The fall cultural season is underway in the Berkshires, but it’s hard to detect much difference between the summer and fall. There’s still plenty to see and do, as there always is, in and around the Berkshires.
Noted actor Jonathan Epstein appears in a dramatic reading of King Henry VIII’s love letters to Anne Boleyn, Chaucer’s bawdy tales, Shakespeare’s sonnets and the writings of Aubrey and Donne, accompanied by early music ensemble Calliope, on Saturday, at 4:30 p.m., as part of the Music & More series at the New Marlborough Meeting House. A pre-concert talk takes place at 3:30 p.m., and a reception follows.
Pianist Vincent Adragna will join duo parnas – violinist Madalyn Parnas and cellist Cicely Parnas – to play works by Prokofiev, Brahms, and Schubert, as part of the Tannery Pond Concerts series in the barn at the Darrow School in New Lebanon, on Saturday at 8pm. The Parnas sisters grew up in nearby Stephentown, and enjoy a devoted loyal following.
Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion bring their new sound and new repertoire of songs from their terrific new album, Wassaic Way, to Club Helsinki Hudson on Saturday at 9pm. Produced by Jeff Tweedy and Patrick Sansone of Wilco, the 11-song album introduces a new Guthrie and Irion, with resonant melodies amid lush soundscapes that vividly evoke a range of moods, from carefree and playful to contemplative and melancholy, taking advantage of the beautifully organic blend of the duo's harmony vocals.
“Earth jazz” pioneer Paul Winter headlines a benefit concert, taking place in the converted boathouse of Salisbury resident Anne MacDonald, for the Great Barrington-based environmental magazine Orion, on Saturday. The intimate event will include drinks and hors d’oeuvres catered by Old Inn on the Green. Winter will play some of his most popular earlier work, and feature new music composed for an ambitious project called Flyways, which traces the great bird migrations that begin in the Rift Valley of Africa and extend over the tumultuous Middle East and up into Europe and Asia.
An exhibition of paintings by Copake, N.Y., artist Jeffrey L. Neumann – who some consider an inheritor of a torch figuratively passed down by Edward Hopper, in terms of Neumann’s vision of the loneliness of small-town life in America – opens at the Sharon Historical Society and Museum, with an artist's reception on Saturday from 5 to 7pm. There will be an artist's Walk and Talk on Sunday October 13, at 3pm.
“Scott and Hem in the Garden of Allah,” a new play about the friendship and rivalry between F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, premieres at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield now through Sunday, September 29. The play, written by Mark St. Germain, takes place in 1937, when Fitzgerald and Hemingway met in Hollywood at the notorious Garden of Allah apartment complex. A humorous and heated exchange ensues about the cost of love, friendship and the price of being a writer.
The Beauty Queen of Leenane by Martin McDonagh, a black Irish comedy starring Shakespeare & Company founder Tina Packer and critically acclaimed company actor Elizabeth Aspenlieder, runs in the Bernstein Theatre in Lenox through next Sunday, September 15. Directed by Matthew Penn, making his company debut, The Beauty Queen of Leenane tracks the dysfunctional relationship between a mother and daughter who are locked in a dance of mutual loathing, which may prove more durable than any love.
I’m Seth Rogovoy, and that’s the Rogovoy Report for this weekend.