Judy Collins, John Pizzarelli, MOMIX and Paul Taylor Top Mahaiwe Summer 2012 Season

Judy Collins

(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – Folksinger Judy Collins, jazz singer-guitarist John Pizzarelli, and the Paul Taylor Dance Company (July 26, 27, and 28) are the big names that will grace the stage of the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center this coming summer. Other highlights of the Mahaiwe summer season include comedic evenings with the Sing-a-Long-a Sound of Music (July 14) and Freddie Roman’s Friars Club Comedy Festival (July 15), performances by legendary modern dance troupes MOMIX (July 6 and 7), and Tony Award-winner Faith Prince (July 21). Pizzarelli and Collins will appear in duo performances with Kennedy Center Honors recipient Barbara Cook (with the former on August 4) and legendary songwriter-arranger Jimmy Webb (with the latter on August 26).

“This summer, we’re presenting unique combinations of popular performers with the goal of creating extra special and memorable events,” said Mahaiwe executive director Beryl Jolly. “For example, Barbara Cook and John Pizzarelli are very excited that we asked them to perform together as they’re friends, but they don’t often share a stage.”

Barbara Cook

Julie Andrews’s classic film musical takes a giddy turn with the Sing-a-Long-a Sound of Music on Saturday, July 14 at 7pm. Started in the UK in 1999, the show has become a worldwide hit, playing to packed houses in over 10,000 performances in nine different countries. The movie is projected in full-screen Technicolor, complete with subtitles so that the whole audience can sing along. The show starts with a vocal warm-up led by the evening’s host, who also takes the audience through their complimentary “magic moments pack,” containing various props to be used at strategic points throughout the film. There is also a fancy-dress competition in which everyone who has come in costume is invited onto the stage to show off their creativity. Tickets are $15 to $25.

Freddie Roman, who two years ago brought his Catskills on Broadway show to the Mahaiwe, returns on Sunday, July 15 at 7pm with Freddie Roman’s Friars Club Comedy Festival, featuring on-the-rise stand-up comics including Cory Kahane, Tom Cotter, and Michele Balan. Roman is the longtime president of the Friars Club and a favorite toastmaster at the fraternity’s celebrity roasts. He has headlined at many of the major resorts across the country, including Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas and Harrah’s in Atlantic City.

MOMIX Botanica

MOMIX will perform its evening-length program, Botanica, on Friday, July 6 and Saturday, July 7 at 8pm. Director Moses Pendleton’s new work, Botanica, is a journey through the seasons, blending movement, circus, athleticism, and magical effects. Its eclectic score ranging from birdsong to Vivaldi reveals nature’s changing imagery. Creatures real and mythical materialize thanks to projections, strobes, wind machines, larger-than-life puppets designed by Michael Curry, the Tony Award-winning designer of The Lion King, and the company’s impossibly nimble performers. In addition to stage performances worldwide. Tickets are $22 to $72.

Faith Prince

Broadway veteran and TV actress Faith Prince will grace the Mahaiwe stage on Saturday, July 21 at 8pm. In her latest show, Total Faith, she reflects on her hilarious Southern Belle past as well as her present and future adventures. The concert will feature the songs of Harold Arlen, Menken and Ashman, Stephen Sondheim, Kander and Ebb, Rodgers and Hart, and Jerry Herman. Prince has been dazzling Broadway audiences since she won the Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for her performance as Ms. Adelaide in the critically-acclaimed revival of Guys and Dolls. On television, Prince appears on Lifetime’s hit series Drop Dead Diva. She is also known to TV audiences as the lovable but quirky love interest of Oliver Platt in Showtime’s Huff, and she has made recurring appearances for five seasons on Spin City. Tickets are $35 to $55.

