Posts Tagged ‘Berkshire On Stage’

Jacob’s Pillow Has Record-Breaking 2014; Previews Some 2015 Offerings [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, November 21st, 2014
The serenity of Jacob’s Pillow in winter belies the intense activity now underway as it prepares for its 2015 season.

The serenity of Jacob’s Pillow in winter belies the intense activity now underway
as it prepares for its 2015 season.

By Larry Murray

No sooner has the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival tallied up its record-breaking attendance and ticket sales for 2014 than we find them in the midst of planning another season of exciting activity. For one thing, the year-round international center of dance is breaking ground this month on an expansion project. The building project is significant – it will triple the areas available for storage and public access to its rare and extensive dance archives.

The Pillow also revealed some of its 2015 offerings.

In brief, 2015 will see the Pillow launch its 90th anniversary season with the legendary modern dance ensemble Martha Graham Dance Company. Jessica Lang Dance will offer The Wanderer, created in part during a Creative Development Residency at the Pillow. For families, the New York Theatre Ballet will mount a production of Cinderella for all ages. Finally, tap superstar Michelle Dorrance, her company Dorrance Dance, and composer Toshi Reagon and her band BIGLovely are highlighted in a return engagement of The Blues Project.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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Music at MASS MoCA: The Erudite, Dense & Clever Josh Ritter on Saturday [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Josh Ritter

By Larry Murray

Moscow, Idaho-native singer and guitarist Josh Ritter has a literary disposition and an affinity for the old-guard likes of Leonard Cohen, Bruce Springsteen and Paul Simon that led The New York Times to place him “among the cream of the young singer-songwriter crop.” His songs are playfully erudite, equally dense with clever metaphor and whimsical turns of phrase. He’s at MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center in North Adams on Saturday (November 22) at 8pm to try out new material for an unnamed forthcoming album.

“About six months ago I was hit by a song on the New York Thruway,” Ritter recently wrote. “The whole thing. Verses, bridge, a witty one-liner or two. Nothing like that had ever happened with such force. It was the first raindrop in a thunderstorm that I’m thankful continues unabated. I don’t normally go in for showing songs before they’re fully done, but what the hell, you only live once.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

MASS MoCA Plans $55 Million Expansion to Double Size, Add Important New Works [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014
Laurie Anderson

Laurie Anderson

MASS MoCA to Become the Largest Contemporary Art Museum in the World

By Larry Murray

At a major press event with Massachusetts Governor Duval Patrick and several of the artists who will be included in MASS MoCA’s Phase III development, the North Adams contemporary art museum revealed its plans to grow itself into the largest contemporary art museum in the United States. And in the world of all museums, MASS MoCA will become the second largest exhibition space in the country, after the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. [Source] Currently hosting 120,000 square feet of galleries, this project will add another 130,000 sf for a total of 250,000 sf of exhibition areas.

As word spread via both national newspapers and local blogs, it is time to let our readers in on the commotion, and why it is so important, both from the viewpoint of the arts community and that of the residents of North Adams.

Back in August, it was announced that the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) would be the recipient of $25.4 million in state money for expansion of their campus in North Adams. Called the Phase III development, the museum in turn would have to raise some $30 million in matching funds to access the grant. That match is now 45% complete, with $13.5 million in contributions and pledges already committed.

So just what does the planned $55 million dollar expansion include?

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Brent Barrett to Delight Broadway Fans @ Club Helsinki on Sunday [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, November 7th, 2014
Brent Barrett, Helsinki on Broadway

Brent Barrett, Helsinki on Broadway

Brent Barrett will be back at Club Helsinki in Hudson for one night only on Sunday (November 9) at 7pm, as part of the continuing Helsinki on Broadway series.

Club Helsinki’s American Songbook series – produced in association with Showstoppers, New York – will once again present one of Broadway’s most handsome and talented leading men, Brent Barrett, making his second appearance, after a sold-out performance two years ago on the same stage.

For this special appearance, Brent will be singing exclusively the songs from the iconic songwriting team of John Kander and Fred Ebb. His show Life Is celebrates the music and lyrics from the gentlemen who brought you “Chicago,” “Cabaret,” “The Kiss of The Spider Woman,” “Woman of the Year,” “Fosse,” “Zorba” and so many more Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals. Not to mention the song that defines the arguably greatest city in the world, “New York, New York” – made immensely famous by both Liza Minnelli and Frank Sinatra.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

WAM Theatre’s “In Darfur” Places the Audience Right in the Middle of a War Zone [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, November 7th, 2014
A gripping story, based on actual events.

