Posts Tagged ‘Berkshire On Stage’

Josh Nelson’s “The Discovery Project” Comes to MCLA [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, October 15th, 2015


Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) in North Adams presents award-winning composer Josh Nelson’s “The Discovery Project,” an exploration into the world of live music with interactive visual multi-media components, as the next performance of the 2015-16 MCLA Presents! season on Friday (October 16) at 7:30pm in the Eleanor Furst Roberts Auditorium at MCLA’s Church Street Center.

“Merging original jazz compositions, vintage sci-fi film clips projected on multiple screens and a unique installation created for the space, ‘The Discovery Project’ combines music and imagery in an immersive experience that will take you on a journey to outer space without leaving your seat,” said BCRC Director Jennifer Crowell.

According to Nelson, “The goal for each unique installation is to create an immersive experience for the audience, utilizing original music compositions and a variety of concrete and abstract moving images projected onto sculptural forms, and subsequently transforming a space entirely.”

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Spencer Day Previews New Album in Hudson [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, October 8th, 2015
Spencer Day. Photo by Greg Allen.

Spencer Day. Photo by Greg Allen.

Stageworks/Hudson presents Spencer Day in concert, a special one-night-only event with the acclaimed singer-songwriter whose performance will include a sneak preview of new music from his upcoming album, Angel City. The concert takes place at 8pm on Saturday (October 10), and tickets are $20. A reception follows the performance with complimentary wine and chocolates from local chocolatiers.

Fusing jazz, pop and soul, Day is a crooner with a fiercely impassioned and intelligent hybrid vibe. Day’s emergence on the Billboard jazz charts with his 2009 Concord Records debut, Vagabond, reflects the widening interpretation of the genre. For 10 years, Day has wooed audiences around the world at venues as diverse as Birdland in New York, the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, Jazz Alley in Seattle, the Pacific Rim Jazz Festival in Manila, the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, and on national television on “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.” His number one hit, “Till You Come to Me,” remained on the Billboard Jazz Charts for 47 weeks.

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Theater Review: “The Homecoming” @ the Unicorn Theatre [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015
 L to R: Rocco Sisto, John Rothman, Rylan Morsbach,David Barlow, Tara Franklin and Joey Collins. Photo by Michelle McGrady.

L to R: Rocco Sisto, John Rothman, Rylan Morsbach,David Barlow, Tara Franklin and Joey Collins. Photo by Michelle McGrady.

Theater review by Roseann Cane

Harold Pinter’s plays make great demands on actors. Ideally, the hallmark “Pinter pause” or “Pinter silence” should be at least as communicative and rich as the spoken dialogue, if not more so. I’ve seen productions where I can feel an actor ticking off the seconds until he or she speaks, and this can render the entire play tedious and slow and one-dimensional.

In a speech presented in 1962 to a student drama festival, Pinter said, “There are two silences. One when no word is spoken. The other when perhaps a torrent of language is being employed. This speech is speaking of a language locked beneath it. That is its continual reference. The speech we hear is an indication of that which we don’t hear. It is a necessary avoidance, a violent, sly, anguished or mocking smoke screen which keeps the other in its place. When true silence falls we are still left with echo but are nearer nakedness. One way of looking at speech is to say that it is a constant stratagem to cover nakedness.”

It gives me great joy to report that this production of The Homecoming, beautifully directed by Eric Hill, boasts sterling actors who are not only up to the task, but inspired, fierce, funny, and fully realized.

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Electronic Composer Mark Fell Debuts as Choreographer at EMPAC at RPI [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, October 5th, 2015


British artist Mark Fell is best known as an electronic composer. Starting out in the UK house and techno scene of the 1990s, Fell has become one of the most esteemed innovators of electronic music’s more experimental flavors. It’s within this context that Fell has expanded his art practice to include light design, architectural installation, and other configurations of multimedia performance. With Recursive Frame Analysis, Fell will add the ingredient of human movement to the mix for his official debut as a choreographer. Developed over the course of a year in residence at EMPAC at RPI in Troy), the piece will premiere there at 8pm on Thursday and Friday (October 8 & 9).

The title and disciplinary progression of the piece takes its inspiration from a mode of talk therapy developed in the 1980s. RFA is a technique whereby the content of a conversation is reconsidered by analyzing the linguistic framework in which it unfolds. Inevitably, this process becomes recursive with the context of a prior exchange becoming the content for a new one. In Fell’s project, a similar process is undertaken with each medium (sound, light, and dance) nesting within the others.

