Out & About in May 2011

Catching Phish at Bethel Woods, talkin’ baseball at New Paltz, and dancing in a downpour

Play ball
It’s spring, and you know what that means: Young men’s thoughts (and everyone else’s) have turned to baseball. Celebrate our national obsession at the Mark Gruber Gallery. Baseball: Painting the American Pastime features works by about a dozen artists, one of whom is 3D pop-art specialist Charles Fazzino (whose vibrant multimedia landscapes include a rendering of Ebbets Field). Also on view: portraits of the sport’s best-loved stars; prints depicting scenes from the so-called Negro Leagues; and a compendium of baseballs, mitts, bats, and hats. Batter up! Mon.-Sat. through May 4, call for hours. New Paltz Plaza, Rte. 299, New Paltz. 845-255-1241.

Stormy weather
Singin’ in the Rain, the 1952 movie starring Gene Kelly and a teenaged Debbie Reynolds, has been lauded by the American Film Institute as the best movie musical ever made. A Hollywood romance set in the 1920s, the story line revolves around silent-movie leading man Don Lockwood. When the handsome star falls in love with chorus girl Kathy Selden, his on-screen partner — the shallow Lina Lamont — is more than a little jealous. Sparks fly when Lockwood and Lamont’s next film is made as a “talkie,” and Kathy’s voice is dubbed in for the nasal-throated Lamont’s. But — as is standard practice in a musical — all ends happily for the lovers. This stage version of the popular classic runs through June 12 at the Westchester Broadway Theatre. Call for exact schedule and ticket information (and don’t forget your raincoat). 1 Broadway Plaza, Elmsford. 914-592-2222 or www.broadwaytheatre.com

Salsa from the streets
In the mood to move? Then grab your dancing shoes and head to Purchase for a concert by La Excelencia, an 11-piece salsa orchestra from the Bronx. Unlike traditional salsa bands — which usually dress in uniforms and perform sentimental love songs — these young players wear street clothes and sing about social problems, including immigration and discrimination. Heavy on brass and percussion, their sound harkens back to the original salsa style of the 1970s. An added treat: Arrive one hour before the curtain goes up, and take part in a free salsa dance class. May 14 at 7 p.m. $20. Performing Arts Center, Purchase College. 735 Anderson Hill Rd., Purchase. 914-251-6200 or www.artscenter.org

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Woodstock revisited
The 2011 summer season at Bethel Woods starts off with a bang when Phish, the progressive-rock jam band fronted by guitarist extraordinaire Trey Anastasio, performs three (yes, three) concerts over Memorial Day weekend. With a sound that incorporates myriad genres (from reggae to psychedelic rock to barbershop quartet) — not to mention a fan base as devoted as the Deadheads of the ’70s — Phish offers a concert experience reminiscent of that famous 1969 festival (which, of course, just happens to have taken place on this very same patch of real estate). May 27-29 at 7:30 p.m. $60 reserved, $45 lawn seats. 200 Hurd Rd., Bethel. 800-745-3000 or www.bethelwoodscenter.org

For close to 50 years, marine artist and illustrator Anton Otto Fischer (1882-1962) provided dozens of covers and hundreds of illustrations — including those featured in the long-running Tugboat Annie series — for the Saturday Evening Post. But Fischer (who, in later years, lived in Ulster County) was also renowned for his seascapes, which captured both the beauty and the dangers of the briny deep. An exhibit of the artist’s works, both paintings and illustrations, is on view at the Friends of Historic Kingston Gallery. Sat.-Sun. 1-4 p.m. from May 7 through Oct. 30. Corner of Wall & Main St., Kingston. 845-339-0720 or www.fohk.org

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