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Rogovoy Report for November 22, 2013

This week we feature a contemporary play about a historical figure, an Americana band, two art exhibitions, and a marathon citywide reading session.

It’s the last weekend to catch Lauren Gunderson’s play Emilie: La Marquise Du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight, which is receiving its Northeast regional premiere in a production by WAM Theatre, at Barrington Stage in Pittsfield through Sunday. While Emilie Du Châtelet is best known for her 15-year-liaison with Voltaire, the French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher, she was far more than just a great man’s mistress. She became a highly regarded interpreter of modern physics and a master of mathematics and linguistics during the Age of Enlightenment. In the play, Emilie searches for a formula that will convince the world of her worth by tallying her achievements in love and philosophy.

Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge is showcasing the work of  award-winning illustrator Wendell Minor -- highlighting his many cover illustrations and children’s books illustrations, each inspired by his love of history, art, science, and the natural world. Wendell Minor’s America reviews the artist’s four-decade career, tracing the personal and artistic journey of the acclaimed book illustrator and admirer of Norman Rockwell, through original artwork, artifacts, and references from Minor’s expansive visual chronicles, as well as commentary about his collaborations with our nation’s most prominent authors, scientists, and historians.

Folk-roots quintet Poor Old Shine brings its energetic take on acoustic Americana to Club Helsinki Hudson on Saturday at 9 p.m. The band will be celebrating the release of its new, eponymous album – showcasing the group’s vintage bluegrass and grassroots approach at the show. Poor Old Shine’s music is rooted in the folk and Appalachian mountain music traditions and fits in well at bluegrass festivals and sticky rock clubs alike. Each set by the group mixes the band’s original songwriting with traditional folk ballads, prison work songs, and front porch style jamming.

Oil paintings by Joel Griffith are on display at Neumann Fine Art  in Hillsdale through January 4. A reception and gallery talk by the artist will take place on Saturday, November 30, at 5 p.m. Joel Griffith was named the official Painter Laureate of his hometown of Tivoli, N.Y., in 2003. His paintings, many of which grace the walls of Tivoli’s Town Hall, have been compared to “a great story told at the local bar by a profound poet with a visionary eye.”

The Marina Abramovic Institute, in collaboration with Basilica Hudson, will host a 24-hour marathon reading of The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers from Saturday, at 2 p.m. through until the book is completed, at approximately 2 p.m. on Sunday. The event will be held at Basilica Hudson, about one mile from the future Institute. Over the course of 24 hours, students, teachers, and other Hudson community participants will read the entirety of Walter Moers’s fantastic tale.

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