Hudson Valley Events: Fall Arts and Events Preview 2011

See what’s happening during the next 12 weekends of the Hudson Valley’s fall seasons: festivals, concerts, art exhibits, and more

The New York Renaissance Faire wraps up another season of fun, frolicking, and flagons of ale this month

Photograph by Mirna L. Falkner/New York Renaissance Faire

The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting cooler — but the fall social scene is as hot as last July’s heat wave. After a well-deserved summer hiatus, the area’s arts and entertainment venues are back in full swing, offering art exhibits, music, dance, comedy, theater, and film. And there are plenty of fall festivals, street fairs, arts and antiques shows, and other activities on tap in the region. We’ve put together a calendar of weekend events — more than 70 in all — taking place in the Valley between Labor Day and Thanksgiving. So forget the piles of leaves accumulating on your lawn — get out and have some fun!

The Temptations perform live at HITS-on-the-Hudson this month; we “ain’t too proud to beg” for an encore

No, it’s not a scene from a Where’s Waldo? book; Albany’s LarkFEST draws thousands of spectators to the city’s most popular street party on Sept. 17

You know their hits — “Roam,” “Love Shack,” “Rock Lobster;” the sassy B-52s kick out the jams at Ulster Performing Arts Center on Oct. 2

The acclaimed saxophonist David Sanborn brings his smooth R&B, pop, and jazz hits to Albany on Oct. 22

Join young Clara, the Sugar Plum fairies, and the Rat King for a unique performance of The Nutcracker by the Moscow Ballet on Nov. 12 in Albany




Weekend #1

Friday, September 2

  • Around the World in 80 Days The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival performs a stage version of this classic Jules Verne adventure story at Boscobel. Come early for a wine tasting prior to the show (
  • The Ladies Man A little white lie told to cover an embarrassing secret gets blown out of control in this bedroom farce at the Shadowland Theatre (
  • From Mannahatta to Kaaterskill At the Hudson River Museum, photographer Susan Wides presents large-scale images of the Valley that depict how the region has changed over the years (

Saturday, September 3

  • Elton John One of the most successful rock artists of all time comes to Bethel Woods to belt out classic hits like “Candle in the Wind,” “Tiny Dancer,” and “Rocket Man” (
  • Carrie Haddad Gallery Indulge the “grown-up” version of your inner child with the exhibit “Serious Play,” which features paintings layered on newspaper and Play-Doh sculptures (
  • Green Corn Festival Explore Native American history and culture with folk tales, storytelling, cooking demonstrations, and an interactive presentation of traditional dance at Philipsburg Manor (

Sunday, September 4

  • West Point Band The Military Academy’s musicians play Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture — complete with real cannon fire and a fireworks display — at the campus’s Trophy Point outdoor amphitheater (
  • New York Renaissance Faire Mix with magicians, feast on a turkey leg, and toast the jousting knights with a mug of ale at Tuxedo Park’s throwback to Elizabethan England (
  • Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center Get “A Taste for the Modern” at Vassar College. Donated by three Vassar alumnae, the works in this exhibit were created by artists such as Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Paul Klee, and Alfred Stieglitz (

Weekend #2

Friday, September 9

  • Roger McGuinn Former front man for the influential folk-rock group the Byrds, this Rock and Roll Hall of Famer performs his solo show at the Egg in Albany (
  • Blinky Palermo This collaborative exhibit at Dia:Beacon and CCS Bard presents more than 60 works by the German abstract artist. This is the first time that Palermo’s paintings have been exhibited in such depth in the U.S.; the show highlights his influence on postwar painting ( or
  • Always... Patsy Cline The Mac-Haydn Theatre offers a musical tribute to the legendary country star with songs like “Crazy,” “Walkin’ After Midnight,” and “I Fall to Pieces” (

Saturday, September 10

  • Hudson Valley Ramble Explore the region’s history and beauty during this unique and wide-ranging event. During the Ramble’s three weekends, participants can tour historic homes, attend fall festivals, take a hike, ride a bike or a boat, and enjoy dozens of other activities amid the autumn foliage (
  • Monroe Cheese Festival Say “cheese” at this annual fest honoring everyone’s favorite dairy product. Visitors can sample all kinds of cheeses while cheering for a favorite local act in the “Monroe Idol” contest (

