(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – The Mahaiwe Peforming Art Center’s mix of live music, comedy, dance, theater, film, and talks brings the likes of actor/comedian/social critic Bill Cosby, pop-folk singer Natalie Merchant (10,000 Maniacs), smooth-jazz vocal ensemble Manhattan Transfer, fusion banjoist Bela Fleck, bluesman Taj Mahal, comedian Rita Rudner, Paul Taylor and Pilobolus dance companies, and the team responsible for the landmark recording and book, Free to Be You and Me, including actors Alan Alda, Marlo Thomas and author Letty Cottin Pogrebin to the theater in the summer and fall of 2013.
Also slated to appear at the Mahaiwe are Beatles tribute band the Fab Faux, Pink Martini, and food scholar Francine Segan, in a series of presentations. As always the Mahaiwe will also present London’s National Theatre Live in HD, and a lecture about Winslow Homer on the occasion of the Homer blockbuster exhibition at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute this summer
Pink Martini will perform on Tuesday, July 2 at 8pm. With an eclectic set list featuring songs sung in French, Croatian, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian, the 12-piece mini-orchestra Pink Martini performs its romantic, multilingual repertoire on the world’s most respected concert stages. The group performs on concert stages and with symphony orchestras throughout Europe, Asia, Greece, Turkey, the Middle East, Northern Africa, Australia, and North America. Their five albums have sold well over two million copies worldwide. Tickets are $30 to $95.
The Fab Faux will perform on Saturday, July 20 at 8pm. With a commitment to the accurate reproduction of The Beatles’ repertoire, these musicians treat the seminal music with unwavering respect, and are known for their painstaking recreations of the songs (with emphasis on the later works never performed live by the Beatles). Tickets are $60 to $80.
Natalie Merchant with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic will perform on Sunday, July 21 at 7pm. In conjunction with her next orchestral recording (release planned for this spring), Natalie Merchant will undertake an extensive touring project performing with symphony orchestras throughout the world, including a stop at the Mahaiwe to play with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic. She began her musical career as the lead vocalist and lyricist of the pop music band 10,000 Maniacs and released two platinum and four gold records with the group between 1981 and 1993 (The Wishing Chair, In My Tribe, Blind Man’s Zoo, Hope Chest, Our Time in Eden, and MTV Unplugged). Together with artists like R.E.M., they defined college rock and created the first wave of alternative rock bands and what became known as the alternative rock format on FM radio. With her latest and highly acclaimed Nonesuch recording entitled Leave Your Sleep, which debuted on the Billboard Top 200 at No. 17, she embarks on a new artistic path, creating songs from literary inspiration that are composed for expanded musical ensembles and orchestra. Tickets are $75 to $105.
Manhattan Transfer will perform on Saturday, July 27 at 8pm. It’s been about 40 years since Tim Hauser, a former New York City cab driver, aspired to form a harmony vocal quartet that could authentically embrace varied musical styles, and still create something wholly unique in the field of American popular song. The group, composed of Hauser, Janis Siegel, Cheryl Bentyne, and Alan Paul, has garnered ten Grammy awards, including simultaneously winning a Grammy for both the jazz and pop categories in 1981 and a historic 12 nominations for the 1985 album Vocalese. They were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998. They will be accompanied at the Mahaiwe by their touring band. Tickets are $35 to $75.
Bela Fleck NY Banjo Summit will perform on Sunday, October 6 at 7pm. Master banjo player Bela Fleck will be joined by fellow pickers Tony Trischka, Bill Keith, Richie Stearns, Eric Weissberg, and Noam Pikelny in a concert that will find the banjo being performed in both conventional and unexpected ways. In performances ranging from solos and duets to full-tilt banjo blowouts with all the players and an acoustic band, the concert stage will range from the traditional backdrop of bluegrass and old-time country music to the more unconventional banjo genres including jazz, classical, and rock music. Born and raised in Manhattan, Fleck began making waves with a series of progressive banjo-centric recordings in the 1970s and as a member of the Newgrass Revival in the 1980s. As leader of the genre-busting Bela Fleck and the Flecktones since 1989, he has used the banjo to define the band’s one-of-a-kind fusion of jazz, rock, bluegrass, and world music. He has been nominated for Grammy awards in more categories than any artist in history, and has won 15 to date, with 30 nominations. Tickets are $30 to $70.
