Events: Polly’s Editor’s Picks in April 2014

Senior Editor Polly Sparling lists her top event picks for April 2014


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With bold geometric shapes and vivid colors, the art created in the 1980s has an unmistakable look. But do the asymmetric lines and Day-Glo colors suggest a deeper message than simply artistic playfulness? 1980s Style, currently on view at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, highlights prints, photographs, and jewelry from the museum’s collection by a number of artists, such as Judy Pfaff, Richard Bosman, and Andy Warhol. Taken together, the works reveal a measure of artistic activism — as well as emotional turmoil. Wed.-Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. through July 13. SUNY New Paltz campus. 1 Hawk Dr., New Paltz. 845-257-3844 or newpaltz.edu/museum

Folk-rock doyennes the Indigo Girls play the Tarrytown Music Hall this month. These high-school friends turned Grammy-winning musicians are known for hits in the early ’90s like “Closer to Fine” and “Galileo”; the duo’s signature vocal harmonies are often wrapped around songs with a serious political or social message. Apr. 20 at 8 p.m. $48-$75. 13 Main St., Tarrytown. 877-840-0457 or tarrytownmusichall.org

Improv meets musical theater in Broadway’s Next Hit Musical. This unscripted two-act show begins with a fictitious awards ceremony (think the Tonys), during which four songs from the “Best Musical” nominees — based on titles suggested by the audience — are conceived and performed by the cast. The audience then votes for its favorite ditty, which in Act Two is transformed into a full-blown — but completely improvised — musical. Apr. 25 at 8 p.m. $20-$28. Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. 30 Second St., Troy. 518-273-0038 or troymusichall.org

The 1971 police drama The French Connection broke cinematic ground for its gritty, realistic look at New York’s drug trade. Based on a true story, the film follows a pair of narcotics detectives (Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider) as they track down a heroin smuggler from Europe. The flick earned five Oscars, including Best Picture (the first R-rated film ever to be so honored); the car chase — some of the near-collisions were real, not staged — and Hackman’s humorous Poughkeepsie mention are legendary. Apr. 18 at 7:30 p.m. $6. The Bardavon Opera House. 35 Market St., Poughkeepsie. 845-473-2072 or bardavon.org

Fans of Pink Floyd — the progressive British band known for hugely successful concept albums like The Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall — will no doubt cheer the appearance of Brit Floyd at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center. Dubbed the Discovery World Tour 2014, this tribute band’s new show includes songs from all 14 of Pink Floyd’s LPs — from 1967’s The Piper at the Gates of Dawn to 1994’s The Division Bell — as well as the band’s signature arch and circle light show. Apr. 5 at 8 p.m. $29-$39. 14 Civic Center Plaza, Poughkeepsie. 845-454-5800 or midhudsoncivicenter.org

Quirky composer and multi-instrumentalist Michael Hearst — along with a five-piece band — performs his composition, Songs for Unusual Creatures, at the Hudson Opera House. This 16-movement piece is dedicated to the blobfish, the Australian bilby, the magnapinna squid, and various other strange and exotic animals from around the globe. An audio-visual presentation accompanies the performance, during which Hearst plays a variety of instruments — the theremin, claviola, and daxophone, to name three — that are almost as oddball as the critters he glorifies. Apr. 26. Family matinée 2 p.m., evening performance 7 p.m. $18, $10 children. 327 Warren St., Hudson. 518-822-1438 or hudsonoperahouse.org

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