Culture to Do: April 12
The Buddy Holly Story
The Majestic Theater, West Springfield
Thursday, April 13 — Sunday May 28
This has been the Majestic’s 25th season, and they’ve chosen to finish it by bringing back the show that put them on the map — the 413 locally produced live theater map! Featuring an all-new cast, this timeless story of rock and roll, love and heartbreak tells the story of Buddy Holly's dazzling rise to fame and the lasting legacy his music left on the world.
SZLACHETKA Album Release + Sarah Aili + The FrannyO Show
Friday, April 14 at 7 p.m.
Matthew Szlachetka, pronounced SLA-HET-KA, is originally from Longmeadow. The roots-rock singer/songwriter plays music filled with heartland hooks, folk melodies, and vibrant electric guitar that go down like a road trip between Los Angeles and Nashville. Sarah Aili has built a career bridging the gap between the worlds of music and theater. The FrannyO Show originated in western Massachusetts and have played at Mill Pond Live, The Celebrate Holyoke Festival and the Iron Horse. Building 8 Brewing will be pouring.
The Wanda Houston Band + Joanie Schwartz
Hawks & Reed, Greenfield
Friday, April 14 at 7 p.m.
Vocalist, Wanda Houston, leads the band in their takes on classics from Fitzgerald to Joni, Aretha to Sinatra and Beatles to Jackson 5. They are celebrating 16 years of music making and have been voted the Berkshires Favorite Band. Joanie Schwartz is a local gem who covers a variety of styles — Blues, to Bluegrass, Jazz and Contemporary Folk. Little known fact: a long time ago Tracy Chapman opened for Joanie.
Westfield Theater Group: 1776
Westfield Women’s Club
Friday, April 14 – Sunday, April 29
The popular musical retelling of the American Revolution's political struggle in the Continental Congress to declare independence comes to our region. The Westfield Theatre Group, which was founded over 80 years ago, provides live theater to the community and to encourage members of the community to participate in their productions and learn more about the dramatic arts. This is community theater at its best.
Metropolitan Opera Live Radio Broadcast
Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier
Saturday, April 15 at 12 p.m. on NEPM 88.5
Richard Strauss’s sumptuous and bittersweet comedy Der Rosenkavalier features soprano Lise Davidsen as the elegant and worldly Marschallin, and mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey as the Marschallin’s much younger lover, Octavian, Soprano Erin Morley is Sophie, who captures Octavian’s heart. Plus! You can also see a live HD broadcast at movie theaters all around the 413.
Jeffery Gaines with special guest Frank Viele
Gateway City Arts, Holyoke
Saturday, April 15 at 8 p.m.
Jeffrey Gaines is known for his soul-searching lyrics and his powerful live performances. With only his voice and a guitar for accompaniment, Gaines has earned a reputation as a captivating performer, entertaining his audiences worldwide. Since bursting on the scene with his self-titled 1992 debut album, he has built a body of recordings that’s won him a large and deeply devoted international fan base. Frank Viele’s music is characterized by his powerful vocals, soulful guitar playing, and poignant lyrics.
40th New England Saxophone Symposium
Wind Ensemble and Symphony Band with Felipe Salles
Tillis Performance Hall, UMass
Friday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m.
Jazz Concert with Braxton Cook Braxton Cook and the UMass jazz faculty combo
Bezanson Hall, UMass
Saturday, April 15 at 7 p.m.
There’s nothing like hitching onto a music symposium and taking advantage of performances. It’s one of the many bennies of living here. This Saturday, UMass is hosting its 40th Saxophone Symposium. Enrolled students are probably biting their nails, but for us it’s just relaxing fun. We can go to the ticketed preview concert with Felipe Salles on Friday and/or the big final concert with Braxton Cook on Saturday, which is free and open to the public!
Springfield Symphony Orchestra: Madness & Mystery
Springfield Symphony Hall
Saturday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m.
