Berkshire Weekend Cultural Preview, October 10-15, 2012

 

Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin

PATTI LUPONE and MANDY PATINKIN to REUNITE for the BENEFIT of THE MAHAIWE 

(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – Tony Award-winning Broadway virtuosos and lifelong friends Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin reunite on stage for the first production together since Evita on Sunday, October 14, 2012, at 7pm, in a gala evening to benefit the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center and to honor founding board member John Hoyt Stookey. LuPone and Patinkin are two of Broadway’s most venerated performers, having both won Tony Awards for their performances in Andrew Lloyd Weber’s groundbreaking Evita in 1980. Since then they have both starred in film, television, the concert stage and Broadway. The evening will inaugurate the John Hoyt Stookey Fund for Programmatic Excellence, to support the Mahaiwe’s efforts to bring incredible talents to the Berkshires on a year-round basis. Stookey was the first board member to join founder Lola Jaffe in 2002, when the nonprofit organization was formed, and has been an active participant in its exhilarating decade ever since.

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JOE ICONIS FEATURED at BARRINGTON STAGE CABARET

Joe Iconis

(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – Award-winning songwriter Joe Iconis returns to Barrington Stage Company with his popular cabaret Joe Iconis & Family for three performances, Thursday, October 11, 2012 through Saturday, October 13, 2012, at the now 99-seat Mr. Finn’s Cabaret, located on the lower level of the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center (formerly Stage 2), 36 Linden Street, Pittsfield. Iconis wrote this past summer’s rock musical, The Black Suits. He made his BSC debut last summer with his cabaret show, Hell Raisers. Iconis and his ensemble – Molly Hager, Eric William Morris, Lance Rubin and Jason “SweetTooth” Williams – perform sing-alongs, ballads, character pieces, exhilarating stompers and more.

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NERDS SEEK REVENGE at MASS MOCA

(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – Part stand-up comedy, part lecture, Nerd Nite combines the entertaining and the educational. An underground phenomenon featuring authentic TED Talk-style presentations on topics ranging from math feuds, the science of the Simpsons, to the geneology of Godzilla, Nerd Nite has been spreading across the U.S. and the world for nearly a decade, and comes to MASS MoCA’s Club B-10 on Saturday, October 13, 2012, at 8pm. Nerd Nite at MASS MoCA begins with a presentation about mumblecore, the collection of American independent films produced in the early 2000s and characterized by low budget production values and amateur actors. The presentations continue with Nerds & Whey: how the controlled spoilage of milk begets the world’s tastiest cheeses, which explains acidification, coagulation, and every cheese-related process in between. The Nerds wrap up the night with Hey, Where’s My Robot Girlfriend? The Singularity, Sperm Bots and the Future of Sexual Technology, during which the Nerds explain how hybrids of sex and technology are flourishing in contemporary culture.

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PITTSFIELD BECOMES JAZZ-TOWN

Ali Ryerson

(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – Vocalist Giacomo Gates, flutist Ali Ryerson, and trumpeter Adam O’Farrill headline the 8th annual Pittsfield CityJazz Festival, taking place through Saturday, October 13, 2012, at assorted locations in downtown Pittsfield. The music spans the spectrum of jazz, and includes performances by the New England Jazz Ensemble and the Jazz Arts Trio with pianist Frederick Moyer and a Columbus Day Weekend “jazz crawl.” Adam O’Farrill, son of renowned pianist Arturo O’Farrill, will appear at the Berkshire Athenaeum on Wednesday, October 10. His quartet has appeared at significant jazz venues in New York and he will be making his Berkshires debut at the festival. The headline weekend opens on Friday, October 12, with the Jazz Arts Trio, is a kind of jazz tribute band, reproducing note-for-note transcriptions of historic moments in piano jazz. The group’s latest CD, Swing of Many Colors, includes a full re-performance of Ahmad Jamal’s landmark album But Not For Me: Live at the Pershing. The New England Jazz Ensemble, a 16-piece big band, performs with Gates and Ryerson on Saturday, October 13, at the Colonial Theatre, on a shared bill with the Williams College Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Andy Jaffe.

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SUSAN DWORKIN’S ‘THE OLD MEZZO’ PREMIERES AT BERKSHIRE MUSEUM BY WAM

Eileen Schuyler is Alyssa in ‘The Old Mezzo’ (photo Joe Schuyler

(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – The Old Mezzo by Berkshire-based playwright Susan Dworkin enjoys its world premiere beginning this week at Berkshire Museum in a production by WAM Theatre that runs from Friday, October 12, 2012, through Sunday, October 28, 2012, and which features professional actors from Berkshire County and the Pioneer Valley in Western Massachusetts, the Capital Region of Upstate New York, and beyond. The Old Mezzo concerns the political awakening of a great opera singer. Alyssa, the old mezzo, is driven by the recent death of a famous conductor to teach a master class concerning the Politics of Singing. The class becomes a play within a play where we revisit important scenes from Alyssa’s past. She has assigned parts to four of her students and as the exercise unfolds, we see how Alyssa had to risk her fame and success to preserve the freedom that is so essential to the arts. By the end of the play, through a surprising connection to recent events, the importance of politics in art is revealed. The Old Mezzo is written by Berkshire-based playwright Susan Dworkin, best-known for her books The Viking in the Wheat Field and The Nazi Officer’s Wife as well as her play All Day Suckers. She was also a finalist for the Susan Blackburn Prize in 1980-1981 for her play Deli’s Fable.

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JAZZ SESSION at CASTLE STREET CAFE to FEATURE TOKARZ BROTHERS REUNION

Composer-vibraphonist-bandleader Larry Chernicoff

(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – A night of original jazz compositions featuring composer-musicians who ordinarily play top jazz clubs and concert stages around the world takes place on Saturday, October 13, at 8pm, in the Celestial Bar at Castle Street Cafe, when Larry Chernicoff’s Beauty and the Beat Band performs, featuring a reunion of the Tokarz Brothers – Charlie Tokarz on woodwinds, and Fran Tokarz on bass. In addition to bandleader Chernicoff on vibraphone and the Tokarzes, the club gig, which has no cover charge, includes Don Davis on woodwinds, Peter Primamore on piano, and Lydia Chernicoff on violin.

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