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Culture to Do: Nov. 15, 2023

Two-time Academy Award-winning film costume designer Ruth E. Carter will appear at the Springfield Public Forum on Sunday, Nov. 19 at 2 p.m. at Symphony Hall.

Paula Poundstone
Academy of Music, Northampton
Saturday, Oct. 19, 2024 at 8 p.m.
Exclusive NEPM presale code NEPMLOVE
Paula was the first female comic in its then 73rd year to perform standup at the White House Correspondents Dinner. Her HBO special, Cats, Cops and Stuff, marked the first time a female comedian won Best Comedy Special in the then 5th year of the Cable Ace Awards. Paula’s awards and accolades make a long list, and she is included in innumerable documentaries and literary compendiums noting influential comedians of our time.

NEPM Culture to Do Subscribers get to select some of the best seats in the house before tickets go on sale to the public. Order by Thursday, Nov. 16 at 10 p.m. with code NEPMLOVE.

The 35th Annual Fall Festival of Shakespeare
Tina Packer Playhouse, Shakespeare & Company, Lenox
Performances Thursday, Nov. 16 – Sunday, Nov. 19
When high-energy teenagers are turned loose through the power of Shakespeare’s language, the thrill is palpable, and the houses are packed. Shakespeare & Company’s annual Fall Festival of Shakespeare is a residency at 10 high schools in Massachusetts and New York. Nationally replicated and locally treasured, the annual Fall Festival of Shakespeare brings more than 500 high school students together each year for a nine-week, non-competitive exploration of multiple Shakespeare plays.

The Mount, Lenox
Friday, Nov. 17 – Saturday Jan. 6
NightWood is an innovative and immersive sound and light experience set against the backdrop of Edith Wharton’s historic home. Wander the illuminated 3/4-mile route through the woods and gardens for an otherworldly experience that evokes wonder and awakens the imagination. And! There are four new encounters this year.

Mohawk Trail Concerts Presents: Trio Amphion Baroque
The Arms Library, Shelburne Falls
Friday Nov. 17 at 12 p.m.
Mohawk Trail Concerts is resuming their ‘Music at the Arms’ intimate, informal, and free concerts. Trio Amphion Baroque, featuring Jesse Lepkoff, flute, Reinmar Seidler, cello, and Greg Hayes, chamber organ, will perform a program entitled “History of the Sonata.” Works of Cima, Leclair, Telemann, and Purcell will be featured. The Arms Library is at the corner of Main and Bridge streets in Shelburne Falls.

Fantastic Cat
The Parlor Room, Northampton
Friday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m.
They said it couldn’t be done. Four different songwriters joining forces to form a single band? There was simply no precedent (outside of The Beatles. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, The Highwaymen, etc). Fantastic Cat did it anyway, defying the odds and teaming up to record their highly unanticipated debut, The Very Best of Fantastic Cat, hailed by Rolling Stone as “a wildly satisfying collection of folk-rock, country, Americana, and good old rock & roll.”

All Things Equal
The Academy of Music, Northampton
Friday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Written by Tony Award Winning playwright Rupert Holmes, starring Michelle Azar as Ruth Bader Ginsburg and directed by Laley Lippard. Supreme Court Justice “RBG” welcomes a friend of the family to her cozy chambers to convey a sense of her life and its many trials — losing her mother the day before she graduated as valedictorian of her high school … studying law at Harvard while also raising a daughter and helping her husband battle cancer, fighting for women’s rights in the 1970s before condescending all-male courts, and taking courageous stands for human rights. Bring your scrunchies, your hankies, your humor and your heart to this entertaining and uplifting event.

Jason Moran & The Bandwagon
MASS MoCA, North Adams
Friday, Nov. 17 at 8 p.m.
Prodigy pianist and composer Jason Moran — “the most provocative thinker in current jazz,” according to Rolling Stone — plays MASS MoCA in connection with his exhibition Black Stars: Writing in the Dark with his trailblazing trio The Bandwagon. One of the most enduringly creative piano trios in jazz, The Bandwagon is Moran, bassist Tarus Mateen, and drummer Nasheet Waits, in whom Moran has found his ideal companions: two distinctive voices on their instruments who are restlessly creative and share his open-mindedness and diversity of influences beyond jazz or classical or hip hop to theater, film, dance, and beyond.

Free Concert at John M. Greene Hall, Smith College
Saturday, Nov. 18 at 11 a.m.
Campus School of Smith College is bringing Mister G to Northampton for a free concert, sponsored by NEPM, this Saturday. A graduate of Amherst College and the recipient of the first songwriting scholarship awarded by Berklee College of Music, Ben Gundersheimer (aka MISTER G) created a curriculum that incorporates songwriting as a learning tool for his Masters thesis. Inspired by his 4th- grade students, he began writing the songs that would comprise his debut family album while working as a classroom teacher. More than a decade later, MISTER G has released 12 albums of original, multicultural music and received numerous accolades including a Latin GRAMMY Award and five Parents’ Choice Gold Awards.

