Culture to Do: March 22, 2023
Martha Graham Dance Company: Canticle for Innocent Comedians
Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts
Thursday March 23 at 7:30 p.m.
Tillis Performance Hall, UMass
Saturday, March 25 at 8 p.m.
Martha Graham created "Canticle for Innocent Comedians" in 1952, taking the title and inspiration from the 1938 poem by Ben Belitt. The multifaceted work was built around eight virtuosic vignettes for the stars of the Graham Company, each celebrating a different element of nature. This new Canticle for Innocent Comedians is a reimagining of the original: a series of vignettes by eight choreographers led by Tony and Emmy Award-winning choreographer Sonya Tayeh.
Portals: The Visionary Architecture of Paul Goesch
The Clark, Williamstown
Free Museum admission through March 31
The Clark is offering free admission through March. So here’s notice that there’s still time to take advantage of this offer. And there’s something new to see — the first exhibit in North America dedicated to Paul Goesch, who produced one of the most inventive, peculiar, and poignant bodies of work to emerge from Weimar Germany.
Champlain Trio: Brilliant Colors
Thursday, March 23 at 7 p.m.
Violinist Letitia Quante, cellist Emily Taubl and pianist Hiromi Fukuda each call Vermont home and with concerts, tours and festivals being put on hold, the spring of 2020 brought opportunity to come together as an ensemble. All three musicians earned degrees from The Juilliard School and between them hold positions in the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Amherst College, and the University of Vermont. Presented by MOSSO (Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra), the concert will include works by Lili Boulanger, Beethoven and Ravel.
Thursday, March 23 at 7 p.m.
Shemekia Copeland possesses one of the most instantly recognizable and deeply soulful roots music voices of our time, connecting with her audience on an intensely personal level. She is beloved worldwide for the fearlessness, honesty and humor of her music. She's opened for The Rolling Stones and entertained U.S. troops in Iraq and Kuwait.
Patch Productions Presents: Drag Hamlet!
Shea Theater, Turners Falls
Friday, March 24 at 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 25 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
A local youth theater troupe based in the Patch neighborhood of Turner's Falls performs an immersive reinvention of Shakespeare’s tragedy set in a drag club. In addition to Shakespeare's text, this play includes a collage of material including Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights,” Tom Stoppard’s “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead” and the poetry of Sylvia Plath, singing, dancing and lip syncing performances of the music of Kate Bush, Fiona Apple, Regina Spektor and more.
The Nathaniel Dett Chorale
Buckley Recital Hall
Friday, March 24 at 8 p.m.
The Nathaniel Dett Chorale is Canada’s first professional choral group dedicated to Afrocentric music. They stretch beyond the traditional expectations of a classical chamber choir and expand their vision to include all styles and genres of music, from classical to jazz, folk, blues and popular music. They have performed at events honoring Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Muhammad Ali and Oscar Peterson, and was the only Canadian ensemble invited to perform as part of the celebrations surrounding the historic inauguration of President Barack Obama in January 2009.
The Furious Bongos
Gateway City Arts, Holyoke
Friday, March 24 at 8 p.m.
Based in Southern Wisconsin, members of The Furious Bongos have played alongside Yo Yo Ma, Les Paul, BB King, Dweezil Zappa, and Mick Fleetwood. Despite those associations, it’s the music of Frank Zappa that is put in the spotlight by the Furious Bongos. The group describes their music as “not strictly a tribute project,” but more of a unique band you won’t find anywhere else. Their music pays tribute to Zappa’s music, but with twists that are new and different.
Spouting Off: History of Teapots from Around the World
Workshop13, Ware, MA
Saturday, March 25 at 1 p.m.
Master potter Rick Hamelin will explore teapots from the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Brown Betty teapots, ring teapots, teapots filled from the bottom, and even an animal teapot will be made on the potter's wheel. Rick Hamelin was awarded the "Keeper of Tradition" artisan designation by the Mass Cultural Council, being recognized as an outstanding practitioner of his craft.
Graceland: The Legible Bodies
Northampton Center for the Arts
Saturday, March 25 at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m.
Join The Legible Bodies for an evening of work that pays homage to one of the great records of our time in a display of movement, music, and art. Set to the album of the same name by Paul Simon, Graceland features contemporary dance with a dynamic backdrop that changes with each piece. Taking inspiration from the album’s themes of life, culture, and family, this concert artfully reflects on modern day issues.
Mike Stinson & Johnny Irion Album Release
The Egremont Barn
Saturday, March 25 at 7:30 p.m.
Back in the mid-90s, Mike Stinson and Johnny Irion lived and wrote songs in an old farmhouse in the San Fernando Valley. They studied the elements of songwriting by dissecting the greats and honed these chops into a uniquely cool hybrid country-fried rock sound of their own. The musical chemistry they stumbled on years ago has only ripened with age and experience, and now they are releasing a new album, “Working My Way Down,” twenty-five years in the making and well worth the wait.
The Old Man and the Sea
MASS MoCA, North Adams
Saturday, March 25 at 8 p.m.
Composer and National Sawdust co-founder, Paola Prestini returns to MASS MoCA with a work-in-progress preview of her new opera “The Old Man and the Sea,” that interweaves Hemingway’s classic fable with original portraits of quotidian life to create a look at aging, legacy, and our relationship to oceans. The evening will include an excerpt of the new work, followed by a conversation on stage with the principal creative team.
Brick Church Music Series
Organ Recital: Nathaniel Gumbs
First Church of Deerfield
Sunday, March 26, at 3 p.m.
Concert organist Nathaniel Gumbs has performed at many venues in the U.S.A. and abroad. He is Director of Chapel Music at Yale University where he coordinates music for three worshiping communities: the University Church in Battell Chapel, and at Yale Divinity School in both Marquand Chapel and Berkeley Divinity School.
Nelson Stevens Community Celebration
Sunday, March 26 from 3 – 6 p.m.
Join the greater Springfield community and Springfield Museums to honor artist, educator, and onetime Springfield resident Nelson Stevens. Gather to view the special exhibition that spans more than 50 years of the artist’s career and participate in a community drawing activity. Enjoy refreshments by Granny’s Baking Table, Ziggy’s Jerk Chicken Center, and Crave Food truck; a cash bar by White Lion Brewing; and live music by Motown band Tymeless. Free and open to the public!
Close Encounters with Music: “Pictures at an Exhibition”—A Gallery Stroll
The Mahaiwe, Great Barrington
Sunday, March 26 at 4 p.m.
A work in ten movements by Mussorgsky that was inspired by a visit to an art exhibition, “Pictures at an Exhibition” is a showpiece for pianists. From there, the program offers other “pictures”: Granados’ musical portraits from his opera Goyescas; Franz Liszt’s St. Frances walking on the waves; Debussy’s Sonate with a commedia dell’arte storyline; and the Hogarth-Stravinsky connection for the opera The Rake’s Progress. The final picture of Mussorgsky’s work is a majestic depiction of his friend Victor Hartmann’s sketch, “The Great Gate of Kiev.” Images will be projected to accompany the music.
The Drake, Amherst
Tuesday, March 28 at 8 p.m
Professor by day and rock star by night, Florence Dore is a singer-songwriter and Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her June release, "Highways and Rocketships," won the Best Americana album of 2022 at Lonesome Highway Magazine. The road from her first LP Perfect City (Slewfoot 2001) to Highways and Rocketships has been anything but straight — and that’s not even counting the pandemic delays. Then, on Wednesday, Professer Dore will be at Amherst College to present a talk for Center For Humanistic Inquiry, "The Ink in the Grooves: Conversations on Literature and Rock 'n' Roll."