Berkshire Cultural Weekend, Jul 25-31, 2012

Bradley Cooper

BRADLEY COOPER AND PATRICIA CLARKSON TO STAR IN WILLIAMSTOWN’S ‘ELEPHANT MAN’
(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” will transform himself into the hideously deformed title character of The Elephant Man when Bradley Cooper, star of Hollywood comedies including The Hangover and Wedding Crashers, tackles the dramatic role of John Merrick at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, in a production also starring indie film queen Patricia Clarkson. The play, written by Bernard Pomerance and directed by Scott Ellis, runs from Wednesday, July 25, 2012, through August 5, 2012.

A perennial favorite, The Elephant Man has been widely produced on stage and on the large and small screen. Actor Philip Anglim created the role of John Merrick at the National Theatre in London before tackling it in New York; subsequent actors including Mark Hamill and rock star David Bowie in a stunning performance. The 1980 film version was stylistically directed by David Lynch and starred John Hurt. Interestingly, the 1982 TV film version starring Anglim featured a script adapted from the Pomerance play by none other than longtime WTF associate Steve Lawson.

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YING QUARTET KICKS OFF CHAMBER SERIES at THE CLARK

Ying Quartet

(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – The Ying Quartet kicks off The Clark’s popular chamber music series on Tuesday, July 31, 2012, at at 8 pm. Four internationally acclaimed chamber groups will be performing in The Clark’s auditorium, on subsequent Tuesdays at 8, including the Hermitage Piano Trio, the Carpe Diem String Quartet, and the Shanghai Quartet. Concert tickets are $25 ($20 for Clark members and students) and may be purchased online at The Clark or by calling 413 458 0524.

The Ying Quartet will perform Mozart’s String Quartet in E-flat Major, K.428; Musical Dim Sum (featuring Zhou Long’s “Song of the Ch’in,” Vivian Fung’s “Pizzicato for String Quartet,” and Lei Liang’s “Gobi Gloria”); and Debussy’s String Quartet in G Minor.

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LESLIE KRITZER SINGS JULE STYNE at BARRINGTON STAGE

Leslie Kritzer

(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – Broadway musical theater star Leslie Kritzer performs an evening of songs by Jule Styne in Hello, Gorgeous! Leslie Kritzer Sings Jule Styne at Barrington Stage Company on Monday, July 30, 2012, at 7pm on the mainstage. Kritzer, a two-time Drama Desk Award nominee who won everyone’s hearts with her portrayal of ‘Adelaide’ in last year’s hit production of Guys and Dolls and who also starred in BSC’s Musical Theatre Lab 2010 world premiere of The Memory Show (scheduled for a New York run at The Transport Group), will be accompanied by music director Vadim Feichtner.

Notorious for her feisty, antic, hilarious cabaret shows, here Kritzer celebrates one of her musical heroes, Jule Styne, the great American songwriter who created the scores of Gypsy, Funny Girl, and Bells Are Ringing, among many others, and wrote songs like “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” and “Time After Time.”

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PAUL TAYLOR DANCE PERFORMS ANNUAL MAHAIWE CONCERT

(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – Paul Taylor Dance Company returns to the Mahaiwe for its fifth consecutive summer on Thursday, July 26 through Saturday, July 28, 2012. The renowned modern dance company will perform the New England premiere of Taylor’s The Uncommitted, as well his landmark dance, Aureole, as part of the dance’s 50th anniversary.

Widely considered to be one of the foremost American choreographers of the 20th century, Taylor – who turns 82 next week –  is among the last living members of the second generation of America’s modern dance artists. A protege of Martha Graham, George Balanchine, and Merce Cunningham, Taylor’s work was regarded as shocking in its heyday of the 1950s through the ‘70s. Twyla Tharp and David Parsons are among the prominent choreographers who have passed through the ranks of the Taylor company.

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NEW GALLERY AND PERFORMANCE SPACE DEBUTS NEAR HUDSON, N.Y.

CR10 (photo by Daniel Rothbart)

(LINLITHGO, N.Y.) – CR10, a new gallery and performance space at 283 County Route 10 founded by artist Francine  Hunter McGivern, takes a bow on Saturday, July 28, 2012, from 4 to 6 p.m., with a reception for ‘enter’ – the inaugural exhibition featuring a dozen visual artists – as well as readings by novelist Maggie Estep and memoirist Richard Boch and a performance by New York City underground-rock duo Aliens.

Artists represented in ‘enter’ include Joseph Kosuth, Enrico Pedrini, Hap Tivey, William Stone, Hans Weigand, Daniel Rothbart, Tom Borgese, Katharina Senn, Kris Perry, Mark Dorf, and Francine Hunter McGivern.

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RARE FRENCH COMIC OPERA GETS CONTEMPORARY TREATMENT at BARD SUMMERSCAPE

(ANNADALE-on-HUDSON, N.Y.) –  To enrich its immersion in the music of Belle Époque France, Bard SummerScape 2012 presents the first staged revival of The King in Spite of Himself (Le roi malgré lui) by Emmanuel Chabrier in its original 1887 version, in five performances (July 27 & 29; August 1, 3, 5) featuring the festival’s resident American Symphony Orchestra with music director Leon Botstein.

The production, starring the “lyrical, expressive baritone” (New York Times) of Liam Bonner, will receive a contemporary treatment from Thaddeus Strassberger, whose previous SummerScape opera treatments rank among Bard’s undisputed success stories.

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BANG ON A CAN MARATHON FEATURES STEVE REICH

Steve Reich (photo by Wonge Bergmann)

(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – While new-music collective Bang on a Can has been busy all year celebrating its quarter-century anniversary since its founding in New York City in 1987, it also is marking a landmark year in the Berkshires, commencing the second decade of its summer residency at MASS MoCA, including a summer institute, a summer Bang on Can Marathon, all-star concerts, sound installations, gallery performances, jam sessions, guest appearances by internationally renowned composers and musicians, and camping trips – informally known as “Banglewood” to all. The annual Bang on a Can Summer Marathon on Saturday, July 28, 2012, from 4 to 10 pm, features more than thirty musicians and composers from around the world for six hours of non-stop, boundary smashing music – a feast of sound including classical, contemporary, minimalism, ambient, jazz, experimental, and more.  This year’s Marathon will feature the music of special guest Steve Reich.

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