Polly’s Picks

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

Woodstock denizen Levon Helm heads south to Tarrytown for a show at the Music Hall. A founding member of the seminal group the Band, Helm is a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and multi-Grammy winner (most recently for his 2009 release, Electric Dirt, which nabbed top honors in the Best Americana Album category). Opening for Helm is JJ Grey, an up-and-coming blues/Southern rock specialist. March 18 at 8 p.m. $68-$105. • 13 Main St., Tarrytown. 877-840-0457 or www.tarrytownmusichall.org

graphic design get the message

Visual communication — the use of text and images to convey a message — has been around since the late 1700s, when broadsides were first printed to advertise goods (and communicate political ideas). Since that time, the graphic arts have exploded as a medium, influencing both our buying habits and our culture. Graphic Design — Get the Message! showcases posters, package designs, paintings and decorative arts, and interactive computer images in an effort to show how the field has changed over the years — and how it has changed us. Wed.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 12-5 p.m. through June 12. $10, $8 seniors & students with ID, $6 children. • Albany Institute of History & Art. 125 Washington Ave., Albany. 518-463-4478 or www.albanyinstitute.org

lord of the dance

Get your Irish up: Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance, a Celtic music and dance extravaganza, taps its way into Ike Hall at West Point. Based on Irish myths and folklore, the dancers tell the story of an epic battle between good and evil. (There is, of course, also a love story, just for good measure.) Precision footwork, vibrant costumes, and creative staging all combine to make this an evening of high-energy entertainment. March 5 at 8 p.m. Call for ticket information. • Eisenhower Hall Theatre. U.S.M.A. campus, West Point. 845-938-4159 or www.ikehall.org

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natalie merchant

Natalie Merchant — the Tivoli resident whose velvety alto shines on mega-hits like “Carnival” and “Jealousy” — joins the Bard College Conservatory of Music Orchestra in a concert benefiting the conservatory’s scholarship fund. On the program: selections from Merchant’s 2010 release, Leave Your Sleep, which includes musical adaptations of poetry written by e.e. cummings, Odgen Nash, and Robert Louis Stevenson (among others). March 5 at 8 p.m. $60-$200. • Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson. 845-758-7900 or http://fishercenter.bard.edu

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