A June highlight will be the work-in-progress showing of the unique theatrical experience Here Lies Love on June 21-24, co-presented with Williamstown Theater Festival and The Public Theater in New York. MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center will be converted into a throbbing dance club for this immersive spectacle by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim which deconstructs Imelda Marcos’s meteoric rise and subsequent descent into infamy.
A capella sextet, Sweet Honey In The Rock, takes the stage on Saturday, July 7, and the following week the 50-plus faculty and fellows who comprise the Bang on a Can Festival of Contemporary Music arrive and begin presenting their twice daily gallery recitals on July 11. As part of the festival, the Bang on a Can All-Stars will perform Field Recordings on July 21, and Steve Reich will join the Marathon on July 28. On Tuesday, July 31, Wilco will perform a benefit concert for MASS MoCA in the Hunter Center. There are only a few tickets left for this concert.
August is the month for popular music and chances to dance. On August 4, Girl Walk // All Day is a screening and dance party featuring the long-form dance music video set to Girl Talk’s album All Day, in which three dancers move across NYC turning sidewalks, parks and more into their urban stage. After the film, DJs spin into the night at this special event sponsored by The Porches Inn. On Thursday, August 9, the indie band Real Estate’s lo-fi summery sound carries on the tradition of Pavement, Yo La Tengo, and The Feelies in a concert sponsored by Blue Q. On Labor Day weekend Nation Beat’s totally original 21st-century fusion of thunderous Brazilian maracatu drumming and New Orleans rhythms brings a wild energy to the dance floor. August also features slapstick theater for all ages with the troupe 500 Clown performing Trapped on Saturday, August 11.
The popular Alt Cabaret series looks north with a performance by Patrick Watson on June 30, whose lushly surreal soundscapes invite comparisons to Rufus Wainwright, Andrew Bird, and Jeff Buckley. Also hailing from Canada, Ophira Eisenberg, veteran of The Moth and mainstay on NYC’s stand-up and storytelling circuit, performs on Saturday, August 18. The third show in the series is on July 14 with versatile singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Julia Easterlin.
August wraps up with two works-in-progress. On August 25, dance/theater artist Nora Chipaumire presents Miriam, with soundscape composed by Omar Sosa. This evening-length work is inspired by Chapaumire’s own history as well as the icon of legendary South African artist Miriam Makeba and the Virgin Mary, and is produced by MAPP International Productions. On August 31, the vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth, directed by Williams College’s Brad Wells, returns, this time collaborating with Missy Mazzoli, who has been called “one of the most sought-after young composers in the country”.
Kidspace will open the exhibition Curiousity on Saturday, June 23, from 11 – 1 featuring works by ten artists who explore curiosity-inducing things like dinosaurs, super heroes, monsters and more. Events for kids and families round out the season, including performances by The Jimmies on Saturday, June 16, Kids Can Too with Bang on a Can on Saturday, July 14, and two gallery quests on July 7 and August 18.
Tickets for all events are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office located off Marshall Street in North Adams, open from 11 A.M. until 5 P.M., closed Tuesdays. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or purchased on line at www.massmoca.org.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located off Marshall Street in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings. MASS MoCA is an independent 501c(3) whose operations and programming are funded through admissions and commercial lease revenue, corporate and foundation grants, and individual philanthropy. Except for an initial construction grant from the Commonwealth, and competitive program and operations grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, MASS MoCA is privately funded: 90% of annual operating revenues are from earned revenues, membership support, and private gifts and grants.