Mahaiwe adds Dr. John, Broadway stars to 2011 lineup

(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) — New Orleans legend Dr. John, Broadway stars Donna McKechnie, Marin Mazzie, Jason Danieley, Christine Ebersole, and Denis O’Hare, and jazz guitarist Frank Vignola are among those who have been added to the diverse lineup of performers coming to the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center later this year.

The hit public radio series Symphony Space’s Selected Shorts returns to the Mahaiwe on Saturday, June 11 at 8 with Readings on Fatherhood. The performance will feature Tony-winning actors Christine Ebersole (Grey Gardens) and Denis O’Hare (Take Me Out, True Blood) and host Isaiah Sheffer performing funny, moving and surprising tales about fatherhood.

The Tony Award-winning star of the original cast of A Chorus Line, Donna McKechnie, will perform My Musical Comedy Life on Sunday, July 10 at 7. Directed by Richard Jay-Alexander, with musical direction by Alex Rybeck, the show encompasses music from some of Broadway’s most celebrated composers, including Stephen Sondheim, Ed Kleban and Marvin Hamlisch, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and Cy Coleman, as well as more contemporary artists, including Francesca Blumenthal and Ann Hampton Callaway. McKechnie is regarded internationally as one of Broadway’s foremost dancing and singing leading ladies. She recently choreographed the highly acclaimed Guys and Dolls at the Hollywood Bowl and was featured in the documentary film, Every Little Step, which was released last year.

Together and individually, Broadway’s golden couple Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley, who recently starred on Broadway in Next to Normal and who were featured in “Play Mates” in the Nov/Dec 2010 issue of Berkshire Living, have delighted audiences around the country with their glorious voices, moving interpretations, and comic timing. Mazzie and Danieley, who live in nearby Hillsdale, N.Y., will perform He Said/She Said on Sunday, July 31 at 7, a musical conversation including brand new arrangements of tunes by Jimmy Van Heusen, Johnny Mercer, Dorothy Fields, Harold Arlen, and Sammy Cahn. Mazzie’s Broadway credits include Monty Python’s Spamalot, Kiss Me, Kate, Ragtime, Passion, and Man of La Mancha; she has also performed individually in concert venues from Carnegie Hall to the Hollywood Bowl. Danieley may be most recognized from his performance as Lt. Joe Cable in the PBS Great Performances airing of South Pacific from Carnegie Hall. Broadway credits include Curtains, Candide, and The Full Monty, and he has also performed in concert with many of the country’s leading orchestras, appearing on multiple concert albums with the Boston Pops.

Singer and two-time Tony Award-winning actress Christine Ebersole will perform a cabaret-style evening of songs about love and sex on Friday, August 12 at 8. She has enchanted audiences throughout her performing career, from the Broadway stage to television series and specials, films, concert appearances, and recordings. Ebersole received virtually every Off-Broadway award and her second Tony Award for Leading Actress in a Musical for her “dual role of a lifetime” as Edie Beale and Little Edie Beale in Grey Gardens. Other memorable New York stage performances include her Tony Award-winning performance as Dorothy Brock in the smash hit revival 42nd Street, Steel Magnolias, On the Twentieth Century, Oklahoma, Dinner at Eight (Tony and Outer Critics Circle nominations), The Best Man, and the recent revival of Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit. In concert, she has appeared in numerous halls throughout the country. Most recently, she performed in the concert version of the opera The Grapes of Wrath at Carnegie Hall.


Dr. John and the Lower 911
will perform on Saturday, July 23 at 8. A 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Malcolm John “Mac” Rebennack, Jr. aka Dr. John is an American singer/songwriter, pianist, and guitarist whose music combines blues, pop, and jazz, as well as zydeco, boogie woogie, funk, and rock and roll. Rebennack gained fame as a solo artist, beginning in the late 1960s. In the ‘70s, Dr. John expanded his career beyond the psychedelic voodoo music and theatrics that had driven his career since he took on the Dr. John persona, although it has always remained an integral part of his music and identity. By the mid-1970s, he began focusing on a blend of music that touched on blues, New Orleans R&B, Tin Pan Alley standards, and more. Dr. John is a true legend on the American music scene, who, in addition to a tremendously successful solo career, has contributed his musical talents to dozens of famous American recordings.

On Friday, August 19 at 8, acoustic guitar virtuoso Frank Vignola and his band, the Hot Club Trio, will give a concert that melds gypsy jazz, bluegrass, toe-tapping swing, and front porch picking into an eclectic, upbeat sound all their own. The late Les Paul named Vignola “one of my Five Most Admired Guitarists.” He has toured and recorded with everyone from Madonna, Elton John, and Ringo Starr to Lionel Hampton, Donald Fagen, Queen Latifah, David Grisman, and Bucky Pizzarelli (with whom he performed at the Mahaiwe last August). Expect Vignola and his trio to deliver white-hot versions of American standards, gypsy jazz jams, and even jazzified covers of Mozart and Black Sabbath. He will teach a guitar master class open to any interested musician in the community from 3 to 5 before the performance.

