Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hot Berkshire Summer Begins - Mark Morris, Jacobs Pillow, FilmTopia, Randy Harrison

Mark Morris Dance Group in Morris's Mozart Dances. Photo by Stephanie Berger.

And so our 2010 Summer of Plenty begins this weekend. With the always surprising Mark Morris and his dance company at Tanglewood's Ozawa Hall this Sunday and Monday June 27-28 at 9 pm, the once bad boy of dance will show us how refined he has become.

Over at Jacob's Pillow, the State Ballet of Georgia has put together a program from the Petipa days to the present day that is sure to delight dance aficionados. Their Falling Angels is, quite frankly, not to be missed.

From India, The World Unseen, part of the Film Topia series.

Then there is the fledgeling FilmTopia series which is kicking off Saturday at 7 pm at the Topia Arts Center in Adams. Unspooling are three short films by Nuria Olive-Belles, a really fabulous Spanish filmmaker who worked at Jacob's Pillow for several summers as their Video Director. But the big attraction is the feature - The World Unseen by Shamin Sarif. Caryn from Topia tells us it is a gorgeous multilayered story of two Indian women living under apartheid South Africa in the 1950's.

Then, Saturday afternoon, Susan Mikula, who is Rachel Maddow's partner, opens her photographic exhibit at the always interesting Ferrin Gallery. Her latest work titled American Vale: Recent Photographs features images of the Berkshire's industrial past. While they are easily identifiable, they have a somewhat soft, translucent quality that give the impression of looking back through the mists of time. Being that the opening reception is this Saturday June 26 from 4 to 6, you know who will not be in the Big Apple preparing for her nightly program. Could be interesting.

Randy back then. New images with interview in Berkshire on Stage later this weekend.

Yesterday I caught up with Randy Harrison, who is back in the Berkshires for the sixth year preparing for Endgame at the Berkshire Theatre Festival. Arriving in the Berkshires for a month, he assured me that his cats Ella and Aggie are being looked after while he is preparing for the Samuel Beckett play. He spends his time on stage cooped up in a trashcan as Nagg.

Though Endgame doesn't begin performances until July 6, his fans from Queer as Folk have snapped up every available seat for opening night, and are gnawing away at the rest. The interview with Harrison will not go up until late this weekend (lots of transcribing to do first) but as usual it probes the depth of his theatrical knowledge. Which is considerable.

Some people only think of him as his character on QAF, but he was a serious actor long before that role, and intends to keep it that way. He is not a circuit boy, and keeps his private life private. As serious as our talks are, his fans have discovered my think piece on Beckett which has a teeny tiny pic of the lad, and it's gone viral becoming the most read piece on my Berkshire on Stage site. His fans from Germany, Italy and Japan have whole websites devoted to him. The QAF series continues to be rebroadcast both in the US on Logo and Ovation, and internationally.

The Jewdy Show - My Life as a Sitcom

As mentioned in the previous post, Judy Gold took over the Nikos Stage at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. She knows funny (with a Jewish Lesbian Mother twist) like few others. This is no stand-up act however, it is a full bore theatrical production, and you can read a bit of its history in this advance story.

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