Posts Tagged ‘Larry Murray’

“Unsilent Night” Returns to North Adams on Thursday [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, November 30th, 2015

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts’ Gallery 51 is planning a fun “Spectacle 99: The Affordable Art Show,” which opens on Thursday (December 3). Just in time for the holiday season, all art will be priced between 99 cents and $99.99, and can be taken to go to be given as gifts.

The main event, open to all, is the free opening reception on Thursday from 5-8pm in the 51 Main St. gallery.

But there is another element to the fun, as MCLA’s Gallery 51 partners with Frog Pond Creative to bring Unsilent Night, a “mobile sound sculpture,” to the streets of North Adams. Unsilent Night composer and creator Phil Kline – who has taken his unique sound sculpture around the United States – will lead an expansive chorus of boomboxes. According to Kline, the project came about from his “love of experimental electronic music and memories of caroling as a kid.”

The public is invited to participate in the Unsilent Night procession, which will start at 5:15pm at MASS MoCA’s courtyard in front of “tree logic,” the upside-down maple trees installation, and ends with hot chocolate at the opening of Gallery 51’s “Spectacle 99.”

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Thanksgiving Eve at the Mahaiwe: Arlo Guthrie & “Alice’s Restaurant” [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, November 23rd, 2015


The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center and the Guthrie Center will co-present an on-stage conversation with Arlo Guthrie, moderated by WAMC-FM’s Alan Chartock, at 7pm on Wednesday (November 25), followed by a screening of Arthur Penn’s 1969 film Alice’s Restaurant. The Mahaiwe will also present its annual Thanksgiving weekend screenings of The Wizard of Oz at 4 & 7pm on Saturday (November 28).

“The Mahaiwe team is very happy to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with two special community classic films,” said Mahaiwe Executive Director Beryl Jolly. “We also invite the public to participate in the StoryCorps’ ‘Great Thanksgiving Listen’ by interviewing family elders over the holiday weekend and to help local families and pets in need by bringing contributions to the donation bins in the Mahaiwe lobby.”

The Mahaiwe is partnering with the People’s Pantry and the Berkshire Community Diaper Project to help provide for families in need this holiday season, including accepting pet food donations. From now until the end of the year, donation boxes will be available in the theater lobby between the hours of 12noon-6pm, Wednesday-Saturday. Non-perishable food items, as well as paper/cleaning products and disposable diapers (which are not covered by WIC or food stamps) can be dropped off during these hours.

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OPERA @ The Met: Alban Berg’s “Lulu” Uses Broad, Black Brushstrokes [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, November 20th, 2015

In many ways, the next offering from The Met: Live in HD should be on every visual artist’s must-see list. The reason is simple: William Kentridge directs the opera with the eye of an artist, ceaselessly experimenting and exploring the depths of this twelve-tone opera by innovative composer Alban Berg. The result is that this Lulu is getting high marks for direction and design of course, but for the music too. Wait until you hear (and see) Marlis Petersen do her star turn as the irresistible femme fatale in this complex story.

And it is a good thing that Kentridge never runs out of visual tricks over the course of this four-hour opera. While it may take the average listener a good half hour before they become comfortable with the elements of the 12-tone system when sung, by the climax of this operatic tour-de-force it is the rare person who can remain untouched, and glad they trusted this great opera to do its job as the magnificent entertainment it is.

Alban Berg (1885-1935) was an Austrian composer. was a part of Vienna’s cultural elite during the heady fin de siècle period. Musically, he was a member of the Second Viennese School with Arnold Schoenberg and Anton Webern, and produced compositions that combined Mahlerian Romanticism with a personal adaptation of Schoenberg’s twelve-tone technique.

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Tanglewood Announces 2016 Season of Classics & Surprises [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, November 20th, 2015


There will be a youthful edge to the classical offerings of the Boston Symphony Orchestra when it returns to Tanglewood in Lenox this summer. Lots of Mahler and Beethoven, a healthy portion of opera favorites and a trip back in time with Barry Humphries’ Weimar Cabaret. This most unusual program shows the hand of music director Andris Nelsons, pushing the envelope of traditional offerings, yet not quite out of the box. The Weimar Cabaret features the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Barry Humphries — Australia’s greatest entertainer, best-known to audiences around the world as Dame Edna Everage — who will curate, present and perform the popular music of Berlin’s Weimar Republic (1920s–1930s) including jazz, cabaret, tango and Broadway-musical style pieces (Sunday, August 14).

Overall the 2016 Tanglewood season – June 25-September 3 – is complex and diverse, offering Berkshire visitors a wide-ranging schedule of performances and events with some of the biggest names in the classical music world and beyond. They include Andris Nelsons, Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Yefim Bronfman, Christoph von Dohnányi, Charles Dutoit, Renée Fleming, Paul Lewis, Yo-Yo Ma, Kristine Opolais, Dawn Upshaw and Yuja Wang featured with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Boston Pops concerts including one with guest artist Seth MacFarlane, with Keith Lockhart conducting, and the ever popular John Williams’ Film Night.