On Sunday, November 3 at 7pm, “World Blues” will grace the Mahaiwe stage. It will be a celebration of American blues music’s global influence, as seen from three very diverse points of view and three international points of origin. Anchored by iconic folk-blues legend Taj Mahal, the evening will also feature the soulful South African blues of guitarist/vocalist Vusi Mahlasela and the more modern rock-and-roll perspective of Fredericks Brown, a band featuring Mahal’s daughter, Deva Mahal, who hails from New Zealand. Over his five-decade career, the Grammy Award-winning Mahal has evolved into a master of global styles from Mississippi Delta blues to Hawaiian stylings to African rhythms. In addition to headlining the program, he is also the binding thread throughout this evening of music. Fresh from their sessions together on Mahlasela’s latest album, Mahal and Mahlasela explore the intersection of African and American musical forms; and with Fredericks Brown, it’s clear that Mahal has influenced yet another generation, taking blues along to new and exciting places. Tickets are $35 to $75.
Rita Rudner will perform on Sunday, August 4 at 7pm.One of the country’s top comedians and a New York Times bestselling author, Rudner is also an award-winning television personality, screenwriter, playwright, Broadway dancer, and actress. A house-filling favorite in Las Vegas since she opened as one of the hottest tickets in town in June 2000, she is known for her epigrammatic one-liners. Over the course of a 2,000-plus show run in Las Vegas, she has sold more than one million tickets and become the longest-running solo show in the history of Sin City. She was named Las Vegas Comedian Of The Year nine years in a row. Tickets are $25 to $66.
Bill Cosby will headline the Mahaiwe 2013 Gala on Sunday, October 13 at a time TBA. One of America’s most prolific comedians of all time, Cosby has dazzled generations of fans with his comedy routines, iconic albums, best-selling books, such as Fatherhood, and his groundbreaking television series The Cosby Show. His comedy transcends age, gender, and cultural barriers. Gala tickets will go on sale later this spring.
Paul Taylor Dance Company will return to the Mahaiwe for its sixth consecutive summer season on Friday and Saturday, May 24 and May 25 at 8:00pm and Sunday, May 26 at 3pm and 7pm. The renowned modern dance company will perform the New England premiere of Taylor’s Perpetual Dawn, which depicts young people experiencing the awakening of love, perhaps for the very first time. The new work is set to sprightly concertos by Baroque composer Johann David Heinichen. Other dances to be performed include Cascade, Kith and Kin, Lost Found Lost, and Offenbach Overtures. See the calendar section below for the specific dances to be performed at each performance. Tickets are $10 to $75, with 25% off purchases of both programs in one order.
Pilobolus Dance Company will perform on Saturday, October 12 at 8pm. Founded in 1971, Pilobolus has built its fervent international following by consistently proving the human body to be diversely expressive and universally powerful as a medium. Based in Washington Depot, Connecticut, the company manages to maintain its own singular style while actively collaborating with the best and brightest minds from robotics labs at MIT and rock band OK Go to master illusionists Penn and Teller and world-renowned choreographers, such as Inbal Pinto, Avshalom Pollak, and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. The results of these collaborations-moving, clever, and always employing human bodies in truly amazing ways, form a repertory of over 100 works that Pilobolus performs around the world. Tickets are $35 to $80.
Food historian Francine Segan will give a series of delicious lectures this season, including “Food Talk for Movie Lovers” (Monday July 15 at 6:30pm), “Virtual Food Tour of the Berkshires” (Monday, July 29 at 7:00pm), “Shakespeare’s Kitchen” (Monday, August 12 at 6:30pm), “Opera Lover’s Cookbook” (Saturday, November 9 at 6:30pm), and “Gilded Age Holiday Entertaining” (Saturday, December 14 at 6:30pm). Segan is the author of The Philosopher’s Kitchen, Shakespeare’s Table, and Movie Menus. Her most recent books are The Opera Lover’s Cookbook and Dolci: Italy’s Sweets. She has appeared on numerous radio and TV programs. Tickets are $20 to $25 per lecture.
The Mahaiwe will present a conversation about children, families, and the future, celebrating the 40th anniversary of Free to Be…You and Me with Marlo Thomas, Alan Alda, and Letty Cottin Pogrebin on Sunday, August 18 at 7:00pm. A project of the Ms. Foundation for Women, Free to Be… You and Me, conceived by Marlo Thomas, is a CD, illustrated book, DVD, and theater piece, first released as a record album and illustrated book and then as an Emmy Award-winning ABC television special. This iconic family entertainment features many acclaimed personalities, including actors Alan Alda, Marlo Thomas, Carol Channing, and Cicely Tyson, football star Rosey Grier, and singers Michael Jackson and Diana Ross. Its message challenges gender stereotypes by emphasizing strong positive values such as personal aspiration, individuality, cooperation, self-esteem, tolerance, and comfort with one’s identity. From its beloved songs and stories, three generations of children have learned that anyone-girls and boys, women and men -can achieve anything, and everyone has the right to pursue their dreams. Tickets are $35 to $200 (preferred seating and post-show reception with the artists). Proceeds will benefit the Free To Be Foundation and Mahaiwe Education programs.
