BFFs on stage
Apparently Cyndi Lauper (pictured) and Rosie O’Donnell got to be buddies on last year’s “True Colors” tour. The punky ’80s singer and the outspoken comedienne join forces this month for a “Girls Night Out” Northeast tour. Lauper, now 56, will forever be associated with “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” her 1985 anthem to teenage independence; Nyack resident O’Donnell, most recently a host on TV’s The View, still performs razor-sharp stand-up. Both ladies have multiple awards — Grammys and Emmys — between them. The tour makes stops in 10 cities, including two in our region: Peekskill’s Paramount Center for the Arts (Aug. 3 at 8 p.m. $51-$71. 914-739-2333) and Proctors in Schenectady (Aug. 11 at 8 p.m. $20-$50. 518-346-6204).
Since 1845 — that’s 164 years, to be exact — the Dutchess County Fair has been a staple of summer in the Valley, offering agricultural exhibits, midway attractions, and a diverse lineup of live entertainment — not to mention cotton candy, fried dough, and similar tasty treats. This year’s edition promises more of the same: You can see performances by the soft-rock duo Air Supply, country star Josh Turner, and Animal Planet host Jeff Corwin (among others). What you may not notice are the 1,000 local children (and their chaperones) attending the fair as guests of the Dutchess County Agricultural Society. The kids — who lack either the transportation and/or the money to come to the fair — receive free admission, lunch, four hours of rides, and a special T-shirt as part of the society’s inaugural “Ideal Country Holiday” event. (And to the society, we say “Bravo!”) Aug. 25-30. Gates open at 10 a.m. daily. $12, $8 seniors, under 12 free; concert tickets additional. Dutchess County Fairgrounds. Rte. 9, Rhinebeck. 845-876-4000.
Art exhibits related to this year’s Quadricentennial seem to be everywhere this summer. But not many of them offer works that date back to the 1500s. Drawn by New York, which opens this month at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, features 81 watercolors and drawings owned by the New-York Historical Society. The show highlights several of the artists we associate with the Hudson Valley, like Thomas Cole and Jasper Cropsey. But it also includes renderings of early voyages, landscapes, and Native Americans; portraits of Americans both famous and unknown; and depictions of momentous events such as the Civil War and the September 11 attacks. Aug. 14-Nov. 1. Tues.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Thurs. to 9 p.m.), Sun. 1-5 p.m. Vassar College campus. 124 Raymond Ave., Poughkeepsie. 845-437-5632.
Das ist gut
For some, the music of Richard Wagner brings to mind “What’s Opera, Doc?”, a classic cartoon in which Bugs Bunny — wearing a Viking helmet — is pursued by Elmer Fudd to the tune of “Ride of the Valkyries” and other Wagnerian works. You can learn much more about the influential and controversial German composer at this year’s Bard Music Festival. Over the course of two weekends, “Wagner and his World” examines Wagner’s musical output in 12 concert programs — which include excerpts from The Flying Dutchman and the Ring cycle operas — as well as lectures, panel discussions, and a symposium (Aug. 14-16 & 21-23). At the same time, SummerScape — Bard’s multi-arts series — continues this month with performances of Giacomo Meyerbeer’s opera Les Huguenots (Aug. 2, 5, 7), Mendelssohn’s St. Paul oratorio (Aug. 9), and other programs related to the festival theme. Call for complete schedule and ticket information. The Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson. 845-758-7900.
Tour de Valley
Summer is no time to be a couch potato, especially in our beautiful region. The annual Great Hudson Valley Pedal bicycle tour offers a chance to savor the Valley’s riches while spending some quality time in the great outdoors (and getting some exercise to boot). The six-day tour winds its way from Albany to New York City, covering about 35-45 miles per day. The route includes five river crossings over panoramic bridges; riders enjoy stops at such attractions as the FDR Home and Library, Olana, and West Point (among others). Camping accommodations — as well as five breakfasts, four dinners, refreshment stops, evening entertainment, guided tours of historic sites, and other attractions — are all provided. Aug. 11-16. $520. Call for complete information. 518-434-1583.
Caption: Riding in style: American artist Edward Penfield’s 1903 watercolor of a coach is one of 81 works on view at Vassar’s Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center