Posts Tagged ‘Berkshire On Stage’

Queer & Campy Whodunit: “Nasty Drew & That Harder Boy: The Mystery of the Family Jewels” [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, April 15th, 2016
Nasty Drew and That Harder Boy. Photo by John Goddard via The Broadway

“Nasty Drew and That Harder Boy.” Photo by John Goddard via The Broadway

By Larry Murray

Not to be missed on Sunday (April 17) at Club Helsinki in Hudson is Nasty Drew & That Harder Boy: The Mystery of the Family Jewels which is a “queer and campy whodunit” written and produced by Chris Harder parodying the classic Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries beloved by baby-boomers. This co-production of GayHudson.com and BigGayHudsonValley.com features some of New York City’s hottest names in burlesque, drag and circus performers. The show will also play ar Canvas in Poughkeepsie at 9:30pm tonight (Friday, April 15) and 9:30pm on Saturday (April 16) at the Rosendale Theater in Rosendale with a final Greater Nippertown performance at 7pm on Sunday (April 17) at Club Helsinki in Hudson.

It does seem a shame that a Berkshire venue like Mr. Finn’s Cabaret run by Barrington Stage, or the Garage Club at the Colonial run by the Berkshire Theatre Group couldn’t join this consortium of venues for affordable entertainment directed at the LGBT community.

Sporadically on view at New York City’s Laurie Beechman Theater off and on through Sunday, May 15, this live theatrical parody of teen detective novels of a bygone era co-stars two of burlesque’s hottest performers, Chris Harder and Nasty Canasta, in an evening that blends comedy, mystery, drag and stripping. The cast and crew makes their way to neighboring Hudson, delighting the region’s lovers of unconventional theater, not to mention the LGBT community.

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THEATER: Wu Tsang moves beyond the transgender experience to experimental art @ EMPAC [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, April 14th, 2016
Patrick Belaga, Wu Tsang and Boychild.

Patrick Belaga, Wu Tsang and boychild

By Larry Murray

When most people think of transgender art (if they think about it at all) they conjure up tacky nightclubs, drag queens and a hidden, clandestine world. That’s not only wrong: it’s insulting.

Dig a little more deeply and you will find there is some exceptional artisty to be had, and given the chance, you and I can discover what a truly creative mind can bring to the stage. It is in that spirit that we choose this performance as a top pick, one you should not miss.

As it is, artist Wu Tsang will cap a week-long production residency at EMPAC at RPI in Troy with the stage performance Moved by the Motion, a collaboration with performer boychild and experimental cellist Patrick Belaga. Part of an ongoing, iterative series of such performances, the show at 8pm on Friday (April 15) will feature a new lighting design, crafted in the EMPAC Theater.

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Swing Dancing with the Lucky 5 in Pittsfield on Friday [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

lucky5

The former Notre Dame church in Pittsfield’s Upstreet Cultural District, now known as the Shire City Sanctuary, is hosting the Shire City Rhythm Club’s evening of swing dancing with the Lucky 5 on Friday (April 15), featuring dancing from 8-11pm and free swing dance lessons from 7-8pm.

The Lucky 5 is a hard-swinging jazz band that blends swing and Gypsy jazz to create a unique, foot-stomping blend of music that appeals to a wide range of music lovers. The Lucky 5 performs both original compositions, as well as putting a new spin on old jazz standards.

The band is comprised of highly seasoned touring musicians, having been part of the Hunger Mountain Boys, Lauren Ambrose & the Leisure Class, and traveled, performed and recorded with such diverse artists such as Peter Gabriel, Tony Bennett, Neko Case, Iris Dement, Bobby Previte, Del McCoury and Jim Lauderdale, just to name a few.

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Salvatore Sciarrino’s Sounds of Silence @ EMPAC [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

Existing at the edge of what can be heard, the music of Italian composer Salvatore Sciarrino is identified by whispers of sound that punctuate a canvas of silence. It’s music that demands a pristine listening environment to be presented properly. On Thursday (April 14), the rare pairing will be achieved when a program of chamber works by Sciarrino is presented in the concert hall of EMPAC at RPI in Troy.

Often touching upon Italian medieval and Renaissance culture as an inspiration, Sciarrino distills the sounds he uses in his compositions down to their essence to create music that exists outside of the noise of daily modern life. For his new approach to old ideas, he has become one of the best known and respected European composers working today, with more than 100 recordings to his name. His fragile music requires exceptional focus from its performers, stretching their technique and control to extremes.

