Review: “Painting His Wings” at the Berkshire Fringe – It Has Everything a Play Needs [Berkshire on Stage]

August 1st, 2013, 2:00 pm by Sara

Painting His Wings

Review by Gail M. Burns

For the Berkshire Fringe, Painting His Wings borders on the traditional. It is very clearly a play with a script that tells a linear story. The four actors play the same characters throughout, and, although its billed as a “Partial Puppet Play” the puppets consist of six finger puppets and two pair of wings. I mention this because I know puppetry is a turn-off for some who do not consider it true “theatre.”

Why isn’t Abellona Whalen (Katie Lawson) talking? She talks to the audience, and to her older brother Christopher (Nathaniel Moore), but not to her parents Willa (Alison Scaramella) and Paul (Antonio David Lyons) until the very end, when the source of the family’s sorrow and the structure of the play is revealed.

Abellona’s age is never specified, but she can read and she goes to school and yet still believes in what child psychologists call “magical thinking,” so she is somewhere between the ages of seven and ten. Christopher is probably in the fragile years of early adolescence, between 11-14. Both are creative children – the product of a loving marriage and a happy home. Christopher is fascinated by flight. He makes and paints little airplanes, which he adds one by one to a mobile that hangs over his bed. He is also painting a pair of cardboard wings to blend in to the night sky. Abellona, who lugs around a copy of H. A. Rey’s “The Stars,” is enamored of the night sky and is teaching herself to identify individual stars and the constellations. He lets her help paint stars on to his wings, and she insists that her favorite star, Antarus, be represented.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.


Amanda Palmer & Neil Gaiman Return to Bard College

January 14th, 2013, 9:41 am by Greg

An Evening With Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer

Last September, the husband-and-wife team of Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer played something of an oddball doubleheader at Bard College’s Fisher Center in Annandale-On-Hudson. (Would you expect anything less from them?) Read reviews here and here.

The evening started out with a reading of a new, as-yet-unpublished story by award-winning author Gaiman in the Sosnoff Theater, and then as a separate event, Palmer and her band the Grand Theft Orchestra whipped up a pre-tour concert in support of her upcoming album Theatre Is Evil in the center’s black box Theater Two.

At the time, they promised to return. And now they are…

This time, however, they’ll be sharing the same stage at the Sosnoff Theater at 8pm on Saturday, April 6. They’re describing the performance as “an intimate night of spoken word, songs, stories, chats with the audience and more than a few surprises.”

Priced at $25, $30, $35 & $40, tickets are scheduled to go on sale at 10am today (Monday, January 14).

LIVE: Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer @ Bard College, 9/5/12

September 12th, 2012, 4:00 pm by Greg
Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman

Review by Greg Haymes

“This evening has been gloriously odd,” remarked author Neil Gaiman toward the end of his 75-minute reading at Bard College’s Fisher Center in Annandale-On-Hudson earlier this month.

The renowned sci-fi/fantasy writer found himself temporarily living in the Hudson Valley recently, while his wife, provocative rocker Amanda Palmer, was in residency at Bard College developing video and the stage show for the tour in support of her new album, “Theatre Is Evil.” So, he apparently decided that it was the perfect time and place for an out-of-town try-out for a new short story that he had finished just five or six days earlier.

“It’s a fairy story,” he explained. “It’s the first time I’ve done a big sort-of fairy-story reinvention probably since I wrote a story called ‘Snow, Glass, Apples’ a while ago (1994). I wrote the story, and I thought, ‘Good. That’s my story written in first draft. I wonder if it works?’ And I realized that I had absolutely no idea.”

Read the rest of this entry »

LIVE: Amanda Palmer & the Grand Theft Orchestra @ Bard College, 9/5/12

September 11th, 2012, 2:00 pm by Greg

Review by Greg Haymes

It was a surprisingly intimate concert in the Fisher Center’s small black box Theater Two. A standing-room-only (no seats) performance that resonated with the memories of almost any college gymnasium concert – fans sitting on the floor, listening to the vintage Leonard Cohen soundtrack that played between bands.

