A selective, curatorial view of the cultural highlights of the upcoming weekend in the greater Berkshire region.
‘QUEEN SANTA’ EXPLORES XMAS in NYC at THE MOUNT
(LENOX, Mass.) – Sibyl McCormac Groff, widely known as “Queen Santa” and “the Spirited New Yorker,” will discuss the holiday traditions of the diverse cultures that have contributed to making Christmas in New York City a one-of-a-kind experience in the Drawing Room at the Mount on Sat, Jan 6, at 4pm. The author of “A New York Christmas: Ho Ho Ho at Gothamtide,” recently profiled in the New York Times, will also share insights into how Edith Wharton and her friends celebrated the holidays.
COMING SOON: I/O FEST 2018 BRINGS NEW MUSIC to WILLIAMS
(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – The Williams College Department of Music’s annual I/O Fest, a four-day festival of new music, runs Thu, Jan 11-Sun, Jan 14, in various venues on and around the college campus. Over the course of four days and nights, performers and audiences will take a deep dive into new and adventurous music from around the world and down the street. I/O Fest 2018 features composer/performer Kate Soper, in residence for a performance of her landmark chamber opera “Here Be Sirens” by guest ensemble Fresh Squeezed Opera, and performances by the I/O Ensemble, IOTA, and an array of Williams faculty, students, alumni, and guests. All events are free and open to the public.
(LENOX, Mass.) – Old (Edith Wharton), new (Nela Wagman), and classic (Sam Shepard) plays are on tap for the Winter Studio Festival of Plays at Shakespeare & Company on Sat-Sun, Jan 13-14. The weekend of staged readings features Carson Kreitzer’s “Timebomb,” Liz Duffy Adams’s “Wonders of the Invisible World,” Hamish Linklater’s “The Whirligig,” Wharton’s “The Shadow of a Doubt,” and Shepard’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Buried Child.”
(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – What do you get when your cross Wilco with NASA? You get Quindar, the multimedia duo featuring Wilco keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen and his collaborator, art historian and curator James Merle Thomas, returning to MASS MoCA on Sat, Jan 20, at 8pm.The duo syncs electronic music with historical recordings and film sourced mainly from NASA’s earliest manned missions. “Quindar tones” — the ubiquitous beeps heard during NASA’s early manned spaceflight missions — let astronauts and mission control know they were still in contact with each other. “Generated by a very simple, rudimentary synthesizer,” explain Jorgensen and Thomas, “Quindar tones’ function is to say, ‘Are you there?’ ‘Yes, we’re still here. Are you still there?’” (Kind of like “Roger Wilco.”) The duo will be joined by Jeremy Roth, Quindar’s lighting designer and video artist.
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Club Helsinki Hudson’s annual Elvis Birthday Bash, featuring Mark Gamsjager & the Lustre Kings, will take place on Fri, Jan 12, at 9pm, just a few days after what would have been Elvis Presley’s 83rd birthday. The Lustre Kings will be joined by a who’s who of regional rockabilly talent, including Ian Carlton, Mike Kelley, Michael “Chops” LaConte, and Graham Tichy, plus additional special guests.
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – “Painted Cities,” a new exhibition of urban images including works by Dan Rupe, Darshan Russell, Edward Avedisian, Patty Neal, Richard Britell, Robert Goldstrom, and Scott Nelson Foster, is on view at Carrie Haddad Gallery from Thu, Jan 4 to Sun, Feb 18. Featuring everything from paintings of the Empire State Building and Hudson Library to corner laundromats and takeout restaurants, the exhibition forms a compelling human portrait without calling upon the human figure. Crafted in an array of styles, from a Fauvist inspiration to hyperrealism, each cityscape captures a city’s character with an intense precision and sensitivity to the world people build for themselves. An opening reception for the artists takes place on Sat, Jan 6, from 5pm to 7pm.