In what has now become an annual tradition along the lines of James Taylor’s performances at Tanglewood, Paul Taylor Dance Company returns to the Mahaiwe for its fifth consecutive summer on Thursday, July 26 and Friday, July 27 at 8pm and Saturday, July 28 at 3pm and 8pm. The renowned modern dance company will perform the New England premieres of Taylor’s The Uncommitted and Gossamer Gallants, as well his landmark dance, Aureole, as part of the dance’s 50th anniversary season. Taylor executive director John Tomlinson said, “Our performances at the Mahaiwe have become one of the most anticipated events of our year.”

Paul Taylor 'Aureole' celebrating its 50th anniversary this year

Gossamer Gallants uses movement inspired by insects, and offers a comedic view of mating rituals, in which the female of the species is often the stronger, predatory partner. The Uncommitted is a comment on the impermanence of many relationships in the 21st century; the dance looks at individuals who fail to create meaningful, lasting connections with other people. Aureole is a lyrical, light-hearted dance, with a title that refers to a brightness around a person’s head; it contains romance and a brilliant male solo emphasizing the performer’s virile grace. Other dances to be performed during the engagement include Esplanade, Mercuric Tidings, Syzygy, and Troilus and Cressida (reduced). Tickets are $22 to $67.

Two legends of the so-called Great American Songbook, Barbara Cook and John Pizzarelli, team up on the Mahaiwe stage on Saturday, August 4 at 8pm. Cook’s silvery soprano, purity of tone, and warm presence have delighted audiences for more than 50 years. Cook was considered “Broadway’s favorite ingénue” during the heyday of the Broadway musical (for those who can remember back that far, and for those who can’t). Cook’s ever-growing mantle of honors includes Tony, Grammy, Drama Desk, and New York Drama Critics Circle Awards, a citation as a Living New York Landmark, induction into the Theatre Hall of Fame, and recent Kennedy Center Honors.

John Pizzarelli

John Pizzarelli is a Grammy Award-nominated jazz guitarist and singer who has established himself as one of the prime interpreters of the “Great American Songbook.” He is both a bandleader and solo performer, and has been a special guest on recordings for such inoffensive artists as James Taylor, Natalie Cole, Kristin Chenoweth, Donna Summer, Roberta Flack, Rosemary Clooney, and his father, Bucky Pizzarelli. Tickets are $70 to $102.

Folk music legend Judy Collins teams with hit songwriter Jimmy Webb on Sunday, August 26 at 7pm. Like Barbara Cook’s, Collins’s career has spanned more than 50 years. She interpreted the songs of fellow folk artists, particularly the social poets of the 1960s such as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, and Tom Paxton, and she was instrumental in bringing other singer-songwriters to a wider audience, including poet/musician Leonard Cohen and musicians Joni Mitchell and Randy Newman. Her rendition of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” has since been entered into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and her “Send in the Clowns” won Song of the Year honors at the 1975 Grammy Awards.

Jimmy Webb is best known for the classic songs he wrote for Glen Campbell (“By The Time I Get To Phoenix,” “Wichita Lineman,” “Galveston”), Richard Harris (“MacArthur Park,” “Didn’t We”), and the Fifth Dimension (“Up, Up and Away”), as well as “The Highwayman” for Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristofferson, the four of whom formed a country supergroup named after the song. His songs continue to be recorded by artists such as  Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, Urge Overkill, Reba McEntire, and Shawn Colvin. Tickets are $45 to $70 and will go on sale in late April.

The Mahaiwe will host a wide variety of community events this summer, including Berkshire Cabaret presenting opera singer Stephanie Blythe, Berkshire International Film Festival, Berkshire Playwrights Lab, Chesterwood presenting photographer Annie Leibovitz, The Clark, Close Encounters With Music, C.S.T.A., Inc. and Kutsher’s Sports Academy presenting Bobby Collins, Fairview Hospital presenting Paula Poundstone, Heather Fisch, Macedonia Baptist Church, and Noche Flamenca.

The Mahaiwe 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.

