Weekend Preview Feb 17-21


The Clark celebrates its Eye to Eye: European Portraits 1450–1850 exhibition with a special Renaissance-themed gala on Saturday, Feb 19 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. This special evening features music and mead, jugglers and jesters, festive fare — and an opportunity to view Eye to Eye’s extraordinary, rarely seen portraits. The evening’s entertainment will include musical performances by the Williams College Elizabethans in the courtyard and the galleries and juggling by Scott Wieman and Stewart Stewart of the Anti-Gravity Society in the courtyard and the café         
Eye to Eye, a special exhibition of European portrait painting featuring works by master artists from the late fifteenth through the early nineteenth centuries (which just received a rave review from the Wall Street Journal), will be on view through March 27. Representing the range of styles and themes in Old Master portraiture as practiced in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Spain, England, and France, the twenty-nine paintings and one sculpture in the exhibition include remarkable works by Memling, Cranach, Parmigianino, Ribera, Rubens, Van Dyck, Greuze, and David, as well as other extraordinary works by lesser-known painters. This exhibition is the first opportunity for the public to see many of these works, which have been lent exclusively to The Clark from a private collection.
The party’s Renaissance-themed hors d’oeuvres menu prepared by The Clark’s own chef Steve Wilkinson will feature meat pies, stuffed mussels, mini shepherd’s pies in potato shells, pigs in blankets, apple tart, sherry trifle, and honey gingerbread. There will be a carving station in the café, as well as a selection of wine, beer, honey mead available in the courtyard.
Tickets are $50 ($40 per member) and may be purchased online at The Clark or by calling .



On Friday, Feb 18 at 8, Rennie Harris Puremovement dancers will bring their thrilling hip-hop moves to the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, Mass. On Sunday, February 20 at 3, the Mahaiwe and Symphony Space will co-present The Thalia Follies: Divided We Stumble, created by Symphony Space’s artistic director Isaiah Sheffer and Martin Sage. This political cabaret takes a comical and tragic look at the forces that may be ripping our nation apart: red states vs. blue; conservatives, arch-conservatives, liberals, radicals, and crazies at both extremes; true believers and skeptics; vegans and fast-food freaks; nudists and fashionistas.
Founded in 1992 by North Philadelphia native Rennie Harris, Rennie Harris Puremovement was conceived with the vision for sharing an appreciation for diversity and is dedicated to preserving and disseminating hip-hop culture through workshops, classes, lecture-demonstrations, dance residencies, mentoring programs and public performances, providing audiences with a sincere view of the essence and spirit of hip-hop, rather than the commercially exploited stereotypes most often presented by the media. Tickets are $12 to $57 for the evening performance.
The Thalia Follies troupe of performers includes Ivy Austin, Mary Brienza, Sidney J. Burgoyne, David Buskin, Kathryn Markey, Nora York, and The Chalks. Roy Zimmerman and Jay Leonhart will make guest star appearances at the Mahaiwe. Musical direction is by Lanny Meyers.  Tickets are $20 to $40.
reet, Great Barrington, Mass.
Box Office:
Mahaiwe Box Office Hours:
Wednesday - Saturday: 12noon - 6pm
plus 3 hrs prior to all showtimes


The Mystery of Irma Vep, written by the late Charles Ludlam, mixes everything from Hitchcock, to Victorian melodrama, to lurid, 19th-century pulp fiction (or, in British parlance, 'penny dreadfuls'). Directed by Kevin G. Coleman and featuring Josh Aaron McCabe and Ryan Winkles, The Mystery of Irma Vep plays in the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Mass., through March 27.
As Irma Vep’s one-legged servant will tell you, all is not well at Mandacrest Manor. Ever since the sudden death of Lady Irma (the former mistress of the estate, known for her eerie penchant for the  occult), a certain uneasiness has permeated the Victorian mansion. Not only does a mysterious wolf haunt the heath outside, but Lady Irma’s spirit seems to be watching over Mandacrest, much to the chagrin of its new mistress, the former actress Lady Enid.
