The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include a one-woman show, a film festival, orchestral music, vocal music, a poetry reading, plus a whole lot more.
When Stacy Cochran’s debut feature, “My New Gun,” starring Diane Lane, was released in 1992, the New York Times hailed her as one of the best of a new generation of young filmmakers. Cochran went on to make the 1996 film “Boys”, followed by a documentary about Beatles filmmaker Richard Lester, and “Drop Back Ten” in 2000, before taking time off to raise a family. Cochran has finally returned to the silver screen with her first feature in 18 years, “Write When You Get Work,” a delectable mix of romantic comedy and heist thriller, which one critic says features “beautiful storytelling and a refreshing break from the crushing sameness of so many blockbusters of our era.” Cochran’s new film is just one of 50 being screened as part of the annual FilmColumbia festival, concluding this weekend in downtown Chatham, N.Y.
Speaking of movies, 'I Am a Seagull', a combination of narrative and documentary, screens at MASS MoCA in North Adams on Saturday night at 8pm. The film documents the Lake Lucille Chekhov Project, an eccentric community of actors in upstate NY, and their frenzied and loving attempt to stage Chekhov’s play The Seagull.
Actress Jayne Atkinson, known for her roles in “House of Cards” and “Madam Secretary,” stars as legendary Texas Governor Ann Richards in “Ann,” a one-woman tour-de-force staged by WAM Theatre in the Tina Packer Playhouse at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Mass., playing tonight and Saturday at 7:30pm and concluding its run on Sunday at 2pm.
Elsewhere, jazz composer and pianist Vijay Iyer teams with writer and NY Times photography critic Teju Cole in a multimedia collaboration called “Blind Spot” that takes place tonight at 8pm in the Fisher Center at Bard College. With images and text from Cole’s newly released book of the same title alongside Iyer’s improvised live score, Blind Spot investigates humanity’s blindness to tragedy and injustice throughout history. A book and album signing with the artists will follow the performance.
Also at Bard, the Bard College Conservatory Orchestra performs works by Wagner, Prokofiev, and Joan Tower in the Fisher Center at Bard on Saturday at 8 p.m.
Vocal chamber ensemble New York Polyphony performs at Hudson Hall on Saturday at 7pm in a program of rare and rediscovered Renaissance and medieval works.
And saving the best for last, poet Eileen Myles, the author of more than twenty books, including “Chelsea Girls” and “Cool For You,” will read from her new book of poems, “Evolution,” at Jeff Bailey Gallery in Hudson on Saturday at 4pm. The reading is hosted by Shaker Museum Mount Lebanon.
Seth Rogovoy is editor of the Rogovoy Report, available online at rogovoyreport.com