Mahaiwe Summer 2012 Schedule at a Glance

Saturday, May 5 at 8pm
C.S.T.A., Inc. and Kutsher’s Sports Academy Present
Comedy for the Causes featuring Comedian Bobby Collins
Tickets $37 to $55

Saturday, May 19 at 6pm
Close Encounters With Music
The Daedalus Quartet: Beethoven, Schubert and Berg
Tickets $30 to $40

Saturday, May 26 and Sunday, May 27 at 8pm
Noche Flamenca Presents Mi Generacíon
Tickets $25 to $65

Thursday May 31 through Sunday June 3 at TBA
Berkshire International Film Festival
Film premieres, filmmakers, family films, and special events
Tickets TBA

Saturday, June 9 at 7:30pm
Berkshire Playwrights Lab
Gala Benefit Performance
Staged readings of new plays and reception with the artists
Ticket prices TBA

Sunday June 10 at 4pm
Macedonia Baptist Church
Berkshires Best Gospel Express (In celebration of African-American Music Appreciation Month)
Tickets are $7 /Free for youth under 18 with non-perishable donation for local food pantries

Sunday, June 24 at 4pm
Berkshire Cabaret
We’ll Meet Again: The Songs of Kate Smith
Featuring Stephanie Blythe, Mezzo-Soprano and Craig Terry, Piano
Tickets $35 to $100 (includes post-show reception with artists)

Monday, June 25 at 7pm
Chesterwood Presents
An Evening with Annie Leibovitz
Artist’s Talk: Pilgrimage
Tickets $17 to $75 (includes post-show reception with artists)
(on sale to Chesterwood members March 15; on sale to public March 30)

Friday, July 6 and Saturday, July 7 at 8pm
Moses Pendleton’s new work, Botanica
Tickets $22 to $72

Wednesday, July 11 at 7:30pm
Berkshire Playwrights Lab Presents
Staged reading of a new play
Ticket Prices TBA

Saturday, July 14 at 7pm
Sing-a-Long-a Sound of Music
Tickets $15 to $25


Sunday, July 15 at 7pm
Freddie Roman’s Friars Club Comedy Festival
Featuring stand-up comedians Cory Kahane, Tom Cotter, and Michele Balan and hosted by Freddie Roman, longtime president of the Friars Club
Tickets $35 to $67

Thursday, July 19 at 7pm
Free lecture presenting The Clark’s summer exhibitions: Unearthed: Recent Archaeological Discoveries from Northern China and Through Shên-kan: Sterling Clark in China 1908-09

Saturday, July 21 at 8pm
Faith Prince in Total Faith
Tickets $35 to $55

Monday, July 23 at 7:30pm
Berkshire Playwrights Lab
Staged reading of a new play
Ticket prices TBA

Thursday, July 26 at 8pm
Paul Taylor Dance Company
Aureole, Troilus and Cressida (reduced), The Uncommitted (New England Premiere), Mercuric Tidings

Friday, July 27 at 8pm
Paul Taylor Dance Company
Gossamer Gallants (New England Premiere), Syzygy, Esplanade

Saturday, July 28 at 3pm
Paul Taylor Dance Company
Gossamer Gallants (New England Premiere), Syzygy, Esplanade

Saturday, July 28 at 8pm
Paul Taylor Dance Company
Aureole, Troilus and Cressida (reduced), The Uncommitted (New England Premiere), Mercuric Tidings

Tickets $22 to $67

Saturday, August 4 at 8pm
Barbara Cook and John Pizzarelli
Tickets $70 to $102

Wednesday, August 8 at 7:30pm
Berkshire Playwrights Lab
Staged reading of a new play
Ticket Prices TBA

Wednesday, August 22 at 7:30pm
Berkshire Playwrights Lab
Staged reading of a new play
Ticket Prices TBA

Sunday, August 26 at 7pm
Judy Collins with Jimmy Webb
Tickets $45 to $70

Friday, August 31 at 8pm
Heather Fisch
Blue Venice (A high-flown lickspittle swindle opera)
Tickets $19 to $29

Saturday, September 22 at TBA time
Paula Poundstone
Stand-up comedy performance to benefit Fairview Hospital
$52 (Performance only; Gala packages available)





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