Berkshire Weekend Cultural Preview, September 19-23, 2012

DAVID GRISMAN, TRAMPLED BY TURTLES, AND CAROLINA CHOCOLATE DROPS HEADLINE BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL AT MASS MOCA

Carolina Chocolate Drops (photo by Crackerfarm)

(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – Building on the success of last year’s first foray into bluegrass, MASS MoCA has announced the dates, line-up, and discounted early-bird pass price for the second annual FreshGrass Festival, which will be held September 21-23, 2012, and will be headlined by David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, Trampled By Turtles, and Carolina Chocolate Drops.

Also on the bill are Lonesome River Band, Boston-based Joy Kills Sorrow, Seattle duo Cahalen & Eli, New Orleans singer-banjoist Leyla McCalla, and Devil Makes Three, plus Infamous Stringdusters and Spirit Family Reunion on Friday evening.

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AMANDA MCBROOM DOES JACQUES BREL in BARRINGTON STAGE CABARET

Amanda McBroom and George Ball

(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – Grammy Award-winning vocalist Amanda McBroom performs Brel in the Berkshires, a cabaret devoted to the songs of Jacques Brel, with her husband George Ball and Michele Brourman, for three performances, Thursday, September 20, 2012, through Sunday, September 23, 2012, at Spice Dragon (297 North St.), under the auspices of Barrington Stage Company. As a master of the French chanson movement, Brel was an influential modern Belgian singer-songwriter whose influence crosses stylistic lines embracing classic pop singers such as Nina Simone, Frank Sinatra and Andy Williams as well as rock vocalists including Leonard Cohen and David Bowie.

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DOCUMENTARY EXAMINES HOLLYWOOD’S TRANSITION from FILM to DIGITAL

Keanu Reeves and Martin Scorsese ‘Side by Side’

(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – While it may be lost on the average or casual moviegoer, there has been a revolution in the film industry over the last decade or two in terms of how movies are made, shown, and distributed. Just as in other art forms and modes of business and communication, the digital revolution is upending the way film artists work, from directors, actors, producers, cinematographers, editors, to how films are screened and shown in local theaters and in private homes. While the technical aspects of this revolution – really an evolution – are probably only of minor interest to most, anyone who cares about movies and who wants to appreciate why they look, sound and feel the way they do will want to see Side by Side, a new documentary written and produced by actor Keanu Reeves, featuring in-depth interviews with Hollywood masters, such as James Cameron, David Fincher, David Lynch, Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, George Lucas, Steven Soderbergh, and screening at Berkshire Museum’s Little Cinema on September 21-24, 2012.

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HITCHCOCK SPOOF KICKS OFF SHAKESPEARE & COMPANY’S FALL SEASON

‘The 39 Steps’ cast

(LENOX, Mass.) – Shakespeare & Company opens its 2012-2013 Fall & Winter season with The 39 Steps, a comic adaptation of John Buchan’s novel, which also draws inspiration from Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film of the same name, on Saturday, September 22, 2012. Featuring an all-star ensemble of company talent, including Elizabeth Aspenlieder (Bad Dates), Jason Asprey (Parasite Drag), David Joseph (The Tempest), and Josh Aaron McCabe (Hound of the Baskervilles), The 39 Steps offers an intriguing, sidesplitting evening or afternoon at the theatre. The 39 Steps runs from Saturday, September 22, 2012, through November 4. 2012, in Shakespeare & Company’s Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre.

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THE CLARK OFFERS RUSSIAN BALLET in HD SCREENING

(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – On Sunday, September 23, at 1 pm, The Clark kicks off its new Ballet in HD series with a broadcast of George Balanchine’s Jewels. Known as one of Balanchine’s most revered ballets, Jewels is performed by the famed Mariinsky Ballet and is set to the music of Fauré, Stravinsky, and Tchaikovsky. Before emigrating to the West, Balanchine studied in Saint Petersburg and was a member of The State Academic Theatre, now known as the Mariinsky. This performance was filmed by Brian Large at the Mariinsky Theatre and features many of the Mariinsky’s most well-known dancers alongside conductor Tugan Sokhiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra.

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INDIE BANDS MARK 30TH ANNIVERSARY of SPRINGSTEEN’S ‘NEBRASKA’ with TRIBUTE ALBUM, CONCERT

(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – Indie-rock bands Brown Bird, Joe Fletcher and the Wrong Reasons, and Kingsley Flood will share the stage on Saturday, September 22, 2012, at X at the North Adams Elks Club on Eagle Street for a concert marking the 30th anniversary of Bruce Springsteen’s landmark acoustic album, Nebraska. The groups are all represented on Long Distance Salvation, a brand-new album paying tribute to that album’s enduring legacy and influence. The recording features new versions of Springsteen’s Nebraska songs recorded by artists  including Trampled By Turtles, Joe Purdy & Garrison Starr, Joe Pug, Strand Of Oaks, The Wooden Sky, David Wax, Spirit Family Reunion, Adam Arcuragi, Roadside Graves, Juniper Tar. Jonah Tolchin, and Kyle Morton (Typhoon).

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CELLO-PIANO DUO CLOSES TANNERY POND SEASON on SATURDAY

David Finckel and Wu Han (by Christian Steiner)

(NEW LEBANON, N.Y.) – Cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han bring the curtain down on the 2012 Concerts at Tannery Pond season on Saturday, September 22, 2012, at 6pm, with a duo concert featuring works by Beethoven, Brahms, Debussy and Shostakovich.

Cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han rank among the most esteemed and influential classical musicians in the world today. In addition to their extensive performance and recording activities, their roles as educators, organizational leaders, and cultural entrepreneurs place them among the classical music community’s most prominent innovators.

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THE SECOND ANNUAL UKULELE FESTIVAL at THE CLARK

Ukulelist Honor Finnegan

(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – The ukulele is one of the hottest instruments in popular and folk music these days, and this Sunday, September 23, 2012, The Clark hosts the second annual Ukulele Festival, featuring a half-dozen performers from 4 to 6 p.m. The event is free, as are ukulele workshops at 2pm. Performers include the Ladies Auxiliary Ukulele Orchestra, Jim & Liz Beloff, Honor Finnegan, and Michelle J. Rodriguez.

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NOVELISTS BILL PETERS and NATHAN LARSON to READ at BASILICA HUDSON

Nathan Larson

(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Novelists Bill Peters and Nathan Larson will read from and sign copies of their recent novels at Basilica Hudson on Monday, September 24, 2012, at 7pm. Following the reading, Peter and Larson will discuss “New York Cities as Supporting Characters: The Way Cities Can Act as a Character” in fiction. Peters portrays economically stagnant Rochester, N.Y., in his novel, Maverick Jetpants in the City of Quality, and Larson’s The Nervous System takes place in a post-apocalyptic New York City. The event, a joint effort by Basilica Hudson, Akashic Books and Black Balloon Publishing, is free and open to the public.

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