Lyle Lovett, Mavis Staples, Blind Boys of Alabama, Maceo Parker, Headline Mahaiwe’s Upcoming Season

Lyle Lovett

Lyle Lovett

(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – Country-folk singer-songwriter Lyle Lovett, folk-gospel legend Mavis Staples, the Blind Boys of Alabama, James Brown sidemen Pee Wee Ellis and Maceo Parker, jazz fusion stars Spyro Gyra, English folk-rock pioneer Richard Thompson, and New Age ensemble Paul Winter Consort – most all of whom have won Grammy Awards — are the musical headliners for the upcoming late 2011/early 2012 season at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. The lineup at the Mahaiwe also includes a rare U.S. tour by China’s Jin Xing Dance Theatre; the continuation of the very popular Live in HD broadcasts from London’s National Theatre and the Metropolitan Opera; and an array of youth education programming.

Events scheduled from November through April go on sale to Mahaiwe Members on Wednesday, October 5, 2011, and to the general public on Wednesday, October 12. Friends of the Mahaiwe receive priority ordering for first access to the best seats as well as discounted ticket prices and other benefits. Membership begins at $65.

The Mahaiwe Box Office is located at 14 Castle Street in Great Barrington, Mass. Box Office Hours: Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 6pm and three hours before show times. For tickets and information, visit Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center or call 413.528.0100.

Named one of Rolling Stone magazine’s Top 20 Guitarists of All Time, Richard Thompson will perform on Friday, October 14 at 8 pm, returning to the Mahaiwe for the first time since his sold-out 2008 concert. He is the recipient of BBC’s Lifetime Achievement Award and is a prolific songwriter, virtuoso guitarist, and musical adventurer. His career began in 1966, when he left school to co-found the seminal folk-rock band Fairport Convention. His massive body of work includes more than 40 albums, numerous film and television scores, and over 400 songs. Tickets are $30 to $35.

Maceo Parker

Maceo Parker

Still Black, Still Proud: An African Tribute to James Brown with Brown vetersans Pee Wee Ellis (bandleader) and Maceo Parker (saxophone) on Friday, November 18 at 8 pm celebrates James Brown’s lasting legacy while exploring the deep relationship between soul, funk, and modern African music. Discovering the points at which African and American music strike sparks off each other, the show brings Brown’s revolutionary music full circle in this innovative, rhythm-fueled tribute of Afro-funk. In addition to Ellis and Parker, the all-star group includes Vusi Mahlasela (vocals), Fred Ross (vocals), John Mader (drums), Marc van Waneningen (bass guitar), Ray Obiedo (guitar), Peter Madsen (keyboard), Papa Assane M’Baye (percussion), Chad Bernstein (trombone), and Gary Winters (trumpet). Tickets are $39 to $55.

Eight-time Grammy-winners Spyro Gyra bring a jazz fusion twist to the holidays with A Night Before Christmas on Sunday, December 11 at 7 pm. The band has spent more than three decades pushing the boundaries and definitions of jazz beyond commonly accepted parameters. Their breakthrough success with the Calypso-inspired hit “Morning Dance” was followed by the Grammy-nominated “Wrapped in a Dream” that spent 64 weeks on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Chart, where they still command a presence to this day. The group continues to forge an edgy, enduring sound that incorporates some of the best elements of jazz and merges them with R&B, pop, Latin and other styles. Tickets are $40 to $60.

With his distinctive voice and his wry sense of humor, Lyle Lovett is one of the all-time great American singer-songwriters. The four-time Grammy winner will perform at the Mahaiwe with two accompanying musicians on Saturday, December 17 at 8 pm. Finely wrought and full of wit, wisdom, and Texas-sized storytelling, his songs are rife with characters and concepts that loom large on the American landscape. Lovett has led a remarkable career that includes 14 albums and more than four million records sold. His idiosyncratic style intersects an array of genres from gospel, blues, soul, heartfelt ballads, jazz, bluegrass, swing, and straight-up country. Tickets are $70 to $100.

Families will enjoy The Paperbag Players on Sunday, December 18 at 2 pm. Founded in 1958 in New York City by Judith Martin, Shirley Kaplin, Sudie Bond, and Remy Charlip, The Paper Bag Players is a company of adults who create and perform original, contemporary, musical theatre for children. Their shows, based on a child’s everyday experiences, combine short plays, rousing songs, freewheeling dances, audience participation, mime, and painting and drawing on stage. Common household objects, cardboard boxes and brown craft paper brightened with splashes of poster paint and crayon transform into their sets, props and costumes. The Paper Bag Players touring has taken them to 37 states and to Canada, England, Scotland, Wales, Israel, Iran, Egypt, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan. Recommended for children ages 4 through 9. Tickets are $15.