Intimate, yes, indeed, but no less fierce than you’ve come to expect from the always bold and brazen Amanda Fucking Palmer.

Wrapping up her three-week residency – the first participant in the Live Arts Bard program at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson – she was simply breathtaking in performance on the first of her two-night stand with her primo three-piece backing band, the Grand Theft Orchestra.

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Be Here Now: Raúl Zurita @ Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, 4/28/10

April 27th, 2010, 1:41 pm by Sara

Raul ZuritaRenowned Chilean poet Raúl Zurita will read from the newly released bilingual edition of his collection, Purgatory with translator Anna Deeney Wednesday (tomorrow) in the Beterlsmann Campus Center at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson. 6pm. FREE and open to the public.

From the press release:

Raúl Zurita was born in Santiago, Chile in 1951. He started out studying mathematics before turning to poetry. His early work is a ferocious response to Augusto Pinochet’s 1973 military coup. Like many other Chileans, Zurita was arrested and tortured. When he was released, he helped to form the radical artistic group CADA, and he became renowned for his provocative and intensely physical public performances.

In the early 1980s, Zurita famously sky-wrote passages from his poem “The New Life” over Manhattan. Later (still during the reign of Pinochet) he bulldozed the phrase Ni pena ni miedo (Without pain or fear) into the Atacama Desert, where it can still be seen.

For fifteen years, Zurita worked on a trilogy which is considered one of the signal poetic achievements in Latin American poetry: Purgatory appeared in 1979, Ante-paradise in 1982, and The New Life in 1993. Raúl Zurita is one of the most renowned contemporary Latin American poets and is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and the National Poetry Prize of Chile. Translations of Purgatory and Ante-paradise were published in the United States in the 1980s. A new book, INRI, translated by William Rowe, was published by Merick Press in 2009. A new bilingual edition of Purgatory, translated by Anna Deeny, was also published in 2009, by The University of California Press.

Real Good For Free: Chamber Music of John Cage @ Bard College, 10/30

October 27th, 2009, 9:39 am by Sara
John Cage (photo by Betty Freeman)

John Cage (photo by Betty Freeman)

As part of a weekend-long celebration of the life and work of John Cage, students and faculty of The Bard College Conservatory of Music and the Music Program at Bard College are performing a concert of Cage’s chamber works, including:

Inlets (Improvisation II) for four conch shells and the sound of burning pinecones (1977)
Five Dances for String Quartet (arr. Salzman) (1996-97)
Six Melodies for Violin and Keyboard (1950)
Three Songs for Voice and Piano (text by Gertrude Stein) (1933)
The Wonderful Widow of Eighteen Springs (1942)
A Flower (1950)
Nowth Upon Nacht (1984)
Radio Music (1956)
String Quartet in Four Parts (1950)
Eight Whiskus for solo violin (1985)
Nocturne for violin and piano (1947)
Two (1987)
The Beatles 1962–1970 (1990)

WHAT: John Cage at Bard College: Chamber Music
WHEN: Friday, October 30, 2009, 7pm
WHERE: Fisher Center, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson
Free and open to the public

Call the John Cage Trust at Bard College for the latest information about the symposium: 845-835-8022.

Real Good for Free: Silent Film Spectacular (Wednesdays)
Real Good For Free: Music @ Noon at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall (second Tuesdays)
Real Good For Free: Quintessence (Weekends)
Real Good for Free: Colleen Pratt @ the Van Dyck (Thursdays)
Real Good for Free: Tuesdays @ Revolution Hall (Tuesdays)
Real Good for Free: CRUMBS Nite Out @ The Linda (4th Thursdays)

Be Here Now: New Albion Weekend @ Bard College

October 8th, 2009, 2:03 pm by Sara


This Friday and Saturday, Bard College’s Fisher Center is presenting New Albion Weekend: Terry Riley including two days of performances of composed and improvised works.