The Mahaiwe has added a “Live in HD” encore broadcast of Roundabout Theatre Company's critically acclaimed Broadway production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest starring Brian Bedford on Thursday, June 9 at 7.


The Mahaiwe and the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute team up for a fifth season to present a free slide lecture on the Clark’s major summer exhibition Pissarro’s People on Thursday, July 7 at 7pm. Tickets are free.


During the local school vacation week, the Mahaiwe will screen three Family Movies: Black Beauty (1994) on Tuesday, April 19 at 6, Happy Feet (2006) on Wednesday, April 20 at 5, and the Marx Brothers’ Animal Crackers (1930) on Thursday, April 21 at 6. Tickets are $6 (general admission) and free for members of the Greylock Youth Club.

On Monday, October 24 at 10am and 12:30pm, the Mahaiwe will present Baobab, a West African tale told through puppetry by Quebec-based Theatre Motus. Recommended for children age 4+.


“The Mahaiwe is becoming known as Broadway’s home in the Berkshires,” said Mahaiwe executive director Beryl Jolly. “We look forward to welcoming these world-class theater artists to our stage, along with fabulous rock and roll and jazz musicians, and a variety of fun family events.”


The Mahaiwe has added several community events to the schedule to be presented by Fairview Hospital, Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School, Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, and Project Native. Calendar details on all newly-announced events follow below.

Please note as well that the previously announced Mahaiwe Movie of the Month screening of Roman Polanski’s Chinatown (1974, starring Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, and John Huston) on April 22 at 7pm has been rescheduled for Friday April 15 at 7pm. Tickets are $6 (general admission).


Tickets to all newly announced Mahaiwe Presents events go on sale to Mahaiwe Members on March 30 and to the general public on April 6. Join Friends of the Mahaiwe and receive special discounts and benefits now accessible online. Membership begins at $65 and all Friends receive priority ordering for first access to the best seats for most Mahaiwe Presents events, along with other benefits. The Mahaiwe Box Office is located at reet in Great Barrington, Mass. Box Office Hours: Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 6pm and three hours before show times. For tickets and information, see or call .


Additions to the Mahaiwe Calendar at a Glance


Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School Presents
Sunday, April 10 at 3pm
Voice VIII: An Afternoon of A Cappella
Tickets are $7 to $22 (general admission)
Mahaiwe Presents
Friday April 15 at 7pm
Roman Polanski’s Chinatown (1974, starring Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, and John Huston) Tickets are $6 (general admission)
Mahaiwe Presents
Thursday, June 9 at 7pm
Roundabout Theatre Company’s Broadway production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest starring Brian Bedford
Tickets are $18 to $25
Mahaiwe and 88.5 FM WFCR/640AM WNNZ - Western New England's NPR News and Music Stations Present
Saturday, June 11 at 8pm
Symphony Space’s Selected Shorts
Readings on Fatherhood with Isaiah Sheffer, Christine Ebersole, and Denis O’Hare
Tickets are $27 to $42
Sponsored by Wheatleigh
Mahaiwe and the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute Present
Thursday, July 7 at 7pm
Pissarro’s People: Free Lecture Presenting the Clark’s Major Summer Exhibition
Tickets are free
Mahaiwe Presents
Sunday, July 10 at 7pm
Donna McKechnie in My Musical Comedy Life
Directed by Richard Jay Alexander
Tickets are $40 to $60
Mahaiwe Presents
Saturday, July 23 at 8pm
An Evening with Dr. John and the Lower 911
2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee
Tickets are $50 to $70
Mahaiwe Presents
Sunday, July 31 at 7pm
Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley in He Said/She Said
Tickets are $40 to $55
Mahaiwe Presents
Friday, August 12 at 8pm
An Evening with Christine Ebersole
Tickets prices TBA
Mahaiwe Presents
Friday, August 19 from 3pm to 5pm (master class)
Friday, August 19 at 8pm (performance)
Frank Vignola and the Hot Club Trio
Acoustic guitar virtuoso
Tickets are $27 to $32
Ticket holders to the evening show can watch the afternoon master class; $20 to participate in the class.
Project Native Presents
Thursday, September 22 at 8pm
An Evening with Barry Lopez
Celebrated author and naturalist
Tickets are $10 to $20
Fairview Hospital Presents
Saturday, September 24 at 7pm
Second City Laugh Out Loud Tour
Tickets are $52 (performance only). Gala packages available.
Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health Presents
Sunday, October 9 at 8pm
The Yoga of Sacred Song and Chant
With Deva Premal and Miten, with Manose
Tickets are $25 to $55
Mahaiwe Presents
Monday, October 24 at 10am and 12:30pm
Baobab by Theatre Motus
West African tale told through puppetry
Please call the Mahaiwe Box Office for field trip pricing.


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