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B.A. Dario Plays Pittsfield’s Berktoberfest on Saturday [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015
From left: members of the Pittsfield-based band B.A. Dario, bassist Jay Cimini, drummer Brad Greene, guitarist Dan Greene and keyboardist Aaron Nackoul. Photo by Jenn Smith/Berkshire Eagle

From left: members of the Pittsfield-based band B.A. Dario, bassist Jay Cimini, drummer Brad Greene, guitarist Dan Greene and keyboardist Aaron Nackoul. Photo by Jenn Smith/Berkshire Eagle

A sure sign of autumn in the Berkshires, the eighth annual Berktoberfest will be bringing some of the absolute finest craft beers in the northeast United States together under the big tents from 12noon-6pm on Saturday (October 3).

Not only that, but some of the areas liveliest music, too. If you weren’t able to catch B.A. Dario this summer at Mission in Pittsfield, and revel in their covers of Beatles tunes, well, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The band plans on doing three sets during the course of Berktoberfest, and are sure to provide a soundtrack that plays in your memories long after the craft beers are quaffed.

The band claims Pittsfield as its home town, and delivers their own special version of progressive jam rock that is a proven crowd-pleaser. Members of the group are Danny Greene (guitar, vocals), Brad Greene (drums), Jay Cimini (bass), Aaron Nackoul (keyboards) and Justin Nackoul (guitar). And to think at one time they were voiceless! But Chin Lee at Flavours (of Malaysia in Pittsfield) gave them their first bar gig and encouraged them to add vocals. They didn’t have the money for mics originally, but over time it all came together. Each performance is unique to its moment with unpredictable covers and constantly evolving originals.

But let’s not forget the beer…

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Harold Pinter’s “The Homecoming” Is Coming to the Unicorn Theatre [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015


Berkshire Theatre Group presents the Tony Award-winning classic The Homecoming at the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, opening at 7pm on Saturday (October 3). Preview performances begin on Thursday (October 1), and the production closes on Sunday, October 25. Written by Nobel Prize-winning British playwright Harold Pinter, The Homecoming is a thought provoking piece of theater that invites audiences to delve deep into hidden crevices of the human condition.

Kate Maguire, Berkshire Theatre Group’s Artistic Director/CEO, says, “We are lucky to have an array of incredible artists involved with this production, including David Barlow, Joey Collins, Tara Franklin, Rylan Morsbach, John Rothman, Rocco Sisto and Eric Hill directing. Harold Pinter is a great playwright, and this piece should be seen by all serious devotees of theatre.”

Eric Hill says, “The layering of themes in The Homecoming is a very important part of Pinter’s art, which include the games that get played [by the characters] in the course of this play — language games, emotional games — but primarily, the game of territorialism. Pinter’s intention is to reveal the state of the culture in which he lived, and the state of things in England in post-World War II.”

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NASA Astronaut Stephanie Wilson Lands @ the Mahaiwe on Friday [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, September 28th, 2015
NASA Astronaut Stephanie WIlson.

NASA Astronaut Stephanie Wilson.

NASA astronaut Stephanie Wilson is headed to the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center for two free talks. Co-sponsored by the Mahaiwe and Flying Cloud Institute, the Berkshire-raised astronaut will be in Great Barrington on Friday (October 2) at 10am (school field trip) and 7pm.

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center Executive Director Beryl Jolly reports that “We have had enthusiastic interest from across Berkshire County for these appearances and eagerly look forward to these unique presentations about her extraordinary education, training, and multiple missions in outer space.”

A 1984 graduate of Pittsfield‘s Taconic High School, Wilson has logged more than 42 days in space as a veteran of three space flights (STS-121 in 2006, STS-120 in 2007, and STS-131 in 2010), serving as flight engineer and robotic arm operator.

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Paula Poundstone Brings the Laughs to the Colonial Theatre [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

Paula Poundstone

Berkshire Theatre Group presents An Evening with Paula Poundstone on Saturday (September 26) at 8pm at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield. With a history of making people laugh that stretches back almost half a century, she is known as a master of stand-up comedy.

In the early ’80s, Paula Poundstone packed up her belongings, hopped on a Greyhound bus and traveled across the country performing at open mic comedy clubs. Poundstone went on to become one of the great humorists of our time. You can hear her through your laughter as a regular panelist on NPR’s popular weekly news quiz show, Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me. She tours regularly, performing stand-up comedy across the country.

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