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Culture to Do: Jan. 17, 2024

The Red Sox Winter Weekend Fan Fest is at the MassMutual Center Friday, Jan. 19 and Saturday, Jan. 20.

The NEPM Book Club: Tom Lake by Ann Patchett
Thursday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. on Zoom
Do you love to read? Of course, you do. Do you like to talk about what you read? If so, you should be part of the NEPM Book Club. It’s a fun quarterly virtual meet-up dedicated to bringing NEPM friends together to chat about new, diverse and interesting fiction. Next week, Book Club host Erin O’Neill will lead a discussion about Ann Patchett’s Tom Lake. It’s a meditation on youthful love, married love, and the lives parents have led before their children were born. Both hopeful and elegiac, it explores what it means to be happy even when the world is falling apart.

Antiques Roadshow Old Sturbridge Village Premiere Screening
NEPM Studios, Springfield
Sunday, Jan. 28 from 1 – 3 p.m.
Join us for a sneak preview of Antiques Roadshow's’s visit to Old Sturbridge Village hosted by segment producer and host of the Detours podcast, Adam Monahan, and appraisers Robin Starr and Travis Landry. You will learn more about the show, and the fascinating stories behind some of the objects that appear in the three episodes taped in western Mass. this summer, including the season’s $500,000 top find!

Red Sox Winter Weekend Fan Fest
MassMutual Center
Friday, Jan. 19 from 8 –10 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 20 from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Before the Red Sox head down to Fort Myers for 2024 Spring Training, they’re heading to Springfield for Winter Weekend. The Fan Fest will include the Family Fun Zone in the Exhibition Hall, a Red Sox Museum, and more! You can test your fastball at the speed pitch, get your picture taken with the four World Series Trophies, and more. Plus, there are many other Winter Weekend events at MassMutual Center and MGM.

Cantabile Vocal Ensemble
The Prince of Love and Death: The Music of Gesualdo
Grace Episcopal Church, Amherst
Saturday, Jan. 20 at 3 p.m.
Cantabile is a self-directed vocal sextet that specializes in a cappella performances of music of the Renaissance. It is comprised of local singers Aidan Linden, Maki Matsui, James Mead, Peter Shea, Katrina Turner, and Nina Wurgaft. This concert is a culmination of Cantabile’s year-long descent into the strikingly beautiful and complex madrigals and sacred vocal music of Carlo Gesualdo da Venosa. As Italian nobility, Gesualdo had the artistic freedom to compose music that was so wildly expressive and dramatic that later historians would compare it to the chromatic experimentalism of 20th century composers.

2.5 Minute Ride
The Academy of Music
Friday, Jan. 19 – Sunday, Feb. 4
In 2.5 Minute Ride, playwright Lisa Kron invites her audience on a roller coaster ride through the family album while demonstrating that humor and horror can share the same human moment. The play switches back and forth between a daughter’s journey to Auschwitz father, her family’s annual pilgrimage to an amusement park, and her brother’s marriage to his internet bride. By moving seamlessly between these three stories, Kron creates a complex meditation on how human beings make sense of tragedy, grief, and everyday life.

Muswell Hillbillies
The Drake, Amherst
Friday, Jan. 19 at 8 p.m.
Returning to The Drake stage, the Valley’s Muswell Hillbillies offer a career retrospective on the works of songwriter Tom Petty. Formed in 2010, Muswell Hillbillies began as a one-shot concept: to recreate The Kinks’ landmark 1971 album of the same name. The band’s unusual mission, however, as well as its unique membership — a mix of veteran musicians alongside high-school and college-bound players, all hailing from Hadley — unexpectedly struck a chord with pop cultists. In 2015, they began spotlighting other musical heroes. They’ll be in The Fabulous 413 studios this week for “Live Music Friday.”

Winterfest and the Northampton Ice Art Festival
Saturday, Jan. 20, from 12 – 4 p.m.
The annual Northampton Ice Art Festival is a family-friendly winter tradition which brings featured ice artists to the streets of downtown Northampton. Get started at Winterfest, a winter party at Pulaski Park with hot chocolate, winter craft activities for families, music, dancing and karaoke and roasting S’mores. Fortified, you can walk around town to enjoy the ice art sculptures being created throughout the day.

