(CHATHAM, N.Y.) – The world’s foremost klezmer fiddler, Alicia Svigals, brings her dazzling style of playing to PS21 on Sunday, June 24, 2012, at 2 pm. The concert will include traditional klezmer tunes, Yiddish songs, some original and new music, and the audience is encouraged to participate in the lively, expressive music by dancing, singing, and clapping. “We’re the Jewish equivalent of a sizzling hoedown,” Svigals said.
A founding member of the Klezmatics, Svigals has been featured nationally on radio and television including NPR, A Prairie Home Companion, and MTVNews. She performed at the gala all-star performances of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues at Madison Square Garden in 2001, and has been commissioned to compose works for the Kronos Quartet.
Svigals will be accompanied by accordionist Patrick Farrell, and will be introduced by Seth Rogovoy, author of The Essential Klezmer: A Music Lover’s Guide to Jewish Roots and Soul Music. General admission tickets are $30, $25 for PS21 members and $20 for students. To order tickets for this performance or any other at PS21, please visit PS21 or call 518.392.6121. Alicia Svigals’ Klezmer Fiddle Express is co-sponsored with the Chatham Synagogue.
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – German pianist Hauschka performs his unique experimental compositions, drawing on electronics and prepared piano, at Club Helsinki Hudson on Friday, June 22, 2012, at 9 p.m. Next Tuesday marks the release of Hauschka’s latest project, Silfra, a duet recording with world-renowned classical violinist Hilary Hahn, on Universal/Deutsche Grammophon. The recording features twelve strictly improvised tracks captured in pristine fashion by producer Valgeir Sigurõsson, known for his work for with Björk, Camille and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy.
Silfra, named for the geographic feature near Reykjavik, Iceland, where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet, represents the breathtaking locale where the album was recorded but also signifies the unfamiliar terrain where these two distinct musical minds met to collaborate.
(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – Moody folk-rock singer-songwriter Justin Hillman, a native of South Berkshire, performs at Mission Bar + Tapas on Sunday, June 24, 2012, at 9pm, as part of the venue’s WordXWord Songwriter’s Room series. Hillman will be performing songs off his most recent recording, Momentous Change. Hillman’s music is colored by lush acoustic guitar textures, minor-key melodies, complex chord progressions and soothing vocals. His style variously recalls The Band and Ellis Paul. Hillman, who has performed at New York City’s Bitter End, City Winery and Arlene’s Grocery, is a multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter, recording engineer, and yoga teacher.
(LENOX, Mass.) – The 75th anniversary season of Tanglewood, the famed summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, will kick off with a performance by The Silk Road Ensemble with its founder, the world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, at Ozawa Hall on Friday, June 22, 2012, and again on Sunday, June 24. Performances begin at 8 p.m. on both evenings. On both evenings the ensemble will perform internationally inspired music by composers Giovanni Sollima from Sicily (“Taranta Project”) and Sapo Perapaskero from Romania (“Turceasca”). Rounding out the program will be music composed by performing members of the Ensemble: “Shristi” by Sandeep Das from India, who plays tabla; “Muiñeiras” from “Cancionero Musical de Galicia” arranged by Cristina Pato from Galicia, who plays gaita; and “Ascending Bird” arranged by Colin Jacobsen, an American violinist, in collaboration with Iranian santur player Siamak Aghaei.
(BECKET, Mass.) – Jacob’s Pillow will open its 80th anniversary festival on Wednesday, June 20, 2012, with the U.S. premiere of Por Um Fio (By A Thread), performed by Mimulus Dance Company of Brazil in the Ted Shawn Theatre. That same evening, Australian circus-arts company Circa opens the Doris Duke Theatre season with its eponymous full-evening program of daredevil acrobatics, aerial work, physical theatre, and evocative contemporary movement, performed to works by Leonard Cohen, Cake, Jacques Brel, Venetian Snares, and others. Both companies will perform through Sunday, June 24.
(LENOX, Mass.) – Mark Roberts’ darkly comic and hard-hitting tale Parasite Drag gets its East Coast premiere at Shakespeare & Company’s Bernstein Theatre, where it runs from Wednesday, June 20, through September 2, 2012. Director Stephen Rothman, who makes his Shakespeare & Company debut this season, has assembled a talented cast to navigate Roberts’ sharp-witted dialogue which plumbs the depths of family dynamics.
Parasite Drag features the stellar ensemble of Elizabeth Aspenlieder, Jason Asprey, Josh Aaron McCabe, and Kate Abbruzzese. Relationships between husbands and wives, brothers and faith unravel as a Midwestern storm brews on the horizon.
(STOCKBRIDGE, Mass.) – The Puppetmaster of Lodz by Gilles Ségal, about a death-camp survivor grappling with memories of the Holocaust, opens the Berkshire Theatre Festival season at the Unicorn Theatre, 6 East St., in Stockbridge on Thursday, June 21, 2012. “It’s hard to imagine how anyone can reconstruct a normal life after having been in the camps,” says director Brian Roff. “The Puppetmaster of Lodz is the story of Finkelbaum’s attempt to do just that.”
In the play, translated by Sara O’Connor, a Jewish man has escaped from one of the most notorious concentration camps in Germany, only to be yet again imprisoned in an imaginary world. Finkelbaum weaves a story of longing, while caring for his beloved puppets and clinging to a lost reality. Try as he might to create a world far from the tragedy of the camps, he and the audience are finally faced with the question: will this horrifying war ever end?
(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – In a region where you can barely take two steps without tripping over a theater group — whether it be an Equity summer theater, a year-round community group, a regional powerhouse, or a presenting organization – it may seem almost perverse to create yet another organization dedicated to the theater arts. But that didn’t stop Clover Bell-Devaney and associates from establishing the Berkshire Actors Theatre, which quickly made a mark on the scene with its critically acclaimed production of John Patrick Shanley’s Four Dogs and a Bone last summer and is following up that success with a remounting of that play (July 2-15, 2012) plus a staging of Shanley’s ever-popular Doubt: A Parable (June 21-July 14, 2012) this summer, in the company’s new home at Berkshire Museum.