This week’s cultural highlights in our region include a classical duo performing 20th century avant-garde works; a sneak-preview of a drag cabaret headed for midtown Manhattan; and a new interdisciplinary performance by a rock star, a Grammy Award-winning a cappella choir, and a legendary photographer.
New-music composer Bryce Dessner -- best-known as a member of indie-rock group The National – teams up with frequent collaborators Roomful of Teeth to complete a week-long residency at MASS MoCA in North Adams on Saturday at 8pm, in their new collaboration called "Triptych (Eyes of One on Another)," which puts the audience inside photographer and artist Robert Mapplethorpe’s voracious images to explore how we look, touch, feel, hurt, and love one another.
The duo of Stefan Jackiw, on violin, and Conrad Tao, on piano, perform a program of 20th century works by Igor Stravinsky, Witold Lutoslawski, Kaija Saariaho, and Aaron Copland, in the Daniel Arts Center on the campus of Simon's Rock College in Great Barrington, Mass., on Saturday night at 8pm, as part of the South Berkshire Concerts Series. The Boston Globe called Stefan Jackiw’s playing “striking for its intelligence and sensitivity,” and the New York Times called pianist Conrad Tao a musician of “probing intellect and open-hearted vision.” The concert is free and open to the public, with a suggested donation of a mere $10.
Actor and playwright Charles Busch is best known for his one-person cabaret-style shows in which he performs in drag, works including “Psycho Beach Party,” “Vampire Lesbians of Sodom”, and “Die Mommy Die!” The renowned performer offers a special sneak preview of his brand-new cabaret act, called “Charles Busch: Native New Yorker,” just prior to its opening at Feinstein's/54 Below in Manhattan, at Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill, N.Y., on Sunday at 2pm. Accompanied by long-time musical director Tom Judson, Busch’s new show includes numbers by Michel Legrand, Rupert Holmes, Stephen Sondheim, and Jim Croce, plus songs from Broadway and movies in the 1970s and early 1980s.
Also in Catskill this weekend, Zvidance, the contemporary dance ensemble founded and led by Israeli choreographer Zvi Gotheiner, will perform two works at Lumberyard, tonight at 8 and again tomorrow night at 7. Zvi’s eight-dancer troupe will perform LIKE, the third piece in a trilogy of technology-based works that comments on our ever-increasing dependency on technology. Throughout the evening the audience, utilizing their personal cellphones, will be invited to vote or to “like” whichever dancer, routine, or dance-move they liked the most. Yes, you heard me right – you will actually be asked to turn your cellphones ON, not off, for this dance. The evening also includes a new work called MAYIM, which means ‘water’ in Hebrew.
Seth Rogovoy is editor of the Rogovoy Report, available online at rogovoyreport.com