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Rogovoy Report 1/13/17

The weekend’s cultural highlights in the region include new and old play readings; a new music festival; photographs of Hudson’s garages and alleyways; Moroccan trance-dub music; a literary reading; the circus comes to town; and a whole lot more.

Plays by Sam Shepard, Sarah Ruhl, and Anton Chekhov will be featured in Shakespeare & Company’s annual Winter Studio Festival of Plays in Lenox, Mass., on Saturday and Sunday. The weekend of staged readings, featuring both emerging and established artists, also includes works by local playwrights Emily Devoti and Robert Sugarman. Company veterans Elizabeth Aspenlieder, Tod Randolph, and David Joseph are among those performing.  

Composers including minimalist pioneer Steve Reich, downtown lion John Zorn, avant-gardist Frederic Rzewski, and jazz legend Charles Mingus will have their works performed as part of I/O Fest 2017, a four-day festival of new music at Williams College running today through Sunday, at various venues around Williamstown. The festival includes concerts, a lecture, several world premieres, music of many composers, performances by the I/O Ensemble and IOTA, and New York City-based new-music quintet TAK. All events are free and open to the public. Neither tickets nor reservations are required.

“No Parking: The Alleys and Garages of Hudson,” featuring works by three local photographers who find unconventional beauty beyond Hudson’s more well-trafficked main streets, will go on view at the Hudson Opera House on Saturday with an artist’s reception from 5 to 7pm. Exploring the parallel realities that exist in the city, “No Parking” features photographs dating back nearly two decades from local artists Lisa Durfee, William Hellermann, and Peter Spear.

Hudson’s own Bindlestiff Family Cirkus continues its wintertime tradition of hosting a monthly cabaret, featuring a variety of circus, theater, comedy and musical entertainers, at Club Helsinki Hudson kicking off at 9pm tonight. Each month this winter, Bindlestiff Cirkus will bring a new lineup, with acts including trapeze, contortion, acrobatic balance, sword swallowing, juggling, physical comedy, and oddball novelty turns. The Bindlestiff stage is one of the few arenas in the world where attendees may see internationally renowned street performers, featured acts from Cirque du Soleil and Ringling Brothers, and artists from “America's Got Talent” next to local legends, live, on stage, and in the same show.

Writers Sheela Clary, Tobias Carroll, and Gabriel Squailia will read from their works at Spotty Dog Books & Ale in Hudson on Saturday at 7pm, as part of Volume, the free monthly reading and music series every second Saturday of the month. The will be followed by book-signings and a musical set by DJ Stephen Bluhm.

And finally, Moroccan-dosed dub-jazz collective Club D’Elf from Boston, featuring superstar keyboardist John Medeski of Medeski Martin and Wood fame, return to Club Helsinki Hudson with their funky world-trance grooves on Saturday at 9pm, to celebrate the long-awaited release of “Live at Club Helsinki,” their epic double album that showcases the group’s genre-leaping improvisational acumen, performing at one of its favorite venues for an ecstatic crowd.

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