Sunday, September 11

  • 9/11 Memorial Exhibit In memory of the 10th anniversary of September 11th, the New York State Museum showcases photographs that chronicle the effects of the tragedy on the past decade (
  • The Temptations Motown legends and multiple Grammy-winners the Temptations perform hits such as “My Girl” and “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone” at HITS-on-the-Hudson (
  • Hudson Valley Food & Wine Festival Hundreds of wines from New York and around the world — as well as food samples from some of the Valley’s best restaurants — await festivalgoers during this weekend-long event at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds (

Weekend #3

Friday, September 16

  • Fall Crafts at Lyndhurst Held at the former home of railroad tycoon Jay Gould, this event offers visitors the opportunity to browse and buy everything from jewelry and ceramics to paintings and textiles — as well as interact with the artists (
  • Lend Me a Tenor When a famous tenor agrees to sing at a gala fund-raiser, then fails to show up, the show must go on. Dressed as the tenor, a disguised assistant fools everyone, including the tenor’s wife. Chaos and hilarity ensue at this musical in Rhinebeck (
  • Friends of Historic Kingston Gallery Noted marine biologist, illustrator, and onetime Kingston resident Anton Otto Fischer — who illustrated dozens of covers for the Saturday Evening Post — has his stunning seascapes on view (

Weekend #4

Saturday, September 17

  • LarkFEST The 30th anniversary of upstate’s largest street festival promises hundreds of vendors, two stages of live music, the popular “Silent Disco” and, ­of course, tons of food (
  • Cornwall Fall Festival Celebrate the season with favorite fall activities. Shop for antiques, enjoy live music, and participate in a pie-eating contest (
  • Late Night with Leonard Bernstein Experience music the way Bernstein’s friends often did. The insomniac composer often entertained late into the night using a wide range of musical styles. Showcasing a performance of his favorite music, and hosted by his daughter, ­­this concert at Copland House is an apt tribute (

Sunday, September 18

  • Taste of New Paltz With tons of food from new and established local chefs and entertainment for adults and children, the 20th edition of this event should please the whole family (
  • Katonah Museum of Art “Double Solitaire: The Surreal Worlds of Kay Sage and Yves Tanguy” exhibits close to 50 paintings by the married pair of Surrealist painters and shows how the work of each artist was influenced by that of the other (

Friday, September 23

  • Strange Kozmic Experience This touring exhibit at the Bethel Woods Museum commemorates the lasting impression that the Doors, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix have left on popular culture. The collection includes journals, handwritten lyrics, wardrobe pieces, and concert memorabilia (
  • My Fair Lady Based on G.B. Shaw’s Pygmalion, this well-loved musical tells the story of Eliza Doolittle’s transformation ­­— with the help of teacher/love interest Henry Higgins — from a Cockney flower girl to a proper English lady at the Westchester Broadway Theatre (

Saturday, September 24

  • International Wine Showcase Oenophiles and philanthropists alike enjoy wine tastings, live blues music, a silent auction, and a four-course dinner while supporting therapy programs for people with disabilities at this fund-raiser (
  • Hudson Valley Garlic Festival A Valley favorite, this tribute to the pungent bulb attracts more than 40,000 people. The two-day festival features five stages of local entertainment, arts and crafts vendors, and thousands of garlic-infused dishes (
  • Westchester Jazz Orchestra The WJO hosts an open-mike night at Irvington Town Hall Theater with Grammy-winning saxophonist and composer Joe Lovano as they premiere new works commissioned for the show (

Sunday, September 25

  • George Thorogood Blues-rock guitar master George Thorogood — along with his band, the Destroyers — comes to Albany to prove he is still “Bad to the Bone” (
  • Armonk Outdoor Art Show With 188 artists from 27 states, the 50th anniversary of this event showcases art in all different media, from oils to sculpture to wearable art. And it’s all for sale (
  • Woodstock Film Festival Check out the work of local and international filmmakers during this celebration of independent cinema. Attend screenings of more than 100 films, concerts, workshops, panel discussions, and parties (

Weekend #5

Friday, September 30

  • Jim Gaffigan This actor/comedian brings his award-winning food-based comedy act — with jokes about common products like bacon and Hot Pockets — to the Bardavon (
  • The Glass Menagerie Tennessee Williams’s semiautobiographical drama deals with emotional hardship, the failure of family structures, and broken promises (




