PLUS: What to add to your Netflix queue this month.
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With most of the dance performances we see, the choreography and artists have barely reached their 100th anniversaries. Big whoop. Instead, why not take in an art form that’s been around for several millennia. Shen Yun Performing Arts showcases parts of traditional Chinese culture, including classical music and dance. Fine, there’s some new bits thrown in the mix, too, including original compositions for the Shen Yun orchestra and high-tech digital backgrounds they perform in front of. Everything comes together to express both ancient legends and modern tales of courage, and you can see it all at the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College on August 22.
Life is good for singer/songwriter Josh Ritter. After conquering the world with his previous album, The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter, this May returns with a follow-up, So Runs the World Away. (Perhaps you heard his single, “Change of Time,” on the radio.) All Music Guide calls the album “equally steeped in Southern and Midwest Gothic Americana,” and Spin magazine writes that “Ritter’s wordplay can be dense, but his warm, inviting voice makes it a pleasure to unravel.” Want to try for yourself? Ritter will perform at the Tarrytown Music Hall on August 7.
At Your Mercer
When you think of classic songs like “Moon River” and “The Days of Wine and Roses,” of course you remember the timeless melodies—but you shouldn’t overlook the evocative lyrics. Johnny Mercer wrote—and won Oscars—for both those songs, as well as unforgettable numbers like “Jeepers Creepers,” “Fools Rush In,” and “Summer Wind.” This month, noted cabaret star Andrea Marcovicci brings those words to life with her show, “Skylark: Andrea Marcovicci Sings Johnny Mercer,” on August 21. (She’ll throw in some tunes by Mercer contemporaries like Harold Arlen, Jerome Kern, Hoagy Charmichael, and Henry Mancini, too.) The event is a benefit for Copland House at Merestead, with proceeds going toward renovations at the manor, and ticket prices include light bistro fare and a post-concert reception with Marcovicci.
A Likely Story
Texting is terrific and all, but you can never really tell a truly great story via text. Experience the lost art of storytelling at the Mohegan Colony’s 10th Annual Storytelling/Music Festival on August 14. Some of the most esteemed professional storytellers, including Hudson Valley favorite Jonathan Kruk, will gather alongside poets, writers, and musicians for a day of performances on two stages. Stick around after sunset, when torches and candles will be lit and the program will switch to spooky ghost stories. If you’re feeling inspired, you also can sign up for the open mic. The whole thing takes place at the historic Mohegan Colony in Crompond.
Photo by Tom O’Connell
Our waterfront is everything. We head to the Hudson or the Sound when we’re looking for entertainment, a gorgeous alfresco view, or just a place to relax. Sure, our rivers may be the center of county life now, but what role did they play in the 18th and early 19th centuries? Find out at River Day, which takes place August 1 at Van Cortlandt Manor. There, your family can take a ride on the river, try fishing, and even help build a boat with local organizations. Landlubbers can participate in drier activities, like hearth cooking, brick making, and storytelling.