It’s a quiet weekend in the region, culturally speaking, so we’ll take a look at a few events that are happening this weekend and then look ahead over the next few weekends.
This Saturday, Sibyl McCormac Groff, widely known as “Queen Santa” and “the Spirited New Yorker,” will discuss the holiday traditions of the diverse cultures that have contributed to making Christmas in New York City a one-of-a-kind experience, at the Mount in Lenox, Mass., on Saturday at 4 p.m. Groff, the author of “A New York Christmas: Ho Ho Ho at Gothamtide,” will also share insights into how Edith Wharton and her friends celebrated the holidays.
“Painted Cities,” a new exhibition of urban images on view at Carrie Haddad Gallery in Hudson, N.Y., now through Sunday, Feb. 18, includes works by Dan Rupe, Darshan Russell, Edward Avedisian, Patty Neal, Richard Britell, Robert Goldstrom, and Scott Nelson Foster. Featuring everything from paintings of the Empire State Building and Hudson Library to corner laundromats and takeout restaurants, the exhibition features works in an array of styles, from Fauvist inspiration to hyperrealism. An opening reception for the artists takes place on Saturday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The Williams College Department of Music’s annual I/O Fest, a four-day festival of new music, runs Thursday, Jan. 11 to Sunday, Jan. 14, in various venues on and around the college campus in Williamstown, Mass. Over the course of four days and nights, performers and audiences will take a deep dive into new and adventurous music from around the world and down the street. I/O Fest 2018 features composer/performer Kate Soper, in residence for a performance of her landmark chamber opera “Here Be Sirens” by guest ensemble Fresh Squeezed Opera, as well as performances by the I/O Ensemble, IOTA, and an array of Williams faculty, students, alumni, and guests. All events are free and open to the public.
Old, new, and classic plays are on tap for the Winter Studio Festival of Plays at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Mass., next weekend on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 13-14. The weekend of staged readings features Carson Kreitzer’s “Timebomb,” Liz Duffy Adams’s “Wonders of the Invisible World,” Hamish Linklater’s “The Whirligig,” Edith Wharton’s “The Shadow of a Doubt,” and the late Sam Shepard’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “Buried Child.”
Club Helsinki Hudson’s annual Elvis Birthday Bash, featuring Mark Gamsjager & the Lustre Kings, will take place next Friday, Jan. 12, at 9 p.m., just a few days after what would have been Elvis Presley’s 83rd birthday. The Lustre Kings will be joined by a who’s who of regional rockabilly talent celebrating the legacy and influence of the man who ate America, according to Bono, who would know.
Authors Taylor Larsen (who wrote “Stranger, Father, Beloved”), Joe Hagan (whose new book, “Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine,” was seemingly on everyone’s year-end, Ten Best of 2017 lists), and Michele Filgate will read from their works at Spotty Dog Books & Ale in Hudson next weekend on Saturday, Jan. 13, at 7 p.m., as part of Volume, the free monthly reading and music series every second Saturday of the month. The readings will be followed by book-signings and a DJ set by Samantha Hunt.
Seth Rogovoy is editor of Berkishire Daily and the Rogovoy Report, available online at rogovoyreport.com