Mavis Staples

Mavis Staples

Mavis Staples is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner, and a National Heritage Fellowship Award recipient. VH1 named her one of the 100 Greatest Women of Rock and Roll and Rolling Stone listed her as one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. She will perform selections from her bold new album, You Are Not Alone (produced by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy) at the Mahaiwe on Sunday, January 22 at 7 pm. The new release mixes traditional gospel numbers with two new songs written for her by Tweedy, plus her unique interpretations of songs by Pops Staples, Randy Newman, Allen Toussaint, John Fogerty, Rev. Gary Davis, and Little Milton. Tickets are $40 to $70

Paul Winter‘s music and wildlife odyssey has taken him to 48 countries on six continents. He has recorded 40 albums, six of which have won Grammy awards. The Paul Winter Consort will perform at the Mahaiwe on Saturday, February 4 at 8 pm. A saxophonist, bandleader, composer, and explorer of the world’s musical traditions, Winter has been motivated for more than three decades by the vision of a musical-ecological community, and he has followed a steady course towards his unique “Earth Music,” a vital celebration of the creatures and cultures of the whole earth. He interweaves widely diverse instruments and elements with the extraordinary voices from what he refers to as “the greater symphony of the Earth,” including wolves, whales, eagles, and several dozen other species of “wilderness musicians.” Tickets are $30 to $55.

On Friday, February 10 at 8:00pm, China’s most celebrated dancer, Jin Xing (directly translated as “golden star”), and her company, Jin Xing Dance Theatre, will perform a retrospective of 10 of her best works over the last 25 years. Though not actually tango, Shanghai Tango showcases contemporary Shanghai, a blend of east and west in dance, costumes, and music that mixes passions and cultures from both the past and the future. The company’s Mahaiwe appearance will be its only performance in New England during this rare tour. Tickets are $25 to $65.

The Blind Boys of Alabama are recognized worldwide as living legends of gospel music. They will make an encore appearance almost 10 years to the day when they first performed a phenomenal concert at the Mahaiwe under the auspices of Club Helsinki on Sunday, March 25, 2012, at 7 pm. Celebrated by the Grammy Awards and the National Endowment for the Arts with Lifetime Achievement Awards, inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, sung for two presidents in the White House, and winners of five Grammy Awards, they have attained the highest levels of achievement in a career that spans over 70 years and shows no signs of diminishing. Longevity and major awards aside, the Blind Boys have earned praise for their remarkable interpretations of everything from traditional gospel favorites to contemporary spiritual material by acclaimed songwriters such as Curtis Mayfield, Ben Harper, Eric Clapton, Prince, and Tom Waits. The Blind Boys’ live shows are roof- raising musical events that appeal to audiences of all cultures, as evidenced by an international itinerary that has taken them to virtually every continent. Tickets are $30 to $55.

The Met: Live in HD, the Metropolitan Opera’s award-winning series of live transmissions to movie theatres around the world, has expanded its worldwide distribution to 1,600 theatres in 54 countries, the largest global audience the initiative has ever reached. The 2011-12 Live in HD season features many of the opera world’s most prominent stars, includingPlácido Domingo, Renée Fleming, and Deborah Voigt. Due to popular demand, the Mahaiwe has added an encore screening for each of the broadcasts.

Anna Netrebko

Anna Netrebko as 'Anna Bolena'

The Met schedule includes Donizetti’s Anna Bolena (Saturday, October 15 at 1 pm: very limited seating and an encore presentation on Sunday, October 23 at 1 pm); Mozart’s Don Giovanni (Saturday, October 29 at 1pm: very limited seating and an encore presentation on Sunday, November 6 at 1pm); Wagner’s Siegfried (Saturday, November 5 at noon and an encore presentation on Wednesday, November 16 at noon); Philip Glass’s Satyagraha (Saturday, November 19 at 1pm and an encore presentation on Wednesday, November 23 at 1pm); Handel’s Rodelinda (Saturday, December 3 at 12:30pm and an encore presentation on Wednesday, December 7 at 12:30pm); Gounod’s Faust (Saturday, December 10 at 1pm and an encore presentation on Wednesday, December 14 at 1pm); Sams’s The Enchanted Island with music by Handel, Vivaldi, and Rameau (Saturday, January 21 at 1pm and an encore presentation on Wednesday, January 25 at 1pm); Wagner’s Götterdämmerung (Saturday, February 11 at noon and an encore presentation on Wednesday, February 15 at noon); Verdi’s Ernani (Saturday, February 25 at 1pm and an encore presentation on Wednesday, March 7 at 1pm); Massenet’s Manon (Saturday, April 7 at noon and an encore presentation on Wednesday, April 11 at noon); and Verdi’s La Traviata (Saturday, April 14 at 1pm: very limited seating and an encore presentation on Sunday, April 22 at 1pm). Tickets are $18 to $25.

