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Rogovoy Report for May 9, 2014

It’s often forgotten or overlooked that throughout his life, Anton Chekhov, best known as a short story writer and playwright, practiced medicine. Yes, he was Dr. Anton. Well, Andrew Dawson hasn’t forgotten. In his work-in-progress, “The Russian Doctor,” Dawson teams up with a neuroscientist and a medical historian to explore a key episode from Chekhov's medical career: an extraordinary journey across the frozen tundra to the island of Sakhalin, and his ensuing contribution to the field of epidemiology. The theatrical work will be performed live in the Hunter Center at MASS MoCA in North Adams tonight at 8pm.
Speaking of MASS MoCA, I paid a visit there last week and caught up with a number of the exhibitions, including Izhar Patkin’s “The Wandering Veil” and Franz West’s “Adam’s Apple.” I was utterly delighted by Patkin’s veils, which I found to be both visually and intellectually suggestive and compelling, in a sense making tangible how memory works by portraying scenes from the past and present on gauzy layers of fabric. The work instantly made sense to me, as if it were the physical realization of how my own memory works. I felt like I was looking into my own past somehow. I look forward to revisiting that exhibition soon and digging deeper into the specific content of the work and its relationship to poetry. As for the installation of the suggestively phallic tower sculptures by Franz West opposite the Anselm Kiefer gallery, they certainly will make for plenty of good photo-opportunities for visitors to MASS MoCA’s wonderful post-industrial campus.

Few songs can conjure up an entire era like the Moody Blues’ hit, “Nights in White Satin.” You listen to it and you can practically smell the patchouli and see everyone wearing tie-dye. Justin Hayward, the lead guitarist and vocalist of the Moody Blues, will perform with his own band at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield on Tuesday, May 13, at 7:30pm, and again at the Bardavon in Poughkeepsie on Saturday, May 17, at 8pm. Performing and recording for more than 40 years with the Moody Blues, Hayward wrote such memorable songs as "Nights In White Satin,” "Tuesday Afternoon,” "Question,” "The Voice,” and "Your Wildest Dreams.”  

Brooklyn-based indie folk-rock singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten will preview new songs from her upcoming recording, “Are We There,” when she performs at Club Helsinki Hudson tonight at 9pm. Van Etten is an integral part of the new Brooklyn indie scene, having collaborated, performed or recorded with members of the National, the Antlers, Beirut and the Walkmen, among others. And then on Sunday at Helsinki, singer-songwriter and alt-country pioneer Jay Farrar, a cofounder of legendary alt-country outfit Uncle Tupelo with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, will perform in a duo format with multi-instrumentalist Gary Hunt.

No Theme Performance, featuring an eclectic mix of young artists from Brooklyn, Bennington, Philadelphia, Bard College and elsewhere showing new work in dance, theater, music, and art, will take place at the Cocoon Theatre in Rhinebeck on Saturday, at 7pm. Among the performers are Chelsea Murphy, Anna Kroll, Chloe Engel, Anna Rogovoy, Benny Goldmintz, Olympia Shannon, Bahar Baharloo, Emma Villavecchia, Eva Bond, Catherine Weingarten, Rebecca Shippee and Tyler Abramson.

Seth Rogovoy is editor of Berkishire Daily and the Rogovoy Report, available online at rogovoyreport.com