Culture to Do: Feb. 22, 2023
LitFest: Illuminating Great Writing and Amherst College’s Literary Life
Live events at Amherst College with online options
Thursday, Feb. 23 - Sunday, Feb. 26
Amherst’s annual literary festival celebrates the College’s literary life by inviting distinguished authors and editors to discuss the pleasures and challenges of verbal expression. This year’s lineup includes Pulitzer Prize winner Hilton Als, MacArthur Fellowship winner Valeria Luiselli, and 2022 National Book Award finalists Meghan O’Rourke and Ingrid Rojas Contreras, among others.
The Glass Menagerie
Majestic Theater, West Springfield
Opens Thursday, Feb. 23
Set during the Great Depression, this Tennessee Williams classic is considered to be one of the most significant plays of the 20th century. Amanda Wingfield, the faded Southern Belle who is patterned after Williams' own mother, is desperate to marry off ailing daughter Laura and worries about wayward son Tom. The run at the Majestic goes through April 2.
Of Ebony Embers: Vignettes of Harlem Renaissance
Griswold Theater, American International College, Springfield
Friday, Feb 24 at 7:30 p.m.
The AIC Theater Arts Program will host a performance of the Core Ensemble: Celebrating Diversity Through Chamber Music Theatre production, "Of Ebony Embers: Vignettes of Harlem Renaissance." This exciting piece of theater and music transports the audience to the world of the Harlem Renaissance through the words and art of its fathers, Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, Claude McKay, and Aaron Douglas.
Tim Eriksen w/ special guest John Hughes
The Drake, Amherst
Friday, Feb. 24 at 8 p.m.
Tim Eriksen is acclaimed for his startling interpretations of old ballads, love songs, shape-note gospel and dance tunes from New England and Southern Appalachia. He combines hair-raising vocals with inventive accompaniment on banjo, fiddle, guitar and bajo sexto — a twelve string Mexican acoustic bass! John Hughes is an internationally renowned composer, kora player, percussionist and vocalist who plays ancient traditional instruments.
She Said with Katie Clarke & Larry LeBlanc
Hawks & Reed, Greenfield
Friday, Feb. 24 at 8 p.m.
She Said plays original tunes drawing from traditions of blues, rock, jazz, and country music! Katie Clarke and Larry LeBlanc met in 2016 at the Conway Inn bluegrass jam in Western Massachusetts. Katie had just left her group the Boxcar Lilies and hotshot multi-instrumentalist Larry had just moved to Conway from Maine. Their duo developed a mix of Katie’s soulful originals and choice covers of bluegrass, folk, country, gospel, and old-time music.
Friday, Feb. 24 – Sunday, Feb. 26
A concert on Saturday is flanked by a lecture on wellness for musicians on Friday, and a masterclass on Sunday. The series is led by a founding member of the Grammy-winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, William Kanengiser. In his ¡Guitarra! performance on Saturday, Kanengiser will present “Diaspora,” featuring commissioned works for classical guitar from Irish, Armenian, Serbian, Persian, Cuban, and Tibetan composers that reflect the immigrant experience.
Smith College Department of Theatre
My H8 Letter to the Gr8 American Theatre
Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre
Friday Feb. 24 – Saturday, March 4, at 7:30 p.m.
NYC queer icon, contemporary artist, musician and Smith College grad Diana Oh directs their new play that satirizes the Great American Theatre — the galas, diversity panels, white leads— using humor, music, and flamingos. While Oh pulls no punches on the dark realities of the entertainment industry, My H8 Letter is more hopeful than haranguing.
Springfield Symphony: Mardi Gras!
Saturday, Feb. 25 at 7:30 p.m.
Celebrate the spirit of Mardi Gras with a night of hot, steamy New Orleans jazz. The good times will roll under the direction of conductor, trumpet player and vocalist Byron Stripling with music from New Orleans natives like Fats Domino, Mahalia Jackson & Louis Armstrong. From street parades in the French Quarter to late night jams in the city’s famed clubs, this party transforms into an unforgettable Mardi Gras celebration with Byron Stripling leading the parade!
Saturday, Feb. 25 at 8 p.m.
Grammy-nominated drummer, emcee, vocalist, and producer Kassa Overall melds avant-garde experimentation with hip-hop production techniques to tilt the nexus of jazz and rap in unmapped directions. You'll hear reflections of a panoramic musical background – from West Coast G-Funk to the sounds of the New York underground in his work.
Saturday, Feb. 25 at 8 p.m.
Ivy Sole does not fit neatly into any one box — that uniqueness is their superpower. The 28-year old rapper-singer is a rare hybrid of sultry and soulful R&B paired with undeniable hip-hop lyricism. Ivy’s sound draws on a diverse set of influences including southern rap, gospel, spoken-word poetry, boom bap, and more. Their latest offering, CANDID, released in February 2022, has earned praise from fans and critics alike, getting love from Pitchfork, Fader, NPR, Metal Mag, DJ Booth, and many more.
New England Repertory Orchestra
An Afternoon at the Opera
Mechanics Hall, Worcester
Sunday, Feb. 26 at 4 p.m.
NERO joins The Worcester Chorus and the Master Singers of Worcester for an afternoon full of opera's favorite choruses and overtures, featuring solo vocal selections by Black composers, Chris Shepard (The Worcester Chorus), Cailin Marcel Manson (New England Repertory Orchestra), and Edward Tyler (Master Singers of Worcester) will share the podium in conducting this spectacular collaboration of ensembles on stage at historic Mechanics Hall.
Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m.
This is your chance to see the film that has 8 Academy Award nominations and enjoy a post-screening conversation with screenwriter Sam Bromell moderated by The Fabulous 413’s Monte Belmonte. In this thoroughly cinematic drama, starring Austin Butler and Tom Hanks, Elvis’s story is seen through the prism of his complicated relationship with his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker (played by Hanks).
Card Tricks: Salvador Dalí and the Art of Playing Cards
Closes Sunday, March 5
In the late 1960s, the influential surrealist artist Salvador partnered with the French printing firm Draeger Frerés to produce 17 designs that were released as limited-edition playing cards. Shortly after, Dalí created lithographs highlighting those designs. This exhibition features eight works from Dalí’s Playing Card Suite.