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Rogovoy Report 10/16/20

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include indie-pop, theater, chamber music, jazz … plus a whole lot more.

Sxip Shirey is an inventive, experimental electro-acoustic composer and performer. A frequent collaborator of Rhiannon Giddens, Shirey is a founding member of the band Luminescent Orchestrii, and has worked with Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman. He is also a real life circus composer, having toured the world with the internationally acclaimed LIMBO. Shirey has also played exploding circus organ for the pyro-technic clowns of the Daredevil Opera Company at the Kennedy Center, industrial flutes for acrobats on mechanical jumping boots at The New Victory Theater on Broadway, Appalachian music for gypsies in Transylvania and gypsy music for Appalachians in West Virginia. His music has a playful, wistful quality that attracts a diverse fan base. Sxip brings his magical musical bag of tricks the Foundry in West Stockbridge, Mass., on Saturday at 7pm, as part of the venue’s Patio Productions series.

The play “ROE” – that’s Roe as in Roe v. Wade, not row your boat - will be presented as a dynamic, creatively designed, digital production by WAM Theatre, streaming Saturday, starting at 7:30pm, through Tuesday at 7:29pm. Written by Lisa Loomer and directed by Kristen van Ginhoven and featuring a cast including Tara Franklin, Tracy Liz Miller, and Susanna Guzmán, “ROE” is an historically sweeping play that illuminates the history of the Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court ruling that established a woman’s right to an abortion. If you can think of a more timely drama for this weekend, you tell me.

Simon's Rock Chamber Orchestra presents its fall concert of music featuring music from the Nordic countries in the Kellog Music Center on the campus of Simon's Rock College in Great Barrington on Sunday at 3pm. The program will include traditional Scandinavian tunes arranged and harmonized by Grieg, Svendsen, and Pääkkönen, as well as “Ashokan Farewell” by the Hudson Valley’s own Jay Unger, the popular theme song of the television series “The Civil War."

MASS MoCA stages its final outdoor concert of the season on Saturday at 7:30pm with a concert of all-star Berkshire musical talent featuring Andy Wrba and Friends. Founder of the Berkshire Jazz Collective, Wrba will be joined by a who’s who of Berkshire-based musicians from a wide variety of genres, including avant-garde violinist Todd Reynolds, roots-music artists Billy Keane and Tory Hanna of The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow, and jazz pianist Benny Kohn and drummer Conor Meehan.  

Author Laura van den Berg’s most recent collection of stories, I Hold a Wolf by the Ears, presents a collection of women on the verge, trying to grasp what’s left of life: grieving, divorced, and hyperaware, searching, vulnerable, and unhinged, they exist in a world that deviates from our own only when you look too close. van den Berg will be joined by author Heidi Pitlor for True Conversations via the Mount in Lenox, streamed via Zoom on Sunday at 4pm.