A selective, curatorial view of the cultural highlights of the upcoming weekend in the greater Berkshire region.
Alicia Hall Moran
WINTER OLYMPICS MEETS BIZET’S ‘CARMEN’ in ALICIA HALL MORAN’S ALT-OPERA ‘BREAKING ICE’ at MASS MoCA
(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – In the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics, two figure skaters representing America and East Germany battled for Olympic gold, both accompanied by music from “Carmen.” On Saturday, January 27, at 8pm, mezzo-soprano Alicia Hall Moran, herself a former figure skater, tells French composer Georges Bizet’s epic story in “Breaking Ice,” an all-out musical fantasy for the concert stage, joined by fearless NYC jazz trio Harriet Tubman, at MASS MoCA in a work-in-progress showing.
BERKSHIRE PLAYWRIGHTS LAB PRESENTS NEW PLAY FESTIVAL
(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – The second annual Radius Playwrights Festival presented by Berkshire Playwrights Lab, featuring fully staged readings of six short plays by local writers — anyone within a 50-mile radius of Great Barrington – takes place at St. James Place on Fri, Jan 26, at 7pm, and Sat, Jan 27, at 2pm and 7pm. This year’s playwrights include Maizy Scarpa, Steve Otfinoski, Joe Starzyk, Anne Undeland, and Barry Jay Kaplan.
EAST MEETS WEST in CONCERT at BARD
(ANNANDALE-on-HUDSON, N.Y.) — On Sunday, January 28, at 3pm, Bard’s Fisher Center for the Performing Arts will host a celebratory concert to launch the Chinese Music Development Initiative, a new collaboration between the US-China Music Institute of the Bard College Conservatory of Music and the Central Conservatory of Music (in Beijing, China). The Orchestra Now will collaborate with the Chamber Orchestra of the Central Conservatory in a concert featuring six new works by Chinese composers, all using a combination of Chinese and Western instruments, with renowned soloists Yu Hongmei (erhu), Zhou Wang (guzheng), and Zhang Qiang (pipa).
PICKY BASTARDS BRING MODERN BLUEGRASS to THE BARN
(SOUTH EGREMONT, Mass.) – The Picky Bastards – the Berkshires’ own bluegrass-centric power duo led by Chris Merenda (banjo & vocals) and Rob Sanzone (guitars & mandolin) bring their musical grab-bag of everything from old-time traditionals to modern pop to classic rock ‘n’ roll and diamond-in-the-rough originals, all executed under the guise of bluegrass, to the Barn at the Egremont Village Inn on Sat, Jan 26, at 8pm. The Bastards are typically joined by a rotating cast of all-star musicians.
The Sea The Sea
INDIE-FOLK DUOS SHARE BILL at HELSINKI HUDSON
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – The DuPont Brothers and The Sea The Sea share a double-bill featuring two of the region’s preeminent indie-folk duos at Club Helsinki Hudson on Friday, January 26, at 9pm. Zack and Sam DuPont are a Burlington, Vt.-based, sibling indie-folk-rock duo. The Sea The Sea is an upstate New York-based indie folk-pop duo-band featuring what Huffington Post calls, “Two of the loveliest male-female voices you might ever hear this or any other year.”
Ondine by Leslee Carsewell
WORKS by LESLEE CARSEWELL on VIEW at KNOX GALLERY
(MONTEREY, Mass.) – “Intersections,” an exhibition featuring the work of Berkshire artist Leslee Carsewell, goes on view at Knox Gallery/Monterey Library on Fri, Jan 19. Carsewell began making collaged compositions from her drawings, which evolved into direct paintings. She describes her work as “an outgrowth of design problem-solving using grids.” The work remains on view through Sat, March 3.
A scene from ‘Paris Time’
THRILLER ABOUT FRENCH ANTI-SEMITISM DEBUTS at CAPITAL REP
(ALBANY, N.Y.) – Steven Peterson’s “Paris Time,” about how a young woman’s life and a company’s fate are challenged by an anti-Semitic terrorist incident, is being given its world premiere at Capital Repertory Theatre, from Friday, Jan 26, through Sunday, Feb 18. A gripping and sophisticated drama that looks behind the headlines at anti-Semitism in today’s France. When Deborah, the wife of a successful American executive based in Paris, becomes an activist defending a young Jewish Frenchwoman, Charles gets caught in the corporate hot seat. Company policy demands him to withdraw from the political limelight or lose his career, but if he won’t get involved, he may lose his marriage.