That is the thing about nature: There is so much of it.
– Dowager countess of Grantham, Downton Abbey
Romeo and Juliet with teenaged cast at Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck
Methinks one of my favorite takeaways from high school Literature class is knowing that the meaning of “wherefore” is “why,” such as in the renowned quote, “O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?” If the closest that your family has come to this Shakespearean romance is Gnomeo and Juliet in 3-D, head over to the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck.
To me, it’s the perfect combination: Youth performing a play for other youth, starring teen characters. And not just any play, but the most famous love story of all time! And not just a play, but a musical version!
In case a greater power than you can contradict thwarts your intents to attend, the Kids on Stage afterschool theater workshop presents Romeo and Juliet on two dates: Saturdays, April 6 and 13 at 11 a.m. The performers are accompanied with softest music to attending ears by classical guitarist, writer and composer Russ Austin.
Tickets cost $7 for children and $9 for adults and seniors. If your GPS needs more than “It is the east, and Juliet is the sun,” here’s the address for you: The Center is located at 661 Route 308 in Rhinebeck. For tickets or more information, call (845) 876-3080 or visit www.centerforperformingarts.org.
18th-century maple sugaring at Kingston’s Senate House
One hundred sixty-one years after Shakespeare’s death, New York State was established in the historic Senate House in Kingston. This Saturday, you and your family can travel back in time to the 18th century and take in traditional maple activities such as boiling sap, making jack wax candy and creating wood buckets and spiles. Eighteenth-century music will be performed by Katie Boardman, and the First Ulster County Militia will reenact a local raid. As my husband can attest from our own backyard sugaring this year, boiling sap takes forever, and maple syrup is awesome, so the idea of a raid on the sugarbush seems perfectly legitimate to me.
“Sugaring Off: 18th-Century Style” takes place on Saturday, April 6 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This event is free and open to the public, but guided tours of the Senate House will be available for $4 for adults, $3 for seniors and free for children aged 12 years and under. The Senate House is located at 296 Fair Street in Kingston. For more information, call (845) 338-2786 or visit https://nysparks.com.
If you’re looking for a nearby family lunch spot, one idea is the Yum Yum Noodle Bar, just down the block from the Senate House. My husband and I always split the delicious kale salad, and even though the place has tempting specials, I am hooked on its combo of rice noodles with tofu in the outrageous curry/coconut broth, and our kids guzzle down the miso soup. Bring a couple of extra dollars to buy a padlock to hang on the restroom Lovelock wall while you’re there.
Yum Yum is located at 275 Fair Street in Kingston. For more information, call (845) 338-1400 or visit www.yumyumkingstonny.com.
Downton Abbey-themed tours of Mills Mansion in Staatsburgh
I’ve covered Shakespeare, then the Senate House; now on to the Staatsburgh State Historic Site. What’s happening there, you wonder? Here’s a hint: Do you recall this sassy dialogue with a certain matriarch?
Dowager Countess: “You are quite wonderful the way you see room for improvement wherever you look. I never knew such reforming zeal.”
Mrs. Crawley: “I take that as a compliment.”
Dowager Countess: “I must have said it wrong.”
Calling all fans of the British period television series Downton Abbey: Staatsburgh State Historic Site now offers Downton Abbey-themed tours of Mills Mansion! These special tours take place on Saturdays at 1 p.m. on April 6 and 20 and May 4 and 18. Learn about the role of the Mansion’s servants with wealthy employers and houseguests, as well as their particular duties as correspond with the characters on Downton Abbey.
Site admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, and children 12 and younger get in free. The Staatsburgh State Historic Site is located at 75 Mills Mansion Road in Staatsburgh. For more information, call (845) 889-8851 or visit https://nysparks.com. To learn more about Downton Abbey, visit https://itv.com/downtonabbey.
RocCon Hudson Valley in Poughkeepsie
If you like sci-fi, anime, comics and gaming, you should make your way over to RocCon Hudson Valley. If you’ve ever picked up a comic book, odds are that you saw images drawn or inked by Joe Sinnott, and this renowned artist will appear at RocCon Hudson Valley. If your crew has ever watched Yu-Gi-Oh! One Piece, Winx Club or the Sonic the Hedgehog game, you’ve probably heard the voice of Erica Schroeder, a/k/a Bella Hudson, and she’ll be at RocCon Hudson Valley, too. You could score a lanyard if you’re one of the first 500 attendees.
RocCon Hudson Valley takes place on Sunday, April 7 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets cost $5. RocCon will happen at the Mercury Grand (formerly Clarion) Hotel and Conference Center, located at 2170 South Road in Poughkeepsie. For more information, call (585) 317-4046 or visit www.rocconhudsonvalley.org.