Complete with werewolves, vampires, and mummies, The Mystery of Irma Vep celebrates every horror cliché in the book. Whether they’re racing around an ominous Victorian estate, or plumbing the depths of an ancient Egyptian tomb, Josh Aaron McCabe and Ryan Winkles careen through this delightful parody with lightning speed and deft comedic skill. Pulling from spooky B-movie thrillers, classic Brontë novels, James Joyce, and even a little Shakespeare, The Mystery of Irma Vep is a ridiculous brew of stories and styles.
The Mystery of Irma Vep answers the question, “What happens when you mix Edgar Allen Poe with Monty Python?”
Performances run at 7 in the evenings and 2 in the afternoons. Tickets range from $12 to $48.
413. 637.3353 or visit Shakespeare & Company
A busy weekend at Club Helsinki Hudson kicks off Thursday, Feb 17 with indie-goth cello-rock trio Rasputina, followed by the riotous brass and percussion sounds of Slavic Soul Party on Friday, Grammy-nominated reggae outfit Taj Weekes and Adowa on Saturday, and the acidly trenchant socio-political singer-songwriter Dan Bern on Monday.
The mesmerizing gothic cello sounds of Rasputina, led by singer/cellist Melora Creager, take listeners on a surprise journey of Victorian-influenced ramblings and carefully woven stylings unlike anything else. Rasputina theatrical approach includes elaborate costumes that add drama to the group’s intimate recital vibe and over-the-top styling. The band's seventh record, Sister Kinderhook, delights their passionate fans with a loose narrative on colonial federalism, turning bewildering songs about giants and wolf children into compelling Victorian-rock.
Melora Creager and Brian Kehew (Moog Cookbook, Fiona Apple, Air) recorded Sister Kinderhook in the Hudson Valley. Now a trio, the group has performed for or with Nirvana, Marilyn Manson, Regis & Kathie Lee, Belle & Sebastian, Janes Addiction and Cheap Trick, among other entertainment luminaries. Melora has begun a series of tapestries showing her life in rock through embroidery including her work as a youngster with 4 AD group, Ultra Vivid Scene. Her 18 minute, rock epic, "Transylvanian Concubine,” was recently whittled down to fit handily into the Buffy the Vampire Slayer soundtrack.
Rasputina brings its artistic cello rock to Club Helsinki Hudson on Thursday, February 17 at 8pm.
Slavic Soul Party is a supercollider of Eastern European sounds from the Balkans and American funk by way of New Orleans. The musicians, each of whom is part of New York’s downtown scene, work with major jazz artists like Dave Douglas, Steve Coleman, Jason Mraz and the Either/Orchestra, but Slavic Soul Party is something altogether different. Their music goes far beyond Eastern European music, meshing the influences of Gypsy, New Orleans, Mariachi, Latin, Klezmer and Asian music with American jazz, soul and even techno - creating a ferocious brand of good-time grooves.
Slavic Soul Party puts their own spin on the instrumental folk music of Macedonia and the Balkans. Although Balkan-oriented, the band is not totally traditional in its approach, but bring elements of jazz and funk, Russian and Jewish music to a Balkan foundation. Although not a klezmer band, SSP has been influenced by klezmer, and in Lower Manhattan jazz circles, the group has fared well among fans of New York's klezmer jazz movement. The band has also found the parallels between Balkan music and jazz, which is why it is perfectly natural for the band to include Duke Ellington's "Blue Pepper" (from 1966's ambitious The Far East Suite) in its repertoire. 
Slavic Soul Party! brings its ultimate rollicking party to Club Helsinki on Friday, February 18 at 9pm.
The award winning reggae artist Taj Weekes and his band Adowa have a true social consciousness and an unforgettable soulful groove. The band's vibrant sound blends in elements of acoustic roots rock and Afro-folk simplicity, and captures the rapt attention of audiences around the globe. Weekes's talent for creating musical settings for poetic exposures of often-uncomfortable truths has garnered consistent critical acclaim as well as an independent music industry’s JPF "Best Reggae Album" award and Grammy nomination consideration. 
