Posts Tagged ‘North Adams’

“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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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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New Work-in-Progress Musicals on Tap at MASS MoCA [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, November 9th, 2015
Working on a new musical at Mass MoCA: Adam Guettel, grandson of Richard Rodgers of Rodgers and Hammerstein fame, and son of writer/composer Mary Rodgers.

Working on a new musical at MASS MoCA: Adam Guettel, grandson of Richard Rodgers of Rodgers & Hammerstein fame and son of writer/composer Mary Rodgers

Sundance Institute continues to develop new theater pieces with its two-week residency at MASS MoCA in North Adams. The Sundance Theatre Lab for 2015 has a sharp focus on musical theater.

The Sundance Theatre Lab at MASS MoCA supports three musical theater and ensemble-generated projects. Obie Award-winning writer Kirsten Childs’ Buffalo Bella is a musical tall tale exploring the African-American experience in the Old West. Cory Hinkle, Victoria Stewart, Jeremy Wilhelm and David Wilhelm’s Clandestino investigates immigration reform, small-town politics and religious fundamentalism within the context of the 2008 ICE raid of Agriprocessors, Inc., a Kosher slaughterhouse in Postville, Iowa. And Tony Award-winning composer-lyricist Adam Guettel and Obie Award-winning playwright Craig Lucas are working on as-yet-untitled work that tells the story of a love affair between two average Americans, torpedoed by alcoholism. These projects are cast individually and rehearse daily – with the creative support of Sundance dramaturgs.

Artistic Director Philip Himberg said, “The Theatre Lab at Mass MoCA provides unique opportunities for artists to develop their projects, uninhibited, in inspiring environments. The Theatre Lab at MASS MoCA gives musical and ensemble theater-makers the first opportunity to see their work brought to life on its feet.”

The residencies will culminate in a public performance of selections from these work-in-progress musical theater projects with these exceptional artists in MASS MoCA’s Club B10 on Saturday (November 14) at 8pm. Tickets are $10 in advance; $5 for students and members; $15 day of; and $22 preferred.

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Katie Workum & Kimberly Bartosik Bring “Black Lakes” to MASS MoCA [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015
Katie Workum brings her new piece Black Lakes to Mass MoCA.

Katie Workum brings her new piece “Black Lakes” to MASS MoCA.

Jacob’s Pillow Dance and MASS MoCA join together again to present the New York-based contemporary dance artists Katie Workum and Kimberly Bartosik in a one-night-only performance at 8pm on October 24 at MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center in North Adams.

Workum brings her new work Black Lakes to the stage, a piece that is full of improvisation, risk and humor. The second half of the program spotlights “Bessie” Award winner Kimberly Bartosik’s Ecsteriority4 (Part 2), which constructs a landscape of power and desire as it explores violence in American culture today.

Workum’s Black Lakes (2014) is both adventurously intimate and whimsically human. The hour-long work utilizes a set structure of solos, duets and trios with improvised movement performed by Workum’s collaborators, “Bessie” Award-winning artist Weena Pauly and “Bessie” Award nominee Eleanor Smith. Derived from an improvisational practice called Authentic Movement, the choreography is rooted in kinesthetic awareness and the natural, instinctive responses of bodies in space. Black Lakes is set to a minimalist score comprised of ambient sound, subtle excerpts of indecipherable conversation and musical bells by James Lo.

Click to read the rest at 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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DownStreet Art Features Bridgman | Packer Dance’s “TRUCK” [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, September 21st, 2015

There’s limited viewing for this extraordinary version of the ancient art of the Laterna Magica. Take in one of the four performances of “TRUCK” by Bridgman | Packer Dance. That’s because it takes place inside a truck, every half hour from 7pm on Thursday (September 24). It’s all part of North Adams’ DownStreet Art, which winds up another successful summer with this treat, along with closing exhibitions in various pop-up galleries. New work at Adams Community Bank and Mountain One Bank, music under the Mohawk Marquee and a few special surprises.

The magic lantern (or Laterna Magica) is an early type of image projector employing pictures on sheets of glass. It was developed in the 17th century and commonly used for educational and entertainment purposes. There is a Czech company by that name that combines live performance with film, which continues to be little known in high-tech America, but its innovations are nonetheless spellbinding.

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Progressive Love on the Dance Floor: JD Samson @ MASS MoCA [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015
Singer and producer JD Samson is at Mass MoCA on September 5, 2015.

Singer and producer JD Samson is at MASS MoCA on Saturday (September 5).

A member of the legendary electro-feminist-punk project Le Tigre, the singer and producer JD Samson is an articulate champion of social causes and a party waiting to erupt. She’s here with a live band set and a DJ set for a summer-ending night of progressive love on the dance floor. Samson takes the stage at MASS MoCA’s Courtyard C on Saturday (September 5) at 8pm.

An eloquent activist, feminist, writer and performer, Samson was raised in a Cleveland suburb by two artists. Coming out at the age of 15, Samson overcame hardships to become a strong activist for feminist and LGBT rights. She pursued her passion in film by attending Sarah Lawrence College, where she landed a job managing projections for the electronic, feminist group Le Tigre – an all-female band with roots in dance, punk and pop music. Shortly thereafter, in 2000, Samson became a contributing member of the band. As a part of Le Tigre, Samson channeled her personal life to produce electrifying, upbeat music with strong sociopolitical and LGBT ties. When the band took a break in 2006, Samson formed a new project, MEN, with Le Tigre’s Johanna Fateman.

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Roomful of Teeth Return to MASS MoCA on Friday [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, August 27th, 2015
Roomful of Teeth (photo: Nicholas Whitman)

Roomful of Teeth (photo: Nicholas Whitman)

Exploring new vocal territory and sharing music from their new 2015 album Render, the Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth comes home to MASS MoCA in North Adams to celebrate the work of composer-in-residence Ted Hearne, harnessing all sorts of colors, gestures and timbres as the group explores all possibilities of the human voice. Roomful of Teeth’s annual two-week residency culminates in a concert at 8pm on Friday (August 28).

Both as an expansion and a tribute to the group’s self-titled predecessor (called “sensually stunning” by The New York Times), Render is the next leg of Roomful of Teeth’s journey to mine the expressive possibilities of the magnificent vocal palette offered by each of the ensemble’s eight powerful singers. Group alto and Pulitzer Prize-winner Caroline Shaw relates the title of the album to the “idea of seeing…distinct particles slowly come together [to] create an image” (NPR). The recording emerges as one likeness, but remains unforgettably composed by distinct and enormously talented contributors, including founder and artistic director Brad Wells, as well as William Brittelle, Wally Gunn, Missy Mazzoli, Caleb Burhans and ensemble tenor Eric Dudley.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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