The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include roots music, early music, literary readings, experimental jazz, and a whole lot more.
It’s your last chance to catch “Well Intentioned White People,” a timely racial drama by playwright Rachel Lynett, ending its world premiere run at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Mass., this weekend. The play finds its lead character, Cass, forced into “making an example of it” by her well-intentioned roommate and the dean of her “hip” and liberal university after a racial incident she would simply just rather forget. Looking to make tenure and not wanting to ruffle any feathers, Cass is pushed by her community to lead a diversity day on her own behalf and is asked to be the face of her race. The play is a poignant and surprisingly funny look at how in the pursuit of real change, good intentions are not always good enough.
This weekend, the fourth annual Oldtone Roots Music Festival, featuring over 30 bands on three stages, takes place at Cool Whisper Farm in North Hillsdale, N.Y. The festival, which grows by leaps and bounds each year, features workshops, a dance tent, jam sessions, contests, and of course plenty of performances by a diverse range of artists, including Foghorn Stringband, Karl Shiflett & Big Country Show, Tuba Skinny, Bill & The Belles, and Hubby Jenkins. The festival, which began yesterday and runs today through Sunday, is unabashedly traditional – they say that Oldtone musicians play the old songs in the old ways and compose new songs in the old styles. The festival also features local food, craft, and vintage vendors.
New York City-based early music ensemble TENET Vocal Artists performs its UNO + ONE: Italia Nostra program, focusing on the revolutionary breakthroughs in vocal style that were championed by Monteverdi and his contemporaries, as part of the Music and More series at the Historic Meeting House in New Marlborough, Mass., on Saturday at 4:30pm. Sopranos Jolle Greenleaf and Molly Quinn will be accompanied by harpsichordist Jeffrey Grossman and theorbist Adam Cockerham in Saturday’s program. It’s early music, so be sure not to be late.
It's a busy weekend in Hudson, N.Y., with several events, including the opening of "Americana: Celebrating Our Checkered Past and Present," featuring monumental artworks by Charlotta Janssen, many of which focus on civil disobedience and the ongoing struggle for civil rights in our nation. The exhibit inaugurates the opening of the Hudson Milliner Art Salon on Saturday from 5 to 8pm.
Authors Lynne Tillman, Kristi Coulter and Caroline Crumpacker read at Spotty Dog Books & Ale in Hudson on Saturday at 7pm, as part of Volume, the free, monthly reading series. Tillman, who teaches at the University of Albany, is getting a lot of attention lately for her new novel, “Men and Apparitions.”
And Hudson’s own superstar composer, bandleader, and drummer Bobby Previte brings his quartet, the Visitors, featuring young and upcoming stars of the Brooklyn scene to Club Helsinki Hudson on Monday night at 8pm. The Visitors are a guitar- and keyboard-based electro-acoustic quartet that plays all new music.
Seth Rogovoy is editor of the Rogovoy Report, available online at rogovoyreport.com