The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include chamber music, New Orleans dance music, Jamaican dance music, theater, and a whole lot more.
The dynamic New Orleans ensemble Soul Rebels bring its patented mix of party music, second-line melodies and R&B to Courtyard C at MASS MoCA on Saturday at 8pm. The eight-piece group mixes horns, vocals, and percussion on original compositions and covers of the likes of Stevie Wonder (“Livin’ in the City”), Daft Punk (“Get Lucky”), and Eurythmics (“Sweet Dreams”).
“Typhoid Mary,” a play by Mark St. Germain based on the true story of Mary Mallon, the legendary asymptomatic carrier of typhoid fever, opens the season at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Mass., this weekend and runs through June 16. Starring Tasha Lawrence in the title role, the play captures the woman behind the myth while exploring the battle that raged around her between science and religion.
The New England premiere of “Morning After Grace” kicks off the summer 2018 season at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox. The “unconventional new comedy tackling love, loss, and second chances” runs through July 15 in the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre.
Petra Haden is a vocalist, violinist, and composer, a member of That Dog and the Decembrists, and the daughter of legendary jazz bassist Charlie Haden. Singer-songwriter Jesse Harris is best known for writing several of Norah Jones’s early hits. Julian Lage is a young, Grammy Award-nominated guitarist. The three combine forces for “Songs for Petra,” a unique program featuring a new body of songs written for Petra Haden, with lyrics by Jessie Harris and music by iconic downtown composer John Zorn, taking place at the Egremont Barn in South Egremont, Mass., on Saturday at 8pm.
[R]EVOLUTION IS UNCOMFORTABLE, a photography and video installation by JD Urban featuring over 100 Hudson, N.Y., residents, opens on Saturday at Hudson Hall, with a reception at 5-8pm, and remains on view through June 24. The visual installation features candid conversations with citizens about how their personal experiences have shaped their political beliefs.
Upstate New York ska-reggae outfit the Big Takeover brings its Jamaican riddims to Club Helsinki Hudson tonight at 9pm. The group will preview selections from its upcoming album, “Rainboots,” due out in June.
The life of Hitler filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl serves as the springboard for Sarah Greenman’s “Leni,” a shattering exploration of narcissism, denial, and artistic and moral responsibility, at Bridge Street Theatre, in Catskill, N.Y., running tonight through Sunday.
Also this weekend, The West Stockbridge Chamber Players make music at Old Town Hall tonight at 6pm. Pianist Emanuel Ax plays for literacy at the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, Mass. on Saturday at 7:30pm. Violinist Yevgeny Kutik plays an all-Haydn program with Berkshire Lyric at Tanglewood in Lenox on Sunday at 3pm. Old-Time roots duo Moonshine Holler sing music of the Carter Family at Bascom Lodge on top of Mt Greylock on Sunday at 6pm. Chesterwood – the home studio of sculptor Daniel Chester French in Stockbridge -- opens for the season on Saturday. And the Upright Citizens Brigade returns to the Colonial in Pittsfield on Saturday at 8pm
Seth Rogovoy is editor of Berkishire Daily and the Rogovoy Report, available online at rogovoyreport.com