The band's appeal transcends genres and includes fans of reggae, world, roots, rock, soul, blues and more. While steeped in the roots of reggae, the music of Taj Weekes and Adowa defies not only category, but also comparison.
Taj Weekes & Adowa push the boundaries of reggae on stage Helsinki Hudson stage on Saturday, February 19th at 9pm.
A vein of social and political humor has always run through Dan Bern's songs. When he takes to the Helsinki stage with his backup band Common Rotation on Monday there will be no exception made. Bern's song "Talkin' Woody, Bob, Bruce, and Dan Blues,” from the album Smartie Mine, often feel like he’s channeling Guthrie or Dylan.
Like Lenny Bruce, Bern can also be joyously obscene, as well as tender and even devout. "God Said No," a wistful song from his new album, continues a device he's fond of: Bern's persona interrogates God and indulges in a little speculative time travel. It sports a sensibility that seems to derive as much from Yiddish folk tales as Douglas Adams's A Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy.
In early 2007, Bern won an Independent Music Award for Best Folk/Singer-Songwriter Album. His songs have appeared in the biopic parody Walk Hard, for which he helped write 16 songs. Many of these songs made the theatrical cut of the film, including the Dylanesque "Royal Jelly" and the melodic "(Have You Heard the News) Dewey Cox Died."  
Dan Bern grew up in Iowa and his family history is as varied as his skills. His father was a concert pianist who emigrated from Lithuania to Palestine in 1939, a Jew who was one step ahead of the Nazis. Later he met and married Bern's mother, a German Jew, a singer and poet who had also escaped the ravages of World War II. In the late 1950s they emigrated again and settled in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, where Bern became the cello-playing, baseball-loving progeny of two Old World artists in the American heartland. In time Bern found the guitar, and his way to the West Coast, where he got his footing in the neo-folk music scene in Los Angeles in the early 1990s.
Warmup act Falu’s wide range of talent and praise is hard to condense in simple words: she’s widely recognized for a rare ability to seamlessly blend a signature modern inventive rock style with a formidable Indian classically shaped vocal talent. She has performed with Yo-Yo Ma, served as one of Carnegie Hall's Musical Ambassadors to New York City, she’s joined the Born Into Brothels Ensemble (from the Academy-Award winning film), and in 2007 she collaborated with Wyclef Jean, lending her distinctive vocal style to the score of Angelina Jolie's directorial debut A Place in Time.  
Falu has an ongoing collaboration with Jason Miles and DJ Logic in the contemporary jazz collective Global Noize, and has performed with Meshell Ndegeocello, Bernie Worrell (P-Funk), and John Popper of Blues Traveler.
Dan Bern and Common Rotation with special guest Falu perform at Helsinki Hudson
on Monday, February 21st at 8pm.
Berkshire Botanical Garden presents noted author Margaret Roach on Saturday, Feb 19, at 2 pm, at Monument Mountain Regional High School in Great Barrington, Mass., for the 2011 Winter Lecture, “At Home in the 365-Day Garden.” Roach, a prominent gardening expert and blogger, will discuss her own gardening journey, highlighting personal experiences leading to the creation of a beautiful, year-round landscape. Roach will present slides of plants and vistas of her own inspirational garden to illustrate her approach to making a nonstop, year-round garden along with sprinklings of her unique and irreverent sense of humor.
This lecture also marks the debut of Roach’s memoir, And I Shall Have Some Peace There, documenting her transition from working at high-powered jobs in Manhattan, (Martha Stewart Living, New York Times, Newsday), to living full-time in the country, reinventing her life, and creating a 365-day garden. A recent gold-star rating by Kirkus Reviews describes And I Shall Have Some Peace There as “a moving, eloquent and joyously idiosyncratic memoir.” A reception and book signing will follow the lecture.
Tickets to the lecture are: $35 Garden Members / $42 non-members. Seating is limited and reservations are required. 
For more information and to reserve tickets, call Berkshire Botanical Garden at , or visit the web site Berkshire Botanical Garden .







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