Posts Tagged ‘Berkshire On Stage’

“The Revenant” Leads Oscar Nominees With 12 [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, January 15th, 2016

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By Larry Murray

Nominations for the 88th Academy Awards have been announced, and The Revenant is leading with 12, including for Best Picture. Other nominees for best picture are The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, Room and Spotlight.

There were some surprise nominations (for Room, Tom Hardy, and Rachel McAdams), and omissions (no Ridley Scott for Best Director).

Among those getting the Best Picture nod are two personal favorites, the financial crisis dramedy The Big Short and the period drama Brooklyn, plus the Cold War thriller Bridge of Spies, the imaginative action movie Mad Max: Fury Road, the sci-fi adventure film The Martian, the Western thriller The Revenant, the gut-punching drama Room and the fact-based Boston Globe story in Spotlight.

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Pamela Tatge Takes Over as Leader of Jacob’s Pillow [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016
Pamela Tatge will lead Jacob’s Pillow into the future.

Pamela Tatge will lead Jacob’s Pillow into the future.

Pamela Tatge will lead Jacob’s Pillow into the future…

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket has announced that esteemed arts leader Pamela Tatge will join the organization as Executive Director in April, succeeding Ella Baff, who served as the leader of Jacob’s Pillow from 1998 to 2015.

Following a record-breaking 2015 season, Jacob’s Pillow, a National Historic Landmark, National Medal of Arts recipient and home to America’s longest running dance festival, launched a national search for its next leader. For the past 16 years, Tatge has served as the Director of the Center for the Arts at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, overseeing robust programming and acclaimed artistic initiatives for dance, music, theater and the visual arts.

At Jacob’s Pillow, Tatge will set the artistic vision and strategic goals for all aspects of the organization, including festival programming, education, preservation, audience engagement, residency programming and artist support, long-term planning, collaborative programming, fundraising, marketing and more.

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MASS MoCA Previews Daniel Wohl’s Multimedia “Holographic” [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

Daniel Wohl’s “boldly surreal” (The New York Times) music, synch audio and visual content are in real time for this multi-sensory audience experience, accompanied by artist Daniel Schwarz’s lush visuals. Co-commissioned by MASS MoCA and featuring Roomful of Teeth’s Caroline Shaw and the Bang on A Can All-Stars, Wohl’s new album, Holographic, comes to life with a blend of acoustic instruments and rich electronic creations in this work-in-progress performance on Saturday (January 16) at 8pm in MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center in North Adams.

Presented in North Adams before its official premiere in New York City on January 21 and in Saint Paul on February 11, Holographic is a full-length album and performance commissioned by MASS MoCA with Liquid Music, Baryshnikov Arts Center and Indianapolis Museum of Art. Created by Paris-born and Brooklyn-based Wohl, who “blurs the line between electronic and acoustic instrumentation and seemingly melts both elements into a greater organic whole” (WNYC), the music incorporates an improbable combination of sounds, inspired by new ideas in modern science and humanity’s symbiotic relationship with technological creations. “Holographic is about exploring different worlds — improbable combinations of sounds — hidden and imaginary sonic landscapes — both acoustic and electronic,” explains Wohl.

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Bach Rings in the New Year in Great Barrington, Troy & Northampton [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, December 28th, 2015
The gorgeous strings of the  Berkshire Bach Society.

The gorgeous strings of the Berkshire Bach Society

By Larry Murray

This week the new year will dominate our thoughts. Decisions. Whether to celebrate the birth of the new year by getting a little tipsy, or to mark it with a salute to the past is always a choice to be made. The Berkshire Bach Society gives us the chance to do a little of both. With refinement and tradition and absolutely no silly noisemakers anywhere in sight.

This year, the Berkshire Bach Society is celebrating its 25th season by bringing baroque music to the Berkshires, Troy and the Pioneer Valley with Johann Sebastian Bach as the focal point. While its iconic “Bach at New Year’s” series most often includes all six of the Brandenburg Concerti led by the Society’s music director and harpsichordist Kenneth Cooper, this year is one of the occasional departures from that programming.

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Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival Announces 2016 Season [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

bosjacobspillow2016

Following the critical acclaim and record-breaking ticket sales and attendance of Festival 2015, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket announced a new season of exciting programming featuring international artists, world premieres and an impressive number of live music engagements. This season signals an exciting new era in Pillow history, as the Board of Directors plans to name a new Jacob’s Pillow Director in early 2016. Former Executive and Artistic Director Ella Baff stepped down from her role in September of 2015, following a successful 17-year tenure.

