The Schoolhouse Theater really did start as an elementary school. But in 1983, founder Lee Pope turned it into a visual arts center. And four years later, she invited the New York company Acorn Productions to put on a show in the auditorium. That play did more than pack the house—it also signaled the former school's birth as a haven for community theater.
Since then, The Schoolhouse Theater has developed the second part of its moniker. Theatrical amenities were added and theatrical ghosts politely asked to leave, and in 1998, the building was officially designated as a non-profit, professional regional theater. Along with stateside premieres and revivals of beloved classics, the company has staged productions that have successfully rocketed their way to Off Broadway. And while the space has now moved on from its grade-school days, it continues its educational legacy by hosting classes on topics such as photography and dance.
Located on the 250-acre grounds of historic Boscobel, overlooking the Hudson River, the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival envelops theatergoers in worlds long past. Its inaugural production of A Midsummer Night's Dream in 1987 carved a path of critical acclaim for it to expand into summer-long festivals, ongoing educational outreach, and artist-in-residence programs. The organization's canon even extends past that of the Bard on occasion: past seasons have taken on The Three Musketeers and Tartuffe.
• For $35, you get a one-day festival ticket for Saturday, June 18 (up to a $70 value). • For $35, you get a one-day festival ticket for Sunday, June 19 (up to a $70 value). • For $70, you get a weekend pass for both days of the festival (up to a $95 value).
Winners of the 2011 Grammy Award for best contemporary jazz album, the Stanley Clarke Band makes its first-ever appearance in Westchester on the historic stage of Tarrytown Music Hall. Leading the talented troupe of musicians, legendary bassist Stanley Clarke infuses each jazzy arrangement with a rhythmic pulse more graceful than a bald eagle singing “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Clarke's remarkable career—which began in the early 1970s—includes innovative work on multiple instruments, numerous film scores, and a lengthy discography that spans classical, jazz, R & B, and pop genres. Built in 1885, Tarrytown Music Hall has stood as a fitting abode to prodigious performers such as Joan Baez, Dizzy Gillespie, and Bruce Springsteen. Noted for its superb acoustics, the century-old institution has also played host to powerful guests such as the Rockefellers, who frequented the hall's elaborate flower shows and championship charades tournaments.
Hard-rock juggernauts Five Finger Death Punch give audiences four for flinching on their Share The Welt tour, a high-octane evening of nail-driving metal and chugging aural concrete. Since bursting onto the scene in 2007 with its gold-selling debut, The Way of the Fist, Five Finger Death Punch has scaled the charts and the musical food chain, gulping its competition like a possessed Takeru Kobayashi. For the tour in support of its latest effort, American Capitalist, the gang enlists an entire posse of heavy hitters. Massachusetts metal mavens All That Remains, fresh from melting soles on the Vans Warped Tour, bludgeon audiences with an arsenal of hits, and hardcore shredders Hatebreed share unkind words as they haze the speed of sound. Adding power-chord crunch to the show, Fort Wayne’s Rains sprinkles audiences with raw and emotional sonic sleet.
The consortium of professional instructors at the many Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.