A highly selective preview of cultural events taking place this weekend in the greater Berkshire region, including comedy; chamber music; Bach and Beethoven; new short plays; jazz; Japanese woodblock prints, and a whole lot more.
JO FIRESTONE BRINGS ABSURDIST COMEDY to MASS MoCA
(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) — Absurdist comedian Jo Firestone performs in Club B10 at MASS MoCA on Saturday, February 18, at 8pm. Joe Pera returns to MASS MoCA to warm up the crowd for Firestone, whose off-kilter talents are on display in the HBO series “High Maintenance” and in her writing for the Chris Gethard Show and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
A CLOSE ENCOUNTER with BACH CELLO SUITES
(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – Bach cello suites performed alternately by Yehuda Hanani and Kivie Cahn-Lipman will be showcased in “The Intimate Bach” at Saint James Place on Saturday, February 18, at 6pm, as part of the Close Encounter with Music series.
The Bach suites will be performed alternately by Close Encounters artistic director Yehuda Hanani, whose recordings, masterclasses and seemingly direct line to the Baroque master are acknowledged as definitive interpretations of the works, and Kivie Cahn-Lipman, founding cellist of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and director of the period instrument ensemble ACRONYM.
Tanja Hollander, What is a real friend? (the post-it note project)
TANJA HOLLANDER EXHIBITION EXPLORES FRIENDSHIP in VIRTUAL AGE
(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – “Are you really my friend?”, an exhibition of hundreds of photographs by Maine-based artist Tanja Hollander that explores the nature of friendships real and virtual, opens at MASS MoCA on Saturday, February 18. An opening reception for the exhibit will be held on Saturday, March 18, from 5:30pm to 7pm, in conjunction with openings for new exhibitions by Liz King, Steffani Jemison, and Chris Domenick.
Mark Turner Quartet (photo John Rogers)
MARK TURNER QUARTET BRINGS MODERN JAZZ to WILLIAMS
(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – The Mark Turner Quartet, led by the acclaimed tenor saxophonist, performs in Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall at Williams College on Monday, February 20, at 8pm. The concert is free and open to the public.
Mark Turner is one of the most admired saxophonists of his generation, renowned for his exploratory intellect and intimate expressiveness on the full range of the tenor horn. “Lathe of Heaven” is his sixth album as a leader, but the first under his own name since 2001. It’s also his debut as a leader for the record label ECM, following two fine albums in the cooperative trio Fly with Larry Grenadier and Jeff Ballard, plus appearances on recordings by Billy Hart and Enrico Rava.
Turner leads a quartet of kindred spirits, especially the voice of trumpeter Jason Palmer as they play long, introspective lines of hypnotic grace. The interplay locks in with the rhythm section of bassist Joe Martin and drummer Marcus Gilmore. The subtle volatility of their sound is a mesmerizing musical experience.
BARRINGTON STAGE HOSTS 10X10 NEW PLAY FESTIVAL
(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – The sixth annual 10X10 New Play Festival at Barrington Stage Company takes place now through Sunday, March 5, at BSC’s newly renovated St. Germain Stage, located at the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center. The event, part of the 2017 10X10 Upstreet Arts Festival in Pittsfield, features ten new 10-imnute plays performed in repertory by a cast of a half-dozen professional actors, directed by BSC artistic director Julianne Boyd and Matthew Penn, co-artistic director of the Berkshire Playwrights Lab in Great Barrington.
This year’s playwrights are Suzanne Bradbeer, Marilyn Millstone, Annette Storckman, Allie Costa, James McLindon, Gwendolyn Rice, Tom Coash, Scott Mullen, Susan Middaugh, and Ann Marie Shea.
The cast of the 10X10 New Play Festival features returnees Matt Neely, Dina Thomas, and Peggy Pharr Wilson, along with newcomers Jane Pfitsch (BSC’s “His Girl Friday”), Lucky Gretzinger, and Douglas Rees.
Edward Arron and Jeewon Park
DUO PERFORMS BEETHOVEN CELLO-PIANO SONATAS at THE CLARK
(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – Cellist Edward Arron and pianist Jeewon Park perform Ludwig van Beethoven’s Complete Sonatas for Cello and Piano on Sunday, February 19, at 2 pm, in the auditorium (the Michael Conforti Pavilion) at the Clark Art Institute. This extraordinary cycle of five sonatas performed in one monumental concert offers a fascinating window into the arc of Beethoven’s compositional career. This program is SOLD OUT.
Hashimoto, Young Girl
JAPANESE WOODBLOCK PRINTS on VIEW at THE CLARK
(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – More than a century of Japanese printing traditions, represented by seventy-three color woodblock prints, will be presented in the Clark Art Institute exhibition Japanese Impressions: Color Woodblock Prints from the Rodbell Family Collection.
The exhibition explores the complex and changing relationship among artists, woodblock cutters, and publishers from the ukiyo-e (scenes from the floating world) tradition of the mid-19th century, the shin-hanga (new print) movement of the 1920s and 1930s, and the sosaku-hanga (creative print) movement that began in the 1950s. Japanese Impressions is on view through April 2, 2017.
NICK CAVE’S SITE-SPECIFIC ‘UNTIL’ TAKES OVER MASS MoCA
(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) — Nick Cave, the artist known for his wearable sculptures called Soundsuits, turns expectations inside out at MASS MoCA in “Until,” a massive immersive installation. Cave uses MASS MoCA’s signature football field-sized space to create his largest and most overtly political installation to date, made up of thousands of found objects, a rich sensory tapestry. The sheer volume of material that has been gathered is astounding — 16,000 wind spinners; millions of plastic pony beads; thousands of ceramic birds, fruits, and animals; 13 gilded pigs; more than 10 miles of crystals; 24 chandeliers; 1 crocodile; and 17 cast-iron lawn jockeys.
NORMAN ROCKWELL MUSEUM SALUTES SATURDAY MORNING CARTOON TEAM HANNA-BARBERA
(STOCKBRIDGE, Mass.) – “Hanna-Barbera: The Architects of Saturday Morning” features the work of the creative team behind such memorable Saturday morning cartoons as “The Yogi Bear Show,” “The Flintstones,” and the “The Jetsons,” on view at Norman Rockwell Museum through May 29, 2017.
Before the rise of basic cable, Saturday mornings for many children in America were spent watching cartoons on one of three available television channels. From 1958 through the 1980s, a majority of those cartoons bore the imprint of Hanna-Barbera. Creating scores of popular series such as The Yogi Bear Show, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Jonny Quest, and Scooby-Doo, Hanna-Barbera was an animation powerhouse and its bountiful creativity is beloved to this day.