A gripping story, based on actual events

Review by Larry Murray

WAM Theatre presents “IN DARFUR” by Winter Miller; directed by Kristen van Ginhoven; coordinating producer – Jessica Provenz; scenic designer – JulianaVon Haubrich; costume designer – Govane Lohbauer; lighting designer – Natalie Robin; sound and projections design – Brad Berridge; fight director – Douglas Seldin.
Cast – Maryke – Tricia Alexandro; Jan/Ensemble – Christina Gordon; Male Ensemble – Marcus D. Harvey; Hamida – Shannon Harris; Male Ensemble/Fight Caprain – Warren Jackson; Carlos – Rich Lounello; Hawa – Sipiwe Moyo. 90 minutes, no intermission. October 30-November 16, 2014. At the Berry Family Studio at the Elayne P. Bernstein Center on the campus of Shakespeare and Company located at 70 Kemble Street in Lenox, MA. http://www.wamtheatre.com or call the box office at 413-637-3353.

That genocide exists in our modern civilization is almost unfathomable. Isn’t mankind better than this?

From the comfort of our homes we find it difficult to grasp how the human mind can justify the killing of thousands of others just because they are different. How can people’s capacity for compassion be so often overwhelmed by a hatred of the “other” – those of a different religion, nationality or just some poor folks who are taking up too much space on land you covet.

WAM Theatre, which is located in the bucolic Berkshires of Massachusetts, chose Winter Miller’s difficult play IN DARFUR for its fifth season offering, and which is currently being performed in the Berry Family Studio at the Elayne P. Bernstein Center at Shakespeare & Company through Sunday, November 16. Brilliantly staged by Kristen van Ginhoven, it is an immersive theatrical experience that begins long before you enter the playing space itself: the hallways themselves are lined with fencing, signage and the accumulated rubbish of a hastily organized refugee camp.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Bourne Again: Tony Gilroy on the Art of Suspense – A WFF and MASS MoCA Special Event [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Tony Gilroy

The Williamstown Film Festival and MASS MoCA, which have collaborated on new films and film events for 15 years, welcome film director-screenwriter and Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Tony Gilroy to MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center at 8pm on Friday (November 7) for an evening titled Tony Gilroy: The Art of Suspense.

Ever wonder how filmmakers keep the audience biting their nails and on the edge of their seats until the final frame’s big reveal? Special guest and film veteran Tony Gilroy pulls back the curtain on the art of suspense in this original presentation. Gilroy talks about the colorful history of suspense on the screen, illustrating the discussion with clips from his own work (including “The Bourne Legacy” and “Michael Clayton”), as well as classics from the genre which have inspired him. Following the event, a reception will be held at Lickety Split.

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Elska Is a Storyteller, Pioneer & a New Island for All Ages @ MASS MoCA [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Elska

She has been described as the Bjork of kids’ music. Her imagination runneth over.

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. Bring the kids to explore her wacky world in MASS MoCA’s Club B-10 at 2pm on Saturday (November 8).

With her signature blend of theater, storytelling and musical performance, Brooklyn-based Shelley Wollert becomes modern pioneer Elska, delighting children with her amazing tale of island discovery. Working closely with record producer and Iceland-phile Allen Farmelo, Wollert developed Elska’s world – a vibrant cast of characters that join her for fantastical adventures on the Island of Elska.

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Little Cinema to Host “Women in Film” Series @ Berkshire Museum [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

In Pittsfield, the Berkshire Museum’s innovative Little Cinema will host a new film series beginning on Thursday (November 6) and continuing into 2015, selected by curator Nannina Stearn. Behind the Camera: Women in Film opens with The Adventures of Prince Achmed, the earliest feature-length animated film, created by Lotte Reiniger in the 1920s. The series is presented in partnership with Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative.

About Behind the Camera: Women in Film

“The first narrative film was created in 1896; it was directed by a woman. The first person to win two Oscars for screenwriting (in 1930 and 1932) was a woman,” says Nannina Stearn. “The first person to make a feature length-animated film in 1926 was a woman. Back in the 1920s half of all films were written by women, and almost every film was edited by one. More than any other art form, cinema was developed equally by men and women, and yet today women struggle to find parity with their male counterparts. In 2013 only 16 percent of the top creative jobs in films were filled by women, and in the past 15 years that number has never risen above 19 percent.”

With Behind the Camera: Women in Film, the Berkshire Museum and the Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative want to shine a light on that 16 percent, with special screenings highlighting the contributions women today are making to film, and celebrating the rich history women have as innovators in the medium.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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