The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include film, honkytonk, cabaret, jazz, dance, photography, theater, and a whole lot more.
The big news this weekend in the Berkshires is of course the 13th annual Berkshire International Film Festival in Great Barrington and Pittsfield. This year’s festival pays tribute to Academy Award-winning actor Rachel Weisz at its annual Tribute Night at the Mahaiwe tonight at 7pm. As part of the tribute, Weisz will be in conversation with David Edelstein, New York Magazine’s chief film critic, followed by a screening of her new film, “Disobedience.” Other highlights of this year’s festival include Academy Award-winning director Cynthia Wade’s new documentary, “GRIT,” Academy Award-winning screenwriter Charles Randolph, award-winning artist Gregory Crewdson, and a screenplay reading of the locally produced film, “Mumbet,” with special guests. That’s today through Sunday, in Great Barrington and in Pittsfield at the Beacon Cinema.
The Sweetback Sisters, a honkytonk and Western swing outfit that plays everything from Patsy Cline to the Sons of the Pioneers to the Traveling Wilburys, kicks off the 2018 Shaker Barn Music series in the 1910 Barn at Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, Mass., on Saturday at 7:30pm. Fronted by Emily Miller and Zara Bode, the Sweetback Sisters offer a timely take on country’s golden age of honky-tonk with airtight harmonies, charging rhythms, and playful lyrics.
Singer-songwriter and accordionist Rachelle Garniez brings her eclectic cabaret act, featuring story-songs that slip between pop, polka, country, ska, jazz, yodeling, and more, to Spencertown Academy in Spencertown, N.Y., on Saturday at 7:30pm. Rachelle’s influences range from Tin Pan Alley classics to klezmer, Americana, roots music, and Latin. She composed the music for Taylor Mac’s “The Lily's Revenge,” has written for jazz vocalist Catherine Russell, and has collaborated with many artists, including the Citizens Band, Thomas Dolby, and Jack White.
Contemporary soul-jazz vocalist Tina Fabrique performs a tribute to the legendary jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald at Barrington Stage in Pittsfield, on Sunday and Monday, June 3-4, at 8pm, featuring songs by Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, the Gershwins, and others, as part of Mr. Finn’s Cabaret series at Barrington Stage.
Dancers Larry Keigwin and Nicole Wolcott, cofounders of the KEIGWIN + COMPANY modern dance ensemble - return to PS21 in Chatham, N.Y., for two performances of “Places Please” on Saturday at 7pm and 9pm. The evening-length duet is a zany trip backstage in the final moments before the curtain goes up. The audience becomes privy to the anxiety and playfulness of life behind the scenes.
Famed rock photographer Elliott Landy, best known for his portraits of Bob Dylan and The Band, will be featured in the June Invitational 2018 exhibit at 510 Warren Street Gallery in Hudson, N.Y., alongside paintings by Nancy Felcher, Eleanor Lord, and Doris Simon. The Woodstock-based Elliott Landy was well-positioned to document and capture the utopian spirit of the 1960s counterculture as official photographer of the 1969 Woodstock Festival. He also shot musicians including Janis Joplin, Van Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, and Jim Morrison. The exhibit opens with an artist’s reception on Saturday from 3 to 6 pm.
Seth Rogovoy is editor of Berkishire Daily and the Rogovoy Report, available online at rogovoyreport.com