Keeping the Dream Alive!
St. John’s Church, 45 Hancock Street, Springfield
Saturday, Jan. 20 at 5:45 p.m.
The MLK celebration continues! I heard about this event at last Saturday’s Springfield Symphony concert. It’s being hosted by the Brianna Fund for Children with Physical Disabilities and there will be performances by gospel recording artist James Hall, Dream Studios, Preacherman & The Singing Saints, Poet Laureate Lynnette Johnson, and others.

Black Legacy Project
Saturday, Jan. 20 at 7:30 p.m.
The Stationery Factory, Dalton
The Black Legacy Project is a musical celebration of Black history to advance racial solidarity, equity, and belonging. It travels the U.S. bringing together Black and White artists and artists of all backgrounds to record present day interpretations of songs central to the Black American experience and compose originals relevant to the pressing calls for change of our time. A touring band brings the music of the project to audiences in powerful and engaging performances. You can learn more about the Black LP Thursday’s Fabulous 413. The Stationery Factory is a converted industrial building that is now the home of over 20 local businesses and artisans, including a brewery, restaurant and distillery.

Lizzie No: Album Release Show + Eliza Edens
Saturday, Jan. 20 at 8 p.m.
MASS MoCA, North Adams
After a dizzying five-year span that saw the release of two stunning, eclectic albums— followed by appearances at AmericanaFest, the Newport Folk Festival, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, and SXSW, — genre-defying artist Lizzie No found herself at the forefront of a new vanguard of artists. Her new work finds her searching for freedom Eliza Edens, a Berkshires-bred, Brooklyn-based singer opens.

Shea's Lounge Presents: Opel
Shea Theater, Turners Falls
Saturday, Jan. 20 at 8 p.m.
It’s the grand return of the “Foyeur Enjoyment” concert series at the Shea. It will be a cozy pay-what-you-can concert experience in the Shea Theater’s lovely lobby. Opel is a local 5-piece indie rock band that delivers a driving bass, complex percussion, dark melodic keys, haunting sax and intense electric guitar leads. You’ll also hear Reverend Dan and the Dirty Catechism.

The Mighty Soul Drivers
Theodore’s, Springfield
Saturday, Jan. 20 at 9 p.m.
The Mighty Soul Drivers bring the classic Soul sounds of Memphis, Muscle Shoals and points South to the hills of New England. The Mighty Soul Drivers take their inspiration from the giants of Southern Soul – O.V. Wright, Percy Sledge, Otis Redding and more and combine that with contemporary tunes written in the classic style. BTW, the wings at Theodore’s are really, really delicious!

Springfield Museums
Open through Sunday, May 5
Animationland empowers visitors of all ages to experiment, learn, and tell their own stories through animation. Kids can dive into the world of storytelling and channel your creativity to develop your own animated production using storyboarding, sketching, stop-motion movie making, and more! A quirky cast of characters and hands-on interactives break down the process step-by-step to reveal how animated features are created.

Deep Listening Workshop with Ben Richter
Bombyx, Florence
Sunday, Jan. 21 at 7 p.m.
Deep Listening, a practice developed by Pauline Oliveros, explores the difference between the involuntary nature of hearing and the conscious nature of listening. It cultivates a heightened awareness of the sonic environment, both external and internal, and promotes experimentation, improvisation, collaboration, playfulness, and other creative skills vital to personal and community growth.

The Importance of Being Earnest
The Majestic Theater, West Springfield
Wednesdays – Sundays through Feb. 11
Oscar Wilde's Victorian masterpiece about marriage, morality, and mistaken identity sparkles with dazzling wordplay and unlikely situations. This "trivial comedy for serious people" features two gentlemen, Jack and Algernon, each with a carefully hidden double life that comically leads to confusion and hijinks. If you go, and if you’re in the mood for an upscale dining experience, you should make a reservation at BNapoli. I went there with some NEPM buddies last week and it was absolutely the real deal.