A highly selective preview of cultural events taking place this weekend in the greater Berkshire region, including a chamber concert of music by Saint-Saens and Cesar Franck; a live multimedia documentary about life in a Mexican border town; a holiday-themed acoustic music concert; a photographic look at the lost Catskills resorts; and a whole lot more.
WORKS by SAINT-SAËNS and CÉSAR FRANCK FEATURED in CHAMBER CONCERT at MAHAIWE
(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – Works by Saint-Saëns and César Franck and the object of their mutual love, Augusta Holmès, are on tap in “L’Amour Toujours,” a chamber concert at the Mahaiwe on Saturday, December 3, at 6pm, part of the Close Encounters With Music series. Featured musicians are pianist Roman Rabinovich, violinists Diana Cohen, Sarah McElravy, and Julian Rachlin, and Close Encounters artistic director, cellist Yehuda Hanani.
AND THE KIDS BRING INDIE-ROCK to COLONIAL
(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – Indie rock band And The Kids, the Pioneer Valley’s answer to Arcade Fire, perform at the Garage at the Colonial Theatre on Thursday, December 1, at 8pm. And The Kids channel existential crises into pop euphoria. With this sleight of hand, the quartet manages to conjure chunky indie rock, blissful new wave, chamber folk, jarring avant-garde, and brawny classic rock. Ukulele-wielding singer-songwriter Francesca Shanks of North Adams warms up the crowd for And The Kids.
The group has been featured on NPR Music’s “Songs We Love” program; in Stereogum magazine; in WBUR’s online magazine, The ARTery; and was featured in an NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert.
PERFORMANCE DOC ABOUT MEXICAN BORDER TOWN at MASS MoCA
(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) — Theater Mitu’s multimedia performance work “Juárez: A Documentary Mythology,” which explores the juxtaposition of neighboring border communities of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, and El Paso, Texas — one a hot zone of the drug cartel wars, the other the self-proclaimed “Safest Large City in America” – will be staged at at MASS MoCA on Saturday, December 3, at 8pm.
Led by Juárez-born and -raised founding artistic director Rubén Polendo, Theater Mitu’s company members condensed hundreds of hours of interviews and field recordings from both cities. Drawing on their research, “Juárez: A Documentary Mythology” illuminates the region’s memories, hopes, and fears.
CATSKILLS PHOTOGRAPHER UNCOVERS FORGOTTEN WORLD of BORSCHT BELT
(WOODSTOCK, N.Y. and AMHERST, Mass.) – Photographer Marisa Scheinfeld will speak about her years-long project documenting the ruins of the once vital resorts in the Catskill Mountains and sign copies of her new book, “The Borscht Belt: Revisiting the Remains of America’s Jewish Vacationland” (Cornell University Press) at the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Mass., on Sunday, April 2, 2017, at 2pm.
Scheinfeld’s photographs capture the lost world of the Catskills resorts in images of entropy and decay, as if the hotels were suddenly and inexplicably abandoned, with all evidence of human life extinguished in one fell swoop. One imagines the places having been emptied out in the wake of sudden natural disaster, environmental calamity, or war – instead of the particular socioeconomic changes, e.g., cheap airfare to Florida, that made them no longer attractive to their clientele or even viable. While on the one hand Scheinfeld’s images reek of ghostly devastation, on the other hand they boast their own post-apocalyptic beauty, filled with a haunting presence and eerie echoes of what once was.
DAROL ANGER BRINGS TONY TRISCHKA and ALL-STAR ACOUSTIC LINEUP to HELSINKI HUDSON for ACOUSTIC ROOTS HOLIDAY SHOW
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Violinist and acoustic music legend Darol Anger brings his annual holiday-music program – this year featuring banjo genius Tony Trischka and rising singer-songwriter Emy Phelps – to Club Helsinki Hudson on Sunday, December 4, at 8pm. The concert will feature an all-star cast of string musicians in a multigenerational musical experience focusing on the spirit of mid-winter and the turning of the year.