(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – Futurity, an indie-rock song cycle about the Civil War, written and performed by the Brooklyn-based ensemble the Lisps, will be staged at MASS MoCA on Saturday, April 27, 2013, at 8pm. Within a theatrically staged song cycle, Futurity fuses found text, experimental music, and The Lisps’ own brand of quirky pop to tell the story of young Julian Munro, who spends his days breaking up Confederate railroad tracks as a soldier in the Union army. Julian copes with the destruction around him by imagining a far-fetched science fiction future. Guided by his brilliant mentor, the famous metaphysicist Ada Lovelace, Julian weaves an epic fantasy that folds a utopian, high-tech future into the dark reality of war. Together, Julian and Ada attempt to devise an all-powerful steam-powered machine destined to end war and all of humanity’s miseries.
CHINESE ACROBATS to PERFORM at MAHAIWE
(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – Cirque Shanghai: Bai Xi, a visually spectacular production that combines astounding Chinese acrobatics with fast-paced action and contemporary staging, comes to the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center on Friday, April 26, 2013, at 7pm. Dating back to the Han Dynasty more than 2,000 years ago, Chinese acrobatic spectacles were first called “bai xi,” meaning “100 amazing acts,” in reference to the performers’ seemingly limitless skills. These daring and beautiful feats were featured in command performances for China’s emperors and have been passed down and enhanced through generations. Today, Cirque Shanghai: Bai Xi brings this onstage spectacle to 21st century audiences via aerial acrobatics, plate spinning, contortion, balancing acts, hoop diving, martial arts, graceful folkloric pageantry, and more.
MAHLER’S SECOND SYMPHONY to GET GRAND TREATMENT at BARD’S FISHER CENTER
(ANNANDALE-on-HUDSON, N.Y.) – Members of the American Symphony Orchestra, Bard College Conservatory Orchestra and Longy Conservatory Orchestra; Bard Chamber Singers, Bard Festival Chorale, and Capella Festiva, conducted by Leon Botstein with James Bagwell, chorus master, and a chorus of more than 110 singers featuring soloists Heather Buck, soprano, and Jamie Van Eyck, mezzo-soprano, will all join forces to perform Gustav Mahler’s monumental Symphony No. 2 in celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College on Friday, April 26 and Saturday, April 27, 2013, at 8 pm. This will be the largest ensemble ever to appear on the Fisher Center’s Sosnoff Stage. There will be a preconcert talk at 7pm by Christopher Gibbs.
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Spencer Day, a singer-songwriter who occupies that amorphous niche somewhere in between pop and jazz, brings his original compositions and renditions of standards to Club Helsinki Hudson on Friday, April 26, 2013, at 9pm. Day himself captures his range and stylistic fusion best when he cites Chet Baker and Paul Simon, Cole Porter and Joni Mitchell, George Gershwin and John Lennon as his major influences. Day is also outspoken as a gay activist who is a native of Utah raised as a Mormon.
(SPENCERTOWN, N.Y.) – Renowned author and editor Victor S. Navasky will be interviewed by equally renowned author Peter Biskind at Spencertown Academy Arts Center on Saturday, April 27, 2013, at 4pm, as part of the center’s Community Conversations series. Navasky, a longtime Hillsdale weekender, will discuss his career and his new book, The Art of Controversy: Political Cartoons and Their Enduring Power (Knopf, 2013), a lavishly illustrated, witty, and original look at the awesome power of the political cartoon throughout. A reception and book signing will follow the talk.
(SHEFFIELD, Mass.) – Topical singer-songwriter Roy Zimmerman performs his one-man show, “Wake Up Call: Funny Songs About War, Ignorance & Greed,” at Dewey Memorial Hall on Friday, April 26, 2013, at 8pm. His show combines spoken-word comedy with songs of political satire, heartfelt emotion and novelty numbers.