Posts Tagged ‘Larry Murray’

Sexmob Adds Unusual Jazz Twist to 1925 Silent Film “Maciste in Hell” [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015
Sex Mob brings jazz and special effects to a classic silent film at Mass MoCA’s Club B-10  on April 4

Sexmob brings jazz and special effects to a classic silent film at MASS MoCA’s Club B-10

At MASS MoCA in North Adams on Saturday night (April 4), the propulsive quartet Sexmob, which combines mind-blowing jazz chops with a highly developed sense of wit and mischief, performs its brand-new original score to Maciste in Hell, the seminal work of the Italian silent era. The great Bartolomeo Pagano stars as Maciste, a Herculean strongman whose physical prowess and matching virtue are tested when the Devil and his minions capture him and drag him to hell. Fellini cites the film as one that inspired him to lead a life in cinema.

Originally formed as a vehicle for Steven Bernstein (most notable for his work as the trumpeter for Levon Helm from 2004 to 2012) and his slide trumpet, Sexmob quickly evolved to serve a much nobler purpose. Immediately after Bernstein assembled his band (Steven Bernstein, slide trumpet; Briggan Krauss, alto sax; Tony Scherr, bass; Kenny Wollesen, drums), they began a residency at the Knitting Factory in Manhattan, largely playing Bernstein’s original songs. During a special evening of film music, however, the audience went crazy for the James Bond theme. Bernstein and his band realized that audiences engage more with music they recognize, and Sexmob’s legacy would be forever changed.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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Tony Simotes Joins Berkshire Theatre Group as Managing Director [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, March 30th, 2015
Tony Simotes. Photo by Kevin Sprague ©2010

Tony Simotes (Photo by Kevin Sprague ©2010)

In news that is as surprising as welcome, Tony Simotes has decided to stay in the Berkshires and apply his numerous talents to the growth of the Berkshire Theatre Group. The question of what would become of “our Tony” following his departure from Lenox’s Shakespeare & Company last October has ended. Happily.

The announcement was made by Berkshire Theatre Group’s Artistic Director/CEO, Kate Maguire. Simotes will become BTG’s Managing Director and an Artistic Associate and will begin work at BTG today (Monday, March 30).

It is reported that his responsibilities will include budgeting, fundraising, community outreach and helping formulate BTG’s strategic plan.

In an on-air interview at WAMC-FM, Simotes also spoke about his reasons for leaving Shakespeare & Company.

A True Original, Carl Hancock Rux Returns to MASS MoCA on Saturday [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, March 27th, 2015

One of the most magnetic and engaging performers ever to grace a stage at MASS MoCA, Carl Hancock Rux returns on Saturday night (March 28) for an intimate set of songs and poetry set to live piano music that ranges from the blues to German lieder to Lili Boulanger. The New York Times says, “Carl Hancock Rux is full of promise and virtuosity… a gifted poet who offers up vibrant imagery like a street corner preacher in the midst of a nervous breakdown.”

An American poet, novelist, singer-songwriter, essayist and Bessie Award and OBIE Award-winning artist, Rux’s poetry deals with issues of race, religion, politics, sexuality, isolation and personal relationships, while making use of satire, naturalism and rhetoric to convey the observations embedded within his poetry. Rux delivers his poetry with an unparalleled lyrical intimacy: his voice, both literally and in terms of his writing, is undeniably his own.

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Paul McCartney to Induct Ringo Starr into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, March 23rd, 2015
Paul and Ringo

Paul and Ringo

By Larry Murray

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame continues to be pretty much a guy thing, reflecting the world of past half century or so of the macho dominated business. But there is still a lot of history here, as the powers who decide these things has revealed special guests for the 30th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Saturday, April 18, at Cleveland’s historic Public Hall. They include:

Paul McCartney inducting Ringo Starr

Stevie Wonder inducting Bill Withers

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Local Actors Guild of Saratoga Tackles Sexual Politics in Larry Kramer’s Drama “The Normal Heart” [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, March 20th, 2015

The Normal Heart

The Normal Heart is the third production of the Local Actors Guild of Saratoga’s 2014-2015 season and will run from March 21-22 and 28-29. The Capital Region community theater in downtown Saratoga Springs is celebrating its ninth season under the leadership of Jeremy Buechner, Artistic Director. Jonathan Pate is directing the show at Saratoga Arts.

