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Rhinebeck hosts Sinterklaas, honors children

Rhinebeck hosts Sinterklaas, honors children

Saturday, Dec. 7: Whereas the Dutch antecedent of this revered character employed a rather scary entourage of grumpuses to chastise naughty children with birch rods (and carry the worst ones off in a sack), our kids get to carry the branches themselves – transformed during Crowns & Branches decoration workshops into royal scepters. They’re designated kings and queens for a day, and tasked with bringing light into a dark time.

Hollywood-on-Hudson: Mohonk hosts Billions as local filmmaking ramps up

Hollywood-on-Hudson: Mohonk hosts Billions as local filmmaking ramps up

This week Mohonk Mountain House served as a set for a party scene in the fifth season of the Showtime series Billions, which stars Paul Giamatti as a US attorney (loosely based on Preet Bharara) and Damian Lewis as the hedge fund tycoon he’s pursuing. In Hudson Valley Film Commission director Laurent Rejto’s view, 2019 has quite simply been “the most successful year to date for regional film and TV production.”

Old Dutch Church hosts Dzieci Theatre’s Fools Mass in Kingston

Old Dutch Church hosts Dzieci Theatre’s Fools Mass in Kingston

Sunday, Dec. 8: The Roman custom of celebrating Saturnalia with a temporary topsy-turvy social order, during which servants were permitted to lord it over their masters, persisted well after the Christianization of Europe. In his Anatomy of Abuses in England in Shakspere’s Youth (1583), the pamphleteer Phillip Stubbes railed against the ongoing practice of a Lord of Misrule being appointed by a mob to take over a country church at Christmastime. That odd tradition has largely been forgotten, but the Brooklyn-based Dzieci Theatre – known hereabouts for its performances of Makbet at Opus 40 – does its best to keep the memory alive.

Haley Heynderickx plays BSP

Haley Heynderickx plays BSP

Sunday, Dec. 8: On her indie-folk debut I Need to Start a Garden, the startlingly mature Portland-based songwriter Haley Heynderickx positions herself squarely in the freak-folk tradition: able fingerpicking on nylon-string and gritty electric guitars; lyrical concerns that straddle bucolic imagism and deep symbolism; and rustic production values that occasionally sprout surprising and strange sonic developments.

Colony hosts Abbey Road tribute

Colony hosts Abbey Road tribute

Friday, Dec. 6: Do you prefer art when it knows it is art, or when it thinks it might still just be rock ‘n’ roll? Of course, there is a third road: Abbey Road, the Beatles’ second swing at a conceptual masterwork, and arguably the more successful one, even if they could never hope to duplicate the world-changing novelty of the first one. Abbey Road in fact sounds nothing like Sergeant Pepper’s. It is deeper, darker, more assured, more beautiful and more broken, showing all the wear and tear of the interceding years and all that they had learned. Consider: They are only separated by two years. Two years. “Year” must have meant something different back then.

Fred Hersch plays Senate Garage

Fred Hersch plays Senate Garage

Saturday, Dec. 7: The jazz pianist’s inventive solo interpretations of Jobim (2009’s Fred Hersch Plays Jobim) reimagine the music of Antonio Carlos “Tom” Jobim as introspective and almost classical in its internal, contrapuntal complexity. Even by Jazzstock’s consistently lofty standards, this is a big get.