Events: Out & About in May 2012

Rockin’ on the mountain, new theater in Tivoli, Lightfoot comes to call in Kingston


Catskills confab

The grandchild of the iconic 1969 Woodstock festival, Mountain Jam brings more than 50 bands to the Catskills for a four-day weekend of music, art, and environmental awareness. Headliners this year include British rock superstar Steve Winwood (formerly of Traffic and Blind Faith), Gov’t Mule (featuring onetime Allman Brothers guitarist Warren Haynes), and the Tedeschi Trucks band (which won the Best Blues Album Grammy for 2011’s Revelator). Unlike its predecessor, however, this fest includes amenities like an Awareness Village (with exhibits, children’s activities, and a wine and beer garden) and luxury pre-pitched tents for camping. May 31-June 3. Call or visit Web site for ticket information. Hunter Mountain. 888-512-7469 or

levon helm

Folk-rock favorites

A pair of music legends takes the stage at the Ulster Performing Arts Center in May. Master singer/songwriter Gordon Lightfoot — whose folk-rock compositions were recorded by marquee singers from Presley to Streisand — appears on the 11th. Lightfoot’s baritone and 12-string acoustic guitar create a signature sound that’s easy to recognize on hits like “If You Could Read My Mind” and “Sundown” (8 p.m. $49-$65). Two weeks later, Woodstock’s own Levon Helm celebrates his 72nd birthday with a festive concert full of surprise musical guests — including bluesman G. Love and the roots-music based Wood Brothers (May 25 at 8 p.m. $65-$100). 601 Broadway, Kingston. 845-339-6088 or

UPDATE: We offer our sincerest condelences to Mr. Helm’s family and friends for their loss. Read our favorite articles about Mr. Helm here

Floral fête

Horticulturists head across the border to nearby Sharon, Connecticut for Trade Secrets, one of the Northeast’s grandest gardening events. The weekend-long bash begins on Saturday at Lion Rock Farm; more than 60 vendors offer their rarest plants and most interesting antiques for sale (don’t be surprised if you bump into Martha Stewart, who attends this show each year). On Sunday, attendees can take a self-guided tour of four beautifully maintained local gardens. Organized by volunteers, this event raises funds for victims of domestic violence. May 19-20. Sat. 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. admission $35, Sun. $60 in advance, $70 on the day. Call or visit Web site for directions. 860-364-1080 or

the good father

Stage direction

This month, Tivoli’s Tangent Theatre Company mounts the American premiere of The Good Father by Irish playwright Christian O’Reilly. Comedic and poignant by turns, the play examines the relationship that develops between two people when their one-night stand results in pregnancy. The company has an affinity for Irish dramas — they’ve done versions of John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt and Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, among others — and this particular work “offers an emotionally truthful look at two very human characters, where love isn’t a storybook,” says Artistic Director (and male lead) Michael Rhodes (left). May 3-26. Thurs.-Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 3 p.m. $20. The Carpenter Shop Theater. 60 Broadway, Tivoli. 845-230-7020 or

Natural selection

Works by 72 artists from around the globe are on display in Focus on Nature XII at the New York State Museum. The 12th edition of this biennial exhibit showcases art that is not only beautiful to look at, but depicts a subject taken from the natural world — either biological, geological, or archeological — with scientific accuracy and technical skill. Executed in a variety of media from traditional watercolors to digitally rendered images, these works illustrate how art can be used to communicate scientific facts and observations. Mon.-Sat. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. through Dec. 31. Empire State Plaza, Albany. 518-474-5877 or


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