Rensselaer faculty Nicholas DeMaison has been working in residence at EMPAC this week rehearsing three of Sciarrino’s best-known works (composed between 1985 and 2009). Working with a nine-piece ensemble and featured vocalist Amanda DeBoer Bartlett, the program will consist of “Infinito Nero,” a piece that draws its inspiration from the vocal outbursts of 16th-century mystic St. Mary Magdalene de’Pazzi; “Lo Spazio Inverso,” a piece that creates islands of sound in a sea of silence; and the most recent, “L’Altro Giardino,” an elaboration of his earlier work “Il Giardino di Sara.”

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John Sayles & Maggie Renzi Return to Williamstown on Monday [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, April 8th, 2016

johnsayles

Images Cinema in Williamstown will present an evening with independent filmmaking stalwarts John Sayles and Maggie Renzi (“Brother From Another Planet,” “Lone Star,” “Matewan”) at 7pm on Monday (April 11). The evening will begin with an onstage conversation with them about their life and work.

Sayles and Renzi have been creative partners, in life and in art, since the early ’70s, after meeting at Williams College. (He’s class of ’72; she’s ’73.) Throughout their career, their films have epitomized the best qualities of American independent cinema: intelligent filmmaking, impactful stories and memorable characters.

Following the conversation, there will be a screening of the digitally remastered “City of Hope,” Sayles and Renzi’s 1991 award-winning look at the personal cost of politics in a great American city, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

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Mr. Finn Introduces Ridiculously Talented Songwriters [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

finn

The Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield has announced the return of Tony Award-winner William Finn’s popular Songs by Ridiculously Talented Composers and Lyricists You Probably Don’t Know, But Should… on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage at 8pm on Friday & Saturday, June 10 & 11. As usual Mr. Finn will at as emcee.

The slate of cabaret performers was also announced by Artistic Director Julianne Boyd and Managing Director Tristan Wilson.

Kicking off BSC’s Mainstage season will be two-time Tony Award-winning composer/lyricist William Finn and the next generation of talented musical theater writers in Songs by Ridiculously Talented Composers and Lyricists You Probably Don’t Know But Should. This brilliant group of young writers will share some of their newest songs with the help of four extraordinary singers, ridiculous talented in their own right. Mr. Finn walks us through what makes these songs and songwriters stand out! A funny, charming and insightful evening! Directed by Stephanie Yankwitt. Tickets to Songs by the Ridiculously Talented Composers and Lyricists you Probably Don’t Know, But Should… are $30-$40.

Barrington Stage Company also announced the 2016 season of performances at Mr. Finn’s Cabaret, located on the lower level of the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center in Pittsfield.

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Albany Pro Musica Celebrates “A City of Immigrants” [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, April 1st, 2016

bosalbanypromusica

Albany Pro Musica continues to celebrate its 35th anniversary season with a celebration of the different cultures that make up our unique region. A City of Immigrants, a concert featuring Albany Pro Musica and guest artists the Musicians of Ma’alwyck, the Capital District Youth Chorale and Saratoga Springs’ Nacre Dance Company will take place at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall at 4pm on Sunday (April 3).

The performance is an homage to the rich cultural heritage of Greater Nippertown. Albany’s nickname “City of Immigrants” inspired this unique concert featuring music from many of the cultures which have influenced our region, including Dutch, German, English, Italian, Polish, African-American, Asian, Irish, Jewish and Hispanic. The concert will include the world premiere of a work by Albany Pro Musica composer-in-residence Steve Murray, commissioned exclusively for this event.

This performance is preceded by many events currently being celebrated throughout the Local 518, including art exhibitions and lectures. GO HERE for a complete listing of events coordinated by Sharon Roy and Karen Hitchcock.

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ArtBeat: Paintings by Joe Goodwin @ Berkshire Museum [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, April 1st, 2016
Vesica Piscis by Joe Goodwin,

Vesica Piscis by Joe Goodwin,

The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield will present one of the best known Berkshire-based artists from the LGBTQ community, Joe Goodwin, in a solo show titled Liminal Artifacts: Recent Paintings in the Museum’s Ellen Crane Memorial Room from Saturday (April 2) through Sunday, June 19. An opening reception will be held from 5-7pm on Saturday. Tickets are $10; $5 children; FREE members. Please RSVP to 413.443.7171 ext. 313.

Goodwin’s abstract paintings appear ethereal, enigmatic and reflective, in atmospheric images that reference natural phenomena. Goodwin works in acrylic paint that he mixes from dry pigments and polymer emulsions, applied in an innovative layered process that involves additives such as marble dust and silica. The meticulous layering of paint and texture produces a distinctive sense of depth in the paintings.

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