Polly's Picks

Senior Editor Polly Sparling lists her top event picks for November 2010

There are two noteworthy exhibits at the Catskill Gallery this month. Wish You Were Here showcases works by 13 artists which celebrate the flora and fauna of the 700,000-acre Catskill Park. A multimedia event, the show offers paintings, photographs, videos — as well as works fashioned from found objects, rocks and twigs, even dried mushrooms. A Sense of Place presents poems and other writings by Dr. Bruce Hopkins with accompanying illustrations by his late brother, Barry Hopkins (a well-loved local art teacher and arts council member). Both exhibits on view through Nov. 13. Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; second and third Saturdays, 12-8 p.m. • 398 Main St., Catskill. 518-943-3400 or www.greenearts.org

lara st. john

Not yet 30 years old, Canadian-born violinist Lara St. John started performing at the tender age of 10, and has already appeared as a soloist with a slew of North American orchestras (including those located in Cleveland and Philadelphia). She has studied the violin in London and Moscow, as well as at the New England Conservatory of Music, and been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered. St. John makes her debut with the Troy Chromatic Concerts series on Nov. 14 at 3 p.m. $30-$35. • Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. 30 Second St., Troy. 518-273-0038 or www.troychromaticconcerts.org

jake's women

Poor Jake. A novelist with writer’s block, he’s surrounded by women: his free-spirited second wife, Maggie; bossy sister, Karen; precocious daughter, Molly; and opinionated psychiatrist, Edith. Faced with a crumbling marriage, Jake begins to seek advice from “fantasy” versions of each of these ladies — with hilarious (and sometimes moving) results. Catch M&M Productions’ version of Neil Simon’s Jake’s Women at the Eastchester Public Library (Nov. 7 at 2 p.m.), the Hendrick Hudson Free Library in Montrose (Nov. 14 at 2 p.m.), and the Ossining Public Library (Nov. 18 at 7:30 p.m.). • www.mmpaci.com

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pink martini

The fall arts season is in full swing at UPAC. First up: Pink Martini, the 12-member “little orchestra” which plays a multilingual mix of jazz, classical, and pop music (Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. $45-$61). On Nov. 18, the Grammy-nominated alt-rock quartet, Barenaked Ladies, breezes into town. With hits like “One Week” and “If I Had a Million Dollars,” BNL has become one of the world’s best-selling bands; their 11th album, All in Good Time, was released this year (7:30 p.m. $59). And the “bad boy of cuisine,” Anthony Bourdain, shares tales of his travels for his popular TV series, No Reservations (Nov. 21 at 5 p.m. $45-$100). • Ulster Performing Arts Center. 601 Broadway, Kingston. 845-339-6088 or www.upac.org

mount gulian

History comes alive when costumed interpreters play the roles of James F. Brown (a fugitive slave who won his freedom) and Mary Anna Verplanck (an antebellum mistress), both of whom lived at Mount Gulian Historic Site in the mid-19th century. Their stories shed light on the social roles played by African Americans and women during that tumultuous era. Nov. 7 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. $8, $6 seniors, $4 children (admission includes house tour). • 145 Sterling St., Beacon. 845-831-8172 or www.mountgulian.org

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