The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include chamber music, art openings, literary readings, theater, and a whole lot more.
The Close Encounters With Music chamber series celebrates the 100th anniversary of the birth of Leonard Bernstein with a gala concert featuring his vocal and piano music and that of composers he championed, including Stephen Sondheim, Lukas Foss, and Aaron Copland. The concert takes place at the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, Mass., on Saturday at 6pm.
“The Royal Family of Broadway” will reunite the creative geniuses behind the Tony Award-winning “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Mass.. “Spelling Bee” was workshopped and developed at Barrington Stage Company in 2004 with music and lyrics by William Finn and a book by Rachel Sheinkin, who join forces again for The Royal Family. Based on the original play by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber “The Royal Family of Broadway” is set in the 1920s and loosely based on the legendary theatrical family the Barrymores.
This summer, the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass., presents the first comprehensive exhibition to look at the work of master illustrators Maxfield Parrish, N.C. Wyeth, and Norman Rockwell in relation to the history of Western art. Keepers of the Flame: Parrish, Wyeth, Rockwell and the Narrative Tradition will reveal the lineage connecting American illustration to some 500 years of European painting through the long line of teachers who have passed along their wisdom, knowledge, and techniques to generations of creators.
Paul de Jong, best known as co-founder and cellist of the beloved collage-pop duo The Books, brings his new music, which he fondly describes as “the Mall of Found,” to MASS MoCA in North Adams, Mass., on Saturday at 8pm. De Jong’s latest work features complex tapestries of acoustic and electronic instrumentation, what he calls “an unvarnished exposition of anger, frustration, misery and confusion.”
The Clark Art Institute’s summer 2018 exhibition, “Women Artists in Paris, 1850–1900,” celebrates an international group of artists who overcame gender-based restrictions to make extraordinary creative strides, taking important steps in the fight for a more egalitarian art world. The exhibit features nearly 70 paintings, including works by Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, and Rosa Bonheur. “The Art of Iron,” also on view this summer, presents 36 unique objects in an installation celebrating the craft and beauty of wrought iron creations.
Newly revived New York City punk-rock outfit Boss Hog - featuring the husband-and-wife duo of Jon Spencer and Cristina Martinez – bring their scorching, fuzzed-up, sexy punk-rock to Club Helsinki Hudson on Saturday at 9pm.
Jen Beagin, Ruth Danon, and Emma Smith-Stevens will read from their works at Spotty Dog Books & Ale in Hudson, N.Y., on Saturday at 7pm, as part of Volume, the free monthly reading and music series every second Saturday of the month. The readings will be followed by book-signing and a DJ set by Caroline Elizabeth.
PS21 in Chatham, N.Y., closes its inaugural spring season this weekend with a staged reading of Eugene Ionesco’s “The Chairs,” performed by The Actors’ Ensemble, in a fresh interpretation of the absurdist, tragic farce about the imaginary world of a very old couple living in a house on an island.
Seth Rogovoy is editor of Berkishire Daily and the Rogovoy Report, available online at rogovoyreport.com