Posts Tagged ‘North Adams’

“Aging Magician” Takes an Amazing Journey @ MASS MoCA [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, February 26th, 2016

Calling this exciting new theatrical production a musical betrays the collaborative magic of its production team, including theater-maker Rinde Eckert, composer Paola Prestini, director Julian Crouch and instrument-maker Mark Stewart. Produced by Beth Morrison (whom audiences will remember from October 2014’s arresting music-theater production, “The Source”) and VisionIntoArt, “Aging Magician” follows a man near the end of his peculiar life on an odd but strangely sweet journey to Coney Island, all punctuated by the lovely Brooklyn Youth Chorus, under the direction of Dianne Berkun-Menaker. See the magic come alive 2pm on Sunday (February 28) at MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center in North Adams.

“Aging Magician” is a haunting, genre-defying adventure that combines theater, music, puppetry, one-of-a-kind instruments, scenic design and film media. The creative team of Prestini, Eckert, Crouch, Stewart and Morrison comprises the most superlative producers in avant-garde theater today. The show follows an ordinary man named Harold, coping with the final stages of his life, as he muses on the movement of time and his own mortality while confronting past loves both lost and imagined. His mind begins to wander while in transit to iconic Coney Island, with fantasy and reality blurring along the subway ride in the “magic show of time itself.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.


Jason Walker Brings Gospel/Soul to MASS MoCA [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, February 19th, 2016
Jason Walker

Jason Walker

Brooklyn vocalist Jason Walker hails from a multi-generational music family — he was cradled in the arms of Mahalia Jackson as a child and has shared the stage with Mick Jagger, Bono and Lou Reed. His own music is a sublime and gospel-infused soul, which should be especially affecting in MASS MoCA’s intimate Club B-10 at 8pm on Saturday (February 20).

Velvety-smooth vocalist Jason Walker combines jazz, gospel, classical and soul in an uplifting, honey-sweet sound that’s a pure pleasure to take in. Fans rave about this crooner’s gorgeous vocals, bluesy bassline interludes, and joyous lyrics that coalesce in his self-coined style of “folk-soul,” a revelatory combination of spiritual and secular music that anyone can enjoy.

MASS MoCA’s Curator of Performing Arts and Film, Rachel Chanoff, raves, “Jason Walker is too often the power beyond the throne. His extraordinary voice has illuminated so many other people’s projects. It’s time — and so thrilling — to give our audience the opportunity to discover a truly compelling artist.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Big Dance Theater Re-Invents the Museum Experience @ MASS MoCA [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, February 8th, 2016
Big Dance Theater

Big Dance Theater

By Larry Murray

Granted, it’s only a work-in-progress taking place for three days, but it is clearly a fresh and new approach to enjoying a museum. You may want to try out this new performance-based museum audio/docent tour created by Here Lies Love choreographer Annie-B Parson and creative partner Paul Lazar. This interactive event deliberately changes how we experience a museum — by disrupting, confusing and ultimately reconsidering the ways we see art. Big Dance Theater calls it This Page Left Intentionally Blank and has scheduled six only-at-MASS-MoCA engagements in North Adams to take place at 12noon & 3pm on Wednesday, Friday & Saturday (February 10, 12 & 13). Ticket details at bottom of article.

My advice: with only a very limited number of tickets I suggest it might be smart to book your place early. This event is going to be fascinating.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage

“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.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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