May 2010 in Great Barrington will see a diverse array of attractions at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. A gorgeous and elegantly restored theatre, it is that wonderful combination of being big enough to host a large dance company, and intimate enough to make you feel up close and personal with performers who are seen in much larger halls and arenas elsewhere.
On Saturday, May 15 at 8pm, the Cowboy Junkies will bring their unique country rock sound to the Mahaiwe stage.
Founded in 1985, the Canadian band’s music is grounded in traditional country, blues, and folk, yet drifts along in a sleepy, narcotic haze that clearly bares the stamp of the Velvet Underground. Part alt-country, part alternative rock, the group’s unique and compelling sound has consistently garnered critical acclaim. Tickets are $37 to $42.
Paul Taylor Dance Company returns to the Mahaiwe over Memorial Day weekend to celebrate Paul Taylor’s 80th birthday with two performances. The programs include Mr. Taylor’s two newest dances, Also Playing and Brief Encounters. On Saturday, May 29 at 8pm, the program features the satiric Public Domain, the erotic Brief Encounters, and Taylor’s red-hot look at the culture of tango, Piazzolla Caldera. On Sunday, May 30 at 3pm, the family-friendly program includes the blissful Brandenburgs, the comic Vaudeville tribute Also Playing, and Piazzolla Caldera.
The New York Times says, “There is no other choreographer today whose imaginative range looks so large or so multilayered.” Tickets are $12 to $62.
Value seekers will like the 25% discount you can get (by asking for it) when purchasing tickets for both Taylor programs.
You could also join the Friends of the Mahaiwe now and receive other special discounts and benefits that are now available online. Membership begins at $65 and all Friends receive priority ordering for first access to the best seats and discounts on tickets to most Mahaiwe Presents events throughout the year. To join, call the Mahaiwe Box Office: 413.528.0100, or visit http://www.mahaiwe.org/
The Mahaiwe is very much part of and committed to the community in which they exist. Perhaps that is why it has received such tremendous support not only the Southern Berkshires, but from an audience base that extends into New York and Connecticut.
Foremost among the Berkshire cultural offerings is its collaboration with the Berkshire Playwrights Lab. Now entering its third season the theatre company stages readings of new plays, by emerging and established playwrights. The Annual Gala features an evening of staged readings of new short plays with actors Lauren Ambrose, Elizabeth Franz, Kristen Johnson, Dan Lauria, Jay Thomas, Treat Williams and others. That will happen on Friday, May 21 at 8:00 pm. Tickets are priced from $100 which includes a post-show reception at Allium, to $35. http://www.mahaiwe.org/
The Berkshire Playwrights Lab is the artistic collaboration of founders Joe Cacaci, Jim Frangione, Bob Jaffe, and Matthew Penn, all established theater professionals. Lori Bashour, General Manager. Audiences will see and hear exciting new plays performed and staged, script in hand, by a talented cast of New York professionals. The actors, author, and director will rehearse in the beautiful Berkshires for three days, culminating in a full exploration of the text that will bring the writer’s words to life onstage.
Also worth noting is the Railroad Street Youth Project’s Tenth Anniversary Celebration on Sunday May 16 at 1:30. Presentations to honor RSYP founder Amanda Root and Board Chairman Erik Bruun and local youth, followed by a special performance of Eric Bogosian’s SubUrbia (note: this performance includes Adult Language). Reception after the show.
Their mission is to empower young people by supporting the creation of youth-generated activities that promote self-worth, responsibility and inter-generational respect and communication.