The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include chamber music, bluegrass, art openings, theater, holiday funk, plus a whole lot more.
Tony Trischka, the Grammy-nominated banjo legend and a pioneer of modern bluegrass, brings his “Of a Winter’s Night” holiday program to PS21 in Chatham, N.Y., on Saturday at 7pm. Featuring singer/multi-instrumentalist Tim Eriksen and vocalist Phoebe Hunt, the program has been described as “a banjo-driven celebration of the season, where Trischka turns his considerable melodic inventiveness loose on bluegrass and Americana music for the holidays.”
Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Mass., is staging a lively, costumed reading this weekend of a theatrical version of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.” Written by Jon Jory and directed by longtime company member Ariel Bock, this version of “Pride and Prejudice” is a warm-hearted, family-friendly tale, running tonight through Sunday in the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre on the campus of Shakespeare & Company in Lenox.
A new exhibition, “Turner and Constable: The Inhabited Landscape,” goes on view at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown beginning Saturday and running through March 10. The exhibition features more than fifty paintings, drawings and watercolors, prints, and books exploring the significance of human figures and the built environment in the landscape, as well as specific places meaningful to each artist, Joseph Turner and John Constable.
On Sunday at 3pm in Hudson Hall, the Blithewood Ensemble offers a free concert of chamber music, featuring works ranging from Brahms’s soothing lullabies through the holiday-like bells and dances of Loeffler to a contemporary setting of Peter Everwine’s evocative poetry. The trio are colleagues at the Bard College Conservatory of Music: mezzo-soprano Teresa Buchholz, violist Marka Gustavsson, and pianist Erika Switzer.
Everett Bradley, who has toured and recorded with giants like Bobby McFerrin, Jon Bon Jovi, David Bowie, and Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, once again brings his annual holiday-funk spectacular, Holidelic, to Club Helsinki Hudson, on both Saturday and Sunday nights this weekend. Part dance party, part funk concert, part comedy show, Holidelic features original holiday songs as well as loose, funk-infused adaptations of music by Tchaikovsky, “Frosty the Snowman,” “Little Drummer Boy” and the like. With Holidelic, Everett “Papadelic” Bradley puts a fresh spin on holiday cheer through lively holiday party tunes, outrageous costumes, and a theatrical stage show worthy of George Clinton’s Parliament-Funkadelic.
And finally, on Saturday at 2pm, the Hudson Valley Philharmonic unveils its annual holiday performance of Handel’s Messiah, with guest conductor Christine Howlett, at the Bardavon in Poughkeepsie. Guest vocalists from Cappella Festiva will join the orchestra to perform Handel’s most popular choral work, for a total of 100 instrumentalists and singers on the Bardavon stage. Plus audience members will be invited to sing along. That’s a lot of music.
Seth Rogovoy is editor of the Rogovoy Report, available online at rogovoyreport.com