Opera expert Scott Eyerly gives an introductory talk about each Met Opera before its live broadcast. Mixing erudition and humor, Eyerly’s lectures enhance the operagoer’s experience. All interested community members are welcome to attend these educational seminars whether attending the broadcast or not. These talks will take place at the Mahaiwe on Saturday, October 15 at 11am (Donizetti’s Anna Bolena); Saturday, October 29 at 11am (Mozart’s Don Giovanni); Saturday, November 5 at 10am (Wagner’s Siegfried); Saturday, November 19 at 11am (Glass’s Satyagraha); Saturday, December 3 at 10:30am (Handel’s Rodelinda); Saturday, December 10 at 11am (Gounod’s Faust); Saturday, January 21 at 11am (Sams’s The Enchanted Island); Saturday, February 11 at 10am (Wagner’s Götterdämmerung);Saturday, February 25 at 11am (Verdi’s Ernani); Saturday, April 7 at 10am (Massenet’s Manon); and Saturday, April 14 at 11am (Verdi’s La Traviata). Tickets are $10 per lecture or $100 for the series of 11 lectures (general admission). WHDD Robin Hood Radio in Northwest Connecticut now airs these talks as radio broadcasts and podcasts.

The Mahaiwe will present several more London’s National Theatre: Live in HD broadcasts, including Arnold Wesker’s The Kitchen, a black comedy set in a 1950s London restaurant (Thursday, October 6 at 7pm); Collaborators, a disturbingly funny new play by John Hodge (screenwriter of Trainspotting) about Stalin, dissidents, and secret police set in Moscow circa 1938, with Alex Jennings and Simon Russell Beale (Thursday, December 1 at 2pm); and Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors directed by Dominic Cooke, director of the celebrated Royal Court Theatre in London (Thursday, March 1 at 7pm). Tickets are $18 to $25.

Upcoming cinema offerings include a Mahaiwe Movie of the Month screening of The Shining (1980, rated R) on Saturday, October 22 at 7pm and The Wizard of Oz (1939) on Sunday, November 27 at 1pm and 4pm. Tickets are $6 (general admission).

The Mahaiwe will host community events presented by Berkshire Bach Society, Close Encounters with Music, Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, Moscow Ballet, and Deborah Zecher with a benefit for local fuel assistance. Details on these events follow in the calendar summary below.

Youth Programming

A-HA! Mahaiwe Daytime provides school-time programs to share world-class talents with local youth via field trip presentations and in-school workshops. The 2011-2012 school year presentations will encompass many international artists with curriculum-enhancing creative experiences. These programs are sponsored by Cain Hibbard & Myers and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation. To make field trip arrangements, please call 413.644.9040 ext. 105.

On Monday, October 24 at 10:00am and 12:30pm, the Mahaiwe will present Baobab, a West African tale told through puppetry by Quebec-based Theatre Motus. Recommended for children age 4 and up.

Created in association with the UK’s National Academy of Science, Twinkle Twonkle by London’s Tall Stories isa magical tale of two children’s adventure throughout the galaxy that tells the story of the stars and explores the mysteries of the universe. The performances on Wednesday, February 29 at 9:30am and 12:30pm are recommended for children ages 3 to 7.

Glasgow’s Visible Fictions will perform Jason and the Argonauts on Wednesday, March 14 at 12:00pm and Thursday, March 15 at 9:30am. Using two actors, a handful of action figures, and one incredible wooden cart, this production brings a classic Greek myth to life in an adventure story that inspires the hero in everyone. Recommended for children age 8 and up.

New Orleans’ Corbian will perform Darwin The Dinosaur on Thursday, April 26 at 10:00am and 12:30pm. In this truly unique and innovative theatre experience, electroluminescent crayon-like creatures light up the stage with a heart-rending tale of a dinosaur discovering the true meaning of love. Recommended for all ages.

 

Mahaiwe Schedule at a Glance

October 2011 through April 2012

Mahaiwe Presents

Thursday, October 6 at 7:00pm

London’s National Theatre: Live in HD broadcast

Arnold Wesker’s The Kitchen

Black comedy set in a 1950s West End London restaurant.