Nolembeka Project: Full Beaver Moon Gathering
Great Falls Discovery Center, Turners Falls
Saturday, Nov. 18 at 1 p.m.
The Nolumbeka Project presents the annual Full Beaver Moon Gathering. Enjoy a presentation by Christine DeLucia, Associate Professor of History at Williams College and author of Memory Lands. The talk will trace intertwined lives of Indigenous, African American, Afro-Indigenous, and Euro-colonial people in the Northeast/New England across the eighteenth century. Free admission, all are welcome.

Pioneer Valley Symphony: Home in Nature
Belchertown High School Auditorium
Saturday, November 18 at 4 p.m.
Guest Conductor Netta Hadari will lead the Pioneer Valley Symphony in a program of pieces evocative of the beauty and power of nature, opening with Mabel Daniels’ enchanting Deep Forest, punctuated by Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto, and closing with Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony. UMass Professor Eric Berlin will shine as the trumpet soloist for the Haydn concerto.

Echoes of the Future Past: An Antique Concert on Pyne Street Reimagined
Show + Dinner at Bombyx, Florence
Saturday, Nov. 18 at 5 p.m.
Folksongs! Brass band! Mozart! Fiddle and banjo! Local 18th century harmony singing! Community music and history with a dose of humor, and a meal afterwards to boot. The ‘Antique Concerte on Pyne Street” announced on a crumpled 1873 playbill found during renovation of the Bombyx Center for Arts and Equity posed a sonic and historical mystery. What on earth WAS this? Conveniently, such concerts are the subject of a PhD dissertation by Bombyx friend Tim Eriksen.

Wandering Dance Festival
The Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield
Saturday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m.
The week-long Wandering Dance Festival culminates in a showcase performance at The Colonial with headliner Shakia “The Key” Barron and local and nationally recognized dance artists. Wandering Dance Festival is produced by Mill Town Foundation, in partnership with Berkshire Pulse, and in association with Jacob’s Pillow.

Samantha Bee – Your Favorite Woman: The Joy of Sex Education
The Mahaiwe, Great Barrington
Saturday, November 18 at 8 p.m.
Award-winning comedian Samantha Bee is the sex ed teacher you never knew you needed. In Your Favorite Woman: The Joy of Sex Education, Bee takes us on the journey of our bodies through puberty, menopause, and beyond featuring her signature wit and personal stories in a multimedia event that will make you feel truly seen, like if a hot flash was a live show.

René Izquierdo
UMass Old Chapel
Saturday, Nov. 18 at 8 p.m.
Cuban-born René Izquierdo is one of the world’s classical guitar virtuosos. He’s a unique artist and passionate educator whose career has been dedicated to inspiring individuals and connecting communities. He is celebrated for his ability to weave an unparalleled technical command of his instrument with his gift of storytelling, accomplishing an intimate musical experience with his audience. This concert is part of the UMass ¡Guitarra! Series

Kid in a Candy Store: The Picture Book Art of Seymour Chwast
Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst
Saturday, Nov. 18 – Sunday, April 14
Seymour Chwast’s revolutionary contributions to the world of graphic design have overshadowed his equally impactful picture book career — until now. This is the first museum exhibition to focus on Chwast’s books for children. The creator of 40 titles (with more on the way), Chwast approaches his books with the same inventive design, signature humor, and love of typography found in his commercial art. He creates unexpected scenes and populates his stories with witty human, animal, and imaginary characters.

Springfield Public Forum: Ruth E. Carter
Award-winning Costume Designer of Black Panther
Springfield Symphony Hall
Sunday, Nov. 19 at 2 p.m.
Ruth E. Carter, the two-time Academy Award winning film costume designer is beloved in her hometown of Springfield. Best known for turning the Black Panther superhero into an African King, she made history as the first Black person to win the Costume Design category and earned Marvel Studios their first Oscar recognition. For Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Carter made history again when she became the first Black woman to win multiple Academy Awards in any category and the first costume designer to win for the first film and its sequel. As always, the Forum is free and open to the public.

Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares: Zoh Amba/Chris Corsano Duo
Holyoke Media
Sunday, Nov 19 at 7:30 p.m.
When young and exciting composer and improvisor Zoh Amba and veteran hard hitting percussionist Chris Corsano met about two years ago in Brooklyn, they immediately hit it off and decided to join forces. Since then they have performed extensively in North America and Canada. Their collaboration coalesces into something all its own — forward-thinking, free-wheeling and totally in the moment.