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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.

3 Owens Road
Croton Falls,
NY
US

A philosopher once called theater “the mask of convention over the face of society in the mirror of the unknown reflecting the rear-view of the sports car of destiny.” Take a test drive in Shakespeare’s sports car with today’s Groupon: for $20, you get a general-admission ticket to The Bomb-itty of Errors at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival (up to a $47 value). See the schedule for available show dates and times.

Located on the stunning grounds of the Boscobel House overlooking the Hudson River, the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival envelops theatergoers in a critically acclaimed outdoor theater experience-blanket. This season, viewers can lend an eye and ear to the company as they perform The Bomb-itty of Errors, a rap adaptation of Shakespeare's classic, The Comedy of Errors, and a superb way to introduce first-timers to the Bard. For the stage sharks who have seen the original, the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival will challenge their prior conceptions through reinterpretation and distilled action for a fresh approach that warrants a Shakespearean double take.

Make the most of your evening out by starting it early with a picnic on the Boscobel grounds. Pack a basket of food and drinks to share with a date or friendly albatross, or order a meal and a bottle of wine when you order your tickets and pick it up when you arrive. Edibles include a vegetarian salad medley ($16), tandoori chicken breast ($18), and poached salmon filet ($22), which you can pair with a bottle of cabernet, chardonnay, or merlot (all bottles are $20; click here to see a full menu). When your belly is stuffed to the gills, head to the tent to digest the sights and sounds of hip-hoppity versification.

Reviews

The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival has received praise for its adaptations of Shakespeare's classic. The Wall Street Journal raves about the festival, and LoHud.com wrote a glowing review of The Bomb-itty of Errors.

  • The shows are bright and lively, the performers engaging, the setting gorgeous, the atmosphere joyous. I won't say that it's impossible to have a bad time at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival -- some people are inexplicably resistant to pleasure -- but I've been going to Garrison for four summers now, and my annual visit has become one of the most eagerly awaited dates on my theatrical calendar. – Terry Teachout, Wall Street Journal
  • Purists might take issue with taking the bard out of his iambic parameters and putting him into the rap world, but Shakespeare’s unlikeliest of stories remains intact. – Peter D. Kramer, LoHud.com
1601 Route 9D
Cold Spring,
NY
US

SFJazz Collective's eight-maestro cast, known for its enthralling tributes to jazz masters such as Coltrane and Monk, immerses audiences in an aural carnival of funk as they tackle the soulful repertoire of Stevie Wonder. The crafty collective fuses their eclectic imaginations to Wonder’s wondrous Motown recordings, forging new adventures in sonic architecture with the talents of Grammy-nominated alto saxophonist Antonio Hart, acclaimed trumpeter Avishai Cohen, and rising star vibraphonist and Whac-A-Mole champion Stefon Harris. From funk institutions such as “Superstition” to the brassy barnstorm of “Sir Duke,” the band’s jazzy chops sweetens Stevie Wonder’s slinky syncopations like warm maple syrup drizzled on a hot stack of gold records.

1008 Brown Street
Peekskill,
NY
US