(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center will present a festive array of offerings this holiday season, ranging from the Metropolitan Opera “Live in HD” production of Aida to classic Looney Tunes cartoons to a free screening of Frank Capra’s Christmas classic, It’s A Wonderful Life.
The Mahaiwe will present the Metropolitan Opera “Live in HD” production of Aida in an encore broadcast on Wednesday, December 26, 2012, at 1pm. The Met’s production of Verdi’s ancient Egyptian drama stars Liudmyla Monastyrska and Hui He. They share the title role of the enslaved Ethiopian princess caught in a love triangle with the heroic Radames, played by Marco Berti and Roberto Alagna, and the proud Egyptian princess Amneris, sung by Dolora Zajick and Olga Borodina. Fabio Luisi conducts this revival, which features recent choreography by Alexei Ratmansky. Tickets are $18 to $25.
Academy Award winner Christopher Plummer plays the title role in Barrymore, a film to be broadcast at the Mahaiwe on Saturday, December 22, 2012, at 8pm. Plummer’s haunting Broadway portrayal of legendary actor John Barrymore earned him a Tony Award in 1997. Last year, the actor recreated his performance for multiple high-definition cameras, directed by Erik Canuel who adapted William Luce’s play for the screen. Set in 1942, the production follows John Barrymore, a member of one of Hollywood’s most well known multi-generational theatrical dynasties. No longer a leading box office star, the film finds Barrymore reckoning with the ravages of his life of excess. He has rented a grand, old theater to rehearse for a backer’s audition to raise money for a revival of his 1920 Broadway triumph in Richard III. It leads him to look back on the highs and lows of his stunning career and remarkable life. Tickets are $10 to $18.
On Saturday, December 22, at 4pm, the Mahaiwe will present Warner Brothers Looney Toons classic cartoons on the big screen. Audience members will relive lazy Saturday mornings with the Looney Tunes Golden Collection, which contains Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies animated shorts. The cartoons are uncut, unedited, and digitally restored and remastered from the original successive Technicolor film negatives. Tickets are $6 (general admission).
As a gift to the community, the Mahaiwe will host a free screening of Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life (1946, NR) on Sunday, December 23, 2012, at 7pm. This Christmas drama is based on the short story “The Greatest Gift,” written by Philip Van Doren Stern in 1939. The film is considered one of the most inspirational and best loved movies in American cinema. Nominated for five Oscars without winning any, the film has since been recognized by the American Film Institute as one of the 100 best American films ever made.
The Mahaiwe is located at 14 Castle Street in Great Barrington, Mass. Box office hours are Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 6:00pm and three hours before show times. For tickets and information, visit Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center or call 413.528.0100.