EXHIBITION: Great Art in HD is a major new cinema event series that will capture and explore major world exhibitions bringing a wealth of artistic masterpieces to a broader audience than ever before via high-tech digital cinema technology. It will feature the world’s foremost upcoming art exhibitions, creatively captured in HD especially for the big screen. The series begins with a career-encompassing collection of the works of Edouard Manet on exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts London broadcast on Thursday, April 18 at 7pm and Saturday, April 27 at 7pm. The second event is a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition of the greatest number of Edvard Munch’s works ever, co-hosted by the National Museum and the Munch Museum in Oslo, broadcast on Thursday, June 27 at 7pm and Monday, July 8 at 7pm. The third exhibition takes place at the National Gallery in London where audiences will see a unique perspective on the masterpieces of Johannes Vermeer broadcast on Saturday, October 26 at 5:00pm. Tickets are $12 to $16 per exhibition.
On Thursday, July 11 at 7pm, the Mahaiwe and the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute will co-present Winslow Homer: Making Art, Making History. Michael Cassin, director of the Clark’s Center for Education in the Visual Arts, will discuss the museum’s summer exhibition. Winslow Homer’s work encompasses a wide variety of themes and techniques. His early designs for Harper’s Weekly illustrations and his later watercolors, prints, and oil paintings explore, in different ways, the lives of his contemporaries and the splendor-and power-of the natural world. Tickets are free.
The Mahaiwe will present two London’s National Theatre: Live in HD broadcasts. Helen Mirren reprises her Academy Award-winning role as Queen Elizabeth II in the highly anticipated West End production of Peter Morgan’s The Audience, directed by Academy Award-nominated director Stephen Daldry, on Thursday, June 13 at 7pm, with an encore presentation on Sunday, July 7 at 3pm. Olivier Award-winning actor Adrian Lester takes the title role in director Nicholas Hytner’s major new production of Othello, William Shakespeare’s celebrated play about the destructive power of jealousy, on Thursday, September 26 at 7pm, with an encore presentation on Sunday, September 29 at 3pm. Tickets are $18 to $25.
The Mahaiwe will also continue its popular broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera’s “Live in HD” series. The 2013-2014 season of ten productions starts in October and will run through May. Tickets will go on sale in late August.
Ever wanted to know what it’s like to be a T-bird or a Pink Lady, but never quite felt cool enough to pull it off? Well, now is your chance to don those poodle skirts or grease up your hair in a rockabilly style, and let your inhibitions go for an evening where you are the star in Sing-a-Long Grease on Saturday, July 6 at 7:00pm. Belt out songs like “Summer Lovin'” and “Greased Lightning” as the 1978 hit movie starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John plays, complete with on-screen lyrics. Fun for kids and adults alike, this interactive show features a costume competition, goody bags, and plenty of laughs. Tickets are $15 to $25.
On Friday, August 2 at a time TBA, the Mahaiwe will present a program and related activities celebrating Mary Pope Osborne’s Magic Tree Houseinternationally beloved and bestselling children’s book series. Brother-sister duo Jack and Annie bring their time-traveling adventures to life in a 25-minute tribute to the magic of reading involving captivating performances, lively audience participation, and original songs. Children will be inspired to read and travel the world just like Jack and Annie. Tickets are free as this event is part of Free Fun Friday sponsored by the Highland Street Foundation.
The Mahaiwe will host a wide variety of community events presented by Aston Magna Festival, Berkshire International Film Festival, Berkshire Playwrights Lab, Boston Early Music Festival, Fairview Hospital, and Sohn Fine Art. The full schedule follows in the calendar summary below.
Tickets to all of the new shows, except The Fab Faux, go on sale to the general public on Friday, April 5 at noon. The Fab Faux tickets go on sale to Mahaiwe members on Wednesday, April 10 at noon and to the general public on Thursday, April 11 at noon. The Mahaiwe is located at 14 Castle Street in Great Barrington, Massachsetts. Box office hours are Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 6:00pm and three hours before show times. A limited number of $15 tickets are available for patrons ages 30 and younger to all Mahaiwe-produced programs through the Mahaiwe ArtSmart Tix program.
For tickets and information, visit Mahaiwe Peforming Art Center or call 413.528.0100.