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Arts & Culture

Rogovoy Report 10/30/20

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include virtual theater, online orchestral music, a tribute to the Grateful Dead, a real-life in-person Halloween burlesque show … plus a whole lot more…

Judith Ivey will portray ‘Typhoid Mary’ in a virtual reading by Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Mass. this weekend. Written by Mark St. Germain and directed by Matthew Penn, the play tells the true and turbulent story of Mary Mallon, known better as Typhoid Mary. As one of the most infamous women in America, her career as a cook left many deaths in her wake. A carrier of Typhoid, Mary refused to believe she was responsible, citing God’s will and the lies of science instead. Is this beginning to sound familiar? Judith Ivey stars as “Typhoid” Mary Mallon and the cast includes Joe Morton as Dr. William Mills. The virtual readings are tonight and Saturday night at 7:30pm.

Meanwhile in Lenox and appropriate for the leadup to Tuesday’s presidential election, Shakespeare & Company is producing a virtual performance of Martha Mitchell Calling, a one-woman show featuring veteran actor Annette Miller as the outrageous, flamboyant, courageous, wife of John Mitchell, President Richard Nixon’s attorney general, who ultimately played a pivotal role in the downfall of Nixon’s Presidency. This new, 60-minute film adaptation will be broadcast on Vimeo, and features Kale Browne, well-known TV, film and stage actor, as John Mitchell. The piece was shot on location at Ventfort Hall in the Berkshires. Performances are tonight at 7:30pm and again on Sunday at 7:30.

Tonight at 7pm at the Foundry in West Stockbridge, Mass., is “Devil’s Night,” a sexy evening of spooky theatrics with Gypsy Layne Cabaret. This Halloween-themed production offers show-stopping, heart-pounding, spine-tingling thrills, chills, and laughs. This burlesque-style performance is a live, in-person event that includes dinner and precautionary social distancing.

Speaking of Halloween-themed entertainment, on Sunday at 4pm, The Mount in Lenox presents a virtual reading and conversation with Philippa Swan, author of “The Night of All Souls.” In Swan’s highly entertaining novel, Edith Wharton is variously reimagined as a host in the afterlife, a historical figure in a modern novella, and as an elusive presence in the pages of her own writing. But when a lifelong secret is exposed, it’s almost too shocking to be true. I get chills just thinking about it.

The Orchestra Now plays Handel, Strauss, Schoenberg and more in a free livestream from the Fisher Center at Bard College on Sunday at 2pm. The concert pairs three works from the early 20th Century—including Richard Strauss’s elegiac Metamorphosen, written in the final months of WWII—with Handel’s baroque Water Music Suite, composed for one of King George I’s royal water parties that took place on the River Thames. Music director Leon Botstein will also conduct the orchestra in Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony No. 1.

And on Sunday at 8pm, the Bardavon in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., continues its new, free, online series “Albums Revisited” with an all-star cast on hand to pay tribute to the Grateful Dead’s landmark album, “American Beauty.” Performers include Jorma Kaukonen of Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, Woodstock’s own Amy Helm, the Yonder Mountain String Band, Railroad Earth, and Donna the Buffalo, among others. This streams for free on the Bardavon’s YouTube channel.

Seth Rogovoy is editor of the Rogovoy Report, available at rogovoyreport.com

The views expressed by commentators are solely those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views of this station or its management.