The weekend highlights in our region include experimental performance; two tributes to the heyday of psychedelic rock; a film festival; folk music; chamber music, and a whole lot more.
Obie Award-winning performance ensemble Big Dance Theater presents a sneak preview of “17C,” a dizzying, intertextual spin through the outré diaries of Samuel Pepys, a famed 17th-century socialite, weaving music, dance, video, and text together at MASS MoCA in North Adams, on Saturday at 8 p.m.
A group of musicians variously associated one way or another with Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, Hot Tuna, the Grateful Dead and New Riders of the Purple Sage, who are performing as The Airplane Family with Live Dead & Riders ’69, will relive the glory days of San Francisco’s “Summer of Love” in a concert of the 1969 Fillmore Era repertoire of the Grateful Dead and New Riders at the Colonial in Pittsfield tonight at 8.
And Saturday night, the Colonial presents the second Woody’s Roadhouse Reunion Concert. Once upon a time, the Berkshires had an authentic musical roadhouse, where touring acts such as the Cars, John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band, David Bromberg, Arlo Guthrie, NRBQ, the Outlaws, Commander Cody, Quiet Riot, Bonnie Raitt, and Orleans would play. Woody’s Roadhouse was also home base for a thriving regional music scene in the 1970s and ‘80s. The Woody’s Reunion Concert will pay tribute to this musical legacy with performances by Allman Brothers-openers Fat; the Spampinato Brothers Band (featuring Joey and Johnny Spampinato of NRBQ), plus reunions of classic rockers Zarvis Allen and Western swing outfit Burnt Bacon and the Home Fries.
Friends and family will pay tribute to the late, beloved Berkshire poet, editor, and author Michelle Gillett with readings from her posthumously published work, “Coming About,” at Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass., on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Admission is free.
FilmColumbia 2017 in Chatham, N.Y., once again features a diverse collection of film shorts, documentaries, and filmmaker Q&As, in addition to its primary lineup of feature films, which this year includes “The Leisure Seeker,” in which Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland escape from their doctors and their overprotective grown children on a road trip that reawakens their passion for life and their love for each other. That’s today through Sunday.
Two new films from the Hudson River Stories series reporting on serious and growing threats to the river will be screened as part of Hope on the Hudson: An Evening of Celebration & Success, a free event at Basilica Hudson this evening at 6pm. Representatives from local environmental organizations, including Riverkeeper, Catskill Mountainkeeper, Clearwater, Columbia Land Conservancy, Schooner Apollonia, and SS Columbia, will be on hand to share success stories and explain their work.
With Old Crow Medicine Show, Willie Watson helped jumpstart the 21st century folk revival. Now, as a solo artist, Watson acts as a modern interpreter of older songs, passing along his own version of the music that came long before him. Watson brings his vintage blend of American roots music to Club Helsinki Hudson tonight at 9.
And finally, soprano Sun Young Chang and pianist Mitchell Vines perform works by Antonin Dvorak and Edvard Grieg in a recital intended to showcase the transformation of folk music into art music at the Roeliff-Jansen Community Library in Copake, N.Y., on Sunday at 5 p.m.
Seth Rogovoy is editor of Berkishire Daily and the Rogovoy Report, available online at rogovoyreport.com
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