A highly selective preview of cultural events taking place this weekend in the greater Berkshire region, including a film score for a classic silent documentary played live; a site-specific performance of a play about Edith Wharton; a new festival of short plays at a new performance venue; comedy; folk-rock; cartoon art; and a whole lot more.
(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – Pioneer Valley-based indie-folk group Parsonsfield returns to MASS MoCA in North Adams on Saturday, January 28, at 8pm, to play their original live score to the iconic Richard Flaherty documentary “Nanook of the North.
(LENOX, Mass.) – “Leisure & Lust,” a unique, immersive site-specific theater experience written by Sara Farrington and inspired by Edith Wharton’s life, love affair, marriage, and writing style, receives a limited run at The Mount from Friday, January 27 through Saturday, January 28.
Opening night is Friday, January 27, with a special performance in The Mount’s drawing room, followed by a talkback and reception with Farrington, director Marina McClure, and the cast. Additional performances will take place on Saturday, January 28, at 11am, 2pm, and 5pm. Each of Saturday’s performances will be presented in Wharton’s Boudoir and Bedroom. Tickets may be purchased at The Mount or by calling 413-551-5100. The Mount is located at 2 Plunkett Street in Lenox.
“Leisure & Lust” is a theatrical and psychological journey through the ravages of poverty and the oppressions of affluence in New York City in 1907. It is the story of Grace Hunter, a brilliant woman with an insatiable hunger for romance, and her tortured husband Harry, a closeted man rapidly losing his grip on reality.
(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – Berkshire Playwrights Lab launches the inaugural Radius Playwrights Festival in its new home at Saint James Place on Friday, January 26, at 7pm, and Saturday, January 27, at 3pm and 7pm. Radius Playwrights Festival features new short plays created by local writers. The festival will present fully staged readings of the six selected plays in the much-anticipated new performance space located in downtown Great Barrington.
The six 10-minute plays chosen for the inaugural event are “A Layover” by Andy Reynolds; “Broken” by James McLindon; “Cirque du Dismay” by Maizy Broderick Scarpa; “Ein Kleiner Kosmik Joke” by Rachel Schroeder; “Going Out Dancing” by Katherine Burger; and “It’s a Tragedy” by Steven Otfinoski.
(SOUTH EGREMONT, Mass.) – Nationally known comedians Shawn Hollenbach and Chris Doucette headline a Comedy Night at Egremont Barn on Saturday, January 28, at 8pm. The evening’s host is New York City comedian Jenny Rubin
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – New York-based female folk-rock duo Overcoats brings its captivating, intimate harmonies and subtle, electronic soundscapes to Club Helsinki Hudson on Friday, January 27, at 9pm. Described as a cross between Chet Faker and Simon & Garfunkel, the duo’s voices glide over shivering chords and minimal electronics. Their songs alternately surge with dance-floor energy and unfold in gentle, soulful waves.
(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – More than a century of Japanese printing traditions, represented by seventy-three color woodblock prints, will be presented in the Clark Art Institute exhibition Japanese Impressions: Color Woodblock Prints from the Rodbell Family Collection.
The exhibition explores the complex and changing relationship among artists, woodblock cutters, and publishers from the ukiyo-e (scenes from the floating world) tradition of the mid-19th century, the shin-hanga (new print) movement of the 1920s and 1930s, and the s?saku-hanga (creative print) movement that began in the 1950s. Japanese Impressions is on view through April 2, 2017.
(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) — Nick Cave, the artist known for his wearable sculptures called Soundsuits, turns expectations inside out at MASS MoCA in “Until,” a massive immersive installation. Cave uses MASS MoCA’s signature football field-sized space to create his largest and most overtly political installation to date, made up of thousands of found objects, a rich sensory tapestry. The sheer volume of material that has been gathered is astounding — 16,000 wind spinners; millions of plastic pony beads; thousands of ceramic birds, fruits, and animals; 13 gilded pigs; more than 10 miles of crystals; 24 chandeliers; 1 crocodile; and 17 cast-iron lawn jockeys.
(STOCKBRIDGE, Mass.) – “Hanna-Barbera: The Architects of Saturday Morning” features the work of the creative team behind such memorable Saturday morning cartoons as “The Yogi Bear Show,” “The Flintstones,” and the “The Jetsons,” on view at Norman Rockwell Museum through May 29, 2017.
Before the rise of basic cable, Saturday mornings for many children in America were spent watching cartoons on one of three available television channels. From 1958 through the 1980s, a majority of those cartoons bore the imprint of Hanna-Barbera. Creating scores of popular series such as The Yogi Bear Show, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Jonny Quest, and Scooby-Doo, Hanna-Barbera was an animation powerhouse and its bountiful creativity is beloved to this day.