Polly's Picks

Senior Editor Polly Sparling lists her top event picks for April 2011

Safari, an exhibit of paintings by Woodstock artist Eva van Rijn, is currently on view at the visitor’s center at Locust Grove Historic Site in Poughkeepsie. Taking inspiration from a recent trip to South Africa, van Rijn captures the beauty and power of elephants, impalas, jackals, and other native animals as they protect their young, hunt for food, and watch out for predators. Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. through Apr. 10. • 2683 South Rd. (Rte. 9), Poughkeepsie. 845-454-4500 or www.lgny.org

paul taylor dance companyPhotograph by Tom Caravaglia

The highly regarded Paul Taylor Dance Company visits Albany this month. A onetime member of Martha Graham’s troupe, choreographer Taylor — now 80 — is renowned for creating dances set to all types of music, from classical to ragtime to rock, many of which explore modern-day themes. This month’s performance includes “Also Playing” (pictured), an homage to the vaudeville era. Apr. 16 at 8 p.m. $34, $30 seniors, $17 children. • The Egg. Empire State Plaza, Albany. 518-473-1845 or www.theegg.org

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cirque le masque

For high-energy circus thrills presented in high style, check out “Evolution,” the newest show from Cirque Le Masque. The colorfully clad aerialists, jugglers, acrobats, and dancers in this Euro-style circus troupe (no animals involved) perform feats of balance and strength that are as awe-inspiring as they are beautiful to watch. Adults and kids should find this both entertaining and thrilling. Apr. 10 at 3 p.m. Call for ticket information. • Eisenhower Hall Theatre. U.S. Military Academy campus, West Point. 845-938-4159 or www.ikehall.com

8 1/2

Catch a movie classic on the big screen at the Bardavon. Released in 1963, is Federico Fellini’s influential masterpiece about a film director (played by Marcello Mastroianni) suffering from “director’s block.” Rather than focus on the sci-fi movie he has lost all interest in making, the director mentally retreats into dreams and memories of earlier, happier times. Although panned by several noted critics when it opened, the film won two Academy Awards and was the inspiration behind the Broadway musical Nine. Apr. 8 at 7:30 p.m. $5. • Bardavon Opera House. 35 Market St., Poughkeepsie. 845-473-2072 or www.bardavon.org; UPAC — 845-339-6088 or www.upac.org

jay and silent bob

If you are a fan of Kevin Smith’s movies (such as Chasing Amy and Clerks), then you already know Jay and Silent Bob. These two fictional characters (played by Jason Mewes and Smith, respectively) are often shown hanging around the Quick Stop, harassing customers and taking part in other illegal activities. The pair recently released an original comedy podcast, “Jay and Silent Bob Get Old,” which they perform live at UPAC this month. Apr. 30 at 8 p.m. $40-$55. • Ulster Performing Arts Center. 601 Broadway, Kingston. 845-339-6088 or www.upac.org

spring crafts at lyndhurst

Yes, it’s only April — but it’s not too early to start thinking about Mother’s Day. Shop for Mom (and yourself) at Spring Crafts at Lyndhurst, an outdoor craft and food fair on the exquisite grounds of Lyndhurst (the former riverside estate of railroad tycoon Jay Gould). One-of-a-kind jewelry, furniture, ceramics, glass, paintings, textiles, and other wearable art — all are showcased by the 250-plus artisans at the show. And be sure to bring the kids — there are plenty of special activities for them, too. Apr. 29-May 1. Fri. & Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. $10, $9 seniors, $4 children 6-16, under 6 free. • Rte. 9, Tarrytown. 914-631-4481 or www.artrider.com

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