Wonderful Week on Tap in the Berkshires
The first week in August brings great jazz and pop music to the Berkshires. Guitarist Pat Metheny, the pop group Blondie and a live production by the Barrington Stage presage a wonderful week.
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
The charming theater in the heart of Great Barrington will be alive with the jazz of iconic guitarist Pat Metheny on Thursday, Aug. 2. Metheny headlines a show that will also include his drummer Antonio Sanchez, bassist Linda Oh and keyboardist Gwilym Simcock.
Metheny does not just appeal to jazz purists. His music is wide-reaching enough to be enjoyed by even the most casual pops fan. This is a don't-miss. For more information, visit the Mahaiwe's website.
For the lovers of the movie "American Gigolo" with Richard Gere, the hit song "Call Me" in 1980 by the band Blondie is synonymous. Led by singer Debbie Harry, Blondie actually hit the charts earlier with the disco-inflected "Heart of Glass" and the rocker "One Way or Another." She's gonna getcha getcha getcha again in their performance at Mass MoCA on Friday, Aug. 3, at 7 p.m.
If that seems kind of early for a group that appeared regularly in the 1980s late night at CBGB in New York, well ... the sooner the better. Do I sound like a Blondie buff? Information can be found online.
Barrington Stage Company
If you loved the movie-with-live orchestration performance of "West Side Story" at Tanglewood last week, as I certainly did, or didn't make it and want to see the whole thing in a staged version, mark your calendars for Friday, Aug. 3 That’s when it opens at the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage in downtown Pittsfield, presented by the Barrington Stage Company through Sept.1.
This version includes original choreography "reproduced by Robert La Fosse." La Fosse is apparently no relation to the late Bob Fosse, and in any event the indelible original dancing for "WSS" was created by Jerome Robbins. However, Robert La Fosse was a principal dancer for the American Ballet Theatre and the New York City Ballet and he knows his Robbins. As far as "West Side Story" itself, with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, it is a classic that begs to be seen live.
At the theater company's cabaret Mr. Finn's, Brandon Uranowitz performers the songs of William Finn on Sunday and Monday, Aug 5 and 6. You might recognize his name: Uranowitz was recently acclaimed as Mendel in the Broadway revival of "Falsettos" (a William Finn musical). Check out Barrington Stage's website for info.
Falcon Ridge Folk Festival
Head over to nearby Hillsdale, N.Y., for the latest iteration of this three-day folkie delight that includes music, crafts, food and dancing. This is the 30th year for this fun family event. It's at Dodds Farm on County Road 7D from Friday through Sunday, through Aug 3-5.
The organization sells three-day passes as well as individual day passes, with discounts for students and seniors. For more information, check out the website.
And there's more
Tom Paxton and the DonJuans, who are scheduled to appear Sunday at the Falcon Ridge festival, with also be appearing Friday and Saturday, Aug 3 and 4, at the Guthrie Center in Great Barrington. The venerable folk and protest singer and songwriter is still political at 80. Go to the Guthrie Center's website for details.
There's light jazz and pops just about every night in Stockbridge at the Lion's Den, the cabaret at the Red Lion Inn. There's music late night in Williamstown at Goodrich Hall on Main Street, featuring pop band BETTY, fronted by Alyson Palmer and sisters Elizabeth and Amy Ziff on Friday Aug. 2.
Finally, Sam Glaser is set to appear with his band Sunday, Aug. 5, at the Duffin Theater at Lenox Memorial High School with a show called "The Power of the Jewish Soul." It’s a contemporary take on Jewish music, with proceeds to benefit the Jewish Agency's Fund for Victims of Terror. Details can be found online.
or tips on upcoming popular and jazz music contact Grace Lichtenstein by email.