The Normal Heart tells the story of the onset of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s. It explores the nation’s sexual politics as gay activists and their allies in the medical community fight to expose the truth about the epidemic to a city in denial.

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Zammuto & Gotye @ MASS MoCA on Saturday [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

From his days as a founding member of luminary art rockers the Books to his equally arresting and madcap work as a solo artist, the imagination of Nick Zammuto is boundless. He recently built a giant catapult in his Vermont backyard for the purpose of flinging computers and guitars. When he visits MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center in North Adams at 8pm Saturday (March 21) with his eponymous ensemble, Zammuto, it’s hard to know for sure what will happen – but it’s safe to say you should show up…

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DD Dorvillier’s “Extra Shapes” at EMPAC Combines Sound, Light & Dance – But Doesn’t Blend [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015
Dance at RPI’s EMPAC in Troy, New York.

Dance @ EMPAC at RPI in Troy

Picture a carton of Neapolitan ice cream: three bands of strawberry, vanilla and chocolate perfectly proportioned, separated, juxtaposed. Each flavor retains its unique character and might be tasted alone, but, when taken as a triad, the dessert reveals its simple elegance through complementation not combination. This is the working analogy for choreographer and performer DD Dorvillier’s Extra Shapes, which treats the mediums of sound, light and movement in a similarly autonomous manner. The EMPAC-commissioned work will premiere at EMPAC at RPI in Troy at 8pm on Friday (March 20).

For Extra Shapes, the stage itself is the ice cream carton. Within that space, works of sound, light and dance occupy the three horizontal bands. According to its parts, the piece is a concert for loudspeakers (by composer Sebastien Roux), a light show (by lighting designer Thomas Dunn) and a performance for moving figures (created by Dorvillier with the performers Katerina Andreou and Walter Dundervill).

Staged in the EMPAC Theater, Extra Shapes consists of a 17-minute sequence which is repeated several times. The audience, seated along the sides of the rectangle, moves to a new side after each iteration in order to experience very different perspectives. The idea is to present the three mediums simultaneously but separately and to propose a new way of experiencing abstraction in the context of live performance.

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“A Rite” (of Spring) @ ’62 Center Brings Anne Bogart, Bill T. Jones & Janet Wong Together [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, March 16th, 2015
A Rite (photo: Paul B. Goode)

“A Rite” (photo: Paul B. Goode)

When it premiered in Paris in 1913, Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, with choreography by Vaslav Nijinksy, was greeted with the vocal equivalent of rotten tomatoes.

“The people were so upset by the music and the choreography that they started screaming and shouting insults, and a riot ensued,” said Anne Bogart, artistic director of SITI Company, a theater ensemble based in New York City. “Not six months later, the music was being recognized as one of the greatest pieces of modern music ever.”

In Williamstown, the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance’s CenterSeries hosts the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and Anne Bogart’s SITI Company as they join forces. These two celebrated companies examine The Rite of Spring, Igor Stravinsky’s groundbreaking masterpiece. His celebrated collaboration with choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky was so revolutionary at the time of its Paris premiere that it incited a riot, and “A Rite” attempts to imagine the consequences of hearing the piece played for the very first time, with a libretto that pulls from the diaries of World War I veterans, the writings of physicist Brian Greene and many other sources. There will be one performance only, at 8pm on Tuesday (March 17) at Williams College’s ’62 Center MainStage, located at 1000 Main Street, in Williamstown, MA. Tickets are $10; $3 students.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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