The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include visual art, online theater, a live screening of a classic rock music documentary, chamber music … plus a whole lot more…
Last March, Los Angeles-based artist Richard Nielsen began painting portraits of people in their COVID-19 face masks. On view starting Saturday at MASS MoCA in North Adams, This is Not a Gag includes his first set of 49 paintings. Presented in a Zoom-like grid, the series shows the determination behind the eyes of artists, writers, friends of the artist, and MASS MoCA staffers. The subject’s faces may be covered, but variations in masks and individual expressions speak volumes about our lives today.
Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Mass., launches its new virtual November Reading Series this weekend with “Autumn” by Drama Desk Award-winning playwright Richard Wesley, one of three plays in the series exploring race and the so-called American dream. Running today through Sunday, the play tells the story of a veteran big city mayor who’s in line to become the first Black governor of his state – until his godson is tapped by the party to run instead. This gripping political drama explores the conflicts that arise when aspirations collide across generational, racial, and gender divides. To register online or for more information visit shakespeare.org.
The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, Mass., continues to present screenings for limited capacity audiences of no more than 25 through the month of November. Trying to match supply to demand, there will be three screenings for 75 lucky people of “The Song Remains the Same,” the 1976 concert movie featuring rock and roll legends Led Zeppelin at their peak at Madison Square Garden during the summer of 1973. Screenings are tonight at 7 and Saturday at 4 and 7.
The Great Barrington Public Theatre is dealing with the pandemic with Berkshire Outdoor Shorts, an online series of short, solo films centered on the natural environment of the Berkshires. Each film is written by a local writer and produced in a socially distant, outdoor location in Berkshire County. The first film in the series, King Corona, written by local playwright Steven Otfinoski and starring Christopher Brophy, is a darkly playful look into the ruthless mastermind of the king of viruses and is streaming now on the Great Barrington Public Theatre’s YouTube channel.
On Sunday at 3 p.m., Simon’s Rock College in Great Barrington presents “From Bach to Brahms,” a free, virtual concert featuring a program of solo and chamber music drawing the connections between Johann Sebastian Bach and Johannes Brahms. Performed by faculty members Anne Legêne on cello, and Larry Wallach on piano, the recital will begin with Bach’s Suite no. 2 in D minor for unaccompanied cello, followed by Bach’s well-known Chaconne in D minor, originally composed for solo violin as the conclusion to his Partita no. 2. The program will conclude with a performance of Brahms’s Cello Sonata no. 2 in F major, op. 99.
Seth Rogovoy is editor of the Rogovoy Report, available at rogovoyreport.com
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