Ozawa Hall performances by Jordi Savall, the Chick Corea Trio, Chanticleer and the Emerson String Quartet; and favorite radio programs “A Prairie Home Companion” and “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” live from the Koussevitzky Music Shed.

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Is Stephin Merritt the Cole Porter of His Generation? [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, November 19th, 2015
Stephin Merritt

Stephin Merritt

Peculiar. And very entertaining in a subtle, understated way. It’s the only way to describe Stephin Merritt, whose life might be described as a study in brown, his signature couture color. The man who taught us to feel with 69 Love Songs serenades his fans at MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center in North Adams with a rare, stripped-down concert accompanied solely by Magnetic Fields bandmate and cellist Sam Davol at 8pm on Saturday (November 21).

Magnetic Fields frontman and lyrical mastermind Stephin Merritt exclusively wears brown clothing; published an ode to two-letter Scrabble words; and plans his set lists according to the alphabet. He doesn’t play by anybody’s rules — and he doesn’t need to. Few musicians can boast an oeuvre as vast and acclaimed as Merritt’s, a fanbase as devoted or a songwriting talent as limitless.

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SPAC: A Preview of Summer 2016 Offerings [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, November 19th, 2015
Renee Fleming (credit: Timothy White)

Renee Fleming (credit: Timothy White)

For the first time in five decades, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center announces upcoming summer programming prior to the holiday season with a special Holiday Collection promotion for early birds who like to buy their tickets at a savings. The Holiday Collection is a selection of nine incredible programs handpicked to help audiences celebrate the holiday season. Tickets will become available at at 10am on Monday, November 30, “Cyber Monday.” Scroll to the bottom for promotion details

“SPAC’s 2016 Anniversary Season is a celebration of the visionaries who brought SPAC to life and the community that sustained, enriched and expanded SPAC for five decades,” reads the SPAC press release announcing the season highlights. “As we celebrate 50 years, we must remember that the dreams of the future are as important as the history of the past. We pay tribute to our founders’ legacy by launching SPAC’s artistic future through innovative programming, once-in-a-lifetime special events, and world premieres by choreographer Justin Peck and composer Michael Torke. Together, we applaud our cherished resident founders George Balanchine, Lincoln Kirstein, Eugene Ormandy, and their world-renowned artistry.”

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Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival Sneak-Previews 2016 Season [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015
Virtuosic tap dance meets interactive electronic music technology in ETM: Double Down, a world premiere from Dorrance Dance. Photo by Christopher Duggan.

Virtuosic tap dance meets interactive electronic music technology in “ETM: Double Down,” a world premiere from Dorrance Dance. Photo by Christopher Duggan.

By Larry Murray

While not giving the whole schedule away – they’re still hard at work on that – the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival is giving us a sneak peek at the first four companies that it plans to showcase in 2016. The festival, located in Beckett, runs from June to August, though it also has a surprising number of year-round activities of interest to dance enthusiasts. We take a look at both, along with a look back on Summer 2015.

The quartet of companies announced early for the 2016 Festival are: the dynamic audience favorite Aspen Santa Fe Ballet; tap dance sensation and 2015 MacArthur Fellow Michelle Dorrance and her company Dorrance Dance in ETM: Double Down; the Festival 2015’s breakout star Gauthier Dance//Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart, and a rare U.S. appearance of the all-male, France-based ensemble Compagnie Hervé KOUBI.

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And the Kids Deliver Apocalyptic Pop @ The Garage on Friday [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, November 16th, 2015

Berkshire Theatre Group has added celebrated indie pop band And the Kids to their fall line-up at 8pm on Friday (November 20), along with opener Anonymous Animal. The music will emanate from the intimate Garage stage at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, one of the Berkshire’s most comfortable listening spots for the best of regional pop, rock and comedy.

Recently called one of “the Western Mass. indie scene’s brightest creative lights” by Pitchfork, Northampton’s And The Kids recently released their debut full-length album, Turn to Each Other (Signature Sounds). Turn to Each Other is more than an album title: it’s a statement of fact for the band, whose bond—as musicians, friends and creative foils is as tight as they come. The album features 11 tracks full of ringing guitars from Hannah Mohan, knotty rhythms from drummer Rebecca Lasaponaro and bold accents from synthesizers and percussion by Megan Miller. Together, they create “apocalyptic pop,” a dizzying stop-start ride with lush, intricate soundscapes that frame Mohan’s lively lead vocals. Taliana Katz made her debut as the And The Kids bassist at their NPR Tiny Desk Concert earlier this year, and continues to carry the energy of the album to the stage.

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