Tickets are $18 to $25

 

Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health Presents

Sunday, October 9 at 7:30pm (note time change from previously announced 8:00pm)

The Yoga of Sacred Song and Chant

Deva Premal and Miten, with Manose

Tickets are $25 to $55

 

Mahaiwe Presents

Friday, October 14 at 8:00pm

Richard Thompson

Rolling Stone Top 20 Guitarist of All Time

Tickets are $30 to $35

 

Mahaiwe Presents

Saturday, October 15 at 11:00am (pre-broadcast lecture by opera expert Scott Eyerly) and 1:00pm (broadcast: very limited seating); Encore broadcast on Sunday, October 23 at 1:00pm

Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD

Donizetti’s Anna Bolena

Tickets to lecture are $10

Tickets to broadcast are $18 to $25

 

Mahaiwe Presents

Saturday, October 22 at 7:00pm

Mahaiwe Movie of the Month screening of The Shining (1980, rated R)

Tickets are $6 (general admission)

 

Mahaiwe Presents

Monday, October 24 at 10:00am and 12:30pm

Baobab by Quebec’s Theatre Motus

West African tale told through puppetry

Call 413.644.9040 ext. 105 for field trip pricing.

 

Mahaiwe Presents

Saturday, October 29 at 11:00am (pre-broadcast lecture by opera expert Scott Eyerly) and 1:00pm (broadcast: very limited seating); Encore presentation on Sunday, November 6 at 1:00pm

Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD

Mozart’s Don Giovanni

Tickets to lecture are $10

Tickets to broadcast are $18 to $25

 

Close Encounters with Music Presents

Sunday, October 30 at 2:00pm

Chamber Orchestra Kremlin

17-member string orchestra

Tickets are $30 to $40

 

Mahaiwe Presents

Saturday, November 5 at 10:00am (pre-broadcast lecture by opera expert Scott Eyerly) and 12:00pm (broadcast); Encore presentation on Wednesday, November 16 at 12:00pm

Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD

Wagner’s Siegfried

Tickets to lecture are $10

Tickets to broadcast are $18 to $25

 

Moscow Ballet Presents

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker

Thursday, November 10 at 7:30pm

Friday, November 11 at 7:30 pm

Tickets are $50 to $102

 

Deborah Zecher Presents

Tuesday, November 15 at 7:00pm

Warm Up the Winter IV: A Benefit Concert for Construct Inc.’s Fuel Assistance Program

Tickets are $5 to $50

 

Mahaiwe Presents

Friday, November 18 at 8:00pm

Pee Wee Ellis and Maceo Parker in Still Black, Still Proud: An African Tribute to James Brown

All-star Afro-funk supergroup

Tickets are $39 to $55

 

Mahaiwe Presents

Saturday, November 19 at 11:00am (pre-broadcast lecture by opera expert Scott Eyerly) and 1:00pm (broadcast); Encore presentation on Wednesday, November 23 at 1:00pm

Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD

Glass’s Satyagraha

Tickets to lecture are $10

Tickets to broadcast are $18 to $25

 

Mahaiwe Presents

Saturday, November 26 at 1:00pm and 4:00pm

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

A Mahaiwe Thanksgiving weekend tradition

Tickets are $6 (general admission)

 

Mahaiwe Presents

Thursday, December 1 at 2:00pm

London’s National Theatre: Live in HD broadcast

Collaborators

A disturbingly funny new play by John Hodge (screenwriter of Trainspotting)

with Alex Jennings and Simon Russell Beale

Tickets are $18 to $25

 

Mahaiwe Presents

Saturday, December 3 at 10:30am (pre-broadcast lecture by opera expert Scott Eyerly) and 12:30pm (broadcast); Encore presentation on Wednesday, December 7 at 12:30pm

Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD

Handel’s Rodelinda

Tickets to lecture are $10

Tickets to broadcast are $18 to $25

 

Close Encounters with Music Presents

Sunday, December 4 at 2:00pm

Lisztomania! A 200th Anniversary Celebration

Tickets are $30 to $40

 

Mahaiwe Presents

Saturday, December 10 at 11:00am (pre-broadcast lecture by opera expert Scott Eyerly) and 1:00pm (broadcast); Encore presentation on Wednesday, December 14 at 1:00pm

Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD

Gounod’s Faust

Tickets to lecture are $10

Tickets to broadcast are $18 to $25

 

Mahaiwe Presents

Sunday, December 11 at 7:00pm

A Night Before Christmas with Spyro Gyra

Jazz fusion holiday show

Tickets are $40 to $60

 

Mahaiwe Presents

Saturday, December 17 at 8:00pm

Lyle Lovett Trio

Grammy-winning singer-songwriter

Tickets are $70 to $100

 

Mahaiwe Presents

Sunday, December 18 at 2:00pm

Paperbag Players

Rousing musical theatre for families. Recommended for children ages 4 to 9.

