from around the globe. An audio-visual presentation accompanies the performance, during which Hearst plays a variety of instruments — the theremin, claviola, and daxophone, to name three — that are almost as oddball as the critters he glorifies. Apr. 26. Family matinée 2 p.m., evening performance 7 p.m. $18, $10 children. 327 Warren St., Hudson. 518-822-1438 or

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