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

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

Founded in 1791, the Albany Institute of History and Art has a (well-deserved) reputation for its collection of items produced in centuries past. But Small and Seductive, the group exhibit currently on view, highlights the museum’s impressive array of contemporary paintings and sculptures. Compact in size but expansive in their vision and detail, these works represent the latest output from some of the Upper Valley’s most talented artists. Wed.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 12-5 p.m. through Sept. 28. $10, $8 seniors & students, $6 children under 13, under 6 free. • 125 Washington Ave., Albany, 518-463-4478.

maverick concerts

More than a few of the Valley’s summer concert series have been around for years — but none tops the Maverick Concerts in Woodstock, which has been offering “music in the woods” for just short of a century. Held in a 1916 hand-built “music chapel” with fine acoustics, this series presents chamber music and jazz performances, as well as Young People’s concerts. The Calder Quartet comes in on July 6 (4 p.m.), while noted cellist Zuill Bailey and pianist Natasha Paremski play music by Richard Strauss on July 26 (6:30 p.m.). The season runs through Sept. 7. $25, $5 students. Call or visit Web site for complete schedule. • 120 Maverick Rd., Woodstock, 845-679-8348.

mary poppins

Baby-boomers no doubt remember the 1964 film Mary Poppins, which starred Julie Andrews as the prim British nanny possessed of some unusual powers. A musical version of the film arrived on Broadway in 2006, grabbing seven Tony nominations (including one for Best Musical). Westchester Broadway Theater offers its own production of this “Chim-chim-cheree” show, in which a dysfunctional family in Edwardian London is put to rights by a babysitter who uses her umbrella as a mode of transportation. Through July 27. Call or visit Web site for exact schedule and ticket information. • Westchester Broadway Theater. 1 Broadway Plaza, Elmsford, 914-592-2222.

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pete seeger

Leave it to the folks at the Jacob Burns Film Center to help us beat the heat by providing a good excuse to spend a couple of hours in an air-conditioned theater. The center’s “Sounds of Summer” series presents music documentaries throughout this month and next, beginning with a multimedia event honoring the Valley’s own Pete Seeger. The program features film clips, conversation about Seeger’s life as an activist (both political and environmental), and music by Grammy-winning singer/songwriter/storyteller Tom Chapin. July 10. Call or visit Web site for time and ticket information. • 364 Manville Rd., Pleasantville, 914-7474-5555.

jimmy buffet

Parrotheads, rejoice: Jimmy Buffett, the singer-songwriter whose laid-back, country/Caribbean music evokes images of sipping tall drinks on a white-sand beach, makes a rare Valley appearance this month. Renowned for tongue-in-cheek hits like “Margaritaville” and “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” Buffett’s 2013 release, Songs from St. Somewhere, includes tunes like “Too Drunk to Karaoke” (recorded as a duet with country star Toby Keith) and “Oldest Surfer on the Beach.” Buffett’s “This One’s For You Tour” hits the stage at Bethel Woods on July 17 at 8 p.m. Call or visit Web site for tickets. • 200 Hurd Rd., Bethel, 866-781-2922.

ulster county fair

As you’d expect, the Ulster County Fair — which celebrates its 128th birthday this year — is brimming with top-notch agricultural exhibits and thrilling midway attractions. But the six-day fest also offers several out-of-the-ordinary spectacles — like demonstrations by chainsaw sculptors and the ever-popular racing pigs. This season’s entertainment headliners include country artists Neal McCoy and Chris Cagle. July 29-Aug. 3. Call or visit Web site for hours. $15, $40 per carload on Tuesday. • Ulster County Fairgrounds. 249 Libertyville Rd., New Paltz, 845-255-1380.

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