Rogovoy Report for November 8, 2013

Nov 8, 2013

Today, Seth Rogovoy touches on some art and cultural highlights in the Berkshires this weekend.

This week’s cultural highlights for the Berkshire region include a diversity of musical performances, a regional theater premiere, and several art openings.

Revered Canadian folk-pop singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot, known for such classic hits as “If You Could Read My Mind,” “Carefree Highway,” “Early Morning Rain” and “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” performs at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield tonight at 8 p.m.

Up at MASS MoCA in North Adams, there are two wildly divergent musical programs this weekend. Tonight, Don Edwards, who favors the Western half of the Country & Western equation, performs cowboy ballads in the Hunter Center at 8 p.m. Equal parts historian, musicologist, and balladeer, Edwards croons and spins canonical tales of the American West with passion, poetry, and sharp factual detail. And tomorrow night, boom box-wielding duo Javelin brings its witty, catchy collage of catchy melodies, ethereal vocals, synth-pop soundscapes and danceable rhythms to MASS MoCA's intimate Club B-10 at 8 p.m.

Lauren Gunderson’s play Emilie: La Marquise Du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight receives its Northeast regional premiere in a production by WAM Theatre, on Barrington Stage’s St. Germain Stage in the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center in Pittsfield tonight through November 24. Emilie Du Châtelet, best known for her 15-year-liaison with Voltaire, the French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher, was far more than a great man’s mistress. She became a highly regarded interpreter of modern physics, and a master of mathematics and linguistics during the Age of Enlightenment. In the play, Emilie searches for a formula that will convince the world of her worth, by tallying her achievements in love and philosophy.

Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge celebrates award-winning illustrator Wendell Minor’s four-decade career -- highlighting his many cover illustrations and children’s books illustrations, each inspired by his love of history, art, science, and the natural world — in the exhibition Wendell Minor’s America, opening tomorrow and on view through May 26 next year. Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough, who has collaborated with the artist on such books as 1776, John Adams, and Truman, will offer remarks during a special opening reception tomorrow from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Oil paintings by Joel Griffith will be displayed at Neumann Fine Art  in Hillsdale, beginning tomorrow and running through January 4. A reception and gallery talk by the artist will take place on Saturday, November 30, at 5 p.m. Joel Griffith was named the official Painter Laureate of his hometown of Tivoli, New York in 2003. His paintings, many of which grace the walls of Tivoli’s Town Hall, “are like a great story told at the local bar by a profound poet with a visionary eye,” says Bard College associate professor Tim Davis, in an essay on Griffith’s work.

It’s a weekend of Americana trios at Club Helsinki Hudson, with old-timey trio The Wiyos tonight at 9 p.m., followed by Montreal indie-rockers Plants and Animals Saturday night at 9 p.m. It’s quite a range of music: The Wiyos play and compose music inspired by the early American musical idioms of the 1920s and '30s, including blues, country, ragtime, gospel, and swing. With their inventive folk-rock, Plants and Animals could be Canada’s answer to Wilco.