The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include comedy, orchestral music, Asian and Caribbean sounds, performance art, plus a whole lot more.
Nothing says Thanksgiving in the Berkshires quite like Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant” – the song, the film, and a live performance. Arlo returns to the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington on Saturday at 8 p.m., with his “Alice’s Restaurant — Back by Popular Demand Tour,” on the 50th anniversary of the 1969 movie filmed right here in the Berkshires where the original events took place.
The 75-member Berkshire Symphony will perform “Vessels of Courage and Hope” by Shulamit Ran, Sergei Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet,” and Robert Schumann’s Symphony No. 3, tonight in a free concert at 8 p.m. in Chapin Hall on the Williams College campus in Williamstown.
It’s comedy night once again at the Egremont Barn in South Egremont, Mass., tonight at 8 p.m., headlined by none other than Ophira Eisenberg, perhaps best known as host of NPR’s Ask Me Another. Eisenberg is the author of a memoir called “Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamy,” and she is also a regular host and storyteller with The Moth Radio Hour. Sharing the bill with Eisenberg are satirical musical comedy group Adira Amram & The Experience.
Award-winning actress and filmmaker Isabella Rossellini – of “Blue Velvet” and Ingrid Bergman fame -- takes inspiration from the natural world in her new theatrical lecture, “Link Link Circus,” a smart yet comedic look at the links between humans and animals. Rossellini addresses the latest scientific discoveries about animal minds, intelligence, and emotions, and along with her trained dog Pan, transforms herself into Aristotle, Descartes, B. F. Skinner, and Charles Darwin to deliver a vivid monologue about the brilliance of the animal kingdom. “LINK LINK CIRCUS” will be performed in the Fisher Center at Bard College on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
On Saturday at 8 p.m., the Hudson Valley Philharmonic will perform music of and inspired by The Silk Road at the Bardavon in Poughkeepsie, under the baton of Randall Craig Fleischer.
The concert will feature music from The Silk Road, Asian influences in Stravinsky’s Nightingale and Bela Bartok’s Mandarin, plus students from Stringendo playing side by side with the Hudson Valley Phil.
The Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, led by multi-instrumentalist and composer Jonathan Scales, brings its steel pans and jazz-funk fusion to Club Helsinki Hudson tonight at 9. Scales is to the steel pan what Bela Fleck is to the banjo; he reimagines the instrument's possibilities from ground up, bringing to it a visionary musical imagination that at once defies description yet is utterly funky and danceable.
Seth Rogovoy is editor of the Rogovoy Report, available online at rogovoyreport.com