Even after the racehorses have returned to the stables, the fun doesn’t stop in Saratoga Springs. At the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, top-flight headliners take the stage all month. Cellist virtuoso Yo-Yo Ma performs with the Philadelphia Orchestra on the opening night of its summer season (Aug. 4-21). Cirque de la Symphonie — during which circus aeralists, acrobats, jugglers and strongmen perform to orchestral melodies — flies in on Aug. 13. And Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, who are still “Runnin’ Down a Dream” after all of these years, appear with special guests Crosby, Stills & Nash for a night of rock ’n roll (Aug. 27). Call or visit Web site for complete schedule and ticket information. 108 Avenue of the Pines, Saratoga Springs. 518-587-3330 or www.spac.org
Young and restless: Jamaican reggae rapper Sean Kingston lays down the rhymes at Albany’s Times Union Center
A new wave of hot young things takes the stage at the Times Union Center in Albany: Justin Bieber and Sean Kingston, both wildly popular with the ’tween set, perform late this month. With his soulful vocals and trademarked mop-top, Bieber’s legions of fans have followed his career from its YouTube roots to his present world tour. Kingston, a reggae fusion rapper hailing from Jamaica, has a slew of Teen Choice Award accolades tacked on to his resume. Together, they are a melodic force with musical talents beyond their years. Both kids and adults alike will recognize their top radio hits, including “One Less Lonely Girl” and “Fire Burnin’,” respectively. Aug. 25 at 7 p.m. $31.50-$51.50. 51 S. Pearl St., Albany. 518-487-2000 or www.timesunioncenter-albany.com
The banks of the Hudson have provided artistic inspiration for hundreds of years. Now, the artists are giving back. This summer marks the seventh year of Art Along the Hudson. Nine local communities — Beacon, Garrison/Cold Spring, Kingston, New Paltz, Newburgh, Peekskill, Poughkeepsie, Rhinebeck, and Woodstock — each host a monthly arts celebration. Exhibits, gallery receptions, open studio tours, concerts, street fairs, restaurant specials, and other special events are all on tap. Each weekend, the spotlight shines on a different locale (first Saturday in Kingston, second Saturday in Woodstock and Rhinebeck, etc.) all summer long. See www.artalongthehudson.com for complete information about each town’s events.
Modern art: Many of the programs offered during Bard’s SummerScape festival take place in the Richard Gehry-designed Fisher Center
Escape at SummerScape
This summer’s eighth annual Bard SummerScape weaves together a rich tapestry of music, opera, theater, dance, film, and cabaret. The pinnacle of the festival takes place with the 21st annual Bard Music Festival (Aug. 13-15 & 20-22). With the theme “Berg and His World,” this year’s fest examines the life and works of Austrian composer Alban Berg (1885-1935) via a program of concerts, panel discussions, symposia, and other events. In conjunction with the musical theme, SummerScape’s schedule focuses on works by Berg’s contemporaries; highlights include the American debut of Franz Schreker’s 1910 opera The Distant Sound (Aug. 1, 4 & 6) and screenings of films by influential German director G.W. Pabst (through Aug. 19). The ever-popular Spiegeltent offers family programs, cutting-edge cabaret, and dancing to local DJs until the wee hours. Festival runs through Aug. 22. Call or visit Web site for complete schedule and ticket information. Bard College campus, Annandale-on-Hudson. 845-758-7900 or www.fishercenter.bard.edu/summerscape/2010
Marking its 165th anniversary, the Dutchess County Fair returns this month with its ever-expanding list of country-fun activities. Traditionalists enjoy the agricultural exhibits and competitions, the young (and young at heart) hit all the rides on the midway — and everyone does some serious chowing down at the food tents. Grandstand entertainers this year include country crooner George Jones (Aug. 25 at 7:30 p.m.) and rock heavyweights Foreigner (Aug. 27 at 7:30 p.m.). Aug. 24-29. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. $15, under 12 free. Dutchess County Fairgrounds. Rte. 9, Rhinebeck. 845-876-4001 or www.dutchessfair.com