Highlights of Festival 2016 include a world premiere engagement created by tap dance powerhouses Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Derick K. Grant and Jason Samuels Smith; former New York City Ballet principal dancer Wendy Whelan and choreographer Brian Brooks in an evening of new duets and solos, accompanied by eminent string quartet Brooklyn Rider; rare U.S. appearances by France-based Compagnie Hervé KOUBI and Korea-based contemporary ensemble Bereishit Dance Company; the explosive Che Malambo of Argentina; and the return of the beloved Seattle-based company Pacific Northwest Ballet. Tickets go on sale to the public on Friday, April 1, online at 12:01am and via phone at 10am (413.243.0745); Jacob’s Pillow members can order as early as Monday, January 11.

“It may be winter but the Pillow is buzzing with excitement,” states Managing Director Andrea Sholler. “We are looking forward to the selection of our new Director, a thrilling 2016 season, and enhancements to our Festival offerings including changes to the Jacob’s Pillow Store and new partnerships with Berkshire County restaurateurs. Festival 2016 features artists from all over the globe, live music for 10 of the 20 Ted Shawn and Doris Duke Theatre artists and world premieres by renowned choreographers in a multitude of genres – we can’t wait to welcome audiences back to the Pillow.”

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FILM: Adam Sandler’s New Netflix Film, “The Ridiculous 6” [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, December 14th, 2015
They’ve hidden the jokes somewhere in Adam Sandler’s “Ridiculous Six,” and viewers are still trying to find them. (l to r) Rob Schneider as Ramon, Jorge Garcia as Herm, Taylor Lautner as Lil’ Pete, Sandler as Tommy, Terry Crews as Chico and Luke Wilson as Danny.

They’ve hidden the jokes somewhere in Adam Sandler’s “Ridiculous Six,” and viewers are still trying to find them. (l to r) Rob Schneider as Ramon, Jorge Garcia as Herm, Taylor Lautner as Lil’ Pete, Sandler as Tommy, Terry Crews as Chico and Luke Wilson as Danny.

Story by Larry Murray

Sandler’s first of four exclusive features for Netflix turns out to be distasteful in every regard, an abysmal riff on “The Magnificent Seven” in which hoary stereotypes and oater clichés are exploited for equally groan-worthy gags. Without an amusing instinct in its cowboy-hatted head, this painfully protracted, puerile effort meanders about the Old West as if it were making up its nonsense on the fly. The result is a torturous genre joke that marks a new low not only for the star, but for the art of cinematic comedy. Native American women possess names such as “Wears No Bra,” “Smoking Fox,” and “Beaver Breath,” Ramon talks about the deliciousness of tacos, and white people are ridiculed for being bad dancers — Sandler and co-writer Tim Herlihy’s script performs cultural mockery with all the incisive skill of a blind surgeon wielding a hammer.” – Nick Schaeger, The Playlist

Adam Sandler’s first project with Netflix – a phenomenal company which should have known better – is a film called The Ridiculous 6, and if you listen to the critics, it has to be his worst outing to date.

Movie making is an iffy business, and Netflix and Amazon have both decided to throw billions of dollars at big names in their search for original content for their streaming services. The logic of the deals they are making escapes me.

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Hedda Lettuce’s “Lettuce Rejoice” @ Club Helsinki on Sunday [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, December 11th, 2015
Hedda Lettuce

Hedda Lettuce

Hedda Lettuce, the self-described “world’s first and premiere eco-friendly drag queen,” brings her annual holiday show, “Lettuce Rejoice!,” featuring her patented blend of poised characters, startling satire and original music, to Club Helsinki in Hudson on Sunday (December 13) at 8pm.

Hedda’s holiday cabaret includes such favorites as “Here Comes Tranny Clause,” about a mean tyrant that ruins Xmas; the classic song, “Sleigh Ride,” turned into a gay man’s quest for sex on Grinder; and “Do You Hear What I Hear” rendered as “Do You Think That He’s Queer,” about a fag hag desperately seeking a sexual relationship with a gay man.

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Gingger Shankar Continues the Family Musical Tradition @ MASS MoCA [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, December 10th, 2015

Using visuals that are a hypnotic blend of animation, documentary footage and archival photos – and accompanied by live music – Nari tells the story of Gingger Shankar’s mother and grandmother, Viji and Lakshmi Shankar, whose collaborations with her great-uncle, Ravi Shankar, and George Harrison helped bring Indian music to the West in the 1970s. Musician Gingger Shankar, producer Dave Liang and filmmaker Sun Yunfan will deliver a work-in-progress presentation of Nari at MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center in North Adams on Saturday (December 12) at 8pm.

Nari brings Viji and Lakshmi’s story to life in an animated documentary and multimedia performance in which live vocals, keyboards and Gingger’s extraordinary double violin are set to an entrancing blend of hip-hop, high-energy solos, electronica and Viji’s never-before-heard classical Indian vocals. The result is a collage of live music, synched with video that blends film, family photos, artwork and animation.

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