CHOICE EVENTS: 7/25-8/1

SPECIAL EVENT: Party Madagascar

Admit it: adults love going to the zoo as much as kids. Periodically, Seneca Park Zoo holds adult-only events during which you can kick back, have a beverage, and check out the animal exhibits at your own pace, without chasing after a semi-interested toddler.

On Saturday, July 28, 6:30-11 p.m., the Seneca Park Zoo (2222 St. Paul St.) will host its annual 21-and-older fundraising gala, Party Madagascar. Highlights include Roc Brewing Co.’s specially brewed beer, Red Lemur Ale, games, raffles, African drum and dance performances and lessons, and an international marketplace. The event’s special guest will be Charles Welch, conservation coordinator for the Duke Lemur Center.

Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door, and include a Malagasy-style dinner and a cash bar. Patron tickets are $30 in advance and include a pre-party reception, held in the zoo’s new “A Step Into Africa” exhibit, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

The event raises important funds for conservation and education programs in Madagascar. For more information, visit senecaparkzoo.org. — BY REBECCA RAFFERTY


FESTIVAL: Native American Dance & Music Festival

In addition to dance and musical performances, demonstrations, and storytelling, the 21st Annual Native American Dance & Music Festival will include a new feature this year, which focuses on fantastic fiber art. The new element will feature a fashion show spanning five centuries of Native clothing, from historic examples to contemporary fashions by Tammy Beauvais, weaving demonstrations, and displays of wampum belts and traditional dance regalia.

The Festival takes place Saturday-Sunday, July 28-29, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., at Ganondagan State Historic Site (1488 State Route 444, Victor). This year’s performance headliner is Native folk/blues rocker Keith Secola, and the festivities will also include Iroquois social dancing and Ganondagan’s Spirit Dancers, family craft-making, guided trail walks, and Native food vendors.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $7 for students w/ID, $5 for kids aged 3-18, and free for Friends of Ganondagan members with ID and children aged 2 and under. For more information, call 742-1690, or visit ganondagan.org/NADMF.html. — BY REBECCA RAFFERTY

ART/FILM: Lost Bird Project

**CORRECTION: updated to include correct information about the Wish You Were Here lecture, which takes place September 27, not July 27**

I fell in love with sculptor Todd McGrain’s massive bronze birds in 2008, at the “3rd Rochester-Finger Lakes Biennial” at Memorial Art Gallery. Viewers were invited to touch the lovely memorials to various extinct winged creatures, and I was among those who stroked the smooth surfaces with a bittersweet mixture of tactile pleasure and gravity.

On Saturday, July 28 at 8 p.m., or Sunday, July 29 at 2 p.m. catch the regional premiere of “The Lost Bird Project” documentary, screening in the Dryden Theatre at Eastman House (900 East Ave.), followed by a panel discussion with director Deborah Dickson, sculptor McGrain, producer Muffie Meyer, cinematographer Scott Anger, and executive producer Andy Stern. Tickets are $8, or $6 members and students. Advance tickets are available at the box office, online at eastmanhouse.org, or by calling 271-3361, ext. 295.

Following the Sunday screening, viewers can join McGrain on a walking tour of the Eastman House grounds to view and discuss his work, which will be installed there through September 30. For more information, call 271-3361, or visit eastmanhouse.org.

Join the sculptor on Thursday, September 27, at 6 p.m. as he share images and stories, and details the journey that brought him to “The Lost Bird Project,” which, in addition to creating monuments to lost birds, seeks to install them in the location where each was last sighted alive. This lecture will take place in Dryden Theatre as part of the “Wish You Were Here” lectures series. The lecture is included in museum admission ($4-$12), and free to members. — BY REBECCA RAFFERTY

SPECIAL EVENT: Sterling Renaissance Festival

Take a step back in time, when things were both simpler and more dramatic. A throne determined who was in charge, and a duel could settle any argument. The Sterling Renaissance Festival takes you back to that period of history — so hot right now, given the popularity of swords-and-sorcery tales like “Game of Thrones” and the upcoming “Hobbit” flicks. The festival includes more than 100 stage and street performers, professional actors, comedians, and musicians who roam the area making your journey back in time an unforgettable one. This weekend, stop by for the pirate invasion, filled with themed adventures, comedy, songs, and other salty antics.

The Sterling Renaissance Festival continues on weekends through August 19. This weekend, Saturday and Sunday, July 28-29, the festival will run 10 a.m.-7 p.m. The festival grounds are located in Sterling, one hour east of Rochester near Oswego. Tickets are available online and are $22.95 for adults and $12.95 for children 6-12. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit sterlingfestival.com or call 888-695-0888. — BY ANNE RITZ

SPECIAL EVENT: Corn Hill Navigation

Do you feel like you need a vacation in the middle of the work week? Get away without actually going away by taking a relaxing wine tour along the Erie Canal. Corn Hill Navigation invites you to hop on board the Sam Patch boat, sample wines paired with great food, explore the area’s historic canal system. The 90-minute tours take place every-other Wednesday evening throughout the summer, . The theme for Wednesday, July 25, is “Europe Goes Marching,” an evening of European wines paired with Flour City pasta dishes.

The Sam Patch departs from Schoen Place in the Village of Pittsford at 6 p.m. and returns at 7:30 p.m. Since this is a wine-tasting event, all passengers must be 21 to board. Tickets for the cruise cost $25 per person and must be purchased in advance by calling 662-5748 or visiting samandmary.org. — BY ANNE RITZ

THEATER: “Bad Connections”/“Evan Harrington: Home for the Weekend”

This weekend Downstairs Cabaret Theatre puts on two productions. First, coming from the Toronto Fringe Festival, is the comedy “Bad Connections.” Paul Cosentino performs an assortment of nine Manhattan characters living separate lives, but who all become connected through the forces of fate. The show debuted on July 20 and will continue through early August at DCT’s location at 20 Windsor St. Show times this week are Friday and Saturday, July 27-28, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, July 29, at 3 p.m. Tickets cost $25.

Also taking place this weekend is “Evan Harrington: Home for the Weekend.” Rochester native Harrington has gone on to put his big voice and talent to use in Broadway productions such as “The Phantom of the Opera” and “Avenue Q,” as well as in national tours of “The Music Man” and “Camelot.” Harrington’s show will take place Thursday, July 26, at 7 p.m. and Friday, July 27-28, at 8 p.m. at Downstairs Cabaret Theatre’s Winton Place location (3450 Winton Place). Tickets cost $25.

For more information on either show visit downstairscabaret.com or call 325-4370. — BY ANNE RITZ

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