A highly selective preview of cultural events taking place this weekend in the greater Berkshire region, including Algerian dance, female mariachi, Puccini, Shakespeare, and a whole lot more.
(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – Trailblazing Latin Grammy Award-nominee Mariachi Flor de Toloache, New York City’s first all-female mariachi band, performs in the Dré Pavilion at MASS MoCA on Saturday, August 6, at 8pm. The band infuses a classic ranchero sound with bursts of hip-hop, soul, jazz, and salsa.
(BECKET, Mass.) – French dance group Compagnie Hervé KOUBI makes its Jacob’s Pillow debut in the highly physical evening-length work “What the Day Owes to the Night (Ce que le jour doit à la nuit)” from Wednesday, August 3, through Sunday, August 7, in the Ted Shawn Theatre. Guided by the artistic vision of French-Algerian choreographer Hervé Koubi, the performance finds inspiration through a cultural cross-section of artistic mediums, transforming street dance from Algeria and Burkina Faso into acrobatic modern dance, set to an eclectic score ranging from Bach to traditional Sufi music.
(LENOX, Mass.) – This summer’s production of “The Merchant of Venice,” directed by Tina Packer and starring Jonathan Epstein as Shylock, is Shakespeare & Company at its best, combining a skillful presentation of the text with an improvisatory spirit that is true to the history of Shakespearean theater while signaling the timeless and contemporary nature of the work. It’s also damn funny and entertaining, and runs through August 21.
(STOCKBRIDGE, Mass.) – Artist Maurice “Pops” Peterson will explore the relationship between art and the civil rights movement in “Van Der Zee to Rockwell and Beyond: Art and Civil Rights,” at Norman Rockwell Museum on Saturday, August 6, at 5pm. Peterson was recently honored for his series that re-imagined the art of Norman Rockwell to reflect the realities of 21st century life. The event is free for museum members, or included with museum admission.
(ANNANDALE-on-HUDSON, N.Y.) – The 27th annual Bard Music Festival – an exploration of “Puccini and His World” – opens Friday, August 5, with Weekend One: Puccini and Italian Musical Culture. The first of the weekend’s five themed concerts, Program 1: “Opera, Politics, and the Italian,” examines the ways Italians perceived their newly unified homeland in the comparatively peaceful half-century between the Risorgimento and the First World War, through operatic and other excerpts by Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924) and his contemporaries.
(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – “Color Envy,” featuring works by David Eddy, Julio Granda, and Douglass Truth, opens at Lauren Clark Fine Art, with an artist’s reception on Saturday, August 6, from 4 to 7pm. The works will remain on view through Sunday, August 28.
In conjunction with the exhibition, performance artist Douglass Truth will present his one-woman show “An Intimate Evening with Death, Herself,” at the gallery from Thursday, August 11, through Sunday, August 14. In the show, Dorothy, a middle-aged waitress, meets Death in a bar. He’s unhappy, bored, and ready for something new. So is she. They repair to a Denny’s Restaurant for a snack. And, after 49 solid days in a back booth at a Denny’s restaurant, she replaces him.
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Robert Randolph and the Family Band bring their unique blend of gospel-influenced soul-rock to Club Helsinki Hudson on Friday, August 5, at 9pm. Randolph’s unprecedented prowess on his instrument garnered him a spot on Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” list, and also attracted the attention of such giants as Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana, who have collaborated with him on stage and in the studio.
ANDERS OSBORNE BAND BRINGS SOUTHERN ROOTS-ROCK to HELSINKI HUDSON
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Anders Osborne Band brings their unique blend of original, Southern-influenced roots-rock to Club Helsinki Hudson on Sunday, August 7, at 8pm. Indie-grunge artist Oliver John-Rodgers will warm up the crowd for Osborne.