Saturday, October 1

Poughkeepsie Regatta
Relive the glory days of the Hudson as crews from five colleges (including Marist) reenact the 130-year-old Intercollegiate Rowing Association regatta — previously held on the river for 40 consecutive years. The four-mile race ends at the Walkway Over the Hudson

Walden Harvest Festival
Bring the whole gang to this fall festival, with food and craft vendors, a carnival, and fun contests like pie-eating, cupcake baking, frog jumping, and “Walden Idol”

Kid’s Expo
This two-day event, taking place on the Walkway Over the Hudson and the Poughkeepsie Waterfront, provides hands-on fun and interactive educational activities for children and their families

Sunday, October 2

Warwick Applefest
Named one of the “Top 100 Events in North America” by the American Bus Association, this fest features crafts, entertainment, and many different types of apples and apple dishes

Thomas Cole Historic Site
A self-taught artist, Robert S. Duncanson is the first landscape painter of African descent to gain international recognition. The first East Coast exhibit of his work takes place at the onetime home of Hudson River School artist Thomas Cole, who influenced Duncanson to become a landscape painter

The B-52s
Break out of your “love shack” to party with this eclectic rock and roll band, who perform all their hits at UPAC


Friday, October 7

Sugar Loaf Fall Festival
Vendors from throughout the tristate area sell handmade crafts as well as delicious food; there’ll be live outdoor music and activities for the little ones, too

Dancing at Lughnasa
After playing to sold-out audiences in March, the Schoolhouse Theater brings back this Tony Award-winning drama for an encore presentation. Five unmarried sisters struggle to make a living while caught between strict Catholic ideals and the paganism of their Irish hometown

Saturday, October 8

Rhinebeck Antiques Fair
Now in its 35th year, this indoor antiques show promises to offer “something for everyone’s pocketbook.” Dozens of vendors show off American and European furniture, artwork, porcelain, and accessories of all kinds

Horseman’s Hollow
Ready to be scared out of your wits? With creatures lurking in the shadows and creepy special effects, you’ll need your bravest face when you check out this twist on a haunted house at Philipsburg Manor

Sunday, October 9

Hunter Mountain Oktoberfest
Break out the lederhosen for this German-themed celebration of the harvest, featuring a farmers market, vendors, crafts, and pumpkin painting

Neuberger Museum of Art
Contemporary artist Dana Schutz juxtaposes fantasy and reality in the 30 paintings and 12 drawings on view at Purchase College


Friday, October 14

Joan Rivers
Rivers has worn many hats during her career, including comedienne, best-selling author, Tony-nominated actress, playwright, radio host, and Emmy winner. She brings her uncensored stand-up routine to Tarrytown Music Hall

Dial “M” for Murder
This murder mystery at the Ghent Playhouse describes how marrying for money can sometimes lead to killing for it ­— although even the best-laid murder plans can be thwarted when the victim refuses to go down without a fight

Saturday, October 15

Hudson Valley Philharmonic
The Phil presents “Viva Vivaldi!” — a concert spotlighting compositions by the well-loved Italian composer, as well as by Mozart and Liszt — at the Bardavon

Pumpkin Festival
Celebrate fall’s best-loved crop with pumpkin rolling, pumpkin painting, and a guess-the-weight-of-the-pumpkin contest at Orange County’s Hill-Hold Museum

Sunday, October 16

Westchester Fine Craft Show
Formerly known as the Westchester Craft Show, this annual juried event showcases contemporary American designs from a carefully selected group of artists from throughout the country

Rock of Ages
Wannabe rock star Drew and aspiring actress Sherrie take on L.A. in this ’80s-era arena-rock musical, set to songs by Poison, Pat Benatar, Styx, and other glam metal bands


Friday, October 21

The Gibson Brothers
This bluegrass duo — whose CD Ring the Bell won two International Bluegrass Music Awards ­— returns to upstate New York to perform at the Emelin Theatre

Andrew Bird
This young musician sets himself apart with his intricately crafted pop songs about the laments of modern man. Catch him at the Tarrytown Music Hall

Saturday, October 22

Christine Lavin
This spontaneous songstress’s observations on everyday life, presented with empathy and humor, are sure to bring laughter to audiences at the Towne Crier Cafe