This will be an evening of beautiful music led by Tianhui Ng. Wait a minute! Isn’t he music director of the Pioneer Valley Symphony? Yes! And this concert marks his debut with the SSO. We love the way Tian is in the middle of so many interesting projects our region, like last week’s African opera at Mount Holyoke College, and El Puerto Rico with us and MIFA. Internationally acclaimed pianist, Jiayan Sun anchors the SSO program with Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto. The evening opens with Sea Interludes from the opera Peter Grimes, and concludes with Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations.
Jeffrey Foucault w/ Erik Koskinen
Saturday, April 15 at 8 p.m.
In two decades on the road Jeffrey Foucault has become one of the most distinctive voices in American music, refining a sound instantly recognizable for its amalgam of blues, country, rock ’n’ roll, and folk. He’s built an international touring career on multiple studio albums, countless miles, and general critical acclaim. Erik Koskinen is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist whose music is influenced by American roots music.
Great Lake Swimmers + Winterpills
Parlor Room, Northampton
Monday, April 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Featuring a blend of acoustic instruments, rural soundscapes, and wistful vocals, Great Lake Swimmers are a critically acclaimed indie-folk group led by songwriter-vocalist Tony Dekker They are renowned for their homespun folk and lush, intimate Americana in their live shows. Over a decade ago, singer-songwriter Philip Price scrawled the name “Winterpills” on the wall of The Bay State Hotel in Northampton. It blossomed into a critically acclaimed indie band.
Tracy Kidder in Person
Tuesday, April 18 at 7 p.m.
Tracy Kidder will present his new book, Rough Sleepers: Dr. Jim O'Connell's Urgent Mission to Bring Healing to Homeless People. It’s the powerful story of an inspiring doctor who made a difference, by helping to create a program to care for Boston’s homeless community. Tracy Kidder spent five years following Dr. O’Connell and his colleagues as they served their thousands of homeless patients.
CONQUER SCHOOL VACATION WEEK
Great Falls Discovery Center
Saturday, April 15 – Sunday, April 23
There are lots of thing to do at the Great Falls Discovery Center: an “Investigation Station” centering on trees, a “Kidleidoscope Story Hour “ on beavers, the Jurassic Mud Ball Festival, the Crossroads exhibit, “Life is______: An Exploration of Being Through the Eyes of Local Young People,” and lots more.
Earth Day Festival 2023
Saturday, April 16 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Springfield Museum’s annual celebration of clean air, land, and water will feature eco-friendly demonstrations, special exhibits from over 20 local partners, and a performance by bluegrass band Boys of the Landfill on the Quadrangle Green. It’s a great event to kick off school vacation week. And then from Monday through Friday, “Make Your Mark” is a collection of daily activities for children held throughout the Museums complex.
Musical Storytime with Hannah Moushabeck
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst
Saturday, April 16 at 2 p.m.
A Palestinian family celebrates the stories of their homeland in this moving autobiographical picture book debut by Hannah Moushabeck. With heartfelt illustrations by Reem Madooh, Homeland: My Father Dreams of Palestine is a love letter to home, to family, and to the persisting hope of a people, which transcends borders. Join Hannah for a very special Storytime featuring Arabic music from Michel Moushabeck. It’s free with museum admission.
Academy of Music, Northampton
Monday, April 17 – Friday April 21 at 11 a.m.
KidsBestFest is a free movie festival for kids and adults with free admission held during the spring school break at the Academy of Music Theatre. KidsBestFest is a part of the Northampton Arts Council’s Four Sundays series. It kicks off on Monday with Frozen Sing-A-Long and continues with a lineup of classics like Babe, E.T. and Back to the Future and others. (Babe is one of my very favorite movies of all time, all genres!) Doors open at 10:30 a.m. Best to arrive early.
Pop-Up Play Day
Tuesday, April 18 from 1 – 3 p.m.
There are tons of things to see and do at the Berkshire Museum, and on Tuesday there’s a bonus opportunity to get creative with big blue blocks. Children explore, play, collaborate, and build with the big blue blocks of the Imagination Playground. It’s great unstructured play for kids who are 4 – 12 years old.