Friday, October 9 features performances of works from Riley’s Book of Abbeyozzud by Terry Riley on piano and synth, his son Gyan Riley on guitar, Tracy Silverman on violin and David Tanenbaum on National steel guitar.

Slated for Saturday night is Music in the Moment: An Evening of Improvised Works featuring Terry Riley on keyboards, Gyan Riley and David Tanon on guitars, Tracy Silverman on strings, and Ches Smith and William Winant on percussion.

Performances each evening start at 8pm, and tickets ($20, 30, 35) are available online.

Click here to read Joseph Dalton’s preview in the Times Union.

Real Good for Free: :30 Live! @ the Berkshire Fringe

July 22nd, 2009, 9:38 am by Greg

In addition to the array of cutting edge main events, the fifth annual Berkshire Fringe festival at Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington, Mass. is also presenting its free :30 Live! concert series again this year.

The free half-hour performances take place at 7pm on Mondays and Wednesdays throughout the run of the festival – July 29-August 17.

Here’s the schedule:

Wednesday, July 29: Lesley Flanigan

Monday, August 3: Bella’s Bartok

Wednesday, August 5: The Xylopholks

Monday, August 10: Janus

Wednesday, August 12: Oliphant

Monday, August 17: TimeTable

Real Good for Free: Lake Luzerne (Thursdays)
Real Good for Free: Dutchman’s Landing, Catskill (Thursdays)
Real Good For Free: The Crossings in Colonie (Thursdays)
Real Good For Free: Rensselaer Riverfront Park (Wednesdays)
Real Good for Free: Kids’ shows in Troy (Wednesdays at noon)
Real Good for Free: Valatie’s Glynn Square (Sundays)
Real Good for Free: Schaghticoke Town Hall Gazebo (Thursdays)
Real Good For Free: Brunswick Community Center (Tuesdays)
Real Good for Free: Thurman (Mondays)
Real Good for Free: Sharon Springs (Wednesdays)
Real Good for Free: Rock-It in Schenectady (Fridays)
Real Good for Free: Bethlehem Public Library (Wednesdays)
Real Good for Free: East Greenbush Comm. Library (Wednesdays)
Real Good for Free: Stony Creek Town Park (Tuesdays)
Real Good For Free: RiverLink Park, Amsterdam (Saturdays)
Real Good For Free: Halfmoon (Wednesdays)
Real Good For Free: Chestertown (Thursdays)
Real Good for Free: Bolton Landing (Tuesdays)
Real Good for Free: Greenport Park, Hudson (Fridays)
Real Good for Free: The Sounds of Salem (Saturday mornings)
Real Good For Free: AHMF @ Lake George (Wednesdays)
Real Good for Free: Latin Fest @ Washington Park (Sat. Aug. 29)
Real Good for Free: The Clark @ Williamstown (Tuedays)
Real Good For Free: Skidmore Jazz (Various days)
Real Good For Free: Schenectady Central Park (Sunday afternoons)
Real Good For Free: Clifton Park (Sundays)
Real Good for Free: Albany Public Library (Third Fridays)
Real Good for Free: At The Plaza, Albany (Wednesdays)
Real Good for Free: Skidmore’s Tang Museum (Fridays)
Real Good For Free: Rockin’ on the River, Troy (Wednesdays)
Real Good For Free: Pearl Street Live (Thursdays)
Real Good For Free: Freedom Park, Scotia (Various days)
Real Good For Free: Jazz on Jay (Thursdays at noon)
Real Good For Free: Cook Park, Colonie (Tuesdays)
Real Good For Free: Lake George (Wednesdays)
Real Good For Free: Schodack (Tuesdays)
Real Good For Free: Canajoharie (Tuesdays)
Real Good For Free: Guilderland (Thursdays)
Real Good For Free: Alive @ 5 (Thursdays)
Real Good For Free: Powers Park (Saturdays)

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