David Sanborn
Described as one of the most influential saxophonists over the last 20 years, Sanborn brings his unique blend of jazz, instrumental pop, and R&B to the Egg

Sunday, October 23

New Deal for Youth
Mounted in conjunction with the Roosevelt Historic Site in Hyde Park, this exhibit of furniture, pewter, textiles, photographs, documents, and videos helps explain the development of Eleanor Roosevelt’s Val-Kill Industries, and the craft center she helped create in Woodstock

Taconic Opera
Verdi’s Nabucco, an opera containing one of the most difficult soprano roles ever written, concerns the biblical story of the Jews’ exile from Babylon. Taconic Opera tackles the score in Yorktown Heights


Friday, October 28

La Cage Aux Folles
What happens when the son of a gay couple brings his fiancée’s ultraconservative parents home to meet his family? The answer: mistaken identity, chaos, and lots of laughs all around at Proctors

Saturday, October 29

Audra McDonald
This Tony and Grammy Award-winning chanteuse comes to Purchase to showcase her multifaceted talents as she sings songs from her new solo album

Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood
Love improv comedy? Watch these quick-witted comedians from TV’s Whose Line Is It Anyway? at UPAC as they put together an original show based on suggestions from the audience

Sunday, October 30

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze
If one carved pumpkin isn’t enough for your Halloween celebration, how about more than 4,000 of them? This event at Van Cortlandt Manor has dinosaurs, ghosts, spider webs, fish, flowers, and more — all made from jack-o’-lanterns



Friday, November 4

Faith Healer
Brian Friel’s drama is told through monologues from faith healer Frank Hardy, his wife Grace, and his manager Teddy. The characters share their differing perspectives regarding the legitimacy of Frank’s healing powers

Saturday, November 5

CCS Bard
Conceived as a complementary show to the Blinky Palermo exhibit (see Sept. 9 listing),  “If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home by Now” examines the “life” of an art object as influenced by the context in which it is viewed

Sunday, November 6

Chappaqua Antiques and Design Show
More than 50 East Coast antiques dealers offer their treasures — while a certified antiques appraiser and two interior design consultants give advice about incorporating antiques into the home


Friday, November 11

Herman’s Hermits
See this British pop band — with original lead singer Peter Noone and special guest Lou Christie — jam to ’60s hits like “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter” at the Paramount in Peekskill

Woodstock Chamber Orchestra
The orchestra presents the second concert in its Music Director Search series at Olin Hall at Bard College with pieces by Mozart, Grieg, and others

Saturday, November 12

Moscow Ballet
Pirouette into the holiday season with the “Great Russian Nutcracker” at the Palace Theatre. This holiday classic features 40 Russian dancers interpreting Tchaikovsky’s famous score in front of hand-painted sets with 3-D effects

Tom Rush
Credited by Rolling Stone with “ushering in the era of the singer/songwriter,” this American folk music sensation comes to the Emelin Theatre to play songs that have shaped the genre for more than 40 years

Sunday, November 13 

Westchester Philharmonic
The Philharmonic is joined by Ann Hobson Pilot ­— a harpist for the Boston Symphony for 40 years, and the first African-American women to win a principal chair with a major orchestra

Bill Maher
Nominated for 21 Emmys, this TV host is known for pushing the boundaries of political commentary. Catch his unflinchingly honest ­— but always humorous — take on politics and society at UPAC


Friday, November 18

Man of La Mancha
When Miguel de Cervantes and his sidekick are thrown in jail, they prepare their defense by enlisting the inmates to act out the story of Don Quixote, the greatest knight in history, reminding us all to “dream the impossible dream”

Saturday, November 19

Air Pirates Radio
This unique mix of interactive theater and radio drama plays its final show of the year at the Lycian Center tonight. Help the six-actor cast — all of whom play multiple roles, even talking to themselves as different characters — by creating sound effects

Don McLean
A former Hudson Valley Troubadour (and a member of the first crew of the Sloop Clearwater), McLean returns to his home turf to perform his signature song, “American Pie,” along with other classic hits from his 40-plus-year career

Sunday, November 20

Miniature and Dollhouse Show
A Rockland County tradition, this exhibit of miniature dolls, furniture, toys, and other whimsical items is a great way to get the kids — and your inner child — ready for the holiday season


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