MASS MoCA Announces Fall Schedule of Concerts & Events

Over in North Adams, MASS MoCA’s fall season gets under way in mid-September when the museum devotes an entire weekend to bluegrass and roots music – and continues full throttle until it sends us laughing all the way into the holiday season with a mid-December show of smart comedy. Throughout its roster of anything-but-standard fare, MASS MoCA features musical theater, award-winning dance performances, electro-dance hall music, film forums and more…

New York-based artist Lee Boroson creates a sequence of elements in MASS MoCA’s largest gallery, where visitors will immerse in fog, lava, waterfalls and smokestacks as they move through installations of fabric, glass, and inflatables that consider the landscape as culture as well as wilderness.

The season kicks off with the previously announced FreshGrass, the three-day bluegrass and roots festival on Friday-Sunday, September 19-21 featuring a mind-bending amount of music, with more than 40 bands throughout the weekend, including Emmylou Harris, Railroad Earth, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Sam Bush, the Infamous Stringdusters, the David Grisman Sextet, Cricket Tell the Weather, the Novel Ideas, Ramblin Jug Stompers, the Flying Garbanzos and many, many more. The festival rounds out with instrument- and industry-focused workshops, luthier demonstrations, Berkshire-fresh food and spirits, downtown camping, family programming.

And here’s the schedule of newly announced concerts, films, dance, theater, comedy and other rather unclassifiable events for MASS MoCA’s fall season:

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PEOPLE’S CHAMPS
October 4, 8pm @ Club B-10
$12 in advance; $18 at the door; $22 preferred; $10 students
The Brooklyn-based, eight-piece collective pumps out roots-dance music steeped in cross-cultural beats and city smarts. Expect slinking synths and electronic riffs to move the club crowd to the dance floor.

“THE SOURCE”
Friday, October 10, 8pm @ the Hunter Center
$10 in advance; $15 at the door; $22 preferred
In producer Beth Morrison’s latest music-theater work-in-progress, Ted Hearne and director Daniel Fish dive headfirst into the digital storm surrounding Private Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning, who was sentenced to 35 years in prison after publishing the largest set of classified documents ever leaked to the public.

GARY LUCAS: “THE GODDESS”
Saturday, October 11, 8pm @ Club B-10
$12 in advance; $18 at the door; $22 preferred; $10 students
Magical guitar hero Gary Lucas – who has played with everyone from Captain Beefhart to Jeff Buckley – performs his original live score to director Wu Yonggang’s 1934 film, which tells the tragic tale of a young single mother forced into prostitution in Shanghai in order to raise money for the education of her son.

ABRAHAM.IN.MOTION
Saturday, October 18, 8pm @ the Hunter Center
Sunday, October 19, 3pm @ the Hunter Center
$20, $26 & $32 in advance; $26, $32 & $38 at the door; $18 students
Choreographer Kyle Abraham – a MacArthur “Genius” Fellow — and his ensemble of dancers perform his newest work, “The Watershed,” set to a rambunctious score ranging from contemporary cello to Otis Redding.

ALLEN TOUSSAINT & THE PRESERVATION HALL JAZZ BAND
Thursday, October 23, 8pm @ the Hunter Center
$28 & $34 in advance; $36 & $42 at the door; $70 preferred
Two giants of New Orleans music together on one stage. As a pianist-composer-producer, Allen Toussaint has worked with a who’s who of Big Easy musicians including Dr. John and the Neville Brothers — as well as other luminaries such as Elvis Costello, Paul McCartney, the Band and Albert King. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band are the longtime torchbearers for the rich musical tradition of New Orleans jazz. A magical evening…

SECRET SCIENCE CLUB
Saturday, October 25, 8pm @ Club B-10
$12 in advance; $18 at the door; $22 preferred; $10 students
The Secret Science Club is a regular gathering in New York City featuring mind-bending lectures, volatile experiments and thematic chemical libations (special cocktails, that is). It’s the coolest science class you’ve ever been to, but with drinks and a DJ. Also featuring a screening of “Particle Fever,” the dazzling documentary about six high-energy scientists as they seek to unravel the mysteries of the universe.

PROJECT SCREENPLAY
Wednesday, November 5, 7pm @ Club B-10
$12 in advance; $18 at the door; $22 preferred
Whether you’re an aspiring screenwriter or a fan of movies in general, Williamstown Film Festival’s Project Screenplay invites you to take part in a live-action game show about the art of the pitch hosted by screenwriter Andrew Osborne. You decide who gets the green light when aspiring screen scribes pitch the audience and act out scenes while industry pros offer tips and advice for bringing a script from page to projector.

WILLIAMSTOWN FILM FESTIVAL
Friday, November 7, 8pm @ the Hunter Center
WFF and MASS MoCA have collaborated on some of the Film Festival’s most impressive screenings, and the collaboration continues with the screening of an exciting new independent feature (TBA) followed by a Q&A with the artists.

ELSKA
Saturday, November 8, 2pm @ Club B-10
$8
Indie-pop siren Elska, who has purportedly discovered a newly formed volcanic island off the coast of Iceland, makes “crazy awesome electronic funderworld faerie tunes for the whole family,” says our friend, Mikael Jorgensen, of Wilco. She’s the Bjork of children’s music.

“SOL LeWITT”
Saturday, November 15, 2pm @ Club B-10
$7; $5 students
Despite his success as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Sol LeWitt didn’t want to be an art personality: he didn’t like his picture to be taken and hardly ever gave interviews. The film “Sol LeWitt,” directed by Chris Teerink, is not a biography; rather, the work itself is the point of departure, raising the question about where conceptual principles end and the quest for beauty begins.

AJA MONET
Saturday, November 15, 8pm @ Club B-10
$12 in advance; $18 at the door; $22 preferred; $10 students
Hailing from Brooklyn, Aja Monet is an internationally renowned singer and poet, her words grounded in familiar sights and sounds, uprooting the vivid imagery of everyday life with an impressionistic approach worthy of her last name.

SUNDANCE THEATRE LAB
Saturday, December 6, 8pm @ Club B-10
$10 in advance; $16 at the door; $5 students
Academy Award-nominated Lucy Alibar – whose stage play was adapted into the award-winning film “Beasts of the Southern Wild” – will workshop her latest, “Throw Me on the Burnpile and Light Me Up” with the Sundance Theatre Lab, in residency for two weeks at the museum. Catch a reading of this work — a tale of a man, his family, his animals and his burn pile — on its way to the bright lights.

HARI KONDABOLU
Saturday, December 13, 8pm @ Club B-10
$12 in advance; $18 at the door; $22 preferred; $10 students
“Smart, analytical and rising” is how Time Out NY described the Brooklyn-based, Queens-raised comic, a ubiquitous and hilarious presence on late-night TV and at festivals from South by Southwest to Bumbershoot to Sasquatch. Listen in amazement as he manages to turn his London School of Economics Master’s Degree in Human Rights into stand-up gold. Bring your brain to this one.

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