Tickets ate $15

 

Berkshire Bach Society Presents

Saturday, December 31 at 6:00pm

Bach at New Year’s

Kenneth Cooper conducting Bach’s Six Brandenburg Concerti

Tickets are $37 to $57

 

Mahaiwe Presents

Saturday, January 21 at 11:00am (pre-broadcast lecture by opera expert Scott Eyerly) and 1:00pm (broadcast); Encore presentation on Wednesday, January 25 at 1:00pm

Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD

Sams’s The Enchanted Island with music by Handel, Vivaldi, and Rameau

Tickets to lecture are $10

Tickets to broadcast are $18 to $25

 

Mahaiwe Presents

Sunday, January 22 at 7:00pm

Mavis Staples

Grammy Lifetime Achievement-winning rhythm and blues vocalist

Tickets are $40 to $70

 

Mahaiwe Presents

Saturday, February 4 at 8:00pm

Paul Winter Consort

A blend of jazz, classical, and world music

Tickets are $30 to $55

 

Mahaiwe Presents

Friday, February 10 at 8:00pm

Jin Xing Dance Theatre

Shanghai Tango

Celebrated Chinese contemporary dance company

Tickets are $25 to $65

 

Mahaiwe Presents

Saturday, February 11 at 10:00am (pre-broadcast lecture by opera expert Scott Eyerly) and 12:00pm (broadcast); Encore presentation on Wednesday, February 15 at 12:00pm Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD

Wagner’s Götterdämmerung

Tickets to lecture are $10

Tickets to broadcast are $18 to $25

 

Mahaiwe Presents

Saturday, February 25 at 11:00am (pre-broadcast lecture by opera expert Scott Eyerly) and 1:00pm (broadcast); Encore presentation on Wednesday, March 7 at 1:00pm

Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD

Verdi’s Ernani

Tickets to lecture are $10

Tickets to broadcast are $18 to $25

 

Mahaiwe Presents

Wednesday, February 29 at 9:30am and 12:30pm

Twinkle Twonkle by London’s Tall Stories

A magical tale about astronomy. Recommended for children ages 3 to 7.

Call 413.644.9040 ext. 105 for field trip pricing.

 

Mahaiwe Presents

Thursday, March 1 at 7:00pm

London’s National Theatre: Live in HD broadcast

Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors

Tickets are $18 to $25

 

Mahaiwe Presents

Jason and the Argonauts by Glasgow’s Visible Fictions

Wednesday, March 14 at 12:00pm and Thursday, March 15 at 9:30am

Classic Greek myth brought to life. Recommended for ages 8+.

Call 413.644.9040 ext. 105 for field trip pricing.

 

Close Encounters With Music presents

Saturday, March 24 at 6:00pm

Grand Piano Quartets: Schumann and Brahms

Tickets are $30 to $40

 

Mahaiwe Presents

Blind Boys of Alabama

Sunday, March 25 at 7:00pm

Gospel Music Hall of Fame members

Tickets are $30 to $55

 

Mahaiwe Presents

Saturday, April 7 at 10:00am (pre-broadcast lecture by opera expert Scott Eyerly) and 12:00pm (broadcast); Encore presentation on Wednesday, April 11 at 12:00pm

Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD

Massenet’s Manon

Tickets to lecture are $10

Tickets to broadcast are $18 to $25

 

Mahaiwe Presents

Saturday, April 14 at 11:00am (pre-broadcast lecture by opera expert Scott Eyerly) and 1:00pm (broadcast: very limited seating); Encore presentation on Sunday, April 22 at 1:00pm

Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD

Verdi’s La Traviata

Tickets to lecture are $10

Tickets to broadcast are $18 to $25

 

Close Encounters With Music presents

Saturday, April 21 at 6:00pm

Trade Winds–From China with Love

Tickets are $30 to $40

 

Mahaiwe Presents

Darwin The Dinosaur by New Orleans’ Corbian

Thursday, April 26 at 10:00am and 12:30pm

Innovative children’s theatre. Recommended for all ages.

Call 413.644.9040 ext. 105 for field trip pricing.

 

 

 

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