Senior Editor Polly Sparling lists her top picks for July 2010
We all know about the Hudson River School artists, and the important part their landscapes played in immortalizing our region in the 19th century. What you might not know is that it was printmakers Currier & Ives who popularized these views for the masses. Currier & Ives on the Hudson, which opens at Boscobel’s art gallery this month, showcases close to 30 prints done by the firm, which depict West Point, the Hudson Highlands, and other iconic Valley views. July 4-Oct. 11. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Exhibit and grounds fee: $12, $11 seniors, $6 children ($16/$13/$8 with house tour included). • Rte. 9D, Garrison. 845-265-3638, ext. 115 or www.boscobel.org
Enjoy a performance by an icon of American music and support a worthy cause – a win-win event, for sure. Pete Seeger & Friends are featured at an outdoor concert on the lawn at Washington’s Headquarters, overlooking the Hudson River waterfront in the City of Newburgh. All proceeds go to Newburgh Habitat for Humanity to help build its next home. Bring the family and sing along. July 3, 1-4 p.m. $10 advance, $15 at the show, kids under 12 free with an adult. • Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site. Corner of Liberty and Washington Streets, Newburgh. 845-568-6035 or www.habitatnewburgh.org
For 95 years — that’s right, almost a century — chamber music lovers have made their way to a rustic building in Woodstock for the Maverick Concerts. This year’s program is organized around three “romantic” composers — Samuel Barber, Schumann, and Chopin — from three different eras. The full slate of 11 concerts this month includes performances by the Shanghai Quartet, folksinger Happy Traum, Trio Solisti, and the Imani Winds. The series runs through Sept. 5. Call or visit Web site for complete schedule and ticket information. • Maverick Rd., Woodstock. 845-679-8217 or www.maverickconcerts.org
Say what you will about Broadway, there are some theater experiences that can only be savored “upstate.” And the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival is undoubtedly one of them. Watching this talented troupe of actors perform outdoors — with the Hudson Highlands as a backdrop — is a summer highlight for culture mavens from zip codes around the region. On the bill this year: Troilus and Cressida, one of the Bard’s lesser-known romances (opens July 3); the popular comedy The Taming of the Shrew; and The Bomb-itty of Errors, a comic hip hop version of The Comedy of Errors. All three plays are offered throughout the summer; call or visit Web site for complete schedule. $29-$47. • Rte. 9D, Garrison. 845-265-7858 or www.hvshakespeare.org
Although not nearly as successful as that other rock and roll guy from the Jersey shore, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes continue to have a loyal following throughout the metro-New York region. Formed in the late ’70s, the group’s original recordings (I Don’t Want To Go Home, Hearts of Stone) were a mixture of rock and blues, punched up by a full horn section. Released last month, Pills and Ammo — the band’s latest CD — harkens back to the hard-driving riffs of those early LPs. Have a party with Southside at the Tarrytown Music Hall. July 22 at 8 p.m. $55-$60. • 13 Main St., Tarrytown. 877-840-0457 or www.tarrytownmusichall.org
Keep your eyes to the skies over the July 4 weekend, when the Mid-Hudson Balloon Festival wafts through the Valley. Sponsored by the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce, this annual event features balloon launches (weather permitting) from various area locations. Besides watching these airships inflate and ascend into the blue, festivalgoers at Poughkeepsie’s Waryas Park will be treated to live entertainment: Bill Gillespie’s Jazz Pioneers perform on Friday evening, and a fireworks display lights up the night on Sunday. July 2-4. Launch times: Fri. 6 p.m., Sat. 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., Sun. 6 a.m. • For more complete information, check www.dcrcoc.org.