Polly's Picks

Senior Editor Polly Sparling lists her top picks for August 2010

As a young artist, Edward Avedisian made a splash in the ’60s with his color field paintings (which are now part of the permanent collections at MoMA, the Guggenheim, and other major museums). He subsequently renounced the art world that was so enthusiastically embracing him, moved to Hudson, and started painting flat, colorful landscapes — which often featured men working in farm fields or on pickup trucks. Avedisian died in 2007; the Carrie Haddad Gallery presents the first retrospective of his work (including some previously unseen paintings from his early years). Aug. 12-Sept. 19. Thurs.-Mon. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. • 622 Warren St., Hudson. 518-828-1915 or www.carriehaddadgallery.com

ocean's eleven

Cops and robbers for grown-ups: “The Big Score” is this month’s series at the Jacob Burns Film Center. The title refers to the intricately planned heist that is the centerpiece of each of the 20 movies on the docket — from The Asphalt Jungle (with Marilyn Monroe) and To Catch a Thief (a Hitchcock classic starring Grace Kelly) to the original Ocean’s Eleven with the infamous Rat Pack (Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, and Sammy Davis, Jr.). Aug. 6-Sept. 2. Call or visit Web site for complete schedule. $11, $8 seniors, $6.50 children under 12. • 364 Manville Rd., Pleasantville. 914-747-5555 or www.burnsfilmcenter.org

What’s hotter than the August sun? The lineup of shows at Bethel Woods this month, of course. After a blistering June and July — with concerts featuring the likes of Ringo Starr, Santana, Dave Matthews, and Sting — the Valley’s newest summer music venue keeps the heat on in August with an equally impressive list of headliners. To wit: John Mayer and Train (Aug. 4 at 8 p.m.); O.A.R. and Citizen Cope (Aug. 7 at 8 p.m.); Pat Benatar and REO Speedwagon (Aug. 28 at 7 p.m.); and Crosby, Stills & Nash (Aug. 31 at 8 p.m.). Call or visit Web site for ticket information. • 200 Hurd Rd., Bethel. 866-781-2922 or www.bethelwoodscenter.org

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kingston artists' soapbox derby

Part road rally, part art exhibit, the annual Kingston Artists’ Soapbox Derby has its 16th running this month. Participants — many of whom are area artists — “race” down a three-block stretch of lower Broadway in non-motorized vehicles of their own (wild and wacky) creation. Judges choose the winners based on creativity, not speed; past awards have gone to a giant topiary, a toaster (complete with crumbs), and a dinosaur fashioned out of 1,000 wrenches. Aug. 22 at 1 p.m. • 845-338-8473 or www.artistsoapboxderby.com

Talk about having something for everybody: This month’s lineup at the Egg covers all the musical bases. The multiple Grammy-winning country singer and guitarist Doc Watson starts things off with a concert on the first (7:30 p.m., $34.50), followed by “Bad to the Bone” rockers George Thorogood and the Destroyers (Aug. 6 at 8 p.m. $42.50). Known as the “godfather of the British blues,” multi-instrumentalist John Mayall roars in on the 11th (8 p.m., $34.50); classical music fans can catch the Ajkun Ballet Theatre’s production of Swan Lake on the 14th (7:30 p.m. $29; $17 seniors & children). The month concludes with Menopause The Musical, a hilarious look at female life after 50 with parodies — “Puff, My God I’m Draggin’ ” and “Stayin’ Awake” — of songs from the ’60s through the ’80s (Aug. 17-25, $45-$55, call for times). • Empire State Plaza, Albany. 518-473-1845 or www.theegg.org

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